Dear Smiley: The Advocate article on the opening day of the New Orleans airport covered all the features expected: parking, security screening, check-in, and amenities.

Some of the amenities mentioned were New Orleans/Louisiana food options. One was "pot roast flaking into gravy and debris."

Where else but in Louisiana would someone be comfortable seeing "debris" in a food option?

I can imagine: "What? Debris! Are they sweeping up the floor?"



Making it edible

Dear Smiley: Back in 1989 I was a member of Navy Cargo Handling Battalion 13, a reserve unit comprised of sailors from the Gulf Coast.

As a newly formed unit we had to undergo a military readiness exercise in Virginia, which included a week in a tent city and eating MREs.

That exercise coincided with a Navy study of MREs, so our unit was surveyed and asked how to improve those culinary delights.

Absolutely everyone suggested adding Tony Chachere’s and Tabasco. Shortly thereafter, MREs included small packets of Tony C’s and small bottles of Tabasco.

Coincidence? We didn’t think so — and considered it part of the unit’s legacy.



Love and war

Dear Smiley: With the soon to be celebrated Veterans Day on Nov. 11 and the upcoming movie, "Midway," I am remembering my dad, Casimir J. Mitchell, and my mother, Pearl Blanchard Mitchell, both now deceased.

My father was a Navy veteran and a survivor of the USS Yorktown, which was torpedoed and sunk in June 1942 in the Midway battle. He was a member of the "Black Gang," sailors who worked in the engine room of the Yorktown.

My mother was not married to my dad at the time (they were known back then as "sweethearts," and corresponded by many wartime letters). She would catch the bus from her home in Westwego to my paternal grandparents' home in Gretna to listen to the radio with my grandmother about news during World War II.

My dad's youngest brother would meet my mother at the bus stop and walk her to my grandparents' shotgun house.

My father was later reassigned to the USS Calvert, married my mother, and was honorably discharged as a chief warrant officer in June 1945, three years after Midway.

Tom Brokaw called them "The Greatest Generation" — those men and women from the Great Depression who made sacrifices and/or fought in World War II for the love of country and belief in freedom.



Close encounters

Dear Smiley: Another car-stuffing story:

Back during my high school days, one of my buddies and I were lucky enough to have girlfriends who would go to the drive-in movie with us.

Since we didn't have much money, the girls and I would squeeze into the trunk of my '53 Dodge and my buddy would pay to go in alone.

I always wondered why he never insisted on taking turns being stuffed into the trunk with our cute dates.


River Ridge

Go fish

Dear Smiley: We have all these names for our ills — gingivitis, arthritis, many more. Most are bad.

I decided to create a happy one — I've had it most of my life without knowing exactly what to call it. As it turns out, a lot of men and women have it too — "Angleritis," caused by fishing.

But wait, there is a cure. It’s "Angler Management." Just go fishing with friends old or new. There will always be some funny stories coming out of it.

So now you can just say to your wife or boss (maybe the same person) that you need some "Angler Management" and go fishing. Sure beats gingivitis.


Port Vincent

A woman's place

Dear Smiley: I was on an outing with my grandchildren, 4 and 5, over the weekend.

We were stopped at a red light and the 5-year-old was reading all the signs.

He asked me why the construction signs all say "Men at Work." He commented that the women do the same work, and the signs should say "Women at Work" also.

Hats off to his mommy for the lesson in equality.


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.