Dear Smiley: Two old Baton Rouge High School buddies (Class of 1954), Allen Smith and Gerald Walter, were lifelong friends, from high school through all of life.
Gerald excelled at baseball and basketball at BRHS, being a starting member of the 1954 state championship basketball team. Allen starred in football, starting in the same backfield with Jimmy Taylor. Both participated in hard-fought contests with your old Istrouma High School.
Both were members of Kappa Alpha fraternity, and both graduated with engineering degrees from LSU, then graduated from LSU Law School.
Allen became an outstanding practicing attorney in Lake Charles; Gerald did the same in Baton Rouge.
The two continued to hunt and fish together, and remained fast friends through the years.
Both died after brave and long battles with cancer — and, amazingly, each was laid to rest on Saturday, Jan. 17, within hours of each other.
Dear Smiley: I know you are supposed to take off your stage makeup before you leave the theater, but I was really tired that night and just sneaked out and drove home.
I washed my face and stuck my false eyelashes on the edge of the sink.
Next morning I got baby David up and parked him on the toilet. I came back a few seconds later and he was holding an eyelash.
I said, “What’s that?,” whereupon he popped in into his mouth.
I fished around in his mouth but couldn’t find the eyelash, so I stuffed him into his highchair and fed him some bread, trying to get the eyelash to go on down.
From the bathroom I heard “Blam, blam, blam!”
Ran back in to see my husband “killing” the other eyelash with a rolled-up magazine.
One can see that false eyelashes were not a part of my daily routine.
Dear Smiley: When I was in high school in Manhattan, Kansas, we could listen to “Moonglow with Martin” on WWL from the Roosevelt late at night.
Helped educate me regarding jazz.
Later, when I was working for the Kansas City Star, and Dick Martin was at a station in KC, I met him and had conversations at a little bar near the Quality Hill part of downtown, where I lived.
Port Lavaca, Texas
Slow boat to Cuba
Dear Smiley: “Uncle” Henry Dupre (of WWL “Dawnbusters” fame) had a house on the corner of Clearmont Drive in Gentilly, down the street from my house.
I attended a birthday party for his son, “Sonny” Dupre, where Mrs. Dupre entertained the 5 year olds by playing piano for musical chairs.
When my parents, in the late 1940s or early ’50s, took a banana boat to Cuba, the “Dawnbusters” broadcast from the ship.
I have old silent home movies of that event.
Dear Smiley: Another example of “our small world.”
In the early ’50s, on a trip west, we were met by long-time friends, a Baton Rouge couple, Bernie and Doris, at the Boulder Dam.
Some 30 years later, while visiting the Louvre in Paris, we were met again by Bernie and Doris.
On the same European trip, we met cousins Derward and Ethyl at the Uffizi in Florence.
Dear Smiley: Some time ago I attended a religious service in which the minister touched upon the subject of why some young men wear their caps backwards.
He said, “They wear their caps backwards because they are not sure about their direction in life. They don’t know if they are coming or going.”
Dear Smiley: I began working part-time in the evening at City National Bank just after graduating from Baton Rouge High School in 1952.
I used to go to work early just to see absolutely knock-out-dead-gorgeous Dot Bourgeois, who was a full-time employee in the bookkeeping area.
Dot was beautiful on the inside as well as outside.
I regret her death. She was a wonderful person.
Resistance is futile
Dear Smiley: Why is it every year Girl Scout cookies availability almost always coincides with the start of Lent?
As a committed Catholic who employs my Lenten fast with every fiber in my soul, they have to know that I can resist anything but temptation.
Talk to Smiley
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.