I was wondering — do people still take Sunday afternoon drives, not going anywhere, but just riding around?

When I was a kid in north Baton Rouge, my dad would have the car washed on Saturday for the Sunday drive. After church and a fried chicken dinner, and maybe a short nap, we'd pile in the Plymouth and go…nowhere in particular.

Sometimes we'd ride around the lakes and the LSU campus, stopping to visit Mike the Tiger. Sometimes we'd go way out past the "Traffic Circle" and head out Florida to Denham Springs or Airline to Gonzales.

Sometimes we'd cross the U.S. 190 bridge for a drive up to New Roads or down to Donaldsonville. Sometimes we'd drive around the more affluent neighborhoods and look at the expensive homes.

As I neared my teen years, I started grousing about having to go on these rides, and my folks would bribe me with the promise of ice cream from Hopper's on Scenic Highway at the end of the trip.

But as my friends began to get cars of their own, I lived in horror of being spotted by one of my high school buddies (or worse yet, a high school girl), sitting in the back of my parents' car with my little brother, slurping a malt.

Finally even Hopper's ice cream couldn't get me to go with them.

What I'd give for a chance to take one of those rides again…

Lawyers at war

Remember when cigarettes could be advertised, but not lawyers' services?

Paul Major, of Livonia, comments on a battle over advertising by two Baton Rouge attorneys that's giving them lots of unpaid publicity in the news these days:

"I feel sure that I'm not the only one following with interest the spat between two local high-profile lawyers. I'm hoping that one outcome is that they both spend so much energy and money on the set-to that little of both is left over for their ubiquitous TV commercials."

Feuding Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers McKernan, Guirard want trial, not settlement

From YaYa to Oma

Jerry Berggren says when their first grandchild was about to arrive, he opted for Pops as his grandparent name, but "future grandma Rose stated, 'I don't care what they call me, as long as it's not one of those YaYa names.'

"So, of course, today we are known to our four grandchildren as Pops and YaYa."

And some grandparents' names reflect their heritage:

Susan Hodges-Rozas says, "When my first grandson was born, I wanted a different kind of name, and being from Dutch ancestry, I chose Oma and their grandfather is Opa."

And Keith Horcasitas says, "Per my Spanish heritage, as kids we called my dad's parents Tita and Tito respectively, for Grandma (Abuelita) and Grandpa (Abuelito), Our kids called my parents the same!"

Special People Dept.

Jack and Nelda Laurent Coffee, of Sunset, celebrated 58 years of marriage on Nov. 6.

Weather report

"As a lifelong seaman," says Shlomo Pielstick-Kennedy, "I have navigated in the Black Sea, the Red Sea, the White Sea and the Yellow Sea (strangely enough, they were all blue).

"Here's some valuable information you might want to pass on to your readers:

"As you must know, in Louisiana, if it rains while the sun is shining, the people say, 'The devil is beating his wife.'

"In Ghana, West Africa, they say, 'An elephant is having a baby.'

"And in Mozambique, East Africa, they say, 'Two monkeys are getting married.'"

Those old sayings

Jim Chapman says, "When asked, 'How are you doing?' my favorite old sayings are either, 'I'm as fine as frog hair' or, 'Everything is chicken but the gravy, and even it is chicken gravy.'

"Pretty bad, huh? But people are remarkably tolerant of old folks."

(Right, Jim — and I'm very glad of that…)

Secret society

Beverly Bulligan, of Kenner, says, "There have been a couple of church stories in your column lately, so I would like to add another.

"My sister was taking my small children to church with her one Sunday, and she reminded them that, 'We don’t talk in church.'

"Little Mike told her, 'Yeah, we can just tell secrets.'"

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.