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2015 Baton Rouge Attorney Profiles
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Smiley: Kitchen confessions

In the Monday column you might have noticed a story from Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington, about a cooking disaster involving an entire bottle of filĂ© in a gumbo. Fay says this was only one of her many newlywed culinary foul-ups, and she’s good enough to share these with us, as cautionary tales for… Continue reading →

Smiley: Watch those hands

We’ve had several stories about people using their hands in conversation. But John C. Loe, of Baton Rouge, issues a warning about misreading hand gestures: “I was leaving a gas station, attempting to make a right onto Essen Lane near I-10 — with bumper-to-bumper traffic on Essen. “A gentlemen… Continue reading →

Smiley: Edited letters to Mom

Dear Smiley: After reading Claude Nall’s story about letter writing, I was reminded of a post-Hurricane Katrina find. While going through the flood-ravaged contents of my mother’s house in Chalmette, I came across a box stuffed with letters she had received over the years. I found a half-dozen or so I had written… Continue reading →

Smiley: No knife fight here

Donna Goudeau says, “During one of our annual two-week summer visits to our grandparents’ home in Jennings, Maw-Maw Suiter was outside with us one afternoon while we played. “Always making the best use of her time, she sat in the swing peeling potatoes. When she finished, she and her neighbor visited over the fence. “During their conversation, Maw-Maw… Continue reading →

Smiley: Dead reckoning

It’s probably not nice to laugh at obituaries, but Richard Crane, of Mandeville, says our recent mention of them reminds him that “obits often reveal interesting info about the deceased. And, written under pressure, obits can sometimes contain some funny lines as well.” He gives these examples, gleaned from past obituaries:… Continue reading →

Smiley: When everybody sang

“The most amazing thing happened just before the start of the Mardi Gras Mambo race this past Saturday,” says Dick Speyrer. “There were probably 2,000 people on North Boulevard in front of the Old State Capitol, both race participants and spectators. “Before the gun sounded to start the race, the National Anthem was played over… Continue reading →

Smiley: Senior meets Lon

“Funny things happen to us seniors, especially in the fourth quarter of life,” says Paul Rozas, of Eunice: “After church services last Sunday, as my wife and I exited, a young man and (probably) his wife were also exiting. “He approached me with his hand out and said, ‘Hey, Mr. Paul!’… Continue reading →

Smiley: Our local heroes

I’m sure a lot of people regard the obituary section of The Advocate as a sad part of the paper. We see all those people who have died (in alphabetical order), read about those they left behind, and view photos of them in their younger (often much younger) days. But long-time… Continue reading →

Smiley: Minnesota snow balls

This observation from Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, comes out of our “What I Like About Living in Louisiana” file: “The mention of Minnesota in the Thursday column and the current Arctic blasts remind me of a trip I took to the Twin Cities to visit a cousin. “I noticed that almost… Continue reading →

Smiley: Oh, brother!

As an older brother plagued in my youth by a little brother (eight years younger), I can readily identify with the sentiments expressed here by the big brother: Dan Self tells this tale of brotherly conflict: “While finishing our meals of our favorite food selections at the Piccadilly in Gonzales, my wife, daughter, and two… Continue reading →

Smiley: Sign language

Pierre Hjartberg, of New Orleans, tells of an educational experience: “Early in 1972 I came here from Hartford, Connecticut, to become the chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce of New Orleans and River Region. Prior to my coming here I had also managed chambers of commerce in Beeville, Texas, and Pomona, California.… Continue reading →

Smiley: “Foreign” priest

The various accents found in parts of Louisiana can result in confusion to the uninitiated. Natalie Babin Isaacks offers this example: “My daughter went to Me-Maw’s in White Castle last weekend. “On the return trip home to Prairieville, my children started catching up with each other. “In comparing their Masses, Austin, who is 8,… Continue reading →

Fifty shades of pink

For many years I’ve devoted the column on the Monday after the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade to announcing the winning floats, marching groups, etc, in the parade, for those who couldn’t make the parade or, for some reason, don’t remember what they saw. While pink, as in pink flamingo, was still the dominant color, there was… Continue reading →

