Dear Smiley: Many Americans say the French are rude, unfriendly and inhospitable. But I have never encountered anything like that in France.
When I had the honor to visit the beautiful American cemetery at the Normandy invasion beaches, there was a group of five or six people near me who were looking out at all those white crosses, and they were crying.
I could see the tears on their faces. And they were speaking to each other not in English, but in French — not the French of Canada, but the French of France.
Dear Smiley: I built a new home in Baton Rouge’s University Hills in the early 1960s, walking distance from the south gate of LSU.
After a few years there, I was invited to a crawfish boil in Pierre Part.
I sat across from a gentleman and had a lengthy conversation about things in general.
As we were leaving, I asked who he worked for. He indicated the “Baton Rouge Morning Advocate.”
I told him my next-door neighbor was Ed Price, the editor of the paper. I asked if he knew him. He said, “Yes, that would be me.”
I have since tried to be more neighborly. Some my current ones are not so sure it’s working.
Dear Smiley: My daughter, Stefanie, always came up with funny sayings. The ones I remember most are as follows:
1. Asked how old she was, she would raise two fingers and state that she is “too old.”
2. When not feeling well, she asked me to feel her “feverhead.”
3. When her birthday was coming up in a few days, I told her that her birthday was around the corner. So, of course, she had to go up to the corner of our street to look for her birthday!
Stefanie is now 51 years old.
Dear Smiley: With the previous weeks’ stories about kids “saying the darndest things,” I wish to add my personal tale!
My parents took pleasure in recounting this beach vacation story, since I was too young to remember:
I was repeatedly warned, “Do not go out into the Gulf waters because the undertow will get you!”
When my older brother got near the water, I repeated the warning, “Do not go out into the water because the undertaker will get you!”
Dear Bill: This makes me recall John Irving’s great novel, “The World According to Garp,” where a youngster gets a similar warning about the undertow and hears it as “undertoad,” imagining a malevolent creature bringing evil to the family.
Dear Smiley: Regarding your recent column re: sad songs:
My name is Joan; everyone calls me Joanie.
My husband found the song “Don’t Cry Joni” (by Conway Twitty).
As he played it, I got very emotional and started to cry.
The grandkids were there and laughed, thinking it was so funny seeing Joanie cry over a song. They made him play it over and over just to see me cry … not funny!
Mrs. Benson’s place
Dear Smiley: Boo “Caesars Superdome!”
I wanted it to be named “Gayle’s She Shed.”
Dear Smiley: This came across on Facebook:
It's always “Wow, your car is a mess!” and not “Wow! You don't litter!”
Take a name
Dear Smiley: My father had a habit of giving our friends nicknames. (Probably because he had three teenagers bringing in loads of other teens and had trouble remembering names).
My sister had a friend named Cece. He called her SS.
My brother had a friend he called Porter. Even friends at school called him Porter. No one knew his real name until he graduated. It was Paul.
And he called a guy I dated “Possum.” I was afraid to ask him why!
It’s what’s for dinner
Dear Smiley: About country songs:
I was born and raised in Arkansas, and have always been a fan of country music.
One seldom heard song was titled “Five Pounds of Possum In My Headlights Tonight.”
Dear John: Tell me, do you have any idea why it’s seldom heard?
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Smiley: Tears at a cemetery in France have 932 words, post on www.theadvocate.com at July 23, 2021. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.