La. Traveler - Johnny Suydam's museum

La. Traveler - Johnny Suydam's museum

I've had a few friends tell me I really needed to check out the collection of former McNeese coach, player and Burton Coliseum director Johnny Suydam. It's hard to call his home anything but a museum of Cowboys and McNeese.  One thing that really catches your eye when you walk into Johnny's house is his collection of championship rings.

"First of all the rings would be the thing that would jump at you when you walk in here. The rings. In fact, I have a couple more on them here," said Suydam. "Of course, the Independence Bowl things."

Suydam is quick to point out this 28 hundred dollar handmade Stetson, hanging on the wall, given to him by the late Bill Lawton.

"He and I got pretty close when I was managing Burton Coliseum. It's his family who had the Burton Coliseum. He had 4 or 5 of these made and he gave me one. He had it specifically made for this man right here, President Ronald Reagan. And I thought this was special that I got one of these."

Johnny's grandfather, Ben Collins, started the city's first baseball team and died a hero, fighting a major fire in Lake Charles.

"Right in the middle of what they called the million dollar fire, because it destroyed so much of downtown Lake Charles. He was fighting the fire and a wall collapsed on top of him and killed him in that fire."

Suydam says his museum isn't open to the public... only for his friends...and now you. You can hear Suydam on the radio this fall doing the color commentary on McNeese football games.

Copyright 2014 KPLC All rights reserved