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Attorney Profiles
New Orleans Attorney Profiles 2015
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Smiley: Louisiana thrill rides

After driving from Baton Rouge to New Orleans for dinner Wednesday night (Port of Call cheeseburgers, in case you were wondering), I find myself agreeing with Patrick Hughes, who sent over a list titled “It’s a Louisiana thing.” A number of the “Louisiana things” involve our highway manners, such as: “Never use turn… Continue reading →

Smiley: Root for the Jambalayas

I knew it was going to happen. When I read that the New Orleans Zephyrs Triple-A pro-baseball team was looking for a new name, I figured it was just a matter of time before my ever-helpful readers would be offering some creative titles for the lads. Perry Snyder says… Continue reading →

Smiley: Hokie’s mighty swing

Bill Quinn says the late Hokie Gajan was known as a football star at Baker High, LSU and the Saints, but he was quite a softball player too: “Thirty years ago, I pitched a softball to Hokie. At this time, softballs were so ‘hot’ that some pitchers were killed when line drives hit their heads (after two… Continue reading →

Smiley: My favorite story about longtime Baton Rouge news anchor John Mahaffey

The death of John Mahaffey, longtime news anchor at Baton Rouge TV stations WAFB and WBRZ, brought a flood of stories about him. Here’s mine: John, who always considered himself to be in the news business rather than show business, loved to tell stories about his reporting days. And some of… Continue reading →

Smiley: Our new shell game

There’s been considerable social media chatter about Gov. John Bel Edwards installing chicken coops at the Governor’s Mansion to provide eggs and bring a more down-home feel to his new abode. Personally, I think it’s a cool idea. My dad raised chickens when he lived in Oakdale, and my brother and sister-in-law in Oakdale still raise… Continue reading →

Smiley: A wet dry state

Dear Smiley: About your stories concerning Louisiana and Mississippi’s colorful relationship: When I joined The Associated Press in Jackson in 1962, Mississippi was a dry state, no liquor allowed. But Louisiana, where liquor was legal, printed extra alcohol tax stamps, and Louisiana liquor stores used the extra… Continue reading →

Smiley: Last laugh on the boss

“Your recent stories about Cajun accents and names brought this story to mind,” says Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington: “I was transferred to Tucson, Arizona, and worked with wonderful people. Very few co-workers were native to Arizona, except my boss, who had lived there all his life and knew very little of Louisiana — except when he played… Continue reading →

Smiley: Swinging ringer

“I became an altar boy in the summer between third and fourth grades, in an old wooden church in Harahan,” says Jean Haydel. “My weight of around 85 pounds and height of under 50 inches were small handicaps in ringing the church bell to announce Masses and toll for funerals. “The bell was rung manually… Continue reading →

Smiley: Grin and bear it

“My daughter’s wedding is about a month away,” says Glenn Everett. “Her soon-to-be in-laws tell us that their grandsons have asked when they would get their bear costumes. “When asked what that was about, they reminded them that they were ‘ringbears’ in the wedding.” Colleague George… Continue reading →

Smiley: Joyful noise

Adding to our series on church mishaps is Melba Thibodeaux, of Opelousas, with this gem: “Back in 1967 my daughter, Gina Speyrer, then just a toddler, was attending church with the family one Sunday morning. During a quiet part of the service she decided it was just too quiet, and proceeded to do something about… Continue reading →

Smiley: Those Cajun names

I don’t understand why people outside the state have trouble with Louisiana names. Sure, we call our dog “Phideaux” and pronounce Hebert “A-bear” and DeBlieux “W,” but is that really so hard to grasp? Louisiana folks tell of especially having trouble in the service when their names came up at roll call:… Continue reading →

Smiley: Read or else!

Dear Smiley: Just back from the National School Boards conference in Boston, I received a message from an old friend named Bob Dabney, who once lived in New Orleans but has moved to Barbados. It seems that in 1961 Fidel Castro formed “education brigades” that went out into the countryside and… Continue reading →

Smiley: Give ’em credit

Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, has a story for our “Why we love small Cajun towns” file: “In the mid ’80s, during the oilfield crash, a friend of mine moved back to Ville Platte from Lafayette with his ‘city girl’ wife. “When they went to purchase furniture from a long-established store, she was shocked by the… Continue reading →

Smiley: Sarge vs. Cajuns

Kirk M. Briggs, of Lafayette, continues our discussion of problems people outside south Louisiana have with Cajun names: “If you want to get into a drill sarge’s massacre of Southern names: I was in basic training at Fort Ord, California, with a group of guys from New Iberia who quickly learned to answer roll call to just… Continue reading →

Smiley: Beware of flying rodents

Carol Moore says our comments on flying squirrels bring to mind this teenage experience when she lived in Crystal Springs, Mississippi: “Our Girl Scout troop spent a week of summer camp at Percy Quin Park near McComb. “My patrol settled down to sleep the first night with all our stuff stowed away, including… Continue reading →

Smiley: Let’s annex Natchez!

