Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, is chuckling about a note from Marilyn Wagoner, a former Baton Rougean now living in Fort Worth.

Her “Eating in the ’50s” recollections rang a bell with him.

Here are some of the things she remembered about ’50s meals:

“Pasta had not been invented. It was macaroni or spaghetti.

“A take-away was a mathematical problem.

“Bananas and oranges only appeared at Christmas time.

“A Big Mac was what we wore when it was raining.

“Brown bread was something only poor people ate.

“Oil was for lubricating, fat was for cooking.

“Chickens didn’t have fingers in those days.

“None of us had ever heard of yogurt.

“Seaweed was not a recognized food.

“‘Kebab’ was not even a word, never mind a food.

“Surprisingly, muesli was readily available. It was called cattle feed.

“Pineapples came in chunks in a tin; we had only ever seen a picture of a real one.

“The one thing we never ever had on our table in the ’50s was elbows!”

Car with a catch

Joe F. Cannon tells of one way to save money on gasoline:

“In the early 1960s we operated a fixed-base facility on one of Tulsa’s municipal airports.

“It was very common for inbound visitors to inquire if we had a courtesy car they could use.

“We bought one of the early VW Bugs, which was not equipped with a gas gauge.

“If you ran out of gas, you turned a lever on the dashboard which gave you about 20 extra miles.

“We left the lever in that position all the time.

“When someone would ask to borrow the Bug, we would tell them we didn’t know how much fuel was in the car, and it would be advisable to get gas at the first filling station they came to.

“We seldom had to buy gas for the VW.”

Etiquette 101

Susan Koehler, of Metairie, says, “Once we were having dinner with my mother, who loved to talk.

“On this occasion she was so immersed in her story that she wasn’t completely finished chewing before talking.

“Son Adam, about 6, was trying hard to learn proper table manners, but had not yet mastered them.

“He told her, ‘Maw Maw, it’s not polite to eat with words in your mouth!’”

Seek that reek!

Doug Johnson, of Watson, says the story in the Wednesday Heloise column about using an excessive amount of garlic “brought to mind my own bout with that wonderful seasoning.

“Many years ago at a crawfish boil in New Orleans, another guest was dipping garlic pods from the pot and eating them.

“It had never occurred to me that they might be good eating, so I tried it for the first time.

“Absolutely delicious!

“Since only the two of us seemed interested in eating the garlic, we had plenty.

“The downside of my indulgence was that I reeked of garlic from every pore for the next two or three days.

“That hasn’t stopped me from enjoying that delicacy each chance I get.”

Pill spilling blues

“Smiley, I need your advice,” says Paul Major.

“I watch those commercials on TV for antacids, vitamins, pain relievers, and the myriad other little things that come in bottles.

“They all show someone upending a full bottle, and out comes only one or two pills.

“I try that and I have pills all over the counter and the floor.

“What am I doing wrong?”

Worthy causes

Circle Civitan Club invites folks with developmental disabilities to a Christmas dance and jambalaya on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at BREC’s Womack Ballroom.

Call (225) 939-2923.

Special People Dept.

  • Jackie and Leroy Owens celebrate their 57th anniversary on Monday, Dec. 1.
  • Lloyd and Betty Bouchereau, of Plaquemine, celebrated their 50th anniversary on Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Always in touch

Kim “Pops” Seago, of Columbia, Tennessee, says, “You know you haven’t been keeping in touch with your Baton Rouge relatives when you apologize and they say, ‘That’s OK, we read about you in Smiley’s column.’”

Our TV critic

Harry Clark, of Lafayette, says, “I keep seeing these ads on TV saying that they will ‘treat me like family.’

“Personally, I don’t think I could stand a lot more family.

“My family all seem to want to borrow money (which doesn’t seem to get paid back very often) or they just want an outright grant.

“I would much rather be treated like a valuable customer.

“And another thing. The politicians are all promising to fight for me.

“Maybe if they would just try working they could accomplish something that would benefit us all.”

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