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then put through a refining process that converts the natural gas into diesel fuel, naphtha, paraffin waxes, lubricating oils and liquid propane gases. The complex will also house Sasol’s second linear alkyl benzene unit, which will increase the company’s production of detergent alkylates. Sasol’s LAB units convert paraffin steam into linear alkyl benzene, a compound used as a surfactant in laundry detergent.

Calcasieu Proposes $148.6 Million Budget For ‘14

LOCAL NEWS STORIES OF THE PAST TWO WEEKS Sulphur High To Get New Stadium Sulphur High School should have a new football stadium by the opening of the 2015 football season, after voters recently approved $8 million worth of 20-year bonds to finance the work. The item was passed by a vote of 1,686-796, or 68 percent in favor, with a 12 percent voter turnout. The proposition failed in May by two votes with a 6 percent voter turnout. The improvements will include the demolition and rebuilding of the home and visitor grandstands. Rest rooms will also be renovated and expanded.Other general renovations will include the fire alarm system as well as the sound system and fencing around the stadium.

La. Spirits Opens Louisiana Spirits, the new distillery which produces Silver Bayou Rum and Spiced Bayou Rum from locally grown sugarcane, recently held its grand opening ceremony. Officials on hand for the celebration touted the distillery as a new destination tourism stop, a boon for local sugarcane

farmers, and an economic boost for Jeff Davis Parish.

Lake Arthur Co. To Build Allen Parish Jail Trahan Construction Co. in Lake Arthur has been awarded a contract to build a new 150-bed Allen Parish Jail. Trahan’s bid was for $8.3 million, just under the $8.5 million budgeted for the project, according to Sheriff Doug Hebert III. Plans for a 120-bed remand facility have been postponed to keep the project under budget. The company’s low bid was one of four taken under advisement after the initial bids came in over budget. Preliminary dirt work for the project is expected to begin in the next couple of months, and will take about 12 months to complete.

New Lighting For Burton Coliseum The lights inside the Burton Coliseum Complex arena have been replaced with 76 LED lights, which offi-

cials said will improve visibility during events and cut energy use. Terry Hornsby, with the local company Dollar Electric, said the old lights were installed in the late 1990s, and the new lights will require less upkeep. The lights are part of $3.2 million in capital improvements and upgrades to the coliseum.

Paris Firm Wins Sasol GTL FEED Contract A Paris-based firm called Technip has won the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract for Sasol’s gas to liquids complex. The company won the FEED contract to supply proprietary ethylene technology for Sasol’s proposed ethane cracker facility. Sasol’s $11-14 billion GTL complex is expected to produce more than 96,000 barrels of diesel fuels and chemicals each day. The complex will feature a synthesis reactor that will link natural gas’ single carbon methane molecule into long-chain molecules. The chain is

Calcasieu Parish has a proposed budget of $148.6 million for 2014 — 1.9 percent more than the current $145.9 million budget. The increased budget is mainly due to operational cost increases, including a 1.8-percent employee wage adjustment to keep up with inflation, Calcasieu Parish Administrator Bryan Beam said. Beam said the budget also calls for raising the employer’s share of health insurance premiums by $75 per employee per month.

AAR Completes First Maintenance Project AAR, the new tenant at Chennault International Airport, recently completed its first heavy maintenance check on a commercial aircraft — just two weeks after the company received its Lake Charles operating certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. The company took over the facility previously occupied by Aeroframe.

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up

front About Town This close to Christmas, folks are looking for donation programs that meet a real need. This one might do the trick. The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Southwest Louisiana will collect donations for homeless veterans and people affected by serious mental illness through Dec. 13. Items needed include hygiene products (that are unopened); new socks (one size fits all); such paper products as toilet paper and paper towels; pencils and pens; books of crossword and other puzzles; and journals. These items will go to the City of Refuge, a shelter for homeless veterans; Maison D’Amis, an apartment building for those affected by serious mental illness; and local mental health recovery centers. Drop off your items from 10 am-4 pm at the NAMI SWLA office in the United Way building at 715 Ryan St., suite 203, in Lake Charles. If you need more info, call 433-0219 or email anastasia@namiswla.com.

The sound throughout is an upbeat pop. The biggest accomplishment is a vocal performance that comes pretty close to the very deep bass lead vocal of “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” Work N Progress promises “vintage sounds” and “variety.” If you’re curious about whether their taste in vintage sounds matches yours, I can tell you that the other cuts on the demo are “Peaceful, Easy Feeling,” “Your Love Has Lifted Me Higher,” “Heard It Through The Grapevine” and “Listen To The Music.” Work N Progress is shunning the club scene for now. The band wants to play for parties. If you have a wedding, graduation or Christmas party, or any party at all, call Willis at 474-3040; Rick 540-1727 or Jean 540-8024. I’ve often written in Up Front that I’ll write something about any music CD, demo, MP3 downloads or cuts on SoundCloud that are given to me or brought to my attention. If you can direct me to music I can listen to, I can and will write about it for nothing other than the satisfaction of doing it.

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My grandmother Goins used to tell me, “You know what you like.” Area musicians tell me that what Lake Charles likes is cover bands. A new one, Work N Progress, is trying to take a new approach to the playing of covers. I know this because the band brought a fivesong demo to my office. The instrumental accompaniment for the five songs on the disc differs somewhat from the original instrumentation, which I suppose is what one wants in a cover band. The performance is tight and tempos are steady; I didn’t hear any lags in the beat.

Here’s the headline of an email the Up Fronter (and everybody else in Louisiana) got from the Office of the Governor on Nov. 8: “Gov. Jindal to Pres. Obama: Don’t Bully LA on Obamacare, Man Up & Admit Your Mistake” An anonymous source passed on this copy of an email that was subsequently sent from the Office of the President of the United States: “President Obama to Gov. Jindal: OK! OK! I’ll do whatever you say, man! Just —

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please — ease up on me, OK? Ease up a little. I’ll man up if that’s what you want. I swear it. Just ease up, bro. I’m begging you. Let me get up off the ground for a second, OK? P.S. We’ll do it your way, for sure. But is there any way we can use ‘and’ instead of ampersands. Just askin’!!!!”

Suitz In The Hood In spite of it all, Jindal may yet get a chance to go mano y mano with the president who’s been bullying him. Why? Well, President Obama just moved into Jindal’s neighborhood: The Thirties. The Thirties is, of course, the notorious gangland where politicians must go when their approval ratings drop below 40 percent. Obama had been getting by all right, chillin’ up in The Forties. He’d had one run-in with Forties gangsta NSA. But the president walked away from that with nothing more than a split lip. It was quite a different story, though, when the brutal, 350-pound, heavily armed Forties gangsta Healthcare Rollout caught Obama in an alley and left him shakin’ and bleedin’. Obama’s road dogs were almost happy to get the president into The Thirties for fear of a return blast by Healthcare Rollout. One thing Jindal and Obama will have in common with everyone else in The Thirties: an outright terror of winding up in the only neighborhood that’s worse: The Twenties. As you know, the gang boss in The Twenties is Dick Cheney, who’s known there as OG Breakdown. Brrr! It makes me squeamish just to think about it. I’d rather go through a gang initiation organized by Jigsaw than have Breakdown bring me the hard candy.

Can’t Argue With That Now, I think it’s basically a good thing that Louisiana has so many politicians who are, let’s say, colorful. Be that as it may, politicians the country-over who are concerned about their, let’s says, questionable behavior, must be sending up prayers of thanks for Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford. I mean, do what you like, you’re just not going to come off looking as bad as this guy. CNN put together a list of its favorite Fordisms. I chose my favorites. Settle back, take a long sip of coffee and see if you get a chuckle out of any of these: — “That is not a crack house. Have you been to the house?” — “Yes, one day I do want to run for prime minister.” — “You know what? I made mistakes, I drank too much. I smoked some crack some time. What can I say? I made a mistake, I’m guilty.” — “Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But do I? Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago.” — “The revelations yesterday of cocaine, escorts, prostitution has [sic] pushed me over the line.” When Ford was confronted with the charges of seeking prostitutes, he responded with very blunt language to the effect that his wife met all his needs and then some. We can’t put that language in the Lagniappe. But we can tell you that comedian Stephen Colbert said the comments made him “miss” Ford’s crack days. Worse was to come. On Nov. 18, Ford knocked down Pam McConnell, a female member of the Toronto City Council that’s been voting to limit his mayoral powers. Now in Ford’s defense — if you can call it defense — he was trying to take down a heckler and McConnell happened to be in the way. Whether mayors should be tackling hecklers, readers can decide for themselves. McConnell, who is in her 60s, didn’t care for it; she said, “This is the seat of democracy. It is not a football field.” Too late for CNN’s list was this recent Fordism: “They’re not going to find another Rob Ford.”

Food Stamp Watching Just because Ford is in all his glory, we shouldn’t ignore Louisiana politicians who uphold the great tradition of acting out. Such a one was Lindel Toups, who recently backed a measure that would have shifted funding from the Lafourche Parish libraries to the construction of a new jail. You’ll probably agree that Toups made a key strategical error when he started dumping on libraries. continued

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UP FRONT continued Now before you start reading the comments made by this brainiac, keep in mind he’s a member of the Lafourche Parish Council. Not only that, he’s the chairman of the council. You believe me? Good. Let’s go. Said Toups: “They’re teaching Mexicans how to speak English … Let that son of a bitch go back to Mexico … There’s just so many things they’re doing that I don’t agree with. … Them junkies and hippies and food stamps [recipients] and all, they use the library to look at drugs and food stamps [on the Internet]. I see them do it.” I’ve always said that if there’s anything worse than junkies, it’s them junkies. But the worst of all is certainly them junkies and all. The most important aspect of the story was that, once again, a Louisiana politician’s hick comments were picked up by major news outlets and spread all around the country. I wonder why Toups was making all these comments about “them junkies” to begin with. Has he forgotten that his son and grandson were arrested in 2009 for possession of meth? The one good thing about this story is that you now know what to say to those shady looking guys who stand around outside convenience stores and give you the creeps when you go in to get your Marlboro Lights. When you see a dude like that, just say, “Hey, junkie, why don’t you go to the library and look at pictures of food stamps on the Internet?”

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Local Culture Report The Up Fronter is hearing locals pronounce the name of the new clothing store Plato’s Closet as “Platto’s Closet.” I guess they’re thinking about the famous ancient Greek clothing designer Platto. On the up side, it’s been years since I’ve heard anyone in the area pronounce the name of the composer Haydn as “Hey den.” I think maybe that’s because I haven’t made a reference to Haydn in years.

Did I Mention I Don’t Care? The Dead Pelican is supposed to be a Louisiana news site. Still, I wasn’t surprised when I clicked the link for this headline — “Duck Dynasty Star explains why he and his wife waited until they were married ...” — and wound up on something called FaithIt. On FaithIt, I read this, longer, headline, and a subhead to boot: “This Famous Couple Waited Until Their Wedding Night To Have Sex. You’ll Love The Reason Why. “Things get a bit intense when Jase and Missy explain why their family functions the way it does. Watch this Duck Dynasty couple school the world on the power of a godly marriage.” Whatever FaithIt may attest to the contrary, I will not love the reason why. I don’t care about the reason why. I don’t care who these people are, what they have to say, or why they are named Jase and Missy. I certainly don’t care why they did or didn’t have sex and hope to FaithIt that I never learn a single thing about that unpalatable topic. And I don’t care why somebody at some thing called FaithIt thinks somebody named Jase is famous. As a consolation prize, I do promise the Web page maintenance crew at FaithIt that if I ever feel the desire to be schooled on anything at my age, they’ll be the first to know.


contents

>>>>>>

LAGNIAPPE MAGAZINE • DECEMBER 5, 2013 • VOLUME 31 NUMBER 23

56 36 FROM ‘TAIL-END KID’ TO ‘A-BOMB HERO’ Few would have imagined that a shy local student would become one of the military leaders of the mid-20th century. Cliff Seiber reports. 44 GIFT GUIDE This season’s gift guide continues with features on gifts for men, gifts for readers and the big return to vinyl. 56 BEST OF SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA — 20TH ANNIVERSARY For the 20th year, Lagniappe readers weigh in on the area’s best businesses, services, food and entertainment. For this anniversary edition, we take an in-depth look at the four businesses that have made the Best Of list all 20 years.

36 79 R-RATED CHRISTMAS MOVIES Calvin Tyler takes a look at the Christmas movies parents should watch after the kids have gone to bed. 84 Lagniappe Magazine Serving SWLA Since 1983

cial section.

Publishers Bob Hartnett Greg Pavlovich Editor Brad Goins Associate Editor Karla Wall Assistant Laura Landry Layout & Design Mike Manis Advertising Sales Tanya Alsobrook Patty Hebert Chester Rogers Classified Manager Rose Sauls Distribution Manager Edward Frazer Contributing Writers Jeremy Alford Dr. Dale Archer Duane Bergeron Angie Kay Dilmore Todd Elliott Pierre Fontenot Rocke Fournet Arthur Hebert John Maginnis Rick Sarro Chuck Shepherd Calvin Tyler Vic Wukovits

44

Office Phone (337) 433-8502 Office Fax (337) 433-8964 Mailing Address PO Box 3292 Lake Charles, LA 70602 Shipping Address 2906 Deaton Street Lake Charles, LA 70601 Editorial e-mail edit@thelanyap.com Advertising e-mail ads@thelanyap.com Classified e-mail class@thelanyap.com Lagniappe Magazine is published the first and third Thursday of each month. Manuscripts, photographs, comments and queries are invited. Return postage must accompany all materials submitted if return is requested. Publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Opinions presented by the columnists in this publication do not necessarily express the views of Lagniappe Magazine.

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Christmas events throughout the region are grouped in a spe-

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departments 5 6 12 14 16 18 19

News Roundup Up Front Pierre Sez Economics, Etc. Political Notebook Box 3292 Tech Bytes

20 22 26 28 32 35 83

LA Politics Taking Charge Weird News File 13 Fur Side Extraordinary People What's Happening

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Katrina General Capitol-Bound Russel Honoré Developing Legislative Package For ‘Environmental Justice’ By Jeremy Alford STANDING ON THE GROUNDS in front of the State Capitol, Russel Honoré joined other independent authors pushing their wares at the Louisiana Book Festival. But he was clearly among the very few with real celebrity. It seemed to play out every few minutes. "I wanted to shake your hand," gushed one woman. "I just love what you stand for!" Through his performance as the socalled Katrina General and his current role as advocate for displaced residents near the Bayou Corne sinkhole, Honoré has a cache of political influence and name recognition. While speculation has often turned to when he might run for public office, his first real move in politics will come during the 2014 regular session. That's when he plans to cash in his chips.

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"I've been told over and over that if you really want to change things, you have to change policies and laws," he told LaPolitics. "We're going to start drafting legislation and we're working on it right now. Everyone says what I want to do is impossible. It's not impossible." Honoré is still looking for legislative sponsors for his "environmental justice" package of bills, but he said there's a large team — dubbed the “Green Army” — already working on the proposals. It will be a true grassroots effort, he added, and if lobbyists want to join up, they'll have to do so pro bono. "I will not be involved in anything that involves raising money," Honoré said, adding he’s not being paid by any special interests, either. The package will include a provision to reduce the current tax exemption for

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hydraulic fracturing, which should stir up a political hornet's nest in north Louisiana, and another to strengthen regulations for aquifers, with an early focus on Baton Rouge and Acadiana. As reported by LaPolitics in August, the Water Resources Commission is likewise trying to finish a comprehensive proposal for water management in time for the next session, although it may be pushed back to 2015. But if it does complete the task, and Honoré accomplishes his mission, the stage will be set for one of the highest profile debates on water the Legislature has seen. Honoré said he will also support stricter guidelines for salt domes around the state; new recusal rules for voting on oil and gas bills for lawmakers employed by the energy industry; and reform legislation to address the "revolving door" at the Dept.

of Natural Resources. "Too many people in that department are either coming from or going to the industry," he said. The retired Army lieutenant general is considering writing a new book that would touch upon the themes contained in his legislative package: an effort that would undoubtedly bring with it a certain amount of national attention. "I want to provide people with information about the environment and Louisiana," he said. "Our water and our wetlands would be a focus. The orphaned wells we have and the overuse of our aquifers by industry [would be another]. “We need to put all of this on the table as a major issue. We spend a lot of time talking about health care and the education system, but clean air and clean water are just as important to future generations." He recently gave a speech in South Carolina, and was leaving for Florida the next day after attending a "survivors’ meeting" for residents living near the sinkhole in Assumption Parish. Recent weeks have also seen him giving presentations in Georgia, Missouri and Utah. "Most of my speeches are about leadership, but I also talk about what happens when natural disasters become manmade disasters," he said. Honoré said advocacy events have been scheduled for the near future. The week before Christmas, there's an event at the sinkhole so "people can say goodbye to Bayou Corne." In January, another gathering is scheduled in lower Plaquemines Parish to highlight coastal land loss. He's also part of a group that will soon release a list called the "Dirty 100" to profile the state's "most dangerous" oil wells and plants — a list that will be broken down by House and Senate districts. "We're going to show everyone where they are in the districts," Honoré said. "But I do get along with [lawmakers]. I remind them this all started before many of them were born. Our governor was born before this assault happened, so he definitely doesn't need to defend it." Of course, every group needs a leader, and Honoré seems well positioned for a run for public office. As a registered independent — “Some time ago someone appointed me a Republican and I have no idea how that caught on," he said — he could potentially appeal across party lines. For now, by carrying the environmental justice banner, he's taking on a role that’s been championed by very few elected officials; among the few is Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, a Democrat from Elm Grove. Asked if he would ever be a candidate, Honoré doesn't bite. But he does want to be a factor in the 2015 statewide election cycle by making his issues the candidates’ issues. "I'm all about environmental justice. That's what I'm doing. I'm not dealing with a whole lot of politics right not. That's not what this is about." Visit LaPolitics.com or follow Jeremy Alford on Twitter @LaPoliticsNow.


Decorations Look Great It’s nice to see all de beautiful Christmas lights de city has put up around de Civic Center. Now, in years befo, de lights were pretty nice. But dis year, de city haz really kicked it up a notch, az Emeril Lagasse often sez in his cookin’ show. We can tell you dat dis year we will have lots mo visitors from out uf town comin’ to our area to see de lightin’ extravaganza. An’ you can bet dar are gonna be a lot mo buggy rides filled wit’ folks admirin’ all de additional lights. In de next few years, if de city expands de lightin’ program to include areas around de bidness district, we will be in serious competition wit’ Natchitoches for de bes’ in de state. Now, remember, it takes a lot uf hard work an’ money to make dis happen. City workers have put in lots uf hours to make dis light show possible. An’ of course, Mayor Randy found de money as usual. For dis wonderful project to expand, we will need mo man hours an’ mo money. But you know Randy haz a plan for next year already. We would like to tank de Mayor for waitin’ ‘til after Thanksgivin’ to officially turn de lights on. Tanks again to de City of Lake Charles for a job well done.

Cove Lane Movin’ Along Az dis Cove Lane project continues to move along, it appears mo an’ mo to me dat de project will be an exit from de casinos to I-210. Now my frans Max and Slim say I’m dead wrong, an’ dar’s a lot mo to dis project dat all mos’ all de gubment bodies an’ casinos chipped in to build. When I axed Max an’ Slim what else dar wuz to dis project, day simply sed I’d have to wait an’ see. Well, I’m waitin’, an’ so are a lotta udder folks in our area.

Green Army Iz Marchin’ Louisiana: De State We’re In iz a very popular program dat airs on Public Television trewout our state. Dere’s one recent program everyone in our state should watch, an’ if you have de Internet, you can go back and watch it. It concerns our wetlands, and what’s bein’ done to restore dem an’ create even mo wetlands. In de program, dey sed an area four times de city uf Miami in marshlands iz los’ every year. De leader uf de Green Army dat’z tryin to make dis marsh preservation activity happen by forcin’ de oil companies to cap wells dat are still leakin’ oil in de marsh an’ fill up canals dat were dug durin’ drillin’ operations is retired Gen. Russel Honoré. He points out in dis program dat when oil companies got de permit to drill in de marshes, day agreed to cap all wells an’ fill all canals. Dis, accordin’ to Honoré, hasn’t been done, an’ az a result, we’ve damaged marshes dat help protect us from surges when hurricanes come our way. Laplace is where de surge stopped wit’ Katrina. An’ for Rita, it stopped jus’ south uf de Intercoastal Canal. Where it stops next time may be much worse if we keep ignorin’ de marsh losses. Of great interest to our area is de loss of shrimp and oysters for harvestin’. Now, de Green Army haz filed suit against 93 oil companies an’ drillin’ operations to make dem fix what day agreed to fix. Jindal jumped in an’ opposed it. Uf course, we know some uf his biggest supporters are folks in de oil bidness. Now one uf de ladies dat appeared on de panel spoke about what is de environment. She said — an’ dis makes sense — de environment iz where you work, live, worship and go to school. De Bayou Corne area wuz a nice place where lots uf folks lived after retirin’. Now it’s a big sink hole dat keeps getting’ bigger and haz cost de state millions already. De demand for action will end up in court. But in de meantime, let’s all be mindful uf our environment.

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December 5, 2013 www.BestOfSWLA.com


One Uf Many Polls To Come Iz Released One ting about politicians, day don’t do anyting witout lookin’ at poll numbers. An’ de recent poll figures released by Southern Media and Opinion Research shows a very interestin’ U.S. Senate race. Sen. Mary Landrieu had 41 percent, wit’ Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy 34 percent and Republican newcomer Rob Maness 10 percent. Main issue for not favorin’ Landrieu for reelection … you guessed it … Obamacare. Now she crawfished out uf her strong support for de Obamacare bill when it was learnt dat companies were droppin’ dar insurance plans and folks couldn’t keep dar own doctors. She introduced a bill she claimed would fix dat. We’ll see how dat flies in de Senate in de next few months. De governor’s race wuz included in dis poll. De only announced candidate iz state legislator John Bel Edwards, who showed only 8 percent. Leadin’ wuz Sen. David Vitter wit’ 30 percent, Treasury Secretary John Kennedy wit’ 19 percent and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne wit’ 18 percent. Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle got only 2 percent. But it doesn’t look like he’s much interested in de job anyway. Hard to imagine dem numbers where de majority uf registered voters are Democrats. But de same scenario played out in de recently held 5th District congressional race. Two Republicans faught it out in a district dat haz way mo Democrats dan Republicans. An’ we don’t see any Democrat wit’ enough clout in dis state to eat into de Republican stronghold on dis state. Ain’t politics funny? Especially in our state.

One Udder Local Race For Next Year Recently we spoke about de races for judgeships an’ Sulphur Mayor comin’ up next year. We regret dat we forgot to mention de race to replace retirin’ Judge Tom Quirk. We’ve heard several names mentioned, but no real action yet from any uf dem. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a race for a judgeship in Ward 3: probably 20 or more years since we had a real heated race for dat office. You can bet afta de firs’ uf de year, we gonna be seein’ a lot mo signs an’ ads for whoever ends up tryin’ for dat seat.

A Few Shots About Sports Our area produced some real fine high school football teams dis year. Barbe, Westlake, Vinton, Welsh and LaGrange made it through a few rounds of de playoffs, but none could make it to de state finals in de Dome. Nonedeless, we had great performances by de players, az iz evident by de number who’ll be playin’ college ball. McNeese did better dan in recent years. An’ we know both de basketball teams an’ de baseball team will keep bringin’ honor to dar school. So keep wearin’ your blue outfits on Fridays an’ show your support.

