Jim Pitchford says the Wednesday story about the World War II veteran at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi who resisted curfew rules “reminds me of one in Reader’s Digest about the days of freshman beanies.

“A freshman World War II vet, when he was told at Michigan State he had to wear one, responded that he had landed at Normandy with a .30 caliber machine gun he carried from the beaches through the Battle of the Bulge and into Germany wearing the standard issue steel pot. There wasn’t a man alive going to make him wear a beanie.”

Which reminds me

I often reflect on the good fortune I had to attend LSU with veterans of the Korean conflict. One semester I was the only guy on the staff of The Daily Reveille who wasn’t a veteran.

These vets were not only older, they were serious about getting a college education. They had been out in the world without one, and realized its value.

We had a lot of fun, but our class work always came first.

When I started college at 17, I wasn’t a very serious student, and without the example of these vets, it’s possible I could have partied myself right out of school.

Bless ’em all …

What a silly idea!

One more Sam Walton story from G.G. Reed:

“Years ago while living in Houston, I heard Drayton McLane (CEO of the Houston Astros) tell a story about his good friend Sam Walton.

“Sam picked him up in his private plane and took him to a huge warehouse somewhere in the Midwest.

“Sam told Drayton he was thinking of opening a discount warehouse where people would have to pay an annual fee to shop there.

“Drayton told him he was crazy. No one would pay money to shop at his store.

“Welcome to Sam’s Club!”

Everybody knew your name

A rather extraordinary event will occur in Baton Rouge on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Folks of a certain age will gather at The Hawk’s Nest for one purpose — to remember a Government Street bar that closed 37 years ago.

The Ellis’ Lounge Reunion was started by some of the regulars at the popular watering hole to recall the good times they had there. They would meet at a friendly pub like the late lamented Cotton Club to pay homage to their gone but not forgotten hangout.

They’ll raise a glass to Ellis Samaha Jr., who was doing masonry work in 1965 when his father, a partner in the bar, died. The younger Ellis kept the bar going until 1974 as he continued his construction career. He died Feb. 11 of this year.

Organizers of the reunion say the event features the usual “lies, rumors, gossip, innuendo,” and the same rules apply — “no arm wrestling and no dangerous pets.”

Luck of the draw

Leila Pitchford-English has one more story about her alma mater, Louisiana College:

“There were stories about all the people my parents’ ages who met their future spouse sitting next to each other when chapel seating was alphabetical.

“My father, Roy Pitchford, sat next to my mother, who was Etta Pinckard.”

Roy goes bad

The above-mentioned Roy Pitchford, of Monroe, says, “I had an undeserved good reputation while a student at Louisiana College.

“I drank, ran card games for money in my room and bowled for teams sponsored by beer distributors; all campus rules violations.

“But the only time I was involved in a disciplinary procedure was when I was caught reading a newspaper in chapel.”

This, no doubt, led to the title he used with he signed his note to me: “Retired pastor and journalist.”

(Talk about sacred and profane…)

Special People Dept.

E.L. “Leo” Brown, a resident of the War Veterans’ Home in Jackson, celebrates his 94th birthday Monday, Dec. 7.

Lovolia Pinkney, of Napoleonville, celebrated her 90th birthday Friday, Dec. 4.

Lowering the bar

Algie Petrere is attempting to resurrect our series of “walks into a bar” stories. Don’t let her …

She hope to start the ball rolling with this ancient one:

An Englishman, an Irishman, and a Scotsman walk into a bar.

The bartender turns to them, takes one look and says, “What is this — some kind of a joke?”

The littlest naturalist

Richard “Poppy” Phillips says, “Our grandson Ashton, who lives in Austin, Texas, is a very sharp 4-year-old.

“Ashton and Jamie, his daddy, frequently read nature books and watch nature documentaries about animals.

“One afternoon, while discussing animals, Jamie asked, ‘What do koala bears eat, Ashton?’

“After a short pause, Ashton replied, ‘You can lick these leaves.’

“It took Jamie a second to interpret that…eucalyptus leaves! I told you he was sharp!”

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.

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