Talk Of The Town

1921BJ Robert, owner of Swamp Tales Bar & Restaurant, located at the Posey four-way intersection (7901 State Route 127, Carlyle), is proud to announce that his Cajun-themed bar is now open. Menu items in the restaurant, which is slated to open later this summer, include burgers, crawfish and alligator with fish frys on Friday nights and steak and prime rib on Saturday and Sunday.    For more than 30 years, Brad “BJ” Robert of Carlyle has been making yearly trips to his family’s vacation home in the Louisiana bayou.
    Now, he’s bringing a little of that Cajun flavor back to Clinton County.
    Robert has resurrected the commercial property located at the four-way intersection in Posey (7901 State Route 127, Carlyle) with a new 3,000 -square-foot building — home to his new business,
    “Swamp Tales Bar & Restaurant.”
    “It’s a Cajun-themed restaurant,” Robert said. “The idea stems from my past experiences in Louisiana.”
    There are alligator mounts and other wildlife standing guard on the back bar. Photos of Robert’s alligator hunts and other Louisiana “swamp tales” and adventures will decorate the walls.
    Many people will remember Robert from his many years of managing — and later, owning and operating — the Carlyle Legion Bar & Grill where his Friday night fish frys always packed the house.
    Friday night fish frys is just one of the features that he plans to revive with the new restaurant.
    True to the theme, Swamp Tales will offer classic Cajun favorites year-round, like alligator and crawfish, Étouffée and shrimp balls.
    “All fresh from Louisiana,” Robert said. 
    There will be burgers and daily lunch and dinner specials with steaks and prime rib offered on Saturdays and Sundays.
    “People have been asking me to open a place,” Robert said. “And, I said if I ever found the right location, I’d consider it.”
    In January, Robert purchased the commercial property located on the northwest corner of the Posey intersection. Construction of his new building began in February.
    Adorned with rough, sawn logs, moss and fish netting, Swamp Tales will give patrons the feeling of eating dinner along a Louisiana backwater lake. A covered patio offers outdoor dining options.
    The bar opened Monday night after the Clinton County Fair Parade with the restaurant scheduled to open later this summer. A grand opening celebration is planned for late September or early October.
    In addition to the bar and restaurant, Swamp Tales will offer video gaming with machines expected sometime in August.
    Swamp Tales is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to ?.
    To learn more follow Swamp Tales on Facebook or call (618) 594-2885.

2769Collin Diekemper, 3, of Carlyle, was diagnosed last year with an inoperable malignant tumor on his brain stem. The Make-A-Wish Foundation recently came to Diekemper’s home and constructed a massive playset for Collin and his family. Pictured with Collin are his dad, Andy, mom Melissa, brothers, Connor, 9, and Cooper, 7, and his 9-month-old sister Claire.    Last year, Collin Diekemper, 3, of Carlyle, was diagnosed with an inoperable malignant tumor on his brain stem and is receiving treatment at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
    Collin was diagnosed with   anaplastic astrocytoma at the end of October last year. Anaplastic astrocytoma is a rare malignant brain tumor.
    Collin’s mom, Michelle Diekemper, said that she had noticed that her son couldn’t turn to look at her.
    “It took him a long time to focus,” she said. “I would call his name and he just never focused.”
    Michelle and her husband Andy took Collin to the eye doctor at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis and they found that his vision was perfect but his (eye) muscles would not let him move side to side. 
    “They then did an MRI and found out what was causing it and it was from a tumor,” she said. “The tumor was in his brain stem and was affecting his eyes.”
    Doctors swiftly began steps for treatment.
    In the beginning of December, Collin started radiation and that treatment was over in January. They had also began chemotherapy treatments, beginning at the end of December, and he is still doing chemotherapy treatments every other week.
    The good news?
    “The radiation has shrunk (the tumor) and the chemo treatments has it steady so it is not growing,” she said.
    When asked how Collin was doing, or feeling, Michelle said that he still acts like before — you’d never know that he has a tumor.
    He will begin his second year of preschool in the fall at Messiah Lutheran Preschool in Carlyle.
    Collin is still the same spunky boy, trying to keep up with his two older brothers, Connor, 9, and Cooper, 7, and his younger sister Claire, who is now 9 months old.
    Recently, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has been in contact with the Diekemper family.
    The Make-A-Wish vision is to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. In the United States and its territories, on average, a wish is granted every 37 minutes. 
    At Children’s Hospital, the Diekemper family was referred to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. 
    And while there were options that Collin could choose from, Michelle said that instead of doing a trip or going somewhere, they thought it would be neat to actually have something, so that they would always have it
    So, the family opted for an outdoor playset.
    “Collin was very excited,” Michelle said.
    This past week, the playset was installed, which features a couple of slides, swings, a bridge and two towers, providing hours of play and fun for Collin and his family.
    When asked how the family was coping, Michelle said that the older two boys have been handling Collin well. 
    “Claire was only 2 weeks old when this all started but, Collin, I’m not sure if he understands it all,” Michelle said.


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