Smiley: No ‘War of the Worlds’

Recent events from outer space remind Jodie Mae Crawford, of Central, of this alarming event:

“One night in the mid-1950s I was up late in my home in Glen Oaks, and noticed the window blinds light up very brightly in the living room.

“So I pulled the blinds back — and saw the entire Baton Rouge sky lit up with a brilliant white light, and chunks of something falling from the sky.

“I thought that possibly two airplanes had collided in the sky.

“About 15 minutes later, I turned on the 10 p.m. news, where Brooks Read, the newscaster then, was telling about a meteor that had hit Marsh Island just off the coast of Louisiana.

“Unfortunately, I misunderstood Brooks to say that the debris falling from the sky was ‘Martian,’ not ‘Marsh Island.’

“I spent the rest of the night worrying about how much more debris would be falling from Mars.

“The next morning, I was relieved to find out that the meteor shower was over, and it wasn’t coming from Mars.

“As far as I remember, no injuries were reported on Marsh Island.

“Does anyone else who was around in the ’50s remember this meteor?”

Food for thought

Daphne Crawford offers evidence that this is a food-obsessed community:

“I wonder how many other people initially misread the recent Advocate headline: ‘Officials, citizens tackle EBR’s food deserts’ as ‘food desserts.’

“My first thought was, ‘Dadgummit, you can downsize sodas, experiment with fat-free fries, but DO NOT meddle with my king cake!’ ”

Initial reaction

Ronnie Stutes says, “Before the recent named snowstorm (when did they start naming snowstorms, anyway?), Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick appeared at a news conference wearing a vest with the initials of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

“I guess it’s comforting to know you’re being looked after by an agency called ‘Mee-Maw.’ ”

Still forgetful

Alison Johannessen tells of a close encounter with Mr. Forgetful, the absent-minded young man who keeps locking his keys in his car and then has to beg money from strangers so he can pay Pop-A-Lock:

“One evening as we were leaving Five Guys restaurant we were approached by a young man needing money to get his keys out of his car. Luckily, I remembered your readers writing about a similar situation.

“I told him I had recently read about a scam that sounds just like what he was doing. He was very surprised!

“We did not give him money.”

Worthy causes

A “Squeeze Out Cancer Fun Run/Walk” will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Woodlawn High to benefit the “Eastside Lemonators” Relay for Life team.

To register, order T-shirts, etc., go to

Thank-you note

Melonie Picou and Barbara Noel thank Ourso Funeral Home of Gonzales and others who made the funeral for their brother, Cpl. Joseph William Fontenot, a Korean War POW who died at the age of 20, so “remarkable.”

Others who helped at the services for the soldier, whose remains were finally returned to Louisiana, include the Patriot Guard Riders, the military pallbearers, the news media and “the wonderful people who stood on the side of the highway in the cold, saluting and waving flags.”

Special People Dept.

Henry and Beverly Engels, of Central, celebrate their 65th anniversary Wednesday.

On Wednesday Bill and Joyce Braswell, of Ethel, celebrate 62 years of marriage.

A matter of volume

Kim “Pops” Seago, of Columbia, Tenn., tells of his brief career as an entrepreneur:

“In the mid-1950s, while in the seventh or eightth grade at Woodlawn, I would try to sell the most tickets to the Shrine Circus when it was in town.

“The winners would receive a prize of $5, $3 or $1.

“After I won the $5 prize two years in a row, they changed the requirement to ‘most money’ when they realized I was giving two children’s tickets to each adult instead of one adult ticket, telling the adults that the two children’s tickets would let them in — since they cost the same as one adult ticket.

“I did not win the $5 prize the next year.

“Too bad my young entrepreneurial skill did not carry over to adulthood.”

Fair warning

Marvin Borgmeyer reports seeing this sign near a home in Clinton:

“Baiting Deer is Illegal.

“This corn pile is intended for squirrels, chipmunks and other such animals.

“Any deer found eating this corn will be shot!”

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.

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