You people are not cooperating!

For some time, I’ve been trying to convince residents of the Frozen Nawth that folks down here don’t all live in houses built on stilts over the swamp and have to fight off alligators every day on our way to work.

And what do you do? You keep sending me stories about encounters with the surly reptiles.

For instance, this one from “Onnies:”

“Once, I had been injured at work and had my arm in a sling.

“I was told to do no heavy lifting but be sure to show up on the job.

“We were in the woods off Airline Highway near a huge bayou when, while walking in tall grass beside the water, I noticed the grass swaying somewhat.

“I was soon to learn that it wasn’t the breeze but a huge mama gator coming after me!

“Needless to say, although still recovering from shoulder surgery, I ran like a cheetah.

“The beast chased me for what seemed like 50 or 60 yards, snapping at my heels — and I was doing 120 mph or better.

“Just before my heart gave out, the gator stopped, and I survived to tell the story.”

(And telling it with just a slight exaggeration, I suspect.)

Geography lesson

Linda Medine, of Baton Rouge, says, “Tony Falterman’s Saturday story regarding ‘the other side of the Bayou’ (Lafourche) reminded me of a story about my grandmother, MaMa Boudreaux, from Belle Rose on La. 1 on Bayou Lafourche.

“She lived to be 101 and was a delightful person to be around.

“I would visit her almost every weekend. We had lots of fun when we were together. I even lived with my grandparents when I was going to Nicholls.

“It was shrimp season, and I wanted some shrimp to put in my freezer. So I and a friend made plans with MaMa to pick her up for the outing.

“We started on La. 1 to go to Houma to buy the shrimp and drove back on La. 308.

“We were talking and laughing and having a great time. She lost track of time and where we were on the highway and asked, ‘Are we on this side of the bayou or on the other side?’

“Without thinking, everyone in the car said, ‘We are on the other side of the bayou.’ ”

No surprise ending

George McLean says, “At a lecture/book signing last week at the World War II Museum in New Orleans, I had the privilege of meeting and shaking the hand of the author’s guest, Lt. Col. Richard Cole, Gen. Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot on the Tokyo bombing mission.

“He is an affable gentleman at 100 years of age, with a mind as sharp as a tack.

“During the question-and-answer session, his responses frequently resulted in laughter.

“My favorite was his answer when asked if he saw the movie ‘Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.’

“He responded, ‘No, but I know how it ends.’ ”

Not a span fan

Farrel McDaniel, of Clinton, comments on Marsha R.’s observation in the Wednesday column that Baton Rouge’s “new” Mississippi River bridge is in fact “a parking lot over the river.”

“I think maybe she is on to something,” he says. “Smiley, I suggest that you start a contest among your highly intellectual and ingenious readers for a new name for the bridge.”

His suggestion for a name was first used, I believe, to describe New Orleans’ Crescent Connection: “The Car Strangled Spanner.”

Young at heart

“Shame on you for saying someone is old after applying for Medicare!” says Benita Swanson, after I told Chuck Falcon, in the Saturday column, that this made him officially old:

“Mr. Falcon is merely approaching middle age! At 75, he will be in ‘extreme middle age’ until the age of 85, when he’ll be ‘approaching old age’ at 90!

“I’m 79, and my children and grandchildren never say the ‘old’ word around me but instead use the word ‘mature.’

“Being mature is a state of mind, not body! You just keep on smiling and be thankful you’re retired.

“I am and love every minute of it! I am not 79 in my mind but much younger!”

Special People Dept.

  • Elois Wesley Davis was 100 on Friday. She was honored on June 27 with a tea at Amite Baptist Church in Denham Springs.
  • Leon Minvielle Jr. celebrated his 98th birthday on Saturday. He is a World War II veteran and a Purple Heart recipient.

Southern exposure

Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, says, “You might be from the South if you’ve ever told the guy riding shotgun in an un-air-conditioned vehicle to ‘make a crack in your window.’ ”

Church school ready

“Mimi” says, “Many years ago, when my granddaughter Mallory was in kindergarten, a child in her class fell down at recess and hurt himself.

“When I asked her where he was bleeding, she pointed to her forehead and said, ‘Right here on the name of the Father.’ ”

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.