Dear Smiley: Your reference to S&H Green Stamps brought to mind an incident of years ago, during the Green Stamps days.

I was driving in Jonesboro, Ark., when I passed a guy beside his stopped car with a gas can in his hand.

Even I had smarts enough to know he was out of gas and needed a ride to the service station.

So, being the helpful guy that I am, I offered to take him to get some gas, and even offered to bring him and the gas back to his car.

I started to turn in to the first station we got to when he said, “No! Please take me to the station farther down the street.”

I agreed, but my curiosity got the best of me and I asked him what the difference was.

His reply: “That station down the road gives Green Stamps.”

Yes, I took him to the station that gave Green Stamps (I told you, I am a good guy).



Fast food

Dear Smiley: When I saw your bit about tomato sandwiches, I was reminded of Brother Dave Gardner’s bit about Little David.

I remembered seeing him do this and his other routines at the Candlelight across the river.

I pulled out my “Rejoice, Dear Hearts” LP by Brother Dave to listen and reminisce.

If you recall, Little David brought vittles to his brothers on the front line fighting the Philadelphians.

Among the items was

“… stewed tomatoes on light bread sandwiches so you have to lift and eat fast lest it falls through the crust.”

Some of his stuff might sound a little corny now, but we ate it up in the ’50s and ’60s.


Baton Rouge

Close call

Dear Smiley: When I was a young kid I planted tomatoes under my mom’s clothesline.

A family friend was visiting and told me that I had planted them “too close apart.”

I won’t reveal his name, but I never forgot that expression.


The Villages, Fla.

What’s bugging him?

Dear Smiley: The other day my husband and I dropped off our 9-year-old son Grant at Boys’ Mission Camp in Jackson.

Knowing that the dreaded louse could bring an abrupt end to a camper’s adventure, my son looked at his dad and asked, “Are they gonna take us around back and check us for fleas like they did last year?”

Considering that Grant announced he would miss the family dog more than anyone else that week, this might not have been a bad idea!



On the avenue

Dear Smiley: My wife Annette has this saying, “Darling, I love you, but give me Park Avenue.”

And she says it a lot. And she says it a lot to her five grandsons.

A few years back, my oldest grandson, Benjamin Ross, approached me.

“Paw Paw,” he asked, “What does Nana mean by that?”

I explained it to him.

Now Ben and his brother Christopher usually finish it off for her: “… but give me Park Avenue.”

Where does Annette’s saying come from?

Find an old rerun of “Green Acres” and there is the lovely Eva Gabor: “Darling, I love you, but give me Park Avenue.”


Church Point

Spitting image

Dear Smiley: Our church had a 32-passenger bus to ferry youth to camp and senior adults to special events.

We had a “young” retiree who volunteered to get his commercial license and be the driver.

He was VERY particular to follow safety rules.

On one trip with seniors to the Dinner Bell in McComb, Miss., he pulled the bus over because there was a flashing light on the dash.

After calling for a backup bus to get the seniors to their lunch, I arrived to learn that the light was the one to signal the back door was ajar.

Seems one of our seniors needed to empty his spit cup!



Down time

Dear Smiley: Congratulations on 32 years of “writing” your column.

You graciously thanked all of your contributors — those who only write once, those who write occasionally and those who are regulars.

On behalf of all of these folks, I am sure that a hearty “You’re welcome” is due.

When time allows, I look forward to contributing important stories.

Recently, I made a contribution about educating folks in East Texas on the usage of the word “Geaux,” and was excoriated by friends as having too much time on my hands.

The phrase “It must have been a slow day at the office” was used.

However, I am troubled at this accusation.

I think I can consider myself an occasional contributor.

What does this say about the regular contributors?


Tyler, Texas

Dear Phil: It says that most of them are retired.