Patricia Alba, of Metairie, tells of the time she had “a delightful meal plus a floor show.” She explains: “In the ’60s, as a state health educator on assignment in Lafayette, I went for an early dinner to a restaurant on the bayou.

“I spied a small mouse foraging among the vacant tables.

“Informing the waiter, I handed him my official ID.

“A few minutes later, he returned and announced solemnly, ‘The manager said to tell the lady from the Board of Health that all our mice have been vaccinated.’ ”

Thanks for nothing

Laurence Bland asks me, “Would you please pass on my heartfelt thanks to the person who helped ease some of my anxiety concerning my brand-new vehicle that I purchased just four months ago.

“For the past four months, I have been living on pins and needles, awaiting the day I discovered the first dent or scratch on my new vehicle.

“Yesterday, I hit the jackpot and discovered not only my first dent but also a nice scratch that bisects the entire length of the dent.

“I would have liked to thank this kind person personally, but for some odd reason, this person failed to take credit for their very thoughtful handiwork.

“Isn’t it great to know that we have such kind and thoughtful persons among us …?”

(Maybe it’s just me, but I THINK I detect a note of sarcasm. …)

A river of shrimp

The late Ralph Sims, who was quite a gourmet, used to recall with fondness the river shrimp he enjoyed while growing up in Donaldsonville:

Margie Batts Jordan, of Denham Springs, also remembers those days:

“My kid brother Eugene Batts, in the 1930s in Brusly, built a wooden bait box, baited it with cottonseed meal and tied it to a tree in a barrow pit on the Mississippi River side of the levee.

“He would catch small river shrimp and sell them.

“Who knew shrimp could be found in the Mississippi River in Brusly? That was the only way we got shrimp in those days.

“That was also good money in those Depression days.”

Street smarts

Janet Schexnayder Elias, of New Orleans, answers a recent complaint:

“People walk in the street because if they walk on the sidewalk, they are more likely to be run over by people backing out of or turning into a driveway.

“This has nearly happened to me numerous times!

“Also, there are lots of places where the sidewalk is only wide enough for one person due to excessive cracking and sinking, and can easily lead to a stumble when walking fast.

“I am one of New Iberia’s Main Street Running Buddies. We always run in the street, so three or four of us can run together and we can catch up on all the news in town and solve all the world’s problems.”

The apple cure

T. Med Hogg presents a theory about the origin of a popular slogan:

“When I worked for the Missouri Pacific Railroad in St. Louis years ago, former Missouri Gov. Lloyd Stark had his large apple orchard near their tracks.

“Since truck lines were generally unknown at the time, he shipped all his apples by rail.

“The sales department of the railroad, in order to help the sales of apples and get more business, came up with the slogan, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ ”

Special People Dept.

  • David and Millie Foutch celebrate their 70th anniversary on Friday. He is a Navy veteran of World War II and the Korean conflict.
  • Lois and John Sciambra, natives of New Orleans now living in Baton Rouge, celebrate their 70th anniversary on Saturday. They were married in Coral Gables, Florida, while John was stationed in the Navy’s Lighter-Than-Air branch in Miami during World War II.

    Harold and Jan Rowland celebrate 64 years of marriage on Sunday.

    Paul and Theresa Paline celebrate 61 years of marriage on Friday.

    Loretta and Alex Theriot Jr. celebrate their 55th anniversary on Friday.

    Darnell and Joyce Luquette, of Gramercy, celebrate their 50th anniversary on Friday.

    Lois and Roderick Rodney LaFosse, of Crowley, celebrate 50 years of marriage on Friday.

Left behind

Mary Sue Meador says, “About 1949 or 1950, my husband, Bob Meador, played baseball at LSU for Coach Harry Rabenhorst.

“Coach Harry was strict about being on the bus on time after a road trip.

“The team was returning from Oxford, Mississippi, and the bus was loaded except for one player, catcher Nick Rousso.

“After waiting about 10 minutes, Coach told the driver to drive on to Baton Rouge.

“The other players knew Nick was not on the bus; so did Coach, but he left anyway.

“Somewhere between Oxford and Baton Rouge, a car passed with Nick hanging out the window waving at the players on the LSU bus.

“But he was never late again.”

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.