The Monday column, discussing foods from the ’50s — back before chickens had fingers, when Jell-O salad was considered a classy way to start a meal, and when you got water from the faucet, not a plastic bottle — drew comments adding to the list of differences between today’s cuisine and yesterday’s chow:

Jude LeBoeuf, of Kenner, says, “My friend Charlie reminded me (after reading the ‘Eating In The ’50s’ list) that buffaloes did not have wings back then.”

George McLean, of Metairie, says, “Going back past the ’50s: We didn’t have mirlitons or chayotes, but we did have vegetable pears. We didn’t have avocados, but we did have alligator pears.”

Jim Pitchford says, “Your mention of ‘no elbows on the table’ (in the ’50s) makes me recall that boys or men did not enter a restaurant with their hats on, much less sit down at the table with the hat on.

“Real men still don’t.”

Riding in style

And while we’re on a nostalgia kick, here’s one from Shelly Strobel:

“I was born in the old Baton Rouge General Hospital on Government Street.

“In those (olden) days, the moms and new babies stayed a week, and were sent home by ambulance.

“Funeral homes owned the ambulances.

“While he was a student at LSU, my cousin Embree Easterly, who worked part-time at Rabenhorst, drove my mom and me 20 miles to our home in Watson.

“Service today’s new moms can only dream about!”

Chemistry 101

James A. Culotta says our stories about sneaking contraband liquor into Tiger Stadium for football games moved him to confess that many years ago he used his wife’s purse to carry a pickle jar filled with ice cubes and Scotch into a game or two.

He says their friend Becky, who with her husband, Robert, sat with them, was a Scotch and soda drinker:

“She liked the idea and decided she would mix hers that way.

“At the next home game she came in cussing me.

“She mixed Scotch and soda in a pickle jar with ice and put it in her purse.

“On the way to the game, she heard an explosion in her purse.

“When she opened it there was broken glass, ice and her personal items saturated with Scotch and soda.

“Needless to say, her purse, and everything in it, was a mess — and it was my fault, of course.”

Ominous name

Chuck Falcon, of Donaldsonville, says our mention of chicken fingers “brought to mind a story that my friend John Beck recently told me.

“He said his three grandkids were each given baby chicks.

“They each named their chicks: one was named Chip, another Audrey and the third was named Nugget.

“Makes me wonder how Nugget is doing,” says Chuck.

Aging process

“Do I look older than I am?” asks Ernie Gremillion.

“Three separate past events may answer that question:

“Years ago I took my elderly mom to the beauty parlor every Friday morn, had coffee with the guys and picked her up later.

“On one occasion when I went to pick her up, the lady at the door advised me that my WIFE was not quite ready.

“Another time, I loaned a coworker a golf pull cart for a weekend round.

“On Monday he advised me he had returned the cart and left it on my carport, which he thought would be OK, since he said he saw my DAUGHTER in the kitchen.

“My daughter was living in New York then, and only my wife was home.

“And while having lunch with my daughter at a sidewalk cafe in New York, the waiter commented on how attractive my GRANDDAUGHTER was.

“In other words, I have been taken for my mother’s husband, my wife’s father and my daughter’s grandfather! Go figure.”

Worthy causes

Tonya Robertson says the Young Leaders Academy is collecting new stuffed animals and coloring books, plus donations of money, for “comfort giveaways” that Baton Rouge police officers can offer to children on crisis calls and in emergency situations.

Drop donations at the YLA office, 419 N. 19th St. You can contact them by email at

Special People Dept.

Laura Cotton celebrates her 96th birthday on Wednesday, Dec. 3.

No naugas either

“I can sympathize with the person looking for a mince to make pies from its meat,” says Doug Johnson, of Watson.

“I’ve searched all over for a faux to make my own fur and leather coats, to no avail.”

Collar explained

Karen Poirrier, of Lutcher, heard this story at Thanksgiving with family and friends in Gatlinburg, Tennessee:

At Bible School one Sunday morning a priest asked the students what his white collar meant.

A boy, approximately 6 years old, responded: “Kills ticks and fleas for up to three months.”

Contact 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.