"My parents moved and didn’t tell me," says Linda Dalferes, of Baton Rouge. 

Linda says when they lived in Denham Springs, "I came home from school (I was 16) and they were gone and so was all of the furniture.

"A nicer house right down the street came up for rent, and they knew that I would go across the street and ask my aunt where they were.

"I guess they didn’t think of leaving me a note — or more likely it was a joke."

Learning to survive

My folks left Baton Rouge when I was a sophomore at LSU, leaving me to fend for myself.

I quickly found that (1) Kean's Laundry could take a bundle of my clothes and make them clean; (2) I could not live on hot sausage po-boys from Romano's Pack & Save; (3) if I ran out of money before my part-time job payday, nobody was going to bail me out.   

Frustrated Samaritan

From our "no good deed goes unpunished" file, Larry Sylvester, of Baton Rouge, says, "Alongside the street in front of my condo are plastic-covered pedestals containing colored wires, providing electronic service.

"After freezing weather and ice storms in February, I noticed the plastic cover on one pedestal had a good-sized hole in it.

"After some consideration, I decided to call the customer service number for the company whose initials were on the pedestal. After 30 or 40 minutes being directed from one department to another, I finally got to someone who promised a technician would come out, but insisted I be present when he arrived.

"I showed the technician the hole in the pedestal. He explained he could not repair the damage, but would report it.

"To this date, May 6, no one else has come out, and the hole continues to grow.

"In my statement from the company following my call, I was charged a $100 service fee because the technician had come to my address.

"After another 30 or 40 minutes on the phone with two or three different representatives, I found someone who was able to convince the computers I should not have a service charge on my account."

They're multitalented

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, says it's not news that Pierre Part is the home of some world-class cooks, but in Alaska he learned they're known for another skill:

"Many years ago, when I visited Alaska and a museum about the building of the Alaska pipeline, I was told some of the best welders in the world were from Pierre Part.

"After I was elected district attorney, I met with many local plant managers who said Pierre Part welders could weld exotic metals used in their plants better than any others."

The book guy

This is an unsolicited plug for a Baton Rouge institution.

For more than 30 years, Danny Plaisance has operated Cottonwood Books on Perkins Road, despite competition from giant corporate book stores and home delivery services (you know who they are).

I was in the other day to check on sales of "Smiley and Friends," my third book (another plug!), and was impressed by Danny's display of books by local authors.

His store is the last one of its kind in town. We'd be a poorer community without it.     

Special People Dept.

Nell and Calvin Golden, of Baton Rouge, celebrated their 69th anniversary Monday, May 10. He is a Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War, and was in the battle at the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea in 1950.

The Cajun language

Joyce recalls "the time an old Cajun relative insisted the road was closed when he saw a sign saying 'No passing.'"

Slim pickings

Shooter Mullins offers me a free joke — which turns out to be worth what I paid for it:

It's about guy who says his family was "so poor that sometimes his mother sat them all at the table and read to them from a recipe book, and that was their supper.

"One of his sisters was hard of hearing, and nearly starved to death!"


Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.