BayouLife Magazine September 2022

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128 / BAYOU EATS Jo-Els in Monroe officially opened its doors on July 12th of this year. And while their customer-base has been eagerly waiting to devour their favorite menu items, this re-opening also ushers in a few brand new items the sister-friend team can’t wait to serve their clientele.

58 / BAG IT UP

This wine cocktail is perfect for anytime of year. Fall notes take center stage in this combination of rosemary, roasted grapes and refreshing lemon.

100 / THE SCHOOL GARDEN Elizabeth Griffon heads St. Frederick Catholic High School’s garden club, a student-run, service-based project that keeps growing thanks to local grants and the support of the Monroe community.


146 / TOP 20 UNDER 40 This year’s group of young professionals is helping to shape the future of Northeast Louisiana. 100


26 / BAYOU ICON Because of her own personal style that is reflected not only in her clothing and accessory choices, but also in her approach to life, Dee McDonald Ledbetter is our September Bayou Icon.

Katherine Bonner’s belief that simply seeing another artist’s work can inspire is not merely an assumption or something she has observed; it is something she has experienced firsthand.


From fall florals to Western-inspired looks, these outfits are perfect for days in the city. Bold patterns and haute hues take center stage this season. Find these great looks and more at area boutiques.



From compact purses to super stylish fanny packs, these bags are functional and fashionable. Find these and other great pieces at area boutiques.

Looking for this season’s mane fashion trend? These hair accessories from local boutiques are perfect for fall. No longer reserved for your little sister, these grown-up looks are great for locks of all ages.


APRIL 2018

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This month is our annual fashion and style issue and we look at some trends for fall from some of our amazing local boutiques. Whether you are hanging out with friends and family in the backyard or hitting up a local restaurant for date night, you can always find something stylish thanks to our wonderful boutique owners in North Louisiana.Weare proud to partner with the Monroe Chamber of Commerce to recognize our area’s Top 20 under 40 Young Professionals. We hope you read through their bios and how they are helping to shape the future of Northeast Louisiana by some of the incredible things they are doing. See all top 20 young professionals starting on page 146. This month’s fashion shoot was at the beautiful Remington Suites Hotel & Spa in Shreveport. Our models, Allison and Natasha, rose to the occasion by modeling looks from area boutiques amidst highrises in downtown Shreveport.

6 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM 1201 Royal Avenue Monroe, LA 71201 Phone 318.855.3185 PUBLISHERWWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM&OWNER Cassie cassie@bayoulifemag.comLivingston COPY EDITOR Cindy Foust GRAPHIC DESIGNER Meagan meagan@bayoulifemag.comRussell ADVERTISING SALES EXECUTIVE Katelyn ART DIRECTOR Taylor Bennett LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER Kelly Moore Clark CONTRIBUTING WRITERS ON THE COVER Dee Ledbetter photo by KELLY MOORE CLARK 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. BayouLife Darian Atkins Nils Borquist Dan Chason Kenny Dr.ShannonCovingtonDahlumDr.DavidFinleyCindyGistFoustStarlaGatsonJ.MarshallHaynieKerryHeafnerAprilHonaker Dr. Brian Levatino Erin Love Meredith McKinnie Guy BeatriceGeorgiannMillerPottsVanelisRiveraEmilyRobersonDeliaSimpsonA.TatemJudyWagonerRobertWright

Meka Bennett, Kelly Moore Clark and Taylor Bennett were on-hand to create a magical set. See these images on page 112. There are some women that exude grace and style without trying, one of those women is Dee Ledbetter. Not only is she fashionable, she’s beautiful on the inside and out. I’ll never forget running into her in the grocery store (she knew I was going through a hard time) and she grabbed my hand and asked if she could pray with me. It meant the world to me, and is a memory that will forever be embedded. Because of her own personal style that is reflected not only in her clothing and accessory choices, but also in her approach to life, Dee McDonald Ledbetter is our September Bayou Icon. Read her article on page 26 of this month’s magazine. Elizabeth Griffon heads St. Frederick Catholic High School’s garden club, a student-run, service-based project that keeps growing thanks to local grants and the support of the Monroe community. Vanelis Rivera met up with Elizabeth for an interview, read about it on page 100 of this month’s issue. This fall, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City will welcome one of Monroe’s own - recent Neville High School graduate Kam Buttitta. We’ve known Kam through her work with Hemline and can’t wait to hear about her future endeavors. Read her article on page 44. We hope everyone is settling into their back-to-school routines. While we are excited about football season, a huge milestone ahead and fall weather, BayouLife Magazine will go through a transition next month. We’ll be welcoming a new designer and saying goodbye to Meagan Russell. Thank you, Meagan, for being such a positive part of the magazine for the last three years. We hope you enjoy reading this month’s issue of BayouLife Magazine Remember to support local businesses!

