T-Bob Taylor, our correspondent in Panama City Beach, Florida, says, “I was listening to the local news outlet and a story popped up that two workers had to TWICE be separated in the heat of a serious fight.

“I’m thinking, ‘What a couple of nuts!’

“Then the announcer tagged, ‘The argument was over how much spice to put in the gumbo.’

“Well, why didn’t he just lead with the important part?”

The Ray and Floyd Show

I’m grateful to John Musemeche for reminding me of a great moment in Baton Rouge music — when Ray Charles came to town.

When John recalled a late-night jam session by Ray and Floyd Brown at Floyd’s night club on Airline Highway, I got the story from Floyd, one of Baton Rouge’s best-known musicians.

“In 1980 or ’81, I booked Ray at my club, with the Raelettes and his 18-piece orchestra,” says Floyd. “The show sold out in four hours, so I arranged for a second show, which also sold out.

“After the second show, Ray and some of his people were in my office and I was out in the empty club. I sat down at the piano and, just for fun, started playing and singing some of Ray’s songs.

“Suddenly the office door opened and out came Ray.

“He said, ‘Son, you sing real good,’ and joined me at the piano.

“We sang and played together for an hour and a half, and John Musemeche came in just as we started. He was with The Advocate then, and I had invited some Advocate people to drop by.”

John took a photo of Ray and Floyd that is in “The Best of Floyd Brown” CD, available (along with his newest CD) at floydbrownmusic.com.

Fourth-row fever

Speaking of great musical moments, Hal W. Gould recalls when Bob Dylan played at LSU in 1978:

“I camped out 17 hours to get tickets on the fourth row near the center!

“My date for the evening was a lovely lady (who, frankly, was out of my league, but having fourth-row seats magnificently covered the deficit).

“Bob Dylan from the fourth row — oh, yeah!”

No-chicory zone

Louis B. Gaudin reminds us that the late Lea Johnson, owner of the famed Lea’s Lunch Room in Lecompte, had a prickly side:

“I grew up and was living in New Orleans in the early 1960s.

“I was on a business trip and stopped at Lea’s for a cup of coffee, and was going to try a ham sandwich and a slice of pie.

“When I asked for coffee with chicory, Mr. Lea personally came to my table, yelling that I must be from New Orleans, and he did not serve chicory coffee.

“I was amazed that he went on ranting and raving.

“Needless to say, I left his shop and never returned.”

Take a bow

“We have had a subscription to The Advocate since about 1961, and have lived in the same house in Villa del Rey since 1971,” says Ruby Nell Collins. “We think the carrier who puts the newspaper under the carport deserves some extra recognition.

“Our carport is at least 40 feet from the street. I have seen him backing out of the driveway, so I know he has to pull into the driveway to put the paper between the front and back wheels of the car. He deserves extra thanks.”

(Ruby Nell, my Istrouma High classmate, left out part of the story, which she told me at a recent reunion:

One morning she came to the door, saw the carrier leaving the paper, and waved her cane at him to get his attention so she could thank him. She’s afraid the poor guy saw her and thinks an irate lady with a cane is coming after him if he doesn’t leave the paper in the proper place...)

Special People Dept.

Willie Gautreau, of Gonzales, celebrates his 93rd birthday on Thursday, July 2. He is a World War II Army veteran.

Save the turtles

“Ya Ya” says, “My granddaughter Sadie, who lived in Baton Rouge until 6 and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, was visiting here.

“On our way to church, we passed a house in my neighborhood that had four stakes with orange tape around them in their yard.

“She says, ‘Oh, that house is going to have baby turtles! They’re lucky!’

“Then I realized — in Boca, up and down the beach there are now stakes and orange tape, because it is nesting season for turtles.”

Something wild

Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville, tells of his friend Boudreaux, a fourth-generation south Louisiana trapper and fisherman.

Boudreaux decided to change his life and move up north, to Baton Rouge.

There he met and started dating a nice girl. When he asked her to marry him, she said, “I will if you buy me a mink.”

Boudreaux thought a minute and said, “I will, but on one condition.”

She said, “What is that, darling?”

He replied, “You will have to clean the cage.”

Contacting Smiley

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