Dear Smiley: Your Buckskin Bill tonsillectomy story reminded me of my own.

I was about 3 years old. My grandfather, who was chief surgeon at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, was to do the operation.

Mom taught me the big word, and Granddaddy assured me that I would get peach ice cream afterwards for my sore throat.

I remember nurses chuckling as I got up on what seemed like an ironing board and announced that I was ready for my tonsillectomy.

After I woke I croaked for my peach ice cream! Granddaddy caught the nurse starting into my room with vanilla ice cream. He told her I HAD to have peach ice cream.

Nurse told him they were out of peach. So this important surgeon drives himself to the ice cream parlor in the middle of his busy day to buy me my peach ice cream.

Now THAT's a granddaddy!

SARAH STRAVINSKA

Chestnut

Close encounter

Dear Smiley: I heard from my son in Bremerton, Washington, last night. Chris is retired Navy, and is working for the Department of Defense out there.

An intrusion on a fence line was spotted, and he, along with another man, went in with guns drawn.

The other guy stopped him with these quiet words: “Don’t move another inch. Don’t turn around. Back out …" It was a black bear.

His short text to me was, “I almost got eaten today.”

My first thought was, "Are there alligators out there?"

I couldn’t call him fast enough.

BONNIE D. SMITH

Denham Springs

Drop that soup!

Dear Smiley: I sent pictures to friends in Idaho of our home with snow. I told them that around here when it’s cold, we usually cook chicken and sausage gumbo, if not seafood gumbo.

Her reply was that she usually cooks egg drop soup when it’s cold.

They love anything Cajun, so I usually send them jambalaya mixes for Christmas. I need to send her a recipe for gumbo, it seems.

LINDA H. WHITMAN

Denham Springs

Ladies' choice

Dear Smiley: I wanted to share the memory of my Buckskin Bill days.

Back in 1966, as a fourth grader at Goodwood Elementary School in Baton Rouge, we had the dreaded assignment from time to time of attending square dance sessions in the gym. For a guy in fourth grade, this was a terrible punishment.

Most of the time, we were assigned partners randomly, but on some occasions, the teacher let the girls choose their partner.

Oh, no! Who would pick me? Would anybody pick me?

As it turned out, whenever it was the girls' time to choose, I was always selected by a nice, pretty girl who was none other than Ann Black — Buckskin Bill’s daughter! Not too bad for this old boy.

BRUCE K. DYSON

Gonzales

Moss harvest

Dear Smiley: Another story about the Louisiana Spanish moss industry of the past:

There were several moss “gins” in Assumption Parish. One was owned and operated by the Joffrion family in Napoleonville, and the last one to be operated in the United States was in Labadieville and operated by the Duet family.

It provided moss for furniture makers, and for fisheries to be used for protecting spawned eggs.

TONY FALTERMAN

Napoleonville

Huey's fake mule

Dear Smiley: The story was told by T. Harry Williams that Huey Long was stumping across south Louisiana during a run for governor.

He held a rally in a small Acadian town around lunch on Sunday, and the crowd started small, then grew large all at one time.

An aide explained to Huey that Mass had just let out. Huey then went on to relate to the crowd how, as a child, he would hitch up the mule and take his Catholic grandparents to Mass on Sunday mornings.

This was well received, but later the aide exclaimed to Huey, "I didn't know your grandparents were Catholic! We can broadcast this across the southern part of the state!"

Huey looked at him and commented, "Trouble is, when I was growing up, we didn't even have a mule!"

DAVID COUVILLON

Brusly

Louisiana Haiku

Mardi Gras snowman

Shows spirit of Carnival

Nothing stops party  

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.