Dear Smiley: I was astounded to read your colleague Danny Heitman’s July 8 column, wherein he waxes rhapsodically: “…we realize that summer itself fades almost as quickly, which is all the more reason to hold it close and savor it …”

We have absolutely no need to hold summer close in Baton Rouge.

Summer is a huge, hungry anaconda which enwraps its victims, starting in April, and relentlessly applies more and more pressure until by September it has squeezed them dry of blood and sweat, leaving them panting and exhausted, stumbling in search of shade.

If we’re lucky, it starts letting up in October, but don’t count on it.


Baton Rouge

Dear John: Just chill out, will you?

Nashville food critic

Dear Smiley: Recent stories about Kolb’s restaurant in New Orleans bring back some old memories.

In the early 1960s, a friend and I drove down from Nashville and decided to have one of our first meals at Kolb’s.

Having heard of the great food in Louisiana, I decided to order something local.

The gumbo (also my first) was great.

Upon leaving the restaurant, my buddy commented, “I don’t see what’s so special about the food here. I’ve had just as good a cheeseburger in Nashville.”



Acadiana North

Dear Smiley: Enjoying the discussion of Cajun cuisine outside the area.

On a whim and expecting to waste $7, I ordered chicken and sausage gumbo in Tupelo’s Restaurant in Whitefish, Mont., last summer.

This was some of the best I’ve ever had.

I asked to talk with the chef, and discovered he was from Abbeville and owned the place.

The place was very popular and recommended by every local I spoke with.

What a surprise!



Dead reckoning

Dear Smiley: The recent death of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the assisted-suicide doctor, reminds me of the time not so very long ago when the Saints were working on a 0-16 or whatever season, and we wore bags over our heads.

The late, never-to-be-forgotten WWL sports commentator “Buddy D” Diliberto had a regular caller who identified himself as “Dr. Kevorkian.”

He would say things like, “Buddy, help! I’m being overrun by Saints fans. They’re swarming in. I can’t handle them all. I’m having to open more clinics to accommodate them!”

Ah, the good old days —may they never return.


Baton Rouge

The driving nun

Dear Smiley: One more S&H Green Stamps story:

During the ’50s (and ’60s?) St. Joseph’s Academy included on its faculty a vibrant, determined nun from Pointe Coupee named Sister Dorothy.

In addition to teaching French at the academy and at Catholic High, she was able to get most of the parents of her students to donate to her ALL of their S&H stamps, as well as empty Community Coffee bags.

There simply was no saying no to Sister Dorothy.

After years of her soliciting, guess what she spent her treasure trove on?

A station wagon for the nuns!


Baton Rouge

Note: Thanks also to Cherie Smith of New Roads, who sent in the same story a day or so after Louise.

Wretched excess

Dear Smiley: With all the bumper sticker talk, I always think of my very favorite, even though it was not actually a bumper sticker.

I saw this one day as I got on the interstate at College Drive heading east.

It was during the first major gas shortage of my memory, when there were long, long lines and we could only buy either five gallons of gas or $5 worth.

Just as I got on, a motor home towing a small car from the state of Oregon passed by.

A banner across the back of the RV said, “I can’t believe we bought the whole thing!”


Baton Rouge

Mystery man

Dear Smiley: Here’s another one of my favorite bumper stickers:

“My job is so secret, even I don’t know what I’m doing.”