Smiley: Hungry thieves

Johnnie Canova, of St. Gabriel, tells of traveling several times to Red Bay, Ala., in the northwestern part of the state.

On these trips he enjoys checking out the “Law & Order” column in the Florence, Ala., newspaper.

Here are some of the reports from the Florence police:

“A 2003 Chevrolet Malibu was broken into while parked in the 1900 block of Alabama Avenue but nothing was taken.”

“A business in the 1000 block of South Montgomery Avenue was broken into but nothing was reported taken.”

“Chicken breasts and thighs, barbecue sauce and salad dressing mix were taken from a business in the 400 block of South Montgomery Avenue.”

Johnnie’s favorite was the report of the loot from a house burglary: “a cell phone, $10, and two cans of tuna fish.”

(I assume the thief wanted a tuna snack while the chicken was on the grill …)

A matter of taste

After my diatribe about tripe, Dewey L. Mizell, of Zachary, says he doesn’t know why folks who eat blood sausage, chitterlings, hog head cheese, etc., won’t try “seasoned and corn meal-fried tripe.”

Addressing my qualms about tripe, he says, “I guess you don’t even like peanut butter and sardine sandwiches, either!”

This tongue didn’t wag

Speaking of animal parts, Marsha Reichle tells this story of her youth:

“For some reason known only to mothers, mine came home with tongue in a glass jar.

“The tongue was arranged artistically in a spiral intended to whet your appetite.

“Every day my brother and I would come home from school and check the pantry to make sure the tongue was still on the shelf and would not be featured at supper.

“I have no memory of how this ended. I don’t think we ate the tongue. Surely our vigilance was sufficient.

“We did learn that tongues are very long and that our mother should be watched closely.”

Vegetarians all

After my revelation that chocolate and coffee are vegetable products, I heard from my New Orleans buddy Morris Brum, who says, “I’ve always considered beer a vegetable.”

And Doug Johnson, of Watson, says his evening vegetable juice “contains corn, flavored with charred oak.”

Nostalgia Corner

Jim Taylor, of Breaux Bridge, remembers the lighted fountain at Holsum Bakery when it was on North 19th Street, mentioned by a reader:

“During December the folks at the bakery would put ice in the fountain so the lights would reflect red and green. It gave the illusion of the fountain freezing.

“We would go by and admire it on our way to see Santa Claus laughing at Goudchaux’s around the corner.”

And Dotty West Farwell, of Diamondhead, Miss., says she attended a birthday party at the bakery:

“I’ve no idea how they managed to get sugar for the birthday cake during World War II.

“The fountain with various colored lights that changed continuously was the highlight of driving on North 19th Street after dark.

“My University High classmate, Dorothy Dennis Scott of Biloxi, also remembers it well!”

Train songs revisited

T. Med Hogg, who worked for the Missouri Pacific Lines for 15 years, adds to our list of great train songs with “Orange Blossom Special” and Roy Acuff’s “Fireball Mail.”

“For pop music, I would say ‘The Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe’ or Tex Beneke’s ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo.’ ”

Gathering of Lions

The Red Stick Chapter of Southeastern Louisiana University alumni has a crawfish boil from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the SLU School of Nursing, 4849 Essen Lane. All 2012-2013 graduates eat free. Call (800) SLUALUM or visit

Special People Dept.

On Thursday Bob and Jodie Crawford celebrate their 61st anniversary.

Ellis and Libby James, of Denham Springs, celebrate 60 years of marriage Thursday.

Mac and Thelma Phillips, of St. Amant, celebrate their 60th anniversary Thursday.

Local lingo

Bert Broussard, of Anacortes, Wash., comments on the joke in the Wednesday column about a snake and a “water hose:”

“Obviously that snake wasn’t from south Louisiana, or it would be a ‘hose pipe.’ ”


Gordon Jarnigan says, “Many years ago my mother lived at St. James Place, and I visited with her very often.

“Frequently, I greeted two very nice ladies, Mrs. Payne and Mrs. Jolissaint. Although they did not resemble each other very much, for some reason I was not sure which was which.

“Mrs. Payne’s husband became very ill, but recovered. Seeing him in the lobby one day, I congratulated him.

“A few days later, I saw a lady I believed to be Mrs. Payne, and told her that I saw her husband up and about again.

“She replied, ‘Oh, how did he look? He’s been dead 25 years.’ ”

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.