As readers of this column no doubt know, my motto is "Always look on the bright side of life." But multiple disasters in 2020 have made it increasingly difficult to find a bright side. For instance: 

Sulynn Ganey, of Prairieville, says, "This year has been a challenge for many of us, and sometimes it seems that you just can't win.

"I felt safe staying home and working in my yard during the pandemic, but things didn't work out as planned.

"While I haven't caught COVID, I did catch a flesh-eating bacteria that nearly killed me!"

We will survive

But on the brighter side:

Boo LeBlanc, a Donaldsonville native, says, "Kudos to Tony Falterman, who in Monday’s column gave us a positive-thinking reality check, on the theme ‘It ain't all bad.'

"He spoke of his father, who died in 2011 at age 100. In the Great Depression of the 1930s his father worked for the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps).

"Those workers lived in tent camps. One I remember was at the corner of La. 44 and U.S. 61 in Gonzales.

"Most of his dollar a day wage could go to his parents because the CCC camp furnished meals, but it was not luxury living.

"Many folks were badly affected by the Depression, but they are survivors who made the best out of a bad situation. My father lost his job with seven kids still under roof.

"Thanks to Tony for his message: 'This too shall pass.'"

A Louisiana thing

Thanks to Roger Waggoner, of Lafayette, for explaining how potato salad in gumbo, a recent column topic, came about:

"The reason that some people started putting potato salad in their gumbo is obvious to me, and I'm speaking from experience.

"If you are going through a serving line and you have a bowl of gumbo in one hand, you have to put the potato salad in the gumbo so you have a free hand to hold your beer."

Angel sightings

  • Frances, (aka "The Natchez Connection") says, "My husband and I are very blessed to live on a wonderful dead end street with the best neighbors in the world, two of them angels.

"My husband is almost 91 and I am 86, so it is not easy for us to do yard work. After the storm there was a lot of debris, but during the night, our angels swept up our debris and even took it away.

"We have had for years a 'newspaper angel' who picks up our paper and puts it by the front door. Now we have a 'storm angel,' too.

  • Audrey F. Schilling, of Baton Rouge, says, "After one Sunday too many of missing my Sunday paper, I very irately called The Advocate, and the sweetest voice ever answered, said she was sorry and assured me she was going to solve my Sunday delivery problem.

"Smiley, you owe this dear lady an award. I wonder who our angel could be?"

Audrey, while I'm not in charge of awards, I should tell you that all our Advocate and Times-Pic people are angels. It's a requirement for employment here, although most people aren't aware of it. 

Special People Dept.

  • Dorothy Lively, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 101st birthday Saturday, Oct. 17.
  • Don Louis Broussard, of Lafayette, celebrated his 101st birthday Wednesday, Oct. 14. He is a World War II Army veteran and retired lieutenant colonel.
  • Gloria Mazzeno, of Metairie, celebrates her 97th birthday Friday, Oct. 16.
  • James and Dane Braud Hawkins, of Dutchtown, celebrate their 65th anniversary Thursday, Oct. 15.

No sale

Patrick J. Hogan, of Covington, continues our examples of how to handle irritating and unwanted sales calls:

"The caller said he was following up on a request I had made for knee braces.

"I replied, 'I don't know where you got your information, but everyone in this household has artificial knees.'

"He started to stammer, and I could hear paper rustling in the background.

"I had a great time getting back on at least one of these irritating callers. I still am happy about it."

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.