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Smiley: Incarcerated Mom?

From our “Memorable Misunderstandings Dept.,” this story from Arthur Paine: His daughter-in-law Allison was on a business trip to San Francisco, but had time for some sight-seeing. She called home to speak to husband Mike, son Trey, 12, and daughter Jaidan, 8. Here’s how the call went: Mike: “Hello!”… Continue reading →

Smiley: Worth fighting for

T-Bob Taylor, our correspondent in Panama City Beach, Florida, says, “I was listening to the local news outlet and a story popped up that two workers had to TWICE be separated in the heat of a serious fight. “I’m thinking, ‘What a couple of nuts!’ “Then the announcer tagged, ‘The argument… Continue reading →

Smiley: Losing the race

Pat Alba, of Metairie, tells of her short career as an auto racer: “I owned a Camry in the early ’80s, when that model was something of a novelty. “Maybe that’s why one day when I was waiting for a traffic light, another car pulled up beside me and the driver raced his engine repeatedly — an… Continue reading →

Smiley: The hitching chicken

We’ve been telling stories about alligators and foxes in recent days, so I suppose we should offer equal time to chickens: Jim Carruth, of Lafayette, tells this one: “Back in the early 1950s my dad worked at Standard Oil (Esso) in Baton Rouge. “We had this big red chicken named Hennie Penny. Dad… Continue reading →

Smiley: Foxy paper thieves

Advocate photo by Glenn Holden --  Rick and Rene Nevils and their neighbors in Stanford Place, located in Baton Rouge near the LSU Lakes, began noticing that their copies of The Advocate werent showing up in the mornings. A family of foxes were making off with the papers. Rick says the foxes are tearing up the papers for nesting material inside the den. The Advocate circulation department is working on a solution to the delivery problem.

On Friday I told of a lady in Vacherie who went out to get her newspaper and found an alligator sunning himself alongside it. It seems gators aren’t the only critters fond of the written word. Rick and Rene Nevils and their neighbors in Stanford Place, near the LSU Lakes, noticed… Continue reading →

Smiley: “Making” birthdays

Dear Smiley: I notice that in spite of the efforts of radio and TV to make us all speak the same language, “Yat” survives and has even spread across all of the known universe — the area between St. Bernard and Baton Rouge. Mr. Cleveland Bailey reported a conversation between the great Pastor T.J. Jemison… Continue reading →

Smiley: Gator invasion!

Joan W. Waguespack, of Metairie, adds to our seminar on Louisiana gators: “A few years ago, while visiting my mother, Eva Waguespack, in Vacherie, I read an article in the newspaper about alligators in Louisiana. “I commented to her that people from outside the state must think alligators roam freely all over. “She began to… Continue reading →

Smiley: Lively neighbors

Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington, recently told us the story of Rocky Raccoon, who lived with her family for almost two years. She continues the story of his exploits after they released him: “We expected him to be glad to be free, but instead he ran amok through the neighborhood, harassing people working in their gardens,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Official state footwear

Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, has a “local color” story: “During Hurricane Katrina, we had 16 family members and friends from the New Orleans area staying with us. “Someone noticed water leaking through the ceiling — Katrina had ripped off a roof vent and rain was pouring in the attic. “Many of our visitors already… Continue reading →

Smiley: The kind trucker

Like a lot of folks who drive four-wheelers, I’m intimidated and sometimes irritated by the 18-wheelers on the interstate, especially when they come roaring off the Mississippi River bridge and head over into my lane (I always let them in — what’s the option?). Rhetta Sellers points out something good that came out… Continue reading →

Smiley: Turning pro

Keith Horcasitas’ story shows how professionalism in sports can start at a tender age: “My late daddy always encouraged me in Little League baseball in N’Awlins. We lived Uptown and played ball at Carrollton Boosters behind the majestic Milne Boys Home. “As an 11-year-old, I was pitching in a game that… Continue reading →

Smiley: Blurry, blurry night

Dear Smiley: During the early ’50s, I gave my girlfriend (now my wife) the best “Sweet 16” birthday present: a night of dancing and a floor show at the Blue Room in the Roosevelt Hotel. My father gave me his credit card, we dressed in our best clothes and off we… Continue reading →

Smiley: Defining Cajuns

Z. David DeLoach addresses a matter discussed in the Thursday column: “To satisfy the curiosity of those naive New Yorkers asking, ‘What in the world are Cajuns?’ Simple: Canadians with good taste.” Readers continue to recall memorable musical moments: — Kat Canatella, of Convent, remembers an Elvis… Continue reading →

Smiley: “Planet of the Mudbugs”

This column is finally getting some class — we’re featuring comments from noted authors (besides me, I mean...): Sam Irwin, author of “Louisiana Crawfish: A Succulent History of the Cajun Crustacean,” says, “Referencing the item about the scarcity of live crawfish in Seattle — the Louisiana red swamp crawfish is a bit of a bully, identified as… Continue reading →

