“Being a Cajun woman, I knew the best way to say thank you was to feed them.”
Shelley Berthelot Villeret of Montz said she was mentally prepared for an electricity restoration date of Sept. 29, but when her home’s lights turned on sooner following Hurricane Ida she knew she wanted to do something to thank the linemen who had worked so hard for the community.
“As I would drive to find gas and supplies, there were lines and lines of lineman working all day in the Louisiana heat and most of them aren’t from Louisiana,” she said.
After joining some Facebook groups – including one titled “Feed Linemen – Tell Us Where You Are So We Can Bring You Food And Water” – Villeret said she learned that some linemen were sleeping in their trucks and not able to locate meals at times.
“On Sept. 5 in the afternoon my electricity was restored and I wanted to thank them for restoring 14 days earlier than anticipated,” she said.
Villeret – with the help of Tracey Bivona, Kimberly Dwyer, Christy Trosclair, Stacey Zeringue, Greta Duhe, Jayden Estilette, Kristen Surmik, Sheila Berthelot and Hailey Hardesty – were able to pass out 15 pounds of red beans and rice, green beans, brownies, bread and some freshly brewed iced tea to linemen.
“As I drove around LaPlace I would stop and ask the linemen where they were parked at night because I would like to thank them with a hot meal,” she said. “We found out that a large group of trucks were parking at the Hilton hotel across from the old airport on Airline, so we packed our stuff and headed there. They guys were so thankful. They rubbed their bellies and had smiles on their faces after they finished. It’s the little things that mean so much these days.”