Dear Smiley: Being one of only two living cheerleaders (Bobbie Chachere the other) who has ridden into Tiger Stadium on the cages of Mike I, II and III, I feel I am qualified to make a slight correction to a column item.
Mike II did not arrive on campus by helicopter. He was delivered secretly on Feb. 28, 1957, from New Orleans' Audubon Zoo by automobile, driven by Fred Hartegan, president of the student body.
Members of the Student Council took turns throughout the night guarding the tiger, for fear he would be stolen by Tulane students.
Also, unbeknownst to most at the time, Mike II died a few months after he arrived. Athletic Director Jim Corbett made the decision not to tell the public, thus the story was that Mike was sick and was moved to the New Orleans zoo for treatment.
A second tiger was purchased from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle and delivered to LSU in late October. The public was told he was the original tiger, thus he became the second Mike II. He died on May 15, 1958, and was replaced by Mike III, who arrived for LSU's national championship season.
I suggest reading “Mike the Tiger: The Roar of LSU,” by David G. Baker & W. Sheldon Bivin.
Dear Smiley: All are gearing up for Oktoberfest!
Last year my son Charles had an exchange student from Germany, Luka Herman, reside with his family.
Luka volunteered to work at the Deutsches Haus in preparation for Oktoberfest 2018, enjoying the experience.
One day our grandson, William Wirth, took Luka to the Clearview Frostop, and suggested Luka try a root beer.
Luka’s reply: “You drink TOO MUCH BEER in New Orleans!”
CHARLES WIRTH SR.
Dear Smiley: I live in Denver, and I wanted you to know that my gentleman friend in New Orleans reads your column to me over the phone every day. Except Sunday, of course.
I'll be moving there next month, and I am sure we will still both enjoy you as we continue to share the wit and wisdom that comes your way.
I am a bit concerned about Ernie Gremillion; he is a regular contributor and we haven't heard anything from him recently.
Dear Karen: Thanks for the kind words. As far as I know, Ernie is fine. I let him take a break from time to time — writing for a column can be exhausting. I'm sure he'll be delighted to know he has a fan in Denver.
Dear Smiley: As a new Exceptionalities teacher 20 years ago, I was trying to tell students how what they eat can be harmful, no matter how good it tastes.
So out to the teachers' parking lot we went, armed with various cold drinks. Much to our surprise, the only car in the entire lot with real metal bumpers was my 1974 VW Super Beetle (with rusty bumpers!)
Imagine the kids’ faces as they poured Coke over the rust, rubbed — and I had shiny bumpers! Quite a few stopped drinking soft drinks!
DR. CARLOTTA A. RODY
Wild and crazy folks
Dear Smiley: Your recent item about actuaries triggered a memory.
I worked for many years in the federal agency that administers Medicare and Medicaid, and so was 'lucky' enough to participate in way too many meetings with actuaries.
After one particularly brain-melting meeting, I asked one of the actuaries if there was a GED test I could take to become an actuary.
He said, "Yes, but it's in Latin." I guess that's what passes for an actuarial joke…
Dear Smiley: Earl Newman's golf story in Thursday's column reminds me:
On a hole where the approach was almost completely over water, my regular weekly playing partner would hit his shot in the water on a regular basis.
One day he stood on the tee box and rather than tee off, he simply threw his ball into the water. That was some kind of funny!
Dear Ronnie: Yeah, funny to YOU, maybe…