After a year of isolation, I find myself getting nostalgic about the days when large, festive gatherings were the norm.

For instance, during my LSU student days groups of us would periodically descend on the French Quarter to do what college students do. I'm sure we weren't a pretty sight… 

We had very little money, and planned on spending most of that on beer. So we ate as cheaply as possibly. But when we found we could not live on Lucky Dogs alone, we would order the cheapest po-boy on any eatery's menu — the french fry po-boy.

The idea of fried potatoes on bread doesn't sound that appetizing, until you add the wonderful brown gravy every sandwich shop has in a pan from making its roast beef po-boys. Ideally, it has bits of meat in it (aka debris). 

The gravy turns the humble dish into a meal that is as tasty as it is filling.     

By demand

Just ask Stanley "Mouse" Mahne, of Metairie, about the french fry po-boy.

Mouse says the Monday mention by Audrey F. Schilling of fried potato po-boys "brought back memories from when my wife was expecting our firstborn son in 1967.

"She had a craving for a french-fried potato po-boy with roast beef gravy and mayo and, of course, pickles, at about 2 in the morning.

"The only place that had them at that time was Martin Brothers Po-Boys on St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans.

"Needless to say I got up, got dressed, and went to get her one. To this day she still loves them."

Slow walking

"You know it's spring and allergy season," says Paul Major, of Livonia, "when you are walking back to the breakfast table from the coffee pot with a full cup of coffee and desperately trying to not sneeze."

The hole truth

Back in my day (when you reach a certain age you're allowed to say "Back in my day …"), when I was a young newspaper reporter, our editors wore green eyeshades and smoked smelly cigars and kept a bottle of cheap bourbon in their bottom desk drawer.

Their only hobby was terrorizing young reporters.

Today's editors have adopted other hobbies.

On Page 5C of the Tuesday Advocate Sports section, we learned that our editor, Peter Kovacs, shot a hole-in-one on March 27 at Baton Rouge's Webb Memorial golf course.

The feat was said to have been accomplished with a 9-iron on Hole No. 15, 95 yards long. The "witness" was listed as one "Len Apcar."

Our investigative reporting team is checking this out…

Remembering Buster

Richie Zitzmann, of Mandeville, who lived in LSU's Kirby Smith dorm (soon to be rubble) from 1984 to 1989, says we shouldn't end the story of the dorm without mentioning Buster Schilling, "the head resident of the dorm back in those years. He was a tough old dude, but a really good guy once you got to know him. I’m sure many other residents will remember him. I wouldn’t trade those five years for anything."

Special People Dept.

Beth and Buddy Spiers, of Prairieville, celebrate 60 years of marriage Thursday, April 8.

Colorful reminders

As another hurricane season looms, it's rather discouraging to note that blue tarps on roofs are still with us.

Lynnette Molin says, "From my car at the stoplight at the corner of Veterans Highway and Williams Boulevard in Kenner, I saw nine blue roof patches on the Red Roof Inn.

"If any more patches are required, it might want to consider changing its name to Blue Roof Inn."

Cutting remark

Nell Aucoin Naquin, of Baton Rouge, continues our series on names:

"I was given pause when I saw the name of the assigned surgeon for my thyroidectomy: Dr. Butcher!

"But then, who better to trust my surgery to than someone who is versed in the intricacies of slicing, cutting and dressing meats.

"As it turned out, he knew what he was doing — hardly visible is the scar in my neck. However, not all credit belongs to him. My aging wrinkles also help in camouflaging my scar!"

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.