Buck Bertrand says the story about pro wrestling in the Thursday column jogged his memory:

"While I was living in Lawtell, a small town just west of Opelousas, during the early 1960s, not all homes had a TV.

"An invitation from a TV home owner to a non-TV owner and family was a special occasion, especially when wrestling was scheduled.

"On one of those occasions a family invited their neighbors and their three children to watch the wrestling.

"The oldest was a boy 16 or 17 years old who was a big wrestling fan. The boy really got involved in the action, and even started performing the different choke holds on himself.

"He continued choking himself, fell out the old rocking chair, flopping onto the floor like a chicken, then rolled out the screen door and off the back porch and passed out.

"No, that family was never invited back during wrestling."

Life before TV

Algie Petrere, of Central, says her Friday column item about the old days, when you had to "walk through 9 feet of shag carpet to change the TV channel" actually applied to her children:

"According to most young people today, I was actually more 'deprived' than that. We didn't have shag carpeting…we didn't have a TV.

"My sisters and I made our own fun. We cut paper dolls out of the Sears catalog and made cars from boxes.

"When Grandma built a fire to wash the clothes outside, we would pretend to cook dinner, making mud pies and canning peas (chinaberries).

"We were only limited by our imaginations. We didn't have a lot of material things, but we had a lot of love. I wouldn't trade that for all the technology today."

Which remind me

Algie's mention of chinaberries brings back a painful childhood memory.

Those trees, which seemed to be in every yard when I was growing up in Natchez and Baton Rouge, produced a hard little ball the size of a marble.

You could take a hollow piece of cane and fashion a plunger what would shoot the balls out at speeds hard enough to raise a welp on your victim.

"Chinaberry wars" were common, and an event to be avoided if at all possible.  

Inquiring Minds Dept.

Marvin Borgmeyer says, "Just wondering — how do they put up the 'Do not walk on the grass' sign?"

Special People Dept.

  • Rosa Daigle, of Watson, celebrates her 92nd birthday Monday, Aug. 5.
  • Ronnie and Pat Domas celebrated 56 years of marriage (and Pat's birthday) Saturday, Aug. 3.
  • James and Virginia Bernos, of Country Cottage in Montz, "high school sweethearts at Warren Easton High School" in New Orleans, celebrated their 50th anniversary July 27.

Beetle cowhands

Andree Herrington, of Metairie, continues our stories about the VW Beetle:

"In the 1970s my husband John bought a Beetle as a second car.

"My young children loved his car, so we decided to drive it one weekend to visit friends in Lafayette.

"On the way, my husband decided to take a short cut on the levee to Breaux Bridge.

"We were enjoying the view and making great time until we found ourselves in the middle of a herd of Brahman cattle.

"They were eye to eye with us in the Beetle and in no hurry to move. Finally they got bored with us and wandered off.

"My children will never forget that ride. Some short cut!"

Childspeak revisited

Gail Stephenson, of Baton Rouge, says, "After a rain shower, granddaughter Zelda, almost 5, found a puddle under our banana plants and rolled around in it until she was covered in mud.

"When it was time to go home, her mom decided to hose her down. As Zelda watched the mud dissolve, she declared  the hose 'was like a mud eraser, leaving you shiny and clean.'"

Time trip?

Speaking of kids:

Mary Sue Meador says great-granddaughter, Nora, 2½, "had been saying all week (we thought) that her daddy had gone to Seattle.

"When he returned, she asked him, 'Did you see Eve?'

"She was saying her daddy had gone on an airplane to 'see Adam.'" 


Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.