Phil Hannaman, of Tyler, Texas, says about the guys we mentioned who chug-a-lug Tabasco:

“Granny used to drink a shot of vinegar each day, as she said, ‘to health!’ The properties in vinegar help to detox the body.

“Read the ingredients on the Tabasco label — distilled vinegar, red peppers and salt.”

So Tabasco is being downed “with full knowledge of the health properties of vinegar to detox the body — Cajun style.”

Heal that card, Doc!

Mildred P. Worrell, of Clinton, says the closing of both La Fonda Mexican restaurant and its Airline Highway neighbor, Earl K. Long Memorial Hospital, reminded her of the time around 1980 when she was a social worker at Earl K.

The hospital staff often gathered at La Fonda after work on Fridays, and on one Friday the crowd was especially large.

Margaritas and Mexican dishes kept coming, and a good time was had by all.

“As the meal was drawing to a close,” says Mildred, “a senior surgery resident got to his feet and, saying he had to leave for another engagement, took his credit card from his wallet and said, ‘This is on me!’ He then left, leaving his credit card.”

As you might imagine, this gesture kept the party going for a while longer.

But it ended abruptly when the restaurant manager informed them that the card had been turned down.

This led to some confusion, as the merrymakers scrambled to come up with the funds.

The resident went on to become a respected plastic surgeon in Nashville, and Mildred says, “We didn’t hold his insolvency against him.”

She adds, “Unfortunately the good old days are gone forever, but the memories — of good patient care given and friendships created — will survive.”

Angel sighting

Karen Poirrier, of Lutcher, recycles a TV commercial:

“Cleaning out closets and de-cluttering rooms — challenging.

“Donating items to St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store — rewarding.

“Volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store and seeing a toddler point to you and hearing him tell his parents, ‘There’s the angel lady!’ — priceless!”

No Aggie jokes, please

I’m honored to be invited to the Baton Rouge A&M Club’s “Aggie Muster” Sunday at Baton Rouge Country Club.

The event includes dinner and a candlelight memorial service “to remember and honor fellow Aggies who have passed on during the last year.”

It’s a most moving ceremony.

Of course, I received with the invitation a gentle reminder from Baton Rouge A&M Club president Roland Dommert that Texas A&M is now a regular SEC West opponent of LSU:

“In case you did not notice, we had a pretty good football season last year, with a very special quarterback who won national honors.”

(Oh really? Who is that …?)

The Music Lady

Judi says she was impressed with the work of Katy Strickland of LSU in getting the Greater Baton Rouge Beginner Honor Band ready for its first concert Saturday at Sherwood Middle School:

“My grandson, Troy Marks, was chosen by Jena Duplessis, his band leader at Galvez Middle School, to be in the band. There were 33 schools represented.

She says Katy “only had a few hours to work with the students, whom she had never met before. She and the students did an awesome job! Thank you, Ms. Strickland, for inspiring students and their families.”

Worthy causes

The Grief Recovery Center benefits from “Culinary Arts for Healing Hearts” from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at White Oak Plantation.

Twenty local chefs will prepare food, and there will be music and dancing, live and silent auctions and door prizes. The lovely and talented Michelle Southern of 96.1 The River will emcee the proceedings.

Tickets are $50. Call (225) 924-6621 or visit

Special People Dept.

  • Annie Mae Aubin celebrates her 96th birthday Saturday.
  • Louise Humphreys McCollister, of Baton Rouge and New Roads, celebrates her 95th birthday Friday with a weekend hootenanny in her home town of Garrison, Texas.
  • Stephen Taylor, of Sunset, an active barber, celebrates his 90th birthday Sunday. He is a World War II Navy veteran whose ship, the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5), was sunk in the Battle of Midway in 1942.
  • Celebrating their 64th anniversary Friday are Anthony V. and Marie Dimaio Noto.

Hound sounds

Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut, says the basketball playoffs remind her of this story:

“My husband used to warn our kids to stay in after dark or ‘the hound of the Baskervilles’ might get them (referring to the Sherlock Holmes story).

“He would say it in that low, scare-me-by-the-campfire voice guaranteed to send shivers up the spines of children.

“One night some dogs were howling outside. Little Michael scurried into our bedroom with eyes the size of dinner plates, declaring that the ‘hound of the baskerballs’ was out there!"

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.