Ernie Gremillion says this about the New Orleans Hornets pro basketball team changing its name to Pelicans:

“If their objective was to change the name to a Louisiana bird, based on the team’s recent performance I think Poule D’eaus would have been more appropriate.”

Hog wild krewe

One of the more colorful krewes in the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade is the Krewe of Roadkill, which operates from a “stationary float” that doesn’t roll in the parade.

Instead, the participants do some serious tailgating from a downtown site and view the parade from that vantage point.

They don’t actually cook roadkill (they claim), but have prepared meats from all over the animal kingdom.

This year they’re cooking an 85-pound pig, which means they will be pulling an all-nighter before Saturday’s parade.

Their site should be easy to find — head toward the aroma of pork roast and cracklings.

Master Cook Jim Bickett has coined a slogan for the project: “No Swine Before Its Time.”

Which reminds me

Many years ago, one of my Spanish Town neighbors told us that her brother had just made a stainless steel “Cajun microwave” and wanted to try cooking a whole pig in it. (He worked for one of the industries down the river, but we refrained from asking him where he got the material. …)

Another neighbor said he knew of an FFA (Future Farmers of America) club in, I think, French Settlement, that raised money by preparing whole hogs for cooking.

All the neighbors chipped in to buy the pig, and the cooking site was prepared in my backyard for the Saturday cookout.

On Friday afternoon, the seasoned pig was delivered to my house — something of a surprise, because I was expecting it the next morning.

There was no way it was fitting in my fridge, so I called Randy Hutchinson, who was then manager of Capitol Grocery on Spanish Town Road. (Randy, who died several years ago, was a former Spanish Town Mardi Gras king, my classmate at Istrouma High, and a great guy.)

I explained to him that I needed somewhere to stash a pig overnight, and he told me he was at home but would call the clerk on duty at the store and tell him to expect me.

Randy told me later that the conversation went like this:

Randy: “Smiley is bringing over a pig for us to keep overnight.”

Clerk: “Is it dead or alive?”

Randy: “I don’t know. If it’s dead, put it in the cooler. If it’s alive, stake it out back.”

I tell this story whenever anyone asks me why I love Spanish Town. …

Hail the queen!

Don Stratmann, of Austin, Texas, says his mother, Merlyn Hebert Stratmann, a long-time Baton Rougean and native of Thibodaux, will be honored in her hometown Monday night.

At the Krewe of Christopher’s Diamond Jubilee Tableau she will be recognized as the krewe’s first queen in its 60-year history.

Don says he and his siblings will proudly accompany the queen as she accepts the recognition.

Cemetery angel

Carol Paine thanks the gent on the tractor in Green Oaks Cemetery for his help:

“I was refreshing the flowers on my son’s grave when he stopped his tractor behind my car and said, ‘Did you know there is a plastic bag under your car?’

“Before I could respond, he hopped off his tractor and grabbed a yellow plastic bag from under my car. He went back under and made sure he got the rest of the bag, because apparently it had stuck to something under there and had started burning.

“Thanks to this ‘angel’ I didn’t end up with my car on fire.

“Unfortunately, I did not get his name, but if you see someone with a halo riding his tractor around Green Oaks, that is probably the one.”

Looking for stuff

Cindy Decker says, “My mother used to make the most delicious lasagna from a recipe printed on the Luxury Lasagna pasta box, probably in the ’70s and ’80s. She has lost her copy of the recipe.”

She says there’s a newer recipe on Luxury boxes now, but it’s not the same. (“The old recipe had carrots, and wine, if I remember correctly.”)

Cindy’s at

Special People Dept.

  • Oley Cross, of Denham Springs, celebrates his 90th birthday Tuesday.
  • On Tuesday, Joe and Bena Sotile Matassa, of Donaldsonville, celebrate their 66th anniversary.
  • Marguerite and Jesse “Cajun Chef” Dugas, of Paincourtville, celebrated their 62nd anniversary Sunday.
  • Herbert “Shorty” and Cynthia McMorris celebrate their 50th anniversary Tuesday.

Insult to injury

This from Bliss Sheer seems a little like piling on. But what the heck, piling on is part of football:

“How do you make Notre Dame-style eggs?

“Put them in a bigger bowl than they should be in — and beat them for three hours.”

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.