Smiley: New Jersey South?

It was inevitable.

After Atlanta’s disastrous traffic gridlock due to 2 inches of snow on its roadways, I was waiting for this:

A reader asked, “Are you sure Chris Christie (New Jersey’s governor, of ‘Bridgegate’ fame) wasn’t in Atlanta at the time?”

Pizza nostalgia

Jim Firnberg says, “In your seminar on old Baton Rouge restaurants and lounges, I don’t recall anyone mentioning Leon’s Italian Kitchen on Weller Avenue in north Baton Rouge.”

Thanks for the memory, Jim. As a high school student at Istrouma, I had my first pizza at Leon’s. (In those days Baton Rouge’s pizza choices were limited to Leon’s and Fleur-de-Lis.)

Your first pizza is something you don’t easily forget. …

Which reminds me

Back in the days captured in “Mad Men,” when martinis were a common part of any meal, a guy I knew took a young lady to lunch at Leon’s.

After lunch, they decided to continue their consumption of adult beverages into the afternoon.

He called his office and said he wouldn’t be returning to work; he didn’t feel well.

But she decided to embellish her story and told the folks at her office she’d been hurt in a car wreck.

She almost got into big trouble the next day when she got to work to find flowers and a get-well card on her desk.

“What the hell is this for?” she asked.

It took some world-class shucking and jiving to get out of that one. …

This takes the cake

Joe Macaluso asks, “Have you noticed your king cakes are a little drier this year?

“A couple of noted bakers in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans area said they received complaints about drier-than-usual Mardi Gras treats

“They have said they believe it’s due to the long run of cold weather since Twelfth Night.

“Just another thing to blame on Mother Nature. …”

Price of progress

Harry Clark, of Lafayette, says, “During my Navy career. I served on five ships.

“The first four were World War II vintage and pretty old.

“The fifth was only 3 years old and a modern marvel.

“It had all the latest equipment, even a machine in the laundry that tore the buttons off our shirts and shot them through our socks.”

Bright lights

Mickey Christensen says, “Watching a funeral procession go down Florida Boulevard, this thought came to mind:

“As more and more vehicles have ‘daylight’ running lights (looks like headlights on during the day), when a funeral goes by how do you know where the end is so you can drive on?”

Thank-you note

C. Blackburn, of Maison DeVille subdivision off South Sherwood Forest Boulevard, extends “a shout out and a grateful ‘thank you’ to our Advocate delivery man, Ray.

“My paper is always on my walkway, no matter the weather. I never expected it to be there Wednesday morning.”

Flag days

Allen Fugler says, “Driving to and from San Antonio last week, I was amazed by the number of businesses and residences displaying both our nation’s flag and the Lone Star flag of Texas.

“It is pitiful that business owners especially do not display the Louisiana state flag as well as the stars and stripes.

“We can compete with anyone; so come on, Louisiana, show our pride.”

Special People Dept.

Alice Croak, of Landmark of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 100th birthday on Friday, Jan. 31. (She was born the year World War I began. President Woodrow Wilson was in office.)

Lt. Col. Phil A. St. Amant celebrates his 96th birthday on Monday, Feb. 3.

Una Hunt, of Zachary, celebrated her 95th birthday on Friday, Jan. 31.

Myrtle Doughty celebrated her 93rd birthday on Friday, Jan. 31.

Milton Rougon celebrated his 92nd birthday on Friday, Jan. 31.

Dalton Prejean, of Westwego, celebrated his 90th birthday on Saturday, Feb. 1, and he and wife Rose celebrated their 67th anniversary on Sunday, Feb. 2. He’s a World War II veteran.

Mervin and Evelyn Simoneaux celebrated 56 years of marriage on Saturday, Feb. 1.

Down memory lane

Keith Horcasitas says this story was in Billy Graham’s book “Nearing Home” to illustrate memory concerns and the aging process:

“A police officer pulled over a distinguished-looking woman and asked why she exceeded the speed limit.

“The old gent in the passenger seat laughed and said, ‘Well, young man, we were speeding to get to the place before we forget where we’re going!’ ”

Spaced out

Ronnie Stutes, this column’s unpaid grammarian, says a recent CNN headline illustrates the value of proper spacing:

“CNN combined the words ‘in to’ in the headline of a story to form ‘into’ and inadvertently gave it a different meaning: ‘Justin Bieber turns himself into Toronto police.’

“Actually, the way he’s been behaving, I think he’s trying to turn himself into the Toronto mayor.”

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.