Karen Poirrier, of Lutcher, says she’s been retired for a year, and husband Buddy has been retired for two years:

“When asked how I enjoy retirement, I respond that to me retirement is an opportunity to ‘own time.’

“I spend some of my time doing hospital ministry, volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul Store, singing in our church choir and, of course, sending emails to you.”

But, she says, Buddy has a rather different outlook:

“When I asked Buddy what he planned to do today, he responded, ‘Nothing.’

“I said, ‘You said the same thing yesterday.’

“To which he exclaimed, ‘But I didn’t finish!’ ”

Nothing wasted

Yvonne F. Galster, of Zachary, says a billboard promoting recycling reminded her of her childhood on a farm during the Great Depression, “when recycling was a way of life.”

She recalls flour-sack dresses and underwear, and grocery bags, bread wrappers and newspapers converted into school lunch bags:

“Some students carried tin syrup cans as lunch boxes.

“We picked blackberries for cobblers, jelly and juice.

“Empty egg shells were set in the oven to lightly toast. Chickens and birds enjoyed the shells.

“Even ashes were recycled, when soap was made from ashes, water and grease or lard.”

She says they even recycled their Sears and Roebuck catalogs (don’t ask …).

The kindly grocer

Mickey Pearson recalls the bubble gum shortage during World War II:

“Growing up in the small town of Berwick, there were family-owned grocery stores on nearly every block.

“Walking to grade school past Sidney Bella’s store, I would stop each morning to spend my nickel allowance.

“On rare occasions when Sidney had bubble gum, he would allow me to buy one piece, then tell me how lucky I was as I had just gotten the last piece.

“I think I was an adult when it finally dawned on me that Sidney said that to every child so there would be bubble gum for all the other children.”

Politeness counts

Margo Mathews says, “My friend Kathryn is known to get involved in situations and to give religious medals to strangers.

“So it was no surprise to my husband and myself when we were dining in her restaurant and were approached by ‘Mr. Forgetful’ asking for money for Pop-A-Lock that she felt the need to talk with him.

“Thanks to your previous columns we were aware of the scam.

“After their discussion we asked her what she said to him and she replied, ‘I told him if he was going to do that he might as well be polite about it!’

“We had a good laugh at her attempt to convert the con man and teach him some manners.

“It was too bad she didn’t have any medals on her!”

Special delivery

Richard Sherlock Jr. says our seminar on milk delivery brings back memories of the home his parents built in 1962 on College Drive near Jefferson Highway:

“The kitchen included a milk chute between a cabinet and the outside wall near the driveway.

“The builder thought it was a crazy idea, but my parents insisted.

“The chute had an exterior steel door with a latch for security.

“Kleinpeter’s Dairy delivered milk, eggs, etc., right into an inside kitchen cabinet — especially nice in the winter months.

“It was the talk of the neighborhood then.”

Worthy causes

On Valentine’s Day Thursday, Town Square on North Boulevard is the scene of a dance party from noon to 1 p.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., supporting the “One Billion Rising” movement to end violence against women and girls.

The party is presented by One Billion Rising-Baton Rouge in partnership with STAR (Sexual Trauma and Response Center), Downtown Development District and The Red Shoes. Call (225) 338-1170 or email info@theredshoes.org.

Special People Dept.

  • Tom and Alyce Adams celebrate 65 years of marriage Wednesday.
  • Sadie and Lionel Templet celebrate 64 years of marriage Wednesday.

That empty feeling

This story from Algie Petrere shows how words can have more than one meaning:

“Trying to do her share to help the environment, my friend set up a trash basket at her church and posted above it this suggestion: ‘Empty water bottles here.’

“She should have been a little more specific, because when she went to check it later, she didn’t find any bottles in it.

“But it WAS full of water.”


Shirley Fleniken came across this tale:

Joe was proud of his family of six children. He frequently referred to his wife as “Mother of Six,” much to her annoyance.

Finally, she cured him of his habit.

At the end of a big party, Joe called out loud enough for everyone to hear, “Ready to go, Mother of Six?”

“Any time you are,” she replied, “Father of Four.”

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.