Dear Smiley: Remember Bishop Stanley Ott?

He was the bishop of Baton Rouge from 1983 until his death in 1992.

My wife, Gloria, taught at Sacred Heart School during that time, and she recalls one occasion when Bishop Ott came to Sacred Heart to speak to the student congregation.

All were gathered in the church, and Bishop Ott began interacting with the children.

At one point he asked, “Who can tell me what it means to give alms to the poor?”

A little kindergarten hand went up, and Bishop Ott said, “OK, sonny, what does it mean to give alms to the poor?”

With true youthful pride and bravado, the kid yelled out, “It means to give ’em guns and knives!”


Baton Rouge

Grandma’s head games

Dear Smiley: Allergy season in Louisiana is at an all-time high.

During a visit with my allergist, Dr. James Kidd, he instructed me to not wear hair on my forehead, because hair catches allergens that will fall into and affect my eyes.

To fulfill his request, when I awoke in the morning I began by putting a hair band on my bangs to keep them off my forehead.

Then I tried using bobby pins or a barrette.

I finally settled on rolling my bangs with a blue brush roller.

One day my 15-year-old grandson Taylor came home from school, and immediately upon entering the house asked me to please comb my hair before his friends visited.

The following day I baby-sat my 2-year-old granddaughter Kenley, who immediately upon entering the house walked to my bedroom, took a blue brush roller from my makeup counter and asked me to put it in her hair.

Now, Smiley, how’s that for embarrassing a teenager and encouraging a toddler to “monkey-see-monkey-do?”



Humming healer

Dear Smiley: Reading Sarah Stravinska’s story about Dr. Gerald Hubbell (in the May 21 column) reminds me of the l980s, when he treated me for hypertension.

That delightful gentleman would enter the examination room humming, and continued humming till the end — but leaving generous time for discussion of the medical situation!

When I see Dr. and Mrs. Hubbell attending a musical at my current place of employment, I think of Dr. Hubbell’s humming during my office visits, and how I used my “singing” voice to deal with my stress as a high school teacher.



Gnasty gnomes

Dear Smiley: Regarding phrases that should be banned, I would like to add, “Gnome sayin’?” to Roy Miller’s “Just saying” at the end of a statement.

“Do you know what I’m saying?”, when spoken quickly, sounds like “Gnome sayin’?”

This is my “hookt on fonix” opinion — it should be forgotten also.


Baton Rouge

A doctor’s hand

Dear Smiley: Your recent column that mentioned college exam blue books reminded me of my taking of the state bar many years ago.

Not only were we required to use blue books for our exam answers, but we also had to have a legible handwriting.

The current push to make sure cursive is taught in our schools would have done me no good.

I had to print my answers so that the writing was somewhat legible.

That followed me through my entire career.

I often had to ask my secretaries to read my notes or interpret them for me!

Lots of times I got the “You should have been a doctor” complaint.



Legendary student

Dear Smiley: There is a legend that more than a half-century ago an LSU football player arrived unprepared for a Monday morning test.

He is said to have written in his blue book, “I kicked the game-winning field goal Saturday night,” and turned it in.

It was returned to him with a B-plus.



Drinking problem

Dear Smiley: Here’s my most current “old man whine:”

We enjoy dining out with friends, often combined with a “road trip” to new venues.

Restaurant servers/hostesses seem to be trained in speed dining; they want to know “What would you like to drink?” before your butt hits the chair!


(Displaced Metry Yat)


Dear Bob: I’m going to have to disagree with you there, Bob...I’m often thirsty by the time I arrive at the dining place, and I welcome the offer of a cold root beer — the sooner the better.

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.