Our recent spell of cold, rainy weather reminded me of the first time I experienced one of Baton Rouge’s infrequent snowfalls.
I was 8 or 9, and my family had just moved here from Natchez, Mississippi, where hills are abundant.
As snow coated our flat streets, my problem was finding a hill suitable for makeshift sledding.
My dad solved the problem by driving me to the State Capitol and letting me slide down the hill by the Old Arsenal Museum on a flattened cardboard box.
I used to have a photo of my joyous sledding, with my dad in the background after he shoved me down the hill.
We were both laughing.
I’ve lost that photo, but I’ll never lose the memory of that special day with my fun-loving old man. …
Dodge those deer!
Chase Berenson says my item titled “Reindeers Running” (about a congressional candidate named Dasher) reminded him of the annual Anchorage, Alaska, winter event “Running With the Reindeer.”
Says Chase: “It’s just like the running of the bulls in Spain.
“People run down a snow-covered street in the middle of the city while a herd of reindeer are released to run down the street amongst the people.
“It’s a great time!”
Who says nostalgia’s not what it used to be?
Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, tells what growing up in “Old Baton Rouge” meant to him:
“The Louisiana picture show on Saturday; double-feature Western, comedy, serial, news; in addition, a Mother Drake sandwich and a grape drink from Edwards’ Orange Bowl — all for 25 cents.”
“Old Istrouma Indian” says he’s not “Old Baton Rouge,” he’s “Ancient Baton Rouge:”
“I was born at the old Baton Rouge General hospital on Government Street, and the doctor who assisted me into this world was not only my great-uncle, but the parish coroner at that time.
“Also, my dad had been a streetcar motorman!
“By the way, that wasn’t the original Baton Rouge General. The first one was in a building at Florida and Fourth, founded by Dr. T.P. Singletary in 1908.
“It was called ‘The Sanitarium,’ which in 1923 became Baton Rouge General.”
Good Samaritan Dept.
Nelson Ardoin Jr. says he gave his ticket to the LSU-Alabama football game to his granddaughter so she could see the game with her friends:
“I was in our SUV listening to the game on the portable radio and watching it on a nearby TV set up by some fans.
“After the game, everyone came back to the SUV so we could drive home.
“Well, I turned the key and it went ‘click, click, click’ — low voltage.
“I started looking around, looking for someone to give us a jump, and when a young man came up and asked if I needed some help, I said ‘YES!’
“He replied that he did not know if he could get to me with his vehicle through all the traffic, but said he would try.
“I was searching for my AAA card when this young man pulled up with his jumper cables and a smile on his face.
“I thanked him very much for his help and offered to pay him.
“He refused, and said, ‘All of us have been there before.’
“I would like to publicly thank him, and I will pass it on.”
Regarding our mention of the Catholic High bear mascot, William A. Couvillion, DDS, of Baton Rouge, adds this:
“I remember a story about the school having to give it up to a zoo.
“It bit the finger of a student looking into the bear’s cage.
“A remnant of the cage can be seen by the City Park railway trestle.”
A gift of reading
Through Dec. 24, Barnes & Noble at Perkins Rowe will be collecting new books to be donated to children through United Way.
As customers check out, they can buy books geared for pre-K through second-graders, under $10 each, to be picked up by United Way and distributed to local groups that aid children.
Is that legal?
Reggie Gremillion adds to our discussion of the boudin corn dog with this revelation:
“Attorney Druit Gremillion has crafted a most delicious alternative to the corn dog.
“He made his own boudin, mixed it with cream cheese, wrapped it in an egg roll and fried it.
“He then served it with a drizzle of pepper jelly.
“It was so good that he won ‘Most Original Dish’ at the recent ‘Belly Up to the Bar’ food and beverage contest for attorneys and their staffs.”
A noted musician
Shirley Fleniken says she got a chuckle out of this story:
“The first-graders were attending their first music lesson.
“The teacher was trying to begin at the beginning.
“She drew a musical staff on the blackboard and asked a little girl to come up and write a note on it.
“The little girl went to the blackboard, looked thoughtful for a minute and wrote, ‘Dear Aunt Emma, just a short note to tell you I’m fine.’”
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.