Dear Smiley: I run in my subdivision and have done so for the 47 years we have lived here.

The other day I found a penny in the street and while I still had it in my fingers, a lady walking her dog stopped me and said, "I see you running all the time, and while I admire what you do I still often wonder what it is that motivates you to do so?"

"Money," I said, and held up the penny still resting between my thumb and forefinger.

The lady started to open her purse and, assuming she intended to add to my reward, I simply dropped my penny in there and said, "But today I want you to be the big winner."

It was a good day, and once again I was reminded that it pays to exercise.


New Orleans

Father knows best

Dear Smiley: Regarding Volkswagen Beetle stories, I vividly remember my first sighting of one.

We had been to church in downtown Baton Rouge on a Sunday, and headed out to the fairly new Bon Marche Mall shopping center for lunch at Piccadilly Cafeteria.

As we stopped at the light at the mall, a Volkswagen Beetle went whizzing by.

When asked what kind of car THAT was, Daddy said, "German made. I saw a lot of them in Germany during the war. We’re gonna start seeing more and more of them."

He was right.


Denham Springs

Saving the shed

Dear Smiley: During my tour with the U.S. Air Force in England, I was fortunate to be able to room off base in Herne Bay, a town on the North Sea.

Miss Pyle, my landlady, had a TV, so on the occasion of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, she held a viewing party.

After most of the guests had left, one guest returned appealing for help.

Most English go to the seaside in street clothes, changing into swim wear in their own little kiosk. A hurricane-like storm had come up, and Freddie's shed was about to be washed away!

We stood out in the water, pushing the building back toward land on every wave. In Holland so much damage was caused that night that massive harbor revisions were necessitated. The kiosk was saved, though!



Noisy computer!

Dear Smiley: I had to smile when I read the typewriter story in your column.

I happen to have my cousin’s typewriter sitting in my den. He was a physician, and one of the keys has the Rx symbol so the doctor could type his prescriptions.

I have had young people stare with wonder at this “modern” machine. Little do they know the typewriter is from the 1940s!



War is messy

Dear Smiley: Growing up in Reserve many years ago, my absolute favorite day of the year was the first day of summer vacation.

There were no PCs or cellphones or social media to make us anti-social, and my neighborhood had a lot of boys to interact with.

Each day I was out of the house as I chewed my last bite of breakfast, eager to hear the familiar “pop” signaling that a chinaball was speeding my way and the day’s battle had begun.

We had a seemingly limitless supply of the hard green chinaballs and red welts on our body to prove our marksmanship.

Sadly, summer ended far too soon and so did the supply of chinaballs. But my friends and I were blessed with my next-door neighbor’s gigantic persimmon tree, which yielded wonderful orange balls in late fall.

They were hardball size, firm enough to throw yet soft enough to sting and splatter. And you could take a bite out of them between throws, which allowed us our first working lunch. The perfect fruit.

We were soon covered head to toe in orange persimmon guts, which did not please our mothers. One day a peeved mother yelled at her son to “Come home now!” and he could not resist and threw one at her. We haven’t seen him since.


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.