Sunday, January 31, 2021

Frank "Dennis" Sharp

One of the busiest school system employees was Frank "Dennis" Sharp. Not only a lifelong educator with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, he was renowned for his bar-be-que skills and often fed scores of people at various special events. He was also an accomplished musician.

A lifelong resident of Covington, LA, he was born on Thursday, February 19, 1953, to Kathryn Cooper and Frank William Sharp. He was an Educational Supervisor, a parish Councilman, farmer, musician, BBQ master, poet, and songwriter, but his greatest passion was for public service, according to his obituary found on the E. J. Fielding Funeral Home website.

Growing up and living his entire life in the rural community of Lee Road, his childhood experiences on the farm taught him the importance of family, a love for the land and animals, and the value of hard work.


Bar-be-que at the Our Heritage Celebration

Having received his Bachelor's Degree in Vocational Agri-Science Education from LSU, he quickly advanced his education to a Masters in Education from SLU in 1978. He later returned to LSU for his Education Specialist Certification. He began his career with the St. Tammany Parish School system as a teacher at Lee Road Jr. High and sponsor of the Future Farmers of America (FFA), later becoming Principal for several years before advancing to a Supervisor of Secondary Instruction at the central office.

While a Supervisor, he also served as School Board Parliamentarian. After 33 years of dedicated service, he retired in 2009.

Sharp and Brandon Clanton at the school board office

He was known for his quiet manner, but when he spoke, his words were valued by friends and co-workers. He was commended for being the first to volunteer to help others with various projects

His talents for singing gospel music and playing bass guitar came to the forefront early in his life, and he later played and sang for several Classic Rock bands, including "Gypsy River."

It was not generally known that he was a prolific writer of poetry and song lyrics, often writing by request for special family events. His knowledge of music and appreciation for theater served him well as he sat on the Advisory Board for The Columbia Theatre, owned by Southeastern Louisiana University.

His skills in BBQ were appreciated far and wide. He crafted a huge BBQ pit from a former gas tank, and he was able to cook meals for more than 300 people without a problem. He catered many local charity events, declining any compensation for his labor. He was a supporter of the Youth Service Bureau in Covington and New Heights Therapy Center in Folsom.

Frank "Dennis" Sharp

After his retirement from the School System, he ran for public office and was elected in 2011 as a Parish Councilman for St. Tammany District 2. He was re-elected in 2015 for a second term. While Councilman, he served on several boards and committees including the 911 Board.

A project especially close to his heart were the renovations and enlargement of the St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds in Covington. As a child, he raised cattle and hogs, eagerly competing in local and district livestock shows. He promoted the St. Tammany Parish Jr. Livestock Association, and looked forward to opportunities to work with some of the students especially in the area of public speaking.

He  passed away on Sunday, May 28, 2017, at the age of 64. In lieu of flowers, donations were made to the St. Tammany Parish Jr. Livestock Association.

Information Source: Obituary from the E. J. Fielding Funeral Home

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Marker Placed For General Morgan

 On Sunday, August 22, 1943 (some seventy-eight years ago) a marker was placed on the Tomb of General David Banister Morgan. It was a solemn and meaningful ceremony. 

Click on the image to make it larger. 

See also:


Friday, January 29, 2021

Horse Farm Maps From Years Ago

This map of St. Tammany Parish horse farms in the 1970's gives you a good idea of just how many there were and how spread out they were around the parish. The map itself is a photocopy so it is blurred in some spots. I can't make out the numbers of the ranch locations and I can't read all the ranch names in the list, but I have transcribed what I could make out. There are a few omissions and hard-to-read labels.

If anyone has a clearer copy of the map and a complete list of the horse ranch/farms, please let me know over on my Facebook page. Thanks. 

Click on the image to make it larger. 

The concentrations of thoroughbred horse ranches were around the Folsom area, but there were quite a few along Old Military Road and new Military Road, as well as three in Pearl River and one in Slidell. 

Here's a link to current day horse facilities according to Google Maps.  For some reason it doesn't show all the horse breeding and training facilities. 

Here's another map of horse farms from years ago, this one provided by Cindy Busby Lasseigne. It is also a little blurred and has some pieces missing. 

