After Gordon Jarnigan’s story about small-town bankers and telephone operators in St. Francisville, I heard from Katherine B. Rutledge whose husband, Fenton, is the banker’s son:

“Fenton has another story about growing up in St. Francisville prior to the paper mill coming to West Feliciana.

“He says they had no need to use turn signals back then, because they knew whom they were following and where they lived.

“He said he never thought this was in any way out of the ordinary until a date from LSU was riding with him to their home north of town and asked him why he was slowing down.

“When he told her that was Mr. Spillman ahead of him, and he was about to slow down and turn into his driveway, she burst into laughter — right up until she saw the car ahead of them slow down and turn into a driveway.

“Oh yeah, Mr. Spillman didn’t use a turn signal either — probably because he knew who was behind him.”

High finance

Darrell Davis offers another small-town banking story:

“In 1963 when I was leaving for college, I stopped to buy gas at the local station.

“When the owner saw my car loaded with clothes and household goods, he asked, ‘What’s up?’

“I told him I was moving away to college, and he said, ‘You still owe me $35 on your account.’

“He then followed me to the local bank and co-signed a note for $35.

“The fact that six months later I borrowed $35 from the ‘other’ bank to pay my loan off is another story…”

Gimme a brake!

N.K. says, “I ride past one famous brake repair chain’s local shop rather often, and I cannot help but wonder:

“Is it a bad sign for quality brake repair if half the ‘N’ letters on their marquee are backward?

“I’m thinking I may just repair mine myself.”

Musical time trip

Dick Holler says the annual reunion of local ’50s and ’60s bands will be held Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the VFW Hall on Choctaw east of Flannery Road.

Members of the Dots, Rockets, Playboys, Hearts, King of Swing, etc., will perform.

Says Dick to his fellow music-makers, “Bring your ax.”

Fun funeral

Michael R. Eby says a jazz funeral at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Plaquemine Lock State Historical Site commemorates the closing of the Plaquemine Lock 50 years ago.

Friends of the Plaquemine Lock and the Iberville Museum are joining in on the festivities.

Michael says, “The jazz funeral starts at the Iberville Museum, crosses Main Street and stops at Lock’s Mausoleum. After a eulogy, the MSA West Jazz Band will continue the procession up to the Lock House.

“Everyone is invited. Bring an umbrella and jazz it up in the second line.

“At the Lock House we’ll have a presentation on the history of the Plaquemine Lock, followed by refreshments.”

Special People Dept.

• Leon Miletello, of Maringouin, celebrates his 97th birthday Thursday.

• On Thursday Evelyn L. Jones, of New Roads, celebrates her 96th birthday. (Daughter Sylvia Reagan says, “She was born during the devastating hurricane of 1915 — the poor horse and buggy almost got blown away before the men could get them in the barn!”)

• Med Hogg will be 90 on Thursday and will celebrate his birthday Saturday evening with jambalaya and music at a “MedFest” at Jim and Linda Hogg’s home in Prairieville.

Thought for the Day

From Joe Guilbeau of Plaquemine: “If you exercise, you’ll add five years to your life.

“But you’ll spend those five years exercising.”

Ivan the Mildly Amusing

Marsha Reichle just got back from Moscow where she says this joke was cracking them up in the Kremlin:

Q: How do you double the value of a Lada? (Russian car, pronounced “Yada”).

A: Fill the tank with gasoline.

Inspired horticulture

Joyce Perry says, “The recent discussion about newspaper rubber bands reminds me of my father-in-law, John Walter Perry.

“Each day when he brought the newspaper in, he put the red rubber bands on the nandina bushes on each side of the front door.

“He told the grandchildren that these were ‘rubber band bushes.’

“Our children were half grown before they realized that rubber bands did not grow on bushes.”