Dear Smiley: I have eaten in many of Baton Rouge's fine restaurants, but I had never had lunch at the Stockyard Cafe, located in Dominique's Livestock Market near the old Mississippi River bridge.
Last week, I decided to have lunch there.
I'm one of those people who believe you can select a good restaurant by eating where the police officers eat, so I was glad to see three deputy sheriffs walk into the Stockyard Cafe just as I got there.
They were obviously regulars. The waitress greeted all three by name and even gave them each a welcoming hug.
I figured these guys know what's good, so I followed the deputies through the food line, and I ordered what they ordered: fried chicken, candied yams, green beans, cornbread, and sweet tea. The food was delicious!
I give the Stockyard Cafe a 5-star rating for its plate lunches, and I can report that the Baton Rouge law enforcement community knows how to pick a good restaurant!
Dear Smiley: The recent piece on "do it yourself wrestler" brought this to mind:
Back in the early '70s my employer transferred me to Alexandria, where I got to be friends with a young man who was the promoter for NWA (National Wrestling Alliance).
I became his ring announcer, and came to know several of the popular wrestlers.
In 1978 or '79, my wife and I went to Georgia to visit her relatives. While there on a Saturday afternoon, her uncle (in his 80s) was watching NWA wrestling on basic cable.
I sat down to watch with him, and realized after three hours he was watching the same matches we had seen two hours earlier. He didn't realize that all matches were taped and sent to various outlets.
When I said, "Uncle Gene, we just watched these matches a couple of hours ago," he replied, "No, Roy; they just took a break."
I just sat back and enjoyed.
"BIG ROY" NESOM
Bombs and boxes
Dear Smiley: My brother was in the Air Force flying F-105 interceptors in the late '50s.
He told me that they had a security officer who was a Barney Fife kind of guy. He would leave a matchbox on the aircraft seat with a note that said, "This is a bomb, what action are you going to take?"
It created a lot of delays and interfered with their scheduled flights.
So they took a 500-pound practice bomb and muscled it into the back seat of his car with a note that said, "This is a matchbox. What action are you going to take?"
It reduced the number of security drills.
Tiny car blues
Dear Smiley: I don’t have a VW story, but when I was at USL in the early '60s I owned a BMW Isetta, half the size of a Beetle, powered by a one-cylinder engine.
I’d fill the tank once a week for 65 cents! But it was very light, and three or four (big) guys could pick it up.
Leaving a girls’ dorm after dropping my date off, I found my Isetta had disappeared. With the help of an amused campus policeman, we finally located it in the rose garden behind the Baker-Huger dorms. Getting it back to the street is another story.
It made lots of fond memories for me.
(Restored Isettas are rare and now sell for $40,000-plus, when you can find one.)
HENRI C. BIENVENU
A place to play
Dear Smiley: Is there ever an end to stories about outhouses?
When I was about 10, my parents rented a cabin in Clermont Harbor, Mississippi, on the Gulf.
Next door was a farm with children about our ages. We would go play with them, avoiding several huge hogs wandering around the yard.
We were jealous that they had a cute little playhouse in the back for us to play dolls in. It was not until I was all grown, with my own children, that I realized the playhouse was actually an abandoned outhouse! Glad I didn't know that at the time.