Dear Smiley: I was bringing my 7-year-old grandson, Evan, to school. During our ride, I asked him if he had thought about what he wanted to be when he grew up.

He answered, “No.”

I said that was fine; he had plenty of time to decide, but a lot of boys his age say they’d like to be a policeman or fireman.

He then said he just wants to be a “normal grownup.”

I told him that was fine, too, but he’d need money for food and rent when he grew up.

He answered, “I have a lot of money. And when I lose the rest of my baby teeth, I’ll have even more money!”

I guess you can’t fault his rationale.



Adults only

Dear Smiley: Articles in your column regarding moonshine reminded me of my dad and his once-a-week glass of cherry bounce.

Our Sunday feast was one at which our entire family sat at the dining room table and enjoyed a delicious meal our mother prepared, with a number of specialty dishes requested by each of nine children.

Throughout the meal our dad leisurely sipped cherry bounce from a large glass, compliments of a family friend well-known throughout the community for supplying each man of the house with a bottle.

Each time one of us asked Dad for a sip, his response was always, "When you get a little older."

We never knew how old was a little older, and none of us ever got a sip!



Smart-aleck Scarlett

Dear Smiley: My late father was Louisiana’s state auditor from 1956-1960. One day his longtime secretary, Ruth Stout, had a call from a gentleman who said he was Clark Gable and wanted to speak with Mr. Dodd.

Ms. Stout, used to friends of my father joking and swapping stories with her, answered, "Hello, this is Scarlett O’Hara, may I help you?"

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The caller hung up. He called twice more before Ms. Stout went into my father’s office saying, “Mr. Dodd, I have about had it with one of your friends calling and saying he is Clark Gable.”

Dad replied, “Ms. Stout, that was Clark Gable!"

A quail hunting trip had been arranged for him during the filming of “Band of Angels" at the family farm in Clinton.

Later Mr. Gable came by the State Capitol to visit Dad, and to give Ms. Stout an autographed picture which said, “To Ruth Stout O’Hara from Clark Gable."



Wet ride?

Dear Smiley: I remember being very excited in the 1970s when they started building a courthouse in Gonzales. Before that time, we had to travel across the river to Donaldsonville whenever we had Ascension Parish courthouse business.

Reading Shooter Mullins’ story about bowlers caught in the Gonzales speed trap in 1958 who were told to follow the cop to the courthouse, I wondered if he was going to make them go all the way to Donaldsonville to pay that ticket.



Cue the banjo

Dear Smiley: Recent letters about getting travel directions reminded me of a family trip to the Great Smoky Mountains long before GPS was available.

We were staying at a chalet in the hills overlooking the mountains. On the morning of our planned trip to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, I acquired a local paper map and discovered a route through the hills to bypass the ever-present traffic jam in Gatlinburg.

The route started on a four-lane road, but within a few miles it digressed into a one-lane gravel road. Certain that we were lost, the need to turn around was brought up.

With thoughts of the movie "Deliverance" in my head, and loud objections from my copilot wife and daughter, I decided to ask for directions from an old man walking on the side of the road — carrying, of all things, a crowbar!

He directed us in the direction of a wooden bridge, and said the main highway would be in sight once it was crossed.

Sure enough, we found the four-lane highway — which happened to be about a half-mile from where we started our journey. So much for shortcuts!



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.