Smiley: Ode to Omaha

Mike Nola says, “My immediate family made the trip to the College World Series in Omaha.

“It was a vacation for us to be together and to see our cousin Aaron pitch in the opening game.

“Everywhere we stopped we were continually told ‘Welcome to Omaha; we sure love having you Tiger fans here.’

“We were at lunch at a restaurant with our grandson Nicholas, and three ladies started again on how much they appreciate the LSU fans.

“Then when we went to pay our bill, they had picked it up.

“We went by their table to thank them, and they said it was a part of their church ministry to do good deeds.

“Also, they said a prayer for us and the Tigers.

“Wow, what an experience! Needless to say, we now have a new adopted city, and we will be back.”

Try to relax

“Who says the TSA doesn’t have a sense of humor?” says Gail Stephenson.

“The TSA apparently recognizes that after an airport traveler is forced to take off her shoes and half her clothes, pose for an ‘almost nude’ image and be patted and groped, she may feel a bit upset or discomforted.

“After going through security in the Milwaukee airport, I had to smile despite my discombobulation when I saw the large sign designating the area to redress and collect yourself as the ‘Recombobulation Area.’ ”

A singular sign

Buck Bertrand says, “A few years ago, while fishing the Atchafalaya Basin, I saw this beautiful white bass boat, with a sign painted, ‘WHAT A LIFE WITHOUT A WIFE.’ ”

(I’m assuming it was owned by a single guy — if he was divorced, how did he get to keep the boat?)

Life imitates art?

“Jes Sayin’ ” points out that our recent story about guys at the Exxon refinery who kept adding or subtracting gasoline in a co-worker’s car to mess with his mileage might have actually been about an episode of the old “Gomer Pyle” TV show:

“There was an episode that had the EXACT scenario as its plot. Sergeant Hacker did the mentioned deeds to Sergeant Carter’s car that was for sale, in an attempt to drive the price down.”

Crawfish tales

Sam Irwin’s new book on the modern Louisiana crawfish industry, “Louisiana Crawfish: A Succulent History of Mudbug Madness,” is scheduled to hit the shelves in February.

Says Sam: “Some people have said that eating crawfish once upon a time was considered ‘low class,’ and people were embarrassed that they had to eat crawfish.

“If any of your readers have any knowledge of this, I’d like to get in touch with them. It would help me with my research. I can be reached at”

Fishy memories

Irwin says his interest in crawfish, and fish in general, comes naturally:

“I spent nearly all of my childhood (and a good part of my adult life) in Henderson at Amy’s Fisheries, my grandfather’s fish plant.

“The ‘fish dock,’ as we called it, was located directly behind Amy’s Grocery, a popular store at the foot of the Atchafalaya Spillway levee near Pat’s Waterfront Restaurant.

“Everyone, even little kids, knew my grandfather as Joe. I called him Poppa, but the best way to pronounce his last name is Cajun-style — Ahh-mee.

“I personally witnessed the Atchafalaya River’s evolution from a fish economy to a crawfish-driven market.”

Dress your dog

A “Harleywood K9 Fashion Contest” from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday at Harley-Davidson of Baton Rouge benefits Spay Baton Rouge. Registration starts at 11 a.m.

Dog owners are invited to enter their costumed pet and accompany them down the red carpet.

WAFB’s Donna Britt is celebrity host. Visit

Have some chicken

Barbecued chicken dinners will be sold from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the St. Mary Kiwanis Park in New Roads to benefit Kiwanis of Pointe Coupee charitable projects.

Call (225) 718-1319.

Special People Dept.

Margaret Blanchard, of Plaquemine, celebrates her 90th birthday Tuesday.

I’m outta here!

The summer installment of my Well-Deserved Vacation is officially underway, and it’s a welcome break.

As Madeline Kahn sang so memorably in “Blazing Saddles,” I’m TIRED. …

The missus and I will spend the week, as is our custom, at Bubba’s Exxon, Motel & Bait Shop in Back Brusly.

Bubba says he’s reopening his All You Dare to Eat Buffet, now that the little misunderstanding with the Centers for Disease Control has been cleared up.

Always trendy, Bubba is featuring a “small plates” menu.

Actually, he kind of has to, since his cook, Large Marge, broke his big plates over the head of that welder from Morgan City — but that, as they say, is another story. …

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.