“Tom Toddy” offers a nostalgic tale of an unfortunate purchase:

“Back when ‘service stations’ pumped gas, checked tire pressure and oil levels and washed windshields for their customers, my teenage son had a part-time job at one of these archaic establishments.

“About a year previously, he had traded in his terrible automobile on a much better one. His old vehicle was constantly breaking down. Half the time it refused to start. When one problem got fixed, another surfaced. It was truly a ‘bomb.’

“He was surprised one day to see his old car pull up to the gas pump. He walked over and informed the young lady at the wheel: ‘That used to be my car.’

“Her reply: ‘I HATE YOU!’”

Biology meets Dairy Science

Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson, says the photo in the Wednesday Advocate of the 900 students in LSU’s Biology 1201 class “brought back memories.

“Back in 1965 we probably had 200 students, which was huge to me. I was a graduate of St. Anthony High, with an enrollment of 200, so every time I went to class it was like a high school assembly.

“That biology class stands out in my mind because of the person who always sat next to me. He came directly from working in the cow barn.

“I can still remember the aroma of freshman biology.”

Flamingo roost

I went outside to get my Advocate bright and early Wednesday morning (about 10 or so), to find 11 plastic flamingos gracing the front of my Spanish Town home, with a sign announcing “You’ve been flocked.”

Seems some neighbors thought it would be amusing to have a flight of the Official Spanish Town Birds light at my house.

So they got the young people at St. James Episcopal Church to make me part of their “Flamingo Flocking FUNdraiser,” placing the flamingos for a price to raise funds for youth programs and missions.

You, too, can share the thrill of seeing cheap pink flamingos in your front yard. Contact youth leader Marvin McLennon at mclennon@stjamesbr.org.

Well married

Herbert P. Smith, of River Ridge, says our tales of young people getting married in Woodville, Mississippi, by Jasper Lee, an overalls-wearing justice of the peace, rang a bell.

“So I went to our files and rediscovered our marriage license, Sure ’nuf, in 1958 my wife Agnes and I got hitched by the same overalled J.P.

“After the ‘I do’s’ he affixed his name to our license and bid us good luck with ‘Hope y’all make it.’

“We left wondering whether we were legally married.

“Well, 58 years later, with 7 children and 17 grandchildren, we think we are, and DID make it.”

The hole truth

Glenn Giro, of Denham Springs, adds to our discussion of “church keys,” used in the past to open canned drinks:

“In the ’70s and early ’80s, when I was an avid bowler who bowled five nights a week, I delayed the onset of progress by turning my beer can over and opening it the traditional way by poking two triangles into the bottom with my ‘church key.’ (Unfortunately, this became impossible with the now-standard molded bottoms of all aluminum cans.)

“Asked why I did this, I replied, ‘Two reasons: I like the old-fashioned look and ease of sipping a beer with the two holes, and secondly, nobody picks up my beer by mistake.’”

Movie time

“The subject of going to movies in our youth recently came up during a nostalgia session with Roy Chustz,” says Ernie Gremillion.

“It seems back then we never checked what time the movie started, but just went when it was convenient.

“We stayed for the next movie until it reached the point where we originally came in.

“As stupid as that sounds now, we never thought about it then, and it seems everyone else did the same thing.

“Hard to explain the rationale of that to your grandkids.”

Flat nice people

Fred R., of Central, thanks a nice man named Bobby “who got out of his truck to aid me when I had a flat tire in a Piccadilly parking lot Tuesday in all that rain.”

Special People Dept.

Mildred M. Eaton, of New Orleans, celebrated her 100th birthday on Friday, Jan. 29. She served at the U.S. Navy Training Center in San Diego, California, during World War II.

Jimmy Manuel, of Morgan City, celebrated his 97th birthday on Friday, Jan. 29. He is a World War II Army Air Corps veteran.

Allen H. Stevens, of Gonzales, celebrated his 90th birthday on Friday, Jan. 29. He is a World War II Navy veteran.

True country

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, says our Thursday mention of an outhouse blown over by the wind “brought back some childhood memories about the ‘good old days.’

“I bet I was at least 10 years old before I found out a person could actually order something out of a Sears catalog.”

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.