Before you say anything, this isn’t a possum story: it’s a shotgun story, and a wedding story. But not like you think...

Faye Melancon tells this one:

“Dating in the late ’50s was set up to cuddle in the front room, keeping an ear out for possible adult supervision.

“So when we heard a knock on the front door, my boyfriend (presently my husband of 58 years) and I straightened up, somewhat nervous since it was 11 p.m. (That was late in those days.)

“Opening it, I found myself face-to-face with my aunt, who was holding a shotgun in her arms.

“Husband-to-be got up to run; I began to turn to also run when she said, ‘There’s a possum in the tree by your Gramma’s bedroom and she wants him to kill it.’ (Our house was a duplex. She and Gramma lived on one side and my dad and I lived on the other.)

“Somehow she knew I had a handy male with me, and she felt he could kill possums.

“His answer to her made me decide for sure he was the man for me:

“‘Ma’am, it’s late at night and there’s no way we should be killing possums. The neighbors would complain.’

“He had never met her, so I introduced them by saying, ‘Vera, this is the man I’m going to marry. We’d like you to come to the wedding.’

“She lowered the shotgun, shook his hand, and came to the wedding, sans shotgun.”

A hairy gator!

OK, this one IS a possum story, from Michael L. Vincent, DDS:

“I grew up in the country south of Sulphur. An outside ‘wash house’ containing a washing machine, freezer, etc., was the norm.

“After supper it was my chore to go out there and get ice cream for the family. Laden with multiple cartons, I (10 years old) was returning them in the dark. I flipped the light on and heard hissing and saw snarling teeth.

“Ice cream flew over the backyard as I ran screaming, ‘Alligator!’

“My daddy later assured me it was a possum. I never did that chore again.”

Which reminds me

When I was in junior high (now called middle school) in north Baton Rouge, we had one of those wash houses Michael Vincent talks about above. Our washer was one of those round ones with a removable top.

One day I was sitting on the ground outside the wash house chatting with one of my buddies when my baby brother Louis picked up the top and it somehow came down on my head (he claimed accident; yeah, right...).

I wrote about the incident for the Istrouma Junior High my first byline, liked it, and decided to get more...

Creative story-telling

Vallan Corbett says mention of Baton Rouge’s Hoo Shoo Too Road brought to mind this story:

“In 1987, I took my two daughters to Washington, D.C., on an educational trip. When we landed at Dulles airport, I realized my only credit card was expired. I had to think fast.

“When I got to the car rental booth, the young man asked if he could help me. In an exaggerated Southern accent, I said I was from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and lived on Hoo Shoo Too Road; it got its name from a gentleman’s club at the end of the road by the Amite River; the old porter would come out and ask...well, you know.

“I am not sure that young man ever looked at my credit card, he was so glad to hand me the keys to a Dodge Aries and see me go away.”

Don’t fight him!

Mary Lynn McMains sent this note over after the death of Muhammad Ali:

“In 1976 or so, my husband Chuck and I were in New York City staying at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

“One morning Chuck was leaving the hotel through the revolving doors, and suddenly the motion stopped. He looked over, and the champ had a grip on the bar and was standing there grinning and shaking his fist.

“Needless to say, Chuck smiled and waved back, and both parties went on their way.”

Special People Dept.

— Helen Boudreaux, of Convent, celebrates her 93rd birthday on Wednesday, June 15.

— Marino Bill Lafontaine, of Amber Terrace Assisted Living in Baton Rouge, celebrates his 90th birthday on Wednesday, June 15.

— Gloria Schexnayder celebrates her 90th birthday on Wednesday, June 15.

— Ken and Jean Grider celebrate their 66th anniversary on Wednesday, June 15.

— Adrian and TeeDee Cordes, of Whealdon Estates in Baton Rouge, formerly of New Orleans, celebrate their 59th anniversary on Wednesday, June 15.

Complimenting Mom

Another “funny kid” story from Cathy O’Keefe, of Harvey:

“When my oldest son was about 6, he had a lot of trouble with the snap/button on his jeans, and asked if I could help him.

“I said, ‘Yes, sweetheart,’ and proceeded to help.

“When I finished he looked up at me with a smile on his face, and said, ‘Thanks, Mom. You’re the best hooker in the whole wide world!’”

Contacting Smiley

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.