Harry Clark, of Lafayette, says he once hired "a strapping young fellow" named Joe, who had just been discharged from the Marine Corps:

"One day, a customer in Intracoastal City needed some stuff immediately. I went into the warehouse, saw that young Joe wasn’t doing anything critical, and said, 'Joe, I want you to go to Intracoastal City.' He said, 'Yes sir.'

"I went back to my office to prepare the paperwork. When I returned to the warehouse, Joe was nowhere to be seen.

"I asked one of the shop hands where Joe was, and he said that he had gone to Intracoastal City.

"This was before cellphones. About an hour later, Joe called and reported that he was in Intracoastal City and wanted to know what I wanted him to do now.

"Marines are trained to follow orders and ask questions later, I guess."

Flying neighbors

Beverly Gullett, of Greenwell Springs, provides a Baton Rouge history lesson:

She says she was in the second grade at Howell School on Plank Road in 1940 or 1941 when her teacher told the students they were getting a new neighbor.

The neighbor was Harding Field, an Army Air Corps training facility for military flyers.

She says at recess and lunch hour, the students would watch the planes take off and land — and more:

"A small, one-pilot plane took off and caught his wheels on the fence and flipped upside down. The pilot wasn't hurt.

"Once, we saw a large bomber flying upside down as paratroopers began bailing out. The plane landed safely.

"My family lived nearby, and once, we watched as two large bombers flew too close to each other, and the wing of one clipped the tail of the other one. The wing landed in a neighbor's yard, and the tail also landed in the neighborhood. Both planes crashed in a wooded area behind us.  

"So many people do not know this history. …"

Second best

Ray Schell, of Prairieville, says mention of squirrel jambalaya in the Monday column "brings back early memories of squirrels. In my mid-teens 65 years ago, I was appointed camp cook at our deer hunting camp.

"One of my regular dishes was squirrel gravy — as long as I or one of my relatives could supply a couple of squirrels.

"Usually, this was accomplished as you gave up hunting at a deer stand."

Home invasion

Speaking of our furry friends, Julaine Schexnayder, of New Iberia, tells this story:

"While sitting in the living room watching television one night, a movement in the corner caught my eye.

"At first, I thought it was a rat but later realized it was a flying squirrel. They don’t fly, but rather glide, using the skin on their legs to glide down from a higher perch.

"It scurried down the hall before taking refuge somewhere in the guest bedroom. I shut the door to contain it, while I made a plan for how to remove it.

"Always thinking of creative solutions, I realized that just opening a window would not give it access to the outside. I opened the window and removed the screen. Then I placed a 1-by-4 plank leading from the floor out through the window.

"I figured once the dawn arrived, he would want to be heading toward the light. It must have worked, but it wasn’t until the next morning that I felt confident enough to open the door.

"While that plank was sticking out of the open window, a neighbor phoned to 'warn' us that something was amiss. He was concerned there had been a break-in."

Special People Dept.

  • Don Cary celebrates his 97th birthday Wednesday, Oct. 11. He is a Navy veteran of World War II.
  • Doveal and Henry L. Essex celebrate 72 years of marriage Wednesday, Oct. 11. They met in college at Grambling.

Real humans!

Donald Landaiche, of Donaldsonville, says, "I get a kick out of the two or three TV commercials I've seen that begin, 'These are real people, not actors.'

"I always thought that actors are real people too. …"

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0371 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.