Dear Smiley: My granddaughter Amanda and my great-grandson David came to visit this past weekend.

At approximately 3 a.m. I had a severe asthma attack.

Amanda heard me struggling to breathe and rushed to my aid.

During the commotion, David was awakened, and immediately rushed from my room to the living room and grabbed my oxygen mask and bag from my portable nebulizer.

He returned to my room and said, “Here, Maw Maw.”

Amanda and I were utterly amazed that David, not yet 3 years old and still not speaking real good, was smart enough to realize Maw Maw needed help.

My little angel really came through.



Medium of exchange

Dear Smiley: Your readers’ mention of bubble gum reminded me of my kids in the late ’60s.

My daughter at that time was 5 and in kindergarten and her brother was 3.

She was telling her brother that she was learning about money.

She told him a quarter was five nickels and one nickel was five pennies.

Then he asked, “How much is a penny?”

She excitedly answered, “Well, Brother, don’t you know, a penny is a bubble gum!”

Now her grandchildren ask her for a quarter for a bubble gum.



Close encounter

Dear Smiley: I recall the meteor that fell near Marsh Island in the mid-’50s very clearly.

At that time, I was 15 or 16 and living at Weeks Island, about 15 miles north of Marsh Island.

Two friends and I were on a Boy Scout camp-out in a wooded area near my home.

We had just zipped up our sleeping bags and settled in for the night when suddenly the woods were illuminated with a bright white light.

Our first thought was that somehow the sun was rising.

It was so bright that we could read the dials on our watches and birds began to chirp.

We began running toward my home as a large fireball appeared in the sky.

When it was nearly overhead it began to break up into pieces.

The pieces traveled south and began to burn up.

A few seconds later, we heard a loud boom in the distance.

Later the Daily Iberian newspaper said remnants of the meteor struck near Marsh Island.

Recent meteor events brought back vivid memories of that event.



Clerical humor

Dear Smiley: Did you hear about the pastor who named his boat “Visitation”?


Port Vincent

Special delivery

Dear Smiley: I couldn’t let the discussion of past deliveries of milk, etc., by horse-drawn conveyances go by without reminding old Clintonians about Dan Simmons.

Dan had a shack and a very fine garden down on the west side of Clinton, between Jackson and St. Helena streets. He delivered wonderful vegetables, riding his mule around town.

He would ride up to our back steps and my mama, all 5’ 1” of her, would stand on the top step and reach down into the croker sack and pick out a couple of ears of corn and inspect them for weevils or other imperfections.

There rarely were any.

He was a fixture and, now, a beloved memory.



Command performance

Dear Smiley: A source whom I trust (mostly) has informed me that in your younger days, you could be persuaded to perform the classic “Mule Train,” complete with sound effects, live and in public.

The source is wondering if there might be another performance sometime, somewhere.


Baton Rouge

Dear Larry: I don’t recall performing the Frankie Laine hit, although it is possible I did (as you know, show biz is my life …).

I do, however, remember singing “The Hadacol Boogie” at a talent show when I was in the seventh grade at the old Hollywood Junior High.

Strangely enough, I didn’t win. …

A new dimension

Dear Smiley: A reader wrote that he was confused when he turned to page 2B and could not find the second part of your column, finally finding it on page 4B.

You made some comment about 2B or not 2B being the question.

I was wondering why your column does not appear in the People section, since it is clearly about Louisiana people.

Well, I finally figured it out. If your column appeared in People, we might one day have to read the second part in 3D.



Dear John: You say things are kind of slow around Mandeville these days …?

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.