Combining the lists of horse farms from the two above maps, we come up with the following list of horse farms in St. Tammany from years ago, which still is incomplete and contains some errors due to the condition of the maps.

A & I Str Stallion Station
Always Quarter Horses
American Classic Thoroughbred
Argus Acres
Bar M Ranch
Black River Ranch
Bogue Falaya Farms
Brehon Farms
Briar Hill Farm
Briarwood Stables
Brignac Farm
Broken R Ranch
Brown's Arabians
C&C Farm
Camino Ranch
Cathcart Farm
Champagne's Stables
Clear Creek Stud
Colonial Oaks Farm
Core Farm
Country Square Horse Farm
Cranberry Hill Farm
Daspit Farm
David Farm & Equine Center
Dixieland Ranch
Domino Farm
Donic Thompson
Dorignac Farm
D & P Farms
E. Bar M. Quarter Horses
Fabacher Ranch
Faraway Farms
Fitzmorris Farm
Gentleoaks Quarter Horse Farm
Golden T Ranch
Green Acres
Green Valley Farms
Greenway Farms
H & H Ranch
H & R Ranch
Harmony Farms
Heck Farm
Heraldry Farm
Hermadel Farms
Hill Breeze Farm
Hillside Farm
Hilltop Farm
Hoi Toi Stable
Holly Acres
Horstmann Farm
Ironhead Farm
Jacobs Farm
John Shea Farms
Kelley Green Stables
LeBlanc Farms
Leon Roberts
Levi Farms
Lewis Stables
Liberty Oaks
L & K Quarter Horses
Lucky Acres
Malarkie Farms
Masson Farm
Mauberret Farm
McIntyre Farm
Meadowdale Farm
Middlebrook Farm
Miller Farm
Montage Farm
Northlake Thoroughbreds
Oak Hill Ranch
O'Brien Farm
Paciera Hill Farm
Pinehill Farms
Pleasant Hill Farm
Quigley Farm
Racer's Rest Farm
Raleigh Taylor Quarter Horses
Rayburn Farm
Red Benoit Quarter Horses
Rocking H Ranch
Rocking M
Rocking S Stables
Royal Kraft Thoroughbreds
Running Acres
Running Q
Rusty C Quarter Horses
Saddlewood Farms
Schoultz Farm
Shaw Farm
Simonson Farm
Square S
Stephenson Farm & Equine Clinic
Sun Creek Farms
Swinging "H" Quarter Horses
Tall Pines
Tautog Farm
Tharp Farm
Timberline Quarter Horses
Triangle M Farm
Triple E Farm
Triple F
Vanderhilder Farm
Vince & Vicki Alford
Wedgewood Farms
White Oaks
Who's Who Quarter Horses
Wild Wing Ranch
Windy Hill Ranch
Woodbine Farm
See also:

100 Years Ago This January 29

What was going on 100 years ago this week? CLICK HERE for a link to the St. Tammany Farmer Issue of  January 29, 1921. The link is provided by the Library of Congress and its Chronicling America service.

Click on the sample images below to see larger versions


Society News

School Improvement Report

Mississippi Valley Highway Group Meets

Fire Department Problems

Alternating Current System Installed


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Mandeville History: A Resort Dreamed

 Among the many documents found in the collections of the late Bertha Neff, former parish archivist, was a research paper about Mandeville produced by Karen Arthur many years ago. 

To read the entire footnoted paper, CLICK HERE for a PDF file.

The following few paragraphs are excerpts from the research paper.


The Dream of Bernard de Marigny

by Karen Arthur

"Cool, sprawling Mandeville has been one of Louisiana's favorite vacation and recreation spots for more than one hundred years. Its pleasant climate and many natural recreation facilities are sought by thousands of New Orleans area resi­dents weekly.

"Mandeville has long served New Orleans area residents as an escape for the weekend; a place of rest and relax­ation. The Town of Mandeville is the product of a dream envisioned by one man, a man of drive and force---Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville.

"Bernard de Marigny is, perhaps, one of the most colorful men in Louis­iana history.

