"You know you live in the Deep South," says Pam Rice, "when November rolls around and your neighborhood is glittery with Christmas lights before Thanksgiving, you've got your windows open enjoying the cooler weather — and you hear the sound of the mosquito abatement truck spraying as it rolls by your house!"

Our four seasons

In a similar vein, Donna M. Saurage adds to our recent discussion of seasons down here:

"I thought everyone knew that our four Louisiana seasons are:

"Almost Summer


"Still Summer

"Mardi Gras."

Ancient history

Jeanette of Lafayette says her favorite "generation gap" story is about "the time that, as I was driving down the street and passed a convenience store with a rack of brooms displayed out front, my then 3-year-old son asked, 'Mommy, when you were little, did they have brooms?'”

Dead reckoning

Brenda Fortmayer, a self-described "Damn Yankee" (from Massachusetts) who has "lived in and loved Louisiana since I married my husband 40 years ago," tells of an expression she's never heard anywhere but down here in south Louisiana She says, "When I was discussing a celebrity who had recently passed, I asked a family member, 'Do you know if so-and-so is alive?'

"The response was, 'Oh, He's BEEN dead.'

"Apparently it is applied to anyone who has died a few to many years ago."

Two mamas

Bill Cotten has another "grandparent name" story:

"When my brother Harold, 8 years older than me, was around 2 he was sent to live with my grandmother because my mother was very ill.

"When he returned home many weeks later, he kept crying for his mama.

"Our mother would say, 'I AM your mama.'

"After a while Harold said, 'I want my other mama!'

"From that day forth, our grandmother was called 'Other Mama' by everyone."

Grandma rules

While we're on that subject, Anne Cummings says, "As for our names as grandparents, it’s Grandma and Grandmadaddy!

"Our first grandson couldn't be convinced my husband's name was just Granddaddy.

"I prefer and encourage Grandmadaddy, of course."

Distant relations

"I want to participate in your survey about grandkids," says Connie of Kenner:

"My response has always been, 'I don’t care WHAT they call me, as long as they’re calling long distance!'"

Local flavor

I pretty much shut down our efforts to find a name for the Saints players' jumps into the Superdome stands after a touchdown, when it was revealed that radio announcers had come up with "Fleur de Leap" early on.

But I have to share Susan K. Gremillion's suggestion for a name for the jump, since it's tied to New Orleans culture:

"With regard to the Saints' leap into the stands after a touchdown, I would like to suggest the Voodoo Vault."

Special People Dept.

  • George Guidry, of Plaquemine, celebrated his 95th birthday on Nov. 13. He is a veteran and served as head of the LSU library for many years.
  • Mary Lou Gilligan, of Metairie, celebrates her 93rd birthday on Wednesday, Nov. 22.
  • John “Spooky” Johnson celebrated his 92nd birthday on Wednesday, Nov. 15. a World War II veteran, he served on the aircraft carrier USS Ranger, returned home to play football at Tulane, then coached for 55 years.
  • Dr. Louis Generes celebrated his 90th birthday in Metairie on Monday, Nov. 20. “Dr. G” served as St. John Prep High School principal, New Orleans Catholic Schools superintendent, and Jefferson Parish Public Schools administrator.
  • Pearl Broussard Gaidry and John E. Gaidry, of Lafayette, celebrated their 68th anniversary on Sunday, Nov. 19.
  • Terry and Toni Lockwood celebrated their 50th anniversary on Saturday, Nov. 18.

After the fall

Vince Caruso offers comforting words about my Major Injury:

"Smiley, I noticed in your column a reference to you falling out of bed and injuring your arm.

"I know that must make you feel like you are a complete klutz.

"Please don't — in my many years, I have known lots of people who have done the same thing.

"Well, maybe not LOTS, but a few.

"OK, not a few, but I'm sure there were one or two.

"Come to think of it, I haven't known ANYONE who was that clumsy.

"Wow, you really ARE a klutz!"

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0371 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.