On The Light Side: Staffer's direct hit on Louisiana homeland calls for war

February 15, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

You'll be sorry Jim Logan, my hippie-Cali colleague.

Two weeks ago Logan, the newest staffer at the Advocate, used this space, to write about how his yearning to have a heritage led him to claim Southerner as his ethnicity.

In the process he recounted how his parents lived in Lake Charles, La., when his mom was pregnant with him. When she was eight months pregnant, his dad supposedly exclaimed that no child of his would be born in Louisiana. Then they moved to California.

Gag me with a spoon.

I am a proud native of Lake Charles, La. My parents had six children there, and we all turned out great. If only you could be so lucky as to have a claim on such great beginnings. As a true Southern lady I should graciously ignore Logan's faux pas and invite him 'round for a pitcher of ice tea and a tongue lashing so sweet he wouldn't know what hit him.


But, such a direct hit on my homeland calls for war.

Lake Charles is one of THE finest places in this whole little world. It may be 900 miles from here, but it is really just a hop, skip and a couple of country miles away.

I've got two words for you: Cotton Nash. The three-time All-American is a legend in University of Kentucky basketball, and a graduate of Lake Charles High.

Russell Rice, UK's sports information director when Nash played, once said that the Coliseum was the house that Rupp built but it was the house that Cotton filled.

As we say in Louisiana, "Booh-yah!"

Nash isn't the only one who would take exception to Logan's careless attitude about Southwest Louisiana. Here are a few more famous folks, besides myself, who got their start in Lake Chuck.

* Michael Debake, the doctor that developed the first artificial heart.

* Tony Kushner, Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright of "Angels in America."

* Nellie Lutcher, jazz pianist.

* Lucinda Williams, singer.

* Alvin Dark, baseball player and manager.

* Bob Hilton, host of "Let's Make A Deal."

So, surf's up, dude. You were wrong.

Now I've been in Kentucky for two years, Danville for one. I think I can lay a little claim to the area myself. It's as fine a place, as, well, Lake Charles.

I have danced down Main Street behind the Olympia Brass Band. I was invited to the Forkland pig roast, and got to take Brenda Edwards, a longtime Gravel Switch resident, as my guest. I made rolls at Bread of Life Cafe. There are still strawberries grown in the county in my freezer and a jar of a Perryville beekeeper's honey in my pantry

Some would think maybe that I've been a little harsh on ole Logan. I guess all that spicy food has made me saucy. Perhaps, one would think, that I do owe him that pitcher of sweet iced tea. As a Southerner, in the true spirit of welcoming your neighbor, I guess I do. So, feel free to come around, Logan. I'll have a pot of black-eyed peas on the stove and a pan of corn bread in the oven, but you'd better mind your manners, ya hear?

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