For many years, we have been frequent visitors to coastal Mississippi, initially because my father and mother-in-law lived in a cottage in the Pass Christian Isles community. We became familiar with scores of eateries and other attractions within an hour's drive of their home.

When my mother-in-law, Phyllis Barrios, died some 20 years ago, the visits continued. Before long, Nolan Barrios had remarried. My relationship with my new mother-in-law, Myrtle, was just as friendly as before. Neither was anything like the stereotypical "mother-in-law of comedians.

Katrina swept the Pass Christian cottage away, and the stress of it all took Nolan the following year. Our friendship and visits with Myrtle continued into her 90s, but last week, we visited for the last time, at her funeral in Ocean Springs and burial in Pascagoula, near the homes of surviving children from her previous marriage.


Last respects: Several groups of her second family drove over for the services, and, while traffic both ways was tolerable, this last visit with Myrtle was naturally bittersweet.


Sunday dance: With music by Pete Pitre, the Community Dance will be held 2-5 p.m. Aug. 5 at the Lockport Fire Station, 806 Crescent Ave. Doors open at 1 p.m. Entry is $10 a person.


Bayou Playhouse: The theater, 101 Main St., Lockport, has brought back New Orleans comedians Becky Allen and Amanda Hebert in “Dawlin' and Hawt” for two shows only, Aug. 3-4.

For tickets, call Vendini at 800-901-7173.


Book sale: The Friends of the Library Inventory Reduction Sale will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 2-5 p.m. Sunday at the Terrebonne Main Library, 151 Library Drive, Houma.

Shoppers purchase standard brown grocery bags and fill them with books. Multiple bags are encouraged. Information -- 850-5301.


Threatening scammer: “Lets get right to point. You do not know me and you are most likely wondering why you are getting this email?” So begins the recent disturbing message. “I setup a malware on an adult porn web-site and guess what, you visited this web site to experience fun (you know what I mean).”

Calling himself Gregorio Janacek, he claims to have turned on the camera on my computer to catch me watching the porn. “You have got just two options; disregard this e-mail. Then, I will send your very own video recording to almost all of your personal contacts and also visualize about the embarrassment you will definitely get.

”Second solution is to give me $3000. Let us refer to it as a donation. Then, I will straight away delete your video. You will go on your daily routine like this never took place and you surely will never hear back again from me.

“If you have been thinking of going to the cops, look, this email message cannot be traced back to me. I have taken care of my actions. I am not looking to charge a fee much, I just want to be paid for. You have one day to pay.”

Interesting, despicable, but harmless. Gregorio is blowing smoke. I don't visit porn sites, so he has no recording to blackmail me with. Refer the message to spam, delete, and never open attachments or click on links.


On being “old:” Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman asked: "And what do you think is the best thing about being old?"

"No peer pressure," she replied.


Responding? Contact Bill Ellzey at 381-6256, at, or c/o The Courier, P.O. Box 2717, Houma, LA 70361.