Smiley: Saving the parade

The artist David Norwood, the pride of West Feliciana Parish, has long been one of my heroes (and the illustrator of both my books, if you don’t mind a small plug).

A reader signing himself “La Relic” tells why David is also a hero to folks in St. Francisville.

At a “Christmas In the Country” parade, hundreds were gathered on the town’s main street to view marching bands, bagpipers and floats, including one bearing Santa himself.

Just as the bagpipers were approaching, a huge yellow Lab sauntered onto the neutral ground, sniffed around, and then did what dogs often do.

As the crowd watched in shock, David acted.

Picking up two newspapers from nearby lawns, he put the clear plastic wrappers on his hands as gloves.

Then, dashing into the street just as the bagpipers arrived, he used the newspapers to pick up the offending matter and remove it from their path.

His quick action resulted in “thunderous applause from the excited crowd” — and no doubt gratitude from the marchers…

Hot flashes?

“My skin needs to be recalibrated,” says George McLean:

“When the TV weather-guessers say it ‘feels like 105,’ my skin says it feels like 107.

“This may be the reason people argue about thermostat settings.

“Growing up before TV, the weather this time of year was hot, awful hot or too hot, and no one had to tell you.”

Lunch at Smiley’s

LaNell Hilborn says, “I got a phone call from one of my brothers, Phil Cupples, and he said, ‘Guess where I ate lunch today. I was in Smiley, Texas, population 54, down near the Texas/Mexico border.’

“Phil lives in Bay City, Texas, and I asked him what he was doing down there.

“He said he just got bored and decided to go to Mexico. He saw the sign for Smiley, so he decided to stop.

“I didn’t ask him what sort of food he had for lunch.”

Fun with puns

“I’m pleased to see that your column’s influence is flowing on to adjacent articles,” says John de Mond.

As proof, he cites the headline in Tuesday’s Advocate: “Issues swirl on Sorrento’s sewer job.”

He says, “With all that swirling going on, it’s little wonder that, as stated in the piece, the selection of a contractor ‘remains murky.’

“The thought that we may get to see more exceptional journalism such as this makes me flush with excitement.”

Hard times blues

Gerry Belt Watson, of Slidell, says memories of coping with World War II rationing brought these memories:

“My daddy had to use innertube patches on the rubber panties worn over her diapers by my sister Hazelynn (born in 1943) when they split open.

“And sometimes my mother would bread slices of Spam — ‘Just like panéed veal,’ she’d say — for a very special meal.”

Nostalgia Corner

Keith Horcasitas, our unpaid culinary correspondent, files this report:

“I was in New Orleans this weekend and stopped at an old Uptown hangout, Ted’s Frostop.

“There I learned to play pinball machines as a kid — not long before The Who’s ‘Pinball Wizard’ song.”

He reports dining on a “Lot-O-Burger,” French fries and root beer, a menu like the one at the downtown Baton Rouge Frostop on Government Street.

Spirit of ’45

The USS Kidd Veterans Memorial Museum holds a “Spirit of ’45” celebration from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the museum theater.

Sponsored by the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino, the free event honors service members as the 68th anniversary of the end of World War II (Aug. 14) draws near.

Mayor-President Kip Holden will be keynote speaker, and “Rosie and the Swingin’ Riveters” band will play ’40s swing.

World War II veterans from Women Veterans of Louisiana will be on hand to answer questions about their service.

Guests are encouraged to wear red, white and blue (and bring their dancing shoes).

Call (225) 342-1942 or visit

Special People Dept.

J.T. Halley, of Baker, celebrated his 97th birthday July 30.

Mary and George Hill celebrate their 70th anniversary Thursday.

Fun wines

Madeleine Samson, of Plaquemine, lists some creative wine names:

A French wine called “Elephant on a Tightrope,” one from California called “Mad Housewife” and one from Australia named simply “Bitch.”

Then there’s the New Zealand white that makes a donation on its sales to the SPCA — “Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush.”

Madeleine describes it as “pretty good.”

With a name like that, it better be …

Let’s hope not!

Tommy Millet, of Gramercy, says he has one for our malapropism file:

“A dad told me that his son, a recent high school graduate, wanted to become a chef.

“He said, ‘In the fall, he’ll be attending coronary school.’ ”

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.