Kim “Pops” Seago, of Columbia, Tennessee, says reading our stories about hitchhiking remind him of this “SHOULD have hitchhiked” incident:

“My son John, after graduating from Walker High School, enlisted in the Air Force and was assigned to Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, for job training.

“One Saturday, the trainees were given passes and told to be back on the base by midnight.

“John and several other trainees drove to Dallas, spent the day sightseeing and then started back to Wichita Falls, planning on getting back to the base about 11:30 p.m.

“About 11:45 that night, I answered the phone and heard a nervous voice say, ‘Daddy, is there a difference between Wichita Falls and Wichita?’ He said they were at the Oklahoma Welcome Center on Interstate 35.

“Needless to say, I immediately gave him a geography lesson.

“If memory serves me correctly, they did not get another pass off the base for at least 30 days.”

No escape

David L. Miller says, “Helen Rankin’s story of meeting people by wearing LSU gear in Alaska reminded me of New Year’s Eve last year.

“My wife, Renee, and I were in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency in Paris celebrating our 30th anniversary.

“I was wearing my LSU jacket when she pulled out an LSU garden flag so I could take her picture in front of the beautiful white Christmas tree.

“A man walked up and said, ‘I go halfway around the world, and I still can’t get away from you people.’

“Turns out he was from Ole Miss.”

The LSU Vikings?

Brian Wirth says, “Reading your column about Tiger fans traveling about, I agree with the lady in Chicago that purple and gold mean the Vikings.

“I live between Milwaukee and Green Bay, and my LSU colors do not win me any admiration.

“The people here wear green and gold year-round, with some Brewer garb during baseball season.

“Very rare to see University of Wisconsin apparel around here. I guess support for the Badgers doesn’t leave campus.”

Sounds familiar

Tom Hertwig, of Gonzales, tells of a hunting and fishing store he encountered in Beaufort, South Carolina, called “Buck, Bass-N-Beyond.”

Nostalgia Corner

Dorlis Ritchie says she remembers very well the Kwiturkiken bar mentioned by a reader as an LSU-area watering hole in the ’30s and ’40s:

“It was located on the corner of Highland Road and Harding Street.

“We lived on Harding, and a family by the name of Perry lived behind the bar.

“Trudy worked there, and she had a daughter, Alice May, and a son we called ‘Buckwheat’ when we were all about 6 or 7 years old.

“We used to sit on the back steps of the bar and listen to the jukebox music.

“We moved in 1950-1951. I would like to know what happened to that family.”

Newest TV star

Jay Ducote, Baton Rouge food blogger and radio host, will be a contestant on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” in an episode called “Ho-ley Pot” airing Aug. 10, at 9 p.m.

The show gives each contestant $25,000 to use throughout the competition and says “chefs are challenged and can bid on various sabotages that arise. The name ‘Ho-ley Pot’ stems from a chef having to prepare the dish using a single-cup coffee maker.”

Speaking of TV

My spouse, a normally rational person, has become addicted to HGTV, a channel devoted to, as near as I can tell from a cursory examination, remodeling houses in ways that will please picky buyers.

It features walls being knocked out, floors being put down and walls being painted.

I have often heard the expression “Like watching paint dry” to describe an excruciatingly boring experience.

Here we have shows for people devoted — literally — to watching paint dry.

Special People Dept.

  • Marjorie Norton celebrated her 90th birthday on Thursday. She is retired from Stanocola Medical Center, and her “Stanocola family” celebrated with her at Sammy’s on Highland Road.
  • Chick and Gerry St. Germaine, of Harahan, celebrated their 62nd anniversary on Sunday.

    George and Elsie Arceneaux, of Donaldsonville, celebrated their 61st anniversary on Saturday.

    Wesley and Della Hernandez, of Paincourtville, celebrated their 60th anniversary on Thursday.

Sit! Stay!

Andrew King says Monday’s bad joke about “feeding a new dog old Trix” inspired him to offer this equally awful story:

The nurse walked into the patient’s room to give him his shot. The grouchy old man complained, “You nurses treat us like dogs!”

“No we don’t,” said the nurse. “Now roll over.”

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.