Smiley: The Mystery of the Missing Day | Smiley Anders

Smiley: The Mystery of the Missing Day | Smiley Anders

Margaret Hawkins, of Ponchatoula, tells of an experience that’s all too common during our months of hunkering down at home during the pandemic:

“Took Sunday meds, fixed coffee, retrieved paper (pretty thin, but, oh well), drank coffee/read paper, then noticed date on the paper.

“Called Times-Pic, did proper ID, and told the nice lady my carrier had, by mistake, delivered the Saturday paper. Pause. ‘Well,’ she said, ‘it is Saturday.’ Pause. ‘It’s not Sunday?’ I was shocked.

“When the laughing stopped, we decided that quarantine plus retirement makes for a lot of sameness. A whole lot.

“Pretty nice when every day seems like Sunday…”

Head for the hills

Robert Cabes, of Lafayette, comments on P.J. Bourgeois’ Saturday story about his French and Belgian coworkers thinking Montegut was “Mount Aigu,” or “Sharp Mountain.”

“P.J. assured them that there were no mountains in Louisiana. Growing up in New Orleans, I thought the only mountain in Louisiana was Monkey Hill in Audubon Park.

“But after deer hunting in Bienville Parish for many years, I found that ‘Mountain Road’ has that name because of Driskill Mountain, described as ‘the highest natural summit in Louisiana, with an elevation of 535 feet above sea level.’

“There is a great view from the summit!”

Pop goes the pop

Donald Landaiche, of Donaldsonville, says, “Years ago my brother Bert bought a book of 100 recipes, noticed one for root beer, and asked me to help him make it.

“We bought 50 pop bottles, caps and a capping machine.

“After we made it, the recipe said to put it in the yard in the sunshine for four hours.

“When the time was up and we started outside to pick up our root beer, one of the bottles exploded; then three or four more.

“We gave up on that dangerous brew, and got our root beer from the grocery down the street.”

(So, Donald, how were the other 99 recipes?)

Well, it’s wet!

Speaking of belly wash, Mike Manes, of New Iberia, tells this story of a beer critic:

“In 1972, I was serving my country as a GI in Heidelberg, Germany. Six or 8 Cajun soldiers would gather at all the big events (Olympics, Octoberfest, German Grand Prix, etc.). 

“When we met at the German Grand Prix we had an ice chest of German beer and an ice chest of Jax.

“We were trying to have a conversation with a German who knew no English, just as we GIs knew no German. 

“Our German friend reached into our ice chest and grabbed a Jax. He drank it all by tipping his head back and pouring the contents of the bottle down his throat in one swallow.

“He smiled and said, ‘Wasser!’ (water). Compared to German beer, it was ‘water.’”

Carolina boucherie

“My ancestors are all Anglos from the Low Country of South Carolina,” says Charlie Anderson, responding to our tales of Cajun boucheries:

“I remember as a child going to the farm of Great Uncle Bub Smiley(!) near Ruffin for a ‘butcherin”

“All the kinfolk were there, and they killed a number of hogs, preparing hams and bellies for the smokehouse, and preparing all sorts of things in big iron pots.

“One was a concoction of meat, blood, and rice they called ‘puddin.” Reading recently about boucherie and boudin got me to wondering: did they borrow terms from the French Huguenot population around Charleston?”

Special People Dept.

— T. Med Hogg, of Baton Rouge, a longtime column contributor, celebrates his 99th birthday Tuesday, Sept. 29.

— Melvin Vollenweider, of Old Jefferson in the New Orleans area, celebrates his 90th birthday Tuesday, September 29. He is an Army veteran.

— Donnie and Bea DeRouen, of Lafayette, celebrate their 63rd anniversary Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Speaking Louisiana

— Craig Sherman says, “I’m a Yankee transplant. At my first day at a new job, I came to report to ‘Mr. Burjoice.’

“He corrected me; it was Bourgeois.”

— Philip Soesbe says, “I recall a TV sports announcer explaining how he was taught to pronounce ‘LeBlanc.’

“They told him to ignore the ‘c’ and swallow the ‘n.’ It works.”

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