Smiley: A friend indeed

Algie Petrere shares this tale of friendship:

“Our great-grandson John, 6, has cerebral palsy, which mostly affects his left leg.

“He’s able to walk and run, but his leg does tire easily and he can’t always do everything he would like to do.

“His good friend Clay, who just turned 7, was apparently concerned about this, because he was talking to his dad and told him he wanted to find a cure for ‘disease-a-mal palsy’ so John could be better and run and play with him.

“He said that we should look inside all kids with disease-a-mal palsy and all kids without it and see what the difference was, and find the antidote (his word) and put it inside the kids with the disease. Then John’s leg would never be sick again.

“I think maybe Clay will make a fine doctor someday. I know he’s a wonderful friend right now.”

Dealing with loss

Rhetta Sellers tells this story of grace under duress:

“Your recent stories about Third Street brought back fond memories of stories my grandmother shared with me.

“Years before spandex, Lycra and elastic, ladies’ undergarments were made out of cotton, with either buttons or a drawstring to hold them in place.

“One day my grandmother, Genoa Gremillion, was walking down Third Street in all of her finery, including gloves, hat and all accouterments that ladies wore to go downtown, when the buttons on her underwear came undone, causing them to fall to the ground.

“Horrified by this tale, I asked what she did.

“She replied, ‘I just stepped out of them and kept on walking.’ ”

Arrivederci aroma

Clarence Berteau, of Gonzales, says the “asphidity bag” mentioned by a reader as a folk medicine contained asafetida, or asafoetida, described as “a bad-smelling gum resin obtained from various Asiatic plants of the umbel family.”

He says, “Being a retired pharmacist, I recall selling many bottles of ‘Dewee’s Carminative’ which is made of asafoetida, and is used in children’s colic. It indeed has a foul smell.

“You get a hint as to its odor by its synonym, ‘Devil’s Dung.’ ”

The Italian connection

“Geaux Tigers, from here in Italy!” says Bobbie DeJean:

“While walking in a market area in Florence four days ago, a waiter came out of a restaurant to coax us in for dinner.

“He asked where we were from, and I answered Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“He then yelled out, ‘LSU TIGERS!’ and invited us into the restaurant to see not one but two large LSU flags.

“As our Tigers got ready for the College World Series, I told him all about LSU baseball.

“He said the flags were from a fan who comes to Italy often.”

Special People Dept.

On Sunday Gertie Oufnac Landry, of White Castle, celebrated her 103rd birthday.

Lee S. Fogleman, a former Baton Rouge resident now in Denham Springs, celebrates his 100th birthday Tuesday.

On Tuesday Justine H. Brunson, former home economics teacher at the original Dutchtown High and East Ascension High, celebrates her 100th birthday.

Addie Bellue, of Greensburg, celebrates her 95th birthday Tuesday.

L.B. Hanna, of Pierre Part, formerly of Central, celebrated his 95th birthday Saturday. He’s a World War II Coast Guard veteran and Exxon retiree.

On Monday Nellie Morgan celebrated her 91st birthday.

Jim and Natalie Heard Elbourne celebrate their 70th anniversary Tuesday.

On Tuesday John and Betty Torbert celebrate their 69th anniversary. He is a World War II veteran; she was a wartime chemist for Standard Oil.

P. Kirby and Gladys Goudeau, of Greenwell Springs, celebrated their 68th anniversary Sunday.

Tom and Eva Jones, of Zachary, celebrate their 53rd anniversary Tuesday.

Isn’t that sweet?

“Bayou Jeaux” says he’s learned to be more specific about his breakfast orders:

“A common question most mornings as we are reading your column is the wife asking, ‘What do you want for breakfast?’

“A common response is, ‘Anything with syrup on it.’

“First time I have ever had cornflakes with syrup on it …”

Funny business

More weird business names, signs and slogans:

J.F. Gooldwin says this sign on Sheffield Funeral Home, in Port Neches, Texas, dates back to the 1950s: “Use our convenient layaway plan.”

Harry Simon, of “Metro Eunice,” tells of Bury Funeral Home in Buffalo, N.Y.

He says the motto of a balloon shop in Lake Charles is “We get a bang out of inflation.”

And the motto of the Moldex Co. in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, maker of plastic toilet seats, is “Born in Barrie — Raised Everywhere.”

And Loren Scott tells of this sign on the back of the Cater & Sons Septic Tank Service truck: “We haul milk on weekends.”

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.