From our international news desk comes this story from Dudley Lehew, of Marrero:

"I see that Switzerland has just passed a law requiring cooks to first 'stun' a lobster before boiling it, so that the lobster will feel no pain.

"What if Louisiana passed a similar law that required 'stunning' crawfish?

"I guess it could be done, but it would take a lot of teeny, teeny hammers, a bunch of very patient Cajuns — and a couple of days just to have one boil!"

The good father

Marsha R. has this memory of Buckskin Bill Black:

"Back in the '60s, before men had learned to be sensitive, I worked as a medical technologist at Our Lady of the Lake. One of the tougher jobs was drawing blood from frightened children before their tonsillectomies.

"One morning I was making the pre-surgical rounds and got to Buckskin Bill Black’s son. I sighed, because my experience had been that the fathers usually commanded that their sons 'Be men!' when a child protested.

"Bill’s son eyed me and my syringe and said, 'Daddy, I think I’m going to cry.' His father said, 'Son, sometimes things hurt us and we just have to cry.'

"God bless that good father. And no, his son did not cry."

Stuff it

John D., of Kentwood, says stories about stuffing seat cushions with Spanish moss reminded him of this:

"I was asked to repair some very old chairs for a friend. She said they had belonged to her great-grandparents.

"In order to do the repairs, I had to remove the cushions that had been reupholstered five times without removing the previous covering. When I finally got to the original cushion, I discovered that horsehair had been used for the stuffing.

"I have heard of this before, but it was the first time I had encountered it. Amazingly, considering the age of the chairs, the hair was still in pretty good condition — and didn't smell like a horse at all."

Noisy bed blues

Nobey Benoit says, "Growing up, all our mattresses were stuffed with dried Spanish moss, and our pillows were stuffed with chicken feathers — home grown, of course.

"I don't remember my mattress being cool in the summer. I do remember that crackling sound it made every time you moved around."


Phyllis Callahan responds to the Saturday story by Carol Stutzenbecker:

"When I lived in Kenner, from 1960 until 2002, our house had a floor furnace in the hallway, like one Carol recalls.

"This brings back memories of my children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews wearing a checkerboard design on the bottom of their feet from stepping on that furnace during the winter months.

"But it only took once to brand them and make sure they didn't step on it again.They were very fast learners.

"But that heater felt so good to stand over during the winter…"

Short and sweet

Althea Ashe approves of a recent column addition:

Haiku is perfect

Captures ideas in few words

Keep up the good work

Preserve the memories

Art Christy says, "I note the number of veterans, particularly from World War II, in your 'Special People' feature.

"I hope their families are keeping a record of their stories. I'd hate for their memories to be lost when they are.

"The World War II Museum in New Orleans has trained interviewers to document their service, but family members can do it also."

Special People Dept.

Juanita Maillet Tassin, of Bordelonville, celebrates her 93rd birthday Wednesday.

Practical romance

Buck Blouin, of Prairieville, says, "Reading all the romantic stories of long-term marrieds reminded me of the time my wife and I went out to eat with family members.

"My wife and I have always held hands when walking, since we first got married.

"As we were walking in front of one of my sisters, she said, 'Look at them, still holding hands after 50-something years of marriage!'

"I told her, 'It's always been a romantic thing, but now we are also trying to keep each other from falling!'"

Louisiana Haiku

Crawfish coming in

Ready for Super Bowl boils

Keep your chips and dips 

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.