Glenn Balentine, of Prairieville, joins our discussion of a name for Baton Rouge’s Interstate 10 bridge with an entrepreneurial idea, expressed in this advertising message:

“Stop atop the Baton Rouge Scenic Overlook Bridge and Free Parking Lot! Coming soon: Food trucks and T-shirt vendors.”

Worth fighting for

David Couvillon, a retired Marine colonel, has a “church key” tale:

“I had the opportunity to work with the Swedish Army on a number of occasions while stationed in Europe.

“Well trained and equipped, the Swedes were also quite civilized and served beer during lunch (even during field training operations)!

“A thoughtful nuance was the fact that each Swedish soldier had a name tag that affixed to his/her pocket.

“Removing the name tag revealed a clever design — it also served as a ‘church key!’”

(I assume Swiss Army soldiers also have no problem opening stuff...)

Ads on openers

Joan Waguespack Barre, of Metairie, offers what I trust is the last word on this subject:

“I used the ‘church key’ while working in my parents’ business beginning at age 12 (rural area, no inspectors).

“I did not know until reading in your column that it is called a church key.

“I still have three, advertising Falstaff Beer, Regal Beer and a local automobile dealership.

“I use the point to pry tabs on cans that my 82-year-old arthritic fingers cannot lift.”

Absolution in autos

Barbara Gipson says, “Thursday’s column article on services offered from the convenience of our cars that included food, banking, ashes for Ash Wednesday and funeral viewing could also now include confessions.

“It would be offered as, ‘Drive in, toot and tell it.’”

D.C. bridges

Johnny Denenea says the bridge into Arlington Cemetery is the Arlington Memorial Bridge, not the Key Bridge, mentioned in the Friday column:

“I recently traveled to D.C. and visited Georgetown, and upon traveling across the Potomac to Rosslyn, Virginia, we used the Key (Francis Scott Key) Bridge, which connects Georgetown and Rosslyn, and not D.C. to Arlington Cemetery.”

Speaking of bridges

Katie Chamberlain, of New Orleans, says the “Car Strangled Spanner” nickname for a traffic-jammed bridge goes back a long way:

“The long bridge across Tampa Bay was called ‘The Car Strangled Spanner’ back when we lived in the area 25 years ago. The DJs on the radio called it that when giving traffic reports.”

Pete in print

Baton Rouge photographer John Musemeche knew the book Leslie Tassin was talking about at an LSU Board of Supervisors meeting.

The meeting took up the idea of a statue honoring Pistol Pete Maravich for his contributions to the university’s basketball program. Leslie told of a “vintage 1969” book with Pete on the cover.

John’s familiar with that book — because he and Steve Ellis put it out:

“We printed 10,000 copies, and sold out in a month,” says John, a sports reporter for the Morning Advocate at the time. The book was called simply “Maravich.”

“It was designed to be sold in the stands during games, and the price was $1,” says John. “It goes for way more than that now. I checked on Amazon and they said if you can find one, pay pretty much whatever is asked for it. Copies are very rare.”

Sans booze?

“As I was looking through the paper and enjoying your column on Ash Wednesday morning,” says Chuck, “I noticed that the Baton Rouge Crime Blotter didn’t have the normal list of ‘arrested on suspicion of DWI’ folks.

“Kinda made me wonder. Did everyone start Lent early by giving up alcohol?”

Special People Dept.

Mamie Ida Moore, of Hammond, who moved there from St. Helena Parish, celebrated her 93rd birthday on Friday, Feb. 12.

Nell Evans, of Zachary, celebrated her 90th birthday on Friday, Feb. 12.

The Rev. Alvin and Zenola Hall, of Ethel, celebrate their 70th anniversary on Monday, Feb. 15.

Thought for the Day

From Jimmy Varnado: “I was born with nothing, and still have the majority of it.”

No reminder needed

My decidedly better half has been dropping gentle hints about our upcoming anniversary — and to tell the truth, I’m glad she’s reminding me. The alternative is not pleasant to contemplate.

That clever Ben Valentine needs no such memory-jogging. He and wife, Jody, were married on Valentine’s Day in 1966.

(Lady K and I were married the day before the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade that year, but that’s no help...)

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.