Smiley: Cool as a turtle

“My siblings and I had a better result when our seven or eight baby red-eared slider turtles froze solid in a goldfish bowl left outside during the freeze of 1962. “All of south Louisiana was frozen for about a week, with the temperature going as low as 12 degrees some nights. “We had quite an assortment of pets among the eight of us and… Continue reading →

Smiley: Compassion trumps spelling

Faye Melancon says, “Granddaughter Paige was working her first job at a day care center as a baby sitter, and a friend got a similar job. “As a part of their Facebook exchange, Paige answered the friend’s worried queries about how to take care of babies and toddlers as follows: “ ‘Well if they want there mom, just pat there head and say she will be there soon, and get them distracted, if they hit… Continue reading →

Smiley: The Springfield Saints

With football season looming ever nearer, here’s a “devoted fans” story from Lum Ellis, of New Orleans: “In Springfield, Illinois, Breeson, a beautiful girl, was born to rabid Saints fans Jeremy and Kristen Logue. “Named for Drew Brees and Steve Gleason, Breeson will be comfortable in a house decorated with black and gold. “The parents never lived in New Orleans. They are just dedicated Saints supporters.” Alex Chapman,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Marriage insurance

Gary W. Cross, of Prairieville, says, “My father-in-law, Herbert Isaminger, who is in LSU football heaven now, was a very smart man. “ ‘Mr. I’ was a tennis player on LSU’s first tennis team in 1935. He also was an LSU football season ticket holder, starting in 1935. “Mr. I came to me a few years after his daughter Karen and I were married and informed me he was getting too old to attend all the… Continue reading →

Smiley: Love in the air

Jim Burke says our hitchhiking stories remind him of the most memorable ride he ever caught — because it wasn’t in a car at all: “In the mid-1950s, I hitchhiked 70 miles virtually every weekend — to Minneapolis from St. John’s, a small men’s college in central Minnesota, to see my high school sweetheart, who was then attending the University of Minnesota.” His best ride happened when “a friend and dorm mate of mine had… Continue reading →

Smiley: Frozen gator blues

Dear Smiley: Years ago, my four boys begged their dad to get them baby alligators. So off we went to the Alligator Farm on Airline Highway to purchase two of them. It was against my vote, but I usually lost — because it was always one girl against five men. Back home, I put them in a No. 10 tub in my den, but they were in the way all the time.… Continue reading →

Smiley: The road worrier

Thomas Murrel, of Church Point, says, “Annette and I were returning from Baton Rouge about a week ago. She was driving, and I was scanning through a copy of The Advocate. “ ‘Hey, babe,’ I asked, ‘what is the definition of the ultimate challenge?’ “ ‘Is this a trick question?’ she asked. I shook my head. “‘All right then, what IS the definition of the ultimate challenge?’ “With pen in hand I… Continue reading →

Smiley: Their happy marriage

Sabrina Perkins offers this recipe for domestic bliss: “After reading your column regarding the search for liver and onions, I was reminded of a pact my husband Mike and I made more than 30 years ago prior to our marriage. “I absolutely abhor any type of liver, including the smell, and he feels the same way about spinach. “We decided that after our first big fight, he would purchase beef liver and I would… Continue reading →

Smiley: Meet Mr. Smooth

Dianna Sussmann says, “My husband and I recently took our grandsons to Walk-Ons for dinner. “Josh Stefan, the 7-year-old, informed me that sometimes it’s OK to put your elbows on the table. “It’s OK, he said, when you are on a date with a girl, look across the table and say, ‘Tell me about yourself.’ “All the beautiful waitresses must have sparked his imagination.” Eva Jones, of Zachary, says,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Jokers strike!

