As discussed earlier, much of Louisiana is flat, making activities needing hills a challenge. But we do our best finding high places:

  • Tim Palmer, of Lafayette, says, "While at LSU I had a homemade skateboard. One night I decided it would be fun to ride it down the ramp of the Assembly Center.

"About halfway down, after I had attained some speed, I found myself airborne. A piece of drainage grating was missing, and my rear wheel had gone into the hole."

  • Jeannette Beck says, "Living in south Louisiana, the only hills I ever saw were levees. Our front yard faced the levee, with cows roaming around. My brother Raymond thought it time younger sister Gayle, 4 or 5, learned to ride a two-wheel bike.

"At the top of the levee Raymond explained to her he was going to hold the back of the bike. About a third of the way down she picked up speed and he couldn’t keep up with her. Gayle did really good until she hit the bottom of the levee and the cattle guard. Hands, arms, and legs went flying in the air. Not good!"

  • Kim "Pops" Seago, of Columbia, Tennessee, says, "Back in the '80s I convinced my two sons, 15 and 19, to go backpacking in Colorado with me. Living in Walker, I discovered the only hills for our conditioning were the sides of the Interstate 12 overpass.

"After 3 or 4 weeks, we wore a trail going up and down our hill. Little did we realize that backpacking in Colorado was going to be a lot different …"

Losing their pop

Frank Fronczek, of Baton Rouge, laments the passing of a tradition:

"Looks like the 20-year run of string-pull poppers during the national anthem at LSU football games has run out.

"I found it a bit disrespectful to the flag (and to the republic for which it stands), but was surprised to find it a bit comforting when it spread from the student section to other parts of the stadium when students became alumni. I have always wondered who started it."

For the defense

Support for Texas regarding the placement of the LSU band has come from an unlikely source:

Algie Petrere, of Central, says, "Being a lifelong Texas Aggie fan, I can't believe I going to defend the tea-sippers of Texas for any reason. However, fair is fair.

"According to The Advocate (a reliable source), LSU’ s executive deputy athletic director Verge Ausberry negotiated a deal with Texas that LSU would be allotted 3,000 seats in the upper deck this year, and next year UT fans will be in the upper deck at Tiger Stadium with the same amount of seats. So the 'blame' lies with the executives of the two schools.

"Even from the nosebleed section, LSU's band made its presence known. I couldn't see them, but I heard them loud and clear."

Special People Dept.

  • John Yarwood, of Walker, celebrates his 97th birthday Monday, Sept. 16. He served in World War II as a Navy commander, and retired after 31 years service.
  • Jewell Davis, of Denham Springs, celebrated his 97th birthday Saturday, Sept. 14. He is a World War II veteran, serving in the Pacific Theater, and a veteran of the Korean conflict.

Gift raven

Nobey Benoit says, "One of my favorite teachers at Thibodaux High in the early ’60s was an English teacher, Ms. Brown. She loved poetry and tried, mostly in vain, to get us to like it, too. Edgar Allan Poe was her favorite poet and 'The Raven' was her favorite poem.

"One of my classmates, Terry, an avid hunter who knew taxidermy, bagged a crow, mounted it, and presented it to Ms. Brown as a raven. She was so happy she almost cried.

"I told her Terry bagged it with my shotgun. Someone else said he skinned the raven. Soon others claimed involvement in the project.

"Ms. Brown gave the whole class credit for the raven. We were happy — Terry not so much." 

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.