Donna Goudeau says, “During one of our annual two-week summer visits to our grandparents’ home in Jennings, Maw-Maw Suiter was outside with us one afternoon while we played.

“Always making the best use of her time, she sat in the swing peeling potatoes. When she finished, she and her neighbor visited over the fence.

“During their conversation, Maw-Maw was talking with her hands ­­— what Cajun doesn’t?

“Except she still had the paring knife in her hand, and if you didn’t know they were having a cordial conversation, you’d have thought she was threatening Mrs. Fontenot with the knife.

“I walked over and carefully removed the knife from Maw-Maw’s hand, and we all had a good laugh!”

A matter of degree

Jim Smith, of Baton Rouge, says tales of “authentic fakes” reminds him of “a fascinating trip to Istanbul my wife, Honie, and I enjoyed several years ago.

“As many of your readers already know, the locals in Turkey are masters of sales techniques, and tend to be substantially more aggressive than those in Baton Rouge when trying to make a sale.

“As we were strolling through the Grand Bazaar we were trying our best to ignore the shop owners trying to get our attention.

“Finally one particularly dedicated merchant grabbed me by the arm, pulling me into his shop and declaring, ‘You come buy from me. I cheat you less than everybody here.’”

Tasteful rivalry

Back in 1990, ardent East Ascension High booster Jay Patterson and his friend, equally ardent St. Amant High booster Fritz Englade, made a bet.

If Jay’s Spartans beat Fritz’s Gators in the upcoming football game, Fritz and 25 of his buddies would have to serve Jay and 25 of his buddies T-bone steak dinners, while dining on red beans and rice themselves. And, of course, vice versa.

“East Ascension won three years in a row,” said Fritz at the latest dinner, Wednesday at Carli-Co Cafe in Gonzales. “My guys were ready to kill me.”

But over the years it’s pretty much evened out, although St. Amant holds a 14-10 lead. The Gators won last season’s game, so there was an unseemly amount of Gator gloating at the dinner.

After Jay’s death, various East Ascension guys took over the leadership, and currently Brett Hughes leads the Spartan forces, whose mottos is “Wait until this year’s game!”

It’s a lot of fun, and an example of why high school football is such a big deal in south Louisiana.

Have a ball

“You’ve had a lot remarks about tennis balls on the car antenna,” says Rose Rolfsen. “I have one, and I never lose my car in a parking lot. I just look for the purple and gold tennis ball, and there it is!”

The golf guy

“Mike Johnson, longtime pro at the LSU Golf Course, retires on Sunday, March 1, says Ronnie Domas. “If any golfers who play at LSU would like to call and wish him well, the number is (225) 578-3394.”

Special People Dept.

Hilda Husband celebrated her 104th birthday Sunday, March 1. A longtime resident of Morgan City, she recently moved to Baton Rouge after living in the Houston area.

Obides Brickens, of Northpoint Nursing Home, is 99 on Saturday, Feb. 28, an event he celebrated Thursday, Feb. 26.

Ernestine Beattie, of Oakwood Village in Zachary, celebrates her 96th birthday Friday, Feb. 27.

Pershing J. Mire, of Gonzales, celebrates his 95th birthday Saturday, Feb. 28. (He was actually born on a Feb. 29, but we don’t have one this year.)

Asia Harvey, of Greater Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, celebrates her 95th birthday Saturday, Feb. 28.

Carrie Callahan, of Plaquemine, celebrates her 90th birthday Friday, Feb. 27.

Marie and Norman Sutton Sr. celebrate their 70th anniversary Saturday, Feb. 28.

Bernell and Thelma Matthews celebrate their 65th anniversary Saturday, Feb. 28.

Be very afraid

Bobby Sibley, of, Watson, agrees with Marsha Reichle that “new and improved” are “the two most terrifying words in advertising.”

“It not only means you are going to pay more. It also means that it is probably not as good as it was before they ‘improved’ it.”

Members only

Dudley Lehew says, regarding obituaries, “My late Louisiana College journalism professor took great delight in telling every freshman class about a Memphis Commercial Appeal obituary that listed the deceased’s accomplishments:

“‘She was a member of the Book of the Month Club.’”

Leaving in style

Roy Pitchford says when he worked in Arkansas, the Little Rock newspaper ran memorable obits:

“One told of a woman who was survived by her 340-pound son and a 120-pound bulldog.

“Another said it was so sad that when an elderly woman died the county had still not paved the road in front of her house like they promised, and dust rolled onto her porch every day.”

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.