James Clary Jr. says, "Your feature on grandparents' names has me remembering sage childhood advice received from my paternal grandmother, who embraced the time-honored role of 'Maw-Maw' for her regiment of grandchildren.
"After teaching in St. Landry Parish schools for over 40 years, Maw-Maw Clary could size up and redirect any kid's problematic situation, as she did for me once as a 5-year-old.
"Crying after a deserved swat on the rear from Dad for some repeated infraction, I ran to Maw-Maw, who leaned down to receive me.
"'Awww,' she said to me gently, 'Why you cryin'?'
"'Daddy whipped me,' I huffed and bubbled.
"'Well, what did you do, James Ronald?'
"After reporting on the foolish infraction resulting in the needed punishment, Maw-Maw leaned closer to me with that loving face and gave me advice I remember to this day: 'Now, James Ronald…if you're gonna be STUPID, you gotta be TOUGH.'
"I have rigorously and thoroughly tested this pronouncement over the decades. Maw-Maw was right."
"Kids do the darndest neat things…out of love," says Keith Horcasitas.
"On a radio show's 'Good kid of the week' segment, I heard a dad proudly share a story about his 7-year-old daughter Suzie:
"Suzie had been giving out candy to folks at a nursing home during a church-sponsored Thanksgiving visit.
"After she thought she had given everyone a treat and was munching on some Cheetos, another resident came up asking for a goodie.
"So Suzie, without missing a beat, said, 'Would you like a Cheeto?'
"The recipient beamed from ear to ear as the handful of 'cheesy love' was shared."
T.W. says, "After reading Tony Falterman’s hair highlighting tips last week, I’ll share my own bleaching story.
"In the '80s, when 'rat tails' were an appropriate snub at 'the man' — or at least a little better than a full mullet — I sported a healthy 4-inch rat tail.
"I decided it needed a bit more flair, so I set out to bleach it.
"And, as any 14-year-old boy knows (no internet back then, folks), you bleach hair with, duh, bleach, right?
"I dipped my beautiful rat tail in a cup of bleach for about two minutes.
"When I looked at the back of my head in the mirror to admire my work, all I saw was a neatly cropped cut line that any high school administrator would love.
"My beloved rat tail was dissolved like Milli Vanilli’s chances of ever winning a Grammy.
"Funny thing, though — I seemed to be the only one who mourned its passing."
Special People Dept.
Faune (Mrs. John) Ruppe Futral, of Port Barre, celebrates her 101st birthday on Wednesday, Dec. 6. She is a volunteer at Opelousas General Hospital, active in Port Barre Methodist Church and president of the local Young at Heart Club.
Veto this veggie
Marsha R. says brunch at a "very good" Baton Rouge restaurant "is always accompanied by 'broccolini' as the vegetable.
"It looks like skinny broccoli but tastes worse, and it is always tough (you expect a skinny vegetable to be tender).
"None of us eat it, and it goes back to the kitchen, where you might think they simply serve it to the next diners — it surely would become more tender as it was reheated over and over.
"So I looked up this vegetable, and surprise! — it is a type of broccoli and kale (kai-lan, Chinese kale), the two most disliked vegetables, hybrid and united in infamy.
"Both of them are actually ornamental vegetables, and should have remained that way."
Gene Duke, who played football at Istrouma High during the Billy Cannon era, notes that at Baton Rouge High it was the Jimmy Taylor era:
"I told Jimmy I recall the classic Green Bay Packers-New York Giants championship game, where he and great Giants linebacker Sam Huff went against each other.
"Jimmy told me every time Sam tackled him, he said, 'Taylor, you stink!'
"Jimmy added, 'When I scored the winning touchdown, Sam made the tackle, but I was over the goal line.
"'I asked him, "How do I smell now, Sam?"'"