Mike Malloy has this response to my "Ever just go for a ride?" nostalgia item, about going on Sunday drives with my parents:

"I would like to tell you about the 'sticker car.'

"From when I was about 5 years old until I was 14, our family always took vacations across the United States.

"We had a Ford station wagon with fake wood on the side. We would load up the car with five kids, my parents and much luggage on the luggage rack on top.

"At every state we visited, we would get a decal from that state and put it on the side windows. Over many years we visited 38 of the 50 states, most of them out west, plus Canada.

"My brothers were so embarrassed, because they had to use the car on dates. Being the youngest in the family, I thought it was cool, and was very proud of the car.

"As you said about your Sunday drives with your parents, 'What I would give for a chance to ride in that sticker car again.'"

Thorny subject

Speaking of stickers, John R. Baker says this about our list of grandparent names:

"My wife grew up on a dairy farm in West Texas, where burrs and thorns were in abundance.

"Our children began calling her father 'Sticker Papa' and mine simply 'Papa.'

"I thought this was a clever act of disambiguation."

Meet Mushie

Speaking of grandparent names, Carol B. says, "When my daughter Cathy’s first grandchild was on the way, she chose the name 'Mumsie' in honor of my grandmother, who was called this by her many grandchildren.

"When baby Emma started talking, however, Mumsie became 'Mushie,' which it remains to this day.

"Papa Bruce was shortened to 'Papa.' I’m sure there are a lot of Papas around, but have you ever met another Mushie?"

On getting hitched

Herb Whitman, of Denham Springs, adds to our discussion of old Southern sayings:

"My momma in north Louisiana had a saying I don’t hear at all down here.

"When someone she knew would marry someone a little questionable, she’d say, 'They hitched their wagon to a bad team of mules.'

"Do you think she was talking about my wife, Linda?"

(On this one, Herb, "Brer Smiley, he lay low…")

Helping hand

Karen Poirrier, of Lutcher, says, "Whenever I check out at a register after shopping, I turn the code on each item facing upward so that it is visible to the checker.

"Conversing with a checker at a grocery store, I asked her if doing so was helpful. She said, 'Definitely! It saves time, speeds up the line and lessens the strain on the eyes and hand.'

"Perhaps you could encourage your readers to do likewise, to help the checkers who scan for hours, and the shoppers who stand in long lines."

Say what?

Henry Bradsher offers this "variation on items about accents and pronunciations:

"When I entered the Air Force during the Korean War, a bunch of we second lieutenants were marshaled by Capt. Blake, a World War II retread.

"Referring to the foam-rubber grommets in our officers’ caps to hold their shape, he warned us not to imitate the caps’ '20-mission crush' of pilots by taking out the 'gourmets.'

"More memorably, since we were supposed to go into psychological warfare, Blake declared forcefully, 'I don’t want any puh-swaydo intellectuals in this unit.'

"Ever since, 'puh-swaydo' has been a favorite term in my family for false or artificial things. When I use it in the presence of others, however, I have to explain the 'pseudo' joke."

Special People Dept.

  • Laura Cotton celebrated her 99th birthday on Sunday, Dec. 3. She taught English and Latin at Baton Rouge High 25 years before retiring.
  • Charles E. Peavy Sr. celebrates his 96th birthday on Monday, Dec 4.
  • Pat and Sonny Spiller celebrated 72 years of marriage on Sunday, Dec. 3.

Thought for the Day

From Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon: "Tell me the page in the drivers' handbook that says putting on your turn signal gives you instant right of way."

Kitchen confidential

Tom Boone, of Gonzales, offers this helpful suggestion regarding a green veggie discussed here recently:

"Add coconut oil to your kale, to make it easier to scrape into the trash."

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0371 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.