Smiley: Strangers in the rain

I never tire of running stories like this:

Cleo L. says, “Recently I was in Metairie visiting my sister when we decided to come to Baton Rouge on the LA Swift bus.

“In order to catch the Swift we first had to take a bus that runs on Airline, so we walked the six blocks to catch the Jefferson Parish bus.

“Just as we neared the bus stop, it started to drizzle.

“My sister went to sit in the shelter while I waited at the bus stop, not wanting the bus to pass us up.

“A homeless man in the shelter, I found out from my sister later, told her he would wait in the rain and call when the bus came, so I would not have to.

“As he was approaching me, a car stopped at the red light and motioned for him.

“The driver gave him a large, expensive golf umbrella and motioned for him to pass it on to me, which he did.

“Was I ever so surprised! I smiled and gave her a thumbs up. She did the same.

“Two complete strangers helped us and showed kindness. One gave us her umbrella; the other a dry seat and shelter from the rain.

“While I may not be able to pay them back, I will look for the opportunity to pass on an act of kindness to others.”

Casualty of technology

Jim McCormack says, about our mention of well-informed bar customers, “Since 1962 the Patio Lounge has been the Source of All Knowledge in Baton Rouge.

“But the Internet has made it harder for our patrons to back up their lies.”

Fools errands

John Rooney, of Portland, Texas, says, “My dad Jack worked on steamboats ‘back in the day.’ It was popular to send a green hand to the engineer to ask for a bucket of steam.”

Treats machine

A reader says, “When we go to the Regions Bank drive-thru on College Drive, my dog immediately looks for the treats.

“She hasn’t figured out why the drive-up ATM doesn’t put out treats.

“I’ve taken to keeping a treat in the glove compartment and pretending it comes from the ATM.”

Danger afoot

James Allen, of Marrero, says the recent death of Dr. Joseph Sabatier Jr., “one of the medical personnel who attended Huey P. Long after he was shot in the Capitol,” reminded him of how Dr. Sabatier “was successful in getting fluoroscopes banned from shoe stores back in the ’50s.

“These X-ray machines allowed a person to see how new shoes fit.

“I remember stepping up on a platform, turning on a switch and looking at the bones in my feet as I wiggled my toes. This was great fun (we thought).”

Likely suspects

After readers complained about missing newspapers, I heard from Anonymous:

“I had a Lab who was ‘paper trained’ at six weeks. Every morning she loved to run get my paper for me.

“Sometimes the kids would accidentally let her out before the neighbors could retrieve their newspapers, and I would wind up with more than one.

“After seeing The Advocate distribution car at the same few neighbors’ houses, I told all my neighbors to call me if they had a missing paper, and I could probably re-deliver it.

“After that it became a running joke in the neighborhood.

“What may be happening may not be a thief, but a ‘paper trained’ dog.”

For the animals

A garage sale Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cottonport Bank Community Center in New Roads raises funds for the Pointe Coupee Animal Shelter, a no-kill shelter.

Inquiring Minds Dept.

Steve Pritchard says, “Back in the ’50s either Sunbeam or Tasty bread company in Baton Rouge had a puzzle on its wrappers. Thought some of your older readers might remember.”

Special People Dept.

Harold and Noralee Patton, of Central, celebrate 60 years of marriage Friday.

Barbara and Louis Rogge celebrate their 59th anniversary Saturday. They were married in Tokyo while both were serving in the U.S. Air Force.

Terry and Dianne “Peaches” Morales celebrate their 50th anniversary Saturday.

Milton and Marceline Naquin, of Brusly, celebrate their 50th anniversary Saturday.

Our mobile society

Our seminar on creative names led Richard Guidry, of Zachary, to recall the story he once heard, which I believe was later proven to be false.

He heard that “because of our hustle and bustle world, where people are rushing here and yonder, the Catholic Church has instituted new drive-thru confessionals. They will be called ‘Toot and Tell It.’”

Speaking of names

Ronnie Hotz, of Lafayette, says, “I remember back in the ’40s, on the highway from Lacombe to Mandeville, passing possibly the only ‘filling’ station advertising tire repair: ‘Don’t B Flat, C Sharpe.’

“Also, I read a rant in a Birmingham paper of an unsatisfied customer of a portable toilet company called ‘Elton Johns.’”

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.