A Capital Town

A Capital Town

By Elizabeth Dent

Baton Rouge has so many treasures, including generational businesses that have survived over the years, sometimes started by a grandfather or a father, and decades later their daughters, sons, and their children continue in the tradition they established those many years ago.

One such business is Willie & Willie Contractors founded in 1940 by Leo Willie. His son, Murlin, eventually picked up a hammer and worked side by side with his father, learning the business, building the company, keeping the family tradition alive.

When driving to Atlanta in June 1993, Murlin, 53, was taken from his family and his community by a traffic accident that resulted in his untimely death.

Continuing his legacy today are his beautiful, talented daughter Debbie Willie Walker; his determined son Mark Willie, and his grandson Dustin K. Walker. Rounding out the team is Debbie’s husband Randy.


Speaking of family treasures, Bob and Frances Breaux love to gather with their family, and it’s quite a family! Handsome Bob and lovely Frances (aka Francesca Anna Maria Lampasona) have three daughters, two sons, and nine grandchildren with a little one on the way!

Their children were raised in their home on two acres behind Episcopal High School.  Their oldest daughter and her husband purchased the family home and moved in to raise their children. What a compliment! Frances and Bob now enjoy living in a Runnymead Town Home. (This happy couple is delighted that there’s no more grass to cut!)

One of Bob and Frances’ treasured family memories is when they gathered for many years around the kitchen table to enjoy Frances’ delicious pasta!

Bob is now the volunteer Executive Director of the new Chamber of Commerce of East Baton Rouge Parish and is doing a great job!


Baton Rougeans treasure sports and love to gather at LSU football, basketball, and baseball games. Recently, former LSU baseball Coach Skip Bertman, much honored for his National Championships and other achievements, was recognized as a Louisiana Sports Legend. In his acceptance speech, he lauded his faithful wife Sandy Bertman for having been inducted into the “American Express Hall of Fame.” “And she keeps setting new records!” the coach claimed.

Way to go, Sandy! Make the big guy pay!


Hillar Moore III is our only Democratic official elected parishwide in East Baton Rouge Parish, and a good one he is at that! Maybe it’s in part because his dad, Hillar Moore II, was a Marine! Boy, I love those Marines! Wish we had more Democrats like Hillar!

Hillar doesn’t mind hanging out with sports legends like our own Dr. Billy Cannon at Earl Heard’s Louisiana Sports Legends banquet sponsored by his magazine, BIC.


Well, our wonderful United States Sen. David Vitter will be honored as the Republican Party’s “Man of the Year” at the Ronald Reagan Annual Awards Brunch on Labor Day.

The big event will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 3 at the City Club. Sponsorships for a table of eight are $5,000 and individual tickets are $500 a couple. Proceeds will be used in East Baton Rouge Parish to support our Republican candidates for Mayor-President, Metro Council, and other important offices. If you’d like to sponsor a table, please call me/leave a message at 225-344-2374!


Often newcomers to BR and tourists who visit rave about our people treasures. On Tuesday evening, I was driving down Goodwood Blvd. All at once, I heard a loud noise that sounded like the bottom of my new VW Passat had fallen.  I pulled under a street light and heard a woman’s melodious voice. “Do you need help?” She was behind the wheel of a truck that had pulled up behind me.  A young man immediately jumped out, looked under my car and removed a small branch. Was I relieved!

My good Samaritans were Emmanuel Harris, a 2011 graduate of Broadmoor High School, and his kind mother, Ethel Forestier.  Emmanuel reminded me that God is always with me, and I’m never alone!

Baton Rouge truly is a Capital Town!


Please send me news tips at lizdent@bellsouth.net!

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