Alex "Sonny" Chapman, of Ville Platte, comments on the George Morris story in the Wednesday Advocate, about Cajuns serving as French interpreters in World War II:

"It reminded me (as your column often does) of a childhood experience. I was a shoeshine boy at my dad’s barber shop in the ’60s, where a lot of men dropped in to shoot the breeze.

"I remember Mr. Frank Coreil stopping by one day and asking if I spoke French. I said no, because as the 'caboose' in a family spread out over 20 years, my parents didn’t see any benefit.

"Mr. Frank then told me about his military service in France during World War II. From his induction until he saw action, he had been derided by a particular fellow soldier for being a 'dumb Cajun.'

"When his unit got into France, this guy asked him to ask a French girl for a date. Frank’s reply was, 'I’m just a dumb Cajun; go ask her yourself.'

"I got his message about trying to pick up a little French."

What, no Yugo?

Michael Hess, of Slidell, says, "I just read 'Today in History' in this newspaper, where Ford announced in 1959 it was discontinuing production of the Edsel.

"I saw my first and only Edsel in 1958 while I was walking home from elementary school in Wichita, Kansas.

"I remember thinking, 'Wow! I really like that car!'

"Now, 61 years later, I've owned a PT Cruiser, Honda Prelude, Pontiac Fierro, and, currently, a Honda CR-Z hybrid. All of these cars have been discontinued by their manufacturer.

"I guess what they say is true. All of my taste is in my mouth."

Tots at the polls

Alma Mims, of Mandeville, comments on Richard Fossey's story about the 2-year-old in a voting booth with his mother who "voted" for her:

"He should have been on the other side of his mother in the voting booth (away from the 'vote' button).

"They put a 'Future Voter' sticker on my great-grandson. It was pretty cool. He wore it proudly."

The Arrokoth problem

Earl Newman has found something else to worry about:

"According to an article in The Advocate on Nov. 13, titled 'Distant world gets new name,' the most distant world ever explored, 4 billion miles away, finally has an 'official name' (my quotation marks): Arrokoth.

"Suppose it turns out to have 'life as we know it' and it’s intelligent. Who’s to say they might have a grievance against the name we gave them, as opposed to what they call themselves.

"Could it be that they had 'discovered' Earth and the name they 'officially' gave us was something different? Would either of us be required to change our name for diplomacy's sake?

"And will I have to fork over more money to get my birth certificate and driver’s license updated?"

Got beads?

Francis Bennett, of Baton Rouge, is once more collecting Mardi Gras beads for children in Mexico. The colorful beads are distributed at Christmastime by international organizations and are a big hit with the kids, many living in dire poverty. 

Frances is at (225) 324-2750.

Special People Dept.

George and Mildred L. Hyde, of Amite, celebrate their 74th anniversary Thursday, Nov. 21.

Morning thought

Marvin Borgmeyer, of Baton Rouge, says our "random acts of kindness" stories remind him of this quote: "Morning is God's way of saying, 'One more time; go make a difference, touch a heart, encourage a mind, inspire a soul, and enjoy the day!’ ”

Grammar lesson

David Stoker says, "As a former copy editor, it bothers me at times to see the English language so often butchered on Facebook.

"That is, until I recall the joke about this traveling salesman who one day knocked on the door of a house.

"A lad of about age 10 answered.

“ ‘Is your mother at home, son?' the salesman asks.

"The lad says, 'She ain't home and she ain't gonna be home all day, sir.'

“ ‘Young man,' the salesman says, 'where is your grammar?'

"The boy then says, 'Sorry, sir, she ain't here either. She passed away about a year ago.’ ”

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.