Now to LSU … a few weeks ago Texas A&M came to Baton Rouge an’ got beat. All dem national sports journalists could say wuz dat Johnny Football had a bad game. Why couldn’t day jus’ tell de truth, an’ dat iz, dat LSU’s defense wuz ready for de Heisman Trophy winner and boorayed him at every turn? Dem so-called sports reporters really get my dander up sometimes.

You Know De Slogan Mos’ uf us will be attendin’ a lot uf holiday parties in de next few weeks, an’ dat means drinkin’ uf alcohol. Already, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers haz teamed wit’ area State Farm agents to urge folks to stay away from de wheel if day’ve had too much to drink. Me, I’d like to add to drinkin’ de use uf cell phones for talkin’ or textin’ while drivin.’ It ain’t smart to do dat. We’ve all seen de huge increase in number uf accidents caused by cell phone usage while drivin’, an’ if you do it, you are a real cooyon. So we at Lagniappe join wit’ MADD, de State Farm guys, local law enforcement guys an’ D.A. John DeRosier in urgin’ you to leave de bottle an’ de phone alone if you’re drivin’.

Deep Taughts While Watchin’ Auburn Make Sabin Booday 10) What bowl game would LSU have gotten had day beat Ole Miss an’ ended up 102? 9) Haven’t we all seen enough Duck Dynasty stuff in stores an’ on TV? 8) How can T-Claude say I gave him my Skil saw when he axed to borrow it? 7) Why does my dog T-foo insist on jumpin’ on me when I’m takin’ a nap on de sofa? 6) What’s goin on wit’ dem big banks closin’ branches in Sulphur an’ Westlake? 5) Did I really smoke all dem ceegars while watchin’ football durin’ de Tanksgivin’ break? 4) When are day gonna be finished wit’ de Burton Coliseum facelift? 3) How can I convince my wife Sedonia dat I went to Jerrod’s? 2) Why didn’t day make dem changes to de Weather Channel years ago? 1) Why do all dem folks who come to my house for Christmas have to stay so long?

Final Shot Lefty tol’ me de udder day he made some homemade eggnog radder dan buy it at de store. I axed him if it wuz strong. He sez it’s 90 proof … at lease what’s left uf it. Lefty always gets de holiday spirit. ‘Til next time, lache pas la patate.

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ECONOMICS, ETC.

michael m. kurth, Ph.D.

Toys You Won’t See For Christmas Christmas is just around the corner, and Santas are making out their lists of toys and gifts. Here are some items I think would make great gifts. But you won’t find them on any store shelves. If you know someone who lost their healthcare insurance because it didn’t conform to government-mandated coverage, you might want to give them an Obamacare Emergency Medical Kit. It comes with a medical encyclopedia, plastic stethoscope, Q-tips, tweezers, rubber gloves and a doctor’s white surgical gown. All this is packed in a professional-looking black medical case made of high-density plastic capable of withstanding trampling by a herd of crazed elephants. Instructions for your new kit can be downloaded next Christmas from HealthCare.gov. If you are looking for dolls, you might consider the Miley Cyrus Dress-up Doll. It comes with, well, not much. But your special little girl will have hours of fun watching the former Hanna Montana bump, grind, twerk and stick out her tongue. There’s also a Smiley Miley version, but it’s legal only in Colorado. Want something more traditional? Dust off a place on your mantle for the Hillary and Bill Collector Edition Coronation Set. Popular a decade ago, this combo is made of non-stick Teflon and features Hillary in her trademark pantsuit and

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Bill in tuxedo under a banner reading “It’s My Turn Now.” Then there’s the Sarah Palin Tea Party Set. It comes in an attractive red, white and blue package. But some buyers have complained that many of the cups are cracked.

Interested in the use of technology to enhance your personal life? For insomniacs, there’s the Obama Dream Machine: it lulls you into a stupor with soft-spoken visions of world peace, green energy, healing the earth, racial harmony and free medical care. If you’re on a budget, you might take a look at the Paula Deen Kitchen Queen doll and play set. A top seller a year ago at $49.99, the set has been marked down to $2.99 for quick clearance. For the sports enthusiasts in your family, there’s the LSU Fantasy Football Game.

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It lets you pit LSU against various SEC opponents, such as Alabama, Alabama or Alabama. The result is always the same: LSU wins 28 to 27 in the last seconds when a punt is returned 99 yards for a touchdown, and Nick Saban resigns in frustration. If you think this is boring because the outcome is always the same, well, you just don’t understand LSU football fans. Another sports option this year is Barack’s Red-Line Football. This game combines the finesse of diplomacy with the brute force of pro football as a team of NFL players takes on the Syrian Nation Team coached by Vladimir Putin. The U.S. players remain in a huddle, calling the Syrians names and daring them to advance the ball across a “red line” 10 yards downfield. If Putin and his Syrians get organized and succeed, the red line is moved 10 yards further downfield, and the taunting resumes. This continues until the Syrians are about to score, at which point you unleash your NFL players, led by Ritchie Incognito and Aaron Hernandez, to beat the crap out of the Syrians. (Note: rumor has it that next year’s edition will replace the Syrians with the Iranian National Team). For tech-savvy kids, there’s the new NSA Spy Kit. It teaches your child how to hack into computers, secretly turn on your neighbor’s web cam to watch their teenage daughter, record others’ phone calls, and

track the movement of automobiles and cell phones. Just imagine how thrilled your kids will be to listen in on the private conversations of their favorite movie stars or political leaders around the globe! Interested in the use of technology to enhance your personal life? For insomniacs, there’s the Obama Dream Machine: it lulls you into a stupor with soft-spoken visions of world peace, green energy, healing the earth, racial harmony and free medical care. Have trouble getting the final word in an argument? Then you need the Rand Paul Filibuster Coffee Maker: just turn it on, pour yourself a cup of coffee and glare at your adversaries as it spews random information for hours and hours until they walk away muttering “screw you.” Want to avoid someone? Then you need the Mary Landrieu Emergency Warning Wristwatch. Enter the phone number of the persons with whom you don’t want to be seen, and it emits a loud beeping noise whenever they’re within a mile of you. (It comes pre-programmed with the president’s phone number.) Tired of spending hundreds of dollars on stamps to mail out Christmas cards? The Anthony Weiner “Selfie” Cell Phone App makes it a snap to send personalized holiday greetings to all your family, friends and the hot chicks you meet in bars.


If you’re into parlor games, your Democrat friends are sure to enjoy playing “Pin the Blame on the Elephant,” while your Republican buddies will have hours of fun playing “Name that Scandal.” Popular among Louisianans is “Where in the World Is Bobby Jindal?” in which players try to guess which primary state their governor is visiting. If you want to break up a tea party, just pull out the IRS Truth or Audit game.

Want to avoid someone? Then you need the Mary Landrieu Emergency Warning Wristwatch. Enter the phone number of the persons with whom you don’t want to be seen, and it emits a loud beeping noise whenever they’re within a mile of you. (It comes pre-programmed with the president’s phone number.) Finally, if you have undocumented friends, there’s the “Pathway to Citizenship” game, in which players roll the dice to avoid deportation while navigating their way through a bureaucratic maze that leads nowhere. Know someone who enjoys reading? You might want to pick up a copy of Bill O’Reilly’s new best-seller Killing Obamacare, Hillary Clinton’s book: Things That Don’t Matter: Like Bengazi, That B**** Monica and That Snake Obama, or Chris Christie’s new book Trampling Through the Tulips: Jersey Etiquette and Social Graces. But whatever presents you decide to put in your sleigh this year, remember to promise your children that if they like their presents, they can keep their presents. Period. And if they like their Santa, they can keep their Santa, too. Well, as long as their Santa is politically correct, environmentally friendly, multilingual, doesn’t exploit animals like reindeer by making them pull a heavy sleigh at night, and has elves who belong to the toy-makers’ union.

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john maginnis Common Core: Stakes Are High With more complaints than big ideas being heard, supporters and opponents are wondering what happens next in regard to Common Core. While observers in Louisiana aren’t predicting a court battle just yet, that’s an avenue that’s bubbled to the surface in other states, such as New York, where a class action lawsuit has been mentioned by parents in Wappingers Falls. In Wisconsin, the state school superintendent is threatening to sue as well if lawmakers repeal Common Core standards next time they meet. During a presentation in D.C., former Louisiana superintendent of education Paul Pastorek compared the ongoing debate to a time when high-stakes tests were implemented here in the late ‘90s — a move that brought on a round of lawsuits. Whiteboard Advisors, a Washington-based policy consulting practice, issued a report recently that stated national education “insiders” are split on whether Louisiana will eventual-

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jeremy alford

THEY SAID IT “Maybe they’ll bring in Al Gore. You know, the guy who says he invented the internet. Maybe that’ll fix the (HealthCare.gov) website.” —Gov. Bobby Jindal, on Fox News

ly pull out. These educators note there are a “variety of influential voices for and against the Common Core assessments, but (insiders) think some putative allies may be doing harm to proponents of the standards.” Aside from state Education Superintendent John White, BESE chairman Chas Roemer is quickly becoming the face of Louisiana’s proponent effort. Considering his political ambitions —

December 5, 2013 www.BestOfSWLA.com

the latest include rumors he’s eyeing the 6th Congressional District — his front and center role may also mean he has the most to lose in all of this. The start of the 2014 regular session will tell how much, and is probably the answer to the question of what happens next. Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, who’s been holding town hall meetings on the topic, said he has a package of bills in the works. He said he’s heard

many concerns from educators and parents about being locked out of the process by White and Roemer. “There’s a severe lack of trust there and I can’t do anything to fix that,” he said. But what he can do is prepare legislation to give local school officials more control over content and curriculum. “They should be able to decide on textbooks and things like that. I’m still fleshing out the idea,” Schroder told LaPolitics. Another of his bills may focus on data-sharing and what the Dept. of Education is allowed to collect. Other lawmakers are looking at how much should be spent implementing Common Core and how parents can have a voice in the process. Legislation is also expected from Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, who wants to pull Louisiana out of Common Core altogether. For more Louisiana political news, visit www.LaPolitics.com or follow Maginnis and Alford on Twitter @LaPoliticsNow.


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR KURTH MISSED ECONOMICS OF HEALTHCARE To The Editor: er scale. I was pleased recently to see Dr. Nor does this have anything to do with Kurth’s input on the healthcare scene in the freedom. The great evils of Communism — recent issue of Lagniappe. I am a former pogroms, gulags, political purges — were student of professor Kurth, and balanced not a direct result of state ownership, but commentary can be hard to come by. rather of the absence of political representaI admit to being somewhat taken aback tion. by the piece that he wrote. While there did Virtually all of Europe is socialist and not seem to be any factually incorrect infor- virtually all of it is democratic as well. The mation presented, there were what I consider glaring omissions. In discussing the impact of the Affordable Care Act (colloquially “Obamacare”), Kurth seemed to be invoking a popular fear of creeping socialism. The problem with this is that virtually all societies are socialist to some extent or another, socialism and free markets (pejoraPO Box 3292, Lake Charles, La 70602 tively “capitalism”) being theoretiedit@thelanyap.com cal bookends to a spectrum on which real societies fall. Even the bugbear of the Soviet Union people there enjoy all the freedom of movewas imperfectly collectivist, still using cur- ment, conscience and political expression of rency and with people still owning some America’s citizenry. But they have collecproperty. At the other end of the spectrum, tively decided that — like firefighting, transthe ownership and control of the means of portation infrastructure and national defense production are in the hands of the govern- — the public health is best addressed either ment in the United States for certain ser- by state agencies or private/corporate entivices. ties that are remunerated by the state. Not that this is a bad thing. Certain And they apparently get pretty good functions are best attended to under this mileage for their Euros. Most countries in model. The interstate highway system is one the EU enjoy lower infant morality, longer successful example. National defense and life expectancies, lower overall morbidity law enforcement are another. State and local and lower per-capita spending on healthcare law enforcement, emergency services and than the U.S. firefighting are simply socialism on a smallThis puzzled me for a while. How does

Europe have hospitals, doctors, medicines, nurses and all the administrative and sundry other support, plus a government bureaucracy, and still pay less per person for health care than we do with appreciably better results under multiple criteria? While other factors may well be relevant, there is one that I would not expect a professor of economics to omit. While many in this country are consumed by a wealth distribution panic of McCarthyan proportions, others rail against malignant concentration of wealth. The point is often made, with varying degrees of truth, that wealth disparities are a natural result of free markets’ operation. Those with a work ethic, persistence and talent outstrip the earning potential of those lacking these. But, ambition sometimes wins the race with ethics. While the poor do what they can to survive, living day-to-day, the rich are like Lance Armstrong. They set long-term goals, pursue them relentlessly . . . and just in case that doesn’t work, they cheat. In the case of the medical industry, the cheating took this form: Around 1910 the American Medical Assoc. was granted control over the training and licensure of physicians. As is often the case when an interested entity has control over the supply of the good or service it provides, monopoly behavior ensued. Physician training over the next few decades contracted by over a quarter, while the population, and thus the need for physicians, increased.

Predictably, physician compensation steadily grew. Currently, while the U.S. is largely in parity with Europe, lagging slightly in most metrics, it consistently leads the world in physician compensation by a considerable margin. Virtually all medical school applicants are top-flight academics, but nine of every ten are turned down because of the AMA’s enforcement of its manufactured physician shortage. Nor are the admits of the best quality. Fearful that fierce competition might stymie nepotistic tendencies, the practice of “legacy admits” was instituted to ensure that the progeny of previous graduates would not be turned away simply for inferior grades or test scores. In order to deal with being systematically gouged by doctors, many people turned to the purchase of health insurance. Unfortunately, insurance companies also engage in anti-competitive behavior. They set price floors, match commission structures and bar agents from returning or declining any part of their commissions. As it turns out, when you try to deal with a cartel by turning to another cartel, you just get gouged — twice. Obamacare might well put us on the path to socialism. But let’s not delude ourselves into thinking free markets have anything to do with how we get our healthcare now. — Jake LeBrun

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December 5, 2013

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TECH BYTES

vic wukovits

Hands-On With The iPad Air Often, when Apple releases a product with a new form factor, their goal is smaller and faster. On Nov. 1, the iPad Air arrived in stores with this goal reached. Retaining the 9.7-inch screen of its predecessor, this new entry to the iPad family is just a little bigger and heavier than the mini models of the iPad. Weighing just one pound, it’s 1.9 mm thinner, and nearly half a pound (0.43 lb.) lighter than the iPad 4th Gen. A direct comparison of size and heft is remarkable, and the slimmer form factor is immediately noticeable, making for a much-improved user experience. Aside from the size and weight difference, the iPad Air has a new look, with the slimmer bezel being the noticeable difference. The back aluminum case is just a larger version of the iPad mini, and the chamfered shiny edges are like those on the iPhone 5 and 5s. Speakers have been relocated to the bottom edge, straddling the Lightning port, and the volume rocker button is now two separate buttons. An additional mic has been added for noise cancellation, but more differences exist “under the hood.” The biggest upgrade to the iPad Air is the inclusion of the Apple A7 chipset, the same one that arrived with the iPhone 5s. With 64-bit processing, this gives the Air a great deal of performance improvement, making it twice as fast as the last iPad. The M7 coprocessor helps with sensor input and sharing tasks, keeping that same battery life we’ve come to expect and appreciate from an iPad, even with the smaller size. Another improvement is the inclusion of a multiband radio for cellular connectivity. Previously, there were multiple models of iPad for the various cellular providers, but now, one model accommodates all the different types. Every iPad is “unlocked” by default, meaning that by switching SIM cards, you can hop between different carriers with the same model. The Wi-Fi antenna is also improved so that faster speeds (up to 300 Mbps) are attainable. The two available colors, silver and space gray, give the iPad Air a sleek and svelte profile. Storage options are the same as in previous incarnations, with units available in 16, 32, 64 and 128GB options. You can also choose between WiFi-only and cellular-enabled models, with a $129 price difference between the two. I opted for a 64GB space gray model with LTE service, and I decided to try out a new carrier for this new iPad Air. T-Mobile has LTE speeds in Lake Charles and a number of other areas, but a couple of things swayed me to their service. T-Mobile has a new way of pricing their tablets: You can get an 16GB iPad Air or iPad mini for $0 down and payments of $26.25 per month for 24 months. If you do the math, that equals the price of a new unit. For someone who uses LTE on their device, this is a

no-brainer. You can choose how much data you want to purchase each month. There’s no contract, though if you cancel your data service, you will need to pay the balance. If that’s not sweet enough, T-Mobile also gives you the first 200MB of data for free. On LTE speeds, that’s not a lot, but free is always a welcome way to start

a month of cellular data. Overall, this new member of the iPad family is a welcome addition. My “old” iPad 3rd Gen wasn’t ready to be put out to pasture, but the lighter form factor and faster performance started to change my mind. And with the new program T-Mobile is offering, my iPad’s fate was sealed.

If you’re in the market for a new tablet, the new iPad Air is an attractive and powerful option that I highly recommend. Email vic@bayoutechnologies.com

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LA POLITICS

john maginnis

Green Armies: The Coming Clash John Barry and Russel Honoré are major celebrities in the state, with their fame established in connection to historic floods. Now the author and the retired Army lieutenant general (who is also a published author) are using their status in the state to rally public support to address the manmade impact on the state’s environment in next year’s legislative session. Though Barry, thanks to Gov. Bobby Jindal, is no longer on the board of the Orleans-area flood protection authority that’s suing 97 oil companies for coastal damages, he remains the most vocal advocate for the legal action. He’s formed a new group, Restore Louisiana Now, whose first mission is to defend the lawsuit against administrative and legislative counter-attack. For Honoré, whose command brought some order to the chaos after Hurricane Katrina, it took another manmade disaster — the massive sinkhole that figuratively swallowed up the Bayou Corne community — to inspire him to form his “Green Army” to wage battle for the cause he calls “environmental justice.” Both men plan to mobilize citizen activists to get behind a package of bills during the 2014 session. There they will engage with another “green army” in the persons of a well-paid, entrenched corps of company lobbyists who have held the Capitol for decades. The major test for both sides could come on an expected bill to limit the power of the flood protection authority to pursue its suit against the oil firms. Since it’s easier to kill a bill than pass one, the environmental groups could have an advantage on defense.

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Legislators are influenced by lobbyists to the point when the public starts paying attention to an issue. At that point, attitudes and positions can change quickly. The first volley in this battle came when Restore Louisiana Now released a poll that showed that more than threefourths of voters favor letting the suit go forward. An independent statewide poll released at the same time put support for the suit lower, but still at 50 percent for to 36 percent against. The challenges for the environmentalists will grow stiffer as they move onto the offensive. Honoré is calling for an end to the two-year severance tax emption for horizontal drilling, which companies use along with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to unlock oil and natural gas from underground formations. A tax break helped fuel the Haynesville Shale rush, which made many north Louisiana landowners rich. It’s being counted on by companies moving into the Tuscaloosa Shale north of Baton Rouge. Removing the exemption would take a two-third vote of the Legislature, which is just about impossible to achieve on matters when there’s little opposition; and on this matter, there would be a lot of opposition — right up to the governor’s office. The same goes for an Honoré proposal to give citizens the power to put referenda directly on the ballot without having to clear the two-thirds legislative hurdle to propose a constitutional amendment. Former Gov. Mike Foster tried that at the peak of his influence with the Legislature in 1996 and it went nowhere. The Legislature isn’t keen on being bypassed.

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Similar gloomy prospects await a change the general wants that will force legislators employed by oil and gas companies to recuse themselves from voting on industry-related bills. Such lawmakers would argue they are being discriminated against because colleagues who are lawyers don’t have to recuse themselves from voting on bills related to the legal profession.

Since it’s easier to kill a bill than pass one, the environmental groups could have an advantage on defense. Other issues Barry and Honoré may promote, from the regulation of salt caverns to the industrial use of water aquifers, could have fighting chances, but only with informed, persistent lobbying by movement volunteers, backed with grassroots support on the home front. Even then, the green armies will have to be prepared not to be disappointed when they don’t take the hill on the first charge. As Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, now in his fifth decade in the Legislature, once mused, “Good bills take three or four years to pass. Bad bills we pass right away.” The difference the author and the general could make would be in putting well-known names and faces behind causes which untold thousands of poten-

tial followers have long supported.

Treasurer’s Job Not Big Enough For Him State Treasurer John Kennedy is everywhere — never further away than today’s headlines. Since he was first elected in 1999, he’s searched, plotted and inveigled to expand the duties and power of his office beyond what the Constitution prescribes, which, by law and custom, is to shut up and write the checks. A statewide-elected official has to do all he can to stay at least in the shadow of the governor, and not to fade into the darkness of political oblivion. Kennedy has patiently, relentlessly, if only marginally, expanded his official influence as treasurer and chairman of the Bond Commission. He’s made good use of his assets at hand, particularly the once little-noticed Unclaimed Property Fund. What better way to touch the hearts of thousands than by giving them back money they’d lost track of and was turned over to him? Yet with so large an appetite for public service and attention, the governor’s office seems better suited to his ambition. He clearly is interested in the job, as he regularly offers unsolicited fiscal advice, often in the form of stinging second-guessing, to Gov. Bobby Jindal, as he did to former Gov. Kathleen Blanco. Lately, he’s broadened and intensified his quest to establish himself as the state’s leading watchdog of the public dollar. This fall, he went after community groups, defined as non-governmental organizations, which have received state funding but not fully reported what they


did with the money, as required by law. There may be little if any money left to recover from these groups, some of which are now moribund, but Kennedy is using these examples to lecture the Legislature on how to stop future abuses. With his crusade against the NGOs playing out, an investigative series by the Times-Picayune and Fox 8 News uncovering abuses, including blatant violations of campaign finance laws, led the treasurer to call for the new Office of Debt Recovery to go after unpaid ethics fines, most of which were owed by unsuccessful candidates. The amount outstanding is only $1 million, but the tracking down of deadbeat politicians makes for good headlines. That inverse proportion of public dollars actually saved to publicity earned has caused his critics, often his targets, to label Kennedy as a grandstander bent on promoting himself instead of doing anything constructive. What about construction? He can do that. At a recent ribbon-cutting in Caddo Parish, Kennedy could claim as much credit for the newly completed 19-mile stretch of I-49 North as anyone else holding scissors. While completing the $671 million, 36-mile connection of Shreveport to Arkansas has been a priority of the Jindal administration, Kennedy has come up with big chunks of the funding with the help of his little old Unclaimed Property Fund. For all the money he tries to return, millions more pour in each year from dormant bank accounts and abandoned safety deposit boxes, utility and rent deposits and tax refunds, building up a kitty of over $500 million. Kennedy had the bright idea for legislation that would stipulate that the money not be left in the treasury but be used to back construction bonds for I-49. The state will issue $113 million in bonds, with $93 million to go to the last I-49 link to I-20, and $20 million for the longer road to go, I-49 South. It will take more than unclaimed property to build the southern link. The money may come from everything from possible tolls to dedicated gasoline taxes. But, for now, idle refunds and deposits keep progress going. All the above has helped earn Kennedy healthy job approval ratings among the three-fourths of likely voters who know him, according to statewide polls. Yet the ground he’s staked out is still within the shadow of Sen. David Vitter, who, like Kennedy, might or might not run for governor in 2015. A recent independent poll by Southern Media and Opinion Research had Vitter leading comfortably at 30 percent, with Kennedy statistically tied with Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne in the high teens. It’s questionable that all three of those Republicans would run, because the emergence of a strong Democrat likely would displace one of them. So far, only Dardenne is set on running, while Kennedy’s decision might hinge on what Vitter decides. In the meantime, acting like he could be governor gives John Kennedy, who turned 62 two weeks ago, just enough to do.

