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“Like a scene from a movie…”

Like others who watched television in disbelief as the Grand 16 tragedy developed, the words “like a scene in a movie” came to mind. As a film columnist for years, I spent countless hours in the Grands, both of them, with no greater threat than bad acting.

Part of the job of a reviewer is to alert the public to change, and it seems appropriate in a society blog to say that Lafayette society has now changed.

And while there are no words to make sense of insanity nor any defense against it, there is something to be said for those who confront it. I often wrote when reviewing cop movies. “We need to pay these people more.” We still do.

To those police who rushed headlong into the theatre, thank you. Forgive us for taking you for granted, for reporting on you only when you make mistakes, and for paying less than you deserve.

As I tried to locate my daughter that evening—Trainwreck  was a film she wanted to see—I received a text from a former New Iberia cop, a longtime friend of mine. She was checking in, and chatted by text that she and Col. Mike Edmondson came up together, that he was a rookie trooper when she was in law enforcement. She stood by while I found my daughter, which fortunately didn’t take long, and I thanked her.

She texted an emoji with a blue cap and a revolver, a reminder of those who protect and serve.

We are quick to point out their mistakes.  Our gratitude should be just as speedy.

Cartoon Vector Stock

Cartoon Vector Stock

Society Diary


Mid- July: Dealership diva Sharon Moss turns another year older and hosts a private party at Marcello’s, a champagne sit-down dinner for her close friends and family. A week and a half later, a rumor reaches me that I was told to be there, which isn’t true. At The Advocate, we’re the boss.


Parish Brewing in Broussard teams up with Cajun Paws Rescue for the first annual Barks & Brews. Cajun Paws Rescue is primarily a “pit bull” rescue located in Lafayette, whose goal is to rehome neglected, abused, and unwanted dogs and find them a forever home. They are a non-profit organization supported solely on donations. It is so hot, there are wading pools for the dogs. A combination fundraiser and adoption day, there is special beer for the owners. Canine society is pretty doggone good looking.


The Louisiana Hot Sauce Expo comes to Blackham Coliseum for the weekend. Plenty of participants are packing heat, and Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture Mike Strain judges the barbecue competition. Adam Gautreaux and Jason White take top honors while inside, Jersey Barnfire’s Austin D’Almeida has them three deep at his booth. Hot sauce society’s not bad either.


Acadiana’s own Barrett “Bear” Lancon, a captain in the National Guard assigned to Jackson Barracks, appears in Jurassic World in the role of an InGen contractor who removes dinosaur embryos. In addition to defending society against dinosaurs, Lancon also defended New Orleans after Katrina. That’s pretty hot too.

Also more dangerous.




Society Diary


First Week in July:  Dr. James Noriega welcomes Dr. Edugie Omoregbee to the fold with a wine and cheese meet n’ greet in his Fernewood home. Omoregbee looks less like a podiatrist than she does a model and is surprisingly okay with the women’s shoes present. Everyone falls in love with her. My daughter falls in love with Noriega’s homemade salsa and takes it home.  The cheese stands alone.

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The mother of a former gifted student stops me in the supermarket to say I was the only teacher with whom he ever got in trouble. Jacob LeBlanc is now 17 and plays in Cajun bands in and around Lafayette. Fiddling around in class will always get you in trouble, Jacob, and if it’s any comfort, I stay in trouble.

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My daughter’s boyfriend arrives home for 72 hours after eight weeks in Mexico, two delayed flights, a card fraud-alert freeze, and a three-hour drive from Houston. Some things are worth the trouble.


The Advocate sponsors the July 3rd Independence Celebration and fireworks at Sugar Mill Pond. The Youngsville police barricade every street leading to the event and redirect us to approach from the back. Shore Drive runs parallel to the festivities but there is no way to Shore Drive. Some residents recommend taking the alleyways but those don’t go anywhere either. One of them refuses to give his last name and finally says it’s Bob. I wonder if I should be turning Bob over to the police.



SFC Heath Comeaux and SSG Toby Saltzman make all the difficulties worthwhile. Like they say on Sons of Liberty, “Independence, gentlemen, independence.”



It rains all day July 4th.

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Frankly, My Dear…


Tara’s in trouble again. In the wake of recent tragedy, a massive recall of anything remotely (insert the Southern C-word here) is underway, from monuments right down to toy depictions of the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard.

