In Search of Earl Long_lowres

Photo by Jack B. McGuire from Uncle Earl Deserved Better.

Regarding our seminar on Huey Long, Mike Richard points out that "Huey was not the only colorful Long to serve as governor of Louisiana.

"It was the mid 1950s, and I was just out of the Navy.

"In Ned's pool room in Opelousas, my cousin, the bartender, introduced me to state Sen. Henry D. Larcade, a very dapper gentleman from Opelousas.

"The senator needed someone to drive him to the Capitol in Baton Rouge. The next morning, I met him at his home and saw his car — a new Studebaker Commander, white, pink and black.

"We went to the archives in the Capitol for an hour or so, then Mr. Henry said, 'Let's go up and see the governor.'

"I had never been in the Capitol and was wide-eyed at everything.

"In his office, there was Uncle Earl sitting behind his desk, his foot on the corner, cleaning his toenails with a rat-tail file. That picture was burned into my brain.

"After some chitchat, the governor asked me if I would like to work for him as a state trooper in Troop K. I said sure.

"The last thing the governor said to me was that when he called me, I was to act promptly. I had no idea what that meant. Boy, did I learn."

The money tree

Paul Major, of Livonia, offers our Thought for the Day:

"Isn't it interesting how politicians, after complaining all year that we're broke and extra money is not available, somehow manage to find funds for local projects they make a big show of announcing — right before elections?"

Suit yourself

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, says, "Your entry about the groom and best man swapping clothes reminded me of the time I drove up to LSU to take the LSAT (law school admission exam).

"I stayed in a dorm room in Tiger Stadium with two of my high school buddies. That night, I met another friend, who told me a coat and tie were mandatory to take the exam.

"I panicked; however, my buddies said, 'We both have coats and ties, and you’re welcome to ours.'

"I was really relieved — until the next morning, when I realized both friends were 5 feet 6 inches tall, or less.

"I bet the test givers felt sorry for me when I walked in at over 6 feet 1 inch tall with a 'short stout' jacket. The sleeves reached up to my elbows and the jacket barely reached my waist.

"Maybe it helped in my admission."

Special People Dept.

  • O.J. Simoneaux, of Metairie, celebrates his 98th birthday Thursday, July 26. He is a World War II Navy veteran.
  • Winnie Munch, of Westwego, celebrates her 96th birthday Thursday, July 26.
  • Robert B. Williams, of Baton Rouge, celebrates his 93rd birthday Thursday, July 26. He is an Air Force veteran of World War II, having served in the China-Burma-India theater.

Lunch swap days

Mary Pramuk recalls the time-honored schoolyard practice of swapping sandwiches:

"When my aunt and uncle went to Florida, I went to live with Grandma to look after her until they returned.

"She was a wonderful ethnic cook but never got over the habit of cooking enough to feed a regiment for a week.

"I was in school at the time and poor enough to carry my lunch every day. After nearly a week of breaded veal cutlet sandwiches, I’d had enough.

"A fellow student, Joe Hertzi, with the same ethnic background, was sitting next to me grumbling about his baloney sandwich. I said, 'I’ll trade you.' His eyes got big. 

"There we sat, happily eating each other’s lunch."

A public service 

Marvin Borgmeyer says his friend Brother Eldon Crifasi, now 96, has long been concerned that TV cameras, as they pan around Tiger Stadium during LSU football games, will show empty seats in the Tiger Den suites or Stadium Club.

So if any fans cannot make a game, Brother Eldon and his driver Marvin offer to attend for them, in the interest of filling Tiger Stadium. Call (225) 769-0002. 

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.