George Lane says the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” (published Sept. 27, 1962) reminds him of Louisiana’s debt to the role the book played in ending the use of the insecticide DDT:
“Before the widespread use of DDT in Louisiana, there were from 50,000 to 85,000 brown pelicans, the state bird.
“But when washed into the habitat, DDT saturated the pelicans’ food chain, ultimately causing egg shells to become so fragile they collapsed during incubation.
“By 1963 there were no brown pelicans left in Louisiana.
“But after the ban on DDT, by 1990 there were 1,330 successful pelican nests.
“The BP oil spill assaulted Louisiana’s state bird again, but it appears the pelicans are surviving.
“Dr. Carson would be proud. Louisiana should be, too.”
Ramp it up
Karen Poirrier, of Lutcher, says, “When driving from the Mall of Louisiana parking lot, I noticed a road being built to facilitate traffic on I-10 East (long overdue)!
“Do you have any influence with the Department of Transportation to build an exit ramp from I-10 West to Corporate Boulevard, to take some of the traffic off College Drive (perhaps over that canal in the area of the movie theater)?”
(I have no influence over anything, not even our cats. But it seems like a good idea…)
At the risk of moving into territory occupied by Helpful Hints columnist Heloise, here’s Melanie’s response to the inquiry about people allergic to chicken eggs:
“To make cakes without eggs, try applesauce (1 cup equals 1 egg).
“You can also purchase egg replacement powders at Whole Foods and health food stores. Just be careful, because some are actually powdered egg whites.
“There’s also a recipe for a Mexican chocolate cake that uses no eggs and is actually really good. Look it up online.”
Take the cake
Speaking of sweet stuff, Joe Polack says the opening of Baton Rouge’s new casino, L’Auberge, reminds him of his favorite cake:
“It is a multi-layer (10 or more) cake with chocolate icing and chocolate filler between layers.
“My enjoyment of it goes back to the 1920s in New Orleans.
“The cake was either baked at home, or was available at prominent New Orleans bakeries.
“The cake originated at French inns, and we referred to it back then as d’auberge torte (cake of the inn).
“It remains a popular cake today and is readily available at several Baton Rouge bakeries. “However, over time the name has been corrupted and now appears variously as doberge, dobasch, dobos — but by any name, it’s a treat hard to beat!”
Dog whisperer needed?
Judy Collins says her grandson’s dog is “a rescue dog found as a puppy in bad shape abandoned in a culvert.
“As a result, she cannot be enclosed. She jumps our fence and won’t stay in the house. The thought of tying her up with her ‘issues’ is frightening, and to put her in a crate even makes me claustrophobic.
“We’ve gotten a notice from Animal Control that she must be tied in the backyard.
“Do any our your readers have any suggestions of how to deal with a neurotic roaming dog without tying her up?”
- Hal W. Gould thanks all the folks who were so kind following the death of his father, Alfred R. Gould, M.D.
“He had practiced medicine for 50 years in St. Francisville, having also served as coroner in West Feliciana Parish for over 30 of those years. He dedicated himself to quality medical care for the people of St. Francisville.
“At his memorial service the community showed their appreciation to him and to our family with their loving support and kindness. We are truly grateful for all the many ways people helped us have a wonderful memorial for him.”
- Legendary barber Charles Tramonte offers “special thanks to Tom Warner, who put together my birthday lunch at Drusilla Seafood. I am truly blessed to have so many wonderful friends. Much heartfelt thanks to all who touched my heart in a special way.”
Nice try, Mike
During a discussion of old-time typewriters, a reader recalled using multiple sheets of carbon paper to make copies.
Shortly after that, I got this note from Mike Manes:
“What’s carbon paper?”
Come on, Mike — I know you’re not THAT young…
After our discussion of musical instruments that get no respect, we heard from Chapman Morgan, of Santa Maria, Calif., with these two comments:
“The definition of perfect pitch: it’s when you toss a banjo into a dumpster and it lands right on top of an accordion.
“Also: A fellow parked his truck on the street with a banjo standing on the passenger seat. When he got back to the truck he found the windshield bashed in and another banjo on the seat.”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.