Henry Bradsher, of Baton Rouge, adds to our "airplane adventures" series:

"Finding Pedee the turtle on an airplane floor, as reported by Mark Richterman in the Friday column, was obviously harder than finding a 14-month-old boy.

"When Monica and I were flying west in 1965 on home leave from my post as Associated Press bureau chief in Moscow, we had 2-month-old Neal to tend to in a bassinet on the bulkhead of the Boeing 707. Sometimes we lost track of little Keith.

"But passengers behind us found him popping up cheerily around their feet. He liked the adventure of crawling under the seats.

"Keith had been flying since he was a month old, but in Moscow, where no planes were allowed over the central city, he was unaware of aircraft.

"During a 1966 vacation on an Adriatic beach, however, he began noticing them overhead. Flying back to Moscow, he sobbed uncontrollably at the thought of being up in the air.

"Now he frequently flies around China for The New York Times."

Trauma from Mom

The alligator stories continue to creep into the column:

"I bought a toy alligator for my son when I was on vacation," says Jo Ann Paulin, of Metairie. "He had always laughed at the skit that Sonny and Cher did involving an alligator.

"So when I saw a little toy alligator that was segmented and wiggled, I thought he would really enjoy it.

"Boy, was I wrong!

"He was in the bathtub, and I thought I would surprise him. So I threw it into the tub.

"I think I traumatized him for life. Not my intention."

Here today…

Joanne Moulton, of New Orleans, has this pet name story:

"Some years ago, when we got a lively young beagle, we named him 'Flash' for the white streak on his otherwise brown head. Sadly, he ran off within a week, and we never could find him.

"Thereafter we referred to him by his full name 'Flash Inna-Pan.'"

Pastor abuse

We really are winding down this pet names business; trust me.

But in the meantime…

Kathy Watson Groft says, "While at church two Sundays ago, I went to chat with my friend Roxanne. She was happy because she just got a new puppy.

"I asked what she had named it. She said her family could not agree on a name. Then she told me friends who sit by her in church had named their dog 'Deacon.'

"Of course I suggested she name hers 'Preacher.'

"She laughed, and said that had come up.

"This Sunday I waited for her to find out what name they settled on. It was Jack.

"Well, it is her dog, but think of the missed opportunities to be able to tell 'Preacher' just what you thought; being able to say, 'Shut up, Preacher!' or 'Get away, Preacher!,' etc. Oh, the chances missed!"

Special People Dept.

  • John Yarwood, of Walker, a retired Navy commander with 30 years of service, celebrates his 98th birthday Wednesday, Sept. 16.
  • Meryl and Rudy Parks celebrate their 70th anniversary Wednesday, Sept. 16.

Michigan Cajuns?

Nancy C. Van Den Akker addresses our recent discussions of folks from Upper Michigan, who refer to themselves as "Yoopers." (We earlier spelled it "Youpers."):

"Check YouTube for a group called 'Da Yoopers.' Some very funny songs, in their dialect, and a look at their lifestyle. I see a lot in common with Cajun culture."

Turns out Da Yoopers is a "traveling comedy and musical group" from Ishpeming, Michigan, who celebrate rustic ways and have the kind of joie de vivre and offbeat humor you find in Acadiana.

They have some albums out: songs like "Second Week of Deer Camp," "Rusty Chevrolet," "One Can Short of a Six-Pack," and a Christmas song, "Grandpa Got Run Over by a Beer Truck."

The group also operates "Da Yoopers Tourist Trap" store and a museum featuring "Big Gus," the world's biggest chain saw, and "Da Two Holer" (no explanation needed).

Next time you're in Ishpeming, check it out…

Thought for the Day

From Edie Bender: "If hindsight is 20/20, can we just go ahead and make 2020 hindsight?"


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.