Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, has a story for our “Why we love small Cajun towns” file:

“In the mid ’80s, during the oilfield crash, a friend of mine moved back to Ville Platte from Lafayette with his ‘city girl’ wife.

“When they went to purchase furniture from a long-established store, she was shocked by the credit check: ‘Who’s your mama and daddy?’

“They were approved.”

Texas, too?

Donald Price comments on our discussion of Louisiana annexing cities wanting to escape from Mississippi:

“Smiley, you’re starting trouble. If we let Natchez and maybe Biloxi in, it’s just a matter of time before Beaumont comes knocking, and their roads are even worse than ours!”

Big Bend’s big day

“On Saturday, April 16, the population of Big Bend in Avoyelles Parish is expected to triple, from 33 to 100,” says Leslie Tassin.

“This is because of a celebration of the 100th birthday of the Sarto Old Iron Bridge over Bayou des Glaises.

“In 1989 it became the first bridge in the state to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Also on Saturday, Bordelonville, five miles west of Big Bend, holds its first Homemade Cake Festival to dedicate the old Bordelonville High School as a community center for both areas.

“They expect a traffic jam on La. 451, the only route that connects the two unincorporated villages.

“It is not how large a community is that matters; it is what the community does that matters.”

Proud Grandpa Dept.

“Speaking of the Masters golf tournament,” says Richard Guidry, of Zachary, “I am proud to announce (brag) that my granddaughter, Melyssa Gann, of Albany, was chosen for the second year in a row to be one of the chefs for the Masters.”

Feeling the love

Emily C. Bowers says, “The members of the Marine Recon Platoon in which my husband, Buddy Bowers, served were in Baton Rouge last weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of serving together in Vietnam.

“Baton Rouge folks showed them lots of love, and they were very impressed with the kindness of many friendly Southern strangers.

“We would especially like to thank Paul Boyer for picking up their tab at The Pastime and Chris LeBlanc for his awesome shout-out at his concert Friday night. Thank you, beautiful Baton Rouge!”

Got shoes?

The Red Shoes needs used shoes to construct a labyrinth for Earth Day. Bring them to 2303 Government St.

Special People Dept.

S.P. “Bud” Broussard celebrates his 99th birthday on Sunday, April 17 — at, of course, a family crawfish boil.

Eudorah White, of Covington, celebrates her 93rd birthday on Friday, April 15. (Daughter Suzann Davis says, “Mom says no one forgets her birthday, Tax Day, even though it didn’t exist in 1923 when she was born.”)

Iverson Gandy Sr. celebrates his 93rd birthday on Saturday, April 16.

Harvey Pryor celebrates his 92nd birthday on Friday, April 15.

Cora Bennett Shanklin, of Slaughter, celebrated her 92nd birthday on Wednesday, April 13.

Marian Cupples celebrates her 91st birthday on Sunday, April 17.

Joseph Calvin Rogillio Sr. and Felicie Langlois Rogillio celebrate their 75th anniversary on Saturday, April 16. In World War II he was an Army paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division, and jumped into Normandy on D-Day.

Clem and MaryAnn Huerstel celebrate their 50th anniversary on Saturday, April 16.

Larry and Dotty Daigle Boudreaux, of Napoleonville, celebrate their 50th anniversary on Saturday, April 16.

Moving day

The above mention by Suzann Davis of Tax Day not originally being on April 15 got me thinking about that date.

So I looked it up and found that the deadline for filing federal income tax returns was set at March 1 in 1913, moved to March 15 in 1918, and finally set at April 15 in 1955. (This year, though, the deadline is April 18 because of Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia, jumped back to April 15.)

Fat chance

Gail Stephenson says, “In 1967 my parents left me and my three siblings with our grandparents for a month while Daddy underwent medical treatment in New York City.

“I took my lunch to school — usually a sandwich consisting of one slice of ham or lunch meat or one slice of American cheese on white bread.

“I was a tiny child, always the smallest in my class, and I think Grandma was determined to fatten me up.

“Imagine my surprise that first day when I opened my paper sack and found a sandwich filled with two thick slabs of Spam and two equally thick hunks of Velveeta.

“I’d never eaten ‘raw’ Spam — Momma always fried it — but I was hungry, so I took a bite. It was good! And I do think I gained a few pounds that month.”

Power of the press

Regarding our long-running seminar on canned meat, Dolores Clayton asks, “Are you aware of how much you influence the food industry? This weekend I saw two ads featuring specials on Spam: Walgreen’s and Costco. Don’t let that power go to your head.”

Contacting 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.