Vicki Ferstel, The Advocate’s night editor, announced on our website that she’s now doing the “Ask The Advocate” column, in which readers get their questions answered. She also told her Facebook friends, saying, “So if y’all have any questions that need answering, send them on in!” She forgot the first rule of social media — a great many Facebook friends are goofballs. Some questions she received: Marsanne Golsby: “Where are my red socks?”… Continue reading →

Smiley: A small kindness

Sometimes even the smallest act of kindness can have a big impact: Tom Cagley tells of going to the post office on Perkins Road to mail a present to his granddaughter in Virginia. He also asked the clerk for a sheet of stamps. Says Tom, “After I bought the stamps, I motioned the lady behind me to ‘come on down.’ “I moved over and saw her hand the clerk a dollar bill. ‘I… Continue reading →

Smiley: Brazil North

Dear Smiley: We had two young ladies from Brazil visiting us last weekend. They are camp counselors in the Houston area for the summer. We enjoyed pointing out the similarities in our cultures: They grow sugar cane over there, play soccer, etc. I even noted their fondness for rice and served them jambalaya. To further demonstrate, I took a few strands of beads and told them to say, “Throw me something, Mister!”… Continue reading →

Smiley: Don’t fool Tigers!

Mickey adds to comments on the wearing of LSU gear: “Years ago at the airport in Milan, Italy, my son, wife and I were leaving the terminal when I noticed a gentleman heading in the opposite direction decked out in his LSU shirt and hat. “As he was passing through an automatic glass door I let out a couple of low ‘Tiger Bait, Tiger Bait!’ calls. “The poor man nearly broke his neck looking… Continue reading →

Smiley: English lessons

Tommy Watts has a story for our “ separated by a common language” file: “Our daughter-in-law Victoria (Vikki for short) is British. Upon her arrival in the colonies and for some time thereafter, she and I had considerable difficulty accomplishing verbal communication. “My survival instincts eventually kicked in and I developed a method of dealing with the situation. “After saying ‘What?’ or ‘I beg… Continue reading →

Smiley: See how they grow

Charmian Kendrick says, “Reading your items on ‘horse pies’ brought to mind a story about my sister. “Our granddad raised vegetables in Kent, England, and we often visited him (we lived in London). “My grandfather would take his cart and shovel and remove horse manure from the road. “On one visit in 1945, my sister (who was 5 years old) asked him why he did that, and he told her it made… Continue reading →

Smiley: Geography lesson

Kim “Pops” Seago, of Columbia, Tennessee, says reading our stories about hitchhiking remind him of this “SHOULD have hitchhiked” incident: “My son John, after graduating from Walker High School, enlisted in the Air Force and was assigned to Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, for job training. “One Saturday, the trainees were given passes and told to be back on the base by midnight. “John and several other trainees drove to Dallas,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Wise beyond his years

Judy S. Collins tells of an especially precocious child: “Beau Collins, 8 years old, talking about his 1-year-old brother, said, ‘Mom, James is trying to get your coffee, but I told him you don’t want to know what her day would be like without that.’” Gloria Plauche says, “While visiting New Orleans with my family recently, my daughter, now living in Montana, mentioned that she would like to go to Jackson… Continue reading →

Smiley: World’s bravest husband

Dear Smiley: After reading some of the stories about telemarketers, I had to write you about my experience. Late one afternoon, I got a call, and right away I knew what it was. I was in the middle of fixing dinner and told the young lady (if you could call her that) I really didn’t have time to listen right now. She answered, “Well, aren’t you a bitch!” I was shocked,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Everybody knows Tigers

Helen Rankin, who just returned from a 21-day trip to Alaska, says she found that wearing your school colors is a great way to get a conversation started and meet new people: “Everywhere I went, even in the Yukon Territory, people would say ‘Geaux Tigers!’ when I had on my LSU jacket or shirt. “As I was getting my luggage tagged for the train trip to Denali, the clerk noticed the shirt and said she… Continue reading →

Smiley: Kids in the car

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, recalls the days when he took his kids on vacation in the car and these parental remarks on every trip: “Don’t make me stop this car!” “One more argument and we’re going back home!” “I told you to go to the bathroom before we left!” “No, we’re not there yet!” “No, we don’t have a video player in this car.” “Don’t spill your drinks; it’s a… Continue reading →

Smiley: Are you bona fide?

