Dear Smiley: Speaking of Southern accents — they had some odd ones in Lynchburg, Va.
My first day calling roll, I read out each name and then looked up to attach a face to it.
First one, Katherine Claire, said “K.C.” to me.
Next one, Jean Davis, said “J.D.”
OK, we are into initials here.
I asked one girl, “What’s your name?”
“C.N.D.,” she replied. Sounded like some obstetrical procedure to me.
I looked all over the roll, trying to find someone with those initials. I asked again, “C.N.D.?”
She said “Yay-Us.”
Oh. Her name is CINDY!
Dear Smiley: I had a hunting buddy from Nawth Carolina who could get four syllables out of TR-U-U-CK.
And many a Southern preacher can get three syllables out of G-O-D.
(I have it on good sources that The Big Guy doesn’t mind how we play around with our pronunciation of his name. He did create the giraffe!)
The Playgue years
Dear Smiley: Discussing Beatle-like bands, I have to add one.
In 1965, The Playgue played on the stage of the Gordon Theater between showings of “Help!,” starring the Beatles.
They were managed by Bill and Nick Benedetto and recorded on the REBIC lable.
They had a regional hit with “Baby No More” and played all around Louisiana.
They traveled in an old hearse that Henry Sherburn’s dad got for them.
They were about to break on the national scene when Lewis Moyse, the lead singer, went away to college.
Good ole days?
Dear Smiley: Seeing an article in your column about a 20-mile round trip from Big Island to Alexandria taking three days reminded me of a story my grandfather Elliot Milton told me about going from Walker to Baton Rouge in the late 1800s.
One day to go to Baton Rouge, one day to take care of business, then one day back home.
A large corral on Fourth Street (close to what is now St. Joseph Cathedral) was used to house the mules and wagons. The men camped out in the wagons.
If while in Baton Rouge it rained and the Amite River came up, they had to camp on the riverbank maybe three or four days until the water went down.
Sometimes it could take a week to go to Baton Rouge and back home. They only went maybe once or twice a year.
The ferry was too dangerous to use in high water.
Now we go to Baton Rouge for lunch and back in an hour or two.
Dear Smiley: Richard Fossey’s mention of Borden’s ice cream reminds me of a happening when I was a little boy.
I was raised in a small town (Jackson). We had one druggist, and he charged a nickel for a cone with one scoop.
Then a second druggist set up shop. Same price, but two scoops.
The problem was my daddy would not let me go near the second store.
Back in those days, a druggist was really the go-to “doctor’’ for what ailed you, and the one-scoop druggist was the man.
But the two-scoop business bugged me, and one hot summer day, I could not resist and told Mr. Mac I could get twice the ice cream down the street.
He bent over and put both hands on his knees, got right in my face and said that he sold only BORDEN’S ice cream, and that I could put the stuff down the street in that hot July sun and it would not melt.
Probably my first lesson on buying quality.
Dear Smiley: Your column always brightens my day after reading of all the awful things happening around the world.
It was especially uplifting to read Janet Swain Blazo’s story about kids being mailed to other parts of the country.
To think that the postmen across this country would and could take care of a little 6-year-old girl and make sure she arrived safely at her destination.
I would like to have seen little Mary when she arrived at her grandparents’ home, peeping out from under the 53 cents worth of stamps stuck to her forehead.
Getting their attention
Dear Smiley: My wife and I attended Mass at a church in a very rural community deep in Cajun country.
Near the end of Mass, a gentleman mounted the pulpit to remind those in attendance to place the Mass books in the holders provided for them.
What he intended to say was, “I would like to gently remind you to put the books up. …”
What he said was, “I would like to genitally remind you. …”
The priest turned red and my wife nearly fainted.
The next time we attended Mass, there were no “gentle” reminders.
HERBERT A. LANDRY JR.
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.