Margaret Hawkins, of Ponchatoula, says, "With political campaigns upon us and generic placards and boards all over the place, one Ponchatoula man with a rather cynical view of politics, and personal access to lighted signs, posted two memorable thoughts.

"On one sign, in large black letters, was 'For less theft and fewer lies, vote for _______' (name withheld in case he signed up to run).

"After the sign was toppled over, he said, 'I sure hope it was the wind that knocked it over.'

"The next message, searingly succinct, was, 'Don’t reelect anyone.'

"Certainly puts a little skewed humor into the political process."

Helmet hazard

Our stories about motorcycles meeting horse-drawn buggies with emission problems, and an encounter with a spider, reminded Keith Horcasitas of an incident combining elements of both:

"When I was about to take a ride on my scooter recently, I put my helmet on, and after starting, felt something around my ears.

"So I promptly took off the helmet, turned off my scooter, put it on its stand — and quickly did the 'La Cucaracha' dance.

"Inside my helmet was something us Yats have always hated — a big flying roach.

"I wish I had someone recording that, so I could enter 'Dancing with the Stars.'"

Lost river

Linda Whitman, of Denham Springs, says, "Mention of Lake Itasca in Minnesota reminded me of two visits we made there.

"It is the headwaters of the Mississippi River. You can walk across the Mississippi on steppingstones. The nice visitors center had a huge topographical map — minus the Atchafalaya, which receives 30% of the combined flow of the Red and Mississippi rivers.

"When asked why it wasn’t on the map, the staff had never heard of it. The second time we went by to see it, husband Herb took a Corps of Engineers map with us, leaving it with them.

"They thanked him, but I doubt they’ve changed it."


It seems my computer has made another spelling mistake.

Sidney Vallon says this about my mention of the chinaberry popgun wars of my youth: "Your chinaberry wounds were WELTS, not welps (whelps)!

"Forgive me for correcting such a giant of journalism as yourself, but to 'whelp' is to have puppies (and 'welp' is a colloquialism of 'well').

"I think I’m waging a losing battle. ... In this case, it’s me against a zillion other Southerners."

Popgun technology

Speaking of chinaberry wars, Ernie Gremillion shares this memory:

"Growing up in Bunkie, we were surrounded by chinaberry trees. We called them 'chinaballs.'

"The secret to having a good popgun was to have a push rod that captured all of the compressed air. Those usually had a fluffy and not smooth end.

"If I heard the sound today of a popgun shooting a chinaball I would immediately recognize it."

Special People Dept.

Carrie Dysart celebrates her 90th birthday Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Special Tiger Dept.

Carol in Walker says, "Mike the Tiger has a birthday in September. Has anything been planned to celebrate this?"

That's showbiz

George E. McLean, of Metairie, continues our discussion of pro wrestling in the past:

"I learned in the mid ’30s that the matches were only for show.

"My dad's fishing buddy, Clarence, refereed them at the Coliseum Arena in New Orleans.

"On one fishing trip he was talking about how the management paid him an extra dollar if he let the wrestlers tear the shirt off of him — but he had to quit that, as his shirts had gone up to costing Clarence $1.25."

One hot party

Ann Jennings tells of a memorable birthday party:

"On Sunday we celebrated Mrs. Ethel Shank’s 101st birthday at Westminster Presbyterian Church with a party after our fellowship luncheon.

"Her 101st birthday proclamation from Gov. John Bel Edwards was on display behind her birthday cake.

"After we sang and lit the candles, the designated cake cutter walked over to cut the cake, and toppled the proclamation into the cake, where it caught fire.

"We quickly extinguished the burning proclamation, and called for a replacement first thing Monday morning.

"Ethel is still lighting up the room at 101 years old!"

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.