"The name Mandeville may be traced back to France and has long been associated with the French nobility. The family first came to the New World in the vicinity of Biloxi in the person of Francois Philippe de Mandeville, Sieur de Marigny.

"Pierre Philippe, father of Bernard de Marigny, would build the family fortune by speculating in land and many other successful business ventures.

"At the age of 18, Bernard Xavier, only son and heir of Pierre Philippe, received a fortune from his father who died while Bernard was attending school in France. Upon his return from France, Bernard assumed the responsibilities of the family business.

Big Spender

"Bernard found the temptation of vast wealth too great and soon fell into the habit of lavish spending. His chief weakness was shooting craps (a dice game he brought to New Orleans from France). "By the time he was twenty, Bernard had lost nearly one million dollars, principally by shooting craps."

"His gambling would eventually lead him to sell most of his holdings and "at one time his property was mortgaged for $280,000 at the Citizens Bank. His real estate holdings once included practically all the land between Esplanade and the Industrial Canal. Across the lake he owned what is now Fontainbleau Park and the Town of Mandeville.

"He owned about one-third of the city of New Orleans. The Third Municipal District was called Faubourg Marigny. Bernard realized the family fortune needed to be refurbished, so he began to divide the family ancestral home, on present day Esplanade Avenue, into streets and lots.

The Beginnings of Mandeville

"In 1829, Bernard de Marigny began the business ven­ture that would eventually lead to the creation of Mande­ville. Marigny began to buy property on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. On January 22, 1829, Bernard Marigny bought the property from the heirs of Morgan Edwards.

"This seems to be the first purchase by Marigny of property in this vicinity. Most of this property was later subdi­vided and became part of the town of Mandeville. Bernard de Marigny again bought hundreds of parcels of land on the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain in May and June of 1829. It was during this time Marigny purchased lands and a residence from Marcelin and Miss Amelia Bonnabel.

The residence was described as follows:  A residence situated in St. Tammany Parish, facing Lake Pontchartrain,composed of three concessions, form­ing a total area of 4,020 arpents by a plan of January 15, 1799, by Charles Trudeau, surveyor general for the Prov­ince of Louisiana...The present sale is made for the con­sideration of $7090, having received one-half in cash ($2366) and the balance of ($4732) to be paid in six promissory notes.

Another tract of land was sold by Marcelin Bonnabel to Bernard Marigny the same day. It consisted of the following: Situated in St. Tammany Parish, a superficie of 774 arpents, facing Lake Pontchartrain, bounded on one side by the land of Mrs. Ford. This land was acquired by Mr. Antoine Bonnabel, father and grandfather of the vendors.

"These two tracts of land (4,020 arpents and 774 arpents) bought from the Bonnabel's by Bernard Marigny, comprised Fontainbleau Plantation. He gave it the Old World name Fontainbleau, because his son, Mandeville, who had been sent to France for military training, had served at the ancient French palace during the climb of the Napoleonic period and during the short time when Louis Philippe was king. It is believed that evidence has been shown to prove that Bernard Marigny bought Fontainbleau Plantation in 1829. Statements which cite earlier dates for the purchase of this land by the Marigny family prior to that time, are therefore not founded on fact.

The Stipulations

Marigny then sold, by auction, several of these properties and "the total sale brought a value of $80,000 with 426 lots sold. Considering that the entire property cost only $11,620, Marigny made a handsome profit. Marigny did, however, make stipulations to the buyers of the property. These stipulations are as follows:

1.    That the space situated between Lake Street and the lake will always remain free for common use.
2.    That all streets have a width of fifty feet wide; except Marigny and Jackson, which have a hundred, and of Lake Street which has sixty.
3.    That little Bayou Castain, which serves to drain, will not be stopped in its course.
4.    That the wharf marked on the plan will be maintained by owners of the lots of Mandeville.
5.    Mr. Marigny obligates himself to have made a bridge across the little Bayou Castain and one across Shell Ravines, to be maintained by owners of the lots.

"Streets were laid out, trees were planted with an eye, to avoid undesirable additions to the community, rather than to secure financial profits. Public buildings were provided, bridges built, a church and market hall duly erected. Above all, a town government was instituted.

