Smiley: Ripple effect

One thing I’ve noticed about our “good deeds” stories is the ripple effect they have — the way one kind act can lead to more.

Gordon Greenwood, of Slidell, tells how after the death of his wife of 44 years he had trouble dining alone, especially at the places they used to go.

“When I did eat out, I went either to a fast-food place or with a group.

“But one day I was out running errands around noon, and on the spur of the moment decided to eat at our very favorite restaurant.

“It was hard to do, but I broke the ice, and I did enjoy the meal. As I ate I had lots of pleasant memories of the good meals we had there.

“When I asked for the check the waitress said, ‘Someone has already paid the bill.’

“I looked around, and saw no one I knew, so I will never know who, or why they did it. But someone made my day.

“I left the restaurant with tears in my eyes, but joy in my heart.

“Ever since that day I find it easier to dine out alone.

“And on occasion I have returned the ‘act of kindness’ by treating strangers.”

Type casting?

Thanks to DeeDee DiBenedetto for sending me the Morning Advocate article about my Senior Day at Istrouma High (never mind what year).

We put on a pageant with a Carnival theme, with the class officers as royalty.

Carroll DiBenedetto (DeeDee’s dad) was our king, and Lulu Langlois was our queen (they’re still a king and queen to me).

And I had forgotten this, but according to the article I was the court jester.

(Is that like class clown?)

Chick magnet

Boyd Leake says mention of my Austin-Healey Sprite reminded him of the place in Baton Rouge where Sprites and other sports cars spent a great deal of time — R.S.&S. Sports Cars, out Florida Boulevard:

“As the long-ago owner of a ’76 MGB (and before that a ’72 Fiat 850 Spider), I spent a ‘boot’ load of cash on parts there.

“I tell my four children the Fiat is the only reason they exist. Their mom paid NO attention to me until I showed up for a dance in it. After that … much more so.”

Cutting left

As a southpaw, I identify with John Torbert’s story, which he calls “the reverse of the left-handed monkey wrench trick.”

“When left-handed scissors were new, I asked my boss if the lab would buy me a pair.

“First I had to convince him I wasn’t pulling his leg. Then he said, ‘We’ll buy them for you, but you have to walk the requisition through.’

“At every level I had to convince someone else that they really did exist.”

Information shortage

Ernie Gremillion says our story of a sports editor who replied “Yes” and hung up when asked if he knew the score of a game reminds him of his calls to a close friend at his office:

“When I ask for him, the receptionist always asks, ‘May I tell him who is calling?’

“I generally respond with ‘Sure.’ ”

Berry, berry good

During July, The Ambrosia Bakery, 8546 Siegen Lane, is donating $2 from every sale of its fresh strawberry cake to Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center.

Additionally, for a donation of $2 or more you get a card redeemable for a pastry.

Proceeds support free cancer screenings, early detection and prevention programs, etc. For a list of screenings, visit

Looking for stuff

Coach Barrett Murphy says for three years he’s been compiling information about six-man football in Louisiana:

“I have interviewed and videotaped a large number of people, including players, referees, principals and coaches.

“The first six-man football game was played around the 1920s, and the last was played in the early 1950s.”

He’s looking for newspaper articles, pictures, etc. He’d also like to talk to players.

The address is: Coach Barrett Murphy, 7416 Shrewsbury Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70808. Or call (225) 266-4997.

Dangerous salon?

Debbie Percle says, “The best business name I’ve seen was in a small town when I was on my way to visit my nephew Chad at Texas A&M.

“It was the Cut & Shoot Beauty Salon.”

Debbie adds that the name doesn’t refer to the kind of treatment you get there — Cut and Shoot is the Texas town where it’s located.

Carnival, anyone?

Sylvia Inzerella says, “Being that Lafayette has a huge Mardi Gras celebration every year, it may not be so weird to see this sign that used to hang on a fence along a convenience store/washeteria: PARKING FOR COSTUMERS ONLY!”

Flaunt it, baby!

James Fender, of Kenner, tells of a sight that “brought a smile to my face.”

In a Wal-Mart, he spotted a buxom lady wearing a T-shirt with this message across the, uh, chest:

“Now look at me.”

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.