Smiley Anders for Dec. 12, 2012

Errol Laborde’s campaign reminds me of our long-running effort to discourage people from calling crawfish “crayfish.”

Errol, editor of New Orleans magazine, wants people to call our favorite sandwich “poor boys” rather than “po-boys” because the former is “the proper and historically accurate term.”

He explains, “According to legend, the origin of the sandwich was when the Martin Brothers, operators of a small restaurant near the riverfront, prepared a special sandwich made with French bread to feed streetcar workers who, in 1929, were on strike and needed nourishment. In reference to the beleaguered workers the sandwich was referred to as a ‘poor boy.’ ”

His effort may seen quixotic, given the widespread use of “po-boy,” but he sees a few encouraging signs.

In the December issue he reports that New Orleans restaurants Evangeline, Stanley and, more recently, Parkway Bakery & Tavern have started calling their sandwiches poor boys.

How far the sandwich has come since its humble beginning is illustrated by Chef Scott Boswell, of Stanley, who offers diners an Eggs Benedict Poor Boy — which sounds like a dish for the 1 percent rather than po (pardon me, poor) folks. …

Gonzales or Kansas?

Linda Millet Keen says witnesses described it as a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Her younger brother, Jerry, was in his truck when it was picked up and lifted high off the ground by Monday’s tornado that hit Gonzales.

She says, “The back glass exploded onto his freshly shaved, very bald head. Suddenly, the tornado dropped my brother and his truck back onto the highway next to a power line.

“He is sore and stitched, but alive. We were told that Jerry was saved through the grace of God and the fact that he was wearing his seat belt.”

Wrong barfly

I’ve got to start watching more reruns.

Jess Savin, Chris Johnson and MANY others remind me that the beer-swilling accountant on “Cheers” was Norm, not Cliff.

Cliff was the beer-swilling mailman.

As Daryl Berg says, “I thought everybody knows their names.”

Once a century

Dietmar Rietschier notes that Wednesday is a once-in-a-century date: 12/12/12.

He has an old German postcard that belonged to his grandmother, dated 12/12/12 — of course, that was 1912.

Special gift

Sylvia Essex Winder says Wednesday marks a kind of birthday for her and her sister, Connie Essex Young.

Twelve years ago, on Dec. 12, Sylvia gave a kidney to Connie.

Says Sylvia, “Connie is feeling great, and I am always so grateful that I was able to make a difference in her life.

“I pray that others will learn the value of becoming organ donors. The Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency is a good place to start, at http://www.lopa.org.”

Toy story, anyone?

Kyle Peveto says The Advocate’s People section seeks stories about your favorite childhood toy:

“If you haven’t been able to part with a top toy of your youth, tell us its story. How did you get it? How did you feel when you opened the package?”

Email pictures of the toy and its story to people@theadvocate.com, or mail to P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Include your name and phone number and send by Monday.

Family history

J. Derald Morgan is writing a history of the McKneely (McNeely) clan that settled in Wilkinson County in Mississippi and Feliciana Parish in the early 1800s, “arriving about the time that the Louisiana Purchase was made and before the purchase of West Florida.”

He seeks information about them and related families.

He’s at (256) 426-7181 or jderaldmorgan@hotmail.com.

Musical interlude

On Thursday at 7 p.m. you can sing Christmas carols at St. Paul Lutheran Church.

It’s free, but donations to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank will be “gratefully accepted.”

There will be refreshments after the singing.

Say what?

Bill Cagnolatti tells of a recent vacation with grandchildren and their parents in Panama City, Fla.:

“One afternoon when most of us were resting up for happy hour, Nana and grandson Gavin, 3, went to the pool for a dip.

“Gavin played fast and furiously for a while, then finally ran out of energy and sat down by Nana.

“Nana saw that he was in a pensive mood, so she asked Gavin what he was thinking about.

“He replied, in his outdoor voice, ‘Women!’

“Folks nearby heard him, of course, and no doubt wondered, ‘Did I hear that right?’ and ‘How old is that kid?’

“They also offered advice to Nana, ‘You better keep an eye on that one!’

“Later, on the way back to the room, Nana realized that Gavin was probably trying to say ‘SWIMMIN’.”

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.