I’m going to miss Kip Holden when he leaves the East Baton Rouge mayor-president’s office after three terms — and it has nothing to do with politics.

The Kipster is one of Baton Rouge’s sharpest dressers, but as an admirer of performance art, what I really enjoy is his assortment of colorful costumes he dons to promote special occasions.

A picture of him in a Santa outfit I saw recently reminded me of some of the outfits I’ve seen him in — a cowboy, a Venetian gondolier, a Napoleon-like figure — he’s a one-man Village People.

I hope whoever succeeds Kip has the same sense of humor — and enjoys playing dress-up on occasion...

Creative history

Stacie Matherne, of Prairieville, says, “Recently, we were discussing Westward Expansion in my seventh-grade American History class.

“As I was trying to ascertain what the class already knew, I asked a few leading questions about a well-known group of settlers who got stuck in the mountains in winter without enough food and ended up in an unthinkable situation.

“One bright student recalled the event shouted out a so-close answer.

“His response: ‘I know! I know! It was the Dinner Party!’

“I’m proud to say that many of the other students in the class got the humor in his answer.”

Complaint Dept.

“Old Friend” complains about newspaper layout people who print the continued article on the next page “so that unknowingly you start cutting the front side and you’ve sliced up the back! Just did that this morning. Quick, get the Scotch tape.”

Nostalgia Corner

“A recent item in your column reported about a reunion of the patrons of Ellis’ Lounge,” says Jay Wallace.

“There was another (in)famous lounge in Baton Rouge during the 1950s and 1960s: Shelby’s, located on N. 33rd Street (Acadian Thruway) and later Sammy’s on Choctaw at Adams Avenue.

“The hosts were Russell and Sammy Guercio. Nelrose English provided the entertainment at the piano bar. I was told that this was quite a happening place.”

Indeed it was. She played all over town, even for a while at the Pastime, my hangout of choice. Nelrose had an entourage of singers who followed her from piano bar to piano bar to sing along.

I still remember one big guy who always blasted out “Wagon Wheels.”

And when she saw me come in the room, she would sing, “When you’re Smiley, when you’re Smiley, the whole world smiles with you...”

A marvelous entertainer and a great lady...

A gift of life

Sylvia Essex Winder says on Saturday “my family is celebrating 15 years of a ‘new life’ for my sister, Constant Young.

“On Dec. 12, 2000, I was honored to give one of my kidneys to my sister, who had been a lupus patient for more than 30 years.

“Connie was about to go into kidney failure, but was able to avoid dialysis because she received a healthy kidney.

“Today she is line dancing, swimming and enjoying a healthy life.

“I encourage others to consider becoming donors, because organ and tissue transplants offer patients new chances at healthy, productive and normal lives.

“For more information visit the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency.”

Special People Dept.

C.B. Wheat, of Golden Age Nursing Home, celebrates his 98th birthday on Sunday, Dec. 13. As basketball coach at Live Oak High School, his team won the Class B state championship in 1956 and posted a 306-56 record in eight seasons, winning district titles in seven of them.

Dottie Offner, of Old Metairie, celebrates her 97th birthday on Friday, Dec. 11.

Edgar A. Stalder, of St. James Place in Baton Rouge, celebrates his 92nd birthday on Sunday, Dec. 13. A decorated World War II veteran, he was a member of the Army’s 5th Infantry during the Battle of the Bulge.

Ann and Don Allison, of Gonzales, celebrated their 50th anniversary on Dec. 4.

She meant well

“Shorty” says, “My 7-year-old grandchild just gave me a big hug and said, ‘Don’t worry, Grandpaw — all old people got big bellies.’

“I told her, ‘Thanks, baby; now I really feel a whole lot better.’”

Burning issue

Algie Petrere came across this story:

A politician awoke in a hospital bed after a complicated operation, and found that the curtains were drawn around him.

“Why are the curtains closed,” he said. “Is it night?”

A nurse replied, “No, it is just that there is a fire across the street, and we didn’t want you waking up and thinking that the operation was unsuccessful.”

Contacting Smiley

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.