If it wasn’t for little kids, I wouldn’t have nearly as much to write about, and might have to get a real job.

For instance, here’s one from Bill Rochel, of Metairie:

“I am the proud granddad to 5-year-old Elizabeth Grace Rice. She does not live in this area and I see her far too seldom.

“During my last visit we were playing the card game Fish. Her deck has pictures of actual fish (starfish, sea horses, whales, swordfish, etc.).

“When I told her to ‘Go fish’ she would pick up a card and say, ‘I got a whale.’

“I tried to advise her that she shouldn’t let me know what she caught.

“After about three go-rounds of this she looked at me with almost exasperation on her face and informed me, ‘Granddad, I’m talking to MYSELF!’ ”

The turtle hunters

Maw Maw Betty, of French Settlement, says, “When we were kids, Daddy used to bring home big turtles and tie them up to the hand pump outside.

“When he got home from work, he would clean them and Mama would make turtle sauce piquant; just about the best thing you could ever put in your mouth.

“When I was about 7 and my sister Annette was about 9, we decided to go turtle hunting after a hard rain.

“I put on my little red plaid dress and off we went to the pasture behind the house.

“We found turtles all over in the ditches that day.

“I held up the skirt of my dress as Annette put them in.

“We went home with about 19 little baby turtles in my dress, just to have our hearts broken when Mama informed us that 19 baby turtles does not a sauce piquant make.”

Smilie’s people

“I’m afraid you got some bad info,” says Rodney Salvaggio about my tale of Smilie’s restaurant in Harahan being named ironically after a guy who never smiled:

“I am the former owner, along with my brother-in-law, John Santopadre Jr.

“The restaurant got its name from me and my brother-in-law.

“My frat nickname in college was ‘Smilie.’ As a pledge, no matter how much hazing I endured, I always left them with a smile!

“John was a happy-go-lucky guy who also smiled a lot.

“So when we went into business together, we thought the name fit our personalities.”

Sign language

George Lane says, “In reading your contributors’ recent musings over the future of concealed weapons in public areas, I predict that we will see signs from old gasoline stations recycled and used in restaurants to designate separate seating areas: ‘Leaded’ or ‘Unleaded.’ ”

The Vermont connection

Barbara Maher says that stinky black salve so many readers remember is available through the Vermont Country Store catalog.

She says they carry “lots of hard to find items such as Tangee lipstick, which changes color to complement skin tones.”

My spouse watches me as I browse through the catalog, and surreptitiously orders stuff I express an interest in — like maple syrup and licorice.

The website is http://www.vermontcountrystore.com or call (800) 564-4623.

Talk about food

The third anniversary of Peggy Sweeney-McDonald’s food monologues show, “Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde …,” will be held Sunday at Boutin’s, with doors opening at 6 p.m. for dinner and show at 7 p.m.

Jay Ducote is master of ceremonies, and the “foodies” include Pam Bordelon, Jim Engster, Bill and Karen Profita, Daron Stiles, Jim Urdiales, Diana Zollicoffer, Peggy and me.

Call (225) 819-9862 for reservations. For information call (310) 709-2851 or e-mail peggy@superstareventsla.com.

Special People Dept.

  • Elodie Duffy, of Metairie, celebrated her 99th birthday Saturday in style — with dinner at Herbsaint in New Orleans.
  • Josephine Gaines’ 94th birthday was May 9, an event she celebrated Saturday with family and friends.
  • Zula Bertrand celebrates her 92nd birthday Thursday.
  • Shirley Mire Bourque, of Gonzales, celebrates her 90th birthday Thursday.
  • Austin and Waveel Sagrera, of Esther in Vermilion Parish, celebrate their 54th anniversary Thursday.

Instant rejuvenation

Joel d’Aquin Thibodeaux didn’t like to say she had once gone to the “Old Woman’s Hospital” — which sounds like a facility for elderly females.

But she felt much better when she got a letter from her doctor reminding her of an appointment.

The letter said the office had moved, and was now connected to “the New Woman’s Hospital.”

Joel said it made her feel like, well, a new woman …

The survivor

Patrick Crotty says, “I saw a guy who looked like he had to be 90-plus years old.

“He had those bruises on his arms that told of blood thinners, and weepy eyes, but he projected a jovial disposition.

“To top it all off, he had on a T-shirt on that read: ‘IT’S OK TO STARE. I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M ALIVE EITHER.’ ”

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.