Smiley: Ready for football?

Back on April 11, as LSU baseball euphoria was building, I wrote this warning:

“Baseball is a funny game — it can lift you up and then break your heart.”

Sometimes the truth hurts …

Jackie’s game

Speaking of baseball, George Lacour, of New Roads, was one of several folks who told of being at the 1949 game in Baton Rouge when Jackie Robinson played in an exhibition game and drew an overflow crowd to the stadium at City Park:

“My uncle Billy ‘Ko-Ko’ Gauthier transported a group of us from New Roads to City Park in the back of his Dodge pickup to see Robinson perform, and perform he did.

“During the game between two all-star teams, Jackie displayed his base-running antics.

“He deliberately allowed himself to be caught in a run-down play between second and third base. In the chase, he eventually wound up safe at third base.”

Misplaced optimism

Still speaking of baseball:

Last week I heard from Cathy Childers, asking me to alert LSU fans in Omaha that her brother, Jimmy Blanchard, a diehard LSU fan “raising two future LSU athletes,” owns two restaurants there — Mahogany and Charleston.

I figured I had plenty of time to run the item, since there was no way LSU would be bounced out of the tourney by, say, Tuesday afternoon.

Right. No way …

Way …

Anyhow, if you’re still in Omaha and reading this, drop by for a last meal before starting the long trip home — or just to drown your sorrows …

Train song marathon

Rob Payer of WBRH/KBRH, the Baton Rouge High radio stations, liked our listings of train songs so much that he called in his two rail-riding hobo friends, Porter Payer and Boxcar Smiley, to play train songs from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday on WBRH (90.3 FM) and KBRH (1260 AM).

In addition to the station’s own extensive collection, which includes train tunes by Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, etc., some obscure songs unearthed by Ken Toups, of Lafayette, will be featured (Jimmie Davis’ 1931 “Davis Limited,” plus songs as far back as 1910, and a Ruby Keeler show tune with Ginger Rogers).

Rob says this will be followed by an hour with Baton Rouge’s great blues singer Luther Kent, who has a hot new CD out.

As Rob puts it, “What a morning of musical mayhem!”

Thanks, Spider Man

Keigh Ballard tells of an extraordinary act of kindness by, of all people, Spider Man:

“I was in Albertson’s on Perkins when, after I brought my items to the cashier and she told me the amount was $34.35, I couldn’t find my credit card.

“As I was trying to find it and getting flustered, a young man walked up, but I never looked back to see who it was.”

After going back to the gas station where the card had last been used, Keigh found it, in her purse wrapped up in the receipt:

“I went back to Albertson’s, and the cashier was all smiles.”

Seems the young man behind her in the checkout line had paid for her groceries.

He left her this note: “UR Friendly…Spider Man.”

Keigh passed the favor along by buying the next customer’s groceries …

Worthy causes

On Saturday a “M*A*S*H Dash,” an “Amazing Race” style race/scavenger hunt, will be held at downtown Baton Rouge’s Town Square to benefit the Wounded Warrior program.

The “first wave” leaves at noon, and waves will leave every 30 minutes until the last one at 5 p.m. Packet pick-up starts at 11 a.m.

Go to

Special People Dept.

Rudolph and Betty Jean Watson, of Denham Springs, celebrated their 61st anniversary Wednesday.

Just too cute?

Joining our seminar on unusual business names is Sue Sperry, of Metairie:

“My father retired to a rural area on the coast between Pensacola and the Alabama line to ‘get away from it all.’

“However, he still contends with the same pests!

“The name of his local exterminator: Critter Gitters.

“Also, there is a local rivalry between two convenience stores opposite each other: Tom Thumb versus Groovin’ Noovin’s.”

Doing the wave

“This was too funny not to share,” says insurance consultant Dustin Clouarte:

“A few weeks back I received a call from an elderly lady in Pride looking for a homeowners’ quote.

“She didn’t have a way to get me any photos of the house, so I looked on Google Earth.

“She was amazed with the technology.

“When I located the gravel road I then asked her to try to zero in on her house, ‘Are you the one with the metal roof?’ ‘Are you the one with the large oak tree?’ ‘Do you have a barn in the back?’

“Finally she got frustrated with me for not being able to locate it, and with a huge sigh she said, ‘I’m going to walk outside and wave. Let me know when you see me.’ ”

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.