Just when I think I've lamented enough about this terrible year, along comes another story:

Joey Savoie, of Crowley, says, "After 2 hurricanes in 6 weeks and too much generator and yard-clearing time, my wife and I got away to Fredericksburg, Texas, for 3 days.

"Returning from Luckenbach, (where a couple of root beers went down), we noticed our part of the hotel was dark.

"You guessed it; a power outage, in perfect weather.

"The hotel clerk said she heard a loud 'pop.' We know all too well that blown transformer sound.

"My first thought was the hurricane 'power out' gods were still around.

"We were switched to another room with power, so the story ends well. But like Yogi Berra said, 'It's déjà vu all over again.’ ”

Chomping gator

Barry Dufour, of Carencro, says, "Reading the Saturday story about 'snake soup,' I remembered when my wife and I babysat for my daughter.

"My granddaughter would try almost any food when she was young. One morning when I was eating a microwaved breakfast sandwich, she boldly walked up and asked me what I was eating.

"I told her it was an alligator sandwich, thinking she wouldn't want to taste it.

"Without hesitation she wanted a bite. Of course I gave her one, and she loved it. To this day when she's over and she's hungry, she asks for an alligator sandwich!"

Nostalgia Corner

Gayle Farrell, of Meraux, stirs memories:

"In a previous column, reference was made by one of your readers to the scarcity (nonexistence, actually) of bubble gum during and after World War II.

"He opined how he and his friends cut one piece into smaller pieces, thereby making a piece for each of them.

"I can top that; my two little friends who were sisters and I took turns chewing our one piece!

"Also, waxing nostalgic, when was the last time you were told, after your bath, not to go outside because 'your pores are still open?' Whatever happened to 'pores?’ ”

Making of a man

Ron Swoboda says our Monday quotes from a Civilian Conservation Corps worker were "almost exactly what my dad told me about his time in the CCC as a kid from the Baltimore streets. He went in at 140 pounds and came out at 160, more than ready for what followed — a job as a welder building Liberty ships, then an Army Air Corps gunner on a B-29 off Tinian. He died in April last year at 96. A life well lived."

Eggs-tremely good

Another chapter of The Gumbo Chronicles:

  • Emmett Irwin says, "Growing up in a Cajun family in Port Arthur, Texas, my mother always put boiled eggs in gumbo. She made the most delicious shrimp gumbo with a thick brown gravy, and would make sure there were enough boiled eggs in it so each one of us could have at least two.

"We all loved to take the yolk out and smash it with lots of the brown gravy."

  • Lyn Doucet, of Maurice, says, "My husband, Deluse Pierre Doucet, raised as a 'prairie Cajun,' says they always had chickens in the yard, but shrimp were harder to come by.

"Eggs cooked in the shrimp gumbo stretched it for large Cajun families. Deluse has a special way, learned from his mother, of cracking the egg into a coffee cup and carefully lowering it into the gumbo. It is really flavorful that way."

Fair warning

Coleen Perilloux Landry sounds serious about this:

"I take such time and pride in making the perfect roux, using the best andouille and having the chicken just right in my gumbo. Anyone who puts potato salad in it never gets invited again."

And I would guess they also risk being whacked on the head with a big heavy serving spoon. …

He's Gumbo Orthodox

"A few days ago," says Brot Capers, "you stated in your column that you didn't want the column to devolve into a religious debate forum.

"Yet, for the next few days you continue to discuss religion. Eating gumbo is a religious experience for me."


Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.