Tammy Weaver Matzke was intrigued by our mention of Chestnut, a small community in Natchitoches Parish that’s the home of column contributor Sarah Stravinska.
Tammy’s now a Baton Rouge lawyer, but she grew up in Winnfield, and her paternal grandparents lived in Chestnut.
She says it’s a scenic part of the state, near the Caroline Dorman Wildlife Preserve and Black Lake, with its cypress knees rising from the water, spanned by a bridge featured in the movie “Blaze.”
Tammy was a senior at Northwestern State when another movie, “Steel Magnolias,” was filmed in Natchitoches.
She says the Sea and Sirloin restaurant was frequented by Dolly Parton and other cast members while the movie was being shot:
“I remember Sally Fields and Julia Roberts asking Dolly why the horrible heat of Louisiana didn’t get to her during filming the way it did the others.
“Her reply was something like ‘I feel the damn heat. I’m as miserable as you.
“But I prayed and prayed to be a star one day when I was a very poor kid, and now God has made me a star, and I’m not complaining about anything that goes along with it.’ ”
Marlene Penick recalls “a pleasant memory of Coach Paul Dietzel’s sense of humor off the football field.
“In 1956, shortly after he and his family moved to Baton Rouge, they were in desperate need of a sitter for their children.
“My sister, who was their neighbor, offered my services.
“When I graciously refused any payment, in jest he retrieved one of his trophies from a shelf and offered it to me.
“A few days later his wife, Anne, came to my office with a nice gift.”
Adding to our tales of telephone party lines, Carl Causey admits playing a prank on his mother when he was 9 or 10:
“We had a party line with our next-door neighbor.
“I somehow discovered that if you would dial a certain sequence of numbers and hang up, both your phone and the party-line phone would ring.
“Of course I had to try this out, so I called and ran to hide.
“I was close enough to overhear my mother and neighbor discussing ‘Why did you call me?’
“Both ladies accused the other of making the call — and I’m telling you, that call got real, shall we say, interesting before it ended.”
After I told about The Anders Family ditching our landline phones in favor of cellphones, I heard from Joan Hall, who says she has a cell, but has kept her land line.
Golfers are needed for the 21st annual Pinecone Golf Tournament on Oct. 5 at Denham Springs Country Club.
Bob Meador says the tourney benefits different worthy causes. This year proceeds go to St. Augustine Episcopal Church in Central.
Call Bob at (225) 235-5188.
Stephanie Jones says, “My second-grader, who is 7, came to me yesterday and said he had a ‘crush’ on a girl in his class.
“Of course I was interested in the facts, so I asked him who?
“He said, ‘Her name is Hannah and her number is 5 and my number is 10. It is fate, Mom, because 5 plus 5 equals 10 and 10 minus 5 equals 5. See, it’s fate!’
“Apparently the teacher assigns the kids with a number, and the way they are seated in class is No. 5 next to No. 10.”
Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson, says, “We stopped behind an old truck with an interesting bumper sticker. It said, ‘HONK if anything falls off.’ ”
J.G. Berret Jr. offers this tale of modern technology:
“Last night, the kids came over to talk with us about a living will. We don’t have one, but have talked about it several times.
“I told the kids I didn’t want to live in a vegetative state plugged into some machine.
“My son got up, unplugged my computer and threw it out the window.”
Write Smiley at Smiley@the advocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.
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