Mary McCowan says our recent “funny kids” items “reminded me of a day many years ago.
“My father returned home at the end of the day to be greeted by his first grandchild, a toddler, who was staying with her grandparents for a few days.
“He stretched out his arms to embrace the child, and said, ‘What does Papa Bear get when he comes home?’
“With twinkling eyes, she questioned, ‘Martini?’ ”
Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington, says, “Years ago when our family Christmas dinner for 20-plus people was held at our house for the fifth year in a row, a few things happened that almost guaranteed that the next year’s dinner would take place elsewhere.
“First, when the entire clan came through the door, my third son was under the Christmas tree playing with his ‘Star Wars’ people.
“When one of our old aunts stopped to kiss him, she discovered that the manger scene was surrounded by ‘Star Wars’ people — and he had hung Joseph from the tree and was getting ready to finish off the Wise Men.
“After settling everyone down and getting ready for dinner, I decided that No. 2 son could move to the big table. (All the children usually eat at the kitchen table until someone has gone to heaven, and then they come to the big table.)
“He was so excited to be finally at the big-boy table.
“After we all said grace, I asked if anyone else wanted say thanks.
“No. 2 son proudly said, ‘Yes, I would like to thank Aunt Louise for going to heaven before Christmas so I could move to the big table.’
“I had hoped no one heard him — until someone from the group in the kitchen said very loudly, ‘I hope I get to move to the big table next year!’ ”
Time for memories
One final nostalgia item about Baton Rouge’s telephone time services, from Marie Merrill:
“Who remembers the ‘Time Bureau’ at Florida and Third, across from the Istrouma Hotel in the ’40s?
“I was one of the operators sitting before a desk with five lights that blinked when a call came in for the correct time.
“This service was owned by Russsel Lobdell and S.M. Holiday.
“A short advertisement would be followed by the time: ‘It’s Dr Pepper time at 10, 2 and 4 o’clock. The time is …’
“Rabenhorst was another sponsor.
“We worked around the clock. Harding Field soldiers were able to come in at certain hours and look and listen. Outside speakers were also on at certain times, and we could be seen through the glass-enclosed room.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the work, and greeting our servicemen from Harding Field.”
Creep of the Season
Pam Rice tells of a jerk who “had the nerve to steal a small Christmas tree off the grave of someone very close to our family.
“This young woman died just six months ago, and her family and friends have kept her grave decorated ever since.
“The small tree held ornaments that reminded each of her friends and family of her.
“Gone sometime Saturday, Dec. 7, when her nephew went to add his special ornament for Aunt Ke-Ke.
“There truly are some despicable people in this world.”
Doug Johnson, of Watson, objects to my changing his mention of his former home from “East Tennessee” to “east Tennessee.”
“That is incorrect,” says Doug. “Tennessee is divided into three Grand Divisions (East, West, and Middle), so noted in its constitution.
“They are depicted on the state flag by three stars.”
Lisa Carey tells of a Veteran Housing Outreach to help homeless veterans with housing and jobs available in New Orleans and the river parishes. Call her at (504) 340-3429 if you know a veteran in that area who needs help.
No free lunch
Robert Hebert says, “LSU fans who are confused about the new football ticket price schedule (some will go up, some will go down, some will stay the same) will be pleased to know that no confusion surrounds the ticket policy regarding the next Bayou Bash, the annual recruiting party on National Signing Day.
“A spokesman said in The Advocate that ‘No free general admission tickets will be sold.’
“That’s a relief! I feared that if the sale of ‘free’ admission was general practice, it would result in revocation of my economics degree from the Ole War Skule.”
Harriet St.Amant says, “While watching the Army-Navy game this weekend, I heard this exchange about Army’s injuries this season between CBS commentators Verne Lundquest and Gary Danielson:
“Danielson: ‘A.J. Schurr (Army’s quarterback) was moving a howitzer (at the Academy) and sprained his ankle.’
“Lundquist: ‘I’ll tell you what … you don’t get THAT in the SEC!’ ”
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.