(WTVM) - One of the most famous men in Columbus told the story that he was born the day after Veteran’s Day in 1932, so his aunt thought he should be named Lieutenant.
And for years, Lieutenant Stevens had to explain that it wasn’t his rank in the military, that was actually his name.
Lieutenant Stevens died last week at 87, famous for being the cook extraordinaire at Dinglewood Pharmacy, the man who perfected the scramble dog.
For connoisseurs of the meal, it was the chili that made the red hot dogs underneath it so good. The chili was Lieutenant’s specialty.
He was a famous employee at a famous eatery, in the rear of the Dinglewood Pharmacy, standing since 1918. It’s a place that can take you back in time.
The lunch counter, where Lieutenant worked until 2002, when he finally retired, could be a stand-in for a lot of other ‘50’s style lunch counters across the south.
At a similar lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, a peaceful sit-in in 1960 sparked the successful civil rights movement that desegregated dining rooms throughout the south.
Lieutenant Stevens worked the same kind of lunch counter during those days, and beyond. In fact he started working at the age of 16.
Both the pharmacy, which turned 100 last year, and Lieutenant Stevens proudly stood the test of time.
Even though he’s gone now, Lieutenant will always be fondly remembered by Columbus natives, who told us he was always optimistic, always sunny, always smiling.
Lieutenant’s legacy includes his longevity and dedication to his job, and helping make - and keep - the Dinglewood Pharmacy scramble dog a world famous lunchtime tradition.
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