Monday, August 17, 2009

Sad Tale of Vernon Roger

Vernon Roger used to be a newscaster on Baton Rouge's CBS affiliate station WAFB, for a newscaster he was a pretty plain, straight laced looking guy. He wasn't the greatest and but he surely wasn't the worse. What made me like this guy was his cooking segments. Back in the late 80's and 90's, my kids and I would watch the station in the hopes of catching his cooking segments. He would come on and usually cook some cajun dish, it was a very short segment but it was fun and entertaining. The part that my family would like would be at the end of the cooking segment, when he would give what he called "the ole taste test". He would take a fork or spoon full of food pretend to be blowing it to cool it off, taste the food, close his eyes, bounce his head up and down a bit, then blurt out some cajun gibberish that ended with Ca C'est Bon.

I used to do an imitation of him all the time when I would cook something up. In fact, I do an imitaion of him in one of my video reviews:



My Vernon impression starts at 1:40

I don't know why, but there was something about how he would end those cooking segments that just cracked me up. I kind of lost track of the station when we started getting more and more cable channels in our area. So I never paid much attention to the station or Vernon Roger in a long time, I still did the imitation of him, but never knew what had happened to him.



Random WAFB clip that features Vernon

So a few days ago I did a little search to see what Vernon was up to, and what I found was a very sad tale. Now, I'm sure people living in Baton Rouge know this tale well and it was probably a big story in the city at the time. But for people that live outside Baton Rouge (like me), you might have never heard this tale before.

From what I gather, it seemed like Vernon Roger had a great life. He was married to the weather woman (Diane Deaton) on the same station that he worked. It must have been a great setup, Vernon did the news and his wife did the weather. From all accounts, it seemed like the two had a great social life, they attended church, they went to all type of events in Baton Rouge together, Vernon liked to cook for his friends and colleagues. There was only a slight problem, Vernon liked his alcohol a little too much. From what I read, Vernon was kind a shy guy and maybe that's why he liked his alcohol so much, maybe it helped him open up in public or something.




More Random WAFB footage, Vernon at the end

Vernon's life started going downhill fast in the year 2000, he got pulled over numerous times while drinking and was finally charged with A DUI. This got him suspended from WAFB and he entered an alcohol treatment program and returned to the airwaves soon. But this was just the beginning of his downfall. It seemed that straight laced, church attending Vernon had a little fetish that his weatherwoman wife couldn't please. Vernon Roger liked to pretend that he was a baby and wear diapers and then crap and piss in them and got off on women cleaning him up afterwards. Probably nobody would have known about this fetish or even cared about it, but Vernon got busted with prostitutes and got caught red handed by police wearing the diapers full of crap in the bust.

Vernon got fired from WAFB and soon after his wife divorced him, instead of moving to another town and try to get a fresh start, Vernon stayed in Baton Rouge and opened a catering business. This business it seems tanked, I mean, who would want someone catering your event who was busted wearing a diaper full of crap and piss. Feeling the shame and humiliation Vernon probably figured that there was no way he would be able to keep on and in June 2002, Vernon committed suicide by hanging himself.

It's really a sad story. If Vernon would have moved or even "hung" in there (no pun intended), things would have cleared up for him. Nowadays people forgive and forget, he would have found a job somewhere else. With his passion for cajun cooking, if the scandal wouldn't have hit, I'm sure his business would have been very successful. He shouldn't have gave up on life, but he did, and we will never get to see him give the ole taste test to his latest dish again.

29 comments:

  1. Simple correction: Vernon opened a restaurant and the food was great. It was full of people every time I went, which was at least once a week.

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    1. What an FPS Harold Dufrene is and what a sad life he must have.

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  2. i grew up watching vernon and i loved him. i was like he was a member of the family. i hate to see his personal life splattered all over the internet instead of more clips of him doing his cooking segments and making people laugh!!!

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  3. I would love to see some clips of his cooking segments as well! Maybe one day somebody will post some of those classics on youtube.

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  4. Vernon did not commit suicide. He accidentally killed himself via autoerotic asphyxiation. Same as David Carradine. May god rest there souls. The coroners completely covered it up. Many in Baton Rouge know this but seldom mention it.

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  5. I absolutely could not stand Vernon Roger. His restaurant/catering business (whatever it was) probably failed because of his attitude. I would see him out in stores all the time (what luck I have) and he was nothing but an ASS to the people who waited on him. He was always rude and short and condisending to anyone and everyone I ever saw him interact with.

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    1. You post this anonymously? About a dead man?

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  6. Cool little story there -- Thanks for posting!

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  7. Josey's PussycatMay 28, 2010 at 5:53 AM

    Heartbreaking. Shame it wasn't Diaperboy David Vitter instead.

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  8. I would like to see a clip of one of those hookers changing his diaper.

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  9. I ate at his restaurant and the food was really really good at first. My friends in I even helped him promote the business.A few months later his attitude started to change. According to one of his workers he started drinking a lot before work. Then a few weeks later he was dead.

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  10. I at at Vernon's restaurant once or twice a week and would LOVE to have the recipe for the crawfish tamales - OMG. He was a talented chef, his cornbread - amazing. The Boudin King (wish I knew his real name) would make fresh boudin on Saturday morning and it was the best I ever had. What a lost, RIP Vernon.

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  11. A few year's ago, I was grabbing a bite to eat at the Arby's on Siegen Ln. and saw Diane Deaton ahead of me in line. She got her food and sat down to eat by herself. I wanted to just reach out to her some way and give her some comfort, let her know most Baton Rougeans loved Mr. Roger, regardless of what he did behind doors. Truth is, we're all different and no one is perfect. Well, I decided against talking to her, figuring even local newscasters like their privacy while eating out.

