Smiley Anders sig 2012.jpg

In The Advocate's "Human Condition" Sunday feature, Susan King Gremillion told of a church congregation setting Sunday morning service times to give them early access to Piccadilly Cafeteria for lunch.

When I was a kid, Baton Rouge's Third Street Piccadilly was where you went for lunch after Sunday service in one of the downtown churches. As I recall, all the services ended at noon.  

Our church, St. James Episcopal, was closest to the cafeteria. The Baptists were a block further away. (Presbyterians, Catholics, and Methodists were not as close).

My dad always feared the Baptist preacher's sermon would end before noon, when St. James let out, giving them a head start.

Around 11:50 or so, when his quest for spiritual enrichment had been replaced by worldly thoughts of sustenance, I would catch him looking at his watch and knew he was thinking about Piccadilly.

Once I heard him mutter, referring to the Baptist pastor, "Preach, brother, preach!"

He did, past noon, giving us first crack at the fried chicken …

Sporting chance

My dad, a Mississippi country boy, would have liked Henry Bradsher, of Baton Rouge, who shares his often-expressed views on squirrel hunting:

"Using a 28-gauge shotgun to hunt squirrels, as Travis Dufour of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was quoted in Sunday’s Advocate as telling a seminar? That must be for poor marksmen.

"As soon as I was big enough to carry it, my father equipped me with a bolt-action, single-shot .22 rifle. He had grown up shooting squirrels to protect his father's Missouri corn fields and feed the family. He taught me on squirrel hunts in the woods south of Southdowns, which was in the early 1940s Baton Rouge’s edge of the country.

"Firing hollow-point .22 bullets one at a time, I learned to hit the squirrels in the head so as not to ruin the body meat (shotgun pellets can make a mess). We’d take them home for my mother to stew the old ones and fry the young ones.

"And just before Christmas, we'd shoot mistletoe down from the oaks to decorate our house."

Meaty topic

Joan Hall, of Baton Rouge, enrolls in our gumbo seminar:

Where To Go, What To Eat

Each week we'll highlights the best eats and events in metro Baton Rouge. Sign up today.

"My mother, Jeanie Hall, always said, 'Whatever you put in gumbo, please, please don't put meat in seafood gumbo. That's a no-no!'

"Her mother was a French Catholic, and in the old days we couldn’t eat meat on Fridays.

"But if you were making it with meat, potato salad in the middle was great."

And Mary Ann Riddle, of Baton Rouge, tells an inquiring reader, "Yes, sweet potatoes are still added to gumbo. I think that’s an Avoyelles Parish thing, because lots of sweet potatoes are grown in that part of the state."

Speaking Rebel

Teddy McGehee, "Ole Miss '68-'70 attendee," responds to a recent column item:

"'50s cheerleader Bill Bankhead's mention of the Ole Miss cheer being thrown back at the Rebels by the LSU student section was entertaining, but the words to 'Hoddy Toddy' are not 'Zim Zam, Boom Bam.' They are 'Flim Flam, Bim Bam.'"

Special People Dept.

— Beulah Ferachi, of Plaquemine, celebrated her 98th birthday Tuesday, Oct. 5. An earlier note had her celebrating her 90th birthday.

— Gerry and Marie Perret, of Slidell, celebrated their 68th anniversary Monday, Oct. 4.

Baby talk

Adding to our discussion of how children hear words, Sandra Vargo, of Clinton, says, "I have a dear friend whose daughter, when she was small, thought people were saying 'birthing socks' when she heard the word Birkenstocks. She later went on to become a midwife."

For the good times

Larry Sylvester, of Baton Rouge, a self-identified French speaker, responds to a comment by "Anonymous" about the popular saying "Laissez les bon temps rouler" being incorrect.

"I certainly agree with 'mon ami,' who sent in the note about correct French usage, although I think that those using the less correct versions of the French expressions are not in any condition to be concerned about correct usage — if they are following the advice given in the 'good times roll' saying."

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.