Smiley: Think he’s a Cajun?

A reader commented on The Advocate’s story about Louisiana issuing driver’s licenses, to those who desire them, with “I’m a Cajun” below the photo.

He says, “I fully support the opportunity for more funds to be given to CODOFIL to support the preservation of the French language in Louisiana.

“I just wonder if I need this designation after folks see my name.”

Well, probably not, Antoine Thibodeaux. …

Those noisy bison!

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, was the first of a large number of readers to answer the question posed by the regulars at The Patio Lounge about how people described the sound of a tornado before railroads.

Tony says settlers would describe a tornado as sounding like a buffalo herd stampede:

“Prior to being decimated by builders of the ‘iron roads,’ it has been said that when herds were stampeded on the Great Plains, the Earth actually shook because of the sheer size of the herds.

“If that doesn’t work, I’ll think of something else over my second cup of coffee!”

No need to, Tony — your answer was repeated by so many other readers that I’m accepting it as the official winning entry.

For that you get a free root beer the next time you see me at the Pastime.

Randy Clement, of Metairie, was runner-up, followed by Ronnie Domas, Larry Reech, Cecile M. Porrier Bush and Marian Pickett — all before 10:45 a.m. Wednesday.

You’ve got to get up pretty early to beat MY readers. …

Outdoor work

Ralph Drouin wrote me on Tuesday with this message:

“It’s about noon on Mardi Gras 2014. It is raining, and the temperature is 31 degrees. Just a quick ‘thank you’ to all the mail carriers, sanitation workers et al., who work in this kind of weather.”

(And you might add police officers and firefighters. …)

Only in Louisiana

Speaking of Mardi Gras, Judy B. tells this story:

“When my mother died in Nebraska, my cousin came from Illinois to help with the funeral.

“We had never met Mom’s pastor, but I guess everyone else knew him, because they referred to him by his first name, Rex.

“When my cousin asked, ‘Who’s Rex?’, I caught myself before I could reply, ‘King of Carnival.’ ”

Psychic wanted

“Retired LSU Professor” says, “Being a city boy — raised in the great city of Ruston — I am not a farmer.

“I wanted to raise a garden this year and bought some seeds.

“The instruction on the package said ‘Plant 4 weeks before the last frost.’

“Can you or some of your more intelligent readers help me?”

Historic teachers

Leslie Tassin says The Advocate’s story about Dr. Sue Eakin, the historian who documented the book “Twelve Years a Slave,” made into an Oscar-winning movie, reminded him of how lucky he was regarding his history teachers:

“From 1960 to 1964, all of my history classes were taught by my father, Ralph Tassin, at Bordelonville High School.

“In 1965, I enrolled in an American history course while attending LSU-Alexandria, taught by Dr. Sue Eakin.

“In 1967, while attending LSU, I enrolled in a course taught by Dr. T. Harry Williams entitled ‘The Civil War.’ He was the only instructor I ever had who received a standing ovation after his last lecture.

“I think everyone should learn history due to the fact that history repeats itself. We have to know the past to predict the future. By knowing the mistakes of the past, we may enable our society to live a better life in the future.”

Special People Dept.

Lillie Engolio Distefano, of Plaquemine, celebrated her 101st birthday Tuesday. She is a native of Bayou Goula.

Thunderous reception

A reader who attended the baptism of young Emily O’Quin on a recent Sunday tells of an unusual occurrence:

“Just as Pastor Terry Ellis, of Broadmoor Baptist Church, was raising her up out of the water, there was a loud clap of thunder that shook the sanctuary.

“Without missing a beat, the pastor proclaimed, ‘Emily, that was the most dramatic baptism I have ever performed.’ ”

Long way from home

Tom Toddy tells this “only in Louisiana” story:

“Long years ago, on a trip to Grand Isle, my wife and I met a friendly young waitress at one of the restaurants.

“While we were deciding on our order, she sat down at our table and started chatting.

“She mentioned being raised ‘up north’ and related several life events in her time living ‘up north.’

“She moved ‘down south,’ she said, when she married her shrimp boat captain husband.

“Her accent did not fit someone from ‘up north,’ so I asked where she was raised.

“She answered, ‘Larose.’

“(About 50 miles north of Grand Isle.)”

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.