The various accents found in parts of Louisiana can result in confusion to the uninitiated.

Natalie Babin Isaacks offers this example:

“My daughter went to Me-Maw’s in White Castle last weekend.

“On the return trip home to Prairieville, my children started catching up with each other.

“In comparing their Masses, Austin, who is 8, told Molly, my 6-year-old, that he almost threw up in church because it was so crowded and hot.

“Molly says, ‘Well, I couldn’t hear my priest — and he spoke another language.’

“I had to chime in: ‘Molly, do you mean he was from another country and spoke with a strong accent?’

“I called my mom to tell her what Molly had said.

“After she stops laughing, she says, ‘The priest was from ‘down da bayou.’

“Mais, that was the foreign priest?”

An evening with Harper

Annabelle Armstrong says the news that Harper Lee has another book being published brought back this memory:

“Ed Price, the late great managing editor of the Morning Advocate, once told me about the time he escorted Harper Lee to a law school prom at the University of Alabama.

“Ed got an undergraduate degree from there. Harper Lee attended, but did not finish, law school.

“When Ed told me about it, she was famous for ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’

“I remember Ed told me she invited him to escort her, and she wore a tuxedo.

“He knew her through a class, probably journalism, and said she was very nice.”

Hearing purple

Judi Hurst, of Thibodaux, reminds us that those songs that get stuck in your head, mentioned here recently, are called “earworms.”

Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville, reports his current bout with them:

“In an effort to make sure my teenage granddaughter gets to ‘enjoy’ the great songs of yesteryear, I do my impression of singing them to her — not to her delight.

“As a result, I currently have bouncing around in my mind ‘Purple People Eater’ and ‘Witch Doctor.’ ”

Stylish advertising

Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, says our story of a “genuine fake diamonds” sign reminds him of this gem:

“My all-time favorite questionable advertising claim made me laugh out loud.

“As a guy who also has written hundreds of ads, it also made me envious of the writer’s creativity.

“The ad was for men’s clothing and pointed out with great pride that the clothing was ‘made from virgin polyester!’ ”

Nice People Dept.

  • Carl Meriwether thanks the person who left a “Nothing Bundt Cake” at his back door on his birthday and says he “truly appreciated the gift.”
  • Keith Hoscasitas thanks the folks at the Dudley DeBosier law office near Lee Circle in New Orleans for giving his friend Scott, also an attorney, a loaner bike when his had a flat while they were on a bike ride down St. Charles Avenue to catch the Endymion parade.

Attention seniors

Thanks to John Bellew for reporting that the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles has had a “Senior Day” program one Saturday a month since November.

From 8 a.m. to noon, drivers 60 and older receive “an expedited level of service” and shorter waiting times at many OMV offices.

There are two Saturdays left in the program: March 7 and April 11.

John says, “I attended a Senior Day to renew my driver’s license, and it was uncrowded, quick and easy. My compliments to the OMV staff.”

The contact number at the OMV is (225) 925-6161.

Looking for people

The Gardere Initiative, which “attempts to improve academic standings and provide enrichment opportunities” in that Baton Rouge neighborhood, needs volunteer after-school tutors in elementary and high school math, a Spanish-speaking ESL instructor for one hour per week and a piano teacher. Call (225) 769-0305 or email

Special People Dept.

  • Lucille Gendron, of Williamsburg Senior Living Community, celebrated her 98th birthday on Monday, Feb. 16.
  • Christine Humphreys, also of Williamsburg, celebrated her 97th birthday on Monday, Feb. 16.
  • Sam and Ruby Bellina celebrated their 68th anniversary on Monday, Feb. 16. Daughter Marisa Villemarette says her dad has been at the Louisiana War Veterans’ Home in Jackson since July, “and when they see each other three or four times a week, they still hold hands!”
  • Walter and Sydney Belle Griffin celebrated their 60th anniversary on Monday, Feb. 16.
  • Larry and Jane Tidwell celebrated their 50th anniversary on Thursday, Feb. 12.

Rough translation

“I thought this particularly apropos for south Louisiana,” says Harriet St.Amant:

“Buffet: A French word that means ‘Get up and get it yourself.’ ”

Sign of the times

Redean Parsons quotes 3-year-old great-granddaughter Dylan after being punished for misbehaving: “Daddy, I’m going to text the police on you!”

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.