Dear Smiley: I don’t remember the year — I think it was 45 or 50 years ago.

Ole Miss had come to Tiger Stadium with a high national ranking and had taken a lead late in the fourth quarter.

Then LSU scored and won.

One of the sidebars in the Morning Advocate sports section said that when Ole Miss took the fourth quarter lead, its cheerleaders unfurled a banner that read “We’re Number 1.”

But when the final horn sounded, the writer said the cheerleaders laid the banner on the ground “to remove the apostrophe.”



Initial reaction

Dear Smiley: The comment by Ward Bond about the Morse code signals train whistles made at every crossing (spelling out the letter Q) reminded me of an early memory of my father playing around in the late 1940s and 1950s with a device he used to communicate for fun with other Morse code enthusiasts.

The messages back and forth were a series of “dahs” and “dits” rapidly transmitted by pressing something that looked like a simple desk stapler.

Back then, most automobile drivers were men, part of the “Greatest Generation.” Most of them knew Morse code.

Whenever a driver aggravated my father while he was driving the family car, he would lightly tap a series of long and short honks on his horn without changing his driving or his expression.

I knew he was communicating something, but it took several years for me to ask what he was saying. He felt I was old enough to tell me he was spelling out S-O-B.

With all the road rage going on these days, wouldn’t it be nice to return to the civility of yesteryear? There would be less violence on our streets, while still feeling satisfied you had told someone off.


Baton Rouge

The paper chase

Dear Smiley: About “newspaper withdrawal” mentioned in the Nov. 17 column:

Are you kidding me? We in New Orleans have been reduced to a paper only three days a week — permanently!

That is why I, and thousands of others in New Orleans, have canceled that paper and are now subscribing to your wonderful Advocate.

Thank you for coming to our rescue!


New Orleans

Second the motion

Dear Smiley: I grinned at your column about “newspaper withdrawal.”

Suffice it to say that a number of New Orleans readers have, too, suffered from “newspaper withdrawal” — which is why so many of us now subscribe to The Advocate!


New Orleans

Reading for health

Dear Smiley: When my wife and I moved farther down the river to New Orleans several months ago, I was in a wretched condition.

I missed the glory of the Lakes, the pride of tailgating in the shadow of Death Valley, the savory seafood suppers at Parrain’s and the idle pleasure of lounging with family and friends.

I was feverish for weeks; dengue had set in my bones.

The Advocate, however, recognized the anguish of one of its devotees and followed me all the way to Uptown.

Presently, I only need take a palm full of quarters to the local pharmacy on Tchop and exchange them for my medicinal issue of The Advocate.

I still get the chills and aches sometimes, but I’m doing much better thanks to my daily dose of Smiley.

Let’s hope I can resist the current of the river. The paper might be hard-pressed to find me in Venice.


New Orleans

Dear Tré: Glad we could cure you. But I don’t think you should turn in the cost of the paper to Blue Cross …

Spicy memories

Dear Smiley: Remember Muffoletto’s hot tamale cart at the intersection of Government and Park Boulevard in the late 1930s and early 1940s?

Sometimes, when my daddy worked the late shift at Esso, he would stop and pick up tamales on his way home.

I remember being allowed to get out of bed and eat one or two. What a treat!

Happy childhood memories revolve around the diversified menu Baton Rouge offered. We could eat our way around the world and never leave home.

Uh oh — here we go again. I have made myself hungry. Better check the freezer and see what’s left in that “survivor package” a friend sent me from your area.


Gainesville, Texas

Holy Rebels?

Dear Smiley: In the Ole Miss-LSU game, the referee at one point in the game blew his whistle and announced that LSU was guilty of a personal foul for “contact above the helmet.”

This is a baffling infraction. Do the saintlier Ole Miss players have halos that could be damaged by such contact? I hope the Monday morning quarterbacks can sort this out for me.


Baton Rouge

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.