Dear Smiley: Two "priest" stories:
A friend took her grandmother to church one Sunday, where the celebrant at the Mass was a priest with a strong Irish brogue. After the service, the grandmother said, "That was very nice. I haven't heard a Mass in Latin in a long time!"
My friend Judy Himel, a regular churchgoer, always wears religious medals. Her grandson, around 4 years old, was on her lap one day looking at the medals, and said, "I wish you'd get me one of these medals!"
Judy, who suddenly had visions of him becoming a priest, said, "I'd gladly buy you a medal!"
He said, "Great, but could mine have Spider-Man on it?"
Wine and aging
Dear Smiley: In summer 2003, my late wife and I were driving through Georgia on our way home from a vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.
We stopped for lunch at a chain restaurant southwest of Atlanta. I was shown to our table while my wife headed to the restroom.
The young server asked if she could take our drink order. I asked her to bring a Sam Adam's Boston Lager for me and a glass of Chardonnay for my lady.
She replied she would bring my beer right away, but would need to see the lady's ID before bringing the wine.
Without thinking, I blurted out, "My God, the woman is 50 years old! What the heck would a geezer like me be doing with a 20-year-old wife?"
The server delivered my beer just as my wife arrived at the table. She took one look, then turned to me and said, "I'll bring the wine right away!"
I immediately burst out laughing, and steadfastly (and wisely) refused to tell my lovely wife what was so funny!
DENNIS D. RITTER JR.
The Woodlands, Texas
The thirsty student
Dear Smiley: In 1964 I started classes at Tulane. Being from the small town of Erath (a three-bar town), I was amazed to have so many choices of places to unwind on weekends.
Took me a couple of months, but I finally discovered my place. No free peanuts, no three rooms with three different bands — Larry & Katz was for me.
Easy to reach; a block off Claiborne and a block off Canal. Walls lined with cases of beer. No seating except the pool table. One long bar with several bartenders; each had a pistol. Shelves lined with liquor bottles.
But what made it special were the prices. Dixie, Falstaff, and Jax were 10 cents, Bud or Schlitz were 15 cents, mixed drinks were a quarter.
On my $5 a week allowance, it fit right in. And I won't mention the nursing students from Charity Hospital.
Dear Smiley: As a student at St. Anthony High School in Baton Rouge in the ’60s, none of us good Catholic girls knew a curse word.
If we did, we knew better than to use it.
One of my classmates came up with the word "Buddha" to use in place of anything we couldn't get away with. We all knew what it meant.
It infuriated my older sister whenever I used it. Those were the good ole days.
FAYE HOFFMAN TALBOT
Dear Smiley: When my great-granddaughter was 2 or 3, whenever she heard the garbage truck outside she would run and hide.
When PawPaw asked her why she was afraid of the garbage truck, she started crying and said, "The truck is eating our garbage! I love our garbage!"
Then there was the day we sold my granddaughter's vehicle for scrap metal (because of its age and costly repairs).
When the tow truck came to get the vehicle, hooking it up and beginning to pull off, the same great-granddaughter began to cry.
"What's the matter?," we asked.
She replied, "I'm so sad; that car holds all of my memories."
Sounds like a very emotional child developing here.
Dear Joan: I shed tears once when I watched my old car being hauled off. I was thinking about the notes on a new one.