All that stuff is gone with the wind.

And some would like to see that happen to the movie of the same name. But as a former film critic, a word of warning to society, particularly those brandishing digital pitchforks and torches on the lawn:

Gone with the Wind is simply the screen adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s novel. What advocates of banning the movie are truly bringing up is book burning, and that’s getting a little Third Reich. Yes, it depicts a view of Southern society you may not like, looking back on its context from today’s political perch. Authors wrote in their time, not yours, and the racist references in Huckleberry Finn were accurate for Mark Twain. However, he may also be on the list.

Be careful of deleting history the way you do your emails. History remains so that we may learn from our mistakes, and Germany wisely does not raze Buchenwald for that very reason.  Many are worried enough that the Holocaust could be forgotten and rightfully so.

America and its quick-to-garner-favor politicians need to tread lightly. By the way, slavery is very much still with us– in the form of human trafficking– and a lot of women would like to see society upset about that.

As for me, I potty trained my daughter in nothing flat with Dukes of Hazzard toddler pants.

Never meanin’ no harm, beat all you ever saw. Now I’m in trouble with the law.


Society Diary


June 19:  Go Red for Women hosts a heart-to-heart at the palatial home of Kathy Entes. Their mission is to publicize the #1 killer of women—heart disease—and there are several speakers, one of whom recommends that the event adopt a serious ad campaign or forever be a byline at the bottom of the society pages. I recommend they not say this about the society pages.


My daughter and I go to Baton Rouge. We leave Lafayette at two o’clock.

Traffic slows to a Katrina crawl some miles before the bridge. There are signs that say construction, but there is no construction. There is no accident, no apocalypse. We reach Bluebonnet Boulevard at 4:45 PM.


Later, my daughter checks her phone and discovers I-10 West is closed indefinitely due to a multiple rig mishap. She says, “No problem, we’ll just take 190 home.” Later, at the Acme Oyster House, she discovers there is a wreck on 190 also and the only alternative spits you out in Morgan City. How quickly life goes to hell in a handbasket.


We take 190  on the off chance the wreck’s been cleared. It has, but the Livonia Police Department has left the flares out to prolong the excitement. Traffic slows to rubberneck.


Near Opelousas, we pass two cowboys on horseback riding to the store for 40s. They get home sooner than we do.


Society Diary


May 30:  My daughter takes society photos at bride Casey Miller’s wedding to Wayne LeLeux. Held at the Heaton Historical House in Baldwin on the banks of the Bayou Teche, it’s her first foray into wedding photography. Whatever she missed she makes up for in masculine bewilderment and bravado.



June 4:  There’s more masculine bravado to come as City Club  executive director Alan Jacobs upstages everyone at the 16th annual Best Dressed of the Teche held at City Club in River Ranch. Jacobs, who is originally from New Jersey, walked the runway for charity to Stayin’ Alive. His staff is still in shock over the video.


June 10:   Perhaps bravest of all, new Lafayette Parish School Superintendent Donald Aguillard appears at an employee appreciation banquet after announcing 40 position cuts, bigger class sizes, and the fact that some teachers who RSVP’d were told they could not be accommodated.


Father’s Day:  Gentlemen, whether you’re bewildered or just Stayin’ Alive, enjoy your appreciation dinner wherever you are.

Society Noir


The deal had gone sour.


“I have to take the boys out, but we’ll talk over lunch.” Click. That’s how you knew the Puerto Rican was annoyed.

Word on the street was business had been dying off and now the other guys couldn’t hold up their end of the bargain. Even The Italian had washed her hands. “Typical organization that doesn’t know how to make money,” she said.

The rest of the situation didn’t amuse her all that much either. She’d explained to them over and over they couldn’t expect to lure prospects without the proper advertising, and to get that particular expense taken off the books was like money in hand. The kid simply couldn’t grasp it.

“It was ludicrous,” she said.

They’d had months to plan what they had to do, and now all they had were excuses. And they wanted more. They’d been gunning for a nighttime event, but what they really wanted was for the Puerto Rican and the Italian to do all the work and then fork over the proceeds.  You work for the Puerto Rican, pal. He doesn’t work for you.