Smiley: Silence of the belles

Dear Smiley: I am 42 years old, and while I was growing up, my friends would always comment on what a sweet lady and “Southern belle” my mother was. Anyone who met her automatically loved her. She was perfect by Southern standards. Well, my sweet mama was diagnosed with dementia about two… Continue reading →

Smiley: Give with caution

With Valentine’s Day upon us, as a public service to guys, I’m offering some tales of gifts you may want to think twice about before presenting them to the lady in your life: “Once, for… Continue reading →

Smiley: How Cajuns talk

I had an Italian mom, and I remember with fondness that she had the same habit as the Cajuns mentioned in this story by my senior Natchitoches Parish correspondent, Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut: “When I interviewed for my job at UL Lafayette, Gil Carner was dean of the College of the Arts.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Give with care

With Valentine’s Day approaching, it’s time for us (by “us” I mean guys) to start thinking about gifts for the ladies in our lives. By chance I got two stories about gifts at the same time, and they clearly illustrate the wrong way and the right way to present a present to your spouse. The… Continue reading →

Smiley: Crunch time

Dear Smiley: When we were a newly married couple in 1963, my wife used recipes from her mom and my mom, both very good cooks. In order to stretch our budget, she cooked and froze casseroles, spaghetti and meat sauces, chili with beans and many other dishes that we also shared with… Continue reading →

Smiley: Keyless kids

Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson, tells of the technology generation gap: “My son called to tell me he was returning my car he borrowed. I told him just to lock the keys in the car and leave it in Baton Rouge, and I would come and get it. “Then comes the question no… Continue reading →

Smiley: Baby boom

Charles Young says that in the ’70s and ’80s, when he was vice president for institutional advancement at Loyola University in New Orleans, he would buy the first king cake for the staff during the Carnival season. Whoever got the baby bought the next cake: “However, one of our colleagues, Clarence, always waited until someone got the… Continue reading →

Smiley: Surprised in Iraq

Col. David Couvillon, retired from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, tells of a surprise meeting: “While in Iraq in early 2003, our Marine Reserve unit was occupying a captured Iraqi airfield along with several other Marine regular units. “We had established a perimeter defense, and I was inspecting the guard posts… Continue reading →

Smiley: Football, not fighting

A number of readers who lived away from Louisiana have told stories about going out to their cars to listen to LSU football games on WWL radio because they couldn’t get the games on their indoor radio. Karen Wax Schmitt, of Denham Springs, says after husband Ed got his LSU degree in 1969 and they moved to… Continue reading →

Smiley: Tale of two Jimmies

Dear Smiley: Recent references to Jimmie Davis brought to mind the most unique day of my life, which involves a bit of Louisiana history: In Natchitoches, after a round of golf on a Saturday in 1971, I was told it was urgent that I call Rolfe McCollister Sr., Jimmie Davis’ campaign… Continue reading →

Smiley: Going hog wild

“Seeing the articles about old WWL shows in New Orleans reminded me of this story,” says Ernie Gremillion: “Back in the late 1940s, WWL had a Saturday evening show called ‘The Wadda You Know’ show. “Their studio was located in the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans. “We went often, and my dad was a contestant on… Continue reading →

Smiley: Wedding from hell

When Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington, wrote in to announce the 55th anniversary of her marriage to husband Wayne (on Friday, Jan. 30), she included this wedding horror story to tell why “on our wedding day many years ago we were not so sure if we would make the first one. “It was the… Continue reading →

Smiley: Neaux geaux zones

Richard Fossey, professor at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, wonders about reports of “no go” zones in various cities, the subject of some discussion in the news recently: “What’s the big deal? We’ve had ‘no go’ zones in south Louisiana for years; they’re called Cajun bars! “I have a friend who… Continue reading →

Smiley: 'Nonpersons' in N.O.

