Our stories of Americans abroad brought this recollection from T-Bob Taylor, of Panama City Beach, Florida:

"Back when I was more naive, I had heard the term 'ugly American' many times and resented it.

"Then, while in the Air Force, I lived in Turkey for 18 months.

"About half of the base residents were adamant that they would NEVER learn basic Turkish to greet people, order simple foods, or negotiate the Turkish economy.

"The rest of us had a great time exploring a fabulous country.

"Many of the others were locked into, 'If they want to do business with me, they can learn English.'"

It ends here

Barry Raffray says, "Referring to nicknames, a family in Plaquemine of four generations called the matriarch, Mrs. Brown, 'Old Maw Maw,' to specify which maw maw was being addressed. She did not have a problem being known as Old Maw Maw.

"Several years ago, the family increased to five generations. A couple of months ago, Old Maw Maw passed away.

"I have not talked with any family members since, but am wondering if Miss Paulette is now being addressed as 'Old Maw Maw.' My guess is she will NOT have that happen."

Stones need Stompers

"Jang Jang Landry" is among folks already excited about this event:

"Wondering who will supply security for the 2021 Jazz Fest performance by the Rolling Stones this October?

"If the Altamont Hells Angels from 1969 aren't available, might I suggest the 610 Stompers, backed up by Acadian Ambulance?

"I know 'it's only rock-n-roll…'"

That soggy cake

Regarding our seemingly unending list of country songs lyrics, Amy Drago reminds us, "Country songs aren’t the only ones with groaner lyrics."

She cites the 1968 Jimmy Webb creation, "MacArthur Park," originally sung (actually spoken) by the actor Richard Harris.

Many years ago, we asked readers to nominate their least favorite pop song. "MacArthur Park" was the winner, or loser, depending on how you look at it.

At the time, many readers defended the tune, but those who didn't care for it pointed to these lines:

"Someone left the cake out in the rain

I don't think that I can take it

'Cause it took so long to bake it

And I'll never have that recipe again"

Moving messages

Marsha R., of Baton Rouge, has been noticing signs on vehicles lately.

She tells of a license plate frame that read: "Car is unlocked. Keys are under the German shepherd."

And a home repair company had this message on its truck: "Handymen built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic."  

Prisoner of love

When I got the note from Paula Newell about the 98th birthday of retired tailor Nunzio Giovanni "Mr. John" DiStefano on July 6, I assumed it was just the usual belated birthday message.

Then I read his story: "He was an Italian prisoner of war at Jackson Barracks in New Orleans during World War II who later married a local girl, became a U.S. citizen, raised a family in Metairie and lived the American dream."

His wife, Vergie Battaglia, daughter of Sicilian immigrants, "was one of seven sisters, four of whom would go on to marry Italian POWs and bring them back to New Orleans to settle down."

There's a movie there somewhere …

Special People Dept.

  • Irene Berger, of Metairie, celebrates her 102nd birthday Wednesday, July 28.
  • Louise Ritter, of New Orleans, celebrates her 100th birthday Wednesday, July 28. Of her milestone, she says, "Getting old is inconvenient."
  • Pete and Nita DiBenedetto, of Baton Rouge, celebrate 62 years of marriage Wednesday, July 28.
  • James "Fry" and Lois Roberson Hymel, of White Castle, celebrate their 60th anniversary Wednesday, July 28. He is an Army veteran, she is a Spencer Business College graduate.

Dangerous typo

Our listing of milestone anniversaries remind me of this little story sent in by Algie Petrere, of Central:

"On their second anniversary, a husband sent flowers to his wife at the office. He told the florist to write 'Happy Anniversary, Year Number 2!' on the card.

"She was thrilled with the flowers, but not so pleased about the card: 'Happy Anniversary. You're Number 2.'"

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.