Smiley: Agony of de feet

Here’s another example of one of my favorite topics — kidspeak:

John Culmone says, “After a few days at the Magic Kingdom in Florida, our 6-year-old grandaughter Bella Culmone commented to her mother, Melissa, ‘Oh Mama, I see why they call this WALK DISNEY — because all you do is walk.’ ”

Urban legend?

P.J. Mills, of New Orleans, a former legislator, takes issue with our Tuesday story about Gov. Huey Long having the U.S. 190 bridge built so low that ocean-going ships had to stop at Baton Rouge rather than continuing upriver.

He points out the bridge opened in 1940, five years after Huey’s death, and the often-told story about his influence on the bridge location appears to be a “myth.”

He also disputes the contention that the height of the bridge benefited Baton Rouge’s industrial growth.

“Baton Rouge was an industrial center on the river long before the bridge was built,” P.J. says.

Pie to go

One final Toddle House story, from Carolyn Carter, of Central:

“My dad was a connoisseur of Toddle House pies.

“For a long time, I didn’t know you could order other items from the menu.

“Well, the Christmas Parade passed in front of the Toddle House every year, and we stood there to watch the parade.

“While waiting, my mom missed my dad and asked me, ‘Where did your dad go?’

“I answered, ‘I don’t know.’

“A few minutes later he comes back with a box and three forks.

“He had bought a banana cream pie. We snacked on the pie while waiting for the parade.

“I guess he was ahead of his time with street food.”

Which reminds me

Years ago, I was driving back to Baton Rouge with a co-worker after a meeting in Alexandria.

We stopped at the legendary Lea’s Pie Shop in Lecompte for a ham sandwich, and couldn’t resist buying a banana cream pie, topped with a couple of inches of meringue.

The pie sat on the seat between us, and by the time we reached Bunkie we realized it was calling our names.

I was driving, so my buddy rooted around in the car to see if he could find something we could use to cut the pie.

He could only find a beer can opener, a metal device known as a “chuch key” in bygone days.

He cut the pie and handed me a slice on a paper towel he had found in the glove box.

In that manner, we consumed most of the pie before we reached Krotz Springs.

When we got to Baton Rouge, I found that the steering wheel was so sticky I had a hard time prying my hands off it.

I spent much of the next day cleaning the gooey mess from the inside of the car to beat the ants. …

Share the road

A reader called Lee, one of our unpaid Gretna correspondents, sent over some scary photos of a train going down what appears to be the middle of a city street.

He says the pics were taken on Fourth Street in Gretna.

He explains: “The train tracks were there first, and there wasn’t enough room for the street, so the street and tracks are shared by trains and cars alike.”

Lee says drivers just have to be aware that on that street they may encounter a train.

And getting in a plug for his city, he adds, “Fourth Street is also a few blocks from the oldest fire station in the United States. The David Crockett Steam Fire Co. No. 1 is the oldest continuously active volunteer fire department.”

Keep it clean

Mary E. Dunigan, of Central, says, “Last Thursday morning, I was traveling west on Hooper Road near Sullivan Road when I saw an EMS paramedic vehicle stop in the eastbound lane, and both young men got out of their vehicle and picked up some cardboard debris that was in the middle of the road.

“I wanted to say ‘thank you’ to them for making the effort to keep drivers safe on that very busy traffic corridor.

“Their action did not go unnoticed.”

Special People Dept.

Lee and Lois Davis celebrate their 65th anniversary on Wednesday, Jan. 15.

Forget what?

Gibbens Robichaux, of Thibodaux, came across the story of an elderly couple on a road trip who stopped at a restaurant for lunch.

After they’d been back on the road about 40 minutes, the wife discovered she’d left her glasses at the restaurant.

“All the way back, the elderly husband became the classic grouchy old man. He fussed and complained and scolded his wife relentlessly during the entire return drive.

“To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant.

“As the woman got out of the car and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the old geezer yelled to her, ‘While you’re in there, you might as well get my hat and the credit card. …’ ”

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.