I’m always happy to receive stories about former Louisiana folks doing culinary missionary work in other states.

For instance, Steve Liuzza, of Doraville, Ga., tells of his experience at his Knights of Columbus council’s fish fry:

“I was quite unhappy with the quality of our annual Lenten fish fry. I mean, really, what can you say good about frozen fish blocks, soggy French fries and from-the-can clam chowder. YUCK!

“After years of suggestions (and some childish whining) from me, I was given the OK to change the event into a true south Louisiana-style event — fried catfish, baked tilapia, shrimp and grits, seafood gumbo, Cajun-style rice pilaf, all done from scratch.

“The past two years have been a tremendous success, and I was shocked at the number of people who all of a sudden identify themselves as native Louisianans and go out of their way to support these events.

“At our final event, a family came in (obvious transplants from the New Orleans area).

“I noticed that none of the three ordered the gumbo, so I delivered a cup to the youngest.

“As I walked away I heard her exclaim, ‘Momma, he made a roux!’ ”

Jumping the gun

If you woke up shivering the last few mornings, you can blame Keith Horcasitas.

On Thursday he took the cover off his swimming pool. …

Creative English

Doug Treadway says, “Driving through Mississippi, I heard two guys on public radio talking about a new talk show one of them was starting.

“When asked what he wanted to do on the show, he said, ‘Oh, just folks conversating.’

“Ah, the living English language; I love commentating on it.”

Highway heroes

Marsha Kemp says she was driving on Highland Road when her vehicle ran out of gas, although the gauge showed a quarter tank:

“When my insurance agent couldn’t get a tow secured in less than 2 to 4 hours, I called my vehicle dealer, who suggested Dugas Towing, of Denham Springs.

“Since I was stranded dangerously close to traffic, in a curve, I also called friend Leon LeJeune to see if he could bring some fuel. He and the tow truck arrived simultaneously. The young tow truck driver filled the tank and followed me to the next fuel stop.

“Imagine how awestruck I felt when the tow company refused to charge me for the call!

“There are some wonderful, hardworking people in our state who don’t mind ‘paying it forward.’ ”

Looking for people

  • If you have a pen pal and/or use the website Postcrossing.com to send and receive postcards from around the world, The Advocate’s Kyle Peveto wants to interview you for a story in the People section.

Contact him at (225) 388-0319 or at kpeveto@theadvocate.com.

  • Volunteers are needed by the Multiple Sclerosis Society to help with “Walk MS: Baton Rouge” on April 13.

The walk starts at 8 a.m. at Perkins Rowe, with registration at 7 a.m. Visit walkmslouisiana.org, call (800) 344-4867 or email jennifer.simon@nmss.org.

Worthy causes

Lupus patients benefit from a party bus trip from Lafayette to New Orleans on May 18 by Busybee Classy Entertainment.

The bus leaves Lafayette at 5:30 a.m. Cost is $75, and Harrah’s gives each person $5 to use in its casino.

There will be door prizes, refreshments on the bus, breakfast at Betsy’s Pancake House, shopping at the French Market and on Magazine Street and lunch at Praline Connection.

Call Brenda at (337) 258-1666.

Special People Dept.

  • The Brignac twins — Nora B. Berthelot, of French Settlement, and Dora B. Fontenot, of Prairieville, celebrated their 93rd birthday Sunday.
  • Clyde Smith, of St. James Place, celebrates his 90th birthday Tuesday. The former New Orleans resident lost his home during Hurricane Katrina.
  • Iverson Gandy Sr. celebrated his 90th birthday Sunday.
  • Andrew and Marian Jones, of Morgan City, celebrated their 60th anniversary Friday.

Cutting remark

Dale J. Landry says our story about the guy who cut his muffuletta into “six quarters” reminds him of the old tale about the Aggie who had his pizza cut in six pieces because he couldn’t possibly eat eight.

Weighty topic

Harriet St.Amant offers this observation:

“A report says that the world population is 17 million tons overweight, which means the sea level isn’t rising at all. We’re just so fat that the land is sinking into the ocean.”

A scary thought

Erin Watson says, “My niece Ella Esneault, 5, a pre-K student at Ascension Catholic School in Donaldsonville, was being questioned randomly by her dad:

“‘Who’s the president? What state do you live in? What’s your phone number?’

“All of which she answered correctly.

“His last question was, ‘Who’s the governor?’

“She said, ‘Duh! Pat Shingleton!’ ”

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.