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Smiley: Tale of two Jimmies

Dear Smiley: Recent references to Jimmie Davis brought to mind the most unique day of my life, which involves a bit of Louisiana history: In Natchitoches, after a round of golf on a Saturday in 1971, I was told it was urgent that I call Rolfe McCollister Sr., Jimmie Davis’ campaign… Continue reading →

Smiley: Going hog wild

“Seeing the articles about old WWL shows in New Orleans reminded me of this story,” says Ernie Gremillion: “Back in the late 1940s, WWL had a Saturday evening show called ‘The Wadda You Know’ show. “Their studio was located in the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans. “We went often, and my dad was a contestant on… Continue reading →

Smiley: Wedding from hell

When Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington, wrote in to announce the 55th anniversary of her marriage to husband Wayne (on Friday, Jan. 30), she included this wedding horror story to tell why “on our wedding day many years ago we were not so sure if we would make the first one. “It was the… Continue reading →

Smiley: Neaux geaux zones

Richard Fossey, professor at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, wonders about reports of “no go” zones in various cities, the subject of some discussion in the news recently: “What’s the big deal? We’ve had ‘no go’ zones in south Louisiana for years; they’re called Cajun bars! “I have a friend who… Continue reading →

Smiley: 'Nonpersons' in N.O.

Paul Major says, “The recent expunging of various members of the Benson family from all media having to do with the Saints and the Pelicans brings to mind the actions of the old Soviet Union. “Party members who had fallen into disfavor would have their images removed from pictures; all references to them would be deleted from… Continue reading →

Smiley: Friends to the end

Dear Smiley: Two old Baton Rouge High School buddies (Class of 1954), Allen Smith and Gerald Walter, were lifelong friends, from high school through all of life. Gerald excelled at baseball and basketball at BRHS, being a starting member of the 1954 state championship basketball team. Allen starred in football, starting in the same backfield… Continue reading →

Smiley: No alien invasion

When I started reading Bruce Dyson’s story, I thought he’d given me the scoop of the century. But, alas, it was not to be... He said, “When I arrived home in northern Ascension Parish on Tuesday night, it was very dark, just a little foggy, still and quiet. “After… Continue reading →

Smiley: Performing ‘Trashdance’

“I saw a performance in my front yard the other morning that can only be called awesome,” says Mary Pramuk. “One of the white trucks that pick up recyclables pulled up, and out of nowhere a slight young man appeared in a graceful whirl, picking up the can in an effortless swoop and tossing the contents into the… Continue reading →

Smiley: Joyful noise

With football season winding down, it’s time to recall great games of the past and dream about great games we hope the future holds for us. Donald Starkey, of Livingston, recalls one such great game for the LSU Tigers, and the special way he celebrated when the game ended: “I was in a… Continue reading →

Smiley: Our color: purple

Duane Smith, of Port Allen, says, “I am assuming that other families in this area have conversations similar to the one that my wife and I just had: “Me: ‘Darn it! I just spilled salsa down the front of this shirt!’ “Her: ‘That’s OK. I’m washing a load of purple tomorrow.’ ”… Continue reading →

Smiley: The sweet season

I was reminded of what dangerous times these are for dieters when on the same day a friend dropped off a Zulu king cake, a Girl Scouts representative presented me with two sample boxes of their famed cookies. I’m kind of a purist when it comes to king cakes, so I haven’t tried the Zulu version,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Rider in the rain

Dear Smiley: Several years ago, in Beaumont, Texas, I watched a young man ride his bicycle through the rain. The downpour made visibility almost impossible. The young man struggled to see and kept brushing the rainwater out of his eyes. I couldn’t help but think how much easier it would have been… Continue reading →

Smiley: Big singer, small stage

Jim Douglas says, “The radio article in your column brought to mind the disc jockey at WWL radio in the ’50s or ’60s whose ‘grandmother’ would visit him (he was the grandmother). The show was a real comedy. “Once a week, a gentleman by the name of Cerio would call the station and sing. He had… Continue reading →

Smiley: Pump problem

Steve Decell says this is a true story: “I was pumping gas at the Shell station at the Lobdell exit in Port Allen one morning on my way to Lafayette. “A nice-looking 20-something-year-old young lady in a brand-new Mustang pulled up at the pump behind me. “She kept inserting her card in the pump,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Singing our song

Carl N. Williams recalls the time 15 years ago when he and his late wife Dorothy were visiting Hawaii’s big island and found themselves the only passengers on a tour bus: “Then two ladies got on board, and sat across the aisle from us. “They asked where we were from, and when we said Baton Rouge they… Continue reading →

Smiley: What accent?

