Smiley: EVERYBODY slows down here, Betsy! | Smiley Anders

Dear Smiley: A recent flash memory recall a weather forecast back in September of 1965 that was relative to Golden Meadow.

As many fishermen know, if you travel by automobile you have to go through Golden Meadow in order to reach the fertile fishing areas surrounding Grand Isle.

Let’s just say that Golden Meadow was well known back then for having a zero tolerance for anyone traveling above 25 mph.

That September Hurricane Betsy was solicited the mouth of Bayou Lafourche. A weather reporter on a TV station in New Orleans reported that Betsy was saying the coast at the rate 35 mph — but he felt pretty she would slow down 25 mph or less when she reached Golden Meadow.

TERRY DANTIN

Thibodaux

Dear Terry: Once four carloads of us drove to Grand Isle for a fishing trip. Three cars got tickets going through Golden Meadow. One car got you second ticket on the way back to Baton Rouge.

Flunking VW 101

Dear Smiley: Here is a story to go with your VW series.

About 15 years ago my neighbor, 17 years my junior, bought a 1969 VW van. He was so proud to have such a classic. Of course, it had a hole in the floor, too, but that is not what I am writing about.

The van had side rectangular vent windows, which I grew up with cars long before the days of air-conditioning.

One day I hopped into the front seat, and instinctively opened the vent window with ease. He looked at me in amazement.

He said he tried for weeks to figure out how to open it, but was unable to do so. I explained how easy it is to do and asked, “Don’t you have a doctorate in engineering?”

I guess age has its perks over degrees.

J. DAVID FRÈRE

New Orleans

Oil OK in Okinawa

Dear Smiley: In 1970 I was a mechanic in the Army, stationed in Machinato, Okinawa. We rebuilt vehicles that were blown up in the war.

A friend in our company owned a very small Japanese rear-engine car (don’t remember the brand). It had a very bad engine oil leak, and none of us could afford our own tools to work on his car.

He came up with an ingenious solution. He put a 5-gallon metal can with a lid in the back seat of his car, filled it with oil, and put a quick-open 90-degree valve on the bottom of the can, with a line going to the engine.

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When the low oil pressure light came on, he reached behind him into the back seat and opened the valve until the light went out.

As a young man I was very impressed with such a money-saving, easily done solution.

ROBIN ROSHTO

Baton Rouge

Life imitates movies

Dear Smiley: Like Indiana Jones, I was an archaeologist for part of my career (8 years).

When I was 10 years old, I was lucky to make 11 years old — since I almost stepped on a water moccasin and, separately, a coral snake.

As an adult I used to say, “Indiana Jones doesn’t like snakes; neither does Louisiana Smith.”

BRENT SMITH

Metairie

What’s his angle?

Dear Smiley: You may not “speak math,” but I do, and that ability led me to a lifetime of teaching math.

In the ’80s, at St. John High in Plaquemine, senior math started with some simple trigonometry.

To determine the height of the school flagpole, a gentleman in Plaquemine who had access to a surveyor’s transit and good measuring tape volunteered each year to help out.

He would measure the angle of elevation from the ground to the top of the flagpole and use his tape measure along the ground.

The students were quick to volunteer to look through the scope and read off the angles, then use pocket calculators, paper and pencils to calculate the height of the pole.

I never had “secant” thoughts, because the problem called for us to “go off on a tangent” to get a correct solution.

LARRY SYLVESTER

Baton Rouge

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