I know, I said I was wrapping up VW Beetle stories. And I am. Trust me. Just not yet…

Katie Nachod, of New Orleans, tells of Sebastian, the 1970 Beetle she bought new from Durham Motors on Tulane Avenue when she was a UNO sophomore:

"Sebastian's paint color was 'Savannah beige.' The first time I took the car in for a tuneup, the service manager grabbed a repair slip and asked for my name, contact information, and the year and model of my car.

"When he asked for the color I proudly responded, 'Beige.'

"He wrote 'Ba' and scratched it out, then 'By' and scratched it out. Then he frowned and wrote 'Tan.' From then on, every time I brought my car in, I gave the color as 'Tan.'"

Quick fix

Harold Mayeux hopes the statute of limitations is in effect regarding this incident, which shows that (1) VW Beetles lend themselves to do-it-yourself repairs and (2) you can fix pretty much anything with duct tape:

"Back in the ’60s, When I went to get my Beetle inspected, it failed for not having a tailpipe.

"I went home, got a piece of one-inch iron pipe, duct-taped it so it stuck out the back, and went right back to the same inspector — who stuck the sticker on." 

Too silly?

When Ernie Gremillion mentioned the practice of school bus riders putting a red flag out the window to stop cars, he said a chant accompanied this action on his bus.

I asked him about it, and he replied, "Actually I do remember the chant, but by today's standards it would seem so silly I won't repeat it."

But Ernie, nothing is too silly for this column!

Oh, brakes…

After I mentioned a "sled on wheels" I rode down the hills of Natchez, Mississippi, as a youngster, I heard from "Jerry," who said the vehicle was a Flexie.

I had said it had no brakes, but he says the metal steering handles on the front "could be pressed down against the front wheels to serve as brakes."

This would have no doubt been valuable information back then…

Special People Dept.

  • John Trembley, of Slidell, celebrated his 97th birthday Aug. 6.
  • Ernest and Margaret Gremillion, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 60th anniversary Thursday, Sept. 12. He is retired from the U.S. Treasury Department, she is retired from Baton Rouge General Medical Center.

Sugar rushes

Our seminar on the noble doughnut has jogged some memories:

  • Shooter Mullins says, "Shortly after World War II, a state-of-the-art donut shop opened on Main Street in Houma, with gleaming stainless-steel equipment set up in the big window on the street.

"We could stand on the sidewalk to watch the fantastic thing make delicious donuts all by itself — we could see the whole process.

"And just about the time churches were sending the people home on Sundays, they would open the front door and blow the aroma outside."

  • Dave Grouchy, of Covington, says, "All this talk of donuts reminds me of expeditions to Tony’s Donut Shop at Chippewa Street and Plank Road in Baton Road.

"We would get them hot, and they never made it home. I have never found a better donut, but Butter Krisp diner in Covington comes close."

Dave adds, "In the late ’50s there was what was called a 'spudnut,' a donut made with potato flour. Each one weighed about a pound, and didn’t digest any better than fruitcake."

The runaways

Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut (that's in Natchitoches Parish, in case you've forgotten), adds to our "running away from home" stories with this twist:

"When my son, Michael, was in a really exasperating mood, I said I’d HAD it, and was running away from home!

"I came out, bags packed, to see Michael at the door with the classic cartoon runaway gear — the stick and bandana tied at the end. Well, there was no point in my running if Michael would be joining me.

"His bag contained these necessities — a couple of underpants, toothbrush and five of his favorite mini-cars."

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.