Dear Smiley: In August Buddy and I adopted an 8-month- old poodle named Bear. He was too rambunctious for a household with two small children, refused to be potty trained, and ignored all reprimands for his alpha-dog behavior.
Because our other two pets have a middle name, we decided to add "Bryant" to Bear's name. Knowing we were avid LSU fans, family and friends ribbed us. "Bear Bryant" couldn't care less, and continued on his path of disobedience and destruction.
While watching the LSU-Alabama game, when Bear's disruptive behavior became more than we could stand, I yelled, "MISTER Bear Bryant!"
He stopped immediately, then sat on the sofa and watched LSU beat his namesake's team.
With the addition of an honorific title, Mr. Bear Bryant has become a lovable, and well-behaved, addition to our family.
Dear Smiley: I was one of the disabled veterans on the flight to Washington, D.C., mentioned in your column.
We reported to the New Orleans airport at 3 a.m. and returned at 9:15 p.m., a very long day for a 95-year-old. I lost my leg in New Guinea in 1944; although I can walk, I use a wheelchair from time to time.
The people who arranged the flight, and everyone involved made this trip something my son and I will never forget. We were made comfortable throughout the whole day.
We saw all the monuments, and so many people shook our hands and thanked us for our service. At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier I was chosen along with another disabled veteran to put the wreath on the tomb. My son escorted me. It brought tears to our eyes.
Back in New Orleans, everyone was clapping and welcoming us home. This was so overwhelming to see so many people welcome and thank us.
Thanks to Honor Flight Louisiana for the support they give to veterans.
HAGEN A. KLEINPTER
Meeting in Lourdes
Dear Smiley: I have enjoyed your little stories about Cajuns speaking French for fellow GIs during World War II. I have a story for you that occurred after the war.
I knew a lady, Florence, whose friend Rita spoke fluent French. In 1949, they and many other Catholics went on a pilgrimage to several shrines in Europe.
After a few days in Paris, they traveled by train to Lourdes, and got caught in a forest fire. After the fire was put out, they arrived in Lourdes at midnight.
They inquired if it was OK to go the shrine at that time of night, and were told it was.
They were met in the lobby by the archbishop of New Orleans, Francis Rummel, who asked if he could join them.
On the way to the shrine, they met a grandmother and her granddaughter. Rita noticed the girl was wearing American GI dog tags, and asked in French where she got them. She said the GI had saved her life.
Rita encouraged her to turn them in to the American Embassy, so his family would know he was dead. She promised she would.
Her grandmother asked them when they returned to America to tell anyone they knew who fought in the European Theater, "Thank you for saving France."
MARIE E. SPICUZZA
Dear Smiley: I have really enjoyed the references to Ogden Nash, a poet whose work always manages to lift my spirits. He wrote many short and pithy verses, but also some excellent longer poems.
A recent column quoted two lines of his panther poem. Since the whole thing is very short, I would like to share it in its entirety with you and your readers:
"The panther is like a leopard,
Except it hasn't been peppered.
Should you behold a panther crouch,
Prepare to say Ouch.
Better yet, if called by a panther,
About the ant
Dear Smiley: My favorite Ogden Nash poem was the one my dad would quote as I zoomed around my world:
"The ant has made himself illustrious
Through constant industry industrious.
Would you be calm and placid
If you were full of formic acid?"