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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 →

Smiley: Victory prayers

One of my favorite writers, George Gurtner (now writing for The New Orleans Advocate), says the upcoming Battle of New Orleans bicentennial celebration on Jan. 6, plus the current football season, remind him of this story: “Legend has it that the reason Gen. Andrew Jackson overcame enormous odds to defeat the British at… Continue reading →

Smiley: Going hog wild

Dear Smiley: To continue suggestions of running with the bulls, reindeer, or nutria, here’s another suggestion — feral pigs. We have an abundance in the Felicianas we would love to share. My neighbor had two cross her driveway the other day, with 17 piglets in tow. We won’t even charge you for them,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Muscular ducks

Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, says, “I love to eat mandarin duck. “When I was an avid duck hunter, I came up with a bright idea of how to mix both. “I brought five gadwalls to Ville Platte’s only Chinese restaurant and asked them to cook the wild ducks mandarin style. “When I… Continue reading →

Smiley: Doing the wave

Jim Hingle, of Covington, says, “The story about hand-turn signals reminded me of when I was 5 in 1945. “One evening when my father came home, I told him that Mom was waving at all the sailors. “As it turns out, there were sailors on every corner in New Orleans as they were to be discharged here… Continue reading →

Smiley: Long John Tigers

Darrell Davis says, “The cold weather and the trainers’ preparation for Saturday night’s LSU game in Arkansas reminded me of how much times have changed. “The Thursday night before the 1978 Liberty Bowl, I was working late at Goudchaux’s Main Street store. “I was in the men’s department when up walks coach Cholly Mac (LSU… Continue reading →

Smiley: Dead reckoning

Jerry Freedman says, “Given the current woes of the Tigers and Saints, shouldn’t we re-title the Advocate Sports section ‘The Autopsy Report’?” LaNell Hilborn says a lady at an auction Saturday night told this story about her daughter’s wedding earlier in the week: “The couple planned a small church wedding with just… Continue reading →

Smiley: A cardboard sled

Our recent spell of cold, rainy weather reminded me of the first time I experienced one of Baton Rouge’s infrequent snowfalls. I was 8 or 9, and my family had just moved here from Natchez, Mississippi, where hills are abundant. As snow coated our flat streets, my problem was finding a hill suitable for makeshift sledding.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Eavesdroppers beware!

Dear Smiley: Our family and its pets have been talked about incessantly with our family and friends. Have a stray dog, cat or any living critter? Drop it off at the Weilbaechers’. My wife and I had a little squirrel named Buttons, who fell out of a tree. Our son gave him… Continue reading →

Smiley: Dressing for football

Robby Zeringue says our mention of the annual LSU “pajama game” (at which freshmen wore their jammies) “reminded me of those days when Tiger Stadium was packed with true Tiger fans. “The men (and their sons) wore suits and hats. The ladies were dressed to the max, complete with mum corsages.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Pig tail tale

Gordon Greenwood, of Slidell, was reminded of this story when he heard a political candidate in Iowa say she grew up on a farm, performing minor surgery on male pigs: “Each year my dad would ‘fix’ the male pigs on our farm in northern Illinois. ‘One year my cousin… Continue reading →

Smiley: Attention Victoria’s Secret

Bob, of Prairieville, says, “This happened many, many years ago, but I still get a chuckle when I think about the time my little cousin came running in from the school bus with a big smile and a gleam in her eyes, and proudly announced that she had the ‘perfect body.’ “It seems they had… Continue reading →

Smiley: We miss George

Perry A. Snyder says, “On Election Day, grandson Anderson, 5, learned that one of his classmates had gone into the voting booth with his mother and helped her vote. “He was crestfallen — alas, his parents had voted without his help, much less his counsel. “Arriving home from school that day, he shared his… Continue reading →

Smiley: Bargain dinner

Pierre Hjartberg, of New Orleans, says, “Several years ago, when Archie Manning was Jim Henderson’s color guy in the Saints radio broadcasts, I went to most of the out-of-town games — because as a travel executive I handled fans’ transportation on charter flights. “Since I had known both of them for years, I… Continue reading →

Smiley: Just one problem…

Dear Smiley: This week’s election reminded me of a post-election promotion in Jackson, Mississippi, in the ’60s that was meant well, but... A popular radio station decided to do something about all the political campaign signs remaining in yards, on power poles, at intersections, etc., and went on the air calling… Continue reading →

Smiley: Pigskin gumbo

G.M. Beauford, of Lakeland, tells of a “food and football” moment: “One day Cousin Azema and her two sisters cooked all day making a big pot of gumbo. “The boys were running through the house, tossing the football. It fell into the pot. “The cooks just picked it up, wiped it off,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Hail to our chief!

