Smiley: Two holidays off

“If you’ve not brought down the curtain on Christmas anecdotes,” says Perry Anderson Snyder, “I have one more for your readers.

“Delivering Christmas ‘crunchies’ to neighbors was one of grandson Anderson’s responsibilities this year.

“With treats hot from his mother’s oven and his hair parted (bearing more than a slight resemblance to Ralphie in ‘A Christmas Story’), the 4-year-old headed down the street under the watchful eyes of his parents.

“Sarah and Aaron thought he was ready for prime time. Throughout the day, they coached him on precisely what to say when presenting the treats.

“When the first door opened, and with a grown-up towering over him, lines learned in rehearsal were thrown to the wind.

“Knowing he had to say something, Anderson reached back to the recent past and, without hesitation, came forth with ‘Trick or treat.’

“Later in the day, his parents and, yes, grandparents learned what had produced side-splitting laughter next door.”

Know when to hold ’em

After a handcuffed shooting suspect escaped from a cell at the East Baton Rouge Parish Violent Crimes Unit on Sunday, we heard from John Engelsman:

“Your readers should take note that the ‘detention’ cells, formerly called ‘holding’ cells at the unit, have been redesignated, in the interest of conservation, as ‘catch and release’ cells.”

Nostalgic corner

After several readers waxed nostalgic about the Toddle House eateries, I heard from Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs:

“There’s a wonderfully nostalgic Toddle House website,, by a fan trying to compile a list of Toddle House locations.

“What amazed me is that the vast bulk of the old Toddle House buildings are still standing!”

(For Baton Rouge, the site lists the Toddle House at 648 Florida St., and one at 214 Chimes St., that, according to our archives, was actually a Dutch Mill, a similar type of diner, and the first home of Louie’s Cafe.)

Dudley also came across a photo of a Toddle House menu, offering a slice of one of its famous pies for 15 cents.

Pie attack

The above-mentioned Dudley Lehew offers this Toddle House story:

“About 15 or so years ago, I was driving down Loyola Avenue in Kenner when I saw a Toddle House.

“I immediately went in and, lo, on the counter stood a glass tube-shaped pie container.

“I asked the lady behind the counter if she had my favorite, chocolate, and she said ‘Yes.’

“ ‘Great,’ I replied. ‘I want one.’

“She started to get a slice and I said, ‘No … I want a whole pie! And a banana cream one, lemon meringue, apple and whatever other kinds you have!’

“I happily returned to Baton Rouge with about six pies and nursed them to last as long as I could!”

Fleur de Brees

Damon Veach comments on our story about a Christmas tree turned into a “Who Dat?” tree:

“There is a better way to do a Saints tree — grow one.

“I named a hibiscus seedling ‘Who Dat’ after the Super Bowl win, and a special hibiscus bloom from Dupont Nursery was named ‘Cool Brees’ for Drew Brees at my suggestion after first viewing it.

“The ‘Who Dat’ in my front garden survived one winter, but it will probably have to be replaced after this current cold spell.

“‘Cool Brees,’ protected in pots, is now being evaluated for best seedling of the year honors by the American Hibiscus Society, and hopefully later this year I can present one to Drew to add to his garden.”

Special People Dept.

Shirl Duhon celebrated her 90th birthday on Saturday, Jan. 4.

Mary “Ginny” Arledge celebrated her 90th birthday on Dec. 28 with a party at The Haven at Windermere.

Joe and Maude Landry Amorello celebrate 73 years of marriage on Wednesday, Jan. 8.

Gaston and Lorraine Cambre Gerald, of Greenwell Springs, celebrated their 60th anniversary Thursday, Jan. 2.

A moving offer

Malcolm Wright says, “With the upcoming Saints game against the Seahawks, here is a suggestion for assuring a Saints victory:

“Let’s offer to spot the Seahawks two touchdowns if they will move the game from Seattle to the Superdome.

“We would win that one hands down.”

Helpful passenger

Shirley Fleniken offers this air travel tale:

“On a recent flight, an elderly passenger kept peering out the window.

“Since it was totally dark, all she could see was the blinking wing-tip light.

“Finally, she rang for the flight attendant.

“‘I’m sorry to bother you,’ she said, ‘but I think you should inform the pilot that his left-turn indicator is on and has been for some time.’ ”

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.