Since I joined The Advocate about 100 years ago, I’ve worked for three publishers.

With a new regime coming in, I’m reminded of what class acts preceded it.

Doug Manship Sr. was publisher when I joined the paper to cover business news and was a valued source of tips.

He obviously had access to movers and shakers, and often called me to share some information that might make a story.

If his tip didn’t pan out, I never heard from him asking why I didn’t run it.

Doug Jr., an affable guy, was a fine publisher, but I remember him most as the creative force behind the Magazine section, at one time a tabloid with a cover story.

He used reporters as free-lance writers, giving us a chance at more expansive magazine-style writing.

David went about his job with an enthusiasm that was contagious, charging around the building with a big smile and a ready wisecrack.

He gave me one of my favorite lines the time I mentioned retirement.

He looked shocked and said, “Retire from WHAT?”

The three Manships had this in common: hiring people they assumed knew what they were doing, then letting them do it.

In my case the assumption was not always correct, but I appreciate them making it.

Doug Sr. is no longer with us, but to David and Doug Jr. I’d like to say, “Thanks, guys, it’s been fun. …”


A reader recently warned about jumping to conclusions — she complained about a wrong delivery, based on the box she received, before looking inside to find the items she ordered.

I should have paid more attention to her story, because I recently suffered from “leap before you look” syndrome:

On Facebook I spotted the name of a friend of ours who was having a birthday.

Among her many accomplishments, she’s a beekeeper and provides us with fine honey.

So I posted “Happy birthday, honey lady, honey!”

Then I took a closer look at her photo and realized I had the wrong person — the birthday lady had the same first name as our friend, and an Irish last name like hers.

I immediately apologized, and to her I say, “Sorry about calling you honey. Hope you can forgive me, sugar. ...”

Surprise Mom!

This year for Mother’s Day, imagine the look on your mom’s face when, instead of those lovely flowers, or that box of chocolates, or that diamond necklace, she opens her gift and finds — a book! By me …

You can make her day, more or less, by obtaining a signed copy of “Smiley! A Laughing Matter” from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Main Street Market. It’s Red Stick Farmers Market day, so you can be assured of getting a supply of corn, whether or not the farmers have any.

Worthy causes

  • Girls on the Run 5K at 9 a.m. Saturday at Pennington Biomedical Research Center benefits the Girls on the Run scholarship program.

The program allows more than 500 girls in need of financial assistance the chance to participate in a 10-week after-school program.


  • Children’s Miracle Network benefits from a silent auction from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Southern Oaks Athletic Club, 15253 Shenandoah Ave., hosted by “Miss Greater Baton Rouge,” Carley McCord, and “Miss Capital City,” Lacey Sanchez.

The auction includes autographed memorabilia from local celebrities and sports stars.


Looking for people

  • David Dunnehoo, of Jackson, wants to locate the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) members who rode the “Gator Bus” driven by his dad, “Mr. Curtis,” in 1968 through 1972:

“He would take us to Mardi Gras throughout south Louisiana, to shrimp and rice festivals, pig roasts, etc.”


  • Descendants of David C. and Martha Reeves Abbott, who moved to Crowley from Michigan after the Civil War to become rice farmers, will gather July 19-21 in Baton Rouge.

Contact Richard Abbott at or Joan Abbott at

Hawaiian evening

A “Luau Dance” for folks with developmental disabilities will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at BREC’s Womack Ballroom, 6201 Florida Blvd., by Circle Civitan Club. It’s free and includes food and soft drinks in addition to the music. Call Linda at (225) 243-4985.

His Bama problem

Linda Whitman, of Denham Springs, says this about our mention of car travel with kids:

“Six-year-old grandson Cade has travel issues.

“He lives in Georgia, and has a particular problem with Alabama.

“When coming this way or returning home, he’ll ask his dad, ‘Are we in Alabama?’

“A few miles down the road he’ll ask, ‘Are we STILL in Alabama?’

“After the same answer several times, he’ll say, ‘I HATE Alabama!’

During football season, so does his dad. …

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.