Smiley: Football genie?

Dear Smiley: With the football playoffs, projected bowl pairings and BCS standings dominating the sports pages these days, I wanted to share with you our family’s good fortune in choosing “football colleges.”

Spouse and I are 1969 and 1970 respective graduates of the University of Texas, when the Horns were back-to-back national champions.

Fast forward about 30 years, and both our offspring were students at the University of Tennessee when the Vols won the national title.

Daughter, after graduation, returned home to attend LSU Medical School just in time to be a part of LSU’s national championship year.

Son, after three years at LSU doing graduate work, headed north to Columbia, Mo., in July to become assistant director of the Mizzou band. Missouri’s 11-1 and headed to the SEC championship game.

Daughter, now a doctor at North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond, is affiliated with Southeastern University, Southland Conference champions.

We’re still trying to figure out if it’s a stroke of bizarre luck or if maybe there is a genetic factor in place here.

Our friends whose teams are mired in the doldrums are pleading with us to send a family member to their alma mater, hoping we’ll bring along whatever “football genie” we might have.


New Orleans

Let’s party!

Dear Smiley: “Le charivari” was a custom here in St. James Parish.

No one knows who brought it here — either the French or the Acadians.

When a widow or widower married a single person, a party was held with the community right after the wedding.

One of the largest charivari held in St. James Parish was in Convent in 1928.

Mr. Alexander Brignac, a widower, was marrying a young woman by the name of Lucie Schexnayder.

After the wedding was held at St. Michael Church, the couple ran off, leaving the community without the party.

After about a week, the couple finally had the party for the community.

In a book entitled “Cabanocey” by Miss Lillian C. Bourgeois, much more info can be obtained.



Sorry, wrong number

Dear Smiley: When I was young and lived in Harahan our phone number was 7588.

A phone call from New Orleans to Harahan, or vice versa, required dialing a prefix before the number.

One telephone time service, located in New Orleans, was called by dialing “P-L-U-T-O.”

As the migration from New Orleans to the suburbs continued, the newcomers would dial the easy to remember “P-L-U-T-O” to get the time.

However, they did not know to dial the prefix, so they were dialing “7-5-8-8-6.”

Our phone continued to ring with people asking for the time.

We finally asked what number they were dialing ­­— and discovered why our phone was so popular.


River Ridge

Help the responders

Dear Smiley: On Nov. 6, within five minutes of my 911 call, St. George Fire Protection District and East Baton Rouge EMS first responders were at our home, trying to save my husband’s life and transporting him to Baton Rouge General’s emergency room.

Their heroic attempts were unsuccessful, but I’ll be grateful forever for their efforts and for our community’s support of these emergency services.

Imagine my distress recently when an inattentive driver behind me on narrow, no-shoulders Old Perkins Road whipped around my car, with its emergency flashers lighted, into the lane where a St. George fire truck and an EBR EMS ambulance were racing toward us.

I’ve seen this reckless behavior many times on the streets and highways in Baton Rouge.

Please remind your readers to be alert for emergency vehicles, use their emergency flashers, and STOP or MOVE to the roadside and give them the right of way, as the law requires.

Next time those first responders might be rushing to help THEIR loved one.


Baton Rouge

Drinking problems

Dear Smiley: Joe Ricapito’s mention of an egg cream brought back memories of my early days in New York.

I heard someone order an egg cream, so being curious I ordered one as well.

The drink was neither creamy nor egg-ie.

On the other hand, New Yorkers didn’t know what I wanted when this Ohio girl ordered a phosphate.



Wedding on wheels

Dear Smiley: While I did not get married in a double-wide church, I attended a wedding in a double-wide, with a reception in a single-wide.

Does that make me a quasi-redneck?


Baton Rouge

Dear Gene: I’ve known you since high school, and I can tell you this — you’re not quasi.

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.