Joanne Cowgill tells this story of religious education:

"My grandson, Patrick, in sixth grade this year, started at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School in Baton Rouge.

"We are Methodists, and Patrick has been raised in our church so is not familiar with many practices of the Catholic Church.

"When I picked him up Wednesday, he told me he thought he might be in trouble because he did something wrong when the religion classes went to the church:

“‘They have this holy water and all the kids were dipping their fingers in it, so I did, too. I didn’t know what to do with it so I just licked it off my fingers.'

"I asked if he found out what he was supposed to do, which he did. I assured him that his teacher would understand.

"I can’t wait to learn more about the Catholic faith through my 'Sugar Dumpling!'"

Lunch with Ted

I once told Ted Jones I had heard him and his band perform an Earl Long campaign song at an event for Gov. Jimmie Davis. It was about Earl winning an election "when them country precinct votes come in."

Ted got a kick out of that and shared other such memories as the "country dinners" (chicken-fried steak, fresh tomatoes and corn) he cooked for Russell Long and others in Washington. 

Not long before his death, we had lunch at Gino's, where he told of his decades as a campaign adviser and lobbyist; his tomato and watermelon crops; his love of the Washington Mardi Gras, etc.

Like many older political figures who enjoyed the give and take of politics, he lamented the meanness and anger of many current officeholders.

A short time ago he told me he was organizing a country dinner featuring quail. I regret missing out on that dinner, but mostly I miss hearing great tales from that extraordinary man.  

Ted talk

Beth Courtney, of Louisiana Public Broadcasting, says, "We at LPB were so happy to have named Ted Jones a 'Louisiana Legend' in 2018. Your readers might enjoy seeing my interview with him. It features a bit of his biography that is fascinating. It’s online at"

Special People Dept.

  • Dr. Joseph “Blackie” Roumain, of Baton Rouge, celebrates his 95th birthday Sunday, Aug. 18. He is a World War II Air Force veteran, having served with the 49th Airborne Division in Leyte, Okinawa, and Japan.
  • Rosalie DeBate Sutcliffe, of Old Jefferson Community Care Center, celebrates her 93rd birthday Friday, Aug. 16.
  • Sally Macaluso, of Abita Springs, celebrates her 92nd birthday Sunday, Aug. 18.
  • Calvin and Teenie Bajon, of Baton Rouge, celebrated their 68th anniversary Aug. 9.
  • J.B. and Estelle Smiley, of Pride, celebrate their 67th anniversary Friday, Aug. 16.
  • M.J. and Eloise Chustz celebrate their 67th anniversary Friday, Aug. 16.
  • Deanna and Joe Lee Zachary celebrated 55 years of marriage Aug. 8.
  • Ken and Vicki Taylor, formerly of Baton Rouge, now living in Daphne, Alabama, celebrated their 54th anniversary Wednesday, Aug. 14.
  • Warren and Mary Broussard Perrin celebrate their 50th anniversary Friday, Aug. 16, at the World Acadian Reunion with dinner in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Their honeymoon was in Lafayette rather than Florida as planned, due to Hurricane Camille.
  • John H. and Margaret Morrison Ristroph, of Lafayette, celebrate their 50th anniversary Friday, Aug. 16. They couldn't go to Woodstock because of the wedding, then "almost ran into Hurricane Camille!"
  • Buddy and Frances Van Wick, of Scott, celebrate their 50th anniversary Friday, Aug. 16. They were married on the Mississippi coast just before Hurricane Camille hit.

Too many Sazeracs?

Patrick Piglia, of Metairie, offers this story about the rear-engine Volkswagen Beetle:

"Back in the ’60s I worked in the CBD of New Orleans. One day the office manager returned from her lunch break and, walking into the office, she was shaking her head left to right and telling us, 'I just saw a strange thing outside the office — a man was putting his luggage into the engine compartment of his VW Beetle.'"

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.