Missy Guilliot, of Lafayette, says, "My daughter and her family moved from Chicago to California. The moving van moved the most, but the family drove a rental van. The trip took three days with their 5-year-old son, Wilder.

"I flew out to help with Wilder while they settled in. The first few days we used the rental van to transport large items such as appliances purchased for the new home.

"When it was time to return the van, my daughter kissed Wilder goodbye, told him she was returning the van and that she would be back soon.

"All was going well until Wilder asked when we would have dinner.

"I casually told him we were going to wait until his mother got back.

"Immediate panic set in when he cried, 'I can't wait three days!'"

Fear of flying

Peter Lambousy, of Harvey, tells why he's not a fan of flying in small planes:

"I was a news photographer when Hurricane Camille tore up the Mississippi coast and the Bay St. Louis U.S. 90 bridge.

"The news director hired the only available pilot and plane he could find. As we took off from Lakefront Airport we could see the wreckage of a similar small plane on the sea wall from the day before.

"Then we learned that our pilot had just learned to fly.

"We made it to Gulfport, but as we were still about 10 feet off the runway our pilot killed the power and we came down hard. Fortunately the plane was very forgiving, and after bouncing quite a bit it rolled to a stop.

"We shot our stories, loaded our gear back in the plane and managed to get back in the air. Heading for New Orleans, I breathed too soon a sigh of relief.

"As the plane went in for a landing, suddenly the tower is screaming at the pilot that he is on the wrong runway.

"Back up we go, taking a sharp turn over the Industrial Canal; so sharp that a wing was pointing right down at the water.

"Somehow he got the plane leveled out, and after circling the field found the right runway and brought it in for a surprisingly smooth landing."

Sky pilot's song

Frank Panepinto, of Baton Rouge, says, "Your mention of the song 'Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer' reminded me of one of my favorite war songs, 'Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.'

"It was based upon a true event. During the attack on Pearl Harbor, Navy chaplain ('sky pilot') Lt. Howell Forgy, aboard the USS New Orleans, began shouting this phrase to the crew members to keep up their morale."

It was made into a song by Frank Loesser in 1942, and Kay Kyser and His Orchestra had a No. 1 hit with it in 1943.

Special People Dept.

  • Wiley Duke celebrates his 92nd birthday on Tuesday, July 18. He is a World War II Battle of the Bulge veteran.
  • Lester and Doris Kennedy, of Metairie, celebrate their 67th anniversary on Saturday, July 22.
  • Frank and Agnes Gros Newchurch, of Labadieville, will be married 65 years on Tuesday, July 18.

The paper chase

After I mentioned uses for this column, such as insulating pipes in cold weather or covering tables at crawfish boils, I heard from Darrell Davis, of Baton Rouge:

"I grew up with an outhouse; a privy if you will. This was before your time, but back in the day you could have been right there with the Monkey Ward catalog and the Tulsa World."

Bye, y'all

This week I'll be on my Well-Deserved Vacation, spending a few days at our usual retreat, Bubba's Exxon, Motel and Bait Shop in Back Brusly. Bubba promises us the room with the color TV, and says he's bought new rabbit ears so we can get TV stations as far away as Lafayette if the weather's just right.

The column resumes a week from Tuesday — unless we get caught up in Back Brusly's night life and are having so much fun we extend our vacation… 

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.