Joe Billodeaux, of St. Gabriel, says, "Continuing with alligator stories: When I was a young boy, I had a 12-inch pet alligator I kept in a wooden trough.

"One day the trough sprung a leak. I transferred the gator to our 14-foot aluminum boat, patched the hole, and planned to put the gator back in the trough the next day when the patchwork was dry.

"Unknown to me, my dad and his fishing buddy, Martin Wagnon, went fishing in the boat the next morning.

"They had been fishing for a while when Dad's burly buddy let out a scream, jumped up on his seat and began hollering about an alligator that had fallen into the boat.

"It dawned on my dad rather quickly that it was probably my pet alligator. They barricaded it under a seat, and it spent the day fishing with them.

"My dad, Mr. Wagnon and my little alligator are all gone now. But the story of Mr. Wagnon standing on the boat seat, waving his fishing rod and screaming at the top of his lungs about the beast in the boat became more exaggerated and humorous with every telling. It provided my father and Mr. Wagnon with warm moments of laughter for years.

"No alligator, large or small, has ever brought more joy to the life of two old fishing buddies."

Track star

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, addresses "the story about having to get someone out of the school bus at a railroad crossing and waving the bus through the intersection.

"This reminded me of a procedure originated by Joe Bourg, a friend in elementary school and gifted with foot speed and endurance.

"Instead of one set of tracks, we had two on La. 401 in Napoleonville. As was customary, a 'flagman' student would get off the bus, flag the bus through, then board and ride to the second set of tracks, where the same procedure occurred.

"On Joe’s first day as flagman, he flagged the bus through — then ran full speed to the next set of tracks, where he waited for the bus to flag it on.

"The distance was probably a couple of hundred yards.

"Joe originated what we all did when it was our turn, and would be called 'running the tracks.' ”

Stop and smell the …

Stephen Pritchard says, "A good friend of mine from the Hammond area used to hunt with us at Morganza. He also worked for a trucking company on the side sometimes.

"One day he was making a delivery in the truck over the 'new' Mississippi River bridge, and upon entering the Port Allen side he smelled something burning.

"He abruptly stopped his truck, jumped out and promptly called his boss, saying something was burning in the truck, and blocking traffic for miles on the bridge.

"Come to find out, it was just the coffee roasting aroma from the Community Coffee plant in Port Allen that drifts across the bridge.

"He was somewhat embarrassed."

Pete's story

Speaking of coffee, C.N. "Chuck" Heine says the story he told about his grandfather, the Rev. Charles Heine, working for Community Coffee in its early days was told to him by his father, Norman E. "Pete" Heine. Pete was given the first name Norman after Community Coffee founder Norman "Cap" Saurage.

Water rescue

Oneal Isaac sends "a big thanks to Baton Rouge Police Officer Gary Bergeron, who got out of his car and pushed me out of the intersection of North Boulevard and East Boulevard when my car stalled in high water during Thursday's flash flood."

Special People Dept.

Joyce Haydel Bedell celebrated her 91st birthday Saturday, June 8.

Sinful shopping

Catherine Schons, of Thibodaux, tells this tale of religious education:

"During our Bible study of the Seven Deadly Sins, our leader spoke repeatedly of idolatry as a deadly sin.

"Suddenly, laughter was heard from the back of the room.

"The leader asked, 'What is so funny?'

"The person laughing answered, 'What does the Dollar Tree store have to do with seven deadly sins?' ”

Louisiana Haiku

Hurricane season

Floods and tornadoes arrive

When do locusts come?


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.