This tale by Patricia Alba, of Metairie, illustrates the different accents in north and south Louisiana: “When my father, a New Orleanian, and my mother, from north Louisiana, were engaged, Dad spoke often and fondly about his Uncle August from White Castle. “After their wedding, Mom was sending thank-you notes for the gifts, and on one wrote ‘Dear… Continue reading →

Smiley: The old shell game

I was watching one of the cable TV channels, probably ESPN, when a commercial for an egg peeler caught my attention. It showed a poor woman trying to crack a hardboiled egg and peel it, and making a mess of the project. She looked so distraught that my heart went out… Continue reading →

Smiley: Friendship caps

Dear Smiley: During the holidays this year, the family was reminiscing about years gone by and being grateful not to be alone at Christmas time when one of our sons reminded us of his experience many years ago that we almost forgot. He was in the Air Force, and it was… Continue reading →

Smiley: The broccoli sign

When I lived in New Roads for a few years in the ’80s, I became friends with Dr. Jim Christopher, his wife Dianne, and their three children. Jim’s death on Sunday reminded me of the many good times we had: Marching in our tuxes down Bourbon Street in a second… Continue reading →

Smiley: Rayne, here I come

When I tried to get on Facebook recently to check out the latest activities of my kids and grandkids, I was told I needed a new password. As a good Facebook citizen, I duly did what I was asked and wound up with a new password. Facebook sent me a confirmation notice that contained my name and this… Continue reading →

Smiley: Small world indeed

Some of my favorite stories involve “small world” encounters with Louisiana folks in other parts of the country — or the world. Val Garon tells of one such incident: “Your last writing about ‘bits of Louisiana’ brings to mind a business trip to Trenton, New Jersey, in 1973. “I was eating at a… Continue reading →

Smiley: Hazardous walk

Due to the proximity of my Spanish Town home to the lovely State Capitol grounds, I haven’t had to go to a shopping mall to get in my semi-daily walks. But I’m familiar with the phenomenon, and on my rare visits to a mall notice people in walking shoes taking advantage of the… Continue reading →

Smiley: Joltin’ Joe’s not here

Al Bethard, of Lafayette, offers an example of how Louisiana French names can cause confusion, even in Paris. He came across a story in a 1957 issue of the Lafayette Advertiser about Mayor Jerome E. Domengeaux’s trip to Paris for the bicentennial of the birth of the Marquis de Lafayette. Staying… Continue reading →

Smiley: The winning team

Dear Smiley: While visiting at Christmas, our very observant 3-year-old great-granddaughter Kaelin spied my husband’s World War II medals. “Paw-Paw,” she asked, “did you win first place?” I thought he answered well when he said, “No, but our team won first place.” FERNE UNDERWOOD Denham Springs Dear Smiley:… Continue reading →

Smiley Anders: Lame ducks, 'Duck Dynasty,' and other odd birds: Quacky 2014 draws to a close

It was a year when Louisiana joined the other states of the Confederacy in becoming solidly Republican and bright red (but not crimson — never crimson). Continue reading →

Smiley: Saint Bum

A couple of stories about the former Saints coach, Bum Phillips: Bob Hernandez, of Watson, recalls “some sayings only Bum could come up with. “One year before the season started, Bum was being questioned by a group of sports writers. “One asked, ‘Is Archie going to call his own plays?’… Continue reading →

Smiley: A memory of music

Dear Smiley: Your headline “How music unites” in the Wednesday column reminded me of how music united my brother — to himself. Roland had been slipping away from us through Alzheimer’s. An accomplished singer, he noticed auditions for Verdi’s Requiem and asked his wife, Pat, to drive him to the audition.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Brush with history

Norman E. “Pete” Heine, former mayor and now city councilman of Baker, one of the true gentlemen of Louisiana politics, says our nostalgia items about the old Baton Rouge General Hospital on Government Street remind him of this bit of history: “I was 7 years old and my brother, Charles ‘Bubba’ Heine, was… Continue reading →

Southern Momspeak

Mona Cancienne, of Donaldsonville, adds to our recent list of “Things Southern Moms Say:” “Y’all quit!” “Git back over here!” “Git outta that!” “I’m gitten the switch!” “Yer face is gonna freeze like that!” “I’m tellen yer daddy!” “Git that out of yer mouth!” “Make me tell you one more time!” “The dog is not a horse!”… Continue reading →

Smiley: How music unites

“Music really does ease the soul and unite us all,” says Debbie May “Hollywood” Lihou, former Baton Rougean now living in Wagga Wagga, Australia: “My son Hunter’s year-10 commerce class went to a local nursing home to sing some Christmas carols. “When I was asking him about his excursion… Continue reading →

Smiley: Secure the tree!

