It’s the travel season, when folks pile into cars or stand in long lines at airports to go someplace else.

Linda H. Whitman, of Denham Springs, is here to help those travelers who are hitting the road:

“Just having returned from a 20-day driving vacation out West, I thought I’d share some tips.

“Everywhere you stop, folks love to hear your Southern accent. Most want to know if you are from Texas.

“If you use the Google app on your cell, the lady giving directions DOES NOT have a Southern accent. It’s a handicap for sure. Take that road atlas as a backup.

“Take your favorite local coffee. Several bags. Unless you like puny coffee.

“Take rolls of quarters for washing/drying your dirty clothes.

“Do watch out for buffalo, bear and deer on the roads. They love the roads like you do. Ask the grizzly we met unexpectedly during a snowstorm.

“Just thought to help your readers out.”

And I’m sure they’re grateful, Linda.

Make Dad’s day

You say Father’s Day is Sunday and you don’t have him a gift yet?

You say he’s impossible to buy for, that you don’t have a clue about what to get him?

You say you’re thinking about just buying him a case of beer and getting it over with?

Well, don’t despair, buckaroos — I’m here to help.

On Saturday, June 18, from 9 a.m. to noon, I’ll be at Red Stick Farmers Market signing my books, “Best of Smiley” and “Smiley! A Laughing Matter.”

They might be just the thing to give old Dad a chuckle — but I’d throw in that case of beer too...

Helping Les

Bob Prejean, of Donaldsonville, says when he heard LSU’s Coach Les Miles ask an audience how they would best utilize the talents of star running back Leonard Fournette, he had this idea — which he considers a stroke of genius, more or less:

“Move him to quarterback! He’s big, strong, fast and smart, and a team player who would no doubt be happy to take on the task to help the Tigers. He would play havoc with the opposing team’s pass rush — how would you bring him down?”

Bob says he’s offering this suggestion to the coach for “not a dime.” (He doesn’t need the money — he’s in the newspaper business.)

Leaving Lee alone

A few final thoughts before we end our search for a way to name Lee High without linking it to the Confederacy:

“I think I have the perfect answer to the Lee High problem,” says Don Andersen. “Name the school after Robert E. Lee’s father, Light Horse Harry Lee, a Revolutionary War hero (and former governor of Virginia).”

This Lee was actually named Henry Lee III — and no, I don’t know how he came to be Harry...

If you were paying attention, you might have seen Scott Calkins’ suggestion in the Tuesday column about naming portions of Lee High for noted Lees — the Harper Lee Literature classroom, the Spike Lee Film Studies theater, etc.

Scott apologizes for leaving out one other facility: “I overlooked the Smi-Lee Anders Journalism building...”

Negative thinking

Jude LeBoeuf, of Kenner, who proudly informs us of his 1971 B.A. in English, disagrees with the reader in the Tuesday column who said the phrase “I couldn’t care less” is a double negative:

“The negative in the statement is the ‘n’t’ (not). ‘Less’ is not a negative; it’s used as an adjective/adverb (descriptor/modifier). Therefore, the sentence contains only one negative.

“Another way to look at this is: ‘Do you care about (something)?’ ‘Not much.’ ‘Well, could you possibly care even LESS about it than you currently do?’ ‘No.’ Therefore, ‘I couldn’t care less’ is the appropriate response.

“‘I could care less’ means that you are, indeed, capable of caring less.”

Special People Dept.

Elizabeth and Alfred “Freddie” Lockwood celebrate their 60th anniversary on Thursday, June 16.

Don and Joanne Caillouet, of Central, celebrated their 50th anniversary on Saturday, June 11.

Food for thought

“Old Friend” — about the only kind I have these days — received “courtesy of my daughter from Big D,” an item called “Food Facts” from the Dallas Morning News to share with our health-conscious readers; both of them:

1. “Calories don’t count in foods with uneven edges. For example, if after slicing, the edges of a pie or cake are irregular, these can be ‘straightened up’ and the irregularities consumed have no caloric consequence.

2. “Food that lacks flavor lacks calories.

3. “Custom-made food — anything prepared especially for you — must be eaten regardless of caloric content. To refrain is simply insensitive.”

No need to thank me — public service (and good nutrition) is my life...

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.