I'm often amazed at the ingenuity of readers of this column. They are a constant source of ideas, some of them useful.

For instance, Suzanne Crow, of Covington, comes up with this clever suggestion:

"With many family members scattered, quarantined, limited by travel options, work challenges, etc., rather than abandon all hope of holiday celebrations, our family created and celebrated ‘Thanksmas’ during the holiday season last year!

"Gathering on the most agreed-to, convenient date and place for all, we are now committed to an all-in-one holiday celebration of giving thanks, enjoying the traditional meal, good cheer, gift exchanges and love all around!

"Less stress, one mess, and so much to celebrate!"

If I might add something, you could stock up on candy for the kids and call it "Thanksmasween." 

Love that store

Here's an "Only in Baton Rouge" story from Dot B. Wallace, about those "Granny beads" of sweat and dirt found on the necks young boys after a day outside:

"Some years ago my son Steven went to visit in the 'country' (Greenwell Springs Road) and returned rather dirty.

"I was bathing him, and asked, 'Where did you get those neck beads?'

"He promptly answered, 'Goudchaux’s.'

"He was truly a Baton Rouge boy — everything came from Goudchaux's department store."

Two-play days

Jim Nichols, of Lafayette, offers this nostalgia item for our "Notable Athletic Cheers" collection:

"In the ’70s when I was at LSU, Coach “Chollie Mac” McClendon was the head football coach. He was a very successful coach, but he liked to run a very vanilla rushing offense — not much passing, lots of runs up the middle.

"He still won a lot of games, thanks to great offensive lines and backs like Terry Robiskie and Charles Alexander.

"But when the rushing offense would get stalled, some impatient fans in the student section would yell, ‘Run the other play!’ ”

He's baaack!

Where To Go, What To Eat

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Longtime WAFB-TV news anchor George Sells has been retired and off the air for some time, so it was a surprise when he turned on Baton Rouge's Channel 9 and saw — himself.

He explains: "After one of the never-ending storms this September, they brought out old George Sells to help tell the story about a continuing flood problem on Burbank Drive in Baton Rouge 17 years ago."

Airing the old newscast about Burbank Drive flooding was a dramatic reminder that the area's water problems aren't exactly new. 

After seeing himself from 17 years ago, the current George tells me this: "By the way, he still looks that good."

Saving memories

Rolonda Mayer says our hint about restoring water-damaged photos brings to mind "an idea originating with a post-Katrina photo conservation effort by my daughter's art teacher.

"She had the students bring in ruined photos, photograph them, and interpret them into new artwork, including collages or paintings.

"My daughter liked the idea so much she ended up also photographing other sentimental favorite ruined items before they were discarded.

"We still find ourselves reviewing the photo albums and files that resulted. These images are all that remain of many one of a kind memories. A lot of these images, even though damaged, are still are hauntingly beautiful.

"Save what memories you can now because once these items are gone, it is too late. One day you will be glad you did."

Nice People Dept.

Marva H. offers a "thank you and God bless you to the 'angel' who paid for my purchases in Walgreen's Friday. A greatly appreciated act of random kindness."

Native names

Jim Nichols, of Lafayette, says, "Following the recent trend of assigning names, I have a good friend who is originally from Basile in Evangeline Parish. He informed me he is a Basilian."

Cool move

Since I opened this column with a good idea, here's another one to close it:

Dave Grouchy, of Covington, says, "I have figured out the answer to the big problem of 2021: 'Where did I leave my keys?'

"I had a duplicate set of keys made, and I keep them at eye level in the refrigerator. I’ll look in there sooner or later."


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.