Smiley: Dinner crossed the road

OK, that’s enough!

I haven’t had any boiled crawfish this year, and I’m craving them. So the next person who posts a photo of a pot of crawfish on my Facebook page gets unfriended.

You’ve been warned. …

Which brings us to this crawfish tale by Mary Vernoy, of Metairie:

“The story of ‘crabs on the road’ reminded me of a time during my childhood, traveling with my aunt Gertrude Gaudin to my cousin’s camp on Lake Verret.

“The lake was high, and we came across a mess of crawfish crossing the road to get to the slew.

“My aunt stopped the car and got out to capture this easy meal.

“I asked her where we were going to put them. She said to throw them on the floor by the right front seat, which we did.

“I rode the rest of the way to the camp with my bare feet tucked up under me on the seat.”

One fresh coconut!

My mention of a Zulu coconut brought this New Orleans tale from “Old Metry Girl:”

“About 40 years ago on Mardi Gras, my family went to Napoleon and Magazine to watch the truck parade.

“An old man, snow white hair and beard, was sitting on a bench selling ‘genuine Zulu coconuts.’ They were barely decorated and obviously not the real thing.

“But his age made us take pity on him, and we bought two of his coconuts, at $5 each.

“We brought the coconuts home and put them on the bottom shelf of the china closet.

“Several years passed, and at a Thanksgiving dinner, I looked at the China closet and noticed something very unusual.

“The coconut had sprouted, and there was an 8-inch-long ‘tree’ coming out of one eye. It had about seven or eight leaves, and was growing along the shelf above it to reach the glass and get to the light.

“We did not know how or where to plant it, so we just left it there, and it died.”

(And you missed a chance to grow your very own “genuine Zulu coconuts.”)

Old granddad

Alex Chapman, of Ville Platte, responds to our seminar on the Southern title “Paw Paw:”

“The source of that name is the French ‘Père Père,’ literally ‘Father’s Father.’ ”

Inquiring Minds Dept.

Nancy N. Broussard, of the state’s Office of Tourism, says, “A friend from another state asked about a restaurant near Baton Rouge that was quite popular in 1970s.

“It was apparently on an island in a bayou or swamp, and guests could only reach it by boat. He said one had to call the boat to be picked up to go the restaurant.

“Certainly it’s a part of history now, but thought you or someone might know about it.”

Nice People Dept.

Patricia Clarke says, “Last Sunday after church, my group of six ladies (mostly widows) was enjoying lunch at a local restaurant when the waitress returned our tickets, saying that someone had paid our checks!

“We were surprised and began looking around at the tables near us.

“We noted a smiling young couple and coaxed them to admit their generous act.

“We thanked them and left discussing our plans to ‘pay it forward.’ ”

Looking for people

The Marine Corps League seeks honorably discharged Marines. Contact Richard at (225) 235-8821 or

Special People Dept.

Annie Olivia Mitchell celebrated her 100th birthday on Jan. 8. Mount Zion First Baptist Church honors her Sunday, Jan. 26, at the 11 a.m. service, proclaiming “Annie Olivia Mitchell Day.” She worked at the Piccadilly Cafeteria on Third Street for 36 years.

America Rodriguez Gutierrez, of Metairie, celebrates her 99th birthday on Sunday, Jan. 26.

Vera Bryant celebrates her 96th birthday on Friday, Jan. 24.

Lewis Guidry celebrates his 95th birthday on Friday, Jan. 24. He is a World War II veteran and Exxon retiree.

Beverly King celebrates her 95th birthday on Sunday, Jan. 26.

Maydee Rushing, “The Queen of Satsuma,” celebrates her 92nd birthday on Saturday, Jan. 25.

J.D. Wells, a State Times retiree, celebrates his 91st birthday on Sunday, Jan 26.

Mary Kendrick, of Pride, celebrates her 90th birthday on Friday, Jan. 24.

Luci Fox Jones celebrates her 90th birthday on Saturday, Jan. 25, at The Stockade in Baton Rouge. (Her children are presenting her with nine cakes, one for each decade.)

Julius and Frances Bahlinger celebrate 67 years of marriage on Friday, Jan. 25.

Freddie and Frankie Whitford celebrate their 61st anniversary on Friday, Jan. 24.

Creative placement

Brenda Sharp says she “had to laugh” at a recent Advocate “Free Fun Photos” ad.

It featured the outline of a face and the message, “Your Picture Goes Here!”

Which would have been fine, except it ran on the obituary page with pictures of the deceased.

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.