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TAKING CHARGE

dale archer, MD

Nothing There To Save Dear Dr. Archer, I’m a 37-year-old mother of two children. My husband and I have been married for 13 years, yet we have never lived under the same roof, since he works in another country, and it has been this way since the moment we met. My problem started a month ago when he encouraged me to apply as principal applicant for the purpose of migrating to another country. Because I was busy and reviewing for an upcoming board exam, I ignored it and told him I’d focus on it after the test. My life has become so miserable since then. I’ve felt something different from him, and he’s begun to be cold and not want to communicate, or if he does, it concerns the children. During those times, I feel pressured, since my daily routine has been very stressful and I don’t have anyone to take care of my children. My licensing exam did not work out, and I failed, and my husband left me. One day, I hacked his email account and found that he has been having an affair with his ex-girlfriend. They had gone out of the country for about a week, for his birthday celebration. He has confessed, and told me he

has fallen out of love with me. He said he has more love for this girl than he has for me. I feel so betrayed, knowing I have fought for our love, and have given so much effort for our family and for his family. I have been very submissive from the start. Right now, I am trying to win him back, but he is too tough. What should I do? I don’t have the confidence to move on and get over this. I love him even more now, and am trying to put things back, though he doesn’t even care. Please help me. Thank you for your column. Jen Dear Jen, I am very sorry for what you’re going through, but I think you are more scared of change than anything else. You’ve spent 13 years married, but living in separate countries. That would be practically impossible in any marriage. The fact is, you are clinging to hope that things will remain the same. Most find it very uncomfortable, even scary, when they are faced with change. You say you love him even more now. Why? He’s never there for you except for a phone call. He loves another woman. You’ve basically raised these

children alone. If you say you’re trying to repair your marriage but he doesn’t care, then what is there to save? He has already emotionally checked out, leaving

You say you love him even more now. Why? He’s never there for you except for a phone call. He loves another woman. You’ve basically raised these children alone. If you say you’re trying to repair your marriage but he doesn’t care, then what is there to save? you stuck in the hotel afraid to venture out on your own. What you need to do is stop trying to change the inevitable. I say that because he’s not giving you any clue this marriage can be saved. Seek a very good

attorney and get what you deserve. You have two children that deserve support from their father; they are his responsibility, too, and he needs to continue with this support. Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t. Put your energies into your studies again, and retake your boards. Concentrate on that; you will do better this time without the distractions of your husband telling you to do something else. Trust me on this — you deserve much better than what you have been given. There are countless women who find themselves in the same situation, and it is scary. Yet, they prevail, not only getting over their husbands, but actually doing better in life without their husbands. Tom Krause said, “There are no failures — just experiences, and your reactions to them.” Believe in yourself. You are much stronger than you know. And one day, you will meet a man who is deserving of someone so faithful and loyal as you have proven to be. I wish you and the children well. Best of luck in your future. Dr. Archer

continued

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TAKING CHARGE continued Dear Dr. Archer, I’m a 50-year-old single teacher. I was diagnosed with depression at age 31, when my father passed away suddenly. I come from a very dysfunctional family — my father was an alcoholic, my mom had a traumatic childhood and is emotionally distant. I’m currently on Welbutrin and Clonazepam. Five years ago, I suffered a major depressive episode, and was referred to a psychiatrist who prescribed me Moclobemide, which made me very ill. I ended up in the emergency room,

where the psychiatrist prescribed Wellbutrin. I have a GP, but she’s not knowledgeable about depression. She simply gives me prescriptions for refills. The past five years have been hell. I ended up taking a three-year medical leave from teaching, lost my home because I couldn’t afford the mortgage and have lived in a series of rental properties. I’ve gradually returned to work for the past two years; it has taken much longer than I thought, and I’ve used up my savings to supplement my disability. I’m in debt.

Because I’m so depressed, I have no self-esteem, and was emotionally bullied by a new principal at school this year, as well as my class share partner, as I was trying to increase my teaching time. An assessment with a psychiatrist from my insurance company diagnosed me with depression, anxiety and PTSD. He said I was receiving inadequate medical care, but told me it’s not his role to give me further care. I’ve tried seeking help from counselors and psychologists, who tell me I have too many problems for them to

deal with. I know I have many issues, more so than the average person, but I have no idea where to turn for help. The only thing keeping me alive is my 16-year-old cat, who has been my lifeline. I cannot be hospitalized, because I have no one to care for my cat. I know I will lose him soon, and then I will be alone. There’s a one-year waiting list to see a psychiatrist in my city. After my past experience with psychiatrists, I’m afraid to see one. I’m supposed to start teaching full time in three weeks, and I know I can’t do it. I’m afraid to leave my cat alone. I’m afraid to be in the classroom. I’m afraid of the parents, staff and principal. I’ve transferred to a new school to have a fresh start, but I know I’ll fail there, too.

The only thing keeping me alive is my 16-year-old cat, who has been my lifeline. I cannot be hospitalized, because I have no one to care for my cat. I know I will lose him soon, and then I will be alone. I know this sounds overwhelming, and I know I can’t be helped. Every professional I’ve seen has rejected me. I know it’s time for me to leave this earth after my cat is gone. I don’t even know why I’m writing to you, because nothing can be done. I’ve failed at life. I have no support system, no family, and my best friend is dying of cancer; my other friends rejected me when I became ill. I wish the medical community would take depression more seriously. When I re-read this, it sounds like a story, but unfortunately, it’s my life. Thank you for listening. Debbie Dear Debbie, Your letter has really touched my heart. You are not a failure. You are not a failure. You have depression, and there is no way you can simply will yourself to get better. You need a psychiatrist, someone who has experience in treating depression. Also, you are not ready to give up. How do I know this? Because you took the time to write to me! That tells me you want to get better. Is there a medical school where you live, or one nearby? Many times there are teaching mental health clinics within the school, where students can gain hands-on experience during their college education. This could be an option for you, and it would be either no- or lowcost treatment for you. You would have teaching professors/doctors and students with the very latest information and medication. If so, make an appointment; if not, look into a mental health clinic where there is free care. It’s hard to believe that there is no psychiatrist appointment available for a year where you live. If 24

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need be, get on the phone and call every single one and ask. You must get back under a doctor’s care ASAP. While you’re working on that, there are changes you can make in your own behavior — activity, diet and lifestyle — which can be natural and effective depression treatments. Here are some: Exercise! Exercise is a natural mood booster. Exercise several times a week — everyday is better — for at least 30 minutes. Aerobic exercise is great for your heart, but if it’s too much for you at this time, just the simple act of getting out and taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood is enough. Eat a well-balanced diet. Healing from depression is a physiological process, and without good nutrition, the healing will take longer. Eating healthy gives your body a natural boost. Get some sleep! While many with depression just want to lay in bed and sleep, do not fall into that trap. Make yourself stay busy, and then go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Not getting enough sleep is just as bad as getting too much. Also, avoid taking naps; it will help you sleep at night. Set some realistic goals. Plan your day and list what you want to accomplish during that day. Scratch these goals off your list when they are done. Seeing your accomplishments will give you a boost. Give yourself responsibilities. I’m glad you have your precious cat. She gives you responsibilities that you must undertake in order for her to be happy and healthy. And by the way, cats can live well into their 20s, so your kitty is going to need you for a long time. But, right now, I want you to go out and adopt a kitten, providing company for both you and your older cat, and a young spirit to liven up your house and give you even more to focus on. Regarding school, will the principal let you work part-time? Don’t push yourself too hard. Get support! It may take a while before you get in to see the doctor, but in the meantime, see if there is a support group in town. This can be a natural depression treatment. You’ll meet others who know exactly what you’re going through. Check online, and ask around at various hospitals and doctor’s offices. Depression can be very debilitating. It may seem like it, but you are definitely not alone. You just need help. Try to get out and have fun. If you are doing something you enjoy, your mood will naturally lift. I realize you won’t feel like having fun, but that’s part of the depression — the warped thought pattern. Even if it feels like work, do something you enjoy. You’ll be retraining yourself, and I, for one, think you’re worth it. Good luck. I care. Dr. Archer

Dr. Dale Archer is a board certified psychiatrist who founded the Institute for Neuropsychiatry in Southwest Louisiana. He is a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN Headline News and other national TV programs, and is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Better than Normal. Visit him online at DrDaleArcher.com.

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WEIRD NEWS

chuck shepherd

Everybody Needs A Hug After its launch was delayed for a month by the Madison, Wis., city attorney, the Snuggle House was cleared and scheduled to open on Nov. 15 to provide in-bed, pajama-clad "intimate, nonsexual touching" for $60 an hour. "So many people," said assistant manager Emily Noon, "don't have a significant other in their lives" and "just need to be held." These people include, she said, the elderly and hospice patients, who are part of the target clientele. The delay was designed to assure that Snuggle House had protocols for dealing with "risky" situations in which a customer refuses to take "no sex" for an answer. Snuggle House has prominent surveillance cameras and panic buttons for the staff.

Oh, Dear! — Among the underreported catastrophes caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 was the tragedy that befell

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the 27,000-case WineCare storage cellar in Manhattan. Though it claimed to have lost only about 5 percent of its inventory when waters from the Hudson River flooded its warehouse, that number didn’t include the many bottles whose labels washed off. The loss of the labels forced dramatic price reductions on the wine, which in turn f o r c e d WineCare into bankruptcy court, according to a New York Times report. — The California genetic testing company 23andMe was recently awarded a patent for a computer program that lets parents use DNA to determine the probabilities that their babies will have particular characteristics. A company spokeswoman, who anticipated a backlash against the concept of "designer babies," rejected the idea that 23andMe

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would work with fertility clinics. — In July, just days after the oneyear anniversary of the spree killing of 12 people at the Century 16 Theaters in Aurora, Colo., Cassidy Delavergne was arrested after he entered the NCG Trillium theaters in Grand Blanc Township, Mich., wearing full body armor and carrying a loaded gun and a fake CIA badge. Delavergne explained that he wore the equipment only because he didn’t want to leave it in his car while he watched the movie. He said he thought the badge might alleviate patrons' fears. — Personto-person fecal transplants can correct an imbalance between healthy and unhealthy gut bacteria. But what happens if no compatible donor is available? Emma Allen-Vercoe and her team at Canada's University of Guelph are creating artificial gut bacteria ("robogut") for implantation. Allen-

Vercoe grumbled to Popular Science in August that the most disagreeable part of the job is disposing of excess sludge, which causes "the whole building" to "smell like poop." — A Brazilian minor-league soccer match ended in a 2-2 tie because the trainer for one team stepped to the goal and cleared two quick, tie-breaking shots his players couldn’t have reached in time. "It was our only chance," he said later. The referee allowed play to continue. — In an October bask e t b a l l game, the queen of Bhutan, 23, scored 34 points with 3 rebounds and 4 assists. Afterwards, she talked up basketball's imminent rise in the Asian kingdom to a New York Times reporter. The queen said she and the king play almost every day.


Super Protests — Artist David Cerny was fed up with the collapse of the governing parties in the Czech Republic. He launched a barge on the River Vitava in Prague. On the barge, he sat holding a gigantic purple hand with middle finger extended and aimed at the office of President Milos Zeman. — In a November protest against Russia's "police state," artist Pyotr Pavlensky nailed the skin of his scrotum into cobblestones near Lenin's Mausoleum. Pavlensky, who was arrested, called his stunt "a metaphor for the apathy, political indifference and fatalism of contemporary Russian society."

Clichés Come To Life — The Azerbaijani government's official vote totals for the Oct. 8 elections, which showed President Aliyev winning, with 72.76 percent of the vote, was mistakenly released to the public on Oct. 7. Officials blamed a computer “app bug." — Terry Jenkins, 25, was arrested for domestic battery in Myrtle Beach, S.C., after he asked his girlfriend and her female cousin for a menage a trois. He allegedly became enraged when the women paid more attention to each other than to him.

Mental Disorders, whose fifth edition (DSM-V) was released in May. The final "consensus" labeled "pedophilia" as a “sexual orientation" rather than a "disorder." Falling under criticism almost immediately, the APA reopened the debate, calling the labeling a "mistake."

banks in Oregon and Washington. A robbery of the Wells Fargo branch in Portland, Ore., ended the spree when Laviguer left his car keys on the counter when he fled.

Least Competent Criminals

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department reported in March, 2009, its first documented case of a deer hunter's attempt to avoid detection after shooting a doe by gluing antlers onto its head. Marcel Fournier, 19, used epoxy and lag bolts to do the job. But the finished product looked awkward

— Steven Campbell, 51, was entering a courthouse in Kelso, Wash., for a hearing on an arrest for possession of methamphetamine. When he was searched, he was forced to hand over to courthouse screeners a 3-inch methamphetamine pipe with meth residue on it. — Andrew Laviguer, 57, was captured and accused of robbing several

because of the angle of placement and the size mismatch of the antlers. Fournier was jailed for 10 days, fined, and had his license revoked.

Weird News Classic

Fine Points Of The Law Members of Hell’s Angels filed a lawsuit against Dillard's department stores, alleging a violation of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club trademark by one of the store's Tshirts.

BAR NOW OPEN! GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE!

Oops! — A teenage girl somehow managed to get stuck in a child's swing on a playground in London in September. Soon three trucks carrying 12 firefighters were on the scene. The firemen managed to remove the swing from its frame to free her. — New York University student Asher Vongtau, 19, fell into a 2-footwide shaft between a dorm and a garage in November, where he remained stuck for 36 hours until campus security officers spotted her and called firefighters. She was hospitalized in serious condition.

Perspective For more than 10 years, American Psychiatric Assoc. members have been engaged in brawls about the contents of APA's signature publication, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of www.BestOfSWLA.com

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FILE 13

brad goins

On Stupid Songs The morning I wrote this essay, I was in my still-dark house preparing to give the dog his first walk of the day. As I did so, I sang an especially stupid song — “Mississippi Queen,” which was recorded in 1970 by the now forgotten band Mountain. I was singing it loud. This is the song that begins with the lyrics:

unfortunate enough to know the chorus of this song, which begins,

“Mississippi Queen. If you know what I mean.”

“Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, don’t get hooked on me.”

No, of course I don’t know what he means. He hasn’t provided me with any context that would enable me to know what he means. Maybe if he’d used complete sentences, I would have known what he meant. As I was doing my early morning singing, I complemented the sloppy lyrics with some sound effects, uttering, from time to time, noises such as UGHH or GUDD or DUGGUHH; I don’t remember what. My wife yelled down from upstairs, “Why are you singing that?” And then she started trying to imitate my sound effects. She was really asking me why I was making these ugly noises — and making them so loud and so early in the morning. I couldn’t think of a good answer, so I said something like, “Oh, I just thought it was a way of celebrating the fact that another day has begun.” I spend a lot of time in my house singing stupid songs: in other words, singing popular songs. I do this because my wife expresses astonishment at her sense that I know the lyrics of every popular song ever recorded. Once I heard her make this claim of my extraordinary knowledge, I started

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“Baby, baby, don’t get hooked on me.” Now, when I sing that, it gets quite a bit different. My version usually goes something like this:

pulling up, from the treasure house of my memory, every dumb song I could think of — “Delta Dawn,” “Magic Man,” “The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia,” “How Do You Do?” “Watchin’ Me And Scottie Grow.” I sang them all, front to back. I ripped through the Neil Diamond repertoire. After all this time, I’ve still never found a song more stupid than “You’re Having My Baby.” That one gets sung a lot around the home. I mainly do this to demonstrate to my wife that I have memorized an awful lot of stupid lyrics. Every time I can pull

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something like, say, “Baby Ima Want You,” out of my head, I figured I’ve demonstrated this marvelous ability again. For the songs that are so stupid they merit repeat performances, I feel it’s a little blah to keep singing them straight over and over. So I subject the dumb songs to dramatic alteration. I’ve already described what I did, on one particular morning, to “Mississippi Queen.” Another song I especially like to mangle is Mac Davis’ anti-classic “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked On Me.” You may be

My wife sometimes makes the mistake of asking me why I sing it like that. That’s my opportunity to make up a story. I say Mac Davis originally wanted to record the song that way. But the musical innovation made the studio heads nervous. They were afraid the extreme repetition might spread through popular music and break their stranglehold on the pop song format. So they refused to let Davis release his daring version. But you can still find it on demos if you look hard enough. Sometimes, I do it the backwards way around. Before I start singing, I say, “Hey, do you know how the Beatles originally wanted to record ‘I Saw Here Standing There’?” It’s always as if the record industry were in league against The Beatles — or whoever it might be — to prevent them from recording the stupid song the way they wanted to. I think if I tell these stories often enough, with enough embellishment, some of them will become legendary. It might be asked — as a matter of sociological or anthropological curiosity, continued


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FILE 13 continued if nothing else — why I do know the lyrics of such pap as “Delta Dawn” or “I Never Promised You A Rose Garden” word for word. Is it that I have a really good memory? I don’t think so. It’s just that I’ve always listened to the lyrics of songs. Why not? They’re there. They’re part of the song. My ears are working. Why not listen? It’s always been that way with me. When I used to go to church, I was always the one guy in the church who was actually listening to the sermon. Why not? I’m there anyway. I might as well hear what the guy has to say, no? One can occasionally learn at least little things by following this simple, common sense approach. One learns, for instance, that regardless of how often people use Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” as a patriotic anthem, the song is an anti-war song. It’s obviously an anti-war song. There’s nothing ambiguous about the lyrics. Here’s a taste: “ … They put a rifle in my hand, “sent me off to a foreign land “to go and kill the yellow man …” “Come back home to the refinery. “Hiring man says, ‘Son, if it was up

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to me …’ “Went down to see my V.A. man. “He says, ‘Son, don’t you understand?’ …” “Had a brother at Khe Sahn, “fighting off the Viet Cong. “They’re still there. He’s all gone.” How does a person get patriotism out of that? I’ll tell you how. He never listens to the lyrics. (More to the point, I guess, he only listens to the lyric that grabs his sluggish attention: “Born in the U.S.A.”) Springsteen is one of the few songwriters who can put food for thought into a popular song. Even a song as dopeysounding as “Hungry Heart” has some pretty thought-provoking ideas. Just listen to the words and you’ll see. I pay attention to song lyrics — and even to the worst song lyrics humankind has had the misfortune to hear — because I think it’s probably a good idea in general to pay attention: at least to the degree that one can. If there is something to life, and I pay attention to what’s going on, there’s at least a chance I may catch a glimpse of that something before it speeds past me. And one learns, even from the worthless things. Perhaps the most singular thing I’ve learned about stupid lyrics is that they defy analysis. For once, there’s a phenomenon of life that it’s pointless to think about. Pop lyrics could


be thought of as providing a relief from the ongoing chore of analysis. As I’ve become more and more aware that I’m winding down my life, I’ve become even more disappointed in the lyrics of pop songs. I’ve tended to think that if I could find something enduring — something worth having lived for — I might find it in old movies, and, in particular, the great screwball comedies of the 1930s and 1940s. After all, all the people who were in these movies are long since dead. Before they died, did they look at or think of something in these movies, and conclude, “That was worth living for”? In these old movies, songs are much more important than they are in today’s movies. Often the stars sang the songs. For some time now, I’ve been looking over the lyrics of songs from the old movies to see if I can find in them some transcendent message. But the results are discouraging. One of the songs that’s sung most often in old movies is “The Old Oaken Bucket.” A hundred years ago, this piece of junk was probably the most popular song in the U.S. It was, in fact, adapted from an idiotic popular poem about the great sentimental value of — yes — an old oaken bucket that the poet had used to draw water up out of a well when he was a boy. The less said about it the better. In “It Happened One Night,” which some consider the greatest screwball movie, the passengers on a bus sing, “The Man On The Flying Trapeze.” Come on. “He flies through the air with the greatest of ease, “The daring young man on the flying trapeze.” Not much transcendence there. It doesn’t help to look at the lyrics of the great songwriter of the screwball comedy: Irving Berlin. Most of the songs are about one of two motifs: I love Sue and she loves me and isn’t it wonderful? — or, I love Sue and she doesn’t love me boo hoo hoo.

A hundred years ago, this piece of junk was probably the most popular song in the U.S. It was, in fact, adapted from an idiotic popular poem about the great sentimental value of — yes — an old oaken bucket. Deep down, I’m not surprised by this. Those are the two motifs that have been the stuff of Western popular songs for as long as they’ve been around. (I don’t know how long they’ve been around, but they’ve been written down in notes for about 700 years.) Once in a while, there’ll be a songwriter such as John Dowland who can, like magic, make lyrics that transform those most banal of motifs into something beautiful and fulfilling and deeply insightful — perhaps something worth having lived for. I may wind up deciding that there’s nothing better I can do with the time remaining than to listen to Dowland songs over and over. By the way, just in case anyone was wondering, I don’t listen to popular songs. I hope you have more respect for me than to think I spend my time doing something like that. However, I won’t mind singing “I Saw Her Standing There” a few dozen more times — and doing everything within my vocal power to make it sound more stupid than it did the first time I heard it. It’s amazing. Think about it. A man looks over and sees a woman. She’s standing. His heart goes boom. If I hadn’t listened to the lyrics, I would never have known that hearts go boom.

