Irma Darphin tells this story to show why she loves her home town, the Acadia Parish community of Iota:
“I walked into the beauty parlor to get my hair cut, and jokingly said to the owner, ‘I’m extremely hungry — would you happen to have a sizzling hot steak?’
“I was told, ‘No, but I can get you one.’
“Thirty minutes after I arrived home, a warm rib-eye with grilled vegetables was delivered.
“Only in Iota!”
The death of Ed Anderson, who covered state government for the Times-Picayune from 1969 to 2012, brought a flood of remembrances from his colleagues in journalism and from the people he covered at the Capitol.
But I remember him best as a fellow thespian, making fun of Louisiana politicians in the Capitol Correspondents’ annual Gridiron Show.
The night before Ed went into the hospital with a blood clot, we were rehearsing a skit in which he played Tom Benson and I was Drew Brees (I know, type casting...). As usual, Ed was hilarious — he was at his best portraying guys with New Orleans accents.
After rehearsal, as he limped out into the night, I remarked to someone that he didn’t look like he felt well. Little did I know the next time I saw him he’d be in a hospital bed.
Ed loved covering the antics of the politicians at the State Capitol. After he was downsized out of newspaper work, he was able to get a state job in Baton Rouge so he could stay close to the place he’d been a part of for so long.
Jan Moller, who credits Ed with helping him get through his early years as a reporter, said it best:
“Ed was a classic old school reporter — grumpy and profane and skeptical of politicians and their motives, yet always fair and thorough...”
And, lest we forget, he was a damn fine actor...
“While you’re talking about actors who changed their names for the sake of Hollywood,” says Virginia Howard, the Metairie Mischief-Maker, “let us not forget Issur Danielovitch. Kirk Douglas was quoted as saying that his birth name sounded like someone sneezing into a bowl of mush.”
Charlanne Cress, of Zachary, says, “My 2-year-old grandson Wyatt was in awe of the 10,000 flags so beautifully placed on the lawn of the State Capitol for Memorial Day.
“The flags were the most patriotic sight I have ever seen in Louisiana. A ‘field of Flanders’ silence filled the air as visitors, young and old, viewed them.
“Tears flowed from this Grammie’s eyes thinking of the many Louisiana families represented.
“A heartfelt ‘thank you’ to BlueCross/BlueShield of Louisiana and Braud’s Welding for their patriotic sponsorship, and to the devoted Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana.
“A photograph of that ‘garden of red, white and blue’ should hang in every classroom in Louisiana.”
Nice People Dept.
Billie Roman, of Baton Rouge, tells me the letters to this column from people whose restaurant bills have been paid by strangers must have started something:
“My husband and I went out to eat on Memorial Day, and decided on King Buffet on Bluebonnet Drive.
“When the bill came, the waitress told us it was paid by a man a couple of tables away.
“We thanked him, and hope he sees this and knows how much we appreciated it. We will pass it on.”
Special People Dept.
— Bertha Prochaska O’Neal, of Heritage Manor, celebrates her 102nd birthday on Sunday, May 31.
— Rose Marie Teoulet, of Metairie, celebrates her 94th birthday on Saturday, May 30.
— Earlan Gaudet Ourso, of Bayou Vista, celebrates her 92nd birthday on Sunday, May 31.
— On Friday, May 29, Bill and Doris Coburn celebrate their 62nd anniversary.
— Rosemary and Boyce Smith Sr., of Zachary, celebrate their 56th anniversary on Saturday, May 30.
The fine print
“Your reference to George Carlin and the Bible (in the Thursday column) reminded me of this story,” says Chuck Perrodin.
“In his final days on earth, life-long atheist W.C. Fields was found sitting on his porch reading the Bible.
“Asked what an avowed non-believer like himself was doing reading the Good Book, Fields deadpanned, ‘Looking for loopholes.’”
Rivers Daigle says, “The ‘broke’ sign on an ATM mentioned in your column reminded me of an ATM experience in France.
“Since our English language contains seven or eight times more words than the French language, there are some odd translations.
“I chose English as the language, and encountered a problem with my intended transaction.
“The displayed error message was simply, ‘IMPOSSIBLE.’
“Oh, my French ancestors.”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.