Dr. Hypolite Landry, who was the East Baton Rouge Parish coroner for 26 years, is also a long-time pilot. He recalls his "once in a lifetime" flying experience:

"Having enjoyed the plethora of recent letters regarding flying experiences and airplanes, I thought of an 'incident' few people get to experience:

"On the morning of May 2, 1969, I got into my single-engine Bonanza solo, and nine hours later found myself in Bermuda.

"The next day I flew 2,400 miles across the Atlantic to the Azores.

"Then it was on to Madrid, Athens, Teheran, Karachi, New Dehli, Bangkok, and over Vietnam to Manila, Guam, Wake, Honolulu and San Francisco.

"I found myself back in Baton Rouge on May 25, having flown 23,767 miles in 23 days.

"Gosh, it was great to be young once (42) and not afraid of anything."

Eclipse excitement

Leslie Tassin offers this story about the recent total eclipse of the sun:

"On the day of the eclipse, I was with 47 other people from the Baton Rouge area in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

"As we watched the total eclipse one lady screamed. We all thought she had dropped her safety glasses and seen the eclipse with her naked eyes.

"When things settled down, we realized a grasshopper had jumped on her leg and scared her. We all had a good laugh, and passed a good time."

Rent local

Carl Spillman has this suggestion regarding LSU's policy (also a policy of every other big-time football program) of scheduling at least a couple of smaller schools as "rent-a-wins:"

"Why do we have to go to out of state opponents for these games?

"Grambling and/or Southern come to mind. Keep the money in state and reap the probable social benefits.

"The only problem I see is the 'win' part of the equation may not be a lock…"

Band, not ball

Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville, says, "Sonny Chapman’s Tuesday piece about the LSU band reminded me of a friend from Opelousas who loved LSU.

"He arrived early to mingle with the tailgaters, then went in the stadium an hour early to enjoy watching it fill up with excited and optimistic fans.

"His favorite part was the band entrance, and the crowd cheering wildly at the first four notes — 'pomp-pomp-pomp-pomp.'

"He stood and cheered for the kickoff until the play was over. Then he went home and told everyone how the band gave him goose bumps — and waited for the next home game."

All that jazz

"Jazz was born in New Orleans," says Sam Irwin, "but Joe 'King' Oliver was from Abend (Donaldsonville), Edouard 'Kid' Ory was from LaPlace, and Buddy Bolden died in the Jackson hospital.

"Were there any jazz musicians from Baton Rouge and surrounding areas?"

Sam is looking for stories and photos about jazz in Baton Rouge pre-1940 for a potential book, with "any photos with local and well-known musicians posing with their instruments" at the top of his wish list. Contact Sam at si@samirwin.net.

Special People Dept.

  • John Yarwood, of Walker, celebrates his 95th birthday on Saturday, Sept. 16. He is a retired Navy commander, with 30 years service.
  • Bernard Padin Pentes Sr. and Dorothy Devall Pentes celebrate their 67th anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 17.
  • Dolph and Justine Lay celebrate their 50th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 16.

Forget what?

After we ran stories about clever husbands who make sure their wedding is on their wife's birthday, we heard from Cornell Tramontana, of Baton Rouge, who says clever wives use the same strategy:

"I have an aunt and uncle who married on his birthday. My aunt said she wanted it on his birthday so he wouldn't forget their anniversary."

Who named that guy?

Mariano Hinojosa says, "Many years ago, when my wife Bertha taught evening classes for adults, she had a student from the Soviet Union.

"He was a civil engineer, and boasted to the class that the Russian people could build roads, bridges and dams without any tools whatsoever.

"Interestingly enough, his first name was Modest."

English teacher humor

From Algie Petrere: "The past, the present and the future walked into a bar.

"It was tense."

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.