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FROM THE FUR SIDE

karla wall

Where Will Your Pet Vacation? You know you have too many dogs when the cost of boarding them for a week-long vacation comprises more than half of the cost of said trip. How do I know? First-hand knowledge — enough said. As much as we who love our pets enjoy including them in vacations, outof-town excursions and weekend getaways, it’s just not always feasible. There are business trips, and, especially during the holiday season, visits to relatives who don’t enjoy having pets in the house or yard. And, let’s be honest — just as parents enjoy time away from the kids every now and then, sometimes it’s just nice for pet owners to get away from the 24/7 responsibility of pet ownership. Especially if you have more than a couple of pets. How do you ensure your pets are well cared for and happy while you’re away? There are sitters, of course, but there’s no formal service locally that I know of (and if there is one, please let me know — I’ll pass along the info), which means you have to find a good private sitter (which are more valuable than gold; I know, I have a great one). But it has to be someone, of course, whom you trust enough to be in your home while you’re gone, and whom you

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know will responsibly care for your pets — ensure that they don’t leave your yard, are fed and have clean water, and have enough companionship. Such a per-

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son isn’t easy to find, and if you pay them what they’re worth, you end up shelling out as much money as you would for a top-notch boarding kennel

— often more. So unless you have the good fortune to have a private sitter you trust completely, a good boarding kennel just makes sense. But how do you know a boarding facility is a good one? First, it may go without saying, but start your search well in advance of your trip. You don’t want to call up the first kennel you see in the phone book, show up with your pet the day you’re scheduled to leave, and discover that the place isn’t one you would leave a tarantula in. Call all of the boarding kennels in the area well in advance, ask questions, and narrow your search down to two or three. Then visit — without an appointment or a call ahead of time. If you’re not allowed to see the kennel area during this unscheduled visit, continue your search. Even if you’re told that runs are being cleaned, demand that you at least have a look at the kennels — tell them you don’t mind the sight of someone hosing down kennel runs. Again, if your request isn’t granted, move on. What kind of questions should you ask? And what should you look for? First, trust your first impression of the exterior of the place. If you just feel that the fencing in the play areas isn’t in good shape, the building is run down, the


yards cluttered, or the place is just too small to offer what you want, go with your instinct and eliminate it from your list. Make sure the operation is licensed and zoned properly. If the place isn’t being run legally, there could be a closure at any time — and you don’t want your pets there if and when it happens. Ask to see certificates (they should be displayed prominently, anyway). Ask about the staff. Who will be caring for your dog? How long have they been at that particular kennel, and how long have they been doing this type of work? How large is the staff? If you get a chance, talk to the staff yourself. Do they have pets? Observe them at work, if you can. Take note not only of their proficiency, but their attitude toward the animals they’re working with. Are they genuinely fond of the cats and dogs in their charge, or are they going through the motions of what they consider to be just another day job? Is the place well-lit, clean-smelling, and well-ventilated? Is the chain link on the runs in good repair? Be aware of any off odors (keeping in mind, of course, that it is a kennel), and signs of disorganization, such as equipment strewn everywhere, old food left in runs, and other general signs that the owner and/or staff isn’t keeping up with the place. Make note of the food storage area. Is it clean? Are bags and containers of food clearly labeled with pet’s name and run number, and safely sealed to prevent spoilage? Is there an area to wash food and water bowls? There definitely should be — food and water bowls should be cleaned after each feeding; ask if they are. Does the facility provide a variety of kennel areas? Does it have smaller kennel runs for smaller dogs, and larger kennel runs for bigger dogs? Are some of the kennels indoor/outdoor? If not, is there a securely fenced play area? How many dogs are in the play area at one time? Does the staff let dogs who are strangers to each other out together (a big no-no), or do they allow the occupants of each run out on their own? What about the play yards? Are they picked up often, or are they a “minefield?” Are they well-turfed, or mudholes? Is the fencing secure and in good repair? Are kennel areas designed so that pets from different families are separate from each other? In other words, will your dogs be able to come into contact with dogs from other homes? For the sake of preventing the spread of infection, the answer should be no. Will your pets be able to stay in a kennel run together? There should be runs large enough to accommodate two or even three dogs. Will the kennel accommodate special feeding instructions? Will they allow you to provide your dog’s regular food? (If not, move on). Will they allow you to provide something extra (special treats, food flavor enhancers) in case your dog loses its appetite (common in boarding situations)? Is a regular feeding schedule adhered to? Will the staff accommodate a special schedule for your dogs if needed? What about your dog’s personal toys and bed — are you welcome to bring them when you drop him off? Your dog

will be much more content and feel safer if he has his familiar belongings with him. Is the facility doing what it can to minimize parasite infestation? A boarding kennel I once used required that boarding dogs have a one-time dose of a flea medication called Capstar upon being admitted. Not a bad idea. How does the kennel handle veterinary emergencies? Do they have a local vet on call? If it’s a local kennel, will they bring your dog to your regular vet for emergency treatment? If you’re boarding cats, make sure the facility keeps cats securely separated from dogs. Also ask about litter box changes, and play areas with cat toys, scratching posts and climbing features.

Perhaps as important as all of the above questions you’ll need to ask the facility owner and staff, though, are the questions they should ask you, and the requests they should make of you. Does the facility require you to furnish proof of up-to-date vaccinations? If not, move on. Do they require your vet’s name and number, your contact info, and contact info for a local friend or relative who can be contacted in case of emergency? Are you asked to write down your dog’s feeding schedule and medications (along with dosage and schedule)? All of this info is for your pet’s safety, comfort and health, and for your peace of mind, and if the kennel doesn’t demand it from you, that gives you some idea of the priority they place on you and

your pet. Remember, if they’re careful about letting your dog in, that means they’ll turn away a sick pet that may infect yours. Once you’ve decided on a facility, it’s not a bad idea to arrange for a short stay before your trip — maybe an overnight, or day boarding — just to familiarize your pet with the facility, and make yourself comfortable with leaving him there. Even if you can’t take your pet with you this holiday season, a little research and ground work can ensure that he’s happy, secure and well cared for until you return to him.

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United Way of Southwest Louisiana

CITGO United Way solicitors serving lunch at Abraham’s Tent.

FUELING OUR COMMUNITY BY CITGO EMPLOYEES

BACK TO UNITED WAY SWLA

CITGO employees are generous contributors to United Way. Every year, our employees host an internal campaign to give back to the community we love. This year, CITGO employees gave $597,390 during the CITGO United Way Fueling our Community by Giving campaign. Because of their generosity, CITGO employees were able to contribute 15 percent of the United Way’s entire SWLA region goal of $4 million, supporting needs represented in Southwest Louisiana through the holiday season and into the New Year. THANK YOU CITGO employees for giving to make this holiday season a bright one.

CITGO United Way solicitors visiting CARC.

2013 © CITGO Petroleum Corporation

CITGO Vice President & General Manager Tomeu Vadell, CHEMTURA Plant Manager and United Way SWLA Chairperson Robert Gelinas, and CITGO Government & Public Affairs Manager Dana Keel at the CITGO United Way Appreciation Celebration in September.

CITGO United Way solicitors assisting at Oasis (Women’s Shelter).


Rocky Fontenot He Has Helped Many Students Become Better Basketball Players ... And More Successful Adults When Rocky Fontenot, owner of Rocky’s Feed and Garden Supply Center in Sulphur, talks about some of the high school students he’s privately trained in the sport of basketball, he doesn’t talk much about scores or last-second, game-winning shots (although he does mention that one of his students went from barely being able to shoot 10 free throws in a row to sinking 92 of 100 with no trouble). No, what Fontenot loves to talk about is past students who have made successes of their lives. One student, he says, is a local doctor; one is a chemical engineer; one is a local business owner. And one student’s career choice led to what must have been one of the most unusual situations Fontenot’s experienced in his life. “I answered the phone one day, and a man with a low, deep voice said ‘I’m with the FBI. Do you know (the former student)? He listed you as a reference. We’d like to come and talk to you,’” Fontenot recalls. “I ended up with three FBI officers in my store. And it was one of the most eerie things I’ve ever encountered. They were just like you see on TV — like on the old TV show Dragnet. They were stiff, unsmiling. It was a bit unnerving.” The student, Fontenot says, was hired, and is “making quite a name for himself” in the Bureau. Fontenot also talks about having students attend and play basketball at colleges and universities such as Millsaps College in Mississippi, Tulane, LSU, Louisiana College, USL and Southern Missouri. I teach (players) finesse on the court,” And some of these kids, he points out, were not on track for success at all; in college or in life. “I had one student who was headed for disaster,” Fontenot says. “He was from a poverty-stricken famihe says. “I teach them basketball skills. ly, was getting into trouble, and had a 2.5 GPA in school as a freshman. (St. Louis High) Coach Keith But I also teach them life skills. I teach Kelley asked me to work with him. I asked this kid, ‘Do you want me to train you?’ He said yes, and I told them to be strong competitors without him things were going to have to be different.” being unsportsmanlike. I tell them that By the time the student graduated, says Fontenot proudly, he had a 3.5 GPA and offers from major colleges. He’s now at Tulane. it’s not about how many points you Those are the kinds of stories Fontenot loves to tell when talking of his students. score, or whether you win or lose, but “I teach (players) finesse on the court,” he says. “I teach them basketball skills. But I also teach them whether or not you contribute to the life skills. I teach them to be strong competitors without being unsportsmanlike. I tell them that it’s not team.” about how many points you score, or whether you win or lose, but whether or not you contribute to the team.” And he also instills confidence, both through improving the students’ skills on the court, and by providing loving support and a role model. “I’m almost a father figure to these kids,” Fontenot says. “I remember driving one of my students and her friends to a homecoming dance.” Fontenot has hired students to work in his store and his home, to “keep them busy, keep them off the streets and away from that God-awful X Box.” He’s also been instrumental in his students’ plans beyond high school. “(The students) give me letters they get from colleges, and ask me where I think they should go,” Fontenot says. “ I tell them to pick a college that will give them the education they need for the career they’ve chosen; one that will let them participate in a good basketball program; and one that fits their plans and their family geographically. You don’t want to go to a college across the country if your family can’t afford to fly out to see your games, and you can’t afford to fly home to see them.” Fontenot has trained students from “just about every school in the area,” he says, including Hackberry, Bell City, Lacassine and St. Louis. Oddly, though, Fontenot didn’t play school basketball himself. “I moved around so much when I was a kid that I couldn’t play on a team,” he says. “I was constantly in different schools.” But he loved the game, he says, from early childhood. He learned it inside and out, by watching games and listening to coaches. He learned coaching skills from his friendships with local coaches, and by attending clinics. In 1994, the Hackberry High School basketball coach asked Fontenot to work with one of his players. And Fontenot was hooked. “I love the kids, and I love teaching the game,” Fontenot says. Fontenot says he’s always been careful not to interfere with the team coach’s work with the students. “I never contradict the coach; that’s not what I’m there for,” he says. Rather, Fontenot’s work with the students builds finesse, mechanical skills on the court, and confidence; and it adds an extra something that’s often hard to come by for players on large teams — individual attention. “There’s no way a coach can spend an hour and a half a day with each team member,” says Fontenot. “They just can’t give that kind of individual attention.” Simply put, Fontenot says, he’s “turned a lot of kids into great kids. I gave them love, believed in them, and they developed into great people.” And, he says, he’s gotten as much out of the relationships as his students have. “I’ve been grateful to be a part of these kids’ lives,” he says. “They’ve all taught me as much as I taught them.”

Note: In each issue, Lagniappe brings you interesting features on local celebrities and movers-and-shakers. In this new column, Lagniappe looks at local “ordinary people” — people you’ve probably never heard of and who haven’t had their 15 minutes of fame, but who nevertheless have extraordinary life stories to tell. It’s a look at some of the “average joes” whose work and lives make SWLA such a wonderful and interesting place to live. If you know of an ordinary person who has done extraordinary things, call Lagniappe at 433-8502, or email edit@thelanyap.com. www.BestOfSWLA.com

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n his 90th year, Warren Sells, who grew up in Cameron Parish and Lake Charles, has a lot to look

back on. This veteran of three wars characterizes himself as an extreme introvert. But in his military career, he was an ace Navy pilot and commanded men who still respect him today. He photographed a hydrogen bomb explosion and was translator for a meeting between Khrushchev and Queen Elizabeth. He turned down a chance to be an astronaut. “I started a war,” he said. Yes, Sells was the lead pilot of the very first U.S. air raid on North Vietnam. Sadly, his distinguished career ended when an attack by antiwar demonstrators led him to resign from the Navy, leaving him bitter. Sells was born at Burrwood, in Plaquemine Parish, in 1923, when his dad John was a boat captain. When Warren was old enough, John got him a job on a dredge boat that created the Calcasieu Ship Channel, which allowed ocean-going vessels to sail up the river to the Port of Lake Charles. Sells graduated from Lake Charles

High School and went to John McNeese Junior College when it opened in 1939. He credits the rigor of classes at LCHS with his success in college. “Aunt Ruby” Sells taught at LaGrange High School, and his grandmother taught in Cameron, so he was no stranger to education. “There were only a couple hundred in my graduating class at McNeese, and only about 400 students in all,” he said. While at the school, he received the Luidal Howard Butler award for math. “I was smart, and I was good at math,” he said in a recent interview at his home in Kerrville, Texas. He received a two-year degree from McNeese. Sells with wife Theresa When World War II broke out in 1941, he said, “I didn’t want to go to war, and you didn’t have to go in the draft if you were in college, so I waiting tables and working on a boat back got a math scholarship and went to Texas home. “But I couldn’t afford to continue, so A&M.” I came back to Lake Charles,” he said. His dad was an advocate of education, That made him eligible for the draft, but Sells paid his own way in college. He and he got his orders to report to Lafayette worked his way through his junior year by for induction. A streak of impatience got

him into the Army Air Corps. “There was a long line of naked young men who had said ‘ah’ and bent over to be checked by the doctor. I was colder than hell. I noticed there was a shorter line, with only about 10 guys, so I asked someone what that line was for. He said that was for aviators and all that was required were good eyes and a stout heart. “The doctor had already determined that I had good eyes and a stout heart, so I switched lines to become an aviator. Since I had more than two years in college, I was allowed to join the Navy,” he said. “They sent me to Minnesota for aviation training. I had never touched a plane before. I had never seen snow before either. I was looking at the Stearman biplanes on the base. They were on skis, instead of wheels, for landing in the snow. “A flight instructor came over and told me to get in the second open cockpit for a flight. I just had on khaki pants and the little

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jacket they had given us to keep warm. “There was no runway; planes just landed and took off in an open field. [The flight instructor] gave me the gosport speaking tube with cups over my ears and a funnel for him to speak to me. We took off and he told me to take the stick and the throttle. We flew around for about an hour, and when we got back to the field, he told me to land the plane. “When we got back on the ground he said, ‘You’re an aviator.’ I told him, no, that was my first time in a plane. ‘Mr. Sells, you are a born pilot,’ he said.” “It was the first time in my life I was congratulated for anything,” he said wistfully. The shy high school and college student and Navy pilot had never dated. However, back at McNeese, he caught the eye of a very determined young lady. “From the first time I got to McNeese, ‘this thing’ started chasing me. She was very aggressive.” “This thing” was Theresa Isaac. Her father John was a successful real estate investor in Lake Charles. Finally Warren relented, and the two were married. The life of a Navy wife is very difficult, Sells said, so he told her he would leave the service so she wouldn’t have to endure his long absences. “She said absolutely not. She loved the Navy, and she said if I left it, she would leave me.” Even in the Navy, “I was an extreme introvert; very shy. In flight training, I was the ‘tail-end kid,’ hanging back behind the others. We flew the Grumman F6 Hellcat fighter planes the Navy used for carrierbased aviation. I went to the Pacific not long before the atomic bombs were

dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the war. “Everybody was going home. I had applied and the Navy approved me to stay in. Those who were continuing in the service were dropped off at Pearl Harbor. “One day, an officer asked if we wanted to go to Bikini [Atoll] to photograph the fleet during atomic bomb tests. We went off a little carrier, and three of us flew ahead of the B-29 bomber that carried the [thermonuclear] bomb.”

The fighters peeled off just before the bomber reached the target area, “and we headed away at top speed. “They had us all covered up, and we wore welder’s goggles. When that thing went off, I heard a big ‘ping’ as the shock wave hit the plane. The engine died. We could see that cloud 40,000 to 50,000 feet in the air. “It was instantaneous, the flash, the shock wave, that cloud.” After a bit, he was able to restart his

engine. “On my new assignment, I went from a nothing, tail-end kid to an A-bomb hero. Other men looked up to us. I could do just about anything I wanted, and when they asked me what I wanted, I told them I wanted to be in an FR-1 squadron.” The Navy’s first jet was a Ryan FR-1 Hellcat. It had an internal combustion prop engine in front and jet engine in the tail. Sells was assigned to an FR-1 squadron continued

Sells earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bronze Star www.BestOfSWLA.com

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aboard the carrier USS Ranger. When the real jets came along, he was among the first jet pilots to land on a carrier. “I was becoming a good carrier pilot,” he said. He was sent to the Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland as a test pilot to fly new airplanes. “I flew alongside Gus Grissom, Sam Shepherd and other test pilots who became astronauts,” he said. “Then the war was on in Korea. I was a night fighter pilot, or as it was called, an all-weather pilot. Today all carrier fighter

operations are at night, but I was among the first who flew off the ship at night. Of about 100 pilots on that carrier, only about six of us could land at night. It was rough, with just three flashlights to guide us in. “Our mission was interdiction: taking out trains and truck convoys to disrupt the enemy’s supply chain. “The captain called in me and Sam Shepherd, who was in my squadron, and said, ‘You’re going to be astronauts or you’re going to be in the Blue Angels.’ “I was in an A4 Skyhawk squadron. I

was a Navy Top Gun with 126 missions. Pretty good for the ‘tail-end kid from the swamps of Louisiana who was always at the back of the line.” When they left the office, “Sam kept jumping up and down with excitement, but I held back and asked if I could think it over. I went back and told him I didn’t want to be an astronaut, I wanted to be a squadron commander. Sam went his way and I went mine.” Sells went to Sandia Base in Arizona. It was all very high security.

“We were all sitting in a room, and in front of us was this 15-foot thing. We learned it was a hydrogen bomb. They told us we were going to be flying with them. I was going to be an A-bomb pilot. The official designation was special weapons pilot. “We had very intensive training. We learned to take that thing completely apart and put it back together and to attach it to the plane.” On board the carrier, the plane was surrounded by a curtain as the weapon was loaded. “My mission was Vladivostok, Russia. We knew it would be a one-way trip, because if we dropped that thing, it would take us out in the blast,” he said.

On board the carrier, the plane was surrounded by a curtain as the weapon was loaded. “My mission was Vladivostok, Russia. We knew it would be a one-way trip, because if we dropped that thing, it would take us out in the blast,” he said.

“Just in case I was shot down and survived, I went to the Navy Russian Language School. I was smart and always did well in school and at college, but this was the hardest thing I had ever done. “My plan was that if I got shot down, I would find some peasant clothes and keep my head covered. I would take a cart to act like a peasant and escape to the border.” His admiral was in a party that was to meet Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. continued 40

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“He told me I would be his translator. I was sweating blood. The next morning, Khrushchev said he wanted me to come as his translator when he met Queen Elizabeth. That little bastard could speak English, but I was one of about five interpreters around him.” Sells said Khrushchev was widely misquoted in his famous speech at the United Nations. The accepted translation was, “I will bury you [United States].” But, said Sells, “that was a misinterpretation of what

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USS Mauna Kea

he actually said. It should have been translated, ‘I will outlast you.’” The notoriety the misquote received ruined Khrushchev’s career, Sells said. After Viet Cong troops conducted damaging strikes against U.S. installations in South Vietnam, “On Feb. 7, 1965, President Johnson called the (USS) Hancock and ordered air strikes in North Vietnam. We on the USS Ranger were going to attack an army barracks at Dong Hoi, North Vietnam. They told me, ‘You are going to lead the strike.’ We were taking a sky full of planes,” he said. That was the U.S.’s first strike against North Vietnam, and Sells was first in line. According to Robert Dorr’s book Air War Hanoi, Operation Flaming Dart included 49 aircraft from the USS Coral Sea and USS Hancock and 34 planes from the USS Ranger, Sells’ ship. It was the beginning of U.S. night bombing, so visual location of targets was not easy. “I got to where I thought Dong Hoi was and dropped my bombs and said to the others, ‘You boys come on in.’” U.S. bombs and the stored ordnance “blew a hole a mile wide and a mile deep” in the ground, Sells said. “We didn’t lose a plane. When we got back to the carrier, Walter Cronkite was there and asked me a lot of questions. There was a lot I couldn’t tell him, of course. The next morning, we received a message from Washington: ‘Did you tell him this? Did you tell him that?’ “He made up what he wanted the story to be. From then on, I recorded all interviews. They were there with their recorders, and I was there with mine,” Sells said. “On our ship we used ‘Spad’ prop planes,” he said, officially the A-1 Skyraider. The Spad nickname came from the French World War I plane. For his service in Vietnam, Sells received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bronze Star. As wing commander on the Ranger, he had gone as far up as he could go as a pilot. “I had gone to the top,” he said. His future path was in ship command. “When I went on my last flight, all the Marines on board saluted me,” he said. His first ship as a ship commander was the Mauna Kea, an ammunition boat that serviced the carriers of the 7th Fleet. It had a crew of about 300. “I always told the men what I was doing, and I knew them by name. “Eventually, the 7th Fleet admiral selected me to be his operational staff commander. I only slept from 1 to 3 am and spent afternoons in the war room,” he said. “I had the job I wanted. I had gone all the way from the first strike in Vietnam to control of all the ships in the fleet.” He went on to command a naval base in Japan. But, he said, “the worst part of my life came when I was commander of the Alameda Naval Air Station in Oakland, Calif. “We were just four miles from Berkeley University, which had the biggest bunch of antiwar hippies,” he said. “I had three carriers rotating in and out of the base, and every time one went out, (demonstra-


tors) went out in boats, trying to keep (the carriers) from going to sea. There wasn’t a day I wasn’t harassed.” One day, he went to a government building off-base to consult with Coast Guard officials. The steps of the building were filled with demonstrators. When he tried to enter, Sells was surrounded by “this bunch of hippies. My hat got knocked off, and when I bent to get it, someone kicked me. When I stood, a woman spat in my face.” “To hell with you,” he thought. He turned around, abandoning his meeting, and told his driver to take him back to the base. “I wrote my letter of resignation right then,” he said. “I was so disgusted. That’s how I ended my career.” In retirement, Sells looks over letters he has received from officers and high officials, even the secretary of the Navy, but the ones that mean the most to him are from the “little guys” who served under him. After his retirement, he and his wife moved to Lake Charles and later to Kerrville to be near their daughter. Since his wife’s death, he has lived alone in his home in a neat subdivision in Kerrville. The veterans of the Mauna Kea thought so much of him that they held one of their reunions at San Antonio so that it would be near Sells’ Kerrville home.

The Navy’s first jet was a Ryan FR-1 Hellcat. It had an internal combustion prop engine in front and jet engine in the tail. Sells was assigned to an FR-1 squadron aboard the carrier USS Ranger.

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Wrap It Up Creative Ideas For Gift-Wrapping By Kristen Castillo The holidays are hectic, and giftwrapping may seem like a chore. Sure, you could cover the gifts in store-bought paper or slip them into gift bags, but think again. This is a great opportunity to get creative in wrapping your gifts. Creatively wrapping a gift shows the recipient that you put time and effort into the gift, that it wasn’t just a last-minute choice. Creative wrapping can take a little (sometimes a lot) more time than traditional wrapping, but it’s not always very expensive. And many wrapping projects are family-friendly, so you can include the kids. You can consider recycling your children’s artwork. The recipient gets a one-of-a-kind gift wrap, and you get to whittle down the stack of art projects waiting for space on your refrigerator door. It’s a cost-effective and “green” choice. You can add some holiday flair to your gift wrapping by adding some sweets to the top of the package. Tie different candies to the gifts’ bows and ribbons. Choices include candy canes, lollipops, Pez dispensers or mesh bags filled with small chocolates or gummy bears. It’s fun and creative to make gift tags by tracing cookie cutter designs onto card stock or plain gift wrap. Consider using cookie cutter designs like stars, trees, snowmen and angels. Then

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cut, glue, layer and decorate the cutouts any way you want before affixing them to the present. Got a stack of last year’s used or unused Christmas cards? Give those festive designs a new purpose by trimming the wording, images or characters from the cards and turning them into gift tags.

