With the election coming up Saturday, this story from Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, is especially timely:

"Many, many years ago, when very few people voted absentee, a candidate for constable in a very rural area of Assumption Parish lost an election by one vote.

"To insure that his family would not miss the election day vote, he had his wife and daughter vote absentee.

"In those days, the absentee ballots were brought to the precinct on election day and opened by the commissioners, so everyone pretty much knew who voted and how they voted.

"It seems this candidate lost the election because there were only three absentee ballots, and two were for his opponent! Either momma, or daughter, or both, didn’t like family politics!"

Junk mail blues

Jerome Thomas Gardiner, of Walker, says, "I have been pulling my hair out trying to find a creative way to take these slick-surfaced political ads I get in the mail and make something with them.

"I have probably thrown 10 to 15 pounds away, and there has to be something I can do with them. Anyone with an idea?

Silent treatment

Ricky Sizeler, of Destrehan, says, "I have my own solution to the non-ending TV political commercials. It’s called the mute button."

The hole truth

Our mention of golfing holes-in-one reminded Elaine Gauthreaux that you don't have to be an elite golfer to make them:

"My late husband Tommy was an avid golfer. He wasn’t a great golfer, just avid.

"In his lifetime he made two holes-in-one — one was at LSU, witnessed by Eugene Robert Jr. and Larry Stewart, and one at Webb Park in Baton Rouge, witnessed by Mike Sommers, and Surassak Supatanasinsem. (My husband never could pronounce his name, so he called him 'Sok.')

"All of his golf buddies are missing him."

Hug a teacher

Carolyn Lantz says, "I am a former teacher, long retired (from St. James Episcopal Day School in Baton Rouge).

"The other day, while I was leaving a restaurant a good-looking young man walked over and gave me a big hug while saying, 'You don't know who I am, but I know who you are!'

"Turned out to be one of my precious former first graders. Those were 'my' children for nine months and I loved them all. It's nice to be remembered. And thanks for lunch!"

Showbiz memories

Marie Merrill, of Baton Rouge, says nostalgia items about Baton Rouge's downtown Paramount Theater jogged her memory:

"As a child, I attended the Saturday morning shows — stage shows, movies, and drawings for Betty Boop dolls (I never won one).

"Many celebrities performed on the Paramount stage: Guy Lombardo and his orchestra, and a famous cowboy (I think it was Tom Mix) and his horse.

"Years later, in 1940, my claim to fame was on that stage. My boss entered me in a bathing beauty contest as 'Miss W.T. Grant.' To my surprise, I was first runner-up.

"Hard to believe that beautiful theater with the lovely painting on the ceiling was demolished for a parking lot."

Special People Dept.

  • Dick Chenot, of Plaquemine, celebrates his 90th birthday Friday, Oct. 11. He is a former Baton Rouge resident, and has also lived in Chicago and Denver.
  • Edward and Audrey Laird Hall, of Slaughter, celebrate their 65th anniversary Friday, Oct. 11. Audrey is currently at Grace nursing home in Slaughter.

Wild Kingdom South

An armadillo story from Sindee R.:

"At Disney World in Florida, my husband, my sister and brother-in-law were riding on the monorail. As the car was moving along some woods, I saw two deer emerge and told the others to look.

"Across from us was a family from the North. The lady was so excited to tell us that the night before at their campgrounds they had seen their first armadillo!"

Traffic control

Marsha R. says, "I heard what could be a great new slogan for Baton Rouge from Josh Goforth, a storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

"He's from Asheville, North Carolina. He said, 'Y'all come visit us, but please, carpool.'"

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.