I finally heard from T-Bob Taylor, this column's Panama City Beach, Florida, correspondent, about his experiences during Hurricane Michael, which ravaged his area.
"Anne Marie and I stayed; our house has steel walls and roof and storm windows. There are many police officers in our neighborhood, so we watched their houses while they were on duty.
"A 70-foot pine fell and took out lights, cable TV and cellphones.
"Great neighbors went door-to-door warning that the city was shutting down water and to fill containers.
"We had plenty of gas for generators, and a Tom Thumb convenience store had gas for our car. I got in line with about 40 others. You'd be impressed with how polite everyone was.
"I found a Dothan, Alabama, CBS affiliate that carried the LSU-Georgia game. We put our LSU flags back up as soon as we could. A friend working with a volunteer power crew from Indiana had a great laugh telling me he'd cut on our power as soon as we took down our flags.
"Sunday morning church members were along roadsides offering food, diapers, water, etc.
"Our church, Grace Episcopal, had its roof damaged. The sanctuary was soaked, so we had a service in the social hall. The church had visitors from Venezuela, and some 25 of them worked picking up debris around the building."
Reading T-Bob's account, I was struck by a common thread — how quickly after a disaster people start finding ways to help others.
Waiting for adulthood
After I lamented my lost youth in a recent column, I heard from David Couvillon, of Brusly:
"Smiley, while it's obvious you have grown older, it's also demonstrable that you haven't grown up."
Smell of success
After I mentioned the Green Bay Packers and the battles when Jimmy Taylor took on New York Giants linebacker Sam Huff, a number of readers relived the 1962 NFL championship game between the two teams, on a frozen field in New York.
The Packers won 16-7, with Jimmy scoring his team's only touchdown. Huff shadowed him all game, and their clashes were violent.
"I don't remember ever being hit so hard," Jimmy said afterward. "I bled all game."
And several other readers recall Jimmy telling this story about one of his games against Huff:
"Each time Sam tackled me, he said, 'Jimmy, you stink.'
"When I scored the winning touchdown with seconds left, Sam had made the tackle, but I was in the end zone.
"I looked up and asked him, 'Sam, how do I smell now?'"
Save the horses!
Our stories of adventures in other countries reminded Alton Duke of this tale:
"When on vacation in Mexico, I was shopping for a good roping saddle.
"A young boy told me his friend just a block away had good prices on saddles.
"His friend did have many saddles, but they were not heavy and strong enough for a roping saddle.
"I weighed about 220 pounds, and the shop owned looked me up and down and said, 'Señor, you and a heavy saddle would KILL a horse.'"
Agony of English
Ray Schell says comments about the difficulty of learning English "ring true, along with teaching it.
"As a volunteer in Volunteers In Public Schools, I was working with my second-grade student and had to emphasize the words he had to recognize and know instead of being able to pronounce them based on phonetic spelling.
"How about 'know,' pronounced 'no' instead of 'k now?'
"Or 'who,' pronounced 'hu' instead of 'w ho?'
"Try this with 'straight.'
"English isn't easy, and kids need help. Volunteer."
Thought for the Day
From McChord Carrico, of Covington, from an observation seen on the old "Laugh In" TV show:
"Anarchy is better than no government at all."
Try it with cracklings
Jim Pitchford says this about accents:
"Coming back from a trip, my wife, Leigh, made a comment I did not fully comprehend, then seemed aggravated that I did not respond.
"My comment was, 'This redneck has a hard enough time understanding your Cajun accent as it is — trying while you are eating chips is much more difficult.'"