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For example, cut out a card’s sparkly tree and glue the cutout to the wrap. From the texture of the cardstock to the color of the images, this form of upcycling can really dress up a gift. Tie a Christmas ornament to the top of the gift, or tuck one onto the handles of a gift bag. The ornaments can be stan-

dard fare or personalized. Either way, they’ll look great on the gift, and they can be reused on the tree, year after year. Use Christmas scrapbook paper and stickers to create your own gift labels or to decorate wrapping paper and gift bags. Since scrapbook paper is generally made of a thicker cardstock, it holds up well when used alone, or glued or taped to wrapping paper. Choose one color, texture or pattern as a gift-wrap look with maximum impact. For example, wrap gifts in one color like festive red; focus on the feel of your wrap using smooth paper and satin ribbons; or choose a pattern such as snowmen or reindeer to unify your gifts. Search craft websites for more ideas on ways to create memorable holiday wrap. For example, you can make iLoveToCreate’s “Glitter Gift Boxes” using gift boxes, glitter, foil, glue and a few other supplies.


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Reader Reveille Gifts For The Book Lover On Your List By Sharon Naylor Book lovers are often the easiest people to cross off your holiday list, since there are so many products on the market geared to readers both young and old. In addition to accessories such as bookends, here are some of the top gift ideas for book lovers: E-reader covers and cases. Designers such as Jonathan Adler and Lilly Pulitzer offer their signature designs in protective and stylish covers for Barnes and Noble’s Nook e-book readers and other devices, adding a sense of fashion to this practical gift. E-reader stand. Making it easier to read for a long duration, e-reader stands prop up the device for easy use. Stands and their covers come in a range of trendy bright colors, basic black or gray, and in patterned designs. E-reader sleeves. Your avid reader can slip his or her e-reader device into this padded fabric sleeve, which a growing number of Etsy artisans are

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crafting in eco-friendly fabrics, as well as fashion-forward patterned designs and monogrammed styles. Book light. Clipped onto a book or ereader, this LED light allows for easier reading in dark rooms, such as when a part-

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ner or child is sleeping. Lap desk with a cushioned bottom. The bottom is a cushion, and the top of the lap desk is hard wood or plastic, with a ridged edge to hold a book or magazine in place for easier reading. The lap desk surface also allows the reader to take notes or answer a book’s worksheet questions in a notepad or journal as they work through the latest self-help best-sellers. T-shirt with a favorite book quote or a humorous take on a book title or theme. These can be found in catalogs, such as Signals, or online. CafePress.com offers creatively designed shirts featuring “Pride and Prejudice,” “The Hunger Games,” “50 Shades of Grey” and many other titles. You can also create a custom book-themed tee, personalizing your design and slogan with your recipient’s favorite novel. A gift card to a bookstore. Your book-loving friend will get the added thrill of a guilt-free shopping spree while rifling through piles of books, magazines and other bookstore

finds. This gift is a favorite of book lovers who love being in a physical bookstore, or who have had their eye on a pricey coffee table book or book series. A book-related experience. Give the reader on your list the experience of meeting a favorite author at a book-signing event. Chain bookstores and smaller bookstores alike attract big-name authors on book tours. Surprise the reader on your list with an outing where he or she will get to meet an author, get a personalized, signed book on your dime, and get a photo with the author.


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Guy Gifts Top Christmas Gifts For Men By Sharon Naylor What to give to the guys on your list? Men can sometimes be vague when you ask them what they want, and you might get a sweet reply of “I have you, and that’s enough” from your sweetheart. But you’ll still need to wrap up something fantastic to make him smile this Christmas, and you might want to shower him with multiple presents if you know he’s giving you a collection of goodies. And there are likely other men on your list: your dad, your brother and your best guy friend. One top trend is personalized gifts. A man’s name or initials can appear on an enormous variety of “guy gifts” this year, including barbecue tool sets, personalized pilsner glass collections, dream or hobby gifts such as surfboardshaped bamboo cutting boards, even wooden bar or grill signs. Top gift picks for the guys this year also include beer recipe kits for the home brewing hobbyist. Add a fun FYI to his gift by printing out the recipes of what may have been the first beers ever brewed at the

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White House — a honey porter and honey ale. You can find the recipe on the website AskMen.com. Scotch and bourbon are also hot gift picks this year, especially small-batch distillery liquors from a well-known brand. A collection of those bottles in his bar would give him extra status by having them to serve to friends. For your sports fan, there are always pro-style jerseys with the name of a favorite player, especially if the player has just been traded to a new team and your guy’s entire jersey and T-shirt collection is outdated. Load him up with NFL, NBA, NHA or


FIFA gear such as team logo coasters, drink cozies and coolers sporting his team’s logo. You might also consider getting him an upgrade in your cable television plan to the full sports package or NFL plan to expand his game-viewing access. There are always tickets to a professional game, which he’ll appreciate because he knows how hard these are to come by. You might buy them through the team’s official ticket purchase site, or acquire those two great seats via a colleague or relative who owns season tickets. (Be wary of online auction sites, since a disreputable seller could be hawking fake tickets.)

Gadgets are always great gifts for men, from an upgraded heart monitor for a runner to a GPS golf watch for the golfer in your life. A grilling time will help him pull those filet mignons (which you can give him with the grill timer) off the fire at the perfect time. Home improvement-type guys love laser levels and other tools that help them get weekend projects done faster. And a gift card to the home improvement store never fails, but these tech “toys” are often something guys wouldn’t indulge in when they’ve gone to the store for fertilizer, furnace filters and light bulbs.

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Holiday Music A Musical Time Warp By Sharon Naylor Book lovers are often the easiest people to cross off your holiday list, since there are so many products on the market geared to readers both young and old. In addition to accessories such as bookends, here are some of the top gift ideas for book lovers: E-reader covers and cases. Designers such as Jonathan Adler and Lilly Pulitzer offer their signature designs in protective and stylish covers for Barnes and Noble’s Nook e-book readers and other devices, adding a sense of fashion to this practical gift. E-reader stand. Making it easier to read for a long duration, e-reader stands prop up the device for easy use. Stands and their covers come in a range of trendy bright colors, basic black or gray, and in patterned designs. E-reader sleeves. Your avid reader can slip his or her e-reader device into this padded fabric sleeve, which a growing number of Etsy artisans are crafting in ecofriendly fabrics, as well as fashion-forward

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patterned designs and monogrammed styles. Book light. Clipped onto a book or ereader, this LED light allows for easier reading in dark rooms, such as when a partner or child is sleeping.

Lap desk with a cushioned bottom. The bottom is a cushion, and the top of the lap desk is hard wood or plastic, with a ridged edge to hold a book or magazine in place for easier reading. The lap desk surface also allows the reader to take notes or answer a book’s

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worksheet questions in a notepad or journal as they work through the latest self-help best-sellers. T-shirt with a favorite book quote or a humorous take on a book title or theme. These can be found in catalogs, such as Signals, or online. CafePress.com offers creatively designed shirts featuring “Pride and Prejudice,” “The Hunger Games,” “50 Shades of Grey” and many other titles. You can also create a custom book-themed tee, personalizing your design and slogan with your recipient’s favorite novel. A gift card to a bookstore. Your book-loving friend will get the added thrill of a guilt-free shopping spree while rifling through piles of books, magazines and other bookstore finds. This gift is a favorite of book lovers who love being in a physical bookstore, or who have had their eye on a pricey coffee table book or book series. A book-related experience. Give the reader on your list the experience of meeting a favorite author at a book-signing event. Chain bookstores and smaller book-

stores alike attract big-name authors on book tours. Surprise the reader on your list with an outing where he or she will get to meet an author, get a personalized, signed book on your dime, and get a photo with the author. When they share the photo with friends and family online, the exciting news becomes a gift that keeps on giving. A homemade reading coupon. Give your book lover a blissfully quiet afternoon of time to read uninterrupted while you tend to the chores and the kids.


Gifts For Co-Workers Stress-Free Gifting Around The Office By Julia Price Your co-workers can be the hardest people to shop for during the holidays, or — if you just have a little fun with it — their presents can become the easiest gifts to cross off your list. For the co-workers you don’t spend a great amount of time with or aren’t as close to, a simple gift card can cover it. Even a card for as low as $5 to Starbucks can go a long way; it is easily tucked into any wallet, and will feel like a nice little surprise the next time they purchase tea and remember it’s your treat. For a coworker who drives a long way to work, a gas gift card is another practical yet thoughtful present. And the best part about gift cards is that if your co-worker hates it, he or she can regift it and pay it forward. A more personalized yet budgetfriendly gift idea is to personalize office supplies, such as pens and pencils. On average, you can find a 12-piece engraved pencil set for roughly $9.99. It may sound simple, but people get excited when they feel important, and because pencils and pens are used often, your gift will be a constant reminder that you took the time to make them feel special. It will surely add a smile to their faces. You can find more information at personalizationmall.com. Perhaps you work at a startup or a smaller company where the whole group of employees is really close. You may want to suggest a Secret Santa or grab bag exchange with a price limit so that everyone can splurge a little more on one bigger present rather than buy lots of smaller ones for everybody. This also creates a sense of camaraderie among your coworkers. A Secret Santa allows you to focus on the person whose name you picked and start paying attention to what that person likes. You will start to notice more about the person and the photos he has on his desk, the electronics he uses most often, and what his favorite pastimes are. If you decide to try the grab bag approach instead, you can reach out to your fellow employees and brainstorm about what type of gift you should get. There is definitely more risk involved here, but you get to be more spontaneous. Some gifts that tend to work for everyone are fleece blankets (that could even be kept at someone’s desk), a personalized T-shirt with a work-related inside joke or funny slogan, a gift card to a popular restaurant and a coffee table photo book — for example, one with photos of the area. This type of book is not usually something someone would buy for himself, yet it’s a warm and interesting read for guests who visit a home. Don’t forget to take care of the cleaning crew, the mail crew, the security personnel, and everyone else who helps keep

your office running smoothly behind the scenes. You can collect cash from your co-workers and pool these funds together to give out in cards or envelopes. Another idea — and this could also be used as a gift idea for your co-workers — is to bake something for each person and wrap your

goodies in a festive way. (Just make sure you are aware of every one’s allergies.) When it comes to your boss, don’t pull a “Christmas Vacation” — you know, the classic movie in which the evil boss has an office filled with identical gifts. If your boss loves scotch, sure, go

ahead and give him a nice bottle, but don’t stretch beyond your budget. Again, pay attention to what he likes, and remember that in this and any case, thoughtfulness always leads to a great gift.

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Birthday Grinch Celebrating Birthdays During The Holiday Season

That little bundle of joy you brought home, your personal Christmas present, might not feel so special about being overshadowed every year on his or her birthday. When everything is adorned in holiday decor and your budget is stretched thin from holiday gift giving, it’s hard to make the birthday child feel like a star. Being denied that special day can make a child feel cheated, especially when siblings are opening holiday presents, too. What’s a parent to do? After all, you can’t change the calendar ... or can you? Here are some suggestions from parents

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who’ve learned to deal with the same thing. Make sure that you schedule a separate celebration for your child. Most families hope to keep costs down, and separate parties and presents can be a strain. However, there are ways to throw a fun party and still minimize the budget. Since it is so close to other family gatherings, simply host a smaller childrenonly party serving cake and ice cream. Extended families can save their visits and presents for the holiday celebrations. If you’ve saved for a very special or expensive gift for your child to put under the tree, then by all means go for a less expensive gift for his or her birthday. Showing your child love does not need to break the bank. Younger children usually enjoy coloring books, crayons, puzzles and other trinkets. Older children might enjoy toiletries, CDs, computer games and popular books. Teens will appreciate posters, makeup, books for an e-reader, and clothing. Pick things you might normally buy your child, but try to make it a little more special. Funky wrapping paper or handmade cards can add an extra personal touch. No matter how convenient it might be, refrain from using the holiday wrapping paper to wrap the birthday presents. Ensure that the celebration does not appear to be a winter or holiday party. Depending on your budget, you could arrange a swim party. Contact a local school, community center or hotel to find out the possibility of bringing party guests there for an indoor swim. An indoor party can have a beach theme, with cardboard palm trees, plastic sand pails used for goodie bags, and a picnic with towels on the carpeting. Consider serving cupcakes made in ice cream cones and topped with sprin-

kles and cherries, baking a cake in the shape of a whale, or even making a simple sheet cake look like a beach. Tiny umbrellas complete the look. Fantasy castles and superhero costumes may be the perfect touch for your child. Summer vacation postcards make great invitations, too, and will clue your guests into the slight shift in the calendar. If planning too many activities in such a short amount of time seems overwhelming, you can rearrange the calendar. Throw a unique birthday party by celebrating your son or daughter’s halfbirthday. This might work better for an older child who will not be easily confused by the time warp. Emphasize the half-birthday theme by scheduling the party at half-past the hour, serve a halfcircle birthday cake, send invitations that look like a ticket torn in half, etc. Imagine how happy your child will be to celebrate their December birthday with a backyard barbecue and a Slip ‘N Slide. It’s not solely children who like to feel special and remembered on their birthdays. If your significant other is a winter baby, try to keep the day special. Dinner out doesn’t have to be at an expensive restaurant; it can be a local diner or even take-away. If it’s a workday, think about sending flowers, balloons or a cake for the break room. You can remember the day with something special, while staying within your December budget, such as a new paperback novel by a favorite author, an envelope with scratch-off lottery tickets, a travel mug for the commute to work, or even just a romantic birthday greeting card.

1930 ETHEL 433-5882

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Did You Get My Gift? The Etiquette Behind Asking By Sharon Naylor If you’ve sent a holiday gift to a distant friend, relative or client, and you haven’t received a call or email thanking you for it, you might get anxious. “What if it got lost in the mail?” “What if the company I ordered it from never sent it, but they have my money?” With these concerns swirling in your mind, you might wonder whether it’s a good idea to make a phone call and simply ask whether they received it. Don’t pick up the phone just yet, and hold off on that “Did you get it?” email. Give the recipient at least two weeks to get around to writing a thank-you note. After all, the post-holiday time can be as busy for people as the pre-holiday weeks, with holiday decor cleanup and visiting with relatives the week after Christmas. The end of the year is also a busy time in many careers, and many well-intentioned recipients may simply be too busy at work to tackle thank-you messages. While it would be lovely if people sent out thank-you messages the moment they receive a gift, not everyone is so

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prompt. They might have ordered custom thank-you notes featuring a photo of their child, and the notes haven’t arrived yet. Or they might fully intend to send thankyou notes, and might even have the pack of new cards on their dining room table, but they haven’t yet gotten around to writing them by hand and mailing them out. Whatever the reason, time passes, and soon it’s weeks or even months after Christmas, and those notes still have not been sent. If you were to call a few days after Christmas asking whether your gift had arrived, it could make the recipient feel terrible that he or she hasn’t sent a thankyou note. Or the recipient could take your phone call as a chastisement, a way of putting them down for not having good etiquette. Neither of these is a desirable outcome. So you should go ahead and ask — but wait awhile. You certainly can make yourself feel better by checking the tracking on gift orders you’ve placed online, and the U.S. Postal Service now puts tracking num-

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bers on first-class packages. (Visit http://www.usps.gov to track your parcels.) This will show you when the gift was delivered. If you fail to receive a thank-you note, however, you might feel insulted. You put a lot of time and thought into the gift you chose, and you spent a pretty penny buying it and having it shipped. How ungrateful of the recipient to fail to thank you properly! Or you might feel disappointed, because you really want to hear how much the recipient loves the very special and sentimental gift you chose just for them, one you spent weeks hunting down online, or something you made with loving care. That’s understandable, but don’t let it rush you into making a call too soon. What matters most is how you ask. “I’m just checking to make sure your gift reached you” is perfectly to the point, with the unspoken message being that you care about their receiving a gift. If you were to call and say, “I never heard from you about your gift,” that has a con-

demning tone to it, and you’ll get an uncomfortable apology instead of a glowing, happy thank you. If the recipient says it never arrived, then it’s time to call the company you ordered the gift from to inquire about a replacement delivery or getting your money back. So make the call, communicate clearly, and never ever post a “Did my give arrive?” message on someone’s Facebook page. It is extremely poor etiquette to shame someone in front of everyone they know, and it makes you look terrible in the process.


Safe Shopping Minimize Christmas Shopping Dangers By Chelle Cordero Preparing for the Christmas holiday usually involves making a list and checking it twice (at least), and lots of trips to shopping centers. All of that money changing hands and bundles of expensive merchandise just waiting to be gift-wrapped can prove to be a huge temptation for the naughty people on Santa’s list, and a potential danger for the shopper. Here are some cautionary tips for holiday shoppers. — Park your car in well traveled and well lighted areas. Always lock your car doors and trunk, and set the alarm if you have one. Be aware of your surroundings. When returning to your car, have your car keys ready in your hand. Do not use a “clicker” to unlock your car before you reach it. — Visit the shopping centers during the day, if possible, and preferably with a shopping partner, especially if you shop in the evening. Carry a whistle with you to use for attention if needed. — Dress casually and comfortably; wear shoes you can easily walk or even run in. If you are carrying a purse, hold it close to your body. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or wearing headphones. — Don’t carry a lot of cash; do most of your shopping with a credit card or check. If you do carry cash, put it in your front pocket, and don’t flash it around. Ensure that only your salesclerk can see any necessary ID, and do not toss sales receipts with credit card numbers. — Don’t overload on packages to the point where your view or ability to move is seriously encumbered. Several stores offer assistance to escort shoppers and help carry packages to the car. — Do not load your car with packages and then go back into the stores to do more shopping. Even if you put your packages out of sight, such as in the trunk, thieves may be watching and waiting to break into your car as soon as you are out of sight. — Be wary of strangers who approach

you to ask the time, directions or to start up a conversation. Do not give any strangers access into your vehicle. Carry a cell phone, and call for professional help if your car is disabled. Lock your car doors from inside once you enter your vehicle. Shopping with children in a crowded store adds another level of danger. Children are easily fascinated by bright decorations and displays, and can easily wander off. A parent, intent on fulfilling special holiday wishes, may get distracted for just that one moment and suddenly lose the child. If this happens, immediately notify both law enforcement and the store manager. Many stores have trained their employees to follow “Code Adam” steps: — Obtain a detailed description of the child, including what he or she is wearing. — Page “Code Adam.” Describe the child’s physical features and clothing. — Designated employees will immediately stop working, look for the child and monitor front entrances to ensure the child does not leave the premises. — Ensure that law enforcement is notified. — If the child is found and appears to have been lost and unharmed, reunite the child with the searching family member. — If the child is found accompanied by someone other than a parent or legal guardian, make reasonable efforts to delay their departure without putting the child, staff or visitors at risk. Immediately notify law enforcement, and give details about the person accompanying the child. — Cancel the “Code Adam” page after the child is found. Shoppers are also cautioned to be careful when shopping online. Do not click on links or attachments in unsolicited emails. Go to the retailer website directly to conduct any transactions. Don’t send any personal information via email, and don’t supply credit card numbers by phone unless you initiated the phone call. Verify the website URL with every step of the transaction to make sure you haven’t been redirected.

Our GIFT CARDS Are Perfect For Everyone On Your List!

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Bull’s Eye! This issue marks the 20th anniversary of Lagniappe’s Best of Southwest Louisiana. For two decades, Lagniappe’s been rounding up readers’ ballots and singling out the hometown favorites. You won’t need a posse or a bounty hunter to find the best food, services, goods, gifts, entertainments and arts in these here parts. Just take a gander at the winners that are listed large as life in the following pages. This year’s "Shootout at the LC Corral" been a long ride, but also a fun and informative one. So, giddy up, partner! And ride proud. You’re entering the Best Of territory now.

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I

t’s now been 20 years since Lagniappe published the results of its first Best Off of Southwest Louisiana survey. In the two decades the Best of SWLA has existed, four businesses have been on the list all 20 years. They haven’t always been on in the same category, but each year they’ve managed to win the public’s support for something. As it happens, all four are perennially popular food establishments that have stood the test of time. All serve dishes or drinks that are favorites of the public; any one of these might win a Best Of award in any given year. Lagniappe now takes a special look at these four repeat performers. We’ll try to determine what they’ve changed in the last 20 years and what customer-pleasing features they’ve worked hard not to change at all.

The first big move made by Darrell’s in the last two decades was the move to its present location. (The venture had opened on Ryan Street in 1985 and also spent some time on Common Street.) With the move to College Street, the owners owned both the business and the building, which they built from scratch. At first, it was a building that was designed solely for a bar. Given the enduring popularity of Darrell’s sandwiches, one might not have thought that a bar alone would be much of a draw. But owner Susie Derouen recalls, “After McNeese football games, you couldn’t walk around up front. And it wasn’t just

Susie and Darrell Derouen

young people.” Patrons have long noted the mixed nature of the crowd that congregates at Darrell’s. Much of the diversity in age at the spot is due to the fact that Susie’s late husband Darrell — the namesake of The Darrell’s Special — first opened the bar so that he’d have a watering hole for him and his friends who’d previously gathered at O.B.’s for after-work drinks. That helped create an atmosphere in which people from all generations felt comfortable. Darrell’s was open about a year before the owners realized a bar wasn’t going to bring in a lot of customers from 11 am-5 pm. That’s when the idea of the Darrell’s sandwich was born. The sandwiches enjoyed the sort of surprising immediate popularity the bar had. Susie recalls that on the first day

sandwiches were served, she called Darrell at home and told him, “I made 25 sandwiches today. “We didn’t expect [the immediate demand for the sandwiches],” says Susie. “I had to find help. It was a zoo … We were really stunned. It took off so fast. We ran out of bread. It was frightening.” Most people attribute the popularity of Darrell’s sandwiches to their unique sauce. “Darrell and I worked on that gravy and barbecue sauce together,” says Susie. “We had many trials and hits and misses.” She says she and Darrell were also the first in town to develop a jalapeno mayonnaise. Once the sandwich operations got underway, Susie settled into an extremely demanding routine in which she did paperwork from 8 to 11 am and made gravy and sandwiches from 11 am to 4 pm. With the recent death of her husband Darrell, her routine has changed, and she’ll be taking some time to continued

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Although Darrell is gone, the restaurant will continue with the same sort of enterprise it’s been known for in the past. “We’re not going anywhere,” says Susie. www.BestOfSWLA.com

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put things into perspective. She still talks of Darrell often. “He was something,” she says. “He was a good man, and I’m going to miss him.” Although Darrell is gone, the restaurant will continue with the same sort of enterprise it’s been known for in the past. “We’re not going anywhere,” says Susie. In fact, there’s substantial expansion and change underway. Darrell’s is undertaking the project of adding two new outdoor signs and five televisions to the premises. (One might not think televisions could make much of a difference to this sort of business, but apparently they do — especially when there are big sporting events. “Oh my God, [you should see it] when the Saints play,” says Susie. “And LSU …” She notes that before Darrel’s had its present battery of televisions, Saturdays could sometimes be “a little slow.” The venue has also removed the pool tables in order to create more seating. One thing that hasn’t changed over the last 20 years is the role of manager Patty, who’s remained Susie’s “best friend and right hand.” During that laborintensive start-up time for the sandwiches, Patty put in a lot of hours, and didn’t always charge for them. One of the points of pride for Susie must be the way in which the knowledge and admiration of the sandwiches has spread throughout the region — and perhaps even the country. She remembers a time when she was vacationing with Darrell in Florida, and they ran into a tourist wearing a Darrell’s shirt.

