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My Wednesday mention of the late Anthony Bourdain — chef, TV star, writer, world traveler — reminded me of his memorable encounter with a Waffle House during a visit to Charleston, South Carolina.

The Georgia-based diner chain has more than 2,000 locations. They're so ubiquitous in the South it's easy to forget a first-time visitor might find them exotic.

Tony, a creature of the night, encountered his first Waffle House in early morning, evidently after a lengthy celebration with Charleston chef Sean Brock. He said:  

"Is the Waffle House universally awesome? It is indeed marvelous, an irony-free zone where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts; where everybody, regardless of race, creed, color, or degree of inebriation, is welcomed — its warm yellow glow a beacon of hope and salvation, inviting the hungry, the lost, the seriously hammered all across the South to come inside. …"       

The Jersey way

Dennis says, "One of Bourdain’s greatest lines came during the Acadiana boucherie show, when he was handed a pistol and told he had the honors to kill the pig.

"He didn't hesitate and shot once; then he fired a second shot and explained, 'That's how we do it in New Jersey: two to the head!'"

Life's a country song 

Country music memories from Judy Brockmann:

"Years ago, while first dating my future husband, we were out dancing and saw his ex-wife.

"He went over to say hello, and she asked him to dance. The song was, 'The Day I Said I Do, I Really Did and So Did You, But Now I Don't' — very appropriate.

"As a second wife, my favorite was, 'I Put a Golden Band on the Right Left Hand This Time.'

"True: we made it 32 years until death did us part."

Pure country

"About country song titles," Brent St. Blanc says, "I remember working with Dennis Ledbetter, an equipment representative in the early 1980s.

"He would work days in petrochemical plants, then hit the bars at night trying to break into country music.

"A year later, stuck in traffic as I searched local radio stations, I switched to Baton Rouge country station WYNK, where the DJ was announcing a new single from a local boy, Dennis Ledbetter.

"I reflected on how maybe he received the break he was looking for.

"When I heard the title of the song, I knew he had reached the pinnacle of country music fame. It was, 'If You Drive Me to Drinking, I'll Buy the Gas!'"

Meatball, anyone?

Richie Schega, of Mandeville, says, "For years, my dad would sing, 'You can't make a sandwich with one meatball.'

"At every wedding, he would tell the grandkids to ask the band to play 'One Meatball.' They'd shoo them away, saying there's no such song.

"Recently, we Googled the title and, of all people, Bing Crosby sang 'One Meatball.'

"I tried it on a po-boy. As Dad and Bing said, you can't make a sandwich with one meatball."

The line is "You gets no bread with one meatball." Bing sang it with the Andrews Sisters. Josh White gets credit for introducing the 1944 tune.

Special People Dept.

  • Audrey Schroeder, of Gonzales, formerly of Harahan, celebrates her 95th birthday Friday, July 9.
  • Beulah C. Andrews, of Central, celebrates her 95th birthday Saturday, July 10.
  • Floyd and Jinver Soileau, of Ville Platte, celebrate their 62nd anniversary Sunday, July 11.
  • Bobby and Nancy Wales, of Kentwood, celebrate their 55th anniversary Friday, July 9.
  • Joan and Joseph "Buddy" Fetter, of Covington, celebrate 50 years of marriage Saturday, July 10. She was a teacher and guidance counselor at Covington High School; he was a teacher and principal at Mandeville Middle School. He is a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War.

Name game

Jody Adcock, of Lafayette, says, "When I first met my wife, some of her friends asked her if she had met any of my friends:

"She said she had met Shade, Blade, Monk, Soup, Duffy, Doobie, Tee, and Bee.

"The only ones who went by their real names were Jimmy Carter and James Bond. Go figure!"


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.