Jerry Clower, the Mississippi comedian, had a bit about canned biscuits, saying that the popping of the cans in the morning made his neighborhood sound like a war zone.

Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson, offers a canned biscuit tale:

“Anna Lou Haynes Thompson, of Norwood, tells the story of her mother, Mittie Lou Netterville Haynes, and her friend Louise Thomas Lindsey’s trip to Baton Rouge in Reggie Lindsey’s new Cadillac.

“In the ’50s women dressed in hats, gloves and girdles for a shopping trip.

“On the way home they stopped at the National Food Store at Airline and Scenic — they had to buy the new-fangled item, canned biscuits.

“On the way home in the hot car, with the windows rolled down and the groceries in the back seat, they thought they heard gun shots.

“The popping noise was the biscuits exploding in the hot car.

“Poor Reggie was very disgusted to have biscuit dough hanging from the headliner of his new car.”

High Cotton

Scott Levet shares memories of the late lamented Cotton Club, a legendary restaurant-bar on Highland Road run by the Constantino brothers:

“I was born in the ’70s, and my dad frequented this fine establishment. I have rich memories of seafood dinners, cold mugs of Coke, arcade games just outside the rest rooms, and a veritable who’s-who of Baton Rouge at the bar on any given night.

“I can readily recall the smell inside the old joint!

The Cotton Club held a Mardi Gras parade every year, up and down Highland Road. My dad, Doug Levet, pulled the king and queen’s float.

“One year, the wooden trailer was so decrepit that the queen stepped straight through it!

“My sister, cousins, friends and I would ride the little floats, and felt like we were something special!

“Get this — we would park at the Cotton Club and WALK to LSU football games!”

Which reminds me

I can’t pass up an opportunity to tell my favorite Cotton Club story.

Just before the old place closed, a gent told me of going in, sitting at the bar, and ordering a glass of chardonnay.

The young lady behind the bar paused to consider the order, then opened the cooler to observe two jugs of wine.

Turning to him, she asked, “You want the red chardonnay or the white chardonnay?”

At the stomp

Either because of my Italian heritage or my fondness for the juice of the grape, or both, Frank Arrigo has honored me by naming me a judge for the “Celebrity Charity Grape Stomp” at Sunday’s Columbus Day Festa, sponsored by the Greater Baton Rouge American Italian Association.

The festa is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Belle of Baton Rouge, and the stomp, by the lovely ladies of Baton Rouge media, is at 2:15 p.m.

Events include a “vino stroll,” shopping village, bocce ball, tarantella dance, pizza eating contest, and much more.

Moving on up

In our Automotive Etiquette Dept., Robert Gremillion says, “People need to remember to drive up to the last available pump when buying gas.

“Not doing this forces the next car to have to drive around and back up to your car. It also prevents you from having to back up and drive around the car in front of you. This is annoying to both cars.

“Gas stations need to put arrow stickers stating to move up to the next available pump.”

Special People Dept.

Mildred Primm, of Central, celebrates her 94th birthday on Saturday, Oct. 11.

Joseph “Boy” Ballard, of Ventress, celebrates his 90th birthday on Saturday, Oct. 11. He is a World War II Marine veteran.

LaVerne Norris Reed celebrates her 90th birthday on Sunday, Oct. 12.

Lt. Col. Phil and Corinne St. Amant celebrate 74 years of marriage on Sunday, Oct. 12. He is a veteran of World War II and Korea.

Harvey and Frances Davis, of Baker, celebrate 71 years of marriage on Sunday, October 12.

Eddy and Audrey Hall, of Ethel, celebrate their 59th anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 11.

Ronald and Vera Landry, of Belle Rose, celebrate their 55th anniversary on Friday, Oct. 10.

Paul and Barbara Schexnayder, of Lutcher, celebrate their 55th anniversary on Friday, October 10.

Brenda and Ernie Hernandez celebrated 53 years of marriage on Thursday, Oct. 9.

The garlic cure

“My mom had a way of commanding discipline,” says Val Garon.

“One day when I was a teenager, my sister Jeanne and I were fighting over something. We were in the kitchen and being quite loud.

“Suddenly I was hit on the side of the face with a greasy, garlic-smelling wet dishrag.

“Mom, about 15 feet away, scored a bulls-eye on my face.

“That broke up the fighting!

“Afterwards, I always watched her when she was by the sink!”

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.