Rexie Artieta says our discussion of Louisiana cuisine brings to mind this tale:

“In the early e_SSRq60s, my dad, Milford Thiel, was sent to Melbourne, Australia, by Exxon.

“He was there for about six months before the rest of the family could join him.

“Needless to say, he was about to starve to death.

“My mom Sarah, the best cook in the world, made a huge seafood gumbo for him and his new-found ‘mates.’

“They could not believe that this was regular food where we came from.

“After dinner Mom offered coffee. They all declined — and had her put the leftover gravy in their coffee cups.”

Alien life form?

Binky Glindmeyer, of Bayou Sorrell, has figured out something about the guy in Violet we mentioned who drank a shot of Tabasco with his lunch.

Binky says he just finished watching the series “Roswell,” and figures the aliens moved from New Mexico to St. Bernard Parish:

“They were the only ones known who could ever chug-a-lug Tabasco.”

Speaking of shots

Hodges Mercer, of Slidell, says our mention of the alcohol-laced Dr. Tichenor’s Antiseptic “reminded me of my freshman year at Louisiana Tech.

“I lived in one of the dorms, and a bunch of us would play ‘Old Maid.’

“Whoever got the old maid was required to kill a shot of Dr. Tich.

“Although Lincoln Parish was dry then, Dr. Tich was legal to buy!”

Speaking of beverages

Ric Petrie is on a quest:

“With the passing of La Fonda, the public is at a loss as to where to find the best frozen ‘Margaret.’

“Will you please ask your friends who drink where the best one can now be found?

“I know public service is your life. …”

Lagniappe for you

On Wednesday morning, I’ll be speaking to the Lagniappe Chapter of OLLI at LSU (9:30 a.m. for coffee and refreshments, 10 a.m. for the talk) at First Christian Church on Old Hammond Highway.

OLLI stands for Osher Lifelong Living Institute, and Emily Hubbard says the 800 members in Baton Rouge are folks over 50 who want to keep learning valuable stuff.

The talk is open to the public, so drop by, have some coffee, maybe a cookie or something, listen to me, buy my book “Smiley! A Laughing Matter,” then plan what to do with the rest of your day — since you’ve wasted the morning. …

Looking for photos

Cheryl Bihm Myers is writing a book about historic Washington in St. Landry, or 204 Tillou Andrus Drive, Opelousas, LA 70570 or (337) 942-8616.

and needs photographs of early residents of the town.

Her book will cover the time period 1720 to 1920, and “will hopefully be completed by early next year.”

Contact Cheryl at jimmieLooking for people

Shannon McMahon Lichte, of Park Slope Production Co., is looking for members of the Jarreau family (or extended family) in Pointe Coupee Parish for “a fun documentary series.”

Call (646) 822-9228 or email

Special People Dept.

  • Judith B. Comeaux, of Lakeland, celebrates her 94th birthday Wednesday.
  • On Wednesday Janie Wall, of Whealdon Estates, celebrates her 91st birthday.
  • Homer and JoAnn Smith Crum celebrate their 60th anniversary Wednesday.
  • On Wednesday Carl and Anne Johnson celebrate their 60th anniversary.
  • Buck and Ina Langlois celebrated their 58th anniversary Tuesday.

Abbreviation blues

Stephanie Jones says one morning her 9-year-old asked her for a Number 2 pencil for a LEAP test:

“I proceeded to rummage through the house, and found one.

“He looked at it and said, ‘This is not a Number 2 pencil; it says ‘NO 2.’

“I told him it was the abbreviation, and needless to say we had an argument over this, which made us late for school.”

(Don’t they teach abbreviations any more?)

Comedy of errors

Frank Fronczek says in a recent Advocate, readers were told that an error made by one Ascension Catholic softball player had been incorrectly attributed to another player.

The correction said, “The Advocate regrets the error.”

Frank asks, “Which one?”

God’s garden

This story, from Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut, is from my “Out of the Mouths of Babes” file:

“My sister just shared this with me.

“My niece Carrie, at age 5, noticed an African-American lady at the grocery checkout.

“She asked her, ‘Why is your face black?’

“The woman answered, ‘God made me that way.’

“Carrie exclaimed, ‘You mean God makes people different colors — like flowers?’ ”

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.