We know that some Louisiana names, such as Atchafalaya and Tchoupitoulas, baffle the uninitiated.
Roy Pitchford, of Monroe, tells of an incident from his days as an Advocate sports reporter:
“A radio sportscaster kept asking me for information at the 1968 Southwestern Relays. When it came time for the high school mile relay, he asked if any of the teams were hard to pronounce.
“‘Piece of cake,’ I told him.
“He grabbed my list of teams, sat at his mike and called out Byrd, Jesuit and other teams until he hit Ouachita and was rendered mute.”
Good luck charm?
“Please do not stop writing about the Rally Possum!” begs a superstitious LSU baseball fan. “If you do stop, the Tigers could lose and it would be all your fault.”
To honor the above request, a tale from Brent Vidrine:
“The possum stories remind me of when my mom cooked a ponce (a stuffed pig stomach delicacy) she picked up in Ville Platte.
“When my sister’s boyfriend stopped by, my dad asked if wanted to try some ponce.
“He said, ‘I don’t know; I’ve never eaten poncossum before.’”
(I’ve always considered ponce football-shaped, but I guess it’s rather possum-shaped too.)
Doug Pritchard says these things confuse him:
“When someone asks if you have the time when you are wearing a watch.
“When someone says, ‘I could care less.’ (It should be, ‘I couldn’t care less.’)
“When someone asks a question like, ‘Do you mind if I use your bathroom?’ and the answer is ‘Yes.’ (The answer should be, ‘No, I don’t mind.’)
“There are many other things that confuse me. I feel much better since I wrote this to someone who pays attention to such things.”
(Well, that’s my job, Doug...)
“There has been a lot of discussion reported in the news lately about discontent with the name of Robert E. Lee on a Baton Rouge high school,” says Doug Johnson, of Watson. “Seems to me a solution that would appeal to all concerned would be to name the school after a highly rated university. I suggest one in Pennsylvania called ‘Lehigh.’”
Judy B. says our suggestions for famous Lees to be the namesake Lee High left out one key interest group:
“For horror film fans, Christopher Lee, the Hammer Films’ Dracula.” (And one of the better Bond villains.)
A Southern thing
Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, says our seminar on Southern manners reminds him of the time son Korey was learning to snow ski during a trip to Aspen, Colorado:
“Upon retrieving him from kids’ ski school on the first day, his instructors heaped praise on him for his attitude and manners, especially for his use of ‘ma’am’ and ‘sir’ in his replies. They said, ‘We can always tell the kids from the South — good manners!’”
Special People Dept.
— Clotiel W. Matthews, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 103rd birthday on Monday, June 13. She is originally from Clinton.
— Ola Lockhart, celebrated her 96th birthday on Sunday, June 12. She’s a member of the St. Isidore Mothers Bowlers.
— Alma Denise Sibley celebrated her 90th birthday on May 21. She is the widow of fast-pitch softball legend Clyde Sibley.
— Truman and Juliette Bourgeois, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 70th anniversary on Monday, June 13. He is a World War II veteran.
— Audrey and Lloyd Schroeder, formerly of Harahan, now living in Gonzales, had their 70th anniversary on Saturday, June 11, an event celebrated with a Sunday luncheon at Ormond Plantation in Destrehan.
— Pat and Bill Bailey, of The Haven Assisted Living in Baton Rouge, celebrate their 63rd anniversary on Monday, June 13.
— Robert and Lydia Brunet celebrated their 50th anniversary on Saturday, June 11. They are the retired owners of Brunet’s Cajun Restaurant in Baton Rouge.
Outside the bocks
Ronnie Stutes says, “Although this was sparked by an item in what is now your longest-running feature ever — the ‘final suggestions’ for a new name for the New Orleans Zephyrs — it doesn’t fit into that category.
“I agree with Danny Church’s sentiment (May 25 column) that sports team nicknames should end with ‘S,’ but somehow using ‘Boston Red Socks’ and ‘Chicago White Socks’ just doesn’t look right.”
(Would the stadium concession stands offer “bagels and locks?”)
“A friend told me this one about her younger self,” says Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut:
“Once in second grade, the teacher was conducting a lesson on nutrition. Each child had to state what we had for dinner the previous night. I told her I did not want to answer. She kept repeating, ‘You are what you eat.’
“I blurted out, ‘Rolled rump roast!’ The class lost it.”
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.