In its July 5, 1928 issue The Bossier Banner printed some really far-out folktales.
“The reporter appreciated having as a caller Friday of last week Mr. M. W. Morrow, a friend of the good old Bellevue days. He had been absent from Benton for some time and we learned that he had just returned home two days before, after spending two weeks and four days in Haughton, at the home of Mr. G. W. Smith, his nephew. While in Haughton he attended a revival meeting held at the Methodist Church for a week, and conducted by Minden’s resident Methodist minister. He was unable to report how many converts were gained for the church, but did state that he gained considerable in flesh during his visit—perhaps 10 pounds. ‘Why, when I left I could scarcely button my pants at the belt, or shirt collar either,’ he said.”
“Friend Morrow tells many a good yard and seems always to have a brand new one in reserve. We sometimes think of him as knowing an inexhaustible supply of folklore. By way of starting things, after he was comfortably seated and had his pipe going good, we told of the young man who came home tipsy one night and ate the boll [sic] of soft starch found on the dining room table, thinking it was cabbage slaugh [slaw?]. He beat that one all hollow (as we knew he would) by telling about a couple of young men who returned to their boarding house at a late hour one night (also in their cups) and, being hungry, entered the kitchen. There they picked up the wrong pot and ate all the dishrags the women folks had in soak, thinking they were boiled collards.”
“We didn’t tell another one, knowing we couldn’t ‘keep in sight,’ but Friend Morrow kept right on and told about feeding twelve hungry scouts (drinking a bit) on fried gar fish and baked sweet potatoes. They just about cleaned him up, and he was an eight-foot gar, too—according to the way the story was told. That was in the old days, down on Bistineau.”
“ ‘ Why, a man can eat about anything and do well on it,’ said Friend Morrow, ‘excepting, of course, a sick man. When it comes to a sick man, I haven’t anything to say.’ And there he waved aside thought of sick men with the hand that wasn’t busy holding his pipe—and told some more good ones. On some occasion, when time hands heavy on your hands, hunt him up and get him to tell you about the Talking Horse (right here in Bossier Parish), the man who could catch fish while he slept, the man who came to grief while operating the new machine for extracting bones from fish just before eating them, the one-legged man who, during the watermelon season, wore a shoe on the ground end of his crutch after nightfall, the man who moved to Texas so often during the old boom days that he was well enough known anywhere along the road to stop and borrow a peck of meal, about his fast race horse and his winnings—and dozens of others. He knows ‘em, and we’ll vouch for that.”
Bossier Parish has its own brand of folklore, so visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center to learn more about it.
Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org