Smiley: Language barrier

Former Baton Rougean Claudette Morgan, now living in Macon, Ga., tells of a translation problem she encountered:

“We recently had a local cable guy come to our home.

“We struck up a conversation and soon came to the subjects of Louisiana sports and the SEC.

“While discussing them, he kept saying the ‘Gee Ox Saints’ and the ‘Gee Ox Tigers.’

“It took me a minute to realize what he meant.

“He had seen ‘Geaux’ on TV, written out, but had no idea that it was pronounced ‘go,’ so he broke it into syllables, thus Ge-Aux.

“I would say ‘Gee Ox Georgia,’ but I’m afraid y’all might think I was cheering for those ‘Dogs’ in Athens. No way that will happen!”

Our new look

Frank Fronczek comments on our revamped People section, now titled “eatplaylive:”

“Perhaps Joe Macaluso’s outdoors page should be renamed ‘cleancookeat.’”

Old habits die hard

Joe Scimeca says on his first morning of retirement after 40 years in Baton Rouge’s Catholic school system, he went outside to pick up his Advocate and almost panicked when a school bus passed by on the first day of school.

Joe says it took him a minute to realize he didn’t have to be at school that day or any day.

“Later a friend told me the first rule of retirement — sleep later,” says Joe. “It tried it, and it’s working.”

Far out, man

Richard Crane, of Mandeville, says, “Here are several car songs that take me back to my hippie days:

“‘Ol’ 55’ by Tom Waits; ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ by Joni Mitchell;

“‘Geronimo’s Cadillac’ by Michael Martin Murphey; ‘Mercury Blues’ by Steve Miller.

“And, something of a stretch: ‘American Pie’ by Don McLean.

“It’s about a lot of things, one of which is: ‘… drove my Chevy to the levee …’”

Don’t rob this train!

Pat Tomancik was transported back to the days of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid when she boarded the train in Grand Prairie, Texas, to visit her son, Richard, at work in downtown Dallas:

“To my utmost surprise, there sat a Texas marshal — a large man with a handlebar mustache, ten-gallon hat and a large gunbelt. To me, he didn’t look real.”

Pat says he was transporting some youths who had been caught breaking into cars.

The fame game

Mark Lazarre, after learning that political writer Jack Germond was a graduate of Baton Rouge High, offers this suggestion:

“It would be interesting for readers to come up with who they think are the most famous alumni of each area high school.

“For example, Steven Soderbergh, Hollywood director of several films, including ‘Ocean’s Eleven,’ graduated from University High.”

You are not alone

Pat Crotty, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., has a message for Rhetta Sellers, who told of her daughter’s struggle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma:

“Our then-14-year-old granddaughter had Hodgkin’s.

“She is now a beautiful 17-year-old and will be entering her senior year of high school.

“Just when you are at your lowest, you experience the beauty, loving attitudes, and generosity of humankind.”

Pat tells of the help offered by the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, which works to support those with childhood cancer.

It was founded by the coach of the New York Giants and is based in Jacksonville, Fla.

Pat adds, “While we appreciated the monetary gifts and ‘things,’ the most precious of all gifts given was the time that people afforded us.

“When you think you are soooooo tired, along come friends to sit, go grocery shopping, take you and your family out for a meal, and so on.”

Special People Dept.

Cecile Rabalais Boniol, a Moreauville native now living in Arlington, Texas, celebrates her 100th birthday Saturday.

Leonard Rachal, formerly of Mansura, now in Baton Rouge, celebrates his 90th birthday Sunday.

Terry and Thelma Brown celebrate 73 years of marriage Friday.

An ohnest man?

Chip Dunlap says, “I used to often travel from Shreveport to a family fishing camp on Lake Bistineau.

“On a small road near the camp, I would pass a crossroads grocery store.

“One day I noticed that it had a freshly painted sign, ‘Ohnest John’s.’

“I stopped in and asked John about the sign.

“He told me the sign painter had made a mistake, but he thought it catchy and decided to leave it as is.

“I have always suspected that it was John who made the mistake, and that he was being less than ohnest.”

Expiration blues

L.P. Ledet says when he reached senior citizen status recently, “I realized that with each day that goes by I am getting closer and closer to my ‘Best if Used By’ date.”

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.