Dear Smiley: Reading your mention of a former “Rosie the Riveter,” Bernice Bellum Lammert, who still works as she celebrates her 90th birthday, made me remember what special people the Greatest Generation produced.

My own mother retired earlier this year at the relatively young age of 87.

But many of my fellow boomers are just counting the days until they can stop working, and many of our own children claim to be planning to retire even younger than Mom and Dad did.



Revenge games

Dear Smiley: I am writing in response to a letter from Roy Pitchford, of Monroe.

He seemed to be “enjoying” his memory of LSU beating Tulane 62-0.

In one of those defeats, as I remember, they went for a two-point conversion late in the game to make their “traditional 62-0 score.”

Rubbing it in is NOT something we Tulane fans will ever forget.

I would have to think that when we finally — and I say finally — defeated LSU 14-0 and 48-7, he surely didn’t “enjoy” those “traditional scores” as much!



Changing times

Dear Smiley: Any of your readers remember when parishioners actually “rented” their own pew for a year or when the ushers, at the time of collection, would actually “make change?”

Seems like so long ago!



Nostalgia Corner II

Dear Smiley: Just stumbled across the Bogan’s Pasture comments among stories of old Baton Rouge in the “Nostalgia Corner.”

My wife and I were watching Humphrey Bogart and Eddie Albert in “The Wagons Roll at Night,” an old circus film.

I was telling her of Bogan’s Pasture, where the circus pitched the tents, and how the elephants did the heavy work.

I remember something called “Speed Derby,” also at Bogan’s Pasture, like roller derby without skates.

I remember the city limits sign on Florida Street, somewhere near where Acadian Thruway is now.

In the conversation with my wife, I brought up the radio newscaster H.V. Kaltenborn.

He opened each newscast saying, “Ah, there’s good news in the world tonight.”

I wonder if anyone remembers those broadcasts.

Sadly, that is not the way news shows open today.


Quitman, Mississippi

All you can shoot

Dear Smiley: “All you can eat” stories reminded me of a similar one that happened some 70 years ago.

We lived near the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville, where there was a shooting gallery that stayed open all year.

One day, my father and I walked there and he put down his money for a round of shots with a .22 rifle.

They had a policy of a free round if the shooter could knock down a target with every shot.

The targets were a row of metal duck silhouettes that moved across the backdrop.

One of the things my father was very good at was shooting.

He started knocking down the targets about as fast as he could pull the trigger.

It was impressive, and he got his free round and did it again.

Soon a crowd formed to watch, and the proprietor became antsy.

After his fourth or fifth time to hit with every shot, the proprietor refused to continue the freebies.

The crowd and my father complained, to no avail.

The proprietor wouldn’t let my father have more free shots, but he did return his money.



Hog wild

Dear Smiley: Patrick Howard’s recent story of “all you can eat” at Shoney’s reminds me of 1992 at the SEC basketball tournament.

We went to eat breakfast at Shoney’s, and after my third or fourth trip to the breakfast bar, an Arkansas fan said, “Buddy, I think you are supposed to be the LSU Tigers — and WE are supposed to be the Hogs!”

Ate at some other place the next day.



Minimum wage

Dear Smiley: As a child, I had a real “lech” for those greasy cocktail peanuts.

I knew which closet shelf my father hid them on.

I would walk up the doorjamb, one foot on each side (good for my splits!), and steal a few.

One day, when theft was impossible, I offered to wash the breakfast dishes in exchange for some of those peanuts. I was about 5 years old.

Mom stood me on a stool and put an apron on me.

I was splashing away, having a good time making spouts with the innards from the coffee percolator, when Grandmommy arrived.

“Hi, Grandmommy,” I called out. “I am working for peanuts!”



Write Smiley at He can be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351.

or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.