Dear Smiley: I don’t know if I’m a “good ol’ boy” like Dudley Lehew, who wrote (in the Feb. 20 column) about being a Baptist who helped to take up the collection at the historic Catholic St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

But I had been taking up the collection at Calvary Episcopal Church in Bunkie for many, many years until I became 92, at which time I gave up the job to someone else.

While I still had the job, when the Catholics and Baptists would come to our church, I was known to pass very, very slowly in the front of them.

The slower I went, the more they gave.

Amen, bro!



No bubbly for you!

Dear Smiley: Joy and I were married in October, 1960, in New Orleans on a Saturday afternoon.

We drove to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the next morning for our honeymoon.

We had brought a bottle of champaign to celebrate our first full day of marriage — until I discovered I failed to bring a corkscrew.

I ventured out to the local supermarket to purchase this vital piece of equipment.

Much to my horror, I discovered there was no corkscrew to be had!

Although you could buy wine and beer on Sunday, the only place to get a corkscrew was at the state-owned liquor store, which wasn’t open on Sunday!

What a total bummer — this made absolutely no sense to an Orleanian. Please explain this logic!

Anyway, our first full day of marriage celebration never happened with the champagne as envisioned.

However, we did find other ways to celebrate...



Happy days

Dear Smiley: There is controversy going on with land near New Orleans’ Audubon Park called “The Fly.”

Some want a soccer field, but people living nearby want it to stay free and open.

I can understand how some of the people are feeling. I was raised half a block from the park; for us kids it was our backyard.

We rode bikes up and down Monkey Hill, swam in the Olympic pool, visited the monkeys and knew them by name. We took peanuts to Itema the elephant, and she would dance and squirt us with water.

The park was free and open and we enjoyed every inch of it.

Everything now is commercialized and restricted. The animals are so far away you need binoculars to find them. I know this is progress and the future, but what memories will the kids of today have? I’ll take my memories anytime!



Miniature baseball

Dear Smiley: While watching the LSU baseball game the other night, I was reminded about a game at the old stadium, where through the efforts of then-East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Doug Moreau, several DAs from around the state were able to attend for free.

We were seated in the far, far, FAR right field bleachers.

I didn’t want to tell Doug that the seats were way out, because of his efforts; however, I did tell him that I hadn’t realized that college players were soooo small!

He took it in stride, but never asked me to attend another game.



High and dry

Dear Smiley: Like Jim Chapman in the Feb. 18 column, my husband and I spent a week at Whistler Mountain in Canada for our honeymoon during November, 1997.

When we were making plans for the wedding/honeymoon, my then fiancé asked where I would like to travel.

I told him I always wanted to see Alaska.

When he called about making arrangements, the travel agent informed him that no one goes to Alaska in November, and recommended Whistler.

According to the agent, Whistler has the highest vertical drop in North America, and was the best place to go for skiing.

It would have been, too, if we would have had even one flake of snow while we were there.

The first heavy snow came the morning we were leaving for the airport.

As we were driving down the mountain, we witnessed car after car loaded with skis and snow boards traveling to the top to enjoy the snow.


St. Francisville

You old faker!

Dear Smiley: I share Val Garon’s thoughts (in the Wednesday column) about being asked for I.D. when purchasing liquor.

Although I’m 77 years old, I could easily pass for 76.

My usual comment to the clerk as I present my driver’s license is, “Fortunately, I have this fake I.D. I use to buy liquor.”

So far, not one has taken me seriously.



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.