Dear Smiley: About the Saints loss Sunday — kudos go out to the Saints fans for acting like adults after the grave injustice the team and the fans experienced.
Could you imagine if this same scenario had taken place elsewhere in a city that has a professional football team; cars turned over, building burned down, people injured, etc.
Saints fans acted like adults in the un-adult world that we now seem to live in today.
Dear Elwyn: Your was one of many notes we received expressing this sentiment. Thanks — but I wish civilized behavior was so common we didn't feel the need to remark about it
Dear Smiley: I've been following the creative solutions your contributors and others have proposed to end our current border security crisis.
I think we can combine them and turn our southern border into a real asset.
1. Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador has already proposed a 15-mile-wide free trade zone on his side to provide jobs and economic benefits for migrants. We should match that with a duty-free zone on our side (think casinos, hotels, shopping…).
2. A canal from the Pacific to the Gulf is a great idea (Chris Metz first proposed this). Don't think about "Mr. Go;" think about the Intracoastal Waterway and all of the benefits it provides.
3. Jason Andreasson shared a proposal that Congress give $5.7 billion to the National Endowment for the Arts, which could then hire Christo (remember the Valley Curtain?) to build the "wall."
All three parts together should provide employment, enhance tourism, and turn the current crisis into an amazing benefit. It boggles the mind to consider all of the possibilities.
Hang that hat
Dear Smiley: The "hat indoors" discussions caused me to remember an interesting trip to Oberlin, parish seat of Allen Parish. The population is about 25,000.
I had a case that required a trip to Oberlin to argue a motion. At the courthouse, the first thing I noticed was that I could park next to the door. It was obvious that there had been some work done on the courthouse, with money from Uncle Sam, presumably because there is a federal prison close by.
When we got to the courtroom, I was surprised to see theater seating with very nice-looking seats. I also noticed big brass hooks under each seat.
A local lawyer told us that those hooks were to hold the hats of the gentlemen coming to court. Apparently they convinced the federal government, who was paying for the renovation, that it was worth the expense to move those hooks from the old seats.
My observation was that every man I saw in Oberlin had a hat on — most with seed company logos.
Lose that lid
Dear Smiley: One of the finest gentlemen to ever walk the streets of Baton Rouge had a rule about hats at the camp.
They could be worn indoors, but NEVER during a meal — a misdeed for which there were consequences.
I wonder if any of your readers have stories about having the privilege of being taught or watching someone get taught a lesson in manners by Mr. John Barton.
Generation gap blues
Dear Smiley: While I was working on my car one day, my neighbor's 4-year-old son was hanging around.
I asked him to go inside and get me a beer out of the icebox.
About 15 minutes passed, so I went in house to check on him — and noticed he was wondering around, dumbfounded.
I asked him what was wrong, and what he was looking for. He said he was looking for the icebox.
I pointed to the fridge and said, "There it is."
He looked at me strangely and said, "Mr. Sam, that is not an icebox. That is a refrigerator!"
Dear Smiley: Years ago I referred to my offspring as "kids" (as in young goats).
My mother, ever the teacher, told me I should use the term "children."
I replied, "YOU don't live with them!"