|Dad helps out on my wedding day in 1997.|
|Photo by Scott Saltzman|
H. Thomas Jordan Jr. graduated from the University of North Carolina with a bachelor’s in English and served in the U.S. Army from 1960-1963. From there he followed his father, Harry Thomas Jordan, into the furniture business and worked his way up to regional sales manager for Drexel Heritage in a short time. At one point Dad was responsible for an 18-state territory from the Midwest to New England and parts of Canada. Monday mornings he’d often load up his car with fabric samples, say goodbye to my mom and brother and I and be gone for three to four days, and every April and October he’d be in North Carolina for two weeks for the semi-annual furniture market.
But nights, weekends, vacations and holidays were all ours. We flew kites, built glow-in-the-dark monster models, checked out stacks of books from the library and sledded down giant hills. He taught us every board game and card game known to man, and indulged us by trying his hand at Space Invaders and Pac-Man when he would have rather been watching Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser or Meet the Press. And no matter what day it was, whenever I had a big Little League game or an important state tennis tournament or conference showdown in high school, I’d step up to the plate or the baseline and see him nodding encouragingly from the sidelines.
His discipline was always steady, measured and unwavering. He never yelled, never hit me. Around sixth grade, I started to show signs of acting more like Jimmy Connors than Bjorn Borg in a tennis tournament. I slammed my racquet into the ground after losing a point, cracking the frame and rendering it useless. I walked off the court and told Dad I needed another racquet. He just looked at me sternly; I walked back out and told my opponent I was forfeiting the match. He kept that ability as I got older and wrestled with adult crises; the times that I could tell I’d disappointed him, I knew I was headed down a wrong path.
From the time my writing started to be published almost two decades ago, his feedback always mattered the most to me. I’d send him my stories, and on occasion he’d mail them back, with his comments in red ink throughout the margins. Dad was always gentle with his observations; over the years I realized that his values always came through in his editing. Write honestly and clearly, he’d say. Write what you believe, and write from your heart.
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.