The current success of LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger reminds my son-in-law Boyce Smith of the night in the mid-'70s when Boyce was on the Zachary High Broncos football team and it played the Central High Wildcats.

Boyce, now of Long Beach, Mississippi, says Steve was the star quarterback of the Wildcats, and already a big name in local football lore:

"At one point during the game, we tore off Steve's jersey. He probably doesn't know this, but that jersey hung in the Zachary locker room for as long as I was there. It was used to inspire players when they joined the team."

Country poetry

After my Saturday mention of favorite country songs and singers, I heard from Frank Jaster, of Covington:

"If you're starting a poll, yes, Hank (Williams) and Ray (Charles) are top 5.

"For single songs, Willie Nelson's mature lament, 'Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,' should be up there also. No self-pity, no 'She done me wrong,' just a simple set of similes and metaphors about what was and what might be again."

Shell game

Our seminar on the armadillo, one of nature's strangest creatures, brought this unappetizing recollection from Herman Venable, of Carencro:

"In the mid-'50s in Church Point, my dad's gang of Louisiana Highway Department workers would meet for a homemade supper in the back of a bar.

"Let's say that the culinary goods ran on the adventurous side.

"Armadillos were rather new stuff, and some of the more squeamish one may not have eaten them, so everybody referred to the main course as 'possums on a half shell.'"

Which reminds me

Years ago, I went along on a deer hunting trip with some buddies, just to see what all the fuss was about. We had a good time, but the deer had nothing to worry about from us. 

We were heading back to our camp at dusk on a cold, wet, miserable day when we came across a couple of other hunters in a primitive campground — small canvas tent and almost no gear around.

They were huddled around a tiny campfire, where one of them was stirring some kind of stew in a cast iron pot.

They nodded at us as we walked by, but were evidently in no mood to chat, so we kept moving.

Then we spotted, in a pile of leaves, the tell-tale tails. They were dining on armadillo stew.

After we passed by, one of our guys observed, "I can just hear one of them telling the other one, 'Don't bring a lot of food — we can live off the land…'"

Special People Dept.

  • Dollie Singleton celebrated her 99th birthday Sunday, Oct. 6.
  • Beulah Ferachi, of Plaquemine, celebrated her 96th birthday Saturday, Oct. 5.
  • Mayola Braud Brown celebrates her 93rd birthday Monday. Oct. 7.

None like it hot

Bobby Matherne, of Gretna, continues our discussion of Coors beer and why it was hard to find in this area:

"Remember how you could buy a case of beer in New Orleans cheaper if it was warm?

"I moved away to Anaheim, California, in 1970s. When I went to buy a case of Coors for a party, the guy said he couldn’t sell it to me warm.

"'Why?' I asked.

"'Because they ship it cold and it stays refrigerated until you buy it.'"

(I checked some online sites and found that in earlier days the beer was unpasteurized, so it had to be kept cold. This explains why its distribution territory was limited. Now it's brewed in eight different locations.)

Lure of scarcity

Fred Mulhearn, of Denham Springs, offers the long-awaited final word on the Coors beer craze of years past, when it was hard to get:

"Has anyone submitted the quote about Coors attributed to 'First Brother' Billy Carter?

"He said, 'Marijuana is like Coors beer. If you could buy the stuff at a Georgia filling station, you'd decide you wouldn't want it.'"

Initial reaction

John Torbert says, "In 1950, we had working for us in our lab at LSU a student named Ellis Hu — pronounced 'LSU.'"


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.