“I grew up in Oklahoma, where the food is plain and dancing is frowned upon,” says Richard Fossey.

“So I am grateful to be living in south Louisiana, where the food is good and it is OK to dance a Cajun two-step.

“But things are changing in Oklahoma.

“My friends Jim and Sarah Maple, who live in Antlers, Oklahoma, sent me a full-page newspaper advertisement for the 53rd Pushmataha County Homecoming Celebration, which took place last June.

“The advertisement said there would be a crawfish boil and a street dance.

“Unfortunately, the newspaper advertisement misspelled the word crawfish, repeatedly spelling it as ‘crawl fish.’

“I wonder how they would have spelled crawfish étouffée!

“But that’s OK. The important thing is this: people in southeastern Oklahoma have begun to eat crawfish — and they’re dancing in the streets!”

Speaking of crawfish…

Dee Mather-Muenzler says, “A few years ago my daughter, Jennifer Thomas, who lives in Fairfax, Virginia, decided to have a crawfish boil to celebrate daughter Emily’s May birthday.

“Jennifer asked my husband, Larry, if he would mind boiling the crawfish, shipped in from New Orleans.

“When Jennifer went to get her pot to boil the crawfish, there was no pot to be found.

“Larry boiled the 60 pounds in a large soup pot, in too many batches to count.

“The last batch was boiled in such dirty water it was almost just dirt — Larry hit the point he just wanted to finish.

“This Christmas I am giving them a real crawfish boiler.

“But it was a great party. The crowd of mainly Northerners who had never had crawfish were all delighted — and no one died.”

Remembering Shorty

Dr. George S. Bourgeois, of Opelousas, has this nostalgic thought regarding the LSU-Mississippi State football game:

“I saw on TV Saturday night that LSU had brought in Y.A. Tittle to the sideline. It apparently was not enough to counter Mississippi State bringing in the spirit of Shorty McWilliams.”

Tom “Shorty” McWilliams (the nickname was a joke — he was 6-3) was a star back, kicker and kick returner for the Bulldogs as a freshman in 1944, but transferred to the U.S. Military Academy in 1945. There he was in the backfield with legends Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis, and Army went undefeated and was named national champion.

With World War II over, Shorty wanted to transfer back to Mississippi State. But Gen. Maxwell Taylor, superintendent of the Military Academy, initially refused to release him, alleging “lucrative financial offers” to the player from State.

After an outcry from both the college and the Southeastern Conference, and calls for him to prove his charges, Taylor allowed the transfer, and McWilliams played three more years for the Bulldogs.

After a brief pro career with the Los Angeles Dons and Pittsburgh Steelers, he retired to operate Weidmann’s Restaurant in Meridian, Mississippi, with his wife, the former Gloria Weidmann.

He died in 1997 at the age of 70.

Special People Dept.

Dora Caneno Schoenfeld, of Rosepine, celebrated her 100th birthday on Thursday, Sept. 18. She is the widow of Dr. Larry Schoenfeld, an optometrist who practiced in the Baton Rouge area.

Harry Mouton Sr., of Parks, celebrates his 94th birthday on Wednesday, Sept. 24.

Lillie “Pigeon” Major Thibaut, of Oscar, celebrated her 93rd birthday on Tuesday, Sept. 23. She was LSU’s homecoming queen in 1942.

Retired Lt. Col. Clyde J. Harger celebrates his 92nd birthday on Wednesday, Sept. 24. He is a veteran of World War II, the Korean conflict and two tours in Vietnam. He is an LSU graduate who earned his letter in boxing.

Gus R. Breaux, of Leonville, celebrated his 92nd birthday on Monday, Sept. 22. He is a retired Air Force crew chief, and served all over the world.

Ruby Leonard, of White Castle (actually Samstown, she says), celebrated her 90th birthday on Tuesday, Sept. 23.

On Sunday, Sept. 21, Louis and Mary Rose Clement, of Plaquemine, celebrated 64 years of marriage.

Thought for the Day

From Rick Borgren: “Ever think about the jobs that don’t exist anymore because of the Internet? Like the folks who used highlighters to mark routes on maps from the auto clubs, before Google and MapQuest.”

You prefer boxers?

Richard Guidry, of Zachary, says, “Reading The Advocate online, I keep seeing a section called ‘Cop Briefs.’

“Is the local news so hard to uncover that they have resorted to reporting about police underwear?”

A matter of priorities

Regarding our discussion of how to deal with accidents at crawfish boils, Cecile M. Poirrier Bush offers this thought:

“Everyone knows you eat the crawfish before you go to the hospital!

“At least that way, if you die, you die HAPPY!”

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.