“I saw a performance in my front yard the other morning that can only be called awesome,” says Mary Pramuk.

“One of the white trucks that pick up recyclables pulled up, and out of nowhere a slight young man appeared in a graceful whirl, picking up the can in an effortless swoop and tossing the contents into the bowels of the truck, and in another whirl neatly dropping it into place and moving on to the next can.

“I have only seen such grace and strength at the ballet, when a male dancer lifts a ballerina and lightly tosses her into the air.”

Loopy Tiger fans

Elise Kaufman says, “My husband, Charlie Kaufman, and I lived our newlywed year of 1979 in Boston, where he did a fellowship in neurophysiology at Harvard.

“We were going to Nashua, New Hampshire, for dinner with some friends of my parents, riding on the 495 loop around Boston in our 1972 Buick.

“Imagine our joy on Sept. 29 when we could turn the AM dial to WWL to hear the LSU-USC football game!

“That fall we kept driving around that ring road to hear as many LSU games as we could!”

Getting Stoned

He didn’t make the cover of the Rolling Stone, but longtime Advocate entertainment writer John Wirt DID make the Jan. 9 online edition of the rock magazine, in “David Fricke’s Year in Rock: Shows, Albums and Memories from 2014.”

Fricke singled out John’s LSU Press book, “Huey ‘Piano’ Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues” for special mention.

He likes John’s account of “Smith’s early life in America’s greatest R&B city (New Orleans), the pianist’s high times in rock & roll’s first decade and the lunatic spirits he fostered in his band the Clowns...”

Fricke adds that Huey Smith, 80, who now lives in Baton Rouge, was “a pioneer in getting fleeced ... losing his rights and royalties in shady deals that kept him in courtrooms for decades.

“Smith never got the money he deserved, but he’s still a living legend ... while the business that robbed him is in the toilet. Now you know who won.”

This one’s for Ed

My buddy Leroy Colter called to give me a personal story about the late Ed Miremont, the iconic engineer involved in the design of such Baton Rouge landmarks as the Catholic Life Center and LSU Student Union.

He says Ed, who died Tuesday at the age of 90, was known to often complain to his family that he was always sending in items to this column, but never getting them published. This was, says Leroy, a running joke among Ed’s family members for many years.

Well, Ed, I know it’s a little late, but you finally DID make this column.

A hug for Avery

Alice Hondzinski says she leads a group who sew stuffed Hug A Bears for “Baton Rouge area emergency rooms, Brave Hearts and Red Cross, to name a few.”

The bears are given to sick or hurting children to make their ordeal a little easier.

Says Alice, “By the end of 2014 we have delivered about 28,000 bears locally.

“Last week we received a $25 donation from 12-year-old Avery Lea, of Prairieville, a seventh-grader.

“Her mother and father, Joy and Matthew Lea, say she also gives to her church, plus animal rescue groups.”

Alice adds that Avery has received her very own Hug A Bear for her generosity.

Special People Dept.

On Wednesday, Jan. 21, Gwen Jenkins called from Baton Rouge’s Circle Bowl to report that she and other bowlers there were surprised to learn that Mildred Bowie, one of the regulars, was celebrating her 99th birthday.

Merlin Thorne celebrated her 92nd birthday on Wednesday, Jan. 21. She taught at Broadmoor Elementary School in Baton Rouge from 1963 to 1994.

Baton Rouge’s own Henry Gray, the world’s greatest blues piano man, celebrated his 90th birthday on Monday, Jan. 19. He was born in Kenner and raised in Alsen, just north of Baton Rouge. (Thanks to Bill Bryan for the notice of Henry’s birthday.)

Book review

Shirley Fleniken says a new book is gaining popularity with the ladies she knows, who are suggesting that their husbands read it to enhance their relationship.

It’s titled “Women Are from Venus and Men Are Wrong.”

Small town blues

Joe Guilbeau, of Plaquemine, tells a couple of stories about his early life in a small rural community:

“When they first marked the center line of our main street, it did not work out — the paint washed right off the gravel!”

“And one year our school changed its colors to green and yellow — so the boys could wear their John Deere caps to graduation!”

Talk to Smiley

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.