"The small village called Mandeville began to grow rapidly. Mandeville was incorporated by a special charter in 1840, and the charter is still used today. Mandeville soon became a favorite resort area for New Orleans residents. Many fine homes were built along the lake; some still are occupied today. "Marigny financed a ferry service between Mandeville and New Orleans and provided that the ferry fare should not exceed S1.00.

"In 1852, due to Marigny's continuing financial difficulties and economic pressures, he was forced to sell Fontainbleau. Mandeville, however, continued to grow during the 1850's.

"Many of the most refined Creole families passed the summer at charming, pleasant Mandeville, of the picturesque beach--a village grown consider­ably since 1853.

Bronze John

"Many city residences not only escaped the summer heat that smothered New Orleans by coming to Mandeville. but they also fled the annual epidemic of "Bronze John" or yellow fever. In 1853, the dreaded disease was an early visitor to the Crescent City. Little did anyone suspect it would be the worst yellow fever epidemic in New Orleans history. "More than 8,000 persons went to, their graves in a little more than five months, and almost 5,000 of them in a space of four weeks."

"Dr. Fenner, President of the Louisiana Medical Association, estimated almost a third of the people left town when Bronze John moved in. Mandeville proved to be one of the escape areas.

"Mandeville had many kinds of recreation to offer city dwellers. Men, women and children enjoyed fishing and crabbing in the plentiful waters on the North Shore The virgin forests were teeming with game such as deer, rabbit, squirrel, wild turkey, wild boar, quail and pigeons. The beach provided swimming and boating and a cool breeze from the lake.

"Baseball was also a popular sport, and a team was formed according to the Mandeville Wave, August 1, 1874. The Mandeville Wave also reported the first yacht race that took place in years, in June, 1875. 

A Boat Trip Across The Lake

"The following is an account of a trip from the New Orleans lake front to Mandeville:
We found ourselves aboard the good steam­boat Lenora...and in some two hours and a half were safely landed on the picturesque beach at Mandeville...the morning breeze was just cool and fresh enough to make us forget the city heat. The day was passed in this hot weather in lounging with coats, vests, and cravats off, reading, bathing, fishing, sailing, eating and drinking.

"We had the blessings of a charming breeze all the while, and there was not a fly or mosquito near 'to disturb us or make us afraid.'

"Pleasant days were spent in other ways. In a letter, Justice David B. Morgan describes a marriage ceremony he had performed that day in Mandeville. The marriage between Joseph Worth and Martha Faircloth was described, and the marriage certificate enclosed.

"Mandeville boasted a number of permanent residents. Advertisements in the Mandeville Wave, published every Saturday, included the following advertisements which reflected the business and professional activities of the community:

Businesses Listed

1.    J. Angelina-Confectionary, Dry Good, Groceries, Wines, and Liquors. The choicest and best.

2.    Mandeville Academy-Professor Harvey Roome, Principal. All the English Branches. French and the Classics taught. Young men carefully prepared for entering college. Evening classes from 7 to 9:30 P.M.

3.    Dr. J. A. Thurber (139 Royal Street) Dentist. Makes use in his practice of all the latest improvements in Dental Science, and will attend punctually all persons requiring his professional service.

4.    E. J. Smith-Groceries, Dry Good, Hardware Highest price paid for farmers' produce.

"Other citizens of Mandeville had such occupations as fisher­men, hotel owners, and those who worked for the steamboat lines. A pottery factory run by Choctaw Indians and located on Bayou Castin was popular with guests and residents alike.

"At one time there were a number of steamboats that made regular trips to Mandeville from New Orleans. Some of the boats' names were the Lenora, the Camelia, the Ozone, the St.Tammany, and the Susquahana."

See also:

A Look At Bernard de Marigny, Founder of Mandeville 

Property Sales That Led To Mandeville & Fontainebleau 

Bernard De Marigny: The Man Who Was Mandeville 

The History of Fontainebleau State Park 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Krewe of Juno Queen's Court 1967

 This picture shows the queen and members of her court at the Carnival Ball held by the Le Femmes Mistique, Krewe of Juno, some 54 years ago. Photo published in the St. Tammany Tribune on February 3, 1967. Click on the image to make it larger.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Boat Floats in Krewe of Tchefuncte 1976

 Here is some home movie footage of a couple of boats in the Krewe of Tchefuncte boat parade in 1976. Click on the "play triangle" to start the video. There is no sound.



