Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington, recently told us the story of Rocky Raccoon, who lived with her family for almost two years.

She continues the story of his exploits after they released him:

“We expected him to be glad to be free, but instead he ran amok through the neighborhood, harassing people working in their gardens, chasing their animals, swimming in their pools.

“But the worst was when I received a call from our next-door neighbor, who was hysterical because Rocky had gotten into his freezer in his garage and stolen a steak.

“When we arrived, we found his wife swinging a broom at Rocky on top of the freezer.

“They put a lock on the freezer, so Rocky tore all the lining off it.

“Many years later, after we moved to Tucson, Arizona, we came back with the kids on vacation and went to see our old house.

“Within a few minutes, our next-door neighbor came walking across the lawn towards us, and hugged us with tears in his eyes.

“We told him we were shocked he was glad to see us.

“He laughed, and said, ‘Hell, this neighborhood has been really dull since your family left!’”

Thanks to a vet

Gordon Greenwood, of Slidell, a veteran of the Korean conflict, says he recently attended a trip to Washington, D.C., organized by the VetsRoll group in Rockton, Illinois, near his hometown in northern Illinois.

“It was an experience of a lifetime,” he says. “We visited all the monuments in the area, and were treated like royalty all the way as we traveled on 10 buses.

“One of the more special times was when we were at the World War II monument. A young boy, 10 or 12, came up to me, shook my hand and said, ‘Thank you for your service, and I sincerely mean it.’

“I never considered myself a hero, but for four days I sure was treated like one.”

WAY away game

S. Andy Oats says when he was a student at Warren Easton High in New Orleans in 1946-47, the football team went to Massachusetts for a game:

“Easton received the opening kickoff and had the first play of the game on their own one-yard line. A quarterback sneak was called, and Lester Kennedy ran 99 yards for a touchdown. Easton won the game.

“In those years a player was not on just offense or defense — they were 60-minute players. Any coach of that era would be arrested for cruelty to players, using today’s rules.”

Just peachy!

Those readers desperately seeking Ruston peaches might have to drive to Ruston this weekend to get them. The 65th annual Louisiana Peach Festival gets underway there on Friday, so a road trip might be in order.

Special People Dept.

— Luther Sobers, of Ethel, celebrates his 90th birthday on Thursday, June 25. And Luther and Myrtle East Sobers celebrate their 65th anniversary that same day.

— Mary Zito Fontana, of Port Allen, celebrated her 90th birthday on Wednesday, June 24.

— On Thursday, June 25, Charles and Bobbie Wood, of Zachary, celebrate their 61st anniversary.

— Jane and Charlie Gravois, of Vacherie, celebrate 60 years of marriage on Thursday, June 25.

— Alcee and Carol Becnel, of Plaquemine, celebrate 60 years of marriage on Thursday, June 25.

Lost in translation

Robert Day says our tale of the Spanish-speaking visitors to Louisiana asking where to find “Ka-hoons” reminds him of a story his brother John tells:

“He was travelling in Mexico with a group of graduate students in a car that featured a ‘Ragin’ Cajun’ bumper sticker.

“He says a number of times, while driving slowly in urban areas, you could see locals mouthing, ‘¿Raheen Kahoon? ¿Que es Raheen Kahoon?’”

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.