Smiley: Sugar babies

Glen Falgoux, of St. Amant, agrees with Chuck Falcon’s comment in the Monday column about our September birth rate being a result of New Year’s Eve and cold January evenings.

But Glen points out that in Louisiana’s sugar cane country, the birth rate is also tied to the grinding and sugar-processing season:

“My parents were cane farmers, finishing the crop by December.

“Most of their kids were born in September-October.

“My grandfather was a sugar boiler, staying at the mill until February.

“Most his kids were born in December.

“Then there’re my grandbabies, some the byproduct of hurricanes and no power.”

Equal time for WWOZ

After a reader rejoiced that Baton Rouge’s KBRH (1260 AM) was back to its daily menu of blues and R&B, it occurred to me that I should recognize another community radio treasure, WWOZ in New Orleans.

On every trip to New Orleans I start trying to catch 90.7 FM as soon I roll into LaPlace or thereabouts.

Billed as the “Jazz & Heritage Station” with the motto “Guardians of the Groove,” WWOZ presents jazz, blues, New Orleans music, Latin sounds and an eclectic mixture of music while promoting the live music scene.

My favorite story about the station (which may be true) is about its beginnings in 1980, when it was based in the upstairs beer storage room at Tipitina’s. At nights when bands were playing, the DJ, it is said, used to drop a mike through a hole in the floor to broadcast the live music.

Playing catch

When I heard that the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile visited several Louisiana communities (Chalmette, Marrero, Covington, Metairie, Kenner and Harahan) over the weekend, I recalled the vehicle’s visit to Baton Rouge a few years ago.

I was invited to take a ride on the Wienermobile, fulfilling a boyhood dream of mine.

We met at the Pastime, and two nice young people drove me down Nicholson and around the LSU campus.

They played the Oscar Mayer song, and attracted quite a bit of attention from the students.

When they handed me some little “Wiener Whistles,” I tossed one out the window to a student as we drove by.

Shocked, they told me that it was against the rules to throw stuff out the Wienermobile.

Since they were my hosts, I refrained from reminding them that we were in Louisiana, where “Throw me something, mister!” is practically a state motto.

What privacy?

Anna Cochran, of Walker, says, “Talk about the government listening in on our phone calls brought back memories:

“In the ’30s and ’40s, people listened in on phone calls all the time. No one admitted it, though.

“We all had party lines of three or four people, and everybody had a different ring.

“As kids we would slowly pick up the receiver and listen when our mama’s back was turned.

“Other people did the same thing, because you could hear a little click.

“Nothing much has changed!”

Fashion statement

John McGurk says, “After reading Laura Robertson’s memories of feed sack dresses (in the Saturday column), my wife Jeanette dug into a dresser drawer and found a couple of flour sack dresses that she wore to school and church in the late ’40s and early ’50s in Brownsfield and Baker.

“Actually, the material is quite nice and would fit in today’s fashions.”

Special People Dept.

  • Adele P. Williams, of River Ridge, celebrates her 90th birthday Tuesday. A family celebration-reunion was held in her honor Saturday at Smilie’s Restaurant in Harahan.
  • On Saturday Louise McGarrahan Smith celebrated her 90th birthday with family at the Baton Rouge Country Club. Son Dennis says, “She owns an iPad and still drives her Delta 88, so watch out!”

    Danny and Marilyn Madere, of Kenner, celebrated 50 years of marriage Saturday.

Deep thoughts

Harry Clark, of Lafayette, complained that his Friday Acadiana edition of The Advcoate did not have a “Thought for the Day” in it.

He says, “Now I have to walk around all day without a thought.”

(Don’t worry, Harry, lots of us do that every day …)

Light humor

“Chip in N.O.” offers a “printable and true” Cajun story:

“My friend Bob worked one summer with a group of Cajun guys.

“One evening they were trading fish stories and Bob told about a very large bass he had caught.

“One of the Cajuns said, ‘Bob, I was fishing in the bayou the other day and I hook someting. I pull him up, and it was an ol’ kerosene lantern — and it was still lit!’

“Bob said, ‘That’s impossible; that lantern couldn’t be lit.’

“His friend said, ‘Bob, you cut four or three inch off yo’ fish, and I’ll put my light out.’ ”

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