Sunday, January 24, 2021

Covington Years Ago Newspaper Column

 A newspaper column called Covington Years Ago was written by J. M. Tate and published in the St. Tammany Farmer early in the 20th century. Here are a few examples.

Click on the images to make them larger. 

Mrs. McNeil Moves To Covington
Big Foot

The Steamer Ophelia

The Morgan Family

Mrs. Sterling's Boarding House

Penn's Fishing Resort


Drownings and Rappings

Fever From New Orleans

 Claiborne Stories

A description of the Terrell place near Covington, prior to 1900. Click on the image to make it larger and more readable. 


Hennen's Retreat


Saturday, January 23, 2021

Opening Up The Abita River

 In 1910, a group of Abita Springs residents thought it would be a good idea to open up the Abita River to boat navigation from its merging with the Bogue Falaya River all the way to Abita Springs. 

Click on the image to make it larger.

It seemed like it would be a great help to businesses, residents, and visitors who wouldn't have to get off a boat in Covington, then ride three miles over to Abita Springs. Local citizens figured there was no harm in asking.

Text from the above article:

St. Tammany Farmer- Saturday, February 19, 1910


Probably at no time than the present could the people of Abita receive more jubilantly the announcement that Hon. Robt. C. Wickliffe  has secured an order of survey of the Abita River.

Conditions are such at present that an opening up of this river affords the only relief from a situation that ultimately must work great injury to the town. Merchants are now hauling freight from the river landing in Covington, a distance of three miles; yet, while the freight charges are reasonable, and the introduction of a new boat, shortly, to make daily trips from Covington, Mandeville and New Orleans will greatly reduce the inconvenience, there is a feeling that the prestige of the town is injured by its being placed in such a position.

Therefore, the indication that the Abita River will be opened up and made navigable, so that passageway will be gained to the lake by way of the Tchefuncta River promises that Abita will have a waterway affording commercial advantages greater than anticipated even by those who have been strongly impressed by her promise of future growth and prosperity.

Idea Pursued For Years

Five or six years ago the subject of opening up the Abita River was duly discussed. The practicability of such a project was admitted, but the initiative for putting the proper influences at work to accomplish it seemed to be lacking. A few months ago, when Col. Lansing Beach was in Covington looking into needed work on the Tchefuncta and Bogue Falaya rivers, a delegation from Abita, composed of Capt. P. H. Thompson, Judge A. 0. Pons and H. P. Thomson, as a result of Judge Pon's agitation of the question, waited on Colonel Beach with a view to ascertaining what could be done in the matter.

The result of this conference was communication with Mr. Wickliffe, who had the data sent to him which established the need and the profitableness of such a channel and secured an order of survey.

There is no doubt, if this passageway opened up, that the carrying trade of the river will become a large and profitable one. There are mills enough in the vicinity, with cheap rates, to ship four or five million feet of lumber a year, besides piling, other timber products, wood, tar and charcoal. With the growth of the town there will be a largely increased shipment of merchandise, household goods, etc., besides the business that would come from the surrounding farms.

Citizens Appreciate Efforts

Hence the citizens of Abita particularly appreciate the efforts of Mr. Wickliffe in their behalf. He has also secured an appropriation of $10,000 for the Tchefuncta, Bogue Falaya, Amite and Tickfaw rivers and tributaries and Bayou Manchac. While this is not a large sum, in the face of the President's insistence upon economy, it speaks well for the watchfulness over our interests that this sum was provided.

The Tchefuncta River is much in need of a free and open channel. and it is probable that the increased traffic of this river will demand a much larger appropriation next time.  It is also probable that Mr. Wickliffe will be in a position to secure it for us.

Mr. Wickliffe has been an active worker in the interest of his district. His speech in favor of an appropriation of $300,000 instead of $215,000 for protection from the boll weevil was a masterly effort and met with loud applause. Senator Foster has taken up the matter in the Senate and it appears that the increase will be made.

