Continuing our seminar on barber shops vs. beauty shops:

Michael Eldred says, “Years ago I would accompany my wife to a beauty salon in central Louisiana.

“All the ladies would shut up when I came in dressed in my white shirt, tie and white combed-back hair. They all thought I was a preacher.

“Once my true identity was revealed, I learned more about what was happening in central Louisiana than you would ever hear in a barber shop. Laverne ran a real ‘Steel Magnolias’ shop.”

Crimson faces

In the Thursday column, Eugene Cosnahan told of seeing purple-and-gold flowers at an Alabama Welcome Center, thanking the lady there for the LSU colors, and returning a few days later to find the flowers gone.

Glenn Giro, of Denham Springs, figures this wasn’t an isolated incident:

“When reading Eugene Cosnahan’s experience at the Alabama Welcome Center on I-59, I must relate that we, too, had almost the exact same reaction when stopping at the Welcome Center on I-85 on our route home from North Carolina via Atlanta, Montgomery and Mobile.

“I hadn’t identified myself as being from Louisiana, so a lesser reaction was noted. Also, I did not have an opportunity to return to the same center to see the described results, but I have no doubt that they were probably statewide.

“I can imagine the queries rolling up the chain of command into the ‘Who’s In

Charge?’ category.”

Strong stuff

Paul Vincent Sr. says, “Recently legislative action to raise the cigarette tax brought to mind my first encounter with a Southern brand called Picayune.

“No longer in existence, it was popular in New Orleans and south Louisiana prior to 1960.

“I tried smoking it at the young age of 6, and it was so strong that I never smoked again.

“I doubt you have very many readers still alive who tried this brand. Some said it made your teeth turn green.”

Which reminds me

The only person I ever knew who smoked Picayunes was the late Jim Hughes, when he was an editor at Baton Rouge’s State-Times, the afternoon paper when I worked for the Morning Advocate.

When I first saw him smoke them, I seemed to be the only guy at the paper who wasn’t smoking. There was always a haze over the newsroom, as reporters and editors puffed on cigs — and cigars, and the occasional pipe — as they worked.

To a non-smoker, all the cigarettes smelled pretty bad, but Picayunes were the worst.

But Jim was the toughest editor I’ve ever known, and I wasn’t about to tell him his cigarettes were foul-smelling.

The Tarzan purse

Carolyn Drouant says mention of Tarzan in the column “reminded me of a time when my older brother Chuck and I were on the ‘Great McNutt Show’ on New Orleans TV, hosted by Wayne Mack.

“The guest of the day was Jock Mahoney, who played Tarzan!

“Our mother, Betty Griffin, wanted his autograph — but the only thing she had that he could write on was her purse!

“I wonder what happened to that purse? Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!”

Land of the round

Henry Case says our seminar on door handles and knobs brings back this memory:

“When I was stationed in Germany in the Army, there was a saying among the men that they couldn’t wait to get back to the land of the round doorknobs. All the doorknobs in Germany are the lever type.”

Special People Dept.

Former Baton Rougeans Richard “Dick” and Mildred Sherburne, now in Liberty, Mississippi, celebrate their 60th anniversary on Thursday, May 7.

What’s bugging you?

Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, says, “You might be a baby boomer if, as a kid, you drank from a water hose when you were playing outside and were thirsty — and swallowed a bug.”

Dirty trick!

Golfer Ernie Gremillion tells this sad story:

“Some time ago, I was playing a round at Briarwood. We were competing in two groups, with our group being last.

“Hole No. 1 was a Par 3 with a water hazard in front of it, and my tee shot appeared to go in the hazard.

“One of my partners hit his shot in the vicinity of the hole, and discovered a ball in the hole with my initials on it.

“We assumed my ball skidded out of the water hazard into the hole, until we met up with the group in front who asked about my hole in one.

“That made us suspicious, since they were in front of us and couldn’t know about it.

“They finally fessed up and admitted they found a ball with my initials and placed it in the hole.

“I had called several people to tell them, including my wife, who had begun planning a small celebration for when I got home.

“‘Never mind,’ I told them.”

Contact 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.