Whitlow-Green Enterprises LLC Smoke School    



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40 CFR Part 63 Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants

Whitlow Enterprises LLC EPA Smoke School Visible Emissions- Who we are:

Whitlow is by far the most experienced smoke school provider in the world. The Whitlow team boasts over 40 years combined experience as smoke school providers either as Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality LDEQ state employees or as a commercial company. Our employees have a combined 40 or more years experience as Louisiana DEQ environmental managers and inspectors. We have 2 prominent retired Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality LDEQ employees on staff. We have issued more than 20,000 EPA Method 9 and EPA Method 22 certificates in over 100 biannual locations in over 23 states. We are the opacity experts. When you come to Whitlow Smoke School you learn what Inspectors know. You learn what you need to know.


Whitlow Enterprises has been conducting smoke school since September 2001. We are a family owned and operated small business based in West Monroe, Louisiana. We conduct national EPA Method 9 and 22 opacity certification in accordance with 40 CFR 60 Appendix A Visible Emissions Evaluation. Although we are national in scope, we are down home friendly in nature. We are audited by the EPA and several state environmental departments. We train and certify many state and federal environmental employees as well as thousands of employees from hundreds of industrial plants across the nation. We teach you what you need to know about compliance with state and federal regulations concerning opacity evaluation. We teach you how to maintain compliance with your state and federal permits, including Title V. You can attend one of our open enrollment smoke schools on our schedule or we can come to your plant, state, or your local area.

We strive for customer service. We are members of Better Business Bureau, U. S. Chamber of Commerce, Monroe Louisiana West Ouachita Parish Chamber of Commerce and an American Disabled Veterans small business.

I am Uncle George Whitlow the president and founder of Whitlow Enterprises. I was born and raised just across the beautiful Ouachita River in Monroe, where I grew up telling stories at campfires either deer hunting or fishing. I have been involved in training programs most of my life. I coached Little League Baseball for more than 20 years. I was heavily involved in training during my United States Air Force career from 1969 till 1983. I am retired from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality where I served as an air quality inspector and conducted smoke school from 1984 to my retirement in 2001. I grew up listening to great American storytellers like Dizzy Dean Baseball Game of the Week and Jerry Clower from Route 4, Liberty Mississippi in Amite County. I owe a lot of what I am to my momma, my daddy , Dizzy Dean and Jerry Clower who have made me one of America’s best and least know storytellers. I am a published Louisiana Author. I wrote Blue Bayou Days- the Summer of 61 a novel about my childhood.


I have always loved conducting smoke school and I strive to use these storytelling experiences to help take the stress out of smoke school.

I would love to introduce you to our crew.


The Blue Dawg says you will love Whitlow Smoke School Nation.

I appreciate all of you so much. The life the Whitlow family and crew know today would not be possible without the help of the Good Lord and each and every one of you. I searched for Johnnie Claire White Whitlow on the internet and discovered Old Friends, a song and poem my mamma wrote about the Hunter family who owned the Coca-Cola factory in Minden Louisiana back in the 1930s and 40s. The Hunter family gave back to the community. Mamma and daddy always passed on the tradition of giving back so others could have fun. I present each and every smoke school, following the family tradition of giving back. We don’t stop with the training you need, we entertain you and we cook our special meals for you. We present stress free smoke schools. We know you work hard and we want you to have fun. Life is too short. I consider all of you as my dear old friends all year long, so sit back and enjoy the free entertainment on this webpage. When we see each other again we will say "Hello, how you doing my dear old friend." Let me know smokeschool@yahoo.com if you need any help with any of your problems and I will see what I can come up with. Sincerely, Uncle  Artie. 

Attention all my great friends, Romans, and countrymen and women- our extended family. Down here on the Louisiana Bayou us Cajuns have a very special word Lagniappe. It means just a little something extra special. My old football coaches Bill Ruple and Charlie Brown at Neville High School called it 110% effort. Lagniappe is our motto here at Whitlow. Please register for our smoke schools as soon as possible. Big George is from the old school. I remember the good ole fashioned full service gas stations when gas was 30 cents a gallon and they always filled your gas tank, washed your windshield, checked your tire pressure, and checked your oil. I remember walking into the small general store where the cookie jar sat on the counter, and you could get 1 cookie for 2 bits or 4 cookies for a buck. I remember the wooden whiskey barrel with the commode plungers. The store clerks all knew you and you were family. They smiled and talked to you about your kids and your dogs. They knew them all by first name. You exchanged fishing lies. You asked the clerk for something and they went and got it from the shelf, and put it on the counter. Nobody had a lot of cash lying around back then, so credit was always available.  I know this all first hand for a fact Jack, because my grand pappy Big Artie Whitlow, and my me maw Mamie, Mother Whit to you, used to own that store up near Longview, Texas in a small place called Hope, Arkansas. Later they moved the store to Cotton Valley, Louisiana where daddy was known as the Cotton Valley Flash, because he was a center on the football team and he could run the 100 yard dash in 4 milliseconds. 

My momma and daddy operated NU-2-U a secondhand junk store for 30 years. They brought junk and sold antiques. Our store always looked like Fred Sanford’s house with the hubcaps hanging on the outside walls and the 18 stoves and refrigerators on the front porch. The store was in the one room school house in the saw mill town of Clarks, Louisiana where Momma had attended school with the future governor John J. McKeithan. NU-2-U had an old railroad car potbellied cast iron wood burning stove with oak leaves designs right in the middle of the store. Greco, one of my sons, has a brand of an oak leave on his rear end to this day to prove it. Greco stood too close to the stove on a cold December morning and melted his Pampers.  It is funny that throughout time, some people just have to find out things for them self. You just can't resist the urge to reach out and tough it. Well try Whitlow and you want get burned. You will find out quickly that we are the best little smoke school to ever crossed the miles and miles of Texas. If I'm lying, I'm dying.

Daddy said that more deer were killed at that stove than any other place in the woods. The fish all grew about a foot during each story. In amongst the couches and rocking chairs was a large antique dining room table where momma served pot luck lunches every single day. NU-2-U was the community hall for all of Caldwell Parish. Nobody had any cash laying around back then, so momma always extended easy no interest credit.  

I come from a long line of family tradition. It is deep down in my soul. I could not change one iota if I had to. Each and every one of you are extended family for us Whitlows. Please register well in advance, we do not require you to make advance payments of your fees and we do not penalize you if you do not pay in advance. I have been conducting smoke school since 1984. I was an employee of the Louisiana DEQ and I made the same salary weather you came of not. DEQ provided the school as a free service to you and 500 of you always came every April and October and we learned something and had a great time. Not much has changed.  

I have always said that this is your smoke school. We are here to operate the school to meet EPA Standards. We strive to give it 110 percent effort to provide you with the best available training and great friendly customer service. We serve food, drinks, and provide a shelter from the sun and rain. We try to choose locations convenient for you. Gas is not 30 cents a gallon any more. I was born and raised in Monroe Louisiana 80 miles east Shreveport which is 20 miles from the Texas border. We live out in the woods near West Monroe now. I served 2 Air Force tours in San Antonio and served 6 years in the panhandle of Oklahoma. I don’t need no weatherman to tell me it is going to be hot in July and August. My great cowboy pal Will Rogers once said, “IF you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma just wait a minute.”  Will also said, “We have the best politicians money can buy.” Not much has changed.  




You can pick and choose your location and the time of the year you want to sit outside.


A Big Howdy from Big George and the Phantom 309, My momma said life was like a box of Chocolates. Momma used to call me Butchie Boy

Click here to hear Red Sovine sing this classic country song Phantom 309

Its me again Margaret-Hello and welcome. I am Big George, G Artie Artie Whitlow, president and founder of Whitlow Smoke School Nation. Officially I am a disabled Vietnam Veteran- 13 years service of the United States Air Force. I am a Baby Boomer who loves America, the environment, and hunting and fishing. I am also retired from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, where I conducted smoke school for 17 years. I took a leap of faith, retired and started this business. Thanks to you it worked and we are growing. We are here for one reason, to serve you. Our mission is to train you and your employees in compliance with EPA visible emissions Method 9 requirements. We have a great crew and we love you.

Son of a gun we're gonna have big fun on the bayou.

About Big George Whitlow, money, welfare, employment, and values August 27, 2011


I WANT YOU to come to smoke school. We are ready Freddy. If you searched for Whitlow Smoke School, visible emissions certification training, smoke school certification, opacity, EPA Method 9, EPA Method 22, or smoke school, you have arrived at your destination. Pick up the phone and call us. We have been standing by waiting for your call. If you searched for smoking in school in Egypt or smoke jumper, this ain't it. Try 411 information. Who would a thunk of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane? If you searched for The Chicken Shooter Cannon click here. If you searched for Ringelmann Smoke Chart click here.  Otherwise Holy Smoke-you are in the right place at the right time. Bless your little pea-picking heart. Welcome home to Whitlow. Boy Howdy- you made it. Recalculating...Recalculating... you have arrived at your destination. We all have choices. You can catch the subway rapid links below for schedule, registration, etc. You can scroll down past the links to the real nitty-gritty to see my bio, employee resumes, how we remove the stress from smoke school, why we do smoke school, and why you should attend smoke school.

Most of you think smoke school is stressful. Whitlow smoke school strives to remove the stress from smoke school. We are audited by the EPA and state agencies and we have to meet the same stringent EPA Method 9 requirements as all of the other providers. We present random opacity readings from zero to 100%, we don’t give you any clues, and not every person passes on the first run. Please prepare to stay until the end of the day, just in case. Don’t give up. Attitude is everything. We are not leaving until you pass.

Most people pass on the first or second run, because we strive to remove the stress. Our attitude separates us from the other providers. This is how we try to remove the stress:

1.    We choose locations that are comfortable for learning.

2.   Shelter from the rain and sun

3.   Locations with good backgrounds for reading smoke on cloudy days. If we can’t find a background we make one.

4.   We use adjustable elbows to channel smoke on windy days

5.   We use state of the art training equipment

6.   We provide excellent instructions and demonstrations before we began testing, so that you understand the fundamentals

7.   We set up face to face so you can hear us, see us, and understand us

8.   We observe you before and during testing to make sure you demonstrate that you understand the fundamentals of opacity reading.

9.   We proceed with the certification test slowly so you can keep up

10.We calibrate our equipment before and after testing

11. We reset the zero on our opacity monitor before, during, and after testing to make sure it is accurate. If the zero is off, then everything is off and nobody passes.

12.We have a positive attitude. We want you to pass. We want you to feel good about your accomplishments.





 Real Estate for Sale: The Whitlow House in the woods is for sale in West Ouachita Parish 12 miles south of West Monroe Louisiana. Brick house and 2 quiet peaceful acres. New Metal Roof.

Genuine Cajun Alligator Boat For Sale

Whitlow Smoke School Nation Training Objectives and Course Description

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Friends, Neighbors, Countrymen and Countrywomen

Lend me your eyes and put on your thinking cap

Welcome my fellow Louisianans and my fellow Americans

to Uncle G Artie's Whitlow Smoke School Nation

Come to Whitlow and fly like an eagle.

