The following might seem a bit like boasting about my fellow newspaper folks, but I've long followed the old Biblical injunction, "Tooteth not thine own horn and the same shall go untooted."

So here is some horn-tooting about the Advocate carriers who managed to deliver the paper on a snowy, icy, frigid Wednesday.

This note from Gary McCarity, of Baton Rouge, was typical of the ones I received that morning:

"It started snowing in Baton Rouge Tuesday afternoon around 4 p.m. We received no mail that day, but The Advocate was delivered the next morning. Like they say, 'attitude is everything.'"

Gary Anderson said there was only one set of tire tracks on his snow-covered street Wednesday morning: "My paper is here! Many thanks to our paper delivery people."

Susan Himes, of Dutchtown, says, "Thanks for not disrupting my morning routine of coffee and The Advocate. There are some things in retirement that cannot be replaced — this is one of them."

And Gail Stephenson expresses her gratitude in haiku form:

Front yard filled with sleet

But my Advocate is here

Delivery rocks!

Baby crossing

Jocelyn Gauthreaux gives us this historical note about her son Scott's claim to fame:

"Scott Gauthreaux, of Houma, was born at the old Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge on Jan. 15, 1968.

"Two days later, when his grandmother, Miriam W. Myhand, of Addis, came to pick us up to take us home, she announced we would be crossing the new Interstate 10 bridge.

"This was on two and a half months before the bridge was opened to traffic on April 10, 1968.

"He was the first newborn baby to cross the bridge 50 years ago — and 50 years later it is still known as the NEW BRIDGE!"

Moss money

Rockie DeBenedetto adds to our seminar on Louisiana's Spanish moss industry:

"In 1955 my dad needed a loan to build his first house in Port Allen. He went to the bank to apply.

"When his application was complete, the loan officer told him his note would be $42 a month. My dad told him he didn’t know if he could afford that.

"The bank president was a family friend. His reply was, 'Your family owns 140 acres in Brusly. You can make $42 a month picking moss.'

"My dad got the loan. This was a different time."

One for Marcus

Positive thinker Lloyd Harsch, of New Orleans, uses a haiku to remind us that before beleaguered Saints' safety Marcus Williams experienced that unfortunate missed tackle on the last play of the Vikings game, he had stunned the crowd with a spectacular leaping interception:

Marcus made great steal

The catch that gave Saints fans hope

Can't wait till next year!

Poetry wars

Not everyone is enchanted by our recent haiku. Diane T. Martin, of Morgan City, uses the form to make this suggestion:

Enough of haiku

Sonnets are better than that

For memories’ sake

Special People Dept.

  • Vera Mae Fogleman, of Colfax, celebrates her 97th birthday on Friday, Jan. 19. She was raised in Georgetown.
  • Marie Ragusa Capone celebrated her 95th birthday on Jan. 14.
  • Wiley and Audrey Duke will celebrate their 69th anniversary on Sunday, Jan. 21. He is a World War II "Battle of the Bulge" veteran.
  • Henry and Marianne Hebert celebrate their 50th anniversary on Saturday, Jan. 20.

Furnace cat-astrophe

Sidney adds to our recollections of floor furnaces:

"Our house in Old Metairie had a floor furnace that every year helped me learn a new grown-up word as my father tried to light it.

"Once he and my mother came in after a Mardi Gras ball on a night that had suddenly turned cold. The baby sitter and I were in the den, unaware of an indescribably bad smell in the rest of the house,

"The stench was so bad that we went to stay in a hotel.

"After some detecting, turns out that several days before, the neighbors’ dachshunds were seen chasing a cat under the house, and caused its demise … right under the floor furnace.

"For years, I swore I still got a whiff of — well, you know — every time that thing clicked on."

Louisiana Haiku

Kids enjoy snow games

Mom and Dad pray for quick thaw

Cabin fever time

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.