Paula Willis, of Algiers Point, was inspired by our outhouse series to pass along this tale:

"As a Louisiana girl teaching in the Philadelphia area, I was taking my class on a field trip, going up the turnpike extension, when the bus broke down.

"The engine had caught fire by the time we got the teens out of the back of the bus and onto a strip of ground on the side of the pike.

"While waiting for the next bus to rescue us, three of the girls came to me and said they really needed to use the bathroom.

"Well, there were woods beyond the strip, so I led the girls away from the crowd to cross the fence into woods.

"As I was atop the fence showing them how to negotiate barbed wire, one of the girls stopped me and asked, 'Are you SURE there is a bathroom back there?'

"Obviously a city girl …"

A prickly situation

Harriet St. Amant, of Baton Rouge, says, "If you and your readers can stand one more outhouse story …

"My father's family summered in Maine every year, and he continued that tradition with us.

"We rented a large house at the top of a hill in East Sebago for several summers. Only the kitchen was plumbed, and only for cold water.

"Every summer Daddy would talk up the wonders of Sebago Lake to the rest of the family when we gathered at Grandpa's summer place for Labor Day. Finally one of my uncles decided he'd try it.

"They rented the same house we had, the week following our departure. One night, my aunt grabbed a flashlight and went out to the small 'house-behind-the-house.'

"Imagine her surprise at finding a HUGE porcupine sitting where she wanted to sit."

Her own Iowa

Gail Stephenson, of Baton Rouge, says, "We gave granddaughter Zelda, almost 5, a sheet of stickers of the 50 states.

"She removed the stickers from the 11 states she'd visited and stuck them to a sheet of paper. Then she removed a 12th sticker — Iowa — and insisted she'd been there because 'That's where Nana and Pop Pop live.'

"We tried to explain that Iowa, Louisiana, is different from the state of Iowa, but she wasn't having it. They were spelled the same, and she knew she'd been there — so the sticker stayed on her sheet of places traveled."

Weight loss plan

Larry Greenblatt offers this dieting tip:

"In the ’90s, I was visiting New Orleans and shopping at a Rouse's on the weekend.

"As was the case then and now, folks were set up to give samples of the items 'on special' to drum up business.

"I was offered something and I passed, saying, 'I am on a diet.'

"My friend took a sample and said, 'Oh, this is really good. You should try it.'

"Before I could say or do anything, the lady giving us the sample said, 'Do what the doctor tells me. If it tastes good, spit it out!’ ”

Musical memories

Bren Kramer says the death of New Orleans music legend Dave Bartholomew "brought back good memories of dancing to his music in Baton Rouge, at the old Acadian Club on Jefferson Highway in the ’50s."

Breen says James "Sugar Boy" Crawford, who wrote the Carnival classic "Jock-A-Mo" ("Iko Iko"), played there about the same time. (I recall him rocking Port Allen's Carousel night club.)

Special People Dept.

  • Evelyn Beauchamp, of Clinton, celebrates her 95th birthday Friday, June 28.
  • The Rev. James C. Skinner, of Villa Feliciana nursing home in Jackson, celebrates his 93rd birthday on Saturday, June 29. He is a retired Methodist minister.
  • Raymond and Theresa Settoon celebrated their 50th anniversary June 6.

Dating Bigfoot?

Phyllis Callahan, of Plaquemine, says our stories about "Light Road" in Gonzales and its mysterious swamp gases "brought back memories. As I recall those days, it was the boys who liked to take their dates to Light Road to see the 'rou-gah-rou' (the wild werewolf-like swamp creature.)

"Was it the mysterious gases — or were the girls' dates the true rou-gah-rou?"

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.