Chuck Pickett says this happened when he lived in Natchez, Mississippi, in 1962.

"My first wife, Joy, was fun to pull jokes on. So one night after she was asleep I put a bunch of cigarette loads in her pack of cigarettes.

"I didn’t know that morning she was helping at the polls on election day. When she offered cigarettes to several ladies, they fired up the weeds, which blew up with a sharp BANG!

"Needless to say, I was in the doghouse for several days.

"A few days later I had to go to Britton & Koontz bank to ask for a loan. I was only 22 and had never applied for a loan before.

"I went in and talked to this grim, unsmiling banker about a loan. He finished the paper work; then, as everybody did in those days, we both leaned back and fired up cigarettes.

"My cigarette went 'BANG!' and blew to pieces, scattering tobacco all over his desk.

"I can still see the stunned look on his face. Then he started laughing. When he stopped, he said, 'You’ve got your loan, young man — you made my day.'”

Coffee memories

Charlie Cortez, of Zachary, says mention of J&B Coffee in the Saturday column "brought back memories of growing up in Thibodaux.

"My father delivered J&B to stores in five parishes. As a teenager in the '50s, I’d help him load the truck each week and periodically help him run the route.

"I went with my father several times a year to the warehouse on Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans and got to know Mr. Foltz, owner of the company. He attended our wedding in Baton Rouge 57 years ago."

According to Blake Pontchartrain, Gambit's "New Orleans Know-It-All," Foltz Tea & Coffee Co., founded in 1921 by grocer George Foltz, also produced Golden Key and Zodiac coffees.

Foltz, Blake says, had started roasting Golden Key in his store in 1911, and it became so popular with his customers that he got into the coffee roasting business.

You want strong?

Vince Caruso adds to our discussion of Louisiana coffee:

"Back in the late '50s, I did some TDY (temporary duty) training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. I had an uncle and aunt in Brooklyn, so I would visit them often.

"My aunt secretly had my family send some coffee up from New Orleans, and surprised me one day with a steaming hot cup of Louisiana coffee.

"I was so pleased to finally get a cup of real coffee that I raised the cup to my lips and gulped down the first sip.

"The cup was all coffee grounds, with just a small amount of coffee floating on top to disguise the grounds. I got a mouthful of grounds, which was promptly spit out over the entire table!

"Did I mention that my aunt was a practical joker?"

Grin and bare it

Paul Major, of Livonia, says, "The article in Saturday's Advocate about Michael Cohen's impending stay in the Otisville, N.Y., Federal Correctional Institution had this remark by a former case manager: 'You shower out in the open. It's very demeaning.'

"As a resident of Johnston and Hatcher men's dorms at LSU in the '60s, that was our only option. Lavatories against one wall; an open, multi-shower-head area on the opposite wall.

"I guess we didn't realize how deprived we were back then. I won't even describe the toilet arrangement on the other side of the wall."

Special People Dept.

Doris Lewis West, a native and resident of New Orleans, celebrates her 90th birthday Tuesday, May 7.


Algie Petrere, of Central, tells this tale of a clever teacher:

"Four high school boys afflicted with spring fever skipped morning classes. After lunch they reported to the teacher that they had a flat tire.

"Much to their relief she smiled and said, 'Well, you missed a test today; so take seats apart from one another and take out a piece of paper.'

"Still smiling, she waited for them to sit down. Then she said, 'First question: which tire was flat?'"

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.