My recent mention of adventures in Minnesota brought this story from Tom Boone, of Gonzales:

“Years ago a friend of mine got a construction job in Minnesota in the dead of winter.

“He was excited, as the job was to last four to six months and paid well.

“About two weeks after he left, I ran into him at a local watering hole and asked him what happened to the great job.

“He asked me if I knew Minnesota was an Indian word that meant ‘blanking’ cold.

“One day as he was walking off the job, his foreman asked him where he was going. He told him he was going to put on his heavy coat.

“What he didn’t tell him was that his heavy coat was in Paincourtville.”

Loving Mamou

It has become an Anders family tradition to kick off the Carnival season with a visit to Fred’s Lounge in Mamou on a Saturday morning to consume tomato-juice-based beverages with the legendary Tante Sue.

After meeting up with the Oakdale branch of the family, (brother Louis and wife Jane), we passed a good time listening to chank-a-chank music and marveling at the number of merrymakers from around the country who gathered at that little bar to spend a Saturday morning.

We had lagniappe in the form of an early Martin Luther King Day parade, a lively affair in Louisiana’s liveliest town.

Since Baton Rouge doesn’t have any celebration on Mardi Gras day itself (everybody’s resting up after Spanish Town Mardi Gras the Saturday before), we’ve found a trip to Mamou is a great way to let it all out the day before Ash Wednesday. So we’ll be back...

Clark’s gift

Here’s another story about the time in 1957 when Clark Gable was in Baton Rouge for the shooting of the movie “Band of Angels.”

Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut, has this story about this memorable time:

“I have in front of me a gold Elgin American lady’s compact with the words: ‘Band of Angels, Jan. 1957’ engraved on it, and the engraved autograph of Clark Gable.

“The compact was given to me by Norma Huey from Crowley, who worked on that film with about four other local women. I think they recruited local talent for some scenes out at The Cottage.

“At the end of the run, Mr. Gable himself presented these compacts to those ladies. Each compact has the name of the recipient engraved on the other side, so this was not a cheesy gift!”

A plane breakfast

One more grits story, from Tommy Zander, of New Orleans:

“I’m a retired United Airlines pilot. Once my first officer, from Covington, and I were flying a morning flight from San Francisco to Atlanta.

“The employee’s cafeteria in San Francisco, of all places, has great grits!

“Our routine was for him to go get two big cartons of grits, salt, pepper and butter while I went to operations to flight plan. By the time I got to the cockpit he had breakfast set up.

“On one flight a passenger with a heavy Georgia accent asked the flight attendant as he boarded, ‘Honey, I hope you’re serving grits today.’

“She said, ‘We’re not, but see what you can get from the pilots.’

“We didn’t share, but he was pleased that he had two pilots who appreciated fine food!”

Winter project

“Nana” tells us, “Now that the weather is getting colder, it is a perfect time to crochet caps and donate them to Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge. Donations can be brought to 550 Lobdell Ave., or call (225) 927-2273 for more information. This is a wonderful project for church crochet groups.”

Special People Dept.

Lorena “Ti Moon” Guilbeau Guillot, of Carencro, celebrates her 105th birthday on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Bobbie Martin celebrates her 96th birthday on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Mildred Bowie, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 100th birthday on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at Circle Bowl, where she bowls every Tuesday. The party with her league bowler friends starts rolling at 12:30 p.m.

Leonard and Donna Blanchard celebrated their 59th anniversary on Monday, Jan. 18.

Creative hostility

Mike Lukacin says, “An insult I remember is, ‘He is so dumb that if he had another brain, it would be lonesome.’” Scott Levet says he and friends exchange this greeting: “You’re as useful as a football bat or a soccer racquet!”

Future shock

Val Garon, of Prairieville, presents this Cajun love story:

“Years ago, when Boudreaux and Marie were high school sweethearts, they were sitting on her parent’s front porch talking about the future.

“Marie said, ‘Boudreaux, when we get married, I want to share all you worries, you troubles, and help lighten you burden.’

“Boudreaux says, ‘Dat’s very kind of you, cher, but I don’t have no worries or troubles, me.’

“Said Marie, ‘Well, dat’s because we aren’t married yet.’”

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.