“Pam’s Party Line” column for Aug. 11, 2013

Often times your tablemates make an event all the more special. That was the case at last week’s Foundation for Historical Louisiana’s Preservation Awards when I found myself seated between history professor extraordinaire Samuel Hyde and erudite radio host Jim Engster, who uttered the evening’s most memorable line. As we surreptitiously checked our iPhones for news of the arrival of former Gov. Edwin Edwards and wife T r ina’s son (Eli Wallace Edwards), Engster leaned over and whispered to me, “Eli’s coming, hide your heart, girl.”

Preservation Awards

Adding the perfect touch of spice to the mix were Hyde’s lovely wife Sarah, the dapper Francis Grayson, Danielle Honeycutt and precious daughter Evangeline, and the one-and-only Leo Honeycutt, aka grandpa, who made quite a fashion statement in his white linen suit.

Now I’ll proudly admit I’m a history buff and I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Sam speak on “bloody Tangipahoa’s” history. If all history teachers were like him it’d be every student’s favorite subject! So, it was no surprise to me that he was one of the evening’s honorees at the July 31 banquet at the Hilton Capitol Center, which recognized those who help make the “past known and useful to the present.”

Also honored were Darryl Gissel, for his advocacy and dedication in preserving Louisiana’s architectural legacy, particularly in Spanish and Beauregard Town Historic Districts; Rita Lynn Jackson, for her cultural and educational preservation efforts in Iberville Parish; and the Baton Rouge High Foundation, for advocacy and perseverance in protecting the historic school. Lance Bennett and Ben Babin received the Phoenix Award for the adaptive restoration of five Spanish Town bungalows; and Charles Calandro received the FHL’s Volunteer of the Year award.

Board chairman Doug Cochran served as emcee for the evening. He and Executive Director Carolyn Bennett also recognized several former winners in attendance. They included Winnie Byrd, Sue Turner, Greg Eaton, John Wilbert, Johnny Palazzotto, Faye Phillips, Lillie Gallagher, Or y Poret, Leo Honeycutt and David Norwood, who once again did fabulous caricatures of all the winners.

Michelle Deshotel chaired the event, which was underwritten by Stone Pigman.

From Down Under

This experience was just too funny not to share. I got an email last Monday from a very proud grandmother, Helen Strickland, that included a photo and writeup of 7-year-old granddaughter Scarlett’s birthday party. I emailed her back that I was sorry but The Advocate only runs 100 or older birthdays in “Party Line.”

Well, turns out she was from Australia and when she googled The Advocate, she found us and not her local newspaper of the same name. Have to admit, I was tempted to run the party at this point. So, from all of us here at The Advocate in Baton Rouge, Scarlett, Happy Birthday!!

Items for “Pam’s Party Line” must be received by 9 a.m. the Monday preceding the run date. Digital photos should be emailed to pbordelon@theadvocate.com; hard copy photos should be dropped off at or mailed to The Advocate, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Events will run no later than four weeks after they have taken place. The date, place of the event and a contact name and phone number must be included. Photos may not include more than nine people and will be used on a space-available basis. Hard copy photos can be picked up in the lobby of The Advocate for up to three months after they run. By submitting photos to The Advocate, you agree that they can be published in any of The Advocate’s print or digital publications.