Ronnie Stutes, of Baton Rouge, is concerned about the removal of the signage on LSU's former Middleton Library:

"Don't you think that they could have left the word 'library' on the LSU Library, to be of some help to new freshmen (and any other student who has never visited the library)?"

Neglected treat

One of the results of our prolonged quarantine is a renewed interest in consuming canned items found in the back of the pantry.

For instance, while I'm in no way as helpful as Heloise, I sometimes get similar questions. For instance, a reader asked: "How long does a can of Spam last?" My answer, of course, was "Forever."

And T. Cummings waxes nostalgic over another canned item:

"Those who served in the military back in the '60s and who ate C-Rations for an extended period of time know the value of fruit cocktail. It was just about the only thing edible in the C-Ration box.

"It was so valuable that a can of the stuff could be used to raise the pot in a poker game.

"The other day I was at the grocery store and noticed a number of cans of fruit cocktail just sitting on the shelf.

"The civilian populous just doesn’t know the value of that stuff."

Famous fowl

Dr. Brent Smith, of Metairie, says, "The mention of Didee's duck in your column reminded me of my dad, Meyer Smith, and his love of Didee's roast duck.

"Between the two of us, we had been to three Didee's restaurants; the original one in Opelousas and two in Baton Rouge.

"I can remember how proud the owners were of their guest register; they showed us the entries made by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who had reportedly been driven to Didee's from the New Orleans Airport just to eat the duck."

Dry shower

Glen Balentine, of Prairieville, says, "Your reader's story of rain in Phoenix reminded me of my trip there with my buddy Alan.

"In the '70s the first leg of our 5,600-mile trek out west took us to Phoenix. His aunt and uncle took us to Pinnacle Peak for a steak dinner.

"While dining outside watching our steaks cooking, a rare cloudburst appeared. Alan and I began moving to go indoors as his relatives calmly sat. The 'rain' evaporated about 10 feet before it reached the ground."

Family tradition

Melva Ligon Tessier died at 93 in 1993, but her 8 children and friends (from her Baton Rouge neighborhood, Spanish Town, and beyond) never stopped celebrating her life on her birthday, June 26.

This year, 120th since her birth, will again see such an event.

She and her husband, Charles Bert Tessier, spend their 60 years of married life in Spanish Town, where they raised 7 sons and a daughter.

Her friend and neighbor, Catherine Broussard, says, "On the first birthday after Melva’s death, her son Pat, a few neighbors and I met at Giamanco’s restaurant to celebrate her life. This continued for many years. As the group grew, we began setting up the party in the backyard of her home on Lakeland Drive."

The party has changed locations over the years, but "we have never missed a year to celebrate Mrs. Tessier’s birthday. This year there will be a celebration, with masks and social distancing, reminiscing like only we can."

Heavenly supermarket

Robert and Susan Mehrtens, of Baton Rouge, say, "We hope you will enjoy another story of a kid changing the lyrics of a song:

"Many years ago we heard our youngest son, Lucas, sweetly singing along with Eric Clapton on his 'Tears in Heaven' song. His sweet voice changed Eric's lyrics when we heard him change, 'Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?' to 'Would you know my name if I saw you in Schwegmann's?'

"He was so sweet we couldn't tell him at the time that no one could possibly confuse Schwegmann's for heaven."

I don't know, folks…when John Schwegmann instituted discounted liquor, my dad, living in Kenner, thought it was a divine gesture…   


Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.