This comes under the heading of “information you can’t get in the rest of the paper:”

Harriet St. Amant says our Thursday story “about long restroom lines on Derby Day, especially for women, reminded me of a study the state of Virginia undertook about 30 years ago.

“Since they knew of multiple complaints by women about long lines in public places, the state determined to learn how long the average ‘customer’ took in the restrooms.

“They ascertained that the average woman took 2½ minutes to the average man’s 1 minute.

“Accordingly, they legislated that there would be 2½ times the ‘facilities’ in women’s rooms as in those for men.”

(Harriet isn’t sure how they went about designing “half-facilities” for the ladies. …)

False alarm

Anne Cummings says, “When I first saw the words ‘left behind’ in your column (about people going off and leaving wives, etc.), I thought of the ‘Left Behind’ series of Christian fiction books about the ‘end times.’ That brought to mind something that happened to me a few years ago when these books first came out and were all the rage.

“I had gone to choir practice one Wednesday evening. When I left the parking lot to go home, I did not see another car during the 10-minute drive at 9 p.m. from church to home.

“Plus, there was a strange layer of low cloud/fog mix that, coupled with the lack of any other humans, was downright eerie.

“At some point in the drive, I thought about the books and said to myself, ‘If I get home and find that my husband is not there, I’m not going to be happy!’

“Fortunately, he was there and all was well.”

This ain’t Idaho

Herb Whitman, of Denham Springs, tells “a swamp story that happened along Airline Highway at I-10.

“In 1979, I was working at Marathon Refinery in Garyville, and headed home from work one night.

“My truck suddenly went dead — the battery cable broke. I coasted to a stop on the right-hand side of what I hoped was the road. In total darkness, I finally found a flashlight and started looking for the problem.

“About this time, I could hear thrashing in the canal beside the road. Big thrashing. It was my buddy from Idaho, who was riding with me.

“I soon realized I was standing in a huge fire ant mound all by myself.

“I fixed the cable and fought ants in record time. I picked him up about a quarter-mile down the road.”

Mobile museum

During our seminar on Roy Rogers, a reader said Roy came to Louisiana to hunt for an alligator to stuff for his museum in Branson, Missouri.

Chip Morrison, of Weatherford, Texas, points out that during Roy’s lifetime, the museum was in California:

“Roy Roger’s museum was in Apple Valley, California. When I was stationed at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, we visited the museum many times.”

Mike McNeese says the museum had three homes. It opened in an old bowling alley near the Apple Valley home of Roy and Dale Evans in 1967. In 1976 it was moved to nearby Victorville. And in 2003, after the deaths of Roy and Dale, family members moved it to Branson. It closed in 2009.

Nostalgia Corner

Beth Justus, aka “Queen Elizabeth of Beauregard Town,” says Landry’s Barber Shop, mentioned by a reader as a ‘40s business in Baton Rouge, couldn’t have been “at the corner of Convention and North Boulevard,” since the streets are parallel. It was identified as “behind Kurtz’s Drug Store,” which our city directories list at 1855 North Blvd., near two landmarks — Emannuel Baptist Church and Muffoletto’s Hot Tamale Kitchen.

Special People Dept.

  • Josephine U. Piazza, of Chateau Living Center in Kenner, celebrates her 100th birthday on Tuesday.
  • On Tuesday, Arthur J. Hannaman Jr., of Denham Springs, celebrates his 94th birthday.

    Lela Bourgeois celebrates her 91st birthday on Tuesday.

    Janell O’Quin Couvillion celebrated her 90th birthday on Saturday. (Son Ron Couvillion says his mom was born in Gold Dust in Avoyelles Parish, but “she claims to be from Bunkie so people won’t think she is from the country.”)

    U.B. and Opal Simoneaux celebrated their 68th anniversary on Monday.

Church change

Keith Horcasitas wonders how many people have made change out of the offering basket when it’s passed in church, as he once did at St. Agnes when he found himself with no check and only one large bill:

“The usher compassionately smiled broadly as I made sure he saw what was happening!”

He also figures churches will soon be passing offering baskets/plates equipped with readers for smartphone donations.

Construction project

Jackie Schaff, of Slidell, says when she told granddaughter Emma, 4, “You and your brother Hunter made me a grandmother,” the little lady responded with, “Granny, Hunter and I BUILT you?”

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.