When we mentioned the end of manufacturing the VW Beetle, we didn't realize that everyone in our circulation area had owned one:

Thanks for all the stories. A few more:

Anne Leonhard says, "One of the plusses of the Beetle was that you could push start it.

"I drove a '64 VW with a sunroof (which my children loved). My youngest child, who was 3 at the time, was spending the day with his grandmother, who drove a HUGE Cadillac.

"After they came out of the grocery store her car wouldn't start.

"My son, Timothy, said, 'Don't worry, Lala; we'll push it!'"

Floating Beetle

Ferne Underwood says, "I respectfully disagree with the writer's comment that Volkswagen Beetles don't float.

"A young teacher at our school became the proud owner of one, taking meticulous care of it.

"Avoiding the teachers' parking area, where scratches and dents often occurred, he opted for a space at the rear of the building.

"All went well until a terrific rainstorm came through and his car floated away, stopping close to a nearby canal!"

Clowning around

Paula Gernon says, "In the late '60s my husband, Rick, worked in Houma. Needing a good, reliable car, we bought a new Beetle, our only car — for a family of 8!

"Daddy and Mama in front, baby girl (1) on lap, twin boys (9) and girl (11) in back seat, and twin boys (2) in the 'well.'

"Thank goodness they were not big kids. It was circus clowns in a tiny car."

Uneasy rider

"TW" says, "Being an energetic, yet lazy, 14-year-old boy, I hopped on the passenger side running board of my mom’s '74 VW Super Beetle as she turned onto our street one afternoon and rode it to our house.

"As she was approaching the driveway at about 10 mph, with much bravado, I hopped off the car with the intention of beating her up the drive.

"Being a 14-year-old who did not understand the laws of physics quite yet, I hit the ground and promptly fell flat on my face.

"My mom quickly hopped out of the car to check on me. I, of course, assured her I was 'Just fine — GEEZ!' And then I meekly hobbled into the house.

"I still have the scars on my knees from it!"

Advanced weaponry

We recently told of kids using hollow elderberry branches to fashion popguns to propel chinaberries.

Paul Major, of Livonia, tells how he upped the ante in the arms race:

"As kids, we took a different tack to making chinaball 'guns.' Take a short piece of galvanized pipe with the appropriate inside diameter, threaded on one end. Using a hacksaw, cut a slot in the threaded end.

"Next, tape a piece of wood to the pipe for use as a handle. Finally, insert a firecracker with the fuse sticking out through the slot, screw a pipe cap onto the threaded end, and roll a couple of chinaballs in through the other end.

"You are now primed to wreak havoc on whoever is too slow to dodge out of the way while you wait for the lit firecracker to do its job.

"We're all still here, with all our parts, but it's probably a good thing that chinaball trees are scarcer than hen's teeth these days. We're not as fast as we used to be."

Special People Dept.

  • Mercedes Lampo, of Maison de Lafayette in Lafayette, celebrates her 95th birthday Monday. She is a former resident of Jeanerette.
  • Jeffery and Lou Meaux celebrated 67 years of marriage Saturday.
  • Raymond "Bob" and Ivy Landry, of Belle Rose, celebrate their 58th anniversary Monday.

Growing pains 

V. Goudeau, of Lafayette, offers this tip to our flower garden enthusiasts out there:

"The difference between a plant and a weed is this:

 "If you plant it with loving care, fertilize it properly, water it every day and nurture it in every way but it still dies, it's a plant.

"If you pull it up by the roots and it grows back anyway, it's a weed."

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.