Dudley Lehew, of Marrero, says a reader’s mention in the Wednesday column of attending chapel in college “reminded me of one of the more memorable moments of my rather checkered career at Louisiana College in Pineville, where we were required to attend a half-hour chapel session three times a week.

“One night a bunch of us sneaked into the chapel to prepare a surprise for our next-day chapel guest speaker.

“He was five minutes into a very serious lecture when a wind-up alarm clock in his podium began clanging.

“The president turned a little red, hurriedly found the clock, turned it off, and the speaker continued.

“Five minutes later another alarm clock in the piano bench went off. Again the president to the rescue.

“Five minutes later, an alarm clock inside the piano sounded. Same results, but then the president and the speaker began to chuckle.

“After two more alarm clocks in the wings behind the curtain, every student, professor, the speaker and the president were howling with laughter.

“We got out of chapel a little early that day...”

Question of the Week

Will Les Miles and Joe Alleva exchange Christmas cards this year?

Cheap Gift Dept.

Shoppers seeking that perfect (or only slightly imperfect) gift for their loved ones this holiday season might like to know that I’ll be signing copies of my books, “Smiley! A Laughing Matter” and “Best of Smiley,” from 9 a.m. to noon on the next two Saturdays (Dec. 5 and Dec. 12) at Red Stick Farmers Market in downtown Baton Rouge.

This has nothing to do with my books, but you should know that the Louisiana oranges are in at the market. They’re exceptional, as are all the citrus fruits grown in our state, and I highly recommend them.

Flight plan

After our story about Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton in the Wednesday column, we heard from Joe F. Cannon with this tale:

“When I was in the airplane business in Tulsa, Oklahoma, many years ago, Sam Walton called from northwest Arkansas inquiring about an airplane we advertised for sale.

“Not anxious to make a ‘dead head’ trip, I asked him how the airplane would be used.

“He said, ‘We have eight stores now, and need to visit them with some frequency.’”

Nostalgia Corner

Carol Stutzenbecker, of Kenner, offers a trip back to the 1950s, when she was a child growing up in Shreveport.

She says many items and foods that were common then have fallen out of style:

“On Sunday Daddy woke me up by bringing me coffee milk and the funny papers.

“On a school day I packed my books in a satchel and kept my pencils in a cigar box. Our coats were hung in the cloakroom, and on rainy days I wore galoshes.

“Mother shelled purple hull peas to be cooked for supper. She prepared salmon croquettes, roast beef with rice and gravy, grilled bologna and the following sandwiches: scrambled egg with catsup, butter and sugar, banana and peanut butter.

“My dad made what he called ‘pot liquor’ by making a puree of butter and cane syrup to accompany his buttermilk biscuits. Any leftovers were stored in the ‘icebox.’”

Solving the mystery

Linda Dalferes says, “I’m sure you don’t have this problem, Smiley, but I was just now thinking about (and experiencing) how when you get old and your eyesight is no longer good, you cannot just reach down and pick up whatever that small brownish piece of ‘whatever’ is on the floor, for fear that it is a dead insect.

“I have to go get my glasses to check it out first, to make sure it’s just a piece of fuzz or a dead leaf.”

Looking for people

Jennifer Mayer says Capital Area CASA needs volunteers to “speak up for abused children to help them reach safe, permanent homes.”

The next volunteer training course begins Jan. 19, and 45-minute orientation sessions will be held Dec. 5, 10 and 16. Call (225) 379-8598, visit casabr.org or email volunteer@casabr.org.

Special People Dept.

Laura Cotton celebrates her 97th birthday on Thursday, Dec. 3. She taught Latin and English at Baton Rouge High School for 25 years.

Snow kidding!

Algie Petrere prefaces her little story with “We don’t have to worry about that happening at LSU.” (But only because of our weather.)

It had been snowing for hours when an announcement came over the intercom: “Will the students who are parked on University Drive please move their cars so that we may begin plowing.”

Twenty minutes later there was another announcement: “Will the twelve hundred students who went to move 26 cars please return to class.”

Thought for the Day

From Richard Guidry, of Zachary: “The fatter you are, the harder you are to kidnap. Stay safe, eat cake.”

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.