The Marks Post: Holy Ghost writer
I’m truly humbled for taking home the awards for Best Feature Story and Best Single Editorial at this weekend’s Louisiana Press Association awards presentation. If I would have given an acceptance speech, this is what I was going to say.
First of all, all glory goes to God because without Him this would not be possible. Without Him, I probably would still be scanning court documents in the warehouse.
But, I really need to thank Lance Chapman. This is probably a stretch, but hear me out. Back in 2013, he asked me to help him announce the Sacred Heart football games in the press box. I told him that he could do all the announcing, and that I would just read the announcements and things like that.
Well, he baled on me before the season making me the announcer. I was nervous of course, but I had good help during the season. Dr. Jake LaFleur helped me for the jamboree, Swabby helped me for the majority of the season, and my good friend Jake Deville helped me for the game on Cotton Festival Weekend.
Thanks to their help, I felt comfortable enough to do the job as Voice of the Trojans. I tried to keep everything light and moving. I gave news updates and baseball scores during timeouts and between quarters. I probably gave too many baseball scores; though, because they fired me after that season.
Time went on, and one morning before court, as I was still working at the clerk’s office, one of Judge Larry Vidrine’s court reporters Brandy Vidrine asked me if I saw an ad in The Ville Platte Gazette for sports writer. She knew that I had been Voice of the Trojans the year before, and she said that I would be good at it because she knew I was big into sports. I went apply, and, as they say, the rest is history.
For the past year, I’ve been full time at The Gazette as associate editor. I left behind a job at the clerk’s office that I had for 13 years. Our old chief deputy J.L. Brignac was the subject of the column that won me the award for Best Single Editorial. He was an inspiration to us all and is truly missed.
Over this past year, I’ve gotten to do interviews for feature stories in a cow pasture, on rice farms, in a corn field, and even in a boat on Chicot Lake. I’ve also gotten to do an interview with Todd Elliott, a former reporter for The Eunice News who wrote a book on local connections to the JFK Assassination. That article won me Best Feature Story.
I guess my favorite part of the job as associate editor is covering the Ville Platte Rotary Club meetings. I’ve been a part of Rotary since way back in 1998 when I was a sophomore at Sacred Heart.
I’ll never forget that my old principal Larry Vidrine called me out of Mike Bordelon’s Biology I class in one of the portable buildings and asked me what I was doing one weekend in June. I told him that I didn’t know because it was like the middle of the spring semester. He told me that Ashlee Wilson and myself were selected to go to Camp RYLA, which is the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Camp. That year was the first Camp RYLA, and it was held at Sam Houston Jones State Park in Moss Bluff.
Donald Bergeron brought Ashlee and I to our first Rotary meeting that year, and it was at the old Hot Dog Hut on LaSalle Street. That tells you how long ago it was.
The Holy Spirit has been at work in me ever since then, even though I wasn’t always aware of it. Speaking of, people ask me often where do I get the ideas for my articles. The answer is that I have a ghost writer. I call him my Holy Ghost writer.
In conclusion, I’ll close with the words of Alfred Hitchcock’s acceptance speech for the Lifetime Achievement Award: “Thank you.”