Whitlow Enterprises Smoke School

Phone: 318-361-2355          FAX: 318-327-3199    Email smokeschool@yahoo

 Home Page: www.smokeschool.net 





The official smoke school of Mark Twain and Albert Einstein

Mark Twain (left) quote: "It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt." Stupid is stupid does, that's what my mamma used to say. I have reached the stage in my life where most of my favorite memories never happened at all.

Albert Einstein (right) quote: "If A equals success, then the formula is _ A = _ X + _ Y + _ Z. _ X is work. _ Y is play. _ Z is keep your mouth shut." I thought it was E=MC2

"I am at the stage in my life where my best memories never actually happened at all."

That is about as professional as the website gets. I have been writing WebPages as a hobby since 1998 for fun. Be sure to watch for the underlined links and click on them for music and movie sound bites from Forest Gump. Add this webpage to your favorites or create a shortcut on your desktop and come on back when you have more time to kill. Stay all night, stay a little longer. Take off your shoes, put em in the corner.  I apologize to all of you English  majors, rocket scientists, and engineers who are praying, Lord give me patience and give it to me now. Whitlow and smoke school are like peas and carrots. You will find the site educational, entertaining, and fun just like our Whitlow Smoke Schools. Be sure to check out the music and story pages. This is my hobby and I update it often. Thanks for coming. Have a nice day. Be well. Do good work. Stay in touch. Yawl come back now ya hear. Alright this is different. Letz Rock and Roll. Turn your speakers on. As the Cajuns say, "Come See."

A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets but one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions......Uncle Artie Whitlow. Prairie Home Companion  The world is full of questions. Some are answered. Some are not. The world is full of answers. Some are right. Some are wrong. Neil Young Call Whitlow for answers. Fees for answering questions:

Answers to questions- $10

Answers that require thought- $15

Correct answers- $20

Pure dumb looks- still free

I apologize to you serious minded critiques. Lighten up- this is a joke. Seriously, if you have any questions at all about anything, give us a call. We are the experts on smoke school, air quality, environmental protection, and nuts and bolts. Just ask us about anything. We might just have an answer. You never know what you might find. Warning- reading this web page may be fun and entertaining. One of my EHS friends said that he discovered the web page and started reading it. Time flew by and he read it for 2 hours. Problem is, he missed a required safety briefing with the plant manager. Safety is very important. I met the Cajun Chef and comedian Justin Wilson for the first time when my other brother Ricky was president of Louisiana Peace Officer Association (LPOA) . Justin made a speech at Ricky's annual LPOA convention at the Holiday Inn here in Monroe in 1984. I noticed that Justin had a severe limp. He said that he was the president of the National Safety Council and was giving a speech in Chicago. He walked outside for a quick break, slipped on the ice on the sidewalk, and quickly broke a leg. This proves that life is ironic. I once knew a Baptist Preacher Man who got down on his luck. He fell on his knees praying for a 50 dollar bill. He got off his knees expecting the best. The preacher man went out to the mail box, opened it, and found a bill from Entergy for 50 dollars. This proves that God has a since of humor. I hope you do. It is ironic that you found the best smoke school on a web page like this. Well you are here now so letz get started. See what you have been missing.

Hurry it up Pilgrim! Get up! Forget the apples. Slap some bacon on a biscuit and letz go!

We are burning daylight!!



Whitlow Smoke School Nation email list: About the first day of every month we email over 3,000 customers and friends updates to the schedule, new locations,  and new stories. The email subject will be the smoke school schedule for the next 2 months. Please watch for these emails and read them at your leisure. Amongst other things the emails serve as a reminder when you are due. EPA requires re-certification every 6 months.  Please check with your internet manager to insure Whitlow Smoke School EPA is removed from the spam list. If you are not getting these emails, please email smokeschool@yahoo.com to be added to our email list. You may also want to use your home email address. Be sure to include your name, company name, mailing address, and the state where you attend smoke school. The information you send us is confidential. We do not share this information with anyone.


Online contest: This is the perfect country and western webpage. I was careful to mention Mama, pickup truck, redneck, train, and standing in the rain. Here is a brain fart. Here is a fun challenge and a contest. Find all of these  words: Mama, pickup truck, redneck, train, and standing in the rain in the website below. Highlight the sentence where you found them. Copy the sentences and paste them in an email to smokeschool@yahoo.com. Be sure to include your name and shipping address. If your email has all of the sentences posted, then we will mail you a free prize. These are the traditional prizes we give away at each Whitlow Smoke School. Prizes include: autographed copy of my Novel Blue Bayou Days, homemade Indiana Amish noodles, tee-shirt, hat, Boudreaux Butt Paste, Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning, or a pocket knife. Please indicate the prize of your choice in your email.

This is Uncle Artie. My Daddy and Bill Clinton come from a place called Hope. They were both born in Hope Arkansas. Daddy lived his life a day at a time; he stopped to smell the roses and never gave up hope. He was a neighborhood cop and the president of the Monroe Louisiana Optimist club. After retiring from the Monroe Louisiana Police department as a Major, he traveled the entire state of Louisiana teaching law enforcement for LSU. Daddy lived his life as an example treating all persons equally with respect. Daddy taught me the value of hope and respect. Never give up hope. Hope is all you need- and faith in Jesus. I am proud to be his son. Today I look in the mirror and I have become my Daddy. I worked in environmental air pollution law enforcement most of my life. Today I travel the entire United States teaching law enforcement, just like my old man. Daddy would have been proud of me. Daddy always loved to have fun and a great laugh. So do I. Life is too short.


We are different. We are mobetter than molasses. Whitlow is the best smoke school provider. Holy Cow.

Take me out to the ball game.

By now you have realized this is not the traditional professional WebPage. That is because I took the time to create it myself. Like every other artist worth a salt, my personality, such as it is, goes into every line. Hank, Willie, Waylon, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson performed on stage together from 1985 to 1995 as The Highwaymen.  They called themselves outlaws, because they refused to change and conform to the modern trend advancing in Nashville’s country music. I started creating WebPages in 1998, and the Highwaymen affected my personality and my creations. I have always been an outlaw. Unlike David Allan Coe I have never been to prison.  I did spend a night in a Mississippi jail back when I was a young Buck when I was 18. I was arrested for littering and disturbing the peace when Mama's antique flea market junk created quiet the traffic jamb when it all blew off her trailer on the Natchez Trace Highway. Pure dumb luck- Who would a thunk it. I did not read the sign, "No trailers are allowed on the highway." It is a good thing that it was not at Alice's Restaurant, where you can get anything you want.  I am an outlaw because I stand up for what is right, and I refuse to follow the status quo. Mama always used to say, "Don't talk politics or religion." I guess I will never learn to keep my big mouth shut. I talk both. I am neither liberal, conservative, Republican, or Democrat. I am independent- I keep my ears to the railroad track listening to all of the issues, make a decision, and vote.  I figure if you don't vote, you have no right to complain. I detest professional WebPages. The same is true for how we conduct smoke school. We refuse to follow the status quo of the other smoke school providers. We are the outlaws. We stand up for what is right. We follow the guidelines, and we do it better than they do, because we have common horse sense and we try mighty hard to please. It is the way Mama raised me. I'm not asking nobody for nothing. If I can't get it on my own. If the other guys don't like the way we do it. They should just leave this long-haired country boy alone. Alright we are different. Read further to find out how.

Congratulations, you have finished Stage One. Scroll down for stage 2. Congratulations- we have lift off. One giant step for man, one giant leap for mankind.  



God Blesses those who give. Amoungst other things Angie and I contribute to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Angie spent 30 years in respiratory care in Indiana and Illinois hospitals.

Here we go- the story starts now. Scroll down.



  Licensed Bonded Insured Trusted Bona fide Member Better Business Bureau and US Chamber of Commerce       

Stage 2-How Whitlow Creates Stress Free Training

Daddy always tried to teach me not to brag. I guess if you are advertising on the internet you have to brag or nobody will ever know the truth. Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set ye free.  Oh it is hard to be humble when you are perfect in every way. Dear ole Daddy, I apologize if it seems that I am bragging about the Whitlow team. The fact is that we are the best. If that sounds egoistical, well I don't even know what that means. I am sorry Daddy for bragging, but I'm doing the best that I can.

Customer service with a smile you can depend onWhitlow designs stress free smoke schools. We have perfected the art. Aging with time, like yesterday's wine. It just don't get no better than this. Stress free smoke schools are made, they don’t just happen. We give it 110% effort every single time, weather we have 2 people here at the house or 100 people in Baton Rouge or Henderson Kentucky. We plan ahead. Stress free smoke schools require constant planning and fast thinking and recalculating to recognize, trouble shoot, and solve problems quickly. Some smoke school providers purchase their machines form state property disposal salvage yards for $700. The way I look at it, the machines would not be sitting in a salvage yard unless they were beat up, rusted up, and not in proper working conditions. We manufacture our own state of the art smoke machines and all of our machines meet or exceed the requirements of Appendix A of EPA Method 9.


Our state of the art smoke machines are a lot like your plant process equipment. We have boilers and complicated technical electronics. All smoke school providers use almost exactly the same equipment. EPA requires this and they don't allow many changes. The smoke machine equipment was not designed to travel in all temperatures across potholes at 70 miles per hour. Things happen. screws work loose, wires get unplugged, and smoke soot or dust may affect the readings of delicate sensors. Our smoke school operating crews have maintenance, electrical, and mechanical skills for routine preventive maintenance and for repairing all malfunctions on site to avoid significant delays. You can't take a classroom and be a 90 day wonder. You develop these unique skills by life experience. We bring plenty of tools and spare parts in our onboard storage bins. When we come down the highway, we create a stir. Our trailers weigh 8,000 pounds when loaded. People think we are the Beverly Hillbillies. Remembering the lesson from Mama's flea market trailer, I put a bumper sticker on the back, "Honk if Parts Fall OFF".  I think it might keep the tailgaters at bay. One fine English Major lady in the Blue Ridge Mountains saw the smokestack and thought it was a cannon. I told her that we shoot monkeys across circus tents.  I told a Cajun in Ville Platte that we work for Lucifer and make fire and brimstone. He asked if Lucifer was the new logger from Shreveport and then he asked what brimstone was. So I am asking you, "What is brimstone?" Most people think it is a big barbecue cooker. I tell them we are having  a Cochon de Lait, a Cajun pig roast. They want a sample.

Almost busted in Laredo, but for reasons that I'd rather not disclose. At the airport in Milwaukee they refused to let us board the plane at all. They said we looked suspicious, but I think they like to pick on me and Paul. We received our education in the cities of the nation me and Paul. Read more about Saint Paul down below. The police in Milwaukee and in West Monroe, Louisiana found one of our smoke school signs near a public school. In both isolated incidents the police followed the signs to our smoke machine and accused me of conducting a school for how to smoke MJ. I asked them if they wanted a fee sample. The world can be stressful. Laughter is the best medicine. You are one of the lucky few who knows what smoke school is.


