After my spouse acquired her bass boat, the “Lady Kat,” I was given two roles:

1. Ballast.

2. Wading out and pulling the boat in with a rope as she drove it up on the trailer.

To tell the truth, I was not very good at either job.

So I was especially interested in Earl J. Vercher’s tale of boats and trailers and a creative way to get the two together:

“Reading Melvin Daigle’s article (in the Monday column) about trying to sell a No. 3 washtub of crawfish for 50 cents brought back memories of buying crawfish for 8 cents a pound at Belle River landing in the mid-’60s.

“While there, I also watched two crawfishermen load their boat.

“They pulled the trailer with a Ford Falcon, which was rather underpowered.

“They loaded the boat but could not pull it out.

“As I watched, they unloaded the boat, and one got in the boat and the other in the car.

“The one in the boat made a circle in the Spillway and aimed for the car.

“I held my breath.

“As the one in the boat hit the trailer, he cut the outboard motor. The driver of the car gunned his engine — and out they came.

“An example of that old saying, ‘There is more than one way to skin a cat.’ ”

Dead reckoning

After I launched our seminar on epitaphs, I heard from Frank Fronczek:

“Now you’ve done it! Expect to hear about epitaphs for weeks. Here’s a picture of my favorite, at Boot Hill in Tombstone, Ariz.:

The photo shows a tombstone with this inscription:

“Here lies

Lester Moore

Four slugs

From a 44

No Les

No more”

Famous last words

Speaking of epitaphs, Ernie Gremillion tells of this one on a tombstone in England:

“Remember man as you walk by

As you are now, so once was I.

As I am now so you shall be.

Remember this and follow me.”

Some wag wrote underneath:

“To follow you I’ll not consent

Until I know which way you went.”

Glory of grease

After Alex Chapman grew nostalgic about discovering the hashbrowns at the Pitt Grill in Lafayette at 2 a.m., Carl Spillman told us he might have been there at the same time:

“I can remember the fried egg sandwiches there about the same time of night.

“We didn’t worry very much about cholesterol in those days.

“In fact, I do not think many of the customers there at 2 a.m. were worried about anything at all. Those were the days, my friend. …”

Which reminds me

If you’re up and hungry at 2 a.m., you’ve no doubt had a most interesting evening and need the kind of serious sustenance that would be regarded as unhealthy at other times.

In New Orleans, a Lucky Dog with chili and onions, consumed while leaning against a Bourbon Street lamppost, will do the job.

Either that or three Krystal burgers with mustard and pickles.

Since Baton Rouge lacks either of those late-night eateries, a Louie’s omelet is the traditional lifesaver for our 2 a.m. diners.

Back when I sometimes stayed out later than was prudent, I joined other north Baton Rouge night owls at the Ranchero on Plank Road for its huge hamburger steak, slathered with brown gravy and served with fries and a lettuce-and-tomato salad I never ate.

Down one of those meat bombs and you were fit for nothing but going home and crashing — which was the idea.

I maintain that you can judge a city by the quality and variety of food available at 2 a.m.

And now I’m craving Krystal burgers, darn it!

Worthy causes

The Louisiana Lions Physically Challenged Children’s Camp, Eye Foundation and other Lions charities benefit from a Clays and Children event at Hunter’s Run Gun Club in Port Allen on Saturday, May 3. Contact Don Delaville at (225) 235-6578 or

Special People Dept.

Juanita and Tommie Pewitt, of Metairie, celebrate their 59th anniversary on Wednesday.

Sound of silence

“Olde Guy” defines the term “Good old days” for us:

“The good old days were back when lawyers, doctors and prescription medicines weren’t the subject of TV commercials.”

History lesson

Val Garon presents these little-known historical facts:

“Lake Pontchartrain was named after Louis Pheypeaux, Compt de Pontchartrain, who was maritime minister under Louis XIV.

“Adjoining Lake Maurepas was named after Jean Frederic Pheypeaux, Compt de Maurepas, the son of Pontchartrain.

“The connecting Pass Manchac was named after Boudreaux, No-Compt de Manchac, because it was here that Boudreaux PASSED a good time!”

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