Monthly Archives: January 2012
Gov. Earl K. Long (La.) Sent to Mental Institution In 1959: Fires Administrators, Absconds From The Premises
The deputies dragged the governor of Louisiana, kicking and screaming, out of the car. They punched him, knocked him to the ground, and put him in their car. He was examined by the coroner, who was not a psychiatrist, and by a psychiatrist who had never met him. The psychiatrist rendered a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, which was quite commonly used at that time to commit anyone for any reason.
He was taken to Southeast Louisiana Hospital in Mandeville, where he was admitted under the commitment order. While he was treated there, the acting director of the hospital, Dr. Charles Belcher, later indicated that they had not made any final diagnosis of his true condition.
Governor Long contacted Joe Sims to represent him in a habeas corpus hearing in Covington, Louisiana. The governor had a trick up his sleeve though. He called a meeting of the state hospitals board to meet before the hearing.
The governor had Jesse Bankston removed from office at the meeting, then appointed a friend of his as the new director. The new director then proceeded to fire Dr. Charles Belcher the superintendent of Southeast Louisiana Hospital. The new superintendent, then stated that there was no reason for Governor Long, to remain in the hospital and authorized his release.
Feared Being Poisoned
Governor Long was taken to the Green Springs Motel in Covington to eat breakfast, but refused to eat food off his plate, fearing it might be poisoned, so helped himself to the food on the plates of the others eating there.
He would spend the next few days at the Pine Manor Motel in Covington and while he was there Blaze Starr a stripper, from Bourbon Street in New Orleans paid him a visit on July 2, 1959. His romance with Starr seemed to be more of a revenge thing, after Blanche had him committed.
Long Garnered National Attention
Governor Long was in the national news that summer and we happened to be on vacation from Louisiana to Canada. One vehicle we encountered on the trip had someone holler “Hey Governor Long” at us. They probably couldn’t help themselves, when they saw the Louisiana license plates on our vehicle.
To read the complete article about him being committed the entire Inside Northside Magazine article, which is very lengthy can be read here:
53 years have passed since our governor went off the deep end and while researching today, have learned more about those days in one day, than what I have learned in the previous 53 years.
Runs For Lieutenant Governor
Governor Long was intent on becoming governor, but when he saw it wasn’t going to be allowed, he ran on the Noe-Long ticket with former governor of Monroe. The ticket came in a disappointing fourth place polling only 97,654 votes. They finished behind deLesseps Morrison with 278,956 votes, former governor Jimmie Davis with 213,551 votes and Senator Willie Rainach, who Long had ranted against in his legislature outburst received 143.095. The three candidates garnered 635,602 votes compared to the 97,654 votes for the Noe-Long ticket.
It looked like the political career of Governor Earl K. Long was dead in the water. But this is Earl K. Long we are talking about and he entered the race for the 8th Congressional District against incumbent Rep. Harold B. McSween. Surprisingly he won the election but died on September 5, 1960 at the age of 65, before he could take office.
The years 1959 and 1960 were turbulent years for Governor Long. It all started with his rant in the Louisiana legislature, then progressed to him being committed in two mental institutions, firing the administrators to be released. Then came his affair with the Bourbon Street stripper Blaze Starr, his loss as a lieutenant governor candidate in 1959, then he arose from the ashes to win the 8th Congressional representative seat, shortly before dying.
I only saw Governor Long once. He was at the Continental Trailways bus station making a speech on the stump, while handing out chickens to those, he hoped would vote for him.
Louisiana politicians were and are still known for taking their politics seriously and nobody took politics more seriously than Earl K. Long.
Hallie Day had one of the most impressive auditions on American Idol on Thursday night’s show and has a great chance of being in the Final 12 in Season 11. Hallie should go far in the competition, if she can get past Hollywood week which has been known to end singing careers, before they even get off the ground.
Fewer Viewers Than Last Year
American Idol drew less fans on Thursday night, than they drew in any audition or Hollywood show last year. 21.89 million was the lowest number of viewers, in the auditions before the final 24 show last year.
Only 14 million viewers tuned into American Idol last night, which was less than any show last year. It could be that fans are experiencing singing competition burnout after a heavy dose of American Idol, The Voice and X-Factor. It will be interesting to see if The Voice makes a dent into the American Idol franchise, when it debuts on Feb. 5 on Super Bowl night.
The magic was still there for me in both American Idol shows telecast this week. However, The Voice and X-Factor fans may not be as likely to watch American Idol as in the past.