Paul Major says, “The recent expunging of various members of the Benson family from all media having to do with the Saints and the Pelicans brings to mind the actions of the old Soviet Union. “Party members who had fallen into disfavor would have their images removed from pictures; all references to them would be deleted from… Continue reading →

Smiley: Friends to the end

Dear Smiley: Two old Baton Rouge High School buddies (Class of 1954), Allen Smith and Gerald Walter, were lifelong friends, from high school through all of life. Gerald excelled at baseball and basketball at BRHS, being a starting member of the 1954 state championship basketball team. Allen starred in football, starting in the same backfield… Continue reading →

Smiley: No alien invasion

When I started reading Bruce Dyson’s story, I thought he’d given me the scoop of the century. But, alas, it was not to be... He said, “When I arrived home in northern Ascension Parish on Tuesday night, it was very dark, just a little foggy, still and quiet. “After… Continue reading →

Smiley: Performing ‘Trashdance’

“I saw a performance in my front yard the other morning that can only be called awesome,” says Mary Pramuk. “One of the white trucks that pick up recyclables pulled up, and out of nowhere a slight young man appeared in a graceful whirl, picking up the can in an effortless swoop and tossing the contents into the… Continue reading →

Smiley: Joyful noise

With football season winding down, it’s time to recall great games of the past and dream about great games we hope the future holds for us. Donald Starkey, of Livingston, recalls one such great game for the LSU Tigers, and the special way he celebrated when the game ended: “I was in a… Continue reading →

Smiley: Our color: purple

Duane Smith, of Port Allen, says, “I am assuming that other families in this area have conversations similar to the one that my wife and I just had: “Me: ‘Darn it! I just spilled salsa down the front of this shirt!’ “Her: ‘That’s OK. I’m washing a load of purple tomorrow.’ ”… Continue reading →

Smiley: The sweet season

I was reminded of what dangerous times these are for dieters when on the same day a friend dropped off a Zulu king cake, a Girl Scouts representative presented me with two sample boxes of their famed cookies. I’m kind of a purist when it comes to king cakes, so I haven’t tried the Zulu… Continue reading →

Smiley: Rider in the rain

Dear Smiley: Several years ago, in Beaumont, Texas, I watched a young man ride his bicycle through the rain. The downpour made visibility almost impossible. The young man struggled to see and kept brushing the rainwater out of his eyes. I couldn’t help but think how much easier it would have been… Continue reading →

Smiley: Big singer, small stage

Jim Douglas says, “The radio article in your column brought to mind the disc jockey at WWL radio in the ’50s or ’60s whose ‘grandmother’ would visit him (he was the grandmother). The show was a real comedy. “Once a week, a gentleman by the name of Cerio would call the station and sing. He had… Continue reading →

Smiley: Pump problem

Steve Decell says this is a true story: “I was pumping gas at the Shell station at the Lobdell exit in Port Allen one morning on my way to Lafayette. “A nice-looking 20-something-year-old young lady in a brand-new Mustang pulled up at the pump behind me. “She kept inserting her card in the pump,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Singing our song

Carl N. Williams recalls the time 15 years ago when he and his late wife Dorothy were visiting Hawaii’s big island and found themselves the only passengers on a tour bus: “Then two ladies got on board, and sat across the aisle from us. “They asked where we were from, and when we said Baton Rouge they… Continue reading →

Smiley: What accent?

This tale by Patricia Alba, of Metairie, illustrates the different accents in north and south Louisiana: “When my father, a New Orleanian, and my mother, from north Louisiana, were engaged, Dad spoke often and fondly about his Uncle August from White Castle. “After their wedding, Mom was sending thank-you notes for the gifts, and on one wrote ‘Dear… Continue reading →

Smiley: The old shell game

I was watching one of the cable TV channels, probably ESPN, when a commercial for an egg peeler caught my attention. It showed a poor woman trying to crack a hardboiled egg and peel it, and making a mess of the project. She looked so distraught that my heart went out… Continue reading →

Smiley: Friendship caps

Dear Smiley: During the holidays this year, the family was reminiscing about years gone by and being grateful not to be alone at Christmas time when one of our sons reminded us of his experience many years ago that we almost forgot. He was in the Air Force, and it was… Continue reading →