I got an email from Martin Voltaire recently, and it made me smile. In fact, I was downright happy. I followed up on the email, and then we had a phone conversation. After that chat, I was very happy.
Friday, September 22, 2017
Friday, September 15, 2017
I was observing officials with the City of Baker School System the other night hashing out ideas on how they can make the learning experience better for its students.
Friday, September 08, 2017
Moments after I and a group of friends arrived home recently from a five-day vacation, we were met by several other friends who were eager to give us the latest Baton Rouge news. The majority of the conversation was about the number of people who …
Friday, September 01, 2017
I bet this never happened to you. I was talking to a friend while selling fried catfish dinners when a determined-looking young woman approached. She stepped up to me and calmly asked: “Mr. Pratt, do you remember me? You wrote a column about me af…
Friday, August 18, 2017
There I was, looking at pictures of my granddaughters, both making me smile and laugh. One granddaughter is 15 months old, and the other is nearly two months old. Both have big, happy brown eyes that can pierce your heart.
Friday, August 11, 2017
When I hear education officials and school principals talk about statewide scores, I sit up a bit. I guess it’s part of being an athletic competitor in me. I’m about winning.
Friday, August 04, 2017
It was late on a recent afternoon, and I had a big decision to make. I was hungry, and I needed to find a place for a quick snack or an early dinner.
Friday, July 28, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
I am in one of those seasons that many of us who are three score years old have to deal with. More and more of our friends and loved ones are dying, like leaves dropping from trees in a fall wind.
Friday, July 14, 2017
Do you know where Baton Rouge's Expressway Park is located? It’s a slow ride down Myrtle Walk where train tracks used to be, bordered to the north by South Boulevard, and on the west by East Boulevard. And, on the east by South 11th Street.
Friday, July 07, 2017
I was at a restaurant Wednesday when friend and Baton Rouge radio talk show personality Jim Engster, sitting at nearby table, smiled at me and directed a woman standing near him to address a question to me. (I’ll return the favor, Mr. Engster.)
Friday, June 30, 2017
I’ve written several times about my high school and the area where it sits in Old South Baton Rouge. While the area is called The Bottom, it’s also the place where President Barack Obama held a town hall meeting last year. So take that.
Friday, June 16, 2017
I was one of several old dudes mugging for a selfie last Saturday afternoon. We took the photo in the midst of collectively trying to cook some 200 chicken quarters on a gigantic grill. It was part of a fundraising activity.
Friday, June 02, 2017
I was sitting under the carport with the fellas a few weeks ago when I surprised them by announcing I was going to be taking pictures at a wedding. I had never done that before, and to be honest, I will never be mistaken for a professional photographer.
Friday, May 26, 2017
“You know, our children don’t hate until we tell them to hate,” said Ann Linton, the mother of a recent high school graduate.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Anyone who knows much about me is keenly aware of how much I love my alma mater, McKinley High School. I owe so much to the teachers, administrators and my classmates. I learned more about life there than any book could ever teach me.
Friday, May 12, 2017
Friday, May 05, 2017
So, where are we now that the U.S. Department of Justice has “officially” announced that the two Baton Rouge police officers involved in the shooting death of Alton Sterling will not be charged with violating his civil rights when they shot and ki…
Friday, April 28, 2017
It’s official: I’ve lost 3 pounds this month, which, at the time of this writing, still has a few days remaining. I want to share my great feeling of accomplishment.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Most athletes have that day, that moment, when they can’t be stopped. Whether it is a game in front of a large crowd or in the neighborhood in front of the home boys. You just feel it.
Friday, April 14, 2017
I don’t think I ever went on an Easter Egg hunt when I was child. If I did, I can’t think of where it would have been held. I did a lot of things, but I can’t fish out a memory of hunting for Easter Eggs.
Friday, April 07, 2017
Recently, I’ve found that we are so stressed amid all of the tumult and political noise bombarding us that many of us don’t take time to notice all of the good stuff happening right in front of us every day.
Friday, March 31, 2017
There was a picture in a book that ignited my imagination when I was barely school-age, and it stuck with me for years. It was a picture of a young boy lying on his back in a huge field. There were some flowers here and there around him. But he wa…
Friday, March 17, 2017
I’m creating an imaginary a scene, so bear with me a little bit. I’m basing it on the Walker Police Department sergeant who recently brought a noose to work. I don’t know if I can be that funny, though.
