Gail Boeneke, of Prairieville, tells of an experience folks in this part of the world might find familiar:

"Back in the '80s, my husband and I were having dinner with his company's owner and his wife.

"We enjoyed dining with our friends at that upscale restaurant, and when the meal was finished, the waiter asked if we wanted coffee.

“'Oh yes, please,' answered the wife. 'Do you have demitasse?'

"The waiter replied with conviction, 'Oh no, ma’am; we only have Community.'

"We all simply smiled and ordered coffee…"

Cutting remark

Ernie Gremillion, of Baton Rouge, isn't a fan of unwanted telephone callers, and his hobby is "coming up with different schemes to yank their chain.

"My latest was to answer saying, 'This is Dr. (insert name). I am a cardiac surgeon in the process of doing heart surgery on the person you just called.

"He left his phone on, but can't take your call. You might try calling later when he is in recovery."

The town bank

When I was covering business news for The Morning Advocate in the '70s, one of the continuing stories was the rise of the mega-banks, which were gobbling up smaller financial institutions.

Al Bethard, of Lafayette, says that while employees at the big bank he uses are "excellent," he's still nostalgic about the community banks of the past:

"My father's brother was a vice president of Guaranty Bank & Trust Co. in Alexandria; my maternal grandmother's sister was a bookkeeper at Planter's Trust & Savings Bank in Opelousas. They were local banks; officers and directors were citizens and leaders of the local communities…

"In the 1950s, our local weekly newspaper in Montgomery (in Grant Parish) had an advertisement in each issue for the Bank of Montgomery. It was always worded thusly: 'Bank of Montgomery. Safe, conservative banking service.'

"It is the best bank advertisement I have ever seen."

Fats did it

Regarding our nostalgia story about the old tune "In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town," Pat Cougevan tells us Jerry Lee Lewis wasn't the only Louisiana artist to cover it:

"Listen to Fats Domino’s rocking R&B version — best ever!"

Speaking of music

A reader says, "I have about six boxes of cassette tapes from the '70s, '80s, and I think '90s I want to offload. Do you know anyone who collects these? I hate to pitch them."

I agree. Nothing to play them on, but I hate to dump something like Paul Simon's "Graceland." Lady K feels the same way about her Nick Drake tapes.

Nice People Dept.

Charlene Bercegeay Parker says she and Betty Joy "want to say thank you to the generous person who picked up our lunch tab at Roux 61 on Bluebonnet in Baton Rouge Tuesday. What a blessing! If you are reading this, my 91-year-old mom really enjoyed the crème brûlée to go."

Special People Dept.

Geneva Davis, a lifelong resident of Denham Springs, celebrated her 95th birthday Saturday, April 6.

Fitting remark

Harry Clark, of Lafayette, says, "There is an afternoon sports show ("Around the Horn") where one of the talking heads (Woody Paige) always has pithy sayings written on a chalk board over his shoulder.

"The other evening it said, 'I do cross fit. I cross my fingers and hope my pants fit.'

"That kind of struck a chord with me."

A very bad idea

Joe Fairchild, of Thibodaux, says, "The letter regarding graduation pool jumping (at East Ascension High School in Gonzales) brought back some memories of LSU days.

"We had ROTC parades each Tuesday, and it was the custom to dunk the graduating seniors in the Huey P. Long Field House pool after the last parade before graduation.

"We followed that custom, and it happened that three Marines were recruiting at the Field House that day also.

"After the ROTC grads were thrown in, someone shouted, 'Let's get the Marines!'

"The Marines formed a back-to-back semicircle, and took on the entire ROTC student body. At the end of the day, the score was Marines 3, ROTC students 0.

"Oh well, it seemed like a good idea at the time!"


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.