On “As the Mug Turns” today, what happens when you are changing out the roof of your restaurant and they get the entire roof off and it rains a good Louisiana summer rain? I can tell you friends it ain’t pretty. Let’s go back to 1995 and finding out we had Formosan termites. Sigh. They started to swarm out of our lights at night that spring. A week into that we started to see the wings and thought well they are dying. Nope that just means they have gone to eating the wood. We developed a plan to change the roof which was flat and holding water to a pitched roof. We were also going to put in a new floor and have the entire building treated. It was in one of the first days we were closed and I was taking up the old floor that two woman came in through all the mess and asked if we were open for them to play poker. There are NO tables, half the floor is gone, and the poker machines are covered in plastic. As I stood there covered in sweat and dirt, I wanted to hit them with something!
Ok, we were set to be closed 10 days. My Mom, Dad, and I go to the Hill Behan on Jefferson to pick out what would take the place of Formica on the walls. It had been a VERY dry summer. We leave Hill Behan and look back toward LaPlace and the sky is DARK. I felt my heart drop. We drive home in the pouring rain. When we got back to LaPlace, the ceiling was collapsing, the walls were buckling, and they had thrown the breaker to have no power in the building.
I was set to meet friends in Baton Rouge that night and my Dad said go. I can remember watching from my window at home before I left. So, I met my friends and had MANY margaritas. The next morning I woke up to the article on the front page of the Times-Picayune – Diner Is Bug Dinner. Really? That is really kicking you when you are down. Oddly, the article had my Dad and Mr. Larry Brock pictured on the roof. Years later his son, Andre’, would marry my little sister Tracey. (little silver lining)
Well, it turned out that the rain was a blessing in disguise. We found out that we had termites in every wall. Thus began a 6 week rebuilding of every wooden wall in the building. It seems we had been running our own LaPlace Disney World for termites. Our flat roof was like their own little water park. We were also lucky given the damage that none of us were crushed by the air conditioning units that had been on the roof.
So, the roof had to be put on at night since it was so hot during the day in July. They rented lights and got to work. I could hear them working from my house every night. The roof went on, the walls went up, and the floor went down. The building was finally put back together; we had a big party on a Friday night to celebrate with the crew that rebuilt the building and our workers who were ready to come back to work. That Monday we opened back up and the mug kept turning!