"This is a story I didn't tell many people," says Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington. "But when you're old, who cares?

"We couldn't wait to invite our friends over to our first house, an 850-square-foot palace.

"My mother-in-law was known for making the best gumbo in the world, so I got her recipe and invited a few friends to come to a house-warming to eat gumbo for my first meal in our new house.

"I followed her recipe very carefully. When I came to where she said, 'Put in the filé' at the very end, I added it, put the heat on low and went to take a bath.

"Upon returning, I started to stir the pot and found that the spoon was standing up in the gumbo and I couldn't get it out.

"I tried to doctor it with water, but the more I did the scarier that gumbo looked.

"I was in a panic; what to do? I buried the gumbo in the backyard, pot and all, and ordered pizza.

"My guests, seeing no gumbo, guessed that I had put the entire bottle of filé in it. We laughed all night."

He's chicken quick

Kirk Guidry, of Baton Rouge, offers this comment on the LSU-Auburn football contest and Auburn's elusive quarterback:

"I love my LSU Tigers, but can’t help thinking a former student of mine was on the mark when he described the Tiger defense trying to tackle Bo Nix.

"He said it reminded him of 'Courir de Mardi Gras,' where drunk men try to catch a chicken."

First priorities

After a comment in the Monday column about there being more important things to worry about than the score of a football game, David Couvillon, of Brusly, responded:

"Sure there are. Like:

"'Where we gonna park?'

"'Gumbo or jambalaya?'

"'Do we have enough chairs?'

"'Set up a dining tent?'


"'Who's gonna bring the beer?'"

The mule patch

"Your recent story about the circus elephant being buried reminded me of a similar incident," says David Palmisano, of Marrero:

"My father came from a long line of Italian truck farmers. Even though he had a tractor for the big jobs, he kept a pair of mules to carry on 'old school' farming methods.

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"When one of the mules died, a deep hole was dug in the middle of the field for its burial.

"Nothing marked the spot. It wasn't necessary, because for years it was very obvious where the mule was buried.

"No matter what the crop, especially okra and tomatoes, the plants were always greener and taller at that spot."

Michigan method

Donna Daniels Wakeman joins our "residents' names" discussion:

"I have visited friends who summer in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, which is referred to as the U.P. It seemed logical to me that people who lived there should be called 'Uppers,' but apparently they prefer to call themselves 'Youpers.'"

The other potato

Henri Deshotels, of Abbeville, keeps our gumbo chronicles going:

"Just read the comment by my friend Dee Doucet concerning potato salad in gumbo.

"As a child, I remember family members adding sweet potato to their gumbo. Is that, too, still a common practice?"

Happy return

JD, of Baton Rouge, extends "A big thank you to the Baton Rouge Police Department for searching for and finding my husband, who has dementia and wandered away from home Saturday afternoon.

"The officers searched the neighborhood and found him pretty quickly, much to my relief.

"They showed such compassion and caring. You are the best, BRPD!"

Special People Dept.

Beulah Ferachi, of Plaquemine, celebrates her 90th birthday Tuesday, Oct. 5.

The Bama view

Alex "Sonny" Chapman, of Ville Platte, says, "The Monday column's 'It’s only a game' submission, re college football, reminds me of a supposed quote from Bear Bryant.

"Someone asked him during the week before the Alabama/Auburn game if it was 'life or death.'

"He replied, 'No. It’s more important than that.'"

Eternal life

This column's unpaid medical adviser Marvin Borgmeyer, of Baton Rouge, came out of the lab the other day and made this pronouncement:

"Brain cells, hair cells, and skin cells all die constantly. Fat cells, on the other hand, live forever!"

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.