You might recall my recent mention of two Louisiana state troopers who were helping in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy.

When they went out to buy supplies for a family who had lost everything, a lady in the store insisted on paying with her gift cards.

Bertha Reed, of Opelousas, tells how this good deed still resonates in New Jersey:

“Several years ago I began a wonderful friendship, through email with a World War II veteran named Vincent Saldutti.

“We met through the impressive website he had created for the naval vessel he’d served on during the war ( My father-in-law, Burke Reed, had served on the same ship.

“Vincent and his family live on a barrier island off the coast of New Jersey and made it through Hurricane Sandy relatively unscathed compared to the towns to the north of them.

“When I saw the Nov. 15 article by Lt. Chris Owens in your column about Louisiana state troopers Hershel Smith and Chris Wright, I had to forward it to Vincent.”

Here’s Vincent’s reply:

“Thank you for this beautiful article of the two angel troopers. We really are not aware who may be standing nearby.

“There truly are angels. I’ve believed this is so true most of my adult life and as we grow older, stories such as these about the two troopers is evidence of guardian angels among us.

“Their good deed just invited more angels to help those who are in desperate need, such as the wonderful woman with her generous gifts.

“God will bless all those volunteers from all over these United States, and especially your two troopers from Louisiana.

“Makes you proud when you see officers going above and beyond their duty. How proud their families must be.

“I will send this article to most of my friends here on the island to spread this wonderful deed.”

Ellis’ Lounge memories

You have to operate a very special saloon to have patrons still gathering to remember it 34 years after it closes.

This is the case with Ellis’ Lounge, a Government Street institution that attracted an eclectic crowd that will meet Dec. 8 at the Hawk’s Nest to talk about the good old days.

The highly informal meeting is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and the usual rules are posted:

“Lies, rumor, gossip, innuendo. No arm wrestling. No dangerous pets.”

Which reminds me

One of my favorite barkeeps was the late Pat King, who operated several New Orleans drinking establishments.

Her last stop was the Gin Mill on Magazine about which I have enough stories to fill a couple of columns.

Pat’s bars always attracted New Orleans political types, but she never got involved in their arguments.

“I just sell whiskey,” she would say when she avoided political discussions.

One of my favorite stories was one she told me shortly after St. Patrick’s Day:

“We were all out on the sidewalk watching the parade when somebody threw a cabbage from a float and it hit Old Eddie (not his real name; one of the bar’s regulars, known to imbibe to excess) in the head. Knocked him cold …”

“Wow! What did you do?” I asked.

“Took the cabbage in the kitchen and cooked it down with some carrots, potatoes and a piece of ham …”

Worthy causes

Caroline Bourgeois says the Capital Study Club, a group of 23 dentists who meet monthly for continuing education, is having a food drive involving dentists, staffs and patients.

She says last year 1,865 pounds of food for the needy was raised, “and our goal is to surpass that this year.”

The deadline for the drive is Dec. 19.

Caroline can be contacted at the office of Dr. Richard T. Akin. Email or call (225) 927-3463.

Special People Dept.

  • On Tuesday Joseph Palermo, of Metairie, celebrates his 100th birthday with 30 friends and family members by dancing the night away on a cruise.
  • Barbara Cline, of Arabi, celebrates her 90th birthday Monday.

Who to hug?

Joe Guilbeau, of Plaquemine, says, “Football can be so confusing. LSU has a bunch of beautiful girl cheerleaders, but every time the Tigers score, the PLAYERS hug each other!”

Brusly beckons

As is our custom, my current wife and I will take off for our Well-Deserved Vacation the next few days.

As usual, we’ll be staying at Bubba’s Exxon, Motel & Bait Shop in Back Brusly.

We’ll be bringing our own groceries, due to an unfortunate incident that caused Bubba to close his adjoining All You Dare to Eat Café.

I haven’t been able to find out much about the incident, except that it involved Fish & Wildlife, the Centers for Disease Control, Homeland Security and the CIA.

Bubba would say only, “No big deal — just a misunderstanding …”

Should be a most interesting vacation.

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.