“Seeing the articles about old WWL shows in New Orleans reminded me of this story,” says Ernie Gremillion:
“Back in the late 1940s, WWL had a Saturday evening show called ‘The Wadda You Know’ show.
“Their studio was located in the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans.
“We went often, and my dad was a contestant on one occasion — in a hot dog eating contest between two people.
“It wasn’t a typical hot dog eating contest, but involved trying to bite as many hot dogs as possible — with them tied to the spokes of a spinning umbrella. And the contestants had their hands tied behind their backs.
“The other contestant won, and his prize was a hound dog. My dad’s runner-up prize was a live pig.
“I have vivid memories of the looks we got, walking down the main lobby of the hotel with a pig on a leash.
“I feel absolutely certain that had never happened before, or since.
“The winner wanted to swap his hound dog for the pig — which my dad emphatically turned down.
“We had several pork dinners from that pig.”
Saved by the ’stache
Cindy Bouchie, of Pineville, says Sarah Stravinska’s story about leaving her stage makeup on after a theater production “reminded me of my son Chase’s experience in high school.
“He was cast as Cogsworth, the funny clock in ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ His stage makeup involved a very swirly and elaborate mustache.
“One day after a performance, he left school for another function across town.
“He was late so, of course, was pulled over by a police officer.
“After requesting his license, the police officer asked what was on Chase’s face.
“He explained his role in the play.
“The police officer said, ‘Oh, my daughter saw your play the other day and she absolutely loved it. Now go on, son, and slow down.’”
Still a champ
Karen Poirrier, of Lutcher, tells of a memory she had when reading the Advocate article on Baton Rougean Frank Pitts, a star wide receiver with the Kansas City Chiefs and grandfather of running back Brandon Bolden of the New England Patriots:
“When my husband, Buddy, and I visited the State Capitol with our grandson, Taylor, one Sunday afternoon, Frank Pitts was a guard on the observation deck.
“He proudly showed us his two Super Bowl rings, and allowed Taylor to wear them for a few minutes.
“Mr. Pitts’s act of kindness toward a child made our trip memorable. His interaction with Taylor personified the qualities of an ambassador of our great state — and a champion off the field.”
Al Bethard, of Lafayette, tells of a musical interlude:
“This past October, during the fall break at UL Lafayette, friends Tony and Donna Greco and I spent several days in Las Vegas, and one day took a ‘Pink Jeep Tour’ to the Grand Canyon.
“Our guide was a native of Germany; others in the Jeep were a couple from Texas, a couple from Christchurch, New Zealand, their 14-year-old son (it was school vacation there) and two ladies from Manchester, England.
“We had a sing-along while riding through the desert. One song everyone knew all the words to was ‘You Are My Sunshine.’”
Special People Dept.
Bridget LeBlanc, of Ollie Steele Burden Manor in Baton Rouge, celebrates her 100th birthday on Sunday, Feb. 1.
Milton Rougon celebrates his 93rd birthday on Friday, Jan. 30.
Loretta Sotile, of Donaldsonville, celebrates her 92nd birthday on Friday, Jan. 30.
Alec “Farmer” Ruiz, of River Ridge, celebrates his 92nd birthday on Saturday, Jan. 31.
Jestina Johnson, of Greater Mount Carmel Baptist Church, celebrates her 92nd birthday on Saturday, Jan. 31.
Dorothy Robert, of White Castle, celebrates her 90th birthday on Saturday, Jan. 31.
Billie Sue Ray celebrates her 90th birthday on Saturday, Jan. 31.
Fay and Wayne Weilbaecher, of Covington, celebrate their 55th anniversary on Friday, Jan. 30.
T. Med Hogg comments on history and health:
“Back in the good (?) old days, I helped out in my daddy’s store.
“When people wanted vinegar, they brought in their container. It would be my job to go in the back to the vinegar barrel and siphon the vinegar through a quarter-inch hose from the barrel to their container.
“It was relatively easy, until I got close to the bottom, when I would lose my suction.
“In the process I would unintentionally swallow a lot of vinegar.
“In the Tuesday Advocate there was an ad which touted vinegar as being better than prescription drugs — therefore I figure I should live to at least 100.”
Talk to Smiley
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.