Smiley Anders sig 2012.jpg

Beverly Bulligan, of Kenner, says, "When my granddaughter, Courtney Bayer, was about 5 years old, she wrote a letter to Santa, asking him to please bring her a 'My Little Pony.'

"She was very mindful of Santa's budget, as she enclosed a coupon for $5 for her 'little pony.'"

Time in a jar

Our seminar on local bakeries brought this bit of nostalgia from Kirk Guidry, of Baton Rouge:

"My grandfather was born on Grand Isle. He moved to Berwick, but we would go to a camp on Grand Isle often during the summer.

"My favorite memory is this: Before we would leave to go down there, my grandmother would put a stick of butter in a Mason jar and put it in the car.

"We then would time our trip to be at Dufrene's Bakery in Golden Meadow when we could get their hot French bread.

"Then we would take the soft butter out of the jar, spread it on the bread and eat hot buttered bread until we got to the island.

"Great memories — 'If we could save time in a bottle.'"

Dinner in a can

Thanks to Bill Huey, of Baton Rouge, for this solution to your holiday dinner worries. After he learned from Stephen Colbert that Heinz in the UK is offering "Christmas in a can," he checked with the British newspaper The Guardian and found details:

"The dinner, or more accurately soup, from Heinz, contains 'big chunks' of turkey, pigs in blankets, Brussel sprouts, stuffing balls, and potatoes, with a gravy and cranberry sauce."

"Heinz will produce only 500 cans of its Christmas Dinner Big Soup this year, but has hinted it could roll out greater numbers next year if it proves a hit with shoppers."

Bill adds, "This proves that the Brits will eat anything if it has gravy."

Driving to distraction

Paul Major, of Livonia, says, "We always see those car and truck commercials where the drivers are speeding through cities, or on single-lane highways, or on mountain roads, and they turn to talk to us, presumably in the passenger seat, extolling the virtues of that particular vehicle.

Where To Go, What To Eat

Each week we'll highlights the best eats and events in metro Baton Rouge. Sign up today.

"I wonder if I'm the only one who, at least mentally, is saying 'Keep your eyes on the road!'"

The Anderson Curse

"When I was young, it seemed like my dad had to work on the family car almost every week," says Charlie Anderson, of Shreveport.

"His tools consisted only of pliers, a couple of screwdrivers and some 'knuckle buster' adjustable wrenches. On vintage '30s and '40s cars, everything that needed repair or replacing — starters, generators, fuel pumps, U-joints — was in the most unreachable position, and rusted in place.

"More than once I heard him say, 'The SOB that made this ought to make one more and drop dead.'"

Shelter and more

Jude T. Benfatti Sr., of Slidell, says, "Thank God for family and Ocean Springs, Mississippi."

He says that when he and his wife Cindy lost power during Hurricane Ida, they had to find electricity quickly — he's on oxygen 24/7 for COPD.

His brother John had a generator, so they stayed three days with him, but no AC proved a problem for Jude's condition, so they wound up at the home of Cindy's brother Auggie Luthjens and wife Gwen in Ocean Springs.

Jude adds, "Gulf Hills Country Club had many storm victims staying there. Several members put the word out, and the town stepped up and sent food — three meals a day, snacks, treats … and they didn't forget about our pets. They treated everyone like family."        

Special People Dept.

— Vernon and Shirley Strickland, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 65th anniversary Wednesday, Nov. 17.

— Landry and Genevie Camardelle, of Waggaman, celebrate 65 years of marriage Wednesday, Nov. 17.

— Laurie and Russ Kercher, of Mandeville, celebrate their 59th anniversary Wednesday, Nov. 17.

A different pace 

Shirley Best says you know you're getting old when you can stop worrying if you forget to turn off your motion sensor alarm — you no longer move fast enough to activate it.

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