The life of a highly trained professional journalist is not an easy one.

I had to brave Wednesday’s storm to go to Harahan to meet new Advocate subscribers Bernard J. “Chick” Germaine and Eugene E. Cobb over crawfish and catfish at Smilie’s restaurant.

They invited me down after I expressed interest in the place due to its name. It is a fine eatery, and owner Augey Lapara was most gracious.

It was nice to hear that they are enjoying The Advocate, along with other Harahanians.

Chick says he sees our paper in front of many homes on his early morning walk through his neighborhood.

Naturally I had to inquire about how Smilie’s got its name.

Turns out the name is ironic — the original owner got the nickname because he was never known to crack a smile. …

Spicy discovery

Here’s a “taste of home” story from Tammy Anders Smith (full disclosure: she’s related to me by birth):

“During a recent trip to San Diego, we felt like we were on another planet. Everyone was jogging, and no fried food to be found.

“We were homesick, so drowned our sorrows at Casa de Reyes in Old Town San Diego with ‘Margarets.’

“Afterwards, we were strolling through Fiesta de Reyes and found a salsa/hot sauce shop called ‘Hot Licks.’

“We had to explore, and were shocked to find a big display of Slap Ya Mama seasoning — made in Ville Platte!

“We assured the clerk that this was what we used every day in our kitchens. We suddenly felt better!”

Hadacol harvest?

Gary Penton offers evidence that orange juice (or orange wine) was an ingredient in Dudley J. LeBlanc’s legendary tonic, Hadacol:

“My late brother Wayne supervised World War II veterans growing oranges in south Louisiana a few years after the war.

“Every one of his ‘students’ had his crop of oranges contracted to Mr. LeBlanc before a bloom came on the trees.

“When the fruit ripened, a crew came in and harvested the crop.

“My brother said the oranges were made into wine; vitamins and minerals were added; and it was Hadacol.”

(I don’t know, Gary. I can’t figure out how anybody could make orange wine taste that bad. …)

Worthy causes

“Casino Royale” from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday in the Renaissance Hotel benefits Greater Baton Rouge Hope Academy, a school for students with learning disabilities.

The LSU student-based public relations firm Bridge Communications will host the fundraiser, the first by the students.

In addition to “gambling for charity” games, there’s a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres, etc.

For tickets, visit

Shall we dance?

Tonya G. Robertson says the Young Leaders Academy’s “Mother and Son Dinner Dance” is at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and mothers and daughters are also welcome.

There’ll be a fashion show, door prizes and vendors.

Tickets are $20. Call (225) 346-1583.

Golfing at Angola

The Angola Prison Museum hosts its first golf tournament May 3. Judge George Hal Ware, honorary chairman, says the tournament is at Prison View Golf Course at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The goal is to raise funds for preservation of historical sites at Angola.

Call (225) 655-2592 or (225) 655-2011 or register online at by Tuesday.

Sorry, wrong number

If you’d like to call to donate items for the First Baptist Church rummage sale May 3-4, the numbers are (225) 936-4446 and (225) 343-0397.

The number in the Thursday column was a fax number, which I used due to a computer error — a screw loose in the operator.

Special People Dept.

  • Della H. Himel, of Geismar, celebrated her 100th birthday Thursday.
  • Enola Dugas, of Paincourtville, celebrated her 92nd birthday Thursday.
  • Hilda and Wildy Templet, of Pierre Part, celebrated their 67th anniversary Wednesday.

Say what?

“By the Bayou” tells of this Jazz Fest experience:

She knew the couple were visitors to New Orleans from the Frozen Nawth — “because of their fish-belly white legs.”

Her analysis was confirmed when she heard one of them ask the other one, “Where’s the Fais-Doo-Doo stage?”

Trolls prefer Guinness

Louis B. Gaudin says our mention of Irish beers “reminds me of an experience back in 1987 at a pub in Dublin.

“Budweiser had just taken over the Irish Sweepstakes, and was advertised as being available.

“I tried to order a Bud draft, but the attractive red-haired barmaid told me, ‘If I serve it to you, the Troll will come get me.’ ”

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.