Dear Smiley: On Mother’s Day we were invited to my nephew Troy’s new house in Denham Springs.
My parents, 88 and 89, were with us. They had been there before, but used a different route than the one the GPS gave us.
So there was a bit of discussion between my husband and my dad as to whether we were going the right way.
Well, we got to Troy’s street just fine, saw a house with lots of cars in the driveway and figured, “This is it.”
My husband pulls in the driveway so that Mom and Dad won’t have to walk very far. We get packages and food out and proceed to the house.
We ring the bell and are invited in by someone we have never met. Figured it was a neighbor, or maybe Troy’s girlfriend’s dad.
My parents walk in first and introduce themselves, then Steve and I do the same.
The man leads us in — until his wife comes in from outside and asks, “Who are you?”
We realize we are in the wrong house, and can’t leave fast enough.
As he walks us out, the gentleman who let us in tells my husband that he is blind in one eye and can’t see too well out the other one. Guess that explains why he would let us “party crashers” in. We are still laughing.
Memory of friendship
Dear Smiley: Regarding Pat Alba’s story about taking the bus to Rayville:
OMG! Someone else is from Rayville!
Brings back memories of my trips on a Trailways bus in the early ’60s — on Friday afternoons, skipping the last class, catching that bus from Holly Ridge High School for a weekend in Rayville with my girlfriend Onnie.
We made so many plans in high school — sharing an apartment, getting married, having kids.
I moved to the big city of New Orleans after graduation, and we never saw nor heard from each other again! Where are you, Onnie?
Dear Smiley: Your mention of Jock Mahoney brought back a sweet memory.
When I was 4 or 5, in the 1950s, Jock Mahoney came through Baton Rouge on a promotion tour for his television show, “The Range Rider.” My father, an employee of WAFB-TV, was his host.
My two older sisters and I loved watching the Range Rider and his sidekick Dick.
We were beyond excited and thrilled when my father surprised us by bringing Jock Mahoney home with him.
I remember clearly that the Range Rider picked me up and sat me on his lap and talked to me. He was very nice!
Dear Smiley: One more story about celebrities in our midst:
A ballerina with New York City Ballet, Melinda Roy, was from Lafayette. “Lindy” came home for a visit and to see Festival International.
She stopped by to see me, bringing her then boyfriend, Paul Simon.
While they were at my place the phone rang. It was my then boyfriend. I told him to come over right away.
He didn’t show up. Later he said he didn’t like “being ordered around,” so he missed his opportunity to meet Paul Simon.
After that he said he’d “come a-runnin’” if I only snapped my fingers.
Paul Simon met with “Dickie” Landry and the musicians at the festival, and they all gathered after hours to jam at Grant Street Dance Hall.
After that visit Paul published his new song, “That Was Your Mother” (‘Standin’ on the corner of Lafayette...’), in his “Graceland” album.
Dear Smiley: About six years ago I was driving into Florence, Alabama, for work, and the main street downtown was lined with purple and gold flags.
Upon checking into the hotel, I thanked the hostess for the town making me feel welcome with the LSU colors.
She did not look pleased, and informed me that it was the colors for the University of North Alabama, which was about a half-mile down the road.
Dear Smiley: I have been reading your columns about Picayune cigarettes. Do any of your readers remember a small cigar called Between the Acts?
When I was a younger man, I was the only person among my friends who had a job.
My pals were always bumming smokes from me, so I started buying a pack of Between the Acts, and when they asked to bum a smoke, I gave them one.
It didn’t take long for them to start buying their own cigarettes.
They were so strong, I called them my “choke pack” — for friends only.
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.