Smiley: Cool as a turtle

“My siblings and I had a better result when our seven or eight baby red-eared slider turtles froze solid in a goldfish bowl left outside during the freeze of 1962.

“All of south Louisiana was frozen for about a week, with the temperature going as low as 12 degrees some nights.

“We had quite an assortment of pets among the eight of us and managed to keep all of them safe except for the turtles — which did not bark or meow or quack to remind us of their presence.

“Fortunately, we were not in a rush to bury the turtles during the week.

“I am sure my dad and mom had enough to do fixing broken pipes under our house and dealing with all of us being out of school.

“By the end of the week, the weather began to warm up and the turtles first began moving their appendages, then began swimming around the bowl as the water thawed.

“This was quite exciting for all of us — including, I am sure, the turtles.”

Uncomfortable history

When Jim Peterson read in The New Orleans Advocate that Drew Brees was named “mayor for a day” of Comfort, Texas, he looked up Comfort in the Texas Department of Transportation travel guide.

He learned that the town was founded by German settlers in 1854 and one of its tourist attractions is “the only Union monument erected in a state south of the Mason-Dixon line.”

It honors Comfort’s Union sympathizers killed during the Civil War:

“With the predominantly German settlers of Comfort openly sympathetic with the Union cause, Confederate forces arrived to make all males over 16 pledge allegiance to the Confederacy. Homes and farms of those who refused were burned. Some were lynched. More than 100 were killed.

“About 65 men attempted to flee to Mexico, but they were met by Confederates at the banks of the Nueces River. Nineteen were killed and nine captured and later executed.”

A “simple obelisk” marks the mass grave of those killed.

Worthy causes

* Janell LaCombe Cancer Fund benefits from the 14th annual “Nell’s Angels” softball tourney and 5K fun run Saturday, at Fordoche Ball Park.

It’s in memory of Janell Legier LaCombe, of Fordoche, who died of lung cancer in 2001.

Visit www.nells-angels.org.

* Circle Civitan has a hoedown and jambalaya for folks with developmental disabilities, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at BREC’s Womack Ballroom. Call (225) 939-2923.

Special People Dept.

* Viola LaDay, of St. Landry/Acadia Parish Nursing Home in Church Point, celebrates her 104th birthday Sunday.

* Guy Kinchen Domin, of Hammond, celebrates her 98th birthday on Friday.

* Elizabeth Fancher, of Denham Springs, celebrates her 93rd birthday on Friday. She worked as a nurse and maintained her license until she was 90.

* Mary Palermo, of Plaquemine, celebrates her 93rd birthday on Friday.

* Joseph Rockforte celebrates his 92nd birthday on Sunday. He is a World War II veteran and former POW.

* LeRoy “Lee” and Mary Theresa Terrio celebrate 62 years of marriage on Saturday, with a family day at a park.

* Ed and Sara Wagner, of Zachary, celebrate their 50th anniversary on Friday.

* On Friday, David and Stella Barron, of Walker, celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Lost and found

Jane Smith says our seminar on “cow pies” reminds her of this story:

“Years ago, my mother was working on my parent’s fairly good-sized cattle farm, and she happened to notice that the diamond in her engagement ring she was wearing had come out.

“She, of course, was very distressed.

“Everyone on the farm searched the fields she had been working in to see if the diamond would turn up but had no success.

“I guess about 15 years later, my brother Al was working in a field and saw something sparkling, yes, in a cow pie.

“He checked it out, and lo and behold, it was Mama’s diamond!”

Which reminds me

I heard this story years ago and have never forgotten it:

A young couple was on a ship coming to America from war-torn Europe.

The only thing of value they had escaped with was a diamond ring that had belonged to the girl’s grandmother, presented to the new bride on her wedding day by the old lady.

They were looking over the railing at the sea when the ring, a size too large, slipped from the young woman’s finger and into the water just off the coast of their new home.

Twenty years later, the husband, who had found a job in a seaside fish market, was cutting open a large cod when his knife hit something hard.

It was his thumb. …

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