Red Stick Gumbo


I’m not sure “unique” is the word I would use for a university (LSU) that allows this shorts shot in its yearbook (The Gumbo) sans caption, so we have no idea if this is a shrunken hacky sack or a walnut being tossed around, but unique is what it has declared itself to be. See?


What’s weirder than a yearbook showing a student getting high? Someone still smoking pot after 1980.

Now take a journey with me if you will, back into the lives of Louisiana State University students during the 1985-1986 school year. The campus is located in Baton Rouge (aka Red Stick), Louisiana, and here’s a fun fact:

  • The city got its name from the blood-drenched poles that were used to hang bear heads and fish in various rituals that were carried out by the natives. Now just add voodoo and stir!

The rules of the Jam Jam ’85 (aka Jambalaya-Jamboree) included:

  1. First you don your gay apparel (overalls).
  2. Then you kiss the crawfish.

kiss3.  Then you put a camo shirt on, grab a girl with crawfish earrings, and sing a rousing rendition of Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya.”


Altogether, that sounds quite promising. What a fun campus! No wonder Matt Damon chose LSU to pursue his bachelors of disc jockey.


But he wasn’t the only fish in that Red Stick Gumbo. The man candy was a veritable feast for the eyes.


Not your style? Well, check out United Colors of Benetton.


I’m pretty certain that’s B-List 80s actor T.K. Carter on the far right, so Matt Damon wasn’t the only Oscar-winning actor on campus. And who could blame them? LSU dorm life could not be matched. Just life Stefan says on SNL, “This place has everything.”


Big screen plasma TVs…


Okay, maybe not yet. But there were other options.


Okay, well, big screen TVs hadn’t been invented yet. But that’s not the point. The point is you could lounge indoors or outdoors.

Gumbo010You could eat lunch at a restaurant called The Library, if you were desperately seeking…food.


Why, you could even up and learn another language at the language lab–if you were willing to let the headphones jack up your sweet hairdon’t.

Gumbo016And you could wait with baited breath at this Residence Hall Workshop. I spy with my little eyes Panama Jack in the second row.

Residence Hall Workshop

Now, listen, I won’t waste much of your time with Greek life. But it gets weird with Delta Kappa Epsilon. At first, I was like, “Is that Chef from ‘Southpark’ in the middle? Is that Boris Becker?”


Yeah, it is Boris Becker (ish), but it’s evidently Levy the Master Chef. My bad. Makes perfect sense. What the what? I know. It’s too much to process. Time for the mandatory 80s sax solo.


Party Like It’s 1985

Louisiana State University 1985
Louisiana State University 1985

As you prepare for tomorrow’s New Year’s Eve celebration, take cues from the simpler, less rambunctious era of the 1980s. Slow down and appreciate the moment.

Back then, people were working for the weekend. After double shifts at Orange Julius, it was time for hardcore karaoke. Don’t be afraid to shine on New Year’s Eve.

You've got the eye of the tiger.
You’ve got the eye of the tiger.

Also, don’t drink if you’re underage. You know who you are. Surely her jacket doesn’t say what I think it says.


Know when to say when. These guys stopped just shy of tipsy.


Remember: friends don’t let friends drive drunk. Especially in tight Girbaud (wait–they weren’t popular yet) jeans. Mercy, I can smell the Drakkar Noir from here…

Pardon me, but are those Girbaud jeans?

Behold! Proof that Madonna used to be relevant!


Just don’t let things get out of hand.

Tips On How Not To Be A Proud Southern Woman
Tips On How Not To Be A Proud Southern Woman

And lastly: come to terms with reality. You have your owns set of gifts and strengths, your own contribution you can make to this world. But face it: you will never, ever look as cool as this guy.

Me llamo Unibrow Pseudo-Fu Manchu.
Me llamo Unibrow Pseudo-Fu Manchu.

Pre-Depression 1928 Alcalde


In my years of perusing old yearbook pages, I have found that the students’ portrait demeanors progress from stoic (you’ve seen Civil War era photos) to eternally wasted (beginning in the 60s and moving throughout the 80s). Humor was often saved for cartoons or jokes/limericks in the back of the book. However, the humor is usually so outdated, I can’t follow. And in some instances, just plain crazy.

I couldn’t make heads or tails of this one:

Alcalde006This yearbook belonged to Mabel E. Roberson from Humble, Texas, whom I imagine has since passed on, as she would be over 100 at this point.

Alcalde012Evidently, she did not spell “chaos” correctly, and was mocked for it, and understandably so. Chaos? Five little letters?

