Smiley: Runners turn into heroes

Pat Crotty comments on the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings:

“True story: Several runners at the marathon, either finished or close to finishing, ran an additional two miles to the nearest hospital TO DONATE BLOOD.

“Now that, as far as I’m concerned, is heroic!”

Coffee before mail

Jimmy provides a “laid-back life” story:

“In a small town in southwest Louisiana where my grandmother lived, there was only one mailman — and he stopped at every other house to drink coffee.

“People would go looking for him to get their mail.

“At my aunt’s house down the bayou, you had to go to the post office to pick up the mail. (The postmaster read every postcard, but picking up the mail was the event of the day.)”

Which reminds me

The coffee-drinking mailman brings to mind a story by Tom Boyd, an LSU Journalism School classmate who years ago settled in a little town in Mexico that had a colony of American expatriates.

When he didn’t get his mail one day, he set out to look for the mailman.

He found him in the local cantina drinking beer with some guys.

The postman greeted him warmly, and said, “Come in, Mr. Tom. These are men from my village, and they stopped by on their way to the capital.”

When Tom asked about his mail, the postman pointed to his sack and said Tom was welcome to look through it.

He explained he wasn’t delivering that day, because “the mail will be here tomorrow, but my friends will be gone.”

Tom figured that made sense, so he found his mail and joined them for beers. …

Coffee down under

Gwendolyn M. Lewis advises folks going to Australia that they can bring along Community Coffee in checked baggage:

“My husband, Francis, and I went to Australia and New Zealand for three weeks last year, and took enough Community to last the entire trip.”

She advises you to take an electric adapter if you carry your own coffee maker — not a bad idea, since hotel coffee makers vary a great deal.

Isn’t that sweet?

Carl Meriwether, one of the nicest guys in Baton Rouge, is known for dropping off jars of homemade jelly and preserves.

But an unknown benefactor has turned the tables on Carl:

“The other day someone left me a small box of Whitman’s Sampler,” he says. “Now I just received a 24-ounce box of the chocolates.

“Please tell whoever it is that I said, ‘Thank you.’ ”

Strong Women Dept.

The newly formed Baton Rouge Arm Wrestling Ladies (BRAWL) hosts a “Blunt Force Brawl” to benefit STAR (Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response Center) at 9 p.m. Saturday at The Spanish Moon.

BRAWL organizer Rebecca Stewart, an LSU student, worked with the New Orleans Lady Arm Wrestlers to start the Baton Rouge group.

This first event features STAR executive director Racheal Hebert as “The Stigma Stomper,” joined by her “Sirens of Social Change.”

Cost of entry is $8. Call (225) 615-7093 or visit http://www.brstar.org.

Highway heroes

A lady who signs herself “Dog Owner” thanks “three very nice people who helped me when the road disappeared under my van on La. 68. Clyde Vessel and two other gentlemen helped me get my van out of a bad situation.”

Bargains alert

Broadmoor United Methodist Church has a garage sale from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, with a pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Looking for people

Little Rock Baptist Church in Slaughter celebrates its 150th anniversary Aug. 25, and wants to locate past families and members who were affiliated with the church. Call Doris Alexander at (225) 778-0141 or Betty Taylor at (225) 654-3589.

Special People Dept.

Flight risks

Diane Huber, of Hammond, is concerned about a headline in the Tuesday Advocate: “Pre-K pilots set for 15 parishes.”

She says, “I for one don’t think I want to fly out of any of those parishes. Even more, I might be a little concerned living IN those parishes.

“Do Pre-K tots know how to land a plane, or have they only had the crash course by that age?

“And, Smiley, do ‘they’ set these headlines up on purpose so that people keep sending you stuff?”

(That’s a trade secret, Diane. …)

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.