The closing of Baton Rouge's Krispy Kreme store for renovations brought this memory:

Years ago, before I joined The Advocate full-time, I worked there on Friday nights in fall, taking high school football stories over the phone in those precomputer days.

We'd wind up around midnight or so, and on my drive home to Brownfields, I'd stop at the Krispy Kreme shop on Plank Road to pick up a dozen doughnuts for the kids' Saturday morning breakfast.

Some nights, I could get fresh doughnuts when they were almost too hot to touch and the glaze was molten. And in that state, Krispy Kremes have virtually no substance; they're impossibly light and airy.

One crisp fall night, with the top down on my sports car, I couldn't resist sampling a hot doughnut. And I might have had another before falling into a blissful, sugar-induced trance.

In the morning, the kids confronted me with a Krispy Kreme box containing six doughnuts.

I confessed to having one, maybe two, on the way home, but denied eating more. I said maybe the missing four had blown out of the open car or I had dropped them coming into the house and raccoons got them.

The kids did not believe these perfectly plausible explanations and hold a grudge about the incident to this day. …

Basic transportation

Chuck Pickett, of Lafayette, tells this small car story:

"I worked for Chevron almost all my adult life, starting in the oil patch at age 16 and later becoming a drilling supervisor. In oilfield culture, Texaco (years before being bought by Chevron) was famous for being cheap.

"One day in the late 1970s, we were gassing up a Chevron company Ford Crown Vic at a station in Lafayette. A Texaco hand we knew rolled up in a Pinto.

"After a few 'howdys,' we asked how come Texaco issued Pintos as company cars. He smiled and said, 'The only reason this car has two doors is because a one-door isn't available.'"

Hard to kill

Many VW Beetle stories tell of how long they lasted:

  • Dorothy "Dee" Martin, of New Orleans, says, "I was a fairly new captain assigned to Military Police at Fort Stewart, Georgia, in 1976. In nearby Savannah, I saw a VW dealership selling a special edition VW Beetle for the Bicentennial.

"I bought the all-white Beetle convertible and named it 'Sugah.' It was a stick shift, so the manager taught me how to drive it by going around a couple of blocks.

"Sugah went across the Pacific to Hawaii, across the Atlantic to Germany, and to multiple locations across the U.S. until my final assignment in Louisiana. In 2017, I donated Sugah to PAWS, Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society."

  • Earl Higgins, of River Ridge, says, "In July 1965, I returned to California from my ship in the South China Sea and retrieved my 1964 VW Beetle from storage in Oakland. My father flew from New Orleans to join me on the drive home.

"I drove the car to Charleston, South Carolina, for my next ship, and kept it after I left the Navy. When I got married in 1968, my wife decided she wanted one. In 1969, her last year of medical school and my last year of law school, we bought a 1969 Beetle. I still drive it."

Special People Dept.

  • Katie Nell Morgan celebrates her 101st birthday Wednesday, Sept. 4. She is a retired educator and elementary school principal in East Baton Rouge Parish public schools.
  • Patsy Richardson, of Gonzales, celebrates her 98th birthday Wednesday, Sept. 4. Patsy and G.W. Richardson celebrate their 79th anniversary Wednesday.

Ban chinaballs?

An anonymous reader (perhaps fearing retribution from popgunners) says, "Chinaberry trees are considered invasive and a major problem in south Louisiana. They are so prolific and easy to grow that they take the place of native species. Environmentalists advise you to get rid of them. Sorry for all those former warriors."

Louisiana Haiku

From Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville:

"August is over.

Fall’s first day is just a date.

Summer lasts six months."    

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.