Dear Smiley: My fellow sailors thought I was weird because I looked forward to “stuff on a shingle" (creamed chipped beef on toast).
After explaining the delicacies of red boudin, hog head cheese, stuffed stomach, tongue, cracklings and squirrel brains in gumbo, they no longer thought I was weird — they were convinced.
Dear Smiley: I hope another bar story doesn’t sully my reputation!
There is a great little neighborhood bar on Telemachus Street in New Orleans named "Twelve Mile Limit."
It was named after the distance a boat had to travel offshore to sell liquor during Prohibition. It has a regular, loyal clientele.
A while ago, I discovered a great doberge cake made by “Debbie Does Doberge.” At first Debbie didn’t have her own bakery, so her cakes were delivered to Twelve Mile Limit.
Several times my husband and I enjoyed a morning Bloody Mary at the bar waiting for our delicious doberge to arrive.
One time we took friends from Monroe with us. Their comment: “Only in New Orleans!” as they, too, enjoyed a Bloody.
Dear Smiley: Regarding the letter from the gentleman about Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas leaving town after a 1965 game, I can probably tell you why: No one in New Orleans knew who he was.
We have the men’s store Rubenstein Bros. My uncle Morris Rubenstein had a call from one of his suit clothing suppliers, Eagle Clothes, that they had an agreement with Unitas to do PR appearance in stores which carried his clothing.
My uncle agreed, and we had an in-store "Meet Johnny Unitas" event the Saturday before their exhibition game with the St. Louis Cardinals. My uncle told me only one 12-year-old boy came into the store to see Johnny and get his autograph.
I was at college at the University of North Carolina, so my uncle got a second autograph for me.
What's that light?
Dear Smiley: Marsha R.’s mention of the Californians not being familiar with rain reminded me of when I moved to Watsonville, California (home of Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider), in 1986.
When I got to the office the second day, the people asked if I was able to sleep the night before.
I told them that I was, and wondered why they asked.
There was lightning that night, and it is something they don’t often get. I told them that we get plenty of it in Louisiana, and it’s no big deal.
Queen of the Yams
Dear Smiley: When my wife Carolyn and I celebrate our 50th anniversary Saturday, June 13, we have special T-shirts to wear to celebrate.
Mine says, “She’s my Sweet Potato Queen,” and hers says, “Yes I Yam."
The reason: My wife was the Yambilee Festival queen at the Opelousas event, and as do all festival queens she traveled across the state to represent her festival.
When she attended the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum festival in Morgan City, I was asked if I was interested in escorting a visiting beauty queen for the weekend — and as a normal, red-blooded 19-year-old male, I said yes.
I met her on the Friday before Labor Day. I changed colleges on Monday, and we have been together ever since.
The leisure class
Dear Smiley: Granddaughter Zelda, 5½, and I went for a half-mile walk around the block at 8:30 one night, after it had finally "cooled down" to 85 degrees.
She ran most of the way, and I was hard pressed to keep up with her.
Finally I asked her how she had so much energy so late in the evening. She replied, "It's easy. You just lounge around all day and store up your energy for fun and games at night."
Oh, to be able to "lounge around all day…"
Dear Smiley: With so many coronavirus jokes out there, it's a pundemic.
That being said: Due to the quarantine, I'll only be telling inside jokes, such as:
"Why do they call it the novel coronavirus? It's a LONG story…"