The precautions taken by banks and businesses to avoid identity theft have led to some interesting situations, as readers have pointed out: “Several years ago, I used the ATM at my bank in Baker to make a withdrawal of $100. “Apparently, two of the new 20s stuck together, giving me $20 too much. “I pulled around to the auto line and put… Continue reading →

Smiley: Love beats smoking

Dear Smiley: Your recent articles on Father’s Day brought back a memory over 50 years old. My father did not have much education, yet he and my mother raised three girls, who never realized they were poor. Dad’s last job was as night manager at Pennyland in New Orleans. He made $50 a week and every Saturday morning turned it all over to my mother. She returned two worn $1 bills… Continue reading →

Smiley: Why we “fledge”

Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut, tells an Independence Day story about an independent thinker: “Her daughter’s first-grade teacher summoned my sister, Barbara. “It seemed my niece, Carrie, was refusing to join the class in the Pledge of Allegiance. “When Barbara questioned her about this, Carrie fiercely declared that a ‘fledge’ was a very serious promise, and that since she didn’t understand one word of what was being said, she wasn’t going to be ‘fledging.’… Continue reading →

Smiley: Reluctant driver

Winston Day tells this story: “Bill O’Quin and I grew up on Eugene Street across from Baton Rouge High. In our early teens, we walked to the corner at North Boulevard to catch a city bus to the old Baton Rouge Junior High. But we did our best to save our tokens, so often we would hitchhike. “Bill is a guy who never met a stranger, with an outgoing and friendly personality. “We were… Continue reading →

Smiley: Language barrier

Robert DeBate, of Sorrento, has come up with a way to deal with the bottom-feeders of the marketing world: “My wife says I’m rude when I hang up on telemarketers. “So recently, when I received a call from one, I answered him in French. “He suddenly said, ‘Stop mister, stop mister! Is there anyone in your household who speaks English?’ “Again I answered in French, and he hung up on me. “This… Continue reading →

Smiley: Good times and Jell-O

Jenny made her last visit to Baton Rouge’s Westmoreland Piccadilly on Friday, before it closed Sunday after 55 years: “As I waited in line, a gentleman, Mr. George, told the staff that his son, as a child, wanted to ride on the belt behind the ‘dirty dishes window.’ “I told Mr. George that before I started high school in 1976, I had a summer job working for Bill Nesbit, CPA. “At least once a… Continue reading →

Smiley: The $10 adventure

Parker St. Amant, of Lafayette, says, “Back in 1936, my 16-year-old brother Ceeps was hitchhiking all over the country with his best buddy, Charles MacMurdo. “He decided to hitchhike to San Francisco before school started, but Charles didn’t want to make that trip. “To my utter amazement he asked me (his 13-year-old baby brother) if I wanted to go with him. I almost choked with excitement and said, ‘YES, but Mother and Dad will never… Continue reading →

Smiley: Otis says thanks

Dear Smiley: Otis, the little orange kitten who was hitchhiking on Airline in front of Costco one Thursday afternoon, asked me to thank all the nice drivers who were willing to bring southbound Airline Highway to a momentary stop while his new friend ran to pick him up. Otis is recovering from his facial injuries (perhaps he was earlier grazed by a car, or even thrown from a car by some jerk) but is now… Continue reading →

Smiley: Home of healthy rodents

Patricia Alba, of Metairie, tells of the time she had “a delightful meal plus a floor show.” She explains: “In the ’60s, as a state health educator on assignment in Lafayette, I went for an early dinner to a restaurant on the bayou. “I spied a small mouse foraging among the vacant tables. “Informing the waiter, I handed him my official ID. “A few minutes later, he returned and announced solemnly, ‘The manager said… Continue reading →