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My favorite song about pot smoking is John Prine's "Illegal Smile." ("It don't cost very much, but it lasts a long while.") 

It was released in 1971, so it's a bit amazing to read that the Louisiana Legislature (as resistant to change as the House of Lords) has only taken 50 years to conclude that pot-induced smiles are no big deal, and locking up ganja users serves no useful purpose, unless you're in the incarceration business.

John is no longer with us, but I trust he would be amused at this unexpected turn of events.

As he told us a half-century ago, "Won't you please tell the man I didn't kill anyone; I'm just tryin' to have me some fun."

Growing pains

Speaking of reefer madness:

In The Advocate's Baton Rouge offices, there are front pages marking historic moments: World War II declared; man walking on the moon; Nixon resigning, etc.

There is a front page from Sept. 8, 1935, with the story of Huey Long being shot.

At the bottom of that front page is a small story headlined "Man admits growing marijuana in his backyard at home."

It tells of a gent living in the 1700 block of North Boulevard in Baton Rouge (I'm omitting his name and full address to avoid embarrassing surviving family members).

He was caught selling three "drug laden" cigarettes to another guy. A search revealed six more cigarettes and "a quantity of the loose drug."

The offender went to jail, of course. I'm not familiar with local drug laws in 1935, so I don't know if he's still there …

Failure to communicate

Edna Marie C. Sevin says, "As newlyweds of 18 months, Warren and I moved to Vera Street in downtown Houma with 6-month-old Frank.

"Neighbors in our age range were Nancy and Henry Schwartzenburg.

"I wanted their phone number, so I called information. In those days, the way to get a number was to call the operator and simply ask.

"Carefully, I pronounced the family name as 'Schwartz en Burg.'

"The answer was, 'Sorry, we have no Schwartz in Bourg.' (Bourg is a community south of Houma.)

"We all had a good laugh about the error, and I did get their phone number after I corrected the name."

Where To Go, What To Eat

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Haute cuisine?

Kenneth Holditch, of New Orleans, says, "Jennifer Wood's Tuesday description of her grandmother's recipe for green peas in roux solves a mystery for me: One of the specialty side dishes at Galatoire's used to be their version of petit pois served in a roux.

"Now I know the origin of that delicious dish, thanks to Ms. Wood."

Only yesterday

Russ Wise, of LaPlace, says this to Yogi Naquin, who started a Wednesday story with "Many years ago, around 1980 …"

"Yogi, 1980 wasn't 'many years ago' to a lot of us."

One-shot Steve

Art Grimes says, "A golf buddy of ours, Steve Ligh, 83, hit a hole-in-one last week on the 13th hole at LSU with a 9 iron.

"It was Steve’s 10th hole-in-one! What a magnificent achievement! If you make one in a lifetime, it's luck. Ten requires incredible talent. Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus had three each …

"Steve's senior golf buddies, Henry Rybolt, Paul Leslie, Ruben Alcala, and I witnessed this. We've been playing together twice a week since 2011."

Special People Dept.

  • Rosemary Courtney, of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 99th birthday Saturday, June 5.
  • Sharon and Pat McCarthy, of Lafayette, celebrate their 54th anniversary Thursday, June 10.

Musical interlude

Charles Story says when he played basketball at Clarke College in Newton, Mississippi, there was a special table for athletes in the dining hall, "because we pigged out more.

"With urging from me, we'd bellow out our favorite song:

"'We de boys of Clarke Institute; we no smoke, we no drink, and we no chew, and we no go with girls that do … we no have any girlfriends!'"

Well, Charles, with a song like that, it's no wonder …   

Mr. Ecumenical

Bill Plunkett, of Slidell, says, "Every once in a while someone will ask me, 'What is your religion?'

"I say to them, 'Pedestrian. I walk into any church.'"


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.