After Dr. Russell Saloom shared with us his “Welcome to the SEC” message to a friend who’s a Texas A&M grad, I figured I’d hear from Aggie supporters:

Sure enough, Algie Petrere says the note “brought back fond memories of growing up in Bryan, Texas.

“Dr. Saloom is not entirely correct. It’s not only the men who wrap their arms around each other and sway back and forth during football games. It’s all the fans in the stadium, and probably the ones at home.

“We started it in junior high, and went through high school singing, ‘Saw Varsity’s horns off’ as loudly as we could and swaying back and forth.

(Algie explains that while the University of Texas’ longhorn mascot is named Bevo, “prior to the university adopting the longhorn as the official mascot, the team was known as ‘Varsity.’ It would have been kind of hard to change the song, I guess. Everyone had been singing it too long by then.”)

She adds, “Everyone should be thrilled to have the Aggie band in the SEC as well as the football team.

“Khaki or not, they are outstanding! I still get goose bumps when they form the block ‘T’ and march down the field.

“If you haven’t seen them perform, you’re in for a treat.

“It’s probably too much to ask for us to welcome A&M into the SEC by putting a stop to the Aggie jokes.

“For those who plan to continue them, please be original. I’ve been hearing the same old jokes for 40 years.

“I’m sure you can relate to that, Smiley.”

(Wonder what she means by that?)

Turning point

Tom Terrific has an explanation for a local highway phenomenon:

“I understand the price of turn signal fluid has gone up again. That’s the reason so many signals don’t work.”

Tom recalls, “The first car my parents had with turn signals was a ’57 Ford.

“Our ’52 County Squire station wagon that I learned to drive in had real wood on the exterior, but no turn signals except our left arms.”

(Yeah, I still recall rolling down the window to make a turn signal on cold, rainy days.)

Soul man

Roy C. Eure moved to Baton Rouge more than a year ago, and says he’s still looking for the ultimate “soul/country down-home cooking” establishment.

As examples he cites the legendary Dinner Bell in McComb, Miss., and Mama’s Kitchen in Florence, Miss.

Says Roy, “Elements of this holy cuisine can be found, but where is ‘the’ spot that puts it all together?”

He lists his favorites: “Fried chicken, whole catfish, fried pork chops, meatloaf, lots of peas and beans, cornbread, banana puddin’ etc.”

(Excuse me, I have to break for lunch now. …)

Worthy causes

Flora Davis says 27 nonprofit organizations in the Baton Rouge area “are participating in a contest for funds made available from Albertson’s.

“All these organizations need is for the community to vote online, up to five times a day.

“Visit http://www.albertsonscpchallenge.com and check out the various organizations.”

(I especially like the five times a day voting — it has a Louisiana flavor to it …)

Special People Dept.

• On Monday Opal Fullerton McCrary celebrated her 101st birthday.

• Hazel Marchand Schaubhut, a native of Darrow now living in Lutcher, celebrates her 97th birthday Tuesday.

• Lela Rogers celebrated her 97th birthday Monday. Bill Barker says, “At 96 she retired from a program that prepares meals for the elderly and shut-ins.”

• Ed Millet, of French Settlement, celebrates his 95th birthday Tuesday.

• Leontine Landry, of Magnolia Manor in Grove, Texas, celebrated her 93rd birthday Friday.

Crazy talk

Doug Johnson, of Watson, was one of many readers alarmed by Friday’s Advocate story on the newest pest to invade the state, the raspberry crazy ant:

“Just when I was beginning to make a small dent in the fire-ant population, these things come along!

“Is it legal to own an anteater in Louisiana?”

(Of course it is, Doug. Mine’s named “Hoover.”)

Higher education

While reviewing a book with her kindergarten gifted students at Glen Oaks Park Elementary School, Bertha Hinojosa explained that a book with illustrations only was commonly called a “picture book.”

One of the 5-year-olds informed her, “Last year in pre-K we called them ‘non-verbal books.’ ”