Craig M. Bennett, of Morgan City, adds to our stories of restroom situations:

"Some years ago I went to Tiger Stadium to watch an LSU football game.

"The restrooms in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center were open for tailgaters. There was a line for men and one for ladies, but of course the ladies' line was longer and slower.

"So finally some brave soul went into the men’s room, cleared out the men and let ladies in.

"After a few ladies went through and their line was down significantly, a friend went back in the men's room to make sure all the ladies were out.

"After he came back out to proclaim it clear, a man followed about 10 steps behind him.

"Evidently he had been in a stall the whole time and could not get out in time for the ladies. He got a loud cheer from them. He was a little embarrassed!"

Electrifying story

Barry Dufour, of Carencro, says, "As I read the Wednesday story about getting arrested for selling nails (in violation of the Sunday 'blue laws' of the past), I was reminded of something I used to do during that time.

"I was an electrician and was allowed to drive my company truck home full of parts. Since all the stores could not sell electrical parts on Sundays, people I knew, and some friends of those friends, would come over and I would loan them a switch, fuse, or anything else they needed.

"They would return the part(s) the next day, when they could buy it. It worked out well for all. They saved money on service calls, and I made a lot of new friends.

"I also picked up some new clients for the business I worked for."

The naked truth

Nancy C. Van Den Akker tells of one unintended consequence of Sunday blues laws:

"One weekend one of my little brothers was sick, and had thrown up on his clothes several times.

"My mother tried in vain to buy some clean pajamas, but it was Sunday and the store refused her pleas."

Special People Dept.

  • Edith Knotts Guillot, a native of Pierre Part and a longtime resident of Mobile, Alabama, celebrates her 105th birthday Saturday, Jan. 30.
  • Lena Torres, who served as St. Bernard Parish clerk of court for many years, celebrates her 100th birthday Friday, Jan. 29. The St. Bernard Parish government has proclaimed Friday “Lena Torres Day.”
  • Hewitt B. Gomez, of Lafayette, celebrated his 96th birthday Thursday, Jan. 28. He was an Air Force navigator with the "Carpetbaggers" in World War II, providing aerial supplies of weapons and other matériel to resistance fighters in France, Italy, and the Low Countries in 1944.
  • Ira Landry Jr., of Denham Springs, celebrates his 93rd birthday Saturday, Jan. 30. He is a World War II veteran.
  • Fay and Wayne Weilbaecher, of Covington, celebrate their 61st anniversary Saturday, Jan. 30. They were high school sweethearts.
  • Allen and Barbara Crochet, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 61st anniversary Saturday, Jan. 30.

Thought for the Day

From Marvin Borgmeyer, of Baton Rouge: "A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer."

My kind of town

After I mentioned Manitou Springs, Colorado, site of the Great Fruitcake Toss on Jan. 23, I heard from a reader about its Emma Crawford Coffin Races.

A story goes with it: 

Emma Crawford, a tuberculosis patient, arrived in Manitou Springs in 1889, hoping its clean air and mineral water would help her condition. It didn't; she died in 1891. But she loved the town, and requested burial atop Red Mountain, a famous peak.

Nearly 40 years later, winter and spring storms unearthed her coffin and send it zooming down the mountainside.

In honor of Emma and her mud-sliding coffin, the Chamber of Commerce started "the nation’s first-ever coffin race" in 1995. Around Halloween, teams of costumed runners push decorated coffins along a racecourse. Each coffin is occupied by an "Emma." A live one…

Fruitcake tosses and coffin races — what's not to love about that town?

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.