ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The north St. Louis community is the backbone to a restaurant that has become a staple and an attraction.
It’s more than just the good food that draws people inside the Goody Goody Diner, located at the corner of Goodfellow and Natural Bridge, it’s also the promise of good words.
“It was the first A&W Root Beer stand back in the 1930s,” Ryan Safi, one of the owners at Goody Goody Diner, said.
Over the last 70 years, the ownership has passed hands several times, but a few things have remained the same.
“It’s a great safe environment, I’m blessed with great employees, they make people feel welcome,” Safi said.
If you’ve been to Goody Goody, one of those employees may ring a bell.
“He makes you feel good, [he’s] inspirational and I come in here so I can hear what he has to tell me,” restaurant regular Jacqueline Reams said.
For the last nine years, Sylvester Bell has been greeting and seating customers At Goody Goody Diner, but he does it in his own way, by serving a daily diner special of inspirational words.
“The goal is to put a smile on people’s faces because you don’t know what people are going through in life,” Bell said.
Sly, as most people know him, gets his inspiration from two places: God and the late-comedian Nipsey Russell.
“I always ran home because he was on Hollywood Squares, and I was always fascinated with the poetry, and I said I wish I could be like him one day,” Bell reminisced.
Life’s path would start Sly’s gift in the classroom. After teaching 5th grade at St. Louis Public Schools for 30 years, Sly retired and turned his day job into his all-the-time passion.
“It doesn’t even have to be here [at Goody Goody], sometimes I can be in the store...and they’ll run up to me, ‘Sly I need a word, I need a word,’ and I try to give them something to let them know, ‘hey whatever you’re going through it’s okay, because we can make it,” he said.
Sly’s words have left an impression on everyone who’s passed through the diner from all over the country, and soon everyone will be able to carry his rhymes everywhere they go.
Sly’s taken his own words and is writing out his dream, ready to release his first book. It’s called “Believe to Achieve.”
It will feature more than 40 of his poems, each known to add some good to every Goody Goody customer’s day.
Sly has a book signing planned for the April 27 at Goody Goody Diner from 3:30 to 5 p.m.