Lafayette attorney and Monroe native John Bernhardt died Friday morning at M. D. Anderson Hospital in Houston after a lengthy and recurring battle with cancer. He was 60 years old.
John will be missed by friends from all over the world. His love of golf ran deeper than the mere sport of it. Throughout his life, he travelled the globe, studying golf course design and architecture, building lasting friendships along the way. Posts on his Caring Bridge page in recent months made reference to rounds he played with comrades on the best links anywhere, from Scotland’s fabled St. Andrews to Augusta National and Pebble Beach.
John would have loved a Mardi Gras week like this one. Atypically, this year the annual spectacle in Washington, D.C., fell within 10 days of Fat Tuesday. In healthier times, he would have rolled effortlessly from his role in The Krewe of Mystic Louisianians on the Potomac to his roll down St. Charles as a veteran member of Bacchus. The flambeau will be shining brightly this Sunday night in his memory for all who knew him.
There was no bigger LSU fan than John. In fact, many of his Caring Bridge friends from around the world called him Tiger. But the greatest love of his life was his daughter Katie, who has been his devoted nurse, confidante and advisor though out his illness. She has shown amazing strength and poise every step of the way.
John loved a glass of good red wine and a fine meal. A member of the AcA board, he also loved great art and music. A lifelong Democrat, he was a political insider who revered those who play the game well.
His good friend Tyron Picard remembers him this way: “John Bernhardt had four interests in life: 1, LSU athletics, 2, the game of golf, 3, Louisiana politics, and 4, the oil business, but only one love: his daughter Katie, whom he was a wonderful dad to. His infectious smile, jovial laugh and compassionate heart will be missed and leave a void in the life of all who knew him.”
In his most recent emails and text messages, John wrote of the next challenge and new treatment options, even as his doctors made clear the possibility of success was waning. He fought this battle just as lived his life — with courage, dignity and a sense of humor. He will be missed.
[Although arrangements have not been finalized, IND Monthly can tell you that Martin & Castille is handling the arrangements. A service for John will be held in Lafayette after Mardi Gras. He will be laid to rest next to his parents in Monroe.]
MAY 24 Blogger Robert Mann posts this entry about the Baton Rouge Chamber's recent report on Louisiana's higher education system. It's critical to economic development, and yet our system is facing a "funding crisis" with no way to resolve it, the report says. The Chamber says control of tuition and fees must be returned to the higher ed governing boards.
MAY 24 Here's a NBC33 story about Tyrann Mathieu. He has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, inking a $3 million, four-year deal. He gets a signing bonus of $265K, but gets another, larger bonus if he doesn't get cut from the team for doing drugs. The deal reportedly includes mandatory tests and meetings for the player.
MAY 24 Jarvis DeBerry posts here about the redonkulus rhetoric that would have us believe NOLA is a safe city with a murder problem. Maybe the city's crime stats don't compare with its murder stats because you can't manipulate a murder, he says: a dead body's a dead body. It just doesn't make sense, he says, and his readers agree: a poll asks if they believe the city is safe, and more than 90 percent say no.
MAY 24 Jindal administration officials announced Thursday that the privatization of public health care is going to cost a lot more than they budgeted for, the Advocate reports here. "I'm so surprised," said no one. Anywhere. The cost they're projecting now is more than $1 billion - a lot more than the $626 million budgeted for it. And, it's more than it cost the state to operate those hospitals. So why are we doing this again?
MAY 24 Blogger CB Forgotston ridicules the recent PR campaign by the state GOP in the wake of a legislative auditor's request to both major parties. The GOP (apparently unaware that the Dems got the same request) started yammering about being targeted because it had "killed" a tax increase. CB finds that laughable, but it's also pretty funny that the GOP was comparing this episode to the IRS scandal (Because the President has so much to do with our state auditor. Right?).
MAY 24 Politico details some recent fund-raising efforts by Sen. David Vitter, which have raised the question of his future political plans. This time, it is a $5,000 per head "bayou weekend" that includes "Cajun cooking" and an all-caps "alligator hunt," the story reports. Funds raised go to a super PAC that can spend money to support Vitter in federal or state races, the story points out.
MAY 24 The pink building on Royal in the quarter was sold at a sheriff's sale Thursday, this Picayune story reports. An injunction that would have halted the sale wasn't enforced because the family failed to post a $150,000 bond, the story reports. So the owner of the mortgages on the building bought it, for nearly $7 million. Now the feuding family will have to negotiate with that company to get a lease on the building that has housed their business for close to 60 years.
MAY 23 This post in Louisiana Voice tells us about a bill by a Winnsboro lege that would require all public high school students to take at least one Course Choice online class in order to graduate. (What?) Blogger Tom Aswell says it's a monument to "waste and corruption," especially in light of the problems he's exposed with the program in recent weeks. Idaho had a similar program, but voters removed it by a 2-1 margin, Aswell says.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.