I feed ’em and I’m gonna go.

Years ago, in New Orleans, in the early 1930’s, my aunt Fay had an impatient conversation with her aunt Thelma Louise.¬†Fay was probably ten at the time. Thelma was in a hurry getting dressed up, and Fay was asking where she was going, and Thelma kept saying “I feed ’em, and I’m gonna go.” Fay didn’t think she was hearing properly and kept asking, and Thelma kept impatiently repeating it, “I feed ’em, and I’m gonna go!”

Fay went home, and her mom, Grandma Alice, who saw Thelma Louise all dressed up, and leaving, asked Fay, “Where’s Thelma goin’ Honey?” And Fay said, “I don’t know mama, she wouldn’t tell me. Whenever I asked her she just kept saying, “I feed ’em, and I’m gonna go!””

So a year ago, in 2010, Fay tells this story to my father, Bob. And over coffee, the two of them Google bits and peices it on the internet. They figure out Aunt Thelma¬†was on her way to the opera, and what she was really trying to tell Fay, over 75 years ago, was that she was going to see “La fille de Madame Angot.”


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