It’s been more than 30 years since Pat’s of Henderson owners Mr. and Mrs. Ricky Perioux and children conducted the grand opening of the Pat’s of Henderson restaurant off Legion on Siebarth. Perioux says his four children, Keysha, Nicholas, Natalie and Lucas have all contributed to the success of the restaurant and still do. “And,” says Ricky Perioux, “let’s not forget the dedicated staff that I would put second to no one in this industry.” The building featured a design element Perioux thinks has kept it popular right up to the present. Its division into four large dining rooms allows it to accommodate groups of 80 to 100 that most other restaurants just can’t manage. Another feature — one that would be of tremendous practical benefit for any restaurant – is seating for more than 300. It’s helped that the dining rooms have looked contemporary in design throughout the restaurant’s existence. Perioux says the entire building has been renovated twice in the last 20 years. And in July of this year, there was a major facelift to Pat’s bar. “It’s done us a lot of good,” says Perioux. “Any time you change things, it draws curiosity.” Of course, when locals talk about Pat’s, they talk about the food rather than the premises. Perioux says the original recipes of Pat’s have remained unchanged. But, he says, “We continue 58

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Ricky and Nancy Perioux

to add different types of entrees.” The restaurant adds 8-10 new items each year. This is done for the benefit of regulars. “We do that for them so they’ll have something different to choose from,” says Perioux. No one runs a 300-plus seat restaurant without a strong work ethic. It’s an ethic son Nicholas Perioux has adapted both in and outside the restaurant. “Without [my parents],” he says, “I wouldn’t have had anything to work with.” Nicholas says he’s been working in Pat’s of Henderson all his life. When he was in middle school, he worked on the weekends to make spending money. And in high school, he worked as a bus boy. With such humble beginnings, it might have been hard to see that Nicholas was following in the tradition of entrepreneurship that began in 1948 when his grandparents Pat and Agnes Huval started the original Pat’s in Henderson (where it still thrives today). As any successful entrepreneur can tell you, part of entrepreneurship is hard work. “I paid for my own college,” says Nicholas. “If you want it, you’ve got to work for it.”

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Before Nicholas got his college degree from McNeese, he’d already started his first company. At age 18, he started marketing his own spice mix — Louisiana’s Flavor. It’s still being sold today. This precocious venture may have accounted to some degree for the fact that Nicholas became the first recipient of McNeese’s Entrepreneur of the Year award. From the beginning, Nicholas planned to use his college education to contribute to the production and efficiency of Pat’s. He got “fresh ideas” from McNeese. “There’s no doubt. Some very significant things took place.” These things, says Nicholas, vastly increased the restaurant’s revenue. Because his college prep had made him “good at the numbers,” he was able to use his newly acquired knowledge to make “it all come together [at Pat’s] and make sense.” It’s still making sense. “It’s growing,” says Nicholas. “It has a lot more to grow.” This growth has a substantial foundation on which to build. As Nicholas’ father puts it, Pat’s “has a strong base in Lake Charles.”

Nicholas’ entrepreneurial bent continues to bear fruit. He’s just started a new construction company.

Almost 20 years ago, Casa Manana went through a big round of changes. Director of operations Darren Martel recalls that the operation “expanded and remodeled in 1995.” This was a real expansion. The result was an additional 120 seats — a tremendous boon for any restaurant. The expansion must have contributed a great deal to the long familiar sight of cars-parked-as-far-as-the-eyecan-see all around the venue. Also boosting business almost 20 years ago was a catering operation that Casa had been started in 1994. Along the way, Casa created signature dishes that would become draws for the area. These included, says Martel, quesadillas and “firecrackers” — dishes made with three cheeses, chicken, chorizo and secret spices. continued


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Another big development has been the opening of Que Pasa, a new Mexican restaurant affiliated with Casa, which went into business in 2006. And the expansions go on; Martel says Casa “recently purchased a food truck.” “We’ve always prepared our food fresh daily in house for 37 years,” he says. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed. “We’ve become one of SWLA’s top employers.” With all its operations, Casa now employees 200 workers. Another thing that has remained constant is the ownership and management of the restaurant by the Martel family. Representative Darrell speaks for all when he says, “We thank SWLA and love SWLA … The family Martel thanks you.”

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• “We realize our customers are the ones who made us No. 1,” says Kocik. “We would like to thank God for this blessing, and thank all the customers who have turned to our extended family and supported us for 30 years.” the point that it needed a shrimp dock and buying plant to supply the demand. Napoleonic laws and other restrictions plagued the business. In fact, Kocik eventually went to the Supreme Court on behalf of the business. To the delight of her friends, customers and business acquaintances, she emerged from court

triumphant. She, her brother and daughters used their leadership and direction to create a new phenomenon in Cajun country: one that sprang from the seafood market industry. The fruits of the labors are now enjoyed in the two Lake Charles locations of Steamboat Bill’s Cajun Seafood

Restaurants. “We realize our customers are the ones who made us No. 1,” says Kocik. “We would like to thank God for this blessing, and thank all the customers who have turned to our extended family and supported us for 30 years.”

VOTED BEST ASIAN FOOD THANK YOU SWLA!

The story of Steamboat Bill’s is known far and wide as “A Roadside Peddler’s Dream.” In 1982, Chicagoan Kathi Kocik and her three young daughters found themselves in Lake Charles. They had very little money and no friends or family in the area, but they had a strong will to survive.

Kathi Kocik

In her new surroundings, Kocik soon became known as “Kathi, The Shrimp Lady.” The title was a reflection of her bubbling personality, honesty, hard work and deep love for all human beings. She had a strong desire to deliver the freshest shrimp possible at a reasonable price and quickly. This gained her the respect of consumer and fisherman alike. “Most of Lake Charles saw us when we started peddling shrimp on the side of the road, and our move to shrimp boats and a shrimp dock in Hackberry, and our tiny little place on Highway 14 that burned down,” says Kocik. But from that tragedy, and a long passage of time, two thriving restaurants in Lake Charles eventually emerged. With the help of her brother Billy Bonamici’s, Kocik’s rapidly growing business, Steamboat Bill’s, expanded to www.BestOfSWLA.com

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BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT

121 Artisan Bistro

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT

Casa Ma単ana

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BEST CAJUN RESTAURANT

Pat's of Henderson

20 BEST ASIAN RESTAURANT

Peking Garden

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BEST BUFFET

Le Beaucoup at L'Auberge

BEST SANDWICHES

Street Breads

BEST BREAD

Panera Bread

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BEST BREAKFAST

Pitt Grill

BEST PIZZA

Tony's Pizza

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BEST SOUP

Panera Bread

BEST HOME COOKING

Leonard's Food Quarters

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BEST PO-BOYS

Darrell's

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Accidents • Wrongful Death • Serious Personal Injury Criminal, Domestic Law Cases

Larry A. Roach (1932-2003) Barry A. Roach • Larry A. Roach, Jr. Fred C. "Bubba" LeBleu • David M. Hudson

2917 Ryan St. • Lake Charles (337) 433-8504 • Fax (337) 433-3196

BEST PLATE LUNCH

Hackett's

If You Want The Very Best, Don't Waste Time ... Go To Hackett's Cajun Kitchen!

BEST SEAFOOD

Steamboat Bill's

Located 2-1/2 miles South of Super Wal-Mart on Highway 14 is the place everyone is talking about - Hackett's Cajun Kitchen! Over 20 years ago, Charlie and Karen Hackett created a place where you can enjoy the best boneless stuffed chickens around...stuffed with your choice of: Cornbread or Rice Dressing; Shrimp Boudin; or Crawfish Boudin! Talk about great food...Hackett's is also home of the best plate lunch in Lake Charles... Talk about heaven for your palate...Hackett's also has 6 kinds of boudin: mild or spicy, regular, mild or spicy smoked, crawfish, or shrimp. Oh, yes, and 10 kinds of sausage, including andouille! Local owner Karen Hackett and her dedicated staff say "We invite everyone to Hackett's!" and "Thank You, SWLA for choosing us Best Cracklins, Best Boudin, Best Home Cooking, and Best Plate Lunch year after year in Lagniappe's Reader's Choice Awards." Great Food, Nice People...everyone is heading for Hackett's!!

5614 Hwy 14 • 2 1/2 Miles S. of Super Wal-Mart 474-3731 • 7:30am-3pm Monday thru Saturday

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BEST BARBECUE

BBQ West

BEST CRAWFISH

Steamboat Bill's

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BEST GUMBO

BEST FRIED SHRIMP

Mr. Bill's

Mr. Bill's

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BEST CRAB

Seafood Palace

BEST STEAK

Harlequin

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BEST CATERERS

Reeves Uptown Catering

BEST TECH STORE

Best Buy

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BEST BANK

Iberia Bank

BEST CREDIT UNION

CSE Federal Credit Union

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BEST ANTIQUE STORE

French Quarter

BEST TREE SERVICE

Mark's Tree Service

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BEST FURNITURE STORE

New Look Furniture

BEST HOME IMPROVEMENT STORE

Stine Lumber

BEST HARDWARE STORE

Trahan's

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BEST AUTO DEALER

Billy Navarre

BEST TIRE DEALER

Pumpelly Tire

BEST DRY CLEANERS

AAA Drive-In Cleaners www.BestOfSWLA.com

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BEST AUTO MECHANICS

Service Tire & Auto

BEST HAIR SALON

Salon W

BEST SPA

Spa du Lac at L'Auberge

BEST MASSAGE THERAPY

Special Touch

NEARLY 100 MORE WINNERS WILL BE REVEALED IN OUR NEXT EDITION ... ON NEWSSTANDS DEC. 19 78

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Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve known that there was no Santa Claus, but I still followed along with another common tradition of my own — watching Christmas-themed movies. Now, I don’t mean flicks like Miracle on 34th Street, or Scrooge: A Christmas Carol. All of the happy, sappy family-friendly films that people swear by weren’t really my plastic cup of eggnog. I was more into awesome movies like Trading Places, Die Hard, and Jingle All The Way (it had Arnold Schwarzenegger, which equates to awesome). So, the silly, boring Christmas cinema probably won’t make it to this list. But, you, the adults in the room who know that they are still people and have not yet become skin-coated androids walking about pretending to be humans, I’m sure will appreciate these picks. All of the following films are rated R, and if you’re outraged by that, please take my sincerity to heart and feel free to revisit Shrek the Halls again. I’ll try to keep this list in order for the cool kids.

5.I Bad Santa love this movie! For all of its crude and lewd humor, there’s actually a message more powerful than any of that “any time a bell rings” nonsense you’ve heard in the past. Bad Santa is the tale of a has-been, alcoholic safe cracker Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) and his vertically challenged boss Marcus (Tony Cox), who dress up as Santa and Elf to rob shopping malls on Christmas day. Pretty brilliant plan, and it worked for years before Willie began to self destruct. Now they’re on their last job continued

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Five Movies

continued

and have to figure a way around the current mall’s head of security (Bernie Mac R.I.P.) who is threatening to rat them out if they do not pay him half of their take. Plot Summary: A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot. Willie’s antics as he tries to rediscover his soul are hilarious. The trick pulled on the audience by Bad Santa, though, is how much you find yourself caring about these terrible people. Thornton does an amazing job of bringing a certain trashy relatability to his Willie character that will make you understand him and hope to never be him at the same time. I cry every time at the end.

it’s Christmas Eve, and this year Charlie Arglist (John Cusack) just might have something to celebrate. Charlie, an attorney for the sleazy businesses of Wichita, and his unsavory associate, the steely Vic Cavanaugh (Thornton) have just successfully embezzled $2 million from Kansas City boss Bill Guerrard (Randy Quaid). But as daylight fades and an ice storm whirls into town, the men are stuck — and the 12 hours of Christmas Eve are filled with surprises. I hate remakes (this movie is not technically a remake), but I’ve always loved the concept behind the ridiculously bad film Trapped in Paradise, and had thought for years that it should be properly represented. The Ice Harvest gives you everything you want in a Christmas movie. The scenes that give the hardest laughs are the “gas station‚” “assassin in the box‚” “Christmas turkey‚” “hitting on the bartender,” the scene directly following the “hitting on the bartender” scene‚ and the “As Wichita falls, so falls Wichita Falls” moments. Instant classic!

4.Thornton ThedoesIce Harvest 3. Kiss Kiss, it again in The Ice Harvest, but this time he does it as an alcoBang Bang holic, chain-smoking conman. Okay, I guess that’s kind of the same character sans the jolly red suit, but he’s so good at it that we can all forgive him. John Cusack is also one of the main protagonists of the story, playing a sleazy lawyer who thinks he’s better than the criminals he represents, and who ironically decides that stealing millions of dollars from his clients and escaping town is a noble idea. Plot Summary: Larceny, lust and lethal behavior. In icebound Wichita, Kansas,

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Before he was Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr. hadn’t been seen since being Ally McBeal’s boyfriend. Now he’s a household name, and one of the coolest people in Hollywood (maybe even the world). Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is largely to thank for that. Shane Black is the best unknown writer you’ll read about today. Just because


Oprah hasn’t told everyone he’s great doesn’t mean you’re not already familiar with his work. He wrote Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, The Long Kiss Goodnight and many others. Black’s first outing as a director was with Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, and he bravely chose to anchor his movie around a relatively unknown Downey before he was cool, and a pre-fat Val Kilmer. It paid off big time in that this movie is near flawless in every way. Plot Summary: Mistaken for an actor, small-time crook Harry Lockhart (RDJ), finds himself in the midst of the Hollywood community. He’s paired up with private detective Gay Perry (Kilmer) to get some training for his role, but things begin to get weird when they witness a real murder. This movie is the perfection of the Noir genre, and you owe it to yourself to watch it. This film is part of my “best friend” litmus test; if you don’t like it, we can’t be friends. ‘Nough said.

2.IsThe Ref Kevin Spacey a good actor? Absolutely. Is Dennis Leary related to Conan O’Brien? First cousins, actually. Did you pretend to love The Breakup but truly think it was a cruddy knockoff version of War of the Roses? Well, people, The Ref might be the perfect holiday movie for you. Never has it been more fun to watch a couple bicker over nothing. There is a moment in this flick when Spacey freaks out in front of his entire family that bests almost any “anger” performance in all of the Zack Snyder slowness that is 300. continued

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Plot Summary: Dennis Leary plays an unfortunate cat burglar who is abandoned by his partner in the middle of a heist gone wrong, and is forced to take an irritating Connecticut couple (Kevin Spacey, Judy Davis) hostage. He soon finds that he took on more than he bargained for when the couple’s blackmailing son and despicable in-laws step into the picture. Before long, they’re driving him nuts with their petty bickering and family problems. The only way for him to survive is to be their referee and resolve their differences, before he is nabbed by the police. All can identify with the pains that this married couple are going through, even if your spouse never makes you wear a headpiece made entirely of vines and lit candles (that actually happens in this movie, and it’s not dumb). Leary’s rant at the very end is timelessly quotable.

1. ADie Hard true classic. I recommend this movie to all of my friends with kids. Yep, I’m saying that children over the age of 8 should watch Die Hard with their parents. I’m no psychologist, but I believe that if more kids witnessed the awesome that is John McClane, there would be no more Bieber haircuts. All kids would want for Christmas this year would be a receding hairline, sleeveless undershirts and a book of one-liners. Plot Summary: New York cop John McClane flies to Los Angeles on Christmas eve to spend the holidays with his family. He arrives at the Nakatomi Tower building for his wife’s office party. International terrorists take over the building and hold everyone hostage to steal $600 million of bonds from the vault of the building. Now it’s up to McClane to face the terrorists and save his wife and the other hostages.

Being that this movie is the perfect action movie, I cannot recommend it enough. This movie unites generations because it is so good. Your mom, dad, grandma, grandpops, aunts, uncles and annoying second cousins can all come together with an appreciation for Die Hard. Now you have a real Christmas movie list. Ho Ho Ho.

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Photo By Danley Romero

LCCB'S RUDOLPH ACTS PRESENTS WHITE CHRISTMAS ACTS Theatre will present White Christmas each Friday-Sunday, Dec. 6-15, at ACTS’ 1 Reid St. Theatre. Curtain times are 7:30 pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 pm Sundays. Admission is $25 for adults, and $15 for students. For more information, call 433-2287.

PURPLESTRIDE WALK Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s PurpleStride Lake Area 2013 walk will take place Dec. 7, 7 am-1 pm, at Prien Lake Park at 3700 West Prien Lake Road. Adult pre-registration is $25, children participate for free. For more information, contact Kristi Remy at 515-0416.

J & R HOLIDAY CARRIAGE RIDES J & R Carriage Rides is offering holiday carriage rides through the decorated neighborhoods of Downtown Lake Charles through Dec. 31. Each evening, the decorated horse-drawn carriages will roll past the beautifully decorated homes along Shell Beach Drive. Reservations are required. For reservations or more information, call 842-0778.

The Lake Charles Civic Ballet (LCCB) will present its classic Christmas ballet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer December 12-14 at the Rosa Hart Theater. Created in 1969 by Lady Leah Lafargue Hathaway, Rudolph has delighted audiences every 2 to 4 years since its first performance. As it was from the first, the ballet is choreographed and set by the artists of the LCCB. The ballet opens in Santa’s workshop, as the elves prepare puppets, dolls and other toys. The reindeer show off their flying skills. Then the audience visits countries around the world to see how children in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan and Saudi Arabia celebrate Christmas. Finally, there’s a vicious snow storm with dancing snowflakes and the Snow Queen. Finally, the audience watches Rudolph’s bright red nose fly over their heads in the theater. School group matinee performances will take place Dec. 12-13 at 9 and 11 am. Tickets for matinees are $5 per student. On Saturday, Dec. 14, there will be an 11 am matinee and 6 pm gala. Tickets for these performances are $10 for students and $15 for adults. Reservations can be made via the LCCB website at lakecharlescivicballet.com; or contact Kelly Gifford at 802-5779. Find more information about the ballet on Facebook.

CENTRAL SCHOOL HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE Central School Arts and Humanities Center will host a Holiday Open House Dec. 5, 5-8 pm, and Dec. 6, 10 am-4 pm. Visitors can enjoy the extensive holiday lighting and ornaments, hors d’oeuvres and music. The event will also feature a holiday art market, with 10 percent of proceeds going to fund area art scholarships. A donation center will be available for visitors to drop off art supplies such as crayons, markers, drawing pads, paintbrushes, paints, etc. for at-risk youth. For more info, call 439-2787.

DELTA DOWNS TREES OF HOPE Delta Downs Racetrack and Casino will host an exhibit of trees decorated by local charities Dec. 6-18 in the Delta Promenade. Visitors can vote on their favorite trees. Cash awards will be given to the top 15 trees at an awards ceremony Dec. 20, 7 pm. For more information, call 589-7441.

MSU HOLIDAY ART SALE The McNeese State University Student Art Association will host its annual holiday art sale Friday, Dec. 6, 8 am-4 pm, in the Grand Gallery on the first floor of the Shearman Fine Arts Annex. The sale will feature over 300 artworks produced by McNeese art students during the fall semester. Works will include wheelthrown as well as hand-built ceramic vessels, photographs, drawings, artists’ books, paintings, mixed media works, and a wide range of printing processes. For more information, contact the McNeese Department of Visual Arts at 475-5060.

CANCER TREATMENT EDUCATION PROGRAM The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will host a free educational seminar on cancer treatment Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Reeves Uptown Catering, 1639 Ryan St. in Lake Charles. Registration will begin at 5:30 pm. A complimentary dinner will be served, following the program, at 6 pm. The program, Cancer Treatment: How to Make Informed Choices About Standard Care and Clinical Trials, will be presented by Rev. Stephen A. Hebert RN, RNFA, BS HCA, who has spent 15 years in medical research, eight of which have been spent in cancer research. The program will be followed by an “Ask the Doctor” panel.

CTC CINDERELLA HOLIDAY DINING The Children’s Theatre Co. will host the Cinderella holiday character dining Saturday, Dec. 7. Seating begins at noon. Children will enter the building through a castle covered in icicles and surrounded by toy soldiers. They will be joined their favorite storybook characters, including Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Prince, Snow White, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin for a meal of pizza, dessert and drink. Hot cocoa and gingerbread will also be served. Characters will sign autographs and be available for photos. Children are encouraged to wear their favorite costume. Cost is $25 per person. Seating is limited, and reservations must be made by calling the theatre box office at 337-433-7323 or visiting childrenstheatre.cc.

FUSION FIVE’S 5K ZOMBIE RUN Fusion Five, Southwest Louisiana’s Young Professionals Organization, will host their second annual 5K Run, End of the Human Race: Camp Zombie, to be held at Camp Edgewood on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014. Participants can choose to be a runner or a zombie. Runners will be outfitted with a belt of flags and run through zombiefilled woods trying to escape with at least one flag on their belts. After participants run for their lives, all are welcome to enjoy food, beverages and music from Lucy in Disguise. There will be prizes in multiple categories including Best Zombie. Early registration is now open. For more information or to register, visit endofthehumanrace.com or “Like” their Facebook page at facebook/EndoftheHumanRace. www.BestOfSWLA.com

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take place at 5 pm. The ceremony will be followed by the boat parade at 6:30 pm, and fireworks over the lake at 7:15 pm. Recording artist Blake Rogers will perform her new single “It’s Finally Here, Christmas Time” during the lighting ceremony. The 11-year-old singer recently released the video for “Pretty Girl Swag,” a pop/hip hop inspired track about a pop princess going on a shopping spree. Other entertainment will include the St. Louis Show Band, a recital of the Cajun Night Before Christmas by Gumbeaux Gator, and a performance of Christmas carols by the Girl Scouts. Eight-year-old J.J. Johnson student Christian White will assist Mayor Randy Roach with flipping the switch at 6 pm to light up the ornaments. All events are free for attendees as well as participants. For more info, call 4919159.

SENIOR CHRISTMAS PARTY A Christmas party for senior citizens age 60 and over will take place Dec. 12, 10 am-2 pm, at the Lake Charles Civic Center. The event will begin with a continental breakfast. There will be a live band, Christmas carols performed by children, a full lunch and bingo.

CHRISTMAS CONCERT CHRISTMAS UNDER THE OAKS FESTIVAL Sulphur’s Christmas Under the Oaks Festival will take place Dec. 6-7 at the Henning Cultural Center, 923 South Ruth St., in the Heritage Square in Sulphur. On Friday, Dec. 6, the festival will include a Holiday House at 10 am; carnival rides at 4:30 pm; performances by Boomerang at 5 pm, followed by The

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Molly Ringwalds at 7 pm. On Saturday, Dec. 7, a Holiday House will begin at 10 am; carnival rides open at noon; Sulphur Kuwanis Christmas Parade will begin at 3 pm; a performance by Louisiana Express at 4 pm; a 2013 Spectacle of Lights lighting of the tree, with snow, at 6 pm; and LA Roxx performs at 7 pm. The Holiday House will feature a preview party Thursday, Dec. 5 from

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6:30-9:30 pm. Tickets are $40. For more info, call 527-0357.

LC LIGHTING CEREMONY The Lake Charles Lighting Ceremony will take place Dec. 7. A street parade will be held at 2 pm; Santa’s Workshop will begin at 3 pm; a concert by the Lake Charles Community Band will begin at 3:30 pm, and the lighting ceremony will

The “Christmas Spirits” Christmas Concert will take place Dec. 6, 7:30 pm, at Immaculate Conception Cathedral at 935 Bilbo St. The Masterworks Chorale Concert will feature works of John Leavitt, Mack Wilberg, and John Williams. The Bayou Bell Choir and Les Petites Voix (children’s choir) will join Masterworks for the concert. Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for students. For info, call 274-2012.


