Dear Smiley: Kitty and Ivy Alford, my parents-in-law, have been married more than 65 years, but their 50th anniversary was especially memorable.
Their daughter Suzie learned the White House sends congratulatory notes to couples on their golden anniversary, and made all the arrangements.
Sure enough, on their anniversary date, a beautiful letter appeared in Kitty and Ivy's mailbox at their home in Baton Rouge's Villa Del Rey subdivision.
But when Kitty discovered a big fat envelope bearing the presidential seal in her mailbox, she became suspicious. She could think of no reason the White House would write them, and suspected the letter might contain anthrax.
Kitty called State Police, and you will be pleased to know they responded promptly.
In less than an hour, a Hazmat vehicle showed up. Several people jumped out, clothed in protective gear including respirators. The terror-response team put the envelope in a special container and sped away.
When Suzie explained to Kitty the letter was a congratulatory note from President George W. Bush, Kitty called State Police and asked for it back. But they refused to return it — it was being preserved as evidence!
Dear Smiley: Thomas "Tom" Jefferson Blakey, of the Army's 82nd Airborne, jumped out of a "perfectly good" C-47 at approximately 1 a.m. on June 6, 1944.
When asked why he wanted to ultimately drive to Paris and liberate France, he said, "Well, duh...that's where the girls were."
Tom died in January, 2015. He volunteered at the World War II Museum from its opening in 2000. He shared his stories and traveled with the museum's speakers bureau from the Gulf Coast to New York to Normandy.
Tom, thanks to you and your generation for saving the world.
Dear Smiley: To all Americans: we must never forget the sacrifices of the brave, heroic men and women who have served our great nation in all wars and battles.
On the 75th anniversary of D-Day we honor especially, those who gave their all on that fateful day in 1944.
Always remember this: ”They gave all their tomorrows, for our todays.”
God bless all of our veterans, and thank you!
Dear Smiley: Wednesday’s mention of the Monroe airport reminded me of this one:
When we first came to Louisiana we lived in Monroe. My bride, a CPA, had a client in New Orleans, so I took her to catch a plane.
We got there a bit early, and went to the bar where two other men were sipping.
One glanced at his watch and said, “We’d better go.”
The bartender told them, “Don’t worry. You’re on Royale (a now defunct regional airline). They’ll just pull the plane up and honk.”
Dear Smiley: If I'm lying I'm dying. A friend and I were trying to impress some people involved in a big construction in Plaquemine (River West Medical Center).
One gentleman had been there from the corporate offices a few days. When his wife arrived, we splurged for an evening at Baton Rouge's Chalet Brandt.
As she walked into the restaurant I swear she said, "I was really surprised to see the roads are paved."
I do NOT think she was kidding.
Panama City Beach, Florida
Dear Smiley: You mentioned this gentleman whose doctor told him to limit his consumption of shellfish to "light." Reminded me of when my doctor told me to try to drink with "Moderation." I'm still trying to find this Moderation he told me to drink with.
Dear Smiley: It's hard to believe you have been doing this column for 40 years!
It is just great being a small part in something so many people enjoy.
I often have someone ask why they have not seen anything from me in the column lately — even sometimes a person I hardly know.
I just say, "If you don't have anything to say, it's best to not say anything."
Dear Laura: Whereas my theory is, "If you don't have anything to say, say it anyhow."