BayouLife Magazine August 2022

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Life. Love. Biscuits. While simple, each word’s promise indicates the kind of food and service Delta Biscuit Co. is dishing out daily.



Savannah and Michael Ray knew the value of wine even before they thought about producing it, and their wish to make it, to share it, and bring that joy to other people near and dear to them shows their spirit of loving life and signifies embracing the essence of giving.


This summer cocktail is way too easy to drink in the Louisiana heat. Alone or paired with something off the grill, it boasts layers of fresh flavor and is visually stunning.




Timeless and classic, cast iron cannot only stand the test of time passed from one generation to the next; it rivals most cookware with its capabilities and even a few benefits. It is not just an old timer’s skillet; cast iron is an every day, every way cook’s staple.


School is in and these looks from area boutiques are the top of the class. From iconic tees to fashion sneakers, these looks will have you walking the halls in style.

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Just in the early stages of his art career, Daniel Myers has already found quite a bit of success.


How does a chef of Cory Bahr’s caliber, one that has been in hundreds of commercial kitchens all over the country, narrow down selections for a home kitchen? Bahr’s response is refreshing–simplicity and cabinet space.

Meredith McKinnie sits down and chats with author Alex Temblador.


BayouLife Magazine partnered with Progessive Bank to makeover the teacher's lounge at Good Hope Middle School. With the help of local vendors, this lounge was transformed into a retreat perfect for a tranquil break from the bustle of day-to-day school activities.


ugust is one of our staff’s favorite issues for one reason: food. Everyone in the office has gained a few pounds just flipping through the pages because we sampled everything that we pictured. It’s no secret that I have Celiac disease, so we suffered a little bit when mouth-watering cupcakes from our friends at Smallcakes walked through the door. But, we did get to munch on a delicious herbed pork roast from for His temple and homemade Rosemary Focaccia Bread from Butter Bakery. This month we teamed up with some of our favorite restaurants for a few beautiful pictorial spreads. Our styling genius, Taylor Bennett, arranged our Summer Grillin’, Decadent Desserts and Heavenly Herbs, with Robert Wright photographing. Get your mouth-watering fix on page 10, 44 and page 48. Glen Lewellyan, owner and operator of Monroe’s new favorite brunch spot, along with his wife, Jessica Lewellyan, the restaurant’s executive chef are this month’s BayouEats. The company’s tagline – Life. Love. Biscuits. indicates the kind of food and service this eatery is dishing out daily. Read their article on page 22. Cory Bahr is a busy man. He is the owner and founder of Parish Restaurant, Standard Coffee Co., and Heritage Catering in Monroe. He is a Culinary Ambassador for the state of Louisiana, on the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association, and a member of the Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries Chef Council. Adding to the whirlwind that has been his life, he and wife Whitney Bahr welcomed their first child, Oliver, into the world last year. Around the same time, the couple decided to renovate a part of their home, Summer Grillin' page 48

creating a kitchen and dining area that better suited their new lifestyle. See their new kitchen renovation on page 105. Michael and Savannah Ray, the proprietors behind the Thirsty Farmer winery in Northeast Louisiana have a passion for producing great wine. Through hard work, trying times, and smiles and tears alike, Thirsty Farmer stands to reap success and fellowship, friendships and laughter, spirits consumed and lifted. Read their article on 52. Even though Daniel Myers has only been seriously pursuing his art career for about a year now, the West Monroe native has been a professional for years. Myers has been a working artist since he was just eight years old, when Montessori school owner and teacher, Dee Scallan, began writing children’s books about the Louisiana ecosystem. She needed someone to create the illustrations that would bring the book series’ titular character, Moby Pincher, to life, so she enlisted the aid of one of her students — Myers, of course — to get the job done. Read more about Myers on page 82. BayouLife Magazine partnered with Progessive Bank to makeover the teacher's lounge at Good Hope Middle School. With the help of local vendors, this lounge was transformed into a retreat perfect for a tranquil break from the bustle of day-to-day school activities. Special thanks to Material Things, Palette House and Plume, Ivan Smith Furniture, Walsworth & Co., Lissy Compton, Harrison Paint Co and Leo Gonzalez for your contributions. Here's to a great school year. Happy reading!

BayouLife 1201 Royal Avenue Monroe, LA 71201 Phone 318.855.3185


PUBLISHER & OWNER Cassie Livingston COPY EDITOR Cindy Foust GRAPHIC DESIGNER Meagan Russell ADVERTISING SALES EXECUTIVE Katelyn McAllister Courtney Thomas Jenny Pankey ART DIRECTOR Taylor Bennett LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER Kelly Moore Clark CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Darian Atkins Dr. Mohamed Bakeer Dan Chason Dr. Leslie Coffman Kenny Covington Shannon Dahlum Cindy Gist Foust Starla Gatson Kerry Heafner Heather Land Paul Lipe

Erin Love Meredith McKinnie Guy Miller Georgiann Potts Vanelis Rivera Delia Simpson P. Allen Smith Darryl Tate Beatrice A. Tatem Judy Wagoner Robert Wright

Cassie CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Francisco Blasco Heather Land Shelbie Monkres Robert Wright ON THE COVER Strawberry Basil Margarita photo by HEATHER LAND BayouLife Magazine is published and distributed by Redbird Publishing, LLC. Postal subscriptions ($30) can be ordered online at BayouLife Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited photographs, manuscripts, or other materials. Opinion columns do not represent the views of the publisher. Reproduction of contents without express written permission is prohibited.


Beating the Heat With Some Refreshing Cocktails


HE AUGUST HEAT IS HERE AND THE TEAM AT Washington Wine & Spirits is turning our attention to ways to cool off. In this month’s article we’re going to check out some wines, cocktails, and spirits that are easy, light, and most importantly delicious. We want you to be able to quickly get to the relaxation station, and find enjoyment in these bright summer days. We’ll start our journey with the Voodoo Punch from Sugarlands Shine. We’ve featured several products from Sugarlands Shine over the years. The Appalachian Sippin Creams are always a big hit that make amazing milkshakes. We currently have Butter Pecan, Banana Pudding, Electric Orange, Strawberry Dream, and Dark Chocolate Coffee. If you haven’t tried these, please treat yourself. But let’s get back to the Voodoo Punch. This awesome cocktail comes in both ready to drink cans or the classic Sugarlands mason jars, but the mason jars have a higher volume of alcohol. This is made with an official partnership with the New Orleans Saints that includes the iconic colors and logo of our favorite team on the packaging. A lively palate of tropical fruits welcome you with pineapple, coconut, citrus, and a hint of cherry. The cans have a lovely effervescence and are 5% abv, while the mason jars don’t have carbonation they are 25% abv. Pour this over ice and enjoy it with friends by the pool or while watching a game. Next up we have an exceptional product in Bluecoat Elderflower Gin. For this spirit they take their wonderfully balanced American dry gin and infuse it with organic elderflower. This gin rolls out of the glass with juniper, citrus, and sweet floral fragrances. On the palate it is a superb balance of juniper and citrus with a light touch of delicate flowers. A perfect combination on a hot day with some club soda or tonic and a wedge of your favorite choice of citrus. We hope that this awesome limited edition gin will be around for a while. If you are not a fan of gin, then we have a great summer vodka for you with Charbay Meyer Lemon Vodka. First of all it comes in a 1 liter bottle which is perfect when you need that little extra this summer, and it is made from 100% fresh, hand-picked Meyer lemons from California. In fact, when launched in 1998, Meyer Lemon was the first 100% fresh fruit flavored vodka in the US. Only made once a year, from organically grown, tree-ripened Meyer Lemons from Lemon Cove in California. Within 24 hours of being picked they are delivered to the distillery. For a true flavor of the fruit, the lemons are shredded, zest and all, then put through a 68-day extraction process. This makes for a superbly 8 AUGUST 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

refreshing bottle of vodka that will make the best lemon drop that you can ever make at home. We are big fans of just mixing it with a little Sprite or something quick and tasty. If you are a fan of rum and coke, then this Brinley Gold Shipwreck Vanilla Rum is for you. The rich flavors of caramel, brown sugar, and vanilla bean make this a truly perfect combination with Coca-Cola or Dr. Pepper. Another great way to try this fantastic rum is with Freddie’s Root Beer from Buffalo Trace. A true, old-school style of root beer that will give you a dose of nostalgia when paired with the Shipwreck rum and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a new take on a classic root beer float. For an interesting new wine to try for the summer we suggest trying the Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Orange Wine. Two things that you may immediately have questions about are the cigare and the orange part of the name. The cigare portion refers to the French term for UFOs. In 1954 a village in Chateauneuf-du-Pape adopted an ordinance prohibiting the landing of any such spacecraft in local vineyards. As Bonny Doon states, it must have worked since there have been no such landings since. The orange part of the name refers to the color of the wine and not the inclusion of oranges. This color comes from leaving the skins in contact with the juice for a prolonged time. This also has the added benefit of giving the wine the aromatics of a white and the body of a red, and to us it makes for a great summer wine for red wine drinkers. The wine opens with notes of peaches, honeysuckle, and lemon zest. This leads to a palate of the same flavors with a touch of apricot and a rounded voluptuous mouthfeel. The finish is long and refreshing with pleasant sweet citrus. This is just a smattering of the wide range of products that we have cultivated to make for a fun summer. Whether you are by the grill with a Doe’s Eat Place steak, chilling by the pool, launching fireworks, or just sitting on the porch we have ways to beat the heat. We hope you all stay cool and hydrated this August, and as always, thank you for letting us be Your Spirits Guides here at Washington Wine & Spirits.

6 oz Filet - $13.87 1.5 lb Bone In Strip - $22.49 2 lb Bone In Ribeye - $46.99 2 lb T-Bone - $29.98 3 lb Porterhouse - $50.97

10 oz Filet - $23.12 20 oz Ribeye - $29.99 1.5 lb T-Bone - $22.49 2.5 lb Porterhouse - $42.48 2-5 lb Sirloin - $13.99/lb

Get your chocolate fix with this delectable trio of cupcakes from Smallcakes. Chocolate cream is chocolate cake filled with buttercream and frosted with fudge.

Doe’s Eat Place - this gooey fudge brownie is stacked and covered with rich chocolate syrup, and topped with a scoop vanilla ice cream.

S’Mores is a chocolate cupcake filled with mallow cream with buttercream icing whipped cream topped with graham cracker and drizzled with mallow cream and chocolate. Available at Smallcakes.

CC’s Coffee House - The Chocolate Chunk cookie is freshbaked and filled with large chunks of delectable chocolate.



Chocohalic is chocolate cake frosted with Smallcakes’ signature chocolate buttercream, sprinkled with chocolate shavings topped with a mini Hershey bar.




here is no shortage of opportunities in the heat of the summer to catch quality bass. Back when I was mad at the bass, my favorite time to fish was when I had to lay wet towels on the deck to keep from burning my feet through my sandals. When water temperatures top the 80 degree up to the 90 degree level, it is very hard to stay focused and find a consistent bite. For some reason, whether the challenge or just being pig headed, I would challenge myself to fish up in the day. One reason I did this was to get into my head that in the heat of summer, I could still find a good bite. That is hard when your eyeballs are sweating but conditioning yourself to stay with them gives you the confidence during a tournament to keep on chunking and find them regardless of air temperature. I will say that the quickest way to call it quits is when the ambient temperature rises into the 90’s with little or no wind. Heat is nothing to play with but a few things I learned over the years can help you stick it out. First, remember that you lose body temperature and become dehydrated due to loss of fluids. Heat and cold is generated through your extremities. That means your head and feet are the two most important components of this equation. I discovered a simple thing years ago called a cool rag. This can be soaked in lake water and when soaked, becomes cool (due to materials in the rag). A cool rag is made to absorb moisture and then translates that from the jell into a cooling effect. This rag is a lifesaver. The other thing is drinking water. Simple water or something non-carbonated to replace electrolytes. That sounds simple and it is. Your body is like a motor on a car. Lose the cooling of a radiator and it will overheat. Keeping hydrated is the most important thing you have to do to beat the heat. If you are not urinating, you aren’t drinking enough. I used to take at least a gallon of cold water in my boat and it was for two things: Drinking and pouring on my cool rag and over my head. Keeping your head cool will extend your time on the water by far. A ventilated cap is crucial as air is allowed to flow over your 12 AUGUST 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

head which substantially affects core body temperature. Should you become lightheaded, that is a sign of dehydration. If you are not sweating, that is a tale tell sign that you need to get out of the heat. Heat exhaustion is the first level which can immediately go into heat stroke which is life threatening. Get to the shade, allow yourself to recoup and carry on. This was very apparent one hot summer week in July on Lake Fork. I was using the midday to idle around and look for drop offs and deep breaks in channels. I know the bass should be hitting a crank bait as there was a shad spawn going on that day. I was up in a creek arm and when I graphed a ledge I had to go back over it a number of times. The hook in the creek arm was literally loaded with bait and low and behold under the bait was a very large school of fish. I looked at my cameraman and told him that he better get ready as it was about to happen. I bet I didn’t see 2 boats that day as it was blistering hot. I knew these fish were on threadfin shad so I pulled out my crank bait box to see what I could offer. I saw that I had a number of DD 22 crank baits in a Tennessee shad color and that was my first choice. On rod number two I tied on a chartreuse color DD 22 as well. The reasoning for this is that when you have a good school of fish located and fired up, throwing an alternative color will allow you to keep the bite flowing as fish will react to a different presentation and color after they see the same lure repeatedly. It was a day to remember as I sat in one spot and boated 33 bass with nothing under 3 pounds. My largest was a nice 10.22 fat girl that ate up a crawfish colored Mud Bug. This fish taught me a lesson as she was the only bass I caught on that lure. But the reason I threw it for quite a while was two-fold: The erratic motion of a Mud Bug and the size of the offering. The ability for a Mud Bug to reach maximum depth while not steadily cranking left the lure in the strike zone longer. Unlike the DD 22 I could keep it in front of their face for a longer period time. Another trip where the heat was memorable was on Lake D’Arbonne one hot August day. I was catching a few on a crank bait on the channel but nothing to write home about. I opted to go up into the Tech Landing area and tied on the reliable Wobblehead. The grass was topped out and there was a good edge that was visible on the grass line. On that day, I went through a whole pack of Creme worms as the fish were suspended on the grass line. Slow and steady was the trick and throwing upwind and retrieving the lure in the suspended level of 3 feet was the key. Had I let the heat win, I would have never stayed to find these fish. Heat and humidity have little effect on bass if you are willing to adapt and change approaches and techniques to find them. Keep the angler cool and the rewards can be significant. Those two trips taught me to hang with it but also gave me confidence when the heat index rises to the level of being unbearable.


Bayou Buzzworthy

Jacob Green from Ouachita Parish High School visited our Capitol recently where his Social Studies project was displayed at the Smithsonian. While there, he met with Congresswoman Julia Letlow.

The Monroe Chamber of Commerce, the Northeast Louisiana Young Professionals and BayouLife Magazine are pleased to announce the 60 nominations for the 2022 Top 20 Under 40 Young Professional Awards. The Awards Reception will be held Thursday, August 11th at the Monroe Civic Center Conference Hall. The winners will be featured in the September issue of BayouLife Magazine.

Matthias Drewry of Sallie Elementary School has been named Louisiana’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year. He will receive the award at the 16th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Awards Gala at the World War ll Museum in New Orleans.

Charlie French was recently awarded Honor Junior Counselor at Camp Skyline. Located on Lookout Mountain, Skyline has hosted thousands of girls age 6-16 in a Christian camp environment every summer for over 75 years. Charlie is the daughter of Lori and Bob French.


A local artist has made it to the big screens. Jeff Hollis, out of Sterlington, takes old instruments and gives them a new life as unique home decor. He turns these old instruments into beautifully designed lamps. Recently, one of his trumpet lamps has caught the eye of a TV producer. This beautiful unique creation has made it big time as it will be on the set of Showtime’s “Your Honor” starring Bryan Cranston. Making northeast Louisiana proud!

Soul Food

Feeding the Mind, Body and Soul BY BEATRICE TATEM, PH.D., LPC-S, NCC, ACS


OR YEARS WHEN I HEARD THE EXPRESSION, “SOUL FOOD,” I immediately thought of food associated with the African American and Black communities; communities representing my southern roots and my ethnic, racial, and cultural heritage. Soul food in the literal sense consists of various delicacies I have enjoyed throughout my life. To many, soul food is comfort food; favorite dishes served at special occasions, holidays, funerals, reunions and social gatherings. Steeped in tradition with a history spanning several generations, soul food is attached to societal struggles and shifts, trying times, as well as positive experiences. Food has the power to impact us on a level deeper than just our physical well-being. It fortifies and nourishes our minds and energizes our souls. It is in this context that I have chosen to treat the expression, “soul food” as feeding ourselves literally and figuratively for the mind, body and soul. Feeding the mind, body and soul means different things to different people. In my various interactions and encounters with people, I have found how we each feed ourselves and what we choose to consume via our minds, bodies and souls is also very different. For others feeding the soul means eating clean and in a healthy way. “You are what you eat,” is a familiar phrase to those on a quest towards improved physical well-being. Some restrict food as a cleanse or in an effort to lose weight. Fasting and dietary self-control in some instances serve as metaphors for those seeking mental clarity and religious authority. Some use food for emotional wellbeing and to reduce stress and anxiety. For others, food is the go-to when they are bored, stressed, anxious, or sad. To me, soul food is symbolic of self-care, inner connectedness and pouring into self. It is advocating for your mental and physical health and attending to the wants and needs of your mind and body. I am a firm believer that feeding the soul or pouring into oneself is key to being the best version of self. There are times when we need to take stock of our well-being and pour back into ourselves what we freely give to others. There is the saying, “when you feed the souls of others with love, kindness and compassion, you in turn feed your soul.” Feed yourself with positive self-talk. Self-talk serves as an internal voice to challenge negative thoughts brought on by experiences, interactions, and beliefs. Consume less sugar as it impacts our energy level. Be aware sugar is hidden in many things. Avoid taking in the good stuff that is unhealthy; instead, consume more water and stay hydrated. I am the first to admit that I have become a fan of drinking water as an adult. Putting aside frequent trips to the bathroom, water has proven to clear the mind and cleanse the body. Leave the negative mindset behind. Set boundaries for yourself and protect what enters your mind and body. Allow time for your mind to rest


and your body to relax. Foraging is becoming increasingly popular. This is a novel way of taking in the benefits nature provides (Vitamin D from the sun) while literally feeding off of the land. When possible, feed your mindset with positivity, self-worth and the desire to strengthen physical and mental health. Our physical health affects are mental and emotional health, and our emotional and mental health affects our physical health. Being intentional about taking care of our mind, body and soul is crucial to our overall wellness. In essence, being mentally and emotionally fed is as important as nourishing the body. In the literal sense, food can affect the way we feel physically, and it can impact the way we feel and function mentally. What one eats can affect daily life, mood and energy level. There are studies that show when negative emotions are internalize or are not released properly, they can manifest into physical hurts and pains. We should want the inside (our minds and our souls) to look as good and be as fit as the outside. We are greatly affected by what we feed our minds, bodies, and souls hence the desire for soul food. Feeding the mind, body and soul is key in helping us to find our way to peace, joy, love, unity, good health, greater communication, stronger relationships, and a sense of community. How we achieve this is unique to each of us. We are living in a time when most will agree tomorrow is not promised to any of us. Societal occurrences have thrown and continues to throw many curves. We are living post peak COVID and are now dealing with the aftermath and the impact it has had on the economy, our education, medical and mental health care systems. In many instances, lifestyles have been altered, our connectedness to one another has lessened and relationships have changed. We are being challenged by our legal, political, and governmental systems as we revisit gun laws and reform while processing the overturning of Roe versus Wade and question the role of the Supreme Court. Mass shootings and climate change have caused many to wonder about the safety and stability of society. As one client stated, “ I am not upset by what people think; everyone has a right to their opinions, ideas and thoughts. I am more concerned by how people are being treated for having a difference in opinion. Living should not be so hard; something is just not right.” We must take measures to stay mentally, physically, and soulfully sound. We must allow the state of our minds, bodies and souls to be fed. For more information about counseling services and outreach programming contact Dr. Tatem at Wellness Initiatives, LLC, 2485 Tower Drive, Suite 10, Monroe, La 71201, 318-410-1555 or at



styled by TAYLOR BENNETT photograph by KELLY MOORE CLARK

W H AT YO U N E E D : 4 ears of corn, shucked 1/4 cup olive oil 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered 1 English cucumber, sliced 1/2 medium red onion, diced 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper Grill corn over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and shave off kernels. Place the kernels, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and herbs in a bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper and then stir together. 18 AUGUST 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM



o you love entertaining and hosting events as much as I do? Every year I look forward to the numerous school events, birthday parties, and holiday gatherings that I get to host. But, in order to ensure a successful event, there are steps to take and items to have on hand. Starting from scratch is daunting and stressful, but it can be avoided with a little preparation. The title of this article suggests that you need an actual “pantry” in reserve for hosting, but while some items will already be on hand in your day-to-day pantry, a small section in a closet or even a bin in the top of the closet could suffice. It all depends on the party and how much planning it will require. For the purpose of this article, I am going to prepare you for almost everything! You will need a variety of serving pieces. You know those silver platters you received when you got married? It is time to break them out of the packages and place them in your party “pantry.” I suggest having a few serving pieces that will look appropriate in every situation and for any theme. For instance, those silver serving pieces would be appropriate for most situations, but clear glass is the star of this show. There is no event where clear glass wouldn’t be appropriate. So, make sure to include several sizes, styles, and varieties of glass in your party arsenal. You should also keep plastic, non-breakable versions of the clear serving pieces, too. These are perfect for events that may get a little rowdy, like bachelorette parties or gatherings for children. Also, don’t forget also to have some clear plastic dinner plates, cups and utensils. You will need access to tables, chairs, and tablecloths. These are the items that are 20 AUGUST 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

typically rented and not necessarily kept on hand. However, rarely will there be enough seating when you are the host, so having extras is a necessity. I do like to have a few tablecloths on hand for small gatherings, and they also come in handy for friends and family. Keep a list of the items and the number you normally need so ordering for the next party will be quick and easy. Floor length cloths are the most elegant option and the one I choose for school parties as well as formal events. Here are a few helpful measurements “ 6’ oblong (rectangular) table = 90”x132” cloth to the floor 8’ oblong table = 90”x156” cloth to the floor 6’ round table = 132” to the floor You will need styling pieces. To keep your styling section to a minimum, you can always use flowers and plants as décor. Nothing says “welcome” more than a beautiful arrangement or potted plant. Greenery brings the outdoors in and makes an environment warm and inviting, so don’t go overboard on your accessories stash. Rely on nature for help! With that said, you will need some vases, planters, baskets, and a few unique containers for the greenery. Think outside the box for risers that will add height to your decorative elements and serving pieces. I have been known to use wood slices, bricks, and books, but decorative risers could also be used in most circumstances. Having a variety of different levels makes the decorations more interesting and fun. When stocking this part of your “pantry,” consider what type of events you will be hosting and purchase or collect odd items that go with a certain theme. For instance, I host a lot of school events, so I have a lot of our school colors included in the decorations. You will need to have a few food items in

your stockpile. It wouldn’t be much of a party without food. Be prepared now so you won’t stress later. I am not suggesting that you keep an entire buffet ready, just that there are some items that you shouldn’t have to buy for every event. Below is a list of staples to have on hand: • Chips • Dip • Cheese • Crackers • Olives • Condiments (ketchup, mayo, cocktail sauce, ranch dressing, etc.) • Small candies/chocolates • Nuts • Fresh fruits and vegetables • A good bottle of wine • Water So, in a pinch, every appetite should be satisfied. You will need to have games and activities. Games and activities come in handy whether you are hosting a few kids, a whole class, or even adults! Playing games can lighten the mood and create a fun atmosphere. Not only is it fun to watch children playing, sometimes it is also fun to have a game of Rook with some friends. Here are a few games and activities I suggest having on hand: For Adults: • Rook • Deck of Cards • Phase 10 • Uno For Children: • Chalk • Kickball • Bubbles • Paint/Canvas • Go Fish • Checkers • Sprinkler or Slip-n-Slide You will be surprised at how many things the kids can do with these items. The opportunities are endless if they use their imagination! You will need some miscellaneous items. There are standbys every hostess will need at one point or another, so they must be kept on hand for such instances. These include the following: • Lighter • Helium • Cake Candles • Ribbon • Tealights • Variety of favor bags • Cake cutters • Cake stand • Cocktail napkins • Ice bucket • Balloon • Bluetooth speaker Although this is an extensive list for a “party pantry,” you should choose supplies according to your lifestyle and hosting opportunities. This article is simply a way to inspire you to be PREPARED for almost anything. As you know “preparation is key.”



Life. Love. Biscuits. “Well, breakfast is my entire life and my favorite meal of the day,” enthusiastically admits Glen Lewellyan, owner and operator of Monroe’s new favorite brunch spot Delta Biscuit Co. He sits across from his wife, Jessica Lewellyan, the restaurant’s executive chef. Golden copper curls are braided away from her face, and she sports a black chef coat. All around, servers are shuffling among tables, taking orders, and refilling cups with water. The lunch rush has dwindled, allowing the details of the space to come alive. Across from our seating, the company’s logo is mounted on an exposed sand-toned stone wall, a wavy-edged circle with the company’s catchy tagline–Life. Love. Biscuits. While simple, each word’s promise indicates the kind of food and service this eatery is dishing out daily. ARTICLE BY VANELIS RIVERA AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELLY MOORE CLARK

I’ve always felt like my life would not be complete if I couldn’t do this for me,” asserts Glen, adding, “And I knew that having her on my team, not only as my wife and co-worker, partner in crime, there was never going to be a better time than now.”


len hails from Minden, Louisiana, and has been in the restaurant business for over thirty years. He got a job at sixteen washing dishes and worked his way up to regional director of that company. He worked for Chili’s Grill & Bar for ten years and other corporate restaurants after that for ten more, learning the ropes of the business. His culinary experiences also include working with Paula Dean and Al Copeland. As for brunch, his unwavering enthusiasm has roots in his travels to New Orleans. One particular meal in Mandeville, Louisiana stuck with him. The experience made him realize that if he was ever going to open a restaurant it would be fashioned with the feeling he was left with after the meal. He moved back to Monroe from Dallas around 2018 looking for a place to lease, but couldn’t quite get one on the level he wanted. “So, I just kind of put it on hold until the time was right to find a better property and better business partners,” he says. Meanwhile, he joined Restaurant Cotton as Director of Operations. There, he met his future wife Jessica, who at the time had worked her way up to Kitchen Manager. Her spunky wit and creativity in the kitchen sparked a connection, one that would lead to a double commitment–wife and business partner. In September of 2021, the pair began having business meetings with Joe Holyfield concerning an available property. “And he asked me if I’d go on the ride with him,” says Jessica referring to the possibility of opening up a predominantly breakfast-oriented eatery. Having grown up cooking and eating much of what Glen had in mind for the menu, she felt emboldened to take a chance. “My grandma taught me how

to make everything from scratch, so that’s where my inspiration came from,” she says. Additionally, she was drawn to the idea of having more freedom in the kitchen. As a creative person, she craved a space that would allow her to construct her own dishes and tinker with ideas. “We spent a lot of time, a lot of years building other people’s dreams,” Glen adds. They both credit those years with refining their individual skillset, all the while acknowledging that they were ready to become their own bosses. “I’ve always felt like my life would not be complete if I couldn’t do this for me,” asserts Glen, adding, “And I knew that having her on my team, not only as my wife and co-worker, partner in crime, there was never going to be a better time than now.” The alignment of the stars was too clear to ignore in spite of the pandemic making the process a lot more tedious. To ease the process and help them narrow down their multifaceted ideas, they hired New York-based Emily Ackerman, owner of Salt Shaker Consulting. One of the first endeavors for the team was narrowing down the menu. Their first draft filled six pages and they needed to get it down to one page. Ackerman had them cook meals for four days a week just for tasting. A second step to refining the menu required the pair to consider dish execution, making sure dishes could be made and served on time. They had to consider what prep stations would be involved in the making of one dish and how they could work together to assist in expediting an order in a timely fashion. “There’s just a lot of pieces to that puzzle,” says Jessica, admitting that there has been a lot of trial and error, but also a lot of quick learning. Glen agrees, saying, “It truly is a creation from every aspect.” The Delta Biscuit Co. breakfast menu is a haven for breakfast aficionados everywhere. While you’ll find familiar items like beignets, avocado toast, omelets, eggs benedict, french toast, pancakes, and waffles, ingredients and preparation are inspired by the Delta. That means each dish feels like a home-cooked meal with a flare of elegance. Jessica has two favorite menu items, one sweet and the other savory. “French toast alone is really good,” she says, but the Bananas Fosters French Toast on the Breakfast Menu is “pure decadence on a plate,” as Glen puts it. Here, Texas toast is used, topped with housemade bananas foster syrup, cinnamon butter, and powdered sugar. On the lunch menu, her recent obsession is the Pork Belly Sandwich. “It’s a lot of love and care,” says Jessica, who prepares the pork belly to marinate overnight and cooks it for six hours the next day. Made to order, each slice gets deep-fried, tossed in a homemade sweet chili sauce, placed on a brioche bun, and topped with crunchy coleslaw, the Delta sauce, housemade dill pickles, and haystack onion rings. Other lunch menu favorites include more delectable versions of southern staples like Shrimp & Gouda Grits, Country Fried Steak, and the Fried Chicken Platter, which is cooked to order. WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | AUGUST 2022 23


hen asked by his team what he wanted his restaurant to look like, Glen responded, “I want it to look like a beautiful home.” That translated to comforting color palettes like the azure blue on accent walls and on the shelving behind the bar area. The simplicity of the space makes room for the vibrancy of the multicolored artwork by Todd Pavlisko. “It’s a perfect marriage between pop art and folk art,” says Jessica. The largest piece hangs from one of the exposed stone walls– two herons lazing around in the water. If you look closely at any of the prints, you’ll find a few Easter eggs such as biscuits, fresh vegetables, and even musical references. “Every element of the design of this building and of the venue is based on the Delta,” says Glen. Even their music playlist contains artists influenced by sounds within 200 miles of Northeast Louisiana. Further adding texture to the welcoming interior are some design touches by Tish Miller Design. On the floor, hexagonal black, white, gray, and beige tiles create a honeycomb pattern that flushes into the wood floor palettes. Meanwhile, the bar counter’s geometric backsplash adds to the luxury of the space, illuminated by the milky white translucent light pendants hanging overhead. Whether you are eating, sipping on one of their picturesque specialty cocktails, or both, elements of design permeate every corner of the dine-in experience.

