Dudley Lehew, of Marrero, says, “Mention of train toots (in the Wednesday column) reminds me of a performer who imitated various kinds of sounds.

“In an interview on the Johnny Carson show, he said he rigged up a speaker behind his car’s grille and attached it to a microphone so he could have fun on the road.

“He said he was driving though a little town in the middle of nowhere around midnight after a gig, grabbed his microphone and imitated a train speeding through town at full speed.

“Since there were no train tracks within miles, he said, lights in every house started coming on!”

(Wouldn’t you love to have a train horn in your car to alert certain drivers of their shortcomings?)

Welcome to New York

One more grits story, but only because its picture of typical New York City food servers:

Sandy Huddleston, of Morgan City, says, “In March, 1982, some of my friends and I decided to go to New York City with my artist daughter for her college spring break, to enjoy art galleries and Broadway shows.

“We brought her 18-month-old daughter and her babysitter, Della, too.

“While ordering breakfast the next morning, Della told the waitress she would like eggs, bacon and grits.

“The New York waitress put her hands on her hips and said, ‘Now if I were a grit, what would I be?’”

(I can HEAR her saying that...)

The smart sex

Martha Wright disagrees with Marvin Borgmeyer, who in the Wednesday column said women don’t play football because they don’t want to all wear the same outfit:

“If he would look at the Golden Girls or the Tiger Dance Team, he would realize that we do go out in public together wearing the same outfit.

“The reason women don’t play football is because they are smart enough not to go around knocking each other out and injuring themselves. (Besides, if you really want to hurt someone, words are a much better weapon!)”

Full-service judge

Roy Pitchford, of Monroe, says, “Your mention of quickie marriages in Woodville, Mississippi, reminded me of a college friend who eloped with his girlfriend to a small East Texas town.

“The ‘judge’ waived the blood test and waiting period, called in a couple of friends to be witnesses and declared the couple married in about five minutes.

“‘If you’re ever back this way, come in and tell the old judge how happy you are,’ he told them. ‘But if it doesn’t work out, I can divorce you as quick as I married you.’”

Blame the water

John Carver, of New Orleans, says Woodville wasn’t the only Mississippi town known for its quick and easy marriages:

“I grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the early 1950s, and at age 20 (with an even younger lady) ran away to become Mr. & Mrs. at the well-known marriage mecca of Lucedale.”

Regarding Richard Guidry’s report in the Monday column of his Woodville marriage lasting 55 years, John says, “There must have been some difference in the water quality of Lucedale with that of Woodville — our union only lasted two and a half years.

“I moved to New Orleans, and even though the water tasted terrible to me at that time, it must have had some secret ingredient — there I met the girl of my dreams, and you were kind enough last October to mention our 55th anniversary!”

Nostalgia Corner

Stories of college days at Nicholls State reminded Nobey Benoit of good times there:

“I remember fondly going to the College Inn in Thibodaux, to research ‘Statistics and Probability.’

“We played Pedro there when all the tables at Beauregard Hall were occupied. The fact that beer was 25 cents had nothing to do with it. The good ol’ days!”

A flock of fun

The EYC (Episcopal Youth Community) at St. James Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge announces a “Flamingo Flocking FUNdraiser.”

For $25, “a flock of (plastic) flamingos will stealthily arrive at the address desired, and spend a few days cheering the lives of those around them.”

Visit stjamesbr.org or Marvin McLennon at mmclennon@stjamesbr.org. Proceeds benefit youth programs and mission trips.

Special People Dept.

Lena Segesta celebrates her 99th birthday on Thursday, Jan. 21.

Ship of fools?

Harry Clark, of Lafayette, tells this tale of his seafaring days:

“I was on a ship out of San Diego where it was decided that everyone would wear name tags. I passed them out at morning quarters, and instructed my division that they would be worn at all times.

“A couple of days later at quarters, I noticed a young lad was not wearing his name tag.

“‘Where is your name tag?’ I asked.

“He replied, ‘Oh, I memorized it and threw it away.’

“Sometimes it is difficult to maintain one’s composure when dealing with sailors.”

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.