Dear Smiley: Long ago, as teenagers without iPads and Xboxes, we created our own games.
At times behind the levee a big pond would dry up and grow high, thick grass like a pasture.
A friend had a VW Beetle that would barely get out of its own way on the road, much less in soft high grass. We, in our usual youthful wisdom, decided it would be fun to see if we could outmaneuver the Bug on foot and not get run over.
We would at times have to push the Bug to get it going or unstuck. Miraculously no one got run over — bumped maybe, but no major injuries except to the little Beetle, whose clutch couldn’t stand the strain after several episodes of country boys just having fun.
Dear Smiley: In '65 I was transferring from California all the way across country to Hunter Air Force Base near Savannah, Georgia. Our one car was a nearly new VW Beetle.
My brother, a merchant seaman who commonly shipped from the West Coast, was going to travel with us. He was driving a Ford Thunderbird.
We couldn't buck the desert headwinds, and he couldn't keep his car down to our "non-speed."
When we caught up, he would rush on ahead and wait for our Beetle again and again. He was glad to be stopping in Louisiana.
GARY E. PENTON
Dear Smiley: When gas prices were on the increase, a fellow employee purchased a small Nash vehicle that got good mileage. He bragged about the good friend who sold it to him at a great price.
While the crew looked over the vehicle with him, another worker was splashing old black oil under the motor and on the engine.
While the new owner and his devious coworker were sitting on a bench near the car, the Nash owner was asked, "What is that spot under the car?"
After a close inspection, the owner relocated the car to a clean spot. Soon a larger spot of oil covered the new spot.
At this point, he became bilingual, speaking English AND profanity.
Just before he finished angrily dialing that good friend, we stopped his phone call.
The littlest comedian
Dear Smiley: A 6-year-old’s "joke of the day:"
Why is the beach wet?
Because the seaweed.
Dear Paula: Not bad. Tell that kid to keep 'em coming!
Dear Smiley: Telemarketers keep getting smarter all of the time.
The other day my cell phone rang, and I checked to see who was calling me. My smart phone said that it was ME calling myself.
It’s bad enough that I talk to myself when I’m not on the phone, but this is stretching my sanity.
ALEX "SONNY" CHAPMAN
Dear Smiley: Mention of Baton Rouge's old Our Lady of the Lake Hospital near the State Capitol brought back memories.
When I was a student at LSU in the '50s my girlfriend (now my wife) was a nursing student there.
Not many of us had cars then. I would catch a bus to North Boulevard and walk to the hospital to pick her up. We would walk downtown to see a movie, then back to the hospital. I would then walk to catch the bus back to LSU.
It was really cold in the winter, but worth it. We just celebrated our 61st anniversary.
Fort Worth, Texas
Dear Smiley: This is a confession on behalf of hundreds, including possibly you.
In days past, LSU had the boys on one side of the campus and the girls on the other side. Primarily on Friday and Saturday nights we often ran full speed from "our" side to "their" side.
Dozens of Campus Police began greeting us. The women often booed them.
I was educated about the visions I often got as I looked back at those windows before heading to my dorm.
Panama City Beach, Florida
Dear T-Bob: I had long finished my matriculation before these events. And just to be clear, you're not talking about streaking, are you?