My hometown of Natchez, Mississippi, is all over social media these days. After Mississippi passed a controversial law discouraging diversity, there was concern among folks in the Natchez tourism industry that the inevitable backlash might keep people from visiting their beautiful old town. Patrick Mulhearn, a Natchez native who lives in… Continue reading →

Smiley: Naming rights

Barry “Butch” Raffray says, “Your article in the Wednesday Advocate, about the name the nun gave to the student, reminds me of the time I was in the Army in 1962. “Donald ‘Duck’ Aucoin and I joined the Army six days after graduating from White Castle High School. “At the start of basic… Continue reading →

Smiley: Not a prayer

Dear Smiley: One of my seminary profs said a church to which he once belonged had a man who was on the offering counting committee for several years. When the counters had finished their work and rolled the coins, he would write the church a check for the coins, saying it… Continue reading →

Smiley: Southern body shaming

Virginia Howard, of Metairie, offers this story about Southern accents: “Two dear friends of mine, natives of Chicago, moved to New Orleans. “On viewing their first high school football game in the South, they were baffled. “The enthusiastic cheerleaders were waving their pom-poms, hopping up and down, and shouting,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Sexy Legs Jr.

Doug Lee, of Prairieville, adds to our stories about kids, their names and nicknames: “About 10 years ago, while on a cruise with my wife, kids and sisters, I was encouraged to take part in a ‘Sexy Legs Contest’ onboard the ship. “To my and everyone else’s surprise, I won the contest. “My preschool son… Continue reading →

Smiley: A National Lampoon vacation

Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington, tells of a vacation that sounds like it was taken by the movies’ Griswolds: “Your traveling stories brought back what our family always called our greatest vacation — or misadventure. “We booked reservations at the Las Brisas in Acapulco with its beautiful cabanas, flower-filled private pools and… Continue reading →

Smiley: Out-lying a Texan

Just got this message from Jim Carrigan: “Smiley, I know a straight shooter like you would not be included in the Liars Contest held here in Columbia, Tennessee, at Mule Day festivities this past weekend. “Here is the prize winner in the children’s division this year: “Kaleb Westmoreland told… Continue reading →

Smiley: Check it out

Mention of the days of counter checks, before numbered bank accounts, brought these recollections from Marsha R.: “You brought to mind one of the first scams when banks began using personalized checks, each with its own account number. “Before that we just grabbed an unnumbered ‘generic’ counter check or deposit slip from the stack and filled it… Continue reading →

Smiley: Another Capitol zoo

Dear Smiley: Tookie Hendrys’ suggestion that the Baton Rouge Zoo move next to the Capitol, where a “zoo” has been operating for decades, is a good idea. However, it would be the SECOND zoo to locate there. Back in the ’40s, my dad would take me in our 1936 Chevrolet to the Capitol… Continue reading →

Smiley: Taking care of readers

Jennifer Jette, of New Orleans, “an avid reader of The Advocate,” was trying to get a paper from the box in front of the CC’s Coffee House on Maple Street when she dropped a coin and it rolled under the box: “I tilted the box, retrieved the coin and completed paying the machine.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Sock it to ’em

Patrick “Pat” Cougevan has another “church mishap” story for our collection: “My dad, Bill Cougevan, was an usher at Christ the King Church in Terrytown for many years. “We always left early for Mass — after my dad, two brothers and I had passed my mom’s “inspection.” “One Sunday,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Speaking Southern

John L. Guillory says, “My grandparents, lifelong residents of western Louisiana, were born in the late 19th century and spoke with accents very close to an East Texas twang. “It was a local custom to name landmarks, property and other locations for the families who owned them or lived nearby (e.g., ‘...the old Jones homestead...’).… Continue reading →

Smiley: Accidental criminal

Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, gives us this true confession: “I grew up on Main Street and in my cousins’ neighborhoods, without very much agricultural experience. “As a teenager, I had a beautiful blue Honda 50 Super Sport motorcycle. “This expanded my roaming territory to the ‘country’ in Evangeline Parish. “One August day, while exploring in… Continue reading →

Smiley: Clean up the Capitol!

Stu Braud, of New Roads, is concerned about Baton Rouge’s most prominent building: “Living in Spanish Town, do you notice how grungy, dirty and drab the State Capitol building looks (I’m speaking of the exterior surface, not what’s going on inside). “Of course, the state is basically broke. Do you think… Continue reading →

Smiley: Handling the host

Dear Smiley: When I was 8, I was honored to serve as an altar boy at St. Michael’s Church in New Orleans, opposite Annunciation Square. I recall vividly the time, around 1951, when I was manning the paten (plate) for Father Stanley Iverson at 5:30 a.m. Mass. As he… Continue reading →