Alcalde005Her spelling may not have been up to par, but she did manage to make a “real friend.”

Alcalde014She also spent a happy night under the big bright moon with John C. Sutton.

Alcalde007She must have been too busy with John/Jack to give Kucera the time of day. He still mourned his broken heart.

Alcalde002Another man wanted to put her in jail with a life sentence. Egads, what sort of debt did she owe?

Alcalde001I combed these brittle pages and could not for the life of me find Mabel’s pic. I assume she was a little easier on the eyes than Sue Hill, big pimpin’ in her sparkly hat.


It would have been a hard time to be in college, no? This was during Prohibition. For those of you non-Americans, Prohibition was a nationwide ban on the sale, production, importation, and transportation of alcohol from 1920 to 1933. I don’t imagine Italy or France enforced such a thing. It was a time of flapper bobs, mink coats (before PETA threw red paint on fur), and apparently–Harry Potter glasses.

Alcalde015Dancing around the maypole gaily, who could have imagined The Great Depression was only a matter of months away?


Happy Anniversary To Me

That’s me in the corner, except with more coughing fits and joint pain. Oddly enough, that was how I felt when I first took to writing on WordPress one year ago today. For whatever reason, my immune system is compromised immediately after Christmas and fearfully close to the New Year. Anyhoo, it was that state of under-the-weatherness that caused me to vent on serious issues like baked potato toppings and the inaccessibility of egg nog at this time of year. I know: I need a bridge, a straw, and a full cup for my First World Problems. If you don’t know to what I’m referring, here’s a peek:

So thanks to all my readers as I post this 250th post. I appreciate this community of interesting people and look forward to another year of following the great blogs out there! Now I need to go eat some chicken soup.

Bazaar Was Bizarre

???????????????????????????????We visited the Blue Genie Art Bazaar in Austin, hoping to find some unique gifts. This art was easy on the eyes.

???????????????????????????????Small booths showcased different artists with a wide range of talents.

???????????????????????????????Some prints revealed the artists’ love of the city.

???????????????????????????????Some things made me hungry.

Some things just plain creeped me out.

???????????????????????????????And some just hurt my eyes.

???????????????????????????????In the end, we wound up leaving empty-handed. Although the pieces were interesting, they were vastly overpriced. Perhaps they were intended for pretentious, high-income Austin hipsters who congratulate themselves on funding the hobbies of former U.T. art majors. Too harsh? So is $55 for a set of six coasters. And with so many children there, it seemed curious that many items were covered in curse words, too filthy for me to type here. One thing’s for sure: Austin is still keeping Austin weird.

What Sorority Girls Do For Fun

They ride banisters backwards in their pedal pushers.

They ride banisters backwards in their pedal pushers.

They play a rousing game of Old Maid.


Sometimes Linda plays a mad, mad guitar.

Sooners042Sue can rock an old piano whilst wearing a kerchief.

Sooners043But it isn’t always fun and games. Sometimes things go wrong, like having a flat tire.

Sooners039Or the TV stops working.

Sooners036And being slaves to fashion is hard work!

Sooner033But the most fun is a slumber party, with nightgowns and curlers in their hair.

SororitySleepYep, there’s no doubt about it. These gals know how to have a good time!

Paddle Ball

Greeks Raise The Roof

I am as excited as the Saturday Night Live Target lady today! Not only did I procure another ancient history yearbook for my collection, but it cost ONE DOLLAH. Yippee!

SNL Target Lady
SNL Target Lady

 It was during this 1963-1964 school year that JFK was shot and killed. But honestly I don’t know if that was enough to make these Oklahoma Sooners put down their cups for one second. The fraternities and sororities sure knew how to party:

I didn’t know “raise the roof” was a popular term fifty years ago, but these fun-loving Greeks were clearly raising it.


And they partied like rock stars. Even Bo Diddley got in on the action.

Sooner018But partying can get out of control. I think Roger got a little too fresh with Jeanne…

Sooner019Pi Kappa Alpha partied like Royals at their Dream Girl Party. No red solo cups here.

Sooner020Old or young, it didn’t matter. DEKEs liked to have a good time.

Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon

Eileen could barely contain her excitement at the TGIF Party.

Alpha Epsilon Pi
Alpha Epsilon Pi

Linda screamed when a zebra-jacketed matador sat on her lap at the Bowery Ball

Sooner026These Delta Gamma gals showered Ned with Christmas cheer.

Sooner028Sigma Delta Tau knew their second amendment rights.

Sooner029And Zeta Tau Alpha wore their sunglasses at night. Too cool for school, you guys.


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