There's such an uproar over LSU being fined $100,000 by the NCAA for the fans' field-storming after the Georgia game that a congressman wants all of us to chip in to pay the fine.

Meanwhile, the academic buildings east of Tiger Stadium, and the Middleton Library, are crumbling after years of neglect, and nobody in Congress, or the Legislature, seems all that concerned.

This reminds me of a bittersweet moment when I was an LSU student.

I was among a group of students invited to a dinner at the Faculty Club, hosted by faculty members who were Phi Beta Kappa members at other schools.

At the dinner, we were informed that while LSU did not have a chapter of the old and prestigious honor society, we would have been likely picks if the chapter had existed.

After dinner, a prof told me that Phi Beta Kappa examiners had visited the campus, noted that an addition to Tiger Stadium had been built five years before the university got around to building a desperately needed library, and determined that academics took a back seat to football.

It was nearly 20 years after that dinner that LSU finally got a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

That was a long time ago, but the football-first attitude of too many people in power still exists.

A Sears kinda guy

Dudley Lehew, of Marrero, says it was a sad day when he learned that Sears ("I still call it Sears Roebuck!") had filed for bankruptcy:

"My first baseball glove came from Sears and bore the name 'J.C. Higgins.'

"Our refrigerator and washing machines were Kenmore brands, and our sheets and towels were Harmony House.

"All shopping trips in the '30s, '40s and '50s began at the Baton Rouge Sears store on Third Street and North Boulevard.

"When I reached my teen years, I would catch a Government Street bus and go into town to stare at a (believe it or not) CAR Sears sold under the 'Allstate' brand. It was a small car manufactured by the Kaiser-Frazer company as the 'Henry J.'

"When I began my bachelor life in Miami in the early '60s, I went to Sears for Harmony House towels that lasted 20 years, and a stainless steel pot I still have and use daily!"

Which reminds me

When I left the Shreveport Times and joined the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce as a PR guy, I realized my newsroom attire wasn't appropriate for meetings at the City Club, Country Club, etc.

Not having much money, I went to Sears and bought a gray pin-striped three-piece suit.

It looked distinguished, and nobody guessed where it come from…

Phone nostalgia

The Advocate's Pam Bordelon says, "Researching for a story on Rotary Club’s 100th anniversary, I stumbled on this story from the Baton Rouge State-Times. Not sure when it ran, but boy, have things changed!":

"Getting a telephone is no longer a simple question of selecting what color or model you'd like. Today's phone options include: buying vs. renting, cordless or wired, pulse or tone dialing, new or refurbished.

"Consumer services such as at-home banking, shopping and commodity reports are becoming available over telephones with tone dialing."

Special People Dept.

  • Eugene Barrios, of Harvey, celebrates his 93rd birthday on Sunday, Oct. 21. He is retired from the Southern Pacific Railroad.
  • Gloria Turlich Rogers, a native of Buras and current resident of Thibodaux, celebrates her 91st birthday on Sunday, Oct. 21.

The hitting game

An old Istrouma High football player has another story about Jimmy Taylor:

"He once told me, 'They do not play football anymore.'

"I inquired, 'What do you mean?'

"He said, 'The backs — they run out of bounds.'"

Jimmy never ran out of bounds when he could find a defensive player to run over.

His coach with the Packers, Vince Lombardi, once compared Jimmy with his contemporary Jim Brown, the great Cleveland Browns running back:

"Jim Brown will give you the leg (to tackle) and then take it away from you. Jim Taylor will give it to you and then ram it through your heart."

         

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.