Marsha R., of Baton Rouge, says during World War II her late husband A.D. was in the Navy in San Francisco, where he "spent the war calibrating and sighting large ship’s guns, using the new-fangled computer system…

"As their last job, he and the others were asked to suggest civilian uses for this wonderful new tool, the computer. They all filled out the surveys, and afterward admitted that none of them could think of any use for the gadget beyond calibrating and sighting large guns."

Beware "The Look"

Cookie Pecquet, of Metairie, says about "The Look:"

"I inherited it from my father, who was part German with very intense green eyes. I often used it on my kids and grandkids. I even used it on my 2-year-old great-grandson, who caught on very quickly.

"But since the virus, I haven't had much of an opportunity to use it.

"I have found myself lately using it on the cat.

"I think she understands somewhat — but, being a cat, she doesn't care."  

Short and sweet

Jim Mestayer, of Baton Rouge, says, "To add to your items on south Louisiana nicknames: my mother, whose nickname was Zi Zi, had friends whose nicknames were Mi Mi, Ma Ma, To To, and La La."    

Missing students

Tale of moving brought this recollection from Beverly Bulligan, of Kenner:

"My family moved to a new house at the corner of Seruntine and Rosiere in New Orleans.

"My brother Roland, in about eighth grade, had walked to school from the new house for the first time. When walking home after school, he got a little confused.

"He passed a Catholic school, where he encountered a priest. He asked, 'Father, do you know where Seruntine and Rosiere are?'

"The priest answered, 'No, son. Do they go to school here?'"

Sinking the flagship

Bort Capers, of Baton Rouge, says mention of Randy Newman's song, "Louisiana 1927," reminded him of another from his 1974 "Good Old Boys" album:

"Rednecks," like "Short People," is deliberately offensive, using the words of bigots to illustrate their ugly view of the world.

But Bort says, "…one of the lines is funny, even though I'm an LSU graduate:

"'College men from LSU

Went in dumb, come out dumb too.'"

Well, Randy, there goes your honorary doctorate…

That's a wrap

Mae Brown, of Marrero, says her biggest complaint about this newspaper's separation of the comics, putting them on multiple pages, is that "I can no longer use the comic page to wrap birthday presents without breaking out the scissors."

My sister-in-law, Jane Crawford Anders, of Oakdale, was the first person I ever knew who did this. It made a colorful and economical gift wrap, and seemed to please the recipients, especially the little ones. 

Burger heaven

Linda L. Wascom, of Covington, says in addition to the Ruby Red's in Harahan, mentioned recently as the home of great hamburgers of the past, there was one in New Orleans "near the Mississippi River on Esplanade." 

Special People Dept.

— Mary Dorman, of Metairie, celebrated her 106th birthday Saturday, May 15.

— William “Bill” Cambre celebrated his 97th birthday Sunday, May 16. He is a World War II veteran and a retired lieutenant with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.

— Ruby Overmier celebrates her 95th birthday Monday, May 17.

— Buck and Mitzi Grantham, of Denham Springs, celebrate their 71st anniversary Monday, May 17.

— Merlin and Mary Stelly, of Westwego, celebrated their 64th anniversary May 4.

Creative writing

Algie Petrere, of Central, came across this timely story:

"There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.

"When asked to define 'great' he said, 'I want to write stuff the whole world will read; stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level; stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!'

"He now works for the IRS writing tax regulations."

Creative destruction

Tom Hertwig, of Gonzales, says our recent photo of the demolition of Baton Rouge's old Cortana Mall for an Amazon distribution center should have been captioned "Cortana maul."  

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.