Signs mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. “And the sign says….. “ I remember a time in the 1990s back on my day job with Louisiana DEQ. We had an office in a converted metal warehouse in Baton Rouge on Airline Highway just south of Siegen Lane. We ate lunch about 3 times a week at a sandwich shop on Coursey Blvd. The plastic letters on the yellow plastic sign said “Poor Boys Home Cooking”. For those of you who are not Louisianans, a poor boy is a little like a Subway with homemade French bread. I like mine roast beef and gravy dressed in lettuce and tomatoes.  “Do you want your sandwich dressed?” I had a wild hair one day and decided to change the sign. I parked my 1 ton state Chevy van between the café and the sign and rearranged the plastic letters to say, “Home Boys Poor Cooking”. The sign remained that way for a couple of weeks until I called it to the attention of the owner. A few weeks later he told me he was moving the business to a different location because sales were down. Back in those days Siegen Lane was way out in the country. A fellow had a large chicken farm and firewood business over there where all of those shopping centers are today. The Rhode Island Reds were not inside a fence. What amazes me is that I passed them by several times a day for 3 years and never saw a dead chicken in the road. How do they know? Why does a chicken cross the road? To teach a suicidal deer how to do it.



We calibrate our smoke machines electronically before, during, and after each smoke school. We set the zero for the opacity meter before, during and after the certification test. We calibrate our opacity meter with the human eye to make sure you see the same opacity reading that the monitor sees. We plan ahead for each school location considering weather conditions, temperature, sun position to your back, wind direction and speed, sky conditions and background.  If we can't find a natural contrasting background for reading white smoke, we make a background. It is impossible to see white smoke with white clouds or haze for a background. Our crew will inform you if you have a bad contrasting background. They don't like to pressure any of you to move. Please listen to their instructions and move to the correct observer's position. They want you to pass the test. There is a high probability that if you do not move, you will fail the test, and you will be retesting. Other providers say let them guess. Mama did not raise me that way.

We also provide locations with shade, and shelter from rain. Our staff is highly skilled and well trained. We have 3 retired inspectors on staff. We are the experts. We are trusted by more industry officials than Carter has liver Pills. We are voted the best smoke school provider by all the people it takes to fill up one line and half the people in another line. We can conduct smoke school with half our brain tied behind our back. Whitlow knows all there is to know about the smoke school business.

The success of a stress free smoke school depends on the quality of the training. They call it smoke school, not smoke testing. The word school indicates that training takes place. Most other smoke school providers forgot this. The effectiveness of the training depends on the attitude of the attendees and the smoke school operating crew. The crew and the attendees must communicate and interact together to form a team that can meet all training objectives and be winners. The attendees must look at smoke school as an opportunity to learn new things and meet the challenge with a positive attitude.  The Whitlow crew must realize that smoke school can be stressful, and they must communicate the instructions clearly so that all will understand. Our crew team players observe you attendees before and during testing to insure you understand how to take the certification test and that you are following correct visible emission observation fundamentals. Effective communication involves both talking and listening. All Whitlow team members are selected primarily because they have a positive attitude, and they posses the ability to teach, train, and communicate effectively. Attitude is everything. Please avoid the temptation to look at your neighbor's paper. They are looking at yours and you both will end up in a ditch. Smoke school is an opportunity to learn how to do it right. Don't blow it.

A few other smoke school providers have modified their smoke machine trailer with air conditioned compartments so their operator can be dry and comfortable at 75 ˚ + - 2˚ F while you sit in a yard chair in the rain, or - 7 ˚ chill factor in Milwaukee, or 117˚ heat index on an asphalt parking lot in Houston. Is this fair to you, considering that your hard earned money paid for the modifications?  Whitlow operators suffer the same field conditions that you do.  We try to find locations with shelter and shade. We bring tarps for shelter if we can't find a location with a pavilion. We also bring fans, heaters, and firewood for your comfort. We try to finish early before it gets too hot. I have been tempted to make the same modification for the comfort of our crew, but it is not fair to you. Besides when the operator is in an enclosure, you can't see them, and the operator can't see you. The operator can't evaluate you to see if you are following correct procedures. Since the operator can't see the smoke, they have to rely on the instruments to determine the opacity for the certification test. The instruments are not always reliable. If dead pilots could talk, they would inform you that instruments are not always reliable. Soot on the sensor may interfere with the opacity reading. The zero may be off. The operator and the crew must observe the smoke and calibrate the instruments to the human eye. We calibrate our instruments electronically and visually to the human eye and we check the zero before, after, and during testing.  If the zero is off, then everything is off. This is why 100 attendees see 30% opacity and the instrument says 10%, and everyone fails. This is an embarrassing situation and we work hard to avoid it. We want to do it right the first time. Other providers will never admit that it happens. They are like some doctors or prosecutors, they never admit they make mistakes. As my grandfather Hugh Wroten from Shongaloo, Louisiana used to say, "They don't know sh-it from Shinola. " They are like a Bull in a China Shop. If the shoe fits, wear it.

Here lies a little American History lesson from a smart ole man. The expression was born in the military barracks of World War 2. Shinola was a brand of shoe polish used by most Americans. The military inspectors demanded a spit shined floor in the barracks. Being a Vietnam Veteran, I can assure you that a spit shined floor was mandatory.  Remember the shrimp scene in Forrest Gump. A lot of the shrimp conversation occurred as Bubba and Forrest were spit shining the floor. Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. A spit shined floor was a team effort and all of us living in the barracks contributed. Once a week we stripped all of the old wax from the floor. Then we applied layers of Johnson's floor wax and used a large buffer to polish it in. Then we added layers of Shinola and buffed that in. We looked forward to the arrival of the inspector. When he showed up, we stood by our bunks in attention. We laughed out loud and applauded when the inspector stepped on the floor with his spit shined boots with the military taps and busted his behind on the Shinola spit shined floor.  We had a saying, "If it moves, salute it. If it don't move, paint it." We were always prepared to play the game. This is true for Whitlow Smoke School Nation. And now you know sh-it from Shinola.

Shongaloo has a population of 162 people.

Other providers set the operator up in the back of U-Haul rental trucks. Again you can't see them, they can't see you, and they can't see the smoke.  Our operator and at least one team member observes you taking the test to make sure you are following correct procedures. Our crowd monitor also observes the smoke to make sure it is perpendicular to your line of view. They have to watch for wind shifts which happens a lot during the test. If you see a wind shift, holler scratch and we will repeat the reading. The EPA requires crowd monitors. I have heard several reports of other provider crowd monitors sitting in an air conditioned truck facing the opposite direction, just killing time until you are done. In my opinion they could not care less if you are learning anything and pass the certification test. My Mama did not raise me that way. We care. Whitlow gives it 110% effort. The other guys give it about 10% effort.

I took a smoke school certification test once with a provider that used no interaction at all with the attendees. The operator did not give any instructions. They did not even call out when you were supposed to read the smoke, or tell you what number they were on. They just sit in the enclosed booth and blew a horn when you were supposed to read. I was so confused and lost. After about 2 readings, I packed up and went home. I couldn't pass this test in a million years, and I have been operating and taking smoke school since 1984. Whitlow crew team players, give precise instructions. Whitlow uses a professional concert grade public address system, the best microphones, and speakers available. If you can't hear us in the back, please stop us and we will turn up the volume. If you are like me and hard of hearing, please tell us.  We call the numbers out carefully and slowly- pause and then say "Read". Please tell us if you are having any difficulty at all. We watch you to make sure you read when you are supposed to. We stop the test if you show signs of confusion. It may take us a little longer to finish the test run, but it certainly pays off in the long run. We try harder.


About Whitlow Smoke School Fees

http://www.angelfire.com/la2/whitlow/peace.gif (8906 bytes)Having survived the 60's as an antique Baby Boomer, I have acquired some limited knowledge and understanding about life. I can assure you that there ain't but 3 things money can't buy. And that's peace, true love, and home grown tomatoes. Since I founded Whitlow Enterprises in 2001, after conducting smoke school for 17 years for Louisiana DEQ, I have been comparing other provider’s fees on the internet. We are all fairly close and always have been. A few of the newer companies start you out at a lower fee and then raise the fees after the location has been established. Whitlow offers coupons for first time companies or plants. We also offer special discounts on our Fees Page. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that once you try us you will never waste your time on any other smoke school provider. Try us- you will love it.

Other companies charge a hidden late fee if your invoice has not been paid before you take the certification test. I have heard that they will not mail your certificate until the invoice is paid. The truth is that state government and industrial companies have certain procedures for purchase orders to pay invoices, and these procedures take time. I know you need your visible emissions certificate as soon as possible. God wants me to be patient. It is more important to me for you to get your certificate on time than for us to get paid. I appreciate it if you pay in advance with your credit card, but the slow payments help us out during the slow periods of the year. We are family owned and operated.

There are other provider companies cheaper than Whitlow. My Mama always used to say, “You always get exactly what you pay for.” I like to make joint brainwashing decisions with my employees, because most of them have better business sense than I do. After all, I am a smoke blower and a maintenance man. The fact is, that for 17 years at Louisiana DEQ I conducted the state smoke school for 500 people every October and April. It was just part of the job and I loved it as much then as I do now, maybe more. There were not as many headaches and not as many decisions to make. I got paid every 2 weeks and was broke by the first Wednesday. Daddy always used to say, "Money ain't everything, but it is way ahead of whatever comes in second." I liked to think you came to smoke school to spend time with me. But most of you came because it was free. For a few years we competed with the free state smoke school and did fairly well. Turns out a lot of you Louisiana people did like seeing me. Hurricane Katrina ended the free smoke school, because of severe state budget problems. Some states still offer free smoke school, bring your suntan lotion. Three days in a yard chair can be harmful to your health. If any of these states would like to save time and money, they can come to Whitlow and we will gladly take over. Arkansas DEQ can tell you that we are the bestest. Click here for a list of state environmental department websites and phone numbers. You should pick up the phone and call them. After all, they advertise government for the people and by the people. If your boss is like my previous employer and demands low bidder, I feel sorry for you and your employees. You should take a lesson from the Louisiana Highway Department. Every time a truck driver looses control in a pothole as big as Dallas, the driver screams, "Low Bidder Strikes again!!" If your boss wants the low bidder, scroll down to stage 4 and read WORST CASE OPACITY SENERIO, NIGHTMARE AT THE INCINERATOR then give us a call. Read about EPA is waiting.

What happens when the EPA writes you up.

After the brainwashing, my employees suggested that I keep the fees the same because:

1.    We have the most experience.

2.   We provide the best training locations and conditions.

3.   We provide better training atmosphere and most people pass the test the first time or at least by noon.

4.   We have smaller crowds and we offer more personal training up close.

5.   We have more locations for your convenience.

6.   We manufacture our own state of the art smoke machines and we spend many hours on calibration & maintenance on our equipment to avoid delays.

7.   You save on travel expenses.

8.   We serve free donuts, coffee, bottled water, soft drinks, and a hot cooked full lunch at each location.

9.   We provide everything you need for training.

10.We want you to pass the test quickly and get back to work. Time is money. Sell your truck and buy a helicopter.

I am not in it for the money. It is the game. The great sportswriter Grantland Rice once said, "It is not weather you win or loose, it is how you play the game."  We love to play the game and we are better at it than the other guys.


You never know just what you are gonna get.

That's What My Mama Always Used to Say




Whitlow Smoke Schools are fun.

