Rudy MacDonald says, “The article on pesky squirrels in the May 2 Advocate reminded me of my lost battle with Louisiana’s smart squirrels.

“We moved to Baton Rouge in 1982, and by 1984 I had given up the battle to beat those pesky squirrels — UNTIL I saw an ad on a ‘guaranteed money back’ squirrel-proof bird feeder.

“Bought it and put it up on a metal feeder pole, 6 feet above the ground.

“It was one of those ‘squirrel weight closes the feeder opening’ gizmos, similar to the design promoted in the May 2 article as ‘working very well.’

“Well, one day the wife and I saw about five of the rascals having a strategy meeting under the bird feeder.

“It seems that every time a squirrel jumped off the feeder platform, the closing shook the feeder and some food fell on the ground.

“Those slick Louisiana critters designated a ‘jumper,’ who would climb up, get on the flap and jump off, causing some food to fall down.

“The feeder was empty by the end of the day.

“I sent pictures to the manufacturer, saying his ad should say the device is not for smart Louisiana squirrels and I want my refund as promised.

“Never got my refund.”

Initial reaction

Here’s another tale of an encounter with a literal-minded GPS (Global Positioning System):

Retired LSU physics instructor Jim Giammanco says, “Driving with a group of LSU students to launch high altitude balloons at the NASA base in Palestine, Texas, very British ‘Miss Emily,’ who lives in my GPS, calmly (as always) instructed us to ‘Turn left onto East Federated States of Micronesia Route 3224’ otherwise known to Texans as Farm-to-Market (FM) 3224.

“Good thing we could see the big NASA logo on the water tower, or we’d have been frantically searching for the life jackets.”

He nailed it

Reggie Gremillion says our mention of odd combinations on signs reminded him of this one:

“I saw a sign around Mansura that told of a strange combination: ‘Computer Repair and Woodworking.’

“A very talented individual.”

Two nice guys

I’m always delighted when good things happen to good people I know and enjoy being around.

Here are two examples:

Trumpet maestro John Gray has been named “Teacher of the Year” by the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra.

He’s band director at The Dunham School, where he has a noted jazz band.

And he can be found all over town playing with The Michael Foster Project, The JGray Jazz Trio, The Soul Jukeboxx etc.

John will be honored at dinner with BRSO music director Timothy Muffitt at Stroube’s on Thursday, May 8, then recognized at the Masterworks concert.

I remember when Jerry Leggio was the leading man in just about every theatrical production in Baton Rouge.

And more recently it’s been fun spotting him in Louisiana-made movies.

Jerry will be honored with the Anne Price Lifetime Achievement Award at the screening of the locally produced film “LA 308,” in which he stars.

The screening, part of the 2014 Louisiana International Film Festival, is at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 10, at the Cinemark Theater at Perkins Rowe.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on

The late Anne Price wrote for The Advocate for more than half a century, and was a tireless promoter for all the arts, including theater, in south Louisiana.

Special People Dept.

Florence B. “Teeny” Koon-Williams, celebrates her 93rd birthday on Wednesday, May 7. She retired from The Advocate in 1983.

Cutting remark

Regarding our seminar on epitaphs, Dan Swan, of Gonzales, offers this one:

“My brother George has been in the glass business for 43 years.

“He has said he wants inscribed on his tombstone, ‘I have cut my last piece of glass, now I am going to rest …’ ”

You can probably figure out the ending. …

Cream of the crop

Allen J. Fontenot, of Crowley, says our mention of the legislative discussion of allowing the sale on unpasteurized milk in Louisiana reminded him of this story:

Bougon, who lived in Duralde, Evangeline Parish, had a dairy that sold raw milk.

His neighbor Grilot had a small farm and was barely making a living until an oil company leased his land, drilled a well and struck oil, making him rich.

Grilot told his wife, Bazalin, she could spend some of their new-found wealth on something she had always wanted but could never afford.

She told him she had always wanted a milk bath.

So Grilot went to see Bougon to get the milk for the bath.

Bougon considered the request, and asked Grilot, “Does she want it pasteurized?”

Grilot answered, “No, just past her hips.”

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.