“It is said that one can tell during a conversation that lasts not longer than a summer shower whether or not a man is cultivated,” explains a 1921 book of etiquette. Often it doesn’t take that long.
For example, there's Cherie Kraft, whose heirloom vase accidentally shattered at the Neal Auction Company’s “evaluation day,” the Lafayette version of "Antiques Roadshow." “It’s alright,” she said calmly, amid gasps of horror from everyone in the room. “It’s alright.”
And Claire Bohn, who still writes hand-written letters of appreciation, and artist Amy Guidry, who does the same thing. Also, the Lafayette Bar Association’s Katelyn Guidry, who asked, “May I take this photo when you’re finished?” and Breaux Bridge boy turned New Orleans Saint Travin Dural, polite to the press when no one’s watching.
And now, for the lack thereof:
The woman at Albertson’s who addressed the stock boy as “Hey, fella!” and ordered him to watch her cart while she went to the ladies room, “because I’ve spend a lot of time building up this basket so don’t let anyone take it.” A stock boy’s job is to restock, not babysit your groceries.
But perhaps best of all, the father in the fast food chain restaurant whose order was not as he’d envisioned. Not only is it ungentlemanly to whale on the staff, but also turning on the female bystander who suggested you not to talk to women that way was foolish. She was with the five bikers you then spotted along the back wall, the ones you sped past on the way to your mini-van with your child, sans fries.
You never know who’s looking on.
The Young & the Restless
Always a class act, the Young Lawyers Section of the Lafayette Bar Association installed officers at a La Fonda banquet. It was elbow-to-elbow as the legal elite gathered to see President-elect Keith Saltzman sworn in by the Honorable Guy Holdridge, and also installed as president-elect was Jaclyn Bacon, of NeunerPate; Stuart Breaux, of Becker & Hebert, as treasurer; and NeunerPate’s Carolyn Cole as secretary. Among the many guests were newly appointed Dona Renegar, president of the Louisiana State Bar Association, Lafayette Bar Association President-elect Donnie O’Pry, Judge Marilyn Castle, Douglas and Mary Margaret Saloom, Roya Boustany, Cyd Anderson and proud parent Delphine Saltzman.
Hail & Farewell
City Club hosted the annual gathering of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Alumni Association’s past presidents for a noon luncheon in its 1100 Room. Part social, part hail and farewell, saying goodbye was Angela Morrison while Kyle Bacon said hello as new president. “We’re looking forward to building on past successes and creating new traditions,” said Bacon. Morrison leaves as the first African-American woman to hold the position, and toasting progress were Marty Audiffred, Rae Robinson Brodnax, author Camille Pavy Claibourne, Southern lawyer and seersucker suited Steve Oats, Don Landry and Robbie Bush. “This is an old organization,” said Brodnax. By the way, the first female to hold the alumni presidency was in 1909. Geaux Cajuns.
Bubbles & Brushes
Champagne bubbles, that is. The Junior League of Lafayette celebrated its 60th anniversary with a paint party at its River Ranch headquarters. Leaguers sipped Champagne, perused the pictures and enjoyed a buffet of dishes from their cookbook, “Talk about Good,” all while painting commemorative tiles and recalling old times. Established in 1957, the Service League of Lafayette’s goal was to effect positive change in the community, and since has given back more than $3 million in support of that mission. In the mix were President Corinne Cotten, Monique Gideon, Pat Olson and Cecile Mouton, who just happened to be celebrating her birthday, also.
Teachers Have Class
A quarter-century after its closing, the LeRosen Special Education Center held a reunion. It was old home week as former staff assembled in the cafeteria, many wearing what they originally wore to work — nurse’s scrubs and PE shorts. Old school and proud of it was Thetis Cusimano. “These were the pioneers of special education,” Cusimano said. Among those reliving LeRosen’s glory days were Susan Chiquelin, Carla Guidry, Narva Smith, of Baton Rouge, local political wife Evelyn Theriot, and former assistant superintendent Jerry Caillier, herself a teacher at LeRosen from 1966 to 1968. “I think it’s wonderful,” she said of the reunion. “We wish we could have done it sooner.”
Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at email@example.com