Whitlow conducts the EPA Method 9 certification test first thing in the morning to create the best conditions for reading opacity. Be at each location at 8 AM. We will have donuts and fresh coffee for you when you get there. Before we start the actual certification test, we give complete basic instructions on how to take the test and pass the first time. We show the smoke school standards of 25%, 50%, and 75% opacity several times. Then we provide several practice plumes and watch you to make sure that you demonstrate the ability to read opacity correctly. Please stop our instructors to ask for help if you need it. We don't want you to feel as lost as a goose in a snow storm. There is no since trying to take the test if you are confused. We specialize in the old Air Force show and tell training method. I am a 13 year Vietnam Era Air Force veteran training instructor and it is in my blood. I was born to blow smoke and train. We usually finish testing around noon and then we serve lunch. After lunch we have a complete classroom, recommended by EPA for all new attendees and every third year thereafter. If needed, we will resume the field certification training & testing either during the classroom or after the classroom. Most people pass before noon. You can send some people for the morning session and some to the afternoon session. Please notify us if you plan to attend in the afternoon. Otherwise we may be packed up and gone to the next location.



Here at Whitlow Smoke School Nation we are aware that time is money. We want you to learn all you need to know about smoke, dust, and opacity, take the test, pass the first time, and go back to work or go fishing. Fishing is for fun and relaxation. We provide quality instructions and the best field conditions for reading opacity. Whitlow sets the stage. I know how to set a stage. I was in 2 Hollywood movies: The Old Man (Me in picture left) and Dracula 2000.







Some of you have to come to smoke school after you finished a 12 hour night shift. I have worked a few grave yard shifts myself. I  sympathize with you for coming to smoke school on your time off. I know some of you just want to get the heck out of here and go to Margaritaville.


Whitlow uses simple answer sheets for your convenience. We calibrate our state of the art smoke machines before, during, and after testing. We check for zero drift before, during, and after testing. We are the only smoke school provider who tests zero drift during testing. If the zero is off, then everything is off. Smoke machine or operator error is one of the main reasons it takes you 3 days to pass other smoke school provider’s tests. Some providers claim they are the best, but the truth is you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Some smoke school providers make it so complicated. They have to go around their elbow to find their thumb. They are about as handy as a back pocket on a shirt. Mama always used to say, " You always get exactly what you pay for." Be sure to bring your fishing poles and your family to our schools at state parks. The fish always bite at Whitlow Smoke School Nation. Smoke school can be fun for your family.

Whitlow Smoke Schools are up close and personal, user friendly, educational, professional and fun. We do not have large crowds of people. We do not treat you like a cow or a number. We treat you like you like a next-door neighbor with dignity and respect. If you don't feel at home, it is your own darn fault. We are your friends. Several friends have been coming every 6 months for 30 years. Please read what our friends have to say about our training.

Click here if you had a great experience at Whitlow Smoke School and feel like blowing our horn. We bring one day smoke schools closer to you so you want need to drive so far or use a hotel room. We cater to small personal groups usually 20 to 30 people. Email us smokeschool@yahoo.com to schedule a school closer to your area if you know at least 10 people who would come.  Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then.

We provide everything you need for training: pens, clipboard, practice answer sheets, & answer sheets. We pack our onboard smoke school storage boxes with everything you need to make you feel comfortable: a few extra yard chairs in case you forget yours, ice boxes full of bottled water, soft drinks, and food for us to cook for your lunch, hats, tee-shirts, my novel, pocket knives, Boudreaux Butt Paste, Slap ya Mamma seasonings, Bass Pro or Walmart gift cards, and more prizes to add an element of competition and make it fun. We choose locations with shade and shelter from rain. We bring tarps for shelter if we can't find a convenient location with a shelter. I am willing to change locations if you can email us smokeschool@yahoo.com to suggest a location.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch. Don't run off with your pistol half cocked. Be sure to stay for lunch. Since you are paying at least $100 a plate for lunch, you might as well eat our free lunch. Join us unless you are having lunch at the Governor's Mansion. Just don't bite off more than  you can chew. State and federal employees, please note that none of our prizes nor the free lunch is worth more than $50 so this is not a bribe. No need to worry about the Ethics Board. We have been there, done that too many times as state employees. Would rather have a tooth pulled. Good help is hard to find. Not many people can meet or want to meet Whitlow job descriptions. All employees must be people/ people. They must be able to provide customer service with a smile. The customer is always right. Employees must have a good sense of humor, test drug free, have a clean driving record, and a clean criminal background. They must have mechanical and electrical skills, they must have knowledge of environmental regulations and they must be able to cook. All employees must be able to cook as good as Boudreaux or Thibodaux. At smoke school we want you to eat pretty high on the hog. Employees also need a strong back and a weak mind. They must be willing to leave home and family and travel for extended periods to tour this beautiful nation from sea to shiny sea. I appreciate all of our dedicated employees. They are all hand picked and I am proud of them all. If you have what it takes to be the proud, the brave, and the few, email us smokeschool@yahoo.com and attach a resume. All employees are part time. We can use you at locations near you or you can move to Odon, Indiana or West Monroe, Louisiana. Whitlow Enterprises is an equal opportunity employer.

Whitlow has trained thousands of industrial employees, and hundreds of state and federal environmental regulators. We are audited by federal and state environmental agencies and we must conduct training sessions that meet all of their requirements, as well as the specific certification requirements of 40 CFR 60. We do not cheat, we do not give clues. We just use the best training methods and techniques available. Whitlow wants you to pass the first time. It is as easy as sliding off a greasy log backwards. Attitude is everything. Other providers proudly advertise that they will give you a free tee-shirt if you are one of the lucky few who pass the test the first time. How would you like to stand on a bridge and be the first person to jump off with a rope and bungee jump? Plop! "Gee Boudreaux, I think we tied that knot too long. Give that person a free tee-shirt". We make smoke school fun and competitive. We give prizes to those who make the best scores. It is like golf, low score wins.

I think we shot the worlds largest duck.

We take our time during the testing and instructions so you will be able to learn and pass the test. We want you to pass. The majority of you pass the test the first time you take it. A few people do not pass the first time. It happens. If we need a re-test, we will start it as soon as possible. All re-tests progress quicker because we are not doing as much teaching during the test. All test papers are graded on site and we will inform you when you pass the test and are free to leave. In most cases you will be on the road again before 1 PM. We will not leave the test grounds until all of you have passed. Don't worry, be happy. You will be done in 2 shakes of a pig's tail. Just in case you are one of the very few who are having a particular bad hair day, please prepare to stay until 5 PM. This would be extremely rare for Whitlow Smoke Schools, but as Forest Gump says “It happens.” Be as prepared as a Boy Scout. Some days, you win, some days you loose, some days it rains. Please sign in on our test log book before leaving. Well shut my mouth. Whitlow Smoke School Nation is family owned and operated from our home/office in West Monroe. Louisiana. We may be small but we are professional, up close, and personal. Please come to smoke school even if it is raining. We have shelters to keep you from getting too wet and the ink from washing off the page. Other providers advertise that they bring ponchos to keep you dry. They don't mind leaving you standing in the rain. Smoke school ain't deer hunting or duck hunting. Whitlow brings tarps to make a roof. If it starts lightening I will be the first one in the truck.



Some of you are pretty much smarter than me. Maybe you can identify this fossil. I found this years ago while deer hunting in a swamp at Castor Creek near Chatom Louisiana. I took it to LSU Archeology and they did not have a clue, except maybe it was a prehistoric stingray. One fiend and customer said she found similar fossils along the coast of Lake Erie.  Email me if you can identify the above object. I will give you a clue. It is strong evidence that Al Gore is wrong about global warming.

Update January 29, 2010: We have an almost concussive answer contributed by Keith Houseknecht, Canton Drop Forge, Canton Ohio. Keith says with authority that this is a Pharyngeal Cromis Throat Tooth from a Black Drum fish or similar fish. The Black Drum fish is a salt water gulf fish. Daddy found this fossil near Chatom Louisiana 200 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico. This find and similar seashells in the area indicates a conflict with the theory that man and fossil fuels are creating global warming. The theory indicates that the icebergs will melt and raise sea levels of the gulf. Well guess what, the sea levels have raised in the past. Could it be possible that this planet Earth goes through life cycles and there is nothing at all we can do about it, other than learn how to swim?

Now back to Smoke School

Congratulations, you have finished Stage 2. You have read how we conduct smoke school and why you should come to Whitlow Smoke School Nation. You can click on one of the fast links below or scroll past the links to gain some insight about me- where I came from, where I have been, why I went there, and how I got there.   Then you can finish off with our crew resumes, more about our unique style of smoke schools, and why smoke school is required to read opacity.  



Welcome back Old Friend. One of the most important things in life are your old friends.



Before we get more involved with business and smoke school letz talk some more about Old Friends. I grew up hunting and fishing with Old Friends. Unfortunately most of them have joined the happy hunting club upstairs. I miss my old friends and the great leisure days at the hunting and fishing camp. I am looking for some new old friends to hunt and fish with. Angie and I are willing to come to your place or your boat. Or you can come with us on our boat or at our hunting lease. We are members of the Rifleman Hunting Club in Ouachita Parish near West Monroe, Louisiana. We have 30,000 acres of oak, cypress hardwoods, Louisiana native pines, and cutovers. We have an abundant big  population and plenty of ducks, rabbits and squirrels. You are welcome to be our special guests. Email smokeschool@yahoo.com if you are interested. I am also selling AKC Registered Pointing Labrador Retriever puppies.



Boat for sale West Monroe Louisiana 71292/ 19 foot Commercial Grade Boat- Cajun Boat Bateau custom made machine fabricated all precision welded stainless steel construction.


STAGE 3: About me, old friends, how I learned to build WebPages

Watch Grandpa Jones Yodel




My Name is Sue. How do you do?

I'm a dirty ole man, do what I can. Try to make a living. I'm a dirty ole man. Neil Young

I bet if I think real hard. I can remember when I got my first pair of shoes. Mama said they'd take me anywhere. Those look like comfortable shoes that you have on. Mama always said there's a lot you can tell about a person by their shoes. Where they've been, and where they're going. I've worn lots of shoes. Please take a few minutes from your busy schedule to walk down the road a piece with me. Walk a mile in my shoes.

Hello ....My name is George Artie Whitlow- GAW, The Ole Man in the red socks,  The folks at the EPA that know me call me a legend in my own mind.  Some of the EPA folks just call me the Good Ole Boy. Some of my old time LDEQ buddies call me Lightening or

Read my bio below to find out why they call me Lightening. I am the founder and president of Whitlow Enterprises. I am a bootstrap person. Grab your bootstraps and pull yourself up. My Mama always used to say, "Have faith, keep trying, never give up, and you will be a success. A quitter never wins and a winner never quits." Why me Lord. What have I ever done to deserve even one of the pleasures I've know. For some reason the Good Lord takes care of me, my family, and my friends who work for us. I don't deserve it, but like the humming birds and the butterfly he takes care of our every need. My grandmother, Lois Harp Wroten from Minden Louisiana introduced me to Jesus when I was knee high to a grasshopper. I got to know Jesus up close and personal several years later in the United States Air Force. I have faith like a mustard seed and he has blessed us. He blessed us with you. I appreciate all of your friendship and support over these many years.

