Steve Koehler, of Metairie, says, “After seeing the comment by the reader who wants to refer to the bridge over the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge as the ‘Car Strangled Spanner,’ it sounds to me like there should be a contest for your readers to give an informal name to the bridge.

“Can I suggest ‘The Big Slo-Mo No-Go?’”

Bridge in history

Mention of a bridge in Washington, D.C., dubbed the “Car Strangled Spanner” brought this thought and a sad memory from Harriet St. Amant:

“An educated guess would make it the Key Bridge, or, more formally, the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

“It’s one of the main arteries out of D.C. after a busy workday and leads to northern Virginia.

“On a historic note, it’s the bridge that leads to Arlington National Cemetery.

“Those of us who were alive at the time will surely remember JFK’s funeral procession across that bridge, led on foot by President Kennedy’s two surviving brothers and his widow, the ever-elegant Jacqueline.

“Her composure on that march was a stunning example of grace under fire.”

This old house

One of the joys of owning an old house (other than getting to know repair people really well) is learning of its history from those who lived there before you.

Among all the madness and chaos of Spanish Town Mardi Gras festivities, there are often quiet moments like the one Spanish Town resident Shelley Carter describes, when people return to the historic old neighborhood and share their memories:

“On Saturday a guy stopped in front of the house (the door was open) and asked if he could come in.”

Alvin Rando said he had lived there as a child in the ’70s:

“He looked in the bathroom and said he could picture his father shaving there. Looked at every single room so lovingly, and he took our hearts.

“Then he mentioned Mr. Pat McDonald, mayor (by acclamation) of Spanish Town.”

Alvin told of selling Mr. Pat two puppies (“He insisted on paying him $15 for them.”) that were his beloved Festus and Whitey, long-time companions.

Shelley says, “Mr. Pat walked those dogs every morning at 6 a.m. and bathed them every other Saturday.”

Alvin also remembered the nice lady next door who invited him over whenever she made an apple pie, and gave him a slice while it was still warm.

“Every year someone comes by and tells us more about all the circles that surround us,” says Shelley. “We treasure all of the stories.”

The Great Roasting

Marjy Hasten reminds us that the 2016 Gridiron Show, a long-running spoof of political types by the Capitol Correspondents Association, will be held on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19, at the American Legion Hall on Wooddale Boulevard.

She says, “Mark your calendars and be on the lookout for ticket order information, which we’ll be sending in a couple of weeks.”

(Gee, do you reckon there’s been enough political activity during the past year to make a show about it?)

Macho method

“With all of the hoopla about ‘church keys,’ says Harold Mayeux, “I’m wondering if anyone ever used the ‘manual’ church key, commonly called ‘a fist,’ which we would always use while hunting or fishing with no utensils available.

“If you prop the edge of a non screw-top bottle cap on anything with a 90 degree angle (usually a fence post) and slammed your fist on it, the cap pops right off.”

Traveling in style

John Torbert says our story of a sailboat on the Tenn-Tom (Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway) “reminded us of a memorable trip we made on our 51st anniversary.

“We took our travel trailer to Mobile, where it was put on a barge with the tow vehicle. There were full hookups — electricity, water, sewer.

“There were three barges. The one in the middle was the party barge, with rest rooms, washer, dryer and food preparation, where we were fed if they didn’t take us off to eat.

“We went up several rivers to the Tenn-Tom and finally into the Tennessee River, passing through 21 locks to debark in Alabama.”

Special People Dept.

Ruby Casemore celebrates her 100th birthday on Saturday, Feb. 13.

Lorraine LaCour, of Kenner, celebrates her 95th birthday on Sunday, Feb. 14.

Nora Cline Neal, of Morganza, celebrates her 90th birthday on Sunday, Feb. 14.

Language barrier

Keith Hoscasitas says, ??Priscilla, an RN friend, told me her young granddaughter was at first excited when Grandma asked her last week to go to a parade, but was hesitant when told it was the Spanish Town one.

“When asked why by Grandma, the toddler said, ‘Aw, I don’t want to go cuz I don’t know Spanish!’”

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.