Joseph W. Berey offers this cautionary tale:

"In the mid 1980s, the state of Louisiana was in the midst of an economic downturn caused by the cyclical oil industry being on hard times.

"As a result, our state was experiencing numerous bank failures.

"At that time, I was president of Bank of Lafayette. A customer/friend came into my office during Holy Week to tell me he was sorry to hear that my bank was failing.

"I asked him what did he mean? His reply was that he read a sign on our front door that said: 'We Will Be Closed For Good…Friday.'

"We survived that Good Friday and many more thereafter."

Great Scott

When I mentioned recently that Joe Guilbeau, of Plaquemine, was a longtime column contributor, I didn't know just how long. But Joe did:

"My first column contribution, 28 years ago, was about how small my hometown of Scott was.

"My hometown was so small we did not have a town idiot…we took turns. I was so good they let me play it twice!

"I did not have to sign any application; they hired me right off the street."

Comforting critters

News items about the "comfort peacock" controversy with an airline led to tales of travels with other animals.

Richard Chenot recalls seeing a bus rider in Chicago who boarded with a chicken on a leash.

Doug Johnson, of Watson, tells of "a toy poodle my wife and I had named Lada.

"On a trip to Tennessee, we entered one store with Lada in a hand basket. The greeter informed us that only service animals were allowed.

"I informed him that Lada was a service dog. He looked at her and asked, 'What service does she do?'

"Since she weighed less than 10 pounds at the time, I suppose that was a poser.

"I told him, 'She keeps us happy.'

"He paused a second, then waved us inside, with Lada."

Urban butcher

Wayne Turner, of Baton Rouge, comments on our Sunday story about two families who hold a boucherie to prepare pigs the old-fashioned way:

"Being a proud product of Plaucheville, I know many of the Gremillion and Normand families. I was the roommate at LSU of the 'Baron of Brusly,' former Mayor Joey Normand.

"However, Joey was one of those city slickers that grew up in the thriving metropolis of Marksville.

"I was surprised to learn that he even knew which end of the pig the oink came out."

Initial reaction

Paul Major, of Livonia, maintains that those folks who feast on Louisiana seafood during Lent are bypassing the sacrificial nature of the season, and should be called CINOs, Catholics In Name Only:

"Are we really depriving ourselves with boiled crawfish or fried catfish? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, anyone?"

Tree of love

Jim Guerin tells a love story:

"When my son Mark was stationed in England with the Air Force, he married wife Erin in 1992.

"That same year they were stationed to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

"They loved the mountains and the numerous hiking trails. On one of these hikes they autographed a huge aspen tree with a heart and their names.

"In 1994 they had triplets — two girls and a boy.

"After Mark completed 25 years in the Air Force, they bought a home in the Colorado Springs area, where he works for the Air Force Academy.

"In 2014 they hit the hiking trail, looking for the autographed aspen. Sure enough, there it was. I can just picture Mark, Erin and the triplets looking at this tree after all this time." 

Cold comfort

Ronnie Stutes recalls our snow days:

"One consolation about the weather. At least this spring we won't have to listen to those people who always say, 'We didn't have a winter this year.'"

No comment

Russ Wise, of LaPlace, says, "A study in the journal Current Biology says rats and politicians have things in common. Both tend to congregate together, have loose hierarchies of authority, and trade favors with their colleagues, even scratching each others’ backs."

Louisiana Haiku

Lawmakers in town

Cynics say nothing gets done

Bet with the cynics

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.