I drove over to Romacelli’s and considered calling up the Puerto Rican and getting out of it, but I was too late. There he was, his black Altima neatly parked. I can’t decide which is worse–upstart bars that pretend to be bistros, or upstart millennials who think they know how things work. It was early afternoon and hardly anyone in the place when they saw each other. Not many witnesses, I thought.

There was a silence. I could hear the Puerto Rican breathing, or it might have been the sound of his mind working in long, slow beats. Then he silently went to the back and sat down at a table,

“Is he angry,” asked the kid. He looked tentative, uncertain, maybe even a bit alarmed.

Was he angry? The Puerto Rican’s mother once chased him around the house with a machete named Lolita.

You’ll know when he’s angry.


Noir in the 21st Century. Where society is the perfect crime.

Society Diary


May 22:  Country music star Brantley Gilbert comes to Cajun Harley Davidson in Scott.  An inveterate biker, Gilbert is in town to promote his album “Just as I Am” and sing “One Hell of an Amen” to aid the The Wounded Warriors Project. Thousands turn out to see him, and the Scott PD accommodates by allowing parking along the service road.


He’s also a regular at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally which my daughter used to attend with her ex- boyfriend, so the rowdy crowd doesn’t faze her. Neither did the ex-boyfriend biker, whose clothes she burned when they broke up, but not while they were on him.


Brantley brought his own bad boy charisma and women lined up to have their pictures taken. One wept.


Nice guys may not finish last, but bikers finish first.





Society Diary

My daughter hosts a bachelorette party in New Orleans for her bride-to-be friend and is called out on Facebook for not sending written invitations and calling to make sure they were received. The shoemaker’s children go barefoot, as they say.


Filmmakers Suzanne Breaux and Sharon Donnan premiere their Coton Jaune at Vermilionville and the Perfomance Center is packed.  The 37-minute documentary airs with a re-enactment of La Grande Dérangement by Pat Mire to the tunes of Zachary Richard. Even though the Acadians are still angry, they manage to grow cotton and survive, thanks to the women who work in the attic during the winter when they weren’t needed in the fields. One typical family had 13 children and the mother wove and spun a trousseau for each daughter beginning when they were born.  I don’t really remember anything else after 13 children.


Bryan and Sylvia McLain unveil their stunning St. Jude Dream Home at 103 Habitat Ridge Drive and the traffic outside is also a grande dérangement. TV’s Tracy Wirtz gets blocked in. A gentleman appears in the doorway and shouts out “White Camry!” He is met with silence and a shrug and says, “You can talk to the police when they get here.”


My kind of charity raffle.


Society Diary


Early May:  My daughter attends a bridal shower for her friend, who’s getting married at the end of the month in a do-it-yourself wedding. One of the games is a do-it-yourself wedding dress made of toilet tissue. The marital symbolism is probably better left unsaid.


The Petroleum Club holds a Mother-Daughter-Granddaughter Tea on Sunday. The photos from this event are always fabulous as generations of ladies gather for a formal tea. One little lady has dressed herself, but it takes two grown women to wrestle her into compliance. Grandma says the little girl is a writer. That explains it.


The Hilton hosts the United Way Women’s Leadership Council Luncheon and Melanie Bronfin of the Policy Institute for Literacy speaks in favor of early childhood education. Sadly, no one has to be wrestled.


Shadows on the Teche hosts the perfect preview party for Art & Shadows. What’s not to like about a pre-Civil War mansion, dance floor under the oaks complete with chandelier, and fiddler David Greely on the front porch?  French Press caters and serves vodka infused lemonade with a sprig of thyme.  Watch the second one.

My daughter prepares a five-course dinner for Mother’s Day by herself. Tasso cream pasta, mini-crab cakes, and salmon with sautéed greens avec mashed potatoes. Her boyfriend is back from Spain and can build a rig or make a champagne beurre blanc just the same. To honor the day, she shares an untold story about the time in Colorado when she challenged a 200+lb deejay to a hot wings contest and won– a baker’s dozen in under fifteen minutes, including The Ghost Pepper, more than a million Scoville units, orTabasco sauce to the 5th power. She said the guy had tears streaming down his cheeks by the end and couldn’t finish.

When a woman’s from Lafayette, you better bring the heat.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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