You need Auntie to make gumbo

Dear Smiley: Your stories about “tastes of home” always bring back a very fond memory.

Years ago my wife did all the grocery shopping, usually from a list that she would compile during the week.

One cold winter, as she was leaving to shop for groceries for a gumbo, I was looking over her list to make sure she had not missed any items she needed.

All items were there, including this one: “1 lb. of Aunt Dewie” (her spelling for andouille.)

No, I could not spell it either at that time.

That was 31 years ago, and I still get a smile when I hear the word “andouille.”


Baton Rouge

True confession

Dear Smiley: Vivian Cupples’ recollection of crimes against the milkman reminded me of my sordid history of milk crime.

At a time when Coke bottles had a 2-cent return for deposit value in Pineville, milk bottles fetched a whopping 5-cent return for deposit.

I noticed that people would carelessly toss milk bottles out on their steps, obviously with the intention of discarding them.

I helped these careless people by collecting the bottles from the steps and returning them to the store.

This enterprise lasted about the same length of time as Vivian’s criminals’ escapade.

However, I was able to spend my ill-gotten gains before I was apprehended.


Tylertown Miss.

Amateur hour

Dear Smiley: Your mention of “Hadacol Boogie” brought back some pleasant memories.

When I was about 12 years old, all of the neighbors would get together and sit outside in the late afternoon and evening.

No one had a TV, so this was their way of relaxing and entertaining themselves.

I would recite poetry for them and perform skits.

When my girlfriend Joyce came over, we would regale them with song and dance.

“Hadacol Boogie” was one of their favorites.

I wouldn’t want to give up my modern conveniences, but there is something to be said about those simpler days.

We’ll never see them again, so I’m glad I have those memories.


Baton Rouge

Where mules rule

Dear Smiley: Larry Sylvester asked about renditions of the song “Mule Train.”

If he will come to Columbia the first week of April, he can see and hear all the “mule” renderings he wants during the yearly Mule Day Festival.

There will be parades, contests, beauty pageants and mule auctions.

He can Google “Mule Day 2013” for more information.


Columbia, Tenn.

Part duck?

Dear Smiley: One more “beast” story:

When we lived in Jayess, Miss., we had a close neighbor who was a cattleman.

He would go to the auctions and buy truckloads of cows and calves.

Every now and then something a little “extra” would be thrown in, like a mule or horse.

On this one particular trip, he was the proud owner of a water buffalo calf.

He came by the house to ask me if I wanted it. I gladly took it and put it out in the pasture with my horses.

The calf didn’t moo like a cow. He sounded more like a duck, so I named him Donald.

In the pasture was a large pond, and in the hot summer Donald would go in the water to cool off. All you could see was his nose sticking up out of the water.

More than once a passer-by would come speeding up the driveway, knock on the door and say, “Do you know you have a cow that’s drowning?”

We’d laugh and say, “No, it’s only Donald!”


Baton Rouge

Meaty topic

Dear Smiley: My grandfather Hogg started selling meat from a wagon more than 100 years ago, with Grandma and a hired girl doing the preparation of the cuts.

He went from that to a meat market, also selling wild game such as deer, geese and bear.

I have pictures of the store with the game hanging in front.

When telephones came, people would call in their order and it would be delivered to them by truck. I wish we had that today.


Baton Rouge

A shopper’s lament

Dear Smiley: Charmian Kendrick is happy that her favorite British tea blend is available in Baton Rouge.

Tell her to stock up!

It has been my experience that the minute a store observes you buying something you really like, they discontinue it.



That special fool

Dear Smiley: In reference to the article about the pressure cooker being foolproof:

Many things are foolproof, but not “damn fool” proof.



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