Dear Smiley: I agree with Ray Schell (in Tuesday's column) about Huey Long’s most famous speech (under the Evangeline Oak in St. Martinville).

However, I think this quote, from the book "Huey Long" by T. Harry Williams, was more nationally significant for Huey:

“I’m for the poor man — all poor men, black and white, they all gotta have a chance. They gotta have a home, a job, and a decent education for their children. ‘Every man a king’ — that’s my slogan.”

TONY FALTERMAN

Napoleonville

Great Ideas Dept.

Dear Smiley: I heartily support Chris Metz' brilliant idea for a U.S.-Mexico border canal.

A canal could be patrolled by boat. A number of desalinization plants could provide water for a gulf-to-gulf oasis in which crops could be grown.

And the entire project would be funded, not by Mexico, but by Las Vegas, which would build a string of casinos.

The government shutdown would end; Vegas would rake in the (taxable) profits; illegal crossings would end; there might even be some good saltwater fishing.

What's not to like?

STEVE DOANE

Lafayette

Inflation victims

Dear Smiley: There are some old sayings that are outdated in today's world.

One is "I'll bet you a dollar to a doughnut," suggesting that you have a sure bet. Now, the person putting up the doughnut would question why they have to ante up such a large amount against a mere dollar?

Another is threatening to rat someone out with "I'll drop a dime on him." Young people would get bewildered, wondering where the dime comes into play.

I'm sure your readers can come up with many more.

ROY BLANCHARD

Denham Springs

Stardust memories

Dear Smiley: A few years ago, Annette and I were at a convention in New Orleans. The featured entertainer at the banquet was the pianist Roger Williams.

When we entered the elevator to take us downstairs, three men were inside. They seemed know each other.

I introduced myself, and Annette. To make conversation, I asked them, "Are y'all going down to hear Roger Williams?"

They looked at each other and smiled.

Finally, one of them extended his hand and said, "Sir, I am Roger Williams."

Nice man. He asked if he could play a song for us later, and we agreed on "Stardust."

THOMAS MURREL

Church Point

Honest folks

Dear Smiley: Another "hat in a restaurant" story:

One summer when I was 11, my family and my uncle’s family went on vacation together to Canada. The first day we stopped at a restaurant, the Glass House in Jackson, Mississippi.

My Dad, who always wore a fedora, hung his hat on the hat rack and forgot it.

Several months later we were back in Jackson for an LSU-Ole Miss game, and went to the Glass House again.

My dad’s hat was still on the rack.

TOM MADERE

LaPlace

Norwegian manners

Dear Smiley: Your readers’ stories about men’s hats and their removal while dining reminded me of the '30s, '40s, and '50s, when a huge fleet of shrimp boats utilized the docks of Morgan City, Berwick, and Patterson.

There were boat captains of many descents, but Norwegians were the most decisive about this issue.

Should a deckhand fail to remove his hat while eating, the rough old captains would remove it themselves and threaten to toss it overboard.

If there was a second time, the threat would be to throw the deckhand overboard.

F.C. "BUTCH" FELTERMAN

Patterson

Mamou connection

Dear Smiley: Your mention of a "small world" triggered this thought:

Some years ago a group of us had to go to Japan on business. One of the members was from Mamou.

When we were returning to the U.S., we were standing in front of the hotel in Tokyo waiting on the bus to the airport.

A couple of people walked up and were talking English, so we all chatted a bit. One of them asked us where we were from. My friend said he was from Mamou.

One of the other fellows said he knew exactly where that was, since he had hunted there with some friends. It turns out my friend and this guy had actually hunted together around Mamou.

It is a small world when someone in Tokyo knows about Mamou.

MICKEY CHRISTENSEN

Baton Rouge

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.