Martha Wright tells a story about the funeral of her husband, Malcolm, a valued contributor to this column:

“His funeral was scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 10, at University United Methodist Church. The church is right next to campus, and in fact we sell parking slots to fans.

“When the LSU-South Carolina football game got changed to Baton Rouge, we had to find another church. However, the first notice in the paper said the service would be at UUMC.

“One couple had not read the updated notice, and when they arrived at the church, they were asked to pay $30 to park there. The response was, ‘Well, I am certainly not going to his funeral service if I have to pay to park!’

“Malcolm loved life and liked to tell funny stories. Don’t you know he got a chuckle out of that!”

Modern congregation

This story from the late Malcolm Wright, from 2014, is about his discovery of a new religious sect:

“The other day, Martha and I were eating breakfast at Louie’s. Several tables down from us were five young people who had just received their meals from the waitress.

“Their heads were bowed, and we smiled to see so young a group saying grace in public and so unconcerned with what others might think. Several minutes later, after receiving our meal, I looked over at the table of five and behold — their heads were still bowed.

“As I watched, one after the other raised his or her head, put his or her iPhone in a pocket or handbag and began eating.


That’s show biz

In the Wednesday column, Tom Cagley said the title “Wildest Show in the South,” used in a headline about the Angola Rodeo, described our current political arena. Randy Clement responded, “Mr. Cagley, in commenting on the Angola Rodeo headline, is confusing a rodeo with a circus sideshow.”

True north?

Pat Alba, of Metairie, who grew up in Rayville, says folks in the New Orleans area aren’t always sure what constitutes “north Louisiana.”

“When I mention north Louisiana, many Orleanians assume I mean Shreveport, although one person asked, ‘St. Francisville?’”

Underwood days

Gus Weill jogged my memory when he asked where he could find a second-hand Underwood Standard typewriter. Gus, in addition to being a legendary political strategist, is a novelist and playwright. After some health problems, he wants to resume writing, and on this classic machine. He’s at (225) 769-2252.

The old Underwoods weighed a ton and required a hard touch. I learned to type on one, and still find myself banging away on the much more sensitive keys of my office PC.

Those typewriters bring back memories of their clattering in newsrooms, when guys typed with their fedoras on, smoked cigars at their desk and kept bottles of hooch in a bottom desk drawer. I still have my Underwood, and although it’s broken and I probably wouldn’t use it even if it worked, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Special People Dept.

On Thursday, Oct. 15, A.P. “Toni” Vidacovich celebrates his 99th birthday. He retired after 48 years as a photographer for the Times-Picayune.

Betty Breaux celebrates her 93rd birthday on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Marie Delaune Braud celebrated her 92nd birthday on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

J.W. “Mickey” Dupuy, of Metairie, a native of Plaquemine, celebrated his 90th birthday on Wednesday, Oct. 14. He holds the John W. Dupuy endowed professorship at LSU’s E.J. Ourso College of Business.

Father William L. Greene, celebrated his 90th birthday on Wednesday, Oct. 14. He was pastor at Catholic churches St. Pius X and St. Thomas More in Baton Rouge and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in St. Francisville.

On Thursday, Oct. 15, John and Elaine DeLatin celebrate their 66th anniversary.

James and Dane Braud Hawkins, of Dutchtown, celebrate their 60th anniversary on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Ronald and Vera Landry, of Belle Rose, celebrated their 56th anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 10.

The hole truth

Dwight Cason, the barber, was cutting one gent’s hair and heard this tale:

“He thought he should teach his wife and daughter how to check the oil in the car, in case he couldn’t one day.”

Evidently he never got around to fully explaining the process, because “about a month later he came home after work and found them trying to add a quart of oil in the dipstick hole.”

Kid stuff

Montie Mitchell says, “My sister-in-law asked her third-grade class to write letters to her son, a pilot deployed in the Middle East. Some notable questions they asked were:

“‘Do you bring your plane home at night and where do you park it?’

“‘Is it hot there?’

“‘Do you like waffles?’

“‘If you write back, could you please print because I can’t read cursive?’”

Contacting 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.