Dear Smiley: The Advocate article about Mike the Tiger’s trips around the stadium in his cage brought back this memory:

In the middle ’60s, while standing on the first level of the southeast end zone entry ramp (the one from under which Mike’s cage make its entrance), we witnessed a Tiger-Aggie meeting.

While the cage sat waiting to enter the stadium, a uniformed Texas A&M cadet ran up and banged on Mike’s cage.

Mike proceeded to lunge at the Aggie, rocking the cage and roaring at the falling, fearful ROTC student.

The local crowd went crazy — and I think I saw Mike smile.



Mama’s way

Dear Smiley: Recently my mother required surgery, and I convinced her and my dad to spend her recovery time with my husband and me.

She proceeds to tell me that when washing her clothes she did not put Dad’s blue jeans in the dryer, or her underclothes, his shirts or her clothes.

As I sat and listened to this I finally said, “So basically what you are telling me is that you have a dryer for towels only.”

She didn’t miss a beat: “Yes; do you have clothes pins? Don’t worry about it; I’ve already packed them!”

Happy to say she recovered quickly — and I don’t think she knew exactly how many times I dried her clothes!


Baton Rouge

Talking Texan

Dear Smiley: Although a Frozen Nawth native, I have resided in southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas since 1974, prior to my evacuation to the Baton Rouge area due to Hurricane Rita.

I recently attended a friend’s high school reunion in rural (redundant?) southeast Texas.

I heard the following sayings, which were new to me:

“Twitterlated,” which has nothing to do with social networking, but is an expression of excitement.

Also, “The cheese fell off his cracker,” which indicates a low level of intelligence.



The street where she lives

Dear Smiley: I love the neighborhood street I live on in Baton Rouge, Bermuda Avenue.

I walk my dog every day, so I get to see everyone’s houses and occasionally the people who live in them.

On my street the houses are not far apart, there are sidewalks for all to use and residents are respectful and tolerant of each other.

But mostly it’s special because of the cultural diversity that each house reflects.

As I walk past, I know that each household has a unique story to tell, and I love seeing a small vignette of their lives as I’m passing by.

I am very lucky to have found this street, and want all my neighbors to know it.


Baton Rouge

Born free

Dear Smiley: Last week Elaine came home with eggs, in a recyclable cardboard carton stamped “Cage Free.”

I was reminded of visits to Grandmother Hardin’s in Greenwood, Miss., in the ’50s.

She had a cow, pigs and chickens.

We always had “cage free” eggs, although Grandmother called them yard eggs. You may need to explain this to your young readers.


McKinney, Texas

A fan forever

Dear Smiley: Noting your mention of LSU fans in obituaries:

Since moving to Columbia, Tenn., I have seen notices that stated the deceased was a fan of Tennessee football — and any team that was playing LSU.


Columbia, Tenn.

Vacation in paradise

Dear Smiley: With the year 2013 quickly arriving, I decided to ask my wife, Karen, about our plans for vacationing during the coming year.

She said she wants to plan a day to travel to Baton Rouge to eat a po-boy and drink a root beer at the Pastime.

Then she wants to see some sites in Louisiana, beginning with Back Brusly.

Do you have any suggestions on how I can plan an outing to make this day special?



Dear Buddy: With visits to the Pastime and Back Brusly, it sounds as if you have your day pretty well planned. Have fun!

Aging process

Dear Smiley: While taking a walk I noticed a truck with a bumper sign that read “This vehicle makes frequent stops.”

The older I get, the more I understand the reason for those warnings. I need to get one for my car before my next long road trip.



Use of force

Dear Smiley: Don’t leave on vacation again — you are missed!


Baton Rouge

Dear Emily: It’s not that I WANT to leave — The Advocate’s management makes me. They lock the door to my office and patrol the parking lot to keep me away until my vacation days are all used up.

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.