Dear Smiley: When telephone service first came to the New Roads area, “Miss Marion” was the telephone operator.
She would connect each party by plugging into the appropriate phone line being called.
One day my dad, who lived in Morganza, called for my mother, who lived in Lakeland.
Miss Marion told him, “Oh, Boots, she’s not in Lakeland. She’s in New Roads visiting her Aunt Norma.”
So you see, Miss Marion was not just the phone operator; she was the social director too.
Save the mules
Dear Smiley: Thank you for mentioning and having compassion for the mules that pull the wagons in the French Quarter.
I stopped going to that area of New Orleans for that very reason. I always come home depressed that they are treated in such an inhumane way.
I think the city and state should be ashamed of the way these poor animals are worked.
I know it is all about money, but they could use horses like Clydesdales that are made for this, and have more than one animal pulling six or eight people in a carriage.
I have been to areas where there are carriages, and the animals don’t look like they are about to pass out.
Dear Smiley: Re typing for grade school kids — a great idea that will reward children throughout their lives.
The greatest question asked of me in high school was: Spanish or typing?
I needed one more credit to graduate. I quickly considered the option and, realizing there would be mostly girls in typing, that is what I chose.
Returning home from the Navy and World War II, I went into the newspaper office in our small hometown of McAlester, Okla., and asked for a job.
The owner’s first question was “Can you type?”
That started 12 great years in the newspaper business — travel, excitement, interviewing a president — all because I could type.
Using two thumbs to text won’t help a career.
JOE F. CANNON
’Tis the season
Dear Smiley: I’ve come to the conclusion that we need a new calendar!
Have you noticed that once Labor Day arrives, it seems it’s only two months and it’s Christmas?
My solution is to combine the last four months of the year and rename them “Septober” and “Nocember.”
I’ve been doing this for several years now, taking special care when writing the date on checks, etc. Wouldn’t want to confuse any financial institutions!
Dear Smiley: About a pilot reading a newspaper:
It was during World War II when we, an 8th Air Force bomber crew, were lucky to be returning to the U.S.A. via an Air Transport Command DC-4 instead of by ship.
It was surprising , after flying hundreds of hours with pilots in their early twenties, to go up to the cockpit area and find our pilot, a silver-haired gentleman who was a United Airlines retiree, with his feet propped up and reading a comic book!
GEORGE E. McLEAN
Flock of coots
Dear Smiley: I notice a lot of references to “Old People” in your column lately.
Here in Eunice, Dr. Jack Miller and I have formed what we think is a rather unique organization.
It’s called the “We’re Still Here Gang.”
Our bylaws are headed by the rule that you have to be at least 70 years old to belong.
Rule No. 1 states: “There are no rules.”
Rule No. 2 states: “Refer to Rule No. 1.”
We meet for lunch on the last Wednesday of the first month of each quarter at Rocky’s Restaurant.
Our membership consists of 40 (more or less) old coots and classmates.
DICK LE DOUX
Whale of a tale
Dear Smiley: Your recent fish stories reminded me of one my friend J.B. Castagnos told me.
He said he knew a man who had caught a 12-pound sac-a-lait on a 2-pound cricket.
Something is fishy about this story.
Dear Chuck: Hey, if you can’t believe a fisherman, who CAN you believe?
Let it be
Dear Smiley: Doing routine jobs such as mowing the lawn gives one a chance to reflect on more serious subjects.
For example, as I was starting down a new row where the grass was very thin and short, I could not determine exactly where I had mowed on the last pass.
It occurred to me that if I couldn’t tell whether or not I had mowed there, just skip it.
Now the rule for all I do in life is “If it makes no difference, skip it.”
There may be some exceptions, since I am married.
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.