ST. LOUIS - Goody Goody Diner on Natural Bridge Road has been around since the 1940s. It's known for comfort food, like chicken and waffles, but as 5 on Your Side found out, it's a helping of inspiration that keeps customers coming back for more.
Step inside the door at Goody Goody Diner and you're greeted with more than the smell of good food. Host Sylvester Bell, or Sly, is the poet laureate of the Goody Goody. His impromptu poetry bringing a smile to the faces of regulars and first-timers.
"This food is so good it will give you a thrill, our specialty is chicken and waffles and that is the real deal," said Bell. "Our chicken is cooked, golden brown and fried, and when you leave here, you going to be wobbling outside."
"I love it because people need to hear good positive things and that's inspired me to do rhymes," said Bell.
Bell retired from teaching after 30 years and started greeting guests in 2010. He credits the late comedian Nipsey Russell for his spontaneous specialties.
"Remember him back in the day, he was on Hollywood Squares," said Bell. "And when I came home from school I was so fascinated of his rhymes, so I kept doing it, kept doing it."
By doing so, the rhymes just roll of Bell's tongue.
"It goes beyond a job. If I can just help somebody along the way, my living will not be in vain, because I want to continue to do that because I really love his name," said Bell. "I'm sorry it came again."
Sly has recited the catchy verses for thousands of customers, celebrities and even a Vice President or two. Joe Biden stopped in last year while on the campaign trail.
"He threw up his hands and said thank you Sylvester, I said whatever you may need, believe it is already done, because hope you understand the power is in your tongue," said Bell.
Everyone gets a poem, but the sonnet is never quite the same. Bell has about 500 rhymes to choose from and said he take his inspiration from God.
Sly said he's not slowing down anytime soon. He hopes to spread his inspirational poems as long as he can.
Goody Goody Diner is on Natural Bridge Road. It's open for breakfast and lunch, seven days a week.
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