Mike Romano says, “Reading the story (in the Monday column) about Pat Atkinson having a flapping duck in her fireplace reminded me of an encounter shortly after I moved to Lake Rosemound, many years ago.

“I noticed several ducks on the side of my boathouse, and made a habit of feeding them when I got off work.

“One afternoon I forgot to go down to the boathouse to feed them. It wasn’t very long when I heard some tapping at my front door.

“When I opened my door, there stood my ducks.

“I kept feeding them every afternoon for about three weeks. Then one afternoon, coming home from work I noticed several duck feathers on my doorstep.

“I guess that was their way of thanking me for feeding them.

“I knew the weather was getting warmer and it was time for them to fly back north.

“I cried when they left, but was happy to know they appreciated me feeding them while they were here.”

Stick to the vine

Buddy Knox, who quit smoking in August of 1978, adds to our seminar on strong cigarettes:

“My dad and grandfather both smoked Picayunes. When I was about 13, my friends and I started smoking dried corn silk and cross vine.

“I have no idea what cross vine was, but we would cut it from a wooded area, dry it for a week or so and smoke it.

“I finally got up the nerve to swipe a few of my dad’s Picayunes. They were as strong as the cross vine.”

St. James connection

Karl Denino reminds us that the unique flavor of Picayune cigarettes came from perique tobacco, grown only in a small area of St. James Parish.

Smiley in makeup

Linda Leger Belleu says that in the mid-’50s, at elementary school in Welsh, they would have shows and educational talks in the school auditorium:

“Once it was Smiley Burnette (the cowboy movie sidekick). I remember that one cost 25 cents.

“At the end he gave the names of his two daughters, and one was named Linda. He asked that all the little girls with the same name come up on the stage.

“What I remember was that he had makeup on! That was a shock to a little girl from that area.”

Looking for people

Bill Reed, of Broussard, says when he and his wife visited the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy, “I came upon a headstone on which was inscribed, ‘Whitney J. Faulk, PVT, 116 Infantry, 29th Division, Louisiana, June 6, 1944.’

“Since my wife has an uncle named Faulk, I called him upon our return, and he told me many Faulks in Louisiana originated in Kaplan.

“Ancestry.com says Whitney was from Abbeville, only a few miles from Kaplan; his next of kin was Augusta A. Faulk and he might have been married to Adele A. Delherbe.

“I am trying to locate any relatives who might like a picture of the grave of their brave relative who gave his life for us on D-Day.”

Bill’s at reedbi@bellsouth.net or (337) 837-1295.

Looking for stuff

Toni Brantley says the West Baton Rouge Museum’s summer camp and teachers’ institute (June 8-12 and 15-19) is “Rockin’ Through the Ages: Celebrating 20 Years of Blasts from the Past:”

“We will focus on music of all kinds, and will have the campers making instruments. Do any readers have cigar boxes they would like to donate? Some of our most famous musicians played cigar box guitars — Bo Diddley, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Ed King of Lynyrd Skynyrd, even Charlie Brown, of ‘Peanuts.’”

She’s at brantley@wbrmuseum.org or (225) 336-2422, ext. 16.

Special People Dept.

— Margery Leonard, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 93rd birthday on Thursday, May 14. She is known as “The Bingo Queen of Village Woods.”

— John and Barbara Hanks, of Plaquemine, celebrated 65 years of marriage on Wednesday, May 13.

Bowling Mama

Marguerite “Mama” Peno recently finished her 50th year of women’s league bowling. Marguerite, now 80, was a charter member of the St. Plus X Mothers’ League at Plank Bowl. She’s taking the summer off, but will head back in the fall for year number 51. Her best game ever? 299!

Oh. Never mind...

Perry A. Snyder tells this “putting your cleats in your mouth” story:

“Every Wednesday, some once-young golfers tee it up on area courses.

“Recently I noticed that one in our ranks had a bandage on his knee.

“As I have knee issues, I inquired about this.

“Got a WD-40/Mobil 1 shot yesterday,” was his reply.

“Thinking another chap in our foursome had had knee replacment surgery, I asked him when he had the procedure.

“‘Perry,’ he said, ‘that’s not a scar. That’s a wrinkle.’

“After such a faux pas, I felt compelled to assure him I would see the family ophthalmologist sooner that later.”

Contact 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.