Sometimes even the smallest act of kindness can have a big impact:

Tom Cagley tells of going to the post office on Perkins Road to mail a present to his granddaughter in Virginia.

He also asked the clerk for a sheet of stamps.

Says Tom, “After I bought the stamps, I motioned the lady behind me to ‘come on down.’

“I moved over and saw her hand the clerk a dollar bill. ‘I need a stamp,’ she said softly.

“I offered her one of my 20 and, amidst her protests, took one of mine and affixed it to her envelope.

“ ‘At least take my dollar,’ she insisted. I did not.

“It’s a short walk out to the parking lot, but she must have thanked me a half-dozen times until she opened her car door.

“ ‘You just made my day,’ she announced, ‘maybe my month. Thank you again.’ ”

Explosive incident

Mary Michel says, “When I was growing up, I had a great aunt and uncle who lived ‘in the country,’ in Sorrento.

“Every year, all of my Baton Rouge cousins and my Houston cousins would gather at my aunt’s home on Easter Sunday.

“Since they had several acres of land, it was a great place for an Easter egg hunt.

“When we would walk around the pasture, we would always be careful to avoid ‘cow patties.’ One year, my brothers and my male cousins thought it would be fun to light firecrackers in the patties and blow them up.

“One time they got a little too close to the huge Brahman bull, who was apparently perturbed by the sound of the fireworks, and he started to charge after them.

“You never saw so many little boys run that fast! Needless to say, firecrackers were banned from all family gatherings after that!”

Close call

Another “wrong city” tale, this one by Daphne Crawford:

“At the end of World War II, my mother’s boyfriend, who would later become my father, called her from a train station to say he was ready to board the train for ‘Cornell University in Utica, New York.’

“While the war had taken my dad from his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, to many faraway places, my sweet Southern mom had not traveled much outside of the then small town of Auburn, Alabama.

“But mom knew very well that Cornell was in Ithaca, New York.

“After correcting him, my dad said a quick goodbye and hung up, hoping to grab his bags off the wrong train. He was successful.”

City, not street

Bill Jolly also has a “wrong city” story:

“My dear departed mother was a member of a garden club.

“In the early ’70s, they were to meet downtown.

“Several of the members took the new ‘Lafayette’ exit on the interstate, assuming it was an exit to Lafayette Street.

“They were surprised to find themselves in Port Allen.

“Rather than trying to renegotiate the bridge, they went and had tea with the Wilkinsons, for whom the bridge was ultimately named.”

Which reminds me

Like Bill Jolly’s mom and her friends, I once got on the interstate in the early days of the I-10 bridge.

Heading for The Advocate office on Lafayette Street, I too went over the bridge and was in Port Allen before I realized my mistake.

Not knowing the Wilkinsons at that time, I went to a bar. …

Wear it proudly

Mike and Pam Jastram advise LSU fans, “Don’t leave home without your LSU cap.”

On an 18-day, 4,000-mile motorcycle trip to Wisconsin and Michigan, “our LSU caps were a great way to start a conversation: ‘What brings you here?’ and ‘Did you bring any of that good food?’

“We had a great tour of Lambeau Field. Jimmy Taylor’s picture greets you as you walk in the stadium.

“We visited Michigan’s ‘Big House’ stadium, where we were advised by a Michigan employee that the stadium has been closed to visitors since 9/11.

“But he allowed us to walk in the stadium and take pictures.

“Outside the fence, we heard a 1979 graduate of Michigan ask this same employee if he could enter the fenced area, only to be turned down.

“The POWER of LSU caps!”

Special People Dept.

Mary B. Daniels, widow of City Judge William Hawk Daniels, celebrates her 92nd birthday on Monday.

They’re different

Buddy Abraham says all our talk about “cow pies” illustrates the importance of accuracy in language.

You don’t want to ask for cow pies when you really want cow peas. …

Seattle redneck?

Ron Sanders, of Port Allen, comments on the article in the Thursday Advocate about a Seattle man who tried to burn out a spider and started a fire that did $60,000 damage to his house:

“After reading the story, I found that we have a new ‘You might be a …’ joke.

“You might be a Seattle resident if you use a blowtorch inside your house to kill a spider.”

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.