Noble Huey Peyregne’s story is short, colorful and had a surprise ending – just like his life.
His wife, Nora, recently learned this when her niece announced she’d made an amazing discovery about her Uncle Noble. He’d written a short story in an English class while at Nicholls State University (NSU) and it was still in the archives.
When the Boutte resident asked how she found it, her niece explained that every so often she just liked to put names on the Internet to see what came up. On this search, she discovered Noble’s short story and Nora eagerly wanted to read it.
“This is a story my husband wrote 65 years ago,” his wife said. “All these years it’s been sitting there, and we’re just finding out about it.”
At the time he attended NSU, the two were dating. Nora described him as a quiet man, who apparently didn’t discuss things like his story with her or anyone in his family, but now she could get this unique insight into the man she dearly loved.
Written in 1954, the story was entitled, “The Confidence Man.” She recognized how her husband based it on his service in the U.S. Army in the Korean War and was stationed at Fort Benning, Ga. The main character was a man named Private Alphonse Snodgrass, who Noble wrote could “make you believe that the moon was blue.” When a mission arose requiring such persuasive ability, he was put to the test on getting enemy information about a possible secret attack. He did it and the ending is humorous, as it is a surprise over how Snodgrass conned the Chinese.
“I was amazed,” Nora said. “I didn’t think my husband could write something like that. I mean … his imagination.”
During college, Noble drove a school bus and picked up NSU students in Des Allemands, Paradis and Bayou Gauche. At the time, NSU was Francis T. Nicholls Junior College until 1956. He quit in 1954 to take a job at Shell.
About two years later, Noble and Nora were married.
The story made Nora reflect on the man she described as quiet, who didn’t smoke or drink, and kind of kept to himself. Noble worked at Shell, but the two would also catch and sell catfish on his days off. He went on to work at another company as a guard and then was promoted to supervisor on the docks where he worked eight years.
“He died on Pearl Harbor day in 1988 at the VA hospital in New Orleans from a heart attack,” she said.
Noble was 59 years old.
Her husband did have a little notoriety in his life with his “little baby silver cup” that he’d received from former Louisiana Gov. Huey Long.
Noble Huey Peyregne had been named after Long. In April of 1929, newspapers reported Long was giving the cup to every baby in the state bearing his namesake and he expected more than 200 of them before his term expired.
This was part of Noble’s story, too.
And just like the short story he wrote, Nora, who is now 71 years old, reflected lovingly over the recollections of her husband and particularly the “love of my life.”