Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington, tells of a vacation that sounds like it was taken by the movies’ Griswolds:

“Your traveling stories brought back what our family always called our greatest vacation — or misadventure.

“We booked reservations at the Las Brisas in Acapulco with its beautiful cabanas, flower-filled private pools and our own pink jeep for us to drive.

“We were so excited we took two of our four sons, 6 and 11, with us.

“We arrived at 4, and my husband broke the doors to the pool at 4:30.

“People in the next-door cabana moved out because the boys were talking to them through the fence.

“People complained their continental breakfast was missing (I wondered why we had so many rolls by our door — the boys explained we had more people).

“The office said the boys were waking up the guests by doing cannonballs into the swimming pool at 6 a.m.

“I gave everyone paregoric so they wouldn’t get sick — except myself, because I never get sick. The office had to get a local doctor up the hill to give me medicine and to hear my last will and testament.

“We were about to complain to management about how unfriendly all the guests were, when they informed us that this was a honeymoon resort and they were surprised to see children with us.”

Nun named

Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, says, “My first experience with ‘Nun Power’ came at Sacred Heart Elementary, in the first grade.

“We were handed out printed name cards to learn how to write our names.

“To my surprise, my card read ‘Alex Chapman,’ instead of what, until then, I had assumed was my name, ‘Sonny.’

“Kermit Wayne Miller, of Jack Miller’s Barbecue Sauce fame, had a similar experience six years before me.

“As the sister was going down the rows and getting each kid to state his name, a kid ahead of him spouted out, ‘Wayne Fontenot.’

“At Kermit’s turn, he proudly said, ‘Wayne Miller.’

“The nun told him there was already a Wayne, so he was Kermit. He became Kermit from that day forward.”

Creative banking

Our mention of the days of unnumbered bank counter checks brought back this memory to Rene Reed, of Carencro:

“One day, in the late 1960s, my husband asked me to help Ken, a young co-worker of his, by driving him to the grocery store.

“Ken’s car was perpetually disabled in those days, so I obliged — for a ‘one and only time’!

“At the checkout, Ken asked the cashier if she had any bank counter checks.

“‘Yes sir, which bank?’ she asked.

“‘Whatever you have on hand will be fine,’ Ken answered.

“The cashier was visibly impressed as she laid out three choices, and Ken casually chose a check.

“More than a bit curious, I later asked my husband how Ken was able to write counter checks drawn on any one of several banks.

“He shook his head, chuckled and answered, ‘Because Ken has no bank account!’

“Did I mention this was a ‘one and only time’ favor?”

Special People Dept.

Virgie LeBlanc, a longtime Baton Rouge resident now living in Covington, celebrates her 99th birthday on Wednesday, April 6.

On Wednesday, April 6, Thomas A. Miller Jr., of Amber Terrace Assisted Living in Baton Rouge, celebrates his 93rd birthday. He is a World War II veteran.

Sarah Cecil, of Amber Terrace Assisted Living in Baton Rouge, celebrated her 90th birthday on Monday, April 4.

Speaking Southern

Gail Stephenson says our mention of the “Narr Bridge,” a bridge that was not very wide, reminded her of “barr pits:”

“Growing up in northwest Louisiana, I knew of several barr pits that were good fishing holes.

“Coincidentally, these ponds always seemed to be near highways.

“It wasn’t until I was in law school and read a case about holes left when dirt is excavated to build roads that I understood that barr pits were really ‘borrow pits.’”


Glenn Giro, of Denham Springs, says, “Your recent contributor’s story of wrong phone numbers reminded me of the late ’70s, when I worked from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Paradise Lanes in Kenner.

“Our phone number ended in 4141, and a nearby high school’s number ended in 4114.

“We were used to getting calls for the school, but one morning shortly after 8 I got a call from a young lad obviously trying to sound like his father and stating that his son was to be excused from school that day.

“He had completely missed my ‘Good morning, Paradise Lanes’ intro, so I simply said, ‘Thank you, we’ll note it on the records.’

“Hopefully, this lad learned some lesson along the way when his parents were told of his absence.”

Contacting Smiley

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.