Beginning in 1984, amongst many other things, I operated a Louisiana DEQ Air Analysis TSP high volume air sampling site at Bobby Wentz meat market and cattle farm on River Road along the Mississippi River near Geismar Louisiana. I visited the site at least once a week to calibrate the samplers and replace the sampling filters for the next run. I tried to get there at the end of my work day, so I could spend time with Bobby Wentz. We were old friends me and this old man, like desperados waiting for a train. Bobby was 60 years old when we met in 1984. Bobby was a John Wayne True Grit mountain of a man. He stood 6 ft 7. He looked like he had been rode hard and put away wet. He displayed a large smile and a sun baked bronze tan leathery complexion with brown Red Man Chewing Tobacco stains running down his chin.  He always looked like he needed a shave. He usually wore a long white apron and a white butcher's uniform. If he was not butchering, he wore loose fitting kaki farm clothes and a John Deer cap. He was very strong and I am glad he was on my side. Many times I watched him pick up half a cow to hang on the meat hook above his head.

He was born in the back bedroom of the unpainted rusty looking old wood frame farm house next to his butcher shop. You would never know that Bobby was a multimillionaire. He lived on, butchered on, farmed on, and hunted on over a thousand acres of pasture and timber land on either side of the Mississippi River levee. He took over the land after his parents died and he never lived anywhere else. Before we met he sold all of his land to the Cos-mar Chemical Company. Cos-mar used the land to build a plant and create a buffer zone to limit local competition along the river. This also eliminated any environmental complaints because nobody lived anywhere near the plant except for Bobby and Bobby never complained, not even to me. Cos-mar allowed Bobby and family to live on, butcher on, and farm the land. Bobby said they paid him 9 million dollars. I looked around at his living conditions and asked him what in the Sam Hill did you do with the money. He said he had 10 kids, 10 grand kids, and 10 great grand kids.

He drove an old beat up rusted out Ford pickup truck. Like me, Bobby was a true redneck. The fenders and the doors did not match the rest of the truck. He used an old very large flat blade Craftsman screwdriver for a gearshift lever.  Bobby did not like to change the implements on his tractors, so he kept 4 antique tractors in excellent shape. He used separate tractors for plowing, bush-hogging, and finish mowing. In addition to raising and slaughtering cows, Bobby brought and sold pecans. He said that he had been in the pecan business since he was 7 years old. He used to buy them for a nickel a pound and sell them for 7 cents. Every Christmas I would buy a 40 pound bag of pecans from Bobby and take them to LSU Ag Center to borrow their giant automated nutcracker. I would crack the pecans, then gift wrap them up for Christmas presents, especially for my Yankee in-laws in Indiana. I would save what was left for pecan pies.

I often helped Bobby unload burlap bags of pecans from his customer’s car trunks and put them on his antique scales. Bobby had a kitchen next to the butcher shop. The kitchen was fully equipped with a TV set and a refrigerator full of beer. He was one of my best friends and we spent many hours at the kitchen table telling stories. Bobby would drink a cold Falstaff and run his fingers through 70 years of living. He was one of the heroes of this country. Bobby had a stroke that left him with a slurring stuttering voice and somewhat disabled. The doctors made him stay out of the butcher shop cooling room and quit picking up cows and butchering them. That just gave us more time to chat and drink beer.

My high volume samplers were on a wooden platform in a 20 foot by 20 foot area fenced in with barbwire on the edge of his pasture. The cows would always come over to watch me work, and we had interesting conversations that went something like this. " Did you hear that gunshot Betsy? I think Bobby just shot your big brother. He's pretty graveyard dead. If I were you I would run real fast and jump over that fence and head for the high country. You could be next, ya never know." Betsy would always look at me with those warm big brown eyes and say, "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-" Bobby always had about a hundred cows and I named them all Betsey or Elsie.
U C I even treat cows like people. Say hello to Betsey. I C U 2.

I always kept the grass in my pin mowed trim and the grass in the pin was always greener. The cows were always leaning over the fence for the green lush grass. Eventually they knocked down a large portion of the fence. I had 3 air samplers on the platform and exposed outdoor electrical wiring. I was concerned that the cows might get fried, so I rebuilt the pin. That particular day in 1998 changed my life. I loaded about 10 fence posts on my shoulders. It had been rain'n like a cow pee'n on a flat rock. My wooden walkway across the drainage ditch was slicker than slime on a doorknob. I was wearing my high water Cajun Wing Tips, or Cajun Reeboks, knee high white rubber boots. I slipped and fell on the walkway and landed hard on my backend like a ton of bricks with a big loud thud. Three days later I could not get out of bed. The pain shot down from my mid lower back just above the hips, to my lower left hip, and down my left leg. I was in bad shape because I could not stand up, lie down, or sit up without severe pain.

The doctors made me get butt nak'd and take off my girdle. Then they made me put on some sort of a bed robe with tiedowns on the back. I could not reach the tiedowns, so I mooned all of the nurses. It was the blue moon over Kentucky. The doctors put me inside a washing machine or something with a narrow long tunnel that squeezed my belly. It was so tight in there that I had trouble breathing. Then they turned on a lawnmower or something and it rotated around and around the tunnel. The doctor said it was a cat scan but I did not see any cats. I wanted to get out of that washing machine and prayed that I would never get sick enough to ever get into another one- ever. The doctors said I had a bulging disk and a damaged sciatic nerve and recommended surgery. I had heard a lot of bad things about back surgery so I did not want any part of it. The doctors shot me up with steroids, and gave me pain pills. The next month was a nightmare. I crawled on the floor. The pain pills only lasted about an hour. I could not even stay in bed. I had always been a workaholic and I could not work. The boss tried to force me into medical disability because I ran out of sick leave. Thank the Lord for worker’s compensation.

We had an old computer but I did not know how to turn it on. I had heard rumors about the internet so I decided to learn computers. I had nothing to kill but time. I took a pain pill and lay on the floor or on a blanket on the ground under our mimosa tree and discovered the internet. I wrote my first webpage a few weeks later. This is my diary and a place that I come to talk to you. I post these stories on the webpage. Come back anytime. I am always home. It will be like the good ole days with Bobby and me. I never really know if anyone is reading the webpage or if thy enjoy it. Please email me your comments about the webpage smokeschool@yahoo.com .

They tried to force me into disability retirement, but I love to work and I loved my job. I said I have faith, I will get better, and I will be back to work. I discovered Vax-D on the internet. Basically their treatment involves ole fashioned stretching of the spine to relieve the pressure on the discs and nerves to allow you to heal without surgery. I used a wheel chair to enter into the clinic. The staff rented a forklift and picked me up out of the wheel chair and placed me on the stretching machine. The slightest movement caused severe pain. After the third treatment I got off the table and walked out of the door. Two weeks later I was back at my old job. A month later I was picking up air conditioners and putting them back in the wall.  Six months later I was skinning buck and running trotlines. That was in 1998. The sciatic nerve pain is still here today but it is manageable. I can’t sit in a chair for long periods of time. If I drive I need to take a break about every hour, walk around and stretch. I rarely take pain pills. And that is the way it is.

Congratulations, you have finished STAGE 3. You have read about me, why old friends are important, and why I write WebPages for a hobby. You can click on one of the fast links below or scroll past the links to gain some more insight about me- where I came from, where I have been, why I went there, and how I got there.   Then you can finish off with our crew resumes, more about our unique style of smoke schools, and why smoke school is required to read opacity.  





STAGE 4- Where I have been, how I got there, why I went there, where I am going.






 I graduated from the School of Hard Knocks. Hindsight is 20/20. I was born in Monroe, Louisiana just across the Ouachita River from this kitchen table at our little house in the woods in 1948. That makes me a I graduated from the School of Hard Knocks. Hindsight is 20/20. I was born in Monroe, Louisiana just across the Ouachita River from this kitchen table at our little house in the woods in 1948. That makes me a Baby Boomer. When World War 2 ended, our daddies came home and said, "I've been overseas fighting a war for 4 years, lets go make a baby."  We Boomers have seen some changes. Back when I was a young Buck, we did not know what an air conditioner was. It was 107 degrees and we had an attic fan with all the windows open full blast. We never even heard the word television. I walked 7 miles to Lida Benton School each day in a blizzard. We lived on the right side of town, but just barely. We lived at 713 Nichols Ave and the railroad track was 2 houses down. I remember watching the Southern Pacific passenger train stop on the track on it's way to the Big Easy, New Orleans. I remember the steam from the engine, the sound of the horn, and seeing the passengers inside wearing their business suits. Everyone going to and fro, not noticing the little boy on the ground watching them.

Daddy was a cop and Mama delivered Sears and Roebuck catalogs door to door. We had a maid named Suzie Q. You can say what you want to about racial inequality in the south. But in the Whitlow house, Suzie Q ruled the house. When Daddy came home from work at Dinner time on his tricycle Harley police motorcycle, Suzie Q  had the table set with black-eyed peas, turnip greens, Southern fried fish, Sothern fried chicken, and rice and gravy, and hot water cornbread.  Suzie Q announced that it was time to sit and eat, and we all sit as she expected.

Suzie Q was not just the maid, she was my Nanny. She was with me all day. She kept me company during week-end camping trips for fishing and hunting. She went on vacation with us. When we traveled, Suzie packed us sandwiches and other lunches. I now realize that she did this because she was not allowed to be served in the Cafe. She never liked making a fuss and she never complained. Some days on special occasions Suzie and I would take a bus trip downtown to the Red Onion Cafe. Back in the 50's The Red Onion Cafe was a soul food restaurant on De Seard Street in Monroe, Louisiana. Since it was a black restaurant, Suzie and I had to sit in the back room. Whenever she and I took a bus trip downtown, we always sit at the back of the buss. I had always thought she just liked sitting at the back of the bus. Suzie Q was my bestest friend. Back when I was a young little buck, Suzie Q would take me fishing. We walked a few blocks down to the Ouachita River and fished with cane poles on the riverbank. We used worms that Suzie Q dug up from under the mimosa tree. We caught catfish as big as your finger. Suzie Q fried them whole and we ate them for a snack. Susie Q taught me the truth about racism and that all God's creatures should be treated with dignity and respect. My personal opinion is that most Baby Boomers grew up with maids. Women entered the workforce during World War 2, and many continued working to improve family living conditions. The unique relationship between the Baby Boomers and their maids led to the civil rights movement. That is just my humble opinion.

We used our imagination and made forts out of big ole cardboard boxes that lasted until it rained. We played football and baseball all day outside, even during a hurricane. We played chase, kick the can, and spin the bottle. At night our family listened to Harry Cary and the St. Louis Cardinals on the radio  and played Monopoly and family card games like Rook and Penny Ante Poker with all of the neighbors and friends.

In 1986 we moved to The Old Goodwood neighborhood near Independence Park in Baton Rouge. The old quiet peaceful neighborhood was built quickly after World War 2 to accommodate the returning veterans and their Baby Boomer children. We moved there to be close to my oldest and most dearest family friend, Duke Andrepont. We quickly made friends with the neighbors who lived in the neighborhood since the beginning. I rarely saw the other neighbors until the day after the eye of Hurricane Andrew passed over our house. We had to spend a week without television, air conditioning, or electricity. Everyone sit out on the front porches. We all had deer meat, and fish ruining in the freezer. We barbecued the deer, and fried the fish out in the front yard. We had hurricane parties and we all got to know our neighbors. A week later, my front porch light came on and I haven't seen most of the neighbors since.

