Dear Smiley: All the stories of days past reminded me of my days as a paper boy in Opelousas over 50 years ago.
Every morning all of us would ride our bikes to The Daily World office to pick up our papers. Even in the unlikely event that a paper boy was 15 years old, cars were not allowed — only bicycles.
On days when sun was forecast we would fold our papers and put them in our baskets for delivery. If rain was forecast we would put them in bags.
The papers were placed at either the front or side doors as requested by each customer. No delivery in yards or driveways was allowed.
On Fridays we would deliver the papers and collect 30 cents for that week’s papers.
After all papers were delivered, we would bring the money to the office. We kept a nickel for each customer and gave a quarter to the Daily World.
We also turned in the names of the people who did not pay.
I don’t remember what happened to our nickel if we didn’t collect from those people.
At the few houses where no one was home, most would leave the money in an envelope where the paper was delivered.
When we were lucky, we got an extra nickel, and our exceptional customers gave us up to a dollar for Christmas.
Most people were wonderful, but there is always a weed in the flower bed.
One “lady,” if her paper was ever blown by the wind, would pay in pennies thrown into the yard and say, “Mais, dat’s where I got my paper so dat’s where you can get your money.”
No wonder I started mowing yards for $2 with a rotary push mower.
Dear Smiley: I read your column daily, find it amusing for the most part — until you said you “wonder what those who opposed the loop are thinking now” during the mass traffic jam in Baton Rouge.
Well, let me express a little wonder.
I wonder how you would like having the loop go right through your living room and destroying your “Beloved Spanish Town?”
I now think you are a jerk!
Keep your opinions to yourself and let those who contribute to your “column” write it.
They do a much better job.
Dear Morris: As a matter of fact, there is a major highway that runs through my neighborhood, two blocks from my house. It’s called Interstate 110 — and it would be nice if it was connected up to a loop around the city.
Dear Smiley: My neighbor, Mike Jastram, wrote to you talking about how interesting the lives of some of the people in the obituaries seem to have been.
I can’t get going in the mornings without The Advocate and the obituary section, for a more personal reason.
I check to see if I made it, to determine if I have to go to work or not that day.
So maybe working ain’t that bad after all.
Dear Smiley: As a collector and wearer of neckties, I totally
concur with Perry A. Snyder’s comments in a recent column.
An open collar sometimes works with a blazer, but a suit without a tie is tacky.
I enjoyed your story about your father’s novelty tie.
In the mid-1950s, my dad also had a tie that my mother loathed.
It featured a drinking glass, and within the outline of the glass was printed the recipe for a mixed drink.
I hope other readers will send in their recollections of unusual and interesting ties.
I have a pink flamingo tie, but I love it too much to part with it.
Dear Al: I also have a pink flamingo tie, a bribe when I was a float judge for the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade. My wife doesn’t complain when I wear it — just rolls her eyes…
Dear Smiley: Would you please talk to the distribution people at The Advocate for me?
I’m sure that part of my paper was missing the other day, since there was only one photo of Jay Dardenne in it.
This isn’t the first time it’s happened. Several weeks ago I also received a paper with only one picture of the lieutenant governor.
Dear Smiley: I gotta tell you, when you do that football stuff I turn the page.
I was on the dance team for one football season in high school, but I didn’t pay any attention to the games.
I went one time to watch a game with a guy so cute that I would have gone anywhere with him.
I figured out that when a player ran the ball all the way to the left of the field, everyone in our stand jumped up and yelled happily.
But nobody told me that after halftime they switched sides!
So when the guy ran the ball left, I was the only person on our side to jump up and scream.
Cute guy never called
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.
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