Smiley: Hot sounds

A lady signing her note “Mother of a music genius” says many years ago she told me that her son, then in kindergarten, came home excited about a visit by firefighters, who told the class about the “stop, rock, and roll” method.

She says, “Well, this same boy is now 22, and is still using music in inventive ways.

“During our ice storm last week, the ice on the rear window of his car wouldn’t melt in the conventional way.

“Therefore, he turned up the bass on the sub woofers and also turned up the volume.

“Sorry about the neighbors who had to endure the sound, but it worked like a charm!”

Lafayette version

This tale, by Patricia Gannon, is dedicated to our readers in Acadiana:

“In a second-grade Lafayette classroom recently, a proud little girl was showing off her science model — the habitat of the Arabian horse.

“She had meticulously glued a mixture of sand to make her desert and sand dunes before adding her plastic horses.

“In addition, there was even a burlap tent and campfire to complete the barren landscape.

“Look,” she said, holding open the tent flap and revealing the tiny figure of a nomad.

“Oh my, a Bedouin,” I replied.

“No,” she said, patiently correcting my pronunciation. “A Baudoin.”

Crawfish crazy

Sam Irwin says, “Last spring you ran an item in your column asking readers to contribute their ‘crazy for crawfish’ stories to me.

“Well, they did, and I fielded many calls from south Louisiana about crawfish jubilees, crawfish boils and crawfish culture.

“Many of the anecdotes told to me by your readers ended up in my new book, ‘Louisiana Crawfish: A Succulent History of the Cajun Crustacean.’

“There were also a few quotes from your past columns that made it into the crawfish history.

“My History Press publishers tell me the book will be out on Feb. 18, and should be in the finer bait shops and book stores.

“Folks can read an excerpt from the book at”

Not so fast!

Rick Fernandez says he and his wife recently moved back to Baton Rouge after 30 years away:

“Having worked in all four time zones, I am delighted to be back in Baton Rouge.”

But he has a problem:

“My job takes me to the Lafayette area from time to time.

“Returning to Baton Rouge from Lafayette, it is aggravating to find the speed limit on Interstate 10 changing 10 times.

“The speed limit goes from 70 to 60, then 55, 60, 55, 60, 55, 60, 70, 60.

“I realize there are multiple parishes involved, but how ridiculous is this?”

Cheeseburger love

“Can I please tell one more Toddle House story?” asks Dr. Gay del Rio Winters:

“The place is near and dear to my family.

“While a student at Baton Rouge High, my mother, Jerry Sylvest, secretly admired my father, Roger del Rio, from afar.

“He was a year ahead of her, at Catholic High.

“One night mutual friends introduced them at the Toddle House in downtown Baton Rouge.

“According to her, after that she couldn’t finish her cheeseburger!

“The rest is history. They eloped when she finished high school in the summer of 1959, and are still going strong 54 years later!”

Tamale nights

Cathy says, “Your recent talks about hot tamales brings back great memories for me.

“When I was a child, every year on Halloween we had hot tamales before we went trick-or-treating.

“It was something we enjoyed and looked forward to every year.

“When Halloween passed in 2013, I got emails from my sisters asking if anyone in the family was having hot tamales.”

Looking for people

Reggie Gremillion seeks former members of the Downtown Optimist Club of Baton Rouge.

“Don’t worry,” he says, “I am not trying to collect dues!”

“Ed Davis, Arvis Leininger and I met up the other day and told lies about our experiences with the WFMF/WLCS Haunted House.

“We are hoping some of the best men I have ever known would like to share the experience.”

He’s at

Special People Dept.

Frederika Maika, of Metairie, celebrates her 90th birthday on Wednesday, Jan. 29. She lived in Baton Rouge 34 years before moving to Metairie.

On Wednesday, Jan. 29, Adrian and Shirley Decker, of Zachary, celebrate their 65th anniversary.

What, no doughnuts?

Cheramie Sonnier, The Advocate’s food editor, was on Magazine Street in New Orleans checking out some dining mecca (tough job, that!) when she came across a sign for a law firm of criminal attorneys.

The sign offered “Appeals. Notary. Cold drinks.”

Only in New Orleans. …

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.