Smiley: Don’t start... _lowres

Photo provided by Milford Fryer -- Fire station in Start, Louisiana

Milford Fryer was a long-time Advocate reporter, and one of my editors before he retired and moved to northeast Louisiana.

He made me laugh out loud the other day when he posted a photo on Facebook.

It’s a picture of the new fire station in Start, a small community in Richland Parish.

The spanking new building has two big white doors for its trucks.

On the left door is painted in red the word “Start.”

On the right door is the word “Fire.”

Milford says he hopes nobody up that way takes those signs literally...

Buying silence

Here’s another tennis story from Pierre Hjartberg, of New Orleans (his first one was in the Friday column):

One morning at Aurora Tennis Club on the West Bank, Pierre says, he beat son-in-law Tim Tucker for the very first time:

“While Tim was putting his racquet in his bag he said, ‘Pierre, I will give you a hundred dollars if you promise not to tell anyone.’

“My response, and I remember it well, was, ‘Tim, give me fifty and I will just tell a few.’”

Pierre says he didn’t get either amount, so he feels free to tell me — and you...

Great Hoaxes Dept.

Eric Meyers, of Gerry Lane Chevrolet, says, “When ‘Catfish Bill’ Carrigan worked at the dealership for a while back in the early ’90s, he told me a story of his days on Baton Rouge radio in the ’60s, when he played an April Fool joke by telling everyone that the phone company was going to be ‘blowing out the phone lines’ to get rid of static, and that you needed to seal your phone in a paper bag to keep the dust out.

“According to Catfish, the phone company’s lines were locked with housewives’ calls complaining that they had just dusted the house!

“He got in a lot of trouble, and swore never to do it again!”

Memory test

My mention of my dad’s role as a church greeter reminded George E. McLean, of Metairie, of this story:

“I left New Orleans not long after high school for the Army, stayed out of state for college and then was employed out of state.

“After returning years later I, too, served as a church greeter.

“One Sunday morning I greeted an attractive lady, and she smiled and responded, ‘Good morning, George.’

“We repeated this routine for the next several Sundays. “Then one Sunday I greeted her with, ‘Good morning, Helen,’ whereupon she laughed and said, ‘You finally remembered!’

“We hadn’t seen each other since the fifth grade.”

Family tradition

When my readers in the Baton Rouge area get nostalgic about old radio, one name that always comes up is Roger “Ravin’ Dave” Davison, a popular disc jockey on WIBR and later manager of WJBO.

In 1970 Dave was presented the E.A. “Pete” Goldsby Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the Baton Rouge advertising community.

On Saturday, at the annual American Advertising Addy Awards ceremony, his son Steve Davison was awarded the Goldsby.

Steve’s been producing film and video commercials and public service announcements for 45 years. He started his career at WBRZ-TV in 1970, the same year his dad received the Goldsby award.

As Steve puts it, “Life’s a funny old raccoon.”

The Army way

Ralph Drouin, of Baton Rouge, was the first of several readers to tell me the hinged Army can opener mentioned in the Friday column was a P 38:

“Seems the Army had a number for everything!

“There were contests to see who could open a can of C-rations the fastest. I scored in the top 75 percent of the contestants!”

Good Samaritans

Lydia Pelz thanks “The Three Amigeaux” — Ron, David and J.D. — “for leaving their Saturday lunch at Walk On’s to work tirelessly to restore power to my battery.

“When it couldn’t be jumped, they pooled their tool kits and expertise and brought it back to life.

“Hats off to three chivalrous and entertaining guys.

“And many thanks to Pep Boys for giving it a look-see and tightening up the connection.”

Special People Dept.

Betty Romero, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 93rd birthday on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

Rosalie Demoulin, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 90th birthday on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

Thought for the Day

From Vita Clement: “I have heard people say, ‘Easter will be early this year,’ or ‘Easter will be late this year,’ but I have never heard anyone say, ‘Easter will be on time.’”

Pet sounds

J.A. Sotile, of White Castle, says, “A friend’s 6-year-old daughter told me, ‘My daddy has a pet frog.’

“I said, ‘How nice, and where does he keep it?’

“She said, ‘Daddy told my mother it’s in his throat.’”

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.