She was apprehensive as she stood in front of the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s office.

She knew that her applying for a marriage license was now legal, but she wondered if she would get a sigh, an eye-roll or muttering under the breath — the kinds of things she and her partner had endured during their decades together.

When the clerk handling licenses came up to her, she expected the worse.

But when she told her what she wanted, the lady smiled and said amiably, “Sure, I can help you with that.”

The clerk went through the process with her, and suggested that since information was needed from both, she could finish online at their home.

When she went back for the license, the same lady offered congratulations and wished happiness for both of them.

“That clerk was so professional,” she told me. “After all my fear, she handled it as a routine matter — just another day at the office.”

In her voice was surprise — and gratitude.

Ride those fish!

Gene Duke says the reader who asked about the difference between a fishing tournament and a fishing rodeo reminded him of this tale from his youth:

“Some friends in Zachary, just out of high school, saw some information about a rodeo in Grand Isle.

“They chipped in for the trip, loaded their bucking rigs and headed for the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo.

“Since they were the only riders, I suppose they won by forfeit.”

Misled consumers

Alma Mims, of Mandeville, warns that names of businesses might not reflect their true nature:

“Years ago, probably in the ’90s, my brother Bill took a ride across the Mississippi River from Kenner to Mudbugs on the Westbank for some crawfish.

“To his surprise, Mudbugs was a popular honky-tonk.

“Also, my son Steve was looking to purchase a lamp a few years back when he walked into The Lampstand in Mandeville.

“That turned out to be a Christian book and gift store, now closed.”

Speaking Cajun

Val Garon wrote in the Friday column about a guy who stepped on an alligator while crossing a “zambara” in the swamp.

He said he had heard the word from old Cajuns, but didn’t know exactly what it meant.

Mitch Rabalais was the first to offer an explanation:

“The word ‘zumbada’ is a Cajun word that means a log jam or debris that forms by a flowing stream or bayou.”

Mitch says he’s not sure of the spelling, but that’s how the word sounds phonetically.

Placement matters

Retired professor Jim Traynham says, “Several contributions in your recent columns pertaining to usage of ‘only’ in sentences reminded me of a splendid example brought to my attention by the late LSU Chancellor Cecil G. Taylor.

“Insert ‘only’ into the sentence, ‘She hit him in the eye.’

“Note that any place is acceptable (some better than others), but the information communicated changes with the location of the insertion.”

Picture perfect

Loraine Bruner says, “I feel sorry for the people today.

“They have hundreds of pictures in their ‘gadget,’ but when that gadget goes obsolete they will have nothing.

“I have pictures of my family, some back in the late 1880s, many starting in about 1917, most shot with a good ol’ Kodak Brownie.

“Time moves so fast: pictures are the main record we have of it.”

Worthy causes

Daniel Wilson has an answer “for the lady who has fabric to donate to a good cause.

“Live Oak Methodist Church has a sewing group called ‘Threads of Love.’ They make quilts for cancer patients, veterans, etc.

“They are always in need of fabric, thread, batting or even volunteers to help sew or cut fabric.

“What a blessing the ladies are to the community! You can contact them at (225) 664-4801.

Special People Dept.

Rena “Moma Day” Day of Chipola/Greensburg celebrated her 99th birthday on Sunday, July 19.

Gail W. Richardson, of Gonzales, celebrates his 96th birthday on Tuesday, July 21. He is an Army veteran of World War II.

Vertical tennis

That’s what Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut, says this looked like:

“Looking out the window, Frodo is sitting out there, his little Corgi head nodding up and down, up and down.

“What in the world? I step outside.

“He is watching the neighbor kids on their trampoline.”

Attempted murder

“I just tried to kill a spider with hair spray,” says Algie Petrere.

“He’s still alive, but his hair looks fabulous!”

Don’t wear orange!

Linda Dalferes says, “Son Craig and grandson Joseph, age 9, were helping out picking up trash alongside the roadway.

“Joseph says, ‘Sure hope people don’t think we’re prisoners.’”

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.