Bob Veitinger, of Franklin, says, “Recent nostalgia stories and Christmas season bring to mind fond memories of my two granddaughters, Kayla and Sarah, when they were little.
“During the Christmas season, the girls loved for me to play a tape cassette of kids’ Christmas songs in the car as we traveled to and from school.
“We would all sing along with the tunes.
“Since we had only one cassette, the same tunes were played twice daily; soon these repeated songs became a problem for me.
“Being the old wise Metairie boy that I am, I decided I would expand the girls’ musical and cultural horizons by substituting one of my cassettes of Christmas tunes and check out their reaction.
“The next morning, when they requested I play their songs, I popped in Benny Grunch & The Bunch’s ‘http://theadvocate.com/multimedia/walthandelsman/11090659-171/baton-rouge-police-officers-shoot">Twelve Yats of Christmas.’
“Their only comment was, ‘Paw Paw, what language is that?’”
“I am not from Louisiana,” says David Bywater. “In fact, I had never been an LSU fan or a fan of any SEC team.
“That was until Oct. 17, when my 81-year-old father, 15-year-old son Ben and I happened to meet the two greatest LSU fans ever.
“You see, we live in Utah.
“My son and I took my father to Lake Charles to see the USS Orleck, in the lake waiting restoration as a floating museum.
“My father was a young sailor on that Navy destroyer during the Korean conflict.
“On the drive from New Orleans to Lake Charles, my son begged me to stop by Tiger Stadium. He loves LSU despite having never lived in the South or having any family members attend the university.
“We stopped by the stadium on a Friday around 8 p.m.
“As Ben and I walked around the stadium, we were approached by a complete stranger, Jolynn Harris, who had met my father in the parking lot.
“She asked if we wanted to see inside the stadium, given her job at game day.”
David says Jolynn invited them to see the LSU-Kentucky game the next day, saying “You do not want to miss an opportunity to witness an LSU game in Death Valley.”
She said his father would be guest of honor in their motorhome before, during and after the game.
“Jolynn and her boyfriend, Scott Reed, rolled out the royal red carpet,” says David.
“They pampered my father, and enabled my son and me to experience the energy, passion and joy of a LSU game in the amazing Death Valley environment.”
He adds that this show of generosity to strangers “converted us to die-hard LSU fans for life.”
Let it snow
Ellis, of Metairie, says, “In 1966, as a newly minted husband, my wife and I bought our very first Christmas tree.
“We could not afford a flocked tree, and planned to flock it ourselves, the old vacuum cleaner way.
“The Saturday we planned our project, my mother-in-law invited my wife to go shopping.
“Hoping to surprise her, I flocked the tree while she was out.
“Little did I know — flocking goes everywhere.
“When they returned, all my mother-in-law said to my wife was, ‘Let’s go shop some more; I’m sure it will all be clean when we return.’
“Our little apartment, new furniture and hardwood floors were a winter wonderland. Lesson learned: don’t flock in the house.
“PS: My wife said it was a pretty tree!”
Special People Dept.
Naomi Flowers celebrates her 100th birthday on Monday, Dec. 22.
Olivia Lamonica celebrates her 95th birthday on Friday, Dec. 19. She was co-founder of Lamonica’s TV in 1948, and worked full-time until she was 84. She’s known to generations of Baton Rougeans as “Ms. L.”
Ben and Katrina Wicker celebrate their 70th anniversary on Saturday, Dec. 20.
J.W. “Dub” and Jean H. Hall celebrate their 60th anniversary on Wednesday, Dec. 17.
Regarding Momspeak, Shooter Mullins says, “I can’t believe no one has mentioned this classic: ‘Don’t make me stop this car!’”
And Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, says, “Your readers’ contributions of ‘Mom’s sayings’ came at a time when I was wrestling with a cold and trying to decide what to do.
“‘Feed a cold and starve a fever’ popped into my head, a ‘Mom saying’ I’ve heard many times.
“But I suddenly realized my mom never told me WHAT you feed a cold!
“Well, I guess, ‘First you make a roux’”
Off on holiday
I’ll be taking the final installment of my Well-Deserved Vacation the rest of the year, returning early in 2015.
Mrs. Anders and I will spend the holidays at our usual retreat, Bubba’s Exxon, Motel & Bait Shop in Back Brusly.
Bubba has promised to put us in the honeymoon suite — shag carpet, a faux leopardskin couch, Johnny Mathis on the stereo, Boone’s Farm iced down in the Igloo. It doesn’t get any more romantic than that.
For our holiday dinner, he promises a roasted alnusum — alligator stuffed with a nutria, which is stuffed with a possum.
Don’t envy me; I’ve work hard to experience this luxury.
Have a happy, happy holiday.
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.