Bennie Hughes says our memories of small-town banks and bankers reminded him of the time he discovered his son was an expert negotiator:

"My teenage son Jason went into a bank in Denham Springs to negotiate a used truck loan, knowing I knew the vice president well.

"To close the deal, he threw in an offshore trip out of Grand Isle — with me as guide and captain. He got the truck loan.

"I was out of state working at the time."

Sock it to 'em

Jack Carmena, of Baton Rouge, says, "Years ago, I was sent to an iron ore mine complex deep in the mountains of Brazil. As I was there several days, I was put up in the mining company's guest house, and my meals provided.

"I could not speak Portuguese as the guest house workers did, and they could not speak English. We communicated with body language.

"They had exceptional coffee, and I attempted to tell them so.

"On my departure, they presented me with the coffee maker — a large flannel sock with a metal rim sewn into the top.

"They poured boiling water into the top, collected what dripped through the grounds, and served that for coffee.

"I’ll never forget that experience — you had to semi-chew the coffee…"

Laugh in your beer

Jo Ann Paulin, of Metairie, moves our discussion from coffee to beer:

"Reading about the Community Coffee commercials with the early Muppets, which I remember well, reminds me of the Jax beer commercials.

"They were cartoon characters voiced by Mike Nichols, who later became famous as a director, and his comedy partner, Elaine May.

"They were very funny, and I can still do the imitations and remember the words to this day. Maybe that’s the way we should teach our children — have them watch cartoons."

They were indeed great commercials and can still be viewed by going to "Jax beer commercials" on your computer's search engine.

The one with the kangaroo is my favorite. I won't give the punch line away, but if you haven't seen it, it's worth seeking out.

Happy 207th

Myrna B. Bergeron, of Baton Rouge, reminds us of a special day:

"On Tuesday, I'll be displaying my Louisiana state flag to celebrate Louisiana's 207th birthday. (Let's all do it!)

"On April 30, 1812, Louisiana became a state. Happy birthday, Louisiana!"

The music man

Alex "Sonny" Chapman, of Ville Platte, says, "Recent mentions of T. Harry Williams remind me of his great oral history biography of Huey Long.

"When Huey first began running 'his school,' LSU, he made major changes to the band. He said go heavy on the brass and light on the winds.

"Huey was never shy about anything, including 'his' band."

Hunker down!

The Farmers' Almanac has issued its annual weather predictions for summer and says this part of the country can expect "sultry and stormy" conditions.

The publication also says, "As far as tropical cyclones are concerned, it appears that the southeast U.S. will be exclusively in the crosshairs."

The venerable almanac predicts "an early season tropical disturbance" in late May, before the June 1 official beginning of hurricane season.

Also seen are a tropical storm in mid-June and, "following a lull in July and August," a hurricane threat "in mid-September and mid-October."

Political animal

"I think we all can relate to this old story," says Algie Petrere, of Central:

"While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year-old rancher, the doctor struck up a conversation with the him.

"Eventually the topic got around to political candidates. The old rancher said of one politician, 'Well, ya know, he is a post turtle.'

"Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a 'post turtle' was.

"The rancher said, 'When you're driving down a country road, you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top. You know they didn't get up there by themselves; they don't belong up there; they don't know what to do while they're up there, and you just wonder what kind of dummy put them up there to begin with.'"


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.