Dear Smiley: When I was 11 years old, my family moved from Chalmette to Pleasant Hill, California, a suburb of Oakland located on the “dry” side of the coastal mountains separating it from the cold and foggy San Francisco Bay.
We bought a newly built house and I helped my dad sow and water in grass seed for our front lawn.
The grass came up just fine, but soon withered and died.
As Dad and I were looking at our dead lawn, a neighbor came by and asked what kind of sprinkler we were using.
In reply, Dad and I gave him a blank stare. Being from a place that rains every afternoon, we hadn’t a clue as to what a sprinkler was!
DENNIS D. RITTER JR.
The Woodlands, Texas
Dear Smiley: When my granddaughter, about 3 at time, saw me scanning something on the printer/scanner on my desk, for some reason I told her it was an X-ray machine.
From that day on, whenever she had a "hurt" she would want me to X-ray it — arm, hand, foot or whatever she had hurt.
Recently (she is now 6) she came to me crying while holding her arm, and told me one of the kids across the street had hit her with a pole.
"Joanie, where is your X-ray machine?" she asked.
When I told her Paw-Paw had thrown it away because it was broken, she went to him and said, "Why did you throw out Joanie's X-ray machine? Now I'll have to go to the doctor!"
Having a ball
Dear Smiley: In the middle ’60s, being a hands-on person, I would have wheel bearings backed in grease in my shed.
These ball bearings were to be used on cars and trucks.
Once our 4-year-old son, after being in the yard by himself, walked into the house covered in axle grease.
His mom, amazed, said, "My Lord, what happened to you?"
His response: "I was playing with those barbarians."
Dear Smiley: After I got over the shock of being quarantined, I started cleaning out kitchen cabinets, cooking and baking.
My husband, Steve, was in shock, but very happy. I baked bread, his favorite blueberry pie with strudel, and lots of shrimp and crawfish dinners.
Then one night last week, he asked me what was for dinner and I said I wasn't cooking.
He replied, "So that was a doppelgänger cooking all of those good meals, and not my wife?"
ANN PURNELL COLLOM
Dogs and mushers
Dear Smiley: I am so very proud of my brother-in-law Martin Buser, four-time champion of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Alaska.
He just received two coveted awards voted on by his peers for the 2020 race to Nome — the Most Inspirational Musher Award and the Donlin Gold Sportsmanship Award.
Martin has finished the Iditarod — 1,049 miles from Anchorage to Nome — 37 times! His teams have been phenomenal athletes!
Wildlife and food
Dear Smiley: I enjoyed reading your article about "The Skunk" restaurant in Lafayette. It was just above the Vermillion Bayou, near the bridge.
The restaurant was owned by Leon Mayers, who at one time also operated the only full-scale restaurant in Lafayette, which became Toby’s Oak Grove.
Mr. Mayers also had a very small restaurant in town called "Da Rabbit." I have no idea why he named these restaurants The Skunk and Da Rabbit!
"He looks familiar…"
Dear Smiley: I was talking to my friend Jim in New York, and told him I was getting ready to go to church.
He said, "We can't go until the 21st; I hope God recognizes me."
Groaner of the Week
Dear Smiley: I very rarely answer the phone when the caller ID indicates the caller is in a city such as Albany, New York, or Sacramento, California.
But when the ID indicated Cahoots, Oregon, I had to take the call.
I learned that Cahoots is a nice place to visit — but, sadly, you can't go there alone.
You have to be in Cahoots with somebody else!