Dear Smiley: My husband plays in the Cajun band LaTouche, which played for several years at the Swamp Fest held at New Orleans' Audubon Zoo.

They were set up on the Swamp Pavilion porch next to the black bears and overlooking the alligator pond.

One year while sitting on the porch enjoying the music, I noticed that when the band played a fast tune most of the alligators would swim to the other side of the pond, but when they played a waltz, many would swim nearer the band.

“The Alligator Waltz” was a favorite of the alligators in the pond. When the band played it, many of the alligators would saunter over, swishing their tails, while others swam back and forth in the pond in what looked like a waltz dance of their own.

Who knew alligators had great musical taste?



Sunflowers galore

Dear Smiley: About scenic drives:

I was very surprised at the beauty of a drive I took one July Fourth weekend to Ferriday for a family gathering.

The oxbow lake near Jonesville was a beautiful destination in and of itself, but the drive from the Old River Control Structure was quite a treat.

The route takes you on banked highways along some of the now-abandoned natural levees of the Mississippi River. My daughter and I came around one bend and were shocked to see acres of sunflowers in full bloom. I only regret that we didn't stop to take pictures with the field of flowers.

Second place goes to the oak-shaded roads near St. Martinville.



Beauty near home

Dear Smiley: My answer to the question “What do your readers think is the most beautiful drive in Louisiana?”

Last year my wife and I drove from Lutcher to Nashville to view the changing colors of the trees during the fall. About two weeks later, we drove to Lake Charles via Interstate 10 through the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge.

The scenery in the refuge was absolutely gorgeous. In our eyes, it was better than the mountain scenery we viewed on our way to Nashville.



No place like …

Dear Smiley: Other drives may have more majestic scenery, a more interesting design, and even better paving — but my favorite is the one leading to my home.


Baton Rouge

Dad's fish story

Dear Smiley: Back in 1947, when I was a young boy, my tonsils were removed by Dr. Vincent Mosley at his hospital in New Roads, which was built partially out over False River.

After the operation, I asked my father, "What did they do with my tonsils?"

He said, "They dropped them into False River for the catfish, as they do here with all the parts they cut off people."

I was quite a bit older before I began to doubt the truth of what he told me.



Pain of sisterhood

Dear Smiley: I took my two great-granddaughters to their pediatrician for a regular checkup.

The doctor did the usual checks: temperature, ear exam, heartbeat, pulse, etc. Then she placed the girls on the exam table to finish up.

When the oldest was being examined she told the doctor that her stomach had been hurting.

The doctor felt around and asked her where it hurt; what area was sensitive.

Out of the blue her little sister said, "That's probably because I kicked her in the stomach!"

End of exam!



Covering up

Dear Smiley: Wearing a mask can save a lot of time for us ladies. No need for lipstick; most little wrinkles are covered. All you need is some bang-up eye makeup and a pretty mask to look like Scheherazade.



Oh. Never mind

Dear Smiley: I saw Dr. Brett Giroir, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health, on television discussing the possible reopening of schools.

He said, "We all know that kids need to be back in school physically for all the reasons we talk about — social and emotional health, nutrition, ice cream. ..."

Ice cream? Sure sounds like a good reason.

Just to be sure, I played it back. He actually said, "eye screening."


Baton Rouge

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.