“With Father’s Day on the horizon,” says Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, “here are some gift buying guidelines:

“What NOT to buy:

1. A new tie. The one we have been wearing for 40 years is still good. Might use a cleaning, though.

2. A new dress shirt. Same guidelines apply.

3. A new belt. Our old one is our closest friend. Magic markers cover any worn spots.

4. The newest innovative, revolutionary, time-saving power tool. We won’t use it, because it requires we read instructions. We don’t do instructions.

5. A different kind of after-shave than the one we always use, which is probably Old Spice.”

“What TO buy:

1. A gift certificate to Hooter’s. Two gift certificates is even better.

2. A new NASCAR cap. But make sure our favorite driver’s number is on it.

3. A year’s supply of the darkest, strongest coffee made in Louisiana.

4. Po-boys and root beers at the Pastime during a Saints game, an LSU game and a Pelicans game.

5. A new power drill. No matter if we already have one or two, a guy can always use a new drill.”

False alarm

Michel Fourrier says when he read about the big alligator run over on Nicholson Drive he was reminded of this incident:

“During my career at the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, I overheard a fellow deputy radio an alert he overheard via CB radio of a ‘large alligator’ on the interstate.

“Several deputies were responding, as I was, and a request was made to notify Wildlife and Fisheries.

“The first unit on the scene determined the ‘large alligator’ was, in fact, a tread that had peeled off a truck tire. (And the term was CB jargon.)

“No sauce piquante that night, just a few embarrassed deputy sheriffs.”

Ice cream memories

Jim Pitchford, who also once lived in Natchez, Mississippi, brought back a childhood memory when he wrote: “Do you remember in Natchez before you left the horse-drawn ice cream wagon and the vendor, Jabo?”

I must have been very young, but I do remember that wagon — a tall one with screened windows. I didn’t know the vendor’s name, but as I recall he drove it standing up.

My mom liked to take a nap in the afternoons, after she put me down for my nap.

We lived in the home of my grandmother, Camille Druetta DeMarco. I couldn’t say “DeMarco,” so to me she was “Grandma Harpo.”

After my mom dozed off, I would hear the ice cream wagon’s bell and jump up, waiting for Harpo to come get me.

She would quietly lift me out of bed and take me out to meet the wagon.

After I’d had my treat, she would clean me up and sneak me back into my bed.

When my mom woke up, there I would be, peaceful, angelic — and full of ice cream.

Nostalgia Corner

Marion Denova says he was going through some old papers and came across an Istrouma High School “all sports” ticket for the 1938-1939 season.

It includes part of a football schedule showing games with Lyon High (now Covington High), Bogalusa High, G.C.M.A. (Gulf Coast Military Academy?), Catholic High, Baton Rouge High, Hammond High and Bolton High in Alexandria.

Most home games were played on the Baton Rouge High field, but the Baton Rouge High and Catholic High games were played in LSU’s stadium.

OMV is OK

Lois Sutton, of Pride, says, “Having the Office of Motor Vehicles open the first Saturday morning of the month for senior citizens was a wonderful experience for my husband and myself.

“We were greeted at the registration desk, given our number, had our license renewed and within 10 minutes were on our way home.

“I hope more seniors will take advantage of this, so it will be feasible for the OMV to continue to offer this service.”

Trapped on Tulane

Carol Blanchard says, “The letter from the lady about no left turns on Tulane Avenue reminds me of a hilarious song written by New Orleans entertainer Phil Melancon.

“After trying unsuccessfully to make a left turn for miles, the driver ends up in Ville Platte!”

Just ask Custer

Harry Clark, of Lafayette, says, “While in the Navy it was common for us to have to fill out extensive questionnaires for security clearances.

“One of the questions was, ‘Have you or any member of your family ever advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government?’

“One shipmate checked the ‘yes’ box. In an amazingly short time he got a letter ordering him to explain.

“He sent back a letter that said, ‘American Indian.’

“He got his clearance in record time.”

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.