There is still little likelihood that Javier Colon and Melanie Amaro, who won The Voice and X-Factor respectively, will come close to having the name recognition of Scotty McCreery, who may have won only $250,000 but has sold over a million albums in three months.
It is not likely that The Voice and X-Factor have killed off the American Idol star, since American Idol drew over 20 million in almost every show in 2011, while X-Factor maxed out at 12.59 million on finale night. The American Idol finale drew 29.29 million when Scotty McCreery was voted the American Idol.
The American Idol franchise may be a little shaky, but I look for ratings to get better as fans choose their favorites and follow them as long as they survive the cuts during Hollywood week.
The return of American Idol last night signaled that the No. 1 singing competition show, by far outshines The Voice and X-Factor. The other shows have their moments, but neither show comes close to matching the drawing power of American Idol.
Shaun Kraisman was one of the most interesting contestants, as he did an excellent Ryan Seacrest impression, but didn’t advance to Hollywood despite singing very well in my book, but the judges didn’t agree.
My personal favorite was Shannon Magrane, the daughter of former major league pitcher and MLB Network analyst Joe Magrane. The judges coaxed Shannon into bringing her family to the audition room, so they learned, that she was going to Hollywood the minute the judges told her the good news.
The last singer at the Savannah, Georgia audition was Phillip Phillips, who impressed the judges so much that he was asked to sing a second song. Phillip will be a singer to watch when the Hollywood week round starts.
American Idol was a breath of fresh air after The Voice and it’s chairs that turned around, to reveal the singer that was singing, if the judge liked the song, plus it reminded us how much we disliked the constant bickering of the X-Factor judges. The bickering between Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul was a huge distraction, not to mention the annoying host Steve Jones, who seemed to annoy the judges, as much as the fans.
There is no doubt that American Idol is still the best singing competition. It may be difficult to follow-up the success of Season 10, when Scotty McCreery won the title of American Idol. Even more impressive was that Scotty sold a million copies of his debut album, only three months after being released. His sales far eclipsed those of Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze, whose record sales never did take off.
It is safe to say that Scotty is the most successful recording artist, after winning American Idol, since 2005 when Carrie Underwood won Season 4.
We won’t know until May who wins Season 11 of American Idol, but fans will have fun watching the shows, till the winner is revealed by Ryan Seacrest.
Jimmie DeRamus, owner of Silver Dollar Pawn Shop in Alexandria, Louisiana is being featured in Cajun Pawn Stars which recently debuted on the History Channel.
It may never draw the viewers garnered by the original Pawn Stars on the same channel.
There have even been reports, that the owners of the original Pawn Stars show, filmed in Las Vegas, were less than pleased, when they found out about the spinoff show.
They reportedly had not been notified by the network, that the Cajun Pawn Stars show was even in the works. They claim to have in their contract, that there would be no spinoffs, from the original Pawn Stars shows. They are probably concerned, that with two reality pawn shop shows, on the air will lower the rating for their original Pawn Stars show.
For those who don’t get the History Channel on their cable service, they will be pleased to know, that the shows can be viewed, in their entirety at the History channel website.
I recently watched the first two shows and the main difference, between the two shows is that DeRamus offers more money for items brought to his pawn shop. DeRamus even offered twice the value for one item. That is not normal practice for most pawn shops.
Having grown up across the river from Silver Dollar Pawn Shop it makes it more interesting to watch. Folks from the area are probably seeing people, that they actually know on the show. I have been in the store a couple of times myself.
DeRamus really wanted the first record ever made by Jerry Lee Lewis, that the expert verified was authentic, but the owner, who just happens to be married to Jerry Lee’s sister, decided he couldn’t part with the record, even though the offer by DeRamus was more, than what the record had been valued at.
He also tried to buy a pair of $5,000 and $10,000 sister bills, but came up empty, when the owner turned down his $500,000 offer, then DeRamus upped that offer, but it was no deal.
The pygmy goat that was leaving souvenirs, for someone to clean up was sold for $40, after DeRamus declined to buy it for $60.
The show to me was an excellent representation, of life in Central Louisiana. It may not be able to compete with the flashy Pawn Stars reality show, being filmed in Las Vegas, but I look for it to catch on, as the weeks go by. This show seems to give more background on the customers, than the Las Vegas based Pawn Stars show, which for the most part, doesn’t come close to offering the money, that is offered on Cajun Pawn Stars.
It was almost like going home again for me, since we live 125 miles from Alexandria now.