Letter to the editor
Send a letter to the editor to voice your opinion.
East Baton Rouge Parish Homicide Map
A map listing homicides or suspected homicides in EBR Parish.
Gas Prices in BR
Current gas prices in BR area.

Smiley: Saint Bum

A couple of stories about the former Saints coach, Bum Phillips: Bob Hernandez, of Watson, recalls “some sayings only Bum could come up with. “One year before the season started, Bum was being questioned by a group of sports writers. “One asked, ‘Is Archie going to call his own plays?’… Continue reading →

Smiley: A memory of music

Dear Smiley: Your headline “How music unites” in the Wednesday column reminded me of how music united my brother — to himself. Roland had been slipping away from us through Alzheimer’s. An accomplished singer, he noticed auditions for Verdi’s Requiem and asked his wife, Pat, to drive him to the audition.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Brush with history

Norman E. “Pete” Heine, former mayor and now city councilman of Baker, one of the true gentlemen of Louisiana politics, says our nostalgia items about the old Baton Rouge General Hospital on Government Street remind him of this bit of history: “I was 7 years old and my brother, Charles ‘Bubba’ Heine, was… Continue reading →

Southern Momspeak

Mona Cancienne, of Donaldsonville, adds to our recent list of “Things Southern Moms Say:” “Y’all quit!” “Git back over here!” “Git outta that!” “I’m gitten the switch!” “Yer face is gonna freeze like that!” “I’m tellen yer daddy!” “Git that out of yer mouth!” “Make me tell you one more time!” “The dog is not a horse!”… Continue reading →

Smiley: How music unites

“Music really does ease the soul and unite us all,” says Debbie May “Hollywood” Lihou, former Baton Rougean now living in Wagga Wagga, Australia: “My son Hunter’s year-10 commerce class went to a local nursing home to sing some Christmas carols. “When I was asking him about his excursion… Continue reading →

Smiley: Secure the tree!

Paula Bourg, of Ethel, says, “I recall a 1940s Christmas when my husband, Mack, decorated a tree in our first new home, in south Baton Rouge. “I expected him to set the tree in a can of sand and cover it with red crepe paper, the way my mother used to do it.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Mother knows best

Judy S. Collins expands on her “lies my mother told me” list, mentioned earlier. While these aren’t all lies, they are some VERY familiar pronouncements: Always wear clean underwear in case you are in an accident. Carrots make you see better. Spinach makes you stronger, like Popeye.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Troops came first

Dear Smiley: Another Bob Hope story: My husband, Tom, was stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines during 1964, when Bob came to do a show. Tom and a few other guys went early to get good seats. When they got there, all the good seats were taken… Continue reading →

Smiley: Mother and child

“Bayou Jeaux” tells of a poignant scene — and a missed opportunity for a good deed: “Your story about mothers and babies going home from the hospital in an ambulance after the delivery brings back a haunting memory. “In a recent year, I was driving past Woman’s Hospital when I noticed a young girl sitting… Continue reading →

Smiley: Put a lid on it

When Jim Pitchford, in the Wednesday column, lamented the fact that many men seem to have forgotten old rules of dining etiquette (such as not wearing a hat while eating), he got responses from several readers, most of them agreeing with him. Here are a two comments, offering differing views: “Papenton” says, “Jim Pitchford’s addendum about ‘elbows… Continue reading →

Smiley: Flying buffaloes

The Monday column, discussing foods from the ’50s — back before chickens had fingers, when Jell-O salad was considered a classy way to start a meal, and when you got water from the faucet, not a plastic bottle — drew comments adding to the list of differences between today’s cuisine and yesterday’s chow: Jude LeBoeuf, of Kenner,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Thanksgiving smiles

It’s time for our annual tradition — post-Thanksgiving memories from readers: Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington, says, “As I was preparing our family Thanksgiving dinner, my 9-year-old grandson was sitting there asking many questions — why we do this, why we do that. “I finally told him that since he was getting bigger, he… Continue reading →

Smiley: Before chicken fingers

Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, is chuckling about a note from Marilyn Wagoner, a former Baton Rougean now living in Fort Worth. Her “Eating in the ’50s” recollections rang a bell with him. Here are some of the things she remembered about ’50s meals: “Pasta had not been invented. It… Continue reading →

Smiley: The home front

Dear Smiley: There were many heroes who served in World War II, both abroad and at home. My two uncles served in the South Pacific, one in Marine Division 1 and the other as a Navy medic attached to Marine Division 1. My father was rejected for active service due to medical reasons,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Cajun in your heart

There’s been an interesting discussion on Warren Perrin’s email site about what makes a Cajun. Raymond “LaLa” Lalonde, while pointing out that many Louisiana people with French ancestors aren’t descended from the Acadians forced from Nova Scotia by the British, says, “Cajun is culture, not a blood line. Our ancestors came from different parts of the… Continue reading →

Smiley: Thanks for a family

It’s been many years now since I sat down to write a Thanksgiving column and realized that it was my family that meant the most to me at this time of counting your blessings. Since then I’ve been mentioning my spouse, kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, brother, nephews, etc., mostly to remind myself how well… Continue reading →

Smiley: Don’t forget Newton!

