The stretch of U.S. 61 between Baton Rouge and Natchez, Mississippi, is the scene of some of my favorite stories. Here’s one:
Mary Sue Meador, of Baton Rouge, tells of a semi-pro baseball team her late husband, Bob Meador, was on years ago.
She says, “The team was made up mostly of LSU players earning money during the summer. They were traveling in two vans on the way to Monroe when one van was stopped between Woodville and Natchez for speeding.
“When the Mississippi patrolman pulled the second van over, the first van kept going. The first van had all of the managers, coaches, part of the team, and all the money.
“The second van, with other players. had to follow the patrolman down a long, dusty road in the country to a justice of the peace’s home. There he ordered all of the players out of the van and into the house.
“Even between them they could not come up with the money to pay the speeding ticket.
“Having no way to phone ahead, they decided among themselves that the best way out of the predicament was to choose a guy who was not pitching that night and leave him at the justice of the peace’s house to be picked up on the way back to Baton Rouge after the game.”
Which reminds me
Speaking of U.S. 61, here’s my favorite story about traveling on that highway, as told to me by a Louisiana state trooper many years ago:
He was driving a High State Official to a meeting in Monroe, and stopped in Woodville, Mississippi, to gas up.
The official, who was running for re-election, had been looking at his speech notes during the drive, and had no idea where he was.
When he saw three old guys sitting on a bench in front of the gas station, he jumped out of the car with some campaign literature and bumper stickers, and presented them to the startled codgers, with a request to vote for him “for a better Louisiana.”
As they drove off, he told the bemused trooper, “I think I got those three votes.”
Special People Dept.
— G.W. Richardson, of Gonzales, celebrates his 103rd birthday Thursday, July 21. He is an Army veteran of World War II, obtaining the rank of staff sergeant.
— Oris “Joe” Pastor, of Bellevue, Washington, celebrates his 96th birthday Thursday, July 21. A native of Crowley, he enlisted during World War II at 16, celebrating his 17th birthday on Guadalcanal. An accounting graduate of the now University of Louisiana at Lafayette, he worked in French Indochina for a decade, then in New Orleans and Houma with the IRS.
— Donald Borngesser, of the Inspired Living assisted living community, Kenner, celebrates his 90th birthday Thursday, July 21. He is a Korean War veteran and former real estate agent.
Kathy Stewart says she promised son Jeffrey he could get his driver’s license if he made a B-plus or better on an upcoming math test:
“On a Friday afternoon he came in waving his test paper with a B-plus on it, hollering, ‘Mom, let’s go get my license!’
“We hopped in the car and drove three miles to the DMV. He passed all the tests and was ready for his license when the gentlemen giving the test asked for his birth certificate.
“I did not have it with me. I told him I would run home and pick it up. He said, ‘Lady, I am closing in five minutes!’
“In a panicked voice, Jeffrey said, ‘Mom, just drive like you always do; you can do it!’
“I did, and Jeffrey was happy. However, I am not sure the gentlemen wanted either one of us to have a driver’s license…”