Smiley: Wit of EWE

Retired newsman Roy Pitchford, of Monroe, says the emergence of former Gov. Edwin Edwards as a media figure — chatting with Larry King, fathering a child, etc. — reminds him of an example of Edwin’s way with a quip:

“When I was news editor of the Plaquemine Post, a group of German business writers toured foreign-owned industrial plants in Iberville Parish.

“They were invited at the end of their tour to attend a press conference announcing a major grant to help Dow Chemical expand its Plaquemine plant.

“I still have a picture of then-Gov. Edwards smirking while Dow’s manager had this pained expression.

“Edwards had said that many people doubted the proposed grant could be accomplished, but added, ‘I am here today to announce Dow will be done’.”

On the line

It seems readers still remember telephone party lines.

The Rev. Joel Hilbun tells of his family’s line “in the Soso Telephone Exchange in Jones County, Miss.

“There were five or six on our line, and listening in was a regular pastime for Aunt Nancy Valentine.

“My two older brothers were in the Army Air Corps during World War II. When they had a chance to call home, we could tell by the strength of the ring that the operator was calling.

“Mom would answer; the signal was too weak for her to hear, and she would say, ‘Aunt Nancy, would you please hang up so I can talk to my boy.’

“There would be a click, and then a precious conversation between a momma and her soldier-boy would take place.”

Changing times

Speaking of phones:

A few years back, when Lady K and I ditched our landline phones and went to cellphones in order to avoid unwanted calls from salespeople and politicians, we didn’t think of it as part of a nationwide trend.

But it’s now reached the point where the publishers of the new Baton Rouge phone book don’t think it’s necessary to list residences that still use the old plug-in-the-wall phones.

I noticed the new phone book seemed smaller than the old one, but didn’t realize it only contained business white pages along with yellow pages until Lyman and Rachel Anselmo pointed it out.

Lyman says he called AT&T about this:

“After talking with two computers and Anthony and Rod at AT&T, I learned that one must call to request the residential white pages, which will be provided in 7 to 10 business days.”

Call (866) 329-7118 or go to www.mydirectories.yp.com.

No chips for you!

Mike Humble comments on The Advocate’s photos of columnist and Southern University official Ed Pratt, who’s on a quest to lose 50 pounds:

“After looking at the before and after pictures of Ed Pratt (congrats to him on his weight-loss effort), I couldn’t help but notice in the before picture the vending machine was half empty, while in the after picture the machine appeared pretty full — coincidence?”

Alaskan connection

Jeff Payton says he and his wife were on vacation when he spotted a photo in the Dairy Queen in Wasilla, Alaska.

The photo shows a group of men, women and children outside a Dairy Queen, and under the picture is the caption “Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1948.”

Our records show that there were two Dairy Queens in Baton Rouge around that time, owned by Leon R. Cantwell.

One was on North 21st Street (Scenic Highway), the other on Nicholson Drive.

From the houses around the Dairy Queen in the photo, I’d guess it’s the one on North 21st.

Groovy sounds

Joe Zietz comments on our mention of New Orleans’ jazz and heritage radio station WWOZ (90.7 FM):

“I live in Baton Rouge and listen to it regularly at wwoz.org on the Internet — iPhones, Android phones, the special Internet radios or just a computer work quite well.

“The stream is wideband and the sound quality is outstanding, especially when piped through a good sound system.

“It’s actually better-sounding than the FM broadcast in New Orleans, as it is digital.”

Special People Dept.

John and Laura Savoy, of St. Amant, celebrate their 60th anniversary Thursday.

Sweet talk

Doug Johnson, of Watson, says our comments about kids in Louisiana’s sugar cane country being born at a certain time of the year “makes me wonder if the Donaldsonville version of ‘the birds and the bees’ starts with, ‘First the man must finish grinding season …’ ”

Damp straight!

Laura Bond Arruda, of Maurepas, tells this story:

“One day, a child at my 4-year-old grandson’s preschool class in French Settlement told her classmates that she needed a ‘damp towel.’

“Some of the other kids thought she said a naughty word and told on her.

“The teacher stepped in to explain: ‘If your mommy asked you to bring her a damp towel, what does she want?’

“A little girl blurted out, ‘She means she wants that towel right now!’ ”

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.