Saturday, June 1, 2013


Surely, all of my FB friends are familiar with this face. If you read Baton Rouge's THE ADVOCATE, then no doubt you've seen his column and no doubt many of you are regular readers. If you don't know Smiley personally, then let me introduce you.  He is one of the kindest and funniest people you'll ever meet, a pure delight to be in the company of.

Back in 2010 (or was it 2011?) Smiley regaled the room when Peggy Sweeney-MacDonald introduced him before a small crowd of "MEANWHILE BACK AT CAFE DU MONDE" invitees. He shared the events that led to his meeting Katherine, whom he would later marry.  His description of his meeting and subsequent marriage to “Lady Katherine’ (as she affectionately came to be known) was heartfelt, moving and truly memorable.

This  blog post offers a few samples of his column selections. These just happen to be some of my own since life might get too complicated if I “plagiarized” some of his other contributors. 


March 20, 2016

Budding lawyer?

Jerry Leggio, of Baton Rouge, feels his great-grandson Jace, 3, has a career as a negotiator ahead of him:

“A few weeks back Jace and I strolled down to the Webb Park kiddie playground. After about two hours Jace needed to use the restroom, so we went to the pro shop men’s room. As we headed outside, next to the exit door was an ice cream freezer.

“Jace looked in, saying, ‘I want a Popsicle.’ I said, ‘Jace, Paw Paw didn’t bring any money.’

“When he insisted. I said, ‘Next time we come I will have some money and we’ll get a Popsicle.’ To my surprise, he said ‘OK.’

“We went outside, and he said, ‘Can we sit down here? I’m tired.’ After small-talking for a few moments, he said he needed to use the restroom again, so we went back in the men’s room.

“Once again at the exit he stopped at the ice cream cooler and said, ‘I want a Popsicle.’

“I reminded him, ‘Jace, I told you when we come back again I will get you one.’

“He said, ‘We just came back again.’”

February 8, 2016

Worth the wait

Jerry Leggio says, “This past Christmas morning our 3-year-old great-grandson, Jace, opened one of his gifts (a Star Wars sword) and exclaimed, ‘Oh my God, I have wanted one of these ever since I was a little kid.’”

By smiley anders

May 7, 2014

Two nice guys

I’m always delighted when good things happen to good people I know and enjoy being around.
Here are two examples:

    Trumpet maestro John Gray has been named “Teacher of the Year” by the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra.

He’s band director at The Dunham School, where he has a noted jazz band.
And he can be found all over town playing with The Michael Foster Project, The JGray Jazz Trio, The Soul Jukeboxx etc.
John will be honored at dinner with BRSO music director Timothy Muffitt at Stroube’s on Thursday, May 8, then recognized at the Masterworks concert.

    I remember when Jerry Leggio was the leading man in just about every theatrical production in Baton Rouge.

And more recently it’s been fun spotting him in Louisiana-made movies.
Jerry will be honored with the Anne Price Lifetime Achievement Award at the screening of the locally produced film “LA 308,” in which he stars.
The screening, part of the 2014 Louisiana International Film Festival, is at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 10, at the Cinemark Theater at Perkins Rowe.
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on
The late Anne Price wrote for The Advocate for more than half a century, and was a tireless promoter for all the arts, including theater, in south Louisiana.


for May 26, 2013

Jerry Leggio says, “In the early ’90s my wife Gloria and I took the family to Pensacola, Fla., for a week of fun-in-the-sun.
“Our 5-year-old nephew Charles was also in attendance, along with our daughter-in-law Claudia.
“Claudia could not bring herself to go into the water for fear of getting stung by jellyfish, especially the heavily tentacled Portuguese man-of-war.
“Charles, taking pity on her, advised ‘Aunt Claudia, just watch out for their testicles and you’ll be OK.’ ”

for April 27, 2012

Remembering Bill

If you’ve attended performances at Baton Rouge Little Theater or Baton Rouge Ballet Theater, Carnival balls or the Gridiron Show, you’ve seen the work of Bill Ernst.

For years he was the man behind the scenes, doing set design and lighting for this city’s performing community.

Bill died recently, and Jerry Leggio says, “He wanted no obituary or service of any kind, or a memorial.

“But as Rudi Spruell so eloquently put it, he’s not here to protest.”

An informal gathering “of those who loved and cared for him” will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Baton Rouge Little Theater’s Second Stage.

Advocate, The (Baton Rouge, LA) - September 8, 2011 

Jerry Leggio was going to an eye doctor appointment when he encountered an elderly couple at the elevators: "The lady said, 'You think this one is working?' to which he said, 'How the hell should I know?' She said, 'Should we try it?' He said, 'Hell, I don't care.' As we entered, she looked at the panel and said, 'What floor?' He said, 'How the hell should I know? It's YOUR appointment.' I told her that if she had an appointment with the eye doctor, he was on the fourth floor. She said, 'Thank you, sonny.'

"At the desk, the receptionist asked him what time his appointment was for, and he said, 'Hell, I don't know, it's for HER!'

