Hurricane forecasters: Unpredictable paths to fame _lowres

Photo provided by The Weather Channel -- Jim Cantore

When I heard of the messy weather in the Gulf on Monday, I didn't get too alarmed — this is the time of year for such rainy, windy events.

But then I learned Monday evening that The Weather Channel was dispatching Jim Cantore to New Orleans, and I began to worry.

Jim is the guy who stands out in hurricanes and gives us the bad news, and where he goes, lousy weather follows.

When I learned that he was on his way down here, I said, "Uh oh, we're in for it!"

Well, that's not what I REALLY said — there's no way THAT could be printed…

Speaking of wind

Doug Johnson, of Watson, says Edwin Bishop's story about the Southern lady who thought the snow on mountaintops out west was sand "reminded me of a similar comment from a young woman who was riding with my wife and me on her first trip north.

"She had never been to a place that had anything closer to being a hill than a levee.

"When we got to the first hilly area, she expressed surprise that trees on the hillsides grew vertically. She expected them to grow at a 90 degree angle from the surface, same as they did in her Pierre Part home area."

Crime prevention

Terry Grundmann adds to our stories of interesting signs:

"Years ago, a sign on the door at a store in Gonzales said, 'No money on premises, it's faxed to the bank!'

"I guess to deter stupid thieves."

Grin and bare it

At my book signing at Saturday's Red Stick Farmers Market, a friend came by and presented me with a paper she inherited from her aunt, who was a tax assessor for many years in Gonzales, Texas.

It's dated April 11, 1974, and purports to be the "streaking policy" of "the management."

It recalls the days when there was something of a craze involving running around naked — usually by people who should have heeded the advice, "If you don't have it, don't flaunt it."

The "rules" are borderline obscene, reflect '70s sexist attitudes, and don't seem all that funny today. But it's an interesting historical document, telling of an almost-forgotten craze whose only benefit that I can recall is that it inspired a clever Ray Stevens song, "The Streak." ("Don't look, Ethel!")

Special People Dept.

  • Cora Lee Smith, of St. Joseph Manor Assisted Living in Thibodaux, celebrates her 101st birthday Wednesday, June 21.
  • Frances Emory Levine, "The First Lady of Bocage Condominiums," celebrates her 98th birthday Wednesday, June 21.
  • June Mince, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 95th birthday Wednesday, June 21. She's originally from Kenner.
  • Nolan and Ramona Veillon celebrated their 60th anniversary Saturday, June 17. They were married June 22, 1957.

Delicate operation

Kerry LeBlanc offers this helpful gardening hint:

"I just realized that the children's electric game, 'Operation,' where one removes parts called funny bone, spare ribs, broken heart, etc., from a game board 'patient' with little tweezers, was perfect training for weeding out my cactus garden!"

The climbers

Wayne Coco says recent antics in Baton Rouge "remind me of a saying that Avoyelles Parish native "Sookie" Roy once said: 'The Legislature reminds me of baboons — the higher they climb up the pole, the more of their behinds you can see.'"

Funeral home fun

Loren C. Scott, of Baton Rouge, says, "In remembrance of the recently closed Batesville Casket manufacturing plant in Mississippi, I offer the following funeral story:

"As his father's funeral was about to start, it was a measure of how frantic the morning was that he arrived 20 minutes early, yet with still many things out of place. His sister, noting his state of unreadiness, reminded him to tie his tie. To which he told her, 'I will get to it.'

"Evidently, this was not good enough for her taste. She did not even pause before looking at the funeral home director and asking, 'Craig, will you tie his tie for him?'

"Without missing a beat, he said, 'Sure, just lay right down here. …'"

Write Smiley at 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.