Dear Smiley: Years ago, a postdoctoral researcher from Sweden started work at the LSU Chemistry Department. She was VERY concerned about tornadoes, which they don’t have in Sweden. She asked the usual questions and got the usual answers:
“How will I know one is coming?”
They sound like a freight train.
“What should I do if I hear one?”
Get to the safest place in the building, like in a closet.
The next morning, she showed up looking very bleary eyed.
“I didn’t get any sleep because of all the tornadoes.”
Turns out her new apartment was on Nicholson Drive, near the railroad tracks. She had spent the night in the closet.
Dear Smiley: All of the current talk about possibly having to home school kids when the school year starts reminds me of working with my son when he was in school.
He wasn't diagnosed with learning disabilities until late in junior high school. So you can imagine the long, fun-filled nights of doing homework.
I just couldn't understand why he didn't catch on or retain what he'd already learned.
During one of those frustrating sessions, when he was about 7 years old, I noticed that he was holding his hand to his ear. I asked if his ear was hurting.
He replied, "No, Mom. I'm trying to keep everything in. You always say that when you talk to me, it's like it goes in one ear and out the other."
Poor little guy couldn't understand why I was laughing so hard.
Celebrate good times
Dear Smiley: Speaking of Glen Bynum's bar, Joe Reed's:
My bandmates and I had a regular gig there every Thursday night for years during the mid-’70s. It was like getting paid each week to have the most fun we'd ever had.
Many fine musicians performed at this tiny (but ultra-cool) bar on Highland Road, including Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and the original Louisiana's LeRoux.
I must confess, in my 66 years on earth I have been blessed with a charmed life — but never so charming as the Thursday nights I spent as a young man at Joe Reed's.
Ups and downs
Dear Smiley: Your column once mentioned "uptown" and "downtown" in New Orleans.
As my mother told me many years ago, those parts of town were named according to way the river flowed. Canal Street was the dividing point.
Anything on the north side of Canal Street was called “uptown” and anything on the south side was called “downtown.”
I grew up downtown, so when we would go shopping on Canal Street, we went uptown. My cousin, who lived uptown, went downtown to go shopping.
Dear Smiley: About your reader's recent remembrances of canned fruit cocktail in military C-Rations:
My dad was in the Army for several years, so while he was going through law school on the GI Bill, my mom frequently served it as dessert.
The can seldom included more than one cherry (which looked like a maraschino cherry). My brother and I would compete to see who got it. Somehow we considered it to be superior to all the other fruit in the can.
Maybe that’s why my favorite adult beverage is an Old Fashioned, garnished with a cherry.
Dear Kathy: I've been told an orange slice is nice, too.
Call to prayer?
Dear Smiley: My daughter, Helen Neil, is a nurse, and several years ago she was house supervisor at a local hospital.
A family member of a patient asked the floor nurse where she could go with a complaint, and was not happy when told she needed to go to Helen Neil.
Dear Smiley: The coronavirus quarantine has taught me an extremely valuable lesson about being prepared to meet everyday needs, and I share this discovery as a public service.
There are some toilet paper manufacturers' products I will NEVER buy again!
Dear Smiley: The cops just left. They said that if I was gonna walk around the house naked, I have to do it inside.