Smiley: Mudbug invasion

Dear Smiley: I read your column about the crabs in the freezer and remembered this story about my sister-in-law:

She was from Germany and new to our culture and food.

My brother called her and said he was having a delivery sent to the house for a party they were having in their new home.

Well, sure enough, two sacks of crawfish were delivered, and she told them to put the delivery on the patio.

She started being curious as to what was in the sacks, so she opened them — and while she was screaming, the crawfish were scampering all over the patio, into the pool and into the house like locusts eating a wheat field.

After jumping onto the kitchen table, she called 911 for help.

Being German and hysterical didn’t help the operator to understand the reason for the emergency.

All she could get out was that she needed help immediately — “invasion,” and “something was red coming toward her.”

The police were dispatched quickly and expected the worst when they arrived at the house.

Well, there was a good end to this story.

They had a great party, minus a lot of crawfish that were never found, and this gave those policemen a great laugh for weeks to come.

And after considerable coaxing by our family, she ended up loving the dirty little red bugs.



Hard hat salute

Dear Smiley: In recent years, I’ve attended far too many military funerals (even one is too many) for young men killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the funeral procession that stays with me took place in Bogalusa.

In that wonderful way that seems to happen best in small towns, the two-lane road leading to the cemetery was lined on both sides with citizens showing their respect and gratitude.

However, it was as we rounded a bend next to the paper mill that we felt our hearts in our throats.

Hundreds of workers at the mill lined the fence, stood on trucks and all across the multistoried platforms, all at attention, holding their hard hats on their chests.

The procession was a long one, but it was as if all work stopped to welcome this home-grown hero back to his town.

What a powerful statement for his family.


Baton Rouge

Special delivery

Dear Smiley: Recently I read an article where in 1913, when the U.S. Post Office started delivering packages, several children whose families entrusted them to the Post Office were “mailed” to relatives’ homes in other areas.

Of course, they were entrusted to postal employees who traveled with them.

A wonderful children’s book called “Mailing May,” by Michael O. Tunnell, tells the story of May Pierstorff, who was mailed on Feb. 19, 1914, from her parents’ home in Grangeville, Idaho, to her grandparents’ home nearly 73 miles away — for 53 cents worth of stamps.

Her parents were taking advantage of parcel post service, which began the year before. Later, Postmaster General Burleson issued directions to the nation’s postmasters that all human beings were barred from being mailed.

However, a few more children were mailed after this announcement.

I read where the longest trip by a child mailed through parcel post was made by 6-year-old Edna Neff.

She traveled from her mother’s home in Pensacola, Fla., to her father’s home in Christainburg, Va., in 1915.


Colorado Springs, Colo.

St. Patrick Baptists

Dear Smiley: This is in response to Dudley Lehew’s article in your column about ushering at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

Back in 2010, my husband, who was raised Baptist, and I went to Mass at St. Patrick’s. He also was asked to serve as usher that Sunday morning in May.

Like Dudley, we both felt so honored.

It was such a memorable moment for us, too.

My husband is an usher at St. Patrick Catholic Church here in Baton Rouge.

The only difference between Dudley and my husband is that my husband became Catholic after marrying me.

So, yes, Dudley, you may be the only Louisiana Southern Baptist to usher in New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral.


Baton Rouge

A welcome mistake

Dear Smiley: I like to peruse the “Corrections” column occasionally printed in The Advocate.

It can be a combination of Advocate errors or incorrect information provided to The Advocate.

Recently there was one where a person’s age was incorrectly reported as being much younger than his actual age.

The Advocate regretted the error.

Do you really think that’s an error most people would mind?



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.