Smiley: Wedding wrangler

In this tale, appropriate for June wedding month, Daphne Crawford addresses two issues dealt with here recently: The generation gap regarding words (such as “thongs”) and the use of ammonia-based “smelling salts” for ladies inclined to get “the vapors” when under stress:

“A few years ago, on the wedding day of a friend’s daughter, I was given the delightful task of seeing to the needs of the bride and her bridesmaids before the ceremony.

“Along with food, beverages and other essentials, on my list of must-haves were hose (nylons) and smelling salts.

“The young women had no idea what ‘hose’ meant, and why I would need to water anything on that day.

“I had a hard time finding smelling salts, but managed it through a pharmacist.

“Several of the girls wanted to break open the salts and try them out, and it was all I could do to keep their over-excited curiosity at bay.

“I’m happy to say that on this day the salts were not needed in earnest by anyone.”

(And I assume, Daphne, that no one needed to be hosed down — unlike the case at some weddings I’ve attended …)

Extended play

After I mentioned bars called “The Office,” for obvious reasons, I heard from Wade Coleman with a similar tale:

“In the Mid-City area of New Orleans off Interstate 10, we played in a softball league at St. Patrick’s Park.

“Years ago, there was a bar across the street called ‘Extra Innings.’

“So, if we were late getting home, our excuse was we went into Extra Innings.”

The honeymoon train

Jess Johnson has this train story from the summer of 1950:

“Two weeks after our marriage, my wife and I made our first overnight train trip, escorting eight boys, 9-12, from the Baton Rouge area to Camp Stewart for Boys in Kerrville, Texas, owned by Texas A&M football coach ‘Uncle Bill’ James.

“We slept in a lower berth, and all during the night, from behind the closed curtains, we heard laughter and comments by the boys to people walking through the car — telling them about us being on our honeymoon.

“I think Miles Pollard, Hays ‘Sonny’ Town and Skipper Post were the ringleaders.

“We have enjoyed watching them grow up to become outstanding community leaders.”

Ville Platte’s smokin’

One of the events Lady Katherine and I look forward to every summer is “Le Festival de la Viande Boucanée,” Ville Platte’s Smoked Meat Festival.

The 21st festival happens Friday and Saturday, and we’ve been asked to judge a variety of Cajun goodies at the Saturday “World Championship Smoked Meat Cook-Off.” (Yeah, I know, it’s a tough job, yada, yada, yada …)

The celebration was started by the Vietnam Veterans of America to “build community spirit and earn money for sponsoring civic events and projects for the needy.”

So if you’re at the Ville Platte Civic Center around noon Saturday, you might hear my sighs of joy as I dig into a perfectly prepared piece of ponce …

Worthy causes

Family Service of Greater Baton Rouge benefits from sales at California Pizza Kitchen in Perkins Rowe on Tuesday and Wednesday.

With a flier, you get 20 percent of your check donated to the organization.

Go to or call (225) 766-3840 for details.

Special People Dept.

C.J. Guillory celebrates his 98th birthday Monday. He has worked at Gerry Lane Chevrolet for more than 50 years and was the second person hired at the old Polk Chevrolet — right behind Gerry Lane himself.

Stanley and Louise Dardenne, of Livonia, celebrate their 62nd anniversary Monday.

That’s the secret!

Glenn Giro, of Denham Springs, says, “As an addition to your birthdays and anniversaries, I am reminded of a reply given to a reporter by an older gentleman.

“The reporter asked him, on his 104th birthday, what was the secret to longevity.

“He replied, ‘Live every day one day at a time … and don’t die.’

“Words of wisdom, indeed.”

Name that business

O.C. McGehee says, “We saw a little store in Italy named ‘Scarpe Diem.’ (As you may know, ‘scarpe’ means ‘shoes.’)”

Robert and Edna Smiley say their favorite bar names include “Bottom of the Pile,” and in Edinburgh near the old Haymarket gallows site, “Last Drop Pub.”

And Joe Guilbeau tells of a school for exotic dancers in Houston called “The Navel Academy.”

Say what?

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, revives our recently dormant list of unusual newspaper headlines (NOT from The Advocate:)

“Marijuana issue sent to joint committee.”

“Miracle cure kills 5th patient.”

“Parents keep kids home to protest school closure.”

“Man with 8 DUIs blames drinking problem.”

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.