Cheryl Litwin, of Metairie, says, "On the subject of why you don't need to bother locking your car in New Orleans, here is a post-Katrina story.

"We were living uptown in Carrollton, and when we finally returned home after two weeks, we noticed an older model Chevy sedan covered in debris parked in front of our house.

"We asked neighbors if it was theirs and called the city multiple times to get it towed, but to no avail.

"Two years went by. One Saturday morning the doorbell rang. A very nice gentlemen inquired if we owned the car; said he was interested in buying it.

"It didn't take long to tell the story that we had hoped for two years to find the owner to move it. He politely thanked us.

"The very next morning that car was gone! Just like that we had found the 'owner.' Only in New Orleans…"

Ominous soundtrack

Brot Capers says, "Thinking about COVID hand-washing songs reminded me of my experience in the hospital.

"A few years ago, after a heart attack, I was waiting in the operating room. I was not in pain and had not yet received anesthesia.

"The song playing in the operating room was 'Highway to Hell' by AC/DC.

"I asked a nurse if there was a reason this song was playing in the OR. He responded that patients were usually knocked out when they reached there.

"I was worried that he knew something I didn't know, and doubled up on my prayers."

Woeful omission

Mike Harrell tells us this shocking story: "Your articles about red beans and rice reminded me of my days as a young Marine in North Carolina.

"Military mess halls of the era didn’t season food, and this ole Southern boy really missed flavor in my food.

"No choice but to eat in the mess hall, because we weren’t paid enough at that time to buy our food.

"One day, after waiting in a very long line, I finally got to the steam tables and saw a big pan of red beans. I very eagerly began looking up and down the food line when a server asked me what I was looking for.

"I told him I was looking for the rice, and he said they weren’t serving rice. I was in shock that you could serve red beans without rice."

DIY sandwiches

One of my favorite Baton Rouge rites of spring, Beth Shalom Synagogue's corned beef sandwich sale, will be different this year, due to the pandemic.

Do-it-yourself sandwich kits, for $50, will have the makings for five sandwiches: Pound and a quarter of Kosher corned beef, loaf of rye, etc.

Kits must be paid for in advance and will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 14, at the synagogue, 9111 Jefferson Highway.

Go to "" or call (225) 924-6773.   

Special People Dept.

  • Amanda Thibodeaux, of Laketown Village, Kenner, celebrates her 92nd birthday Thursday, March 4. She is a former resident of Turkey Creek and Ville Platte, and a Gold Star wife.
  • Catherine Bopp Federer, of Metairie, celebrates her 90th birthday Thursday, March 4.
  • Bo and Mattie Bienvenu, of Prairieville, celebrate their 54th anniversary Thursday, March 4. Bo, a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, is a longtime column contributor. He says, "Mattie is a special person for putting up with me all these years."

Champion ego

T.W. adds to our list of youthful sports achievements: 

"When I was 5, my parents put me on a local swim team. As it turned out, I won tons of first place ribbons simply by being the only competitor in my age bracket.

"This inflated my tiny ego tremendously.

"My specialty was the butterfly stroke, and after one particularly grueling heat my father came up to me and asked why I had stopped and popped out of the water right in the middle of the race.

"I told him I stopped because I wanted to see just how far ahead of everyone else I was.

"I didn’t get a ribbon for that one…"

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.