Dear Smiley: Robby Zeringue’s mention of phone service in the 1940s brought to mind a wonderful family story.
My daddy, Willie O. Hughes, was drafted into the Army during World War II.
He was a Baton Rouge city policeman prior to the war.
Because of his experience, he was placed in the first contingent of Military Police.
He was stateside for two or three years, helping turn out MPs.
Momma went with him all over the U.S, and they had hopes he’d stay stateside.
Uncle Sam had other ideas, and shipped him out to Europe.
He was in New York City in 1943, about to ship out by boat when he found a pay phone and called Momma.
He put in his coins, called and was telling Momma goodbye.
After three minutes, the operator came on line to tell him his time was up.
When he told her where he was and what was going on, she let him talk on without charging him.
He left Momma expecting my brother Mickey, and he wouldn’t see either one for over a year.
What a difference in today and back then.
LINDA H. WHITMAN
Dear Smiley: This week I discovered and enjoyed reading old love letters from 1964 and 1965.
I immediately noticed that there was no ZIP code, and a five-cent stamp.
(I was a north Baton Rouge girl, but I lived on the south side of the tracks.)
In this box of memorabilia was a Hopper’s napkin with “1964” written on it, and the young man’s name who had taken me there that day.
It made me wonder, “What makes us save such things?”
I guess a better question is, “After almost 50 years, why did I once again pack them away to be read again?”
Parting is such sweet sorrow!
FAYE HOFFMAN TALBOT
Dear Smiley: I guess all of us who continue to live finally get to the stage in life when downsizing becomes critical.
While engaging (reluctantly) in that exercise, we came across some woven mats I had brought back from the South Pacific in 1945.
Fifty-three years ago, not knowing what to do with them, we placed them in the attic.
Now, conditioned by Green Revolution ideas, we thought that the home economics department at LSU might have use for them.
It so happens that we had wrapped them in plastic and an old newspaper which included “The Comic Weekly” of the Los Angeles Sunday Examiner.
Dated Aug. 14, 1958, it consisted of four pages with 10 comic strips.
“Blondie,” “Snuffy Smith” and “Beetle Bailey” are the only three found in the Advocate’s Sunday comics.
The other titles some of your older readers might remember include “Buz Sawyer,” “Roy Rogers,” “Flash Gordon” and “Steve Canyon.”
In addition, there was “Big Ben Bolt” and “Hubert.”
Looks like the Macho Male dominated in the middle of the last century.
The tenth strip was “Believe It or Not!”
I think my biggest surprise about the layout is that it was in full color way back in 1958.
You gotta problem?
Dear Smiley: Over the last several years, restaurant servers (formerly known as waiters and waitresses) and others seem to regard their jobs and the people they serve as “problems.”
Why, do you ask?
In response to a “Thank you,” they overwhelmingly respond, “No problem.”
What has happened to the simple “You’re welcome” we were taught as children?
Are we really problems?
Dear Smiley: Your answer to the question (by Larry Sylvester on July 28) of how many “well-deserved vacations” a person can have in one year was that an almost limitless amount would be fair for a hard-working person.
I agree, but I think the writer was referring to YOU, Smiley.
No-Respect Dept. II
Dear Smiley: When one has earned something due to excellent performance of duties, some may question whether that person is worthy of the gain they may receive as a result of the performance.
As an example, highly paid professional athletes receive large incomes because they performed their duties exceptionally and the market bears that income level.
Likewise, you have well-deserved vacations because your contributors have performed your duties exceptionally and the market bears it.
It makes sense when you don’t think about it.
Dear Phil: As I understand it, you’re saying my contributors do all the work and I get all the vacations (and all the pay).
So what’s your point?
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.