Gail Stephenson, of Baton Rouge, says, "During elementary school, the music teacher came to our classroom weekly for a lesson in American folk songs, like 'Erie Canal' and 'Shoo Fly.'

"This usually consisted of her playing a 33 rpm record of Burl Ives, and the class singing along.

"My grandmother was very sensitive about her age; we never celebrated her birthday, and the grandkids never even knew what day it was.

"I swear I was innocent when on her 60th birthday, right under her kitchen window, I belted out the class folk song of the week, 'The Old Gray Mare (She Ain't What She Used to Be).’ ”

The cleanup lady

Cleo Lambert says, "On Thursday morning our street, Board Drive in Baton Rouge's Old Jefferson area, was experiencing flooding.

"A young mom named Courtney came outside to move her car to a drier part of the street and observed the situation.

"Some of us were just talking when we realized she was out there with boots on and a rake, picking up both trash cans and recycling cans, plus items that had fallen out of the cans. She was using the rake to clean out trash around the drains.

"She did this up and down the street for over an hour in that hot, steamy weather. She also helped another mom, who had three children. Courtney picked up one of the small children and carried her piggyback to a home.

"Only a few of us realized this happened, as most neighbors were at work. Thank you, Courtney. You are a blessing."

Place of heroes

Terry Dantin, of Thibodaux says the D-Day observance "brought memories of my trip to Normandy in 2010.

"On the tour bus trip back to Paris, after visiting the beaches and the cemeteries, I was so moved by the experience, and upon reflecting on what happened on these historic sites, I wrote a poem, 'Normandy…Our Heroes Are Still There.’ ”

The poem says, in part:

"I saw Omaha Beach, trying to imagine his scare,

the soldier running, crawling on knees and hands

as he struggled across these hellish sands...

The soldier is gone now, the beaches are still there…

I saw thousands of crosses aligned with great care,

rows of white monuments to those who fell,

those now in heaven having first gone through hell…

The soldier is gone now, our heroes are still there."

Stocking coffee

Toni Bennett, of Lafayette, offers a coffee story:

"When my husband was a student at USL (now UL) in the early ’60s, Ms. Peterson, the housemother in his dorm, made coffee for students studying for finals.

"She would put coffee grounds in a clean stocking, tie it, then pour very hot water over it to brew coffee in a large pan.

"She kept it going all night for her boys to enjoy with homemade cookies."   

Nutty pronunciation

Bill Huey says, about our discussion of the phrase "gone pecan:"

"It reminded of the latest Arby's commercial for its pecan chicken salad, which the spokesperson calls, in true Yankee fashion, 'pee can chicken salad.'

"I never liked that style of chicken salad."

Seafood saying

Wayne Weilbaecher, of Covington, comments after reading about the saying "gone pecan":

"Louisiana has many sayings. I remember one from when I was young.

"My grandfather used a saying instead of 'goodbye,' every time he left the room.

"He would laugh and tell us, 'See you in the gumbo with the rest of the crabs.’ ” 

Boston too?

Shooter Mullins says "gone pecan" isn't just a Louisiana thing:

"It caught on because the two words rhyme; not only in Baton Rouge but in Boston also."

Satisfaction…

…is scoring two tickets for the Rolling Stones' July 14 concert in the Superdome, as William and Mary Ann Haynie did; then appearing on New Orleans TV Channel 8 to tell of the achievement.

Special People Dept.

  • Pearl Broussard Gaidry, of Lafayette, celebrated her 90th birthday Sunday, June 9.
  • Larry and Claire Landry, of Baton Rouge (of Arabi before Katrina), celebrate their 60th anniversary Monday, June 10.

Louisiana Haiku

From Pat Cougevan, ode to a Louisiana summer:

"Standing at the sink

Cold water takes forever

Summertime is here!"


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.