FOWC – WRITTEN UP IN THE PICAYUNE – Marilyn Armstrong

Picayune – The news that money can’t buy, has been around a long time. The oldest and probably most famous one was born and is still being raised in New Orleans. They’ve got three Pulitzer prizes and many more awards for quality writing and reporting. It’s one of those names that’s been picked up by lots of people who were or looked like John Wayne.

“Saw your wanted poster in the Picayune,” he said.

Oh no! Anything but the Picayune. Everyone reads the Picayune. Or at least they did in The Old West of Hollywood. The real Picayune, actually “The Times-Picayune” is still on the market and is often lovingly referred to as the news money can’t buy.


The Times-Picayune is an American newspaper published in New Orleans, Louisiana, since January 25, 1837. Wikipedia

Editor: Mark Lorando
Headquarters: 365 Canal Street; New Orleans, Louisiana 70130; United States
First issue dateJanuary 25, 1837
Format: Broadsheet
AwardsPulitzer Prize for Public Service, Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting

Famous, but still, not the New York Times — which, by the way, is going to be a 4-part series on Showtime. I saw the advertisement last night. We don’t get Showtime, but I figure it’ll show up on Netflix eventually. Everything else does. Or reruns, somewhere.


Mrs. Nicholson was the owner and publisher of the New Orleans Daily Picayune named after a Spanish coin called a “picayune”. She chose to name the city after her beloved newspaper. Today the paper is still published but is now called the Times-Picayune.


I’m not sure why “the Picayune” keeps buzzing around my head as something importantly Old Western. Garry says it was not the name of the paper in “Liberty Valence” or any particular movie he can think of.

The front page of The Times-Picayune of Nov. 15, 1960. (The Times-Picayune archives)

If Garry can’t name that Western, there probably wasn’t any. He is an encyclopedia of Western movie trivia, bar none. If you think you’re good, have a go at Garry and see who wins. There’s nothing he likes better than a good mental game of minor supporting character in minor westerns barely anyone can remember.

And he doesn’t look them up on Google, either. He says that’s cheating.

Somehow, for some reason, the Picayune is stuck in my head as an important Western newspaper. I’m going to have to spend some more time researching this. Does anyone have some kind of memory about this?

I’m having a bad case of “what am I missing?”

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

6 thoughts on “FOWC – WRITTEN UP IN THE PICAYUNE – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. To be honest Fandango stumped me again. I had no idea what “Picayune’ even was…and was planning to write something about hot chili peppers..because that’s the closest I could come to an explanation without using Google or Wikipedia or Urban Dictionary (I didn’t really intend to use that last one. That one always has explanations that one wishes one had never read… ) Anyway, good one by YOU. Now I’ll have to scurry around and find out if Picayune was actually an old west newspaper..

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    1. It was, but how important it was I have no idea. It was founded in 1837, so it was “around” pretty early. I think it has that kind of “name” that gets picked up by scriptwriters because it sounds so “old western” on the tongue. There was the Tombstone “Epitaph,” always a favorite. The Shinbone “Star” (Liberty Valence). Just some names have that kind of resonance. Otherwise, I think picayune means “little” or something like that.

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      1. Mr. Dutton Peabody, owner, editor and floor sweeper of The Shinbone Star is off to lunch at Lilly’s Place. A beer ain’t drinkin’.

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