Perry A. Snyder, of Baton Rouge, addresses the recent story of the man found asleep on a couch in the Governor's Mansion:

"Louisiana is not alone in experiencing embarrassment involving governor's mansion security.

"Decades ago, a prison trusty who was serving part of his sentence at the governor's mansion in Jackson, Mississippi, stole the state silverware.

"Shortly after he was arrested, Gov. Ross Barnett held a news conference. Predictably, the heist of the state silver came up.

"If memory serves, it was the late Bill Minor, the Times Picayune's Mississippi correspondent, who broached the subject of the silver with the governor.

"Never at a loss for words, Gov. Barnett answered Minor's question with one of his own: 'If you can't trust a trusty, who can you trust?'"

Father figures

A small-town bank story from Joe Mistretta, of Donaldsonville:

"In the 1970s I served on the loan committee of a bank in Donaldsonville.

"Although credit reporting agencies were around, the information they had on small-town folks was little or none.

"We found the best indication of the creditworthiness of a customer was the answer to the question, 'Who's his daddy?'"

Peru brew

Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville, adds to our Louisiana coffee file:

"On a job in Peru, I ordered breakfast and coffee at the hotel restaurant.

"After declining to have my coffee cut with water or milk, I told the waitress I drank it black. She brought the coffee, then she and the other employees paused to watch me drink it.

"After I took a sip without making a face, she asked, 'From Louisiana?' When I said yes, she said, 'Only people from Louisiana can drink our coffee.'”

Growth industry

Michael Hess, of Slidell, joins our "look into the future" effort, suggested in the Tuesday column, with this view of the future of television sets:

"1950 — Big furniture box, 27-inch screen.

"2019 — Flat screen, lightweight, hanging on the wall, 65-inch-plus screen size.

"Beyond 2020 — Displays that roll up like a newspaper when not in use; transparent screens, and 98-inch 8K TVs."

Pedal to the metal

Bud Harger, of Belton, Texas, my classmate at Istrouma High, made the news on Waco TV when he donated his one-of-a-kind Romero pedal steel guitar to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Bud was 17 when he met a violin and mandolin maker, Harold Romero, and they built the pedal steel, which Bud says was the only one of its kind in Baton Rouge in the '50s. He played it on stage until 1959, when he graduated from college and went to work as an accountant.

Poetic license

Sara Lemon, of Baton Rouge, combines poetry and fiction in this contribution:

"Thinking about the fabulous crawfish boil at my church, First Presbyterian, on Palm Sunday, I decided to try my hand at haiku:

"Big spicy crawfish.

Sweet boiled corn. Hot garlic bread.

Cold beer. Heaven? Yeah."

Sara hastens to add this: "We really didn't have beer. The crawfish were so good we didn't need it!"

Special People Dept.

Carmen Simmons, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, celebrates her 97th birthday Sunday, April 28. 

Black-eyed Smiley

Ray Schell, of Prairieville, was a bit taken aback when he visited the LSU Arboretum and came across a rudbeckia, aka black-eyed Susan, bearing the name "Happy SmileyZ."

Ray says he didn't know I had a flower named after me — and I'm pretty sure I don't. Still, it's nice to think so…

Now that's versatile!

Dudley Lehew, of Marrero, sent me a sports story in a newspaper (NOT The Advocate) that no doubt got a lot of readers due to its headline.

The Associated Press story is from Boston, about the Oakland Athletics' relief pitcher, Pat Venditte, in town for a game with the Red Sox.

Venditte, the story says, is unique among major league hurlers in that he is ambidextrous. Two photos with the story show him pitching right-handed and left-handed.

But the headline informs us, "Amphibious pitcher makes debut."       

Dudley says, "I guess this is where the reference to pitchers' arms as 'flippers' comes from."

It seems to me such a pitcher would be especially valuable on rainy days…  


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.