Dear Smiley: Your column recently had a quote from “Mr. Excitement” saying, “We octogenarians have few exciting events in our lives.”

May I please disagree?

My advice — get “out of self” and you will find the most creative and rewarding time of your life!

There are opportunities all around you — mentor a child, visit shut-ins, sing with Alzheimer’s patients.

The nonhumdrum list could fill an entire section of The Advocate.

Warning — you will begin to hear “You do too much …”

But don’t look back; keep going, keep living!

I know the rewards; I am a soon to be 83 years old, forgetting aches and pains, just as my mother did until dying at 94 with a bright mind!


Baton Rouge

Sew-sew reaction

Dear Smiley: The headline in a recent Advocate caught my attention: “St. Mary sewers cause stink.”

Because quilters have been popping up all over the area, I was interested in learning what kind of problems these ladies were causing.

Had someone broken into the group’s workplace and wreaked havoc on their crafts?

Were they staging a demonstration against the police for lack of security?

You can imagine my surprise when I read the article about the problem the St. Mary Parish Council addressed: “old septic tanks … leaking into ditches in the community…”

As a former English teacher, I was reminded that when words are taken out of context a “stink” could arise from the misinterpretation.


Morgan City

Nostalgia Corner

Dear Smiley: Reading your item on old typewriters brought back childhood memories of Woodstock, Ill., with my grandmother who worked at the Woodstock Typewriter Factory (also known as the Oliver during some of the years).

My mother, brother Jim and I spent our summers in Woodstock.

Back in the 1950s, our summer toys consisted of two china dolls for me and a metal car and ball for my brother.

But the best toys were the seemingly unlimited supply of black cardboard boxes that had housed typewriter tubes.

These boxes provided hours of imaginary play — they became walls of a house, sides of a car, a village, a train, etc.

After a day of play and a simple dinner, mainly from Grandma’s garden, we’d walk up to the local gas station/bar for a nickel ice cream cone.

Simple times and wonderful memories!


Baton Rouge

Employee of the Year(s)

Dear Smiley: After recent mention of the Mississippi Queen riverboat, I couldn’t help but think of my grandfather, Lawrence Falcon.

In 1967, after being employed by B. Lemann & Bro. department store for more than 50 years and never taking time for a vacation, Mr. Lemann insisted my grandfather take a vacation.

After learning that Mr. Lemann had purchased the tickets and that the price of the tickets were not refundable, my grandfather and my grandmother reluctantly took the trip on the Delta Queen from New Orleans to Cincinnati, Ohio.

At the time of his death in 1972, my grandfather had worked for B. Lemann & Bro. six days a week for 56 years.

He had taken only one vacation, and never missed a day for sickness.



Bird man of Oregon

Dear Smiley: T-Bob Taylor’s Air Force reminiscence is better than mine.

I spent over a year in tech school at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., then was posted to Incirlik Air Base near Adana, Turkey, for a year and a half.

At the end of my tour, I put in for the most exotic bases I could think of, but ended up on a mountain-top radar station in the middle of Oregon.

It wasn’t so bad, though.

I got to do a lot of hunting: quail, chukar, pheasant.

I’d bring the birds I shot to the cook and he’d clean ‘em and cook ‘em for half my haul.

I ate better than most of the other guys.

He’d also let me take over the griddle and make my own omelets at midnight chow.

I had one buddy from Louisiana up there, and he’d usually show up when I came in with birds.

Of course I shared: ain’t that the way we do it down South?


Baton Rouge