Smiley: His first medal

Roy Miller tells of youthful innocence and adult kindness:

“Last fall, my 7-year-old granddaughter Sophia and her teammates won all their soccer games and were rewarded with medallions to hang around their necks.

“As team members stood in line after the last game at the Watson fields and got their medallions, Sophia’s 3-year-old brother Gavin thought the whole thing was pretty cool and got in line behind his sister.

“After she got her medal, there stood young Gavin, looking up expectantly at Sophia’s coach and the league director, leaving them perplexed for a moment about what to do.

“Then they did the kind and generous thing and gave this young child his own medallion — before his momma retrieved him.”

Roy says a video of the incident has become his favorite.

California dreaming

“Rum Cox” says our tale of “my nez” reminded him of an “Out of N’awlins” tidbit:

“I think it was 1976 — I was just becoming a terror in a car — and I was visiting relatives on the West Coast.

“Heading over to Knott’s Berry Farm Amusement Park one day, I saw a restaurant with a name like ‘New Orleans Poor Boys/Sandwiches.’

“Homesick, I went in and ordered a roast beef, dressed.

“Miz Cali Blonde, who took my order, freaked out about ‘dressed.’

“But the old lady in the back told her, ‘That boy’s from N’awlins. I’m from Mississippi; that’s how folks from N’awlins order their sammiches.

“She yelled, ‘Mayo, lettuce, tomato and pickles, right?’ I smiled and said, ‘Yes ma’am.’

“She brought my sammy out and we talked about back home for hours — fixed my homesickness.

“As they closed down, she brought other workers to the table, and they all wanted to know if it was true that our water fountains ran with red wine for Mardi Gras.

“I told them the truth — HECK YEAH!

“Had my first date with a Cali Blonde that day.”

The man from Fomvul

Al Bethard, of Lafayette, has a Southern accent story:

“In the 1980s, at a conference in New Orleans, I met a very pleasant man who spoke with a distinctive accent.

“He told me he was from ‘Fomvul.’

“As we were chatting later, he told me that after the conference he and his wife were driving to Texas to visit their married daughter in ‘Kuvul.’

“I eventually figured out that he was speaking of Farmerville, La., and Kerrville, Texas.

Which reminds me

At a columnists’ conference in Louisville, Ky., I learned that residents of that city wince when they hear “Louie-ville.”

After one of us made that pronunciation on a bus trip to the Louisville Slugger Museum, our driver pulled over, stopped and gave us an impromptu lesson in how to say Louisville.

He said you make kind of a swallowing motion in your throat to get “Luh-uh-vul.”

For the rest of the ride we practiced it — not wanting our driver/teacher to stop again.

Sweat socks?

Denise Savoie winds up our “misheard song lyrics” seminar with examples from her family — and herself:

“The Beatles sing ‘She’s got a ticket to ride,’ but my kid heard ‘She’s got a chicken to ride.’

“The Elton John song goes ‘Hold me closer, tiny dancer,’ but my sister heard ‘Hold me closer, Tony Danza.’

“Pat Benatar sings ‘Hit me with your best shot,’ but my brother heard ‘Hit me with your sweat socks.’

“The Cyndi Lauper song goes ‘True Colors,’ but my husband heard ‘Two Cow Lures.’

“The Lady Gaga song goes ‘I was born this way,’ but I heard ‘I was born to sway.’ ”

And Frank Fronczek winds up the wind-up with:

“Midnight after you’re wasted” by Maria Muldaur.

“The girl with colitis goes by” by The Beatles.

“I’m hooked on the ceiling” by B.J. Thomas.

“But it’s better than drinking cologne” by Billy Joel.

“Knock, knock, knockin’ on Kevin’s door” by Guns N’ Roses.

And my favorite:

“Mama, don’t take my chromosomes away” by Paul Simon.

Special People Dept.

Edith B. Wascom, of Williamsburg Retirement Community, celebrates her 100th birthday on Friday.

Sid Roy celebrates his 93rd birthday on Friday.

Agnes Johnson, of Denham Springs, celebrates her 93th birthday on Sunday.

Harvey Pryor celebrates his 90th birthday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, at First Christian Church in Baton Rouge. He’s retired from Allied Chemical.

Cora L. Shanklin, of Slaughter, celebrates her 90th birthday on Sunday.

Murphy and Donna Torres celebrate their 50th anniversary on Friday.

Thought for the Day

From Charles E. Castaing, of New Iberia:

“The three greatest inventions of mankind are, in this order:

“1. Toilet paper.

“2. Air conditioning.

“3. The mute button on the TV remote.”

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.