Friday, March 10, 2017
Some mornings I arise trying not to turn on the television. I steer clear of my smartphone because there might be a bulletin about some dumb stuff the most powerful man in the free world has said or done.
Friday, March 03, 2017
Nothing good was going to happen when 38-year-old David Johnson showed up at the party his estranged wife was having for her son who was going to be heading off to college.
Friday, February 24, 2017
From my office window I can see young men at Christian Life Academy playing baseball on their nice, well-manicured green field of dreams. Sometimes I will get locked in on them for a few minutes.
Friday, February 17, 2017
The Rev. W. Marshall Myles lamented to his congregation at New St. John Baptist Church on a recent Sunday that he felt “so low that I had to reach up to touch down.”
Friday, February 10, 2017
Sometimes when I’m a little riled up by rotten politics, reprehensible politicians and the vile motives of some folk, I write a little something for myself.
Friday, January 27, 2017
So, the other day I was sitting, talking with a co-worker about stuff on the job. If you have to know, I work at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. You get the idea from the name alone what this office all about.
Friday, January 20, 2017
A few weeks ago, I wandered into a local pizza joint that I had avoided for years, generally because the idea of an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet seemed like a sin.
Friday, January 13, 2017
Eight years ago, on a Tuesday night, I sat at my laptop writing a column about the election of Barack Hussein Obama as not only president, but also the first African-American president of the United States.
Friday, January 06, 2017
Saturday, December 31, 2016
I think it’s unanimous that 2016 will be remembered as one of the worst years on this planet, especially in Baton Rouge.
Friday, December 23, 2016
It’s Christmas Eve, for most of us an occasion to think of fun times, both present and past. It’s a great chance to wish that Santa would bring some much-needed gifts.
Friday, December 16, 2016
As an elementary school-age child, I spent a lot of time listening to the conversations of my grandmother and her circle of friends. I guess the average age of that group was between 65 and 70 years old. Few of them had much formal education. My g…
Friday, December 09, 2016
Last week, I attended three funerals in four days, and that, my friends, can take a toll on you. Of course, I’m not suggesting that my feelings compare to the loss suffered by my friends.
Friday, November 25, 2016
Sometimes when I ride through my neighborhood in Old South Baton Rouge, I have to stop and think about what I am seeing and recall all of the political promises of whole loaves of bread, yet this area barely got crumbs.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Friday, November 11, 2016
The greatest fear I had as a child was that my grandmother — the stabilizing force in my life — would die someday. My fear mounted as she grew older, ill and less verbal. Then, one night in May, she died.
Friday, November 04, 2016
I was standing in a long, snaking line on Monday morning preparing to “early vote” at the Secretary of State’s office. There is little doubt that the candidates for president — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump —were driving the rapidly growing line.
Friday, October 28, 2016
Last Saturday, I sat with friends enjoying great food, adult beverages and interesting conversation at our tailgate in the hours leading up to Southern University’s homecoming football game. As you know, homecoming is that one game that is suppose…
Friday, October 21, 2016
It was a pretty warm morning as I got on my knees to get a better angle to take a photograph of my father’s headstone. It was Memorial Day 2016 at Port Hudson National Cemetery.
Friday, October 14, 2016
Friday, October 07, 2016
My wife and I were waiting for the doorbell to ring on Sunday afternoon. Our friends Mike and Brenda were heading over to the house to pick us up.
Friday, September 23, 2016
Friday, September 16, 2016
I was at the foot of my driveway talking to an electrician on Wednesday evening about an idea I had about adding a couple electrical outlets to the exterior of my house. I wanted a place to plug in my generator.
Friday, September 02, 2016
There I was Tuesday morning, 10 minutes late for my photo shoot at an elementary school in Baker. I hustled out of my car to make sure I got to the office as fast as possible.
Friday, August 26, 2016
It takes a lot of mental toughness to live in my town right now. East Baton Rouge Parish is not for the faint of heart. We have overcome years of disasters by finding that thing that helps us overcome.