"Speaking of accents," says John LaCarna, of Baton Rouge, "I can remember that back in the '40s and '50s, editorial writers and other omniscient beings predicted the influence of radio and television would water down and finally wash away all regional dialects in the U.S.
"In the future, they said, the whole country would sound like a convention of over 300 million national TV announcers.
"Well, the future has come, and of course that didn't happen. We continue to be enriched by a great variety of dialects. May they never die out!"
Name that Dome
You people are slipping.
Now that the Superdome is no longer The Expensive German Car Superdome, where are the suggestions from my readers about potential new names?
It seems to me there are two ways to go with this:
1. Taking a cue from the Louis Armstrong Airport, honor some outstanding New Orleanian: the "Drew Brees Superdome," or "Dr. John Superdome," or "Big Freedia Superdome."
2. For smaller naming rights payments than the German car people, sell the space on the Dome roof to some iconic New Orleans business: the "Lucky Dog Superdome," or "Tipitina's Superdome," or "Hubig's Pie Superdome."
With all the ingenuity shown by readers of this column over the years, surely we can come up with an appropriate name for the world's largest stationary flying saucer.
After all, look how successful we were in naming the former Lee Circle, which is now…what is it now?
The origin of "Turp"
Nobey Benoit joins our seminar on nicknames:
"Just about everyone around Thibodaux has a nickname.
"There was a 'Turp,' who got his nickname when he was a kid. He threw a bucket of turpentine on a clubhouse fire thinking it was water.
"The brothers 'Destruction' and 'Ruination' got theirs from their high school coach because they were terrors on the football field.
"Then there's 'Deck.' He got his when he asked his high school coach if 'decorations' (medals) would be awarded players."
Family tree II
Louise Ganucheau, of Lafayette, says, "After reading Mr. Bienvenu's Saturday entry (about Opelousas brothers nicknamed 'Stick,' 'Branch,' and 'Twig'), I sent it to my friend, the only sister, who was called 'Vine.'
"She reminded me another brother was called 'Stump.'
"Hate to leave any of the family tree out!"
Mary Kay Montgomery says, "Anne Cummings reminiscing about her Kentucky dentist (who gave youthful patients dimes, which they spent on candy in the five-and-dime store below his dental office) brought back memories of my Baton Rouge dentist, Dr. Watkins on Florida Boulevard.
"Dr. Watkins' office was next to a drugstore with a soda fountain. Good checkups were rewarded with a prescription for an ice cream cone from next door!"
Keep on rolling
With apologies to Heloise, here's our helpful household hint for the week:
Frank Fronczek, of Baton Rouge, responds to Saturday's request for stories about the many uses of duct tape:
"Not having a proper patch to fix a leaky bicycle innertube, I recently fashioned one from duct tape and Gorilla Glue. Both are universal repair materials, so as you can imagine, it worked great."
Special People Dept.
— Milton J. LeBlanc, of Harahan, celebrates his 94rd birthday Monday, July 19. He lived in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina. He served in the Coast Guard in World War II.
— Mary Lee Ourso, of Plaquemine, celebrated her 92nd birthday Saturday, July 17. She was a beautician and beauty salon owner for 52 years.
— Mary Anne Singletary, of St. Amant, celebrated her 92nd birthday Saturday, July 17.
— Gerry "Butsey" Perret, of Slidell, celebrates his 90th birthday Monday, July 19.
— Gayle and Sidney Allison, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 58th anniversary Monday, July 19.
Gail Stephenson, of Baton Rouge, says, "When we found out we were going to be grandparents, my husband said he would be proud to be called PawPaw.
"I was not ready to be called MawMaw, however.
"I decided on GG, for Grandma Gail.
"Later I ran into a friend, who told me her fiancé's grandkids had named her GG — but it stood for 'Grandpa's Girlfriend.'"