Here’s evidence that once you’ve been through a hurricane the memory remains vivid, even nearly 60 years later:

Linda Leger Belleu says mention of the 59th anniversary of Hurricane Audrey reminded her of this:

“When it hit my home, near Welsh in Jeff Davis Parish (about 55 miles from the coast), I was 9 years old.

“Neither my mother nor father had ever been in a bad hurricane, and on the morning of the hurricane my father realized his mistake of keeping his family at home in an old house not made of bricks.

“When his attempt to move us to a safe place started, it was too late. He and my mother began carrying the six children to our car parked in front of our house.

“The huge rice dryers a short distance from the house began to come apart, and very large sheets of tin began to fly horizontally, missing my mother by inches while she carried a child. The rest of the day was spent in the car a short distance from the house.

“We were told when to all move to one side of the car when it began to turn over, and when we misbehaved we were told to kneel on the floor of the car and say prayers out loud.

“Things that happened that day included worms and snakes forming huge clumps and floating around in the flood water; a building flying straight up, then falling into a pile of lumber; two of our pointer puppies climbing on a floating piece of lumber.

“We survived, but two distant cousins who lived near the coast died. The tragedy of Hurricane Audrey should not be forgotten.”

Charlie’s place

The death of Charlie Gant reminded me of the good times I’d had at his Patio Lounge over the years.

I often described the Patio as one of the few remaining saloons in Baton Rouge — no craft cocktails, no wine list, no bistro menu. It was not a “Hi, I’m Kevin and I’ll be your server this evening” place; more of a “What’ll ya have?” place.

For years it was a haven for husbands, where they could knock back cold beers and make uninformed comments on sports and politics. Then a few smart wives discovered that it was a friendly “Cheers” kind of bar, and became regulars too.

Charlie presided over the proceedings with genial good humor, and while Terry Sweatfield retained the Patio’s funky ambiance after Charlie retired, it’s hard to think of it as anything but Charlie’s bar.

Death by Jaguar

Val Garon, of Prairieville, says reading about roadkill brought this memory to mind:

“Back in a previous lifetime, I did a total restoration job on a 1961 XKE Jaguar. It was a beautiful little car that had descended from the famous British E-type racer, and was capable of 170 mph speeds.

“At a crawfish boil this past Easter, I was talking to my nephew, the previous owner. His brother told us he had killed a buzzard on the River Road with that car.

“I said, ‘Buzzards usually move away from cars until they pass, then go back to the roadkill.’

“He said, ‘Yeah, that’s right — but buzzards don’t see too many 120 mile per hour Jaguars!’”

Killing lights

Nobey Benoit takes issue with a reader’s contention that birds avoid becoming roadkill:

“I often worked night shifts and noticed that owls seemed to be attracted to the headlights of vehicles, resulting in roadkill, and often broken headlights. Another bird attracted to headlights is the night heron (known as ‘gros bec’ by locals). They are often seen on rural roadsides at night and seem to be attracted to headlights.

“I’ve been told that ‘gros bec’ is the filet mignon of roadkill.”

Special People Dept.

— Erma “Duckie” Kahn celebrates her 97th birthday on Thursday, June 30.

— Lewis Doherty III, of Amber Terrace Assisted Living in Baton Rouge, celebrates his 90th birthday on Thursday, June 30. He is a retired judge.

— Paul and Theresa Paline, of Baton Rouge, celebrated their 63rd anniversary on Monday, June 27.

— Belva and John “Spooky” Johnson, of Kenner, celebrated their 62nd anniversary on Saturday, June 25.

Swift reaction

Robert Downing says, regarding our Tom Swifties, that we should explain who Tom Swift was, for readers younger than us:

Tom Swift was the youthful hero of some 100 books, created in 1910 by Edward Stratemeyer and continued for decades by ghost writers using “Victor Appleton.” Tom was an inventor who solved crimes with technology in such tales as “Tom Swift Among the Diamond Makers,” “Tom Swift and His Photo Telephone” and “Tom Swift and His Electric Locomotive.”

The “Swifties” came about due to the authors’ desire to dress up “he said,” making it “he said quickly” or “he cried indignantly,” etc.

Robert’s contribution to our Swifties is “‘I’ll have a martini,’ Tom said dryly.”

Wearable message

Marsha R. came across this T-shirt slogan:

I’m Sorry

I Didn’t Mean to Push

All Your Buttons

I Was Just Looking

For The Mute

 

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.

Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.