    I remembered this earlier today, and teared up. He will be remembered fondly by many people.

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  12. I remember him well. I have lived in Calif. since 1997 when I heard about his suicide I was not surprised. I also loved his cooking segment and still make his bacon shrimp burger I saw on one of his seg. I was not shocked about the alcohol and prostitutes. I worked at a casino in Baton Rouge and he came in a lot and was toasted everytime I saw him. (a few other reporters did the same). I just wished he could of realised how short people's memories can be.RIP Vernon

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  13. It is a shame that some people are so perfect that they can only talk about other's imperfections. You need to get a life! You will reap what you sow and everyone will answer when they stand before God. Let the one without sin cast the first stone.

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  14. Vernon Roger was not perfect but neither are any of you. Harold Dufrene apparently thinks he is above all others. I wonder how he would feel if his life was an open book and discussed online as he has done to Mr. Roger. Yes, Vernon Roger had problems, but who doesn't? I hope I stand behind Dufrene on Judgement Day to witness his life flash before his eyes. Shame on you, Harold Dufrene. I agree with the above comment. Mr. Dufrene needs to practice praying for forgiveness and bridling his tongue. You know, their sins also. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!

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  15. Never said I was perfect, just passing on a well known story. You should follow your own rules and not judge my intentions.

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  16. I'm actually perfect. Must suck to be y'all.

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  17. Like everyone else, I enjoyed his noon news and especially watching his cooking segment. He looked like an all around happy guy with two good trades going for him. One day while watching the news, he was on his station publicly apologizing for something but I didn't know what it was until finding out weeks later. Soon he was off the air and I saw Diane wasn't wearing her wedding ring. Then the news came out when he was found dead. It really is sad that it all went down the toilet and even now it's hard to believe. For some reason I still think about him a wish he were still with us, which is how I found this blog. He touched people and apparently we still miss him.

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  18. I am really not sure what made me google Mr Roger's name...however, I had the opportunity to meet him and play a vital role in his restaurant business. In a matter of months I found him to be a nice guy. But we must remember life has a way of beating you down. You never know until its your time. When people abuse alcohol or drugs or sex or food or whatever the underlying issue may be, it is clear that they need help, love and support. The food was great and cooking was his therapy. Mr Roger called me the evening before he died and I didnt attempt to contact him until the next morning. I often wonder if I could have said something that would have saved his life. My heart bleeds for all parties involved, Mrs Diane suffered, his family suffered, his friends suffered, and Mr Roger suffered so to the point that he lost his life. We must learn to lift one another, not drag each other through the dirt. We could have just been reading about his good and let the dead be just that...dead. Be very careful...karma has its way of knockingat your door. God bless!

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  19. Like so many people, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Vernon's cooking segment on Channel 9 at noon. I would rush home to eat lunch with my Mom just to get home in time to watch his cooking segment. I now live in Montana and my wife and I were looking for some of his recipes and came across this blog. I lost my cookbook that I had and will have to find a new one. He is certainly missed by my family who enjoyed watching his shows. May God rest his soul.

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  20. Dude...you are so awesome...i just love how you worded this it was a sad stiory but i couldnt help but laugh at this article...i also agree with you on the whole resteraunt thing...i sure wouldnt go there...well ayway i had a great laugh!
    *AWESOME NEVER DIES*

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  21. We still remember him. When my momma was alive she would wait for Vernon to come on tv. she loved him. we all loved vernon. we still loved him when all the trouble hit. when he died we still loved him. i saw him in the mall one night sitting at a table trying to sell his cookbooks. he looked so tormented i wasn't able to walk over and even buy a book. something was eating him alive. we hope he is at peace now and know we still love him. it is really sad when someone is vulnerble and wounded the carnivores come in for the kill. why couldn't there be a respectful silence for another human being that had a serious problem?

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  22. Absolutely LOVE having his autographed cookbook that I still use often, and did enjoy his TV personality.



    Sad story

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    1. I meet Vernon back in the late 80's at a place were they let people come on their land and play paint ball wars in the wood . It was a popular thing to do back then . He was with Paul Gates and these guys were the life of the party , really upbeat and knew how to have fun . I enjoyed his personality , he seemed so cool and easy going . We can all have our opinions of this post for me it is very interesting . I did not know he had a severe drinking problem to me he seemed so well balanced . If he were here today we would all welcome him back .

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  23. I have been away from central Louisiana for years now only returning and discovered the news of Vernon's situation and that he is no longer with us. I am sorry for that. I enjoyed he and his wife Diane on Ch. 9. I also met them several times at restaurants in Baton Rouge and they were very gracious and nice to my family and I.

    I am sorry. My much belated condolences to his family and all who knew him.

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  24. I worked with Vernon in the late '80s at WAFB and to be honest he was not a nice man. I thought Diane was always a class act and kind. After learning what happened to Vernon I am deeply sorry. Now that I am older there is no question in my mind Vernon was a tortured soul for reasons we'll never know. I was 24 at the time I worked at Channel 9 and I couldn't understand at the time what fueled his anger and hate. May God heal him and in His mercy grant Vernon eternal peace.

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  25. Wow... What a great post. Vernon ran across my mind today so I had to Google him. These comments are also very interesting.

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  26. The comments about David Vitter wearing a diaper are completely false. Many in Louisiana confuse Vernon Roger for David Vitter. Vernon Roger had the diaper fetish, not David Vitter.

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