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2015 Baton Rouge Attorney Profiles
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Smiley: The savvy diner

Dear Smiley: A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were spending a few days with our granddaughter and our 3-year-old great-granddaughter in The Woodlands, Texas. When going to a restaurant for lunch, I opened the door and the 3-year-old entered first. The lady behind the desk asked, “Table for how many?”… Continue reading →

Smiley: Palms, not holly

Malcolm Wright tells this Palm Sunday story: “It has been a long-standing Palm Sunday tradition in our University United Methodist Church, as in many churches, to have a procession of children waving palm branches walk up the center aisle from the foyer to the altar. “Many, many years ago, little Bryan, then about 4 or 5 years… Continue reading →

Smiley: Bad recipe!

Lynne Marye says, “Your recent columns describing cooking mishaps reminded me of this: “In my early years of marriage, I quickly became known for the challenges I had when it came to cooking. “A family member gave me this poem, author unknown, which described the problem perfectly! It hung in my kitchen for years: “I… Continue reading →

Smiley: An Easter visitor

Another seasonal story, this one from the Rev. Judy Gabel Roeling, of Baton Rouge: “When my daughter Anne was 3, we invited the Easter Bunny to come the week before Palm Sunday. That way Anne could enjoy the dyeing and hiding/finding of eggs and a visit from the Easter Bunny, and still be focused on the real… Continue reading →

Smiley: Jailhouse blues

Marsha Reichle says this story, in a Houston newspaper, shows how communications technology changes lives: “The Houston jails, like all others, take away the phones of new ‘customers.’ “And it turns out that no one knows any phone numbers, because they just use their phones. “Now they have an excess of inmates who have made no contact… Continue reading →

Smiley: Baskets for all!

Judy Beckler tells this Easter story about a thoughtful child: “My 8-year-old granddaughter, McKenna, was not happy with the Easter Bunny when she realized that he only gave goodies to her and her younger brother, Baylor. So she wrote this letter to the Bunny last year: “Dear Easter Bunny: I… Continue reading →

Smiley: Hoofed house guest

Dear Smiley: I read in The Advocate about the guy who brought a calf home and put it in the hot tub because it was almost frozen to death. Good for him. However, my dad did one better! He brought it in the house! We lived in Texas at the time, and there… Continue reading →

Smiley: Mona’s happy Easter

Chet Siemion, of Denham Springs, tells this Easter story: “Back a few decades ago, when our son John was barely more than a toddler, my wife Julie hid candy and dyed eggs throughout the house for Easter. “When John got up, he scampered about the house picking up the goodies, accompanied by his faithful dog Mona. “Julie was… Continue reading →

Smiley: Surgery without pain

“In a recent column you mentioned 150 proof rum,” says Ken Best, of Baton Rouge. “I’d like to share an experience with that elixer that may be of use to your highly educated readers. “On a recent trip to my fishing camp at Leeville, a friend and his rather diminutive wife came to visit. They fished in… Continue reading →

Smiley: Going frog wild

This story doesn’t really qualify for our series on kitchen disasters, but I find it an interesting example of how an unflappable cook goes with the flow... “My brother and I were making sausage. Parsley was one of the ingredients,” says Bennie Hughes. “My then 5-year-old grandson caught a little green… Continue reading →

Smiley: Burning Nashville

Dear Smiley: Recent accounts of cooking goofs reminded me of one that happened years ago, when I had just moved to Louisiana. A former brother-in-law who lives in Nashville asked for a gumbo recipe, which I was happy to supply. After making a batch for his family, they decided that Louisiana cuisine was… Continue reading →

Smiley: Looking after Pop

Mike Gauthier, of Thibodaux, says, “We recently invited our 8-year-old granddaughter to a meal at a local upscale restaurant. Wide-eyed and full of questions, she was taking in all the niceties of the surroundings and was duly impressed. “As the wine steward poured a small amount of wine into my glass for the customary checking of… Continue reading →

Smiley: The oily bird

“I grew up in the South Carrollton area of New Orleans, where folks had their own way of saying things,” says Dr. Bert Boyd. “If your name was John, then you were ‘Jawn.’ If your name was Earl, then you were ‘Oil.’ “And of course ‘oil’ was pronounce as ‘earl.’… Continue reading →

Smiley: Cinful gumbo

Gary G. Gremillion tells of this culinary mishap: “In January 1983, my girlfriend and I were invited to a Super Bowl party at Bill Carville’s apartment. “Bill was cooking a huge pot of seafood gumbo when we got there, and announced that it would be ready shortly. “Later Bill went into the kitchen to put the finishing… Continue reading →

Smiley: That wascally wabbit!

Lackey LaBorde, of Metairie, tells a memorable Easter story: “When my kids were 2 and 5, the neighbor had just gotten a big male rabbit for his daughter. “So we got the bright idea that we would bring this rabbit to the window of the kids’ room and tell them that they can see the Easter Bunny.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Good and dead

Dear Smiley: I’ve read a few letters in your column recently about obituaries, and have been waiting for another reader to pick up the thread and run with it. This subject had been on my mind for a while before those letters appeared, so I decided to write my thoughts about obits. I… Continue reading →

Smiley: Know that tune

“Slow Slow” says, “Some years ago my two children, Stephen and Kathy, went from Lafayette to St. Louis to see their Uncle Bob. “He was showing off his new hi-fi sound system, the top of the line at that time, playing great classic recordings of songs. “He asked them to hold up their… Continue reading →

Smiley: Standing tall

Pete Hittle, of Geismar, says our item about crowds singing the National Anthem brought this to mind: “I’m new to south Louisiana since September, and this past Mardi Gras was my first. “Having been born, raised and spent my first 58 years in Sioux City, Iowa, I was taught that when the flag came by… Continue reading →

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 filé 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 →