Rose Rolfsen says, “Reading your recent articles on leaving people behind, I remembered this, from more than 40 years ago:

“A good friend let us use his motor home to take our seven children to Disney World. We parked in the trailer park, and when we were leaving we discovered we were missing our 5-year-old daughter, Beth.

“My husband was stopping when one of the boys hollered, ‘Don’t stop, she’s catching up with us!’”

Refugee aid

You might have noticed that officials in Texas are up in arms, so to speak, over maneuvers in that state by the U.S. military (known as “Union forces” in Texas). Some Texas politicians are viewing it as a plot by the federal government to take over their state, and vow to fight the effort.

We’re concerned about the people of our neighboring state, and where they might go if they are forced to flee from the fighting.

So the Anders family is offering shelter in our modest Spanish Town bungalow to Texans who may become refugees.

We’re offering to take in Marcia Ball and Willie Nelson — it’s the neighborly thing to do.

And with a little arranging, we think we can also find room for ZZ Top...

The bum stops here

Mention of strong Picayune cigarettes of days past reminded readers that not only did Picayunes discourage folks from smoking, they also discouraged bumming:

— J.L. Dabadie says, “Back in the days when I smoked (over 40 years ago), a common practice was used to keep people from bumming cigarettes.

“We would place several of our regular cigarettes in a Picayune package and offer them to the ‘bum’ on request. When he saw the package he would say thanks and go off to bum from someone else.”

— Vic Couvillion, of Hammond, says, “In 1964, when I was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, a common irritant was fellow airmen bumming cigarettes, especially as the latest payday faded into memory.

“Being from Louisiana, I knew about Picayunes. I kept at pack of the foul things in my upper pocket while my ‘good’ cigarettes were kept hidden in my sock tops.

“When a fellow GI asked for a cigarette, I’d give him a Picayune. You can bet he never again asked to bum a cigarette!”

— Ronnie Hotz, of Lafayette, says, “I smoked Picayunes for quite some time. They had a distinct, enjoyable flavor. One redeeming value was that nobody ever bummed a cigarette, except my late friend Leander Perez Jr., who chose them as his favorite brand.

“Eventually I decided that I was in the tryouts for the Olympic Early Morning Consumptive Coughing Team, and switched to El Trelles Conchitas, a most delicious 2-for-15-cents cigar, manufactured on the Occupied West Bank of Jefferson Parish.

“Those days have long since passed, and the only smoking I’m now exposed to are the ‘smoke and mirrors’ on display during election season.”

The English Cajun

“Reading about accents reminded me of something that happened to me many years ago,” says Charmian Kendrick:

“Part of my job at Albemarle was to coordinate the recruiting of engineering students who were graduating from university. This involved a lot of talking on the telephone.

“One time I was talking to a student (I won’t mention the university) who got very excited and said, ‘Oh, you have an accent — are you one of those Cajuns?’

“To which I replied, ‘No, I’m not a Cajun — I’m from London.’

“When he came for his interview, and we met face to face, we had a good laugh over it.”

Special People Dept.

—Frances S. Hoffmann, of Lambeth House in New Orleans, celebrated her 92nd birthday on Saturday, May 9. She is a Marine Corps veteran of World War II.

—Gertie Hernandez Cutrer, of Osyka, Mississippi, celebrated her 91st birthday on Sunday, May 10.

—Theresa Bossier Robert celebrated her 91st birthday on Friday, May 8.

Wrong song, wrong time

After Keith Horcasitas, in the Friday column, told of locking himself in the bathroom when he was a child, we heard a similar story from Francis Celino, the Metairie Miscreant:

“When I was very little, back in the Stone Age, I locked myself in the bathroom using the skeleton key.

“My father got his tools and somehow opened the lock from the outside — while I sang a popular song of the time, ‘Open the Door, Richard.’

“My dad ‘Opened the Door, Richard’ on me when I got out.”

Handle with care

Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, tells this one: “A tough old cowboy from Texas counseled his granddaughter that if she wanted to live a long life, the secret was to sprinkle a pinch of gunpowder on her oatmeal every morning. The granddaughter did this religiously until the age of 103, when she died.

“She left behind 14 children, 30 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren, 25 great-great-grandchildren and a 40-foot-wide hole where the crematorium used to be.”

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.