Some early responses to my “You might be a Yat if …” contest:

  • Frank Arrigo: “You know you’re a Yat when you go to the Parade of Homes to catch Mardi Gras beads.”
  • Mike Eldred, of Tylertown, Mississippi: “You might be a Yat if you have a claw foot bathtub cut in half standing on end as a shrine to the Madonna or a saint.”
  • And Keith Horcasitas says you might be a Yat if you only use Blue Plate “my-o-nass.”

A man in blue

Our series on hitchhiking reminded Tom Ecker, of Gonzales, of a turbulent time:

“I was 21 when I was discharged from the Air Force at a remote radar site in Alaska. I got a hop from Seattle to Jackson, Mississippi. When you got a hop you had to wear your blues.

“I was standing on the highway to New Orleans with my thumb out, but no one picked me up. One car passed and the people inside cursed me, threw things and gave me the finger. One guy stopped, got out and wanted to fight me. His friend told him to get back in the car.

“A good while later a black gentleman picked me up. When I told him what happened, he said that because the National Guard was sent to force integration of public schools in Jackson, some white people hated anybody in uniform. Also, the war in Vietnam was going on, and many people were against it.

“He drove me from Jackson to my home in Metairie.

“For 40 years I told no one that I served in the Air Force. Today people’s attitudes have changed toward the men and women who serve and have served our country.”

His favorite redhead

Louis B. Gaudin says, “Twelve years ago my wife, Fran, had chemo that made her hair go ‘POOF.’

“Her hairdresser, Miss Julie, came to our home one Saturday morning to dye her new growth of gray hair.

“She came back that afternoon to see how successful the treatment had been.

“The verdict was not good — so she did a second, stronger dye treatment to restore her natural red hair.

“When we went back the next Monday to see Dr. Hansen at Mary Bird Perkins, he said when he entered, ‘Miss G., I have not seen hair that RED since Lucille Ball!’

“Happy to say she still maintains the hair color that attracted me 56 years ago.”

Pest control

T-Bob Taylor says you can use Caller ID and Google to avoid unwanted telephone calls:

“Take the number on the screen and type in the number on Google (some other search engines send you to companies that charge a fee for identifying callers.) If there is one complaint there have been dozens.

“Our daily log includes a set of entries I find quickly by typing ‘Robocallers.’

“In a modern world, Caller ID is a must to expedite social interaction without allowing creeps to abuse you.

“Many companies, including ours, get a dozen or so callers each week wanting our dollars for ads or services we don’t want.

“Consider that some solicitors have phone banks and multiple business names. One search engine check showed an infamous solicitor in Ohio with more than 45 numbers.”

Special People Dept.

  • Wilda Broussard, of Cow Island in Vermilion Parish, celebrates her 100th birthday on Tuesday.
  • Jack Rogillio, of Rosedale, celebrates his 96th birthday on Monday.
  • Lucille Bordes Digby celebrates her 96th birthday on Saturday.
  • Rita Williams, of Mandeville, celebrated her 95th birthday on Friday. She works out at the Mandeville Community Center every day.
  • Joseph P. “Blackie” Roumain Jr. celebrates his 90th birthday on Monday. He is an Air Force veteran of World War II.
  • Daniel M. Jeffrey, of Jeanerette, celebrates his 90th birthday on Wednesday.
  • Amie and Edmond Landry Jr., of Williamsburg Retirement Community, celebrate their 64th anniversary on Tuesday.
  • James and Lucy Bagley, of Covington, celebrate 62 years of marriage on Tuesday.

I’m outta here!

One day last week The Editor yelled, “Anders! Get over here!”

As I dashed up to the desk, The Editor peered up at me through green eyeshades while chewing on an unlit cigar. (I’ve never thought that was a good look for her…)

“Anders, our records show you haven’t had any vacation this year. You need to take a week off, kid. Working on a big-city daily is always intense, and I’ve seen some strong people crack under the pressure. Take off next week …”

“But Chief,” I said, “what will I do? Where will I go? It’s scary out there. I feel … safe here …”

“You don’t have to go anywhere,” said The Editor. “You can just hang out at home. Have a staycation.”

“Chief …”

“What is it, kid?”

“I hate that word.”

“Yeah, me too. Sorry. Now beat it.”

So, I’ll see you next week …

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.