Smiley: Wrong book

Malcolm Wright says the Saturday story in The Advocate about a comedian/preacher “brought to mind a story dating back to 1956 when I was an undergrad at LSU.

“A youth leader at University United Methodist Church took a group of us students to a revival meeting at a small church somewhere in north Baton Rouge.

“The minister at the church was a tall, rangy guy nicknamed ‘Speedy’ and known for his colorful sermons.

“Here is an excerpt of one he gave that I remember vividly.

“‘The mother of the family was sick in the bed and close to dying. Her 3-year-old son, little Johnny, was playing with his toys at the foot of the bed when I came in.

“‘After a prayer and a few words of commiseration I said to little Johnny, “Johnny, run in the other room and bring back that old book we know and love so well.”

“‘Well, don’t you know, little Johnny left the room and came back almost immediately with the Sears Roebuck catalog.’

“Speedy then shouted in his most stentorian voice, ‘Folks, you can’t find God in the Sears Roebuck catalog’ — but I think all us young people and perhaps the majority of adults completely missed his point, because we were trying to keep from rolling on the floor with laughter.”

Defining moment

“Olde Guy” says, “Being from south Louisiana and living in the Northwest, I am often asked about Cajun culture, food, etc.

“I was recently asked the difference between ‘crawdads’ and ‘crawfish.’

“My answer: ‘If you use it for bait, it’s crawdads; if you eat it, it’s crawfish.’ ”

Notable names

Al Bethard, of Lafayette, reminds us that in Stephen King’s chilling novel “Needful Things,” there’s a needlework shop called “You Sew and Sew.”

He adds, “Renee Borne, a friend of mine, has a quilting shop here in Lafayette called ‘The Borne Quilter.’ ”

Skin deep

More than 100 of “the nation’s hottest tattoo artists” will gather in Baton Rouge on Friday through Sunday for the “Immersed in Ink Tattoo & Arts Festival” at the Crowne Plaza.

There will be “live tattooing, sideshows, human suspension, a Ms. Tattoo Pageant,” etc.

There will even be “a bounce house for the kids to stay entertained while their parents are getting tattooed!”

Shannon Gutierrez, owner of GFORCE Productions, says, “With the constant demand and less risk involved with getting tattooed, artists have learned to do amazing things with the human canvas.”

Immersed In Ink Magazine will conduct an “Alternative Model Search” during the event with the winner getting a cover picture and spread in the magazine.

Go to www.TattooAndArts

Cutting remarks

Back-to-school haircuts PLUS hot dogs will be offered Saturday at Walker United Methodist Church from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Hairdressers will be Sue Hilliard (“Pastor Jeff’s mom”), Marsha Barberi, Karla Waddell and Jean Urdiales.

Sue says it’s also an opportunity for parents to “meet and learn about Denham Springs’ and Walker’s ‘Mighty Moms.’”

Call (225) 664-7770.

No place like home

Donors and sponsors are sought for Habitat for Humanity’s 300th house in the Baton Rouge area.

Work will start Sept. 13 in Scotlandville on the home for Norvel and Takarri Blackburn.

When Norvel was 8, his mother became a Habitat for Humanity homeowner.

The home will be built over 10 weeks on Wall Street. The Blackburn family was chosen from a pool of qualified individuals and families. They will complete 255 “sweat equity” hours on Habitat build sites, including their own, and will buy the home with a no-interest 20-year mortgage.

To become a “300th House” donor or have your organization or business become a sponsor, contact Lynn Clark at or (225) 927-6651. To volunteer, contact Kristen Lastrapes at or (225) 927-6651.

Special People Dept.

Mae Rose Palermo, of Plaquemine, celebrated her 92nd birthday Thursday.

Clarence and Patsy Lorio celebrated their 57th anniversary Sunday.

Thought for the Day

From Robert Smiley, of Denham Springs: “Honesty is the best policy — unless you want people to like you.”

Sober strolls safer

After a reader said an Advocate headline warning of traffic congestion on College Drive was an example of a slow news day, we heard from Karen McLin with another one:

“I was floored by the headline ‘Study shows drunken walking leads to pedestrian fatalities.’

“Ya think?”

In a nutshell

L.P. Miller offers a minimalist take on the saga involving Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees and drugs:

“Playing third.

“Batting fourth.

“Taking the Fifth.”

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.