“After graduating from LSU in 1959,” says Dave Kelly, “I was sent to Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, as a brand new Marine Corps second lieutenant.
“The school is located just 30 miles from the all-female Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg. On weekends, most of the single officers would head south to pick up their dates, faced with a midnight curfew.
“Most of these ‘officers and gentlemen’ would ensure that their dates were returned to their dorms on time, but would linger at the front door.
“Once the bewitching hour was sounded, the dorm mothers would come out the front door and ask the ladies to come inside.
“When these gentle requests failed, the dorm mothers would play the Marine Corps Hymn on the loudspeaker.
“All the Marines would stand at attention — and the ladies rushed inside.”
He’s suffered enough
I love getting a note like this one, from a Terrytown couple: “Please refrain from using our names, as the Westbank is really like a small town. We don’t want the cops finding us out!”
Here’s their story, as told by the wife:
“After reading about how the college student wearing her pajamas avoided a ticket, I have to share my story.
“On the way to my husband’s company picnic a few years ago, he decided not to wait in a long line to turn right onto the Westbank Expressway, but to cut across a McDonald’s parking lot.
“Lo and behold, there was a policeman in the parking lot, and he came behind us with lights spinning and sirens blaring.
“Before we pulled over, I concocted a plan and shared it with my husband. When we dutifully stopped, he got out the car and politely explained his predicament, thereby gaining the sympathy of the policeman.
“The policeman approached my side of the vehicle. I rolled down my window, and with my most demon-like face and fire- breathing dragon voice, I said, ‘HE wanted McDonald’s and I wanted Kentucky Fried Chicken!’ (KFC was about half a block away.)
“The policeman backed up and held his hand up, saying, ‘I just wanted to see if your stories matched.’
“I don’t think he wanted to touch that with a 10-foot pole! I’m sure he was thinking that my husband was in enough trouble as it was, being married to a witch like me!
“We laughed ourselves silly all the way to the company picnic!”
Pat Alba, of Metairie, says, “For many years my grandfather from Rayville attended the funerals of all acquaintances within a 30-mile radius.
“One time, when he was in his late 80s, he informed me, ‘Cousin John C. and I are going to a funeral in Oak Ridge tomorrow. I wonder who died.’
“On another occasion, when they drove to Mangham, they arrived too late for the service. So, on the way back to Rayville, when they spotted a funeral procession in Archibald, they attended that service, even though they did not know the deceased.”
Cookie White, a 1963 Istrouma High graduate, offers this thought about our mention of the new Billy Cannon book:
“Billy Cannon was indeed an illustrious football player from IHS, but there was so much more to our school than our athletic program.
“Some very notable people graduated from Istrouma. I really wish the ‘other’ half of the school was showcased more.”
(On the other hand, I graduated from Istrouma, so maybe it’s not such a good idea...)
Nan Patt says it was she, and not husband Donald, who was in college in Texarkana, Texas, worked in the dean’s office and mailed sign-out sheets of students in the girls’ dorm to their parents. (I ran her story in the Tuesday column and picked up the wrong name.)
Special People Dept.
Lena Hebert Usie, formerly of Breaux Bridge, celebrates her 95th birthday on Thursday, Nov. 5, at Nottingham Regional Rehab Center.
Connie Rourke celebrates her 90th birthday on Thursday, Nov. 5.
Dudley Lehew, of Marrero, answers Jim Jurasinski’s question in the Wednesday column about the Biloxi Shuckers’ oyster mascot: “Where is the strike zone for an oyster?”
Says Dudley: “Over the plate.”
I chuckled at Carl Spillman’s story — but not as hard as I would have years ago:
“An elderly widower walks into an upscale cocktail lounge. He is in his mid-80s, very well-dressed, hair well-groomed, great looking suit, flower in his lapel and smelling slightly of an expensive aftershave. He presents a very nice image.
“Seated at the bar is a classy looking-lady in her mid-70s.
“The sharp old gentleman walks over and sits alongside her. He orders a drink and takes a sip.
“He slowly turns to the lady and says, ‘So, tell me...do I come here often?’”
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.