Linda H. Whitman, of Denham Springs, adds to our series on how folks from this part of the world cope with life in the Frozen Nawth:

“Several years ago we were sent to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, for a surgical procedure on husband Herb.

“We had a young surgeon who truly cared about his patients. We did fine, and upon returning home I mailed him a Louisiana care package that included pralines, Community coffee and cracklings.

“Later, I called him with a medical question and asked if he got his care package. He had, and told of another patient he had there from Louisiana.

“The guy wasn’t eating, and the doc asked him if he could have anything, what would he like?

“The patient answered ‘Cracklings.’

“So the doc went home and brought our cracklings to the patient. I guess you can take the guy out of Louisiana, but you can’t take Louisiana out of the guy.”

Dining on ’dillo?

After some readers mentioned eating armadillos, “Ned Fred, of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan,” had this comment:

“Apparently a lot of folks hadn’t heard that armadillos carry Hansen’s Disease (leprosy). Hope these folks are still OK.”

In these parts, armadillos are known as “possum on the half shell.” (They were called “Hoover hogs” during the Great Depression.) And “Green Deane” on the Eat the Weeds website says that while armadillos can carry the Hansen’s Disease bacterium, “thorough cooking would take care of the problem if it occurred.”

The Food Safety News site says “6 to 10 percent of armadillos in the Deep South” carry the bacterium, “in some places as high as 20 percent,” and also calls for thorough cooking.

And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that while “the risk is low” for getting the disease from an armadillo, “when possible, avoid contact” with the critters. (I guess that includes eating them.)

Chilling tales

A couple of cool stories for a hot summer day:

— Marsha R. says, “Just back from a vacation cruise in Iceland and Greenland — temperature in the low 30s — snow expected the day we left. Big icebergs floating all around us like fluffy meringues.

“Our guide in Iceland was explaining that their people have remarkably longer life spans than most, actually ranked second in the world for men. We asked her to what they attributed this notably longer life span. She replied, ‘Refrigeration.’

— Ernie Gremillion says, “I did my routine defrosting of my chest freezer. Reached behind the freezer to unplug it and proceeded with my usual defrost regimen, which seemed to take a lot longer than usual.

“Found out why when I was finished and went to plug it in.

“I had unplugged the toaster instead.”

Geographical inquiry

Joe Macaluso says, “Now that school has started, Sheri Polozola Vutera sent this around on Facebook:

“Today we were learning about landforms in class. I was showing them oceans, gulfs, peninsulas and islands on the world map.

“I pointed out Hawaii and few other islands. But that wasn’t enough for one little guy.

“He wanted to know where Gilligan’s Island was...”

Walk your bacon

Vivian Rodrigue says, “On a recent camping trip, my daughter was walking her dog, Layla, and she met a family walking their pet pig on a leash.

“Upon seeing Layla, the little girl said, ‘Your dog looks like a fox!’

“My daughter replied, ‘Your dog looks like a pig!’ Everyone laughed!”

Peanuts, anyone?

“Since your readers are so good at remembering things from the past,” says Toni Brantley, “I thought I would once again ask their help.

“The West Baton Rouge Museum, to celebrate ‘Charlie Brown’s 50th Christmas Anniversary’ with an exhibit, is looking for items to borrow that depict Charlie Brown and the gang celebrating Christmas.

“Call Lauren Hawthorne at (225) 336-2422, ext. 12. We promise that your treasure will be in very protective hands.”

Special People Dept.

— Jack Rogillio, of Rosedale, celebrates his 97th birthday on Tuesday, Aug. 18.

— J.W. Melancon, of Baton Rouge, was 90 on Thursday, Aug. 13, an event he celebrated with family on Aug. 8.

A 1-percenter?

Terri Karam Willett comments on Val Garon’s “school lunch” tale in the Saturday letters column — about spending a quarter for two sliced wiener sandwiches and a Nehi at a Donaldsonville store:

“I have only this to say: ‘If Val had 25 cents every day for lunch money 70 years ago, he was definitely a ‘rich kid!’”

Covering all bases

When I had lunch with Leroy Colter last week, I noticed a unique bumper sticker on his truck.

Leroy told me a friend in Bozeman, Montana, had sent it to him.

It read “Green Coalition of Gay Loggers for Jesus.”

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.