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Dear Smiley: When my granddaughter was about 2 years old, her mom and dad did a "practice run" for trick or treat.

Her dad would take her to the door and Mom would answer the doorbell.

Michelle was told to say, "Happy Halloween, trick or treat!"

When her mom opened the door she said, "Happy Trickaween!"



Liquid asset

Dear Smiley: In your efforts to duplicate the gumbo those Cajun farmers from Opelousas made (mentioned on Friday), I wonder if you've ever added a splash of Dixie beer to your recipe.


Baton Rouge

Dear Buddy: Yes. I've added it to the cook as well …

Unexpected addition

Dear Smiley: Recent submissions about gumbo reminded me of a gumbo I had in 1976.

Newly elected Lafourche Parish Sheriff Duffy Breaux hosted a meeting of the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Commission somewhere down Bayou Lafourche (probably Golden Meadow or that area).

After the agenda, members were served a seafood gumbo cooked by some of the locals who were Breaux supporters.

In each bowl of gumbo, a couple of boiled eggs were served along with the shrimp, crabmeat and oysters.

Of the 30 or so participants, only a handful had ever had eggs in their gumbo! I remember it as being delicious.



Dear Tony: It must be a regional thing. Now, about potato salad in gumbo …

A non-starter 

Dear Smiley: I enjoyed reading the misadventures others have had with English cars.

My Ford Cortina GT's two-barrel Weber carburetor was an education. The choke would pop out when the top was opened and I had to peen it in with a chisel.

Of course, the engine suffered "terminal unscrew" — the four carburetor screws would loosen, causing it to float up and instantly slow down on acceleration.

The final nail was the Lucas starter. The two-piece cover was held together by two L-shaped bolts that would start to straighten, needing a tightening weekly.

One winter night, I found myself on my back in wet snow on 135th Street in New York, screwing the Lucas starter together so I could get home.

A couple days later, I traded it in for a Renault 10. The French car was much more reliable!



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Rambler man

Dear Smiley: Recent letters about Lucas components in British cars had me laughing. I actually experienced the Lucas motto: "Get home before dark!"

In 1973 I arrived at the Triumph dealership on Canal Street to pick up the Spitfire I had ordered a month earlier. As my brother dropped me off, I told him that after signing a few papers, I would be home to show off my new sports car.

It was just getting dark as I was leaving the dealership. I reached over to buckle my seat belt and everything went dark — a short in the seat belt connector blew a fuse which also powered the car's lights.

Imagine my family's surprise when I pulled up at my house in the Rambler loaner car.



Religious wars

Dear Smiley: All this about cheers reminds me of a story told to me years ago when I attended Georgetown University.

Georgetown's moniker is the Hoyas, and my housemate graduated from Catholic University.

He said in one of their annual football games, the CU side started taunting, "What the hell's a Hoya?"

The Georgetown side came back with, "What the hell's a Catholic?"


Baton Rouge

Chilly choices

Dear Smiley: About comments on air conditioning:

In 1970 my wife and I purchased a modest home in Slidell. It had central air and an attic fan.

When we ran the attic fan, my wife complained it made the house too cold.

Thus, she turned off the attic fan and turned on the AC, I guess to warm the house.

Go figure …



Dear Herbert: If you haven't figured her out, don't look at me …

Nice try

Dear Smiley: About the story of the nation's oldest World War II veteran turning 112 on my 81st birthday:

Would you happen to know if he's still single?



Dear Dixie: I'm not allowed to do matchmaking in my column. Besides, he might not go for younger women …   

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.