"Your nostalgic visits to the past have made me recall a wonderful part of my youth," says Diane T. Martin, of Morgan City.

"We had a screened front porch with a swing and six rocking chairs. Grownups would tell stories from their past, and the kids would sit on the floor, mesmerized by some of the spooky tales.

"We used sidewalks rather than cars to get to downtown Front Street. On Saturday nights neighbors would get to our house and wait for us to join them to 'go to town.' We would gather more walkers as we went.

"Front Street in the 1940s was busy on Saturday nights. Some stores (the 5 & 10, Belanger’s Drugstore, The Bargain Store, Dave Kahn’s, and more) would stay open to entice people to shop. Others were closed, but we would window shop.

"We kids were given a few cents to buy candy at Belanger’s Drugstore. I always bought malted milk balls; they’d last all week.

"What wonderful memories of a simpler time."

Small talk

Lyn Doucet, of Maurice, adds to our collection of stories about small towns: 

"My nephew, Collier, is from the metropolis of Shreveport. One weekend he went home with his friend, Chuck, to little Gueydan.

"As they entered Gueydan, Chuck asked Collier how he liked living in Shreveport.

"'It's good,' said Collier, 'but it's hard to know everybody. Like, I bet you know that guy we just saw hanging off the "Welcome to Gueydan" sign.'

"'Oh, him?' said Chuck. 'Well, yeah. That's my brother.'"

It's all relative

Ben Farrar says, "As to small home towns, please consider mine, Lillie in Union Parish.

"When I joined the Navy in 1968, my position required a high security clearance, with a background check done by the FBI.

"The agents arrived and started their investigation, needing to speak to non-relatives. None could be found. That should tell you about the population of Lillie."

Hypolite the singer

Jim Firnberg says the death of former East Baton Rouge coroner Hypolite Landry reminded him that "he had a tremendous singing voice.

"In the mid-50’s I lived in north Baton Rouge, and my local watering hole was Shelby’s on North 33rd (now Acadian Thruway), where Nellrose English held forth at the piano bar.

"Hypolite would come in some weekends when he was in medical school and sing 'Danny Boy,' to the delight of those in attendance."

Super bait

"Another used-coffee-grounds story with your morning cup of joe," says Bill Haynie, of Slidell: 

"My mom would throw our used Eight O’clock Coffee grounds out the back door along with used Frey bacon grease.

"This produced very large night crawler worms literally at our doorstep.

“Not sure if used Community Coffee grounds would have produced larger worms, but I do know the worms did not suffer from high cholesterol.”

Special People Dept.

— Joan Oppenheim, of Lambeth House in New Orleans, celebrates her 102nd birthday Friday, March 24. Daughter Mary Ann Sternberg says, "Until Hurricane Ida made her condo complex uninhabitable, she lived in a condo in Metairie. She is now in independent living, takes daily walks, plays bridge, and remains interested in and curious about all goings on."

— Spellman "Pat" Decoteau, of Baton Rouge, celebrates his 93rd birthday Saturday, March 25.

— Rodney "Adam" and Linda Oncale, of Pearl River, celebrate their 53rd anniversary Friday, March 24.

Swimming with Godzilla

Lance Peltier, of New Iberia, says the swimming pool with the dinosaur statue mentioned on Thursday by Dale Price was at Carnival Beach, "off U.S. 90 between Sunset and Opelousas."

He sent a photo of the pool, and the scary dinosaur.

He adds, "That was our destination for the last day of school for our Class of '81 at Breaux Bridge High. It is just a field now."

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.