Allow me to give you a couple of examples of why I get such a kick out of writing this column:

“Lady With a Cane” says, “For the past year I have found it necessary to use a walking cane. I have dropped it, left it in stores and otherwise found it to be a nuisance.

“But I have also found the people of Baton Rouge to be the nicest, most helpful anywhere.

“They are opening doors and helping with packages, and just all-around courteous.

“There may be a lot of bad stuff going on, but the good people far outnumber the bad.

“I want to tell each and every one in this town — ‘Thanks, Baton Rouge.’ ”

  • Jack Kyle says, “This week a daughter in Texas received a package from a complete stranger that contained a treasured book inscribed to her and lost years ago in a move to another Texas city.

“Using information from the inscription, this gentleman traced the book back to me here in Baton Rouge, even contacting my last employer for confirmation.

“I discovered that he is a truck driver based in Arizona who travels nationwide.

“He refused repeated attempts to reward him for his kindness, and would not even let me reimburse him for mailing expenses, saying he hoped someone would do the same for him and his family.

“Yes, Smiley, there are still amazing folks like that in our country.”

Say what?

Judy Bradshaw, who told of newspaper bloopers in the Thursday column, has more:

“A small-town paper reported that the mayor’s wife had just died, and the old icehouse had burned down.

“Her picture was on the front page. Under it was the caption intended for the icehouse photo: ‘Old eyesore gone at last.’

“And the small-town paper where my husband’s family lives once had a headline for a marriage that was supposed to say ‘United in a ceremony.’ It said ‘United in a cemetery.’ ”

Buck survives

The story of Buck has captured the attention of folks in the Franklin area and beyond:

The young pit bull was found in tall grass on the side of the road, severely injured and unable to move.

Ulysee Dumesnil, new president of the St. Mary Chapter of the Humane Society, was told about the injured dog and took him to Adrienne Animal Hospital, a local veterinary clinic. There it was found that Buck had been shot in the rear leg and left to die.

Ulysee contacted the Humane Society of Louisiana, which sent out a news release on Buck’s condition.

Once the story got out, donations to pay for Buck’s medical treatment came from as far away as California.

Buck was treated for several ailments, including advanced heartworm disease, and is scheduled to have his leg reset at the LSU Vet School. He’s expected to make a full recovery.

My furry Valentine

Speaking of pets, Companion Animal Alliance offers cats and kittens for half price through Feb. 17 during a “Have a Heart, Save a Life” promotion.

All pets adopted from the shelter “have been examined by a veterinarian, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped and heartworm or FIV tested.”

Many CAA pets may be seen on Project Purr BR is offering the same prices. Check out

Adoptions are at the East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Shelter, 2680 Progress Road. Call (225) 774-7701.

Special People Dept.

  • Anna McAnelly Fronczek Strait, of Pearsall, Texas, celebrates her 93rd birthday Saturday.
  • Georgie Hingle, of Prairieville, a resident of lower Plaquemines Parish before Hurricane Katrina, celebrates her 92nd birthday Saturday.
  • Rufus Price, a Navy veteran of World War II, celebrates his 90th birthday Sunday.
  • On Sunday, Albert and Nita Mitchell, of Harahan, celebrate 67 years of marriage.
  • Bill and Susan Chapman, of Lake Sherwood Village, formerly of Diamondhead, Miss., celebrated their 65th anniversary Thursday.

Profit motive

Marvin Verbois says Ernie Gremillion’s bubble gum story reminded him of this tale:

“When my family moved from north Baton Rouge to University Gardens, I rode the bus to St. Anthony’s and had to transfer across from the City News stand.

“They let me buy five pieces of bubble gum for a nickel. I kept one and sold the other four for a nickel each. (I only felt guilty when I got older.)”

Imported puzzle

Marvin Borgmeyer shows how Spanish Town Mardi Gras Pink Flamingo Fever has spread in this community:

“I was quite surprised by a recent crossword puzzle in The Advocate.

“The clue was ‘lawn ornament,’ and the obvious answer was ‘flamingo.’

“However, it did not fit, and I had to figure out the answer they were looking for was ‘gnome.’

“Obviously, this puzzle was not created by someone from Louisiana, especially for use at this time of the year!”

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.