Sunday Brunch: Commanders Palace

Commanders Palace:  Sunday Brunch

Early on in my relationship with Ginny when we made trips to south Mississippi to visit family there nearly always  a trek  to New Orleans involved.  Sunday brunch at Commanders  Palace was a favorite destination.                                                      

On a particular Sunday morning the strolling musicians were thrilled that we requested Saint James Infirmary rather than Saints Go Marching In or even The Muskrat Ramble. They lingered at our table.                                                                                          

Our waiter was in his mid-twenties, college kid. Tony  his name tag said.  Accents being a hobby of mine, I asked from where he hailed. He had a pretty good non-native New Orleans voice, but not the real thing.

“Picayune, Mississippi,” he said.      

“Ah, my mom has an uncle there,” I told him.                                      

“Oh? Who?” he asked. “I might know him.”

“Hiram Cutrer.”

“He’s my grandfather!” Tony said.

Now, service is always a cut above at Commander’s Palace; especially Sunday Brunch service. Tony went the extra mile ( and beyond ! ) We got generous servings. We were offered, and we accepted, samples of every dessert on the menu! We left happy, having basked in the glow of family and southern hospitality.   

A couple of days later, back home in Magnolia, I began telling my mom the story.

She off-handedly said, “Oh, that’s just my cousin Harry’s youngest boy. He goes to Tulane.”      


About Tom Honea

the south mississippi i grew up in did not yet have paved roads or telephones or televisions. it did have great story tellers, on front porches in the summer or around the fire place in the winter. we were poverty stricken, financially but not culturally. we didn't know it. everybody up and down the road was in the same boat. . after forty years of day jobs i am approaching my "fishing years." i plan to spend them writing. i have a finished and edited deep south novel in the "marketing" stages. currently i'm deep into a WW II home front piece set in the Hampton Roads, VA area. notes and character sketches are already underway for "From Hiroshima to Elvis" ( the ten years after the war ) on the coastal areas of South Carolina. . visit asheville ... come and see me.
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3 Responses to Sunday Brunch: Commanders Palace

  1. Lynne Bryant says:

    I love this story! Lends credence to one of the first questions most Mississippians ask: “Now, son, who are your people?”

  2. Gladys Oakley Slappey says:

    I loved the story. Aren’t all folks from Miss. almost related. It seems to me we are when
    I travel to Booneville to see all of my cousins.
    So glad your mom is still alive. Lost my dad in 1991 and my mom in 8 years ago. I really miss both of them. Many times a week I think of something I want to know
    about family and forgot to ask when they were alive. Write it all it seems you
    Storms missed us. we just had heavy wind and rain. The Mississippi is cresting today and overflowing. It has not been this high since 1937!! Wolf River, which flows through Memphis and around county is up on roads, etc. We are going down to the river today to see it. Blues Festival began yesterday but may be moved from river
    site due to high waters. Global Warming???Maybe. Maybe not!

    • Tom Honea says:

      thanks for the comment … i do think that, at least in mississippi, the six-degrees-of-seperation is down to at most three or four !
      would you consider doing a bit of reading for me. i have done revisions that i would like to have a “new” pair of eyes on.

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