We've received several tales of people using just initials instead of first names, or having an unusual first name. Often they show how these quirks run up against the military way of doing things:     

  • Marie Amelie Faure, of Covington, says, "Eighty-four plus years ago my husband's parents chose not to give him a middle name.

"When he was in the Air Force, they required an entry in the middle box. The one used most often was NMI, or 'no middle initial.'

"Apparently some in charge weren't familiar with the practice, and regularly called out 'Pierre Nimmee Faure.'

"We made sure our children didn't suffer the same fate!"

  • Karen Tatum, of Prairieville, says, "My dad had a cousin, Al, in Canada.

"He told us he became Al when he joined the military and gave his first name, Aubrey.

"The soldier signing him up said he couldn’t have a soldier with a girl’s name and demanded his middle name, which happened to be Lindsey.

"After what I’m sure was an epic eye roll, the soldier declared, 'Al it is!' He served proudly as Al and the nickname stuck (his wife always called him Aubrey)."

  • Joe Fairchild, of Thibodaux, says, "The military requires a suffix of 'only' on official documents after each initial when your first name is made up of letters.

I have a friend and colleague named J.B. He became 'Jonly Bonly' upon joining the Air Force."

Homely highway

Baton Rouge's oil refining and petrochemical complex might be important to the city's economy, but let's face it — it ain't pretty.

Here's a tale of the road that runs by it:

Dusty Kling, of Baton Rouge, says, "While working in The Advocate's computer department, we had a vendor fly in from Ohio for a consultation.

"Upon arriving at the airport and getting her rental car and map, she decided to eschew the interstate and drive downtown along Baton Rouge's 'Scenic Highway.'

"After arriving at the newspaper, the first thing she told us was, 'You have to change the name of that highway!'"

Going batty

Marsha R., of Baton Rouge, presents evidence that residents of the East Carroll community of Transylvania have a sense of humor about the name, and its association with the Dracula legend (although it was named for a university in Lexington, Kentucky).

Marsha tells us, "There is a wonderful enormous bat painted on the city's water tower."

Special People Dept.

  • Mary LaRosa Muniz, of Metairie, celebrates her 101st birthday Monday, July 20.
  • Aline Arceneaux, of Lafayette, a retired Navy commander who served with the WAVES during World War II, celebrates her 100th birthday Monday, July 20. She worked 36 years at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, retiring as the secretary to university President Ray Authement.
  • Joe Tedesco, of Slidell, formerly of Arabi, celebrated his 95th birthday Friday, July 17. He served in World War II as a tank gunner, and was a Purple Heart recipient.
  • Mary Lee Ourso, of Plaquemine, celebrated her 91st birthday Friday, July 17. She operated a beauty shop for 52 years.
  • Nolan “Sonny” Lamendola, of Gonzales, celebrates his 92nd birthday Monday, July 20.
  • Mary Anne Singletary celebrated her 91st birthday Friday, July 17.
  • Liselette Comeaux, of Summerfield Senior Living in Slidell, celebrated her 91st birthday July 13.
  • Calvin Bajon, of Baton Rouge, celebrated his 90th birthday Wednesday, July 15.
  • John W. Kenney celebrated his 90th birthday July 12. He is the former band and orchestra director at Lafayette High School, and a Korean War veteran.
  • Lawrence “Bucky” and Joyce Thibodeaux, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 63rd anniversary Monday, July 20.

Perfect ending

Alma Mims, of Mandeville, says this about our "scenic drives" series:

"What better view coming home from a long scenic trip to the Tennessee mountains than a welcoming cat running to greet you with her rollover tricks at the end of your own driveway to impress you!"

Safety first

David Earle, of Baton Rouge, says, "I think the COVID-19 quarantine has got to me: I wear my mask to Zoom meetings."

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.