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Advocate columnist Smiley Anders

Mention of Piccadilly Cafeterias' 75th anniversary caused Terry Maderson to recall how important the original Dilly in downtown Baton Rouge was to impoverished, hungry LSU students:

"In the early and middle '50s, while attending LSU, a few of us would venture to the Piccadilly Cafeteria downtown.

"Every two or three weeks, after saving a few quarters, we would treat ourselves to a Piccadilly supper. We would hitchhike to downtown, arriving approximately at 7:45 p.m., right before closing time.

"Arriving late, we would hope they had an abundance of chicken, hamburger steak, liver, etc. Since they would not keep it for another day, they would pile it on our plates at the regular price.

"After closing time, if we were unable to catch a ride, we would walk back to the stadium or the men's dorms, because we had spent all our extra money at Piccadilly."

Which reminds me

When I was a starving student at LSU we didn't have today's plethora of fast-food places offering cheap eats. So we took advantage of dollar meals or all-you-can-eat specials.

The Cotton Club on Highland Road had the best of those: whole flounder, fried or broiled, with fries and salad, for a buck on Thursday nights.

Baker's, close to the LSU gates on Highland, had a dollar hamburger steak dinner one night a week.

At the legendary Goal Post across the street, Jack Sabin (before he got into fine dining) offered a dollar steak once a week.

If you had a car, Fisherman James on Florida Boulevard had a weekly all-you-can eat dinner of fried catfish or chicken.

And bars along the Amite River offered free suppers on Saturday nights, usually a fish stew. The catch here was they wouldn't serve until 9 p.m. or so, which meant if you got there at the announced time of 7 p.m. you had probably been drinking (and paying for) beer all that time. Then it was so spicy that more beer was required.

So the "free" supper wound up costing as much as a full dinner at a nice restaurant.

Memorable mismatches

Tales of mismatched shoes remind Dave Larsen of a minor part of a major (and tragic) event:

"When evacuating our Lake Pontchartrain home the day before Katrina, the water on our road was rising rapidly. In my rush to leave I put on two different shoes. It was two days before I realized it!"

And Mike Berry, of New Iberia, demands equal time for socks:

"My sister, Holly Berry (born on Christmas Day) arrived at a family dinner wearing one blue knee sock and one red knee sock.

"When asked why, she promptly replied that she couldn't find both red knee socks.

"The followup question was, naturally, why didn't she simply wear the matched blue socks, to which she glibly replied, 'Because I like the red ones better!' You can't fight it!

Nice People Dept.

Cheryl Martinez, of Prairieville, thanks "two gracious young ladies my grandchildren and I met at a horse show at LSU.

"One was Mallory; her horse Goose was as patient and sweet as her owner. Also, the owner of Snow introduced us to another horse, Handsome.

"Both young ladies were very generous and kind. And what a great introduction for those two grandchildren to the world of horses!"

Special People Dept.

Hamlet Crotwell, of Denham Springs, celebrates his 96th birthday Wednesday, Feb. 20. He is a World War II veteran. 

Ode to Jumma

Speaking of exceptional animals, several readers of this column responded with sadness to the  news of the death of the K-9 Jumma, who served the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office for 11 years and is credited with sniffing out millions of dollars worth of illegal drugs with her educated nose. The Belgian malinois died Wednesday after surgery to remove a tumor on her spleen.  

Here's one of the thank-you messages to Jumma, from Janice DeJean:

Your service has come to an end.

You were a loyal, dedicated friend.

You've traded in your collar, badge,

and earthly things

For a halo and a pair of angel wings.

Fly high, Jumma.         


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.