George McLean, of Metairie, continues our series on great teachers:

“Way back in 1942, when I was a freshman engineering student at Tulane, one of my classes was taught by the dean, Dr. Roberts.

“One day, while discussing a problem with the class, I asked why a certain conversion factor was used.

“He replied, ‘The man who knows HOW will always have a job, but the man who knows WHY will be his boss. Now you figure it out.’

“Which I proceeded to do. What a motivator!”

Whistle stop

Mary Pramuk says our mention of the great singer Jerome Hines singing a “whistle” aria “brought back memories of another musical performance in the 1940s at my high school.

“At that time, whistling was made popular by the blind whistler, Fred Lowery, who performed on radio, for movies and in person.

“The school featured the talents of its students with occasional public performances. One such performer was my sister’s boyfriend, Jim.

“The MC announced that Jim would whistle ‘The Whistler and His Dog.’

“The tall, handsome Jim took the stage, and in a very quiet moment was just about to begin when an astonished little voice from the balcony could be heard by all to say, ‘Where’s his dog?’

“When the laughter subsided, Jim managed to successfully whistle the song.

“Yes, there was tremendous applause, but no encores.”

Drinking problem

Libby Miner, of Port Allen, says, “This morning my 5½-year-old was at the breakfast table and told me he was still tired and needed a cup of coffee to wake up. I have no idea where he got that...”

Newest fan

“I have never been a fan of soccer, and found it incredibly boring watching players run up and down the field to near exhaustion with no one hardly ever scoring,” says Jack Kyle, of Baton Rouge. “And does anyone understand the rules?

“However, the excitement and publicity over the American women playing in the World Cup got my attention, and I watched some of their games on TV, including their championship.

“Then, on a recent weekend, my middle daughter, Jennifer, and her Texas teammates won the Women’s Over 40 National Amateur Soccer Championship in Virginia with a 1-0 victory over a Boston team.

“Smiley, I have discovered that soccer is quite an interesting game after all!”

Colorful camping

Herb Whitman, of Denham Springs, tells of hearing from a childhood friend who is spending the summer in Alaska:

“He was in Homer, Alaska, and there was a family camping three spaces down from his camper.

“He said they had a Ford motor home that was painted purple and gold, with purple and gold wheels, purple and gold seats — and the folks were wearing purple and gold clothes.

“He walked over to them and said, ‘Where the heck you folks from, Arkansas?’”

Library days

John Bateman says, regarding a Saturday nostalgia item, “I also have fond memories of the downstairs children’s section of the old Parish Library — not on Convention Street, but Laurel Street at 7th.

“It is now the headquarters of the United Way.

“In the 1940s, my cousin Frank Foil (later Judge Frank Foil) and I spent many hot summer days there enjoying reading under the fans of the cooler, below-ground room.”

Special People Dept.

— Clyde Meyers Jr., of Denham Springs, celebrated his 91st birthday on Thursday, July 23. He is a World War II Navy veteran, serving in the South Pacific.

— Bob Mellon, of Denham Springs, celebrates his 90th birthday on Tuesday, July 28, at a party in California.

— Thelma “Teda” and Benjamin Ames Klemmer, of Mandeville, celebrate their 64th anniversary on Tuesday, July 28.

— Lester and Rita Strate celebrate their 64th anniversary on Tuesday, July 28.

Inquiring Minds Dept.

— Marion Denova wants to know, “Now that the speed limit has been raised on Baton Rouge’s interstate highways, do you think the drivers will slow down?”

— Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, wants to know, “There are thousands of insects capable of some form of flight. So why does the fly get to be named a ‘fly’?”

Starr quality

“I welcome the idea to honor women on our paper currency,” says Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs.

“However, I do not see how it is possible to choose ONE woman from all of the women of achievement in America.

“But I have a solution. Just like our 25-cent coinage has been produced to honor EVERY state, why doesn’t the Treasury Department follow suit, printing individualized currency for one woman who has brought national attention to their state?

“For Louisiana, I propose Blaze Starr!”

Contacting Smiley

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.