I attended Neville High School from 1962 to 1966. I had to dress in style. Suzie Q had to wash my jeans and soak them in starch. Then she slid wire stretchers down the legs of the jeans and hung them out on the clothesline. When I put the jeans on, I had to force the legs open, because they were as stiff as a board. I wore saddle oxfords or wingtips.


I Played football for Buck Stewart, Bill Ruple, and Charlie Brown. I had to run though a team beltline so Mr. Robinson, my math teacher, would change an F to a D to keep me from flunking off the team. Years later when Governor Edwin Edwards married Candy, I drove from Baton Rouge back to Monroe to inform Mr. Robinson that I was right in the math class. I told you that 79 could go into 18. Back in the 60's, I was big, mean, and very aggressive. My number was 71. I played defensive  nose tackle and I ate the quarterback's lunch. We did not win very many games, because during a practice scrimmage, I broke Terry Joe Warrick's leg in 3 places. Terry Joe was our star quarterback.   From time to time the other team kept me honest just to remind me they could. Two elephants ran over me. Is was hard to make the tackle when I was flat on my back with two elephants laying on top of me. When I came to, out of the corner of my eye, I saw their quarterback's numbers upside down and fading, getting smaller and smaller as he crossed the end zone.

I remember exactly where I was when they shot John F Kennedy. I was standing at the pencil sharpener in the Neville High School study hall when Walter Cronkite came on the loud speaker above my head and announced the President has been shot.

After I grew up as a Boomer, the job competition was something fierce. I was unemployed 3 times for a year each time from my 1969 enlistment in the USAF until today. With today's economic conditions, many people have joined the ranks of the unemployed. I have been there, done that, and took a picture of it. Therefore we offer free smoke school certification and training to the unemployed. Mama always used to say, "You have to give back."There are a lot of us Baby Boomers; we make up 29% of America's population. Like many Boomers before me, I finally retired from my day job with Louisiana DEQ. I took a leap of faith and decided to become an entrepreneur of sorts doing exactly what I did as a state employee. I blow smoke and conduct smoke school. Now instead of working 8 to 5, I work 24-7 planning, directing, and conducting the best Smoke School in the nation.

I would never have chosen this path without faith in the good Lord, the internet, Google Maps, and the simple life with the GPS,  "Make a U-turn... Recalculating...Recalculating... You have arrived at your destination. You are in Kalamazoo, Michigan. " Now I am on vacation all of the time, because I am doing exactly what I love. I love seeing old friends, meeting new friends, and touring all of the beautiful places in this great nation. My good fortune has not changed me one iota, except I threw away my watch, got old-timers, and forget what day it is. As you can see from the webpage I am still a redneck. I spent more hours in my truck than I did in the classroom. Thank all of you for choosing Whitlow and making this great life possible. I could not have done it without all of you.


Somehow I managed to graduate in 1966 from Neville High School in Monroe, Louisiana. I had my distractions in my old stomping grounds- girls, fast cars, hunting, fishing, baseball and football. You have to set your prerogatives. I had 3 years of college and got credit for 1 at Northeast State University, now ULM. I should have gone to some of my classes, brought the books, and read them.  In May of 1969 our nation was involved in the Vietnam War. My college dean warned me that my academic probation was about to expire and I was about to be drafted. My Daddy a World War 2 Marine Corp Veteran always used to say, "War is like a turkey shoot, but you are the turkey." This is where my life began to change.





Then they sent me to back to Altus AFB, Oklahoma where I served with Don as an Bioenvironmental Health Technician. Later the Air Force transferred me to RAF Alconbury England, and Eglin AFB, Florida where I served as a Technical Sergeant E-6 NCOIC Environmental Medicine. I stayed extremely busy. I worked in occupational medicine, sanitary and public health, communicable diseases, industrial hygiene, environmental protection, conducted inspections, conducted audiology tests, administered physical exams for exposure to toxic substances and radiation, and continued my training instructor career by conducting many training classes in public health, environmental, hazardous noise, hazardous materials, radiation, and Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Warfare Defense.  

 An interesting part of my air force environmental job involved hearing conservation. Back when I enlisted in 69, I was exposed to hazardous noise from jet engines on a daily basis. At times the noise from the engines was so loud that it would change your heartbeat. When I transferred into environmental in 76, audiology test revealed that I was already past the first stage of loosing my hearing. My high frequency hearing levels had already decreased significantly. The rule of thumb is that if the noise is so loud that you cannot carry on a conversation with someone near you, then it is above 84 decibels. This is hazardous because it will wipe out your hearing over a period of time. Wear your ear protection- ear muffs or ear plugs. If the noise is real loud wear both. Sound travels in waves much like the rippling waves generated when you throw a flat river rock into a pond. The high frequency sound waves bulldoze over tiny hair like nerves in the cochlea of your inner ear. These nerves transfer sound to your brain. Ear protection reduces the impact of the sound waves. By the time I discovered my hearing loss it was too late. By the time I was 40, the hearing loss had progressed from high frequency into the speaking level frequencies. I really missed not being able to hear the sweet sound of the female voice.  I purchased the first hearing aids when I was 50, and they cost about $5,000. I don't like to wear them because they are rather uncomfortable. Also certain sounds are unwanted, such as dishes in a restaurant. To me the worst thing about a noise induced hearing loss is the constant roar of a thousand locusts and crickets. It would be better if your ears bled when you damaged them. Then you would be more protective. If you work around noise, wear hearing protection. You should have annual hearing tests to watch for the first signs of overexposure. Remember that hazardous noise does not just happen at work. Shooting firearms and loud music will also ruin your hearing.

Please do not think that you can put off hearing protection until you are old. Hearing loss is progressive. It starts the day you are born. Most young people feel like they will live forever and nothing ever changes. I felt the same way. Now I have been  breathing air for over half a century. I have seen many Presidents and many national crises. Guess what? I may have another 20 years to live. That is 20 more years reading lips and asking people "Huh!?", "What's That?", "Excuse me?", "Please repeat that- I am hard of hearing." Being deaf does not bother me half as much as it bothers other people, especially the little wife or the kids trying to sleep when the TV is blaring. This is God's little payback. Ole man Earl lived in an 18 wheeler truck trailer at our fishing camp on the mill pond when I was a boy. Earl was deaf. My best friend Bill Beasley and I took a 10 gauge shotgun, crawled under the trailer under his bed as Earl was sleeping. We fired both barrels and Earl could not hear the bang. We laughed so hard. Who is laughing now? Earl was a logger. He could have prevented his hearing loss if he knew about ear protection and used ear protection when he was using his chain saw. Earl worked for my grandfather Roddy White. Roddy owned the logging company. Roddy was deaf over half of his life. Roddy was 83 when he died. I remember from when I was 12 years old, Roddy literally dragged me through the woods to listen to his squirrel dogs bark and tell him which direction to walk in. Roddy knew nothing about hearing protection either. I did not know about ear protection until it was too late. Your ears and your teeth were designed to function 80 years or more. Take care of them and protect them. It is your responsibility to yourself and your family. I still remember the words of my second father-in-law before he died of lung cancer. "You spend all of your young life taking care of the old folks. Turn around and you are the old folks."

Services other than smoke school offered by Whitlow Enterprises

For 10 years in the USAF I conducted surveys and inspections in Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA), such as hazardous noise, hazardous materials, radiation protection, respiratory protection, industrial ventilation exhaust hoods, office illumination lighting, and industrial illumination lighting.  I also ordered or performed physical exam screening and hearing test for early warning and treatment for industrial occupational illnesses. Each Air Force base consisted of a small community with an average population on 20,000 people. Each community included day care centers, banks, theaters, bowling alleys, restaurants, schools, and churches. Each Air Force base also included several small diverse factories that worked together as a team to support the Air Force mission, which was to fly and maintain airplanes. I considered it my personal responsibility to help insure the public health of the citizens of the community and the occupational safety and occupational health of the military and civil service employees working under my jurisdiction. Whitlow is here to serve you with any of your OSHA industrial hygiene surveys or audits. The Whitlow staff includes 3 retired LDEQ employees and we are here to serve you with any environmental protection audits or any related services. Email us at smokeschool@yahoo.com . I truly consider you and your employees part of my responsibility as well. It is my nature.


I was a sergeant in the USAF. I always have been an extreme workaholic. The word sergeant is translated from the Medieval Latin word serviens which means to serve.  I was born to serve you. We here at Whitlow Smoke School Nation strive to serve you with perfection. By the early 1980s Daddy had retired from the Monroe Police Department and was traveling to every police and sheriff department in Louisiana, teaching for LSU Law Enforcement Institute. I am like my Daddy, a traveling teacher. By then Daddy had open heart surgery and several heart attacks so I asked Daddy to talk to his friend and boss, Governor Edwin Edwards about getting me a job with Louisiana DEQ. I got out of the Air Force in April 1983 after my enlistment was up. Unfortunately Governor Edwards had just implemented a state wide hiring freeze, so I had to wait a year to get the state job. I lived out in the woods you see. I learned how to skin a buck and run a trotline. A Country Boy Can Survive. I lived in my parents one room fishing camp on the old Louisiana Central Lumber Company mill pond in Clarks Louisiana. I drew food stamps and unemployment and worked part time in Mama's second hand junk store NU-TA-U where they brought junk and sold antiques. I also worked part time as a substitute science and math teacher at Caldwell Parish High School in Columbia Louisiana. Born to serve, teach and born to train.  

Mama on Mt Nebo Arkansas (left)



In May 1984 (Although I took a $35 a month cut from my unemployment pay) I gladly accepted a job as air quality inspector, smoke school provider, and chief of maintenance for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  The maintenance job occupied most of my time, driving old beat up state trucks back and forth clear across the state listening to WWL New Orleans Talk Radio, singing along on the radio with Merle, Hank, Willey, Johnny, and Lefty, and creating a novel in my head. 

Perhaps the most productive thing I ever did in my life was coach Little League Baseball for 20 years. I never made a dime at it, but nothing was ever better than teaching a boy how to bat and see their smiles when they got a hit. This story The Potato Play is about my coaching days. Baseball has been velly velly good to me. I wrote a novel Blue Bayou Days- The Summer of 61 on a truckstop napkin about when I played Little League.  

Monroe Police Dept Baseball Team The Summer of 1961- Daddy- George Wesley Whitlow Left/ Me George Artie Whitlow- second from right. Email me if you know someone who played on this team.






