Dear Smiley: An alert came up on my phone about a fatal automobile accident. The headline was "Elderly man killed in accident."
To be honest, April Fools' Day is not an observance I particularly enjoy; most of the pranks people come up with range from juvenile to sophomoric. And this year, with our social distancing, it might be better to forget the whole silly thing.
Weighed down as we are by bad news, I found this little story comforting. It shows there are folks working hard under difficult conditions to keep things going, and caring about those they serve.
In the Wednesday column, Kirk Guidry told of a Facebook music and trivia party, and asked for appropriate songs about the current coronavirus crisis and the resulting "stay away from people" rules.
Our mention of the "M&M Boys," Bob Mooberry and Allen McCarty, who hosted a late-night movie show on WVLA-TV (then known as WRBT) in Baton Rouge in the ’80s, brought a remembrance from John Newman.
Taking a break from our virus discussion, here are a couple of old St. Patrick's Day stories I tell every year at this time. They're from back in the days when we had parades to mark this holiday:
Dudley Lehew, of Marrero, says, "Re calls for hand-washing hygiene during the current coronavirus scare: did you ever stop to think that people turn on the faucet with bacteria-laden hands, wash thoroughly — and then touch the same faucet to turn it off?
Frances Billeaud, of Baton Rouge, says Wayne Smith’s story in the Thursday column about his days in Lafayette as a USL (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) instructor in the ’60s brought back some memories:
Perry Rose, of Denham Springs, says, "Building nuclear reactors for U.S. Navy ships and subs was the most stressful job I ever had. Even the supervisor was uptight.
Millie Matherne, of Gonzales, tells of this exchange her husband Pat had with an electronic device, indicating that a sense of humor is being been programmed into those things:
Nancy Van Den Akker passes along this memory of the 2006 Mardi Gras, when New Orleans was still reeling from Hurricane Katrina and its floods, and crowds were thinner than normal:
Every year on this special Tuesday, I think back to Mardi Gras 2006, the one after the floods following Hurricane Katrina nearly washed away the celebration, along with much of New Orleans.
As a proud resident of Baton Rouge's venerable, eclectic, delightfully wacky Spanish Town neighborhood, I can report that Saturday's Mardi Gras parade was conducted with quiet dignity and a sober demeanor among its participants.
Dear Smiley: On the subject of Nixon’s not being "gone" in 1960, the prophetic “just away” sympathy card at The Shreveport Times (in the Tuesday column) reminds me of a card that The Associated Press bureau in New Delhi, where I reported from 1959…
Seldon McCleskey, of Lafayette, deals with our current shortage of "dogs chasing cars" stories with this one, which happened in Miami in the late ’40s or early ’50s:
Dear Smiley: My father, Kye Madere Sr., was the Jax beer distributor on the east bank of St. Charles, St. John, St. James and part of Jefferson Parish in the 1940s, '50s and '60s.
Tara Sanchez responds to Kevin O'Neal's Friday story about traveling while he lived in Japan and being stopped in the Paris airport and having his bags of grits examined: