I enjoyed "Crawfish Tales" very much (June 1). I witnessed firsthand the evolution of the crawfish industry, as I spent as much time at my grandfather's fish dock, Amy's Fisheries in Henderson, as I did at my parent's home in Breaux Bridge.
In the '60s when I was a kid, my grandfather, Joe Amy, the owner of Amy's Fisheries, was the pre-eminent buyer in the area for buffalo, gaspergou and catfish, Louisiana's commercial freshwater fish. Joe, as most folks called him, was one of the founders of the town and later, a pioneer in the crawfish business.
As the crawfish market grew, Joe stopped buying fish in the mid-60s and enlarged his fish dock time and time again to supply the growing demand for the tiny crustacean. Soon the catfish-skinning wall and fish-gutting table gave way to the huge boilers and numerous peeling tables necessary to supply the hungry out-of-state oilfield workers and proud-to-eat-crawfish Cajuns with tons of live and peeled crawfish. By the '70s, we no longer called that wonderfully fragrant business the fish dock, but the crawfish plant.
When Joe Amy died in 1981, the Henderson town council honored my grandfather by naming the waterway flowing past Pat's Waterfront Restaurant the Bayou Amy, not Bayou Amie. Prior to his death, residents of Henderson simply referred to the bayou as "the canal."
But either way you spell it, Amie and Amy mean friend; and Joe, my Poppa, was a true friend to all the residents in Henderson, Butte La Rose, Nina, Grand Anse, Cecilia, Catahoula and Breaux Bridge.
My sister, Carolyn Courville of Breaux Bridge, carries on our family tradition as owner of Amy's Supermarket in Henderson.