Like a lot of folks who drive four-wheelers, I’m intimidated and sometimes irritated by the 18-wheelers on the interstate, especially when they come roaring off the Mississippi River bridge and head over into my lane (I always let them in — what’s the option?).

Rhetta Sellers points out something good that came out of something bad involving the big trucks. (The something bad was a multi-truck crash on I-10 between Baton Rouge and Lafayette):

“Friday night I was stuck for five hours in the great abyss of cars paralyzed on I-10 on my way to a wedding in Church Point.

“Worst of times: those involved in the accident.

“Best of times: the trucker who walked up and down the ‘parking lot’ giving water to those who had none, information he received on his CB radio about the accident (since our cell phones were jammed for a while) and estimated time for our escape.

“We fuss about ‘big rigs’ all the time, but if I’m stuck that long in traffic again, please let there be a trucker nearby! Over and out, good buddy!”

How Tony met Andy

“Your recent columns about entertainers reminded me of a chance meeting many years ago,” says Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville:

“I was at the corner of Bourbon and Conti having one of the more famous New Orleans meals — a root beer and a Lucky Dog — after a very late night, when a stretch white limo drove onto the sidewalk.

“The driver exited to open the door for the passenger, and out popped Andy Williams.

“He walked into a nearby bar and ordered a drink.

“After paying for his drink, he dropped his money clip on the floor while trying to put it in his pocket, without noticing the misstep.

“I walked up to him, reached down and picked up the clip, a $20 gold piece with several hundred dollars wrapped in it.

“I said, ‘Mr. Williams, you dropped your money,’ and handed it to him.

“He thanked me, then said, ‘I guess you want my autograph.’

“I looked at him and said, ‘Only if you want mine!’

“He laughed, and told the bartender, ‘I like him; give him a drink.’”

Cajun cheese

“Hoodlum Hodges,” of Slidell, says, “Regarding Yankees and their thoughts about Cajuns and their food:

“We were in Colorado last month when this nice couple at a restaurant table next to us joined us in conversation.

“When we started talking about Louisiana food, the lady said, ‘Our daughter went to New Orleans and came back with this spice called Slap Ya Mama! I was astounded when we saw her put it on cottage cheese! Can you imagine that? Cottage cheese!’”

Flying animals

Matt Hardey, of Covington, warns that this is a “bleak” story. He says it was inspired by a reader’s tale of an alligator struck by a car in front of her that flew up and landed on her hood:

“It was sent to me by Tom Davidson, of Hammond, a railroad historian.

“The March 17, 1902, New York Times reported that Oliver McVeigh, a builder, was at work on the new depot in Kentwood when ‘The Chicago Limited, southbound and running at a terrific speed, struck a cow just opposite the station. The cow was instantly killed and her body hurled into the air. In its descent it struck McVeigh.’”

The Times said he was killed instantly, and “the remains were shipped this morning to Jackson, Mississippi, of which city he was a resident and where he leaves a wife and children.”

Special People Dept.

— Drew Paramore celebrates his 90th birthday on Tuesday, June 23. He is a World War II veteran.

— Evelyn Meier celebrates her 90th birthday on Tuesday, June 23.

— Jim and Natalie Elbourne celebrated their 72nd anniversary on Thursday, June 18.

— Joe and Kat Canatella, of Convent, celebrated their 58th anniversary on Monday, June 22.

The unreal

Patrick Howard, of Zachary, says our recent comments about TV commercials “made me think about some of them that use ‘real people,’ not actors.

“Maybe actors are only ‘people made of their parts,’ and therefore are not real.”

Downsizing Dept.

Paul Major says, “I see where Whole Foods is starting a new, smaller food store chain with the name ‘365.’

“Do you think that during the brainstorming sessions while thinking of choices for a new name they considered, and rejected, ‘Half Foods?’”

Tourist attractions

Mary Pramuk adds to our stories about Cajuns:

“This was related to me by the lady who worked for the welcome center in West Baton Rouge Parish when it was in the West Baton Rouge Museum:

“A group of Spanish-speaking visitors asked her where they could see some ‘Ka-hoons.’

“She got the impression that they thought we had them caged up somewhere for viewing.”

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.