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There are those who say Baton Rouge, compared to New Orleans, is not a terribly exciting city.

They are right …

Ruth Brown says this has long been the case: 

"Regarding the pleasant aromas of baked bread, roasted coffee and Jack's cookies, I, too, loved all three.

"My family moved from New Orleans to Baton Rouge in 1923, and we did not have a car. When relatives visited from 'The City,' as New Orleans was called, they were taken on a tour of Baton Rouge.

"The tour was a streetcar ride from Main Street with a right turn on to Dufrocq Street (North 19th), another right turn on to Government Street, another right turn on to Lafayette Street, and back to Main Street.

"What an exciting time for all."

Student survival

Nick Delaune, of Prairieville, says, "The Wednesday story from Paul Major brought back memories from my first apartment at LSU. It was at the intersection of Ivanhoe and State Street.

"Three of us crowded into a one-bedroom apartment, paying $33 a month each, utilities included.

"One of my favorite meals while living there was going to the old Burger Chef on Highland Road and filling up a bag with as much as it would hold from the 99-cent salad bar. The three of us would all have enough to eat.

"We truly thought we were living a life of luxury. And maybe we were."

Vanishing loaves

Sheryl Bourdier Sherlock, of Baton Rouge, tells of growing up in Houma as one of six children:

"We came to Baton Rouge frequently to visit our maternal grandparents and family. This was before 'the new bridge,' so we rode the Plaquemine ferry.

"My mother would always time our departure from Baton Rouge on Sundays so we would get to the bakery in Napoleonville just as the French breads were coming out of the oven.

"Our father would go in and get two or three loaves of those wonderful yummy breads! All bread — and crumbs — were gone in no time."

Bread and bacteria

In the Wednesday column, Russ Wise waxed nostalgic about salt-rising bread from his West Virginia youth.

I mentioned that in Appalachia a bacteria was used in place of yeast in making a starter for the bread.

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Turns out, according to Popular Science, the bacteria, clostridium perfringens, is "a close relative of bacteria that cause botulism, tetanus, and food poisoning."

A "safe" version allows milk, cornmeal (or wheat flour), with a little salt, to ferment overnight, until it smells really awful. This is the starter for the bread.

OK, so we have something that smells bad and can kill you. But other than that … 

Crystal clear

"Who knew there was an LSU gemstone?" asks Marsha R., of Baton Rouge.

She found some stunning purple and gold ametrine crystal jewelry on the Google shopping site and suggests that this would be an excellent Christmas gift for the Tigers fan in your life.

(And no, I get no percentage from any sales …)

Special People Dept.

Judy and Charlie Sutherland, of Slidell, formerly of Baton Rouge, celebrate 60 years of marriage Thursday, Oct. 28.

Tastes like chicken

Alex "Sonny" Chapman, of Ville Platte, says, "Being Cajuns, the folks at Sacred Heart High School in Ville Platte just had to work in a cooking angle for their game with archrival St. Edmund's Blue Jays from nearby Eunice.

"Somebody came up with the cheer, 'We want gumbo! Blue Jay gumbo!'"

Watch your language

Sheila Hebert comments on our mention of the Cajun expression "get down" for exiting a vehicle:

"Using that term was very dangerous for a 16-year-old and her new boyfriend.

"I was dating a boy from New Orleans not familiar with our Cajun meaning.

"While we were enjoying a drive-in movie, my boyfriend asked if I wanted popcorn. I answered yes and he started to get out of the car.

"Then, as he opened the door and got out, I asked if he wanted me to get down. He quickly got back in the car.

"That city boy had a totally different meaning in mind! He was very disappointed!"

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.