Bananas Foster French Toast Texas toast topped with housemade bananas foster syrup, cinnamon butter, and powdered sugar.

Since the Delta Biscuit Co. opened its doors on March 22nd of this year, they have been met with a flood of support. It’s clear to customers just how much work has been poured into curating a restaurant that strives to feel like home. For the husband and wife team, that’s precisely what it is. “I love working with my family,” admits Jessica, who grew up selling produce with her family at an early age. “That’s what I envisioned for my life,” she continues, emphasizing that nobody has your back quite like family. The couple recognizes how well their strengths complement each other. Glen credits his wife for her confidence, swagger, and energy, while she calls him an architect who brings order and precision to her artistry. The dynamic between the two sets the foundation of the restaurant which permeates to their staff and their customers, proving that happiness is as simple as living, loving, and eating biscuits. The Delta Biscuit Company is located at 2252 Tower Dr suite 101, Monroe, LA 71201 and is open Tuesday through Sunday between 7 AM to 3 Pm. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook to gush over their dish and drink items or visit their website ( 26 AUGUST 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM




“Half Outlaw” by Alex Temblador

“I settled back into a rhythm that I had long forgotten. I used the long stretches of time to watch the Lawless write their story on the Highway. Their tires drew endless ribbons of black lines across the road, telling a story that would never be read or understood. Motorcycle clubs like the Lawless were chapters left out of books.”


lex Temblador’s adult novel explores the challenges of identity, familial connection, and abandonment. Upon the death of her parents, four-yearold Raqi is left with her Uncle Dodge, a stranger ill suited for guardianship. Immersed into Dodge’s all white, maledominated motorcycle gang called the Lawless, the Mixed child navigates a world of crime, drugs, violence, and bigotry. Ten years after abandoning the group and becoming a successful attorney, Raqi is summoned to a Grieving Ride to commemorate her uncle’s passing. Hesitant to return, though lured by learning her real grandfather’s name after a lifetime of estrangement, Raqi joins the Lawless on a cross-country quest, reflecting on her past to make peace with her present. The story is told in tandem, with chapters alternating between Raqi’s childhood with the Lawless and the Grieving Ride to scatter Dodge’s ashes. Along the way, Raqi encounters fragments of Dodge’s past, characters portraying a seemingly reformed version of the uncle who loved better from a distance.

Raqi wrestles with the man she remembers, the girl she left behind, and the woman carrying the weight at breakneck speed on the back of a hog. Raqi oozes toughness like a job, consistently shedding a protective second skin. She mourns her uncle with an amalgam of attachment and hate, illustrating the complexity of childhood trauma and desire for healing. Temblador’s strength lies in articulating a riveting plot, while delving into the gritty texture of story and character. Raqi feels real, aware of her flaws, yet reticent to confront the duality of resenting her past and accepting its manifestation. Temblador layers in subtle magical realism, a nod to the spirit world where we search for answers unmarred by reality. The novel’s fundamental theme of Mixed heritage, residing in one culture while the product of another, is embodied in the story’s flirtation with the real and the unreal. Temblador dares readers to question if where we come from determines who we are, and who we are when our origin story seems lost. Half Outlaw is Alex Temblador’s second book. Her young adult novel Secrets of the Casa Rosada debuted in 2018, winning several awards. She graduated from the University of Louisiana Monroe and The University of Central Oklahoma and now lives and writes in Dallas, Texas. “Sometimes they loved me too much. They never gave up on trying to win me back even when they weren’t sure they wanted me in the first place.” “The ethereal cloud of smoke moved around his head. It was churning, transforming into the scene that played out below. And I stood there among it all. Watching. Witnessing.”



LDCC Honors Employees Recognition of Outstanding Staff, Faculty, and Retiree BY DARIAN ATKINS


A C H Y E A R , L O U I S I A N A D E LT A C O M M U N I T Y College honors three employees and one retiree for performance excellence. They must have contributions that exceed their expected job requirement, and a fellow employee must nominate them. Peer recognition is part of what makes this honor so special. These honorees are also acknowledged at the Louisiana Community and Technical College System’s annual conference each year in the fall. 2022’s outstanding honorees are as follows: outstanding faculty: Rock Frost, outstanding Support Staff: Emily Cooper, outstanding Professional Staff: Stacy Lynch, and outstanding Retiree: Dorothy Davis. Rock Frost teaches students in Diesel Powered Equipment Technology. He has been teaching since July 2017. In 40 years of experience, he has acquired numerous certifications and achievements. “Rock Frost is a superstar,” asserts Nathan Hall, West Monroe Campus director. “He created an advisory committee that shows up each time, and they brag about how good he is doing.” Rock’s classes and graduation classes have gotten larger with each semester. Nathan shares the secret to Rock’s success, “Rock puts his students to work!” Rock is also a master recruiter. When a tour group comes in, Rock tries to convince them how much they will like Diesel Technology. He loves what he does, and it pours over into the students. He doesn’t just teach them; he invests in them,” shares Nathan. “Rock also invests in himself to better support his students. says Nathan, “He has over 100 certifications that he has picked up on his own. When an industry partner tells about their brand-specific certification, Rock will be working on it within the week so he can offer it to his students. He is excellent.” Rock was a recipient of the League of Innovation Excellence Award, recognizing his commitment to excellence in teaching and leadership. As he continues his teaching journey, he hopes to make a difference for many years. Rock loves spending time with his family and enjoys fishing and hunting in his spare time. Emily Cooper has served as the Media Specialist for Louisiana Delta Community College for almost five years. She manages the college’s social platforms, digital advertising, and website. Emily is also the resident photographer. An invaluable asset to the college, Emily assists in event planning and coordination, generally wherever needed. Darian Atkins serves as Cooper’s supervisor and shares, “Emily is a great listener and extremely wise. This trait has served her well. Whenever she’s engaged in an official or unofficial capacity, she gives


herself completely. She listens to help solve problems, improve systems, and support her colleagues. If Emily can help, she doesn’t have to be asked; she volunteers.” In 2012, Cooper graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Louisiana - Monroe, where she is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Communications. Emily is a servant leader and is passionate about community involvement. “She embraces everyone across all departments and makes time for anyone who needs it,” says Atkins. At the college, she serves on committees such as Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and the Foundation. She is also a member of the Monroe Chamber’s Young Professionals and the Junior League of Monroe. Cooper enjoys playing tennis, photography, spending time with family, and traveling the world in her spare time. Stacy Lynch serves as the Director of Institutional Research. In her role, she focuses on communicating accurate, relevant data for decisionmaking at all levels and manages evidence collection for institutional and programmatic improvement and accreditation. Lynch reports to Dr. Wendi Tostenson, who said, “Her work and research for LDCC’s 5thyear review was pivotal in the report’s success. She was instrumental in collecting data, reviewing documents, and creating a chronological timeline for the reviewers. Without her efforts, our 5th-year review would not have happened seamlessly. Even though her role with the 5th year review was critical, Stacy’s daily work exemplifies professionalism and innovation.” Stacy is beloved by co-workers, and there’s a good reason for that. “Stacy is great at her job! She is also one of the first people willing to volunteer when someone needs help, even if it’s not her job,” adds Emily Cooper, who nominated Stacy for this honor. Stacy Lynch is a native of West Monroe, Louisiana. She is an Air Force Veteran with over 20 years of experience in education and training management, information technology, K-12 Education, Adult Education, compliance, and records management. She is a life-long learner who continuously seeks opportunities for personal and institutional improvements. Stacy holds two Associate of Applied Science degrees from the Community College of the Air Force and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Millsaps College. She graduated with a Master of Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. Congratulations to 2022’s outstanding honorees!



“Taste: My Life Through Food” by Stanley Tucci

“Perhaps the most precious heirlooms are family recipes. Like a physical heirloom, they remind us from whom and where we came and give others, in a bite, the story of another people from another place and another time. Recipes are a part of our history that can be re-created over and over again. The only way they can be lost is if we choose to lose them.”


n the spring of 2021, Stanley Tucci’s show Searching for Italy presented a welcome reprieve from the long year of Covid lockdowns and general uncertainty. In the show, Tucci traveled throughout Italy, visiting restaurants and home kitchens, sampling old Italian recipes and modern fused dishes popular along the country’s majestic landscape. The most compelling element was simply Tucci’s love affair with food, its preparation, and the relationships enriched around the dinner table. In Taste, Tucci centers this food obsession, exploring his own family history in relation to cuisine and a personal cancer battle that compromised his appreciation for food. In Taste, Tucci chronicles his upbringing in New York, where his mother and father worked outside the home and traded kitchen duties. His mother dominated the space, preparing intricate dishes of Italian fare, making the most of affordable ingredients. Tucci blends household memories with family recipes, focusing on his parents’ dedication to

the art of cooking. The author’s wit and humor radiate throughout the elaborate descriptions of the food’s preparation and consumption. Tucci understood the power of food as an integral building block of his family dynamic. Tucci describes his life as a working actor, a filmography which includes hits like Big Night, Julie and Julia, and The Devil Wears Prada. Having formed a close relationship with Meryl Streep, his co-star on the latter films, Tucci shares stories of their culinary escapades off set. A particularly humorous story features the twosome ordering andouillette at a bistro in Normandy. Like his show, Tucci’s book features some social commentary, particularly his gratitude for chefs and small restaurants he fell in love with during his treks across the globe. He admittedly judges a place by its cuisine and how much its people value mealtimes. In the final chapters, Tucci details his battle with oral cancer, which required a feeding tube and resulted in an aversion to most food smells. After intense radiation and chemotherapy, Tucci slowly regained his ability to swallow and acutely focused on the pleasure of tasting. His intense affection for the fifth sense saturates each story and shared recipe, making this book essential reading for fellow foodies and memoir enthusiasts. “When my parents are no longer alive, I will always be able to put their teachings and all the love they gave me into a bowl and present it to someone who sadly will never have had the good fortune of knowing them. But by eating that food, they will come to know them, if even just a little.”




Alumni Spotlight ULM Alumna: Jenifer Johnson


GRADUATE OF NEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL, JENIFER Johnson enrolled at ULM after a brief stint at another institution. She longed for the familiarity of a learning environment where she felt seen. Though her parents encouraged Jenifer to take off, immerse herself somewhere else, she longed for the comforts of home. ULM’s smaller classes offered the chance to make personal connections amidst a genuine college experience. Jenifer originally majored in nursing because she wanted to help people. After a few classes, she realized the medical setting didn’t suit her personality, and she switched her major to social work. She could still help people, but in a different way more suited to her skill set and interests. Jenifer dove into her psychology and child abuse classes, invigorated by the content and encouraged by class discussions. Unafraid to contribute, Jenifer spoke up, asked questions, and made the most of what the social work curriculum had to offer. Throughout her tenure at ULM, Jenifer worked at a local real estate company inputting listings. Jenifer matured while balancing work and school and entered the workforce post-graduation with confidence. She had interned with a drug and alcohol abuse clinic and loved interacting with the people. She felt she was making a difference. After transferring to a mental health facility in Baton Rouge, Jenifer encountered a massive caseload and quickly experienced burnout. The scope of her ability to help was limited. Jenifer returned to Monroe and her dad suggested opening a restaurant. One of Jenifer’s dreams had always been to attend culinary school. Demetra, her paternal grandmother, prepared Greek dishes, a nod to the familial heritage. Yai Yai, as Jenifer called her, shared cooking secrets such as using rosewater to bake bread and clarified butter exclusively. Yai Yai’s backyard buttressed Jenifer’s childhood home, and she spent many hours in Yai Yai’s kitchen. Verdalia also worked for the family, and Jenifer fell in love with soul food. She found the creation of food appealing and often got lost in the process. After a hard day, the kitchen didn’t seem like another job, but rather an escape, another outlet for her brain. In 1995, Jenifer joined her brother Jay Johnson and opened Trio’s, a local gem adjacent to the convenience store on Forsythe Avenue. The Greek side of the Johnson family always ran restaurants, so the setting again felt familiar. At 24, Jenifer found a place where she thrived. The 34 AUGUST 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

busyness of the restaurant calmed her; she adapted well to stressful situations. When tables were full, and the kitchen was backed up, Jenifer excelled. She knew stressful situations intimately, and in this one, she knew she could contribute. And while the restaurant business seems a far departure from social work, Jenifer found the ULM education invaluable. In working with the community, Jenifer learned to interact with people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives. She could communicate with a staff, even in the lack of a shared history. Her people skills translated into being a good leader. She claims, “I may not be a social worker by trade, but I still am.” Trio’s got its moniker from Jay’s three kids. Jenifer worked days and nights and she could get lost in a kitchen and serve her community. She carried on the family tradition alongside her family and found a calling in the process. Trio’s has remained a beloved Monroe staple for the last 27 years. In 2020, Jenifer opened a second location in Ruston. Jenifer has three adult sons: Michael Walker, Lleyton Walker, and Ely Walker. She is engaged to Brian Woodard and a proud member of the Monroe community that raised her. As a business owner, Jenifer appreciates ULM’s economic impact. Enamored with the campus facelift, Jenifer loves seeing the students ULM brings to the community, adding flavor to the regional culture and spice to the southern attitude. Like ULM’s mission of community engagement, Jenifer encourages local citizens to invest in local businesses, including the local university. The local schools, events, artists, etc, are all part of the fabric of this area, and it is imperative that we promote, encourage, and support development at home. ULM is committed to this mission, and local business owners are encouraged by the institution’s trajectory. The ULM Alumni Association reaches, connects and celebrates alumni and friends to build lifelong relationships, and commit to the university’s missions of academic freedom, scholarship, diversity, excellence, integrity and service. We represent alumni who honor the traditions of our university and who share a sense of achievement and pride. We create a network of professionals, establish scholarships and advocate for our University through community engagement. Members of the Alumni Association support countless initiatives, and annual memberships are just $35. To learn more or to become a member, please visit our new alumni network at



behavior, etc. by reading to I REMEMBER that, as a us from books that stirred my youngster, thoughts of returning imagination. She introduced me to school after a summer of to great writers and developed in “freedom” from the disciplines of me a love for reading that persists learning were not very welcome. even to this day. In the process, Of course, there was some she helped develop in me a desire excitement in contemplating for learning and, at the same time, seeing classmates again, but such took away my previous dread of excitement did not completely having to go to school! She made dispel the dread of the struggle learning interesting by being of re-entering the arena where interested in her students. I can the battle to learn “reading, only imagine how different my writing, and arithmetic” took attitude toward “school” would place. The closer the opening day have been if she had taught me in of school approached, the clearer the first grade! it appeared that the summer was A POSITIVE, HOPEFUL OUTLOOK IS MORE Well, a look at the calendar just too short! But alas, there LIKELY TO “FIND” SUCH A TEACHER THAN reveals that another school year was no way available to us kids is on the horizon. I suspect that by which we could extend our A “WOE-IS-ME” OUTLOOK. there are a lot of youngsters who reprieve from the classroom. So would like to extend summer the only option was for us to and postpone the going back to dismiss thoughts of the joys of school. However, nothing short of another encounter with Covid summer and focus as best we could on the benefits of education. could possibly delay the inevitable return to the classroom. That In my experience, there was one exception to the annual pall event is almost as certain as the infamous couplet of “death and that accompanied our return to school at the close of each summer. taxes.” This took place the summer that ended with my entering the Since the resumption of one’s education is unavoidable, are eighth grade. By that time, I had matured a little, and perhaps there any things that a student can do to lessen the “pain?” that was partially responsible for the decline in my resistance to Possibly. One could hope for a teacher resembling the one I being “educated.” As much as I might like to assign credit for my was fortunate to have as my eighth grade instructor – a teacher who more favorable approach to the return of school to my maturation, would make the learning lab both memorable and enjoyable. This the primary reason for the change in me was due to something is more likely to happen if the student returns to his/her task with altogether different. I was more ready to resume my learning the intent of putting forth his best effort to be the type of student because of the lady who would be my teacher that year. Let me who would approximate the teacher’s concept of the kind of person explain. her students should be. A positive, hopeful outlook is more likely My eighth grade teacher was to be the one who had taught to “find” such a teacher than a “woe-is-me” outlook. If students us in the sixth grade. The prospect of having her as my instructor would develop such an attitude, I suspect that your teachers (who, provided some hope that my year in the eighth grade would not incidentally, probably share your opinion that summer is over be so bad after all! The basis of that hope lay in my experience of a much too quickly), would return to their tasks more cheerfully. couple of years earlier. In addition to being a very able instructor So, young folks and teachers alike, hold your heads up & stride in our regular course work, this woman introduced us to some purposefully and hopefully into the new learning adventure. And, of the finest literature in the English language. Each day, she have your best year ever! would reward us for perfect attendance, good grades, appropriate

ar t i c le b y PAUL L I PE o p in io n e x p re s s e d is t h a t o f t h e w r it e r




he dog days of summer are now upon us. Not only are the daytime temperatures at their highest point of the year, but the water temperatures are also. A lot of the deep-water fish that were in so much abundance at the beginning of summer, now ghost the anglers using their hightech electronics in search of their whereabouts. Which begs the question, “Where did the bass go?” This late summer bass movement is due to the thermocline. Once the water temperatures climb to a certain point, when it comes to lakes, the warm layer of water being heated by the sun sits on top of a much cooler and denser layer underneath it, and they are both separated by the thermocline. The much cooler water holds less oxygen causing the bass to move from their initial summer deep stages. When these summer bass move, they do one of two things: they either suspend just above the thermocline or they move to extremely shallow water. In both cases the bass movements have more to do with oxygen content in the water than it does the availability of a food source. The food source will be wherever they decide to set up due to the same reason the bass are moving, better oxygen content. So now that we have determined the movements and whereabout of the bass, how do we go about catching them? First let’s look at the fish that suspend. By suspending, I am referring to fish that will move into areas and not relate to the available cover. The bass will suspend over humps, inside of timber lines, deeper grass lines and even in the middle of a creek channel. These fish almost relate more to the available schools of bait than they do the cover that may be on these structure areas. The suspending aspect of the bass behavior is what makes them so difficult to catch. I am not

saying they can’t be caught; I am just pointing out the difficulty in getting them to bite. Suspended fish are in a neutral mood and usually stay that way unless there is a dramatic barometric change, which might trigger them into feeding. Fish that relate to cover or to structure breaks are

lure and be accurate with your cast. I believe casting accuracy to be the most important aspect of the two. You want your lure to land within a few feet of where the fish are hitting the surface. Those fish are the most active and will not take the time to really inspect what the lure presentation is. A

Fishing With Kenny FISHING THE LATE SUMMER THERMOCLINE article by K E NNY COVI NGTON generally at some point, active in their feeding habits, making them easier to catch. Suspended bass that relate to schools of baitfish can usually be seen on your electronics sitting just below the schools. As the shad migrate the bass will move along underneath them and feed on the lower side of the school. This feeding behavior is one of the main reasons they are so hard to catch. When these bass corral the shad and feed on the surface, they become a bit easier to fish for since you can determine their location. The key to catching bass that have shown themselves is two pronged: you must have the right


cast that is a few feet off target gives the fish time to inspect and determine if it is worth chasing or not. Often these offerings are ignored. When it comes to lure selection, I want a lure I can cast a long way and is something that resembles a shad. My personal choices are a Spook, a Rat L Trap, an In-line Mepps spinner, and a small spinnerbait with double willow-leaf blades. All these lures should be worked extremely fast and once they are out of the strike zone, quickly retrieved to make additional casts. The second movement of bass from the thermocline will be to extremely shallow water. I

have caught bass in 90+ degree water in depths less than a foot. I have found these fish to be easier to locate as well as catch in the months of August and September strictly because of their locations. Remember, water temperature isn’t the priority, the abundance of oxygen in these shallow areas, which naturally brings with it an abundance of forage, is. Once you start seeing large schools of shad dimple the surface, this is a good sign the better water quality is in the shallower depths. Bass are opportunistic feeders and by moving shallow, their lives get much easier. They don’t have to work as hard to survive. If your lake has shallow grass or flats with grass patches, these areas are bass magnets. Wind blown areas are always good as the wind will stir up the water, increasing the oxygen levels. Rip rap or rocky banks with wind blowing on them are also great areas to look for actively feeding bass. My lure choices are basic this time of year when fishing shallow water but the one thing I have noticed over the years is that I do better on smaller lures. My standard lure choices are a Pop-R, a small 1/8th ounce Stanley Spinnerbait, a shad colored 1.0 squarebill crankbait, a ¼ ounce chrome/blue Rat L Trap and a red wobblehead with a six-inch natural colored worm. These smaller lures are great at catching numbers of bass but will also catch the larger fish as well. Fishing the thermocline can be tricky but if you will keep an open mind and have a bit of patience, you might be rewarded with some good late summer fishing trips. As always this time of year, be careful on the water as more and more people will be out trying to enjoy the end of summer. The heat can be extreme this time of year so make sure you stay hydrated, use sunscreen and don’t forget to catch one for me! See you next month!

Fresh Beginnings Upcoming Specials at The Medical Spa


AC K -TO - S C H O O L S E A S O N C A N B E S T R E S S F U L . Whether you are a student heading back or a parent rushing to get kids prepared for the upcoming year, The Medical Spa thinks you deserve some pampering. The staff want to help you feel fresh for a fresh start this school year. The Medical Spa will have a week full of back-to-school specials August 8th – August 12th. • Obagi Nu-Derm Kits 25% off • SkinCeuticals Corrective Products 20% off • Gift Cards – Purchase $100 for $75 (limit 4) • Teachers Receive 25% Off Treatments If you have spent time this summer outdoors in the sun, your skin may require some attention and repair. Whether it is sunspots, fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, or other common skin conditions, there are several ways you can improve your skin care routine and enjoy a more radiant complexion. The NuDerm System is designed to correct hyperpigmentation (dark spots), melasma, and transform aging skin. The system contains prescription strength 4% hydroquinone. Hydroquinone acts by inhibiting melanin production. By controlling this production, the skin becomes more evenly toned over time. This multi-step system is easy to use and available as normal-dry or normal-oily, depending on your specific skin care needs. These kits will be 25% off during our back-to-school week! If you are not wanting to purchase an entire system, then Discoloration Defense by SkinCeuticals is another great product for pigmentation concerns. Discoloration Defense is a daily-wear serum proven to help reduce the appearance of discoloration, improve skin brightness, and minimize further discoloration! The serum contains tranexamic acid, kojic acid, and niacinamide, all working together to help even your skin tone. We suggest pairing this product with a Vitamin C serum and SPF. During the entire month of August, we will do weekly giveaways via The Medical Spa’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Be sure to follow and participate for the chance to win product giveaways and VIP pricing on treatments.


NEW GENEO GLAM The OxyGeneo Facial is a favorite treatment here at The Medical Spa. This non-invasive facial gives our patients that instant glow everyone loves. The Geneo Facial works on the inside and outside of the skin to promote natural skin oxygenation and provide solutions for all skincare concerns. Give your skin a fresh start with the NEW Geneo Glam, containing pure gold flakes, copper, and silk amino acids. This facial improves elasticity, texture, and firmness, while reinforcing the skin barrier, moisturizing, and softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Check out the Geneo Glam facial this month and active firmer more glamorous skin! Be sure to come by The Medical Spa this month to take advantage of our specials, events, and to find out more about the medical grade skincare products offered here! We are in the James R. Wolff Building (also known as the P&S Building) in downtown Monroe. Our address is 312 Grammont Street Suite 406, across from St. Francis Medical Center. Also, be certain to follow The Medical Spa by St. Francis Medical Group on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on our weekly specials, sales, promotions, and giveaways.

