Gordon Jarnagin has this memory of a simpler time:

“When I came to Baton Rouge from Shreveport in 1954, my position with Burroughs Corp. required me to call on all the bank presidents in the area.

“In St. Francisville, I went into a little store and asked if I could use the phone.

“I was a bit startled to see that the phone was one of the old types that hung on the wall and required lifting the receiver and turning a lever to reach a switchboard.

“When the operator said, ‘Number, please,’ I replied, ‘Directory, please.’

“She said, ‘Who do you want to call?’

“I said, ‘The Bank of St. Francisville.’

“She said, ‘Who do you want to speak to?’

“A bit surprised, I answered, ‘Mr. Rutledge, the president.’

“She said, ‘He ain’t in.’

“I asked, ‘How do you know?’

“She said, ‘Because the telephone office is on the second floor above the bank, and I see that his car in gone.’ ’’

True to the brew

Proud grandmother “YaYa” says, “On our way to Memphis, my granddaughter Sadie kept asking if we were in ‘Mocha-sippi’ yet.

“Did I mention that her mother, Janie Page, works for Community Coffee?

“Think she’ll follow in her mother’s footsteps some day?”

Lizards invade!

Carolyn Thornhill says hummingbird feeders can attract some “weird critters.”

“I’ve seen the usual wasps and bees, and last year had finches on the feeder.

“But lately I’ve been seeing a big green lizard drinking on the feeder. He comes as regularly as the hummingbirds.

“The reigning ‘alpha hummingbird’ doesn’t seem to mind.

“While this bossy hummingbird chases away any other birds that dare to try to drink from ‘his’ feeder, he lets the lizard drink his fill.

“I guess he thinks lizards don’t drink much.”

Thank-you note

Column contributor Gerald Hubenak says he’s been dealing with Tulane Medical Center lately, being screened for a possible liver transplant:

“I want to tell you and your readers that in all my dealings with the Tulane personnel, I have not met one who is not professional, understanding, knowledgeable and generally positive.

“This starts with the parking attendants all the way to the top surgeons.

“It is a remarkable place and, under the circumstances, made this a relatively pleasant experience.”

Science is cool

The “Sally Ride Science Festival,” promoting science education to fifth- through eighth-grade girls, is from 11 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Saturday at LSU.

Presented by ExxonMobil, the festival features workshops, guest speakers including astronaut Wendy Lawrence, and a street fair with food, booths and music.

Advanced registration is required, at http://www.sallyride science.com or (800) 561-5161.

Special People Dept.

• Annette Thomas Bowman of Berwick celebrates her 100th birthday Thursday.

• Noalie McLin Stevens, of Ponchatoula, celebrates her 92nd birthday Thursday.

• On Thursday Ruby Miller Gray, of Denham Springs, celebrates her 92nd birthday.

• James Melvin Crane of Lake Rosemound, a World War II veteran, celebrates his 90th birthday Thursday.

• John and Nita Himel of Plaquemine celebrate 58 years of marriage Thursday.

Split decision

“Maw-Maw Betty” says, “When my granddaughter Taylor was 5 years old (she is 10 now) she walked with me to get the mail.

“Her dad, a single father, received an ad for a gentleman’s magazine.

“There were pictures of beautiful women dressed in lingerie in various poses on the cover.

“As I watched her studying these pictures, I’m thinking, ‘How am I going to explain this if she should ask?’ — and of course she did.

“She said, ‘Maw-Maw, who are all these girls?’

“I told her the pictures were for her dad to pick out a girlfriend.

“She pointed to one of the girls and said, ‘I hope he picks this one. She can do splits!’”

Say what?

Donna Dunnehoo of Zachary says, “My grandson Dayton Brady, 4, goes to Zachary Early Learning Center.

“He told his dad Danny that his friend Will had a red book-sack ‘with hookers on it.’

“When Danny asked, ‘Hookers?’ Dayton replied, ‘Yeah, for his lunchbox. I want one.’

“Danny, relieved, said, ‘Oh! Those are called snaps.’”