Dear Smiley: A few days ago I was talking to a cousin in Nashville around 10 a.m., and she asked about my wife.
I replied that she was still sleeping.
“Who fixes your breakfast?” she asked.
The question left me dumbfounded! After living in Louisiana for 40 years, I had forgotten that women also cook meals.
Dear Smiley: Why I shop at Matherne’s Supermarket on Highland Road:
I got to Matherne’s just before 8 the other night to find the deli closed for the day. All the food had been removed from the serving line, and one of the workers was cleaning the display case.
“Out of luck?” I asked in an imploring voice.
Assistant deli manager Mary Bailey heard me, and was nice enough to give me helpings of food for my dinner from trays that hadn’t been put away yet.
Long live the neighborhood grocery.
Hot lunch memories
Dear Smiley: Bob Downing’s mention of life in LSU’s West Stadium reminded me that I was also a West Stadium inmate in the early ’60s.
The difference between that and home was a box fan instead of an attic fan.
Because my education was not yet complete, I didn’t realize I was being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, so I made it worse on myself.
Every morning I would crank up the steam heater and put a can of chili or beef stew between the coils so my lunch would be hot at noon. Life was good.
Dear Smiley: As a fellow West Stadium dorm resident (5th floor, 1972), I‘m sure Bob Downing recalls the dilemma of walking halfway around the stadium and climbing “the hill” just to get to the same level as my Johnston/Hatcher/Hodges buddies before proceeding to class.
And then having to decide, after class, whether to go back to our room and repeat the same thing for afternoon classes, or just hang around the Union? (We didn’t “chill” back then).
Dig that hair!
Dear Smiley: My favorite car song is “Little Red Corvette” by Prince.
The ’80s were my heyday of being cool. I had the big hair to prove it!
Willie’s road song
Dear Smiley: I would like to add a car (road) song to your list that was heard almost every year during the ’70s by 8,000 to 10,000 local spectators when Willie Nelson played the LSU Assembly Center.
I was the director of the center during those years, and Willie mentioned several times that Baton Rouge was high among his favorite cities, because the fans were so appreciative and extremely vocal.
The song, of course, was “On the Road Again.” He always followed it with “Whiskey River.”
I was fortunate to have experienced those vocal fans and numerous others who enjoyed those days when the Assembly Center showcased such entertainers as Willie, Elvis, The Stones, Lawrence Welk and a host of others, to make Baton Rouge a center for some great entertainment.
I think it was a historic time for our city. I’m grateful to have been a part of it.
Dear Smiley: After reading your wonderful story about the grandchild protecting his “Mimi,” I got to thinking about other grandparent names — DeeDee, MawMaw, NaNa, PawPaw, etc.
Just curious, were you called “SmiSmi?”
Dear Dudley: While my son’s kids do indeed call me “PawPaw,” my daughter’s two girls, who are older and have known me longer, have always called me Smiley. They say when I grow up they will consider PawPaw, Grandpa, etc.
Dear Smiley: Thumbing through The Advocate this morning it struck me that now, for many people, all that is needed in their morning paper is Section B.
Since the obituaries are now also there, you have the three topics most people think of first all in one section: namely Smiley, the obits and the stock market.
I am not sure what the priority might be. Could it depend on age, affluence, curiosity or …?
Of course, as a bonus, that section also has the “Opinion” page.
Dear Smiley: Wow! What a handsome, new, larger picture of you on your column.
And they even photo-shopped out that piece of lettuce that was once on your front tooth.
Dear Malcolm: Glad you like it. By the way, it was spinach …
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.