"I know you are trying to wrap up the outhouse stories," says Vickie McWaters, of Metairie, "but I have one more.

"When I was a child, my parents purchased some land way out in the country for us to go camping.

"After a few years of sleeping in a tent and using an outhouse, my father built a small house. On the Fourth of July when I was about 15, my father completed the last connection to the indoor plumbing.

"We decided to celebrate in true Fourth of July fashion. With fireworks.

"We put the fireworks inside the outhouse and stood back (way back) and let her blow. It's my most memorable Independence Day."

Inquiring Minds Dept.

Frank Arrigo has noticed that after several stories about marble shooting in schoolyards, we've dropped the subject.

He asks, "What's up? Have your contributors lost their marbles?"

You don't really expect me to answer that, do you, Frank?

Creative recycling

Speaking of marbles, Tim Palmer, of Lafayette, revisits the subject:

"All of this talk about playing marbles reminded me of an incident when I was in elementary school in Galvez.

"I had a pretty purple cloth marble bag that everyone admired. It had a logo and gold lettering on it, to which I paid little attention, and a gold drawstring.

"One day the principal of the school, C.V. Richard, admired it, making note of the fact that it was from a bottle of Crown Royal. NOW I know what that is."

I seem to recall that name, Tim — it's some sort of beverage, isn't it?

Life in the fast lane

Unlike those of us who, as youngsters, read Playboy for the articles, Ron Sammonds, of Baton Rouge, read it for the cartoons:

"When I was in college in the ’60s, a Playboy cartoon showed a fat, bald, dejected-looking gentleman sitting in boxers, sleeveless undershirt, and black socks on an examination table being talked to by his doctor: 'You're not sick exactly, Mr. Magillicuddy, just mighty used up for a boy of 19.'

"Now that I'm in my 70s, I use that line for myself."

Water your birds

Joel d'Aquin Thibodeaux, of Baton Rouge, addresses our current heat wave:

"I turned on the water sprinkler in the front yard — for the BIRDS!

"I saw one acting really strange, like he was so hot. The birds loved the cool water and came and danced in the water — woodpeckers, sparrows, brown thrashers, robins, and blue jays!"

Too good to share

Ernie Germillion says Gail Stephenson's Monday story about fig preserves "reminds me of my mother's fondness for them.

"When she was in a nursing home, I located fig preserves for her. She would bring the jar back and forth from the dining room, keeping it in her room (not completely within the rules). She was not going to share her scarce fig preserves with anyone."

Special People Dept.

  • Shirley Gilbert, of St. Joseph Manor, Thibodaux, celebrates her 100th birthday Tuesday, July 9. A party is planned for Friday, July 12.
  • Joseph Arbour, of Amber Terrace Assisted Living, Baton Rouge, celebrates his 95th birthday Tuesday, July 9.
  • Alfred “Buddy” Songy, of Plaquemine, celebrates his 93rd birthday Tuesday, July 9.
  • Edward and Sylvia Ann Rabalais Carrio celebrate their 70th anniversary Tuesday, July 9.

No fish for you

Another true fish story, this one from Vallan Corbett:

"In 1994, my husband took me for my first fly fishing trip. That’s when I found out in Montana fishing is 'catch and release.'

"After catching and releasing all day, I said to our guide, 'Where I come from, when we catch fish, we have fish for dinner; here in Montana when I catch fish, I have roast beef for dinner.'

"The guide said, 'I know what else you have: a bad attitude.'"

Goodbye, Robert

Robert DeBate, of Sorrento, was one of several readers writing me about the same problem:

"I recently took The Advocate's U.S. citizenship test, and qualified for deportation.

"My lineage is three-fourths Acadian and one-fourth French-speaking Swiss. Mais, Smiley, what to do?"

Drop me a line when you arrive in Switzerland. 

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.