Dear Smiley: I checked Wednesday morning, and no one was talking politics, so I will start the ball rolling.

I grew up in New Orleans, a block from Annunciation Square, in the ’50s. Politics were constant, with primaries for every governmental job. Everyone was a Democrat, and I did not know that someone other than Chep Morrison could be mayor.

My grandfather was very involved in all of the voting. I remember asking him why he looked so very happy at the elections, and he told me that when he went to the voting place, he loved seeing all of his good friends, including the dead ones.

As a reward for his long-standing work in the Democratic elections, Grandpa was hired to be the head elevator attendant at the courthouse.

When he died we found a ring with about 25 keys on a big ring. My dad suggested we go to the courthouse and see what we could open!



Learning law

Dear Smiley: Thursday’s column mentioning LSU Law School professor George Pugh brought back memories of a great teacher.

During class, Professor Pugh would call on students, and some days it was your “turn in the barrel.” He made us think, not recite.

We affectionately called him (out of his presence) “Hide the Ball George” because he never came right out and laid out the answers.

Upon completion of our studies, the bar exam confronted us. A large group of students from multiple schools, some out of state, banded together and hired some of our professors to conduct a review session.

Professor Pugh agreed to review evidence with us. When the time came, he started reviewing by laying out the answers. We were kind of surprised, but about 15 minutes into his review, he starting calling on those us from his classes, with his usual piercing questions and gear-changing tactics. But we handled ourselves very well.

In the middle of the session, a break was called and everyone went outside to get some air, stretch, some to smoke.

The conversation centered around the inquisition taking place. Comments of “I’m glad I didn’t have that professor in law school!” were prevalent.

All of us who were taught by Professor Pugh immediately corrected them, and told them they were wrong.

Thank you Professor Pugh. Judges didn’t seem so intimidating because of you.


Baton Rouge

It's ubiquitous!

Dear Smiley: The word I find used too much in today's society is "ubiquitous."

It just seems to be used everywhere and all over the place.



Beer history

Dear Smiley: My maternal great-grandfather, William Wiemers, an immigrant from Westphalia, Germany, began his career in the beer industry in 1889 in New Orleans.

He was employed by the Southern Brewing Co. By the late 1890s, he was brewmaster at the Weckerling Branch of the New Orleans Brewing Co.

J.J. Weckerling founded the brewery, opened in 1888. The Daily Picayune published a photo and a detailed description of the building on Oct. 13, 1888, to announce the formal opening of the brewery on Magazine Street and Howard Avenue, formerly Delord.

Today, that building houses the National World War II Museum.

William Wiemers' son, my grandfather, was a brewery assistant at an early age, and worked at the Jax Brewery on Decatur Street until his passing in March 1956.

I enjoy watching the Jax Beer TV commercials, featuring Mike Nichols and Elaine May, and I still remember the words to the Jax Beer jingle: "Hello mellow Jax, little darlin'. …"


Baton Rouge

Language lesson

Dear Smiley: About your Gloster, Mississippi, grandmother calling children "chaps:"

I have a cousin in Kentwood, in her 80s, who refers to all children as "chaps," as your grandmother did.

My thought, (one's mind does wander), is that this is one of the last vestiges of the English migration from Maryland to North Carolina, then South Carolina, then southwest Mississippi, and finally into the Florida parishes, where the lakes presented a formidable barrier to further extension.

I'd like to know the "rest of the story," if your readers have any ideas.



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.