Janet Schilling says our mention of Hotel Dieu hospital “jogged her brain:”

“I moved to New Orleans in the ’70s to work at Hotel Dieu and later attend nursing school.

“I did not know much of New Orleans at that time except from trips as a child, mostly to the zoo.

“But coming into NOLA, via the still uncompleted I-10, the first wide-eyed reaction I had was that on either side of the interstate were massive apartment complexes and flags advertising ADULTS ONLY, SINGLES ONLY, NO CHILDREN, and, most attractive: SINGLE LIVING AT ITS BEST!

“Then either side of the roadway were the biggest cemeteries I had ever seen — I had the thought, ‘Whoa, they don’t just bury them, they build houses for them, big houses.’

“One was named ‘Odd Fellows Rest.’

“Then I could see the hospital — a large neon blue block letter sign facing the interstate proclaimed its new location (this was the ‘new’ hospital, that became University Hospital later): HOT L DIEU.

“I still cannot un-remember that sign. And I would not trade ANY of my time at Hotel Dieu for the biggest house in Odd Fellows Rest.”

Sign language

Seems Hotel Dieu had more than one sign malfunction.

Edie Bender says, “The recent mention of Hotel Dieu hospital reminds me of a time several decades ago when one of the big neon letters on their sign went out.

“For a time it appeared to be ‘HOTEL DIE.’”

Louisiana ties

Lucy Avera Perry, an LSU alum living in Kansas City, Missouri, says she was watching the American League Championship Series and thought about LSU and Louisiana connections:

“Two of Coach Paul Mainieri’s finest were involved. Louis Coleman, though not on the ALCS roster, pitched out of the bullpen for the Royals this season. And Tuesday night, as the Royals took the third game against the Baltimore Orioles, they faced Kevin Gausman, who came in the sixth and seventh innings for the Os.

“Gausman was a beast, but the Royals prevailed. Two more Royals with Louisiana ties: pitcher Jason Vargas played his freshman year at LSU, and backup second baseman Johnny Giavotella is from Metairie and went to UNO.”

Nice People Dept.

A reader offers a tale of teacher appreciation:

“My daughter, a first-year teacher, was eating breakfast Saturday with two of her co-workers, also first-year teachers, at Another Broken Egg.

“They were discussing school and teaching when a woman walked up their table to say ‘Thank you’ for all they do.

“When my daughter and co-workers went to leave and asked for their bill, they were told it was already paid.

“That made their day, and was certainly encouraging to them to feel appreciated!”

The awakening

Tom DiNapoli disagrees with a reader who objects to “woken,” as in “He was woken up.”

“I’ve always used ‘woken’ as the past participle of ‘to wake.’

“I’m originally from Rhode Island, so I admit to occasionally still having a Northern dialect, even after 43 years in Baton Rouge.

“By the way, after my wife woke up I asked her for her opinion, and she said she, too, would use ‘woken’ in the compound past tense and she’s a born and raised New Orleanian, living in Louisiana all her life.”

Feeling crabby

Richard Guidry, of Zachary, says, “Many years ago we were visiting friends in Katy, Texas, and ordered some boiled crabs from a local restaurant.

“They asked how many pounds we wanted.

“At first we thought it was a Texas practical joke: we’ve always bought them by the dozen.

“Now this practice has made it to Baton Rouge.”

Texas style

Carl Spillman says the reader who found a Beaumont, Texas, restaurant to be stingy with its shrimp should have tried Papadeaux’s.

“The problem there is staying awake for the rest of the trip.

“For breakfast there I recommend the breakfast bar at Shoney’s — fajitas and eggs, jalapenos in grits.”

Special People Dept.

Tina Loyacano, of Plaquemine, celebrated her 95th birthday on Friday, Oct. 17.

Thought for the Day

Marvin Borgmeyer says this quote from John Adams is appropriate for an election year: “In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.”


Algie Petrere came across this lament from a clothing store employee:

“I make it a point of pride to give customers my unvarnished opinion.

“One day when a man emerged from the fitting room, I took one look at him and shook my head.

“‘No, no,’ I said. ‘Those jeans look terrible on you. I’ll go get you another pair.’

“As I walked away, I heard him mumble, ‘I was trying on the shirt.’”

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