Smiley: The sound of Mom

By smiley anders

A Mother’s Day memory:

Bernadette Mills says the pedals moving on an old treadle sewing machine is the sound she associates with her mom:

“Mother had an old treadle sewing machine on which she made most of our clothes.

“When Daddy worked late, we would wake up and hear the treadle going.

“After dealing with (and feeding) eight children, she still found energy enough to sew when everyone else was asleep.

“Then she would drive to Standard Oil to pick up Daddy.

“She left this Earth in 1978 — we still meet on Sundays in her memory.”

Pickle nose?

Karen and Buddy Poirrier, of Lutcher, tell of dining at the Pastime recently.

Knowing that I frequent the restaurant, Buddy ordered a “Smiley Special.”

Says Karen, “The server informed him that you were a frequent diner and ate everything on the menu — but not on the same day.

“After settling for a root beer and a hamburger po-boy, Buddy asked the server if the Pastime considered offering a Smiley Special.”

Karen’s idea for such a dish is a calzone stuffed with a variety of items from the menu (roast beef, ham, cheese, etc.).

Furthermore, the calzone would have a replica of my face on it — the crimped edges for hair, stuffed olive halves for eyes, and a slice of pickle for my nose, with “whatever condiment the customer selects for the smile.”

I don’t know what to say, Karen — except that I’ve lost my appetite. …

Sweet smells

Suzanne Lavergne says she was shocked when her granddaughter Sydney “came with me recently to a water aerobics class at the YMCA, stepped into the indoor swimming pool area, raised her arms and declared, ‘Ah, I love the
smell of chlorine in the
morning!’ ”

Suzanne doesn’t know how Sydney came across this parody of the iconic Robert Duvall line from the 1979 movie “Apocalypse Now” (“I love the smell of napalm in the morning”), but says “the elder folks in the aerobics class got quite a chuckle from the drama of it.”

Still smelly

Yvonne D. Dooley, of St. Francisville, says, “Having been born and raised in rural Mississippi (Wilkinson County) quite a few years ago, I am familiar with the black salve your readers discussed.

“If what you had couldn’t be cured with black salve (ichthammol), merthiolate or ‘Grandma salve,’ you just might be in some serious trouble.

“Still have a tube of black salve that expired in l987. I can assure you that it hasn’t lost any of that awful odor.”

Early child-proofing

Linda H. Whitman, of Denham Springs, says husband Herb tells of growing up with a mysterious ointment, a petroleum jelly distributed by the J. R. Watkins company:

“His parents called it ‘door knob salve,’ and his mom told him it was called that because it was so good it would grow hair on a door knob. (It certainly didn’t work on his dad’s condition.)”

Years later, she says, Herb found out the real reason it was called “door knob salve.”

The slippery stuff could be put on the outside doorknob of the parents’ bedroom to keep the kids out.

Flat nice people

Kim Babin, of Gonzales, thanks a young couple, Brad and Rosa, “who stopped and helped me and my 80-year-old dad change a flat tire one afternoon on I-10 westbound by the Essen Lane overpass.

“It is so nice to see that people really do still care.”

The razor’s edge

After I mentioned barbers of my past, I heard from Joe Bananno of Mane Event Family Hair:

“My wife and I are barbers from the old school — we still give good balanced haircuts, use our razors around the ears and on the neck and still talk politics, fishing and sports.”

But I assume that unlike my old barbers, they don’t have Police Gazette lying around the shop or take bets while cutting.

Losing face

Joel Thibodeaux tells of a problem many of us have:

“My mom, 93, looked in the mirror one morning and said, ‘Oh, my face has fallen. I look so old! If my face falls anymore, it’ll just fall off!’ ”

For the birds

Joe Cooper says our discussion of New Orleans’ Dr. Tichenor’s antiseptic reminded him of the commercials for the product on WWL radio’s “Dawnbusters” morning show in the ’40s.

There, he says, Cajun Pete (Pinky Vidacovich) had lines like, “Using Dr. Tichenor’s as a mouthwash makes your breath as safe as a poule d’eau in a canary cage.”

Green solution

Steve Toben notes that The Advocate had a front page article Wednesday “reporting that if eventually closed, the City Park golf course would be preserved as ‘green space’ for all to enjoy.

“So the solution to the dilemma seems pretty obvious: simply have those people show up and caddy for the golfers!”

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.