Crawfish expert status verified by big shot journalist

Sam Irwin, Crawfish Expert

Simmon’s letter confirming Sam Irwin, Crawfish Expert

Reporter Jim Simmon, formerly of the Houston Chronicle and currently serving as the city editor of the prestigious Bryan-College Station Eagle, has confirmed that author Sam Irwin is the “Crawfish Expert.”

In a letter dated April 23, 2015. Simmon wrote that Irwin is the preeminent crawfish historian in Louisiana and Texas, and most likely the United States. Simmon asked Irwin, author of Louisiana Crawfish: A Succulent History of the Cajun Crustacean, to write a “nice, but not gushy” note in Simmon’s copy.” Just spell my name right on the personal inscription,” Simmon said. “Check is in the mail. I know, all the girls tell you that.”

Jim Simmon as news editor, The Vermilion 1978

Jim Simmon as managing editor, The Vermilion 1978

Irwin and Simmon have been inextricably entwined ever since their days on the editorial staff of the prize-winning Vermilion newspaper. Topics covered during those heady days included the Egyptian invasion of the United States, Fear and Loathing in Nicaragua, Mayor Kenny Bowen’s land grab and the death of Elvis Presley. Simmon and Irwin, along with Jon Donlon, the foremost authority on cock fighting (Bayou Country Bloodsport), artist Eric Vincent, Mitch Chase formerly of the Caracas Daily Journal (yes, the one in Venezuela) and now of the Decatur Daily, and Judge Susan Theall, formed the nucleus of the “oft-copied but never duplicated” college newspaper. Business manager Chris Williams paid for it all with student money.

Simmon said of Irwin’s book, “I enjoy a good read, especially one that is short.” Simmon went on to declare the book is a “Tour de force – a strange, wonderful and witty collection of crawfish lore.”

Vermilion staff cartoon legend

Vermilion staff cartoon legend

The Vermilion staff, 1978 - as envisioned by the brilliant mind of Eric Vincent.

The Vermilion staff, 1978 – as envisioned by the brilliant mind of Eric Vincent.