Several readers responded to Farrel McDaniel’s Tuesday suggestion that we find a new name for Baton Rouge’s periodically clogged “new” bridge over the Mississippi River.
Glenn Giro, of Denham Springs, says choosing whimsical names for a dysfunctional bridge isn’t a new idea:
“Back in the ’70s when NOLA hadn’t yet built the parallel bridge, Scoot-in-the-Morning on WRNO-FM (when it stood for We’re the Rock of New Orleans) used to do a morning traffic update that called the bridge ‘The Troubled Bridge Over Water’ in his reports.
“I think some of his others were ‘The Great Carrollton Mistake’ and ‘The Airline Parking Lot.’
“Any of your readers remember others?”
Mike Manes, of New Iberia, speaks for both frustrated motorists and LSU sports fans when he suggests the bridge be called “The Tiger Wait.”
He adds, “It sounds better if you shout it out: ‘Tiger Wait! Tiger Wait!’ ”
And Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, has a suggestion for a name for the bridge when it isn’t clogged that would also apply to the entire interstate system through Baton Rouge: “Dayteauxna Test Track.”
Jo Alford Decker has a story about the old Baton Rouge-Port Allen ferry:
“Many, many years ago, when my sister and I visited our Granny Alford for the summer in Baton Rouge (we lived in Florida at that time), we would go shopping downtown with Granny.
“She would put us on the ferry and tell us to ride back and forth until we saw her standing on the levee waiting for us.
“That could be two or three rides back and forth, depending on how long it took her to do her shopping.
“When I saw her waiting for us on the levee, we knew it was time to get off, get ice cream at the dime store and head back to north Baton Rouge.
“Granny had figured out the baby-sitting problem while she shopped — and it only cost her 20 cents.”
Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, says all the nostalgic tales of how cheap it was for young lovers to ride the Baton Rouge-Port Allen ferry came back to him on a recent trip, reminding him how times had changed:
“Just back from Gulf Shores, Alabama. The Fort Morgan to Dauphin Island ferry costs $20.50, one way, for one car and two people. That is not a cheap date.”
Ode to Willie
Wild Bill Delaune, of Prairieville, says, “Your Willie Nelson story (in the Monday column) reminded me of an old Bruce Robison song, ‘What Would Willie Do?’, that not only echoed the wide appeal of the Red-Headed Stranger but contained one of my favorite rhyme schemes of all time.
“It went something like, ‘He loves all the people, no matter their races. Hell, he even made a hit country song with Julio Iglesias, and that ain’t easy to do …’
“Not easy indeed.”
Just say no
John Schittone says the Saturday column’s mention of a Three Dog Night concert reminds him of the one he attended in San Antonio in the summer of 1972, while in the Air Force and stationed in Del Rio, Texas:
“Two fellow officers and I attended the concert, my first exposure to a rock concert and to a band with such a ‘different’ following.
“While waiting for the concert to begin, I detected an unusual odor and noticed several rows below what appeared to be a cigarette being passed from person to person.
“I asked Jim what they were doing. He commented, ‘You must have lived a very sheltered life.’
“Greg commented, ‘I sure hope those joints make it to our row before they’re gone.’
“I knew then that Three Dog Night could have spelled doom for this innocent and uninitiated Istrouma boy’s military career, particularly since my office was just across the hall from both the wing and base commanders.”
Sherry and Larry Vidrine, of Ville Platte, tell what happened after a tire on their vehicle blew out on Interstate 49 Saturday afternoon:
“It was raining hard as I struggled to find the spare,” says Larry.
“All of a sudden, three guys showed up to help.
“The first thing they said was, ‘Sir, why don’t you and your wife sit in the truck; you will get wet out here. We got this.’
“Before we knew it, they had finished. The only thing I know was that these guardian angels were from Hessmer.
“God bless those guys!”
Thought for the Day
From Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon: “He who laughs last, thinks slowest.”
Fernand Dionne, of Metairie, is spending some time in the U.S. Virgin Islands:
“Went to a bank in St. Thomas the other day.
“One lane sign read: ‘ATM.’
“The other lane sign read: ‘Escape route.’
“Only in the islands …”
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.