Smiley: The wrongest place

Marsha Reichle called this “Today’s Quote,” but I think it might be “Quote of the Year”:

“Defending the need to increase utility fees, to balance the budget, to an angry citizen, Baker’s Mayor Harold Rideau explained he had already attempted to find the money elsewhere:

“He said, ‘There is no other way to keep the city afloat. I have looked at this thing all the way down. If it was a donkey, I would have lifted its tail and looked there.’ ”

California dreaming

Jess Walker says if you’re in Isleton, California, this weekend, you can get crawfish — maybe.

The Isleton Cajun Festival, formerly the Crawdad Festival, offers 4,000 pounds of Sacramento delta crawfish cooked by the Swamp restaurant, of San Francisco.

(That doesn’t sound like a lot for a festival, so get there early if you want some.)

The crawfish may be local, but the Cajun-style entertainment is imported from Louisiana and Texas.

Riding in style

Our mention of hitchhiking brought back memories:

Doug Johnson, of Watson, says, “I was hitching a ride to college — the University of Tennessee Martin, about 80 miles away.

“An old couple (at least 40) picked me up and drove me to Martin. The lady gave me their phone number, telling me that they often drove that route and to please call and let them know when I would be on the road so they could give me a ride.

“On another occasion, I was on my way home from school when a man offered a ride.

“When we arrived at his town, he continued driving another 10 miles to my home!”

Chuck Falcon, of Donaldsonville, says, “When Frank Barrient and I were teenagers, we wanted to spend the night at my uncle George Gaudin’s camp but had no ride from Smoke Bend to Lake Verret.

“We got out on La. 1; Frank stuck his thumb out, and the first car that came by stopped.

“The gentlemen was from Morgan City, and he was taking La. 70 through Pierre Part to get home.

“When we got to the road off La. 70 that led to Lake Verret, we said we would get out there.

“The gentleman said no way he was going to let us walk the gravel road to Lake Verret.

“He took us to my uncle’s camp, my uncle invited him in for a root beer and he visited a while before continuing on his way to Morgan City.”

Nice People Dept.

“Lucky Lady” says this tale is about “the milk of human kindness”:

“I went out one Sunday looking for buttermilk so I could make my chocolate cake.

“At the third store I tried, I saw my good friend Miriam Juban holding a quart of buttermilk — the last one in the store.

“When I told her I needed buttermilk for a cake, she took a water bottle from her purse, emptied it and poured in the amount of buttermilk I needed from her quart.

“The cake turned out great, thanks to Miriam.”

Straight talk

Richard Guidry, of Zachary, says, “In response to my friend Tommy Gilmore’s pet peeve, about the local weathermen with their sleeves rolled up, I would suggest that they are trying to show you that they have no tricks up their sleeves.”

Worthy causes

Kelli’s Kloset, a joint project of the Kelli Leigh Richmond Ovarian Cancer Foundation and HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two (HAART) has opened at 4560 North Blvd.

It provides clothing to people living with cancer and HIV.

Kelli’s Kloset will be open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To donate or volunteer, contact Jack Carrel at HAART at (225) 927-1269 or visit www.kelliscloset.org.

Special People Dept.

Lois Oswalt, of Hammond, celebrates her 90th birthday on Saturday.

Jimmy and Jewell Varnado celebrate 69 years of marriage on Saturday. Jimmy says they’ll celebrate by sharing a hot dog and root beer at Frostop — “Still the last of the big spenders.”

Nick and Peggy Saladino, of Kentwood, celebrate their 66th anniversary on Saturday. He’s a former mayor.

Cooper and Marjorie Thibodeaux celebrate their 61st anniversary on Friday.

Pat and Bill Bailey celebrate 61 years of marriage on Friday.

Kenny and Pat Blanchard, of Plattenville, celebrate their 50th anniversary on Friday.

Creative testing

Ernie Gremillion contributes this advice to our Helpful Household Hints Dept.:

“A widowed relative sometimes asks my advice on home maintenance.

“She recently asked me about a refrigerator/freezer problem she is having — her freezer seems to be out.

“She wasn’t sure if she should attempt to repair or replace it, and she was also uncertain if the fridge was working.

“I advised to put a beer in the fridge and take it out in about three hours and drink it.

“If it seems to be less cold than a cold beer should be, then the fridge is also probably out.”

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.