Model 10/18 Publishes Calendar Girls Modeling Club Releases Calendar and Hosts Back-to-School Fashion Show



HIS MONTH, MODEL 10/18 WILL PUBLISH THE first tri-district school calendar. The 12-month calendar will include important activity and academic dates for all three local school districts including Monroe City Schools, Ouachita Parish Schools, and Morehouse Parish Schools. There are many residents in the region who have ties to all three parishes as students attend school in one parish system while the parent is an employee in another district. Often, the school districts will plan their year schedule that coincides with the other districts. Spring break, Thanksgiving, Fall break, Christmas and many professional development days are usually held on the same dates in all three districts. Some may have a few varying dates, but mostly, the calendars are the same. So, those who purchase and use the calendar will see similarities between the three districts. The calendar will feature Miss Model 10/18 on the cover. Miss Model 10/18 2022-23 is Mikayla Ashley, a junior at Ouachita Parish High School. In May, the program hosted a pageant at the Monroe Civic Center. The top girls who placed in the pageant became the calendar month winners. Girls featured in the 2022-23 calendar include: Miss August 2022 Mikayla Ashley (Ouachita Parish High School), Miss September 2022 Destiny Claiborne (Ouachita Parish High School), Miss October 2022 Hailey Payne (Ouachita Parish High School), Miss November 2022 Trinitee Hollingsworth (Wossman High School), Miss December 2022 Bailey Morrison (Neville High School), Miss January 2023 Johnna Willis (Wossman High School), Miss February 2023 Ma’Lunda Cooper (Carroll High School), Miss March 2023 Charlasia Harris (Martin Luther King Jr. High) Miss April 2023 Jailah Collie (Ouachita Parish High School), Miss May 2023 Charmaine Chisley (Ouachita Parish High School), Miss June 2023 Aerianna Williams (Bastrop High School), and Miss July 2023 Ja’Kiyah Daggs (Wossman High School). Also featured in the calendar is former Model 10/18 Captain Symiah Joseph who will be crowned as Miss Wossman High School in October 2022. Each month of the calendar, the girls featured are displayed in a school-day outfit and a theme outfit for the month. Local businesses are featured on the pages in support of the calendar campaign. The


publication hosts the dates of football games, homecoming activities, ACT test dates, holidays as well as academic dates throughout the school year. It is being currently designed and published by the director, Robert Wright, who is the creator, photographer and designer of the student union calendar for Grambling State University and Southern University Shreveport. The Model 10/18 School Calendar has a similar design and flow. Published on beautiful full color calendar paper, the publication will also feature not only the twelve month calendar girls but all of the girls of the program with their social media contact information. There are 65 girls in Model 10/18 and each of them are brand ambassadors for not only the program, but for themselves and their scholastic and extracurricular accomplishments. Many of the girls are in dance, cheer, volleyball, basketball, honor society, debutante clinics, are working, and the majority of them are honor roll students. Some, while maintaining a full life schedule, manage to keep a 4.0 GPA. The calendar is as much a salute to them and their academic accomplishments as it is to the school calendar for which they model. The calendar will be released during the first week of August. The girls will host a calendar signing event during their Back-toSchool Fashion Show, which will take place on Saturday, September 10th at 7:00 PM at the B.D. Robinson Conference Hall at the Monroe Civic Center. The show will feature teen fashions for school-day, homecoming dance, Friday Night game wardrobe, and a Rip-theUniform set. There will be special performances by Carolyn’s Dance Land. The fashion show is being coordinated by Tyra George. Local vendors will be on site to sell and market their products to the hundreds of teens expected to be in attendance for the fashion sendoff to students as they return to their respective campuses. Twelve girls of Model 10/18 are graduating seniors this year and they will receive a special salute during the show. Door prizes will be given throughout the show and the girls will be given an opportunity to take the stage and walk the runway in front of their peers. Tickets to the event can be purchased from one of the girls in Model 10/18 or on the website at Call

for His temple family foods melt-in-your-mouth herbed pork roast is paired with a delicious blend of organic herbed summer squash.

Thurman’s Food Factory - Louisiana Gulf shrimp is the star of this multi-layered dish. Fresh cheese-filled tortellini are tossed with tomatoes, olives, red onions and pickles.

Genusa’s - this delicious blend of kosher salt, fresh basil, mint, thyme and rosemary is great for seasoning grilled meats and on fresh vegetables.

Chicken Salad Chick - fresh basil and lemon combine pecans to create Chicken Salad Chick’s brightest flavor, Lauryn’s Lemon Basil.

Butter Bakery step in to Butter Bakery for a great selection of homemade baked goods including this mouthwatering fresh Rosemary Focaccia bread.


A NEW YEAR, A NEW SCHOOL Historical Impressions

b y G u y M i l l e r, V i c e C h a i r E m e r i t u s , C h e n n a u l t Av i a t i o n a n d M i l i t a r y M u s e u m


n late August many high school graduates head off to college, excited to begin the experience of living “on their own.” Those men and women a year or two older may have already settled into college life and are anticipating getting back together with returning classmates and continuing to refine plans and preparation for a post-college career. The anticipations and expectations of August 2022 are not what was always experienced by those preparing for the new school year. In 1942, college and pre-college school life became very different after America had been unexpectedly drawn into World War II. The prevalent educational focus can be discerned in a speech given by James Conant, then President of Harvard University, when on December 8, 1941 he told faculty and students “The United States is now at war.... We are here tonight to testify that each one of us stands ready to do his part in insuring that a speedy and complete victory is ours. To this end I pledge all the resources of Harvard University.” Between the draft and volunteerism a large percentage of college-age men were quickly absorbed into military service. Women of the same age found themselves needed to fulfill roles at home or in the work force to replace the absent men. Adding to the shortage of prospective college students was a drop in high school enrollments, which decreased from 6.7 million in 1941 to 5.5 million in 1944. Although the number of civilian college students declined they were somewhat replaced by soldiers and sailors sent to quickly receive types of knowledge the military needed but was not yet equipped to provide on a mass scale. Wartime education therefore began to differ greatly from that offered in peacetime. Harvard Provost Paul Buck made the new educational focus very clear when he told incoming freshmen “Obviously your first responsibility is to prepare yourself for


usefulness in the war effort. . . . We firmly believe that every physically qualified man of college age should be trained for the Armed Services unless specifically assigned to other work by an appropriate federal agency.” If a man wanted some college education his best chance was to cram in whatever he could get before he turned 18 and became subject to the draft. Obtaining a military academy appointment or an ROTC scholarship, or joining an ROTC, would not offer more time for college studies. Academy and ROTC students were allowed no more than two years of study before given a degree, being commissioned and sent off to wartime duties. This twoyear course of study was made somewhat more possible by eliminating school breaks and summer vacation and fitting in a third semester for each school year. Undergraduates who had never experienced the pre-war college life had no reason to think military-style food on metal trays and bunk beds were anything unusual. Neither were uniforms on campus unusual because they were seen everywhere you looked. Much of the wartime faculty was older because professors came out of retirement to replace younger educators who were called to war or war-related positions outside of the campus environment. For the most part, the expected core college classes were still being taught but many liberal arts courses were dropped from course catalogs. Military enrollment included academic testing and many enlistees had failed examination. As a result military officers strongly criticized the pre-war progressive education movement and the lack of a formalized curriculum focusing on subjects beneficial to national defense. Accordingly specific fields of “appropriate” study were now stressed in college. These fields included science,

engineering and Japanese, Chinese, and Russian foreign language study. There was also an increased focus on geography and European and Asian cultures. Heretofore Americans in general knew little of foreign nations and foreign peoples but now they were required to learn about places and people they never knew existed. Students also studied current events to learn about what was happening in the larger world. Class lab work was no longer generally available because many college labs had become top secret war research centers. Colleges, like elementary, middle and high schools, also taught teachers and students what to do in case of an enemy attack. The American economy leading up to the war had not been good and now much of the government budget reserved for schools was redirected to support the Allied war effort. With funding drying up, colleges and schools had less money available for new educational materials or infrastructure improvements and repairs. In the worst cases, there were not enough desks and chairs for all students so some stood or sat on the floor. Colleges still needed to allow some recreational activities so students had chances to relax and feel “normal.” Weekend dances or socials were often available at schools and local USOs. Every Saturday, a seat in the local movie theater and a bag of popcorn could be had for a Mercury-head dime and a buffalo nickel wherein news reels, shorts and feature films could provide four hours of entertainment. When the war ended and veterans returned to resume civilian lives, the government instituted assistance efforts for those whose education had been stopped as a result of military service. The funding provided by the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, also known as the G.I. Bill, helped return colleges and college life to normal civilian standards.


Miro’s Chopped Romaine, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, bell pepper, and feta crumbles are topped with perfectly grilled salmon and lemon basil dressing.

Aron’s Grill Looking for the best burger around? This classic grilled hamburger is loaded with onions, tomato, pickles and lettuce.

Clawdaddy’s A dozen oysters topped with homemade Rockefeller sauce that is creamy, stringy white cheese mixed with spinach, garlic, onions and bacon topped with crunchy Panko bread crumbs.


Newk’s Eatery A Grab & Go one pound Tenderloin Steak paired with crisp snow peas, diced yellow and red bell peppers, shredded carrots, and red onion pasta salad.

Kewl-Aid Pickles Elevate your grilling game with these three delicious flavors of Kewl-Aid pickles: green apple, black cherry and strawberry.

Trio’s Dining Shrimp Salad with chopped pecans, beets, sliced red onions, and strawberries topped with a balsamic glaze.






WINE NOT Savannah and Michael Ray knew the value of wine even before they thought about producing it, and their wish to make it, to share it, and bring that joy to other people near and dear to them shows their spirit of loving life and signifies embracing the essence of giving.

Edward Gibbon wrote that “the winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.” This quote beautifully and aptly illustrates the blend that luck and ability create to produce triumph. Certainly, while good fortune is wished for and hard work is admirable, when combined, they can result in the discoveries of meaningful purpose and joyful satisfaction. However, attaining even one, never mind both, may feel impossible for many. Sometimes you have to scale the highest mountains, scrambling over shifting rocks and placing yourself in danger, simply for a glimpse of the opportunity for success. Sometimes, that opportunity seemingly flits in the wind, spiraling about like a twisting leaf or a spinning wisp of dandelion, passing in front of our faces so obvious yet often unnoticed. Then

it is gone, lost to that moment passed. This is the fragility of each; one may work hard yet foolishly, wasting energy and time fruitlessly, and be wholly ignorant of that fact, while another may have incredible and rare chances fall into his lap time and again but obliviously lets them slip through his fingers, lacking the vision to see what could be if only he clutched them tightly. Opportunity can be a wonderful gift, and if we get it and we take a chance to see it through, we may reap benefits often only dreamed of. That opportunity may be a job offering far from home where you have no friends or family, but is the once in a lifetime opening you’ll never see again. It may be knocking on the door of someone you just can’t get out of your head to ask, “Would you like to grab a cup of coffee?” Or, as in the case of Michael and Savannah Ray, the proprietors behind the Thirsty Farmer winery, it may be taking a work trip to the West Coast in the heart of California wine country when Fortune plants the seeds of inspiration. Fortunately, for the Rays as well as for wine enthusiasts in Northeast Louisiana, and hopefully beyond, those seeds were scooped up and carried home to be sown. Through hard work, trying times, and smiles and tears alike, Thirsty Farmer stands to reap success and fellowship, friendships and laughter, spirits consumed and lifted. Nearly seven years ago, Savannah Ray, a nurse practitioner who lives in Calhoun with her husband, Michael, and their two children, left for Sonoma, California, partly to attain Continuing Education Units for her work and partly to enjoy a getaway with her husband who agreed to accompany her, even though he initially felt that he may be quite bored during the time there. After WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | AUGUST 2022 53

having traveled along to similar locations, he stated that he was no stranger to seeing the bleak faces of husbands sitting in tasting room corners, saying nothing and staring blankly into glasses of tepid water. A wine lover himself, though, Michael thought the trip would be fun, and he refused to play the role of despondent spouse being dragged about from winery to winery. Not only was the trip fun for the couple, a number of aspects of the experience made an indelible impression, and before they had even made the return journey home, Savannah expressed a desire to plant grapes in order to start making their own wine. Michael jumped on board with the idea, and though they both bubbled over with excitement, they also knew that a tremendous amount of hard work lay in store. Little did they know at that point how much of a demand those little plants would place on their time, energy, and wallets. The original idea for the vineyard and winemaking only focused on being able to produce enough wine for themselves, family, and friends. Prior to pursuing this goal, Michael had some experience with crafting spirits, having made beer utilizing a starter kit. The result was christened the “Snow Day IPA,” and it was a hit with those who gave it a trial run. The process of brewing struck a chord with Michael, so the challenge of making wine was met with welcome arms. The California trip piqued his and Savannah’s interest further, especially when he realized that an enormous amount of the task involved farming. Being able to meet Sonoma farmers and view their acres of grapes, the intricacies of row placement and vertical trellis construction, the fragility of the plants, and the constant care required truly drew him in and cemented his aspiration to help make Savannah’s dream a reality. Knowing local farmers, and having undertaken farming work himself, and recognizing that the hard work and attention to detail required to produce quality crops could be highly rewarding made the vision one worth pursuing. The big question was where to start. 54 AUGUST 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM


s the couple already owned 30 acres in Calhoun, finding the space for the initial planting was not a problem. They first ordered 150 vines of assorted varietals that they and their family members enjoyed, including pinot noir, chardonnay, and Riesling grapes. Although uncertain about the most efficient way to plant the vines, Michael believed the best idea was “to get them in the ground” and pay a great deal of attention to them while also researching grape harvesting, which involves many facets, such as fighting against plant disease and destructive insects as well as irrigation and soil enhancement. Though there were some early growing pains regarding their own crops, they were able to begin dabbling with the actual winemaking process by ordering local fruits and grapes from California. As they learned more about growing grapes in Louisiana, tragedy, unfortunately, occurred, and three years into planting, their crops died. The entirety of their original investment withered away, and the Rays were understandably devastated. Nevertheless, the Rays reflected on the important details of that first crop; they had learned a tremendous amount over the past 1,000 days. Their knowledge about vertical shoot positioning, the life of grapes from seedling to ripe fruit, and the manipulation of soil had multiplied immensely. Leaning on their experience thus far, they decided to push forward and replant. They also thought, “Let’s go bigger.” Go bigger they did. To further bolster the hands-on education they received over the past three years, the couple chose to enroll in the Enology certification program at Grayson College in Denison, Texas, in 2019. Attaining that certification required trips to Texas over several weekends for many months, taking winemaking classes that focused not only on the actual physical or chemistry process but also the business component of producing and selling wine, should

that be something they would pursue later. Just as fortuitous as the California trip had been in sparking the interest of making personal wines, the Grayson experience created a curiosity in the potential for producing wine to sell in a region of Louisiana where only a few wineries exist for a population who love gathering for food, conversation, and drinks. The culture of enjoying family and friends for holidays, celebrations, or for no real reason at all has been and remains an integral part of Louisiana living, and the Rays thought that if they created something special, they may be able to be a part of such get-togethers, helping people assemble and enjoy each other’s company. The entire process of growing grapes and making wine has proven to be a highly delicate and detailed enterprise, as not only do heat, humidity, rain, and soil conditions need to be considered and countered, but there are also the constant threats of vineyard diseases brought about by various insects. Perhaps none is more detrimental to grapevines than Pierce’s disease, a bacterial sickness introduced by a particular insect, one identified by Michael as the glassy-winged sharpshooter. As those bugs are pervasive all over the country, northern Louisiana farmers must remain vigilant regarding their presence. Aware that Pierce’s disease likely caused their first 150 vines to perish, the Rays set out to defend their new crop from the same fate. Luckily, in 2019, a prestigious professor of viticulture and enology at the University of California-Davis, Dr. Andrew Walker, and a team of researchers and geneticists made public that they had developed five varieties of grapes highly resistant to the

TIME FOR A VISIT As of now, so early in its existence, Thirsty Farmer is only open on Saturdays from 12-8, with local bands playing in the middle hours. Soon enough, the hours and days available to partake in the ambience and tastes will expand, but until then, visitors need to make plans to open up their Saturdays and travel over to Calhoun to enjoy a sunny afternoon with the Rays and their family.

threat of the sharpshooter, and in 2020, the strains were released for propagation. Fortunately, over the years the Rays have been growing grapes, they forged friendships with many other driven farmers, many of whom are from California, so they were able to keep up-to-date on such fantastic news. Understanding the value of the improvement of the plants, the Rays immediately ordered the so-called Andy Walker varietals in 2020, and in doing so, they became the first grape-growers in the state to procure and plant the innovative vines. Having such an incredible fruit parentage should increase the future vineyard yields in terms of healthy, vibrant harvests. After enhancing their overall knowledge of the aspects of winemaking and selling, the second iteration of planting involved 300 vines, and the new crop’s grapes were the breeds more resistant to disease. As the plan included doubling the vines, the Rays recognized that expansion was necessary, so they added 10 acres to their farm property in 2019. In addition, the idea of making wines solely for immediate friends and family began to be overtaken by the idea of making wine for anybody. Certainly, undertaking WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | AUGUST 2022 55

such an endeavor requires a great deal of planning and anticipation. Fortunately, Savannah possesses such foresight. Beyond spending the past five years collecting machinery and information, the couple learned that they needed to get ahead to stay ahead of potential issues. Also, Michael pointed out that an enormous amount of their success is directly attributable to Savannah’s research into the operations of others. In particular, she presented questions to winemakers they had met over the years. The common answer to one of her questions turned out to reveal a valuable standard to put into practice. When she asked them what they would do differently between the first couple years of production, the advice was to “prepare for what you want it to be like rather than what it is.” Considering a five-year plan rather than only thinking about next week allowed the Rays to enlarge their vision for what Thirsty Farmer could be for them and for the community. With the scope of what could be widening by the week, the Rays continued to expand their production, which included adding 600 more vines to the property. Utilizing their ripening grapes, they also began truly producing larger and larger quantities of wines, a process requiring more equipment and, perhaps most importantly, more space. With that in mind, and after initially using any available room in and near their home, they knew that considering a larger facility to house the winemaking machinery as well as a true tasting room was likely a necessity. Thus began the process, as the Rays like to say, of “migrating from the laundry room” into a full-scale building, a construction project that began in the Spring of 2020, which involved pouring the slab, and took nearly two years to fully complete, ending in March of 2022. During the process, Good Fortune smiled down again, and a blessing in disguise came to fruition for the Rays. As the original plan for the family was to have the structure completed and opened in late 2020, a number of factors occurred to slow the process, most notably the pandemic. This frustrated the Rays at first, but then COVID hit with its full force, and so many people lost jobs while the economy froze. With friends and family members needing activities to take up some time and stored energy, Michael and Savannah called for help with building and harvesting work, and their calls were answered and then some. People arrived in droves, showing how much they care about the Rays and what they were trying to accomplish. Wanting to be a part of the Thirsty Farmer and displaying their love prompted them to come and get their hands dirty with planting, pulling, and plotting. And the Rays could not be more thankful. All of the preparation, dedication, learning, making mistakes, and making alterations has paid off. The business is growing by the day. A website has been built and is being added-to ( and their Facebook page (@ThirstyFarmerWines) is thriving as well. On May 14th, 2022, the “soft opening” of the Thirsty Farmer tasting room 56 AUGUST 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

WHAT’S ON TAP Along with the wine, the tasting room provides visitors a chance to sample three hard ciders on tap. There are also locally-sourced products available for purchase, and a great selection of food.

occurred. While the thought was the event would be a nice, small gathering of friends and family, over 200 people showed up to hear Danny and Dave from Four on the Floor play, eat from charcuterie trays, and sample the abundant varieties of delectable wine. In addition to the wine, Michael wanted to include something a little different, and while beer was his first choice to brew, the option to create diverse flavors of hard cider proved too inviting to pass up, so the tasting room also includes three types of cider on tap. A few weeks later, on June 4th, the grand opening proved an amazing event as over 1000 people showed up to partake. As of now, so early in its existence, Thirsty Farmer is only open on Saturdays from 12-8, with local bands playing in the middle hours. Soon enough, the hours and days available to partake in the ambience and tastes will expand, but until then, visitors need to make plans to open up their Saturdays and travel over to Calhoun to enjoy a sunny afternoon with the Rays and their family. For centuries, wine has proven to be an integral piece of large-scale gatherings and intimate meetings alike, helping to elevate celebrations or even simply adding a soothing flair to an otherwise uneventful Thursday night. People use it to wind down after work, toast a new bride and groom, or just enjoy a leisurely afternoon. Savannah and Michael Ray knew the value of wine even before they thought to try producing it, and their wish to make it, to share it, and bring that joy to other people near and dear to them shows their spirit of loving life and signifies embracing the essence of giving. Writer and thinker Clifton Fadiman stated that “a bottle of wine begs to be shared; I have never met a miserly wine lover.” Wine calls to be opened, to be poured in multiple glasses, and to be relished. The Rays could not agree with Fadiman more, and now, with Thirsty Farmer, they have opened their doors for the shared loves of wine and fellowship.


Meredith’s Musings NOT MY MONKEYS article by MEREDI T H MC K I NNI E


ur preschooler revels in social situations. She admits nervousness while on the way to school, but shortly after we slow down in the reduced speed zone, she plasters a smile across her face that charms strangers. I’m similar in that personal interactions don’t induce anxiety, but exuding charm is nonetheless work. Each afternoon, I pick up an equally exuberant little girl, hair askew, shirt stained, with a beaming expression on her tiny frame. I’m learning the ways of Pre-K. Students receive green or red slips of paper in their folders each day, designating good behavior (green) or poor behavior (red). Likewise, she will judge her little sister’s actions as red or green choices. My preschooler has yet to bring home a red slip. I have no doubt she has found some way of conjuring the remnants of good behavior. Last Thursday afternoon, after bouncing into her car seat, said Preschooler produces three little monkeys from her bag, the type that come in barrels and connect via elbows. I inquired the source of the monkeys, as children are forbidden from bringing toys to school and I’d never seen one brought home without an explanation from Teacher. She quickly explained that Teacher had given her the monkeys, which sounded odd, but the subject faded. A few hours later, Preschooler and Little Sister are taking turns burying the monkeys in the backyard when their father

asks the monkeys’ origin. After a brief pause, Preschooler casually claims to have discovered them in the yard. I snapped a picture of the monkeys, texted the teacher, and asked “Do these belong to you?” The conversation that ensued changed everything for my beaming child. Apparently, this had become a problem at school. Preschooler started nonchalantly moving toys from one play station to the next, followed soon by taking toys out during recess and passing them off as her own, even though the action had been strictly forbidden. This was news to me, as I had rested easily on those daily green slips. Teacher thought the action minor until she progressed to outright thievery. I marched into the bathroom where the culprit and Little Sister were covered in bubbles, stared intently until I caught her eye, and insisted, “Wilder, tell me about the monkeys.” A look of panic spread on that normally cheery face. She proceeded to “” for a few seconds, and then said, “So Mom, what happened was I think I put the monkeys in my pocket and accidentally brought them home.” I squinted my eyes, conveying my displeasure and disbelief. “So,


they weren’t a gift from Teacher, and they weren’t found in the backyard. You stole them from school, and then you lied to me and your dad about it.” Silence ensued until Little Sister piped in, “Wildey bad.” Our bandit was sent straight to bed after her bath, no cuddle time in the parent’s bed, no cartoon, no bedtime story. She was distraught. Any interruption in routine sends this one over the edge. As I tucked her in, I laid on the terms of compensation. “Tomorrow, you are going to return those monkeys. You are going to apologize to Teacher for stealing. Then, you are going to stand up in front of the entire class and tell them you’re sorry for taking the class toys home without permission. Do you understand me?” She lost it. It would be too embarrassing. Everyone would think she was a bad person. And to make it all worse, the next day was Book Character Day. We had been assembling her Fern (from Charlotte’s Web) costume all week. The next morning, we dressed in silence. I rolled up the baggy jeans, laced the sneakers, braided the pigtails, and situated

Fluffy Oink Oink (her beloved stuff pig) in the crook of her elbow. I told her she looked cute, but she still had a duty to perform that morning, and I would be texting Teacher an hour after drop off to make sure. My normally boisterous preschooler sat in silence. She denied hunger and refused to reiterate morning affirmations. She dreaded going to school that day. It’s hard watching your kid suffer, especially when you can eliminate the madness, but she had to learn. The silence continued until we entered the reduced speed zone. Then Wilder made her last stand. “So Mom, I’ve been thinking. I should apologize tomorrow, not today, because today I’m Fern, not Wilder.” I almost choked, suppressing my laughter. Though genuinely impressed by the mental acumen to summon such an excuse, I held strong. “Regardless of whether you are Fern or Wilder today, YOU stole the monkeys. And YOU will apologize today. I suggest getting it over with first thing so you can enjoy Book Character Day.” She calmly gathered her bookbag, emoted half a grin as her school escort opened the door, and slumbered inside the building. Less than five minutes later, or two miles down the road, I received a text message from Teacher: “Apologies extended and accepted.” Fern/ Wilder made amends, and hopefully gained some moral clarity.

NAFA Supports Tiger Success Neville High School is Known for Academic Success, and NAFA Supports That Success


F YO U ’ V E B E E N A R O U N D N E V I L L E H I G H S C H O O L for any amount of time, you’ve likely heard the name, “NAFA” but you may not be sure what NAFA stands for, what it does, or how you can be a part of it! NAFA is The Neville Alumni & Friends Association and is made up of NHS alumni as well as friends of the school. NAFA was organized to enhance the success of Neville High School. We are focused on the continued optimum achievement of our Tigers. We promote academics principally, but do not overlook the importance of related activities. NAFA promotes success through our annual Excellence Banquet when we honor the Top 20 Tigers of each graduating class and their teachers. The Top 20 places are coveted honors for our graduating seniors. The banquet also honors our educators as each of the top students choose “the teacher” who has impacted their education the most. An award is presented each year to a nominated educator at Neville who gives the extra effort for his/her students. The Ouida McGee Educator Excellence Award is presented each year in the cash amount of $5,000 donated by our gracious benefactors and NAFA. The year’s winner, Coach Jeff Gregory, as well as our Top 20 Tigers, are pictured on the following page. They are (in alphabetical order) Zoe Catherine Allen, Julie Brianne Alligood, Ethan Jet Dela Cruz Bondad, Katherine Adele Burch, Margaret L Burrell, Caroline Louise Garrett, Lela Kathryn Hansen, Anna Elizabeth Harris, Wesley Breard Inabnett, Elizabeth Coley Loftin, Nicklaus Brian Mercer, Addison Grace Nickelson, Hanlon Elizabeth Parker, Hannah Virginia Parker, Marc Victor Peters, Harneet Kaur Randhawa, Camille Mackenzie Taylor, Marah Elizabeth Trim, Benjamin Kasey Williams and Renee Laine Young. Academic achievement and exemplary citizenship are also recognized by NAFA through the presentation of scholarships and awards each May. The recipients of the 2022 scholarships are pictured on the following page. They are: The 1976 Memorial Award - Jacob William Baham, Trey Altick Award - Brayden Gage Terra, Charlotte Bolton Scholarship - Anna Belle Bolton, Dawson/Qualls Scholarship - Gabrielle Grace Kelley and Akira Keaira Johnson, A. Scott Daniel Scholarship - George Daniel Breard and John Benjamin Landry, Davidson Family Award - Annabelle Rosalie Slusher, Brian Gregory Award - Lillian Claire Booth, Carrick Richard Inabnett Scholarship Lennon Hundshamer and Jonas Gilmore, Zach Inabnett Scholarship - Madelynn Connor Hodge, James Machine Works Scholarship -


Madalyn Marie Jones, Courtney Kenney Award - Madelene Grace Stewart, Hershal McConathy Scholarship - Patrick De’Vaughn McCraney, Jr. and MacKenzil Jayteavous Jones, Wally and Andrea McMakin Award - Harland Zeb Ruddell and Ebony Monae Morgan, Joyce Mehl Scholarship - Nicklaus Brian Mercer, Neville Men’s Soccer Scholarship - Richard Landon Sorrell, Roosevelt Rankins Award Wesley Breard Inabnett, Ruple-Brown Scholarship – Addie Mignonne Bagwell and Maurion Deshun Eleam, Scott Scholarship - Logan Monroe Smith, Thomas Stephens Scholarship - Brett Montana Batteford, Jane Whittington Memorial Award Contest - 1st Place – Camille Mackenzie Taylor and 2nd Place – Julie Brianne Alligood, NAFA Scholarship Katherine Adele Burch, Lela Kathryn Hansen, Anna Elizabeth Harris, Patrick Brady King, William Cameron King, Griffin Page McGee, Tristen Brian Osborn and Hanlon Elizabeth Parker, and Thomas King Landry Eye of the Tiger Award - Thomas King Landry. NAFA hosted the 27th annual Tiger Scramble Golf Tournament at Bayou DeSiard County Club on June 3, 2022. This fabulous event supports the Ruple/Brown Scholarship Fund. The tournament is a wonderful occasion for Neville alumni and friends to come together to have a great time while also supporting this awesome cause! In addition to all of this, NAFA is also responsible for the landscaping and sidewalks that have enhanced the traditional beauty of our school. Neville High School was designated, “the most beautiful public school in Louisiana by Architectural Digest in 2017. And, as our name implies, NAFA keeps the records of the alumni of Neville High School and aids the classes in planning and hosting their reunions each year. Tigers love to come together and reminisce about their time spent in school at Neville. To join NAFA, please call the NAFA office at 318-387-5700, or visit our new alumni website, See all the good things we do at our alma mater! Our goal is to have all Tiger supporters - Alumni and Friends - join the Neville Alumni and Friends Association. With your support, NAFA can continue to support Tiger success for years to come. Go Tigers! The 2022-23 Officers are President - Richard Paylor, Class of 1975; President Elect – Erin Weaver, Class of 1999; Past President- Dwayne Ludley, Class of 1991; Recording Secretary - Caron McPherson, Friend; Treasurer – Jeffery Laudenheimer, Class of 1998; Parliamentarian – Bill Willson, Class of 1981; and Executive Directory – Dana Jefferson, Class of 1966.



