Vallan Corbett says our nostalgia item about downtown churches’ congregations dining at the Third Street Piccadilly reminded her of this “churches and Piccadilly” story:

“My husband and I, after Ash Wednesday services at Broadmoor Methodist Church, headed to the Piccadilly on Florida for dinner.

“When we got there, we encountered the Catholics from Our Lady of Mercy’s Ash Wednesday services already in line.

“As we waited I heard two waitresses talking.

“One asked the other, ‘What is that?’ as she looked at all the black smudges on our foreheads.

“The other waitress replied, ‘I don’t know, but I think it is a cult.’ ”

Save the lizards

Here’s a story of a life-saving act, from “Auntie”:

“Last week while working outside, Poppa, my retired husband, was cleaning the skimmer on the pool when he opened the lid and there was a lizard in it — and he wasn’t moving.

“He got the lizard out and lay him up on the deck.

“Just one of his eyes was open, so he rubbed his back and then turned him over and pressed on his chest a few times.

“The little lizard spit out some water. Then Poppa turned him over and rubbed his back again.

“The lizard looked a little better, so he decided to leave him there and go finish what he was doing.

“After a few minutes he went back to check on him, and the lizard was up and wide-eyed and looking around!

“So Poppa put him in the ‘lizard tree,’ the tree where he and our granddaughter Addison put all the lizards they catch and turn loose at the end of the day.

“This was the best! Poppa did CPR on a lizard!”

The Garland year

Marshall Ann Heflin Bourgeois and Allen Penniman both recall “going to an upscale club on Airline Highway in the early ’60s, where we saw Phyllis Diller, Vic Damone, Ray Anthony & His Bookends and Jerry Van Dyke (all big stars back then).

“For whatever reason, this club could not obtain a gambling permit; therefore, its stay here was a short one.

“Please tell us the name of this club! Neither of us can remember.”

Happy to oblige:

The Garland Club, named for Garland Anthony, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, opened as a dinner theater in spring 1964. In addition to the acts mentioned, it also brought in Ray Charles and Brother Dave Gardner.

But it was evidently designed as a casino, and when that didn’t work out, the theater was closed in December 1964.

Its restaurant, the Charter Room, lasted a while longer.

The site was bought by Holiday Inn in 1967.

And taters, too

“Proud Papa” Johnny Couvillion says son Jacob, of Nooley’s Poboys and Curley-Cues, on La. 44 in Prairieville, makes great roast beef poboys and open-faced roast beef sandwiches, plus fresh-cut, curlicue fried potatoes.

The “Young Cajun” sound

Dyra and C.J. Hughes advise lovers of Cajun music to be at the Liberty Theater in Eunice (“the Grand Ole Opry of Cajun music”) at 6 p.m. Saturday to catch the band Les Bons Sons.

It’s composed of Beau and Madeleine Brown, 12 and 10 respectively, plus Michael Boudreaux, 14, and Laykin Usie, 9.

Says Dyra: “They have played together for about a year. I’m partial, but they are really good.”

She says she and C.J. are partial because Beau and Madeleine are their grandchildren.

Good folks gone

Readers remember some special people:

  • Jess Walker says, “New Roads just lost one of its most respected citizens: Olinde “Toppy” Haag.

“She was the widow of Professor William ‘Bill’ Haag, of the Geography and Anthropology Department at LSU.

“Toppy lived in New Roads on a large lot with a couple of acres of lawn.

“After they were married, Bill frequently remarked on how lucky he was to have her as a wife: ‘Not only is she a very nice person, she also cuts her own grass!’ ”

Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson, says, “Sam Crifasi, the co-founder of Hi Nabor, who died recently, was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Mary Lou.

“He said his only regret in life was that he was not married long enough.

“Every Sunday he played the song, ‘Hello, Mary Lou’ and headed to the cemetery to put roses on her grave.

“Sam and Mary Lou were the parents of 11 children.”

Special People Dept.

  • Howard and Jean Merrill celebrate 61 years of marriage on Thursday.
  • Donnie D. and Gatis Eve Mire, of Gonzales, celebrated their 61st anniversary Friday.

Think French

A French-fried story from a Lafayette reader:

“The new teacher says, ‘T-Max, please stand and show us how high you can count.’

“T-Max stands and says, ‘ONE,’ then looks around.

“The teacher prompts him, ‘SAY TWO’ — and he sits down.”

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