Mike Gauthier tells how a bartender taught him banking:

"A legendary bartender at Baton Rouge's Pastime Lounge, Joe 'Lip' Lippian, obviously had a heart of gold hidden behind the rough, gruff manner he treated we poor, innocent LSU students during the late '50s.

"Suffering from a recurring cash flow problem, I asked him one night to cash, and more importantly, hold for a few days my $2.50 check.

"To my surprise he agreed, and therein began a two-year financial juggling act such as the world of high finance had never seen.

"The Lip was excellent at burying my check under the cash drawer of the register until I was able to cover it.

"The owner of the Pastime, Joe Alesce, was either oblivious to or was OK with this brilliant sleight of hand.

"Bankers refer to this procedure as utilizing 'float,' and I am convinced that this wonderful experience with Joe Lip led me to a long and very satisfying career in banking — and a greater appreciation of the effect of a little kindness shown to friends and colleagues."

Turn, turn, turn 

Continuing our seminar on ancient days of television, Harold Mayeux says a sentence often heard by younger members of a TV-watching family was:

"Go outside in the rain and turn the roof antenna until you hear me yell."

And Alton Duke says, "As a kid, in addition to being the channel changer (who got up to turn the dial), on Wednesdays I had the task of taking the pipe wrench and rotating the outside antenna for better reception.

"Wednesday featured boxing, usually between Carban Bicillo, the onion farmer, and the 'Cuban bolo' puncher."

Going south

Marsha R., of Baton Rouge, tells of a travel destination that's cool — in every sense of the word:

"It’s becoming impossible to go somewhere so out of the way that you don’t run into people from home.

"I just returned from a small-ship cruise to Antarctica where I met another local gal, B.B. Baldwin.

"There were also folks from Lake Charles aboard this 98-passenger ship. And I see by the Sunday Advocate that Karen and Mike Loden made a similar trip at the same time.

"We may have to rent Raising Cane’s River Center for a reunion of everyone in town who’s been to Antarctica this winter."

Special People Dept.

  • Russell Ferrara Sr. celebrates his 90th birthday Wednesday, Feb 27. He is an Army veteran of the Korean War.
  • Claude Larry Taylor and Wilma Geuringer Taylor, of St. Amant, celebrate their 65th anniversary Wednesday, Feb. 27. They lived and worked in Baton Rouge until their retirement in 1988.

Agony of de feet

Sandy Shahady says, "I just had to put in my two cents worth after I read in the Monday column about Glenda Barras wearing gardening shoes to a wedding.

"Well, my story is worse — because I was matron of honor! Oh, the embarrassment!"

The Raccoon Gourmet

Bennie Hughes, of Prairieville, has what I would term a typical Louisiana reaction to our recent mentions of raccoons:

"Harriet St. Amant's raccoon story and Sen. Bill Cassidy's comment that he ate one for breakfast made me wonder — how many readers have a good coon recipe?

"My favorite — boil in crab boil, then barbecue. My grandmother's method was baking in the oven, with sweet potatoes.

"Makes me want to go coon hunting."

Silver lining

Rick Marshall sounds like a guy who always looks on the bright side of an issue:

"While I agree that blight is an eyesore for us all, I have to confess that there is nothing like living next to a vacant house with a big, pretty satsuma tree."

Tough Texas termites

Speaking of optimists, Walt Merrill, of Plano, Texas, says, "My home is all-steel framing — but termite control sales people still try to sell me a policy! Don't think termites eat steel!"

First taxpayers

Ray Reine, of Baton Rouge, recycles a timely Red Skelton joke:

"Income tax started with Adam and Eve; the apple was community property, the snake was overhead, and the fig-leaf was a device to reduce interest."

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.