Paula Bourg, of Ethel, says, “I recall a 1940s Christmas when my husband, Mack, decorated a tree in our first new home, in south Baton Rouge. “I expected him to set the tree in a can of sand and cover it with red crepe paper, the way my mother used to do it.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Mother knows best

Judy S. Collins expands on her “lies my mother told me” list, mentioned earlier. While these aren’t all lies, they are some VERY familiar pronouncements: Always wear clean underwear in case you are in an accident. Carrots make you see better. Spinach makes you stronger, like Popeye.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Troops came first

Dear Smiley: Another Bob Hope story: My husband, Tom, was stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines during 1964, when Bob came to do a show. Tom and a few other guys went early to get good seats. When they got there, all the good seats were taken… Continue reading →

Smiley: Mother and child

“Bayou Jeaux” tells of a poignant scene — and a missed opportunity for a good deed: “Your story about mothers and babies going home from the hospital in an ambulance after the delivery brings back a haunting memory. “In a recent year, I was driving past Woman’s Hospital when I noticed a young girl sitting… Continue reading →

Smiley: Put a lid on it

When Jim Pitchford, in the Wednesday column, lamented the fact that many men seem to have forgotten old rules of dining etiquette (such as not wearing a hat while eating), he got responses from several readers, most of them agreeing with him. Here are a two comments, offering differing views: “Papenton” says, “Jim Pitchford’s addendum about ‘elbows… Continue reading →

Smiley: Flying buffaloes

The Monday column, discussing foods from the ’50s — back before chickens had fingers, when Jell-O salad was considered a classy way to start a meal, and when you got water from the faucet, not a plastic bottle — drew comments adding to the list of differences between today’s cuisine and yesterday’s chow: Jude LeBoeuf, of Kenner,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Thanksgiving smiles

It’s time for our annual tradition — post-Thanksgiving memories from readers: Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington, says, “As I was preparing our family Thanksgiving dinner, my 9-year-old grandson was sitting there asking many questions — why we do this, why we do that. “I finally told him that since he was getting bigger, he… Continue reading →

Smiley: Before chicken fingers

Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, is chuckling about a note from Marilyn Wagoner, a former Baton Rougean now living in Fort Worth. Her “Eating in the ’50s” recollections rang a bell with him. Here are some of the things she remembered about ’50s meals: “Pasta had not been invented. It… Continue reading →

Smiley: The home front

Dear Smiley: There were many heroes who served in World War II, both abroad and at home. My two uncles served in the South Pacific, one in Marine Division 1 and the other as a Navy medic attached to Marine Division 1. My father was rejected for active service due to medical reasons,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Cajun in your heart

There’s been an interesting discussion on Warren Perrin’s email site about what makes a Cajun. Raymond “LaLa” Lalonde, while pointing out that many Louisiana people with French ancestors aren’t descended from the Acadians forced from Nova Scotia by the British, says, “Cajun is culture, not a blood line. Our ancestors came from different parts of the… Continue reading →

Smiley: Thanks for a family

It’s been many years now since I sat down to write a Thanksgiving column and realized that it was my family that meant the most to me at this time of counting your blessings. Since then I’ve been mentioning my spouse, kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, brother, nephews, etc., mostly to remind myself how well… Continue reading →

Smiley: Don’t forget Newton!

Val Garon says, “When I was younger I hunted wood ducks in the ponds behind Belle Rose. “I had a 15-foot canoe that I used to glide among the oak trees and brush where the ducks fed. “My shotgun was a 10-gauge magnum double barrel. “I hand-loaded it with… Continue reading →

Smiley: Tale of two women

Our mention of Global Positioning Systems (as opposed to the Human Positioning System in the passenger seat) brought a response from Mark Claesgens: “I have a new woman in my life. She’s voice of my car’s GPS. “Like my ‘portable’ unit, she doesn’t hesitate to tell me when I’ve gone astray.… Continue reading →