Mr. Wickliffe has also introduced a bill to make Baton Rouge a subport of entry in the New Orleans district. This would allow vessels to clear at Baton Rouge without stopping at New Orleans, and would greatly facilitate the business of enterprises in Baton Rouge.

-end of article-

But after several months, the study was done, and the answer was not too favorable. 

Text from the above article:


Army Engineers Oppose the Abita Springs Proposition

Washington, Jan. 13.—The Abita Springs proposition to have the Abita river made navigable to Bogue Falaya has been disapproved by the army engineers. They say the project would cost too much.

The Abita Springs representatives, in their arguments, said the railroads discriminate against it in favor of Covington, and they wanted to be on an equality with Covington. They thought the improvement would lower rates on fuel to New Orleans.

The engineers sent to examine the proposition said that while it would be a fine thing, they could not see that the government would be justified in spending the money to bring it about, because the benefit would be entirely local.


Friday, January 22, 2021

When The Governor Visited St. Tammany Against His Will


 This motorcycle motorcade of Louisiana State Police officers escorted Governor Earl K Long to Mandeville, Louisiana, in 1959.

Governor Long In The Spotlight

            Earl Kemp Long served as the 45th Governor of Louisiana and was known for his "Uncle Earl" personality, which consisted of a folksy demeanor and “colorful” oratory.

            According to Wikipedia, “Long was well known for eccentric behavior, leading some to suspect that he had bipolar disorder. In his last term in office, his wife, Blanche Revere Long , and others attempted to remove him on the grounds of mental instability.”

            Governor Long was subjected to a lunacy hearing in the Summer of 1959 held in Covington at the Junior High School (now the School Board Office on Jefferson Ave.)

            “For a time, Long was confined to the Southeast Louisiana Hospital in Mandeville, but Long was never formally diagnosed with any mental disorder.”

            While confined in the psychiatric hospital, Long kept his political machine running via telephone. After leaving the hospital, (he fired the hospital superintendent and the state director of hospitals to bring that about), he stayed for a short rest and took meetings at the Southern Hotel in downtown Covington, naming it the temporary “state capitol of Louisiana.” But after the hearing was over, he made the Pine Manor Motel his headquarters south of town on U.S. 190 for several days, the second “temporary” state capitol.

            As a result of all the commotion, Covington, the site of the hearing, became a media circus. News media from all over the country came to cover the hearing, with much of the action centering on the Southern Hotel .

             The late Mary Busby Frindik found this photo in her Andrew Erwin Collection of Photos. She loved the Southern Hotel and stated, “If those walls of that majestic building could only talk, we would hear generations of history that would touch many of us!” The following photo was taken by Art Lemane for The St. Tammany Farmer and published on July 3, 1959, showing Governor Earl K. Long sneaking out the side door of the hotel to avoid the press. 

Click on the images to make them larger and more readable.
The Farmer printed a handy step-by-step guide of the goings on:
St. Tammany Farmer - July 3, 1959: Here's The Way It Happened

Covington was mecca last Friday for one of the nation's most sensational events --  a scheduled habeas corpus hearing in district court here to show cause Why Gov. Earl K. Long should not be released from a mental ward at Southeast Louisiana Hospital in Mandeville.

The hearing was never held. It was dismissed by Judge Robert D. Jones upon motion by Long's attorney, Joe Arthur Sims.

Since Long was plaintiff in the action, the judge had no alternative other than acquiesce to Sims' motion. And as plaintiff seeking release from Southeast Louisiana Hospital, Long had no need for court procedure after he had been formally discharged from the institution by clever manipulation of human pawns in the dramatic action of the Louisiana State Hospital Board.

Here is the way it worked—simple but sure:

(1) The hospital board met in special session in the police jury room at the temporary courthouse here at 9 a.m.

(2) The board recommended discharge of Jesse. H. Bankston, director of institutions. The letter was signed by Gov. Long, Lt. Gov. Frazar and William Cleveland, president pro-tem of the senate.

