This is the time of year when I watch the Weather Channel's blizzard coverage to remind myself that with all its faults, Louisiana doesn't have winters like the Frozen Nawth.
Harry Clark, of Lafayette, recalls winter in his boyhood home of Albion, Indiana, in the north of the state:
"All this snow up north reminded me of a large snowstorm which occurred when I was 11 or 12.
"I was in the Boy Scouts, and our scoutmaster was always looking for work for our troop that would put some money into our bank account. He cut a deal with the county to pay us to shovel snow off the courthouse walks.
"After a pretty heavy snowfall, word went out for the troop to assemble at the courthouse at 6 a.m. to clear the snow. Of course everyone was expected to bring his own snow shovel.
"This one kid admitted he had forgotten to bring his shovel.
"I loaned him mine."
Joel d'Aquin Thibodeaux, of Baton Rouge, says, "Our optometrist, Dr. Joseph Lamendola, wrote a letter to all his patients saying he was going into semi-retirement, working only with contact lens patients.
"He told us goodbye and thanked everyone for allowing him to serve.
"The closing line of the letter, instead of 'Yours truly' or 'Sincerely,' was 'Red Beans and Ricely Yours,' giving us a good last laugh!"
That's the famous closing that Louis Armstrong used on many of the letters he wrote throughout his life. He never forgot this enduring symbol of his birthplace, New Orleans.
Not that hungry
Alex "Sonny" Chapman, of Ville Platte, says our series of product warnings "reminds me of another 'We’re Glad You Told Us' warning label: the 'Do Not Eat' message on those little plastic barrel-looking things or those little packets inside containers of over-the-counter medicines.
"I can’t say I’ve ever been tempted to chew on one to see what they taste like."
Evening with Hal
Perry A. Snyder, of Baton Rouge, says, "Hal Holbrook's passing reminded my wife Cindy and me of the night we spent with the star of stage ('Mark Twain Tonight') and screen ('All the President's Men') at Hartsfield airport in Atlanta.
"With Hurricane Rita bearing down on the Louisiana/Texas coast, most flights west were cancelled, including ours to Baton Rouge and his to Houston.
"Our airlines could not find overnight accommodations for the stranded, so we settled into the least uncomfortable chairs on Concourse C.
"The long night turned out to be unforgettable when Mr. Holbrook asked if he could join us. Throughout the night he regaled us with one story after another.
"Seldom have we met a more pleasant, unpretentious and engaging soul."
Filling the void
Another story of a city building a highway loop, from T-Bob Taylor, of Panama City Beach, Florida:
"In 1976 I was headed to special Air Force training in Indianapolis prior to going overseas.
"About 30 miles before we got close, there was unbelievable road construction. The sign said 'Future Indianapolis Loop.' My wife and I laughed.
"Years later we realized that entire void got jammed with the Indianapolis Colts' home stadium and tons of hotels, restaurants and other vital businesses."
The floorboard stomp
Guy Jenkins, of Greenwell Springs, says, "This is in regards to my friend Carroll DiBenedetto's request for drivers to dim their lights.
"The problem is us old people feeling around on the floorboard with our foot to find the dimmer switch."
Special People Dept.
— Clyde David, of New Roads, celebrated his 93rd birthday Friday, Feb. 5.
— Connie and Meredith Berry Jr., of Covington, celebrate their 57th anniversary Monday, Feb. 8.
Our mention of tool company calendars reminded D. Richards of this tale of a woman in a male-dominated work environment:
"Back in the early '70s I was an engineer working in the engineering/construction industry, building chemical plants.
"I knew what to expect when I went into the field for my first assignment. There were wall-to-wall Snap-on tool calendars; scantily-clad women holding tools.
'I put up a Chippendales' calendar. Within 24 hours management said all calendars had to be removed."