Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, says, "My fondest memory of Kathleen Blanco was the night I met with her husband 'Coach' Raymond and a pollster who had run a poll prior to my election as district attorney.

"My poll numbers were horrendous: 42 percent for the incumbent and 7 percent for me. I was told by Coach and the pollster that this gap was insurmountable!

"I told everyone I wanted to run no matter what the poll numbers were. As we left her home she said to me, 'You have to do what’s in your heart!'

"She was later responsible for my appointment to the LSU Board of Supervisors, where she never once asked me to vote any particular way on any issue!"

Exporting gators

Marsha R., of Baton Rouge, offers this suggestion for bringing money into our state from the Frozen Nawth:

"While in Colorado last week I read about 'Colorado Gators Reptile Park,' a rescue sanctuary in Alamosa.

"It seems in 1977 the owners moved to Colorado to raise tilapia, because the site had thermal springs that made for optimum fish farming.

"Then they bought 100 small alligators to eat the leftover fish bits after the tilapia were filleted. In no time all that thermal heat produced very large, healthy alligators.

"Soon curious visitors began to drop in to see the amazing creatures they had heard about.

"Eventually people began bringing them all manner of pet reptiles to rehabilitate, and they became a bird preserve and educational park as well.

"So it seems there is still money to be made exhibiting alligators to the masses. And here we are sitting on a fortune if we but knew it.

"I’m thinking about a 'Traveling Gator Extravaganza' moving through the Northern Wastes, separating their residents from their cash and educating them simultaneously."

Arms race

Our stories about popgun wars using chinaberries as ammo brought this information from two former warriors:

Donald Landaiche, of Donaldsonville, says the ideal popgun is made from an 8-inch section of an elderberry branch:

"The core is a soft pulp, and removed easily with a wire. It is a perfect size for the chinaball ammunition. We would make a plunger from a broomstick."

Michael LeBlanc, of Gonzales, concurs about the use of an elderberry branch, but he used an oak dowel rather than a broomstick:

"My Uncle Raoul showed me how to make this Cadillac of popguns," he says. "I still have one of my original guns from the '50s."

Special People Dept.

  • Ida Maye Huard, of Metairie, celebrates her 96th birthday Saturday, Aug. 24. She is a former yoga instructor and local Senior Olympics swim champion.
  • Elwood Schexnayder, of Destrehan, celebrates his 95th birthday Sunday, Aug. 25. He is a World War II Army veteran and a retired employee at the Shell plant in Norco.
  • George and Ethel Sexton, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 69th anniversary Saturday, Aug. 24.
  • Denise and Paul Mayeaux, of Mandeville, celebrate their 50th anniversary Friday, Aug. 23.
  • Terry and Steve Guidry celebrate their 50th anniversary Friday, Aug. 23, "in beautiful Arkansas, site of a modest but wonderful honeymoon."

Finders keepers

Vallan Corbett reminds us that kids aren't the only ones who search for loose change:

"When my husband and I married, my mother-in-law gave us her old vinyl couch.

"When men sat on it, their seat went down, their knees went up, and the change in their pockets rolled out and went behind the cushions.

"That was my treasure stash. In those days a loaf of bread was a quarter and a penny, so those recovered coins were much appreciated."

As the world tilts

Tim Cummings presents his theory on global warming:

"As our population continues to age, more and more of us have to get up to go to the bathroom around 2 a.m.

"All of these people moving in the same direction at the same time causes the earth to tilt on its axis and move it closer to the sun. Thus the reason for global warming.

"Do you think that my 'study' would qualify for federal funding?"

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.