Mary Pramuk, of Baton Rouge, has an "unusual pet" story:

"One day a friend brought over a new girlfriend to meet us. She said her family once had a large boa constrictor named Esme, who slithered around the house when she was not resting in her special cage in someone’s bedroom.

"One day Esme disappeared. Searching inside and outside turned up nothing for months.

"Then spring came, and the roof developed a leak. A workman went into the attic to check.

"Seconds later he came stumbling down the stairs, his face pale, stammering, 'There’s a huge snake up there!'

"The family jumped with joy, yelling, 'Esme!' They brought her down and admired how fat she’d gotten and how shiny her skin was.

"She had been feasting on attic rats for months."

Educational storm

Caroline Derbes' story illustrates how creative teachers can turn even hurricanes into learning experiences: 

"As a teacher of brand-new third graders in 2008, when Hurricane Gustav approached, I realized it was the perfect opportunity to teach about writing paragraphs on changes.

"The Friday before that Labor Day storm, I asked them to make mental notes of observed activities before, during and after the storm.

"Upon returning to class, they discussed their observations and then wrote three paragraphs on those subjects.

"Their writings were full of captivating details — playing games by candlelight and sleeping in their underwear. Objective achieved!"

Is that bank safe?

"During the ’60s I worked for Delta Steamship Co. in the passenger department," says Richard Antolik.

"We got a long distance call from a woman wanting to book a cruise, inquiring where to send her deposit.

"She was told our address in New Orleans was in the Hibernia Bank Building.

"A few days later we received her envelope, addressed to the High Burning Bank Building!"

Then there's Phideaux…

Nobey Benoit adds to our seminar on dog names:

"Labrador retrievers are my favorite breed. A chocolate Lab I owned was named Roux.

"Another, a yellow Lab, was named Goujon (yellow catfish). Does my Cajun heritage shine through?"

Beware of naming

Tom Reagan, of Central, comments on our "pet names" series:

"Several years ago, a lady I worked with found two kittens in New Orleans' City Park.

"When she brought them home, her husband called them 'Orph an’ Annie.'

"She told him, 'Well, you named them, so we have to keep them.'"

Which reminds me

When my parents retired and moved from Kenner to Oakdale, my dad decided to fence part of their 5 or 6 acre lot and raise some cattle.

He bought a young bull and four or five heifers. He named the male Bully and gave the others women's names — Daisy, Elsie, etc.

When he told me how he was going to have a supply of beef from his venture, I responded: "If you've named them, you're never going to eat them."

He scoffed at my cynical attitude. But after a time I came to visit and found Dad had sold his livestock — to a neighbor who didn't name his beef sources. 

Special People Dept.

  • Irene Booker, of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 92nd birthday Thursday, August 27.
  • Twin sisters Mary Davis Earle, of Baton Rouge, and Margie Davis Forbes, of Morgan City, celebrate their 90th birthdays Friday, August 28.
  • Dee and Rosie Hernandez, of Baton Rouge, formerly of Brusly, celebrate their 73rd anniversary Sunday, August 30.
  • Billie and Joe Civello, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 62nd anniversary Sunday, August 30.
  • Harold and Janet Hebert, of Slidell, celebrate their 50th anniversary Saturday, August 29.

High on the Tide

After our Wednesday stories about football fans in a state east of Mississippi, we heard from Mary Sue Meador, of Baton Rouge, with an example of a die-hard fan:

"My sister's granddaughter, Kaitlin McCulley, is a TV newscaster in Boston.

"When she worked for a Florida station, she was interviewing people involved during a large drug raid.

"As one handcuffed man was being escorted out of the drug house, Kaitlin held the microphone near him and asked, 'Sir, would you like to say something?'

"He said, 'Yes. Roll Tide!'"

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.