Every time I feel a bit overwhelmed by the extent of Ida's impact on this area, I check my computer and find some little story that makes me grin and feel better about our plight. For instance:

— Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Clinton, says, "The only good thing about losing power is that you can't vacuum."

— A day or so after Ida rolled out of Baton Rouge, Randy Wesley announced on social media that the venerable Pastime was open and serving hot food and cold beverages.

"You might want to wear your rubber boots," he suggested. It wasn't because the place flooded. He said when the folks around the bar start telling stories about heroism and survival, "it gets pretty deep in there…"

— Gail Stephenson, of Baton Rouge, says, "When son Scott and his family spent the night of Hurricane Ida at our house, granddaughter Zelda, 7, passed the time by writing notes to family members. She started with the weather forecast.

"Although her spelling needs work, I think she has potential as a meteorologist. The forecast for August 29 was 'Estremli bad weher;' August 30, 'Basickli Hot.' But as the winds picked up, her notes got more personal. This one to her PawPaw said it all: 'I’m glad to be with you.'”

Special delivery

I've been very impressed with the extraordinary efforts by the folks at The Advocate/Times-Picayune to get the papers out during these trying times.

On Wednesday I received three Advocates — that day's paper, and the Monday and Tuesday papers that couldn't be delivered due to the ravages of Ida. They had been printed in Mobile when we lost power to our Baton Rouge presses.

Janis Mann, of Denham Springs, in telling a sports car story, recalls another exceptional delivery effort:

"I had a 1976 blue Triumph Spitfire convertible. Two seater with three people; top down, riding down I-110 one early morning.

"We passed an Advocate news delivery truck. Well, even then I needed my morning Advocate fix, so my crazy brother Scott stood up (he was in the cubby behind the seats), and as I pulled up next to the truck someone handed him a paper.

"How did we survive our younger years?"

Flirtatious cashier

Julie Collins tells this one about her dad, Ernie Gremillion, of Baton Rouge:

"He was getting a little frustrated by the lack of A/C, and decided to go to the nearby grocery store and hang out in the cool atmosphere, and maybe pick up a few things.

"When he told my mom he was going, she asked him to pick up a couple of pints of chocolate ice cream. As it turned out the ice cream was all he decided to buy.

"When he was checking out in the very busy store, the cashier asked if that was all he came to buy. Dad responded by asking what type of husband would 'come out in this zoo atmosphere just to get his wife some chocolate ice cream?'

"Her response was, 'The type of husband I would like to marry.'

"Everyone in the checkout line got quite a chuckle from the exchange."

Special People Dept.

— Katie N. Morgan, of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 103rd birthday Saturday, Sept. 4. She is a retired educator, and the former principal at Cedarcrest-Southmoor Elementary School. Friends from Broadmoor Baptist Church held a drive-by parade for her Saturday.

— Audrey Fletcher Phinney, a former Baton Rouge resident now in Riverside, California, celebrates her 100th birthday Monday, Sept. 6, in Baton Rouge. She worked at a war plant in Houston during World War II.

First senior moment

Ken Ledet says, "Years ago, I had to stop at the bank. Standing at the counter, the kid (teller) said the memorized greeting, 'How are you doing today?'

"I replied, 'I am a tired old man.' The kid looked at me and said, 'Oh, you don’t look like you’re tired.'

"I thought, 'This kid is funny!', and I laughed really loud and long.

"The kid looked at me and asked, 'What’s so funny?'

"I was 48."


Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.