Alma Mims, of Mandeville, travels down memory lane to add to our "poor folks" stories:

"Years ago we took a ride with our close friends to see each other's old home places.

"Our friends thought they had it bad until they saw my old home place, off an old country gravel road.

"I remember my sister and I would run to the road to meet the 'candy truck' to trade an egg for some candy (I am sure they carried groceries, too). Also, we would race to see who picked the most cotton.

"Getting a bag of oranges or a radio for the whole family's enjoyment at Christmas was a treat.

"Flour came in a bag with designer material made to sew with.

"My dad bought that 40-acre farm for $35 an acre in 1938. His down payment was $199.29, which he says he paid with a Ford coupe and a radio. On the deed his 10 payments were $120.27 a year.

"Those were happy days, full of love and music, with two loving/hardworking parents."

You're from WHERE?

Russ Wise, of LaPlace, says, "A few years back we took my mother on a tour of Great Britain. We hit all the hot spots, including the Welsh town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyndrobwllllantysiliogogoch. Our tour guide, who was Scottish, didn’t even try. He brought a local shopkeeper onto the bus to pronounce it for us.

"Just in case somebody asks, it roughly translates as 'St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysillo near the red cave.'"

Picky computer!

Glenn Giro, of Fort Smith, Arkansas, adds to our discussion of the above-mentioned Welsh town, which I won't mention again because I'm afraid of The Advocate's copy editors:

"I saw that long British town name referenced in Dudley Lehew’s Wednesday column snippet.

"I used it as a password for one log-in, and the system rejected it, saying, 'Password weak. Needs a special character or number.'

"I guess there’s just no pleasing some computer programs."

Budget solver

Roland Rusich, of Mandeville, adds to his Saturday letter about solving the state's budget crisis:

"About my previous message to you: I estimated the 2017-18 state budget to be around $26 billion, and suggested the state cut 5 percent of each department to balance the budget. I was wrong. The estimated budget for the year is actually over $33 billion (I Googled it), including federal funds, which means the state can cut a mere 3½ percent of each department and be in the black.

"That should be a big relief to the department heads."

Special People Dept.

  • Lt. Col. Phil A. St. Amant celebrates his 100th birthday on Saturday, Feb. 3. He is a World War II and Korean War era Army veteran with 20 years of active service.
  • Joseph Matassa celebrates his 95th birthday on Friday, Feb. 2. He is a World War II veteran.
  • Jim and June Street, of Central, celebrate their 50th anniversary on Friday, Feb. 2.
  • Murphy and Marilyn Oufnac, of Ventress, formerly of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 50th anniversary on Saturday, Feb. 3.

Sweet talk

Bobbie Spencer, of Lafayette, makes an offer I can't refuse — dessert with breakfast.

She says she got the idea from a comic strip, and gave it a try:

"After my breakfast of cornbread and syrup with a glass of milk, I decided to have a cup of mandarin oranges for dessert. I'd love to learn how your readers respond to this breakfast dessert."

The big hurt

Cindy Black Bouchie, of Pineville, says, "The comment about tonsillectomies being as common as haircuts reminded me of my dad’s story of his childhood surgery at 4 or 5.

"At the same time as his tonsillectomy he was circumcised. He said he never noticed his throat hurt."

Pet Peeves Dept.

Betty Moss Maggiore, of Baton Rouge, says her mother taught English and three aunts were teachers, so when she sees "10 items or less" signs in grocery stores, she always corrects "less" to "fewer" in her mind. 

Louisiana Haiku

Ready for baseball

Are Tigers Omaha bound?

Hope springs eternal

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.