“When I retired in ’98 my wife Suzie and I took an extended boat trip up the Tenn-Tom (Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway) in our boat,” says Clay Davis.

“We had planned to be in Nashville for the Fourth of July and dock on the seawall, but were informed that the only way we could dock there is if we participated in the boat parade.

“Parade, did you say parade? Being from Louisiana, we can do parades.

“We entered the parade, decked the boat in all manner of purple, green and gold, threw tons of beads and blared ‘second line’ music. We won first place.

“As we were tied up to the seawall basking in our glory, two very official young Coast Guardsmen asked to board and speak to the captain (me).

“They informed me that their commander had witnessed the parade, and was going to have to ticket us for polluting the river (throwing beads).

“We would have to appear in person at district court to answer the charges. I asked where district court was located. Answer — New Orleans.

“I told the young men to tell their commander to do what he had to do, but there was no way in heck a New Orleans judge was going to convict me for throwing beads.

“I invited the young men to come back to the boat later to have a root beer and watch the fireworks with us. We didn’t get the ticket, and a good time was had by all.”

Plugging along

“Long-time Spanish Town Parade fan” adds to our list of unusual throws at the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade, Baton Rouge’s largest and strangest:

“In its early days, the parade wound around the neighborhood. One of the trucks in the parade was sponsored by ‘Popes for Parts’ auto parts store.

“All the gentlemen riding in the truck were dressed as popes, and tossed spark plugs and other small auto parts.”

Cars, old folks, dogs

Anne Cummings says the Wednesday column contained “three stories in a row that spoke loudly to me.

“First, the reminder about headlights when it’s raining and at dusk and dawn is a particular gripe of mine. I have a feeling most of the accidents that occur during rain events are because someone did not have their lights on.

“Second was the story about forgetfulness in the elderly. I have thought about writing you about the above during all the recent rains and have forgotten. In fact, I have carried the paper with me to the computer to send this!

“Third, about cleaning the house (another one I keep forgetting about). A few years ago my friend Laverne had an aging dog that had ‘accidents,’ shed on everything and kept knocking things over because he couldn’t see them.

“After a particularly long day of cleaning after him, she said, ‘That’s it! I ain’t gonna clean the house again until the dog dies!’

“She quickly followed that statement with, ‘Hey, that would make a great country song!’”

Top Tigers

Bill Quinn makes the case for a statue of Pete Maravich at LSU:

“Yes, Shaquille O’Neal has a wonderful statue at LSU. He was great and surely earned it! Now our politicians are discussing if any other Tigers basketball players are worthy of a statue.”

Bill notes that the College Hoopedia website, in their list of “All-Time Top 100 Players,” put Pete Maravich at No. 3. Another LSU great, Bob Petit, was ranked No. 15.

The site had Shaq at No. 36 and Chris Jackson at No. 53, and said the two LSU stars would have ranked higher if they had stayed in school instead of leaving early for the NBA.

Nice People Dept.

Herman “Dutch” Prager, who recently celebrated his 91st birthday, tells of a kind deed:

“The couple my wife Jane and I were seated near at the Zea restaurant in Covington must have noticed my World War II submarine cap.

“When we were ready to leave the waitress said, ‘The couple who just left paid your bill.’

“As usual, one never has the opportunity to offer thanks. It does show there are still very fine people in this world. Hopefully, they will somehow know this kind act was greatly appreciated.”

Special People Dept.

Jestina Johnson, of Greater Mount Carmel Baptist Church, celebrates her 93rd birthday on Sunday, Jan. 31.

Ralph and Jeanette Blouin Marino, of Baton Rouge, celebrate 50 years of marriage on Friday, Jan. 29. Former Metairie residents, they met while working at the New Orleans Airport.

Idiots galore

Our Wednesday mention of “idiot drivers” who don’t bother to turn on their headlights in rainy weather or at dark reminded Mike Manes of this old story:

“Marie calls Boudreaux one evening to warn him to ‘be careful coming home because some idiot is driving the wrong way on the interstate.’

“He responds, ‘SOME idiot? There are HUNDREDS of them!’”

Contacting Smiley

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.