Doug Lee’s story combines weather and religion:

“While visiting Orange Beach, Alabama, we attended our favorite church, St. Thomas by the Sea.

“When we got close to the church we could see all the doors open, and stepped inside to realize that the A/C was not functioning and it was sweltering inside.

“The priest went up on the altar and promised an abbreviated Mass, with no singing and a shortened homily.

“At the homily, he stood before us and simply said, ‘If you think it’s hot in here, it’s a lot hotter where some of you may be going if you don’t change your ways.’

“That was it ­— the entire homily. I’ve never heard a congregation applause so thunderously.”

No French connection

Vince Bowers, of New Orleans, says, “Several months ago, during the height of crawfish season, after meeting with a client in Eunice I stopped in to eat lunch at a favorite local restaurant, Rocky’s.

“Being in the heart of Cajun country, I thought I would impress the young waitress with my command of the French language.

“So, when she asked for my order I said, ‘I’ll have the crawfish étouffée, s’il vous plait.’

“She started writing and then looked up apologetically and said, ‘I’m sorry sir, we don’t have s’il vous plait on the menu.”

Our tall lady

Harriet St. Amant has a suggestion for a woman to portray on the $10 bill, the subject of some discussion in these quarters of late:

“Although I can’t say I’m offended by the idea of the first Secretary of the Treasury being pictured on a piece of U.S. paper money, I guess maybe it is time to start honoring women.

“My idea wouldn’t even need any color alteration, and should not be offensive to any American.

“Though ‘it’s not easy being green,’ my suggestion would be the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty could well represent all American women.”

Good ol’ boy

Shirley Fleniken says, “Jim Carruth, who wrote in the July 27 column about Elvis Presley being known as a non-drinker/smoker, was right.

“I was there at the Casino Club in Plaquemine that night, and went up to Elvis at intermission to say hello.

“While I was talking to him, a guy came up and offered Elvis a beer. He said, ‘Thank you, but I don’t drink.’

“Someone else offered him a cigarette. He said, ‘No thank you, I don’t smoke.’

“A girl asked him to dance. He said, ‘I can’t dance,’ and laughed.

“However, I have seen written accounts of that show from folks who say they drank with him, danced with him — but most of them talked about how friendly and down to earth he was, how he hung out with them like they were old friends.

“That was the real Elvis, in my opinion!”

Looking for stuff

Roxson Welch says the Family and Youth Service Center hosts a back-to-school event on Saturday, Aug. 8, featuring a “yesterday, today, and tomorrow” exhibit.

“We need some help on the ‘yesterday’ part — donations or loans of, for example, a rotary telephone or an early cellphone (the kind that weighed about 3 pounds), floppy disks, etc. The kids will try to identify the use of each item, the counterpart today, and show by drawing or writing how the technology will change in 100 years.”

Drop items at the center, 1120 Government St., or call (225) 239-7802 to have them picked up.

Special People Dept.

— Rosalie “Aunt Pee Wee” Collins, of Plaquemine Caring, celebrated her 101st birthday on Thursday, July 30.

— William “Beagle” Dupre, of Belle Rose, celebrates his 95th birthday on Monday, Aug. 3.

— Joseph Rockforte, of Plaquemine, celebrates his 93rd birthday on Monday, Aug. 3. He is a World War II veteran and was a POW in Germany.

— Raymond Fredlund, of St. James Place in Baton Rouge, celebrated his 90th birthday on Friday, July 31.

— Ted and Bunny Castello, of Baton Rouge, celebrated their 60th anniversary on Thursday, July 30. They met at The Advocate, where he was “The Prep Talker,” covering high school sports, and she was in the advertising department.

Ode to gridlock

“Francois from Brusly” has an entry in Smiley’s Poetry Contest that might speak for many folks on the left side of the Mississippi River:

“It’s LSU game day and everyone is a-quiver;

Not a long commute from just across the river.

But I won’t make kickoff of this Louisiana classic,

Because I’ve been on La. 1 stuck in all this traffic.”

The fame game

Speaking of our poetry contest, Bo Bienvenu scores points with the judges by mentioning their favorite column:

“Gaining fame is within reach,

He smiled and said so wryly,

If you can just get your name

To show up in Smiley.”

Contacting Smiley

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.