Mention of hearing problems brought this from A. Braud, of Gonzales:

"At 84, my hearing is not so good, but I didn't think I was ready for hearing aids.

"Ed, my husband of 64 years, has been ill. One morning while I was serving him breakfast in bed, he reached over, taking my hand, and said, 'I love you a lot.'

"I replied, 'It is NOT 11 o'clock.'

"Now instead of saying, 'I love you a lot,' Ed merely says, '11 o'clock.'"

Flowery tribute

Sidney LeJeune discusses a New Orleans landmark:

"I believe Lee Circle should keep the name, but as 'Lis Circle,' with a giant fleur-de-lis on top to honor our great city. (Lighting it would add a great touch.)

"To honor just one individual would be repeating the same mistake. After all, 100 years ago they thought it was a great idea to put up a statue of Robert E. Lee — how did that turn out?

"Around the base should be plaques honoring all the great men and women, of all races, from the past and present, with space for the future.

"This would serve to unite the city, as all will be fairly represented.

"Champions Square would be the ideal spot to honor sports figures."

Lover of life

The death of Baton Rouge music legend Mickey Montalbano reminded me that the last time I saw him, he was dancing at Phil Brady's, at age 90.

Louisiana Music Hall of Fame inductee Mickey Montalbano dies at age 91

He and brother S.J. were famous for their Montel Records and for bringing great rock acts in Baton Rouge in the '50s and '60s, but I remember him for much more.

  • Sitting around a fire at a Trashfish Rodeo, telling outrageous fish stories and war stories in that gravelly voice, with such conviction that you almost believed them.
  • Showing up with his entourage at just about every rock or blues show in town.
  • Joining with S.J. to bring classic R&B from his era to listeners on the Baton Rouge High radio stations every Saturday afternoon.

I never saw him when he wasn't having a good time, squeezing all the joy possible out of his time here.

We should all enjoy life as much as Mickey Montalbano did…

Word Coining 101

Frank Fronczek has a question for our Mr. Language Person:

"After recent severe weather had mostly passed, the rumble of distant thunder was heard in our household. My lovely wife Roz said, 'It’s still lightning.'

"Being a hopeless 'semantpedant,' I corrected her: 'Lightninging.'

"Storm clouds of disagreement loomed.

"By a stroke of good fortune, we have you to enlighten us.


"1. Is there such a verb as 'to lightning'?

"2. If so, what is its present participle form?

"3. If not, what is the appropriate verb to convey Roz’s meaning?

"4. Is it OK to make up words?"

Mr. Language Person answers:

"1. 'Lightning' can be used as a verb, so Roz is right.

"2. Sorry, Mr. Language Person doesn't speak participle.

"3. See Answer No. 1.

"4. Of course. You just made up two: 'semantpedant' and 'lightninging.'"

Mail-order mutts?

I wonder if Jacob Scardina is putting me on with his Sears memory. But I've never been one to let the facts stand in the way of a good story, so here it is:

Jacob says, "This is in regard to the reader who received a J.C. Higgins bolt action shotgun, ordered by his mother via the Sears catalog.

"I also received a Higgins bolt action for Christmas about that time.

"The better story, though, is that when I was old enough to use the catalog myself, I ordered two hunting dogs from Sears.

"Yep! Money back guaranteed trained rabbit dogs!

"First hunt, first shotgun blast, they disappeared. Gun shy!

"When I finally rounded them up, I put them in the same crate they came in and shipped them back.

"Yep, as always, money back guarantee was good. No more mail order dogs!"

Bare facts

Bill Plunkett, of Slidell, says, "While shopping at our local Sears store with our four kids, 6-year old Michael came up missing.

"We found him with the female mannequins when he yelled, 'Hey Mom, she has no drawers on!'"   

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