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Advocate columnist Smiley Anders

My recent tale of meeting strangers in a New Orleans restaurant and briefing them on local food and fun brought this response:

"Reading your story of Lady Katherine and you at Mandina's, I thought of this story," says Connie of Metairie.

"As a federal employee, often your assignments go beyond your job. Since I was a tour guide on weekends, and single, I was often asked to give our headquarters guests a brief tour, ideas on where to eat, etc.

"One night I took six or so to eat at The Galley on Metairie Road. One of the guys asked what the table next to us was eating. 'Crawfish,' I replied. He was fascinated.

"I walked over to the table and explained my guests from D.C. were curious about the crawfish, and asked if they would give them a couple to see up close.

"Our fellow diner came over and gave them several from his big platter, and even demonstrated how to eat them.

"But then it got even better. Being a small cafe, other guests heard the exchange and reaction. So each table came over with samples of other New Orleans foods and stories to share.

"Blew the Yankees' minds! They couldn't believe the generosity and hospitality. But that's New Orleans, isn't it?"

Perfect description

Ken Best says, "Your recent stories about bacon lovers brought to mind a comment by my 5-year-old granddaughter about that subject.
"Someone asked her if she liked bacon. She said she did. She calls it ‘meat candy.’ ”

Small World Dept. 

Richard Primeaux, of Pineville, says, "A recent story in your column brought to mind a similar experience I had in Paris several years ago.
"While I was touring the Louvre with my wife, as we turned a corner of a large hallway I heard someone yell out 'Hey, Primeaux!'
"I was in shock, at first thinking there was probably a local person with that name, as I am of French descent.
"But looking in the direction of the caller, I discovered it was a U.S. Air Force major who had been stationed with me in the engineering department at England Air Force Base in Alexandria in the early ’70s.
"We had a nice reunion chat, and I learned he and his wife were visiting Paris for the weekend from his current base in England."

Camp etiquette

Baton Rouge businessman John Barton felt that just because guys were at a hunting camp, they didn't have to act like slobs.

Dewain Salter says, "As a teen in the mid-1960s, I was a guest at Mr. Barton's camp.

"When someone violated a camp rule, Mr. Barton would ask him, just loud enough so that everyone could hear, 'Does your mother allow you eat at her dinner table with your hat on? We don’t either.'

"Members were responsible for reminding guests to remove their hats when they sit down at the dinner table."

Fashion statement

Alton Duke, our unpaid fashion consultant, says this about our recent tales of mismatched shoes:
"I see nothing odd about a lady wearing separate black and white shoes — as long as they match a black and white dress."

Special People Dept.

  • Vergie Caillier, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 93rd birthday Monday, Feb. 18.
  • Virgil “Rip” Joffrion celebrates his 93rd birthday Monday, Feb. 18. He is a World War II veteran. 

Killing Alexa 

Danny Nodurft, of Harahan, says, "Recently my mother-in-law tried to turn on the Echo at Christmastime by starting with 'Hey, lady!' to get it to play Christmas music. Obviously that didn't work.
"She may not know the magic words, but she got the last one in anyway.
"My wife was preparing a roast earlier this week and said, 'Alexa, remind me in 45 minutes to check the roast.'
"At the same time, my mother-in-law started to cough. Alexa did not respond, so my mother-in-law looked at my wife and said, 'Huh, she must be dead.'
"Never argue with the mother-in-law."

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.