Dear Smiley: You have had several articles on memorable flights. Here is one I can never forget:
As a field artillery lieutenant in World War II, I was recalled in 1952 and sent to Korea.
The flight over was on an old C-47 with about 20 passengers, all soldiers.
As we approached Midway in the mid-Pacific we encountered a problem. The weather was not good, and the pilot came out to tell us to get his navigator so he could find Midway (only 2 1/2 square miles in size), where we needed to refuel.
The navigator was in the restroom, and when we called for him, the door was jammed and he could not get out.
Fortunately, we found a fire ax and were able to break down the door so the navigator could help the pilot make a safe landing on Midway.
After spending my required year in Korea with the 145th Artillery Battalion, I returned to my wife and two boys — by boat.
Dear Smiley: We have a coyote problem. Residents of the area of Baton Rouge from College Town south for a mile or two, and from Highland Road east to Bayou Duplantier, report numerous coyote sightings and missing cats.
A coyote has been reported caught over in Pollard Estates.
I saw a coyote in my yard several months ago. Recently, after a neighbor reported her orange cat missing, I found orange fur scattered across the yard and the well-gnawed remains of a cat, collar still intact.
A resident south of me reported that his night vision camera caught a coyote feasting on his cat.
Apparently the coyotes are living well on pets that are allowed outdoors, especially at night.
Dear Smiley: Your recent column item on squirrels reminded me of the late "Ta-Leeny" Gaudet, the first person in our area to own a 1964 Mustang. It was a blue with white interior.
On one of his very first trips to Thibodaux from Napoleonville, he saw a squirrel hit by the car in front of him. Feeling sorry for the animal and hoping to revive it, he stopped and put it on his console.
When he reached down to shift, the squirrel bit him on the finger with a vise grip!
He tried shaking the squirrel off his finger and maintain control of his vehicle.
The damage to his finger was modest, once the squirrel let go and was shooed out on the shoulder. However, the blood squirting from his hand as he tried to shake the animal off resulted in the beautiful white interior of his Mustang being turned into red and white polka dots!
Dear Smiley: As I was crossing the Causeway over Lake Pontchartrain early Sunday morning, I noticed a lone small sailboat.
The water was very rough, the wind was strong. I thought, "What were they thinking?"
I couldn't believe what I was seeing — no other boats of any kind around.
Wednesday morning I read in the newspaper they capsized and had to be rescued by Wildlife & Fisheries.
Praying for the Texans and the Floridians who didn't have a choice about being in harms' way.
Dear Smiley: The comment in the Monday column about the GPS pronunciation of Perdido Key (Purdidokey, much like "okey dokey") reminded me of the way the name of my home street in Watson is often mispronounced.
The street is Versailles, and is called "Ver Sally's" by many locals. So much so that when giving my address to visitors looking for me, I tell them to ask for it with that pronunciation if they need help finding it
Fractured French II
Dear Smiley: On my first trip to Paris, at the Hotel Deville metro station I was looking for the men's restroom.
I summoned up my best high school French and asked the ticket agent, "Ou est la salle de bain?"
He looked disdainfully down his nose and replied, "You CANNOT take a bath here!"
Oh well, so much for French 1!