A co-worker stopped me on July 9 and asked “Do you remember where you were 36 years ago today?”
Friday, July 13, 2018
Friday, July 06, 2018
To hear a certain kind of truth float into the air can be devastating and heart wrenching. The truth, even when the volume is low, can deliver the force of thunder and lightning.
Friday, June 29, 2018
Friday, June 22, 2018
I looked up on Wednesday afternoon and found out that the bone spur Patriot-in-Chief Donald J. Trump had to do a 180 on his heartless, separate-the-weeping-children-from-their-parents program.
Friday, June 15, 2018
Sometimes, a "thank you" is about as good as it gets, even if it’s decades late and the intended recipients are long gone and buried. At least I hope that’s so, and especially since Father’s Day is Sunday.
Friday, June 08, 2018
A few days ago, Southern University officials and the local higher education community were smiling about the news that 11-year-old child prodigy Elijah Precciely would enroll at the local historically black university in spring 2019. In fact, he …
Friday, June 01, 2018
I was just about to write my annual “There is too much violence in the low-income areas of south Louisiana” column when I happened to remember the lyrics of Too Short, one of my favorite rappers from back in the day.
Friday, May 18, 2018
Sometimes our young people don’t understand that profanity and paint can be an evil mixture. The wicked combination, depending on where and how it is used, can break hearts.
Friday, May 11, 2018
On Sunday, about 2.7 million grandmothers across the nation will get Mother’s Day gifts ... from their grandchildren.
Friday, May 04, 2018
Friday, April 27, 2018
It was a little after 6 p.m. one recent evening, and I was walking through the East Buchanan-Virginia Street area of old South Baton Rouge. It’s familiar territory for me. I was one block from my high school.
Friday, April 20, 2018
Friday, April 13, 2018
Two weeks after watching the video of Alton Sterling's deadly confrontation with Baton Rouge police officers Blaine Salamoni and Howie Lake, I feel a lot of emotion. I have a couple of observations and questions, too.
Saturday, March 31, 2018
Earlier this week, a large segment of Baton Rouge was upset that two white Baton Rouge city police officers were not going to face charges in the 2016 shooting and killing of a black man, Alton Sterling.
Friday, March 23, 2018
I was in the car after church trying to decide if I should go home and fix a nice breakfast or stop at a fancy breakfast restaurant — one of those that include clever names and long menus listing stuff you will never eat for breakfast.
Friday, March 16, 2018
By Monday afternoon, the local politics of the day, the results of dumb political polls and craziness from our national’s capital had turned my brain into oatmeal. The condition of our city, state and country sometimes pricks my emotions.
Friday, March 09, 2018
Over the past several weeks the Legislature was stumbling around the terrible fiscal cliff. Nothing happened, and they are still just a few steps from the ledge. They have their reasons, I guess, for whatever they did nothing about. They have to e…
Friday, March 02, 2018
It has happened again. Just when you think the country is headed into the Dumpster, our young people show us that they can take the lead. They are laser-focused and willing to put up a fight against anyone. They are bright, clever and can unify fo…
Friday, February 23, 2018
I was interviewed recently on a Baton Rouge radio show about an historic event I participated in during the spring of 1970. My school, McKinley High, played predominantly white Catholic High School.
Friday, February 16, 2018
Friday, February 02, 2018
Crushed for time over the past week, I didn’t focus a lot of attention on the president’s State of the Union speech. Like the threat of bad weather, I knew this thing was going to happen, that I would be agitated by it, and there was nothing I cou…
Friday, January 26, 2018
I really loved speaking to Alysha Guidry's sixth-grade science classes at Westside Junior High in Walker the other day. The students were enthusiastic and inquisitive, and they laughed when I said something that I hoped was funny.
Friday, January 19, 2018
I was near closure on President Donald Trump, yet again, putting his foot into the toilet — there’s no more room in this mouth — when he reportedly characterized Haiti and Africa (a whole continent) as a “s***thole.”
Friday, January 12, 2018
I was on my way to a meeting one recent evening when I drove past Baton Rouge's Expressway Park. It sits in midtown, under crisscrossing elevated sections of Interstate-110, bounded by South Boulevard, South 11th, Myrtle and East Boulevard.
Saturday, December 30, 2017
Friday, December 22, 2017
If you have watched a recent congressional hearing on a nominee for a lifetime appointment on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that went badly for the nominee, you probably have an inkling of what this is about. Please forgive …
Friday, December 15, 2017
Friday, December 01, 2017
Tailgating and my focus on college football took a major hit last week when my beloved Southern University Jaguars suffered a heartbreaking loss to our cross-state rival, Grambling State University.
Friday, November 24, 2017
I tried to whip up some interest in folks to get them to the polls in my neck of the woods last week. Even my wife joined in on Facebook, telling folks that she had voted that morning and that they should follow her to the polls.
Friday, November 17, 2017
Friday, November 10, 2017
Thursday will be Nov. 16, 2017. That’s 45 years to the day that East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed unarmed Southern University freshmen Denver Smith and Leonard Brown.
Friday, November 03, 2017
Friday, October 20, 2017
Some folks say that a telltale sign that you are getting old, uh, or more mature, is that you begin to get irritated by more and more things that used to be the minor stuff. Loud music was OK back in the day when R&B music would bomb my car an…
Friday, October 13, 2017
“ ... 2 yrs ago when I buried my child I thought it was over for me. Never did I think I'd get my Happy back. But God kept whispering his promises to me. Lord knows this road is rough sometimes I'm not sure if I'm coming or going but I'm here, Hap…
Friday, September 29, 2017
If my dad were alive today, he and I would have debated the actions of the NFL football players that knelt or sat during the national anthem before football games last week. I would have been spoiling for the confrontation.
Friday, September 22, 2017
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 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.