After a reader indicated that people may not remember brass bands, I thought of the fine ones still around.
New Orleans is full of them. The one I hear most often is the Rebirth Brass Band, but there are many more.
And Harriet St.Amant talks about the biggest brass band in these parts:
“I doubt there’s a football fan in this town older than 5 who, upon hearing the first four stirring notes of ‘Hold That Tiger’ as played by the Golden Band from Tigerland as they take the field prior to a home game, has any doubt at all what a brass band is!”
In 2008, Sheila Stroup of the Times-Picayune and I were co-chair of the annual conference of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists held at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans.
At Sheila’s suggestion, we arranged for brass band The Storyville Stompers to lead us in a second line from the Monteleone to the Aquarium of the Americas on the riverfront for a Cajun feast.
As we gathered in front of the hotel, beads were handed out to the second-liners, and the band struck up “When the Saints …” and we took off.
Tourists strolling through the French Quarter stopped to gawk at this collection of bead-tossing crazies weaving its way behind the band on a Friday afternoon.
“What is this?” a well-dressed lady called to me as I tossed her a strand of beads.
“We’re columnists!” I shouted back.
“Oh,” she said, as if that explained everything …
Chapman Morgan of Santa Maria, Calif., says his dad had these favorite sayings:
“‘Tighter than Dick’s hat band’ and ‘That guy don’t have the sense God promised a billy goat.’
“And one of my favorites I learned from the late Louis Frank Leteff Sr.: ‘That guy is so crooked he’d set a blind tumble bug on the wrong road home.’ ”
Bobby Sibley says, “Comments about the old manual typewriters brought back memories of my Army days.
“While stationed at a Nike Missile base in New York, I was lucky enough to get a job as supply clerk.
“This was in the early ’60s, so manual typewriters were all we had.
“The military required 10 copies of everything; so anything you typed, you put in 10 sheets of paper and 9 sheets of carbon — and hit the keys REAL hard.”
KKD has a post-hurricane story:
“After Hurricane Gustav, a large trash mulberry tree grew up on our block of Cherrydale Avenue where a majestic oak had been.
“During (Hurricane) Isaac, I watched its branches thrash around in the wires and hoped ‘my’ tree wouldn’t be the cause of power problems for the street.
“Afterward, I’d gone out with my garden saw and was hacking away at its branches when David K. came across the street and assured me, ‘We’ll take care of it for you.’
“On Sunday at high noon, he and Craig L. showed up with a chain saw and cut that thing to the ground.
“Good neighbors are great blessings.”
State fire Marshal H. Butch Browning tells how you can help get Fire Prevention Week materials out to students and others:
“With tight municipal budgets, the supply of these materials is at risk. With the help of an online tool, Sparky’s Wish List, fire departments are now able to invite others to purchase materials they need.
“The wish list works much like a modern bridal registry. Fire departments register for the items they need (DVDs, posters, stickers, etc.), and others go online to make the purchases. The materials are shipped directly to the fire departments.”
For information, visit www.sparkyswishlist.org/give.
Doug Johnson of Walker found this story in the humor section of an old magazine, but it sounds like a hurricane story from down here:
“A customer called for help with her TV set, which wouldn’t come on, and was told that a technician couldn’t come right away because of the storm in the area.
“The customer responded, ‘I need my TV fixed today! What else am I supposed to do while the power is out?’”
Teacher Bertha Hinojosa, discussing dinosaurs with her pre-K and kindergarten students at Glen Oaks Park Elementary, admitted that the size and number of the prehistoric beasts frightened her.
One of the children responded, “I’m not afraid of dinosaurs — because they’re all dead.”
Ron of St. Francisville offers this colorful, somewhat edited, old saying:
“When I inadvertently allowed Uncle John’s hunting dogs to escape from their pen, he told me, ‘Boy, you’re as useless as chicken poop on a pump handle!’”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.
Copyright © 2011, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved