It’s a given that any major change in technology means a loss of jobs for those without the required new skills.

Melvin J. Daigle offers the sad tale of one technician displaced by advances in television:

“I remember my first black-and-white TV, with only three stations available (sometimes).

“I knew a TV repairman who was great at fixing TVs. When I got my first color TV, I called him and he fixed the problem.

“But he said he would have to look for another line of work. He was colorblind, and could not adjust the color.

“Back then, you had a number of adjustments like color control, brightness, hue control, etc. Plus you had to go outside and turn the antenna for better reception.

“And our first remote control had a long cord plugged into the TV. No lost remotes!”

Do not disturb

Earl C. Johnson, of Baton Rouge, says, “In the early ’70s I was a traveling salesman. Once I spent a night below Belle Chasse.

“In those days there were still ‘motor courts,’ with separate little cabins.

“When I checked in, I was given a key stamped with the number of my cabin.

“The unique thing was the door of my cabin. There were two hasps, one on the outside, which was padlocked. On the inside of the door was the second hasp. Once I was in the cabin for the night, I moved the padlock to the inside hasp.

“This was south Louisiana ingenuity at its height.”

Roy’s gator

Mercedes Doré, of Plaquemine, offers more information about the alligator hunt her brother, the late Raleigh Ohlmeyer, made with Roy Rogers:

“I have been chastised for stating my brother sang ‘Happy Trails’ (OK, I sang, he listened).

“The purpose of the hunt was for Roy to kill the biggest alligator he could find to stuff and put in his museum in Branson, Missouri, near his stuffed horse, Trigger.

“The hunt took place at Little Lake Hunting Club in Lafitte, where my brother was on the board of directors.

“Roy did kill a very large alligator (it is on a hook when you shoot it, for goodness sake!).

“Roy sang ‘Happy Trails’ for the people at the camp at the time of the hunt.

“A picture was taken of the alligator, my brother and Roy, but it was destroyed during the flood after Hurricane Katrina.”

Good neighbors

Annie Cooper says she and her brother were test-driving her Jeep after it had the thermostat replaced, and were stranded by a busted heater hose on Fairway Drive in Zachary.

“Several residents came to our aid,” she says. “One was walking out to run an errand just as we stopped. She offered her help — said she was leaving, but if we needed anything just knock on the door and ask her husband.

“Another resident a couple of doors down, out washing his car, provided us with water for the radiator and offered the use of his hose.

“The same lady who had originally offered help returned from her errand and offered food and drinks. She also offered to make a run to the auto parts store, but my son was on his way.

“Finally, another resident drove by and offered assistance.

“To all of you, thank you for giving us the assistance we needed to get home — and equally important, proving that kind hearts are still alive and well.”

Nostalgia Corner

Mickey Hughes says, “While waiting my turn in the chair at a barbershop here in Oregon City, Oregon, watching the little fellows getting their haircuts, my memory took me back to my first barbershop in Baton Rouge in the ’50s and ’60s.

“The Liberty Barbershop was on North Boulevard near my folks’ store, Hughes Department Store at 1264 North Blvd. The owner/barber was Toby Lafasso, with another barber, Mr. Brown.

“But today, the barbers are women and hair styles are different, with no crew cuts and flat tops walking out the door.

“But still a nice walk down memory lane.”

Special People Dept.

— Elsie Smith celebrates her 96th birthday on Monday, April 27. (Mary Sue Meador says, “She spends many hours of her day visiting elderly and ill members of Istrouma Baptist Church.”)

— J.O.”Duck” Greer celebrates his 90th birthday on Monday, April 27.

Death on the fairway

George E. McLean, of Metairie, adds to our collection of bizarre golf stories:

“It was on a Fourth of July weekend morning, before Katrina. We were playing golf at the Broadwater in Biloxi.

“Just as Judge John Boutall (now deceased) teed off with his driver, a dove flew across the fairway, only to be hit and killed in mid-flight by the ball.

“The judge was disappointed that we would not let him claim to have ‘birdied’ that hole.”

Contact 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.