"This is probably before your time, Smiley," says Lucy Sloan. (Very few things are before my time, Lucy.)

"Back in the ’40s, during World War II when everything was rationed, the shelves were mostly empty.

"What was available could only be purchased using government issued food coupons.

"My family was hungry for some 'good ol' red meat' but alas, there was none in the stores.

"In desperation, my mother told my daddy to go wherever he had to go and to not come back until he had some meat.

"When he returned he had a package of beautiful red steaks, but would not tell us what it was or where he bought it.

"At dinner we all dove in, but Daddy would not eat a single bite. As long as he lived he refused to tell us what we ate that night or why he would not share in eating a very delicious meal. (I do remember it being a bit on the tough side.)"

You probably don't want to know, Lucy — but I would have checked for any scratches at the Fairgrounds.

Cheer for LU!

Ronnie Stutes, of Baton Rouge, this column's unpaid motion picture consultant, comments on our discussion of a 1988 movie filmed in Baton Rouge in 1987:

"In case you get any more correspondence about 'Everybody's All-American' and LSU, it should be noted that the school in the movie is 'Louisiana University.'

"The producers wisely chose to use purple and gold as the school colors, to take advantage of the large number of items in those colors already available in the possession of potential extras. One scene clearly shows 'LU' on the Sugar Bowl scoreboard.

"Incidentally, the college in Frank DeFord's novel that was the basis for the movie was the University of North Carolina."

Miracle people

Paul Vincent thanks "the 130 volunteers who made Miracle League a success this fall.

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"Miracle League is a baseball league for special needs players. We could not have the league without the volunteers.

"A big shout-out to Baton Rouge for the support. See everyone in the spring!"

Local hero

George W. "Bill" Bailey, of Baton Rouge, says when he saw the obituary of Dr. James Prestage in The Advocate in October, he thought, "Dr. Prestage is truly one of our heroes!"

A Southern University graduate and World War II Navy veteran, when he received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, he returned to Southern and had a distinguished career, which included becoming founding director of the Computer Center.

Says Bill: "I was particularly interested in the fact that he had the first electron microscope in Louisiana. I spent my career at Exxon Research Labs, and gave a talk on electron microscopy to Dr. Prestage's class. I signed him up to membership in the Louisiana Microscopy Society."

Special People Dept.

  • Alfred Lecoq, of Baton Rouge, celebrates his 96th birthday Saturday, Nov. 20. He is an Army veteran.
  • Joe Cronan, of Baton Rouge, celebrates his 94th birthday Friday, Nov. 19. He was the pharmacist at Stanocola Medical, and upon retirement was a volunteer pharmacist at St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy.
  • Henry Oscar Marks, of Pierre Part, celebrates his 91st birthday Sunday, Nov. 21. He is a Korean War veteran, retired from the Assumption Parish School Board. He served 34 years as a teacher and principal before ending his career as director of personnel.
  • Dan and Shirley Speeg Bougere, of Zachary, celebrate their 50th anniversary Saturday, Nov. 20.

The un-mechanic

A sports car story from Robin Roshto, of Baton Rouge:

"In 1968 my older brother in the Army was stationed in California. After visiting family on leave, he changed the oil in his Triumph Spitfire before his trip back.

"He made it to Erwinville before the transmission locked up. He had drained the transmission oil and added oil to the engine. (He was not mechanically inclined.)

"I towed the car home, added oil to the tranny and, believe it or not, it ran fine.

"I mean as fine as a British sports car CAN run."

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.