John Currier says, "You know you are from Louisiana when you are watching the Virgin Galactic space launch and all you can think about is how big a pot of crawfish you could cook with that rocket."

Edwin memories

Everybody else is telling stories about their encounters with Edwin Edwards, so I guess I should too.

When I was covering business news for the Morning Advocate, I went to New York for his address to the American Petroleum Institute.

He had just been elected, and the movers and shakers of the industry didn't quite know what to expect from this populist Democrat.

As usual, he was charming and witty, telling Cajun stories and assuring his audience that Louisiana loved the oil and gas industry and welcomed offshore drilling. It was quite a performance.

After I left business news for showbiz, I would see him annually at the Gridiron Show, a roasting of politicians by Capitol correspondents and other media types.

It was here I saw another example of his quick wit.

After the show, the news people in the cast presented him with an engraved plaque saying, "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS." (Except initials were not used.)

Looking at the plaque, he brought the house down when he said, "Now if we only had a press corps that knew the difference."

Planning ahead

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, was active in Louisiana politics before he gained fame as a contributor to this column.

As sheriff and DA in Assumption Parish, he got to know the state's leaders, including Edwin Edwards:

"There are many stories about 'The Guv,' but one of the best is my own experience with him on a hunting trip to Colorado.

"While we're walking through the airport in New Orleans, and then later at the airport in Colorado, he told everyone we passed, 'Hello,' and continued walking.

"I said, 'Guv, why are you telling all these people you don’t know hello?'

"His unbelievably quick-witted response was, 'You never know who is going to be on your jury.'"

Foreign intrigue

Edie Bender, of Baton Rouge, contributes to our discussion of accents:

"Many, many years ago, when my daddy was in college, he studied German as a foreign language. He wanted to be a doctor, and at that time the most advances being made in medicine were in English-speaking countries or in Germany.

"Fast-forward 40-plus years. Mom and Dad loved to travel, especially to Italy. Daddy had a tutor help him learn to speak Italian. His vocabulary was good, his accent not so much.

"Not once, but twice while in Italy, he asked someone a question in Italian only to have them reply in German.

"When he asked why they responded in German, sadly he was told that only a German could speak Italian so poorly!"

Gourmet snacks?

Yogi Naquin, of Bayou Blue ("Down da bayou"), asks, "Where could someone with 50 cents in their pocket go to a movie, get a pop and a box of popcorn, a candy bar and an ice cream cone?"

His answer: "At the Rex Theater in Chauvin ('Way down da bayou') back in the 1950s.

"Amazing how times have changed. About a year and a half ago I went to the movie 'Ford v Ferrari.' After my ticket was paid for, at the concession stand, I asked for a medium popcorn and a medium Dr Pepper. Gave the young lady a 20-dollar bill. Got back $1.30.

"Oh, I miss the Rex!"

Special People Dept.

Lloyd Schroeder, of Gonzales, formerly of Harahan, celebrates his 96th birthday Wednesday, July 14.

Hola, y'all

Scott Simonson, of Kenner, says, "Two weeks ago my wife and I headed to Wiggins, Mississippi, to rent a cabin for the weekend.

"In our car were our twin 4-year-olds, Olivia and Charlie.

"The lady who handed us the key through the check-in window had a very heavy country accent. I asked my wife if she understood half of what the lady said — at which point our granddaughter Olivia piped in with, 'That's because she's Spanish!'"


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.