Jill Keating says, "The story of the little girl who left home because she didn't like her dinner reminded my mama, Janet Damare, about the time her youngest son showed up at the neighbor's door, suitcase in hand.

"'I want to come live here; my mama's so mean to me,' he stated emphatically.

"'But you have a wonderful mama, what's wrong?' the neighbor asked.

"'She makes me brush my teeth,' he replied.

"'Well, you are welcome to come live here, but you will still have to brush your teeth.'

"He hung his head and sighed. 'I guess I'll just go home then.'

"When you're a small boy, some days it seems like the whole world is against you."

Seeking change

Nobey Benoit says, "The 'hunt for loose change' stories reminded me of the times back in the College Inn days while attending Nicholls State.

"When funds were short, I'd check the coin return slots on the pay phone and cigarette machine, and the floor around the bar for loose change.

"Finding as little as a nickel would allow you to play the pinball machine. Those were the 'payoff' machines that cost a nickel to play, but allowed you to add more nickels to build up your odds. Remember those?

"Most times I would hit enough to buy a couple of 25-cent Li'l Joes. Those pinball machines involved skill. Not like those thieving poker machines of today."

Trivia question: Who remembers "Li'l Joes?"

Thanks, Coach

Anne Cummings shares "good memories from God's Country:"

"I grew up in a small town in Kentucky that had an independent school system.

"Our principal, Bob Fox, was also our basketball coach (the only sport played in small towns).

"He arrived in town in the early ’60s with his family, driving a Volkswagen of unknown age. He became a hero a few years later, 1967, by winning the state basketball championship for us.

"At the end of the school year we held our basketball banquet in the gym. Of course, there were speeches, etc.

"But at the end, the stage curtains opened and there on the stage was a brand-new VW that the town had bought for the coach! Cheers and congratulations, and then the basketball team lifted the VW off the stage and Coach and his family drove out the back door!"

Pickup game

Speaking of cars you can carry:

Gail Stephenson, of Baton Rouge, says, "During law school I drove a little MGB. Due to the paucity of parking at LSU Law School, I often parallel parked on Dalyrmple Drive in front of the frat houses.

"One day after class I found my car tightly wedged between two bigger cars. Their bumpers touched mine, leaving not an inch of maneuver room.

"As I stood on the sidewalk staring at my car, trying to figure out what to do, four frat boys walked out of the house. They picked up my car and sat it on Dalrymple — I was good to go!"

Thought for the Day

From Dorothy DeBosier: "To all seniors who complain about the rigors of getting old, I would like to offer this thought. Just remember how much fun you had getting there!"

Special People Dept.

  • Willa Cristina, of Harahan, celebrated her 93rd birthday Thursday, Aug. 29.
  • Emile and Anna Mercante celebrate their 69th anniversary Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Helpful dad

Terry Grundmann, of Kenner, says, "Your story about talking with anyone 'living or dead' reminds me of a true story.

"My son Scott had a test question of what three people he'd choose, so he asked my advice.

"I responded, 'Isaac Asimov is my favorite author, so he and Buddha are my first two.'

"'Why Buddha and not Jesus?'

"'Naw, I've already read all his stuff. And my third choice is Cleopatra, because I heard she was a hot chick!'

"'Thanks, Dad; you were a wonderful help as usual — in what way I couldn't say.'"

Hunger games

Algie Petrere, of Central, issues this warning to shoppers:

"I wasn't thinking, and I went grocery shopping on an empty stomach. I'm now the proud owner of Aisle 5."

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.