Doug Johnson, of Watson, headed this “True Flattery:”

“My wife and I recently made friends with a retired couple, John and Patricia, who visit Baton Rouge on occasion.

“They own a house in a rural area near Natchez, Miss. Since they are not from anywhere near this area, I asked John why they built a home in Mississippi.

“He said they had visited this area several times in the past and found the people friendly and the countryside beautiful, so they decided to keep a home here to live in during visits.

“I consider that a very strong statement in favor of the South, especially since John and Patricia’s permanent residence is about 40 miles north of London, England.”

Cheap football

Paul Major, of Livonia, says, “I recently came across a 1990 LSU football pocket schedule being used as a bookmark.

“On the back was season ticket information: $108 plus a $50 sideline or $25 end zone surcharge for six home games.

“I realize it’s been 23 years, but I don’t think that regular (non-LSU) inflation had gone up 500-600 percent in the interim.

“Those were the good old days for the prices, but not for the team’s record — LSU was 5 and 6 that year.”

(So, Paul, I suppose that would lead some people to say you get what you pay for. … )

Traveling Tigers

After my mention of the joys of train travel, I heard from Jim Dumigan about the “Tiger Train” this football season.

The Amtrak train will go to Birmingham for the LSU-Alabama game and Memphis for the LSU-Ole Miss contest.

Says Jim, “A private observation-lounge Pullman railcar, the ‘Bonnie Brook,’ is also available for individual bookings.”

Go to or call (225) 926-6791.

Going in style

Boyd Leake says the actor Dan Ackroyd has a green railcar, which might have been the one Jeri Flynn saw going through Baton Rouge.

He says Dan goes to New Orleans often for acting gigs and promotional appearances.

Mule control

In his story on an unruly mule, Roland Clement described a noose on a stick, put over the mule’s upper lip.

George Lopez, of La Place, says this is called a twitch:

“It can be a rope or chain on a stick, and it is used by horseshoers, vets and trainers to calm active or unruly animals.”

And T. Med Hogg says the discussion about how to handle an ornery mule “reminds me of my country life in Missouri.

“Grandpa had a large farm and several hands who lived in the boarding house.

“When they went to get the half-wild horses from the barn, they had to put a twitch on their noses to harness them.

“After this was accomplished and the gate was opened so they wouldn’t run through it, the horses would run a mile or so before the wagon driver could get them turned around and settled for the day’s work.”

Happy returns

Charles Mayeux says, “One day Melinda, a lady unknown to me, knocked on my door.

“She inquired if I was Charles Mayeux, then handed me my wallet intact with all money, credit cards and ID.

“I had dropped it nearby on the street and didn’t know it was missing.

“Thank you, Melinda.”

Worthy causes

  • On Wednesday a “Louisiana Diabetes Summit: Meeting Our Challenge” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pennington Conference Center.

The conference is hosted by the Environmental & Health Council of Louisiana in partnership with Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

Keynote speaker is Lou Brock, Hall of Fame baseball player and Southern University alum.

Contact information is at or (225) 772-0720.

  • A “Shine Your Light Gala for the Poorest of the Poor” by the Cross International Alliance Thursday at Renaissance Hotel benefits the Kobonal Haiti Mission in Haiti, led by Abbeville priest Father Glenn Meaux for more than 20 years.

The gala offers cocktails and a silent auction at 6 p.m., and dinner by Chef John Folse, plus a live auction at 7 p.m.


Find a pet

Companion Animal Alliance says there is a new tool at the parish shelter for people looking for lost pets — a dedicated email address:

The address can also be found on the website

Only in America

John LaCarna says, “I used to joke with the servers in Chinese restaurants when given the fortune cookie with the check.

“I would say, ‘Wait a minute! This fortune cookie’s a fake. It wasn’t made in China. It says right here it was made in Brooklyn. I bet those lottery numbers won’t even win.’

“Most would laugh and say something like, ‘Well, they’re made by Chinese-Americans in Brooklyn.’

“But one waitress told me the whole truth: ‘Aw, they don’t have fortune cookies in China,’ she explained. ‘That stuff’s just for restaurants in America.’”

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.