Francis Celino, “The Metairie Miscreant,” is disturbed about an item in the Thursday column.
A nostalgic reader, after sharing tales of old Baton Rouge, told me, “I have taxed my memory enough for today.”
Francis says, “Please, Smiley, don’t give those at the state buildings any ideas for more taxes.
“Of course, if they taxed my memory they wouldn’t get much.”
Popeye in the pews
Jimmy Arbour, of Magden, Switzerland, says, regarding a recent story, that “Davy Crockett” wasn’t the only song popular with young church-goers:
“I recall my mother telling this ‘young children in church’ story about when my brother Vincent was 3 or 4 years old and I was 2 or 3.
“Being the youngest of six children, when going to Mass at Sacred Heart church he and I would be separated to help keep the peace, with one of us sitting at one end of the pew with Mom and the other sitting at the other end with Dad.
“I guess boredom had set in when Vincent started singing, ‘I’m Popeye the sailor man!,’ to which his little brother responded with a hearty ‘Toot! Toot!’”
When less is more
After we discussed the current crop of motor-mouth sports announcers, we heard from readers who recalled a couple of legends in the business:
Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, says, “I remember Ray Scott, who did the Packers football on the radio.
“Example of his commentary: ‘Starr, Dowler, touchdown, Green Bay.’
“Or ‘Taylor, left side, stopped by Huff at midfield.’
“This is sports reporting …”
Tommy Millet, of Gramercy, says the best in the business is Vin Scully, 86 years old, in his 65th season with the Los Angeles Dodgers:
“He is the greatest announcer of all time, any sport.
“He’s great at what he does, letting his audience enjoy the show without being overbearing. He has no sidekick, preferring to broadcast alone.
“His greatest quality is he doesn’t clutter his work with extra verbiage — his simple delivery is what sets him apart and makes him the best.”
As an example of his technique, Tommy mentions a broadcast where Dodgers star Yasiel Puig scoops up a base hit to center field and throws the runner out at home to preserve a Dodger victory in the 11th inning.
Vin Scully, says Tommy, “remains quiet for 20 seconds so you can actually hear the crowd react during the replay.”
When’s the last time you’ve experienced 20 seconds of silence during the broadcast of a game, in any sport?
Ronnie Stutes says, “I was buying an item at a local Target store when I noticed this posted on the register: ‘All Electronic and Entertainment items must be returned within 30 days for a refund or exchange.’
“I may be old-fashioned, but I prefer dealing with merchants where you get to keep the merchandise for more than a month.”
My mention of being born in the Natchez Sanitarium resulted in other birthplace tales:
Gertie M. Beauford, of Jefferson, asks, “How would you like to have been born in an infirmary, and spent a bit of time in an asylum?”
She tells of being born in St. Rita’s Infirmary in Opelousas, and lived for a brief time as a boarder in St. Mary’s Orphans Asylum in Natchez “when my folks went to New Orleans to find us a new house.”
Tim Palmer says, “I enjoy telling people my sister was born in Angola.
“It was Angola, Indiana, but they don’t need to know that.”
After Jerry Berggren told of being born at Hotel Dieu in New Orleans, Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, said, “Tell Jerry we have a duck blind at Miller’s Lake Hunting Club named after his birthplace, Hotel Dieu.
“The club goes back to the 1930s. I never did hear how that blind got its name.”
Nobey Benoit comments on the revelation that LSU folks are said by fans of other Southeastern Conference schools to have the aroma of corndogs:
“I have no idea what corndogs smell like. Seems to me that if all these fans from other teams think we smell like corndogs, they must recognize the smell from their own kitchens.”
Furthermore, Nobey, have you or anyone else ever seen LSU tailgaters cooking corndogs? Jambalaya, gumbo, even alligator. But corndogs?
When having dinner at Bistro Byronz on Tuesday, Oct. 14, tell your server you are “Bistro-ing for Baton Rouge Pride” and that organization will get 20 percent of your bill.
Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, says he got this report from a long-time friend in Columbus, Mississippi (in Lowndes County):
“I was driving back to work today and saw a bumper sticker on the Lincoln in front of me:
“It said, ‘My son was the inmate of the month at the Lowndes County Correctional Facility.’”
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.