In 1999 Uncle Artie (middle top) coached T-Ball for Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church Astros team. Daughter Heather Lois Whitlow (bottom-third from right)







LDEQ placing me into this maintenance job and smoke school operator job was actually a process of elimination. At the time I hired on, LDEQ was gearing up to be more professional with employees with real college degrees in science or engineering. Since I was more or less appointed by the Governor, I guess I was grandfathered in. I started out making inspections but my unique personality got in the way. It all began in the middle of the night when my boss Chris Roberie, Pat Norton, Secretary of LDEQ, and I made a surprise midnight inspection at a local hazardous waste incinerator. The midnight inspection and the consequences led to a controversy about nighttime visible emissions certification. Pat, Chris, and I were surprised that the nighttime opacity reading would stand up in court, but it did. Reading that incinerator stack at night was easy. The wet scrubber was not working and there was not any water vapor or steam in the plume. Sometimes at night, the water vapor lingers near ground level and you can not get a clear view of the actual particulate emissions from the smokestack. Water vapor is not pollution. Read the opacity before the steam starts or after the steam ends. If you read the opacity too high, the chances are that you are reading water vapor. We simply told the judge that opacity of the black smoke was 100% because it blacked out the moon and the stars. The New York City lawyers did not argue this point.

Notice the steam plume in the right. Read the opacity. If you read 0% you would be correct, because zero emissions are visible at the end of the steam. Remember when steam or water vapor exits the smokestack, it is as hot as Granny Harp's teakettle. The steam cools down with distance from the smokestack. When the steam cools off it evaporates. Any tail of emissions at the end of the steam gets airborne and may travel to the next state. I have heard EPA reports about a West Virginia smokestack that burned the eyes of tourists at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino 500 miles away in Atlantic City. You read the opacity of the tail of emissions the densest part of the tail at the end of the steam. This particular device was working very well at the time the picture was taken. This is your goal. The other 2 smokestacks would present a problem to me. I don't see any emissions. My fist impression is that the sources are not operating. As an inspector, I would have to ask the operator to find out. Some people try to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Reading opacity is simple if you know and follow the basic fundamentals. Ray Charles could see that. That is where Whitlow comes in. We are the experts. Come to Whitlow and you will be the experts.

Back to the nightmare incinerator

The plant had been a target of a year long class action lawsuit that was covered by every television news station in America. When we arrived at the plant, the operator had mistakenly  left the incinerator control on manual controls rather than on automatic.  He was out washing a truck. A giant plume of black smoke 100% opacity was barreling out of the smokestack. Normally the plant produced a nice white cloud of fluffy steam. Unfortunately for the plant, we were there and the next court date was in 3 days. Make sure you check your opacity daily. You never know who may pull in the driveway. You should keep a daily log book for each potential source and each pollution control device. Include entries for all maintenance and at least daily opacity readings. Keep a record of all corrective actions. Keep your log book, EPA Method 9 Forms, and your smoke school certificates handy. You never know when the inspector may show up or when you may end up in court. Your job is to build evidence just in case you need it. Be prepared like a Boy Scout. Read more about the surprise inspection and the consequences

Unfortunately my personality dominated the court case. I asked Chris for advice on making a testimony. Chris said to tell the truth and be myself. That was his mistake. We were serquested (locked in a sound proof room) during the trial so I could not hear Chris or Pat's testimony. My testimony went something like this:

Defense Lawyer: "How high was the smokestack height?"

Artie: "30 Feet"

Judge: Laughter (Chris and Pat had already testified the stack was 100 feet) Hint read your blueprint to see how high your smokestack is.


Defense Lawyer: "Have you been certified to read opacity at night?"

Artie: "No sir, EPA does not require nighttime certification"


Defense Lawyer: "How can you be certain that the opacity of the plume was 100%?"

Artie: "The black smoke blackened out the moon and the stars. Ray Charles could see that. "

Judge: Falls on the floor laughing.


Defense Lawyer: " According to your vehicle log, you also inspected a rabbit processing plant that same day. Both of your inspections were the result of odor complaints. Which plant smelled worse? (I had inspected 5 plants that week. My memory has never been that great. I had to depend on my notes and logbooks. Always maintain a logbook for each emission source to keep track of your maintenance and visible emissions observations. These and your smoke school certificates are the first thing the inspector wants to see. Keep good records because you never know when you may end up in court. Your job is to prove that you are in compliance.)

Artie: "The rabbit plant by far. "

Defense Lawyer: "Then why are you trying to revoke the hazardous waste plant's operating permit?"

Artie: "Rabbit poop ain't toxic and the rabbit plant has not been on national news for a year."

Judge: Laughter

Defense Lawyer: "Were you afraid when you were in the hazardous waste incinerator control room?"

Artie: "I was as scared as hell. Have you ever seen the movie China Syndrome when that nuclear plant melted down and killed all of those people? I knew we were in a dangerous situation. The operator had left the room, 100% black smoke was a coming out, and I smelled something awful. I knew it had to be something toxic. But it could have been something trapped in my mustache from what I ate for supper. "

Judge: Fell out of his chair again laughing. The entire courtroom busted out laughing. Everything the lawyer said backfired and ended up with laughter. He was embarrassed. I was embarrassed. The judge was having fun. All in a day's work I guess.

Defense Lawyer: "No further questions your honor."


I did not intend to make them laugh. I was horrified. I was sweating profusely and my heart was racing. My girdle was too tight so my belly couldn't flop around. The buttons on my Salvation Army suit were bulging to the max. I am huge and fat like Hoss Cartwright. I always try to keep a low profile, but it is impossible. It is hard to be a wallflower. By nature I am an extremely shy and withdrawn person. It may be hard for you to believe that, but I an sitting here at the kitchen table, drinking a cup of fresh ground Community Coffee, and talking to you like we were face to face, heart to heart. You can't see me. At smoke school I am hidden by the control box. So there I was friends and neighbors in all of my radiant beauty in front of the judge, jury, a house full of New York City lawyers, all of the television cameras, and a house full of witnesses. Everyone was laughing and they were laughing at me. I just wanted to melt, run away and cry.

I felt guilty about the outcome of the case. The company received 9 million dollars in fines and penalties. The national and local media had a field day and a circus. Oprah Winfrey filmed an episode about it. The New Jersey based company stock market bottomed out and they went out of business. The plant manager, all the environmental managers, and all of the New York City lawyers were fired. I especially felt guilty about the plant operator, who was instantly fired after 20 years of service with the plant. I felt sorry for all of these people. Either they had an attitude that they would not get caught or they were just ignorant of the laws. The court says that ignorance is not an excuse. Ever since than, I have strived to teach my fiends about the importance of knowing the law and the consequences of being out of compliance. I started doing this with my very first smoke school. I had a great audience, many times I trained 500 people at a time every October and April. Back in those days I did it at a regular state employee salary. It was just part of the job and I was happy to do it. Nowadays I own a commercial smoke school company and the money comes out of your pockets. I pledge to the best of my ability to keep you trained and informed. That is the very least I can do.

The next morning I was shocked when I saw the headlines in the Baton Rouge Advocate. My entire testimony was on the front page- word for word. The judge stated that my testimony differed significantly form Chris and Pat, but mine was very much more believable. Although my testimony won the defender's class action suit I had tried to remain neutral- just the facts mam. When I got to work Chris was fuming. "You are out of the Shrine Club. You are an embarrassment to the entire department.  I checked and you are civil service and you were more or less appointed by the Governor, so I can't fire you. You are like an old shotgun, you want work and I can't fire you. I order you to keep a low profile. Do not talk to the press or to television. You are banned from inspections and you are definitely banned from court. Is that perfectly clear?"

I literally cried right there in his office. I loved being an inspector. I asked if I could help James Gipson with maintenance and smoke school. The Good Lord works in mysterious ways. Chris did me a big favor. For the rest of my career I made a living driving trucks and driving nails. Jesus was a carpenter and so was I. Driving nails was a rare talent for the professionals at LDEQ. I set up and maintained air sampling equipment, portable buildings, and wooden sampling platforms that made up the LDEQ Air Analysis Ambient Air Sampling Stations clear across Louisiana. Click this link to see what monitoring station is keeping track of your emissions. Don't worry, be happy. These air sampling stations form a network all across the USA.

The aftermath of the lawsuit went on for several years. The local media made an overnight celebrity out of Pat Norton, the secretary of DEQ that accompanied me on the inspection. The media and the public had Pat all lined up to be the next Governor of Louisiana. She would have been the first female governor. Pat was not satisfied with the 9 million dollars in fines and penalties; she wanted their permit to operate in the state. Governor Edwards called a press conference and asked Pat to back up on the plant. Pat refused and Edwards fired her. The US Marshall Office became suspicious that Edwards may be involved in suspicious activity with the New Jersey company. They sent in the Louisiana National Guard with tanks to break down the gates of the plant. They seized every piece of paper in every file cabinet at the plant. One of the entries in the operator log book stated, " Louisiana DEQ will be here for an inspection Wednesday. Do not burn anything but water on Wednesday. " Prior to this, LDEQ would call ahead of time for an inspection. It was a convenience call and it saved us a lot of time waiting at the gate for the plant EHS to show up. After discovering the log book entry, EPA discouraged pre-announced inspections.

Eventually they convicted Edwards on corruption related to casinos in New Orleans. I was sad when Edwards went to prison. He may have been corrupt, but he was good for the poor people in Louisiana. He got me a job and he wrote a nice personal letter to my Mama when Daddy died. Mama always cherished that letter. Pat Norton would have been governor, but she made a political mistake months later, when the media approached her about announcing her candidacy. She said she saw a shooting star over my head during the inspection and her Guru informed her that the shooting star was an indication that she should revoke the plant's permit. Most Louisiana people don't cotton to much to Gurus. I have not heard anything about Pat ever since.  

My good friend Raymond gave he the nickname "Lightening" at DEQ. When he came to audit my wooden platform sights for the TSP hi volume air samplers, he always found about 20 bent nails sticking in the treated lumber. He said I was like lightening because I never stuck the same spot on a nail more than once. Raymond told me that last week at a retirement party. I always thought he gave me the name because I was too slow at everything I do. In all my years of working, I have never taken a job that paid by the hour, because I felt like I was cheating my employer. I am slow but sometimes slower is better. And that is how it is. Take time to smell the roses. My being slow at smoke school is good for you, because it keeps you on track and you will mark your answer correctly. I display a bumper sticker that says "I may be slow but I am ahead of you." I know that I am slow, so I tell you stories between opacity readings to keep you from going to sleep. I apologize if you laugh, but humor is my nature. The judge knows this and so does Chris. Before I retired in 2001, Chris gave me his only compliment. He said that he always got phone calls from the plant managers saying that they loved coming to my smoke schools because I made it fun. Coming from Chris, that says a lot. Now I know that some of you scientists and engineers may be offended by the humor on this web page and the apparent lack of professionalism. I am me and I can't be nobody else. My mamma always used to say, "Stupid  is Stupid does. " Come to a Whitlow smoke school and you will find it a lot more fun than sitting in a yard chair 3 days listening to somebody else. If you are lucky, you might even learn how to read opacity correctly, stay in compliance, and avoid being in court. Just think of all the money and wasted man-hours you will save your company. They may even give you a nickel an hour raise.

After 20 years of night school, in 1988 I finally managed to pull my 1.27 GPA into a 2.0 and graduated BS Liberal Arts from Regents College, Albany New York. I ended up with about 900 semester hours that just did not jell. This included night classes at The Sacramento Community College, Western Oklahoma State College, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Southern University in Baton Rouge, LSU, and CLEP tests. I graduated in Liberal Arts with concentrations in social studies and environmental protection. I guess that makes me a person who knows people and the environmental. How appropriate.


