Gail Stephenson, of Baton Rouge, says, "The story about the first speeding ticket reminded me of this story my grandfather loved to tell.

"The first paved road in the northern part of Natchitoches Parish was U.S. 71.

"Even in the '60s, the old folks referred to it as 'the pave.' (Instead of 'up the bayou' and 'down the bayou,' our directions were 'up the pave' and 'down the pave.')

"Soon after the road was paved, an old farmer started to town in his wagon.

"When the farmer saw the new sign, 'Speed limit 10 miles per hour,' he mistook it for a minimum speed.

"He whipped up his mules and shouted, 'C'mon boys! We can do it!'"

Which reminds me

Speaking of local names for roads:

When my parents retired and moved from Kenner to Oakdale to be near my brother Louis and his family, they bought a home on the "north blacktop," which was what local folks called a road that looped around U.S. 165, the main highway thorough town.

The road must have had another, official, designation, but I never heard anyone use it.

And I never heard any talk about a "south blacktop."    

Jetsons revisited

Speaking of highways, Diane T. Martin, of Morgan City, looks forward to "new and improved methods of travel without all the congestion.

"Look to a future of 'The Jetsons' — no smog in big cities; travel to-and-fro without waiting in lines of traffic; hover machines?; maybe a type of 'helicar' or 'autopter?'

"More rail travel? We have gotten rid of so much of the rail transportation and the stations involved with trains, we’d almost have to start over in that area.

"Wednesday’s story about interstate highways and speed says, 'There may well come a day when our current interstate speeds are regarded as quaint and laughably slow.'

"Let’s hope our progeny read 'interstate highways' and quizzically ask, 'What’re interstate highways?'”

Stop that train!

Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville, addresses our recent series on personal service by hometown banks:

"Small town behavior extends beyond banks.

"When my wife-to-be was just a toddler in Marksville, there was a passenger train running from Bunkie to New Orleans.

"Her grandparents, with whom she was extremely close, had never been on a train or to New Orleans, so they saved their money and bought a ticket. Her dad drove them to the station, and took her along for the ride.

"It became a problem when she wanted to go with them but was told "No.'

"When she didn’t get her way, she 'pitched a fit' (some habits die hard) so bad her dad couldn’t stand it.

"Like in the old westerns, he chased the train and flagged it down. He boarded the train, presented his daughter to her grandparents, then drove home alone."

Liquid rainbow

Marilyn Harvell DiDomenica adds to our coffee stories with memories of a hot beverage for kids:

"When I was a child, I and my cousins spent a lot of time at my Grandmother Harvell's in Grangeville.

"Around 3 in the afternoon she would brew a pot of drip coffee on the wood stove. Since we were too young for coffee, she would make us a cup of 'pearl tea,' which consisted of warm cream, water and sugar.

"When it swirled around in the cup, it had the colors of pearls or the rainbow: blue, pink and yellow.

"What wonderful years those were back then."

What rocking chair?

Paul Allen, of Baton Rouge, issues this reminder that "senior athletes are off their rockers."

He says, "At 81 years young and still pedaling, I will compete in the 2019 Senior Olympics Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico, June 15-25, in the 5K, 10K, 20K and 40K cycling events.

"Good luck to the Rev. Herman Kelly Jr., another senior from Baton Rouge, competing in the swimming events."

Special People Dept.

Joel and Lurline Hilbun celebrated 68 years of marriage Sunday, May 26.

Thought for the Day

From Marvin Borgmeyer: "Remember, when you lose a sock in the dryer, it comes back as a Tupperware lid that doesn't fit any of your containers!"

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.