A reader's mention of the days of small-town banks reminded B.V. "Butch" Polito, of Hammond, of this incident:

"While attending dental school in New Orleans in the late ’60s, I had to get my car from an auto repair shop. I didn’t have enough cash, and they wouldn’t accept an out of town check.

"I walked to a bank a block away to attempt to cash a check. The branch manager said they didn’t usually do this, but he would try to help me by calling my bank in Independence.

"He asked me, 'Who should I ask for?' I said, 'The president's name is Tony Pecora.'

"He said he didn't want to bother him, so I said, 'The head cashier is Marianne Catalano.'

"When Mrs. Catalano was told he had a check from Blaise Polito, the manager immediately said, 'I see, thank you,' and hung up.

"He looked at me, and smiling, said, 'Well, I guess they know you; she said it’s good, and didn’t even ask the amount of the check.'

"He cashed my check."

The human side

The arrival of The Day of Reckoning, when our income taxes are to be filed, reminds me of my one and, thankfully, only IRS audit many years ago.

To say I was dreading it is putting it mildly. And the stern lady I encountered at the audit did nothing to put my mind at ease.

Unsmiling and businesslike, she started sifting through all my receipts, managing only "Is that so?" when I told her it was my birthday, and an audit was not something I welcomed on that joyous occasion.

She finally finished, told me I owed a nominal sum, and handed me a form with this information on it.

When I got outside, I took a look at the form, and at the bottom she had written "Happy birthday!" — with a smiley face.

Feed with care

Jo Ann Paulin, of Metairie, says, "All the animal stories reminded me of a happening when my friends, the Weilbaechers, lived in Tucson, Arizona.

"I was talking on the phone with Fay when all of a sudden she said, 'I’ve got to go,' and hung up.

"Found out later that her hubby, Wayne, was feeding the wild javelinas (pig-like members of the peccary family, found in abundance in Arizona), and he ran out of bread. She had to hurry up and resupply him before they started nibbling on HIM.

"The moral of the story is, don’t run out of food when you’re feeding wild animals."

Festus in freefall

Patrick Howard provides the last word on actor/singer Ken Curtis, best known for playing Festus Haggen on "Gunsmoke."

"Mention of him in the column made me think of another TV series Ken starred in. The name of the show was 'Ripcord,' starring him and Larry Pennell.

"The show was about two men who would skydive into adventure, and solve all kinds of problems. The series aired in the 1960s (1961-63) when skydiving was in its infancy. That was only a couple of years ago, wasn't it?"

Special People Dept.

  • Harvey Pryor, of Williamsburg Retirement Center in Baton Rouge, celebrates his 95th birthday Monday, April 15. First Christian Church celebrated the event with a Sunday party.
  • Lessleen Owen, of Lafayette, celebrated her 91st birthday Saturday, April 13.

Drink your shrimp

Larry Greenblatt addresses our Friday discussion of veggies used to garnish a Bloody Mary:

"It appears there are dueling Bloody Marys at the Houston Intercontinental Airport.

"Several restaurants advertise Bloody Marys. Along with more traditional fixings, they really guild the lily. In one I had at Ruby’s, in the international terminal, there was celery, pickled okra, dill pickle, olives, bacon, even boiled shrimp! Yes, it was good."

Waiting game

Helen Rankin, of Baton Rouge, was without landline phone service for three days while the phone company was laying new lines. After three days, she got her first call. It was a telemarketer.

More problems surfaced, and it was days before service was again restored. When she got her first call, it was a telemarketer.

Helen says, "I wonder what they did the two weeks my phone was dead."    

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.