M.E. Hart says, “I left for work a little early Tuesday morning so I could vote first.

“Since I’m responsible for day-care drop-off, I had my children with me (my daughter, 6 months old, and my son, 3).

“The lines at Kenilworth Middle were not long, so it was a pleasant little wait answering questions from my son about why we vote while the baby cooed and smiled in her carrier.

“As we stepped into the booth I promised that when I was finished he could press the button.

“I made my selection for president, U.S. representative, state Supreme Court justice.

“At that point, I heard the delightful sound of the machine letting me know that my vote had been placed.

“I looked down at my son. He looked up at me and crowed, ‘I WIN!’”

Play ball!

Dr. Joe Ricapito says on Saturdays at Independence Park between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. you can take part in “the most regal of Italian sports” — bocce ball (pronounced botchy ball).

He says the Greater Baton Rouge American Italian Association is promoting the game, and there are three courts near the tennis courts. BREC has a set of official equipment.

Says Joe, “I can still hear the cries, yells and, yes, curses, of the old retired men in my neighborhood in Brooklyn when they made a point or missed a point.

“There was the ever-present gallon of homemade very good and very strong red wine which, they insisted, really helped their game.”

He adds, “It’s a great way to spend a Saturday morning (with or without the gallon of good, homemade red wine).” Contact Dr. Joe at (225) 769-2762, Anthony Musso at (225) 769-3781, or Bill Bryan at bryanb@ag.state.la.us.

Get out the vote!

Frances Bennett reminds you to vote for LSU’s Mike the Tiger in the Capital One Bowl Mascots Contest at capitalonebowl.com/mascots.

Frances says, “You may vote as many times a day as you have time. This is Week 10 and Mike is losing!”

Package from home

Joan McMorris says packages to military personnel overseas have to be mailed by Tuesday so they can get them for Christmas.

She says you can go to http://www.anysoldier.com to pick a branch of the military and the soldier to receive the package:

“They ask that people don’t do huge drives or send large packages, as it causes a problem with a backlog of mail. Cards and letters are appreciated.

“No home-baked goods, just store-bought goodies. They appreciate Christmas decorations and drawings from children.

“The Web site offers places that sell the type socks, etc., they can use.

“They often request jerky, coffee, fitness magazines, protein bars, tuna pouches and other high-protein snacks.

“They are very appreciative of what they are sent.”

‘Scars of War’

That’s a new song “The Simms Sons,” Chuck and Percy Simms of Plaquemine, are to perform Sunday during a “Salute to Veterans” from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Iberville Parish Veterans Memorial.

The chorus goes, “Scars of war, the horror won’t end; they’re wounded for life, in need of a friend.”

Looking for stuff

Marsha Kemp says the Pen Pals Inc. shelter at Dixon Correctional Institute in Jackson needs used or new blankets for the dogs and cats housed there.

Contact Master Sgt. Wayne Aucoin at (225) 634-6051, or Marsha at (225) 439-9705.

Special People Dept.

  • Audrey Sevario, of Prairieville, celebrates her 100th birthday Sunday.
  • On Saturday Ruth Magette celebrates her 95th birthday with family; on Sunday she celebrates with the congregation of St. Paul Lutheran Church.
  • Anaise M. Guilbeau, of Carencro, a World War II veteran, celebrates her 94th birthday Saturday.
  • Lewis Carroll Hill, of Harvest Manor in Denham Springs, celebrates his 93rd birthday Friday. He’s an LSU Extension Service retiree.
  • Joe Amorello celebrates his 93rd birthday Saturday. He is a World War II Army veteran who served in the European and Pacific theaters, and a Purple Heart recipient.
  • Joseph D. and Ada Bateman Rockford, of Walker, celebrate their 62nd anniversary Sunday. He is a World War II veteran, serving as an Army sergeant in the Pacific Theater.
  • On Saturday Bob and Gerry Esler Anderson, of Zachary, celebrate their 50th anniversary, renewing vows at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.
  • Vickie and Jan Lang, of Greenwell Springs, celebrate their 50th anniversary Saturday.

Room with a view

James Allen, of Marrero, recalls “back toward the end of World War II” visiting his Aunt Icey and Uncle Athel “in the backwoods of Alabama.”

After city sewage came out to them, Uncle Athel “enclosed a portion of the back porch to make an indoor bathroom.

“For a bathroom door he used one with a top half of glass.

“Whenever we went to visit we always made sure to bring some newspaper and tacks to place on the door to keep anyone walking by from seeing us.”

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.