Cleaning Coastlines with Every Bottle



TAYING HYDRATED IS ESSENTIAL, PARTICULARLY IN the Louisiana heat. ZenWTR, a vapor distilled alkaline water that is ultra-pure and refreshing, is just the beverage to help. But beyond keeping us hydrated, ZenWTR is on a mission to rescue 50 million pounds of ocean-bound plastic by 2025. Can buying plastic water bottles actually help the environment? ZenWTR Alkaline Water is working to break new ground in sustainability by taking one of the earth’s major, long-lasting polluters and turning it into a resource for good. ZenWTR is making use of discarded, ocean-bound plastic (plastic rescued from at-risk coastal environments in countries that don’t have formal recycling systems) and recycling it to make their bottles before filling them with their ionized alkaline water that offers a pH of 9.5 and a refreshingly crisp taste. ZenWTR is the first and only beverage in the world to be bottled in 100% recycled, certified ocean-bound plastic. In fact, every ZenWTR bottle is made from up to five recycled ocean-bound plastic bottles, and people are getting behind the cause. That means Every ZenWTR purchased prevents up to 5 bottles from reaching and polluting the ocean. Even though this brand is relatively new, it already boasts a social community of 225k followers and features in Forbes and Fortune magazine, alongside a healthy backing of celebrity investors like Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Zoe Saldana and Khloé Kardashian. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Just search ZenWTR. Lance Collins launched this revolutionary brand in early 2020 in Southern California, but his history with innovative beverages didn’t start there. Collins was the face behind several other high-profile brands, and that means he’s been highly tuned into the highs, the lows and the trends in the beverage industry over the last 20 years. One of the biggest trends is sustainability. And the question he set out to answer was how do we keep convenience while not causing harm to the planet? Collins sought to answer that with his creation of ZenWTR. Delivering a feel-good product that helps contribute a solution to the issue of plastic pollution, especially in our oceans. He spent almost 3 years creating the supply chain that allowed ZenWTR to be the first in the beverage business to use recycled ocean-bound plastic to make their bottles, and he didn’t stop there. 62 AUGUST 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

ZenWTR is also the world’s first beverage brand to be certified plastic negative, meaning they support programs that recover and recycle 200% of their annual plastic footprint. Preventing this plastic from ever getting into our oceans, ZenWTR puts it to use, turning it into a new 100% recyclable vessel. Also, by using recycled plastic to make their bottles, they cut energy use by 84% and produce 71% fewer greenhouse gasses that normally result from creating plastic bottles from new plastic. The ZenWTR bottle comes in 33.8 oz, 23.7 oz, and 16.9 oz sizes and holds the brand’s crisp and refreshing, vapor-distilled alkaline water with a pH of 9.5. With a wide mouth opening, it’s easy to drink from and helps get you hydrated fast. When you buy ZenWTR 1% of each sale is donated to help organizations committed to ocean conservation and recycling programs. To create the final product, ZenWTR goes through an 8-step process. From filtering to UV treatments to vapor distillation (the gold standard in water purification) the water you taste will be crisp, refreshing and incredibly pure. Vapor Distillation is the process of high-heat water treatment that removes toxic metals, minerals, and contaminants and it has nothing to do with alkalinity. Technically, ZenWTR could have just stopped there, but after the vapor distillation process, they ionize the water by way of electrolysis which helps the water reach its pH of 9.5. Finally, minerals and electrolytes are added for taste. Some brands do one or the other (vapor distillation or alkaline), but ZenWTR combines the two for a clean, pure, and delicious tasting water with heart. Be sure to like Choice Brands on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with new product releases. Feel free to message us for information on where to find your favorite brands. Find us at facebook. com/thechoicebrands,, and choicebrands


STRAWBERRY B A S I L M A R G A R I TA article and photograph by HEATHER LAND This summer cocktail is way too easy to drink in the Louisiana heat. Alone or paired with something off the grill, it boasts layers of fresh flavor and is visually stunning. WH AT YOU ’LL NEED: Shaker or Mason Jar with lid Muddler Ice Handful fresh strawberries Generous sprig of fresh basil 1/4 tsp honey 1/2 lime juiced 1.5 oz Cointreau 2 oz Blanco tequila Fresh Jalapeño slices *Optional: Run your juiced lime around rim of your cocktail glass and dip half of rim in 50/50 sugar/sea salt mixture.Muddle berries, basil and honey in shaker/mason jar. Add emaining ingredients and ice and shake. Option 1: Rustic - Pour into rimmed* cocktail glass unstrained

Louisiana Summertime Knowing the Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses


O U I S I A N A S U M M E RT I M E I S working overtime! With temperatures reaching over 100º, and humidity levels over 90%, this heat is dangerous for everyone. Those most susceptible to high temperatures are the elderly, young children, individuals with respiratory or chronic medical conditions, and people who work outdoors. The Center for Disease Control report 12,000 Americans die annually from heat-related causes, and more than 80% of victims are older than 60. It’s so important we know the signs of heat-related illnesses and check on friends and family. As we age, our bodies cannot adjust to sudden temperature changes as they once did. Sweat is the body’s way of cooling itself. Older adults retain less water therefore their ability to produce sweat decreases. Medications, chronic illnesses, and a shift in body fat distribution are factors that also affect the body’s ability to regulate body temperature. As temperatures rise outside, so does the body’s internal temperature. Being well hydrated is essential to maintaining optimal bodily and cognitive function. Seniors may not feel the urge to drink and can forget to hydrate. Also, many medications that treat chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, heart and kidney disease, etc., have diuretic effects. These medications trigger the body to expel water and salt through urination making it difficult to find a healthy “balance” during these hot summer months. If your doctor limits your fluid intake or has you on a diuretic, talk with them about how much you should be drinking during the summer. Dehydration is a loss of water in your body. It can be serious if not treated. Warning signs: Weakness, headache, muscle cramps, dizziness, confusion, and passing out. 66 AUGUST 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

Action: Drink plenty of water and, if possible, sports drinks such as Gatorade™, Liquid IV, or milk. If the person feels better after drinking fluids but has medical conditions like heart failure or takes diuretics, call the healthcare provider for a follow-up. Heat Cramps are often the first sign that the body is having trouble with the heat. Warning signs: painful muscle spasms usually in the legs and abdomen caused by a loss of fluids and electrolytes Action: Move to a cool place and sip on a drink containing electrolytes or water. Lightly stretch the muscle and gently massage the area to relieve the cramps. Heat Exhaustion is a serious health problem caused by too much heat and dehydration. Warning signs: Heavy sweating or no sweating, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, paleness, cold or clammy skin, dizziness, headache, confusion, nausea or vomiting, fast and weak pulse, fainting Action: Without delay, move to a cool, shady place, and loosen or remove as much clothing as possible. Apply cool wet cloths to the skin or spray with water. If the person is responsive and able to swallow, have them sip a cool electrolyte drink, milk, or water. Call 911 right away if they have high blood pressure or heart problems, or if they don’t feel better after moving to the shade and drinking liquids. Heat Stroke is a life-threatening emergency. Warning signs: mental status changes (confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures), trouble seeing, skin is hot to the touch and may appear red or pale, fast and weak pulse, rapid and shallow breathing, vomiting. Action: Call 9-1-1 immediately, if possible, immerse the person in cold water to cool the

body or place ice water-soaked towels over the person’s body, and if available place ice packs on top of the towels. The objective is to cool the body rapidly! Tips to Avoid Heat Related Illness: 1. Stay in an air-conditioned building. Don’t rely on a fan as your main cooling source when temperatures are high. 2. Drink more water than usual. Talk with your doctor if there are limits on your fluid intake or you are on a diuretic. 3. Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. 4. Take cool showers or baths. 5. Try not to use the stove or oven to cook— it will make your house hotter. 6. Minimize the intake of caffeinated or alcoholic drinks. These dehydrate your body. 7. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables that are high in water. Cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, spinach, pickles, and cooked squash, fruit juice, yogurt, apples, grapes, oranges, carrots, broccoli, pears, and pineapple 8. Make sure you carry a cold bottle of water with you when you are out. If possible, make your outings early in the morning or late in the evening. (Don’t forget to protect your skin from damage by wearing hats, sunglasses, and a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.) Sit in your porch swing and enjoy a lemonade as you breathe in the scents of barbeque, watermelon, and citronella. Summer is your permission slip to be lazy. Enjoy!



Doux Drop is the official conservation beer of Louisiana! This is a delicious wheat ale made with honey malt and orange peel. This beer is produced in partnership with the Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Foundation, with a percentage of sales benefitting an annual foundation project. Doux is French for “sweet” and pays homage to our state’s French Acadian beginnings.

Jucee is a Louisiana Pale Ale which is a take on the New England IPA style and was designed to be a more sessional approach with a lighter body and slightly lower ABV to compliment the hot Louisiana summers. Hazy, juicy, and fruit forward with lots of grapefruit, tangerine, and honeydew.

Burma Blonde is a classic blonde lager brewed with American grown two row and Vienna barley. Glacier hops are added throughout the boil to create a crisp citrus finish. Much like the classic pin up, the lager is balanced head to toe and leaves nothing to be desired.


CAST IRON article and photograph by HEATHER LAND

Timeless and classic, cast iron cannot only stand the test of time passed from one generation to the next; it rivals most cookware with its capabilities and even a few benefits. It is not just an old timer’s skillet; cast iron is an every day, every way cook’s staple. KEEP IT REAL: Never let your cast iron soak in water for an extended period of time. Use a chain mail with a stiff bristle brush to clean with hot water and MINIMAL TO NO SOAP. Heat dry wet cast iron on the stove top. Keep a crock with an oiled cloth to wipe cast iron after washing, this will help prevent dryness and/or rust.



{HIGH & FAST} Preheat a glug of olive oil,bacon drippings, etc. in skillet to medium-high heat. Roll oil around to coat bottom of pan. Crack two eggs. Flip eggs at about one minute - when whites begin to whiten. Cut heat off and cook additional 30 seconds. Remove and plate. Pierce and cut - season with flake salt and fresh cracked pepper.


{LOW & SLOW} Preheat a little oil or butter in skillet on low heat. Whisk 3 eggs (per person) briskly until smooth and creamy yellow. Pour into pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Scramble continuously and gently with wooden spoon or rubber spatula just until they begin to look billowy and wetness begins to disappear. Remove from heat and plate immediately.


{ROILING BOIL TO ICY COLD} Bring water to boil in saucepan. Add eggs. Boil for 8 minutes. Remove from heat, drain water and submerge eggs in bowl of ice water for 3 minutes. Peel under cold running water. Slice in half and serve with a pinch of flake salt and fresh cracked pepper.

INCREDIBLE EGGS article and photograph by HEATHER LAND

Eggs are quite possibly one of the most overlooked powerhouse foods in the kitchen. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, even a “top dollar” organic, free range egg averages less than one dollar a piece. Most folks haven’t experienced the rich velvety flavor of a truly fresh egg; not all eggs are created equally. Seek out and source local fresh eggs and taste the difference for yourself. All you need is a little salt and pepper.


The Right Insurance From the Right People



ON’T YOU WANT A PERSONAL TOUCH WHEN looking for an insurance agent and company? Sometimes working with an independent insurance agent will get you the best value on the coverage you actually need. Shopping for insurance shouldn’t be a pain. One in three individuals don’t shop around when their insurance is up for renewal. Let Darryl Tate, independent insurance agent with Currency Insurance Agency, and Tyner Jeter do the hard work for you. Not all insurance agents are the same! Choosing the right one can make a big difference – in price, service, and value. With other agencies, you get one company that sells one brand of insurance. With an independent insurance agency like Currency Insurance Agency and Tyner Jeter Insurance, you get choices. Why? Because independent insurance agencies, like Tyner Jeter Insurance, represent a number of different insurance companies, and can compare coverage and prices to find the best possible value for your individual circumstances. As an independent insurance agent I am committed to doing business face-to-face and being your advocate in times of need. Here are a few reasons why Currency Insurance Agency/Tyner Jeter Insurance should be your first and last stop when looking for insurance: • I work for you when you have a claim. • I am not beholden to any one company. This means you don’t have to change agencies as your insurance and service needs change. • I am your consultant, working with you as you determine your needs. • I have value-hunters who look after your pocketbook in finding the best combination of price, coverage, and service. • I offer one-stop shopping for a full range of products, including home, renters, auto, business, life, medicare and more • I can periodically review your coverage to keep up with your changing insurance needs. • I am committed to customer satisfaction – it’s the key to our livelihood. • I treat you like a person, not a number. • I am a licensed professional with strong customer and community ties. Currency Insurance Agency/Tyner Jeter is an innovative and highly responsive regional insurance agency dedicated to trusted client relationships. We want to learn everything we can about our clients in order to serve them in a trusted advisor capacity.


At Currency Insurance Agency/Tyner Jeter Insurance, you are not a number. No matter what type of insurance coverage you need, Darryl Tate will spend the time with you to better understand and meet your specific needs. Our obligation doesn’t end when the policy is in place. We know that change is a constant so we continually monitor the personal, surety and commercial insurance needs of our clients, adjusting their programs to serve them best. Here are just some of the insurance options we offer: Personal Insurance Business Insurance • Auto Insurance • Business Insurance • Renters Insurance • Landlord Protection • Homeowner Insurance • Commercial Auto Insurance • Life Insurance • General Liability Insurance • Motorcycle Insurance • Commercial Property Insurance • Boat Insurance • Commercial Umbrella Insurance • Umbrella Policies • Surety Bonds • Health Insurance • Workers’ Comp Insurance • Off-Road Vehicle Insurance • Flood Insurance GET TO KNOW YOUR AGENT Upon Darryl’s retirement in the United Methodist Church, he was looking for something that he could do to continue to serve people and help them be financially secure. A couple of his friends recommended that he look into the insurance industry. So in December 2019, he embarked on a career change in the insurance business and has never looked back. Darryl says, “Part of the industry that I like the most is working with senior adults when it comes to Medicare and helping them to select the best supplement that would meet their needs and bring them peace of mind.” Because of a long history of working not only in religious organizations but the years spent as the Executive Director, President and CEO of a disaster recovery ministry from 2005 through 2015, has prepared him to ensure people‘s needs are met with their property, casualty life and health insurance. There is a difference. To find out how our independent insurance agency can help you find the right insurance coverage, contact Darryl Tate today at 225.485.1909 or Licensed in Property, Casualty, Health and Life (La. Tx. Ms. & Ark.)


Through All Maternity At St. Francis Medical Center


F YOU’RE PREGNANT OR PLANNING TO START A FAMILY soon, it’s an exciting time! We understand you may have many questions surrounding pregnancy health, support and your delivery options. At St. Francis Medical Center, you can feel confident that we will be with you through every step of your pregnancy, delivery and postpartum care. We are prepared for the health and well-being of you and your baby. Talk with your OB/GYN about which options are best for you. Here is a list of some of the delivery options and maternity services at St. Francis to consider: • Delivery options (vaginal, cesarean section) • Natural childbirth (minimal or no use of pain medication) • On-site anesthesia services 24/7 • Umbilical cord-cutting (saving cord allowed) • Delivery room filming and photography allowed for vaginal births (if previously arranged) • Instant skin-to-skin contact (even after c-section) • Private delivery room with a birthing mirror and light settings Sign up for prenatal classes. Our classes are taught by nurses with extensive experience in caring for expectant moms. All classes are FREE and are currently available virtually: ABCs of Baby Care, Breastfeeding and Childbirth Basics. Visit to pre-register. Schedule regular appointments throughout your pregnancy with your OB/GYN. Be sure to keep the appointments. Prenatal care is vital to the health of you and your baby. If you don’t have an OB/GYN and need help finding one, visit the “Find a Doctor” link at Schedule an in-person hospital tour. St. Francis Medical Center is a beautiful, comfortable place to experience the miracle of birth. Call (318) 966-4187 today to schedule a personalized tour of our labor and delivery area. Second trimester? It’s time to pre-register for delivery. We encourage all moms-to-be to pre-register for their stay with us during the second trimester of pregnancy. Providing your personal data and insurance information is the first step in our exciting journey together preparing for the arrival of your special delivery. To pre-register, stop in at 309 Jackson Street in Monroe, or call (318) 966-3328. Select a pediatrician. We encourage you to establish care with a pediatrician before your delivery. Use our “Find a Doctor” link to select a local pediatrician, and pre-register your baby with their clinic. If you do not make a decision before baby arrives, an on-call provider will see your baby during your hospital stay. 76 AUGUST 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

High-risk pregnancies. St. Francis offers the only Level 3 OB unit in this region, which means we can help with the unique challenges of high-risk births. Our Maternal-Fetal Medical Clinic team includes highly-trained OB/GYNs with additional formal education and clinical experience who understand you may need to make tough decisions. The team will walk you through options and help you weigh risks to yourself and your baby with the utmost compassion and patience. Internationally-certified breastfeeding specialists. We are proud recipients of the Guided Infant Feeding Techniques (GIFT®) certification from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. Our certified, experienced lactation consultants are ready to help you make those important first steps on the road to successful breastfeeding for you and your baby. We offer a lactation support hotline to assist moms with breastfeeding that is available any time, day or night, seven days a week. Our Breastfeeding Hotline is (318) 966-4043. Home to the only Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in northeast Louisiana. St. Francis offers this area’s only Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The NICU team consists of highly trained medical professionals, including two neonatologists, who work closely with one another in planning appropriate care for development based on the needs of your baby and family. The NICU is just down the hall from the labor and delivery area should the need arise for a higher level of care for your newborn. Offering the only dedicated acute care and intensive care services for children in northeast Louisiana. Welcoming a new baby into your family is just the beginning. The years ahead will be filled with scraped knees, upset stomachs and other medical concerns. The St. Francis team is here to help you through. Pediatric experts on our medical staff provide inpatient and outpatient services to children from birth to age 17. We focus on the whole child, from promoting healthy living and preventive medicine to the treatment of disease and critical care. In fact, we offer the only dedicated inpatient unit for pediatric care and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in northeast Louisiana. Our healthcare professionals treat every child with respect in an atmosphere of safety and trust. Delivering peace of mind. It’s a blessing to find out you’re going to be a new mom, but what can follow is worry, anxiety and all those “what ifs.” We get it. Thankfully, the St. Francis team has years of experience delivering babies. We hope you make St. Francis Medical Center your hospital of choice for this special time for you and your family.



Some of my favorite memories revolve around sweet corn. During those precious few days when the corn was at peak harvesting season, our family would gather beneath the carport at my Aunt Becky and Uncle David Rawls’ house and process each ear with care and laughter. Whether you like it on the cob or cut, this Southern staple is a favorite. Here’s a simple way to prepare these sweet kernels: Preheat grill to high and heat for around 10 minutes. Add shucked corn and turn often. Grill until the corn is well charred. Add butter and season with salt. Enjoy!



WHAT YOU NEED: 1 lb large shrimp Seasonings of choice* Fresh lemon Bowl Tongs

This summer staple can make any meal feel special in minutes. Source wild caught shrimp whenever possible. Whether you like them with or without the tails, deveined, butterflied or as is, the perfect shrimp are mere minutes from your plate.

Preheat your griddle top, grill or skillet to medium-high. Peel and rinse your shrimp. Lay out on towel to absorb excess moisture. Toss in bowl with a light coat of olive oil, *seasonings of choice, and juice of 1/2 lemon. Throw your shrimp on the griddle and use tongs to separate and arrange shrimp flat. Once you get them arranged, immediately begin to flip each one. Turn off your heat. By the time you finish flipping them, remove them from the heat. They are done. Serve over a bed of fresh greens, in taco shells with all the extras, over a bowl of rice, or simply as a share.

article and photograph by HEATHER LAND

Try this variation on *seasonings: 2 cloves fresh minced garlic 1 tsp coconut aminos 1 tsp smoked paprika 1 tsp chili powder 1 tsp honey Pinch of sea salt Serve any way you like with fresh, crisp summer jalapeños




Article by Starla Gatson Photographed by Kelly Moore Clark


ven though Daniel Myers has only been seriously pursuing his art career for about a year now, the West Monroe native has been a professional for years. Myers has been a working artist since he was just eight years old, when Montessori school owner and teacher, Dee Scallan, began writing children’s books about the Louisiana ecosystem. She needed someone to create the illustrations that would bring the book series’ titular character, Moby Pincher, to life, so she enlisted the aid of one of her students — Myers, of course — to get the job done. “When I illustrated those books, I was like, ‘I’m young; I’m not a professional,’” Myers says of his first professional gig, “but the author’s husband was like, ‘Well, you did get paid for it.’ So, ever since then, I [called myself] one.” Myers had always been an artistic child — according to his parents, he picked up drawing somewhere around age two. However, even with clear talent, a long-held interest in art, and one job already on his résumé, the young Myers had no plans to pursue art full-time as an adult. “I did the books until I was [around] 12, I think. I switched gears in high school because in Louisiana back then, you didn’t really hear about artists. I was like, ‘I’ll just be a doctor,’” he explains before adding with a laugh, “Easy.” Though his sights were set on the medical field, Myers continued honing his artistic abilities, partially because he wanted to keep improving but also because he simply enjoyed being creative. He remembers, “It was just really relaxing. I would


always doodle while I was working, [and] it would help me focus. And since I was eight years old, people would tell me I was good, so I kept practicing. I kept wanting to get better.” After graduating high school, Myers, who had moved to Baton Rouge in the fifth grade, returned to Ouachita Parish to attend the University of Louisiana Monroe. He earned a degree in biology, and with his intent to become a doctor still alive and well, Myers enrolled in medical school post-graduation. But something didn’t feel right, he reveals. “I had completed my first year of medical school, and I was doing fine,” he says. “I had good grades and all that, but I felt like I was putting a lot of work into something I wasn’t really passionate about.” He had done the math, and it would take him seven years to finish medical school and residency. Would that time be worth it, he wondered? Ultimately, he decided the answer was no, reasoning that if he spent the next seven years putting the same effort into art that he had into medical school, he could surely find success as a creative. “I was either going to have to sign up for another year of student loans, or I had to decide to cut my losses and pursue what I wanted to,” he says. So, Myers opted to cut his losses and started back down the path his eight-year-old self had walked as a professional artist. But first, he had to do one thing: explain his sudden life shift to the people closest to him. “Obviously, my parents were a little worried,” he says. “But they eventually came around and saw that it made me happy; they’ve seen that I can do it. All

INSPIRATION As far as his illustrations are concerned, Myers says he ultimately wants to make art similar to the pieces that inspired him in the first place, explaining, “My interest in art started out with seeing tattoo designs, graphics for gig posters and movies, stuff like that. That got me interested in the graphic design aspect.”

my friends were like, ‘Yes, that makes sense. We don’t know why you were in medical school and trying to be a doctor. We were a little confused because this is so clearly what you like to do and have a talent for.’” There was no clear-cut plan, Myers explains, but he was determined to start creating and see where the journey took him. He reveals that he felt a bit uncertain at first, but once he began making his art, things began to fall into place. “There is something to be said for just starting and making the work,” Myers says. “People will hire you if they see what you do and they like it. You have to put yourself out there. That was my hesitation. That, and making time to do it. You have to make time to do the art and put it out and not be so worried with doing things the ‘right’ way. In the end, that can get in the way of actually doing it.” Myers’ “just do it” philosophy seems to be paying off.

Though he’s just in the early stages of his art career, he’s already found quite a bit of success. You’ve probably seen his work around the Twin Cities, perhaps printed on a “Funroe” t-shirt from downtown Monroe’s vintage and local goods shop, The Good Daze. You’ll also find prints of some of the young artist’s illustrations and drawings there, including depictions of a ballerina performing Swan Lake, a magnolia flower, and Lone Peak in Big Sky, Montana. In addition to selling his pieces in the local storefront and on his website, Myers does commissions, creating custom portraits, illustrations, logos, and typography. While he continues further establishing himself in the North Louisiana art community, Myers is looking ahead and dreaming of what’s to come. On his agenda is eventually putting together and showing a collection of his pieces. “For my traditional art, I would like to get more into having live models, figure drawing, and painting and have more time to make the pieces that are interesting to me,” he says. “[I want to] build an audience off that instead of one-off pieces here and there from commissions.” As far as his illustrations are concerned, Myers says he ultimately wants to make art similar to the pieces that inspired him in the first place, explaining, “My interest in art started out with seeing tattoo designs, graphics for gig posters and movies, stuff like that. That got me interested in the graphic design aspect.” Take album art, for example, he goes on, “I might not have listened to that album, but there are certain [covers] I think of and I just think of the art. I really want to be a part of something like that.” Until his traditional art and illustration dreams come true, though, Myers is simply enjoying making art. After all, he declares, the process of creating a piece is the best part. “Today, creativity and making for making’s sake is definitely becoming a lost art,” he declares. “People have more to do than ever and with smartphones in our hands, it’s so easy to lose time. Our days are WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | AUGUST 2022 85

filled with so many demands — jobs, school, children, family, fitness, social obligations — and when we do have downtime, the natural inclination is to turn on streaming services or go to social media and scroll.” That isn’t to say modern technology is bad, Myers clarifies, but none of it, in his opinion, compares to the joy of making something. The subject isn’t even the most important part, he says; what matters most is for the creative to create without getting too caught up in what they’re working on and whether it’s good enough. Myers used to weigh himself down with self-criticism, but that quickly became detrimental to his art, he reveals, “I was paralyzed by all my options and was comparing myself to other artists online. I would rack my brain trying to come up with a thoughtful concept and interesting composition. By the time I decided on an idea, if I did at all, all of my creative energy was zapped.” Then, it hit him: dwelling on the subject and becoming obsessed with creating the perfect piece was sucking the fun out of his craft. That’s when Myers decided his joy would come from the process, and he holds that outlook today. “Once I realized this, I quit worrying about my subjects and started drawing and painting whatever I felt like,” he says. “I’m creating more than ever and having fun while I do it.”