Cassie City Scapes, page 112


Washington Wine and Spirits

FALL IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, WHICH FOR US, means it’s whiskey weather. Right now here at the store we have an incredible collection of single barrel bourbons and whiskies that we have carefully curated over the last year. We wanted to take the time in this article to tell you about some of the barrels we currently have as we know one of these will be your perfect fall sipper as you watch football and playoff baseball. This selection we made from Jefferson’s Reserve came in earlier this year, and is over halfway gone. In the glass it is a beautiful copper honey in appearance and bottled at 100 proof. On the nose you’ll get vanilla, butterscotch, smokehouse notes, and candied cherry. On the palate you’ll get sweet vanilla, honeycomb, fresh macerated cherries, and buttery toasted brioche bread. The finish is gentle with caramel toffee, french vanilla cream, and cinnamon toast. This is a great bourbon for people looking for an easy sipper that is smooth from beginning to end. We also have a barrel of Jefferson’s Reserve Pritchard Hill Wine Cask Finished Bourbon coming later this year. Next we have a bourbon we selected from Wilderness Trail just a few months ago while at the distillery. Our selection of this bourbon mashbill (64%corn/24%rye/12%malted barley) from the distillery is bottled at cask strength and is only a touch over 100 proof making for a rich and smooth sipper. The inviting nose of sweet vanilla bean, black Cavendish, rich and salty caramel, and sassafras beckons for you to take a sip. The silky mouthfeel has a slight tickle to the edge of the tongue. The taste of sweet pipe tobacco, vanilla, birch root, chewy caramel, and a dash of cinnamon are a delight. The finish is luxurious, sweet, and ever so slightly spicy. The subtle spice from old school root beer mingles with the rich vanilla and caramel giving the impression of an old fashioned root beer float, in a glass of bourbon.

The next whiskey we want to tell you about is another selection we made while visiting Wilderness Trail just a few months ago. This 5 year old rye is bottled at 104.68 proof (52.34%) and has a mesmerizing nose of rich caramel cream, baked apple pie with a buttery crust, spiced vanilla, and a touch of cigar box. In the glass it is the color of golden honey and has a buttery smooth mouthfeel. On the palate you’re met with sweet French toast, a touch of vanilla, sweet orange marmalade, and whisper of spearmint. The finish is surprisingly gentle for cask strength rye with a lingering tingle. The tingle dissipates after some air. The finish leaves behind flavors of honeyed vanilla caramel and baked apples. This is a great rye to try for those of you who haven’t cared for rye in the past. This is a bourbon drinker’s rye. As many of you know we are big fans of Barrell Craft Spirits and our newest Private Blend is a combination of 8 and 14 year old light whiskies with a touch of bourbon that is then finished in Armagnac barrels. For those of you who haven’t heard about light whiskey, it is a 99% corn and 1% malted barley mashbill. It was developed by MGP in the 1970’s to find an alternative to gin and vodka, which had begun to dominate the market. This mashbill was discontinued at MGP in 2012 and since then the older barrels have started getting bought and bottled at advanced ages by different companies who saw the potential for some amazing and forgotten whiskies. The incredible nose leads with a punch of caramel fudge, milk chocolate, fresh ground coffee, and layered vanilla. The palate is rich! Exploding with creamy vanilla custard, white chocolate, and pralines. The finish is long and creamy! Flavors reminiscent of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies and melted vanilla bean ice cream linger with pleasant sweetness. Bottled at cask strength(128.72 proof) the flavor profile makes for an easy drinking experience.

Finally we’d like to tell you about our selection from RY3 Whiskey which is a Single Barrel 14 year old Light Whiskey. Whereas the selection highlighted above is a blend of light whiskies, this is just a straight single barrel. This is bottled at 129.6 proof (64.8%) and though that number sounds scary, this drinks as if it were bottled at a much lower proof. On the nose you’ll get butterscotch, brown sugar, milk chocolate, and fresh baked bread pudding. On the palate you’ll get a touch of vanilla and subtle baking spice. This is followed by sweet cinnamon, rich butterscotch, and toasted oak. These flavors carry over to a soft and easy finish. This will shock you with how easy it is to drink as it is the definition of higher proof doesn’t mean more “burn”. