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Smiley: A true celebrity

Dear Smiley: Our daughter Susan Wallace was asked by her 8-year-old son Stewart if she could talk to anyone, alive or dead, who would it be? Susan replied, “Barbara Walters because she has interviewed all the famous people.” Stewart said Barbara Walters hadn’t interviewed everyone because she hadn’t interviewed his “Nanny” Dawn from… Continue reading →

Smiley: Two ruined days

Thomas says, “I was born and raised in Baton Rouge and moved 30 years ago to Mobile, Alabama, where I have come to know many Bama and Auburn fans. “In 1988 my wife and I, along with several Auburn grads, traveled to Baton Rouge to take in what was known as the ‘Earthquake… Continue reading →

Smiley: Thoughts of family

Many years ago I sat down to write one of those Thanksgiving columns. You know, where you list all the things for which you are thankful. I started with my little family, and before I finished telling about them I had filled up the entire column space. Since then I have set aside this day… Continue reading →

Smiley: Hug an LSU fan today

The day after the LSU-Arkansas football game, I was wearing my LSU jacket in a restaurant in Dauphin Island, Alabama. I had just started digging into my fried oysters when a guy at the next table came over and asked me, “Can I hug an LSU fan?” He explained he was also an LSU fan, but the… Continue reading →

Smiley: High anxiety

Gordon Greenwood, of Slidell, tells a tale of two storms: “In 2002, my wife and I were touring Europe, and were in Zurich, Switzerland, high in the Alps. “After a day of sightseeing, we came back to our hotel and turned on the TV. The first thing we saw was a… Continue reading →

Smiley: Medium rare adventure

Dear Smiley: About dorm rules of the past: Another rule that was strictly enforced in the Highland Dorm at LSU in 1961 was “no cooking in the rooms.” Three friends and I decided to flout that regulation and prepare a feast for ourselves just before Christmas break, testing the rules, as well as… Continue reading →

Smiley: New team

“My 7-year-old granddaughter, Reagan Bihm, recently made her first confession in our church,” says Kenny LeBlanc, of St. Amant: “Since she was now sinless, I told her she was now a saint and asked her how it felt to be a saint. “She looked at me and whined, ‘I can’t be a LSU Tiger anymore?’ ”… Continue reading →

Smiley: Magical cleaning

Ginger Williamson tells of her encounter with the generation gap: “When my granddaughter, Pressley Calahan, now 9, was about 4, she was playing outdoors, and when she came inside I told her she would need to wash her hands before eating. “We went to the bathroom sink and I turned the… Continue reading →

Smiley: False arrest

Doug Lee, of Prairieville, says, “When my brother David and I were attending Southeastern, I was a full-fledged sheriff’s deputy. “One day David called me for a ride home from school right after I had finished a shift. “I noticed his back to me as I edged my cruiser closer. I jumped out of the car, handcuffed… Continue reading →

Smiley: Incentive to vote early

As a certified Old Person, I’m continually amazed at the technological advances of our age. I marvel at the devices shown on TV commercials that allow you to turn the lights in your home on or off no matter where you are, activate home security systems, monitor rooms in the house, etc.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Urge to merge

“I have been following the discussion concerning how stringent the dorm mothers were in protecting their female students from the male population,” says Richard Stagnoli, of Central. “I understand that dating requirements during the 1950-to-early-1960 era were very tough, even for non-college students. “I also believe that this was the time of the… Continue reading →

Smiley: Taking on the gators

Dear Smiley: I read with heavy heart about the death of former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, one of my favorite political figures. I once had the distinct honor to introduce him at a conference where he was keynote speaker. In his speech, he mentioned that some of his counterparts… Continue reading →

Smiley: Abreast of the news

Emily Hubbard says, “Family members from out of town who visited last week were having dinner with us at Acme Oyster House in Baton Rouge when the discussion of politics came up. “I was thrilled to read online in Business Report that Baton Rouge and New Orleans were seriously talking about a ‘Super Region’ effort… Continue reading →

Smiley: Good night, Marines

“After graduating from LSU in 1959,” says Dave Kelly, “I was sent to Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, as a brand new Marine Corps second lieutenant. “The school is located just 30 miles from the all-female Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg. On weekends, most of the single officers would head south to pick… Continue reading →

Smiley: Suds of the South

Marsha R. says, “When I read about the new craft brewery starting in Baton Rouge, and its statement ‘We want to focus on Southern and local ingredients,’ I immediately began thinking about names for their products.” Here are a few of her suggested names. I’m sure our clever readers can come up with more Southern-inspired names:… Continue reading →

Smiley: Tack attack

I’ve been getting a lot of stories about restrictions on women in colleges in times past, but so far this one from Gail Stephenson, of Baton Rouge, is my favorite: “In the mid-’70s, girls’ dorms at Northwestern State had a curfew of midnight on school nights and 2 a.m. on weekends.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Nixon on Cannon

I spent Thursday evening at T.J. Ribs, where a book signing for Charles deGravelles’ “Billy Cannon: A Long, Long Run” attracted scores of folks who lined up to have their books signed by the author and his subject and exchange a few words with Dr. Cannon. (Who probably had to see another doctor Friday for treatment… Continue reading →

Smiley: Pleasant working conditions

Dear Smiley: In the late ’50s, Louisiana College, in Pineville, had a new swimming pool that all the students really enjoyed. However, the school decreed that there were two periods set aside for swimming: one for the guys and one for the girls. Furthermore, the young ladies were required to wear raincoats over… Continue reading →

Smiley: Laughing with relief

Lisa Disney’s report of a spoonerism also serves to remind us of the days before instant communications: “My dad was a boilermaker, working at one of the plants south of us. He had to catch the ferry to get to the plant. “On my way to work, I heard on the… Continue reading →

Smiley: From Shuckers to Crackers

Biloxi Shuckers

When son-in-law Boyce Smith, of Long Beach, Mississippi, told me he was spending the baseball season working for the Biloxi Shuckers, I had to chuckle. The Shuckers’ logo shows an oyster’s two eyes (do oysters have eyes?) peering out of an open shell. The minor league team, named for the Mississippi coast’s oyster industry, is a… Continue reading →

Smiley: Where Cajuns shop

R.G. has inadvertently come up with the name of the ultimate south Louisiana business: “My husband and I were heading out for a day of shopping and I didn’t want to go to the hardware store with him, so I asked him to drop me off at Bed, Bath and Bayou.” Anne Johnston… Continue reading →

Smiley: The pajama game

Richard Fossey tells how his stepdaughter, Elizabeth Duffy, once avoided getting a speeding ticket from an East Feliciana Parish sheriff’s deputy: “About 18 years ago, my wife Kim and I were newly married and living in St. Francisville. I was taking instruction to come into the Catholic church, and my confirmation ceremony was… Continue reading →

Smiley: Skirting the issue

I’ve found that today’s younger folks have no idea of the restrictive dress codes for women in place just a few decades ago. Here are a couple of examples, from Marsha R., one from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond and one from Our Lady of the Lake hospital in Baton Rouge:… Continue reading →

Smiley: So that’s cush-cush!

Dear Smiley: I want to thank you — or at least one of your readers — for clearing up (in the Oct. 9 column) a 47-year-old mystery for me. Namely, just exactly what cush-cush is. You see, 47 years ago I was ushered into the Cow Palace, along with a few thousand other freshmen, to… Continue reading →

Smiley: The Frozen Nawth

Mike Lukacin gives us a lesson in geography, south Louisiana style: “Years ago, while eating at Mike & Tony’s on Airline, I learned that the family name of the owners was D’Amico. “Having gone to school with a D’Amico back in Pennsylvania, I asked one of the grandsons if they had… Continue reading →

Smiley: Crossroads of history

Bill says, “The controversy over Confederate monuments in New Orleans reminded me of the following: “Before Hurricane Katrina, when we lived at our old address, I had to call AAA to ask that they send a truck with a replacement battery for my car. “The AAA rep asked for my address.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Modern math

This sad commentary is offered by Shlomo Pielstick-Kennedy (possibly an alias): “In case you’ve ever wondered how good a job our schools are doing at preparing students for college, this may give you an idea: “I teach at a university in Texas. Yesterday in a lab, a student asked for my… Continue reading →

Smiley: Blue jeans, baby?

The year 1956 wasn’t really all that long ago, but in terms of attitudes regarding female college students it seems part of the Victorian period. When I spoke at a Baptist gathering in St. Francisville recently, Goldie O’Bannon showed me a copy of LSU’s “University Regulations” from 1956. Under “Standards of… Continue reading →

Smiley: Cush-cush, anyone?

In the hundred or so years I’ve been doing this column, I recall running only one recipe, for SOS (stuff on a shingle), a creamed beef on toast dish from Buzz Broussard, of Scott, a former Navy “stew-burner” (ship’s cook). This was back in the ’80s, and the recipe is in my first book, “Best of… Continue reading →

Smiley: Tall tale

. Dear Smiley: Years ago my 12-year-old son (and I) learned a lesson in perception. He had gone to a basketball camp at the Memorial Coliseum on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington. Part of the camp included a tour of the relatively new Rupp Arena, where the UK basketball team played its games. I… Continue reading →

Smiley: Nuisance call blues

It appears many of you aren’t thrilled about getting unsolicited phone calls just as you’re sitting down to dinner, and not in a mood to hear about an exciting new product or an unexciting old candidate. Margaret Hawkins, of Ponchatoula, offers a helpful hint in the event you get a call from a… Continue reading →

Smiley: Limited friendship

Martha Wright tells a story about the funeral of her husband, Malcolm, a valued contributor to this column: “His funeral was scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 10, at University United Methodist Church. The church is right next to campus, and in fact we sell parking slots to fans. “When the LSU-South Carolina… Continue reading →

Smiley: Dead ‘dillo blues

One more armadillo saga: Linda Belleu, of Gonzales, says, “Growing up in the middle of rice fields in Thornwell (in Jefferson Davis Parish), we really loved all the wildlife around, and even made pets of some. “When my cousin and his very young wife moved next to us to work at the rice dryer, she was afraid… Continue reading →

Smiley: Dinner vs. polling

When Jerry Moses told me, “This is one governor’s race where I’ve already voted twice — or maybe three times,” I assumed he was just carrying on a grand old Louisiana tradition. Then he explained: “That’s the number of public opinion phone calls I’ve answered before calling it quits. I mean, honest folks should really limit the… Continue reading →

Smiley: Guys losing the war

John Engelsman, our correspondent covering the War Between the Sexes, sends this dispatch from the front: “In the battle of the sexes in our house, Cathi has taken a commanding lead and is on the verge, I’m afraid, of ‘10-run ruling’ me. “A month or so ago, I announced that I… Continue reading →

Smiley: Joker was no joke

Dear Smiley: Referring to an article about Fair Grounds picks, years (probably over a half-century) ago, I was an operator on the old-time switchboard at Bell South. Customers from pay phones were notified that their three minutes were up by flipping a key and saying, “Your three minutes are up; signal when through.” While notifying,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Sing for your cush-cush

Kathy Groft, a native of St. Amant, has for the past 20 years lived in northern Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. But she says she never lost her taste for Cajun delicacies, especially cush-cush, a fried cornmeal mush usually served hot at breakfast, with cane syrup: “When we… Continue reading →

Smiley: Hunger game

With hunting season upon us, this note from Bill Bankhead about responsible hunters seems timely: “I cannot let my old Catholic High friend, Ernie Gremillion, have the final say on armadillos. “Several years ago my son told his children the reason hunters killed animals was for food, and you should never… Continue reading →

Smiley: Fighting crime

If you’re about to embark on a life of crime, you’d be wise to choose your victims carefully. Here are a couple of examples showing why this is a good policy: — Mary Pramuk says our tale of Olga Hotz, of New Orleans, chasing a thief with her broom jogged her memory about… Continue reading →

Smiley: Speaking kidspeak

Thank goodness for children. Without them, this column would be a lot harder to construct. For example: John Sample says, “About 38 years ago a fellow Titleist rep was spending the night at our home, sleeping in my 4-year-old son David’s room. He asked little David why the bedside lamp didn’t work, and was… Continue reading →

Smiley: Hurting for his faith

Bobby Marchand, of Acy, says, “Being Catholic, my wife Ginger and I wanted to teach our young toddler son, Bret, how to make the sign of the cross, so we would get him each day to practice doing it. “As we were watching TV one night, Bret came into the room complaining of… Continue reading →

Smiley: Sweet name

Dear Smiley: After reading in your Sept. 25 column about little Leslie Christopher, of New Roads, calling butterflies by her own word, “flutter-bys,” I agreed with her term. It reminded me of one of my daughter Rebecca’s terms. We were showing her honeysuckle vines (over 40 years ago) and how you can gently… Continue reading →

Smiley: Bilingual safety

Richard Fossey, an education prof at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, says father-in-law Ivy Alford “told me a story that made me wish I were bilingual. “Back in the 1950s, Ivy and his friends Leo and Agnes Richard dropped by the Rainbow Inn in Pierre Part to eat dinner. In those days,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Doughnuts and more

My buddy, Dudley Lehew, recently moved from Denham Springs to Marrero, and he’s lost no time reminding me of the joys of life in the New Orleans area. Knowing my love of Krystal burgers (aka “sliders”) and the lack of a Krystal dispensary in Baton Rouge, he was happy to tell me the one near his… Continue reading →

Smiley: We’re “very unique”

I’ve lived so long in the Deep South (spent only two years in the Frozen Nawth — Shreveport) that I’ve come to take the speech patterns here for granted. But Diane T. Martin, of Morgan City, says there is a Southern way of talking, and it involves using more words than are absolutely… Continue reading →