Joseph W. Berey, of Covington, combines two of our recent subjects — banking experiences and western movies/TV shows — in one story:

"Early in my New Orleans banking career, in the late 1960s, I was working in the personal, as opposed to the commercial, loan department.

"I greeted a gentleman as he entered our office, and offered some assistance.

"He asked for Tonto. I told him that we had no one in our office named Tonto.

"He said, 'OK, so then can I speak to the Loan Arranger?'

"Needless to say, his loan got approved."

All in the family

Dan Stein, of Baton Rouge, says, "My two sons are both history buffs, with particular interest in our extended family's history.

"My younger son Michael was only too eager to provide some DNA to a popular ancestry service, which confirmed that there is indeed a sizable amount of Scottish blood on my wife's side of the family.

"Michael was delighted when his genealogy research for a college thesis revealed that they are descendants of Duncan the Fat, a Scottish warlord who fought along side William Wallace of 'Braveheart' fame.

"Duncan headed a clan whose motto was 'Learn to suffer.'

"Michael further learned that they are also descendants of Alexander Hamilton.

"So I am surrounded by the Baton Rouge chapter of Duncan's clan, who believes that suffering begins when the supply of chocolate-covered doughnuts ends, but who have inherited hearty appetites and a willingness to fight over that last doughnut.

"Fortunately, as descendants of Alexander Hamilton, none of those doughnut fighters can shoot straight."

(Any readers wondering about that last sentence should have paid attention in American history class … .)

Bedtime learning

"Our first granddaughter wanted a story at bedtime each night," says Alton Duke.

"Since I believe physics is the language of God, I would tell stories about physics.

"In one story that stands out, I held up a basketball and, using a flashlight as the sun, explained how the sun was far away and the Earth rotated to make us think the sun was moving around the Earth.

"Texas requires an interview by a panel to be sure a young student is ready to learn. The third question she was asked was, 'Does the sun rotate around the Earth?'

"She told them that they were wrong, and in detail explained day and night.

"They looked at one another and determined she was ready to learn.

"She is now a medical doctor completing her residency in dermatology. Bedtime stories can be a learning experience."

Happy returns

John Clement, of Baton Rouge, thanks Danielle, "who found my house keys with my Walgreens tag in the Supercuts parking lot on Siegen Lane.

"She took them to the Walgreens at Perkins and Siegen, and was able to get my phone number. She called to tell me I could pick them up at the register there."  

Special People Dept.

Julie and Spellman "Pat" Decoteau, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 65th anniversary Wednesday.

Solo performance

Tim Palmer, of Lafayette, was disappointed that I didn't cover his victory in the World Famous first annual St. Somewhere Memorial Day Hot Dog Eating Contest.

The champ says, "Maybe Patricia Gannon of The Acadiana Advocate will cover it next year. And maybe there will be more than one contestant. That will lessen my odds of winning again."

Objects of scorn

Harriet St. Amant says, "Reading over the winning caption and the five runners-up in Walt Handelsman's most recent cartoon contest, I am delighted to learn that sarcasm and suspicion of the Legislature are alive and well in Louisiana."

Mr. Metalhead

After I suggested that a person wearing an aluminum foil hat was combating alien rays, I heard from Michael Hess, of Slidell:

"In your Monday column, I read about the sighting of a gentleman wearing a foil hat. 

"A few years ago when I had a brain aneurysm, they were able to repair the vessels with a platinum coil and a titanium clip.

"I no longer have to wear an aluminum foil hat. My internal brain safeguards now protect me from all alien mind interference."

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.