(3) The above three men prepared a letter naming Charles Rosenblum as director of institutions succeeding Bankston.

(4) Rosenblum then fired Dr. Charles Belcher, director of Southeast Louisiana Hospital (in Mandeville), with OK of Long, Frazer and Cleveland.

(5) Rosenblum then named Dr. Jesse McClendon new acting-director of Southeast Louisiana Hospital.

(6) Dr. McClendon recommended release of Gov. Long from the hospital.

(7) The governor was now a free man. He had no need for a hearing to affect his release.

(8) Long's attorney asked for a dismissal of the suit.

(9) Judge Jones granted dismissal. 
End of Farmer's summary 
Ted Talley recalls Norma Core describing the1959 'courtroom' event in the old gym. She was covering Covington news for the Bogalusa Daily News then and she described how she shooed some 'big city" reporter out of his seat (in the limited press "corps" seating) and mildly scolded him. 
"Since she represented the local media she trumped him in seating priority! Of course there was NO seating priority in this make shift, quick hearing arrangement," Talley said. "This was NOT the White House briefing room. It was the old gym on Jefferson Ave. But she had a point. Norma took her place up front just as UPI's Helen Thomas used to take her place up front at the White House."
Many locals were caught up in the excitement, wanting to have a look at the goings-on at the school gym/courtroom, but they were crowded out by the national press corps. Except for one Mandeville lady. Ted Talley goes on to relate how she got in on the press coverage.
"I recall one story about Betty Cordes," Ted shared. "Her husband Paul (who later went on to become Mayor of Mandeville) told her to please NOT go into Covington while this 'commotion at the hearing' was going on.
"Well Betty had to go into Covington anyway she said to pick up a dress at Yvonne Haik's (or something like that). Her children Paulette and Paul Jr. were not with her, but she had 'baby' Elizabeth in tow. 
"Curiosity got the best of Betty so after her errand on Columbia or Boston St. she went over to the old school where the hearing was being held. She figured she would enter the gym from the back. She just wanted a peek and then would head home to Mandeville."
The gym had two back doors that opened onto the playground at the rear of the building, Talley explained. 
"Just as Betty opened the door, the governor, his entourage and members of the press came flooding out. They were using the back exit to presumably avoid the crowds at the front on Jefferson. Betty found herself being pressed back by those exiting and came almost face to face with Earl. 
"The news camera flash bulbs were popping to catch the governor's quick exit after the brief hearing. Betty had her back to the cameras. So she thought she would be 'safe' proof of her presence. Not so.

"The very next morning splashed on the front page of the Picayune was a large photo of Earl K. Long exiting the 'courtroom'...and there in the foreground, smiling so pretty at the camera, was baby Elizabeth Cordes over her mother's shoulder. Betty had been 'caught'. 
"The phones were ringing into Mandeville from the Cordes and Skelly relatives in New Orleans: "We saw little Elizabeth and Betty on the front page of the paper this morning. How adorable!" That was not the sentiments however from Paul Sr.," Talley concluded. Heck, the wire services probably picked up the photo and it could have been all over the country that morning. 
By the end of the Governor’s visit to Covington, all the state officials, news media, and half the nation were familiar with the name of the Southern Hotel, the temporary home of Gov. Earl K. Long and “state capitol of Louisiana” for a day.

A Pastor's Counsel

Rev. Baxter Pond, a beloved area pastor at the time, recalled his meeting with Governor Long during those troubled days. It was perhaps one of his most notable counseling sessions. Rev. Pond was called to the Governor's motel room, and "When I  went up to his room, the smoke was three feet high. Earl was sitting up in bed."

Long said in a raspy voice: 'You the preacher. I've seen psychiatrists, I've been through them all.' He bowed his head and I said, "Bless our gover­nor, physically, materially, and all other ways. I was going to say mentally, but left it out. He knew more scriptures than many preachers. We prayed! He told me things I could never tell."
They talked on the telephone a few times after that, and Pond was invited to the governor's mansion but never went. "I gave him a small Bible. When I heard that he had died, I wondered if he had the New Testament with him," Rev. Pond said.

For more information, see

When Governor Long Almost Lost His Mind