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There's been a noble effort to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but some of my readers have a suggestion for making the vaccination drive even more effective, by eliminating pictures of the process:

For instance, Sulynn Gainey, of Prairieville, says, "My observations have shown me that most people shudder at the thought of a needle going into their arm; yet I keep seeing ads showing the needle being inserted into an arm and kept there through the completion of the ad.

"I believe this is counter productive, and wonder about the marketing skills of whoever decided that more people would get the COVID vaccination if only they showed people what it looked like when the needle was inserted into the arm.

"Even the person receiving the shot is usually shown looking away from the actual event."

While I can understand this aversion to seeing shots, I can testify that both my COVID-19 vaccinations were about as painless as any I've ever had. (And I had mine before they were offering beer and other incentives for getting vaccinated.)

No good turns

Speaking of COVID-19, here's an observation from Elaine Ridgley, of Metairie: 

"Ain't it a shame that most cars have lost their turn indicators to the pandemic!"

Rex wears a mink

Martin St. Romain, of Raceland, recalls a story about a brave little dog:

"Once I was hunting with Rex, my Labrador retriever, and his partner and best friend, an English terrier named Toto.

"Rex pursued a mink, which turned around and jumped on his head and would not let loose. I couldn’t shoot or try to hit the mink without injuring Rex.

"It only took a few seconds for Toto to grab the mink by the back of its neck and shake it until it took its last breath.

"Rex ended up with a few bites on his ears, which I attended to when we returned home."

All-purpose names

Cynthia R. Riché, of Thibodaux, says our "pick a name" stories "reminded me of my very wise father, Alton J. "Checkerboard" Roundtree:

"Having five daughters, when he needed something attended to, he would call 'Sister.'

"One day when he and I were in the post office, he met a friend and told me, 'Sister, this is my friend, Sidney.'

"I said, 'Hello, Mr. Sidney. My name is Cynthia.' I jokingly added, 'I think he calls us all Sister because he can’t remember our names.'

"My father replied, 'I remember your names, but if I call Sister, one of you five will answer."

All in the family

"I have an addition to the 'remembering names' series," says Donna Daniels Wakeman:

"I called home one day and my father, Judge William Hawk Daniels, answered the phone.

"He said, 'Hello, Dianne,' which was my elder sister's name.

"I replied, 'Wrong daughter.'

"He then called me by my younger sister's name. I said, 'Still wrong.'

"His reply? 'At least I knew the voice was familial.’ ”

Keeping it informal

Leon Minvielle comments on my tale of the guy who called everyone "Podnuh":   

"We had a principal at Catholic High in New Iberia in the ’60s, Brother Norbert, who called all students 'Podnuh.'

"We called him 'Brother Podnuh.’ ”

Special People Dept.

  • Rachael Kilshaw, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 90th birthday Sunday, June 6.
  • Sam and Linda King, of Graveyard Island on Belle River, St. Martin Parish, celebrated their 63rd anniversary Tuesday, June 1. Sam was a sports writer, editor and columnist for the State-Times and Advocate.
  • Mary Nell and Ed Sanchez, of St. Francisville, celebrate their 55th anniversary Friday, June 4.
  • Kenneth and Beryl Glaser, of Maringouin, celebrate 55 years of marriage Friday, June 4.
  • Hayes and Debbie Romero Taylor, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 50th anniversary Saturday, June 5.

But which one?

After I mentioned in the Thursday column that radio host Jim Engster often referred to me as "the venerable Smiley Anders," I heard from Earl Newman:

"I looked up 'venerable,' and its meaning is: 'Accorded a great deal of respect, especially because of age, wisdom, or character.'

"Well, one out of three ain’t bad."

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.