Smiley: Damp summer days

As temperatures creep inexorably into the 90s, this tale from Ernie Gremillion reminds us of how a Louisiana summer feels to visitors from cooler climes:

“Seeing your story about you and Lady Katherine being hit by a burst of Louisiana weather reminds me of an incident with one of my grandchildren.

“My son and his three children flew into New Orleans from San Francisco, where the weather is obviously quite different.

“It was a typical New Orleans August day, and the group split into two cars with my granddaughter, Isabelle, riding with me and my wife.

“When she got into the car she looked somewhat uncomfortable, and we asked if something was wrong.

“With the innocence of a young child, she replied, ‘My skin is watery.’ ”

Southern exposure

Glennell Cottrill adds to our series on Southern accents:

“When we moved to Mandeville in 1978 from Maryland, my young son Derek was 6 and in first grade.

“On the first day of school, the teacher gave a spelling test by saying the words aloud:

“When he brought it home, we reviewed the errors as a teaching moment.”

On discovering that he had spelled “bed” as “baid,” Glennell exclaimed, “Oh no, his teacher must be from Mississippi! He will never learn to spell!”

(“He did, however,” Glennell says. “He has a B.S. in engineering from LSU and a law degree from the University of Houston.”)

Just not the same

Paul Duffy comments on a story I did for the Sunday Advocate on my days as an Istrouma High cheerleader, in which I described riding back from away football games on a bus with our girls’ marching group:

“I also remember those late-night bus rides for out-of-town games.

“And, since I was in the band, we rode with the cheerleaders.

“Unfortunately, at Jesuits, that just meant a bus load of nothing but guys!”

Rise and fall

Keith Horcasitas says he missed seeing the Beatles when they played at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans in 1964 — mostly because he was 5 years old.

And he’s found that tickets to the Paul McCartney concert June 19 at the Smoothie King Center are not only expensive but hard to come by:

“Are any radio stations (or The Advocate?) having contests to win tickets to the McCartney concert?

“Maybe one of your young readers needs a chaperone who happens to know a lot of history about the Beatles.

“In high school at De La Salle, Mr. Brian Altobello, my history teacher, let me write the following paper: ‘The Beatles: The Greatest Breakup Since the Roman Empire.’”

Still in the Pink

Speaking of ancient music, George Lane says, “When ‘Brit Floyd,’ a cover band of Pink Floyd, the legendary English band from the ’60s and ’70s, played in Baton Rouge last week, the audience was as colorful as the band.

“Most in the audience were older than the band.

“In fact, it was the first concert I’ve been to that gave Social Security and Medicare discounts to ticket holders.”

Tie one on

Paul Parker, a native Baton Rougean, returned when he retired as president of a technical college in Panama City Beach, Florida.

He says, “I have 100 or so ties that I no longer wear. I wore a tie almost every day for the past 20 years, and don’t plan to wear one very often anymore.

“I would like to see them used, maybe by a theater or high school drama class.”

He’s at (904) 866-7231.

Looking for people

The annual “Flags at Port Hudson” honors veterans and their families for Memorial Day with small flags at each headstone in Port Hudson National Cemetery.

The event, sponsored by the Boy Scouts, is on Saturday, with registration at 8 a.m. and a flag-raising ceremony at 8:30 a.m.

Scouts and the public are invited to help place flags at 14,000 gravesites.

Volunteers should bring a large screwdriver to make holes in the ground for the flags.

Contact Brian Chandler, (225) 683-3101 or bchandler@agcenter.lsu.edu.

Frenchly speaking

Joe Guilbeau, of Plaquemine, says the popular French expression “haute cuisine” reminded him that “thousands enjoyed haute cuisine in the hotels and restaurants for Mother’s Day.

“It would take just a faint trace of cynicism to say that the prices were ‘haute’ too.”

Getting their attention

John Ozier says, “St. James Episcopal Church has a new sign in its parking lot: ‘Reserved for the Bishop of Louisiana. Violators will be confirmed and given a pledge card.’

“No one has been seen parking in that space since the sign went up.”

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.