Smiley: Fair warning

Richard Stagnoli alerts us:

“Just giving Baton Rouge a heads up on my granddaughter, Sami, who is now 5 years old.

“I heard this crash come from the kitchen, so I asked her what happened.

“She said that she dropped the salt grinder.

“I asked if it broke.

“Her response: ‘Nothing fell off.’

“I can just hear her when she starts driving: ‘Papa, I had a fender-bender, but it is OK. Nothing fell off.’ ”

That’s WAY south …

Tommy Watts came across an Advocate article about the project to extend the runway at Louisiana Regional Airport in Ascension Parish.

It involves “extending the runway to the south over the Panama Canal. …”

Says Tommy: “I’m no expert in geography, but I would think the length of that runway is sufficient to accommodate just about any plane currently flying or projected to be flying for a very, very long time.”

Just a guess, Tommy, but that’s probably not the same Panama Canal. …

Easy riders

Randy G. knows you’re not supposed to have fun in a funeral procession, but being “part of a “funeral relay” recently was a unique experience.

“The high-speed riding skills of the Harley-riding deputies was oh so entertaining.

“At every stoplight I was waved through with such zeal I hardly had a chance to see if the light was green or red.

“As I would lower my speed to observe speed limit laws, the wheeled performers would show their disapproval with fervent enthusiasm, waving me on.

“Crossing parish lines was the best part. It was a seamless transition from one parish to the next.

“As it ended I had the inclination to applaud their brilliant coordination of efforts.”

Chilling thought

Cecile M. Poirrier Bush answers a reader asking how to know to plant his garden “four weeks before the last frost:”

“Please tell him to invest in a Farmer’s Almanac; or else he can rely on our ... adage about there always being another frost by Easter and count back from there!”

Speaking of frost

Clifton Smith issues this warning to gardeners:

“My mother lived to be 103, passing away in February, 2012.

“One of her old sayings was ‘If it thunders in February it will frost in May.’

“I don’t think I have heard so much thunder in a February as this year.

“If there is any truth to the saying, in May we will have a heck of a frost.”

Still around

Adding to our discussion of Western Auto stores, Art Brown says he knows of two Western Autos — in Picayune, Miss., and Dade City, Fla.

(After the national chain closed, a number of stores around the country kept the Western Auto name.)

Hey, you gotta beef …?

I’ve been watching too many Sopranos reruns … but, hey, watcha gonna do …?

The 30th annual Corned Beef Sandwich Sale of Beth Shalom Synagogue is Sunday, March 23, but advance ticket sales, and orders for delivery to businesses on Monday and Tuesday, March 24-25, are going on now. Call (225) 924-6773 or email

And don’t fahgetaboutit. …

Worthy causes

Volunteers of America group homes in Baton Rouge benefit from the luncheon and card party held by its auxiliary from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, at the Woman’s Club, 259 East Boulevard. Call Paula at (225) 766-4672.

The Baton Rouge Eye Bank Auxiliary benefits from “A Day at the Races” on Thursday, March 13. Buses leave for the New Orleans Fairgrounds at 10 a.m. from the Mall of Louisiana, returning at about 7 p.m. Call (225) 766-8996.

The Emerge Center, formerly the Baton Rouge Speech and Hearing Foundation, benefits from an “Eyes on the Ties” event from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.Thursday, March 13, sponsored by Quota International at L’Auberge Casino An auction of celebrity ties and a men’s fashion show are among the events. Go to

Special People Dept.

Bebe Fleshman celebrates her 90th birthday on Monday, March 10.

Speaking Cajun

Margaret Bacon Miller recalls the story about the Cajun driving to Houston who shows up many hours late.

His friends gathered around and asked why he was so late.

He explained, “Mah, y’all, de sign on dat bridge say, ‘No Passing on Bridge.’ Had to go all over da countryside to git around dat bridge.”

Sorry for this one

Blame Marvin Borgmeyer:

Two young men, in the woods on a camping trip, had such a great day fishing at a trout brook that they vowed to meet 20 years later at that same spot to renew the experience.

But 20 years later, when they got in the woods, they couldn’t agree on the exact location.

One man said, “This is the spot. I recognize the clover growing on the bank.”

To which the other man replied, “Silly, you can’t tell a brook by its clover.”

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.