Garden Rows of Memory

When I was a wee lad, my grandpa gave me a whole row of his garden for my very own.

He always grew a garden. It was out to the west of the house where I live now. He had an old Montgomery Ward tiller and would plough rows one after another, then grow all manner of vegetables that Ma Faye would cook or can or we’d eat right there under the sun. He had a little chair under a nearby tree where he’d sit and wipe the sweat form his face in the summer.

I don’t remember what I planted, and I am probably confusing things he grew with my own. It was a very long time ago. But I can still taste the stinging crunch of radish straight from the soil. Wash them off? A brush up and down the pants leg was plenty good enough, but Ma Faye would catch me sometimes and make me go to the faucet under the old cistern to clean them properly.

And the corn! Oh, the delightful sweet corn that he grew. Now and then he’d pick the ears and let me have one, and he’d take one, and we’d . . . → Read More: Garden Rows of Memory

How Pete Cooper Jr. Ruined My Life

You ever had an experience where you accidentally, unthinkingly and unknowingly, hurt someone?

I mean, you didn’t intend to. It was all an accident. But the consequences were unmistakably bad.

My pal Pete Cooper Jr. might know. You see, Pete Cooper ruined my life. Here’s how.

Back in 2005, I was asked to appear in not one but two episodes of Fly Fishing America which, at the time, aired on ESPN. In one episode, I would fish on the Blackfeet Indian reservation in Montana with native Joe Kipp; in the other, Joe would join me to fish in Louisiana.

I went to Montana for the filming of the first episode, and fell head-over-heels in love with Big Sky Country. The mountains, the foothills, the prairies and…the rivers! Streams and creeks, oh my! To the end of my days I doubt I shall ever see anything more beautiful than Otatsa Creek in Glacier National Park, or a more awe-inspiring sight than Chief Mountain standing sentinel over us as we caught cutthroat trout.

But upon returning to Louisiana, I said to myself, “Well, that was a once in a lifetime experience,” and went back to fishing for bream and bass in . . . → Read More: How Pete Cooper Jr. Ruined My Life

Dry As A Bone

I don’t have a blessed thing to say today.

What could I? There’s not much going on that would be worth writing about, or that I even can write about. The weather is about as unpredictable as a startled jackrabbit. When it’s clear, it’s cold. When it’s warm, it rains. Terrible.

I’ve been staring at this blank Microsoft Word document since Monday afternoon, wondering what I might have to pontificate about that would be mildly interesting, poignant or humorous. Big scratch, there. The most important thing in my life right now is that the stupid networks have moved reruns of Dharma and Greg to the same time slot as reruns of King of Queens and believe me, I am in no condition to make decisions in the dead of winter.

I have been enjoying my DVD collection I got for Christmas, The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr. Anybody remember that one? Starring Bruce Campbell, one of my all-time favorite actors, as a late nineteenth century bounty hunter who runs into all kinds of dubious villains. The show had a Wild, Wild West feel to it in that it had a lot of futuristic gadgets, elements and plot lines, and . . . → Read More: Dry As A Bone


In a word…BRRRRR!!!

It is stinking miserably cold and dreary. What happened to that mild, dry winter we were supposed to have?

Meteorologists. What a concept.

I can’t begin to describe how dismal this weather is. Can’t do nothing I like to do. Nothing, you hear, nothing! No creek fishing, no boat building, not even grass mowing, and you know how much I like grass mowing.

Sadly, the weekend started off with the funeral services for Harold Thibodaux, my dear old friend. I met Harold first when I started at this job in 1980, and we became fast friends, family even, because I called him Uncle Harold, but then, so did most people around City Hall in those days. I’ll miss him terribly.

I had to go to Lafayette this weekend to record some audio for the LPB project I’ve been working on, that will air this spring. It was at the KRVS radio studio on the UL-L campus, and was quite an impressive facility! In the laid-back moments during the recording when I was waiting for an engineer to make a setting or something, I passed the time by doing little voice-overs such as:

“Paul’s broken a glass, . . . → Read More: Brrr!


Those of you who are local will probably be wondering why I have so far said nothing of the recent sale of this newspaper and the one in Morgan City.

I suppose that’s because it’s been something I’ve had to sort out in own feeble brain first.

See, all told, I’ve got 22 years with Shirley Newspapers, the parent company of both the Banner and the Daily Review. I’ve worked for both. Give another eight years I spent at KFMV/KFRA in Franklin, and you’ll find my math works pretty fair when I say I’ve been in this business for 30 years.

The first thing I should say, then, is this: If the sale of this paper to Louisiana State Newspapers was something Steve and Andy Shirley felt was their best option and that we, who are essentially extended family, are in the best hands with LSN, then I have faith in their decision.

Change is sometimes scary. I admit that. The folks we have met from LSN have been very nice, and swayed many of our apprehensions.

I was a lad of 15 when I first walked into the doors of these hallowed halls, looking for a job. Bob . . . → Read More: Eras

New Fly Fishing Blog

You folks who are into fly fishing, go check out my friend Pete Cooper Jr.’s new site, LaFlyGuy. If you’re read this column enough, you’ll know that Pete is not only a great friend, by my Jedi Master in fly fishing. He’s a masterful technical writer in all things outdoors, but can spin a great homespun yarn like you’re sitting with him by the creek with a stogie and a sip of bourbon and branch water.

Done With The Holidays

I gained at least a dozen pounds since last I talked to you here.

Goodness! Why do we eat so much over these holidays? I am ashamed of how much I ate since Christmas. I doubt the Last Supper was so rich, so why do we make such a fuss about dining so extravagantly?

Just ‘cause, I guess.

Regardless, the waddle in my walk has become worse. I was rushing to do something the other day, walking at a fast pace, nearly a jog, and the newly-discovered jiggles occurring along my torso made me decide I wasn’t in that big a hurry after all.

A huge Christmas dinner, complete with lemon icebox pie that Suzie and my mom blessed us with, brownies, chocolate cake, cookies. Two Christmas presents, boxes of chocolate candy each, another a baked honey ham. For New Year’s Eve, home made jambalaya. Add in the fruit cake I bought myself, and you have all the ingredients of a puffy Injun huffing and puffing to get up the hills around the creek come spring.

Plus with the crazy weather, I have spent entirely too much time lounging on the sofa, getting up only to go to the . . . → Read More: Done With The Holidays