Smiley: Hitching a ride

Driving back to the office after lunch at Frank’s the other day, I was about to turn onto Interstate 12 from Airline Highway when I saw a guy at that intersection hitchhiking, and I thought about what a rare sight that is these days.

A note from Catherine Tonguis recalls a more innocent time when it wasn’t rare at all:

“D-Day brought back memories of World War II.

“My brother, James Harvin, known as Pete, was in the Navy, stationed in San Diego.

“One day, leaving home in Lottie from a furlough, he walked to old U.S. 190 in his uniform to hitchhike as far as possible.

“The first car to stop was a young Navy wife on the way — you guessed it — to see her husband, also stationed in San Diego.

“They drove straight through, day and night, taking turns driving while the other one slept.”

Like me, Catherine can’t imagine that happening today — which is indeed sad.

Jaws in Zachary

My daughter, Tammy Anders Smith, and her husband, Boyce, of Zachary, recently acquired a rescue dog named Zeke (said to be a terrier by the folks at the pound but now exhibiting houndlike tendencies).

They were about to leave Zeke alone in the house for a few hours when Boyce, a soft-hearted animal lover, suggested leaving the TV on to keep him company.

“It’ll be good for him to hear voices so he won’t feel so alone,” Boyce said. “I’ll put it on Animal Planet so he can hear other dogs, too.”

When they returned, they discovered something they had forgotten — it was “Shark Week” on Animal Planet.

Now Zeke checks his bath water VERY carefully before getting in the tub.

Sunday rush

Chuck Falcon, of Donaldsonville, says, “In church we say, ‘Peace be with you.’

“We should add … ‘unless you try to exit the parking lot before me.’ ”

Which reminds me

As a kid, I attended St. James Episcopal Church in downtown Baton Rouge with my mom and dad.

This was in the heyday of the Third Street Piccadilly Cafeteria, and Sunday lunch there after church was a local tradition.

But in addition to St. James, downtown was home to St. Joseph Cathedral, First Methodist, First Presbyterian and First Baptist churches — and when they all let out at noon, there would be a line around the corner to eat at Piccadilly.

My dad was always concerned that the larger congregation at First Baptist, just a block down Convention Street from St. James, would get out before we did.

I recall leaving the church and seeing my dad look down Convention toward the Baptist church, then tell us, “He’s still preaching — let’s go!”

And we’d head out to be first in line for fried chicken.

Nostalgia Corner

Fellow musician Phil Cangelosi says, “It was fun to hear Marc Broussard and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band perform a song written by old friend Jeff Pollard at the Miss USA competition.

“Jeff was the founder and lead singer of Louisiana’s LeRoux (he played with the War Babies prior to that).

“The song was ‘Take a Ride On A Riverboat,’ and listening to it brought me back to my college days of hanging around Joe Reed’s on Highland Road, sitting on the floor and hanging on to every lyric of this wonderful songwriter and musician.”

Worthy causes

Marvin Borgmeyer says the International Hospitality Foundation benefits from the Theatre Baton Rouge performance of “Annie” at 7:30 p.m. June 18. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling (225) 578-3015 or emailing ihf@lsu.edu.

The IHF “helps make international students feel welcome while they attend LSU.”

Special People Dept.

Ralph Casper celebrated his 96th birthday Monday.

Lena Dias celebrates her 95th birthday Tuesday.

Vince and Vivian Sotile, of Livonia, celebrated 63 years of marriage Saturday.

Manuel and Sandra Garza, of Pierre Part, celebrate their 54th anniversary Tuesday.

Sidney Sparks Jr. and Lorraine “Tiny” Marson Sparks, of Maringouin, celebrate 50 years of marriage Tuesday.

Changing times

I got a note from a Paw Paw complaining that Maw Maw has evidently taught their grandson how to be a smart aleck:

“While engaging in a bit of friendly repartee with my then 15-year-old grandson, Noah, I soon found myself verbally backed into a corner by my quick-witted opponent.

“Having no other comeback for his latest barb, I fell back on the old reliable, ‘Watch your mouth, boy. I used to change your diapers.’

“Without missing a beat, Noah quickly extended a bony forefinger in my direction and said, ‘That’s right, Paw Paw, and pretty soon I’ll be changing YOURS!’ ”

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.