ARTWORK Making art is somewhat of a meditative process for Myers, but he isn’t the only one that benefits from it. His customers, of course, reap the rewards of his labor when they purchase a piece of his art from his website, Between sessions of creating for himself, Myers will spend the foreseeable future working on several projects in the area, including participating in West Monroe’s Frame the Drain project and Ruston Artisans’ Sidewalk Chalkwalk. He also says he hopes to paint a few murals in the area, so be sure to stay up to date with all the young artist is doing through his social media accounts (Daniel Myers on Facebook and @colorblindkiddaniel on Instagram). WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | AUGUST 2022 87

Look Your Best at Any Age DermaMediQ Offers Skin Solutions


O MATTER A WOMAN’S AGE, SHE WANTS TO LOOK and feel her best. Dr. Sowma and the team at DermaMediQ can help with just that. They offer a variety of skincare solutions that range from mild treatments to more in-depth targeted procedures, treating fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, sagging skin and more. BOTOX AND FILLERS Sometimes the line between Botox and fillers can be blurred…no pun intended, but Dr. Sowma and her staff can advise you on what will work best for you, without looking overdone. Botox can be used to treat dynamic wrinkles, like those that occur naturally around the mouth and eyes, as well as in between the eyebrows. Dermal fillers also treat wrinkles on the face, but are primarily used to treat smile lines and they can be used to plump the lips and cheeks. KYSSE Looking for the perfect pout? Restylane Kysse is the first lip filler designed with XpresHAn Technology™ for flexible movement and natural-looking volume proven to last for up to one year. Enhance texture and color of the lips while maintaining a full range of expressions. Designed specifically for the movement of lips, Dr. Sowma is able to give patients natural-looking volume with Kysse-able softness. EMSCULPT Emsculpt is the first ever body sculpting and muscle building device. This procedure requires no injections, no surgery and no anesthesia which means that is absolutely no downtown. Emsculpt sculpts abs while simultaneously building muscle mass, resulting in well-defined abs. One treatment with this unique device is equal to 20,000 sit-ups. Emsculpt also can help achieve an amazing butt-lift without surgery or injections by building and tightening the buttocks.

MORPHEUS8 Morpheus8 Morpheus8 is another great option to treat problem areas on your face and body. It is the first and only full-body fractional technology adjusted for subdermal tissue remodeling, dermal treatment and epidermal resurfacing. Morpheus8 is the deepest lift technology with penetration up to 4000 microns. Morpheus8 is perfect for tightening specific problem areas on the body but also great for treating acne on the face. Some of the key benefits include minimal scarring and downtime and a good option for younger patients not yet ready for a facelift. PRP HAIR TREATMENT Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a treatment that is used to accelerate healing in various areas, including restoring hair growth. PRP hair treatment is a three-step medical treatment in which a person’s blood is drawn, processed and then injected into the scalp. You will see results within six weeks after one treatment. This process usually requires 3-6 treatments. No matter your age or issue you want to address, Dr. Sowma and the staff at DermaMedicQ can help you achieve your beauty goals and truly put your best face forward!


DBK Dance & Performing Arts Celebrating 45 Years


E ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN A DANCE STUDIO! Our staff is committed to making a difference in the lives of young people. We not only share a genuine passion for the Performing Arts, we also believe in teaching students important life lessons that lead them to be successful adults. Building character and confidence are so important to our youth. The lessons learned at DBK are intentionally designed to teach students the value of serving with humility and grace. Our students become our family, so it is important that they are trained in a loving and positive environment. We share the excitement of every skill mastered and goal met with each student. We take so much pride in instilling strong work ethics and teaching our students that true quality takes time in a society where instant gratification is so prevalent. Our curriculum is based on a syllabus set forth by Dance Educators of America, which Mrs. Debbie Bourg, Owner/ Director of DBK, is a Certified Honor Member. We offer the widest variety of classes in our area: classical ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical/ contemporary, and hip hop. We incorporate quite a bit of musical theater into our jazz curriculums as well. This not only gives the students some acting skills, but helps tremendously with self expression. Our Tiny Treasures program for ages 2 1/2- 5 is a fabulous way to introduce younger students to the Performing Arts. These classes include ballet, tap, and tumbling in a format that builds coordination of motor skills, focus, as well as helping learn class structure. This is most helpful with their academic success! The variety of levels we offer can accommodate all ages from Mommy and Me through adult. Whether a dancer has inspiration to train for a professional career, prepare for high school or college dance team, get it shape, or just have fun - we have it all! Many of our dancers began as a recreational dancer and because they developed such a passion for the art of dance, expanded their training and have received amazing scholarships and career opportunities! Through the years our staff and dancers have won many choreography awards, competitions, and even national titles. However, we are most proud of all that we have taught our students about using their talent to give back. Our company dancers spend many hours participating in local charity events. Our annual Fashion Fusion production raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Cancer Foundation League of Northeast Louisiana. Outstanding contributions to the community awarded Mrs. Debbie Bourg and staff the prestigious Female Champion Award from the West Monroe/ West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce for 2022. Visit our website for information about DBK. You will find detailed information about our curriculum and schedules. Check out the bios of our incredible staff, Ms. Brittany Bourg, Mrs. Mackenzie Grassi, and Mrs. Melissa Ring. The Performing Arts are a vital part of every child’s life. The sheer joy of music and dance are meant to be enjoyed by all! Visit our website and join our dance family today! “Dance from the Heart and Give God the Glory”


Thurman’s Food Factory Much More Than Dessert


OR OVER FOUR DECADES, THURMAN DICKEY HAS created culinary dreams and delicious desserts and has become a staple on the catering scene in northeast Louisiana. His shop on Stubbs Avenue in Monroe is known for the plate lunch specials Monday through Friday and for having casseroles and frozen dishes readily available to pick up for a sick friend, housewarming or just a Wednesday night supper. Thurman’s freezer is full of flavor with a variety of casseroles that include creole chicken, chicken cheese spaghetti, chicken enchiladas, king ranch chicken, chicken pot pie, lasagna, Mexican casserole, spaghetti and stuffed bell peppers. Some seafood favorites include Blend of the Bayou, Seafood Spectacular, shrimp and crawfish fettuccine, jambalaya and shrimp creole. For the vegetarian lovers, there is green bean, broccoli and rice, sweet potato, macaroni and cheese and hashbrown potato. And if that doesn’t cover it all, Thurman can make other casseroles on request. With their extensive catering menu, they can take care of your special event, from beginning to end. They offer some Louisiana staples like boudin balls, shrimp dip, meat pies, marinated crab claws, jambalaya, oysters and even a roasted pig for an added flair. It isn’t a party without a dip and there are plenty to choose from at Thurman’s – crab, spinach artichoke, cheese, grits and corn, B.L.T, blackeye pea, spinach, Vidalia onion and seven layered Mexican dip. For the main


course, you can choose from ham, beef tenderloin, ribs, brisket, turkey, Swedish meatballs, ribs, catfish and more. They also have traditional party platters with vegetables, cheeses, fruit, meat and sandwiches. Thurman’s is not lacking in the sweets department either. They offer classic cake favorite flavors like white, chocolate and yellow, as well as specialty flavors like Italian Crème, Red Velvet, German Chocolate and Lemon Torte. If you want to sample some of the delicious dessert but don’t have a party on the books, you can always swing by the shop and pick up a sheet cake off the table that Thurman’s has readily available. Often you can find sweet flavors like Neiman Marcus, Earthquake, Fudge Factory, Heavenly Hash and more. On a daily basis, there are fresh cookies, breads and pastries like cupcakes, pralines, petit fours to choose from. If you are looking for more of a savory treat, there are always those delicious cheese straws! When you think of food, Thurman’s Food Factory should be your first stop – whether you just want to pick up lunch, a casserole for dinner, plan a small get together or have an extravagant event. There is no party too large or too small that Thurman’s can’t handle!

Give Your Skin A Vacation New Treatments Can Erase Sun Damage


OW THAT SUMMER IS NEARING AN END, YOU HAVE recovered from fun in the sun, but has your skin? After spending the past few months at the ballpark, at the beach and at the pool, you may look in the mirror and notice fine lines, wrinkles or even brown spots. You can thank the sun for that, but you don’t have to live with them. Experts recommend that we spend 10 to 30 minutes a day in the sun to get our daily dose of vitamin D. The amount of time you spend in the sun should be determined by your skin type. If you have fair skin, you should spend less time in direct sunlight. Vitamin D regulates the immune system and keeps skin from prematurely aging. However, spending too much time in the sun can have a detrimental effect on your skin. The immediate impact of spending too much time in the sun is a sunburn. Over time, exposure to the sun can cause damage. The sun’s ultraviolet rays penetrate our skin, damaging the elastic fibers that keep our skin firm and causing wrinkles to develop. The sun is also responsible for the brown spots you’ll find on your face, hands and other areas of skin that are exposed to the sun. They’re more commonly referred to as age or liver spots. Over-the-counter skin creams can only do so much. Most of those creams just moisturize your skin, which will make it appear more supple and healthy. You have to go much deeper to repair skin damage. At Louisiana Center for Women’s Health, we offer two noninvasive

treatments for fine lines, wrinkles, skin discoloration and sun damage. HydraFacial is a 30-minute treatment that provides instant and longlasting results. It cleanses, peels and hydrates your skin. The treatment exfoliates your face and removes debris from your pores. Your skin is nourished with moisturizers and creams that protect your skin and maximize your natural glow. In addition to the glow, patients notice more elasticity and firmness in their skin. Halo Hybrid Fractional Laser works to erase fine lines and reverse skin discoloration and damage. This cutting-edge technology stimulates new collagen. The laser treatment requires minimal recovery time. You’re normally ready for makeup the next day. We also carry the entire line of SkinCeuticals, featuring serums, antioxidants, anti-aging creams, cleansers, exfoliators and more. These products are backed by science and the company continues to pioneer next generation products that will optimize the health and beauty of the skin. We can customize a skin care regimen that is just right for your skin, concern and needs. At Louisiana Center for Women’s Health, we understand the choices you have when it comes to skincare. Our team of medical experts will guide you through the process. We offer the most advanced technology at prices well-below what others charge. Give us a call today at (318) 387-3113 to learn more about our special end-of-summer prices.



et’s face it. Gardeners are, by default, foodies. And, as this is the annual food addition of BayouLife, let’s look at two fruits that are more versatile that we ever dreamed while not forgetting how to enjoy them the old-fashioned way! We look forward to the fig harvest every summer in the ArkLaMiss. This year, it seems even fig trees are struggling with the oppressive heat and humidity. As of this writing, figs are coming in and will soon play out. Fig rust, a fungal disease typically seen in August and September is showing up early this year. It’s not lethal to the fig tree, but it may lead to a premature leaf drop and hinder ripening of the fruit. A lack of frequent rains this summer means fig trees will have to be watered regularly. Their shallow root systems are thirsty, and a 2 to 3-inch layer of mulch around your fig tree will help it conserve soil moisture. However, don’t let this year’s screaming hot weather keep you from incorporating a fig tree or two into your home orchard or landscape for future seasons. Figs are likely the world’s first cultivated fruit, and there’s no wonder why we still love them: their sweetness is unparalleled! They have few if any insect pests, and aside from fig rust, they have few if any other fungal issues. Figs need as little as 200 chill hours, which we get even in a mild winter. And, the fig varieties grown in our part of the world are parthenocarpic, meaning they set fruit without the need for pollination. For these reasons, they are the most reliable fruit grown in the Deep South. In addition to the old standards, ‘Brown Turkey’ and ‘Celeste,’ several fig varieties developed by LSU are available and should fit nicely into your home orchard or landscape. ‘Champagne’ produces yellow fruit of medium size. ‘LSU Gold’ was released in 2001 and produces large, yellow figs that have light red to pink pulp. ‘LSU Purple’ was released in 1991 and produces medium-sized, dark purple figs. Production may last from July into November. ‘O’Rourke’ is a 2010 LSU release honoring Dr. Ed O’Rourke who initiated LSU’s fig breeding program. This fig has a slightly longer stalk than other varieties allowing ripeness to be evidenced by fruit hanging downward from the branches. Finally, ‘Tiger’ is a large fig with a dark stripe down the fruit before it ripens. I enjoy figs for fresh eating or for the old classic fig preserves on homemade buttermilk biscuits. They are a lot more versatile and can be incorporated into a wide variety of dishes, especially desserts like fig cobbler and fig cake. Plant fig trees while they are dormant, which is anytime from December to March or early April for our area. As with any fruit tree, have your soil tested to make sure pH and nutrient levels are where they need to be. An area that gets full sun is best, and the soil should be loamy and should drain well. It’s best to not fertilize at planting, as young trees 92 AUGUST 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

will be able to draw enough nutrients from stored carbohydrates. A fertilizer application in early spring should be sufficient in subsequent years. As mentioned previously, a 2 to 3-inch layer of mulch will help conserve soil moisture and will gradually break down improving the soil. Mulch will also help suppress weeds so they don’t compete with the fig’s shallow root system for nutrients and water. Fig trees do not require a lot of pruning like most other fruit trees. Keeping dead or damaged wood cleaned out of the crown should be all that’s required. Really old fig tree specimens, such as those typically found around old home sites, may need significant pruning if their production has slowed with time and age. Would it really be a hot summer in the ArkLaMiss without local watermelons? I think not! How could we not dive into the deep red ecstasy of these juicy, sweet fruits to both cool off (or make us think so, anyway) and quench our thirst! If you’ve been following me on Facebook, then you know I’ve been growing some watermelons developed at the old Calhoun Research Station (formerly North Louisiana Experiment Station). As far as I’m concerned, ‘Red-N-Sweet,’ a 1987 LSU release, has no parallel in terms of flavor, sweetness, and color, at least as far as this goofy gardener is concerned. ‘Calhoun Gray’ was released in 1965 and is the result of a cross between ‘Calhoun Sweet’ and ‘Charleston Gray.’ I’ve grown it for the past two years both in the Louisiana Kitchen Garden Exhibit at the zoo and at home. This is one I personally recommend for home gardens. It’s simply a great all-around melon. Watermelons seem to thrive in our heat, and dry weather improves flavor by allowing sugars to be really concentrated by harvest. Watermelon seeds can be started indoors anytime in March or early April. By planting in April or May, plants should have at least one pair of true leaves in addition to the cotyledons. Watermelons perform best in sandy loam soils with good internal drainage. They are heavy feeders, so a preplant fertilizer application can’t be ruled out, with a supplemental application of either calcium nitrate of a balanced fertilizer like 8-8-8 or 13-13-13 every three weeks or so. Give vine plenty of room to sprawl < A triumvirate of summer sweetness. Fig preserves and mayhaw and plum jelly on homemade buttermilk biscuits. Good morning!

> Calhoun Gray is a great watermelon for home gardeners. A sweet and juicy treat for hot weather!

Watermelon can be combined with other fruit like mango in this summertime creation using Red-N-Sweet watermelon by Louisiana Living’s own Ashley Doughty.

on the ground. A mulch of hay or wheat straw will conserve soil moisture, suppress weeds, and give developing fruit a safe layer of contact with the ground. As members of the cucurbit family, watermelon vines have both male and female flowers, produced separately on the same vine (monoecious). Flowers typically open in the mornings and should attract any number of pollinating insects. Female flowers (those with tiny watermelons under the yellow petals) can be hand pollinated by making sure the stamens from the male flower contact the lobed stigma of the female flower. You can even see the yellow, dust-like pollen on the stigma afterward! More male flowers will be produced than female flowers. The age-old question is, how do you tell when a watermelon is ripe enough to harvest? I use a combination of cues. First, a ripe watermelon will sound hollow when it’s thumped. Second, the tendril closest to the melon’s stem (formerly the female flower’s pedicle) will be crispy brown, and third, a yellowish patch of color will be evident on the side of the melon that has been in contact with the ground while it has developed. If all three of those criteria are met, or even two out of three, the melon should be good to harvest. I’ve been very pleased to say that all five of the Calhoun Station watermelons have been recovered! Seeds of ‘Calhoun Sweet,’ ‘Calhoun Gray,’ ‘Louisiana Queen,’ ‘Red-N-Sweet,’ and ‘Summit’ have been obtained and between myself and my colleague, Marcie Wilson, at the Northeast Research Station in St. Joseph, seeds of all these wonderful Calhoun melons should be available after this season. Make plans to attend a tour of the gardens at the Northeast Research Station in St. Joe on August 5th, and like and follow Northeast Region Horticulture on Facebook! Stay safe and 88 hydrated!


Is Sagging Skin Causing You To Defy Gravity? Lift, Tighten, and Rejuvenate with a PDO Thread Lift BY JUDY WAGONER


HE LAWS OF GRAVITY TELL US THAT “WHAT COMES up must also come down.” Sadly, the same can be said of our skin. As we get older, skin begins to sag as a result of a natural loss of collagen and elastin — two proteins that provide the foundation of skin’s tautness and elasticity. And, thanks to gravity, our skin loses its firmness and shape over time…causing our skin to sag. But now, there’s a way to counteract those effects on the face and body…with a nonsurgical aesthetic procedure. PDO Threading may sound intimidating, but this popular treatment is an exciting, lifting and collagen-boosting procedure that will leave you feeling and looking younger. PDO threads are hypodermic needles, preloaded with a synthetic monofilament, barbed suture containing Polydioxanone. Once placed in the face or body, these barbed threads have 3 amazing effects on the skin: instant skin lifting, instant skin tightening, and collagen stimulation. Polydioxanone is FDA-approved and is some of the safest material that can be used in the body. Over a period of 4-6 months, your skin will fully absorb the PDO threads (sutures) without leaving any scar tissue. Then, the body’s inflammatory response continues to produce even more collagen for up two years.


The procedure is minimally invasive and is usually performed in less than an hour, with little to no downtime. Our patients love their results. Tens of thousands of treatments have been performed for decades with minimal reports of sensitivity, allergic reactions, or severe side effects. It’s a great alternative for those who don’t wish to undergo traditional lift surgery. It’s versatile, allowing us to treat practically all areas of the face and body, including neck, abdomen, inner thighs, knees, buttocks, hands and more. Our Nurse Practitioner, Elizabeth Hoskins, can help identify areas on your face and body that would benefit from this procedure or maybe another. Professional Laser Center also offers Botox, Filler, IPL, Laser Hair Removal, PinPointe Foot Laser, Microneedling, Shockwave for Cellulite, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement, and IV Nutrient Infusion. If you’re looking for a safe and cost-effective treatment to lift, tighten and rejuvenate your skin, a PDO Thread Lift may be just what you’ve been looking for. Our consultations are free. If you’d like to book an appointment or consultation, call our office at 318-361-9066. We would love to turn your dreams of beautiful, youthful skin into reality.

Your Hometown Urologist Dr. Robert Marx Specializes in Vasectomies


S SCHOOL SESSIONS RETURNS, you may be questioning if it’s time to retire your swimmers. Don’t hesitate, now is the perfect time to schedule that procedure you have been putting off through the busy summer months. A vasectomy is a medical procedure in which two tubes (the vas deferens) that carry sperm from the testicles to the urinary tract are tied and sealed. This prevents sperm from passing into the seminal stream and fertilizing a woman’s egg. Although it is permanent, it is surgically reversible in most cases. Reversibility is dependent upon time elapsed since the vasectomy. When it comes to forms of permanent male birth control, a vasectomy is the ideal permanent surgical procedure available to men. The procedure carries a very low risk of complications and is available to be performed as an outpatient procedure with localized anesthesia. Dr. Marx performs a nocut technique, which is the least invasive. The

patient is sedated and local anesthesia is used in order to achieve a painless procedure. THE VASECTOMY PROCEDURE IS NEARLY 100% EFFECTIVE Prior to a vasectomy, patients may be asked to prepare by: • Washing the scrotum to prevent infection • Not shaving the area • Bringing a pair of tight-fitting underwear or athletic support to the surgery to support the scrotum and minimize swelling • Arranging for transportation home to prevent extraneous movement • Avoiding anti-inflammatory drugs prior to and following the procedure, which thins the blood and can cause excessive bleeding AFTER THE VASECTOMY After the vasectomy is completed, patients are advised to rest for two days in order to reduce swelling and allow the vas deferens

to heal. Discomfort may last for up to a week after the procedure, with patients often being prescribed anti-inflammatory or painkillers for pain. Patients are encouraged to avoid heavy lifting, straining or squatting for 1 week. If you do any of these activities for work, you may need to take off work or arrange for light duty. Dr. Marx can give you an excuse. Also, keep the area dry for a week as well. If you are considering a vasectomy, call today to discuss your options with Dr. Marx. Robert D. Marx, M.D. is this community’s hometown urologist. He was born and raised right here in Monroe, Louisiana. He graduated from NLU, now ULM, and graduated from medical school and completed his residency at LSU Shreveport. Dr. Marx has traveled extensively working with the leaders of the field in order to keep up with the latest and most successful techniques in incontinence. He has been in practice for over thirty years and conveniently operates at Glenwood, Monroe Surgical and P&S.


Top Rated Pressure Washing In Monroe Dirty Home? Don’t Have Time? We Would Love To Help You!


RE YOU SEEING BLACK STREAKS on your roof? Streaks or spots on the driveway or patio? Bacteria and algae tend to build up on fences and decks. Is your home siding looking warn from dirt, grime, mildew build up or rust stains running down the side? Oil stains on your driveway? Is your brick or stucco mailbox becoming black or dirty? Have no fear, let Southern Xtreme Softwash come to your rescue. Southern Xtreme Softwash proudly serves the North Louisiana region. Homes and businesses just like cars need to be washed on a regular basis. Playgrounds need to be cleaned and sanitized for the safety and sanitary obligations for your children. Having your home or business washed will improve the curb appeal and reduce allergens. Keeping your property clean and safe is first and foremost with our company. Southern Xtreme Softwash will pre-treat concrete and paver stones to get rid of the


problem at the root so that your home will have a clean look and last a lifetime. Driveways are the first thing visitors or family see when arriving at your home so be sure to keep it clean to improve the curb appeal. Patios are much more inviting to relax in and enjoy when they are clean and fresh. Clean walkways also help reduce allergens from being tracked in to your home. We would love to help restore your deck, fence, gutters, or statues. Bacteria, mildew, algae, dirt or grime may have taken over and made them look old and tattered. Southern Xtreme Softwash is proud to use 100% biodegradable solutions when improving your home’s curb appeal. We use a blend of softwashing and power washing on each home except for roofs. Bacteria on asphalt shingles known as gloeocapsa magma can be visible by the black streaks seen on many roofs. Pressure washing will void the warranty on asphalt shingles, this why we use the softwash system recommended by ARMA

(Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association). Our solutions will penetrate, sanitize, and get rid of the issue resulting in a long lasting clean roof. Call Danny Brown and his team at Southern Xtreme Softwash today. They offer residential and commercial services, powerwashing, softwash roofs, houses, driveways, sidewalks, patios, decks, gutters, dumpster pads, outdoor athletic complexes, banks, apartments, churches and stadiums, just to name a few. They are locally owned and operated in Union Parish off Hwy. 2 in Sterlington, La. He and his family live in Frenchman’s Bend subdivision and look forward to serving their community.

Lose Weight — Right Here at Home The Surgery Clinic of NELA Offers a Comprehensive Program BY DR. MOHAMED BAKEER


O E S F LY I N G T O A N O T H E R country for inexpensive weight loss surgery seem too be good to be true? Well, that’s because it is. Leaving the country for weight loss surgery—also known as “medical tourism”—is alluring because the costs appear lower than undergoing the procedure in the U.S. Not only is this false, but more importantly: medical tourism is risky. The initial price of weight loss surgery in another country is less expensive due to the lower labor cost, but because of the potential risks, patients may eventually pay a lot more. Unregulated procedures, equipment limitations, undertrained staff, and sanitation issues can arise. Travel can be expensive and stressful, but travel after surgery can be dangerous. We advise patients to avoid air travel for six weeks after surgery to avoid blood clots. If the patients has any complications when they arrive home,

how will their surgeon—located outside of the U.S.—help them? The Surgery Clinic of Northeast Louisiana, located in downtown Monroe, offers postsurgery support and aftercare services via a thorough, multi-step surgical weight loss program. An experienced bariatric surgeon is essential to a successful outcome. In addition, weight loss surgery requires consistent followup with a surgical team. The Surgery Clinic’s program is designed to help patients through the initial stages of recovery and ensure they lose weight safely and effectively. Our program includes support from our surgeons and dietitian; we also schedule routine follow-up appointments to monitor the patient’s progress and well-being. For example, our dietitian provides in-depth counseling before and after surgery as part of our comprehensive weight loss program. In addition, she helps patients meet their nutritional needs throughout

their transformational journeys. We offer weight-loss surgeries that reduce a person’s risk of obesity-related diseases, including: • High blood pressure • Cancer • Heart disease • Diabetes • Infertility • Depression Almost every one of our patients has used the term “life-changing” when describing our weight loss surgeries. After losing weight, many of our patients can stop taking medication for joint pain, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Their mental health improves, too. One of our patients, a healthcare technology executive who has maintained a 200-pound weight loss since 2013, said: “I truly embraced this journey as not just life-changing, but a change in life. It taught me portion control and the importance of eating proteins first, vegetables second, and major carbs, if any, last. With the physical activities I enjoy, I have a recipe for success.” The Surgery Clinic of Northeast Louisiana, home of Delta Vein Care, houses surgeons Dr. Walter Sartor, Dr. Bart Liles, Dr. Patrick Smith, and Dr. Mohamed Bakeer. Contact the clinic today with your questions about general surgery and vein care procedures. For more information about weight loss surgery, visit: bariatric/





or most of your life you’ve probably been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Recently, you’ve likely been hearing the opposite; a longer overnight fasting window is more beneficial, so pushing your first meal off until lunch is the way to go. Which is it? Should you eat it or skip it? Many sources site cereal creators Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and fellow 7th Day Adventist James Caleb Jackson with coining the phrase, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” They used it as a marketing slogan to sell their cereal in the 19th century. In 2019, the Kellogg company earned $1.4 billion in profit from their cereal and convenience foods. Clearly their marketing scheme hit the mark, and the idea has stuck. In this country, cereal tops the chart of highest selling breakfast food and, while bacon comes in second (with only half the amount of sales as cereal), the next four spots go to cereal bars, grocery store doughnuts, bakery doughnuts, and hot cereal. We see frozen breakfast sandwiches and sausage next on the list, then more premade baked goods, frozen waffles, bagels, toaster pastries, muffins, etc. It’s clear that of those who do eat breakfast, high sugar convenience food is the preferred choice of the majority. 98 AUGUST 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

In fitness and wellness circles, intermittent fasting has been the recent trend. The most common approach is to hold off until lunch to have the first meal of the day to increase the daily fasting window. The idea is that by going longer between meals, you’ll keep blood sugar levels stable for a longer period of time, which gives your system a break from consistently elevated insulin. Spending more time during the day with stable blood sugar and low insulin allows your body to utilize it’s own fat stores for fuel and helps your body maintain healthy insulin sensitivity, which prevents the cascade of blood sugar dysregulation that can lead to weight gain and type two diabetes. This makes sense in theory, but it doesn’t work quite this simply for everyone. Cortisol, which you likely know as one of your body’s stress hormones, is also an important blood sugar regulating hormone. Its highest in the morning, which is what wakes you from sleep and gets you moving, then drops steadily throughout the day. Cortisol is also vital for helping your body maintain blood sugar balance. If blood sugar takes a nose dive, or even just gets a little bit low, cortisol is released which triggers the liver to release some of its stored sugar into the blood stream. This means that even in the absence of food, the presence of stress can raise blood sugar and insulin. For some

people, going too long between meals can trigger a stress response that causes an elevation of blood sugar. The act of fasting itself can actually increase blood sugar! Fasting helps regulate blood sugar for some, and for others it can make matters worse. This is why there’s so much conflicting advice out there. Women seem to be especially sensitive to cortisol and insulin and don’t tend to experience the benefits of regular fasting that many men do. Additionally, the higher your overall stress burden already is, the less likely it is that you’re able to tolerate the added stress of skipping meals. A simple way you can determine how skipping breakfast affects you is to test your blood sugar. Using an inexpensive blood glucose monitor, which you can pick up at the pharmacy, test your blood sugar when you first wake up in the morning, before any coffee. A healthy fasted blood sugar is 99mg/dl or less. If your level is higher than that when you first wake up, it can indicate that you already have some blood sugar dysregulation going on. Test it again every hour until lunch. Does it consistently rise or does it stay stable? If it remains stable or decreases slightly, morning intermittent fasting is likely an approach that works for you. If it continues to climb, however, and then gets lower about 30-60 minutes

The most important thing to remember when it comes to nutrition is that not everything works the same for everyone.

after lunch, this can indicate that extending your overnight fast is an added stress on your system that is hurting rather than benefitting you. Your tolerance for fasting will also likely fluctuate based on the other stressors you have going on at the time. If you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, have a looming deadline at work that you’re worried about, are drinking caffeine (which spikes cortisol), and started the day with an intense workout, the added stress of skipping breakfast is probably not going to be beneficial. What if you don’t even have an appetite in the morning? If you’re skipping breakfast simply because you can’t stomach the thought of eating, this can be an indication that your body is in a state of stress. Chronically elevated cortisol triggers the break down of your own resources (muscle tissue, specifically) for fuel, which diminishes the need for food and dampens appetite. If this is the

case for you, try eating at least a little bit of protein within an hour of waking to rev your metabolic engine and encourage a healthy hormonal balance. Start with a protein shake or a mug of bone broth if you can’t eat solid food. Regularly getting in at least some protein every morning will give your body the signal that it isn’t starving and your metabolism will slowly kick back into gear. When you feel that appetite start to come back, that’s a good thing! Remember that the enemy of healthy hormonal balance, metabolic function, and weight isn’t food, it’s stress. Many of the benefits attributed to skipping breakfast could actually be due to the fact that it keeps people from eating those high sugar, carbohydrate rich breakfast foods that consumers are buying like crazy. Instead of jumping right to intermittent fasting to try and manage blood sugar, start with a breakfast that’s rich in protein and healthy fats. This will prevent the morning spike in

blood sugar that leads to a roller coaster of highs a lows all day. If you aren’t big on eggs or sausage (from healthy pastured pigs raised at a local farm, of course), don’t limit yourself to breakfast food. Think of your first meal of the day as simply that; meal one. There’s no reason you can’t enjoy leftover steak and salad from last night’s dinner as your first meal of the day. The most important thing to remember when it comes to nutrition is that not everything works the same for everyone. Rather than listening to what the latest article or study says is best, listen to your own body. Track your blood sugar. Be mindful of all the ways your body may be experiencing stress. If you have a healthy hormonal balance and no health complaints, then keep doing whatever you’re doing! If you don’t feel healthy and balanced, then take notice not of what you need to cut out, but of what you need to include more of in order to nurture healthier functioning.


