Here’s story to show that not all casualties of war are on the battlefield:

When Earl Newman saw the name in the obituary, he knew it was a guy he had grown up with in north Baton Rouge in the ’50s and ’60s.

They parted ways when Earl was at Istrouma High and his friend went to Glen Oaks High in the 10th grade.

Says Earl of his buddy: “He joined the Marines out of high school, and in Vietnam his platoon was attacked and most of them died. He was one of the few survivors, and this apparently destroyed him mentally.

“When he got out of the Marines he took up drinking, which ruined his life. He was never able to hold down a job. He had no relatives locally or friends he stayed in touch with.

“When I got to the funeral home for his memorial service and viewing, his brother, from Arizona, was the only one there. He had come all that way to make sure his brother got his proper burial.

“I am still feeling the sadness of his burial where no one was in attendance. I’m glad I decided to go, because no one should leave this existence without someone there to grieve for and honor them.”

Tropical paradises

Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville, says, “The discussion about running into people from Louisiana when on vacation and various trips reminded me of how many people from Louisiana we met the year we decided to vacation in the islands: ­Cow, Pecan, and Forked.”

The music man

Back in the ’70s, R.U. Allman, aka Eddy Allman, aka R.U. Eddy, aka Christian Allman, joined Del Moon as a rock music critic in The Advocate’s Fun section, bringing gonzo journalism to our paper and having a lot of fun in the process.

Eddy (as I know him) survived Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans after a harrowing experience, and has lately been hard at work becoming a Spanish Town character.

He was recently mugged on a downtown street, and had to have brain surgery.

George Lane says a benefit is being held for him on Sunday, Aug. 23, at 3 p.m. at Chelsea’s.

The all-star lineup includes Larry Garner, Henry Turner Jr., Skip Varnado, Kenny Acosta, Betsy WhoDat Braud, Boco LaTour, The Rakers, Dorothy LeBlanc and more. Admission is $10 at the door.

Time travel

I know, Smiley’s Poetry Contest is over, but this late entry from John Gaidry, of Lafayette, addresses an issue of some concern to me and my contemporaries:

“Here’s to the years that are golden,

To the powers that be we are beholden.

It’s true they may be peachy-keen,

But I’d go back to seventeen.”

Inquiring Minds Dept.

Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, asks this: “Watching ‘Perry Mason’ and other oldies on Me TV, I’ve noticed a lot of amnesia in the story lines. It seems rare these days. Has modern medicine found a cure?”

Nice People Dept.

Anna Sanders, of Louisiana Women Veterans, says two World War II women veterans “were blessed by the generosity of a young man. Upon finding out that they were members of ‘The Greatest Generation,’ he took care of their bill at IHOP on Siegen Lane.

“The two ladies were so surprised by his act of kindness that they wanted to let everyone else know how much he had blessed them.”

Special People Dept.

— Rhea Dufour Landry celebrates her 99th birthday on Sunday, Aug. 23.

— Lucille Bordes Digby celebrates her 97th birthday on Sunday, Aug. 23.

— James J. Brewin, of Pearl River, celebrates his 96th birthday on Friday, Aug. 21. He is a World War II veteran.

— Alvie “Al” Dougherty Jr. celebrates his 90th birthday on Friday, Aug. 21, at the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans’ Home. He is a Navy veteran of World War II.

— Darrell and Leda Bowden celebrated their 67th anniversary on Thursday, Aug. 20.

— Bill and Shirley Sperry, of Denham Springs, celebrated 60 years of marriage on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

— Gene and Lou Murphy, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 51st anniversary on Friday, Aug. 21.

— Howard and Willie Mae Cummings Jones, of Baker, celebrate their 50th anniversary on Friday, Aug. 21.

Thought for the Day

From Harriet St. Amant: “Sermons and biscuits are improved by shortening.”

Drink responsibly

Leon P. Miller says he was treating four elderly friends to dinner and drinks:

“‘Order up,’ sez I.

“Two had Ensure. Two had Boost.

“Afterwards, I was pleased to see two had designated drivers, and two ordered cabs.”

Crash for cash

Jimmy Varnado says, “After watching all those ‘wreck lawyers’ on TV getting their clients thousands, and even millions, of dollars per accident, I’m having bumper stickers made saying ‘Please hit me, I need the money.’”

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.