Sheryl Sherlock, of Baton Rouge, offers another "language barriers" story:

"In the early '70s, my fiancé, his mother and I took a 10-day car trip to Guadalajara, Mexico.

"We had several mishaps, not being able to speak Spanish, but one really stands out.

"We had reservations at the brand-new Holiday Inn in Guadalajara. As we reached the city well after dark, we were trying to follow the map in the little Holiday Inn guidebook.

"We asked several people on the street where the motel was, to no avail. One cab driver even led us to the Hilton.

"After driving around a bit, we spotted a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. (Who knew that chain had stores in Mexico?)

"We went in to get a bite to eat. As soon as we got in the door, my fiancé said, 'Anyone here speak English?'

"One of the servers turned around to face us, and said in the best New Orleans brogue I ever heard, 'Yeah, Hon, whatcha need?'

"We reminisced about New Orleans, enjoyed our meal, and used her very good directions to find our destination."

Which reminds me

In the early '70s, when I had just started covering business news for The Morning Advocate, I found myself covering the arrival of TACA Airlines (now Avianca El Salvador) in New Orleans.

To celebrate its presence in the city, the airline flew a group of Louisiana business, government, and tourism officials (and me) to Merida, Mexico, for a junket.

One night dinner was in an upscale Merida restaurant, where the visitors dined on chicken-and-peppers tamales wrapped in banana leaves (Yucatan tamales are nothing like our Tex-Mex variety) and met Mexican counterparts.

Not speaking Spanish, I felt a bit left out, and was wandering around the restaurant when I spotted a beautiful painting of what was obviously a French Quarter scene.

I discovered that the restaurant owner was a Tulane grad. We had a pleasant chat about LSU-Tulane football, and I felt right at home on the other side of the Gulf of Mexico from New Orleans.

Posted on Smileybook

Marilyn Percy addresses the technological limitations of this column:

"I guess it’s time to admit that I am spending way too much time on Facebook," she says.

"While reading Kathy Bradford’s account (in the Tuesday column) of her grandson Parker’s heroics (saving his 2-year old brother from being hit by a truck on Halloween), my immediate response was to 'like' and comment!

"So, Kathy, I 'like' your post, and, 'Atta boy Parker! You are definitely a hero and a great big brother.'”

Happy returns

George Grazioso says, "The other day I somehow dropped my wallet while shopping in Baton Rouge. A wonderful guy named Mike saw it on the ground at the Drusilla Shopping Center.

"He not only picked it up, but it brought across town to my house! I can't thank him enough."

Sixteen's a crowd

"Annette in Lafayette" tells of a "car stuffing" that was due to necessity and not a college craze:

"In 1970, we had a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for our high school. There was a class competition, so we decided to sell tickets on the other side of Lafayette.

"Only one student had access to a car (small four-door sedan) so all 16 of us piled into it.

"Three people sat on the back seat. Each person then had two people sitting on top of them, and then one girl climbed in over them and stretched out across the top three people.

"In the front seat, there was one person sitting to the left of the driver and four sitting to the right of the driver.

"We would unload (carefully) in a neighborhood, sell tickets door-to-door, then clamber back into the car and drive to another neighborhood.

"At one point, one of those sitting in the front seat saw a police car and called out, 'Police car! Duck!' Fortunately, he did not note the number in the car.

"This was not the only time we had to resort to packing a car to get somewhere, but it was the most memorable." 


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.