A Monroe Staple

Find Local Favorites at Aron’s Pharmacy Grill


H E L E G E N D A RY G R I L L AT Aron’s Pharmacy began in 1964, when Dave Aron opened “Aron’s Luncheonette.” At the time, grills and soda fountains were staples in hometown mom and pop pharmacies across the country. When Dave passed away in 1971, his son, Carl Aron took over the family business. Times began to change and many hometown pharmacies sold out to the big box stores, leading to the demise of the popular lunch spots. Despite the trend of the times, and the grill’s modest profit margin, Carl kept it up and running to generate more foot traffic in his pharmacy, and the rest is as they say…history. The grill at Aron’s Pharmacy has now been serving generations of Monrovians for close to 60 years. “I am now seeing my friends bring their grandkids in to eat,” says Melissa Aron Gillum, Carl’s oldest daughter. She came to Monroe in 2021 to assist at the pharmacy when her father became ill. Carl


Aron passed away in January of this year and she states, “My dad loved sitting at the grill and visiting with all of his dear friends and customers who were regulars.” Gillum says, “It’s such a laid back atmosphere and on any given day you can find some of Monroe’s finest citizens, police officers, firemen, doctors, lawyers etc dining in the grill.” She adds, “My dad would always tell me that if I ever wanted to know what was happening in Monroe, I should just sit at the grill and listen in on all of the conversations.” There have been several grill employees over the past 50 years , many whom worked at Aron’s for over 30 years. Long time customers will remember Ruth Evans and Angie Brown who were staples in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s and current customers are very familiar with Ruthie Brown who has been leading the team since 2010. Mona Jenkins, Sue Hutchinson and Michelle Thompson are now the newest members of the Aron’s Pharmacy family and

have quickly become adored by customers, old and new. The grill is famous for their homestyle hamburgers, but the menu includes so many more diner staples such as, onion rings, patty melts, hot dogs, hamburger steaks, malts and milkshakes just to name a few. Breakfast is also served from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., including omelets, grits, bacon, hash browns, pancakes and waffles. You have to try a grilled honeybun, which is heaven on a plate! The grill is open Monday through Saturday, 8am to 3pm. You can dine in and sit at a table or booth, or even grab a stool at the old fashioned lunch counter where you can observe all the cooking magic! Come dine with us!

Labor of Love at Morehouse General

Delivering Babies for Over 90 Years


HEN CHOOSING A HOSPITAL for your baby’s birth, you’ll want to consider whether the hospital is a good fit for your pregnancy. Ask about hospital policies; rooming options for you, baby, and your partner; and the availability of anesthesiologists and lactation consultants on site. As a rural healthcare provider, Morehouse General Hospital has been serving the needs of the community and delivering babies for over 90 years. Beyond the primary mission of providing high quality, cost effective health care services, we take pride in striving to stay abreast of the latest trends in healthcare. In most cases, you’ll deliver your baby at the hospital where your healthcare provider has admitting privileges. So keep in mind that when you choose a doctor or midwife, you’ll likely be choosing the place where you’ll give birth. It’s worth doing some research to make sure the hospital’s policies and approach to birth fit your needs. The Labor & Delivery Unit at Morehouse

General was created with mother-baby bonding in mind. We offer private rooms that are spacious and fully-equipped with the most up-to-date monitoring equipment to ensure the safety of your newborn. All of our staff is trained in fetal heart monitoring and neonatal resuscitation. After you have delivered your baby, your newborn will be place skin-to-skin to assist with bonding. Rooming-in is encouraged for healthy babies and their mothers to stay together day and night for bonding and care. Our staff is fully trained to provide lactation assistance should you choose to breastfeed. Breastfeeding offers significant benefits for both mothers and babies. Why deliver at Morehouse General? • Play an active role in your own healthcare as an equal member of your care team. • Deliver in large, private birthing suites with the most up to date equipment, which encourages in-rooming for mother-baby bonding.

• Receive educational information from our team so that you are able to make informed decisions about your own childbirth, postpartum, newborn care, and breastfeeding experience. • Know you and your baby will be cared for by staff that is trained in fetal heart monitoring and neonatal resuscitation. • Stay safe in our locked unit. Since the security of our mothers and babies are a top priority, strict protocols are in place to ensure your protection. • Bond with our physicians and nurses. One benefit of delivering at a rural hospital is that you can develop a closer bond with your care team. In the L&D unit, our nurse-to-patient ratios are lower than average, ensuring our patients are truly cared for like family, not simply a patient. MGH OB/GYN Clinic Curtis Sanders, MD | Lynn Milliman, NP 430 S. Vine St., Bastrop Phone 318-283-3970 Fax: 318-239-8930 MGH Physicians Clinic- Sterlington Labor of Love Midwifery Lisa Smith, CNM 8649 Hwy 165 STE 1 Monroe Phone: 318-283-3980 Fax: 318-239-8980 Labor & Delivery Unit 323 West Walnut Ave Bastrop Phone:318-283-3600 |


Play, Eat and Stay at Waterview Casino & Hotel Our View on a Great Casino


O U C A N D E FINITELY FIND AN EXPE RI E N CE TO remember for all the right reasons at WaterView Casino and Hotel in Vicksburg, MS. This crazy world has thrown a lot at us over the last few years, so it’s never been more important to find a happy place. WaterView has certainly seen lots of changes in recent years, many of them specifically implemented to improve the guest experience and make this a happy place for many people! The addition of our new slot area in April, the complete renovation of our 122-room hotel, the installation of three new EV chargers, and the recent upgrades to our lobby restrooms are only a few examples of this year’s improvements to our facility and your enjoyment of it. Whether you are thinking of trying your luck at a table or slot machine, or even placing a bet on your favorite sport or team, we have the latest and greatest gaming available for our players. If you are planning a weekend getaway, a relaxing stop on your travels, or just a quick night out, WaterView is closer than the coast and has lots to offer. Next up, we’re bringing back live entertainment in our Event Center. Showcasing two of Mississippi’s finest performers, WaterView is excited to feature these amazing LIVE shows! We always have live entertainment on weekends at the Casino Stage, but these two shows are destined to help you make some great new memories at WaterView Casino and Hotel.


Join us in the Event Center on Saturday, September 17 to be amazed by the blues artistry of Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. This Grammy-nominated young man has been called “the defining blues voice of his generation,” as he has encompassed elements of guitar greats like Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, and Prince into his own sound and style. This is a show you do not want to miss. Then on Saturday, October 15th, comedian Rita Brent takes the stage to tickle your funny bone. This multi-talented comedian, musician, writer, and military veteran has seen her star rise spectacularly in recent years. YouTube hits like “Rock Me Like a Pothole” and songs like “Raised in the ‘Sipp” showcase her talents. She’s known for her comedy performances on several comedy showcases and on tour with well-known performers like Cedric the Entertainer and recently, added awards show writing to her resume. Has it been a while since you crossed the Mississippi River to visit our fair city? Have you seen our upgrades yet? If you have not visited recently, it might be time to come and enjoy some fun, gaming action, and relaxation at the first casino to open in Vicksburg! We’ve been sprucing the place up and we’d love for you to see what’s new here at WaterView Casino and Hotel. For more information, visit our website at

Hip Fractures: A National Epidemic

Osteoporosis - A Silent Disease


HIP FRACTURE IS A BREAK IN THE UPPER ONE FOURTH of the femur or thigh bone. Currently there are over 350,000 hip fractures occurring yearly in the United States and by the year 2050 that number is expected to climb to 650,000. Women have almost 3 times the number of hip fractures as men but the mortality rate of men with these injuries is twice as high as seen in women. Functional recovery following hip fractures extends up to one year but only 40 percent of hip fracture patients can expect to walk with the same level of ease or functionality as before their injury occurred. Nonetheless, researchers have documented that three fourths of hip fracture patients are able to perform basic activities of daily living within one year of their injury. Hip fractures are classified according to their severity and by their location in the upper femur. Femoral neck fractures occur between the head of the thigh bone and the trochanters of this bone. Intertrochanteric fractures occur between the greater and lesser trochanters, and subtrochanteric fractures occur below the lesser trochanter. Each of these fracture types may be displaced, non-displaced (meaning the fracture is well-aligned), or minimally-displaced with differing treatment options based upon this criteria. Displaced femoral neck fractures usually require a replacement prosthesis while both intertrochanteric and subtrochanteric fractures are usually stabilized with a rod & screws or a plate & screws. Non-displaced femoral neck fractures can be managed non-operatively (but must be x-rayed frequently as there is a significant

risk for future displacement requiring a prosthetic) or operatively stabilized. Operative intervention for patients having sustained an acute hip fracture is preferable within the first 24-48 hours after which an early rehabilitation course should begin. In cases such as these where surgical intervention is delayed, there is a greater likelihood of morbidity and mortality. A high percentage of hip fractures are considered fragility fractures or injuries related to osteoporosis. Any individual over the age of 50 who sustains a fracture as a result of only modest trauma (i.e. fall from standing height ) should be screened for osteoporosis. Calcium and vitamin D taken daily, encouraging weight bearing exercise and/or weight training, smoking cessation, and avoiding excessive prolonged alcohol intake are preventative measures for osteoporosis. Medication such as bisphosphonates (Fosamax,Boniva and Reclast) can be taken orally or by IV infusion while denosumab (Prolia) administered as a subcutaneous injection all delay bone resorption. Newer medications (Forteo,Tymlos and Evenity) are given as a daily injection and have been shown to build new bone. These pharmaceuticals should be strongly considered in individuals who have previously sustained a fragility fracture and are shown to have osteoporosis upon testing. If you are living with hip pain or suspect you have a condition such as osteoporosis which makes you susceptible to a hip fracture, consider scheduling an appointment with one of our orthopaedic surgeons who can properly diagnose and treat your condition.


“Glow” Back to School Q and A with Aesthetics RN, Claire


ETTING YOUR NEW SCHEDULE, books, supplies, and back to school clothes? Don’t forget your Fall protocol for healthy, glowing, blemish-free skin, so you can “glow” back to school! The Woman’s Clinic partnered with ZO Skin Health in 2019 and offers free consultations with our Aesthetics RN, Claire. She was the first certified ZO Expert in NELA and has extensive knowledge in building protocols. She will sit down with you to design a personalized protocol based on skin type and condition as well as level of compliance, budget, and lifestyle. During your free consultation, you will have the opportunity to ask all of your questions. Meanwhile, we asked her a few of our own! Q: I’ve been told that my oily skin will slow down the aging process. Is that true? No. The oil (sebum) does not hydrate the skin or prevent aging. In fact, excess oil that sits on the surface of the skin will damage the protective skin barrier over time. Q: I have trouble remembering what


product to use in the morning or evening, and what steps to follow. Can you help me? Absolutely! Your protocol will be given to you with easy steps for AM/PM routines. Also, your personal skincare professional is always available by phone or patient portal at no additional charge. Q: My skin is sensitive. Will ZO products irritate me? Most likely your sensitivity is due to a damaged barrier. Antioxidants, antiinflammatories, and DNA repair will correct this issue. Q: Most acne products I have purchased in the past dry out my skin. Are ZO Skin Health products going to do the same? ZO Skin Health products are packed with hydrators, calming elements, and vitamins to nourish and protect your skin while ridding it of excess sebum. Remember that oil and water are not the same. Q: I don’t have time or patience to do a long skin care routine. Is there something for me?

Of course! Protocols are tailored to level of compliance. Q: I have dark places on my skin where I’ve had acne. Is it permanent? Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) can be treated effectively with pigment control products such as hydroquinone and retinol under the guidance of a professional. Q: My acne is clear now, but I have bothersome scars. Can you help? Yes. Using a dermal retinol and/or radiofrequency treatments such as Sublative RF to stimulate collagen are very effective in minimizing acne scars. Q: Why should I purchase ZO instead of something less expensive? If you get one line of medical grade products with proven efficacy, you will stop the habit of picking up multiple products that don’t work, thus saving money. Q: I don’t have time to come in for a consultation. May I do it virtually? Yes! We offer telehealth and phone consultations also. We can have products ready for pickup, or we will direct you to the online store for shipping. *After consultation, first-time ZO purchases over $100 in value will be discounted 20% until Aug. 31, 2022. This does not apply to online purchases. Call 318-388-4030 and choose option 3 to schedule your free consultation with Claire.

Culinary Kitchen

How does a chef of Cory Bahr’s caliber, one that has been in hundreds of commercial kitchens all over the country, narrow down selections for a home kitchen? Bahr’s response is refreshing–simplicity and cabinet space. ARTICLE BY VANELIS RIVERA



While a few extravagant items are an arm’s reach away from assisting the making of a delectable home meal, some items in the Bahr fridge are much more familiar American and Southern staples. Alongside the miniature bottles of Moët champagne is a line of Abita Root Beer, cans of Flying Tiger Jucee, and Dr. Pepper.

ory Bahr is a busy man. He is the owner and founder of Parish Restaurant, Standard Coffee Co., and Heritage Catering in Monroe. He is a Culinary Ambassador for the state of Louisiana, on the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association, and a member of the Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries Chef Council. Adding to the whirlwind that has been his life, he and wife Whitney Bahr welcomed their first child, Oliver, into the world last year. Around the same time, the couple decided to renovate a part of their home, creating a kitchen and dining area that better suited their new lifestyle. But how does a chef of Bahr’s caliber, one that has been in hundreds of commercial kitchens all over the country, narrow down selections for a home kitchen? Bahr’s response is refreshing–simplicity and cabinet space. Bahr has been living in his craftsman bungalow for about fifteen years. “I love my house,” he says, explaining that the recent renovations were an attempt to “breathe new life into it.” Growing up, Bahr spent a majority of his time in the kitchen with his family, so he wanted to create a kitchen that would be centered



around gathering with loved ones. Having almost doubled the square footage of his home after the renovations, the kitchen area is the most open space, connecting to the dining area and the family room. “We wanted to make it user-friendly and have some simplicity to it,” he says. Keeping the space minimal was paramount to preserving the character of the home but also curating an area that would allow for movement, especially considering that little Oliver enjoys his walker. “I feel like usability and having ample space to prep is the most important thing. A lot of times, people put things in their kitchens that they never use,” he says, emphasizing the importance of flow in an area that involves the preparation and sharing of food. Bahr credits his wife with overseeing most of the project. She picked all the finishes and customized the cabinets, fleshing out and bringing life to their shared vision. The kitchen is divided into three sections–the stove and adjoining counters and ceiling-high cabinets, an immense island with hidden storage and a builtin stone farm sink, and an additional window-view counter with a built-in microwave. The creamy, milkwhite of the counters juxtaposes the black granite tops, which stand at about 44 inches, two inches more than standard length, making it easier to cook without having to stoop over. “It’s just an openness,” says Bahr, enthused over the ample space he has to prep, be it a quick lunch before he heads to work or larger-scale operations like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. “And I’m not cramped,” he says. “I don’t have a bunch of things to walk around.” When asked about his favorite appliance, he didn’t skip a beat. “If I’m going to be honest with you, our over-the-top microwave,” he laughs. The high-end Sharp Microwave drawer cooks to a capacity of 950 cooking watts, has 11 power levels, and has the ability to sensor cook. In short, it makes Bahr’s life easier. A lot of times, he gets home from the restaurant hours after his wife has made dinner. His handy Sharp warms it up to perfection. Another of his favorite devices is one he also has at Parish. His Hoshizaki ice-maker allows the family to have at their disposal dense, top-hatshaped ice. Regular ice melts quickly, but the specialty cube made in this machine keeps drinks cold without melting too quickly. “I love that thing,” he enthuses. As new parents, the item the Bahrs need most is probably coffee. But most will be surprised at how this chef is getting his caffeine fix post-baby Oliver. “When we were dating it was all Chemex all the time,” he says with a hearty laugh. Those familiar with the pourover style glass coffeemaker know that the process requires some waiting. When Whitney was pregnant, time was becoming of the essence so they got a drip coffee pot in order to prep the coffee at night and set

the timer for the morning. This was working fine until Oliver was born. Eight months into parenthood, Bahr received a Nespresso machine for Father’s Day. It was just the remedy they both needed, especially since there have been times they have forgotten to set the drip coffee or it’s too late at night to grind coffee beans because Oliver is asleep. “Yeah, there’s been a few compromises. But hey, it makes good coffee and it gets the job done,” he says, adding, “As long as the family’s happy and healthy and things are good, that’s fine with me.” While the Bahrs do have a few kitchen toys, the couple makes sure to only buy what is absolutely needed. “I can have all the gadgets in the world that I never use,” he says, but he prefers to have more counter space than accumulate unnecessary builtins or storage clutter. In this same vein, he considers long-lasting appliances the most under-appreciated aspect of a home kitchen. “Nowadays, so much of our society is a kind of throwaway society in a lot of ways.” When he was a kid, buying an oven meant finding your forever cooking station. “Most people don’t think about things like

that anymore.” At the core of his kitchen is a six-burner, heavy-duty Viking convection oven with a hood vent. He was well-versed with the series he’d be getting as he has had a working relationship with the company. The closed burners are similar to restaurant models, maintaining a high output while staying operationally manageable. He appreciates the sensitive controls on the oven, allowing him to cook delicate dishes like stocks and gumbo: “You know, the last thing you want to do is scorch it by trying to simmer it, so the controls are extremely fine.” To top off the finesse of this machinery, the oven is much deeper and wider than the average appliance. “I can fit like three pies and two turkeys in there. Yeah, you can really get it going,” he adds. Perhaps the most curious aspect of the Bahr kitchen for us mere mortals is what is stashed in his two-door fridge. “That’s way more interesting,” Bahr laughs, excited to dig into his niche. On his shelves, mostly condiments. One of the first items he mentioned as a favorite is Duke’s Real Mayonnaise, smooth and creamy, made with Eugenia Duke’s original 1917 recipe.


“If I’m going to be honest with you, our over-the-top microwave,” he laughs. The high-end Sharp Microwave drawer cooks to a capacity of 950 cooking watts, has 11 power levels, and has the ability to sensor cook. In short, it makes Bahr’s life easier.



fan of toppings, he keeps a lot of bottles of vinegar and sauces to amplify his meals like Huichol Hot Sauce, a souvenir from his travels to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Another import and favorite is yuzu juice, made from the sour citrus indigenous to some Asian countries. “Obviously, some awesome produce from Current Farms,” he beams, mentioning that he recently ate a tomato from the farmer’s market with some “really good vinegar out of the fridge,” some blue cheese, and some arugula from Current Farms. “That’s what you’ll find in our fridge,” he says, “ingredients to make other things.” While a few extravagant items are an arms-reach away from assisting the making of a delectable home meal, some items in the Bahr fridge are much more familiar American and Southern staples. Alongside the miniature bottles of Moët champagne is a line of Abita Root Beer, cans of Flying Tiger Jucee, and Dr. Pepper. HEINZ® Tomato Ketchup and French’s Classic Yellow Mustard have made the condiment cut. And from a bottom shelf, Conecuh Sausage links peek through a clear drawer. In the freezer, Bahr stocks Jimmy Dean’s breakfast sandwiches. “Hey, I’m not always there to make stock,” he explains, referring to another shortcut he keeps around, a jar of Better Than Bouillon. “I use that as a flavor enhancer a lot of times in the house. Because it’s quick and easy. And sometimes you just gotta have quick and easy.” The Bahr kitchen looks picture perfect. White orchids contrast the hardness of the granite counters, and the sleek matte black bar stools and kitchen chairs complement the gilded light fixtures. It’s a dream kitchen, but not because of how it looks, necessarily. As it goes, there are times when the kitchen is in disarray. It is as much space for cooking and eating as it is a prep station for little Oliver, whose bathtime sometimes occurs in the spacious sink. “We’ve all been in homes that are super beautiful and super fun, and nobody cooks in,” mentions Bahr who values the creation of memories over aesthetics. Of course, it doesn’t hurt when your kitchen looks like a page out of a design magazine, but ultimately the goal was simplicity and space. Parenting is what the Bahrs’ life is really about and their kitchen is where the love of food and family meet.


Dan Robertson Elected to Board of Directors


ANK OF OAK RIDGE IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE that Dan Robertson of Monroe has been elected to the Board of Directors. Dan is President of Robertson Produce in Monroe, which is celebrating 75 years in 2022. He took over the family enterprise in 1992 after working five years for Central Bank. Dan has overseen Robertson’s expansion into Clinton, MS and most recently the acquisition of Santa Maria Produce in Shreveport, LA. Dan has been active at his alma mater, University of Louisiana Monroe, heading the ULM Facilities Corporation (campus real estate projects) and as a board member of the ULM Athletic Association. Other community contributions include board positions with both the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana. Dan’s addition to Bank of Oak Ridge Board of Directors is one more commitment to the bank’s Ouachita Parish expansion. Dan joins existing board members Clint Shepard, Chairman; Tommy Barham, Secretary; Andy Barham; Zoe Meeks; Tom Allen; Berry Barham; Dan Barr; Meme Johnson and Paige Oliver. Look for an announcement coming soon for a ribbon cutting at the bank’s expanded Monroe facility on Tower Drive! Bank of Oak Ridge is a Louisiana chartered bank that began in 1910 and has proudly served Oak Ridge and the surrounding area for over 100 years. The bank moved into the Monroe market with a Loan Production Office in 2016, before converting to a fullservice branch in 2019. Since then, the bank has proudly been listed on the 2020 ICBA Top Lender List for Commercial Loans and earned the 2020 Thomas H. Scott Awards of Excellence Small Business Award. The bank became a Community Development Financial Institution in 2022 to help generate and promote economic growth in our region.



Bon Appetit

Let Your Children Help in the Kitchen

article by Cindy G. Foust


’m starting this month’s column in a happy euphoric state because I get to write about a topic that is near and dear to my heart... food. This month’s BayouLife magazine is what we call our “food edition,” and I couldn’t be happier. Why? Because it’s not about fashion. Or make-up. Or weddings. Or should your toe nail polish match your fingernails. But food on the other hand, now you’re talking my love language. I often say that I have no hobbies, no friends and no life (of course I have friends, some really good ones, I just never get to spend time with them), because all I do is work and cook. Just kidding… I cook because I enjoy it… it’s not a job! Yes, cooking is my life in so many words. I study the art (not in Italy with an elderly Italian lady in some remote town, although, that is on my bucket list) and I’m constantly trying to figure out a way to make food taste better. Well, I know butter makes everything, including Kale, taste better, but it will also clog your arteries and make you fluffy. I actually began my culinary career around the age of 15, when the church cookbook was the only real resource you had if you wanted to “experiment” and try something new. As a result, my family was often the guinea pigs for such delicacies like “Cindy’s Stuff” (honestly, Julia Child would have had me deported to the moon if she had tried it, and I’m not sure she would have thought that was far enough), which included ground beef, and a “can” of everything my mom had in the pantry. Don’t knock it till you try it readers, it was really quite tasty spooned over a big (long sigh...buttered) slab of Jiffy cornbread. As the years began


to pass and I found myself a poor college student with three roommates to feed, I began to really brave the culinary front and continued with constant recipe experimentation with my newest guinea pigs. With that little cooking history, I guess you could say I have been cooking my entire life, and I have never tired of it. Just like writing, it’s my passion (I wish exercise could be my passion), and as a result, because it’s what they’ve watched me do all of their lives, my kids have taken an interest. My son has actually become quite the chef and studies YouTube videos and TikToks about cooking on the daily. A friend of mine actually sent me a text recently and said I needed to make a TikTok in the kitchen cooking some of the food I love. I’m like, “Do you want my children to tell me good-bye and go live with another family? In Utah?” Back to my son cooking like he’s Bobby Flay… he is actually getting married in November (can any of you really believe that? I’ve been writing about him in this column since he was 13!) and I am feeling pretty good that he and his new wife won’t starve to death! But, where was I? I think I wanted to write this column in hopes of building a wholesome and nutritious bridge to getting your children interested in cooking, especially those picky eaters. I don’t know how it was for you, but when I was growing up, my mom (or Bitsy, who cooked many a meal for me) didn’t indulge her family by making sure there was something on the table that everyone liked. She cooked it... you ate it. It may not have been my favorite, but we scarfed it down like it was (well, except when Bitsy made squirrel...I’m quite sure I threw away many a napkins full of one word...YUCK).

As we have raised our children, Scott and I have subscribed to the same sort of philosophy, we cooked it, and they ate it (well, not always, but most of the time.) My late son, Samuel, at just two years old, loved coleslaw and would “gnaw” the meat off a rib right down to the bone (I know, I know, between squirrel napkins and gnawed rib bones, your stomach is queasy). But I have to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure we did this consciously; I think it has always been more of “we did what we were taught.” I have had many conversations through the years with friends and family about “picky eater” problems. I mean, haven’t we all? I have to admit, I even have friends and family (you know who you are) who think chicken nuggets are a food group. As I try to qualify in every column, I am no expert, but I am a mom. And being a mom does qualify me to at least offer up a few ideas on how to get your child to overcome their, shall we say, food phobias. There are literally hundreds of articles written on this very subject. Of course, a few ideas jumped at me, because I found them to be more realistic, than say, blending spinach into their strawberry banana smoothie (isn’t it going to turn the smoothie green? I thought so, so yes, I’m sure (sarcasm noted) that will be very appealing to their eyes and they will lap it right

up.) I actually think having your children help make the grocery list is a great place to start. Take this opportunity to let them put what they like on the list and then have them write different foods that perhaps they don’t like. Explain to them the nutritional value of each and even talk to them about how you prepare the dish. Do a little research yourself, and learn how all the colorful fruits and vegetables play into our diet. Next, let them go grocery shopping with you (no eye rolls or heavy sighs please.) This can actually be fun, if you let your children help you find the items on your list and cross them off as you go. And then a suggestion, that I’m totally on board with, let them help you with food preparation. Now, I’m not saying you need to buy your six-year old a set of Wusthof knives, but hey, teach them to tear the lettuce for the salad, squeeze the lemons or peel the hard boiled eggs. It won’t be long before they will be asking to bake a cake or even stir fry some chicken they saw on a video on YouTube. Finally, start introducing new foods to your child or children every week. One article I read suggested you do it every meal, and I say, they need to get in touch with picky eater reality. But once a week, introduce this new food alongside one of their favorites.

