Tom Isacks says he read with considerable interest our reports about how Gov. Bobby Jindal’s re-election campaign gave $5,000 to his upcoming opponent, Tara Hollis:

“Tara Hollis is a teacher, and the money is reportedly being used for her classroom.

“I want to announce in your column that I, too, am running for office.

“The governor’s campaign office can send the money to the address listed for me in the phone book.

“Thanks for your support!”

Trade secret

“Shirley from Mississippi” says, “While reading your Saturday column, I was reminded of what Lewis Grizzard wrote in his book, ‘Gettin’ It On,’ published in 1989.

“ ‘As a columnist, getting other people to do your work is a cornerstone of the profession.’

“I’m sure you understand the meaning of what he said.”

Chicago gumbo

Our seminar on bad Cajun cooking outside Louisiana seems to have morphed into a seminar on good Cajun cooking outside Louisiana.

For instance, Pat McCarthy, of Lafayette, tells of discovering Heaven on Seven while in Chicago for a meeting:

“My wife Sharon and I went there for lunch.

“Upon entering we noticed the ‘Wall of Flame,’ a collection of hot sauces from around the world.

“I thought. ‘OK, another purveyor of cayenne masquerading as Cajun food.’

“WRONG! The gumbo was superb.

“Jimmy Bannos, the owner, many years ago was competing with 3,000 other ‘steak and potato’ restaurants in Chicago when he told his wife they needed to try something different.

“He apprenticed for a year with Paul Prudhomme at K-Paul’s in New Orleans.

“He gets his sausage from Savoie’s in Opelousas!

“You ought to see the SRO lunchtime crowd in October! This gumbo is well received in the Windy City.”

Messages by quilt

This is a new one on me.

Ann Miller found this information in her sewing room, on a page torn from 1976 Family Circle magazine:

“Before telephones, Cajuns spread news by hanging quilts over the balustrades of their houses.

“Each quilt had a special meaning:

“A red quilt — Political victory.

“A yellow quilt — Quarantine.

“A blue quilt with a big white star — Wedding in the making.

“A patchwork quilt — New baby in the family.

“Many quilts — A big celebration (Mardi Gras, New Year’s, July 4th).

“One quilt hung out with the wash — Child had eaten too much watermelon.”

Reasons to celebrate

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, says the month of July is not just about Independence Day.

His special calendar tells him that July is also Herbal/Prescription Awareness Month; National Home Inspector Appreciation Month; National Wheelchair Beautification Month and National Dog House Repairs Month.

Good Samaritans

Sam Irwin thanks “the gallant firefighters of Engine 6” for helping stepdaughter Molly Moore with a car problem:

“Molly’s car stalled in 5 o’clock Florida Street traffic alongside Baton Rouge General.

“She managed to get it pushed off the street and parked on the sidewalk.”

Sam says he and Molly went back about 8 p.m. with a chain and rope to tow the car to a safer spot.

“As I was figuring out the Cajun engineering, the firefighters passed by and offered able-bodied assistance, pushing the recalcitrant vehicle to a nearby parking lot out of harm’s way.”

The bumper says…

Martin ‘Doc” Kearney, professor of Irish/British literature at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, tells of two of his favorite bumper stickers.

One is “We Don’t Care How You Did It Up North.”

The other one “might seem like the height of irony. However, with rush hour gridlock on I-10 these days, it’s become sadly literal: ‘I’d Rather Be Driving!’ ”

Passing thought

“You can decide if the following is really true or pure fabrication,” says Chet Siemion of Denham Springs:

“A park ranger was leading a tour group through the French Quarter when he paused, tapped his foot on the sidewalk and asked if anyone knew ‘the French word for this’ (expecting the word ‘banquette’).

“But a voice from the back yelled out, ‘Mais ya, cher, dat’s what we call the right hand passin’ lane!’”