LIVING CHRISTMAS NATIVITY

DEQUINCY CHRISTMAS PARADE

First Baptist Church, located at 830 Hodges St. in Lake Charles, will present “Come Messiah King,” a dramatic retelling of the Christmas story, along with classic Christmas favorites. Performances will take place Dec. 1415 at 6 pm. Admission is free. For more information, call 433-1443.

The DeQuincy Christmas parade will begin at 5:30 pm at Nicholls Dry Goods. A Christmas program will begin at 6:15 in downtown DeQuincy. Festivities will end with a fireworks display at the ballpark at 7:30 pm.

‘THE MESSIAH’ An experience for the entire family, the 73rd production of “The Messiah” will take place Dec. 8 at 3 pm in the F.G. Bulber Auditorium at McNeese State University. The performance will include four soloists, who are all McNeese students, and will feature limited selections. For more information, contact Patricia C. Bulber at 477-0662.

TASTE OF THE HOLIDAYS The DeQuincy Civic Club will host a tour of several decorated are homes Dec. 7, beginning at 4:30 pm. The tour will be followed by the Taste of The Holidays event at the JCE Center at 6 pm. Tickets are $15. For more information, call 2743572.

HOLIDAY EXPRESS TRAIN The Kansas CIty Southern’s Holiday Express will make a stop at the DeQuincy Railroad Museum, located at 400 Lake Charles Ave., Friday, Dec. 6, 4 pm. The six-car train is decked out for the holidays, and Santa and his elves are on board for visits with children.

and sausage gumbo in the area during the Gumbo Cook-off, followed with judging. The parade will begin at 5:30 pm down Main Street, followed by live entertainment, a bonfire, and fireworks at 7:30 pm at the park. Admission is free. For more information, call 821-5532.

JENNINGS CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL

MOSS BLUFF CHRISTMAS PARADE

The Jennings Christmas Festival and Gumbo Cook-off will take place Dec. 7, 4:30 pm, at the Louisiana Oil & Gas Park, located at I-10 and La. Hwy. 26 in Jennings. At 2 pm, food vendors will begin selling festival dishes. Starting at 4:30 pm, sample some of the best chicken

The Moss Bluff Christmas parade will take place Dec. 14, beginning at 2 pm, in downtown Moss Bluff. For more information, call 855-7522.

MSU PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER The McNeese Department of Performing Arts will present The Nutcracker Dec. 13-15. Performances are 7:30 pm Dec. 13 and 14, with a matinee performance at 2 pm Dec. 15. A student performance will be held Dec. 12. Tickets are $15 and $25, and are available online at mcneese.edu/theatre, or by calling the McNeese ticket office at 475-5040.

GREAT RUSSIAN NUTCRACKER A performance of the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker will take place Dec. 27, 7:30 pm, in the Rosa Hart Theatre at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Tickets start at $28, and are available by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.

HOLIDAY JAZZ IN THE ARTS Central School will host a holiday Jazz in the Arts concert Sunday, Dec. 22, 5 pm. Tickets are $10 in advance, and $15 at the door. For more information, call 439-2787 or 794-5744.

CHRISTMAS CARD WORKSHOPS The 1911 Historic City Hall will host Christmas card workshops through Dec. 23. Hours are 10 am-5 pm Monday-Friday, and 10 am-2pm Saturday. Visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to create Christmas cards, and to write letters to Santa, to be sent to the North Pole. All Christmas cards will be delivered to area nursing home residents by the Calcasieu Council on Aging. For more information, call 491-9147.

IOWA CHRISTMAS PARADE The Iowa Christmas Parade will take place Dec. 7 at 4 pm in downtown Iowa. The parade will start at the VF Mall and end at the Lawrence Toups Memorial Park. Christmas in the Park will begin at 5 pm and will include a chili cook-off, the lighting of the Christmas tree display and a Christmas concert. For info, call 582-3535. www.BestOfSWLA.com

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STARKS CHRISTMAS PARADE The Starks Christmas Parade will take place Saturday, Dec. 7. The parade will begin at 2 pm, and end at the VFW Post 4759, located at 4402 La. Hwy. 12 in Starks. A Christmas gumbo, hosted by the Ladies Auxiliary, Post 4759, will be served at the post following the parade. For more info, call 743-6409.

JENNINGS MOVIE NIGHT Jennings’ Strand Theatre, 432 N. Main St., will host Movie Night At The Strand Dec. 21, featuring the holiday classic White Christmas. Showings are 3 pm and 7 pm. For more information, call 821-5509.

CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER The W.H. Tupper Museum in Jennings will host A Christmas To Remember, a step back in time to Christmas celebrations of the 1940s, through Dec. 27. Displays include original ornaments used in the W.H. Tupper store, vintage Christmas items and toys.

VINTON CHRISTMAS PARADE The Vinton Christmas parade will take place Dec. 6, 5 pm. The parade will be followed by family activities, jambalaya dinners and a visit from Santa in the Vinton Elementary gym. Admission is free with donated canned goods.

WESTLAKE PARADE The Westlake Christmas Festival will kickoff with a Christmas Parade on Dec. 7 along Sampson Street in downtown Westlake, beginning at 10 am. Other activities will include an ornament contest, a bake sale, and arts and crafts booths. For more info, call 433-0691.

THURSDAY, DEC. 5 Coconuts Bar & Grill Judd Bares Coushatta Chubby Carrier & Bayou Swamp Band Dharma Kory Fontenot Isle of Capri T-Broussard and the Zydeco Steppers L’Auberge Jack After Dark DJ Eric Scott Luna Live TBA

THURSDAY, DEC. 12 Coconuts Bar & Grill Judd Bares Coushatta Joe Harmon & The Harmonics Dharma Tony Holiday & The Velvetones Isle of Capri Johnny Guinn & Rue Louisiane L’Auberge Jack After Dark DJ San-D Luna Live TBA

karaoke Annie's 9pm Friday; Saturday Bourbonz 8pm Tuesdays Chicageaux Bar 8pm Thursday, Friday, Saturday Club 90 8pm Saturday Coconuts 7-11pm Friday Coolers Thursday Crickets 8:30pm Friday Crystal's Tuesdays, Chad Evans 86

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FRIDAY, DEC. 6 Cigar Club Ryan Bunch Coushatta Foret Tradition Cowboys Club 7 Radio Delta Downs Zydecane Dharma Sinners, The Von Dukes Isle of Capri Keith McCoy & CEO L’Auberge Jack After Dark DJ Eric Scott Luna Live Annual Chesson Christmas Party Yesterdays Bag of Donuts

FRIDAY, DEC. 13 Cigar Club Brian Moore Coushatta Pavilion The Band Perry; Mikko Live Platinum Café Cowboys Club 7 Radio Delta Downs LA Express Dharma Stoop Kids, Ganz Feld, AF The Naysayer Isle of Capri Prophets and Outlaws L’Auberge Reba McEntire; Jack After Dark DJ San-D Yesterdays Steel Shot

DJ'S Bar Moss Bluff 9pm Friday DeQuincy VFW 7-11pm Friday; 6-10pm Sunday Dirty Rice Saloon 7pm Thursday Frosty Factory 9pm Friday & Saturday Handlebars Club Tuesdays & Thursdays Huddle Up Thursdays Isle Of Capri 8pm-Midnight Wednesday Jacky's Western Bar 8pm-Wed/Thurs Kaw-Ligas Tuesday thru Saturday Mike's Place 8pm-until M,W,F Linda's Lounge 8:30-11:30 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; 9-1 Saturday Neighborhood Bar 7pm Thursday

SATURDAY, DEC. 7 Cigar Club Paul Gonsoulin Coushatta Jo-El Sonnier Delta Downs Zydecane Dharma Tim Norris Isle Of Capri Da Classics L'Auberge Jack After Dark DJ Eric Scott Luna Live TBA Yesterdays Champaign Room

SATURDAY, DEC. 14 Coconuts Bar & Grill Brad Brinkley Cigar Club Street Side Jazz Band Coushatta Platinum Café Delta Downs LA Express Dharma Tim Norris Isle of Capri The Kadillacs L’Auberge Jack After Dark DJ San-D Yesterdays Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie

No Name Lounge 8-Mid Friday, 7-11pm Sunday Old Town Tavern Fri/Sat Nights R-Bar 8pm Friday Sam's Cove 9pm Thursday Sidelinez 9pm Friday 11/29, 12/13 & 27 Slim's Yesteryears 9pm Thursday Spot Bar & Grill Fridays Sports Pitt 8pm Th-Fri-Sat Sulphur VFW 9pm-Mid Saturday Tiki Bar 8pm Friday Texas Longhorn Club 9pm Thursdays, 1am Fridays


REEL TALK

duane bergeron

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Lionsgate, Rated PG-13 The 2013 Christmas film season now has its second bonafide smash hit. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is living up to expectations nationwide. The film took in $161 million in its opening weekend in the U.S., a record for November. The numbers are even bigger worldwide. Based on yet another series of bestselling books by Suzanne Collins, the Hunger Games is obviously the next teenbook-to-film success story. The Hunger Games was released in March 2012, with huge box office grosses. Catching Fire has exceeded that. Reports from other sources in the entertainment media indicate the film’s storyline is true to the original source material, so that should make the fanbase very happy. Though there is one more novel in the series, Mockingjay, the tactic is to make it a two-film adaptation. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) are undergoing the rigorous endeavor of touring all 13 Districts in Pan Em after winning the Hunger Games the previous year. It’s hard for Katniss to balance touring and her personal life, and she’s experiencing some confusion about her feelings for Peeta and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth). Though Katniss does some hunting in her spare time, that doesn’t help her sort out her feelings. To make matters worse, Katniss receives a visit from President Snow (Donald Sutherland), informing her that due to her actions after the games, citizens in several of the districts are rebelling against his government. He warns Katniss to start “talking the party line,” or face

Games in which tributes who have won past editions are to be placed in the same arena to face off against each other. This means Peeta and Katniss have to fight for their lives once again, with Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) to help and coach them again. Snow hopes that this tactic will end Peeta’s and Katniss’ lives and give him a chance to end the uprising in Pan Em once and for all. This is a sequel that lives up to its title. The script and dialogue make the plot virtually leap out at you. The realism depicted here is extraordinary. How realistic is it? Not since the original Star Wars have I seen a totalitarian regime so realistically portrayed that it can evoke an emotional response from the audience. The performances by the cast also help make this fantasy world seem brutally real. The world of Pan Em looks and feels like a futuristic Nazi Germany. Catching Fire’s greatest strengths are its superb storytelling, and the performances of Lawrence, Hutcherson, Sutherland and the rest of the cast. This film tells its story with realism and excellence. It’s a superlative example of cinematic entertainment. Catching Fire will be one of the standout features of the Christmas season. When you’re not busy Christmas shopping, check out Catching Fire. severe consequences. Katniss complies. She and Peeta go out on another tour, but the acts of insurrection only increase. After getting back to District 12, Katniss is again trying to figure out her feelings when Snow decides he’s had enough. He declares the 75th Hunger Games to be a “Quarter Quell.” — a special edition of the Hunger

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MOUNTED MEMORIES

rocke "soybean" fournet

Giving Thanks Let us bow our heads. The recent Thanksgiving holiday was a natural time to give thanks. There is a lot to be thankful for, so I hope you acknowledged it. Good health has to top everyone’s list of things to be most grateful for. If you are normal, you have had a taste of being laid up due to illness or injury before; it can be a humbling experience. The only good part is recovering and rehabilitation, and getting back up and running. Whoever is credited with saying your health is everything certainly hit the nail on the head. It is easy to take for granted, but waking up relatively pain free, give or take a few aches and pains, is a great way to start the day. If, like most, you have done some hard time in the hospital, it is a great place not to be. Next on the Thanksgiving list are friends and family. There is nothing that compares to swapping stories (lies) with

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close friends who return the favor and share theirs with you. Thanksgiving is a family affair, and it is comforting to appreciate the people you can always count on. If you have friends and family that care about you, you are a rich man. It has nothing to do with money, which is way overhyped on the happiness scale. Treat others as you wish to be treated, and it is all good. The good deeds you perform in your life always are returned tenfold in the way of feeling good about yourself. We cherish friends and family. To be born and raised in this country is no small favor. It ain’t perfect, but it is by far the best there is. We enjoy liberties and freedom that is foreign to the vast majority of other nations. We have learned the hard way freedom ain’t free, and to honor and recognize those veterans that fought for it. We are an indebted nation to the military servicemen who have served us proudly. God Bless America!

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If you like to eat, Louisiana is the place to mange, cher. We are blessed to be living in the USA, where food is mostly very plentiful. But it is a whole new and delicious menu offered down on the bayou. We have unique dishes that you can only experience properly cooked right here in our home state. If you like seafood dishes made with fresh product and cooked Creole style, you have found a home here. Eating is one of life’s best simple pleasures, and a good reason to gather around the table. We are always grateful for our heritage, and the Cajun descendants that invented the recipes and passed them down to us. All this talk about French food is enough to make you think about the next meal as you’re eating the current one. You have to give thanks for the athletic teams and sports we have to enjoy. This state is consumed with sports, and is full of super fans just looking for someone to cheer on to victory. It is great wholesome fun, for the most part, and a family affair. If you are a sports nut, this place is a dream come true. During football season, it can get crazy good when you have local teams that are the cream of the crop at every level. We line up behind the NOLA Saints, the Tigers from Baton Rouge, the McNeese State Cowboys and some great high school teams. It doesn’t get any better. These athletes deserve all the support we can generate, and most fans just need a reason to party, so it is a match made in heaven. Les bons ton roule! Pictured is Savannah Stevens with her first limit. A chip off the old block.


LHSAA STATE CROSS COUNTRY MEET 3 Miles • Held at Nothwestern State University in Natchitoches

Class 3A • Class 4A • Class 5A

START OF THE STATE BOYS 5A MEET

KELLIE WEBB OF BARBE FINISHED 3RD IN THE STATE GIRLS 5A MEET

3A GIRLS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS • TOP 15 1 Paulk, Catherine Belle Sacred Heart 2 Ivory, Hannah Curtis, John 3 Kling, Madeline Sacred Heart 4 Roberts, Aislinn Lusher Charter 5 Jackson, Megan Sacred Heart 6 Butcher, Laura McGehee 7 Lewing, Laura St. Louis 8 Nusloch, Mary Sacred Heart 9 Gause, Troyanna Curtis, John 10 Deselle, Amber Parkview Baptist 11 Bauder, Madison University Lab 12 Marceaux, Ally Kaplan 13 Sauce, Emily White, E.D. 14 Bienvenu, Madeleine McGehee 15 Derouen, Ashlynn South Beaur.

19:25.07 19:44.89 19:50.86 20:00.44 20:11.07 20:16.98 20:27.23 20:33.16 20:34.62 20:34.77 20:35.99 20:43.00 20:43.89 20:54.31 20:54.44

4A GIRLS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS • TOP 15 1 Boyce, Carley St. Scholastica 18:54.88 2 Bourque, Hannah St. Thomas More 18:58.14 3 Tanner, Kaitlin Loyola 19:23.60 4 Gregoire, Haley St. Michael 19:29.26 5 Breaux, Alexa Vandebilt Cath. 19:49.37 6 Whitman, Kathrine St. Thomas More 19:51.76 7 Romero, Jeanee Karr, Edna 19:59.48 8 Seals, Allyson St. Scholastica 20:00.44 9 Castille, Kelnisha St. Thomas More20:06.10 10 Rushford, Jacqueline DeRidder 20:18.60 11 Paine, Rachel Benton 20:20.73 12 Middlebrooks, Quinci Benton 20:25.28 13 McDaniel, Madison St. Scholastica 20:28.14 14 Brown, Raphella Ursuline Acad. 20:31.06 15 Gaither, Meredith St. Thomas More 20:36.38

5A GIRLS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS • TOP 15 1 Meydrich, Mia Dominican 2 Murphy, Olivia Mandeville 3 Webb, Kellie Barbe 4 Hill, Annie St. Joseph's 5 Hemb, Isabella Mt. Carmel 6 Ringle, Alison Parkway 7 Funderburk, Sara Parkway 8 Ferguson, Amber Denham Springs 9 Williams, Grace Dominican 10 Touchard, Kylie Mandeville 11 Leblanc, Sarah St. Joseph's 12 Austin, Adazia Ruston 13 Crosby, Claire Mandeville 14 Hemb, Claudia Mt. Carmel 15 Smith, Courtney Fontainebleau

3A BOYS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS • TOP 15 1 Keith, Devyn Curtis, John 2 Patrick, Hank University Lab 3 Firnberg, Logan University Lab 4 Brown, Austin Curtis, John 5 Stewart, Trey Curtis, John 6 Paz, Christian Curtis, John 7 Sullivan, Michael West Feliciana 8 Boudreaux, Stephen White, E.D. 9 Ballow, Austin Sumner, Jewel 10 Barthel, Zachary Curtis, Joh 11 Dugas, Tyler Curtis, John 12 Oregon, Tylon Pine Prairie 13 Morvant, Tyler White, E.D. 14 Daigle, Andrew White, E.D. 15 Melancon, Chris White, E.D.

16:08.58 16:21.93 16:33.95 16:44.65 16:59.13 16:59.72 17:00.59 17:08.93 17:11.67 17:11.79 17:22.05 17:34.01 17:38.39 17:42.19 17:43.83

4A BOYS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS • TOP 15 1 Heinz, Drake Benton 16:17.61 2 Oliver, Dylan Northwood, S 16:34.57 3 Singleton, Stephen Benton 16:50.19 4 Daigle, Jacob Assumption 16:54.72 5 Washington, Trevontae Assumption 6:57.02 6 Gibson, Garrett Benton 16:57.38 7 Studer, Trevor West Ouachita 16:57.83 8 Lowery, Trey Assumption 17:02.26 9 Bernard, Patrick St. Thomas More 17:09.82 10 Caskey, Logan Benton 17:12.31 11 Leblanc, Grant St. Thomas Mor 17:19.38 12 Lagrange, Christopher St. Thomas More 17:27.22 13 Lapeyrouse, Westley Ellender, A.J. 17:27.32 14 Moncayo, Josue North DeSoto 17:29.27 15 Buie, Keenan St. Michael 17:30.09

5A BOYS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS • TOP 15 1 Coston, Eric St. Paul's 15:15.79 2 Albright, Zachary St. Paul's 15:20.66 3 Robinson, Bryce Hahnville 15:28.76 4 Kingfisher, Hayden Parkway 15:46.37 5 Turner, James West Monroe 15:51.58 6 Kelley, Jeffrey Catholic, Ba 15:51.59 7 Robinson, Beau Hahnville 15:53.58 8 Jackson, Kraemer St. Paul's 15:56.86 9 Gilbert, Isiah Ponchatoula 16:07.16 10 Lipani, Don St. Paul's 16:08.62 11 Edwards, Chase Brother Martin 16:10.37 12 Wilkes, Jack Airline 16:14.99 13 Albright, Spencer St. Paul's 16:16.07 14 Killian, Conner Archbishop Rum. 16:16.80 15 Martin, Noah Northshore 16:26.15

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18:06.30 18:26.99 18:45.28 19:02.91 19:02.96 19:26.61 19:39.43 19:43.59 19:54.85 19:58.62 19:59.08 20:06.58 20:07.20 20:11.71 20:13.65

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SARRO ON SPORTS

rick sarro

They’re Back Were the McNeese Cowboys really ever gone? Some would think so, after three years of having their football seasons end the week before Thanksgiving. In the world of the Football Championship Subdivision, that means you didn’t make the playoffs. There’s little argument that McNeese’s 19-14 record between 2010-12 dropped them from the national radar. There were no conference championships and the team was nowhere close to an at-large postseason bid during three years of keeping its nose just above .500. But I always had the sense this program was still a blip blinking just off the that radar screen — still in view, but not considered an imminent threat. There were signs of life: that the core of the blue and gold and its talent pool was still strong. In 2010, there were those three strong quarters against then-9th ranked LSU. In 2011, amid another rash of injuries, the Cowboys ended the season with three straight wins to finish at 6-5. Then in 2012, an impressive season-opening win at FBS Middle Tennessee State and another road win two weeks later at Weber State. Then there was the season-ending injury to all SLC safety Malcolm Bronson. Soon thereafter — hard to fathom — the wacky one-point losses to SLC rivals

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Southeastern Louisiana and Central Arkansas helped McNeese to a 7-4 finish. Win both of those heartbreakers, and the Cowboys would have earned a playoff spot, and this much-talked-about three-year slide wouldn’t have been such a hot topic. The 2013 season put McNeese on ESPN’s SportsCenter highlights, with its season-opening, record-setting 53-21 romp of South Florida. The offensive barrage continued much of the season, with five 50point-plus games and a new school record for most points scored in a season. Soul-cleansing wins over Central Arkansas and two-time defending SLC champion Sam Houston put the Cowboys back in the spotlight, and “back where we belong in the playoffs,” proclaimed head coach Matt Viator. Looking back with much more critical eyes than the sporting press, Viator believed the team was close and not as bad as some thought over the last couple of seasons. There were more than a few clusters of fans, boosters and media that questioned Viator’s methods and his ability to guide the program. They were lighting the fire under his coaching seat and wondering out loud who else could run the team. I know I argued and countered their many ridiculous opinions and calls for Viator’s firing. They confused the facts,

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disavowed the impact injuries can have on a team and didn’t understand the spread and movement of talent on the FCS level and the resulting parity of power. Viator has won three conference titles; is the winningest active coach in the Southland; has the highest winning percentage of any McNeese coach with over three years at the helm; and has earned his fourth trip to the playoffs. How stupid would it have been to seriously consider letting Viator walk? For the record, it was never seriously considered at all by the university administration, and the negative ground swell never gained much momentum or support. “I learned from my father (the late former coach Nolan Viator) that in this business, you have to have thick skin and a short memory,” Viator has said several times over the past couple of weeks. That thick skin and abbreviated memory comes into play when he deals with his 0-3 playoff record. Soon after the first-round bye was announced, Viator went on the offensive, letting the local media know in no uncertain terms that he is winless in the playoffs, and

Terence Cahee


“not these players, because many were not around and some were in elementary school. Other than having to talk about (his playoff record) in the press conferences, I won’t even mention it to the players because it was more my deal. There’s nothing remotely similar with this team and those teams and those situations.” When I questioned him on schooling the media, so to speak, Viator simply said he wanted the players focused on the present and not dealing with past games they had nothing to do with. He added that if he was in the media, he too would probe about the winless playoff record, but would address it with the coach and not the players. Fair enough. Viator readily admits to having a short memory. But he’s acutely aware of his 0-3 run in the postseason between 2006 and 2009. It’s the only significant blemish on his impressive resume. He remembers having to go to No. 2 seeded Montana in 2006 as a “tough deal.” McNeese fell flat 31-6. In 2007, the Cowboys were a top seed and at home, but were ill prepared for the passing scheme and size of Eastern Washington, losing 44-15. Two years later, McNeese brought in a strong conference championship team led by quarterback Derrick Fourroux and tailback Toddrick Pendland, but saw a 10thseeded New Hampshire bunch roll them 49-13. In fact, McNeese hasn’t won a playoff game since 2002, when then-head coach Tommy Tate took them to the 1-AA national championship game against Western Kentucky. Since then, the Cowboys have captured four Southland

crowns and won over twice as many games as they’ve lost. It’s a 95-44 record to be exact. You hear the same thing on every level. It’s very difficult to win a football game. It’s exceedingly hard to win in the playoffs, because it’s usually against a team you haven’t played before and know very

Ernest Celestie

little about except what you see on game tapes. There are battles and matchups within the game itself that you must win; you must minimize mistakes, make adjustments on the fly and practice and prepare for every conceivable situation. In the big picture, you have a short window to get it right or the season is over. I’ve said it before and here it is again: fans don’t understand or appreciate what it takes just to get to the playoffs, much less win there. Sam Houston State and North Dakota State have made it appear easy the last two years, but it wasn’t. Two consecutive FCS title game appearances for the BearKats and Bison put them in an exclusive club that includes the likes of Eastern

Kentucky, Georgia Southern, Youngstown State, Appalachian State and Montana. Except for Montana, these teams have steered clear of the playoffs for much longer stretches than McNeese. So, out of sight, out of mind, doesn’t really apply to the Cowboys because they’ve been close and never that far away from the national tournament. “I thought the program was still sound, and fortunately we have good assistant coaches and players, and we just needed a little shove over and [to] turn some of those close losses into victories. It’s not like we haven’t been close. I’m just happy for these guys. They kept working hard; stuck with it; and came back from the off-season and believing this was the year,” said Viator. To a man, every senior player talks of “McNeese standards” — the tradition of winning, the legacy of championships and a standing among the nation’s elite teams in a playoff format. These upper-classmen faced the possibility of never having played December football until this season. At the forefront of this playoff quest is senior quarterback Cody Stroud, who persevered through an up-and-down career only to break out in his final year with a record-setting season that earned him the Southland Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year Award. As the team’s most important player and unquestioned leader, Stroud has shouldered the struggles of the past three years. He’s faced and answered all the questions; endured the criticisms; competed every year for the job; and simply hoisted this team on his back this year. Stroud has arrived on the other side of this journey as a mature, confident quarterback who plays within himself, and his determined spirit

has set the tone for this team. “We (the seniors) took it upon ourselves earlier in the year to make a statement to the guys around the nation that we’re back and we’re trying to get where we need to be. The seniors have done a great job this year in leading this team and we’re not done yet,” says Stroud. The belief that this program was done and unable to return to the national forum as of just two years ago was misplaced and out of touch with the men and coaches who live and breathe this cherished tradition that is McNeese football. The realities of today’s game are forever changing. A first-year coach like Willie Fritz can turn around a program like Sam Houston State in his second season and advance to two straight national championship games. Southeastern’s Ron Roberts gave his Lions heart and converted them into a national power in two brief years. Football is a cyclical game when it comes to offensive and defensive schemes, styles of play, the size and speed of players and most of all who is winning and losing. Teams ride high during the up cycles and take advantage with title runs, improved recruiting, media exposure and ticket sales. The flip side is to avoid sinking into the abyss in the down cycles. You must fight to avoid the acceptance of a losing culture. A completely opposite situation is entrenched at McNeese. Conference championships and the playoffs are the expected norm. That’s the “McNeese standards,” and Viator wouldn’t have it any other way. The Cowboys have found their way back to the national stage. They were never that far away.

