Smiley: Hitchhiking to love

Vicki Rodick Frame’s hitchhiking story is my favorite one so far:

“In 1953, my family moved to Kenner, and my daddy worked in New Orleans.

“Two boys, 12 and 10, hitchhiked on Jefferson Highway every morning to go to school. Daddy gave them a ride so they could save bus money.

“I was 6 years old at the time.

“The 12-year-old became a family friend who baby-sat me and my brothers on occasion.

“He remained a family friend, and we began dating when I was 17.

“We married when I was 20, and were married for 46 years until he died in February.

“When the subject of hitchhikers came up, we always joked that my daddy would never have picked them up if he had known he’d ‘lose’ his daughter to one!”

Tow for a toe

Susan Gremillion says, “My two grandsons, Evan Jones, 7, and Lane Jones, 2, were recently playing ‘superheroes’ in their living room.

“They donned capes and began chasing each other around the coffee table.

“Suddenly, Evan ran too close to the coffee table and stubbed his toe.

“He immediately fell to the floor, shrieking, ‘My toe! My toe!’

“Lane stopped and stared at his brother momentarily. Then his little face lit up and he said, ‘I know! I’ll get my TOW truck!’”

No smoking

Ann E. Platt says the Advocate story about her nephew, “croc doc” Dr. Steven Platt, included a photo of him with crocodile eggs in which he seems to have a cigarette in his mouth.

She asked him about it, and he replied, “Actually, it’s a white pencil that I was using to mark the tops of the croc eggs.

“It does look like a cig, though, and I’ve had several people write and ask if I smoked.

“I tell them ‘Yes,’ as I’m hoping to be the next poster child for Big Tobacco.

“Big Tobacco has plenty of money, and perhaps if I let them use me for advertising purposes, they’d fund our conservation work.”

West Point South

Charles Young says our mention of Rugby Academy in New Orleans “brought back some fond memories.

“I graduated from Rugby in 1960 and was battalion commander for the entire school with the rank of major.

“Periodically during the school year, we assembled the upper grades in full formation in front of school to raise the colors to start the day.

“The St. Charles Avenue streetcars would usually stop to allow riders to witness the ceremonies, and automobile traffic would slow to a crawl. Pedestrians would stop until the formation was dismissed.

“The Rugby uniform closely resembled those at Virginia Military Institute and West Point. The cadets drilled daily with rifles, and officers carried sabres. Girl cadets (Rugby was coed) also drilled in uniform.

“Rugby Academy closed in 1972. At the time, it was the oldest military school in Louisiana.”

Nice People Dept.

Camille Harrison Williams says on the Saturday night before Father’s Day, “my husband, 2-year-old daughter and I were dining at the Outback Steakhouse on Jones Creek Road.

“We asked for our check, and the server informed us that one of the couples dining at the same time had taken care of our check and written us a note to have a ‘Happy Father’s Day.’

“From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous.

“It was the nicest thing a random person has ever done for us and showed us that there are truly nice people left in this world. We intend to pay it forward in the near future.”

Good Eats Dept.

The Small Town Chefs Awards by Country Roads magazine honors “Louisiana chefs doing big things in small-town settings.”

Being honored at a 6 p.m. dinner on Thursday at Louisiana Culinary Institute in Baton Rouge are chef Jeremy Langlois, of Houmas House in Darrow, chefs Cody and Samantha Carroll, of Hot Tails in New Roads, and chefs Keith and Nealy Frentz, of LOLA in Covington.

Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Triumph Kitchen, which trains at-risk youths in culinary and hospitality industry skills.

Visit www.countryroadsmag.com.

Special People Dept.

Alexander P. McLachlan celebrates his 105th birthday on Monday.

Judy and Al Reznik, of Slidell, celebrate their 57th anniversary on Monday.

Partners in crime

“Did you hear about the two guys who stole a calendar?” asks Shirley Fleniken.

“They each got six months.”

Meaty topic

Algie Petrere was dining out the other night when she observed this scene:

A waiter brings the customer the steak he ordered, but the waiter’s thumb is resting on the meat.

“Are you crazy?” yells the customer. “You bring my food with your hand on my steak?”

“What?” answers the waiter. “You want it to fall on the floor again?”

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.