By smiley anders
October 23, 2012
Who says nostalgia’s not what it used to be?
Ruby Juanita Johnson, of Gainesville, Texas, shares her vivid memories of her youth:
“I celebrated my 80th birthday in August and seem to be doing a lot more reminiscing about the past then planning for the future.
“I loved growing up in a Baton Rouge where I was able to go safely by myself to First Baptist Church twice on Sunday and once during the week.
“Then on Saturdays, there were the movies, swimming at the ‘park,’ biking everywhere, skating on the Capitol grounds and riding the ferries back and forth with no thought of anything but the joys of a child having a great day.
“On summer Saturdays, I went to Edward’s Orange Bar, bought juice so cold it gave me a headache and a doughnut to eat on the way to the Louisiana Theater, where I watched cowboy movies, cartoons and the latest serials while eating butter-dripping popcorn, Milk Duds, Black Cows and other nutritious food.
“After doing these civic duties, I visited almost every store on Main and Third until it was time to get home before dark.
“Supper was waiting, and I was looking forward to the home-grown tomato, cucumber and green onion salad, grits and bacon or ham served with biscuits and cane syrup.
“Sigh … Gotta go — need to cook some grits with lots of butter stirred in.
“Have a happy day.”
(And I will — thanks to you, dear lady …)
An immigrant’s tale
Ron Bingham says, “My niece’s daughter from Tulsa, Okla., just attended her second family reunion in north Mississippi.
“Her teacher asked her class to write something about their families. She wrote that her mother was really from Mississippi, but moved to America.”
Roy Pitchford, of Monroe, asks, “Can you lead a charge to stop the overuse of the term ‘double down’ in coverage of politics these days?
“It wasn’t a good or accurate phrase to start off with, and it’s been so overused that it is getting tiresome. Down with double down!”
(Happy to oblige. The only time I ever recall using that phrase was in a blackjack game — with unfortunate results …)
Cat-proof your lap
Freda Yarbrough has a solution for the reader (and my spouse) troubled by overly affectionate cats and their claws:
“My cat, Hope, just crawled in my lap on top of a folded blanket — my cat guard.
“When son Brad got here, I sat in my chair and threw the blanket across my lap quickly.
“He was about to ask, but I preempted his query: ‘I’m not cold. It’s a cat guard. I have too many reminders of cats jumping in and jumping out of my lap. They sooooo like to grip something with their claws.’ ”
Nice People Dept.
Joe Haley nominates Stephanie at the St. Francisville Department of Motor Vehicles State Employee of the Month:
“She was so helpful in getting my veteran status added to my driver’s license.
“Her attitude and appreciation of veterans is most appreciated. I felt she truly did care about those who serve our country …”
Finding our treasure
LSU’s Rural Life Museum and the Burden Center on Essen Lane have often been described as Baton Rouge’s hidden treasures, but it seems more folks are discovering them:
Carla Ghashghaee, of Plaquemine, says, “I would like to praise the LSU Rural Life Museum’s recent re-enactment of the Battle of Baton Rouge, for it was very moving.
“I went to the museum’s Harvest Days, and it was great. The re-enactment was the highlight for me and my sons …
“The volunteers did a great job. More people should go and enjoy our museum in our own back yard.”
And Susan Severance passes along a note to Burden Center volunteers from Paul D. Coreil, LSU vice chancellor and AgCenter director:
“I was able to go by and visit the Corn Maze at Burden with my granddaughter Lillian, and the setting and experience was outstanding.
“The true evaluation of your hard work is best represented in the reaction and response observed from the children, and I can attest that you passed the test with glowing colors in Lillian’s eyes.”
Mary Pramuk says now that I’ve reopened that can of worms — old sayings — she has a problem with one about “… not having the sense God promised the billy goat.”
She says, “My uncle’s beautiful billy goat, Patrick O’Sullivan, had sense enough to know how to slip his heavy chain off where it was looped over a metal pole taller than he was, and make a beeline to the potato patch.
“I’d say God fulfilled his promise of good sense to give the billy goat.”
Speaking of smart
John Torbert tells me, “I can read you online in The Advocate. I can get you on Google Search. Is there a Smiley app for my smartphone?”
(I don’t think so — which may be why it’s called a SMART phone …)
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.