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UTEC

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Cash for Junk Cars Need Extra Cash? WE ARE NOW BUYING CARS • TRUCKS VANS • ATV’S • MOTORCYCLES

services BOAT & RV STORAGE BOAT & RV STORAGE - 6102 COMMON STREET. SECURED STORAGE! Call 337564-5377 cr _________________

Also Motor Homes, Trailers and Farm Equipment. Not running? You can still make $400 and up! Get your yard cleaned up while deciding how you’ll spend your extra money!

announcements

CALL 526-9533

WE WILL BUY!

classified k0621

McNeese Plaza Salon 3817 Ryan Street 337-475-8990

Cathy Durio Owner • Stylists Hank • Ginger • Amity

FULL SERVICE SALON • WALK-INS WELCOME MEN'S HAIRCUTS Tues-Fri 8:30am-7pm • Mon & Sat 9am-4pm

classified VARIETY MOTORS CLEAN USED CARS ‘05 Dodge Neon ...............3,900 ‘00 Nissan Frontier ..........3,900 ‘03 Dodge Durango .........2,550 ‘99 Chevy Tahoe Ltd., .....3,250 ‘96 Mercedes Benz L200 2,900 ‘00 Honda Civic ..............3,900 ‘03 Crown Vic .................4,900 ‘01 Pontiac Grand Prix ....3,900

‘02 Toyota Camry ............4,900 ‘98 Buick Regal ...............3,995 ‘99 Saturn 2-dooR ...........2,500 ‘02 Isuzu Rodeo ...............3,550 ‘02 Dodge Caravan ..........2,900 ‘04 Ford Taurus ...............3,350 ‘07 Chevy Malibu ............5,550 ‘02 Ford Ranger 5-Speed .3,995

All New Car Trade-Ins! 1825 Kirkman St. • 337-912-2713

SELL THAT JUNK CAR FOR CASH! I will buy your junk car, truck, van, motor home, or trailer. I also buy ATV’s, motorcycles, and even farm equipment. Even if it’s not running, you can make from $400 to $600. Clean your yard up, and decide what you’ll spend your extra money on! HELP WANTED Experienced mechanic needed.Call now at 526.9533. k1018 _________________

announcements

HWY 90 CONSIGNMENT STORAGE Cars • Trucks • Boats • RV's Mobile Homes • Vans Safe and Secure Storage forThose Big Items in Your Way! CONSIGNMENT: Your items can be put up for consignment to make that extra money when you decide you no longer need storage for you item. Good prices, and large customer base to purchase any items you store with us.

HAIR SALON COUNTRY CLUB HAIR - Where a haircut still comes with a lollipop and a smile. Over 25 years in business. Walk-ins welcome. Located on 1214 Country Club Rd. Open Tuesday-Friday 8:30-5:30, Saturdays 8am-2pm. Call 4744722 k0816 _________________

Call now and make some room OR some cash for your items: 337.526.2533 www.BestOfSWLA.com

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THE

TRANSMISSION SHOP We work on all transmissions!

5817 Common Street Lake Charles 337-540-3795 337-540-6908 C. Scot LaFargue Owner

Laundry W rld Do Your Laundry in 4 Minutes!

HOUSE LEVELING LIFTING AND MOVING GUARANTEED 2-YEAR WARRANTY FOR ALL LABOR AND MATERIALS! Foundation Repair • Concrete Slab Stabilization Licensed, Bonded and Insured • References

CALL ONE STOP www.onestophouseleveling.com

337-309-7301

classified Your friends will be talking about it for years to come ...

MAGICIAN HARRY JOSEPH Interactive magician Harry Joseph will perform a variety of magical entertainment for your Birthday Party, Special Event and Church Actvities. Professional and lots of fun!

337-540-3938

T

harryjoseph00@gmail.com

ch of AT

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2 minutes to drop off 2 minutes to pick up

DOWNTOWN REMODELED 4 bed/3.5 bath home around 3500 sqft located at 738 Kirkman St. Bonus 1000 sqft. On 3rd floor ready to finish out. Features FOUR fireplaces! Has wood floors, updated kitchen and baths, original pocket doors, walk-in closets, new paint, electrical and plumbing for $238,900.

4319 Common St. • 474-8748 2501 Hwy 14 • 433-7503

HISTORIC HOME on large lot with wood floors, beautiful fireplaces, and marble tile located ar 1010 Enterprise Blvd for $159,900.

Professional Wash, Dry, Fold/Hang Service Dry Cleaning Available

GORGEOUS NEWLY CONSTRUCTED HOME in Bell City with 3 bed/2 baths with room for expansions and possible space over garage that could be yours for $230,000 located at 7221 Hwy 14 E.

announcements DINING OUT

SHOP A-LOT DELI Drive-Thru Daiquiri Window Longer Dining Hours M-F 10AM-6PM SAT 10AM-4PM

2707 HAZEL 433-2135

real estate FOR SALE IN MOSS BLUFF 10 ACRES ON DUNN FERRY ROAD (NEAR SUTHERLAND) $200,000 850-420-6744

PLACE YOUR AD HERE AND START GETTING RESULTS! A lot of people are paying way too much for classified advertising. Don't be one of them! CALL LAMONT AT 660-8877 TODAY class@thelanyap.com _________________

real estate MOBILE HOMES MOBILE HOME TO BE MOVED. 3/2, BO over $8,000. Camper for rent. All bills paid. 2 acre lot south of Lake Charles. 477-6243 or 564-5859 gpnmr _________________

GREAT STARTER HOME or rental in Iowa that sits on two lots on the corner for $55,000 located on 416 S.Sherman Ave. RAGLEY LAND - 20 acres of wooded land located on Allen Dale Rd. Listed for $115,000. GOOD INVESTMENT PROPERTY at 1405 Summit St. for $38,000. This 2 bed/1 bath home could be perfect for you! WESTLAKE LAND WITH 14 ACRES on a canal with a dock. Utilities are run and ready for a new house. Land has 500 sqft 1 bed/1bath building included all for only $299,000. MOSS BLUFF LOT in established neighborhood with storage building for $34,000. LAKE CHARLES LOT for sale on 709 16th street for $12,500.


southwest louisiana job finder help wanted MAZDA OF LAKE CHARLES is Now Hiring Sales Associates To expand their Sales Team. We offer insurance, 401K, Vacation, Great Hours, Large Inventory. No experience necessary, will train. Apply in person to Will Bryant 11am-2pm

services

services

services

CONTRACTORS

HEY! GET WITH THE PROGRAM! Paying too much for classified advertising is VERY UNCOOL and it's holding your business back. Our classifieds keep growing because our advertisers get results!. CALL ROSE AT 433-8502 TODAY START GETTING THE RESULTS YOU DESERVE! class@thelanyap.com _________________

DO YOU NEED WEEDS PULLED?

HOUSE LEVELING, HOUSE LIFTING. CALL ONE STOP CONSTRUCTION. Sill and truss replacement, foundation repair, general remodeling, etc. References available, free estimates, licensed and insured. All work is warrantied. Call us at 337-309-7301. r0905 _________________

HANDYMAN JACOB HOME REPAIRS 337-302-3878

RAGLEY-HWY 190 Convenience store and house for sale or lease.

LPNs • In House Staffing Pool (1 year exp.)

Intensive Outpatient Psychiatric

GET RESULTS!

• Program Specialist/Driver

ADVERTISE NOW IN LAGNIAPPE CLASSIFIEDS ..CALL ROSE AT 433-8502 _________________

• Physical Therapist • Financial/Compliance Coordinator (Part Time)

help wanted

Physical Medicine Psychiatric Services • LCSW / LMSW / LCP

announcements LC YACHT CLUB

real estate

Registered Nurses • ICU • Med/Surg • Psychiatric Services • In House Staffing Pool (1 year exp.) • Emergency Department • PICU

announcements

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services

Immediate Openings

JOIN THE LC YACHT CLUB! Sail boats and power boats are welcome, family friendly. Member- ship includes on the water clubhouse, sailboats, socials. Call Ship to Shore at 474.0730 _________________

CANNON REALTY 337-738-5190

Laboratory • Medical Technologist

Moss Memorial Health Clinic

BOAT & RV STORAGE

Memorial Specialty Hospital • Nurse Practitioner

BOAT & RV STORAGE - 6102 COMMON STREET. SECURED STORAGE! Call 337564-5377 cr _________________

Additional Openings Include • Security Officer • Admitting Rep For additional openings or to apply, please visit our website at www.lcmh.com Or apply at 3050 Aster Street, Lake Charles

announcements 10 ACRES ON DUNN FERRY ROAD (NEAR SUTHERLAND)

announcements NOW BUYING OUSLEY PAINTINGS Please Call 337-794-9714

announcements I BUY SCRAP CARS! PAYING UP TO $550 FOR TRUCKS AND LESS ON CARS. PLEASE CALL 802-8348 Must Have Title!

DIESEL ENGINES Powerstroke, Cummins, Duramax, remanufactured with warranty. Will deliver. 713-918-5811

$200,000 850-420-6744

services I DO IT ALL! A ALL JOB'S, Very Reasonable, Carpentry, Tile, Brick, Stucco, Sheetrock, Vinyl Siding, 302-4110

announcements NOW BUYING OUSLEY PAINTINGS Please Call 337-794-9714

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PLACE YOUR AD CALL ROSE AT 4338502 TODAY! class@thelanyap.com _________________

LANDSCAPING

FALL LANDSCAPE PACKAGES for every budget! We use state of the art software to show you what your landscape can look like. $100 OFF any new landscape project when you mention Lagniappe! SWLA Lawn and Landscape Licensed, Bonded, Insured 337-625-5625 K1018

_________________

Tree Removal, Stump Grinding, Land Clearing, Demolition, Crane Work, Debris Hauling. Bonded. Insured. License AR 1604 337-884-6881 g0502-2012

stuff 4 sale

announcements

TRAILERS HAIR SALON

Trailers Aluminum, Steel, Horse, Stock Motorcycle, Cargo, Gooseneck, Bumper, Lowboy, Equipment

Mark Pedersen Equipment Co. 337-436-2497 an

announcements RESTAURANT LOCATION! Adjacent to Bronco Stop. Full kitchen, dining area, tables, drink machines & more. Call Wali today and open your dream restaurant! 337-244-4423 gp _________________

TOWAWAYS

announcements

Business Office • Director of Business Office

real estate FOR SALE IN MOSS BLUFF

TECHNICIAN NEED QUALIFIED TECHNICIAN TO REPAIR AND INSTALL ENGINES & TRANSMISSIONS 337-936-7134. 337215-0709 r _________________

services

• Nurse Practitioner

EOE

services

LANDSCAPING •••••••• HEDGES TRIMMED •••••••• BEDS MULCHED •••••••• PRESSURE WASHING •••••••• CALL CLAUDE TODAY AT 304-3341 OR 433-8919

PLACE YOUR AD CALL ROSE AT 4338502 TODAY! class@thelanyap.com _________________

COUNTRY CLUB HAIR - Where a haircut still comes with a lollipop and a smile. Over 25 years in business. Walk-ins welcome. Located on 1214 Country Club Rd. Open Tuesday-Friday 8:30-5:30, Saturdays 8am-2pm. Call 4744722 k0906 _________________

stuff 4 sale FOR SALE STUDIO COUCH Opens into queen size bed. Good condition. Reg. $900, asking $500.

337-478-6574

RETAIL / OFFICE RETAIL OR OFFICE SPACE FOR LEASE. "Single or double available. Includes conference room usage, kitchen, 2 handicap accessible bathrooms, parking in front and behind building. 154 W. McNeese. Call Denise today for details! 337-474-3406

Towing and Recovery Service NOW RENTING U-HAUL TRUCKS & TRAILERS

24 Hour Service!

ph

_________________

1121 Main Street • Lake Charles

Ronnie Mesh (337) 436-7237

FOR SALE 40 ACRES OUISKA ON CHITTO GOOD HUNTING, FISHING AND SANDBARS LOTS OF OAK AND CYPRESS TREES PRICE REDUCED! Ph 337-540-2667

Southwest SW Manufactured HOMES & RV'S Housing, Inc. NEW • USED • REPOS • SALES & SERVICE

2013 SINGLEWIDE 3 BEDROOM, 2 BATH, DELIVERY, SET-UP, A/C INCLUDED FOR ONLY $1700 DOWN AND $275 A MONTH WAC! PRE-QUALIFY TODAY! Corner of Hwy 90 and Hwy 171

www.swhomeslc.com 436-5593 www.BestOfSWLA.com

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Bring family and friends to celebrate the holiday season.

December 13, 2013

Christmas Stroll (6 pm – 8 pm)

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center / 2111 W. Park Ave. / shangrilagardens.org Admission: $3.00 per person or bring a non-perishable food item per person for free admission. Food items will benefit the local community. • See hundreds of new, dazzling lights and community-decorated trees while taking a leisurely walk through the gardens. • Shop at the Garden Store for a 20% discount on one item.

Dreaming of a Green Christmas (9 am – 5 pm)

December 14, 2013

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center / 2111 W. Park Ave. / shangrilagardens.org Members free, Non-members general admission • Visit Santa at the Education Greenhouse (10 am – 2 pm). • Create holiday ornaments (10 am – 2 pm). • Make a holiday wreath (1 pm – 3 pm). Pre-registration is required for this activity; space is limited to 15. A $20.00 materials fee is due at time of registration. Call 409.670.9799 to register.

Christmas Stroll (6 pm – 8 pm)

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center / 2111 W. Park Ave. / shangrilagardens.org Admission: $3.00 per person or bring a non-perishable food item per person for free admission. Food items will benefit the local community. • See hundreds of new, dazzling lights and community-decorated trees while taking a leisurely walk through the gardens. • Shop at the Garden Store for a 20% discount on one item.

Holiday Sights and Sounds (9 am – 5 pm)

Stark Museum of Art / 712 Green Ave. / starkmuseum.org Members free, Non-members general admission or $3.00 for visitors who each bring a non-perishable food item • Visitors of all ages can design and create holiday cards (9 am – 5 pm). • Listen to gallery spotlights about A Christmas Carol and Medieval Book of Hours. – A Christmas Carol (Spotlight Talks - 11:30 am, 1:30 pm & 3:30 pm) – Painting in the Pages: Treasured Possessions Book of Hours (Spotlight Talks - 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm & 4:30 pm) • Hear live dulcimer music by The Backporch Friends (Noon – 4 pm). • Enjoy light refreshments.

Christmas Tales (9 am – 5 pm)

The W.H. Stark House / 610 W. Main Ave. / whstarkhouse.org Members free, Non-members general admission or $3.00 for visitors who each bring a non-perishable food item • View holiday décor and historical objects. • Decorate your own Christmas stocking activity. • Listen to readings of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (10 am, 11 am, Noon, 1 pm, 2 pm & 3 pm).

Christmas with Shoji Tabuchi (7:30 pm)

Lutcher Theater / 707 W. Main Ave. / lutcher.org • Live performance by this popular musician and entertainer For tickets call - 409.886.5535

Green Day’s American Idiot (7:30 pm)

December 16, 2013

Lutcher Theater / 707 W. Main Ave. / lutcher.org • A critical smash on Broadway and in London - you won’t want to miss this two-time Tony Award® winning hit musical. For tickets call - 409.886.5535.

Christmas Stroll (6 pm – 8 pm)

December 19, 20 & 21; 26, 27 & 28, 2013

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center / 2111 W. Park Ave. / shangrilagardens.org Admission: $3.00 per person or bring a non-perishable food item per person for free admission. Food items will benefit the local community. • See hundreds of new, dazzling lights and community-decorated trees while taking a leisurely walk through the gardens. • Shop at the Garden Store for a 20% discount on one item.

Drop-In Art Activities (9 am – 5 pm)

December 26, 27, 28 & 31, 2013

Stark Museum of Art / 712 Green Ave. / starkmuseum.org Members free, Non-members, activities included with general admission • Visitors of all ages can make winter landscapes, snowflakes, or a top hat and drum. Create your own masterpiece!

Drop-In Art Activities (9 am – 5 pm)

The W.H. Stark House / 610 W. Main Ave. / whstarkhouse.org Members free, Non-members, activities included with general admission • Visitors of all ages can make winter tree sculptures, create a bell or make special glasses to welcome 2014.

Stark Museum of Art, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, The W.H. Stark House and Lutcher Theater are programs of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation. ©2013-2014. All Rights Reserved.


Wrong Again, Thank God Almighty, Wrong Again In Albertson’s, in the fruit section, I see what I see; an elderly white man and his black female aide. At first glance it all looks so sad to me. He’s Greatest Generation aged. I take him as a widower. This is his once-aweek grocery shopping day. He’s got a grocery list written on a small piece of paper. He’s sort of stuck, over there by the bananas; his eyes are not good, and his hands are shaking and he’s having a hard time deciding what is next on the list. Off ten, fifteen yards or so, is the black aide. She’s with him, I can tell. She’s dressed poorly, too large for her tank top, her sweat pants are old and shabby, and to pull the look all together she’s wearing those gawdawful Crocs. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ We all jump to conclusions; it’s natural, we’re right more than we’re wrong, and frankly it seems smart. In the animal kingdom all it takes is a whiff; prey don’t wait for visual confirmation before they run from the smell of predators. The deer that gives every wolf a chance to not be wolfish is soon lunch on the hoof. Take that natural instinct of categorizing people by visual clues - that we all do – and then put it in a mind like mine and I’m writing biographies on people almost instantly. Show me a fingernail and I’m writing finger, hand, wrist and arm. A lot of times I’m right. This wasn’t one of ‘em. Hallelujah. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____

I linger over making a bread decision, watching the two of them. The old man stays near the bananas, having such a burden deciding where to go next. She seems patient, giving him his distance. She walks off an aisle or two over and returns with a bottle of Sprite and puts it in the man’s buggy. Then she steps away and waits for him. This is going on for about two minutes. Already, I’m impatient. I knew already, and it doesn’t take much to remind me, that I am not cut out for care giving. My instinct would be to take over, to take the list, get the ball rolling, let’s get this done and go to the next thing. When I think those thoughts she rises in my esteem, because she’s more patient than I am, more respectful of whatever declining abilities and dignities that he still has. I move on, about my own mission and up ‘n down an aisle or so until I’m surprised when I cross paths with her. I make eye contact with her, and she nods, and I say, “Must be hard isn’t it?” To take care of a stranger. To make your living this way. That’s what I’m thinking. She replies, “Ain’t hard not one bit,” and now I see in her face what her clothes didn’t tell me, that she is clean inside, that it isn’t about the paycheck, that she has extra love in her heart and has been gifted with patience, tenderness, and kindness to a degree that I’ll never reach. I couldn’t keep eye contact; she was my superior. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____

So here’s bad me on this one. I give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s a white male, very elderly, and I instantly lump him into the category of all the older white men that I’ve personally known, who’ve led lives of great character. I’m glad that he’s alive, and can still get around, but I’m sad that he’s feeble and I’m sad that he’s now dependent on someone that I consider “beneath” him, not by being black, but the clues I get about her class. Is this how his life ends, making small talk with her, in the loneliness of his empty house? Where are his kids, his grandkids? I feel sorry for her too. Did she think her life would end up here, baby sitting an old white guy? Everybody seems to be settling, and where there’s settling something good is dying. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____

The other layer to this is the black / white thing, doubled by the generation thing. These old white men, that I see as honorable, the truth is, a lot of them did some pretty mean stuff to blacks. I saw some of it in the 60’s. Where I give the benefit of the doubt, because he’s white, she has every good reason to not give him the benefit of the doubt, because he’s white. For all anybody knows this is exactly the kind of man that her grandmother warned her about… And yet here she is, caring for him, and clean before God. I don’t know who you are, lady, but you were better than church. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ This edition of Uncle P’s Bedtime Stories is brought to you by Eighty-one, where we think the best deeds are good deeds done in the quiet, without reward. Uncle P can be reached at 81creativity@gmail.com.

www.BestOfSWLA.com

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Wild Wild Best  

Lagniappe Magazine - Volume 31, Number 23

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