Dear Smiley: Seeing “manual typewriter” and “stop the presses” in the same column item reminded me of an event back in the early 1970s when I was news and sports editor of the Greater Plaquemine Post.
The weekly paper’s press run started about 7 p.m. on Wednesday, but one week, an unexpected grand jury story broke about 6:45.
I called Publisher Gary Hebert and told him what had happened, and we agreed I would drive quickly to the office and type up a story.
The next morning, my desk had a china and silverware setting with sausage and coffee.
Gary smiled as he told me I had given him a chance to fulfill a dream.
“I ran to the back last night,” he said, “and for the first time in my life, I shouted, ‘Stop the presses.’ ”
Dear Roy: I had that thrilling experience when, only a few weeks out of LSU journalism school, I was late reporter for The Morning Advocate and got a murder story from the police between midnight and 2 a.m.
The night editor let me call down to the press room and yell those immortal words.
I felt I was now a true newspaperman.
Dear Smiley: In the 1960s, I had moved from Illinois to Denver and there met the love of my life.
My girlfriend, Loretta, later my wife, and I drove down to Carson City, Colorado, so she could meet my parents, who, with two of their grandchildren, were visiting some friends there.
Of course, Loretta was a bit nervous, hoping to make a good impression.
We decided to take the children out to the Royal Gorge Bridge and ride the inclined railway to the bottom of the gorge.
On the ride up, a bird flew over us and dropped a “bird pie” on top of my nephew’s head.
My mom cleaned up the mess, and then my dad commented, “It sure is a good thing that cows can’t fly.”
This really broke the ice.
Loretta had a good laugh, and the rest of the weekend was relaxing as everyone got to know one another.
I think it sort of sealed the deal, and we were happily married for 44 years. In those years, Loretta often referred to flying cows, or the lack thereof.
Po choice of words?
Dear Smiley: Please do not keep promoting the ridiculous term “po-boys.”
That usage sounds like the most ignorant, countrified rednecks around.
As any proper New Orleanian/Southerner knows, the correct term is “poor boys” because the sandwiches were first offered to the poor dock workers in the Quarter.
Just trying to pronounce “po-boys” out loud sounds horrible to the ear.
Surely adding just two extra letters can’t be that much effort to make, even for the laziest person.
Dear Lee: You’re not alone.
Back in December 2012, I reported on the campaign by Errol Laborde, editor of New Orleans Magazine, to restore the word “poor” to the sandwich.
At the time, he admitted that it was an uphill struggle but was encouraged that at least three New Orleans restaurants — Parkway Bakery, Evangeline and Stanley — were offering “poor boys.”
Good luck with your effort.
Dear Smiley: Some years back, well before the turn of the century, I read your column on a regular basis while I was attending LSU.
Now that The Advocate is being delivered in New Orleans, I feel like an old friend has come back into my life.
For your series of riffs on “déjà vu,” I offer the following:
- Déjà view — The feeling that the guy on the next barstool has already shared his political philosophy.
- Déjà krewe — The feeling that you have already seen these parade floats at least once this Carnival season.
- Déjà Lou — The feeling that this ex-coach football commentator has already told this story.
- Déjà doo doo — The feeling that your neighbor’s dog has visited your front yard before.
HERVIN A. GUIDRY
Dear Smiley: While dining recently at Hymel’s Restaurant in Convent with my husband, Buddy, and some family members and friends, I overheard a child, approximately 3 years of age, tell another child in his party that “This restaurant has the best seafood on the River Road — and the best toilet sauce.”
I agree with this young man because I even eat Hymel’s “toilet sauce” on my baked potato.
Dear Karen: Thanks to you, I will never be able to think of tartar sauce in quite the same way.
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.