Dear Smiley: I continue to be amazed at the growth and modernization of Livingston Parish.

In the early ’50s, the feed company I worked for was contracting chicken production in Denham Springs, Livingston, Holden and thereabouts.

One day I was making my way on a rather wooded country road and met up with one of my growers.

He was astride a horse and was carrying a .22 rifle.

I said, “Hello, Mr. Levi! Whatcha doin’?”

“Jes’ markin’ hogs,” he replied, and went on his way.

“Marking hogs” consisted of shooting through a specific ear, on a certain area of the ear, to establish ownership.

Not fancy, but effective!

Times are a-changin’!


Baton Rouge

Grin and bare it

Dear Smiley: One year for Christmas, my wife Jeanette and I decided to give a subscription of Sports Illustrated to our close friend, now deceased, Jesuit priest Father Frank Coco, an avid sports enthusiast.

The three of us were all somewhat embarrassed when the first issue he received was the bathing suit issue.

The subscription was not renewed.



Barbed wit

Dear Smiley: With all the political barbs of late, I am reminded of two of the more humorous quotes from Winston Churchill.

One was an exchange between Churchill and Lady Astor.

She said, “If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.”

He replied, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it!”

The other was an exchange with George Bernard Shaw.

Shaw’s note read: “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend … if you have one.”

Churchill replied: “Cannot possibly attend the first night; will attend the second night … if there is one!”


Baton Rouge

Nightmare Mom

Dear Smiley: When my son Michael was in first grade, his teacher started a program in which a mother would come to school for the day.

Evidently, Michael had suffered on behalf of a classmate whose mom had dressed inappropriately.

He very seriously informed me that I was not to wear hair rollers (an item I did not own); nor was I to wear a “big flowerdy dress” (another item I did not own).

And I was to wear shoes, not bedroom slippers.

I guess he feared that I would somehow morph into his nightmare of a mom.

My husband was more worried that I would wear my purple hip-huggers and Elton John platform shoes.



Let’s make a deal

Dear Smiley: Just to keep those cards and letters rollin’ in about “good and obedient wives:”

Seems God told Adam he could have one.

Adam said, “Sounds great, Lord. But what’ll she cost me?”

God said, “Well, Adam, she’ll cost you an arm and a leg.”

Adam said, “An arm and a leg! Oh, no, Lord, that’s too much.”

God said, “That’s the price, Adam.”

Adam said, “Well, let’s bargain, Lord. What do I get for a rib?”


Baton Rouge

Sticky business

Dear Smiley: The recent inclusion of “childspeak” reminded me of a collection of amusing stories from a Bible school.

Pupils were asked to write about certain figures from the Old Testament.

One young contributor described King Solomon as “a great ruler who had 200 wives and over 700 porcupines.”


River Grove, Ill.

Religious discrimination?

Dear Smiley: I love your stories about comments from kids.

Here’s one that makes me laugh every time I think about it.

When my daughter was about 5 and a kindergartner at St. George Catholic School, she and her dad were shopping at Albertson’s when she had a call of nature.

My husband asked an Albertson’s employee if the store had restrooms.

He was told that “the public restrooms are at the back of the store.”

My husband headed in that direction, but my daughter stopped him and said, “Oh no, Daddy, we can’t use that bathroom. It’s for Publics, and we are Catholics.”


Baton Rouge