Every town has its inside jokes, its “street facts” that only its more seasoned residents know. Shreveport-Bossier City is no different. If you’ve been in Shreveport long enough, most of these will make sense:
1. This is Southern Maid Donuts’ turf.
If there’s one way to decipher between a true Shreveporter and a “foreigner”, it’s definitely through different methods of consuming sugar.
In the donut realm, Southern Maid rules Shreveport. What makes them stand out? Maybe it’s the glaze. Maybe it’s the special flour they use. Maybe it’s the tons of ad money they spent putting the odd graphic of that cart-pushing dog on all their boxes. Whatever the case, real Shreveporters choose Southern Maid. Anyone who chooses the Krispy Kreme route more than likely doesn’t have a “318”at the beginning of their cell phone number.
2. Speaking of phone numbers, how random is it that everyone knows Diesel Driving Academy’s?
If I’m ever given the task of ranking the world’s greatest marketing geniuses, whoever composed the Diesel Driving Academy jingle is going right up there with Mary Kay Ash and Seth Godin.
In terms of how much of Shreveport has it permanently etched into their memory, it is rivaled only by the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song and John 3:16. It has left the imprint on us all that when you can drive a truck, you’ve got a job, my friend.
Their ad jingle proves that the world of music is really just a flat circle – the song is bad, but for some reason it’s also soooooo good! Once heard, it will not leave the mind. In case you need a refresher, listen here:
3. A political candidate promising to bring back the Hamel’s Log Ride will win.
By. A. Landslide (er, logslide?). And this is an election year, folks. It could happen.
Those of us who were around for the glory days of Hamel’s miss it dearly. Those of you who weren’t have probably heard so many stories from the rest of us that you wish it would re-open just so we’d shut up.
Alas, this is most certainly never going to happen, so hold on to those memories, people. And if you’re looking for a Hamel’s memory refresher, we tracked down where the old roller coaster ended up complete with a virtual tour:
4. That “Ellerbe Road School” probably isn’t haunted, but let’s not take any chances.
“Satan School” is what we called it. It got the name from the rumored devil-worshipping rituals that would supposedly take place in the dilapidated gymnasium of the school. But you already know this because you’re from Shreveport.
Here’s what you didn’t know about Satan School: it’s actual name was George Washington Carver High School. It closed down some time in the 1970s because of the population decrease in the area since the school had opened a couple decades prior, not because someone mysteriously disappeared after evidence of Satanic rituals were found around campus.
Regardless, I still have a scar on my leg from frantically scaling that fence out front after getting the Southern Baptist scared out of me one night in my high school years. I would not recommend going there.
5. Shreveport is about as Cajun as Olive Garden is Italian.
We’re aware this may step on some toes, but if everyone could be truly honest about Shreveport’s “Louisiana-ness” for just a moment, we will all admit we’re a little lacking in that department. Tourists who come to Shreveport to experience Louisiana might be a little disappointed. Take a deep breath and accept this fact.
Granted, we’ve got great things to offer. Only, authentic Cajun cuisine and jazz music are a little further down on the supply list. Tell your friends to come to Shreveport for the gaming, outdoor activities, and people watching. Think of the hints of Cajun we have up here as a nice surprise for them.
6. Icy/snowy roads are way too dangerous to drive to work on. Better head to Thrill Hill.
It’s no secret that one measly inch of snow/ice can bring Shreveport’s transit system to its knees, and it can also make for a fun morning of careening down a closed, steep city street on a trash can lid.
In the winter, there’s no better place to go sledding in Shreveport than Thrill Hill. A slight dusting of snow, a little layer of ice, and that place turns into Steamboat Springs. Nobody’s done it yet, but don’t be surprised if one day some South Highlands entrepreneur installs a lift line for the throngs of sledders. I’d drop at least a Hamilton on a Thrill Hill season lift pass.
7. Even though it was probably a safety hazard, that rocket slide at Betty Virginia Park should’ve never been torn down.
There is no pictorial evidence on the web of it ever being at Betty Virginia Park, but its image will vividly remain in the memories of all those who experienced it. 5-year old Me remembers it being around 800 feet tall. Sliders would reach speeds of over 100 mph, I seem to recall. The whole thing was constructed of the most unforgiving steel known to man with the slide itself a shiny slip of chrome to make sure it stayed really warm in the August sun. Looking back, it seems puzzling as to how, but this thing really did make for a fun childhood.
8. TOP SECRET: The best dish served at Superior Grill isn’t even on the menu.
Only a select few know the secret decadence of the Superior chicken nuggets. No, that’s not a typo. CHICKEN. … … NUGGETS.
Before you get all snooty and scoff at the idea of a grown-up ordering such a sophomoric meal, understand this: These aren’t your regular, run-of-the-McD’s chicken nuggets. These are special, royalty even. These are gated-community chicken nuggets. These chicken nuggets pay extra for their kids to go to a different, more exclusive school than the one attended by the regular chicken nuggets’ kids. Am I hitting home yet, snobs?
Order them around less-informed Shreveporters or out-of-towners, and you’ll definitely raise some eyebrows. Just slyly look back at them and say, “You’ll soon see why I just did that.” And none will be the wiser.
9. All pizza should be sliced using the Johnny’s Pizza Method.
Johnny’s pizza is perfection: the sauce, the dough, the toppings, the manageable size of the pieces. But Johnny’s pizza is also a brilliant geometrical wonder. They’ve created food in the shape of a circle that somehow still has four corners. Your move, Stephen Hawking.
10. We’ve done fine without the Shreveport Captains and Minor League baseball being around, but would someone PLEASE open a business that serves ice cream in helmets?
When I think of great American ideas, I think of freedom, baseball, and ice cream in a helmet. And it just so happened you could enjoy all three at Shreveport Captains games in the 80s and 90s.
While baseball might not be coming back to the area any time soon, there’s no reason why a Cubs mini-helmet full of soft-serve (swirl, please) can’t. Am I right?
Are these all of the random facts only Shreveport people know? Heck no! The author of this is just working with limited time and brain power. What’s some of your favorite Shreveport-only knowledge? Drop it on us in the comments below.
Recommended Reading: This post is the combination of these two original Shreveport News stories: