Smiley: Good show, no plot

Steve Davison offers a story from the old days at WBRZ:

“TV stations used to sign on in the early morning and sign off at midnight.

“One of my jobs at WBRZ in the early days was to sign on.

“We opened the day using a black and white camera mounted on a table that swept back and forth automatically and showed weather dials displaying temperature, humidity, wind speed, etc.

“I would punch up the camera, and leave to get coffee.

“Once when I looked up at the TV in the break room to check that everything was OK, I dropped my coffee and ran to the studio.

“Someone had propped up the centerfold of a Playboy magazine in front of the last dial on the display.

“It was probably the only time male viewers watched closely for the next sweep of the dials.”

Down Memory Lane

Loren Scott’s note about ways to improve your memory got some responses:

L.P. Miller wrote to tell me, “I, too, took the Carnegie course on remembering names. It worked. I can call up your name any time, Sammy.

“And tell Loren it was the FRED Carnegie memory course, not JACK.”

Jerry Berggren says, “I just read Loren Scott’s comments on ‘The Memory Book’ by Jerry Lucas.

“I, too, purchased it (when I was in graduate school), thinking it might help me in remembering those scientific names of plants and fungi.

“Unfortunately, I got through three chapters and forgot where I put the book.”

Laura Robertson, of Pine Grove, says, “Several years ago I told my husband’s niece I was reading a book on improving memory.

“She asked what the name of it was. I couldn’t remember.”

Cutting it close

Gene Duke says, “Like LSU, years ago Rice University was planning for a massive revamp of the football stadium.

“A large national construction company brought their best planner for a critical meeting to verify that the facility would be ready for the first game.

“All in attendance agreed that it would be ready for the first game, and looked at the super planner for his OK.

He asked, “Is it a day or night game?”

Not the same!

Glenn Giro, of Denham Springs, has another “dining away from home” story:

“My sister told me that when she was a student in central Nebraska in the late ’60s, she went to town on Sunday and was pleased to see ‘Jumbo Shrimp Dinner’ on the menu.

“She happily ordered what she thought would be a reminder of home.

“What she received was less than she expected.

“As she related it to me, ‘I thought I was getting JUMBO shrimp, but what I got was GUMBO shrimp.’

“Anyone from southern Louisiana who cooks knows the difference, and most of us who merely enjoy eating do, too.”

Edna and Louise

Buzzy Wilkinson, of Marksville, comments on our mention of Texas towns with women’s names:

“If you look at a map of U.S. 59 traveling southwest from Houston to Victoria, you might notice that if you were to pass the night in Ganado you would be sleeping between Edna and Louise.

“In my early years I spent many nights in Ganado when I was working, so I have had the pleasure and experience of sleeping between two women in Texas.”

Special People Dept.

Willard “Uncle Bill” Aydell, of French Settlement, celebrates his 99th birthday on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Elva “Aunt Sis” Meyers celebrates her 98th birthday. A longtime Baton Rouge resident, she is now at Grace Health & Rehab in Slaughter.

Cleo Strickland James celebrated her 95th birthday on Monday.

Philip Daze Jr. celebrates his 93rd birthday on Wednesday. He is a World War II veteran and retired Napoleonville merchant.

Rita Thibodaux, of Donaldsonville, celebrates her 92nd birthday on Wednesday.

Ho, ho, horror!

“Regarding telemarketers and hints on how to get rid of them,” says Terri Zeller, of Prairieville, “here’s something I’d like to share with your readers:

“Next time a telemarketer calls, hand the phone to the nearest 3- or 4-year-old and tell the child it’s Santa Claus.

“Let’s see how fast the pests hang up.”

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.