Smiley: Dad’s Day Do’s, Don’ts

“With Father’s Day on the horizon,” says Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, “here are some gift buying guidelines: “What NOT to buy: 1. A new tie. The one we have been wearing for 40 years is still good. Might use a cleaning, though. 2. A new dress shirt. Same guidelines apply. 3. A new belt. Our old one… Continue reading →

Smiley: Aroma therapy

Richard Fossey, who teaches at UL-Lafayette, has a “choosing your college” story: “My friend John has lived in Baton Rouge for many years, but he is a graduate of Auburn University. “When his children were young, John and his wife, Mary, lived in Alabama, and John was worried that some of his children might want… Continue reading →

Smiley: “Flag day” every day

In our Nostalgia Corner, Joan Waguespack Barre, of Metairie, recalls growing up in Vacherie: “My grandfather, Dr. Lionel O. Waguespack, began practicing medicine in the early 1900s. He traveled in a horse-driven buggy and later owned one of the first automobiles in the area. He treated most of his patients in his office, but visited those who… Continue reading →

Smiley: Attack mules!

Dear Smiley: Here’s some encouragement for the driver whose car was damaged by a “flying alligator” (as reported in the Wednesday column) and your concern about whether her auto insurance will cover repairs. I once spent the night with a friend who lived in the Ozark Mountains. I had… Continue reading →

Smiley: No pie for you!

Mike Manes, of New Iberia, adds to our tales of Lea’s Lunch Room in Lecompte: “Back in the late 1970s I was headed to Monroe to meet my wife and children at her mother’s house for Thanksgiving. Tradition required that I pick up a pie or two at Lea’s. “I stopped in late that Wednesday evening and… Continue reading →

Smiley: The pastor’s lesson

Cleveland Bailey Sr. tells this cautionary tale: “The late Rev. T.J. Jemison, pastor of Mt. Zion First Baptist Church here in Baton Rouge, learned that one of his senior deaconesses had made a birthday. “After a Wednesday evening Bible study session, he innocently said to her, ‘Sister Jones, I understand you… Continue reading →

Smiley: Warning: Gator Crossing

“Louisiana Lipsey,” aka Wendy Lipsey, tells a story I would dismiss as fantasy if it came from a less trustworthy source: “The craziest thing happened to me Friday night on my way home from Roberto’s River Road Restaurant. “I was coming down Nicholson Drive when the car in front of me… Continue reading →

Smiley: A happy mechanic

John Logreco Jr., of Metairie, says, “My brother-in-law and sister-in-law came from Folsom to visit us early one morning several years ago. “Since it’s a 50-mile drive and the traffic can often be horrendous, I thought the forlorn look on my brother-in-law’s face and the tone of his voice meant he needed something strong to drink when… Continue reading →

Smiley: Ancient tablets

Kay Pressley, a paraprofessional at Wildwood Elementary’s summer school, tells a story that should make many of us feel ancient: “One morning a second-grade student came up to me with a huge grin. I could tell he was excited about something. “He said, ‘Miss Pressley! I got a new tablet yesterday!’… Continue reading →

Smiley: Late warning

Dear Smiley: If you have room for one more tobacco story, here’s one of my favorites: My granddaddy Elzy Hays was born, reared and lived in the country his entire life. He enjoyed his snuff. He was the oldest of 14, all born in the wilds of… Continue reading →

Smiley: Phone pests

Marsha Reichle urges some compassion for people who make unsolicited phone calls: “I registered as a Democrat back when it was your only opportunity to vote in a primary. “My husband, being more optimistic, registered as a Republican. “Every election ended with us agreeing that it was pointless to vote, since our votes would simply cancel out.… Continue reading →

Smiley: 36 years of fun

In the spring of 1979 I was toiling away on the business desk of the Morning Advocate when the editors called me in to ask if I was interested in an experiment. They wanted to try a daily items column featuring stories by readers, light humor, nostalgia, local color and anything else I could come up with.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Realism in art

Pat Alba, of Metairie, offers this example of naturalism in portraiture: “My daughter Kim, age 6, showed me her drawing of little sister Cathy. “After complimenting her handiwork, I asked, ‘But, honey, what are the smudges on her face?’ “She replied matter-of-factly, ‘The chocolate.’”… Continue reading →

Smiley: Find that juror!

Karen Day Myers joins our discussion of persistent salespeople with a story proving that the court system can also go to great lengths to contact folks: “After my parents passed on, I had their mail redirected to my house, and when I had the phone turned off I asked that calls be rerouted to my number. “Shortly… Continue reading →

Smiley: Broken and broke

I’m guessing many of us have had experiences with vehicles like this: Steven J. Koehler, of Metairie, says, “Concerning inspection stickers referred to as ‘brake tags,’ I recall a car I had when I was younger that often had a ‘broke tag’ on it — the mechanic’s work order stuffed under the windshield wiper. “Then, after I… Continue reading →

Smiley: Rocky’s return

Dear Smiley: During the ’70s, my husband found a 6-week-old raccoon in a car trunk and brought it home. We named him Rocky Raccoon, and he lived with us for a year and a half. He slept with the kids, played with our pets, ate cake at our birthday parties, received mail for Rocky… Continue reading →

Smiley: Only in Iota!

