Working in the news business, you often have reason to run into lawyers.

I had a fondness for those in the legal profession — they always have great stories to tell.

Around the bar at Baton Rouge's late lamented Cotton Club, and at the Pastime, I got some memorable tales from lawyers, plus some free legal advice that was worth what I paid for it.

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, keeps me supplied with stories of courtroom antics:

"Watching 'My Cousin Vinny' for probably the 200th or so time the other night, I was reminded about an actual court occurrence.

"During arraignment for a felony, a defendant told the court he could not afford counsel and needed a public defender.

"Since this was not his first sashay through the system, he knew his way around. When the judge appointed a particular indigent defender, the defendant said, 'I don’t want him; I want Mr. …'

"The judge said, 'You are entitled to an indigent defender, but not one of your choice.'

"At that point the defendant said, 'That’s OK, Judge; I’ll hire my own lawyer.' He did!"

Around town

More unique directions:

  • Terri Zeller, of Gonzales, says, "Growing up in Lockport, directions were easy to follow. You either went uptown, back-a-town, across the bayou or across the canal. Bayou Lafourche and the Company Canal waterways divided the community."
  • Bill Huey says, regarding Wednesday's tale about getting around Vacherie (Naut Vacherie, Saut Vacherie, Middle Vacherie), "Dere's also Back Vacherie. So there must be a Front Vacherie, but I don't know for sure."

Cheap Beetles

The end of VW Beetle manufacturing resulted in stories from folks with fond memories of the car, many dealing with its economy and longevity:

  • Daniel Miller says, "My brother was driving to Lafayette from University of New Orleans for a visit in his ’66 VW, and didn't know what the green light meant. Red was generator, green was oil pressure!

"As a teen with an interest in car repair, I bought a book on VW engine repair and the parts to rebuild the engine, a fascinating learning experience.

"I bought another non-running Bug for $50, rebuilt the engine, and did that a few more times. I became an expert on Beetles, the greatest cars ever made."

  • Harry Clark, of Lafayette, says, "I bought my 1967 Bug in Bermuda in ’67 for $1,895, and drove it for a year, never exceeding 25 mph, the island speed limit."

Harry says during his years in the Navy, it went with him to California, Subic Bay in the Philippines, and Pensacola, Florida, where he retired from the Navy and moved to Lafayette.

"After a year or two here I gave it to my son in Missouri, who drove it until an engine fire ended the life of a loyal and faithful servant."

Special People Dept.

  • Helen Nix, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 101st birthday Saturday, Aug. 3. She is an active member at the Women's Wellness Center.
  • Emily Manuel, of Algiers, celebrated her 98th birthday Thursday, Aug. 1.
  • Joe Rockforte, of Plaquemine, celebrates his 97th birthday Saturday, Aug. 3. He is a D-Day veteran of World War II and a POW in Germany.
  • Didier J. “Bobby” Hebert, of Lafayette, celebrates his 97th birthday Sunday, Aug. 4. He is a World War II Navy veteran, having served with the Seabees in the Pacific.
  • Marshall Honore, a World War II veteran who served in Europe and the Pacific, celebrates his 95th birthday Sunday, Aug. 4.

Hard times blues

"Kids these days don't know how easy they have it," says Algie Petrere. "When I was young, I had to walk through 9 feet of shag carpet to change the TV channel."

Power of commercials 

Harriet Esneault, of Baton Rouge, says, "We had our 7- and 9-year-old grandkids overnight.

"At supper I asked them to say the blessing, which they did perfectly.

"I asked if they knew what 'bounty' meant (as in 'from thy bounty through Christ Our Lord…').

"Our 9-year-old granddaughter jumped up, saying, 'I do, I do — it's the quicker picker upper!'"

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.