Melvin Daigle says our series on south Louisiana honky-tonks of the past brought back this memory:

“In the early ’50s at Plaquemine’s Casino dance hall, there was a band playing there with a lead singer who was really good.

“During a break I bought him a Goebel beer (20 cents at the time), and he told me he was a truck driver when not playing music.

“He said he’d buy me a beer the next time the band played at the Casino.

“After a few weeks, I asked the bartender why he wasn’t playing there anymore.

“The bartender says, ‘Oh, we can’t afford him anymore, since he went to the Louisiana Hayride and was such a hit that he’s now in Nashville.’

“So Elvis Presley never bought me that beer...”


Algie Petrere says the “only a teacher” story in the Friday column “reminded me of an event that happened when I worked for one of our state agencies.

“One of my jobs was to reimburse the expense accounts of the top administration.

“I received a packet of receipts from one of the undersecretaries containing several very suspicious-looking receipts, including one where he used white-out and wrote in a new figure.

“I told my immediate supervisor that I was sending them back, and we waited for the explosion.

“He was in the secretary’s office when the undersecretary came in, waving the packet that I had returned to him.

“He was screaming that ‘some accountant from upstairs’ had returned his receipts. He made it sound like I was a bug he wanted to step on.

“The secretary told him he had looked at the receipts and that I was correct. They were not acceptable and he would not be reimbursed for them.

“Sometimes the good guys win!”

Pat the Yat

Jan has this observation about Pat Shingleton, the WBRZ-TV weatherman and proud Pennsylvanian:

“While watching the four o’clock news and weather, the realization hit me that Pat must finally be deemed to be a real ‘Southern boy’ when he said he stays cool by using bags of ice and the ‘hose pipe.’”

The Z word

Joan Waguespack Barre, of Metairie, says it’s possible that the Cajun word “zambara,” mentioned by Val Garon, “has a different meaning depending on where in Louisiana Cajun French is spoken.

“In my Cajun-speaking area, Vacherie, zambara is used it to describe unnecessary, exaggerated, complicated expressions or actions by a person while performing a task or recounting a story.

“The expression used is ‘il fait des zambara.’

“My friend Clyde Babin, from Edgard, agrees with my description.”

Magical night

Patsy Arceneaux, of Baton Rouge, continues our series on memorable concerts:

“About 10 years ago, my husband and I went to a Joe Cocker concert in Marksville at the Paragon Casino, to relive a little of our youth.

“It was pure magic. I have never seen a musician so into his music. He put his heart and soul into every song. He sang for at least two hours with one short break, and we hated for it to end.

“It is a great memory, especially now that he is gone.”

Memorable ending

Tookie Hendry says, regarding our mention of the great blues man Lightnin’ Hopkins, “there is/was a black-and-white video on YouTube of him back in the day doing the original ‘Mojo Hand,’ just him and his guitar.

“At the end, he says, ‘That’s what ah’m gonna do’ and spits out his dentures on the table.”

Two key words

When my paisan Frank Arrigo told me about the Greater Baton Rouge American Italian Association’s Italian Heritage Festa Saturday and Sunday in the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino and Atrium, he mentioned the bocce ball tournament, the dinner dance with Lena Prima and her band from New Orleans, the celebrity grape stomp, vino stroll, etc.

But given the current climate, two words caught my attention as he was describing the venue:

“Air conditioned.”

(For tickets to the Saturday dinner dance, call (225) 235-0699; for hotel packages call (800) 266-2692, package code FEST2.)

Special People Dept.

Patsy David Fontenot and Glynn Fontenot celebrate 55 years of marriage on Thursday, July 23.

Colorful condiment

Kathleen Gremillion says, “My grandson mentioned he likes mustard. So jokingly I asked, ‘Do you like mustard greens?’

“He said, ‘No, mustard yellow!’”

Live it up!

Francie Celino, of Metairie, submits our “T-Shirt Slogan of the Week:”

“Enjoy life. There is plenty of time to be dead.”

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.