As Dr. Joaquin Rosales has always said, “pick your battles,” and if they don’t like it, or they resist, just revisit the same food another time, or prepare it a different way. With all the culinary resources at our fingertips, especially on the internet, there are literally thousands of ways to get your child interested in and motivated to try new foods. Anyone that has shared a meal that I have prepared will tell you, my mantra is, “it’s all about presentation.” Remember that as you prepare their plate, and make it look as appetizing as possible. Shoot, I reckon (as Bitsy used to say), you could let them help you with presentation, but doing something as simple as using a cookie cutter to make their sandwich. It takes a little work, and I’m not guaranteeing your children will be eating roasted Brussels sprouts within a week, but there is absolutely no reason they shouldn’t be moving in a direction that will help them overcome their aversion to foods that taste delicious and are good for them. Bon Appetit readers... the holidays are coming, and that’s a wonderful time and platform to get in the kitchen!

Cindy G. Foust is a wife, mom, author and blogger. You can find her blog at the for weekly columns about home life, parenting, small business stories and insight with a smidgen of literacy. Give her a like or follow on Facebook and Instagram.


St. Christopher Day School Save the Date for Our Next Town Hall Event


UR GOAL IS TO CREATE AN environment for each child to reach their full potential, explore their talents and develop skills, mindsets, and dispositions to become independent lifelong learners and agile thinkers capable of engaging fully in the global community. OUR CURRICULUM All of our teaching methods and carefully selected curricular materials are informed by a variety of tested psychological theories and pedagogical approaches. We have chosen some of the best and most trusted curricular resources that are capable of not only addressing children’s varying needs and goals but also complementing our dynamic daily practices (independent, one-onone, small group, and whole class sessions). Each of the carefully selected curriculums comes with insightful formative and summative assessments and reports that help


educators build a comprehensive view of each child. Along with academic skills, a big emphasis is placed on creating opportunities for children to learn how to learn, to develop confidence, curiosity, growth mindset, creativity, grace, courtesy, and responsibility as well as an ability to navigate change. OUR CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES As a result of close collaboration with our Monroe Community, children will have an opportunity to engage in a variety of incredible learning opportunities such as organic gardening, library, financial education, cooking, wood workshop, foreign language, and more. GRADING AND ASSESSMENT Educators carefully track every child’s growth through continuous formative assessments that inform children’s further

learning experiences. Children are guided by the educators towards mastery of core academic skills, and their progress is shared with their families on a weekly basis. As a result of one-on-one conferences with the educators, children are fully aware of their work and goals. They practice self-reflection when discussing their learning, their strengths, and growth opportunities. Twice a year, educators share with the families elaborate report cards where they assess each child’s work on a trajectory of skills, by showing whether a child is emergent in a skill, practicing a skill, or mastered a skill. Along with the skills-based assessment, educators create and share with the families, narratives about each child’s growths and goals. At St. Christopher Day School, educators deeply understand and know every child and carefully observe and record their learning journey. St. Christopher’s Day School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate based on race, color, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship, and athletic and other schooladministered programs.

Wastewater and Soil Tests By ULM Environmental Analysis Lab


HE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA MONROE Environmental Analysis Lab is now accredited to conduct 85 wastewater, soil and animal tissue tests to protect the health of northeast Louisiana’s land, waterways and people. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality issued accreditation for six new types of chemical and biological tests to the laboratory, bringing the total number of local evaluations from 79 to 85. These approvals will save ULM more than $30,000 per year. In 1979, the laboratory opened to assist the agriculture industry in the region by testing soil samples. In the four decades since, the lab has expanded its services to analyze 85 different types of toxicology tests, including mercury levels in fish tissue, pH levels in soil and potential lead in wastewater. The six new tests include lithium, nitrate-nitrite, phosphorous, total kjeldahl nitrogen and two additional methods to test nitrate and chemical oxygen demand. Previously, the lab sent those samples to other organizations outside the region. This cost the institution money, as well as clients’ precious time. “ULM will process the samples faster than sending them off to another lab,” said Terri Lancaster, director of the ULM Environmental Analysis Lab. “This will provide a great service to our clients as far as turnaround time.” ULM has the only accredited wastewater analysis lab in the region. Clients range from private residents to the federal government. It regularly tests water quality from 12 different locations on Bayou DeSiard for the City of Monroe, as well as effluent water discharge from large industrial plants to small car washes. This testing keeps Louisiana’s waterways – and ultimately Louisiana’s people – safe and healthy. “An industry has to meet EPA requirements to discharge water so it does not pollute the waterways. For example, if we dumped whatever we wanted into the Ouachita River, it would be detrimental to the ecosystem and it would be detrimental to the health of everyone who lives in the area,” Lancaster said. Lancaster leads a team of five employees and student workers who serve the community with their passion for science. Many of the student workers are studying in ULM’s prestigious toxicology program, one of only six in the nation. Their academic studies and part-time job at the lab are teaching them how to help large ecosystems like the Ouachita River, but also smaller environments like football fields, golf courses and backyards. Anyone in the public can submit a soil sample and receive recommendations for just $15. The scientists at ULM’s lab will make suggestions for types of plants that would grow best in that soil, as well fertilizers to use to help those plants grow to their full potential. For details on how to submit a soil sample, call the ULM Environmental Analysis Lab at 318-342-1948. “When you protect the environment, you’re ultimately protecting those that live in the environment,” Lancaster said.


Life Choices Celebrates with a Community Prayer Service A night of prayer and worship with the community of northeast Louisiana was held on Tuesday, July 12th at Jack Howard Theater. The service included pastors from across the community and were united in prayer and scripture readings. Worship was led by Ty Shirey and the Christ Church worship team. It was an incredible evening celebrating LIFE! Visit Life Choices on Facebook on how to become a volunteer.

On the BayouScene

1 Chad Parker, Rhonda Brown and Tod Hibbard 2 Steve Wilkins and Jonathan Wagner 3 Jamie Halley, Ainsley Yarbrough and Jillian Peacock 4 Eli, Marcie and Jason Saucer 5 JT Stong and Stephen Rainwater 6 Jamie and Jonathan Halley 7 Linda Trimble and Pat Domangue









ULM Pilot Program

Develops High School Students Into Educators


UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA MONROE professor won the Educators Rising Champion Award at the organization’s conference on June 26 in Washington, D.C. Dr. Amy Weems is an assistant professor of education and launched the Louisiana Educators Rising pilot program three years ago at Neville, Oak Grove and Wossman high schools. The goal of Educators Rising is to encourage students to choose education as a career path by offering college credit opportunities, mentor relationships with college professors and leadership development sessions. “Helping to repair our teaching workforce pipeline is one of the most challenging yet inspiring experiences of my entire career,” Weems said. “I have been collaborating with stakeholders across Louisiana and the US to advocate for sustainable workforce solutions for almost four years, and we still have many more years of work ahead.” Weems developed a pilot program called the Pre-Educator Pathway for the Louisiana Department of Education. ULM was the first institution of higher education in the state to offer the program to high school students to give them an early start toward teacher certification upon graduation. “Grow-your-own programs capitalize on participants having personal knowledge of communities and schools in which they serve. This is particularly important for promoting culturally responsive educational opportunities and for teacher retention,” Weems said. Regions Bank saw the need for ULM to train more teachers and awarded a $100,000 grant to support scholarships for deserving education students who completed the Pre-Educator Pathway in high school. Incoming ULM secondary education freshman Jamecia Washington is the first student to receive a $6,000 scholarship from the fund. Washington joined Educators Rising during her 10th grade year at Wossman High School at the height of the pandemic. She attended every meeting virtually and found guidance from Weems. “Dr. Weems was my mentor throughout the Educators Rising program. She had a huge impact on my education by giving me opportunities to learn more about children’s education. She showed me how teaching can be a wonderful job in the future,” Washington said. “I love helping others learn.” Weems’ pilot program was so successful that she expanded the participating high schools to five districts: Caldwell, Franklin, Livingston, Richland, Monroe City and Ouachita. Now, other universities have followed the ULM School of Education’s lead to inspire teenagers to become teachers. McNeese State University, University of Louisiana Lafayette and LSU Shreveport are now also using Weems’ Pre-Educator Pathway to increase the number of educators in the state. “The award recognizes our Educators Rising champions who have consistently promoted Educators Rising in their area and are continuing to support the teaching profession through the Grow Your Own programs. We are happy to present this award to Amy for her commitment to inspiring, developing and supporting the next generation of educators,” said Robyn Mintier, director of membership for Educators Rising. WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | AUGUST 2022 115

Magnolias and Lace Boutique and Tanning Salon

So Much More Than Clothing...


RAB YOUR FRIENDS AND MAKE A QUICK TRIP TO downtown Rayville where you’ll find Magnolias & Lace Boutique and Tanning Salon located on the square. There are some fabulous finds not only in clothing but home decor and so much more. In December of 2017, Jessica Clack and her family embarked on an adventure opening a tanning salon with a small boutique. Magnolias & Lace Boutique is a passion that came to life in a small town where community supports shopping local. This boutique is the only location in Rayville that offers women’s apparel and accessories, children’s clothing, men’s t-shirts, hats and tanning all in one spot. Your home and wardrobe should tell the story of who you are and should be a collection of what you love. Magnolias & Lace has been a downtown staple since opening its doors in 2017. Locally owned and operated, Magnolias and Lace offers everything from newborn items, shoes, home decor to Old South tees and hats for guys. They carry pieces from Judy Blue jeans, Umgee, Copper Pearl, Qupid shoes, jewelry, Myra Bags and so much more allowing you to find any piece to fit your style. Are you looking for boutique tops to match a pair of distressed jeans or a new piece to go with your favorite skirt? Magnolias & Lace has everything you are looking for to stay on top of your game. We make sure to stock jeans and other bottoms for every season and every reason! Choose from flowing skirts, frayed shorts or distressed jeans to create a closet that’s ready for anything.


Get ready to tumble head over heals for versatile everyday staples, Magnolias & Lace has all the seasonal trends to keep your closet fresh and hip. You can complete your head-to-toe style with our collection of shoes and jewelry that will have you putting your best foot forward. Stop by today to check out our storeroom. We carry sizes small to 3x in women’s apparel, newborn to size 14 in girls, boys up to extra large and men’s tees up to 2x. With our 25% off sale going on now, you are sure to fill up your wardrobe for back to school. Another perk to shopping in our boutique is the tanning salon. Get your summer glow before everyone heads back to school. Our maintained beds and our friendly staff will help you choose the correct amount of time to and which exceptional tanning lotion and moisturizers to use. We pride ourselves on the cleanliness of our equipment and our knowledgeable staff. See for yourself some of our client reviews: “Love shopping at this boutique! Excellent customer service & very friendly faces! Highly recommend!” - Lyndi “Absolutely the BEST tanning beds in our area! Great atmosphere, friendly staff & super cute clothing, jewelry that’s reasonable & so much more! Go check it out & see for yourself! You won’t be disappointed!” - Lisa

Prestigious Scholarship

By the American Society of Health Economists


LM ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS AHMAD Reshad Osmani, Ph.D., of the College of Business and Social Sciences, was recently awarded the 2022 ASHEcon Diversity scholarship which is aimed at underrepresented minorities and/or individuals whose background or life circumstances indicate they have overcome substantial obstacles. The scholarship will allow Dr. Osmani to attend the annual ASHEcon conference, where he will have the opportunity to network with other recipients and with members of the ASHEcon Board and Diversity Committee. In the past, this scholarship has gone to recipients from other universities including Cornell and Stanford. Osmani is the perfect candidate for such a prestigious scholarship as his academic trainings in economics have vastly benefited from his diverse and rich international education background. He earned his Ph.D. and MA degrees in economics as a J. William Fulbright scholar from the University of Memphis. In his professional work, Osmani has analyzed the effects of cancer on labor market outcomes, studied the impact of race and ethnicity on job market outcomes of cancer survivors, and examined the influence of supply-side financing on health care use and quality in developing countries. He attributes his passion for diversity-driven opportunities to these experiences, stating, “My graduate studies in different parts of the world have motivated me to understand the breadth of health problems globally and the inadequacy of specific policy directions and available resources to tackle some of these challenges.” When talking about the importance of this opportunity, Osmani said, “I strongly believe that attending the ASHEcon conference will expose me to a group of eminent health economists. This opportunity enhances my professional and personal development in many ways.”



HERRINGSTONES This timeless longsleeve top features a draped, cropped silhouette with gorgeous embroidered sleeves and a front tie closure. This top is paired with a cropped flare jean and a blue cactus scarf. Accessorize with a rhinestone convertible belt bag that can also be worn as a crossbody and rhinestone embellished platform sneakers. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELLY MOORE CLARK MODEL LALAINA WOOD HAIR AND MAKEUP BY MEKA BENNETT

MAGNOLIAS & LACE BOUTIQUE Start school in style with this flattering black top that features a gathered waist and rouched cap sleeve. Pair with these super comfortable white skinny jeans. Accessorize with pink thong flip flops, lightweight graphic earrings and a backpack with combination of embossed leather patched with hide.

MR. P’S TEES This month marks Mr. P’s Tees 10th anniversary and will be releasing several new tees in conjunction with this momentous occasion. The Owls of Louisiana shirt will be available soon. This hand drawn design is on a super soft short sleeve premium tee.

PALETTE HOUSE & PLUME Lalaina is wearing a puffed shoulder shirt with a sweetheart neckline, wooden button, and an elasticated rouched back in a lavender check. Pair with KUT high rise flare jeans and Chan Luu bracelets.


HEMLINE MONROE Rock the first day of school in the Whitney Houston Moment of Truth graphic tee. Pair with these pink cropped straight leg jeans and leather sneakers with a retro flair. Accessorize with hoop earrings and Krewe sunglasses. WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | AUGUST 2022 123

Something’s Cooking

At Flying Tiger Brewery


LYING TIGER IS KNOWN FOR MORE than just great, local craft beer. They have events nearly every week, as well as big events like the Firecracker 5k, which benefits the Chennault Museum, and Raise the Woof, which helps the new Ouachita Pet Shelter. Don’t forget their Turbulence anniversary party and M’merle Day, a musical tribute to Merle Haggard. Just one look at their calendar, and it’s obvious there is something special to do just about any given week! In addition, they are cooking up something special this fall. Here’s a list of some of their regular monthly events and specials, plus a sneak peek at what is coming: The Flying Tiger Farmer’s Market: hosting local farmers, bakers, and makers on the first and third Thursday of each month, 6-8 p.m. The market features micro greens, fresh produce, jams, eggs, local beef, and


more! It’s family-friendly until 8 p.m., so bring the kids to enjoy the bounce house while you grab some locally grown goodies! The Downtown Rundown: Join us on the second Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. for a free 5k fun run, hosted in partnership with the local running shoe store, Fleet Feet. The safe route begins & ends at Flying Tiger. We welcome all levels of runners/walkers; participants will enjoy free electrolyte drinks, door prizes, and discounted beer! So grab your running shoes and a friend and join the fun! Trivia Night: Every fourth Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m., put all your useless knowledge to use and win some great prizes! It’s free to play in teams, and the prizes are no trivial matter! Happy Hour: Every Friday from 4-7 p.m., all brews are only $5! Start your weekend off

on the right foot with Heroic Beer & Live Music! Special Releases: As NELA’s only manufacturing & distributing brewery, Flying Tiger is always brewing up something new. Throughout the year, they release small-batch beers only available in the taproom! Follow them on their social media pages to keep up with new beer releases and special events! Flying Tiger will reveal a new open kitchen featuring brick oven pizza this fall! They’ll also be expanding their hours and days while adding to their already spacious outdoor area. How does a music stage under the trees sound? You’ll know soon enough. And per usual, Flying Tiger will do all this with the same craftsmanship and attention to detail as they do with their beloved beers. See you there. Cheers!

for His temple family foods Offering Local, Organic and Gluten Free


OR HIS TEMPLE FAMILY FOODS IS PROUD TO BE ONE of the only businesses in northeast Louisiana where you can find fresh, locally grown, organic meat and produce, pantry items, and so much more. From Tuesday through Friday, you will find owner Dana Milford preparing lunch or helping her regular customers purchase their favorite dairy-free or gluten-free items. She also enjoys assisting new customers in discovering which foods they will enjoy. For His temple offers daily lunch specials like beef stroganoff, chicken fritters, quinoa enchilada bake, buffalo chicken cheese fries, shrimp and grits, chicken marsala and more. The locally owned restaurant and market are located in the heart of downtown West Monroe, steps away from Trenton Street. The idea of serving locally produced, organic meats and vegetables may seem complicated, but with Dana’s passion and success over the past six years, she makes it look easy. September will mark for His temple’s seventh anniversary, which affirms what Dana already knows: our community values locally sourced and healthy food. After working for more than 30 years in corporate America, Dana chose a complete career change. She started cooking and experimenting by using fresh food, herbs, and vegetables and originally started for His temple as a place where people could purchase prepared food for their weekly meals. As interest grew, she expanded and began offering daily lunches. Soon after, she stocked freezers with casseroles, homemade meals and more. Naturally, the marketplace was born as word got out and customers started driving from all areas of Northeast Louisiana looking for healthier options. Since then, for His temple has become a staple in the community. The eatery incorporates seasonal vegetables from local farms into their weekly meals and offers them in the on-site marketplace. Some items include farm-fresh chicken, beef and pork from local farms, ready-to-bake casseroles and delicious sweet treats made by Mylk Belly and Bee Sweets Bakery. Items from Scratch Bakehouse, a true sourdough artisan baker, can also be picked up from the for His temple family marketplace. For His temple prides itself on featuring these small businesses within the northeast Louisiana community. Along with those previously mentioned, below is a list of additional local farms from which His temple sources: • 3 Board Farm, Downsville • Ladelle Farm, Coushatta • Wall Greens Farm & Seed, WM • Mahaffey Farms, Haughton •D eLaTerre Permaculture Farm, • Double B Farms, WM Eros • Stowe Creek Farm, Farmerville • 2 Dog Farm, Flora, MS • Double P Farms, WM In November, for His temple began hosting Seventh Square Coffee inside the restaurant’s dining room. This allowed Seventh Square Coffee to grow, and they are moving across the street to their own space soon. Each cup of coffee made by Seventh Square Coffee is sourced from quality roasted beans and high-quality ingredients. Stop by and visit the friendly folks at this creative eatery and see for yourself what all the buzz is about. Each Saturday, the weekly menu is posted on Facebook, Instagram, and the website. For His temple’s hours are Tuesday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Stop by 315 Wood Street in West Monroe for a healthy option eatery.


12 Reasons You Should Test Your Hearing Audibel The Hearing Center


RE YOU NOTICING THAT IN NOISY ENVIRONMENTS, like in restaurants, that it’s hard to hear what the person across from you is saying? These situations make it challenging for those with hearing loss. Don’t miss out on any more precious conversations and make this the year to test your hearing. But just in case reconnecting to life and making sure you never miss out again isn’t reason enough to do something about your hearing, let us offer up a dozen more: 1. Hearing tests are painless, frequently free, and there are even online hearing tests that only take about five minutes of your day. 2. Nearly half the people who reported no trouble hearing actually turned out to have mild hearing loss. 3. Adults with moderate hearing loss are 3X more likely to develop dementia over time, and 5X more likely if their hearing loss is severe. 4. Untreated hearing loss can increase the risk of falls by 30 percent. 5. In studies, hearing loss was linked to higher risks of loneliness and social isolation. 6. If your hearing test shows your hearing is normal, you can rub


it in the face of all the people who accused you of being hard of hearing. (Turns out they are mumbling, right?) 7. Researchers think that treating hearing loss early is one of the biggest things you can do to help reduce your risk of dementia. 8. Once you’re 50, experts recommend getting hearing screenings every three years. 9. Per Dr. Frank Lin of Johns Hopkins Medicine, “The earlier hearing loss is treated, the easier it is for the brain to adapt.” 10. Hearing loss may be an early warning sign or red flag for other health conditions including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 11. O lder adults who treated their hearing loss with hearing aids reported their quality of life was significantly improved. 12. Being proactive about your hearing health today will pay off hugely tomorrow and for the rest of your life! Think you may have hearing loss? You can test your hearing for free using our online hearing test at Or, find out for sure by scheduling a thorough evaluation at our Monroe location by calling 318-325-2363 or our Ruston location at 318-251-1272.

Gardens of Somerset

4 Things You Need to Know About Our Community BY P. ALLEN SMITH


INDING THE RIGHT PLACE TO CALL home can be a daunting task. With all of the different options and communities out there, it is difficult to find the right fit. Gardens of Somerset is a multi-generational living community in Monroe, Louisiana that offers a variety of amenities and care options for our residents. We are dedicated to providing a comfortable and enriching environment for our residents, and we are proud to offer the following four things that make our community stand out. A Variety of Living Options We offer a variety of living options to fit your needs, including independent living cottages, independent living apartments, assisted living accommodations, and memory care apartments. It’s important to us that you feel comfortable and at home in your living space, and we will work with you to find the

perfect fit, no matter where you are in your healthcare journey. A Vibrant Community & On-Site Amenities Gardens of Somerset has everything you need right here on our 18-acre property, so you don’t have to go far to enjoy the things you love most. We know the importance of convenience, and we do everything in our power to make your life as comfortable as possible. Gardens of Somerset offers an on-site restaurant, hair salon, fitness center, library, and more. There’s simply no need to leave the community to get the things you need, and you can take advantage of our amenities at your leisure. A Dedicated Staff Our caring and professional staff is here to serve you and make sure that your needs are met. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days

a week to assist you with anything you need. We understand that the transition to a new living situation can be difficult, and we are here to help make it as smooth and seamless as possible. We create individualized plans that reduce stress and confusion, helping each community member enjoy a happier, more purposeful life. A pet-friendly community We know that pets are family too, and we are proud to be a pet-friendly community. We welcome all kinds of pets, and we have plenty of curated outdoor spaces for them to run and play to their heart’s content. Spending time with pets has shown to be beneficial for seniors in a number of ways. They can help reduce stress, anxiety, and loneliness, and they provide companionship and unconditional love. Conclusion If you’re looking for a better living community that offers everything you need to live a comfortable and fulfilling life, look no further than the Gardens of Somerset. Our vibrant community, variety of living options, on-site amenities and activities, and dedicated staff set us apart from the rest. Contact us today to schedule a tour. We can’t wait to show you everything that the Gardens of Somerset has to offer!



Alex Temblador


How did you come to writing? I’ve always been a big reader, though I think most authors can say that. I did some writing as a kid. We found a letter I had written to an author who had come to the library where my aunt was a librarian. I was about seven or eight and wrote, “My dream is to be an author one day.” We found the letter after my first book came out. I was kind of surprised to find out that it had been a dream of mine in my youth. I started writing toward the end of junior high, beginning of high school. I had a dream and woke up and thought, “Oh, you know what, I’m going to start writing this idea.” It was fantasy - I was a big fantasy reader at the time. I hadn’t discovered magical realism, but it was me figuring out magical realism through fantasy. When I got to college at ULM, I finished writing that first novel finally. And even then, I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer. But then I took a short story writing class at University of Louisiana Monroe and was like, “Yep, I’m going to be a writer. This is all I want to do.” I got an MFA in Creative Writing at The University of Central Oklahoma, and even though I probably wasn’t ready in terms of my writing skills to do that, it was the best experience I’ve ever had. It really shaped me as a writer. I knew some things instinctually as a reader, but I needed to understand it as a craft and a skill. Tell us about your background and the impetus for Half Outlaw. I was born and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas, which is featured in the novel toward the end. My dad is Mexican American, and my mom is Caucasian. My Mexican family has been in the US since the 1800s, possibly even before California and Texas were part of the US. I grew up unable to speak Spanish because my dad didn’t speak it. His mom decided not to teach him and his siblings because growing up in the 50s and the 60s, it was frowned upon in society for people to speak other languages besides English. And she didn’t want her kids to be bullied or feel like outsiders. So that was a bit of a contention for me growing up where I wish I had known it and that I had learned it within

the family home. My parents have an interracial relationship. There weren’t many other people like me. Even my brother does not look like me - he’s a lot more fair-skinned. He looks like my moms’ child, and I look like my dad’s child. And we always were this mixed family. I also have a half-sister who I am very close to and she is full Mexican from my dad’s first marriage. On top of that, my sister was born with disabilities and my brother is gay, and so I had this unique family life that combined a lot of identities into one unit. Growing up, I had all these things in my mind. I never saw families like ours, to the extent of how diverse it was in my own immediate family. Within my family, I noticed I was the brownest one beside my dad. Nobody believed my mom was my mom. She has blond hair and blue eyes. People would always come up to me and ask, “What are you? What’s your race? Are you Mixed?” I got all those questions my whole life. Usually, I would respond, “Half Mexican,” which is funny that I didn’t say half white, as white is the basis for our society. In college, I started exploring my Mexican side. What is the meaning of Mexican? Why don’t I feel very Mexican? Why do I feel like an outsider within my own Mexican culture? In 2016, I started noticing how comfortable I am being Mixed more than anything else. And of course, there were never Mixed stories to read growing up. I didn’t see myself in a lot of the stories I read. I read my first Mixed story at 22, and there still aren’t many today. In the tense political climate of 2016, I heard the white side of my family say things they’d never said before. I was angry and confused because these people loved me, a Latina woman, loved my dad, a Latino man, loved my sister with disabilities and loved my gay brother. They couldn’t seem to make the same connection I was making between what they were saying and why I was hurt. When I started writing Half Outlaw, I thought, “How can somebody love you and still do and believe things that go absolutely against your identity? And how can they erase that identity in their mind’s eye and love you and support you, like my family


“I was born and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas, which is featured in the novel toward the end. My dad is Mexican American, and my mom is Caucasian. My Mexican family has been in the US since the 1800s, possibly even before California and Texas were part of the US. My parents have an interracial relationship. There weren’t many other people like me. Even my brother does not look like me - he’s a lot more fair-skinned. He looks like my moms’ child, and I look like my dad’s child. And we always were this mixed family. I also have a half-sister who I am very close to, and she is full Mexican from my dad’s first marriage. On top of that, my sister was born with disabilities and my brother is gay, and so I had this unique family life that combined a lot of identities into one unit."

When I started writing Half Outlaw, I thought, “How can somebody love you and still do and believe things that go absolutely against your identity? And how can they erase that identity in their mind’s eye and love you and support you, like my family does, so much?” WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | AUGUST 2022 129


what it means to be Mixed within your own family, with people who do and say things that hurt you but really, really love you. Back in 2014, my Uncle Donnie and I were sitting on the couch at Thanksgiving. He called me a “Half Outlaw.” I could tell this phrase would be something for me. I wrote it down in a paragraph, now featured in the second chapter of the book. Uncle Donnie guided me into the concept of putting a Mixed girl into an all-white motorcycle club. He is not in one of those motorcycle clubs but has had associations with them. He rides bikes. He’s this gritty man who went to Vietnam. He’s a trucker now. I thought, “What if a Mixed girl gets stuck with a guy who’s like that after her parents’ death?” The Dodge character and Uncle Donnie are quite different people, but they do have similar personalities and ways of communicating. I started mapping the story and knew it needed to be set on a crosscountry ride. I wanted to look at the reality of not being able to choose your family, and how even if you’re no longer a part of that family, they’re still a part of you. Who someone is today is absolutely impacted by the past.


