Val Garon says, “When I was younger I hunted wood ducks in the ponds behind Belle Rose.

“I had a 15-foot canoe that I used to glide among the oak trees and brush where the ducks fed.

“My shotgun was a 10-gauge magnum double barrel.

“I hand-loaded it with quite a heavy load of shot.

“One day I heard the whistle of some ducks nearby.

“They were swimming towards me behind some screening brush.

“Like the battleship Missouri slowly swinging her guns to fire a broadside at an island fortress, I swung my shotgun to the left side and waited.

“Three of them swam by. I fired — and flipped!

“The recoil sent the canoe on its side and me in two feet of water.

“I retrieved my shotgun and ammo, plus two ducks, then went home wet, cold and laughing at myself.

“Being a physics major in college, I should have remembered Newton’s Third Law of Motion:

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction!”

Cow Palace memories

Readers recalling Bob Hope’s appearance in the LSU “Cow Palace” reminded Frank Fronczek of these other shows there:

“In the late 1960s, the Fifth Dimension did a concert in the Parker Coliseum, but one of them was sick and didn’t show.

“Thereafter, they were known as the ‘Fourth Dimension’ by LSU students.

“Also — Peter, Paul and Mary were very popular then, and did a concert there, too.

“They were less than impressed with the acoustics of the place, and closed their show with their gospel song, ‘If I had my way, I would tear this building down.’”

Contraband days

Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville, says, “One of the recent discussions about dressing up for LSU football games long ago mentioned large handbags.

“That reminded me of three methods used to smuggle contraband liquids into the games when searching large handbags became common practice.

“One method still involved large handbags, but with false bottoms.

“The other two were more ingenious, and were flasks made to resemble binoculars and transistor radios.

“Ingenuity will always be one step ahead of the fun police.”

Snow fooling!

Ronnie Stutes says, “I truly feel sorry for the people in the Buffalo, New York, area because of all the problems caused by the heavy snowfall.

“But people have to remember that here in Baton Rouge, we also experienced as much snow in that one week as we usually get in a year.”

Pet Peeve Dept.

“Whatever happened to the good old days, when one could express gratitude and hear it acknowledged graciously?” asks Ina G. Navarre.

She says “the new world of texting” has resulted in the increased use of the grammatically incorrect “Your welcome.”

She adds, “A second and equally disturbing replacement of ‘No problem’ has also risen to a level of prominence, suggesting that an unknown problem had been resolved on behalf of an unsuspecting user of ‘Thanks’ or ‘Thank you.’

“It is official — I am old.”

Picking time

Baton Rouge Green’s “City Citrus” program is offering citrus to local food banks.

On Dec. 13, volunteers will harvest extra fruit from trees in the program.

Tree owners can register their fruit trees by visiting www.citycitrus.com and clicking on “Food Bank Harvest.”

Volunteer pickers are needed, and can register at the same website.

Special People Dept.

I.J. and Betty Mires, former Baton Rouge residents now living in Lafayette, celebrate 66 years of marriage on Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dave and Gloria Tutt celebrate their 50th anniversary on Thursday, Nov. 27. Currently residents of New Roads, they are moving back to Baton Rouge in January.

To die for

Mary in Walker says, “Sunday’s Advocate had an ad for ‘Early Deadlines for Obituaries.’

“So I guess if I think I will die by the DEAD line, (which is in itself strange), I guess I had better call it in early.

“They could always retract it.”

Relatively young

Susan Koehler, of Metairie, says, “When our son Adam was about 6 years old, he was learning about John the Baptist in school.

“When he came home, he asked his dad if John the Baptist had baptized him.

“A couple of months later, Richard Nixon died.

“I went into Adam’s room to tell him that the man who was president when I was in high school died that day.

“Adam’s response: ‘Who was it? George Washington?’

“Being a CPA, it was easy to figure out that I am over 1,900 years younger than Steve.

“It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘robbing the cradle.’”

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.