After I raved about a couple of small-town eateries in the Tuesday column, I received this note from Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville:

"Speaking of good food in small places, the Bassmaster Classic was held in Louisiana a few years ago.

"A contestant from the Frozen Nawth was asked what he considered unique to Louisiana. He said, 'The gas stations here have better food than the restaurants back home.'”

Which reminds me

About once every year or two, as I've mentioned before, Lady Katherine and I head up U.S. 61 to check out some Delta blues at Mississippi juke joints.

The Mississippi Delta can be a lonely place, with long stretches of cotton or soybean fields between tiny towns. Fortunately, each town has a gas station.

And there, you can usually find what Northerners call "soul food" and what folks down here call "food."

Virtually every gas station has, at least, fried chicken — the first thing you smell when you enter the store. If you're lucky, there'll also be a buffet table with pork chops, meat loaf, turkey wings, greens, sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, etc.

There might be a table or two or at least a bench outside where you can dine if eating in your car is deemed too messy.

Oh, and did I mention Delta hot tamales?

Famous and nice

Susan I. Gautreaux adds to our mention of celebrities who are pleasant to their fans:

"My daughter, who lives and works in Donaldsonville, went after work to try and get a picture of Kevin Costner, who was in Donaldsonville making a movie.

"He had just finished shooting for the day and had gotten into the vehicle to leave when she tried to take a picture of him, with her also in the shot.

"As she was struggling with that, he said, 'Why don't I just step out?'

"What a gentleman."

Low noon

After my rant about daylight saving time, I heard from several folks who weren't fans of the time change.

Laura Robertson, of Pine Grove, says, "Daylight saving time really irks me for this reason: 12 o'clock noon should be when the sun is straight up in the sky."

One tough bird

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, says our story about spotting of the first hummingbird of the season "is really a surprise to me.

"A hummingbird has remained at my home for at least two years, through summer and winter.

"In fact, when the winter freezes were occurring, it was necessary to bring the feeders indoors, defrost them and put them back outside so it could feed.

"The little guy/gal is a super specimen. If a human had the same ability to survive, a trek across the Sahara or the North Pole in the nude would be a mere jog."

Rotunda revisited

Steve Winham, of St. Francisville, says that while the Great Hall of the State Capitol might not be a "rotunda" (defined as "a round building, hall or room"), it was called that by the website Historic Images, which featured a 1935 photo captioned, "Mourners view Senator Huey Long in the rotunda, Baton Rouge, LA."

It's in the bag

Our seminar on home remedies brought this response from Mary Pramuk:

"Our family had a home remedy that was not from Louisiana but could have been.

"My mother complained, even as an adult, about a recipe for preventing the flu that her father concocted and made her and all her siblings use when they went to school each day.

"This was the time of some terrible flu epidemics in the early 1900s.

"The remedy consisted of wearing a vile-smelling 'asphidity bag' containing an herbal substance that was tied in a little bag hung around the neck."

The "herbal substance," according to my Google-based research, included "ginseng, pokewood and yellow root."

Mary's theory is that the stinky bag worked because "it would keep people from getting too close and spreading flu via breath. It's just what today's docs say about how flu can be spread. I wonder if … oh, never mind."

Louisiana haiku

Tree speeds downriver

Uprooted by flood upstream

Long journey to Gulf


Write Smiley at He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.