Dear Smiley: This cold, rainy weather reminded me of a hunt in the Spillway years ago when I first began duck hunting. The clothes at that time were not the waterproof, insulated, warm and dry ones like today.
I was dropped off in the swamp to shoot ducks along a bayou. It was miserably cold and wet. I tried to build a fire; however, the misting rain had wet my matches.
I stood there shivering, my feet and hands becoming numb. Suddenly, I heard what I believed was someone nearby blowing a duck call. I decided to wade to the hunter and perhaps get a lighter or matches.
When I approached what I had presumed to be a hunter, much to my surprise I found myself amidst hundreds of mallards! Never was I ever so disappointed to see a duck!
Fortunately, my buddies arrived to pick me up and bring me to the camp — where they laughed at my story!
Dear Smiley: What's not to love about 3-year-olds? They ask so many interesting questions out of pure curiosity — like the bright little boy in your column who wondered if they had brooms when his mom was little.
I had one of those 3-year-old inquiries from our daughter Clare, who asked, "What's inside of cats?" I did the best I could with that one.
When she turned 40 (she's now answering questions — about bills for the Colorado legislature) I drew a cat with a chart of cat innards — silly stuff like "purr box, liver with onions, cat knap," etc., and sent it to her explaining I thought she was now old enough to know about cats…
Dear Smiley: The 200th anniversary of the incorporation of Baton Rouge is cause to celebrate this year, but no one should forget that this place was called Baton Rouge for many years before 1817.
I found in the Journal of the (U.S.) House of Representatives for Dec. 20, 1811, a resolution by Rep. John Rhea of Tennessee with a startlingly particular description of where a proposed road from Baton Rouge would be located.
It instructed the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads to "inquire into the expediency of establishing a post road from Baton Rouge, by way of the place where Jordan Roach lives, near the Amite River, thence to the court house of St. Helena Parish, thence to Union (now St. Tammany Parish) court house, thence to Pearl river, near the line of the Mississippi territory, and from thence to the town of Mobile, and from thence to Fort Stoddert, in the Mississippi territory."
Incidentally, Jordan Roach was my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather.
Dear Smiley: Our family was driving through Baton Rouge one night when a blackout siren went off.
It was the war year 1943, and my father immediately pulled our car to the side of the street, parked in front of a house and turned off his lights as required by law.
I was very thirsty, and I remember the sound of tinkling ice cubes as people on their porch stirred their glasses while waiting for the all-clear siren.
Then we proceeded on home, making a quick stop to get me a drink so I would shut up.
GiGi is preferred
Dear Smiley: Speaking of names grandparents are called by children: my niece, Christina, was called GiGi by her grandson, William, age 2, for quite some time.
All of a sudden he changed her name to Do-Do. Don’t know where that came from, but he won’t go back to GiGi. Not too appealing, but funny.
Dear Smiley: Have you thought of publishing a book called, “Not Suitable for Publishing…In the Newspaper”? I know I’ve sent one or two, and I’m guessing there are many more.
Dear Tim: I've thought about it, but I'm afraid it might damage my image as an inspiring role model for young people…
Children meet Santa
Babies cry while toddlers smile
Older kids have lists