Dear Smiley: I read in The Advocate about the guy who brought a calf home and put it in the hot tub because it was almost frozen to death.
Good for him. However, my dad did one better! He brought it in the house!
We lived in Texas at the time, and there was an ice storm. As our dad was coming home, he saw this baby calf on the side of the road, picked it up and brought it home.
He took the mattresses off the bed in our room and put the calf in there.
Everything was uneventful, and things were starting to warm up, when there was a knock at the door.
We all ran to answer it, and no sooner was the door open than the calf went “Moo” a few times!
Being the oldest, I was totally embarrassed.
Well, we didn’t know it at the time, but we were the “poor family” at church and school. It was members of the church bringing us clothes and food.
I will never forget that as long as I live and laugh about it often! Trust me, I don’t believe there are many men like my dad anymore.
Dear Smiley: Nel Joyner’s story of the “stylish grandma” in Monday’s column reminds me of the time I took two of my kids to a mall in Jackson, Mississippi.
Son David was going through his “dress like a rock star” phase. He had dyed his beautiful blond hair black on each side but not on top, and was sporting a leather jacket and some kind of chains.
His look was not much appreciated by his teachers where we lived, in Hattiesburg. The girls loved it.
At the mall, the kids struck up a conversation with some local girls while I wandered around to shop.
Just as I rounded a corner to come within earshot of their conversation, I heard one of the girls say, “Your mama lets you dress like that?”
My kids answered, “You haven’t seen our mama!”
Stop the music!
Dear Smiley: This is a story my dad told. It was in the early ’30s in Magee, Mississippi.
The man in the store next door to the barbershop bought a Victrola phonograph.
He bought one record that he played all day — it was “Corrine, Corrina.”
My dad said they got so tired of it that the three barbers chipped in and bought the record from the man — and broke it.
The next day, the man had a new record — “Corrine, Corrina.”
Dad would laugh when he told it.
I also remember when they got electric clippers in that barbershop. Some people did not want to get “that electric thing” on their head.
Dear Smiley: A common mistake is referring to the proprietor of that famous distillery as “Jack Daniels.”
The man’s name is Jasper Newton Daniel, not Daniels, so the company is “Jack Daniel’s Distillery.”
My maternal grandmother’s maiden name was Newton. Her great-grandfather Newton was Jasper’s grandfather, from whom he got his middle name. I enjoy the products of my distant cousin’s company but unfortunately get no discount.
Incidentally, when traveling, I always check to see if two products are available locally. So far, I haven’t achieved my goal of going some place where either Jack Daniel’s or Tabasco isn’t sold.
That includes Uzbekistan, Russia, Ukraine, Greece and several more commonly visited countries.
Dear Smiley: About obits:
A man who lived most of his adult life in the Northeast left instructions that he was to be buried in his Southern birthplace.
His family sent a copy of the obit that ran in a Northeast newspaper and asked that it be run in the newspaper of the city where he was to be buried.
The obit said he was survived by his wife of 40 years and his “long-time faithful companion.” His family was told such a statement was against newspaper policy.
The church where his funeral was held had two blocks of pews with an aisle in the middle. His wife’s family filled the front pews on one side. The “faithful companion” and her family filled the front rows on the other.
It was quite a topic of conversation in the Southern city for several weeks.
Dear Smiley: I have stumbled onto a technique to avoid those unwanted phone calls at mealtime.
If I take my phone to the table with me while I eat, I rarely ever get a call.
If, however, I leave it beside my chair where it normally resides, I will get a call almost every time.
I have no idea why it works, but it does.
Write Smiley at Smiley@the advocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.