Smiley: Wrong plastic!

Bert Dorgant adds to our seminar on the late Western Auto chain, reminding us that credit cards weren’t always as ubiquitous as they are today:

“A number of years ago, several Avoyelles Parish coaches and their wives were off to New Orleans to watch the state football championships.

“Needing a place to spend the night, we pulled in at a Holiday Inn to get our rooms.

“When the clerk asked for our charge cards to hold the rooms, three of the men took their wallets out and handed her their cards.

“One of our buddies, who was not a seasoned traveler at that time, went to his car to get his wallet, then returned, took his card out and handed it to the young lady.

“She looked at him and broke out laughing, then asked if this was a joke.

“He said she had asked for a charge card, and that was the only one he owned.

“Yes, he had handed her his Western Auto charge card.

“We used one of our cards for a deposit for his room.

“Needless to say, we talked about that Western Auto charge card the entire weekend, and still to this day continue to get a laugh out of it.”

Which reminds me

When I graduated from high school, I received in the mail unsolicited credit cards from several gasoline companies.

The problem was, I was still living at home — and my dad and I had the same first name.

Since he had a card with one of the same companies, he paid my gasoline bills for a few months without realizing it.

But when “we” got a bill from another company, he discovered the truth.

He was not amused. …

The hole truth

J.A. Allen, of Opelousas, says our recent mention of doughnuts (We did mention doughnuts recently, didn’t we?) reminded him of “a scam my older sisters used to pull on me.

“They told me not to eat the holes around the doughnuts, so I always left a teeny bit of dough around the holes — which I suspect they wanted to eat themselves.

“I lay awake nights thinking of all the doughnuts I could have eaten. …”

She had ‘It’

Ronnie Stutes, this column’s unpaid fact-checker, says this about T. Med Hogg’s recollection of long-ago movie stars in the Wednesday column:

“It was Clara Bow, not Theda Bara, who was known as ‘The It Girl.’ (Theda Bara was known as ‘The Vamp.’)”

But he says Med “is correct in that ‘It’ did not refer to her personality. Her nickname came about as a result of her appearance as the lead in the 1927 movie ‘It.’ ”

(A movie in which a young Gary Cooper appeared — before he was “Super-duper.”)

Worthy causes

Don Hines, M.D., of Bunkie, is raising $36,000 for a portable X-ray and film reader for a clinic in Casa Aleluya, Guatemala. Donations can be sent to Guatemala Telemedicine Project, P.O. Box 262, Bunkie, LA 71322.

Hines, a former president of the Louisiana Senate, was honored in Atlanta for his efforts to provide health care to children in Guatemala through telemedicine. The Georgia Partnership of Telehealth recognized him as “Global Champion of the Year.”

The project gives access to medical care to 400 children and 100 adults.

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital will benefit from the Eighth annual Chili Cook-Off from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 29 and March 30, in front of LSU’s Parker Coliseum.

The LSU Spring Garden Show and Sale, Spring Car Show and Fish and Koi Show are being held there at the same time.


Thank you note

Paula Siemann thanks “everyone who stepped in so quickly to help my mother and me when she fainted at the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade. It was so much appreciated.”

Walking to Louisiana

Avrey Hertel says his class at Queen of Peace Catholic School in Mishawaka, Ind., is compiling a travel diary, “A Walk Across America.”

He asks for information on Louisiana for the class project.

You can send it to him at the school, 4508 Vistula Road, Mishawaka, IN 46544.

Thought for the Day

Robert Andrews Smiley, of Denham Springs, recalls this Will Rogers quotation: “The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get any worse every time Congress meets.”

Payment in full

Algie Petrere came across this story, which she likes for obvious reasons:

“Boudreaux was driving by a Texas ranch and hit and killed a calf that was crossing the road.

“He went to the owner of the calf and explained what had happened. He then asked what the animal was worth.

“ ‘Oh, about $200 today,’ said the rancher. ‘But in six years it would have been worth $900. So $900 is what I’m out.’

“Boudreaux sat down and wrote out a check and handed it to the rancher.

“‘Here is the check for $900,’ he said, ‘It’s postdated six years from now.’ ”

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.