Doing a reader-driven column as long as I have means that, sadly, you lose favorite contributors along the way.

I hated to hear of the death of Dan Burkhalter, a special contributor and friend.

A Baton Rouge guy who wound up in Carencro, he slipped easily into the laid-back, fun-loving lifestyle he found there.

Years ago he started inviting me over when crawfish season was at its peak. His message would be something like, "Anders, come to The Crow Friday and we'll get next to some bugs!"

I treasured these visits, as I treasured his bad jokes, some of them printable in the column (the best ones weren't).

When I dubbed him "The Carencro Curmudgeon" he was delighted, and took to signing his email notes to me "C.C."

Dan loved life, and loved to laugh.

I'm grateful to him for sharing his loves with us…

Just a sample

If you were wondering about the nature of Dan's contributions to the column, here's one from my book, "Smiley! A Laughing Matter:"

The Ultimate Line

"Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, thought he'd heard every line a man could use to open a conversation with a woman.

"But he swears he overheard a guy say to a lady at a Delcambre bar, 'Mais chere, I like you tooth…'"

Teaching Papa

Larry Humphreys offers his experience with childspeak:

"I was hanging out with my grandson Charlie Nesbit, 2½. He was fooling around in my truck console when he found a Chapstick. He said, 'Put on.'

"So I helped him get the cap off and he 'put on.' He offered  a 'put on' to me, but I declined.

"I was still holding the cap and he the tube. I said, 'Let’s put it up' and moved to put the cap on.

"But he moved the tube, shaking his head and saying, 'Uddwaa.' This went on several times.

"I stopped and flipped the cap 'uddwaa.'

"Proud of me, he said, 'You got it, Papa !'

"I know — everyone knew he was saying 'Other way!'"

Special People Dept.

  • Lt. Col. Phil A. St. Amant, of Baton Rouge, celebrates his 101st birthday Sunday, Feb. 3. A 1939 LSU graduate, he is a World War II veteran, and served on active duty in the Army for 20 years before retiring at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
  • Vickie and Oneil Williams, of Metairie, celebrate 72 years of  marriage Saturday, Feb. 2.

Chocolate warmth

So to help them fight the cold from within, he's sending them the recipe from Tom Fitzmorris for "chocolate chili" he found on "The New Orleans Menu Daily" website.
It's a less complex version of mole poblano, and sounds like something that would be welcome on a chilly day — here as well as Wisconsin.

TV or not TV

Judith McDonald offers what she says is a way to stick it to the folks putting on the No-Saints Bowl:

"The NFL will conduct a survey on Super Bowl Sunday to prove the popularity of the game. They will show how many TVs were turned on to the game.

"What they cannot show is how many TV's were NOT tuned in.

"In order to get the true and accurate figure, your TV must be ON, but tuned to any other channel than the Super Bowl. This way, an honest accounting of the percentages of viewers and non-viewers will be ascertained.

"Boycott the Super Bowl by turning on your TV to some other channel"

Go to the dogs

Steve Koehler, of Metairie, say Gumbo, the Saints' St. Bernard mascot, "should invite McGruff the Crime Dog to join him on the sidelines next season, to make sure the Saints don't get robbed again."

He says it should be an easy job: "The perpetrators are already wearing striped shirts."   

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.