Val Garon says, “When I was younger I hunted wood ducks in the ponds behind Belle Rose. “I had a 15-foot canoe that I used to glide among the oak trees and brush where the ducks fed. “My shotgun was a 10-gauge magnum double barrel. “I hand-loaded it with… Continue reading →

Smiley: Tale of two women

Our mention of Global Positioning Systems (as opposed to the Human Positioning System in the passenger seat) brought a response from Mark Claesgens: “I have a new woman in my life. She’s voice of my car’s GPS. “Like my ‘portable’ unit, she doesn’t hesitate to tell me when I’ve gone astray.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Victory prayers

One of my favorite writers, George Gurtner (now writing for The New Orleans Advocate), says the upcoming Battle of New Orleans bicentennial celebration on Jan. 6, plus the current football season, remind him of this story: “Legend has it that the reason Gen. Andrew Jackson overcame enormous odds to defeat the British at… Continue reading →

Smiley: Going hog wild

Dear Smiley: To continue suggestions of running with the bulls, reindeer, or nutria, here’s another suggestion — feral pigs. We have an abundance in the Felicianas we would love to share. My neighbor had two cross her driveway the other day, with 17 piglets in tow. We won’t even charge you for them,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Muscular ducks

Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, says, “I love to eat mandarin duck. “When I was an avid duck hunter, I came up with a bright idea of how to mix both. “I brought five gadwalls to Ville Platte’s only Chinese restaurant and asked them to cook the wild ducks mandarin style. “When I… Continue reading →

Smiley: Doing the wave

Jim Hingle, of Covington, says, “The story about hand-turn signals reminded me of when I was 5 in 1945. “One evening when my father came home, I told him that Mom was waving at all the sailors. “As it turns out, there were sailors on every corner in New Orleans as they were to be discharged here… Continue reading →

Smiley: Long John Tigers

Darrell Davis says, “The cold weather and the trainers’ preparation for Saturday night’s LSU game in Arkansas reminded me of how much times have changed. “The Thursday night before the 1978 Liberty Bowl, I was working late at Goudchaux’s Main Street store. “I was in the men’s department when up walks coach Cholly Mac (LSU… Continue reading →

Smiley: Dead reckoning

Jerry Freedman says, “Given the current woes of the Tigers and Saints, shouldn’t we re-title the Advocate Sports section ‘The Autopsy Report’?” LaNell Hilborn says a lady at an auction Saturday night told this story about her daughter’s wedding earlier in the week: “The couple planned a small church wedding with just… Continue reading →

Smiley: A cardboard sled

Our recent spell of cold, rainy weather reminded me of the first time I experienced one of Baton Rouge’s infrequent snowfalls. I was 8 or 9, and my family had just moved here from Natchez, Mississippi, where hills are abundant. As snow coated our flat streets, my problem was finding a hill suitable for makeshift sledding.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Eavesdroppers beware!

Dear Smiley: Our family and its pets have been talked about incessantly with our family and friends. Have a stray dog, cat or any living critter? Drop it off at the Weilbaechers’. My wife and I had a little squirrel named Buttons, who fell out of a tree. Our son gave him… Continue reading →

Smiley: Dressing for football

Robby Zeringue says our mention of the annual LSU “pajama game” (at which freshmen wore their jammies) “reminded me of those days when Tiger Stadium was packed with true Tiger fans. “The men (and their sons) wore suits and hats. The ladies were dressed to the max, complete with mum corsages.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Pig tail tale

Gordon Greenwood, of Slidell, was reminded of this story when he heard a political candidate in Iowa say she grew up on a farm, performing minor surgery on male pigs: “Each year my dad would ‘fix’ the male pigs on our farm in northern Illinois. ‘One year my cousin… Continue reading →

Smiley: Attention Victoria’s Secret

Bob, of Prairieville, says, “This happened many, many years ago, but I still get a chuckle when I think about the time my little cousin came running in from the school bus with a big smile and a gleam in her eyes, and proudly announced that she had the ‘perfect body.’ “It seems they had… Continue reading →

