Smiley: Meet Mr. Smooth

Dianna Sussmann says, “My husband and I recently took our grandsons to Walk-Ons for dinner.

“Josh Stefan, the 7-year-old, informed me that sometimes it’s OK to put your elbows on the table.

“It’s OK, he said, when you are on a date with a girl, look across the table and say, ‘Tell me about yourself.’

“All the beautiful waitresses must have sparked his imagination.”

Breaking news

Eva Jones, of Zachary, says, “When reading a recent Advocate I became concerned about Mr. Rabalais’ health since the headline was: ‘Advocate columnist Scott Rabalais breaks down the second day.’

“Relieved to read he was recapping the SEC football media days.”

Missed opportunity

“Why not run some columns on ridiculous commercials?” says Jim Pitchford.

“My nomination is the guy who, in a $60,000 SUV, follows a $600 Labrador to deliver a $60 scarf to a good-looking lady — and then does not get her name.”

Ferry tales

Charlene Esposito says her Aunt Theresa, who will turn 90 on Friday, recalls her parents taking the ferry from Mandeville to New Orleans, mentioned by a reader:

“She also noted there was a train called the ‘Smoking Mary’ or ‘Smoky Mary’ that ran from the Mississippi River on Elysian Fields to Lake Pontchartrain, and says people probably had to take this train to get to the ferry.

“Also, she remembers a doctor telling her parents that her grandmother had tuberculosis, and the only hospital was across the lake. I’m guessing the ferry was how they got there.”

Mary Vernoy, of Metairie, says, “My late aunt, Aline Aydell Gaudin, who was born in French Settlement and moved to New Orleans, told me many times of taking ‘the boat’ from the north shore to New Orleans with her ‘Papa’ when she was young.

“He died in 1911, so this was in the early 1900s. My aunt was born in 1902.”

The liver people

After a reader waxed nostalgic about the Piccadilly’s liver and onions, other readers chimed in with their favorites:

Frances Bennett says The Cafe at Cortana serves liver and onions “at least one day a week.”

And Peggy Duerr says Don Bergeron’s Mid City Market on Jefferson Highway “has liver and onions on the menu about once every three weeks.”

Special delivery

Jesse Walker says, “As a paper delivery boy 75 years ago (by bicycle, in California), I used to dread the rain.

“Well, despite the deluge we just had in Baton Rouge, we were able to read a dry paper Friday morning.

“Not only did the deliveryman have to drive through water up to his hubcaps on our street, he also managed to give the paper an extra heave so that it landed above the ‘shore line’ of the little lake that had formed in our driveway.

“A special thanks is indeed in order.”

Stealth Italians

Larry Conkerton says the American Italian Cultural Center in New Orleans is compiling a list of American Italians who are Italian on their mother’s side only (like me), and therefore don’t have Italian last names.

The contact person is Frank Maselli at Italian American Digest, P.O. Box 2392, New Orleans, LA 70176.

Special People Dept.

Doris B. LeBlanc, of Gonzales, celebrates her 91st birthday on Wednesday, July 23.

Esther Coppage Martin celebrates her 90th birthday on Wednesday, July 23. She was a registered nurse for 51 years.

One of the guys

Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson, asks, “I know Les Miles likes to relate to his players, so how many tattoos does he have?”

Thought for the Day

From Algie Petrere: “Wouldn’t it be great if we could put ourselves in the dryer for 10 minutes and come out wrinkle free, three sizes smaller and smelling April fresh?”

Only mildly corrupt

Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, passes along the news that Pennsylvania has added brass plaques with updated information to portraits of three former state officials displayed in their statehouse.

The new info provides details of the officials’ convictions on corruption charges.

Says Dudley, “A bold and great idea, but we couldn’t do that in Louisiana — because we couldn’t afford the brass and labor.

“And only THREE convicted state officials in Pennsylvania?

“We’ve had that many in the insurance department alone!”

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.