Dear Smiley: My brother graduated from LSU, worked a few years, and earned his MBA at Vanderbilt.

In those days, the Monday before the NFL season started, they telecast a big football game.

On his first Monday night, he attended his first class at Vandy. At the same time Alabama was playing Georgia.

Someone asked the professor if they were going to be in class the entire time (it was a once-a-week three-hour class) and mentioned the game.

The professor inquired, “Playing what?”

My brother called me the next morning. He opened the conversation with, “They’re serious about academics here, Bro. Last night I realized I wasn’t at LSU anymore.”



The Essentials

Dear Smiley: A thought for the smart-mouthed school administrator (mentioned in the July 17 column) who thought “only a teacher” should not give her opinion:

A school could run for days or even weeks without administrators. But if all or even a majority of the teachers failed to attend one day and there were no experienced substitutes available, chaos would reign by 10 a.m.

There are four necessary positions in a school: the teachers, the school secretary, the lunchroom manager and the custodian.

I have long felt that all administrators who are certified teachers should be required to return to the classroom for one year out of every five in their field of certification in order to keep their feet wet and remember why they are employed.


Baton Rouge

Dead reckoning

Dear Smiley: Many years ago, Bob, Bill and I were having lunch at the Barataria Tavern in Lafitte.

Bill, the wealthy one, said that when he died, he would take his money with him.

Bob and I suggested he put all of his cash under his pillow in the coffin. We then would put a check under his pillow and take the cash.

Bill choked on his étouffée.



Bunkie swings

Dear Smiley: With your recent mention of bands that played at certain venues, including Tony’s in Donaldsonville, I wanted to let you know of some of the bands that played a few years earlier at the club my parents and I owned and ran in Bunkie, the Blue Moon Club.

Some of the bands that played there, among others, were Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Earl Hines, Fletcher Henderson, Wayne King, Russ Morgan, Al Donohue, Henry Busse, and last but not least, Claiborne Williams, from Donaldsonville.



Grazie, Arrigos

Dear Smiley: Several years ago the two Arrigo brothers, along with their families, moved to Baton Rouge from New Orleans. We should all thank them and be so grateful that they brought their love of life to Baton Rouge.

Frank and Paul Arrigo have enhanced their adopted city and made us all better for it. They taught us to celebrate our heritage and our city.

They organized the Italian marchers in the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade and created the Italian Festa.

Paul has been an outstanding director of Visit Baton Rouge and Frank organizes the Festa and is a tireless volunteer to the elderly and the community.

They celebrate family, faith and fun, and deserve recognition for all that they do. Buona fortuna and grazie.


Baton Rouge

Sleepless in Denham

Dear Smiley: A thought occurred to me recently about some of the important questions in life.

Like, why is “teacup” one word and “coffee cup” two words?

And, if you need two words to say “two words,” shouldn’t you be able to say “one word” with one word, like “oneword,” instead of using two words?

Now you know what keeps me awake at night. Just wondering.


Denham Springs

Dear Glenn: And now I’m wondering about YOU...

Worried in Denham

Dear Smiley: A thought after reading about and watching talk shows discuss hackers taking over automobile computers: what would happen if a hacker took over a Google Robo car? Can you just see the outcome of that...


Denham Springs

Dear Dale: So you’re not getting enough sleep either?

Sign language

Dear Smiley: With the request for state poetry and doggerel examples, it appears you have sent a veiled hint for some more “Burma Shavers!”

Until creativity wanders this way for “versage” (that must be the upscale word for downscale rhyme), here’s my all-time favorite from long-ago signs on Missouri fence posts:

“If it’s harmony you crave,

Get a tuba! Burma Shave”

Well, it looked like a request to me...



Contacting Smiley

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.