It appears an upcoming athletic contest between the young men of LSU and the University of Alabama has caught the attention of many of my readers.

Ernie Gremillion, of Baton Rouge, tells this story about being true to your school:

"My nephew Mike has a story about the unusual way he acquired his given name.

"It seems that when he was being delivered in 1958, LSU was playing a football game against Alabama in its national championship year.

"Both his dad and the doctor were watching the game on TV, waiting for his arrival.

"When LSU won, the doctor was especially excited about the victory and suggested to Mike’s dad that he name the baby after Mike the Tiger — which he did."

I suppose it's fortunate that the doctor wasn't a University of Georgia fan — I rather doubt that Mike would want to go through life as "Uga Gremillion."

Winning kick

Paul Vincent Sr. says, "In 1979, No. 1 Alabama came to Baton Rouge to play LSU.

"Coach Paul 'Bear' Bryant gave his usual pregame speech and asked his players to just give him three points and they could win the game. On the way out of the locker room, he went by the tiger cage and kicked it, causing Mike the Tiger to stop roaring.

"In the end, the final score was 3-0 in favor of the Tide. This story was told by a former Tide player who was on that team."

Which reminds me

Evidently Bear Bryant was fascinated by LSU's live tiger mascot, which in those days was in a rolling cage parked by the visitors' dressing room, so the opposing team's players had to run past it.

I was in Pascagoula, Mississippi, the day after an LSU-Alabama game, and caught Bear's postgame show on a Mobile, Alabama, TV station.

He told his viewers, "LSU has this mangy old tiger in a cage. They have to poke him with a stick to make him roar. …"


One more comment about LSU football: André Moreau says it's "disturbing" to see LSU handing out "lavender and white" shakers in the student section:

"Mystifying. Gold has been used since the late 1980s — either with shakers or towels."

He wonders why this color change, "with the biggest game of the year right in front of us."

Replacement kids?

"Thank you for the Sears memories," says Mike Buchart, of Baton Rouge.

"Reading them reminds me when I stepped out of line or did something deserving of punishment, all my mother, Baba, had to say was, 'Michael, behave or I’ll get a new boy from Sears and Roebuck.'

"That always worked. I’m sure I was not the only child who jumped back in line then. Try it now, and unfortunately, you’d only get a confused response."

Yes, I had that threat used to make me behave when I was a kid. That was back when you could get pretty much everything at Sears, so to my young mind, it seemed perfectly reasonable that parents could purchase new children there.

Special People Dept.

June Boucher celebrates her 97th birthday Tuesday, Oct. 30.

Fair warning

This bit of nostalgia from Carol Stutzenbecker, of Kenner, provides a dose of reality to folks who long for "the good old days:"

"In the 1950s, my family of five would make day trips in our two-tone green Pontiac from Shreveport to Plain Dealing, where my dad grew up.

"We would visit his brother Robert and my aunt Nettie, who lived in the country.

"Fortunately, their modest country house did have electricity but was lacking in modern plumbing. You guessed it — they had a dreaded outhouse.

"To make matters worse, we were told to watch out for snakes when making a trip to the 'outside facilities.'"

Silent treatment

Gene Dartez, of Baton Rouge, says, "At last, you have a topic on which I can offer an informed opinion — hearing impairment.

"I have been dealing with this subject for several years now and have come to the conclusion that much of the spoken word is irrelevant."

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.