I’ve always been a very modest person. You could call me the King of Modesty, the Emperor of Self-Effacement.
But there are occasions when, in the interest of keeping you informed, I feel I must indulge in just a tad of what some would call braggadocio.
This is one of those occasions.
On Aug. 13, I did my annual Fearless Football Forecast for the LSU football team — and predicted a three-loss season and a berth in the Texas Bowl in Houston. The headline was “A tough year for Tiger fans.”
Granted, my forecast wasn’t perfect. I saw a 9-3 regular season, which would have probably come to pass if the McNeese game had been played. And I had one of the losses to Auburn instead of Arkansas.
But I correctly foresaw the Alabama and Ole Miss debacles.
I also had them playing the Baylor Bears rather than the Texas Tech Red Raiders, feeling the Bears would drop from their lofty pre-season perch. (I had LSU winning that bowl game, by the way.)
At the end of my forecast, I had this to say:
“A 10-3 season and a convincing bowl win would be considered a fine season in most places, but Baton Rouge isn’t most places. The fans are restless, and rumors of big changes are in the air as the new year begins...”
(I think I’ll save that last sentence to use in next season’s forecast...)
Our mention of the days when college freshmen had to wear beanies as a form of mild hazing brought this memory from Gary E. Penton, of Pineville:
“When I entered Louisiana College in January ’53, all the ‘frosh’ had those silly beanies.
“We veterans were not required to wear them. The assumption was that we had enough initiation with basic training and wartime experiences.
“That made us feel OLD for the first time.”
A sobering thought
Tom Toddy says, “The recent mention of Korean war vets brought this irritating memory to mind:
“I was in California, waiting to ship out to Korea. After placing my order in a restaurant, I requested a beer to drink while my food was being prepared.
“I was told that I was too young to order a beer.
“Let’s see: I was old enough to go die for my country — but too young to order a beer...”
Sue Conran says, “I got nostalgic when I read Carol Stutzenbecker’s account of her childhood in the Thursday column.
“My mom woke us up with coffee milk every day. She continued that when Richard and I visited when we lived out of state.
“I packed my books in a ‘book sack’ and also kept my pencils, crayons and a small ruler in a cigar box. I sat at a desk that had a top that raised so you could put your tablets away when not in use.
“We had a ‘cloakroom’ as well. The rest rooms were two long cinder block buildings which we called ‘basements!’ Your guess is as good as mine as to where that came from.
“I shelled peas, butter beans and snapped green beans with my grandma to be used for supper and for canning.
“We also had biscuits, butter and syrup after supper, and ‘pot liquor’ — the juice in the greens — with cornbread.
“I really appreciate her reminding me just how sweet and wonderful my childhood in Denham Springs was.”
Special People Dept.
Jack Paille, of Baton Rouge, celebrated his 92nd birthday on Sunday, Dec. 6. He is a World War II Air Force veteran, having completed 51 combat missions over Germany, Romania and Yugoslavia.
Eloise Selig, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 90th birthday on Tuesday, Dec. 8.
Fernand Dionne, of Metairie, says, “On my way to the sculpture garden at City Park with a guest the day after Thanksgiving, I saw a car with a sign: ‘New Orleans Safe Driving School.’
“My twisted mind came up with the idea that there might be an UNSAFE driving school somewhere.
“Then I realized it was all around Louisiana.
“Just think of drivers using their phone, texting, not using their turn signals, and making the ‘Louisiana Slide’ (going across four or five lanes of traffic without turning lights and at high speed).
“We do need MANY safe driving schools...”
“Years ago,” says Bob B., “I saw a cartoon in a now-defunct national magazine that I’ll never forget.
“It shows an aerial view of a football stadium with a large cloud over the playing field.
“On the field are two teams, and coming out of the cloud is a huge hand holding a small piece of paper, handing it to the offensive huddle.
“The caption says, ‘Uh oh! It looks like Notre Dame is getting a play from the bench.’”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.