I retired from LDEQ on September 11, 2001- 9/11 the day that changed the world. On this memorial date, I founded Whitlow Smoke School Nation and that is the rest of the story. I am very happy that you walked with me in my shoes for a while. Now we ain't strangers anymore.


Congratulations, you have finished STAGE 4. You have somehow survived my long winded roving life story. I don't know how I got started on this. One of the girls that I went to Neville with in 1966, said that I had such a rich and interesting life. I don't see it this way. I am just doing what ever it takes to get by from day to day and try to follow God's special plan. I hope he has one or we will all end up in a ditch. Now letz meet the crew. You can click on one of the fast links below or scroll past the links to gain some insight about the crew, learn more about our unique style of smoke schools, and why smoke school is required to read opacity.  




Stage 5: The Whitlow Smoke School Nation Crew and Team Players



And this is my Hot Rod Lincoln. Get in, close the doors. put on your seat belt. This baby goes from zero to 60 in four seconds flat. Here are the keys. You are driving. Lets go see the Whitlow Smoke School Nation and meet the rest of our crew.












MySpace Daily Bible Verses For Your Page!

Congratulations, you have survived STAGE 5.  You can click on one of the fast links below or scroll past the links to gain more about our unique style of smoke schools, and why smoke school is required to read opacity.  




STAGE 6: More about our unique style of smoke schools, and why smoke school is required to read opacity

We want you to pass the first time. You can assist us by doing your homework and getting plenty of rest before testing. Your homework assignment is to read the secrets of passing the test the first time. You can also purchase our smoke school practice video DVD. This is not a requirement. You want need these things if you take your time and pay attention to the instructions. The most important thing is your positive attitude.

If you intend to accurately read smoke or opacity you need to be able to see it from the correct perspective.  You need to choose a good observer position and observation point. The following are critical to reading opacity:

·       Sun behind your back- early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This is why we conduct the field-training first thing in the morning. It is hard to see when the sun is in your eyes or over your head. Take a lesson from the centerfielder on the baseball diamond.

·       Winds blowing perpendicular from your left to your right or vice-versa. We use an adjustable elbow on our stacks so we can keep the winds perpendicular during the test. We will be watching for wind changes. If you see a wind change, holler “Scratch”.

·       A minimum distance of 3 stacks heights away from the smokestack. Our stack height is 15 feet. We will insure that you are at least 45 feet away from the smokestack.

·       A contrasting background. This is especially critical when reading white smoke with white clouds or haze for a background. Other smoke school providers say “Take a good guess.” Whitlow creates contrasting backgrounds so you can see the smoke.

·       Do not stare at the plume between readings. We will remind you of this several times during the test because it is the most common reason people have problems passing. Staring causes optical illusions and confusion. In the field, use a stopwatch to observe the opacity every 15 seconds. During the test, only look at the smoke when you hear the word “read”. Read it for 3 seconds, choose the best answer, and look away. Do not look back until you hear “read”. Do not look at your neighbor’s test paper. They are looking at yours. This is your smoke school and your opportunity to demonstrate your new skills, and be proud that you are learning something.

·       Always observe the plume at the densest part. During smoke school this is the first foot of so of the plume as it exits the elbow.

·       If the wind changes, a bug gets in your eye, or you get confused holler “Scratch”. We will all scratch and you will think you are in a Mississippi flea market. When our instructor repeats the word “Scratch”, then all of us will cross out the last answer and we will provide the plume again for reading.

Don't stare at the smoke because it can cause optical illusions. Click my eyes for an example of optical illusions. Use a stop watch and read the smoke or dust every 15 seconds for 6 minutes. Basic fundamentals of reading opacity/ Just like football, you need to use the fundamentals.


Whitlow Smoke School Nation- Ain’t no other place like it on God’s green earth. We are the home of the stress free smoke school. We believe in good ole fashioned customer service. All Whitlow employees are hand selected to serve you by providing:

·       Fast accurate answers to all of your questions, before, during, and after testing and certification- We are always here for you whenever you need us.

·       Smooth registration

·       EPA Method 9 training locations designed for your comfort with shade and shelter from rain

·       Locations with trees to create contrasting backgrounds for reading smoke on cloudy or hazy days- If we can’t find a contrasting background we will make one.









·       Southern hospitality and friendship      Free fresh donuts, hot coffee, ice cold bottled water and soft drinks


Free outdoor Cajun or Southern lunches

Sometimes we may even fry up a mess of catfish. Sometimes we may even cook some shrimp. Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. There's shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp. lemon shrimp, pepper shrimp, coconut shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burgers, shrimp sandwich. That's, that's about it.

·       We provide everything you need for training, all you need to bring is appropriate clothing for the weather. Smoke school is an outdoor class. This ain't the Governor's Ball. You also need to bring a yard chair, and a positive attitude. Attitude is everything. Be like the frog- I think I can, I know I can. I will make it. I will make the best score and win the prize.


Whitlow Smoke Schools are fun. Whitlow gives tickets to win prizes and special prizes to those who make the best score. Everyone loves winning.

 You may even win a tube of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. If it itches, Boudreaux will fix it. Other prizes include Wal-Mart or Bass Pro gift cards, fishing baits, pocket knives, tee-shirts, hats, Amish peanut brittle.

If you are real lucky you might even take home a box of Slap Ya Mama.


Whitlow Smoke School Nation, often imitated, never duplicated. We are setting the standards of excellence. You should never settle for the low bidder or second best. Choose Whitlow and learn how to get it right the first time. We care about you, your company, your compliance, and your reputation. We are the best- Ain’t no doubt about it.

Every woman's crazy about a sharp dressed man. We can assist you with notices of violations, court, and litigation: Paul and me are good buddies. We earned our education in the cities of the nation, me, and Paul. We are all retired from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and have been close friends for more than 30 years.  The three of us have more time in court than most people have in the outhouse. We have spent a lifetime conducting environmental inspections and collecting evidence that will stand up in court. We have never lost a case. We don't particularly enjoy putting our our Sears and Roebuck Suits but sometimes it is just part of the job. If you get a notice of violation, who you gonna call? call the Ghost Busters Pick up the phone and call us. Here is a prime example of a court case.











Come to smoke school or else.......





Ok -Which one is Uncle Artie? Which one is Waylon? Which one is Hank?





Than you have my for real Cousin Merle

Whitlow Elementary School Born to teach

First, a personal note from  “Uncle Artie” Whitlow founder and President: I would like to thank our employees and all of you friends and customers for choosing Whitlow and sticking with us. I have been seeing many of you every 6 months since my beginning smoke schools in 1984. When I started this independent company in 2001, many of you came along for the ride. This is all I know how to do. In the late 1970s, when I was a young Buck, a Technical Sergeant E-6, assigned to Environmental Health at USAF Hospital, Royal Air Force Alconbury England UK, I had a friend who said that he was born to make teeth. He made false teeth for veterans who had missing teeth due to wartime injury. He reconstructed smiles and changed lives. He told me that he was born to make teeth. He made as good a tooth as you ever put into your mouth. I guess I was born to blow smoke and make smoke schools. I would rather be a cowboy or pitch for the New York Yankees, but those were my first dreams. You have all blessed my life, my family, and our employees. Thank you all.

Happy Trails to you until we meet again, by my first heroes Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. My heroes have always been cowboys and they still are it seems.

 Howdy Pilgrim, say hello to a fat ole man.  We have been to Whitlow Smoke School and we passed. Yippy!

Barney Fife Freddy the Freeloader

"If don't like talking to a one-eyed fat man or if you say something bad about Whitlow Smoke School..... Fill your hands! Dagnabbit- Hollywood is making a new True Grit movie opening December 24. Jeff Bridges is going to be Rooster. Click here to read all about it. "

Do you feel LUCKY

I am Uncle Artie's Whistling Mama. He's a good boy--- Most of the time. My son is a good example of why you should have your pets spayed and neutered. And I ain't just whistling Dixie or Blowing Smoke like my son does. Who would a thunk it. My son even wrote a book about it.

Howdy my name is Mona Lisa. Look deep into my eyes. This is what I think of Uncle Artie's Smoke School Nation

Blue Bayou Days- The Summer of 61.  Click the title to order from the internet

Blue Bayou is a Forest Gump type novel, about the good ole days, when times were bad. Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were blasting Babe Ruth's home run record, Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese were doing the play by play on the Game of the Week. JFK was the President. Elvis was the king. They all came to Blue Bayou. I was 13 and I was in love. You will never forget it. It will change your life.

I give away autographed copies of the novel at smoke school to the people who make the highest score. You can also order a copy from the internet and I will be happy to autograph it for you.

A reader from Canada wrote the following review:

Blue Bayou was like the place that Roy Robison sang about. The catfish played in the aqua-blue water and you could sleep all day there in the shade of the live oak, magnolia, or cypress trees. Blue Bayou was the kind of place where your fantasies could come true.

Click here read a sample chapter about Louisiana Fishing and to learn more about the book

Click on the book to order it.

The Whitlow Family 1940s: From Left to right- My Grandfather Artie Whitlow, Eloise Whitlow- Daddy's sister, Artie JR Whitlow- B-21 pilot killed shortly after picture taken in WW2, Mother Whit- my Grandmother, Daddy George Wesley Whitlow, Maurice Whitlow- Daddy's Little Brother- the only survivor living today in Arab Alabama

The Whitlow Family Late 1960s: Left to Right- Uncle Maurice Whitlow, Mother Whit, Eloise Whitlow, Daddy- George Wesley Whitlow (with the apron- now you see why I like to cook at smoke School. WW 2 cost the family both my Grandfather and my Uncle Artie JR. Artie JR was a B-21 Pilot killed in action over Germany. My Grandfather had a massive heart attack when they delivered the telegram about Artie Jr. That is Daddy (George Wesley Whitlow) with the Big Chef Apron. Daddy taught me how to live, how to have fun, how to play baseball, how to teach, how to make people laugh, and how to cook. I am what I am because of my Daddy.

This is all that is left of the original Whitlow family. We originated in Hope Arkansas with lots of hope. Now we are in Louisiana and Alabama. Notice the family beer gut. Left to right Uncle Artie, Stewart, Uncle Maurice, & Mark










Whitlow is American Gothic. We love Whitlow. We passed. That is our story and we are sticking to it. Green Acres is the place for me.

Looks Like I got a cow by the tail bull by the horns. Bull of the Woods

Photos taken at Enchanted Springs Wild West Ranch near San Antonio

Come to Smoke School or Else

"Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez" Let the Good Times Roll

Photos below contributed by my Good Friend Robert Counselman at Campbell's Soup Napoleon Ohio

I would love to present our new sponsor: Chicken $%$&

I would love to present our new food sponsor for Whitlow Smoke School Meals and smoke school prizes

You need a contrasting background to properly see smoke and read smoke. If we can't find a contrasting background we will make one.

Click on this video to see how making a background is effective in passing the smoke school certification test.











Always read the opacity of a steam plume at the densest part of the plume either before the steam starts of at the end where the steam evaporates. Remember steam only travels until the plume cools down and the steam evaporates. Smoke and particulate emissions travel to the next state. This is a perfect steam plume, Clear as the nose on your face.


Portrait by Billy Ledet


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May God Bless. Be Well. Do Good Work. And stay in touch