Dear Smiley: Reading your Wednesday posting, “Ever Just Go For A Ride?,” certainly rings several bells in my memory.

It seems like at least once a month, back in the late '60s and early '70s, Mom and Pop would load my little brother and me up to “go for a ride and maybe ice cream.”

The next thing we knew, we were on the beaches of Biloxi and Gulfport.

Having not packed anything, we would hit the cheap souvenir shops along the beach for the latest in affordable swimwear and hit the water.

Later, we would track down toothbrushes and secure a room at one of the beachfront motels.

This activity took place so often, I think we could have opened a swimwear store.

Pop decided to start keeping swimsuits in the trunk of the family car to avoid adding to our collection. So the next time we went for a ride, we got to the beach and retrieved our swimsuits — only to discover the heat of the south Louisiana sun through the trunk had a “starching and shrinking” effect on them. We continued to add to our swimwear collection as needed.

Mom and Pop are gone now. Thanks for bringing about some very happy memories.

JOE SHOWS JR.

Baton Rouge

Dear Joe: Wow, what cool parents!

Follow that ornament!

Dear Smiley: Like you, I went on Sunday family rides in the '40s to the Florida traffic circle, Mike the Tiger's cage (and the Indian mounds), Third Street and Main Street, the gravel River Road south of LSU (stopping to pick blackberries), the ferry, St. Francisville, the State Capitol and other "sights," always at 35 to 45 miles per hour in our 1936 Chevrolet!

Happily, Mary and I still spontaneously say, "Let's go for a ride," get in our car and take off. We call it "following the hood ornament."

Reflecting on your column and this response, I was struck by how relaxed and fulfilled I felt then, and now, at the end of each ride

DUDLEY LEHEW

Marrero

Aerial view

Dear Smiley: The "teachable moment" in the Tuesday column involving geese reminds me of a few weeks ago, when we were traveling from Pineville to Baton Rouge for the Arkansas-LSU game.

We saw a flock of large white fowl with black wing tips flying near Port Allen, and were trying to guess what they were. I suggested a flock of ducks in a state of mutiny, since there was an obvious lack of formation.

Found out later during the game, when a similar group flew over Tiger Stadium, that they were white pelicans. They caused quite a stir in my section, and apparently the whole stadium, I heard!

CINDY BLACK BOUCHIE

Pineville

Dear Cindy: The pelicans were lucky they weren't flying over Auburn's stadium when they turn that "war eagle" loose.

Buss stop

Dear Smiley: When her first grandchild was born, all my mother-in-law, Helen Faucheaux, wanted to do was hold her new granddaughter and kiss her.

So we dubbed her grandmotherly name to be “Kissie,” and she loved it. Even though Kissie is an angel in heaven, when we talk about her, we still refer to her as Kissie.

JIMMIE PAPIA

Metairie

The greens guy 

Dear Smiley: Regarding your Thursday mention of kale:

This is the way I prepare kale. While my greens are cooking — mustard, turnip or collard — I chop the kale with the garbage disposal. It is very satisfying.

When I want to get "way out there," I cook Swiss chard. You can also substitute it for spinach in a salad. And it actually tastes good, unlike kale.

BOB DOWNING

Baton Rouge

Educational experience

Dear Smiley: Once again, you have forced me to look up the meaning of a word via the internet that you have used in your column. ("Grousing" on Wednesday.)

I have noticed over the years that every now and then you use a word in your column to either help people improve their vocabulary or to prove that your column is both casual writing and intellectual at times.

ELWYN BOCZ

Lutcher

Dear Elwyn: Intellectual? That's a new one…

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.