Dear Smiley: One of a multitude of things we teach in Wildwood Elementary's pre-K is conflict resolution.
We teach "using kind, respectful words" as opposed to hurtful words.
One of my students, Ashlyn, had tried this and was unsuccessful. She came to me with her serious big brown eyes and said, "Ms. Pressley, he is frustressing me!"
It took everything in me to help her with her situation — as I was dying with laughter on the inside.
Dear Smiley: I read about the speaker who, tired of ridiculous questions about Louisiana, gave a speech embellishing the extremes (about a fictional alligator hunt).
I thought about a speech given by my late uncle when he worked for Olin Matheson.
The company held a meeting in the land of the twang, Arkansas, second only to Texas in the ability to convert one-syllable words into two or more syllables: “What do you mean by thaa-it?"
Arkansans had been giving him a hard time about his south Louisiana accent. On the final day each person had to give a short speech. When he gave his, the only words they understood were "Olin Matheson."
He gave it in Cajun French, and got the last laugh.
Dear Smiley: The passing of Dr. John, together with the passing of Fats Domino in 2017, have taken away two of the most recognizable voices in New Orleans music.
Many years ago, when I had more spare money and time than I do now, I enjoyed attending intimate concerts at a place just outside LSU's north gates.
I waited in line a long time to get front row center seats about four feet away from Dr. John’s piano.
He gave a really great concert, and about midway through I offered him an ice-cold long-neck Budweiser.
He graciously took it, toasted me, took a long sip and continued his concert — literally without missing a beat.
He'll be missed.
He's no whippersnapper!
Dear Smiley: I read that piece from some fella listing words and phrases he says have gone out of style.
He must be hanging ’round with some swells. Those are words my grandpappy and daddy used every day, and they’re good enough for me.
Fiddle-faddle! I will admit that sometimes the little woman calls me an old geezer, but I’d rather be that than some young whippersnapper that gets hornswoggled every day.
I’ve been ’round the block a few times, and there’s no moss on me. Won’t catch me lollygagging around complaining about life passing me by.
Dear Smiley: Some old sayings from the “put down” category:
"Make like a tree and leave.
"You’re about as special as a two-yolk yard egg.
"She makes a pie that would make any cow proud."
Dear Smiley: Your old sayings reminded me of a recent email: "Who in the heck is Pete and why do we keep doing things for his sake?”
Dear Smiley: Why is it that when someone is introduced to an old person, they always seem to say, "You're looking good."
As I am now in my 80s, I have been the "victim" of these words many times.
I now know that there are three ages of man — youth, middle age and "You're looking good."
When I was young and really WAS looking good, no one ever told me I was looking good.
Now that I'm old and look like death warmed over, everyone's telling me how good I look.
Do it yourself
Dear Smiley: In reference to comments on obituaries (about dying in alphabetical order); I find them quite amusing.
You want to know what's more amusing? Write your own obituary.
I did. No one knows you more than you know yourself. Have fun with it. Tell of all your accomplishments, your successes, all the places you have gone. The things you say throughout your life.
We aren't getting any younger; life is shorter than you think. Don't leave it to someone else to write. They might leave out all the fun stuff.