Richard Fossey, professor at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, wonders about reports of “no go” zones in various cities, the subject of some discussion in the news recently:

“What’s the big deal? We’ve had ‘no go’ zones in south Louisiana for years; they’re called Cajun bars!

“I have a friend who went to a Cajun bar south of Lafayette recently.

“The bouncer asked him if he was carrying a gun or a knife.

“When my friend said no, the bouncer offered to loan him one!

“Now THAT’S a ‘no go’ zone!”

Bare facts

Tom Toddy says, “One of my great-granddaughters was riding with my daughter, who was outlining the various stops they were to make and things they were going to attend to.

“ ‘And lastly,’ my daughter informed the youngster, ‘we are going to stop by and give Papa Tom a haircut.’

“The little girl, looking quite puzzled, said, ‘But Papa Tom doesn’t have any hair!’

“These great-grandchildren sure know how to hurt a guy!”

Still blasting out

“I’ve enjoyed all the nostalgic stories about WWL radio’s famous signal strength, and I wanted to let you know the power is still there,” says Mickey.

“We have a cabin in the east Alabama hills, where we spend a lot of time in the fall months. With no cable TV and poor cellular reception, I still get my Tiger fix on Saturday nights from WWL.”

Wine songs

For a cheap wine, Thunderbird (discussed here by nostalgic readers) inspired some pretty good music.

My musical informants tell me sax man Red Prysock recorded a rocking instrumental in 1957, “What’s the Word Thunderbird,” and outlaw country star Billy Joe Shaver sang a 1981 ballad titled “When the Word Was Thunderbird,” about the good old days before a lost love (in a country song, a lost love is mandatory).

Sour note

As a Meyer lemon grower (those of us in the lemon game prefer “lemon wrangler”), I was appalled at Carol Knight’s report:

“What disrespectful person would go in someone’s yard and completely strip a lemon tree that belonged to a 90-year-old lady?

“Her comment was, ‘I hope whomever stole all my lemons made enough lemonade to share with their entire neighborhood!’”

‘Trashdance’ revisited

Paula Fruthaler says a reader’s mention of a graceful recycling worker in Baton Rouge reminds her that the PBS World Channel recently ran a story on the sanitation workers in Austin, Texas, who “were actually choreographed to present a show for the public!”

The film got a Special Jury Recognition at the 2012 South by Southwest Film Festival. You can check it out on

Going to Jackson?

Mary Jo Salmon says the town of Jackson celebrates its 200th anniversary on Saturday, Jan. 31, in town and at the Centenary State Historic Site.

There’ll be programs on historic toys, games and medicine, a 3 p.m. Birthday Bash with Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, the East Feliciana Parish High band, cake, hot cider, etc.

Mary Jo says, “Costumes from any period of the 19th century are encouraged, but not required.”

She’s at (225) 978-9687.

Special People Dept.

Louis and Mina Trahant celebrate their 70th anniversary on Wednesday, Jan. 28. Louis served in the 785th Tank Battalion in World War II.

Mary Ann B. and Clarence “White” Keller, of Gonzales, celebrate 65 years of marriage on Wednesday, Jan. 28.

Tying one on

Jeannette T. Beck says, “I think my 3-year-old grandson, Hudson Riche, has been watching too many ‘Scooby Doo’ cartoons.

“His dad, Niles, was getting ready for school (he’s a principal ). As he was tying his necktie, Hudson said he should wear an ascot.”

(Seems that’s the favored neckwear of one of the characters, Fred Jones. Thank you, Google.)

Santa who?

Gerard F. Gerarve, of Harahan, aka “The North End Zone Santa,” says he wears an LSU football jersey with “S. Claus” and “25” on it to the last home game:

“My wife, Karen, and I were in a slow-moving line to get into Tiger Stadium when the guy behind us said to his wife, ‘Look, honey — Klaus! He’s German just like you!’

“My wife turns and says, ‘No, he’s Santa!’

“The guy says, ‘Oh, he does look like Santa, but why 25?’

“My wife turns again: ‘REALLY?’”

Money, honey

Keith Horcasitas says the soap opera involving a New Orleans sports empire reminds him of this old story:

A woman was telling her friend, “It is I who made my husband a billionaire.”

“And what was he before you married him?” asked the friend.

The woman replied, “A multibillionaire.”

Talk to 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.