Just Talkin’ for Feb. 2, 2019

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Don’t know about you….but JT plans on joining Louisiana native Harry Connick  Jr. in boycotting the Super Bowl Sunday. Don’t care who’s playing, don’t care who wins and don’t care about the halftime show. With all the pregame programming, JT knows he’s gonna have a lot of time to fill. On Monday, he started recording some of the shows on television this week and should have enough to get him through the game and all the hype. JT’s not really worried about the creative commercials he’ll miss since most of them are leaked before Sunday. Anyway, you can catch them online almost anytime. The only good that JT can think of the Saints not making the game is that Atlanta, home of one of the teams we love to hate, won’t be getting any Louisiana money this weekend.

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When JT saw the names of the new inductees into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame he was a little…no a lot… disappointed. There were no North Louisiana figures inducted into the Class of 2019….and again, it’s not going to be in Winnfield, home of three Louisiana governors. We did have two people on the list of six inductees with a remote tie to a community north of Alexandria. One was former Lt. Gov. Paul Hardy of Baton Rouge. Hardy’s wife, Sandra Gayle Gatlin, is originally from Colfax.  JT’s sure that connection helped Paul in his political endeavors….just like local attorney Mike Hayes has benefited from being married to another sweet Colfax lady, Delsie Randolph.

The other was Marion Edwards, the brother of former Gov. Edwin Edwards. Marion attended Northwestern State according to the brief bio. The rest of the inductees include Judge Edwin A. Lombard, former First Gentleman Raymond S. Blanco, former State Representative Ron Gomez and Richard Zuschlag, Chairman and CEO of Acadian Companies (Acadian Ambulance). They’ll be inducted Feb. 1 at the Cajundome Convention Center in Lafayette.

JT can’t help but smile a little each year around induction time when he recalls the words of the late George Harrell. Born and raised in Winnfield, George was the one most responsible for getting the Political Hall of Fame off the ground and at its home location in Winnfield. With so many of our state’s politicians having “colorful” and or “suspicious” backgrounds, George would say…we only induct people, someone else indicts them.

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Like many of you, JT is glad the government shutdown is over….even if it’s at least temporary. Unfortunately, the rhetoric is not over. There were no winners in all of this….only losers. And…we’ll probably do all of this over in a couple weeks when the next deadline approaches.

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Local residents living west of town got a taste of big city traffic Thursday morning when an 18-wheeler broke down at the University Parkway, Hwy 1 Bypass intersection about 7:40 a.m., just in time for the morning rush. It was right by Super One grocery. It took motorists over 30 minutes to get through the intersection. JT left his house about 7:45 a.m. and when he drove up to the stop sign by the Sears store, the traffic was quickly backing up. It was the first time he had ever seen this so he knew something had happened at the intersection. Since he was not in that big of a hurry, he joined the fray and added to the congestion.

The road rage was already building. Those who were really in a hurry and knew the route made a U-turn and headed for work or class through Oak Grove, entering the city from Hwy 1 North. Some of the college kids, cell phone in their ear and looking really haggard, and like they just woke up and remembered class, zoomed by in the left turn line only to get a bit further down the road and have to cut back into the line of traffic. Others just switched back and forth between lanes trying to anticipate which lane would move faster. Twenty minutes later, moving car length by car length until he topped the hill and could look down on the congestion, he saw a big wrecker had just pulled the broken down rig onto the side of the road and traffic was starting to flow a little faster.

The move was being supervised by one police car. Only one. It was then that JT wondered where were all the police? Several hundred cars were backed up three or four miles towards the interstate and there were no policemen directing traffic. The flow was being governed by the regular sequence of the red light. The other three entrances to the intersection were comparatively clear, so there seemed to be plenty of ways to direct the backed up traffic to make it flow better. It seems to JT that with the police’s experience in directing Christmas Festival traffic they should have been able to handle a traffic jam better than it was handled Thursday morning.

In retrospect, JT’s road rage subsiding, he realized since traffic was moving, additional patrolmen had left the scene for other duties. After all, it was 8 a.m. on a school day morning and they had gone back to directing traffic at the city’s many schools.