Smiley: We miss George

Perry A. Snyder says, “On Election Day, grandson Anderson, 5, learned that one of his classmates had gone into the voting booth with his mother and helped her vote. “He was crestfallen — alas, his parents had voted without his help, much less his counsel. “Arriving home from school that day, he shared his… Continue reading →

Smiley: Bargain dinner

Pierre Hjartberg, of New Orleans, says, “Several years ago, when Archie Manning was Jim Henderson’s color guy in the Saints radio broadcasts, I went to most of the out-of-town games — because as a travel executive I handled fans’ transportation on charter flights. “Since I had known both of them for years, I… Continue reading →

Smiley: Just one problem…

Dear Smiley: This week’s election reminded me of a post-election promotion in Jackson, Mississippi, in the ’60s that was meant well, but... A popular radio station decided to do something about all the political campaign signs remaining in yards, on power poles, at intersections, etc., and went on the air calling… Continue reading →

Smiley: Pigskin gumbo

G.M. Beauford, of Lakeland, tells of a “food and football” moment: “One day Cousin Azema and her two sisters cooked all day making a big pot of gumbo. “The boys were running through the house, tossing the football. It fell into the pot. “The cooks just picked it up, wiped it off,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Hail to our chief!

Charles Young, of New Orleans, says, “My youngest daughter, Pam, was getting ready to go to the polls Tuesday when her 5-year-old, Sissy, asked her why she had to vote. “She answered that she needed to help pick our leaders. “Sissy quickly replied, ‘But Mommy, Drew Brees is our leader.’”… Continue reading →

Smiley: Armed and ready

Dear Smiley: I don’t know just when electric automobile turn signals were invented (of course, half the world still refuses to use them!). But when I was a child, my mom used left arm signals, which meant the driver’s window had to be open in all kinds of weather. For a left turn,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Power of Cajun radio

Richard Fossey, who teaches at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, says, “While we are on the topic of sportscasters and radio personalities, I would like to say how much I enjoy the DJs on KBON, Acadiana’s Cajun radio station. “I was listening to KBON one day during the listeners’ request hour, and I heard… Continue reading →

Smiley: Saints’ divine moment

Patricia Alba, of Metairie, continues our discussion of sports announcers: “My favorite radio announcer is WWL’s Jim Henderson. “On one occasion in the ’90s when the Saints were trailing during the final moments they suddenly rallied with a spectacular play and won the game. “Jim, overcome with emotion, shouted, ‘There IS a God!’”… Continue reading →

Smiley: Hamster hunting

Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington, says, “Many years ago, when our family moved to a new house in River Ridge, our hamster got loose and decided to go and live in our wall. “After trying everything we could, and not getting much sleep with him running through the walls all night, my husband came up with an idea… Continue reading →

Smiley: Get smart, Louisiana

Paul Major says, “Perhaps, after the senatorial candidates’ lack of adherence to the time limits in last week’s televised debate, we should break out Maxwell Smart’s ‘Cone of Silence.’ “Watching a candidate’s lips move without hearing anything could maybe provide at least as much information as having the sound on.”… Continue reading →

Smiley: Welcome to the Hot L

Janet Schilling says our mention of Hotel Dieu hospital “jogged her brain:” “I moved to New Orleans in the ’70s to work at Hotel Dieu and later attend nursing school. “I did not know much of New Orleans at that time except from trips as a child, mostly to the zoo.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Flight with a hero

Dear Smiley: Reading in The Advocate about Murphy Neal Jones speaking at a Shriners’ banquet brought back memories of an incident shortly after he was freed from a Vietnamese prison in 1973. Neal, with his elementary school-aged son, came out to the old Downtown Airport hoping to go for a flight with his former instructor,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Visit to a strange land

Perry Anderson Snyder says, “Fall break found grandson Anderson in the surf at Orange Beach, Alabama. “He and his parents had a grand time, despite being surrounded by Alabama and Auburn faithful. “At the end of four days, the 5-year-old had had enough of the often loud Tide and War Eagle fans. “‘Dad,’ he said to our son-in-law,… Continue reading →

Smiley: “And cowbells shall ring”

Robbie Harrison, of Watson, says, “I am not a theologian, but I do believe that Mississippi State being ranked No. 1 in the college football polls may fulfill this prophecy, in Luke 21-25: “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Hooked on a feeling

Tom Toddy’s story illustrates the benefits of being old enough to have no particular place to go in the morning: “My grandfather and grandmother had four children. My grandfather instructed any family member arising early in the morning to stop by his room and wake him up. “He said he loved the feeling of falling back to… Continue reading →