At any rate, it was Highway 90.

As a newspaper writer, you’re supposed to say “U.S. 90.”

But this was 1985.

Guys wore hair short. Girls wore it big.

It was almost like the ‘50s, if not a year of greed and banal pop culture.

There are many ways to describe Highway 90.

Most would say “seedy bars” but I prefer Giles Sonnier’s “Mean old low-down road.”

Both would be true.

At any rate, it was Highway 90.

Hector walked in the door all excited one day.

He was at Scarlett O’s and some lawyer gave him a tip.

Members of the police jury were picking up hookers at a bar on 90.

“Dush, Hankins,” he said. “This could be a big story.”

He was all excited in those days.

So we went to the place one night with Glen Meek, our roommate.

Because Meek was a television reporter, he was sure he’d be recognized.

He wore an old Navy peacoat Hector gave him and found a sailor’s hat somewhere.

If anyone asked, he was just in town “on furlough.”

We walked in, got a few beers and hid at a table in the dark corner.

The jukebox played Sam and Dave.

We stayed there for awhile, observing the bar.

A couple hours later, we didn’t see any police jury members or hookers.

On Highway 90, you can never really tell, but Hector knew.

He knew when there wasn’t a scoop.

He wouldn’t get this one, but went on to find many others.

“Dush,” he said. “Let’s get out of here.”

And he did that little laugh.

So we went to his old haunts, Papania’s and John’s Barn.

And the night closed in.

At any rate, it was Highway 90.

And always Hector.

And things that never were.

[Hector San Miguel: 1958-2009]