Dear Smiley: In the '70s, when I was pastor of Southside Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, I had the opportunity to go on an evangelistic mission to Fairbanks, Alaska.
My predecessor at Southside, Troy Prince, was executive director of the Alaska Baptist Convention, living in Anchorage.
He asked if I could bring him some Community Dark Roast Coffee; he and his family were out of it and in desperate need! So I added another suitcase, filled with Community, to my luggage.
My plane landed in Anchorage on the way to Fairbanks, and Brother Prince met me at the gate. But he was told the airline wouldn't send someone into the cargo hold to retrieve his coffee!
A few days later, when I visited him in Anchorage, he greeted me with, "It's good to see you again; now where's my Community?"
When I was returning home, he asked if he could fill the empty space in my luggage with frozen salmon for some friends in Baton Rouge.
When my plane landed in Seattle, Washington, I received news of a death in my family and a request to alter my flight plans to get off the plane at Dallas/Fort Worth.
When I asked the airline representative there for my luggage, he told me there wasn't time to retrieve it; it was headed to Baton Rouge.
When I informed him there was 40 pounds of frozen fish in my luggage, less than 10 minutes later my bags appeared!
TOMMY L. HARRELL
Dear Smiley: In the '70s, as I stood in line at the circulation desk in Middleton Library waiting my turn to be served, an elderly man in a suit standing behind me asked how long I had been waiting, followed by a question about what genre of books I was checking out.
I replied, "English literature, with emphasis on writing styles." Uninterested in his response, but to be courteous, I volleyed his question back to him.
He responded, "History, with emphasis on U.S. and Louisiana."
Anxious to be absorbed in my thoughts of comparing James Joyce and William Faulkner, I fielded the stranger's questions quickly and concisely, relieved when the clerk called my name.
Behind me I heard, "Are you the Karen Poirrier cited in the Southern Literary Review?" Ignoring his question, I gathered my books and quickly left the library.
When I met a classmate sitting on a bench in the quad waiting for me, she asked, "What did you and T. Harry Williams have so much to talk about?"
Only then did I realize I had dismissed the moment of a lifetime!
It's nap time
Dear Smiley: The late Assumption Parish Sheriff Murray Landry told me about an interesting flight he had with the late sheriff of St Mary Parish, Chester Baudoin.
Chester was an avid aviator, who had flown the “Hump” over the Himalayas. On one occasion, he and Murray were flying in Chester's plane to a conference in some Western state.
After takeoff, Chester set the automatic pilot, took an alarm clock out of his bag, and set it for several hours later. He told Murray, “Good night,” and quickly fell asleep!
Murray broke out his rosary and prayed until Chester was awakened by the alarm in time to land.
The war on warts
Dear Smiley: With all those home remedies, no one has mentioned one my grandmother used to remove a wart: just cut a potato in half, rub the wart with it, then bury the potato.
Not sure why you had to bury the potato — maybe so it wouldn’t make it to the dinner table.
Dear Smiley: A friend sent an email that contained a short poem I think describes you and the people who read and contribute to your column.
It helps make the column a happy place in a sad world, and God knows the world needs more happy places. We can all contribute by following the advice in the poem:
Spread the laughter,
Spread the cheer.
Let’s be happy
While we’re here.