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Some songs have a special meaning …

Peter J. Bourgeois, of Opelousas, recalls the 1944 Cole Porter song, "Don't Fence Me In," a hit for Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters:

"During World War II, there was a German prisoners' camp in Port Allen. Some of the prisoners worked on Smithfield Plantation, which my father managed.

"When the war ended and the Germans went home, one of them wrote to us saying, 'For the rest of my life, my favorite song will be "Don't Fence Me In."'"  

What's that sound?

One of the joys of matrimony is the opportunity to play little tricks on your beloved.

Alex Crochet, of Abbeville, tells this "Gotcha!" story:

"Many years ago, when I was stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, we discovered a mice problem in our house.

"So out came a bunch of little mouse traps, strategically placed in the kitchen.

"Around 11 one night, one of them snapped off. My wife, Jo Ann, woke me up from a dead sleep and told me to go check the mouse traps and dispose of any contents.

"Grumbling, I said it could wait till morning. She insisted that I do it immediately. Dutifully, I got up, went to the kitchen, found the trap and its contents, and threw the whole thing in the backyard.

"I came back in the kitchen, went to the garbage disposal and turned it on, momentarily, knowing she would hear the sound.

"When I went back to bed, Jo Ann was sitting up. She said, 'You didn’t!'

"I responded, 'What?'

"After a good laugh we went back to sleep."

Luxury living

LSU students who attended LSU in the days of Tiger Stadium dormitories and Married Student Housing will no doubt weep a bit when they read this observation from Paul Major, of Livonia:

"I read recently where a developer is planning on building new student apartment housing near LSU. The apartments will have granite counters, flat-screen TVs, washers and dryers. The complex will have a pool, gym, and private study rooms.

"I don't know about you, but when I was at LSU my apartments I shared on State Street and Nicholson Drive didn't have those amenities.

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"Of course, my share of the monthly rent was $35 …"

Salty search

"Stories about fresh baked bread brought this to mind," says Russ Wise, of LaPlace:

"I grew up in West Virginia. My grandfather would take me occasionally to a small bakery in Huntington, where he would buy a loaf of salt-rising bread. It made the world's best-tasting toast.

"It must've been an Appalachian thing; I can't find any around here."

Well, I'm not Heloise, Russ, but here's what my researcher, Mr. Google, found: 

"Salt-rising bread is a dense white bread that was widely made by early settlers in the Appalachian Mountains, leavened by naturally occurring clostridium perfringens and other bacteria rather than by yeast."

A few stores in the Baton Rouge area are listed as possible sources, and in the New Orleans area Whole Foods may have it. There are also recipes if you want to make it yourself. (Although where you get clostridium perfringens around here is not clear …)

Special People Dept.

— Evelyn Mckay, of Mobile, Alabama, celebrates her 101st birthday Wednesday, Oct. 27. She is a native and former resident of Bogalusa.

— Luther L. Hunt, of Port Allen, celebrates his 97th birthday Wednesday, Oct. 27. He is a retired Navy veteran and World War II Silver Star recipient.

Musical groaners

Lynn Cauley says these are original:

"My violinist friend was so depressed he jumped over a clef. I heard later it was because of his wife's incessant harping."

Modest ambition

Yogi Naquin, of Bayou Blue, says, "I was listening to the K-LOVE radio station when the discussion topic was William Shatner, at 90, being the oldest person to fly in a rocket into space.

"The question was thrown out, 'What would you like to do at age 90?'

"One caller said sky dive; a couple of people said other things.

"I couldn't get through, but my answer would have been, 'Breathe.'"


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.