Dear Smiley: Many years ago my spouse, Mary Ann, and I signed up for an LSU alumni football game trip to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This is when Saban was on OUR  side.

The trip included a Friday night meal at a Tuscaloosa restaurant. The restaurant staff was pandering hard for a big tip, and told us at the end of the meal that they would be pulling for our “blue and yellow” team tomorrow.

If you want a big tip, at least get the visiting team colors correct!



Dear Bill: Yeah, they were probably Purple Tide fans anyhow…

Training day

Dear Smiley: As other readers mentioned, it is fun to imagine live animals as cartoon characters. We had one of those — Goldie, a small, brown, slightly cross-eyed Siamese cat.

She had been traded around by LSU faculty members, and ended up with us.

We later acquired a younger tabby tomcat, Grabber, who became her understudy when it came to cat responsibilities. Rule one: Never let dogs on the property!

One day both cats were in the yard, as was I, when a dog appeared, demonstrating anti-cat behavior.

Goldie looked to Grabber to run off the dog. When he didn’t, she tore off and dispatched the dog in such fury that he never came back.

Then she located Grabber behind some bushes, got up on her hind legs and battered and yowled at him until he cried.


Baton Rouge

Singin' and shootin'

Dear Smiley: Because of your singing cowboy stories, I did a little research. Here’s some of the useless information I learned.

Ken Maynard was the first singing cowboy, and did his own stunts. They were so good that Warner Brothers used them again in some of John Wayne’s movies. Wayne wore clothes that matched the ones Maynard had worn in the silent-film originals.

In true Hollywood fashion, suddenly there were singing cowboys everyplace you looked. Roy Rogers and Gene Autry were the big names, but several forgotten ones like Bob Steele, Bob Baker and Dick Foran wore white hats and sang too.



Dear Russ: I don't recall Bob Steele singing, but he was my favorite movie cowboy when I was a kid, because he was also a short guy. Later he played Canino, the meanest hood of all time, in the great film noir, "The Big Sleep," where he shot it out with Humphrey Bogart. (I won't tell you who won that gunfight.)  

Lyrical mistakes

Dear Smiley: My husband Joe likes to watch old TV westerns on Saturday morning.

Listening to the theme songs of the shows, I realized how badly I misheard the lyrics when I was a kid.

Two examples: In "Bat Masterson," "He wore a cane and dirty (derby) hat…" In "Have Gun Will Travel," "…a knight without honor (armor) in a savage land."

Maybe I thought Bat was dirty and Paladin was dishonorable because they wore black hats…


Baton Rouge

Doing the slide

Dear Smiley: I watch a lot of “Perry Mason" and other old TV shows.

One thing that puzzles me is how so many people got into cars on the passenger side, then slid over to the driver's side. Then they started the car and drove off.

Who has ever done that in real life?

Better camera angle? Dunno, but it bothers me.

Maybe some of your readers have thoughts on this deep and heavy subject.


Ville Platte

Dear Sonny: Of course this was back when cars had bench seats and you could slide across them — bucket seats make this maneuver a lot harder. And maybe the directors had a "slide rule." (Sorry…)

A stirring memory

Dear Smiley: Your column items concerning slide rules in their leather cases reminded me of my years at Baton Rouge's Catholic High.

The legendary physics teacher, Brother Gordian, had a following of students who proudly wore their slide rules in leather cases on their belts.

Our legendary history teacher, Pat Kennedy, would taunt the students with, “What do you use those slide rules for? To stir paint?”


Baton Rouge

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.