Charles Young, of New Orleans, says, “My youngest daughter, Pam, was getting ready to go to the polls Tuesday when her 5-year-old, Sissy, asked her why she had to vote. “She answered that she needed to help pick our leaders. “Sissy quickly replied, ‘But Mommy, Drew Brees is our leader.’”… Continue reading →

Smiley: Armed and ready

Dear Smiley: I don’t know just when electric automobile turn signals were invented (of course, half the world still refuses to use them!). But when I was a child, my mom used left arm signals, which meant the driver’s window had to be open in all kinds of weather. For a left turn,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Power of Cajun radio

Richard Fossey, who teaches at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, says, “While we are on the topic of sportscasters and radio personalities, I would like to say how much I enjoy the DJs on KBON, Acadiana’s Cajun radio station. “I was listening to KBON one day during the listeners’ request hour, and I heard… Continue reading →

Smiley: Saints’ divine moment

Patricia Alba, of Metairie, continues our discussion of sports announcers: “My favorite radio announcer is WWL’s Jim Henderson. “On one occasion in the ’90s when the Saints were trailing during the final moments they suddenly rallied with a spectacular play and won the game. “Jim, overcome with emotion, shouted, ‘There IS a God!’”… Continue reading →

Smiley: Hamster hunting

Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington, says, “Many years ago, when our family moved to a new house in River Ridge, our hamster got loose and decided to go and live in our wall. “After trying everything we could, and not getting much sleep with him running through the walls all night, my husband came up with an idea… Continue reading →

Smiley: Get smart, Louisiana

Paul Major says, “Perhaps, after the senatorial candidates’ lack of adherence to the time limits in last week’s televised debate, we should break out Maxwell Smart’s ‘Cone of Silence.’ “Watching a candidate’s lips move without hearing anything could maybe provide at least as much information as having the sound on.”… Continue reading →

Smiley: Welcome to the Hot L

Janet Schilling says our mention of Hotel Dieu hospital “jogged her brain:” “I moved to New Orleans in the ’70s to work at Hotel Dieu and later attend nursing school. “I did not know much of New Orleans at that time except from trips as a child, mostly to the zoo.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Flight with a hero

Dear Smiley: Reading in The Advocate about Murphy Neal Jones speaking at a Shriners’ banquet brought back memories of an incident shortly after he was freed from a Vietnamese prison in 1973. Neal, with his elementary school-aged son, came out to the old Downtown Airport hoping to go for a flight with his former instructor,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Visit to a strange land

Perry Anderson Snyder says, “Fall break found grandson Anderson in the surf at Orange Beach, Alabama. “He and his parents had a grand time, despite being surrounded by Alabama and Auburn faithful. “At the end of four days, the 5-year-old had had enough of the often loud Tide and War Eagle fans. “‘Dad,’ he said to our son-in-law,… Continue reading →

Smiley: “And cowbells shall ring”

Robbie Harrison, of Watson, says, “I am not a theologian, but I do believe that Mississippi State being ranked No. 1 in the college football polls may fulfill this prophecy, in Luke 21-25: “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Hooked on a feeling

Tom Toddy’s story illustrates the benefits of being old enough to have no particular place to go in the morning: “My grandfather and grandmother had four children. My grandfather instructed any family member arising early in the morning to stop by his room and wake him up. “He said he loved the feeling of falling back to… Continue reading →

Smiley: Concise wine list

Our nostalgia item about the wine service at Baton Rouge’s late lamented Cotton Club (“You want the red chardonnay or the white chardonnay?”) brought this response from Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville: “The article on the wine list reminds me of the very funny and successful John Politz of Politz’s Restaurants in Thibodaux… Continue reading →

