Albert Ricketts, of Gonzales, says, "Growing up in a small Southern town in the early 1960s, traveling to the big city was not on the agenda.

"However, one summer our Little League coach decided to take the 12-year-olds to St. Louis to see the Cardinals play.

"Many new sights and experiences were had in the big city. One stands out for me.

"On our trip from our hotel to the ballpark, we stopped at a building with a public restroom.

"I went alone into the restroom, and found all the stall doors locked. It took me a minute to figure out a nickel was required to unlock the doors.

"Having no money, I did the only thing I could think of and crawled under the locked door. All got a big laugh when I told of my adventure.

"Years later, while in the Army, I received a postcard from our coach showing a little boy crawling under a locked bathroom stall door, with the caption 'It's Hell Without Money!'"

Nawthun grits 

"Before you turn the light out on grits, please allow one more story," requests Jean Haydel, of River Ridge:

"About 45 years ago when I was traveling as a salesman, I would listen to WWL radio early in the morning; it was a clear channel station and could be heard in many far places.

"One morning on Bob Ruby's show, he drew a 'Grit Line' across his map of the U.S. Bob asked the question, 'Where is/are grits served on a breakfast plate without having to ask for it?'

"As he received calls from listeners, he plotted points on the map. Listeners could visualize a line somewhat resembling the Mason-Dixon Line.

"To Bob’s surprise, he received a call from a truck driver in North Dakota, who identified his favorite truck stop that served grits on their breakfast plates.

"Bob closed his show with a fairly straight Grit Line, except for a spike in the middle of the country."

Say it with care

Algie Petrere, of Central, says, "Since I’m blessed with two names constantly mispronounced, I can empathize with Dave Grouchy and others.

"I was reminded of the 'olden days' when I was a telephone operator, sitting at a switchboard placing long distance calls.

"A secretary from a large company would call in the morning and give me a list of calls to place. One of the executives was Mr. Buzzard.

"She would spell it, and would always emphasize it was pronounced Bū zard. Thankfully, I never slipped and said 'Buzzard.'"

Nice People Dept.

Kathy Watson Groft tells of a dinner at a favorite restaurant with husband Dave and her sister and brother and their spouses.

Turns out the kitchen was running about an hour behind on orders, plus there was a problem seating six people:

"We were really hungry and getting grumpy. My husband explained this to the two young hostesses and the manager, and we were seated four at one table and two  at another.

"We were 'discussing' the situation when the people at the next booth offered us fried shrimp to hold us over. They started joking with us and we settled down.

"After we finally got our food and asked for go boxes and the check, the waiter told us the young man at the next table had paid our bill, and dessert!

"We boxed up our cheesecakes and promised to pay it forward. Thanks to a special young man who helped make some 'mature' disgruntled people smile and laugh all the way home."

Special People Dept.

— Ben Bowie, of Lafayette, celebrated his 99th birthday Saturday, April 17.

— Emma Lou and Lindy Sourita, of Little Farms/River Ridge, celebrate their 70th anniversary Wednesday, April 21.

— Roland and Rita Mathews, of Albany, celebrate their 65th anniversary Wednesday, April 21. They lived in Baker 35 years before moving to Albany 30 years ago.

Got your shot?

Charlie Anderson says, "I Love the Margaritville Channel on SiriusXM. My latest favorite quote from an emcee: 'Tequila might not solve all your problems, but it’s worth a shot.'”


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