Dear Smiley: Long ago, at my first day of work at my father’s office in the French Quarter, the girls in the office said, “OK, friend, let’s go over to Poydras Street and get a poor boy at Mother’s.”

I asked, “Where’s that, what’s that and who’s that?”

G.M. BEAUFORD

Jefferson

Not exactly redwoods

Dear Smiley: My brother Joe Broyles, of Wichita Falls, Texas, has received considerable recognition for his skills as a woodturner, with some of his small works selling for as much as $500.

So it was not a surprise when he got a call from a fellow woodturner in the “Frozen Nawth” asking if the mesquite wood native to Texas was good to use in their art.

Joe replied that it was, and the caller then asked if Joe could gather him a dozen or so mesquite logs of 10-12 feet in length, and he would drive his trailer down to pick them up.

It was then that Joe had to tell him that a mesquite tree in the Wichita Falls area would, in other parts of the country, be referred to as a “bush.”

DOROTHY STUTES

Baton Rouge

Revolutionary idea

Dear Smiley: With all the horror stories about stolen identity around the world, I would like to pass along this suggestion to your readers as a public service:

Make all your purchases and pay all bills in cash.

I haven’t heard of any identity hacking from a cash sale.

JOE GUILBEAU

Plaquemine

Bear facts

Dear Smiley: I am not sure how many of your readers were lucky enough to see the 14-hour Ken Burns documentary about the Roosevelts, but for those of us who lived during the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s, it was quite nostalgic.

During one of the early episodes, Burns portrayed Theodore Roosevelt’s penchant for big game hunting.

However, he failed to cite the story about the shot that “Teddy” did NOT take.

It was on a hunt in 1902 near the crossroads of Onward, Mississippi, about 40 miles north of Vicksburg.

Although he wanted a black bear for his collection, it seems that he decided against shooting one at Onward.

That decision was parlayed into the creation of the “Teddy Bear.”

That fact may be the first thing (maybe even the only thing) that children learn about one of the most colorful (and important) presidents the United States has ever had.

Of course, those who eventually go to Mt. Rushmore will certainly learn more about him.

Incidentally, there is a Teddy Bear Day in September.

JESSE WALKER

Baton Rouge

Horsing around

Dear Smiley: You might be from old Baton Rouge if ...

… you and several of your high school buddies rode horses from Inniswold subdivision to football practice at the old Woodlawn High School during the summer of 1957.

KIM “POPS” SEAGO

Columbia, Tenn.

Fear ‘The Look’

Dear Smiley: Like most people, I suppose, I have some of those “reward cards” it seems every retailer now issues for special discounts.

Most of the time, I don’t have them with me, but on this particular day I did.

Scanning my card, the young lady checking me out noticed my reward points (who knew I even had points?) and asked, “Would you like to redeem some of your points for a larger discount?”

“No thanks,” I replied. “I’m saving them up to buy the company.”

That’s when I got THE LOOK! (I remember it from my high school teachers.)

MICHAEL MANN

Baton Rouge

Dear Michael: Yes, my spouse, Lady Katherine, sometimes gives me “The Look,” to indicate that I’m not as funny as I think I am.

Job opening?

Dear Smiley: With all your wisdom, could you tell me where to apply to be the next commissioner of the NFL?

I’m pretty sure that even in this tight economy my wife, Michelle, and I can squeeze by on $44 million a year.

Even without training, I’m sure I could kick various people out of the NFL for various reasons.

Might even consider a cut in pay.

Nah, probably not.

RANDY JENKINS

Baton Rouge

The heartbreaker

Dear Smiley: My almost 5-year-old was trying to persuade me to start packing his lunch for pre-K, even though his school lunches are paid up through the year.

I told him the subject was not up for discussion and he cried, “You’re breaking my heart!”

I hugged him (so he wouldn’t see me laughing), and he said, “You’re ruining my life! And my heart is still broken.”

I guess I didn’t expect to be the first woman to break his heart.

LIBBY MINER

Zachary

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.