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The deaths of former Govs. Buddy Roemer and Edwin Edwards have been reminding Baton Rouge folks of encounters with them and other governors who stayed around the capital city after their terms ended.

Marie Merrill, of Baton Rouge, has "fond memories of former Gov. John McKeithen in his later years, when he stayed at the Ramada Inn. I had a gift shop there.

"He would make the best cornbread (assisted by Ms. B, our cook) in the afternoon. You could smell the hot cornbread as he was coming across the lobby to bring me a big square and butter for a snack. What a treat!"

Peggy Farris Jenkins, of Denham Springs, says, "Several years ago, at a picnic at Highland Road Park, we met former Gov. Edwin Edwards, who was riding a beautiful white horse. He stopped, shook our hands and chatted a few minutes.

"I'll never forget that image of him riding off atop that beautiful horse, with his silver hair and white hat. It was like a scene in a Hollywood movie."

It would no doubt have amused Edwards, after being cast as the villain in many scenarios, to know that he was viewed as the guy in the white hat, the hero's traditional headgear in so many old Western movies.      

Wasting time

"My wife says I have too much time on my hands," says Rick Marshall, of Baton Rouge.

If you're writing to me, Rick, your wife's right …

It seems Mrs. Marshall's statement stems from Rick's effort to "name things that cannot be obtained online.

"I can only think of personal services like haircuts, tattoos, manicures, massages and the like. I wonder if your readers could expand this list.

"And speaking of your readers, I think it is time we had a contest to name ourselves. My entry is 'Smilites.'"

Nice. I'll have T-shirts made up shortly.

Life imitates art

Speaking of too much time on your hands, Roger Waggoner, of Lafayette, comments on our mention of Loudon Wainwright III's greatest hit: 

"I once saw a dead skunk in the middle of the road while the song with that name was playing on my car radio.

"There must be others on the planet who have had this experience, but so far my extensive search has come up empty."

Well, I once saw a dead armadillo at the same time Jerry Jeff Walker was singing "London Homesick Blues" on the radio, with the line, "I wanna go home with the armadillo …"

So, does that count?

Piano boys

Long before Billy Joel's "Piano Man," Donaldsonville's Ascension Catholic School had "piano boys."

Two regular Donaldsonville contributors, Chuck Falcon and Donald Landaiche, both recall that Sister Marie, the first grade teacher, punished misbehaving students by having them stand behind the classroom's piano.

Donald confesses that he didn't mind that punishment: "Hidden behind the piano, you could make ugly faces at dear Sister Marie. That is, until you looked up and saw a very stern face looking down at you.

"No recess for a long time …"

Special People Dept.

  • Loretta Dixon Brignac, of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 90th birthday Wednesday, July 14.
  • Kermit and Urline Knight, of Lafayette, celebrate their 60th anniversary Thursday, July 15, in Tampa, Florida, with family and friends. He is a career Navy veteran with tours in Vietnam.

U.S. Hair Farce

Barry Dufour, of Carencro, says, "The submissions about long hair reminded me of a couple of airmen I was stationed with in the early ’70s.

"At Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota, one airman could pass uniform inspection without any demerits, but on the weekend could make his hair in a full-blown afro.

"While at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, we had an airman whose haircut met all regulations. But on weekends he would wear a wig off base.

"I would just keep mine cut as needed. Easier in the long run."

So I'm lazy!

Marsha R., of Baton Rouge, came across this information from Anonymous:

"Lazy people fact #2347827309018287. You were too lazy to read that number."

OK, Marsha, you got me …

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.