Bryan, it may be what Marion Marcotte is saying in his story. I spell it G-Wheels, because I still think he's saying "wheels". The lady on the radio show sounds as if she's saying "dee-wheez". The first word she says, though, is Safétida. She says that "dee-wheez" is a 'tit nom for this. Safétida was a type of soda cake mixture with another ingrediant "asafetida", a little bit of which was mixed in a jar with water and kept on a kitchen counter for when anyone had stomach troubles. One would drink a sip or two and it acted like an antacid, especially making one burp so that one's food would "go down". Du Safétida / du "dee-wheez" , "G-Wheels", maybe they're all the same!
It sure sounded the same to me. This transcribing stuff has such a human element, several people heard slightly different things, and if I listen for it, I can hear any of their suggestions. I also thought I heard heard "wheels", thought it was either "dix" or "disc" but they are only guesses. Someone has got to know what that is, its obviously before my time.
Here's my transcription of the telephone conversation.
--Good morning to you!
--All right! The name is Thomas Dewey's /di-ouij/.
--Eusses appelaient ça "Di-ouij."
--Oh, oui, that's another name for it, huh?
--Yes, sir. We give that to children who had the--the lou-lou--the (worms?).
--And it was good when they had the stomach ache, the coliques too.
--Colique and the (your guess is as good as mine).
--Hé, bougre. (Et vous??)
--Jamais oubliez le nom de ça.
--I'm glad to be on--to be on y'all show and I'm so happy to hear y'all voice.
--Thank you so very much for calling. We appreciate that.
--Et c'est Mae-Mae ici.
--All right Mae-Mae, on apprécie le phone call.
--Okay. Thank you.
--Okay. You're welcome. Bye-bye. Okay, ouais, des, des, des, di-weez, ça, ça c'était un autre--un 'tit nom que--qu'eusses avait donné pour ça. Écoute, ça, ça faisait du bien, mais c'était aussi bon que ça sentait mal. Ça goûtait mal. (Riant) Ça faisait du bien. Ça soulageait.
Man, I can't wait till Friday for the next show! This is one of the best things on the internet. I'm really glad that they started doing this. We can't catch radio programs in Cajun French in Terrebonne Parish.
KLRZ FM does a "Cajun" program in the morning, but it's slathered with swamp pop, a few Cajun songs thrown in and it's 99.999% in English. What a shame.
Ah, glad you put that "soulageait", was trying to figure out what that word was, never heard it before. You are right, I love listening to the locals call in with their stories. Listening to the people you can hear several different accents.
Man, I just dont know. I went back and listened to the Marion Marcotte story again, and now it doesnt sound so much the same, close though. I hear "dis' wheel" on Marion's, and on "La Tasse" I hear ".ees wheez", I may have gotten excited for nothing. Roy suggested that on "La tasse" she may be saying "Dewey's", sound plausible.
Yeah, the lady really sounds like she's stoned out of her mind.
Yeah, I really think she's saying "Dewey's," while Marion Marcotte is saying "Djiwey's."
My reasoning is this: The word "Dewey's" when written phoenetically is like: "du-weez." Well, some Cajun French speakers pronounce the "u" like an "i" just like when "tu" is pronounced "ti." That would make it come out as "di-weez" (like that woman), but to further complicate things, (Like Marion Marcotte is doing.) some people take the "di" sound and turn it into the "dj" sound (like with Le Bon Djeu (or Djieu), le djable (or djiable), etc.) which would make Marion Marcotte's pronunciation come out sounding like "Dji-weez." So, "un Dewey's" would be, in my opinion, "a bottle of Dewey's" just like we say "Get me a Coke" when we mean "Get me a bottle (or a can) of Coke." The bottle is just left out because it's understood.
So, taking this back to where it began, and I think it's "Ils m'avaient donné une charrue, un disque, une herse double, un Dewey's, un planteur, etc."
An interesting thing I noticed was that on La Tasse de Café from Wednesday, October 26th, the announcer Jim Soileau says that the word for "a scarecrow" is "un jombie" but down here, we say "un zombie" or "un esprit." This also leads me to believe that the woman who called in about the medicine is really saying Dewey's /di-weej/ but is pronouncing it by changing the "du" sound to "di" (like "tu" changes to "ti") and then the "weez" sound is changed to "weej" just like the "z" sound in "zombie" was changed to the "j" sound in "jombie." ...and Marion Marcotte pronounces "di-weej" as "dji-weez" like when "dieu" and "diable" are changed to "djieu" and "djiable." Even Jim Soileau changes the pronunciation of "di" to "dji" during the phone call with the woman, but the woman corrects him. So, based on my findings, I sincerely believe that the name of the medicine he's talking about is "Dewey's."
Well, I emailed the radio station about this very subject. They replied:
Daniel, Thank you for your letter. We will discuss your letter on next Wednesday's La Tasse Program with Jim Soileau especially about the G-Wheel.
I may be out of town Wed. and away from a computer, but at my first chance, I'm listening to the archived show in its entirety to see what they say.
I was planning to go to my parents in 2 weeks, I intended to go to Blakes Pharmacy and get some straight scoop, since it is near Floyds record shop, which is as much a part of my trips home as stocking up on boudin, gratons, and saucisse.
Even once we figure out what it is they are talking about on the show, I am not sure if we will ever figure out if it is the same thing as on the Marion Marcotte story. The more I listen to it, the more it doesnt sound the same. I wish we could solve this so I can get some peace of mind, its been comme un tit peekon dans mon derriere.
[In the key of FLAT]
I listened to the program and nobody called in about it. He announced it at the beginning of the program and read your letter and all that good stuff, but unfortunately there were no takers.
I strongly believe it's "Dewey's" based on my aforementioned Cajun French pronunciation changes. It's just that some people have different ways of pronouncing the same word.
Just like we may say "y'all" while some people may say "you all" and still others might say "y'alls" and we might say "my-nezz" while others might say "mayonnaise," etc.
I'm sorry that no one called in. I was really hoping for a caller.
Just got back from a little trip. Listened to the KVPI program, and yeah, you're right, no one called in about it. I still believe M. Marcotte is talking about some sort of farm implement or tool. I don't agree with "Dewey's" or "Safétida". If it were either of the two, he wouldn't put the article "un" in front of the noun. We always say "DU" safétida, not "UN" safétida, likewise with "Dewey's".
That's my story and I'm stickin to it.
I'm with you Daniel, the more I listened to both, the more I think they just happen to sound a little alike. We may never solve the Marion Marcotte problem, but on KVPI they said they got the info from Blakes Pharmacy in Ville Platte. I am planning to go down there next weekend and I think I'll stop by Blakes and ask him about whatever the lady is saying, Roy may be right on that one.
I don't think that it's any kind of medication, either, because Marion Marcotte is listing farm tools that he received, and I don't think a medication would have been listed with them. It would have been listed before or after. It sound to me like it might "disc wheel" that he is saying, but, why wouldn't he have said "roue d'disc?"
By the way, was 55 years old, or older, before I realized that my father was actually saying "disc" in talking about that emplement. I always thought he was saying "dix" (ten), which is what it sounded like. For those of you that don't know what a "disc" was, it's an emplement with two wheels, with a "fleche" (pole) that was hitched to two mules/horses, a seat for the worker to sit on in the back, and had a set of discs atached below, and forward of the seat that would pull dirt from the bottom of a field row towards the top of the row (now called hippers). Another version of this tool, one without the seat, was known by it's manufacturer name, "un Moline."