Smiley: Friendly robots

Of all the nostalgic stories I’ve received about Baton Rouge’s “time of day” service, this one, by David R. Cassidy, is my favorite:

“The recent items about City National Bank’s time machine reminded me of an incident when I worked there in the late 1960s.

“I worked in the mailroom at night, and one of my duties was to answer the occasional calls made after hours to the main phone and tell the caller to call back next day.

“One night, however, after answering ‘City National Bank’ the voice at the other end said, ‘Can you tell me the time?’

“I said, ‘Yes, I can — it’s 10 p.m.’

“There was a hesitation on the other end, then the caller asked, ‘Are you a machine?’

“It being late, and having a puckish sense of humor, I said, ‘Yes, I am.’

“Another hesitation, and then the caller said, ‘Aren’t machines wonderful!’

“I agreed, and after the call, felt confident that I had given the caller a glimpse into the future.”

Divine intervention?

A family dinner in New Orleans caused me to miss the Iron Bowl, but I got the result immediately.

Lady Katherine’s nephew, his wife and 19-month-old daughter, who live in a Detroit suburb, were in town to catch a cruise ship the next day, so we met at Mr. B’s Bistro on Royal Street with the young family and Katherine’s sister, the nephew’s mom.

It was our only chance to see them this year, so we were more than willing to miss the game — especially since all the experts said Alabama was going to take down Auburn with ease.

So much for the experts…

I was digging into my shrimp and grits when I heard a rumbling in the restaurant, which seemed to be coming from the bar across the room, where the TV was located.

A guy at the table next to us got up and went over to the bar, then came back to report to his table, our table and several others around us that a miracle had occurred, and the Sabanites had gone down in flames.

From the far side of the room came this loud comment: “There IS a God!”

Double bummer

M.M.S. says, “Talk about bumper bummer…

“Not fun sitting at a standstill due to a Thanksgiving Day accident on Interstate 55.

“But we had to stare at the car’s bumper sticker in front of us — ‘Roll Tide.’

“Frustrating enough knowing we weren’t going to be rolling ANYWHERE for a while.”

(Well, M.M.S, since you sent me this note things have changed a bit, and the Tide isn’t likely to roll where they had planned. Hope this brightens your day…)

New York trainee

Judy B. responds to our mention of the New York beverage, the egg cream:

“I’m from Nebraska originally, and I know what an egg cream is.

“It’s an acquired taste; you love it or you hate it (like how people feel about raw oysters).

“It’s seltzer water, milk and chocolate syrup. I had it in New York and I liked it.

“Next time I was there on a class trip we stopped for lunch. The other three ordered Cokes and cheeseburgers.

“I ordered an egg cream and lox and bagels.

“They couldn’t believe I ordered that.

“I would have made a good New Yorker.”

Special People Dept.

  • Jerry Black, of St. James Place, celebrated his 92nd birthday Nov. 24. A World War II veteran, he took part in an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., for veterans Nov. 5.
  • Former Baton Rougeans Eldon and Donna Bryce, of Red Oak, Texas, celebrated 55 years of marriage Thursday, Nov. 28.

    James and Sharilynn Aucoin celebrated their 50th anniversary Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Inquiring Minds Dept.

Rose Rolfsen (who may have over-bought) wonders if there is some worthy group that can use new Christmas cards.

Worthy causes

The Emerge Center, formerly the Baton Rouge Speech & Hearing Foundation, and Robinson Brothers host a Battle Against Autism raffle for a new Ford F-150.

The $50 tickets are available online at or by calling (985) 502-9550.

The drawing will be held March 13 at an Eyes on the Ties Gala at L’Auberge Casino and Hotel.

Contact Brandi Monjure at (985) 502-9550 or for more information.

Sweet talk

Roy from the West Bank says, “Just before Thanksgiving our grandchildren, Megan, age 8, and Glenn Paul, age 5, were spending a couple of days at Maw Maw’s.

“At lunch one day Maw Maw said grace, closing with ‘Ah- men.’

“Glenn Paul promptly replied, ‘Maw Maw, it’s A-men — Ah-men is candy.’”

(Roy says they figured out the lad was talking about almonds…as in Hershey’s with…)

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.