Warren Byrd, of Baton Rouge, offers these thoughts on parent types:

"Seems like every parent group has a designated 'softee' or 'hard-liner' when I comes to raising their children.

"For me, my dad was the hard-liner and my mom was the softee. When I raised my kids, I was the hard-liner and my wife Arlene was the softee.

"This pre-Christmas story will reveal the category into which my son fits.

"A few days before Christmas my son Matthew and his wife, Allison, took their two boys, Warren and Robert, to Toys R Us to buy a last-minute gift for their cousin.

"Warren, only 2, immediately found himself a toy and informed his mom that she had to buy it for him. Allison said no, despite Warren's insistence and foot-stomping.

"Then Warren said, 'I need to talk to Dad about this.'

"Guess what? Warren got the toy. Now we know that Daddy Matthew is clearly the softee in their family."

Which reminds me

My dad, Smiley Sr., was definitely the softee in our family. While my mom kept a tight grip on the purse strings, she couldn't always halt Dad's generous impulses.

Once we had a family dinner at Toby's, a fine Opelousas restaurant. My daughter Tammy's two little girls, Katie and Mandy, were at that ultra-cute stage, and knew that their great-grandfather was a softee.

When they spotted the lobster tank, they were fascinated, and before we knew it my dad had ordered a lobster for the girls, in addition to the dinner we had already ordered.

The look on my mom's face when that huge lobster came out and was deposited in front of the girls had everyone at the table collapsing in laughter.  

Mountain Cajun

One of my favorite contributors, Jaime Bourgeois, writes to say that "after 40 years at sea and 17 years of teaching at the Texas Maritime Academy in Galveston, I have finally retired and moved to Colorado. From our house we can see Pike's Peak. It is almost as pretty as the Atchafalaya swamp."

While he wrote under the pen name "Shlomo Pielstick-Kennedy," I used his real name when, years ago, I ran the poem he put in a Christmas greeting to his brother, Dr. George Bourgeois, of Opelousas, expressing his love for his home state:

"May your hogs be fat and greasy

and your cows be full of milk.

May your days be filled with pleasure

and your bedsheets made of silk.

May your dogs have expert noses

and your cat catch many mice.

May your house be free of roaches

and your heads devoid of lice.

May your Christmas bring you closer

to the sacred love of God.

May you never be required to leave

sweet Louisiana's sod." 

Faux French?

Lawrence Hecker heartily agrees with a statement by David La Breche in the Monday column:

"At last someone has pointed out that 'Geaux' in French is not pronounced 'Go,' but something like 'Joe' — albeit buried in a column with a headline about Henry Ford.

"Can't you put it smack at the top of page 1A?

"There's too much fake French going around Louisiana these days. French people visiting here must think we're ignorant."

Stop the press

Speaking of Geaux, Dale Saizan adds to the Wednesday story about bumper stickers prepared when Bo Rein was named LSU football coach, then died in a plane crash:

"Paul Duffy is correct about the 'Geaux Beaux' bumper stickers. I know because I was the pressman printing them when J.K. Land came to the press room and said to stop the press — because the plane had gone missing with the coach and pilot."

Special People Dept.

  • Frankie Lofton, of Amber Terrace Assisted Living in Baton Rouge, celebrates her 94th birthday on Friday, Jan. 12.
  • Joyce Rayne Hernandez, of Plaquemine, celebrates her 90th birthday on Sunday, Jan. 14.

Hear, hear! 

Del Hahn says Pierre, who was hard of hearing, was proudly showing Boudreaux his expensive, new state-of-the art hearing aid.

Boudreaux, impressed, asked, "What kind is it?"

Pierre looked at his watch: "Ten after six."

Louisiana Haiku

Football winding down

Saban lifts trophy once more

That same old story 

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.