Richard Stagnoli says, “My grandson, Jacen Guardado, and I went to Port Hudson National Cemetery Saturday to help his Cub Scout troop and area Boy Scouts place flags on each grave for Memorial Day.

“Jacen and I worked together — as I would make the hole in the turf, he would insert a flag.

“I noticed that after he inserted the flag, he would tap the top of the headstone of the veteran.

“After a few minutes he looked at me and said, ‘Papa, I guess you are wondering why I touch the top.’

“I said yes, I had noticed that, and asked him why he was doing it.

“He said, ‘I am just saying “God Bless You” to each one of them.’

“Jacen is 8 years old, with the heart of a man.”

Mistaken identity

Harry Clark, of Lafayette, wonders about a possible omen:

“A couple I know, Bill and Cindy, have a black Lab named Charlie. He is quite old, and obviously on his last legs.

“Over the last couple of weeks Bill has called me ‘Charlie.’

“I have white hair, and to the best of my knowledge don’t look anything like Charlie.

“I am also in good health. I sure hope he isn’t considering putting me down.

“Do you think Bill knows something I don’t know?”

(Maybe — have you had your distemper shots?)

Popping those hits

Bill Quinn tells how he and his wife helped get the LSU baseball team’s SEC championship:

“As we watched the games on TV, we had a first inning ritual for good luck: nachos.

“But the team got so anemic on offense we changed to popcorn. As soon as we did, they finally broke loose the bats and started imitating the ‘gorilla ball’ era.

“Sunday we had dinner-on-the-ground at church, so we taped the Florida game.

“When we got home we were too full for popcorn. We sweated, with no runs on either side.

“In the eighth inning, I told Mom, ‘We have to start the popcorn; this is killing me.’

“On the way to make our lucky charm, I heard a roar: Sean McMullen had hit the two-run homer to win the game!

“We will keep the popcorn going through Omaha to get our next championship.”

That’s entertainment

Betty Albritton contributes to our seminar on accents:

“When we moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, for my then-husband to attend Oklahoma State University’s Veterinary School, I worked at a nursing home as night supervisor.

“The girls I worked with and their husbands were Oklahomans.

“At night, the husbands would come to our work to have me say words, and then laugh at me and my Bogalusa accent.

“Little did they know I was laughing inside at their accent ­— pot calling the kettle black!”

Wiggling dinner

Fern Long Summers adds to my mention of eel eating:

“Years ago my husband, daughter and I were in Bruges, Belgium, walking around and enjoying the sights.

“All of a sudden I could smell a seafood market, so I took off.

“There, in an open-air market, were huge metal tubs filled with murky water. A customer was standing by one tub holding a bag.

“A market employee would reach down into the tub, grab an eel, cut his head off in a flash, and drop it in the customer’s bag.

“When finished, the lady paid the employee, thanked him (I assume that’s what she said!) and went on her way, with the headless eels inside wiggling away. Didn’t faze the lady one bit!”

Looking for people

Russ Gaudin says both “geriatric” and “pre-geriatric” golfers are invited to compete on Saturday, May 31, and Sunday, June 1, in the Al Michael-Emile Zachariah Memorial “Frantic Finish Fourball” tournament, a BREC event.

Call (225) 383-4919 for more information or to enter.

Special People Dept.

  • Camille Fichter, of Emeritus Assisted Living Center in Kenner, celebrates her 99th birthday on Thursday, May 29.
  • Memory Tidemore, of Amber Terrace, celebrates her 95th birthday on Thursday, May 29.

    Lillian Rodriguez, a New Orleans native now in Baton Rouge, celebrates her 90th birthday on Thursday, May 29.

    Spellman “Pat” and Julie Decoteau celebrate their 60th anniversary Thursday, May 29.

Dispensing wisdom

Alex Chapman, of Ville Platte, says since this is the season when commencement speakers offer advice to youthful graduates about going out into the world, he is pleased to offer his “Pearls to Recent Grads:”

“If you lose/misplace an item, retrace every step until found.

“P.S.: This method doesn’t work on a missing sock.”

Experienced parent

Paul Major reports on “a parenting exchange overheard in a supermarket check-out line:

“Child: ‘Am I still your most favorite sweetie in the whole world?’

“Parent: ‘Yes, you still are, but we don’t need any chocolate today.’ ”

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.