By LEON YOUNGBLOOD
I will start from where I stopped in last week’s column, “Road Trips.”
You might recall, I was traveling in my unheated truck in our first round of genuine, no nonsense winter weather. Late at night, I ended up in the second of two choices of motels, which was in an underdeveloped part of a small Louisiana town, and which operated on a “cash only” basis.
The woman who met me at the night window was nice, and obviously Hindu—I suppose the spouse of the other owner/manager? Against policy, she allowed my small dogs to room with me at no charge. She was pleased I wasn’t “local,” she seemed appreciative I was lucid.
That’s about it, for this part of the story. I wondered what would happen during the night, but nothing happened. The room was humble, but clean, and the canines and I had a decent night’s rest. One did wet the floor, but I cleaned it up.
I confess, I like these sorts of motels. On the way back to Briar Circle from Florida, I stayed at “Motel 103,” formerly the “Avant,” in Calhoun, Louisiana. I had stayed in the Avant before, with my little dog Stubby, now deceased.
My assumption is the old fellow who checked us in is deceased, too, but I do not know.
At Motel 103, the prices were good and they did not charge for my pets. I was given the key to room 211 and checked it out before unloading the livestock. The door was a little loose, and there was a slight gap between it and the frame, for at some point in its career it had been kicked in.
Repairs had been made, and it could be locked; I did not make a fuss—room 211 would do. In fact, there was a story, here, somewhere. Had the door been kicked by a jealous partner in in some sort of vulgar “reality TV” situation? Did the police do it, to rescue said partner while the “knock-down, drag-out” fight was going on?
I asked the desk clerk, who happened to be the new owner, about it the next morning. He did not know, either. The damage happened before he acquired the motel a few months earlier, and total repair was one of the things still to be done on the list of renovations.
As for my stay, the room was clean, the furnishings seemed new, the TV worked well. I recommend Motel 103, if you’re traveling on Interstate 20 in Louisiana and need a place to stay for the night.
This stretch of highway is near the vicinity where outlaws Bonnie and Clyde left their earthly hulls near Gibsland, Louisiana to go meet the devil. I’ve been to the site, and the thought was, Clyde and Bonnie sure got around! I even met the grandson of one of the officers who participated in their execution.
B & C’s criminal exploits have been celebrated for decades, and they once graced Poteau with their presence to rob a bank. None of this impresses Satan, though. I imagine B & C have some eternal regrets.
I imagine they were not bothered by the cold spell we were suffering through, either.
Of course you want to know good places to eat, when you travel. Pardon my pride, but a few people have told me they’ve gone out of their way while traveling to pass through Heavener as a result of the Briar Circle column.
If they inquired about local restaurants, I suggested, “The ones that advertise in the Heaver Ledger.”
If you travel some of the routes I’ve taken over the past century, you ought to try the barbeque place in Ames, Iowa. I don’t remember its name, or exactly where it is, but you ought to try it, if you’re there.
We will stop there the next road trip to Wisconsin.
In Canton, Texas, the Dairy Palace is famous for their hamburger menu. They are open 24/7, they do not stop for holidays. They are notorious for exotic burgers—venison, elk, buffalo—but their ordinary cow burgers are good, too, and cheaper.
I would mention restaurants in my boyhood hometown, Crestview, Florida—Desi’s, Hideaway Pizza, the Fishnet, plus a few others—but I’ve bagged my word limit for the week. If you have any road trip experiences worth sharing, by all means, send them in.
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