Smiley: Huey’s bridge

George Lane, this column’s unpaid amateur historian, says the current misadventures of New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie, embroiled in a “Bridgegate” scandal, brings to mind “Louisiana’s adventures with its first bridge over the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge.

“Gov. Huey Long authorized the design of the bridge to be low enough to force large ships to offload their cargo at Baton Rouge because of insufficient clearance under the bridge.

“This made Baton Rouge the farthest inland port on the Mississippi River that could accommodate ocean-going tankers, a major factor in the growth of industry here.

“Call Tony Soprano? Faget about it! New Jersey is an amateur, and needs to talk to the professional, Louisiana.”

Unhappy returns

Marvin Borgmeyer says, “With all the returns going on in the stores after Christmas, I was reminded of the following:

“Those who say there is no such thing as a stupid question have never worked in customer service!”

Semi-funny

After Florida State’s triumph in the BCS Championship Game, I heard from Jack Coffee, of Sunset:

“I continue my campaign to have sports fans remember that the Florida State mascot is not a real Nole.

“It is really just a Semi-Nole.”

Kansas Karnival

“I must say, you Louisiana people are persistent!” says Mary Helen McCloud, a high school French teacher in Coffeyville, Kan.

For several years she’s been requesting Mardi Gras beads for her students:

“Last year, I received a box of Mardi Gras beads from Carl Bellelo in Houma, who remembered me and saved my address from the year previous.

“And then two days ago, Delores Mayeaux called me at school to say she had a box ready to go!

“My students really love the beads. Our school is roughly 550 kids, and I have around a fifth of them in French.

“They really look forward to our Mardi Gras parade, marching through the halls in our colorful clothes while our band drummers play and we throw beads to classes as we pass.

“This year I hope to add some of our jazz band to the mix.

“Please give my love to all the Mardi Gras-ers you can. Coffeyville, Kansas loves you, Louisiana!”

You can send beads to her in care of Field Kindley High School, 1110 W. Eighth St., Coffeyville, KS 67337.

Eat out!

This is Restaurant Week in Baton Rouge to benefit the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

More than 40 restaurants are offering three-course prix fixe menus ranging from $15 to $35 per person.

Reservations are highly recommended.

For a list of participating restaurants, go to eatbr.com.

Still cooking

After Dudley Lehew told of a Toddle House website that showed many of the buildings still standing and used for other purposes, I heard from J.V. Chatagnier, of Kenner:

“I spent a lot of time at the Toddle House on Loyola Drive in Kenner. The building is still standing. It’s Michelle’s Restaurant now. Good eating, too.”

Pie run

Speaking of Toddle House, Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson, says, “We grew up just blocks away from the Toddle House on Plank Road.

“My sister and I would ride our bikes to Toddle House and buy a pie. We would return the pie tin the next day.”

Worthy causes

A softball game involving major league baseball players will be held Saturday, Jan. 18, at 12:30 p.m. to help the 2 Seam Dream Foundation fight cancer through research.

The group was founded by Rick Greene, a former LSU and major league baseball player.

Before the game at Alex Box Stadium there will be a 10 a.m. autograph session, a 10:45 a.m. home run derby and a noon live auction.

For ticket information, go to www.2seamdreamfoundation.org/.

Special People Dept.

Lillie Mae Sheets celebrated her 99th birthday Sunday, Jan. 12, at Azalea Estates Assisted Living in Gonzales.

Bub LeJeune, of Brusly, celebrated his 95th birthday Friday, Jan. 10.

Woodrow B. “Woodie” Templet Ferguson celebrated her 95th birthday Dec. 25.

F. Charles and Audrey Daigle celebrated 61 years of marriage in Paincourtville on Friday, Jan. 10.

Thought for the Day

From Harry Clark, of Lafayette: “Whoever said laughter is the best medicine never had the flu.”

Revolutionary discovery

Ina G. Navarre says, “Running late for a recent meeting of the Baton Rouge Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, I blindly reached into my purse for a tube of lipstick.

“After I applied it, I noticed the name of the color — British Red — and chuckled.

“Do you think they will kick me out if they find out?”

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.