Smiley: New revenue source

Francis Celino, “The Metairie Miscreant,” is disturbed about an item in the Thursday column. A nostalgic reader, after sharing tales of old Baton Rouge, told me, “I have taxed my memory enough for today.” Francis says, “Please, Smiley, don’t give those at the state buildings any ideas for more… Continue reading →

Smiley: No time to retire

Dear Smiley: Reading your mention of a former “Rosie the Riveter,” Bernice Bellum Lammert, who still works as she celebrates her 90th birthday, made me remember what special people the Greatest Generation produced. My own mother retired earlier this year at the relatively young age of 87. But many of my fellow boomers… Continue reading →

Smiley: Rolling in dough

Jerry Clower, the Mississippi comedian, had a bit about canned biscuits, saying that the popping of the cans in the morning made his neighborhood sound like a war zone. Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson, offers a canned biscuit tale: “Anna Lou Haynes Thompson, of Norwood, tells the story of… Continue reading →

Smiley: Three and out

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Stone Energy is responsible for several improvement projects that have taken place at several local schools, such as the addition of a fence around the front lawn of Lafayette Middle School.

With LSU footballers facing what would seem to be an, uh, character-building year, readers are harking back to better days for the Tigers: Ronnie Melancon, of Gretna, comments on Roy Pitchford’s mention of LSU’s two 62-0 football victories over Tulane: “The 62-0 margin of victory against the Green Wave happened THREE times. “Andy Pilney, Tulane’s… Continue reading →

Smiley: Stick with steaks

Don’t think I’m picking on Oklahoma cooking — when I visited there, I discovered a great chicken-fried steak with white gravy in Durant. But some readers have had less happy experiences with crawfish in that state: Richard Fossey says, “My friend Robert White, who lives in Winnsboro, told me this story about a… Continue reading →

Smiley: Button, button…

Those of us who remember things like typewriters, film cameras and black-and-white TVs are often called on to explain them to the young. For instance, “Granny Julie” tells this story: “The other day I was looking for something I needed, but of course it was not where I thought I had put… Continue reading →

Smiley: An Oklahoma snack

Dear Smiley: As a born and raised Okie, I enjoyed reading “Discovering the joys of ‘crawl fish.’ ” The crawfish phenomenon does seem to be spreading that way faster than ever. Finally they might have some nice, spicy food for those who seek to be more adventurous than the state’s official meal — yes,… Continue reading →

Smiley: A “Fear the Hat” tale

Jim Douglas tells an LSU “hat story” from years ago that doesn’t involve Coach Miles and his white lid: “My friend was walking down the main drag in Grand Isle when a car came darting by and almost hit him. “He screamed ‘You dirty rat!’ — or some other appropriate words.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Going hawk wild

I don’t want to be an alarmist, but HUGE RAPTORS ARE SWOOPING DOWN FROM THE SKIES TO ATTACK HELPLESS HUMANS! After I mentioned a lady who survived two owl attacks, Rob Carpenter told a chilling tale of hawk invasion. He had left the back door open in his LSU-area home for his two… Continue reading →

Smiley: Practicing diplomacy

Patrick Howard, of Zachary, says our recent story about an “all you can eat” crab restaurant “reminds me of the time I went to Shoney’s on Airline (a few years ago). “I was enjoying their ‘all you can eat’ fish so much that on about the fourth or fifth trip to my table, the… Continue reading →

Smiley: Hymn to King Davy

Theresa Hay adds to our list of church stories: “When I was about 4 years old (more than 58 years ago!), I attended a service in a north Baton Rouge church with my mother. “When everyone rose to sing a hymn, I proudly stood on the pew next to my mother and sang as loud as I… Continue reading →

Smiley: A ride to remember

Jim Douglas says this happened to “someone I know:” “This ‘someone’ pulled into a parking lot, got her ticket and went about her business. “Several hours later, she presented the ticket to the parking lot attendant, who brought around a car. “She drove home and went to bed.… Continue reading →