Dear Smiley: The kids in Standard Heights wondered how Al Owens and I always had money in our pockets.
We never told anyone, but here's how we did it:
Hopper's drive-in on Scenic Highway had a gravel parking lot. Carhops who would bring out your burger, malt, etc.
They had to do this quickly to get good tips, and often change fell to the ground. Al and I would get up every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning just after daylight and find change lost in the gravel.
We were semi-rich until one day they blacktopped the parking lot, and we were out of business — and out of girlfriends.
It ain't bourbon
Dear Smiley: Yesterday I rode my bike along the levee to and from downtown Baton Rouge.
All these weeks I have been hoping the bourbon plume from the Jim Beam distillery fire in Kentucky (excuse me while I reach for a Kleenex) would get to Baton Rouge, and we would at least enjoy a pleasant aroma.
I smelled something all right, but it was definitely not bourbon! We need some rainstorms to rinse that freshly exposed riverbank as the Mississippi falls below flood stage.
Small car fun
Dear Smiley: Years ago at White Castle High we had a teacher who drove a Sunbeam Alpine to school.
About six of us guys could lift the little car and carry it. We hid it, placed it on the tennis court, etc.
The best move was to put it between two trees on the side of the gym with only about an inch separating the front and rear bumpers from the trees.
Of course we were on hand to see his reaction and come to the rescue after a few minutes of fun.
Dear Tom: And this affected your grades how?
Small car fun II
Dear Smiley: My roommate at Louisiana College in the early '50s was a transfer from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.
He told of a smart-aleck city guy, in the midst of the country-boy students, who had a small sports car that was his pride and joy.
One night he came back from somewhere and could not find his little car. When he did find it, it had been carried to an upper floor by those strong country boys, who were rolling back and forth in the hall in it.
When he promised to stop being such a "city boy" they carried his car back to the parking lot.
GARY E. PENTON
Dear Smiley: While eating dinner in Colorado Springs, I overheard a gentleman at the next table telling the group with him that the best seafood in the whole world is found in San Francisco!
I thought surely he hasn't been to New Orleans or south Louisiana. There's even a Landry's Seafood up the road in Denver, although I am afraid to try it that far inland.
I found out I was mistaken, because he then told them about the time he had been to New Orleans. He said he was driving to the airport when he made a wrong turn, and ended up on the "18-mile bridge" over Lake Pontchartrain and almost missed his flight.
It's a good thing he didn't know how long the bridge really was (almost 24 miles), or he most surely would have missed his flight!
Dear Susan: So he was wrong on both counts — the length of the bridge and the superiority of San Francisco seafood.
The write stuff
Dear Smiley: When I asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, grandson Rex Satter, like many 10-year-old boys, said, "An athlete."
His second choice was "An author."
"You can work from home. You don't have to get up early and can start work about noon," he explained. "Plus, you can work in your underwear!"
I wonder if Smiley writes his column from home in the middle of the day — in his underwear?
Dear Millie: No, I wear my flannel bunny jammies with the feet and the trapdoor.