Martin St. Romain, of Raceland, has another alligator story for us, from the late '60s:

"I was at work when my wife called and said there was an alligator between our ligustrum. Our home is approximately 1,000 feet from Bayou Lafourche.

"The first thing that came to my mind was that two or three guys known to play tricks dragged a dead alligator to my yard.

"When I arrived I saw an alligator, about 6 feet long, not moving. I faced it; no movement, no reaction. I thought then it was certainly a trick with a dead alligator.

"I decided to test the situation one more time by throwing a pine cone at it. It suddenly got up on all fours and opened his mouth wide.

"I departed the scene, made a phone call to two of the guys I suspected, and they removed the menace.

"They suggested the reason the alligator didn’t attack me was because it was facing my neighbor’s dogs, kept in an enclosed area, and they looked more tasty than me."

A strangely unflattering thought…

Happy Snake Day

Speaking of reptiles, Keith Horcasitas, of Baton Rouge, says, "When our son Andrew was about 9, we scheduled a birthday party at the then open 'JB's Snake Farm' in Port Allen.

"We were allowed to bring in cake and ice cream, and the kids had a blast checking out all of the venomous and non-venomous snakes on display in aquariums.

"Andrew got to pick a reasonably priced corn snake for his birthday present.

"I don't have to tell you how the cake was shaped!"

Keith says after the snake farm closed the building housed a church, but doesn't mention if snake handling was a practice of that denomination.

Love at La Casa

Marina Castro, of New Orleans, says, "Your survey of bars of old would not be complete without the coolest bar of the 1960s, a dark, dingy Latin bar in the French Quarter, La Casa.

"It was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and in spite of its crustiness was the most festive place in town.

"The jukebox never stopped, and someone danced to almost every song — a pachanga, meringue, twist or cha-cha.

"There was a conga drum on a stand chained to the wall for patrons' use. Maracas and scrapers could be rented for $1.50.

"One of the regulars often danced with his drink balanced on his head. He never spilled a drop. He was a virtuoso on the maracas, and kissed the hands of all the ladies as they came in the door.

"Those were the days, my friend. I didn't want them to ever end, so I married my favorite dance partner. We recently celebrated our 50th anniversary."  

Read it and weep

After an Advocate story on Louisiana's litter problem, Julaine Gray, of Lafayette, shared this  discouraging tale:

"In 1992 my husband and I heard this from a couple in Bellingham, Washington, who had just returned from a trip around the country.

"Asked about their stop in Louisiana, their comment was: 'It has a very interesting history and some of the best food, but it was the dirtiest state we drove through.'

"How sad to be remembered that way."

Special People Dept.

  • Jane Ann Atkinson, of St. James Place in Baton Rouge, celebrated her 94th birthday Monday, Aug. 17.
  • Marie Dimaio Noto, of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 90th birthday Wednesday, Aug. 12.
  • Fellman and Agnes Bercegeay, of Gonzales, celebrated 70 years of marriage Thursday, Aug. 13.  
  • Richard and Sue Conran celebrated 59 years of marriage Wednesday, Aug. 12.
  • Gwen and Dennis Gibbs, of Covington, celebrated their 55th anniversary Friday, Aug. 14.
  • Anthony J. and Donna D. Greco, of Lafayette, celebrated their 51st anniversary Sunday, Aug. 16.

Forget what?

Harvey Pashibin, of Upper Lafayette, says, "I was watching TV and the commercial break was about some product to improve short-term memory.

"I turned my head to grab a pen, so I could write down the web site to investigate.

"Then I forgot what I needed the pen for.

"Oh well…"

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.