"When the sign-in process was finally completed, I stepped up to sign in myself when I heard, 'Agnes, where the hell are you?'

I'm sure he eventually found her, but I must say this little adventure completely freed me of any stress I had been having about my own appointment. And I'm still smiling at being called 'sonny.' "


Advocate, The (Baton Rouge, LA) - Friday, January 21, 2011

Star power

After I said "The Toy," a movie shot in Baton Rouge, was one of the worst ever made, I heard from Jerry Leggio , one of our city's favorite thespians:

"For a little more positive perspective on your 'movie you were almost in,' please imagine how bad that film would have been had Jackie Gleason and Richard Pryor NOT been in it."


Advocate, The (Baton Rouge, LA) - Thursday, December 21, 2006

The entertainers

Jerry Leggio recently met with old friend Dick Holler, former Baton Rougean and composer of the hit song "Abraham, Martin and John."

Says Jerry, "Back in the '50s, Dick and I were part of a WBRZ-TV entertainment show, 'Hit or Miss.'

"The show also featured later-to-be notables Rex Reed, Elizabeth Ashley (Cole back then), Donna Douglas (Dot Bourgeois) and some 10-15 other locals.

"Dick and I would like to see a 'Hit or Miss' reunion.

"If anyone has any information on any of the 'Hit or Miss' gang, e-mail me at"


Advocate, The (Baton Rouge, LA) - Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Have a PB&BBQ

Jerry Leggio warns us of the dangers of plastic squeeze bottles for jelly:

"The other day I took a break from repairing my fence and decided to treat myself to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk.

"When I took a bite of the sandwich, I noticed that the taste was a little off.

"My son Mike asked what was wrong and I told him my sandwich tasted strange.

"He looked on the counter and asked, 'What did you use?'

"I showed him the peanut butter jar and the strawberry jelly squeeze bottle.

"He laughed and said, 'Dad, that's not strawberry jelly. It's honey barbecue sauce.'

"Next time I'll have my glasses on"


Advocate, The (Baton Rouge, LA) - Tuesday, April 25, 2006

An open and shut case

Jerry Leggio offers this tale: "My son Darrell on occasion asks me to baby-sit my 7-year-old triplet grandkids, Brandon, Tyler and Allissa.

"The other day I was with them and Darrell asked me to pull my car into the driveway from the street.

"Brandon and Tyler asked it they could ride (an exciting trip of some 60 feet). Of course I said OK.

"They got in the car and Brandon began cranking the passenger window up and down, exclaiming, 'Tyler, look, an anytime window.'

"I asked him what he meant, and he said, 'You don't need the key to open the window.'"


Advocate, The (Baton Rouge, LA) - Monday, January 24, 2005

That's show biz

Jerry Leggio says former Baton Rouge actor Louis Herthum is producing and starring in an independent film, "Red Ridge," currently in post-production.

Based on true events, it's about women kidnapped on the Texas-Mexico border and forced into slavery.

Louis says a portion of the proceeds from the film will be donated to organizations trying to locate and rescue the women.

His Web site is


The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - Saturday, August 17, 2002

Turning point: Dear Smiley: I agree with Charlotte Hornstein - that additional left turn lane on College onto Perkins (which used to be straight only) needs to have an additional left turn arrow painted on it farther back.

When cars are stopped at the light, they are covering the left turn arrow.

When the cars begin to move, drivers then see (often too late) that they are in a LEFT TURN ONLY lane.

Heck, if Public Works won't paint an arrow, I might just do it myself early one morning.

Jerry Leggio


The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - Thursday, April 4, 2002

Initial reaction: Jerry Leggio wonders what brilliant bureaucrat came up with the name "Federal Air Transport Airport Security Services," which will no doubt become better known by its initials 


The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - Tuesday, January 11, 2000

You sure that wasn't a high-five?

Jerry Leggio says grandson John Michael, 3, was disciplined by his day care teacher.

It seems he and his friend David, also 3, had been rough-housing too much.

Says Jerry, "The teacher asked that they both say they were sorry. They did. She asked that they both hug. They did. Then she asked that they shake hands.

"They looked at each other, shrugged, then lifted their four little hands over their heads and proceeded to shake them."...


The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - Saturday, July 11, 1998

Remembering Harold: Dear Smiley: I knew Harold Herthum nearly 20 years.

Back in 1989 I was in Winnfield working on the film "Blaze". For my first two or three days up there I had not seen Harold, who I later discovered was working as an extra.

I was on "stand-by" and not required to be on the set. When I was finally called to work, I went to the set to my air-conditioned dressing room. I noticed someone's street clothes hanging in there.

I strolled toward the wardrobe area and heard someone call my name. It was Harold (some expletives deleted):

"Hey Jerry! Hope you don't mind my using your dressing room. They told me I had to change in that @#$% stake-body truck over there with the @#$% tarp on it. I asked if they wanted a sweaty fat guy in that scene. They said 'no,' so I figured you wouldn't mind my using your room."

Naturally I was glad to share it. We're going to really miss you, buddy!

Jerry Leggio


No comments:

Post a Comment