Readers keep sending in suggestions regarding a certain football contest in the Far Northwest:
David Faulk even suggests utilizing Louisiana voodoo to improve the chances of the New Orleans lads:
“How about dem Saints. Great win over Philly and now an even bigger test once again in Seattle.
“This beckons the need to pull out all the stops to overcome the evil Hawks.
“Because the challenge is so tough, it is time to get serious and provide the Saints with something special.
“Yes, it’s Chant Time.
“The attached mantra is a sure thing, and results of this will be like a kick from Dempsey … and you know how powerful that was.
“This must be read while facing the west:
“Gris-Gris, Pas ta Trez,
in heaven Al Hirt will play his jazz.
May the ears of Seattle ring with Mardi Gras Mambo,
while the Saints stir up a nice Seahawk gumbo.
Voo Doo, Voo Doo — stir this brew,
then let a few Who Dats season that Seahawk Roux.
Seattle, Seattle may your running game stop,
and all of your quarterback’s passes end with a drop.
May Popeye’s be eaten with zest on that day,
and to all of you Seahawks, this I will say:
Your feathers will fly, the mighty Saints will prevail.
They like playing on the road now, and this time … won’t fail.”
The diner trail
Readers have mentioned so many Baton Rouge Toddle House locations that I had to go to The Advocate’s collection of city directories to see if I could find out just where the diners were located in the Capital City.
In 1959-61 directories I found Toddle Houses at 648 Florida, 557 N. Third, 734 Main, 5024 Plank Road and 1910 Scenic Highway.
There’s some confusion because there were similar diners around town — the Dutch Mill on Chimes, that became Louie’s; the Dobbs House on Government near the Rebel Drive-In Theater; and the Humpty Dumpty House at Third and North that became a Toddle House.
Pitt Grill, a similar diner, was also in town for a while.
And then there were local places such as the Sandwich Isle on Florida that were more small restaurants than diners.
Of course, everybody has a favorite place to remember — where the burgers were juicier, the fries were crunchier and the pies were sweeter than anyplace else …
Early morning eggs
Many tales of Baton Rouge’s bygone diners involve late-night or early-morning meals — which reminds me of my first tour of duty as a reporter for The Advocate (then the Morning Advocate).
Just out of LSU Journalism School, I had hours of 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. So after work I would head down to the Capitol House coffee shop for hot tea and scrambled eggs — and a great show.
Patrons of Baton Rouge’s bars, which closed at 2, would drift in for coffee before heading home.
There were also late-night media types from the city’s radio and TV stations as well as my Advocate colleagues.
There were cops, both on and off duty, and always a few dressed-up unescorted ladies.
For a kid in his early 20s, it was an exciting and educational experience …
Damon Veach clarifies my Wednesday story about his Saints-themed hibiscus:
“I created ‘Cool Brees,’ and suggested the ‘Who Dat’ name to Dupont Nursery.
“If people call the nursery to acquire Cool Brees, they will not be able to get it.
“I gave rights to sell the plant to a couple of friends who own nurseries in Florida.
“Our club will have plenty of Who Dat plants on display and for sale at the LSU Spring Garden Show in March — but no Cool Brees.
“It hasn’t been officially released for sale yet because of its seedling status and evaluation.”
Special People Dept.
Gerald and Lillie Alleman Mabile, of Brusly, celebrated their 50th anniversary Dec. 28.
“I haven’t had an original thought in my life,” says Della Stout, of Fleming Island, Fla., “so I pass on this Boudreaux vignette:
“Boudreaux was a smart Cajun. He went to TWO schools to make sure he would always be able to put something on the supper table.
“He opened his two businesses together to save money, but had to close a month later.
“His road sign read: ‘Boudreaux Veterinary Clinic and Taxidermy: Either way you get your dog back.’ ”
Failure to communicate
Marvin Borgmeyer says this tale of text messaging seems appropriate for our recent spell of chilly mornings:
“Wife texts husband on a cold winter morning: ‘Windows frozen, won’t open.’
“Husband texts back: ‘Gently pour some lukewarm water over it.’
“Wife texts back 5 minutes later: ‘Computer really screwed up now.’ ”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.