A language story from Pauline ("Madame Ewing" to her students): 

"I taught immersion French kindergarten at Winbourne Elementary before the program was moved and became FLAIM, Foreign Language Academic Immersion Magnet. I spoke only in French to my students.

"I was doing breakfast cafeteria duty with a mixture of students in the immersion program and some who were not.

"I spoke French to the students from all grades that I knew were in immersion French. I said something to a non-immersion student in English.

"With eyes big as saucers, one of my kindergarten students asked, 'You speak French and HUMAN, too?'"

Sweet surprise

Romney Stubbs adds to nostalgia items about the late lamented Hymel's Seafood Restaurant in Convent:

"In the mid '70s we drove from Baton Rouge to Hymel’s with a very urbane Manhattanite who was visiting with friends.

"After gorging on crawfish and shrimp, he ordered a slice of cheesecake. He raved that it was the best cheesecake he’d ever tasted, 'Better than any in Manhattan!'

"He told the waitress to bring him a whole cheesecake to go, which came in a brown paper bag. After leaving, our friend opened the bag and was astonished to find a boxed Sara Lee cheesecake. Much guffawing followed."

Irish Cajuns

Faye Guidry says, "In 1975, on our 25th anniversary trip to Ireland with Charles and Peggy Rivault, Kirby and I asked our B&B host in Galway to recommend 'a place where you folks go' — we didn’t want to go to a tourist trap.

"When we opened the door to the club, the band was blasting 'Jambalaya.' The dance hall was similar to ones in Parks. The whole family was there; benches lined the wall and babies were tucked under the bench. Family members took turns singing. Everyone was 'passing a good time.'"

Music critic's review

For years I mentioned the outdoor "Living Nativity" at Baton Rouge's Florida Boulevard Baptist Church, always griping because there was no camel among the animals around the manger.

Once they actually had a camel, I assume mostly to shut me up.

Gene Shelburne tells of performances Friday, Dec. 14, at 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 15, at 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Gene tells me, "Sorry, there will not be a camel this year — as a matter of fact, there will be no live animals, because last year the music agitated the donkey so much he kicked down the stable."

Nice People Dept.

Beverly Arceneaux, of Baton Rouge, says, "As an older female, I was in line for T-shirts at the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.

"Swaying in front of me was a very inebriated man — wow, his language!

"A young man approached and asked if this was the T-shirt line. I told him to please go in front of me, as I was uncomfortable with the person ahead.

"When we reached the T-shirt seller, the young man said he wasn't buying one, he was just protecting me.

"I didn't get his name, but he graduated from Silliman, played football and now works for the railroad."

Special People Dept.

  • Holly Reynolds, of Southside Gardens in Baton Rouge, celebrates her 100th birthday on Sunday, Dec. 16. A longtime animal rights advocate, she started CAAWS (Capital Area Animal Welfare Society) in Baton Rouge.
  • Travis Phillips, of Baton Rouge, celebrated his 99th birthday on Thursday, Dec. 13.
  • Joaquin Velasquez, of Amber Terrace Assisted Living in Baton Rouge, celebrates birthday No. 99 on Sunday, Dec. 16.
  • Dale Biggs, of St. James Place in Baton Rouge, celebrates birthday No. 90 on Friday, Dec. 14.
  • Jack and Becky Gromer, of Baton Rouge, celebrate 50 years of marriage on Friday, Dec. 14.

Memory bike

Bob Brumberger is a proud man:

"I salvaged a beat-up rusty bicycle, a garage sale reject, like one I purchased from Western Auto on Government Street in Baton Rouge. Got it running, and now memories are salvaged, too."

Hold the hair!

Eddie Allain has an accent story:

"I had a friend, a country girl from New Roads, who was always ready for some good ‘bald crawfish.’

"I always imagined her painstakingly tossing out the ones with hair."

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.