Smiley: Earning his oats

Francisco Lomas says the Saints-Chiefs game “brought to mind the years I lived in Kansas City.

“I was employed as a ticket taker when Arrowhead Stadium opened in 1972, so I got to attend every home game.

“The Chiefs had a horse named Scout that would be trotted around the stadium each time the Chiefs scored a touchdown.

“At one memorable game, the Chiefs totally trounced the Chicago Bears, scoring numerous touchdowns.

“After the game, one of the Bears observed, ‘Well, the Chiefs certainly beat us badly, but we almost ran their horse into the ground, didn’t we?’”

Singing of cars

When we were doing train songs, collector Ken Toups, of Lafayette, sent us some gems.

This time, he sent car tunes and jogged my memory about songs of the open road.

My favorite car songs are Chuck Berry’s “Maybelline,” about a duel between a Cadillac and a V-8 Ford, and “Four Cars Running” by Baton Rouge’s own Larry Garner, a blues lament about a father charged with keeping his family’s four vehicles on the road.

Ken reminds us of some great blues about cars, including “Highway 49” by Howlin’ Wolf, “Key to the Highway” by Little Walter, “Too Many Drivers” by Smiley Lewis and “V-8 Ford Blues” by Mose Allison.

He includes some you might expect — “Little Deuce Coupe,” Fun Fun Fun” and “409” by the Beach Boys, “Drive My Car” by the Beatles and “Hot Rod Lincoln” by Johnny Bond.

Then there are some exotic ones — “In My Merry Oldsmobile” by Billy Murray, from 1905; “Henry’s Made a Lady Out of Lizzie” by The Happiness Boys, from 1928, and “See the USA in Your Chevrolet” by Dinah Shore, from 1956.

Ken adds a spooky 1955 interview with James Dean, in which he says his race driving has made him a better highway driver.

You’re welcome to weigh in with your favorite car song. We haven’t scratched the surface — no mention of Jan and Dean, for instance…

Whimsical wines

Patsy Borie says, “Your readers’ lists of interesting wine names have inspired me to add a few of my own.

“Red Hawk Winery, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, has a wine called Grateful Red.

“The previous owners also had Punk Floyd, Chateau Mootom, Average White Blend and the Donner Party. (The last had to be explained to me.)

“All these labels had hilarious T-shirts on sale at the winery.

“Unfortunately, the new owners only kept the Grateful Red, which is a good wine.

“I miss the old T-shirts when I go there to visit.

“The owners are good friends of my daughter Vonnie, who lives in the area.

“They also stage a great crawfish boil every spring with, of course, Louisiana crawfish flown in and cooked by native Louisianians.”

Get the blues

At 7 p.m. Thursday, the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation’s “Blues Gala” at the Capitol Park Museum honors McKinley Morganfield, born 100 years ago.

You might know him better as Muddy Waters.

The music he influenced will be featured by blues piano legend Henry Gray, “Baton Rouge’s own blues superstar” Kenny Neal and other performers.

There’ll also be a “Taste of the Blues” gourmet buffet.

Tickets are $35, available at the door, and include a year’s membership to the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation. Call (225) 274-6902.

Shall we dance?

Nancy LeBlanc seeks a dance program in Baton Rouge “willing to work with a wheelchair dancer” for daughter Katie, 16.

Nancy says Katie “has been dancing since she was 3. She has mostly done ballet and modern dance.”


Customer disservice

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, credits this one to the Rev. Mark Benge, pastor at First United Methodist Church in Lafayette:

“I went to a bookstore and asked, ‘Where’s the self-help section?’

“The saleslady said, ‘If I told you that would defeat the purpose.’”

Bad cat!

Elizabeth Baron says, “During a family visit to BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo, we approached the ‘Realm of the Tiger.’

“My 4-year-old son could not see the tiger, so I said, ‘Nelson, the tiger is over there in the corner.’

“He quickly replied, ‘Oh, Momma, he must be in time-out!’”

With friends like that ...

Doug Johnson, of Watson, says, “Several years ago, I saw two signs at a church that amused me so much I got a photo of them.

“The first was a large sign with the name of the church and the words ‘The Friendliest Church in Town.’

“Next to it, at the entrance to the church parking lot, was a smaller sign that said ‘Parking for Church Members Only.’

“I wonder where visitors to this friendly church had to park?”

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.