I don’t get a lot of mail from fifth grade students (although that’s the demographic most likely to enjoy my jokes.)

So I was pleased to hear from Ian van den Bold with this message:

“I hope you could put this in your column:

“Humans are killing earth. We need to save it. Here are five things we could do:

“1. Reuse things.

“2. Recycle things.

“3. Use bikes or run to get places.

“4. Make your backyard more of a forest so you could have more animals and it’s a good place for a tree house.

“5. Give stale bread to birds, and also give them bird feed.”

Thanks, Ian, I enjoyed that — especially the subtle pitch for a tree house …

Many happy returns

Speaking of elementary school students:

A reader says she responded to a request in this column from some students in Illinois for information about Louisiana for a class project.

The reaction was more enthusiastic then she expected.

Fourth-grade students at Aviston Elementary had asked for postcards, souvenirs, etc., from our state for a study of the American southeast.

“I sent boxes of beads and Louisiana information and received two letters of thanks from the two fourth-grade classes.”

In one letter there was a picture of students holding material about the southeastern United States with a handwritten “We (heart) Louisiana!”

A note from teacher Lisa Neimeyer told how excited the class was to get the Louisiana materials.

Students Molly and RayAnn drew a map of Illinois and included a shiny new penny to illustrate the state’s “Land of Lincoln” motto.

They said they especially liked the coins (doubloons) and “neckless” (beads) “to wear at Mardi Gras.”

“Thanks for taking time out for our itty bitty school in Southern Illinois,” they added.

Creative advertising

When Hans Sternberg and his family were running Goudchaux’s department store, they never missed an opportunity to promote their business.

Hans says a photo of a building sent to him by Joel Thibodeaux reminded him of one of his advertising projects:

“Still standing on the 1500 block of North Street is a building with the word ‘Goudchaux’s’ in very large letters across the top and an arrow pointing to what was Goudchaux’s department store at 1500 Main St.

“I bought the pictured building for $8,000 about 30 years ago, had the sign painted, and then promptly sold the building with the proviso that the sign never be removed.

“The landlord has honored the agreement.

“The business aspects of the transaction make a good memory since, of course, after the transaction I had a ‘free’ billboard.”

Nostalgia Corner

Chuck Willis, of Elizabethtown, Ky., says a reader’s comments about Jack’s Cookies “reminded me of the days when we would go to the Jack’s Cookie plant on North Third Street and get the bags of broken cookies for a quarter a bag.”

Which reminds me

You know you’re Old Baton Rouge when mention of the Jack’s Cookies plant on North Third reminds you of the smell of baking cookies that mingled with the smell of roasting coffee from the Community Coffee plant across the street.

Special People Dept.

  • Myra Gass, of Denham Springs, celebrated her 90th birthday Dec. 29.
  • Nick and Maudie Bray celebrated 55 years of marriage Friday.

Starting young

Nash Williams says his 20-month-old great-granddaughter is learning animal sounds:

“When asked what the cow says, she goes, ‘Moo, moo.’

“Asked about the dog, she says, ‘Woof, woof.’

“And when she is asked what the tiger says, she replies, ‘Go, go.’”

(Or perhaps that’s “Geaux, geaux!”)

Oh no, not again!

I think I detected a note of sarcasm in Ward Oliver’s comment:

“I noticed that many Tiger fans were disappointed that LSU was chosen to go to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl yet again. “Perhaps they can sympathize with us Bama fans, whose team has to go to the BCS Championship Bowl for the third time in four years.”

Speaking of repeats

Linda Millet Keen says she and husband Wendell “drove to Atlanta to cheer on our beloved Fighting Tigers football team!

“The Golden Band from Tigerland was rocking! The excitement in the air was comparable to New Year’s first bottle rocket!

“In the end, our disappointment was like a bad firecracker that never explodes.”

In her anguish she penned this dirge:

“The LSU Tigers,

We couldn’t hold dearer,

7 more years of Les,

Who broke the mirror?”

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.