Dear Smiley: In keeping with your pieces on “kids say the darndest things:”

My very busy daughter Les emailed me a while back to say that our innocent and sweet little Emma, age 4, while on the run early one weekday morning to get to school with her dad, Brandon, hurriedly approached her to say this:

“Mommy, bye Mommy; I’m leaving to go to school now and I want you to know there will be no hitting, no spitting, and no bad words like loser, stupid ...

“I love you, Mommy.”

I think my daughter was a bit flabbergasted, only for a minute, when she realized her baby was beginning to embrace her own brand of school discipline, or otherwise be sentenced to permanent timeout.

Youth is not always wasted on the young.


St. Amant

The world-changer

Dear Smiley: Upon the passing of iconic legend Steve Jobs, all I can say is “iThankYou.”


Baton Rouge

Welcome back!

Dear Smiley: When I read the item about the Aggies in your column, the comments from Algie Petrere brought back fond memories.

My best friend Emile “Tank” Kennedy and I attended almost every LSU home game for about 30 years until he passed away a couple of years ago.

Even though we both bled purple and gold, we always looked forward to the Aggies coming to Tiger Stadium and getting to see the Aggie band’s pregame show.

As Algie said, it gave us goose bumps — and being a former member of “The Golden Band From Tiger Land” I really appreciated their routine.

We were upset when the Tigers took the Aggies off their schedule, and we could no longer be treated to one of the best pregame shows in the country.

If you haven’t seen this routine in person, be sure to go see it the next time the Aggies come to Tiger Stadium to get beat.

It’s worth the price of a ticket.


Baton Rouge

Remember service?

Dear Smiley: Your reader’s recollection of 31-cent gasoline reminded me of when I earned $14 a week in the early ’50s working at Spring’s Esso on St. Ferdinand Street.

But it also made me remember that when a customer drove up for 31-cent gasoline, they also got their front and rear windshields cleaned, their car swept out, oil, water and battery checked, the gas pumped for them, a look at a little sticker to see whether it might be time for an oil change — and a smile and genuinely felt “Thank you.”

All of that service, no matter whether it was for a full tank or $1.

A far cry from today, when motorists must do everything themselves — and then get a message: “See clerk inside for receipt.”


Denham Springs

A Lada fun

Dear Smiley: Marsha Reichle’s joke about the Russian auto, the Lada, is funny, and probably true for most Ladas on the road.

It reminded me of a trip across Greece I took in one several years ago.

It was a small car, and there were six adults in it, five of whom were a tad overweight.

All except me spoke Russian.

The name Lada is a common Russian woman’s name, and there was once a Queen Lada of Russia. The car is probably the namesake of the queen.

We have a toy poodle named Queen Lada.

The name is pronounced just like it is spelled, “lah-dah.”

Just to be sure, I verified it with my Russian wife, Irena Nicholaevna Lunova Sougakova Johnson.



Give ’em credit

Dear Smiley: I have been reading with much interest the “credit checks” of the past.

When my wife and I were newlyweds attending LSU in 1967, we needed a washing machine.

We went to Ourso’s on the corner of Chippewa and Plank Road and picked one out.

Mr. Milton Ourso asked how we wanted to pay, and I said I thought we could pay $10 a month for 12 months.

The credit check went something like this:

Mr. Milton asked, “You’re married to Duck and Bess Greer’s daughter, aren’t you?”

My answer, “Yes.”

That was it! Never missed a payment.

Whatever happened to those days?

Somehow, I think we’ve regressed.


Elizabethtown, Ky.