Chapman Morgan, of Santa Maria, California, begins his letter, "I hesitate to submit the following because I'm not sure it's true."

(Come on, Chapman; you're a frequent contributor — you know this column was founded on the principle that truth should never stand in the way of a good story.)

So he tells this "maybe true" tale: "When I was attending LSU back in the early to mid 1950s, I heard that a professor from France lectured there one day.

"He ended his lecture by thanking the university staff for decorating all the trees for his appearance. He was talking about the Spanish moss. Do any of your readers remember any tale like that?"

Moss memories

While we're on the subject of Spanish moss:

We've told of moss gins in Iberville and Assumption parishes. Now Pierre Rabalais, of Prairieville, tells of another parish in the moss business:

"My grandfather and then my father owned and ran a moss gin in Goudeau in Avoyelles Parish. It went under during the Depression. Their letterhead was: 'Rabalais Moss Company, Manufacturers, Louisiana Double Machine Picked Moss, Goudeau, Louisiana.'"

A stinkin' shame

Raymond and Marcia Taylor add to our collection of floor furnace disasters in years past:

"You haven't lived until the only source of heat on a very cold night is the place an angry skunk decides to make his stand against a couple of over-enthusiastic dogs.

"The resulting fight didn't last long, but the residual olfactory ambiance lasted for weeks every time the furnace kicked on.

"Fresh skunk is hard to tolerate, but 'heated skunk' is downright unbearable!

"Oh, those good ole days our children and grandchildren will never get to enjoy!"

Helping hands

Ann Severance offers "special thanks to Logan Eichelberger and his daughter Maddie for coming to the rescue during the hard freeze — so hard that it broke a faucet off.

"After trying to get a plumber out, I went to Highland Hardware — and, as one of the clerks was telling me I had to get the elbow off in order to cap the pipe, Logan overheard my problem and volunteered to come help me.

"He didn't just cap off the pipe, he replaced the faucet with his own supplies and would not take anything for doing so. As Maddie said, and I agree, her dad is a great handyman and can fix anything! What a great Samaritan!"

Special People Dept.

  • Vera Mae Bryant, of Holden, celebrated her 100th birthday on Wednesday, Jan. 24.
  • Irene Yesitk,of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 92nd birthday on Monday, Jan. 22. She is a Navy veteran of the Korean war. 
  • John M. Olivier, of Lafayette, celebrates his 90th birthday on Thursday, Jan. 25. He is a Korean war veteran and retired California teacher.

Let us spray

Paula King, of Gretna, recalls that in the 1950s, men started moving from cream hair lotions like Brylcreem to hair spray to keep their locks in place. Spray deodorants were also becoming popular. 

She tells this story: "One morning PaPa was running late. About an hour later he realized he had mixed up the cans. His hair smelled great, but he couldn't raise his arms!"

Haters gonna hate

Tom Boone, of Gonzales, says, "This week at the gym I was, as usual, solving political problems and discussing sports with the guys. A few said they hoped New England lost because they hated Tom Brady.

"A rich, athletic, handsome young man married to a beautiful, wealthy super model. Come on, what's not to hate ?"

Fish story

Doug Johnson, of Watson, has one for our Bad Old Cajun Jokes Dept.

"Boudreaux and Thibodeaux went fishing in the Gulf, and filled the boat with redfish and trout.

"While driving home, Boudreaux commented, 'Man, dat was great! We shoulda marked dat spot!'

“'I did mark it. I put a X on da side of da boat,' Thibodeaux replied.

“'You idiot! Dat won’t work,' said Boudreaux.

“'Why not?' asked Thibodeaux.

“'Dat was a rental. How we know we gonna git da same boat next time?'”

Louisiana Haiku

Facing fiscal cliff

One option to raise money

Sell state to Texas

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