Dear Smiley: I am a 9-year-old girl who reads your column. It is so funny!

Because it is summer, I have a funny story about my little sister I wanted to share.

Last summer we were in Gulf Shores, and my sister was only 9 months old. She didn’t like the ocean much, so we snuck into a pool for the condo by us to let her swim.

There was another little girl about 2-3 years old with her dad and grandma at the pool.

Her grandma was feeding the girl a banana and gave my sister a piece, even though the little girl’s dad told her not to.

Right away, my sister started gagging and threw up banana all over the pool and steps!

So much for not bringing any attention to ourselves!

By the way, I was wondering if I am the first 9-year-old to write to your column.


Baton Rouge

Dear Kira: Chronologically, you probably are. Emotionally, probably not …

Alli in the family

Dear Smiley: It was great to read (in the July 26 column) the memories Fay Weilbaecher had about her children purchasing an alligator.

I grew up in Tampa, Florida. My mother’s sister, Adeline Bargas, her husband Gordon and their four boys, my cousins, came to visit us in the early ’50s.

They asked that I return to Baton Rouge so I could visit my grandmother, Louise Kleinpeter, and other family members.

On the drive from Tampa to Baton Rouge, we saw several alligator farms. My cousins wanted to buy a baby alligator for 50 cents.

Uncle Gordon said OK, so we played with the little critter on the 15-hour drive back to Baton Rouge.

He crawled up Uncle Gordon’s neck while he was driving. Yells and screams came from him, and from Aunt Adeline.

When we arrived at the Bargas’ home on Sycamore Street, they placed the little alligator in a small plastic pool with sand and stored it under the frame house.

Over the years, Alli played with us and crawled behind the drapes in the living room.

My Aunt Adeline just passed away this month. Such good memories of my childhood summers in Baton Rouge.



Dear Mary: Just curious — whatever happened to Alli? I assume he got rather large for a pet …

Shopping spree

Dear Smiley: I was surprised to read Ted Landaiche’s story in the Monday column, saying that the Mexican border police not only stopped him for being under age but also confiscated his booze.

Because when I was a kid in Arizona (we lived in Tucson then), you could bring a gallon of liquor from Mexico into Arizona for every occupant of the car — regardless of age.

One of my dad’s favorite weekend activities was to proclaim, “Let’s go on a picnic! Bring all your friends!”

He’d load up as many of the neighborhood kids as he could in the car and drive us all down to Nogales, where we would indeed have a picnic — and then go ‘shopping’!

Good times were had by all, some during the trip and some afterwards!


Baton Rouge

Morning call

Dear Smiley: Speaking of annoying TV commercials, how about the one where the wife catches her husband talking to his State Farm agent at 3 a.m. and asks what the agent is wearing.

If I got a call at that time of day, I would be looking for a new agent (regardless of what he was wearing) the next day.



Dear Gordon: My granddaughter in Lafayette is a State Farm agent, and confesses to being just a bit tired of being asked, “What are you wearing, Katie?”

Language barrier

Dear Smiley: As a fans of PBS broadcasting, we enjoy much of the British programming, but sometimes have a problem dealing with the British accents.

Some of the dialogue is delivered with such a thick accent that it’s a challenge to decipher.

I’m wondering if PBS would consider providing British-to-American subtitles for us.


Denham Springs

Say what?

Dear Smiley: Since turning 70 last year, I have received, at least once a week, an ad for hearing aids.

It is usually a coupon or an invitation for dinner or a hearing test (but usually not together).

My daughter says it is target marketing — or I THINK that is what she said.



Hoe, hoe, hoe

Dear Smiley: At my sister Faye’s auction in Pollock last Saturday, some garden tools came up for bid.

When one item came up Tom, the floor boss, announced, “Now folks, this is NOT a $3 hoe!”

Several of the men in the audience agreed with him. So the hoe went for a nice price and had everyone laughing.



Dear LaNell: So tell me, why were they laughing?

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.