Richard Fossey tells how his stepdaughter, Elizabeth Duffy, once avoided getting a speeding ticket from an East Feliciana Parish sheriff’s deputy:

“About 18 years ago, my wife Kim and I were newly married and living in St. Francisville. I was taking instruction to come into the Catholic church, and my confirmation ceremony was scheduled for the Saturday evening Mass on Easter weekend.

“Elizabeth was an LSU freshman at the time, living in a dorm. Like many college undergraduates, she often spent Saturday afternoons taking a nap. On the day of my confirmation, she overslept.

“When she woke up and discovered what it time it was, she jumped in her car and started speeding toward St. Francisville. She was so late, she didn’t take time to get dressed.

“An East Feliciana deputy pulled her over for speeding, and she emerged from her aged Honda and stood on U.S. 61 wearing only her pajamas.

“The deputy asked if there was some emergency that required her to drive so fast.

“‘My stepfather is coming into the Catholic church tonight,’ Elizabeth explained, ‘and if I don’t get home and change clothes fast, I’m going to miss it.’

“The officer was silent for a long minute and then said, ‘On your way, miss. Nobody could make up that story.’”

Dead reckoning

With all the spooky Halloween stuff coming up, this is a good time to talk of graveyards, and the grand old Louisiana tradition of deceased voters:

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, a former sheriff and district attorney, says years ago he was riding in a parade with an unnamed congressman:

“I had just passed a law enforcement millage by a sizable vote difference between the yeas and nays.

“When we drove past a graveyard I feigned throwing some throws into the fenced grounds.

“He asked what that was all about, and I told him that had been my best ballot box on the Saturday of the election.

“He later told that story in Congress.”

Golfing Willie

“Yes, it is true that Willie Nelson played the West Side Golf Course in Brusly,” says Rhett “Buck” Myhand:

“The year was near 1979 when he and his band showed up.

“My brother Brett ‘Pete’ Myhand was the club president at the time, and his wife Simone was the bartender.

“Willie played with no shirt. He and his gang played 18 holes, then came into the clubhouse and had beers with the members there.

“Pete and Simone have a great picture of them standing with him behind the bar. Willie gave backstage passes to anyone wanting to attend the concert that night.”

Timeless clock

George E. Arceneaux, of Lafayette, says, “They sure don’t make things like they used to.”

He owns a mantle clock that once belonged to his grandparents. It was a wedding present (his grandparents were married in 1893), now 122 years old.

George figures that in those 122 years, the half-hour bell (which chimes only once) has been struck 1,068,770 times, the hour chime has been struck 6,946,680 times and the pendulum has swung back and forth over 12.5 billion times.

He adds, “This treasured old clock is still going strong.”

Looking for stuff

Frances Bennett wonders if any of you have Carnival beads stashed away in your attic or garage. (A better question is who DOESN’T have them.)

“I need beads for Christmas boxes for children in Mexico. My number is (225) 926-4710.”

Special People Dept.

Lena Martello celebrated her 95th birthday on Monday, Oct. 26.

Luther Hunt celebrates his 91st birthday on Tuesday, Oct. 27. He is a veteran of World War II, the Korean conflict and Vietnam.

Clifford J. Loudon, currently in Baton Rouge’s Our Lady of the Lake hospital, celebrated his 91st birthday on Monday, Oct. 26.

Vanishing act

Dr. Gene Louviere, of Lafayette, says, “The recent reference in your column regarding usage of ‘evaporate’ for ‘evacuate’ reminded me of the time my father expressed his concern that his three teenaged sons were not doing their assigned yard work to his expectations.

“‘Every time I ask you fellows to mow the lawn or pull weeds, you evaporate,’ he told us.

“‘Dad,’ I asked him, ‘do you mean evacuate?’

“‘No,’ he insisted; ‘you guys evaporate; you disappear into thin air.’”

Thought for the Day

From Algie Petrere: “I finally realized it. People are prisoners of their phones. That’s why they are called CELL phones.”

Bad moon rising

Francis Celino, the Metairie Miscreant, says, “I saw this sign on West Esplanade in Metairie. I am not sure what it means: ‘Don’t moon a werewolf.’”

Contacting Smiley

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.