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It is the mission of this column to bring cheer to those worried about their life and LSU football, not necessarily in that order. 

So we welcome the note from Earl Newman, of Baton Rouge, reminding us that LSU athletes can excel in other sports, some of them of a quite lucrative nature:

"Sam Burns, LSU alum golfer, just won his second tournament this year. His $1,260,000 first prize for this one goes along with his $900,000 for a second place finish at the end of last year.

"C'mon football fans, there are other reasons to be proud of our flagship university, my alma mater, while we wait for the inevitable turnaround by the beloved football team."

Home coaching

"By the way, Coach O," says the above-mentioned Earl Newman, "I'm offering my unsolicited expertise if you're interested, at no charge.

"Just so you know, I'm extremely accurate at calling successful offensive and defensive strategies while watching on TV.

"Of course it's usually after the play on the field is over — but that should count for something, don't you think?"

In a word

Bill Huey, of Baton Rouge, comments on Yogi Naquin's Wednesday description of an idyllic Sunday afternoon meal in Chauvin:

"Smothered sausage and potatoes on fresh French bread and topped with cane syrup. You think there is such a thing as Cajun umami?"

Bill says he always thought "unami" was just one of those fancy foodie words.

He says, "Now I wonder."

Thrill ride

Tuesday's story about the old Stearman biplanes used as crop dusters brought back this memory.

The summer before my senior year at LSU, I worked as a reporter and feature writer for the Clarksdale, Mississippi, Press-Register, a small daily. My family was living there, and my dad let the publisher know I was available and would work cheap.

One assignment was to interview a crop duster about his often dangerous job. After the interview, he said since he was through for the day, he'd take me for a ride in his Stearman biplane. I should have known something was up, the way he and his buddies were smiling. But I was young and naïve.

He gave me the works: over power lines, under power lines, skimming tree tops, etc. When he finally set down and we rolled to a stop, he was grinning. I was not …

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That was the last free plane ride I ever had. Believe me, it's better to pay for them. 

Hollywood cheers

Charlanne C. Cress, of Zachary, says, "Reading in your column that Mary Sue Meador, former Istrouma High and LSU cheerleader, celebrated her 92nd birthday Tuesday brought back fond memories of her leadership and cheerleading skills.

"In 1987, the movie, 'Everybody’s All-American,' starring Dennis Quaid, was being filmed in Baton Rouge.

"Mary Sue was the official backstage coach of the LSU cheerleaders. I was one of five extras in the movie as an LSU cheerleader of the 1950s.

"Mary Sue was a wonderful cheerleaders' coach. I just wish we could have kept the vintage uniforms, especially the 'L' sweater and the saddle oxford shoes. And, of course, the yellow socks!"

Holiday on bread

Keith Horcasitas, of Baton Rouge, our unpaid Yat reporter, tells of a good cause in his former city:

Parkway Bakery & Tavern, New Orleans' legendary poorboy (they don't call them po-boys) place, came up with a sandwich designed for those who want to have their Thanksgiving dinner on the run.

The 11-inch Thanksgiving poorboy is "filled with roast turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce."

Parkway is selling them to support the Al Copeland Foundation to defeat cancer. It's part of their annual #IDidItForTheTurkey fundraiser.

By the way, they haven't forgotten the sweet potato; you can get them in the form of fries.

Sorry, there just wasn't room for the pecan pie …

Fright night

Glenn "Monster Masher" Balentine, of Prairieville, offers this post-Halloween story:

"My friend Malcolm had a scary Halloween costume. He dressed as 'Gluten' and walked through Whole Foods scaring the customers."

That's as frightening as walking through the vegan foods section dressed as a T-bone steak …

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.