Smiley: Line of fire

The death of Walter Hill has been the occasion for several stories about the legendary WBRZ-TV broadcaster.

Phil Hannaman, of Tyler, Texas, says, “A grand memory of Walter Hill flashed back into my mind while reading a story about when he and John Ferguson were ‘the voice of the Tigers.’

“I recall there was a controversy brewing about the shooting range at the Baton Rouge airport.

“There were those who were concerned that a plane may be hit or someone may be injured from the shots being fired toward the runways.

“Walter, ever the sportsman, simply went to the airport and set up shop on the runway with his back to the shooting range.

“You could see periodic puffs of smoke coming from a guy in the background as Walter continued with his report, but you really couldn’t figure out what was going on.

“Then, Walter convincingly concluded that no harm could come to travelers, since the range was for shotguns only — and pointed out that the guy on the range was shooting at him, without any injury.

“End of controversy.”

Smooth operator

Francisco Lomas says, “I, too, have had problems with the navigation system in my truck.

“Recently, out of frustration with the automated system not understanding my spoken request, I asked for operator assistance.

“After giving the operator my request, she proceeded to download my direction.

“I then asked her that since she understood my request, why couldn’t the automated system understand me?

“To which she replied, ‘Mr. Lomas, it’s probably because of your beautiful Spanish accent.’

“Smiley, that lady gets my vote for the best PR person money can buy.”

Favorite aunt

Buck Bertrand adds to our seminar on pronunciation:

“My ex-wife was the greatest cook ever. She loved cooking gumbos.

“Part of her Saturday shopping list: onions, celery, chicken, sausage and Aunt Dewie. (The way she spelled ‘andouille.’)

“After 33 years, it still brings a smile to my face whenever I hear the word.”

Lock her up!

“Regular Reader” says he’s still in shock about a recent incident:

“Coming out of a Wal-Mart one morning, a car pulled up in the handicap parking spot next to me.

“Since the driver didn’t have a handicap permit, I politely advised her that she had parked in a handicap spot.

“Her unbelievable response was that since she didn’t have a license plate, they wouldn’t be able to ticket her.”

Our reader’s response was to immediately put in a call to report her to the police.

He didn’t stay around to see if she was busted, but I fervently hope so. …

Jersey connection

It’s no exaggeration to say that the best Louisiana food and music on May 30 through June 1 can be found in New Jersey.

Louisiana guy Mike Arnone is putting on his 25th annual Crawfish Fest at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, N.J., and the lineup reads like Jazz Fest North.

Making the trip up to the Frozen Nawth are the Funky Meters, Marcia Ball, Terrence Simien and the Zydeco Experience, the Royal Southern Brotherhood, Kermit Ruffins, Raw Oyster Cult, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Baton Rouge’s own Jonathon “Boogie” Long and many other top artists.

While listening, you can dine on jambalaya, boiled crawfish, seafood po-boys, crawfish étouffée, char-grilled oysters, alligator sausage, red beans and rice etc.

Check it out on www.crawfishfest.com. And if you’re in that part of the world and need a Louisiana fix, this is the place.

To die for

Harold Mayeux says, “All of the epitaph stories remind me of reading a few years ago about a woman who had a potato salad recipe that everybody wanted, but she would not give out.

“When asked, she would always reply, ‘Over my dead body.’

“So when she died, she had the recipe engraved on her tombstone.”

Dead but well-fed

Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut, says, “We thought it was funny when we saw a store sign saying ‘Guns and Health Food.’

“But Mary Deville, who teaches music at Northwestern State University, topped that one.

“She saw a sign near Alexandria that says, ‘Butler’s Bar-B-Que and Cemetery.’ ”

Raising her right

J.P. Harris says, “On a recent trip, driving back from Florida, I was amused by my 7-year-old daughter, Katie.

“When I announced to the family that we had just entered Alabama, Katie, without hesitation and while pausing her in-car entertainment, immediately yelled, ‘Tiger Bait!’ ”

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.