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Our seminar on sports cars reveals that small, low-to-the-ground vehicles can be dangerous. We haven't mentioned this hazard: 

"When my brother was in his early 20s," says Malka Lew, "he bought his first car. It was a red MG which needed 'a bit' of engine and body work; meaning it was a jalopy.

"As my husband was checking under the hood to see what was needed, it slammed down on the back of his head with such a loud noise I thought I was becoming a young widow.

"After a very short while my brother realized the repairs were way beyond his financial capabilities, and the thing was no longer part of the family.

"Thus ended a young man’s dream/nightmare."

Ins and outs

As some readers indicated earlier, one problem with sports cars involves entrances and exits.

Dale J. Landry is not deterred:

"After 42 years and six Corvettes, at 71 I will continue till I can no longer get out of my latest."

But Carolyn Rousseau, of Slidell, tells of a problem ladies had with small cars and fashion:

"In the late ’70s I bought a 1978 red Fiat x19. It was miniskirt time. It had to go. I traded it in for a sensible Ford Galaxy 500."

Northern hospitality

Terry Dantin, of Thibodaux, says, "My brother L.J. is a tour guide at the Louisiana Rural Life Museum, guiding busloads of French-speaking visitors from Canada.

"Several years ago, on vacation, we toured Nova Scotia. After spending the night in Yarmouth, my brother suggested we stop for breakfast at Chez Christophe, a restaurant in Pointe Eglise owned by Paul Cormier. He had met Paul during one of the museum tours.

"It was 10:30 a.m. when we arrived, too late for breakfast."

"L.J. asked for Mr. Cormier. When he saw my brother, Cormier yelled 'Monsieur Don-tan!' and gave him a big bear hug. When we told him we were sorry we missed breakfast, he laughed and sat us at a table.

"Within a half-hour we had eggs, Canadian bacon, homemade biscuits, coffee and an hour or so of French conversation. We left with the memory of one of the highlights of that trip."

Gee, thanks!

"Recovering teacher" May Waggoner says, "I can't stand it: Let’s put this 'Geaux' and 'Gaux' question to rest.

"GE and GI are soft G: giant, gelatin.

"GA, GO, GU are 'hard' G: gat, got, gut. This is true in French also: Gaudin, gauche, gaudir all start with GA.

"French gigot and géant start with GI and GE.

"The problem is that English is full of exceptions: words not only from Old English but also from other languages. 'Girl' comes from Scots Gaelic; giggle and gill and geld from Middle English and Scots.

"We import foreign words: geisha from Japanese, gecko from Javanese, gefilte fish from Yiddish, gill and gig and gilt from Scandinavia, Gilead and Gilgamesh from the ancient world.

"And to make things more complicated, there is Gila monster; the G is pronounced like H.

"Get it? (Middle English) Got it. Good."

Special People Dept.

  • Jacqueline Mason, of the New Orleans area, celebrates her 100th birthday Thursday, August 26.
  • Mercedes Lampo, formerly of Jeanerette, celebrates her 97th birthday in Lafayette Thursday, August 26.
  • Jeannette and John Beck celebrate their 55th anniversary Thursday, August 26. John recently retired from the Assumption Parish School Board after 35 years service.

Cheerful cheers

Katie Nachod, of New Orleans, says, "When I was a child in Philadelphia, a local Quaker school was Penn Charter.

"When my sister or I were struggling with some chore, my mother encouraged us by reciting this school's rather understated cheer:

"'Penn Charter, Penn Charter,

Try harder, try harder!'"

David Dupuy says, "At Catholic High in Baton Rouge, we had a cheer in the ’60s that made no sense:

"'Chatta chatta chatta,

nooga nooga nooga,

Chattanooga, Chattanooga,

ooga ooga ooga.'

"Never could figure out where that came from. Maybe Brother Eldon Crifasi would know."

Roy A. Brown recalls this "seldom used" cheer at football games:

"Rah rah ree, kick 'em in the knee!

Rah rah ras, kick 'em in the other knee!"

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.