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Rick Marshall, of Baton Rouge, this column's unpaid economist, presents this analysis of inflation:

"I bet the folks shopping at the Dollar Store today have never heard of its predecessor, the 'five and dime,' where kids could buy cheap stuff and ride the mechanical pony.

"In those days Mama made a huge pot of seafood gumbo that she called the 'Hundred Dollar Gumbo.' I know from experience that it cannot be made today for a hundred bucks.

"Alabama's marching band was called the 'Million Dollar Band' when (its) Hall of Fame coach, Bear Bryant, never sniffed a million — unlike their current coach."

Tony's visit

I confess to being a little disappointed by the somewhat skimpy mention of New Orleans in "World Travel," a collection of snippets from the late Anthony Bourdain's writings and TV shows.

His associate Laurie Woolever put together the book, which offers only a few comments on the multitude of eating and drinking places and hotels he encountered from Argentina to Vietnam while filming his TV shows.

The book does not mention at all his two visits to Acadiana, a place he seemed to love as he helped at a boucherie and took part in a Cajun Mardi Gras.

Of New Orleans, he says, "There is no place on Earth even remotely like New Orleans. … No last call at bars, lots and lots of great food. … Locals who are, well, uniquely wonderful."

Included in the New Orleans section are Cochon, the pork-centric creation of his buddy Donald Link; the Bucktown institution R&O's, where he dined on the roast beef po-boy, and Domilise's, where he went for the off-menu po-boy of shrimp, Swiss cheese and roast beef gravy. He got his muffuletta fix at Verti Marte convenience and liquor store on Royal Street.

Tony had a well-documented fondness for dive bars, and was especially pleased with Snake & Jake's Christmas Club Lounge on Oak Street, open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. 

The book, like Anthony Bourdain himself, leaves us wanting more.

Just his type

We're used to seeing coffeehouses (CC's, Starbucks, PJ's, etc.) filled with folks working away on their laptops and cellphones. Keith Horcasitas, of Baton Rouge, tells how he was ahead of the curve:

"When I was in graduate school in the early 1980s, one of my requirements was completing a thesis before the last semester of my social work and gerontology classes.

"I used a Smith-Corona electric typewriter for completing most of my papers. I would bring the typewriter on my bicycle to a McDonald's near school before class, where I would have breakfast and a lot of coffee. I was able to safely hook the typewriter onto my bike's handlebars without much trouble."

His thesis completion party involved Big Macs, fries and shakes for all. 

Special People Dept.

  • John Reynolds, of Avondale, celebrates his 93rd birthday Wednesday, July 7. He is a COVID-19 survivor.
  • Joe Dillon, of Prairieville, celebrates his 92nd birthday Wednesday, July 7. He is originally from upstate New York. Joe tells me, "I own all your books!" Which would make him an intellectual …
  • Vic and Ruth Berthelot, of Livingston, celebrate 70 years of marriage Wednesday, July 7. He's an Army veteran, retired from W.R. Grace; she's retired from World Book Encyclopedias. They made Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, their retirement home until Hurricane Katrina.
  • Roger and Jerry del Rio, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 62nd anniversary Wednesday, July 7.

Wrong, George

Kevin Guice says, regarding our mention of George Jones, "I have always heard that after he recorded 'He Stopped Loving Her Today' he walked out of the recording session and said, 'Nobody's going to listen to and like that morbid (blankety-blank) song.' It went on to become his best-known song; arguably one of the best country songs of all time."

That lonesome feeling

Loren Scott, of Baton Rouge, joins our discussion of country songs:

"With the rise of the self-driving vehicle, it is only a matter of time until there is a country song about a cowboy's truck leaving him."

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.