Smiley: The Lea’s way

This tale from Skip Breeden struck home, because I also made the mistake of ordering a hamburger at Lea’s in Lecompte, the legendary pie and ham sandwich place:

“While I was attending Northwestern State College back in the last century, I made many late Friday afternoon stops there for a ham sandwich and a slice of the best banana cream pie I have ever had.

“On one such stop, a friend and I had settled into the lunchroom and began to order.

“Mr. Lea was walking around greeting diners, his usual routine.

“A school bus pulled up outside, and about 40 energetic high school students poured into the establishment. There was quite a ruckus as the students settled into their tables and booths.

“A waitress approached Mr. Lea and stated that the students wanted hamburgers and milkshakes, and did not want to understand that Lea’s did not have such items on the menu.

“Mr. Lea, in his normal booming voice, told the waitress he would handle the students.

“He calmly greeted them and informed them that he was truly sorry he could not serve them the items they were requesting, but he wanted to help them.

“He told them, if they would march out the door and get back on their bus and head south on U.S. 71, there was another establishment down the highway that would serve them.

“In shock the students loaded the bus and departed.

“After they were out of the lunchroom, Mr. Lea exclaimed, ‘I don’t need that kind of noise in here!’

“I, along with several other diners, smiled and continued to devour our sandwiches and pie.”

Playing with knives

Lillian Joy Cheramie says, “Ever since your commentaries on marbles, my father, Robert ‘Sonny’ Harris, of Bunkie, has been talking about ‘mumblepeg.’ (If you look it up, it is also referred to as ‘mumbletypeg.’)

“According to him, he and his friends played the game when he was a child in Melville in the late ’20s-early ’30s.

“He told me, ‘All boys back then carried a pocketknife. In mumblepeg, we would extend the long blade all the way out, with the short blade extended halfway, or at a 90-degree angle.

“‘The first player would throw his knife into the ground in a certain way, and make it stick in a certain way. The next player would have to duplicate what the first player did. If it was not duplicated, that player was out of the game.’

“There were far more dangerous ways to play, one including seeing how close you could get the knife to your opponent’s foot without injuring him.

“But they didn’t play that way!”

Nice People Dept.

It seems picking up meal tabs by anonymous benefactors is picking up:

“We have been rewarded with the same courtesy twice,” say Tom and Gail Wilkinson, of Ethel:

“The first was at Applebee’s in Baton Rouge on Old Hammond, by a very nice young Marine.

“And one Sunday at Cabba’s in Zachary, a young man who sat at the table behind us left before we could thank him for his kindness.

“Thank you to both these young men. We hope one day the kindness you showed us will be returned.”

Worthy causes

Minority donors are needed for a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at the Baton Rouge campus of Remington College, 10551 Coursey Blvd.

It’s part of a “3 Lives” blood drive, a national effort to recruit minority donors in partnership with blood centers and the Sickle Cell Disease Association. (The drive gets its name from the fact that one pint of donated blood can save as many of three lives.)

For information, go to

Have a Heart

That’s a program by Companion Animal Alliance from Monday, Feb. 10, through Feb. 28, offering half-price adoptions for any dog with heartworms.

CAA says, “Heartworm disease is treatable, and these pets deserve a chance!”

Visit or call (225) 774-7701 for details.

Special People Dept.

On Monday, Feb. 10, Daly and Suzanne Lavergne celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Word play

Harriet St.Amant offers a few oxymorons — where opposite ideas are combined:

Airline food

Good grief

Same difference

Almost exactly

Sanitary landfill

Alone together

Government organization

Just visiting

Algie Petrere says this story reminds her of her great-grandson John, who would have a similar comment:

A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women’s locker room.

When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover.

The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, “What’s the matter, haven’t you ever seen a little boy before?”

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.