Tell me about the magical realism in the book. It was quite light at first. When we went out on submission with publishers, I was told they couldn’t figure out how to market it. My agent suggested going overboard with the magical realism. I found spots to add the magical realism as a way for Raqi to deal with a lot of the trauma. She sees her life in this fantastical way to cope. It’s also a nod to her Mexican heritage because she is in such a white-domainated space. I really wanted to remind readers that she is half-Mexican. Tell me about Grieving Rides? Is that common in motorcycle clubs? Actually, I made that up. When I was at ULM, I took a class on cults. We read about the psychology of cults, how they form and keep people through traditions. I started looking into the psychology of groups. For example, when people join the army, all these traditions exist, same for religion and fraternities. I read about motorcycle clubs, some nonfiction, some memoirs. I was thinking of a way to bind the riders together. I came up with the idea of a Grieving Ride to get Raqi on the road with all of them.

I randomly met someone who grew up in a motorcycle club, who shared many of her experiences and they aligned with my expectations. I really wanted to show women’s perspectives in clubs - both positive and negative. Your previous novel, Secrets of the Casa Rosada, was young adult fiction. Why the parlay into adult fiction with Half Outlaw? I wrote Secrets of the Casa Rosada thinking it would be adult fiction. The text was originally my thesis. All the professors loved it, but suggested I get rid of the future chapters and focus on the main character’s adolescence. I tried to submit it as adult fiction, but it was picked up as YA (young adult) fiction. I felt unprepared to be a YA author. To be honest, it was the exact thing I needed. The young adult fan base is phenomenal. Librarians and students are wonderful - they made me feel so good. I would not have won as many awards, nor have gotten good feedback if the book was adult, and it really taught me how to make my authorial career a business. It wasn’t hard to leap into adult fiction, since it’s where I started, except though my agent really wanted me to stay in YA.

Alex Temblador performs in-person readings at high schools, colleges, bookstores, coffee shops, literacy conferences, book events and book clubs. In addition to writing, Alex teaches creative writing classes with school, universities, non-profit organizations, writing companies and writing groups. photo by Francisco Blasco

When did you realize you were a mixed kid? I like going through the past. In 2020, I stayed with my parents before moving into my house. We were going through scrapbooks and found a picture I drew at age 3 or 4. And my mom is very clearly white, and I am very clearly brown in that picture. So, it had to be one of those things I just knew about myself. The switch clicked on by the time I was able to speak and had friends beyond my family group. Little girls told me that my mom was not my mom. I was always having to defend it. Nobody could understand that my mom was my mom biologically. When I would meet other Mixed kids, in high school and beyond, I was always excited and wanted to talk with them. A lot of my friends ended up being other Mixed kids too, because it felt like home. How did writing this book affect your concept of identity? In the acknowledgement, I said it gave me peace to write this book, and for a time, it did. And more recently, I’m realizing I’m still contending with this - what it means to be Mixed in the world, what it means to be Mixed in a family. It makes me proud of what I have accomplished, what I have dealt with, and how I’m dealing with some of my past trauma. And I’m really interested in exploring that identity more with myself, my friends who are Mixed, colleagues who are Mixed and reading their work. We always talk about how society was predicated on this idea of white privilege and a white standard, but I’ve also started looking at how it’s built on monoracial standards. Historically, everyone married partners of their same culture, ethnic and racial identity, primarily due to location. But because of the US’s unique history, interracial relationships are growing. They’re one of the fastest growing populations. We’re going to have many more discussions about this in the future because things don’t work when we’re so siloed off. A Mixed person throws a wrench in this whole framework that we’ve built. I want to further explore the dynamics of a growing Mixed population, what that means for family units and dating, societal structures, and friendships because I’m really going through all that right now. WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | AUGUST 2022 131

Marsala Beverage Company The Gold Standard Since 1925


ODELO IS OWNED BY A LARGE, NEW YORK-BASED conglomerate called Constellation Brands, making it economic step-cousins with brands like apparent competitor Corona & Pacifico. Modelo is the second most imported beer in the U.S. In 2018, we drank almost 64 million cases of the stuff. And even though Modelo came second to Corona in total consumption, Corona only had a 9 percent growth in sales from the previous year while Modelo consumption rose by 15 percent from 2017 to 2018. Both Corona and Modelo (and all Mexican beer) outpaced other countries in imported beer in 2018 and 2019. Modelo Especial is a light, crisp, pilsner-style beer. But its younger sibling, Negra Modelo, is modeled after the super-popular Munichborn dunkel style, made with roasted caramel malts and brewed longer for a slightly richer, dark-brass-colored beer. It’s also the most successful German-Mexican culinary hybrid out there. Most of us consume Modelo in decidedly non-pugnacious moods, e.g., at barbecues, lounging poolside, hiding from the sun under a schmear of zinc and a beach umbrella.

CORONA EXTRA With a refreshing, smooth taste balanced between heavier European imports and lighter domestic beer, Corona is an even-keeled cerveza with fruity-honey aromas and a touch of malt. The flavor is crisp, clean and well balanced between hops and malt. A superior taste profile from superior ingredients. CORONA LIGHT Corona Light is a pilsner-style lager with a uniquely refreshing taste—brewed for outstanding light flavor with a crisp, clean finish. Its pleasant, fruity-honey aroma and distinctive hop flavor make it a favorite of those seeking a light beer that is full of flavor. Corona Light’s naturally easy-drinking style makes it perfect for pairing with spicy and citrus-infused dishes. CORONA PREMIER Corona Premier offers the premium lowcarb, light beer experience you’ve been waiting for. Its refined, crisp taste and even-bodied feel makes it the smoothest and most drinkable Corona. With only 2.6g of carbs and 90 calories, Corona Premier is perfect for casual entertaining, sharing with guests, or rewarding yourself for a day well-lived. CORONA FAMILIAR The best beers are made to be shared. That is why Corona Familiar embraces the bright, crisp taste Corona 132 AUGUST 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

is known for with a slightly fuller flavor, higher ABV, and shareable 32oz packaging. With strong ties to authenticity and heritage, Corona Familiar is best served in small gatherings with close friends and family, using the tradition of sharing to create meaningful experiences. CORONA REFRESCA Corona Refresca is a premium spiked refresher that brings the taste of the tropics from Mexico to you. Available in Passionfruit Lime and Guava Lime, it is a bright, flavorful malt beverage with 4.5% ABV and natural fruit flavors. Crisp, flavorful, and never too sweet, Corona Refresca doesn’t sweep you away to the tropics, it brings the topics to you. CORONA SELTZER The #1 most refreshing beer is bringing a lighter, less filling option to the hard seltzer category. Introducing Corona Hard Seltzer, the only 0g carb, all Corona, hard seltzer. With 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 90 calories, 4.5% ABV and gluten-free, Corona Hard Seltzer is a tasty, better-for-you alcoholic beverage rooted in Corona’s chill attitude and high-end credibility. This 12-pack variety includes: Tropical Lime, Cherry, Blackberry Lime and Mango. NEGRA MODELO Negra Modelo, better known as “the cream of the beer,” is a Munich-type beer with 5.3º of alcohol that offers a balanced flavor and a delicate aroma of dark malt, caramel and hops. Today it occupies the first place in sales among dark beers in Mexico. This beer is accompanied by a bright deep amber color, which is adorned with abundant, white and compact foam. Negra Modelo was introduced in Mexico in 1925 as the dark beer called Modelo, to begin its great tradition. In 2014 it changed its image to a more sophisticated bottle but with the same content. Marsala Beverage is a local-based company that employs about 100 full-time employees, which all live and support the community of Northeast Louisiana. Each employee bases his or her success on never losing sight of delivering what is really important – quality products, timely service and a genuine concern for our customers’ needs. Please find us at or follow us on social media: Facebook: Marsala Beverage Twitter : @marsalabeverag1 Instagram: @marsalabeverage

Bulldog Code Cracked

Lambright Sports and Wellness Center


INCE THE ADDITION OF THE indoor pool to the Lambright Sports and Wellness Center, many have driven down Tech Drive and wondered, “Do the windows on the side of the building mean anything?” A decade ago, when architects constructed the newest addition to Lambright, the Bulldog Code that can be seen on the side of the building was used to aid in the design. In late June, during one of his daily walks, Louisiana Tech University President Dr. Les Guice urged followers on Facebook to solve the puzzle using their love of Louisiana Tech and their wits. Sarah Scarlato, a student lifeguard at Lambright, saw a code that was meant to be cracked. “I have always wondered what the windows meant but never actually took time to try to crack the code on my own,” Scarlato said. “One day I decided I was going to take the time to sit down and figure it out. So I did!”

Scarlato said she solved the code with a notebook, a pen, a pencil and an episode of “The Golden Girls.” “The funniest part about this is that I’m really quite awful at math, codes, and other things like that,” Scarlato said. “I am also incredibly proud of myself and very excited to have done something like this here at Louisiana Tech.” Now that the decade-long secret has been cracked, the code will remain a secret until the time is right to reveal it. But others, including Louisiana Tech’s cyber students are working to discover the code’s meaning. The code’s solution will remain hidden in the Centennial clock tower, Guice said. “Once you understand the Bulldog Code, you will never look at Lambright, or Louisiana Tech, the same way,” Guice said. “Congratulations to Sarah for her incredible work in decoding this familiar phrase.”


lounge makeover BayouLife Magazine partnered with Progessive Bank to makeover the teacher's lounge at Good Hope Middle School. With the help of local vendors, this lounge was transformed into a retreat perfect for a tranquil break from the bustle of day-to-day school activities. BY CASSIE LIVINGSTON | STYLED BY TAYLOR BENNETT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELLY MOORE CLARK


here's nothing I love more than a makeover – I could watch HGTV all day long. So when the opportunity presented to makeover a local teacher's lounge in this month's issue, Taylor Bennett and I jumped on it. As the daughter of a retired educator, I understand the personal and financial sacrifices that teachers make to provide their classrooms and students with the best opportunities. We reached out to local schools to submit their wish list for a teacher's lounge makeover. The thought was to provide teachers with a place to unwind during lunch, or take a quick break. We also wanted to create a beautiful space to gather to

Local businesses donated artwork, accessories and furniture to help create a cohesive look for the teacher's lounge

celebrate achievements and milestones among the staff. We approached Progressive Bank to help partner with this makeover, and they graciously obliged. Most of the furnishings that were in the space were donated to the school and just needed to be updated. This was the application that Garrah Rankin, Curriculum Coordinator at Good Hope Middle School, sent: "I have had the pleasure of calling Good Hope Middle School home the last 17 ears. The 2022-23 school year is extra special for us as we will be celebrating our 20th year of serving the families in our community. It is also unique for us in that we will have seven new members join our staff family in the

wake of a tumultuous three years. I have been working to refresh our school throughout the summer so that this beginning to our 21st year would be just as promising as our first. With very little funds to work with, the gift of a lounge makeover would be such a blessing to us. The Good Hope family has a long standing tradition of cultivating meaningful relationships among staff and the families of our students. I see this lounge as a place for our staff to bond, make memories, and collaborate. It is the heart of our school home, and I believe that it should be as warm and vibrant as those who have the pleasure or working and learning at Good Hope. I would love to see more up to date, comfortable seating. A large table would be nice. We love to share meals and lots of laughs together! We could also use a new refrigerator. Our current refrigerator has no handle, and it can prove quite tricky to open. It, like many other pieces in our lounge, may actually be original to the school. So, before we begin this year of recalling our school's rich history, reuniting with former Colonels, and forming lasting friendships with current members of our staff and student body, nothing would be more meaningful than honoring this school we call home by having you help us "feather our nest" and bring it into the next 20 years! Thank you so much for considering us.



Artwork donated by Lissy Compton, owner of Mr. P's Tees. and sectional provided by Ivan Smith Furniture

Special thanks to Harrison Paint Co for donating the paint for this project

Artwork and kitchen soap donated by Palette House & Plume



PRESENTED B Y: Minimalist black and white artwork donated by Material Things. Beautiful wood table donated by Walsworth & Company

Taylor Bennett chose an accent wall in Hale Navy and a neutral color, White Dove, to use on the remaining walls. Painter Leo Gonzalez transformed the space with donated Benjamin Moore paints from Harrison Paint Co. A coffee station was created with a beautiful wood table donated from Walsworth & Co and black and white floral artwork from Material Things. In the sitting area, a large sectional from Ivan Smith Furniture pairs with a custom art piece from Lissy Compton. A private donor supplied the refrigerator, while Palette House and Plume offered hand soap and an abstract art piece from Margaret Moses. Progressive Bank and BayouLife Magazine partnered to provide florals from Fine Folks, rugs, an extended table and chairs, pillows, a coffee table and numerous accessories to complete the space.


Tech Partnership

Helps ‘Narrow Gap’ for Blind Students


OUISIANA TECH AND THE NATIONAL FEDERATION of the Blind (NFB) have partnered in a new innovative program that will train 13 Maryland teachers to better instruct, inspire, and support blind students. The “Narrowing the Gap for Blind and Low-Vision Students in Maryland Teacher Preparation” program will allow the teachers full funding to attend Tech’s Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness that trains teachers of blind students. “The Institute on Blindness is proud to be partnering with the NFB to provide graduate education to teachers in Maryland,” Dr. Eddie Bell, Director of Tech’s Institute, said. “The reputation of Louisiana Tech for excellence in preparing teachers of blind students is known nationwide, and this partnership is a testament to our commitment to increasing the qualifications of teachers across the country.” “Our Institute under Dr. Bell’s direction continues to provide innovative and meaningful services to our community, state, and nation,” Dr. Don Schillinger, Dean of Tech’s College of education, said. “The College of Education is very proud of the research and instruction conducted by Dr. Bell and his outstanding team.” Founded in 1996 with the help of an experimental/innovative grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Tech’s Institute prepares highly-qualified professionals to educate and rehabilitate individuals who are blind or visually impaired, conducts research that broadens and deepens an understanding about blindness, and practices the best methods for increasing independence for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Through the partnership, the hope is that the program will both enhance the education of blind students and serve as a template for programs nationwide. The program is funded in partnership with the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services. Founded in 1940, the NFB defends the rights of blind people of all ages and provides information and support to families with blind children, older Americans who are losing vision, and more.


Bowl and Bling To Support The Wellspring


AKE PLANS NOW TO ATTEND THE WELLSPRING BOWL & Bling presented by Trinity Diamonds Direct Friday, August 19th from 7-10 p.m. at Bayou Bowl. Bowl & Bling is a fun night out where it is not your skill that counts – it’s YOU! Come join the fun as we throw strikes, spares, and more than a few gutterballs to raise money for one of northeast Louisiana’s oldest and most effective non-profits! Enjoy unlimited bowling in the black lights while listening to a variety of great music by DJ TBayB. You will enjoy delicious food from Trapp’s and drinks from Marsala Beverage! Each team can have up to six people on it. $100 per person includes bowling, food, drinks and shoe rental. You can register as a team or individually at or by calling (318) 323-1505. $50 tickets are available for non-bowlers who just want to enjoy the food and fun. Sponsorship opportunities are still available, so contact The Wellspring for more information. We will hold drawings for some exciting prizes including a duck hunt, Lake Bruin trip and beach vacation. For more information about our raffle prizes, visit All proceeds benefit The Wellspring. Since 1931, The Wellspring has served as a community leader in bringing people and partners together to address some of the greatest challenges of our time: violence, homelessness, sexual assault, poverty, mental illness and children facing adversity. The Wellspring also serves as our region’s only accredited Sexual Assault Center, and the lead agency in the Family Justice Center of Ouachita Parish. Come join the FUN and partner with The Wellspring to change our community, one life at a time! Thank you to our Sponsors! The Perfect Game: • Trinity Diamond Direct Lucky Strike: • SERVPRO of Monroe/West Monroe, 318 Construction, and 318 Heat & Air Spare: • Ashley & Dom Pere’ • Entergy • Jim Taylor Auto-Group • Origin Bank • Vanguard Realty Split: • Copeland Electric • Estates by RC • Mutual of America • Paramount Healthcare • St. Francis Medical Center As a 501(3)(c) charitable not for profit corporation, your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.






Let’s talk with Jeffrey Pearson, MD A Great Year… A Look Back at his First Year in Practice


OLLOWING HIS ORTHOPEDIC RESIDENCY AT THE University of Alabama in Birmingham and his total joint fellowship at the Southern Joint Institute in Nashville, Tennessee, Dr. Jeffrey Pearson returned home to Shreveport, Louisiana to begin his practice at Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana in August 2021. We recently sat down with Dr. Pearson to ask him about his first year in practice and here is what he had to say: OSL: So, what a difference a year makes? Tell me about some of the highlights for you this past year? JP: In clinic, it is having the opportunity to establish my own practice and figure out what works and where I would like to see my practice grow and prosper. Working with my partners has given me great insight towards establishing a successful practice, while also allowing me to do things on my own to create a practice that is built on what I have learned in medical school, residency, fellowship and from my family and peers. Personally, this year has been amazing. My wife, Laura, and I welcomed our third son, moved back home to the Ark-La-Tex and bought a new house. OSL: You specialize in total joint replacement- knee, hip and shoulder- would you say in your first year that total joint has been the mainstay of your practice? JP- Fortunately, most of my practice this past year has been helping patients that are suffering from knee and hip pain. I have also seen quite a few shoulders and of course treated fractures/ trauma. In your first year of practice, you really see everything… it’s a great opportunity to meet new patients and pull from all areas of your specialty. OSL: What has been the best thing about working at Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana? JP- The people- from my partners, the scheduling team, the business office- really everyone has made this first chapter in my practice great. We are really blessed to have such a great team at OSL. I have a great medical assistant, Jodie, and we have both learned so much about working in a clinic setting and building a strong practice. OSL: Many of your partners sport black scrubs to clinic, but you have distinctively chosen to wear a white coat and tie in clinic… why is this important to you? JP: During my residency at the University of Alabama in 142 AUGUST 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

Birmingham, I worked with a lot of the doctors from the esteemed Andrews Institute. All these doctors wore a blue blazer to work… the blue blazer is somewhat iconic to the Andrews Institute doctors. I guess I saw them wearing that blazer as a sign of respect towards their patients and their teams. For me, I like wearing a white coat and tie because it’s my way of letting my patients and our team know that I tried and that I respect them. It’s a personal choice that is tied into what I know and admire. My dad was in pharmaceutical sales, and I think early on I watched him make the effort to be professional and approachable. He dressed for work, he greeted everyone and learned their names… I think it made an invaluable impression on me and how I interact with my colleagues, co-workers, friends, and patients. OSL: What have been some of the challenges you have faced in your first year of practice? JP: Beginning a private practice at the tail end of a pandemic has been challenging. For so many folks, going to the doctor is something they put off if they can and with additional precautions added due to Covid, taking the time, and making the effort to come to a doctor may seem even more difficult. It’s important that my patients know that I value their time, and if I had to look for the silver lining of starting a practice amid a pandemic, it’s that I value my patients’ efforts and time even more. OSL: Where would you like to see your practice go in the next year? JP: As I grow my patient base, it’s important to me that I continue to be easily accessible to my patients. I want my patients to be able to see and talk with me. If a patient calls with a question or concern and I am in the operating room or in the middle of clinic, I want them to know I will call them back. If a new patient comes into clinic to see me, they will see me, and I will take the time to listen and hopefully help them feel better. I want my patients to know I’m with them for the duration and will always be available to them and consider it a privilege to care for them. Jeffrey Pearson, MD is a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in total joint replacement-hip, knee, and shoulder. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Pearson, please call Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana: (866)759-9679 or visit: or

Helpers and Healers Apply to Work with The CFCF


HE CENTER FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (CFCF) IS seeking family therapists in our northeast Louisiana location. The positions are available in several of our evidenced-based programs including Functional Family Therapy (FFT,) Functional Family Therapy - Child Welfare (FFT-CW,) and Multisystemic Therapy (MST.) Each of these programs provide evidenced-based counseling services for youth and their families. Our mission is to promote safe, healthy environments for children and families through advocacy, counseling, education, and prevention. The Center for Children and Families has developed and implemented innovative treatment programs that specifically target fractured family relationships. Our agency is highly respected throughout the community for our excellent standard of service to both providers and clients. At the Center, we are guided by the principles of servant leadership, where the driving force of our actions is not status or power, but serving others as we pursue a common mission. Therapeutic Services has a reputation for terrific outcomes, not just because of the people that choose to work with us, but also because of the support we receive from the community. When a family feels like giving up, we seek to provide them with the tools and encouragement they need to keep going. When a positive outcome feels impossible, we are able to find a way. We meet families where they are, reminding them that they are not alone. Likewise, when discouragement comes knocking at the door, we remind ourselves of the countless families who are now thriving because our staff and clinicians have invested in them. When you join The Center for Children and Families, you belong to something bigger. You are a part of a family. At the Center, we believe that personal growth is just as valuable as the job that we have been hired to do. Through our Huddle series, we explore how we relate to each other and those around us. By developing community through shared meals or taking time out to play, we find that being a part of this agency is more like being a part of a family. Our Core Values of Community, Respect, Integrity, Service, Teamwork, Empowerment, and Excellence are the guiding principles of our organization. We believe that these values are the very foundation for our philosophy, culture, and practices. Candidates for these positions must hold a Master’s degree in Counseling, Marriage & Family Therapy, or Psychology. Preference is given to candidates who are fully licensed as an LPC or LMFT or provisionally licensed as a PLPC or PLMFT in Louisiana. These are full-time independent contractor positions. We are looking for someone with more than just the perfect resume. We are looking for individuals with a passion to serve children and families in our communities. Someone who doesn’t want to do this life-changing work alone. Someone who is ready for the opportunity to develop not only as a clinician, but also as a person. If you’re a qualified applicant who wants to be the hope for families in Northeast Louisiana, learn how to submit your resume at WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | AUGUST 2022 143

Calendar of Events

For a full list of event happenings in Northeast Louisiana, see our website at August 4 Downtown Gallery Crawl It's time to Crawl! Come and celebrate and experience the work of talented local artists while enjoying the warmth and charm of locally owned shops, businesses and eateries in Historic Downtown Monroe and West Monroe. Hours: 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM Venue: Historic Downtown Monroe and West Monroe Phone: (513) 857-1292 August 5 Beaux Atkins Live at Trapp's Trapp's is proud to present live music from Beaux Atkins! Hours: 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM Venue: Trapp's, 113 S Riverfront St, West Monroe Phone: (318) 272-5990 August 5-7 Big Creek Trade Days Big Creek Trade Days are held monthly on the weekend before the second Monday of the month with over 100 indoor and outdoor vendors, food trucks, and fun for all ages! Hours: Friday & Saturday 9AM – 5 PM, Sunday 10 AM – 4PM Cost: $5 per vehicle for the weekend Venue: 327 California Plant Rd, Dubach Phone: (318) 680-1304 August 6 The Dixie Center for the Arts presents: Sweet Cecilia This Grammy-nominated band is a family trio from Cecilia, LA whose music is deeply rooted in country, rock, folk, and Cajun influences. Hours: 7:00 PM - Until Cost: Adult $30, Students/Youth $15 Venue: Dixie Center for the Arts, 212 N Vienna St, Ruston Phone: (318) 255-1450 August 6, 13, 20, 27 Ruston Farmers Market Shop, eat, and support local at the Ruston Farmers Market. Choose from a wide selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs, honey, jams, and other locally

produced goods. Hours: 9:00 AM- 1:00 PM Cost: Free to attend Venue: Ruston Farmers Market, 220 E Mississippi Ave, Ruston Phone: (318) 957-1305 August 11 Downtown Rundown Join Fleet Feet at the Flying Tiger Brewery every 2nd Thursday of the month for a free 5k Fun Run / Walk! Hours: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Cost: Free Venue: Flying Tiger Brewery, 506 N 2nd St, Monroe Phone: (318) 855-3146 August 12 Wine and WOD Join Spearpoint Fitness for a workout followed by drinks and vendors. Hours: 6:00 PM - Until Cost: Suggested Donation $20 Venue: Spearpoint Fitness 2399 Ferrand St, Monroe Phone: (318) 515-0253 August 13 Children's Funday The Biedenharn Museum & Gardens invites you and your kiddos to Children's Funday of 2022! This session's theme is Rock Picture Holder! Hours: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Cost: $5 Venue: Biedenharn Museum and Gardens, 2006 Riverside Dr, Monroe Phone: (318) 387-5281 Love, Peace, & Rock-n-Roll Concert River Cities’ Charities proudly present the first annual Love, Peace, & Rock-n-Roll Dance Concert at the West Monroe Convention Center. Vince Vance & The Valiants will be performing! Proceeds to benefit Pilots for Patients and the Twin Cities Krewe of Janus. Hours: 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM Cost: $40 per person Venue: West Monroe Convention Center, 901 Ridge Ave, West Monroe Phone: (318) 323-0230


Battle of the Badges Battle of the Badges is back on August 14 at the Monroe Civic Center! Watch as local police officers and firefighters battle it out in an amateur boxing show! Hours: 6:00 PM-uNTIL Cost: Ticket prices vary. Venue: Monroe Civic Center, 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, Monroe Phone: (318) 329-2225 August 17 Summer Film Series: Bayou Maharajah Gearing up for their fifth year, Northeast Louisiana Arts Council has selected a collection of top-notch shorts and feature films for this year’s series. Hours: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Cost: Free Venue: Flying Tiger Brewery, 506 N 2nd St, Monroe Phone: (318) 397-6717 August 19 - 20 LO Sister Conference Calling all sisters and friends: Don't miss out on a 2-day conference full of some of your favorite speakers & leaders! SESSION 1: Friday, 7PM-10PM SESSION 2: Saturday, 10AM - 12PM SESSION 3: Saturday, 2PM - 4PM SESSION 4: Saturday, 7PM - 10PM Cost: $99.99 – $199 Venue: Monroe Civic Center, 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, Monroe August 20 Super Saturday The Children’s Coalition opens the gates to the Origin Bank Family Garden every third Saturday of the month to host Super Saturday, . Hours: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Venue: Origin Bank Family Garden, 127 Hall St, Monroe Phone: (318) 323-8775 2nd Annual Barak Shriner Car & Truck Show Don't miss out on the 2nd Annual Barak Shriners Car, Truck and

Bike Show in West Monroe! Come hangout and support the Shriners! Hours: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Cost: Free Venue: Glenwood Regional Medical Mall, 102 Thomas Rd, West Monroe Phone: (318) 245-4542 August 27 Prop Blast: A Wine Pairing Join Pilots for Patients on August 27th for a wonderful night of hors d'oeuvres and wine pairing, along with a live and silent auction! It will be a night of great food, great fun, and great people, all while helping a great cause! Hours: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Cost: $150 Venue: Vantage State Building Rooftop Garden, 122 St John St, West Monroe Phone: (318) 322-5112 Bayou Black Open Rodeo Catch all the rodeo action with bareback bronc riding, bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing, and more. Enjoy a full day of events with a parade and tailgating before the rodeo begins. Hours: 7:30 PM - Until Venue: Monroe Civic Center, 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, Monroe Phone: (903) 753-3165 August 30 Ouachita Live Tribute Concert Join Downtown West Monroe at Ouachita Live! With great local food trucks and great music, it's sure to be a great time! Hours: 6:00 PM - Until Cost: Free Venue: Alley Park, 250 Trenton St, West Monroe