"It's no secret to any Louisianian that our economy could stand major shots in the arm," says Perry A. Snyder, of Baton Rouge.

He suggests a statewide effort to bring major league baseball back to Louisiana for spring training and says, "Unknown to most, there was a day when three major league teams trained in Louisiana:

"The late 1930s found the Cleveland Indians in New Orleans, Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics in Lake Charles and John McGraw's New York Giants in Baton Rouge, in the shadow of Tiger Stadium."

Perry sent over an old newspaper feature story with pictures showing Connie Mack with Louisiana's Gov. Richard Leche, manager Bill Terry, of the Giants, and a young Cleveland pitcher named Bob Feller. 

Perry says a dream scenario has the Philadelphia Phillies coming to Baton Rouge with pitching ace Aaron Nola, the former LSU star, and drawing big crowds.

It's a fantasy, but a cool one. …    

Alternative medicine

"Wild Bill Hickup" adds to our old western movie lore with a scene in a Roy Rogers film "that got me laughing to tears.

"A friend of Roy's was in jail and had amnesia. Roy entered the small cell, two pistols on his hips and a white hat on his head, and picked a fight with the friend.

"Fists were flying, but there was no blood, bruises or torn clothes. Roy did lose the hat.

"What got me laughing so hard? Roy won the fight and, in the process, knocked the amnesia out of the friend."

Hidden gem

Mention of places where LSU students could get cheap food brought this memory from Jerry Artigue, of Lafayette:

"There was a 'secret place' some of us who lived in the Pentagon went to in the late '50s — the employee cafe in the basement of The Advocate building downtown.

"They served plate lunches for less than a dollar a plate. Five or six of us would pile into my old car and try to time our arrival to be just before closing time.

"The nice ladies there would be ready to get rid of the leftovers and would pile our plates high with food. We never told a soul outside of our group of our discovery. …"

And Don Meriwether adds, "We used to hitchhike to the Morning Advocate building to visit the restaurant in the basement.

"We befriended a lady named Hazel, who would provide us good meals at a nominal price. I think we used to pay about 75 cents for a hot meal and a dessert. It was probably food left over from lunch, as this was late in the afternoon, about 5 p.m.

"I don’t remember how we found this place, but it was a welcome change from the Hatcher Hall cafeteria on the LSU campus."

And I still recall the excellent biscuits. When money was tight and payday was a few days away, a couple of biscuits and coffee made a cheap, filling breakfast.

Fruit for breakfast

Glenda Barras, of Baton Rouge, says her neighbor Greta Heinzen, 6, "came over to have lunch with us.

"While we ate, we went all around the table telling which was our favorite fruit.

"When we asked, 'OK, Greta, what's YOUR favorite fruit?' she replied, 'Bacon.'"

Speaking of breakfast

Nancy Stich says our recent warning about the danger of rabies associated with raccoons concerned her because Sen. Bill Cassidy claims to have eaten a raccoon for breakfast after the intruder ventured into his backyard.

At first, I thought this was just a tall tale — Bill's effort to sound as homespun at his fellow Louisiana senator, John Kennedy.

But then I thought about it and realized this: "If you can't trust a congressman to be truthful, who CAN you trust?"

Popping, the question

Michael Hess says a recent "Today in History" feature in The Advocate told us: "On this date in 1630, colonists in the Massachusetts Bay Colony first sampled popcorn brought to them by a Native American named Quadequina. "

Michael says, "My question is, where did they get the electricity for their microwave?"     


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.