Since folks seem to be in a nostalgic mood, here's a tale I've told before but is worth repeating.

On one of those winter nights in New Orleans, when that wind off the river cuts like a knife, Lady Katherine and I were in Mandina's for po-boys when the door opened and two shivering guys stood there, gazing in dismay at the full restaurant.

"Won't you join us?" said Lady K, pointing to the two seats at our table, the only ones left in the whole place.

They were surprised, but very grateful. Turns out they were at a convention of folks who sell and repair high-end watches. Taking a cab from their downtown hotel, they asked the driver to take them to a place where locals ate. He drove out Canal Street to Mandina's.

We chatted about the watch business and things to do in New Orleans, and we advised them to order the shrimp and oyster po-boys. They were blown away by those sandwiches.

When their cabdriver came to pick them up, they thanked us profusely for the hospitality. And when we asked for our check, we learned they had paid for our dinner.

It was a fine night.     

Riding the Hound

Back when fewer folks had cars, it wasn't unusual to take a bus to another city for a day of shopping:

  • Marilyn Harvell DiDomenica says, "In the late ’40s, when I was 12 or 13, I lived about 9 miles south of Greensburg on La. 37, a gravel road.

"My mother and I would walk down the road to catch the Greyhound bus to Baton Rouge. We would shop, take our parcels to the bus terminal, check them, and go see a movie.

"We'd go to a restaurant, Tandy's. As I recall, it had pink fluorescent lights on the ceiling.

"Third Street was booming; filled with shoppers at that time."

  • Marsha R., of Baton Rouge, says, "Here’s my memory of New Orleans in 1952. I lived in Covington, and we would ride the Greyhound to Canal Street. A very l-o-n-g trip — no Causeway.

"On Canal Street we would walk all the way down one side and back up the other, stopping in every store along the way. After we had made the round trip we began again, trying to remember which store had the item we wanted at the best price. This was never easy.

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"The trip always ended at Kraus, where we would buy fabric, because my mother could make anything I wanted better than what the stores were selling. Then we took that long ride home."

Count on it

After my Monday story about the tedious job of counting mosquitoes, I heard from Randy Vaeth, of the East Baton Rouge Parish Department of Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control:

"You are absolutely correct! Counting the mosquitoes in a trap can be very tedious. However, we do cheat just a little sometimes. If the trap has more than 500 mosquitoes, we take a sample (or aliquot) and then multiply by the corresponding factor.

"We round the numbers off, since precision isn’t that important when dealing with anything over 500."

Special People Dept.

  • Elodie Dunn, of Azalea Estates assisted living facility in Gonzales, celebrates her 100th birthday Tuesday, Nov. 2.
  • Mary Sue Meador, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 92nd birthday Tuesday, Nov. 2. She was a cheerleader at Istrouma High School and also at LSU.

Triggering a groan

"My wife tells me all the time that I’m not funny, I beg to differ," says Earl Newman, of Baton Rouge.

"For instance: I’m watching the Saints game and she asks me where the candy is.

"I say, 'What for?'

"She says, 'For trick or treat.'

"I say, 'Why in the world would they make a special day just because Roy Rogers wants to reward his horse for helping him catch the bad guys?'

"So now I’m trying to remember the code for the lock box to get a key for the house!"

By the way, Earl, I agree with your wife.


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.