Ronnie Stutes, of Baton Rouge, recalls the days when Thanksgiving fell on a different date (not that he recalls those days personally, of course):

"In August 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt moved the observation of that year's Thanksgiving, which had traditionally been observed on the last Thursday of November, from Nov. 30 to the next-to-last Thursday, Nov. 23, ostensibly to lengthen the Christmas shopping season to help the economy. (One source says that it was then considered 'bad form' for merchants to display Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving.)

"Roosevelt's action caused quite a stir, since things such as family gatherings and college football games had already been scheduled. Some splits were along political lines, with some states observing the earlier date, some the later date, and some both dates.

"In 1940, Thanksgiving was observed on Nov. 21 — in 32 states.

"In late 1941, Congress passed a resolution setting Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November, beginning in 1942."

Ticked off 

Harvey Pashibin, of "Upper Lafayette," says, "I received some correspondence from the Louisiana Arbor Foundation. Included in the mailer was an inspiring quote from the great naturalist, John Muir: 'Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.'

"I voiced this sentiment to my redneck buddy from Ruston. He replied, 'Between every two pines dwells another wood tick.'

"Some folks are just negative."

Recycling for profit

"I may start a new business," says Russ Wise, of LaPlace:

"My darling bride just told me she plans to shop for some Christmas stuff today — including some things she recently threw away. So here’s my idea:

"I’m going to rent a warehouse. You send me everything you want to throw away as you clean out your closet. And I will keep them for a year.

"Then, when you realize you still need them, let me know and I will sell them back to you for a fraction of their original cost.

"Talk about a win-win…"

School days

Michael Romano, of Lake Rosemound, says, "Reading The Advocate's article about Sacred Heart School's 90 years of providing education to Baton Rouge children brings back memories of starting school there in 1945:

"Miss Chetter, my second grade teacher, sent me to the principal because when she gave us a true-false test I just circled 'true, false; true, false' until I came to the end of the test.

"There was a fish pond in front of the school built by Monsignor Blasco. A bunch of third graders dared Jensen Holliday to jump in the pond. He did, and the water came up to his waist.

"Of course I cannot forget Sister Theckla, my fifth grade English teacher, who walked up and down the classroom with a yardstick in her hand as we diagrammed sentences. I still have marks on my knuckles from that stick…"

Special People Dept.

  • Marian Savoie Ronquillo celebrates her 97th birthday Thursday, Nov. 28. She worked many years in the Jefferson Parish School System as a special-education teacher's assistant.
  • Alan Darrell Bowden celebrates his 91st birthday Wednesday, Nov. 27. He is an Air Force veteran.
  • Rita Liddell celebrates her 90th birthday Thursday, Nov. 28. Formerly of Houston, she is a resident of Amber Terrace Assisted Living in Baton Rouge.
  • Audrey and August "Dick" Mendel celebrated their 64th anniversary Tuesday, Nov. 26.
  • Patricia and Richard Timothy celebrate their 60th anniversary Thursday, Nov. 28.
  • James and Sharilynn Aucoin celebrate their 56th anniversary Wednesday, Nov. 27. They have been residents of Geismar since they lost their Sherwood Forest home in Baton Rouge in the flood of August 2016.

Le fan

P.J. Bourgeois, of Opelousas, says, "Recent items about Cajun French interpreters in World War II reminded me of when my wife and I had a cabdriver in Paris who told us he was from Thailand.

"When I told him I was from Louisiana, he said, 'Oh, I love Cajun music!' ”

Catty poem

"Mr. John," of New Orleans, says his favorite Ogden Nash poem, from 1940, is "The Kitten":

"The trouble with a kitten is


Eventually it becomes a


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.