Paul Major, of Livonia, comes up with a way to turn Baton Rouge's lemon of a new downtown library into tasty lemonade:

"We've all been entertained, to one degree or another, by the kerfuffle over the almost-new downtown library.

"Besides all of the traffic-hindering construction materials, the most visible signs of the problems have been the giant hydraulic jacks supporting the sagging overhang.

"I propose a unique and quick solution for getting work going again on the library completion: Replace the jacks with permanent columns.

"Just think — massive fluted columns topped by Corinthian capitals and finely decorated entablatures. They might even make the downtown library the tourist attraction we were assured the city needed."

Muddy lady blues

Glenda Barras, of Baton Rouge, has a shoe story, but not about mismatched ones — just wrong ones:

"I dressed a little early for a formal wedding, so I decided to slip on my old beat-up clogs and walk around my garden until time to go.

"Went to the church. Noticed nothing — not until I was on my way to the reception did my yucky, dirty clogs make an appearance.

"Big decision: Go home? 'What the heck,' I thought, and went anyway, mud and all."

Great cliches

Herb Smith, of River Ridge, adds to our collection of phrases sure to be heard on TV shows:

"In just about every Hallmark feel-good presentation: 'What are you doing here?' — then comes the 'almost kiss.'"

Speaking of TV

Our discussion of early days of television jogged the memory of Michael Hess, of Slidell:

"Another item today's youth might never hear from ancient TV days is your dad telling you: 'Get up and change the channel.'"

Risky raccoons

Harriet St.Amant, of Baton Rouge, comments on our Friday story about a gent who invited raccoons inside his house to feed them, and even had names for them. She says raccoon wrangling can be risky:

"When my husband was stationed at the Pentagon, we lived in Fairfax County, Virginia, the most populous county in the state.

"We found a veterinarian for our dogs near the house we rented. One thing I noticed immediately was a sign on his wall detailing the number of rabies incidents reported in the state the previous year. Fairfax County had more than the rest of the state combined.

"I expressed alarm and asked what we could do, besides shots, to protect the dogs.

"The vet's response? 'Keep them away from raccoons.' Apparently raccoons are among those mammals most likely to carry rabies. Anyone who lives near woods, please consider yourself warned."

Special People Dept.

  • Dorothy “Dot” Guidry Hebert, of Lafayette, celebrates her 96th birthday Monday, Feb. 25.
  • Philip J. Mull Sr. celebrates his 93rd birthday Monday, Feb. 25. He is a veteran of World War II and the Korean War.

Aging process

Douglas Allen, of Baton Rouge, has a tale of woe:

"I recently attended an LSU basketball game with my wife. Seated behind us was a couple with a young son and daughter.

"In the second half, the son was getting rambunctious and started pushing the row of seats we were in with his feet.

"After about a minute of this, I heard the father say to his son, 'Don't push on the seats — you're bothering the old man.'

"I just recently turned 59 and don't consider myself old. But I guess a complete stranger looks at me and thinks I am."

You've got a friend

"Hubby and I had a big laugh one morning," says Linda Dalferes:

"We had a message on the phone. We both said, 'Must be the drug store.'

"You know you’re getting old when the drugstore is the best friend who checks in on you every day."

Crying time

Speaking of aging, Emile Goettz, of Slidell, tells this sad story:

"A while back, I was in a karaoke restaurant and had just sat back down at our table after my turn singing.

"Two young waitresses came over and asked my buddy and me if we sang country.

"I answered, 'Not really; I preferred Frank Sinatra style.'

"She then asked, 'Who's Frank Sinatra?'"

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.