Smiley: Give us a break!

Ronnie Stutes comments on a facet of the 24-hour news cycle:

“I generally favor a minimum of government regulation, but after watching CNN’s continuous repetitive coverage of the missing Malaysian airliner over the last two weeks, I am now in favor of immediate imposition of strict federal controls on the use of the term ‘Breaking News.’ ”

Remembering Anne

The 63rd annual Gridiron Show, Saturday at the American Legion Hall on South Wooddale, is dedicated to the late Anne Price of The Advocate, a longtime supporter, writer and cast member for decades.

The Capitol Correspondents Association’s show roasts Louisiana politicians to well-done.

Tickets are $25. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; curtain is at 7:45 p.m.

Order tickets by email at

Picking on Les

It’s called simply the Spring Luncheon put on by the Rispone brothers and friends to welcome spring and “what’s good in Baton Rouge.”

This year’s luncheon at Drusilla Seafood featured Mayor-President Kip Holden, Sheriff Sid Gautreaux and, more importantly, football coaches Dawson Odums, of Southern University, and Les Miles, of LSU.

The honored guests have to endure a lot of ribbing at the event, most of it from master of ceremonies Sammy Rispone.

Sammy showed an Advocate photo of Father Cleo Milano with a rooster puppet and said the priest, a guest at the luncheon, had named his rooster “Les.”

Sammy explained, “It’s because the rooster can talk; you can hear him, but you still don’t have a clue as to what he said.”

It’s Super Neighbor!

“There are neighbors and then there are super neighbors,” says Dale Ulkins.

“I am fortunate to live next door to Carlos Recinos, a native of Guatemala and a resident of Louisiana for the past 33 years.

“It wasn’t long after Carlos and family moved in several years ago that he inquired about the Thunderbird we had covered under our carport.

“I told him I had not started it in a while as there had been a strong odor of gasoline.

“He lifted the hood — and the start of an incredible friendship began.

“He worked on the car most of the summer. And what a mechanic he is! He was not content just replacing the defective fuel pump but worked until he had the entire car mechanically restored to its 1966 condition.

“Since then, there have been countless other mechanical repairs on our van, truck and lawn equipment. He also helped when we replaced a wood fence and built a boardwalk.

“Since he would never let me pay him for his work, I try to help him when I can. My specialty is holding a flashlight.

“Wouldn’t it be a more wonderful world if we all had a neighbor like Carlos?”

Don’t bug your neighbor

Speaking of neighbors, Tom Toddy says, “I lived next to a wonderful neighbor lady for 40 years.

“Even though I strived to also be a good neighbor, I once fell short of my goal.

“She saw me out in the yard and motioned me to a conference at the fence.

“ ‘YOUR ANTS are coming over into MY yard,’ was her serious complaint.

“The reply that immediately jumped to mind was, ‘I will have a talk with them about this!’

“But, not wanting to chance hurt feelings, I simply related my sorrow about the infraction.”

Friend in wine country

In fifth grade, Tyler Lu already knows the fine art of buttering up.

The student at Napa Valley Language Academy in Napa, Calif., wrote The Advocate to get information on “your magnificent state of Louisiana” for a class project involving an oral report, poster and Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.

He added a thank you “for your support and help in making me a great researcher of your astounding state.”

If any of you out there in our magnificent, astounding state want to help the lad, send material to him at the academy, in care of Mr. Moreno, 2700 Kilburn Ave., Napa, CA 94558.

Special People Dept.

Stella Boden, of Amber Terrace Assisted Living, celebrated her 94th birthday on Thursday, March 20.

Mildred Hopper celebrated her 93rd birthday on Saturday, March 22.

Mary Ammons, of Amber Terrace Assisted Living, celebrated her 93rd birthday on Monday, March 24.

Lena Canella celebrated her 91st birthday Thursday on March 20.

The Southern language

Bob Hayes, of Prairieville, has a Southern accent story:

“While visiting in Wisconsin in the early ’60s, my mother decided to wash some clothes.

“She sent me to the local supermarket and told me to get some ALL detergent.

“I asked the cashier where the ALL detergent was, and she told me the aisle number.

“When I got to where she told me to go, I was looking at detergent MOTOR OIL.

“When I returned to the cashier and told her I needed A-L-L detergent, she had a good laugh.”

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.