"Back about 30 years ago," says Annie, "when I visited my 'Mama an' nem' in Memphis, where I grew up, we were discussing our Commercial Appeal newspaper.

"Back then the newspaper posted names of couples applying for marriage licenses, divorce announcements and lists of obituaries.

"My younger sister, Betty, said, 'Let me see if anyone I know is getting married.'

"I said, 'Let me see if any of my friends are getting a divorce.'

"My mama said, 'Let me see the obituaries to see if I know anybody.'"

Honored guests

Linda H. Whitman, of Denham Springs, tells this story about the joys of parenting:

"We were invited to a crawfish boil last weekend. Son Clay, in Georgia, invited us.

"All we had to do was pick live crawfish up at 6 a.m., bring seasoning, a big cooker, spoon and burner. Also a borrowed ice chest and ice.

"He called six times, checking on the status of the crawfish. We checked them so often I named them.

"They made it there alive, only to die for the cause. Grandkids did have fun with them until they hit the water.

"It was nice to be invited and not have much trouble to go to…"

Chicken soup and Mom

Cindy Hudson, of Portland, Oregon, says her mom, Catherine Blanchard, of Brusly, is the subject of Cindy's essay just published in the new 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' book, entitled 'My Amazing Mom.'

Says Cindy: "Even though I left Brusly 32 years ago, in my heart I still consider Louisiana my home, because I feel that home is where my mom lives.

"When I left, she was going through a rough patch, struggling to start a new life after divorce. Even though my move would make it even tougher for her, she wholly supported my decision.

"My mom and I continue to be close and visit, even though we live far apart. I think being in a book about amazing moms is a fitting tribute to her."

Cows and choupique

Nobey Benoit says our mention of cane pole fishermen "reminded me of my father, who always fished with a cane pole in pursuit of his favorite fish, the choupique.

"Don't laugh; you haven't lived until you've eaten choupique patties with potato filler.

"The way he decided to go fishing or not was to check the cows in the local pasture. If the cows were all lying down, he found something else to do. If the cows were grazing, he and his fishing buddy Mr. Dennis would break out the cane poles head to their favorite fishing spot.

"Mom would start boiling the potatoes and chopping the green onions and parsley.

"As a side note, if the choupique had eggs, those were pretty good, too. We didn't know it back then that we were eating caviar."

Thought for the Day

From Harry Clark, of Lafayette: "A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well."

Special People Dept.

Dotty and Larry Boudreaux, of Napoleonville, celebrate their 52nd anniversary on Monday, April 16.

Precocious kids

Richard "Poppy" Phillips tells this story:

"My daughter Lori, at the University of Tennessee, met and married a boy from Maryville, Tennessee, named Gary Bright. They have two boys.

"My son, not to be out done, at Jacksonville State met and married a Smart lady from Anniston, Alabama, and they have a boy and girl.

"So does that make the two Bright boys half bright, and does it make my son's boy and girl half Smart? These may be unanswerable questions."

Cutting remarks

Algie Petrere says that during a recent hospital visit, she overheard this exchange between Thibodeaux and Boudreaux, talking just outside the hospital.

Boo: “Why did you run away from the operating table?”

Thib: “The nurse kept saying ‘Do not get nervous,’ ‘Do not be afraid,' ‘Be strong,’ ‘This is only a small operation' — things like that.”

Boo: “So what was wrong was that? Why were you so afraid?”

Thib: “The nurse was talking to the surgeon!”

Louisiana Haiku

Bare feet on wet grass

Warmer days mean shoes come off

We become children

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.