Joan Waguespack Barre, of Metairie, says her family had a priest friend, Father Jules Toups, who loved to fish.

“He was assigned to Pierre Part in the 1940s, and shortly after his new assignment a parishioner planned a fishing trip for him with an elderly fisherman. The fisherman’s son went with them, and neither knew the gent they were taking fishing was the new priest — or that he spoke French.

“On the morning of the trip the priest, dressed in khaki trousers and a sport shirt, got into the motorboat with the fisherman and his son. The son began cranking the motor, but it would not start.

“The fisherman said to his son, in French, ‘Move over, you are as stupid as a priest’ (‘bête comme un prêtre’).

“As the day progressed the fisherman asked the priest, ‘What do you do for a living?’

“Father Jules answered, in French, ‘I am one of those stupid priests.’”

Noah revisited

Bobbie Shaffett, of Baton Rouge, says, “Long ago, when my son was a preschooler and a hard freeze was in the forecast, we were filling the tub and sinks in case the water pipes froze.

“Wanting to help, he filled the lavatory … and the entire bathroom floor by leaving the water running.

“I said, ‘Oh no, you flooded the whole house!’

“The Bible scholar replied, ‘I thought God said He wouldn’t make no more floods.’

“My reply: ‘God didn’t make that one; you did!’”

Happy birthday stat

“There is a line in a baseball movie about the sport keeping stats on everything,” says Roy Pitchford, of Monroe.

“An occurrence on July 6 proves the truth of that statement.

“That date was Houston Astros rookie Preston Tucker’s birthday, and he led his team with four hits.

“An enterprising writer noted that the last Astro to get four hits on the day he was celebrating a birthday was Jeff Bagwell in 2002.”

Famous hazard

Jay Huner, of Boyce, says he was birding on Carrier Road between Oakdale and Oberlin a few weeks ago “when I decided to take Ponderosa Road to U.S. 165.

“When I got to a BIG water-filled hole, the choices were left, right, straight or back.

“Straight was a bad choice.

“I called friend Mack Thompson, who is a parish engineer. First thing he asked after I explained where I was: ‘Are you in the hole?’”

Jay says after Mack and his son Paul pulled his car out, Mack called the road maintenance office and had Ponderosa Road closed pending maintenance.

Garth who?

John Culmone says, “A few years ago I nominated my wife, Barbara, for a local radio station’s ‘Working Woman of the Day.’

“She won and was presented a plaque, flowers and two tickets for a steak dinner at Bear Creek Steak House in Montpelier.

“The Saturday we went they had a live band, with a singer named Garth Brooks.”

Old news

When I told Chuck Falcon, of Donaldsonville, that being eligible for Medicare meant he was officially old, I was chastised by a reader who said age is all in your mind.

Here’s Chuck response: “I agree, I am not 65 in my mind. This should be a mind over matter situation. But the body says it’s matter over mind.”

Special People Dept.

— Virginia Rose Jones Booker celebrates her 93rd birthday on Thursday, July 9.

—Edward and Sylvia Ann Carrio celebrate their 66th anniversary on Thursday, July 9.

Initial reaction

After Tim Palmer questioned a column item, I assured him it must be correct, because it came from a graduate of Istrouma High.

Tim responded, “I’m thinking you might want to indicate the writings of Istrouma High grads with an ‘IHG,’ so readers will know they can trust what they are reading to be the complete and honest truth.”

Which reminds me

If you, in your youth, attended Istrouma, Redemptorist, St. Anthony, North Highlands, Hollywood, Gilmer Wright, etc., you might want to drop by the Old North Baton Rouge Reunion Thursday, July 9, at 6 p.m. at the Belle of Baton Rouge Atrium. Every year several hundred folks attend the event, which has no program. You just visit with old friends and classmates, chat about fun times, and tell lies about your early athletic prowess and early love life.

Oh, and bring some items for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

Sport of kings?

Nancy Wagner says, “My late brother Jim’s good friend (also deceased), Pete Ducote, was the son of Gaston Ducote Sr., tourist commissioner under Gov. Earl K. Long.

“When the Duke and Duchess of Windsor visited Baton Rouge, Mr. Ducote Sr. was assigned to entertain them, which he no doubt did.

“An avid pheasant hunter, Mr. Ducote — in his heavy Cajun accent — told the duke: ‘Me and you got a lot in common, Duke. We both like to shoot peasants.’”

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.