Gary McGarity, of Baton Rouge, says, “Doug Johnson’s mention of five-and-dime stores (in the Saturday column) reminded me of a story my mother told me.

“I was born in 1948 in Russellville, Arkansas, where my dad was the manager of a Sterling store, a five-and-dime.

“It was a common practice at that time for the retail merchants to close at noon on Wednesdays.

“My dad had a friend who ran a Ben Franklin store in northern Arkansas who would sometimes visit my dad on Wednesday afternoons because he liked the way my dad laid out (merchandised) his store. They would talk shop.

“After being transferred a couple of times and a move to California, my dad lost contact with his friend, Sam Walton. Too bad. Who knew?”

Fighting words

A.B. Harris says our series on campus restrictions of the past reminds him of the time after World War II when he attended Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Mississippi:

“The men in the dormitory had to get permission to leave the campus, and had to sign out and sign in before 9 p.m. We were not doing this, and after a chapel meeting the college president and dean of men began to tell us about school regulations and how important it was that we follow them.

“At the end of their speech, a veteran, who never said anything, raised his hand.

“He was recognized, and said, ‘No one had to give us permission to fight the Japanese and Germans.’”

Angel sighting

Renee says this happened Friday night at the Chick-Fil-A on Millerville Road:

“My husband is struggling with an incurable lung disease, but we go there every Friday. I was waiting to order when a man came up and asked if my husband was in the service.

“When I said he was, the man went over to my husband and thanked him for his service. He came back and told me to get whatever I wanted, he was paying.

“I was shocked, and tried to talk him out of it, but he wouldn’t let me.

“I hope he sees this, but even if he doesn’t, anyone reading this should know there are some wonderful people out there, and when you least expect it an angel makes your day.”

Little Miss Invisible

Dwight Cason, the barber, says one of his clients tells of overhearing his daughter telling his granddaughter how to behave when her grandmother came for a visit:

“Act like you haven’t seen her in a long time, and give her some attention,” she told the little girl.

“OK, great idea,” said her daughter. “And you can act like you haven’t seen me when I do something wrong.”

Keep it clean

A female LSU football fan says after the Texas A&M game there was a long line at the women’s restroom in one of LSU’s halls.

She was shocked to learn that this was largely because the attendant was directing the ladies to only some of the stalls — because, she said, the others had already been cleaned (and evidently she didn’t want to have to clean them again before quitting time).

The fan says she’d write the LSU administration “if I thought it would translate to a training session for facility service employees, but they’d probably hire a vice chancellor of toilets and two communication managers, and nothing would happen to the woman in question.”

Special People Dept.

O’Neil Dugas, of Baker, celebrates his 97th birthday on Wednesday, Dec. 2. He is a World War II Army veteran.

Ruth “Tiger” Elisar celebrates her 90th birthday on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

Elizabeth and Al Brown celebrate their 54th anniversary on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

Picture perfect

Perry Anderson Snyder says he and his family got a kick out of a Thanksgiving picture that’s been going around showing grandson Anderson, 6, holding a huge turkey leg — on a screen occupying one side of a building in New York City’s Time Square. It’s even bigger than the iconic Pepsi sign.

Perry says some of their friends, knowing that his son Scott, Anderson’s uncle, works for Lamar Advertising, asked how he did it.

Says Perry, “They appear not to have heard of Photoshop.”

Busted!

Richard Fossey says his friend Don, from Breaux Bridge, assured him this hunting story is true.

I’m inclined to doubt that, but it’s still a good story:

An Acadiana man told his wife he was going deer hunting in north Louisiana over the weekend.

Since it wasn’t hunting season, his wife was suspicious, but she cheerfully agreed to pack all the gear he would need for his trip.

When the man returned from his weekend getaway, he thanked his wife for helping him get ready to go hunting.

“You just forgot one thing,” he told her. “You didn’t pack any clean underwear.”

“Yes I did,” his wife replied. “I put your underwear in your gun case.”

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.

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