Keith Horcasitas, this column's Yat reporter, says that with Carnival parades cranking up, "Truly, there is nothing like being the 'mister' in 'Throw me something, mister!'

He says, "I found out when, as a Loyola senior, I was able to ride in my first parade, Freret, in 1981. I had so much fun that by the time we hit Canal Street, I had to bum beads and other throws from the other Crusader buddies on my float."

First-time float riders usually discover that no matter how many throws they stock up for the ride, toward the end they're likely to run out.

Which reminds me

1. Riding on the purple fire truck of the late Ron Zappe in New Orleans' Mid-City parade, we threw beads AND bags of Zapp's potato chips — which were crushed to crumbs when they were snatched out of the air.

2. In a Zachary parade years ago, WBRZ-TV weather guru Pat Shingleton, in the convertible in front of mine, ran out of throws — so he told the crowd I was throwing $5 bills. And suddenly, I was facing a throng demanding cash and getting angry when I said I didn't have any. (No, Pat, I haven't forgotten. …)  

Close encounters

Les Fogleman, of Ponchatoula, says, "The stories of couples sitting together in a booth or facing one another reminded me of when I was a teenager, and older.

"On a date, we always opened the door of the car for our date. Then, depending on the seriousness of the relationship, when we guys got in, our date may be sitting real close or by the door — usually real close.

"Of course, our right arm was wrapped around our date, and we only drove with our left arm. Seat belts and the center consoles have eliminated a good thing. I remember sitting real close in church, also."

Thrifty Henry

Marsha R. questions a reader's recollection about Louisiana Spanish moss (for seat stuffing in early Ford cars) being packed in boxes that were reused as running boards:

"I believe Spanish moss was packed in bales, not boxes. I've always heard the boxes held the long metal gear shifts, and the boxes were indeed engineered to be disassembled and used for the running boards in the cars.

"But I welcome any recycling of that story that celebrates the shrewd ingenuity, foresight and thrift of Henry Ford, an American original."

Waste not, want not

Speaking of thrifty Henry Ford, here's a story from Russ Wise, of LaPlace:

"Henry Ford wasted nothing. The spokes of his Model T wheels were made of wood, and the work of producing the spikes left a lost of scraps behind.

"So Ford and a business partner, Edward Kingsford, decided to turn the scraps into something profitable — charcoal briquettes. Kingsford is still the biggest charcoal maker on earth."

Mule poor

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, responds to Nobey Benoit, who launched a "poorer than thou" competition when he said that unlike Tony's famlly, his didn't have a fireplace:

"Although Nobey didn’t have a fireplace as a child, I wonder if his family had a mule?

"We had to borrow a mule to pull a wagon load of firewood from the woods to our house.

"I guess being poor is relative, because we certainly didn’t know that we were."

Special People Dept.

  • Beatrice Haydell, a resident of Landmark of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 106th birthday Thursday, Jan. 18.
  • Mildred Annie Schuler Lashover celebrated her 100th birthday Saturday, Jan. 13 at the Kiwanis Lodge in Ponchatoula.
  • Joseph Elton Andre, of Ollie Steele Burden Manor in Baton Rouge, celebrates his 98th birthday Thursday, Jan. 18. Originally from Oscar, he is a Navy veteran of World War II and an Ethyl Corp. retiree.
  • Ruby Carbo Comoletti, of Baton Rouge, originally from Donaldsonville, celebrates her 97th birthday Thursday, Jan. 18. She is a World War II Navy veteran.
  • Eloise Kelly Mayeur, of New Orleans, celebrates her 90th birthday Thursday, Jan. 18.

Thought for the Day

From Algie Petrere: "Helpful hint: When attacked by a mob of clowns, go for the juggler."

Louisiana haiku

Our frosty mornings

Papers thrown, trash collected

Bless all these people 

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.