Irma Darphin tells this story to show why she loves her home town, the Acadia Parish community of Iota: “I walked into the beauty parlor to get my hair cut, and jokingly said to the owner, ‘I’m extremely hungry — would you happen to have a sizzling hot steak?’ “I was told, ‘No, but I can get you… Continue reading →

Smiley: Quick thinking

Kim “Pops” Seago, of Columbia, Tennessee, tells of a quick-thinking youngster: “Whitt, our 2½-year-old grandson, is hungry when he wakes up, and if nobody is around to fix breakfast, he will find himself something to eat. “Although he has learned to climb using the kitchen drawers, he has not learned to be quiet while climbing. “Last week,… Continue reading →

Smiley: One little problem

Another tale of an unsolicited sales call, from Linda Dalferes: “A friend of mine got a call from someone whose accent was not at all out of south Louisiana. “He had this long spiel explaining to her that her computer was slow and needed upgrading, and that if she would give… Continue reading →

Smiley: The first remote

Wayne Weilbaecher, of Covington, says back in the ’50s, when he was dating the young lady who became his wife, “her family was celebrating their new purchase — a TV set. “My best friend and I decided to go see what the fuss was all about, and hoped to get asked to dinner.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Last flight

Russ Wise, of LaPlace, got this story from Stephanie Harris, fiancée of his wife Connie’s brother. “They’re both flight nurses on medivac helicopters in the hills and valleys of the coal country along the Kentucky-West Virginia line,” says Russ. Stephanie says in 1994, when she was a new EMT, she got… Continue reading →

Smiley: The GPS lady

Dear Smiley: My first time to drive in New Orleans was in 1960 after the Thanksgiving holiday, when inbound traffic was exceptionally heavy. I had a reservation at the old New Orleans Hotel downtown, but as a newcomer I needed directions to Canal Street. Approaching the city on Airline… Continue reading →

Smiley: April Fool!

Barber Dwight Cason says he was cutting a customer’s hair the other day when the guy told of an April Fool prank he and some buddies played on a friend. A buddy who owned a used-car lot acquired a car identical to one owned by the victim. The guys waited until he was away from his car… Continue reading →

Smiley: Christmas suds

Harry Clark, of Lafayette, says, “Reggie Gremillion’s recommendation for concession stands in the back of churches brought to mind an incident when I was new in Cajun land. “My daughter was attending a Catholic parochial school. My wife and I attended the Christmas program in the school gym. “A man crossed in front of us carrying a… Continue reading →

Smiley: Kids are funny

One of the joys of this job is passing along tales about children and all the funny things they do and say. (Parents sometimes take a little longer to find the humor in their kids’ antics.) Some tales about kids that got a chuckle out of me: — From Penny Schulin, of Baton Rouge: “My… Continue reading →

Smiley: Life imitates TV

On Thursday, when I ran Mike Romano’s tale of feeding ducks at Lake Rosemound and feeling sad when they flew away, I also saw the story about Baton Rouge police officers trading in their hot polyester uniforms for ones in a “much lighter, breathable fabric.” Remarkably, these were almost exactly story lines in two of my favorite… Continue reading →

Smiley: Don’t drink and fly

A reader sends in this story from Curt Dye, described as living “west of the river:” Curt was sitting on his porch enjoying a spring morning and watching hummingbirds visit his two feeding stations. He noticed that at one “pot” the little birds were acting unusual — bumping into each other,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Crash that party!

Dear Smiley: On Mother’s Day we were invited to my nephew Troy’s new house in Denham Springs. My parents, 88 and 89, were with us. They had been there before, but used a different route than the one the GPS gave us. So there was a bit of discussion between my husband and… Continue reading →

Smiley: The Recall Diet

Most of my readers discuss the removal of Blue Bell ice cream from the market in the same kind of tone you’d use to talk about the death of a loved one. But “S. Whitt” has found a silver lining to this dark cloud: “I have lost 10 pounds since Blue… Continue reading →

Smiley: As the duck knocks

Mike Romano says, “Reading the story (in the Monday column) about Pat Atkinson having a flapping duck in her fireplace reminded me of an encounter shortly after I moved to Lake Rosemound, many years ago. “I noticed several ducks on the side of my boathouse, and made a habit of feeding them when I got off work.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Plums and karma

Loretta Toussant says, “My dad, Albert Toussant, says as a kid he and his buddies stole plums from a neighbor’s tree in Maringouin. “They took the plums late one night, and proceeded to eat them on their way home. “Once they got into a lighted area, they noticed that all the plums were full of… Continue reading →