This story could be an urban legend, because over the years I’ve heard it from several sources who told me it happened on Airline Highway, and on Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and both New Orleans and Lafayette.

Anyhow, here’s the latest version of the tale, from Darrell Davis:

“Sometime in the 1970s, when Goudchaux’s was first installing computers, we had a couple of consultants come in from New York to help get set up.

“They flew into New Orleans late one evening and started their drive to Baton Rouge.

“After a few miles, one of the guys decided he needed to answer nature’s call.

“It was very foggy and they didn’t realize they were on an elevated highway.

“In the fog, late at night, they pulled over and the guy got out and hopped over the railing.

“To his surprise he disappeared into the swamp. The Metairie fire department was quick to respond.”

Job creation

Paul Major, of Livonia, offers a modest proposal regarding bollards, those big posts that jump out of the ground and disable your car, and possibly you:

“The recent rash of incidents involving cars and the new security bollards at the State Capitol presents an idea.

“Install the bollards at all of the major intersections in town.

“Just think of all of the new jobs that would be created in the towing and vehicle repair businesses.

“The city could probably get the new car dealerships to underwrite the bollard installations. They could be a real economic development project.”

Thanks, Hoppy!

Harriet St. Amant says, “Med Hogg’s cowboy reminiscences brought to mind a memory of my own, about Hopalong Cassidy as portrayed by William Boyd.

“Back in the dim dark ages (never mind exactly how long ago!), when New York City was still safe enough for a 10-year-old girl to walk home from school alone through Central Park, we were driving home from somewhere north of the city along the West Side Highway.

“A car passed on our left, and I looked up and saw Hoppy himself in the back seat.

“I yelled for everyone else to ‘Look, see Hoppy!’

“Daddy sped up enough to come abreast of his car, and my sister and I waved.

“He waved back, and motioned for us to roll down the windows. He took the time to autograph two studio pictures for us and pass them from his car to ours while we were driving along!”

Rare shot

Patrick Howard, of Zachary, tells this golfing story:

“Several years ago, I was starting a round with a friend who had only recently begun playing golf.

“At the first hole, my friend hit his tee shot about 200 yards, give or take. It was a good shot, right down the middle.

“I teed up and made my shot, and could not believe what happened. I hit his ball, on the fly.

“I think that might be a one-in-a-million shot. Has anyone else done this?”

Call it macaroni

“I am trying to find a recipe for macaroni and cheese,” says Val Garon. “I don’t mean the elbow type, I mean the old-fashioned, straight, foot-long, hollow type that we kids would use as a drinking straw.

“Mom would make the best baked macaroni-and-cheese casserole back in the ’40s.

“I searched the Internet and could not find it anywhere. I guess we have outlived straight macaroni — what a revolting development!”

Serving seniors

Shooter Mullins says, “Two Saturdays ago I went to the Office of Motor Vehicles on Independence Boulevard and had my driver’s license renewed, with no waiting, in about 10 minutes.

“They set aside one Saturday morning each month for customers over age 60, but no one seems to know about it.

“They are scheduled to do it again on the first Saturdays in May and June, they told me, but beyond that there is no guarantee, unless business picks up.

“The whole thing was a breeze, but my picture is gonna need some major airbrushing.”

Special People Dept.

— Fannie Regenbogen, of New Orleans, celebrates her 98th birthday on Wednesday, April 22.

— Linnie Crayton, of Tickfaw, celebrates her 90th birthday on Wednesday, April 22.

Mass migration?

Marvin Borgmeyer says, “I drove to Dallas on Friday and back on Sunday, for a wedding.

“I was amazed to see license plates of 40 states and three Canadian provinces; and this isn’t even vacation time yet!

“I guess we owe thanks to the wonderful folks in the oil industry!”

Denver on their mind

Proud grandmother Charley Strickland, of Covington, tells this tale:

“Charlie June and Colin Patrick Maloney are the 3-month-old great-grand twins of Marian and Charles Gant, of Baton Rouge.

“Their parents, music lovers Shelby and Steve Maloney, have discovered that John Denver tunes will put them in a trance and then they will fall fast asleep.

“This is a good thing! The bad thing is that their caregivers are left with earworms that include ‘Sunshine on My Shoulder’ and ‘Annie’s Song.’”

Contact Smiley

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.