Smiley: The paper chase

Dear Smiley: About your recent mention of Justin Wilson:

Back in the early ’60s, Justin’s son Harry was a fraternity brother of mine at LSU.

One Saturday night several of us, including Harry and yours truly, were returning from a party in Hammond.

Harry suggested we stay at Justin’s house on Pete’s Highway by Denham Springs rather than go all the way back to campus.

We got there about 1 a.m.; Justin wasn’t back yet.

Harry stuffed the big floor fans in Justin’s room with newspaper.

The fans were on the same circuit as the light switch.

We all jumped in bed, giggling, and waited.

Around 2 a.m., we heard Justin drive up, open the door and bang his way down the dark hall.

Then he hit the light switch in his room and all hell broke loose!

I don’t know which was louder: the fans slashing all that paper, Justin’s cussing, or our hooting and hollerin’!

The next morning we all had a good laugh and Justin fixed us some biscuits and eggs.


Baton Rouge

The music man

Dear Smiley: Recently I wrote that I had inadvertently speed-dialed my daughter instead of my wife, and the family claimed that I was technologically challenged.

Being totally deaf in one ear, I have difficulty determining where sound is originating.

While in Charleston to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, I removed the GPS from the car, went inside the bed and breakfast, and commented on the nice music that was playing over the speakers in the house.

Going to our room, Virginia said, “The music is following you.”

Me: “No, it’s not.”

Virginia: “Check your pockets.”

Taking the GPS out of my pocket, I sheepishly realized that I had somehow touched the screen and started the MP3 player.

The family has now strongly suggested that I “look before touching.”


Columbia, Tenn.

Shell game

Dear Smiley: Your ladies room stories would not be complete without mention of Monsour’s, an establishment on Texas Street in downtown Shreveport that in the ’70s sold sweet salty oysters on the half shell for $2 a dozen that you could wash down with cold draft beer for 40 cents a pint.

The food was great, but the ladies room was not for the fainthearted.

Upon opening the ladies room door, one was faced with piles of lumpy damp burlap sacks.

On my first visit, I was afraid that the sacks held the oysters I’d just ordered, but a peek into one revealed empty shells.

The toilet was on a slightly raised platform, so your feet weren’t resting on a burlap bag unless you had long legs — it made me glad I’m vertically challenged!


Baton Rouge

More on Winslow

Dear Smiley: Traveling Route 66 with a friend a few years ago, we realized we were approaching Winslow, Ariz.

Our creative nature took over, and we started looking for a place to buy a sheet of poster board and a marker so we could create a sign, “Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona …” to hold while we recruited some friendly passerby to take our picture!

Well, suddenly we realized we wouldn’t need the art supplies, since here we were looking at a corner in a downtown area of Winslow, and — well, you know the rest — there already existed a mural of a flatbed Ford and a statue of an “Eagle” (of the human kind) with his guitar, standing on the corner!

We still needed to recruit a passerby for the photo! Some serendipity all around — a discovery for us, and perhaps even for the town of Winslow, which, through no particular effort of its own, became instantly famous because of a few lines in a song!



Elderly care

Dear Smiley: One evening while we were preparing for dinner, our 13-year-old son Jacob mentioned that he was interested in going by the military surplus store, located by the old Woman’s Hospital.

Upon hearing that, his 7-year-old sister Rachel asked very sincerely, “There is an old woman’s hospital in town?”



The singing mom

Dear Smiley: I was driving with my kids with what they call the “Geezy Listening” station playing on the radio.

When I knew every word of the “One-Eyed One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater,” they were screaming.

Then Little Richard came on with “Tutti Frutti,” and they were on the floor holding their stomachs and begging for mercy as I bounced around and roared out, “Wop bop a loo mop a lop bam boom!”

They can’t send me to the old folks’ home just yet!



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.