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Kirk Guidry tells of his reaction to Tuesday's conflagration at the Caesars Superdome:

"As my wife and I took our daily walk in the French Quarter and CBD, we noticed black smoke coming from the Superdome.

"We waited a while to see if it turned white, to indicate the Saints had a new quarterback."

Discovering gumbo

With the jubilation about the arrival of "gumbo weather," I should use this occasion to confess a woeful ignorance about the dish in my early years.

"Gumbo" to my Natchez family meant seafood gumbo only, made with shrimp, crab, okra, and tomatoes.

Then in my 20s, while working for Louisiana Farm Bureau, I attended a parish Farm Bureau board meeting and supper in Opelousas, where the gumbo turned out to be made of chicken and sausage, bathed in a rich brown roux broth, unlike anything I had ever tasted.

Over the years I've become a pretty fair gumbo cook myself, but I've never been able to duplicate the dish those Cajun farmers served me that night …   

Name, please

Dudley Lehew, of Marrero, addresses Thursday's question about what folks in Natchitoches call themselves:

"I suggest 'Nak uh toe shuns.'" (Although it might sound too much like 'Naked tushes.'")

Kids and money

Marsha R., of Baton Rouge, "Like Bill Huey (in the Wednesday column), as a kid I, too, was sent off with money tied into the corners of my handkerchief.

"In Hawaii, it was two dimes; enough to catch a bus to get home.

"My mother called it 'Mad Money.'

"I finally figured out that it was because she got mad if I spent it."

Cool move

Lori Walsh, of Prairieville, joins our discussion on ways to keep cool before AC:

"As a freshman at LSU in the '70s, we lived in dorms without air conditioning. We had a fan in the window, and at night my roommate would put Noxzema cream on her arms and legs to help her cool off. I've never heard of anyone else doing that."

Where To Go, What To Eat

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Well, it worked on my sunburns, so maybe she was on to something … 

Special People Dept.

— James Roberson, of Mandeville, celebrates his 100th birthday Friday, Sept. 24. He was an Army Air Corps communications officer in World War II, then reenlisted in 1948 into the new Air Force, serving in Korea. He retired as a major in the Air Force Reserve. Hosanna Lutheran Church honored him with a cake and balloons.

— Claire Dudenhefer celebrates her 100th birthday Sunday, Sept. 26. Formerly from New Orleans and Chalmette, she currently lives with her daughter in Picayune, Mississippi.

— E.C. “Bud” and Shirley Sutton, of Zachary, celebrate their 68th anniversary Saturday, Sept. 25.

— Chick and Jeanie Streat, of Baton Rouge, celebrate 61 years of marriage Friday, Sept. 24.

— Harry and Ann Green, of Houma, celebrate 55 years of marriage Friday, Sept. 24.

— James and Mary Jo Grose, of Meraux in St. Bernard Parish, celebrate their 50th anniversary Saturday, Sept. 25, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. He is an Army Vietnam  veteran.

Time off

After mention of the Northwestern University cheer reminding their athletic opponents they'll be working for Northwestern grads some day, we heard from Shooter Mullins:

"It brought to mind the retort, attributed to Purdue when playing a team of highbrows:

"'That's OK, that's alright,

I ain't working for you tonight!'"

(Frank Arrigo, of Baton Rouge, says, "Years ago my brother, Paul, and I attended an LSU vs. Vanderbilt game. After reminding their fans that they were 'Tiger Bait,' we were the recipients of 'That’s alright, it’s OK, you’re going to work for us some day.'

"Our response: 'That’s alright, it’s OK, but it will be at twice your pay.'")

No miracles here

Algie Petrere, of Central, found this little tale that bears a sobering message for those of us who complain about our mug shots on official items:

Her storyteller told her, "After taking the exams and having my driver's license photo taken on a hot humid day, I asked, 'Could I could get a better picture?'

"The officer replied, 'If you bring a better face.'"

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.