Mary Ann Sternberg, of Baton Rouge, offers this example of life imitating art (along with a plug for her newest book).

"The closure of the Sunshine Bridge due to a barge hitting it is a devastating blow to people who depend on it daily.

"And I hope I wasn't prescient by including a story about this first bridge over the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in my new book, 'River Road Rambler Returns.'

"The 'Bridge to Nowhere,' as the Sunshine Bridge was called because it landed in sugar cane fields until the connector roads were built, is an integral part of our regional transportation system.

"The story of how it came to be was fun to write. Now, let's get it back in operation."

Her story about the origin of the bridge involves political scandal (of course; this is Louisiana), on-again, off-again toll collection and haphazard connections from the bridge to highways in the vicinity.

But today, she says, with petrochemical plants around it and commuters depending on it, the Sunshine Bridge is "a splendid example of the adage, 'if you build it, they will come …eventually.'"

About Mr. Higgins

Clyde T. Thompson, of Amite, says our Sears stories remind him of the time in 1947 that his mother ordered him a 20-gauge J.C. Higgins bolt action shotgun from Sears for $24.95:

"It arrived at the Gurley post office from Memphis in only four days. I was 12 at the time. I still own that shotgun, and half the gold in Fort Knox couldn't buy it."

Clyde also tells the fascinating story of J.C. Higgins, whose name appeared on Sears sporting goods until Ted Williams took over.

John Higgins was a Sears bookkeeper who came over from Ireland, and the management thought his name sounded good on their sports items. He didn't have a middle name, so they gave him a C.

Saints 24/7

Kay Broders, of Baton Rouge, says, "Our 6-year-old grandson was being told about Halloween and the following day being All Saints Day.

"When he heard the words 'All Saints Day,' he stopped listening and started shouting, 'The Saints play ALL day!'

"He was thrilled."

Return of conversation

Karen Poirrier, of Lutcher, pens a restaurant review:

"Recently, husband Buddy and I visited daughter Rae Lynne in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, New York.

"One evening, Rae Lynne suggested we dine at Blu, a Turkish restaurant in Sheepshead Bay.

"At the host desk, a message written on a free-standing sign read: 'No, we don't have Wi-Fi. Talk to each other.'

"We had a good laugh, because the last thing we agreed upon before leaving Rae Lynne's apartment was to leave our iPhones.

"By the way, the food was delicious."

Favorite sons

C. Kimble, a 17-year-old reader, joins our discussion of a monument to grace New Orleans' Lee Circle:

"Many friends and family vote to put a statue of Louis Armstrong at the top of the column, and call it 'Louis Circle.'"

And about tributes of Drew Brees and other great new Orleans sports figures, he says, "There’s already a statue of Tom Benson. But we all love the idea of a 'Champions Place,' with a pantheon of greats — that should include Rusty Staub." (Staub, the first star of the Montreal Expos, had a 23-year MLB career, playing for five teams.)

Cure or kill

"With 100 channels, I watch a lot of TV," says Alex "Sonny" Chapman, of Ville Platte.

"There are a lot of well-done drug advertisements, but it’s sometimes hard to understand what ailment the medicine is supposed to cure.

"Whatever it’s supposed to cure, the ads go on to list about 10 side effects.

"Doing the math, if a medication might cure one ailment but might also cause 10 side effects, maybe I’m better off keeping what I already got."

Special People Dept.

Louis Joseph Charles Babin Sr., of Paulina, celebrates his 91st birthday Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Groaner of the Week

Marvin Borgmeyer, of Baton Rouge, offers this without an apology, which would seem to be due:

"Now that Halloween is here, I thought the following riddle was appropriate:

"What do you call a group of really tidy witches?

"A self-cleaning coven."

Louisiana haiku

Want scary costume?

Candidate raising money

People will scatter  

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.