On the Lighter Side: Remember Milton 'Boo Boose' Guilbeau

Joe Guilbeau

I’m taking the liberty of writing about my famous cousin, Milton “Boo Boose” Guilbeau.

Joe Guilbeau

Milton died Aug. 4, 2021. He was born May 11, 1927, the same day Charles Lindbergh landed his new plane “The Spirit of St. Louis” in St. Louis, from San Diego, where it was manufactured.

To show you the Cajun passion for nicknames, Milton had two brothers –“Ta-Too” and Roaul “Choon” and five sisters, Solange “SuSu,” Laurence “LoLo,” Irene “Nan,” Winnie “Win” and Amy “T-Mae.”

But there was only one “Boo Boose” and there will never be another “Boo Boose.” I can assure you his nickname will be on this tombstone:

We led correspondingly parallel lives. Here are some examples:

  • We are about the same age.
  • We grew up in the middle of the Great Depression.
  • We grew up on cotton farms on the northeast corner of Lafayette parish. Growing up on a farm, we learned to work when we were very young.
  • We were both bilingual when we were 10 years old.
  • We were first cousins.
  • We were double-first cousins (our fathers two sisters).
  • We attended 11 years of school together.
  • We both enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
  • We both served on aircraft carriers.
  • I served on the U.S.S. Valley, and he on the iconic U.S.S. Ranger.
  • The U.S.S. Ranger was the first purpose-built aircraft carrier and Milton was onboard when the first jet aircraft were tested to take off and land on the carrier’s flight deck.
  • We both used our “G.I. Bill of Rights” to earn our college degrees.
  • We both chose careers in retail and wholesale business.
  • We both celebrated 60 years of marriage to two good-hearted women.
  • I was president of our senior class, and he was president of the 4-H Club.
  • We were born the same year as Mickey Mouse.
  • We both had a passion for music.
  • From the perspective of growing up on a small cotton farm on the grassy prairies of southwest Louisiana. On his broad influence on Louisiana music, in 1997 he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

And, so, I bid adieu to my best friend.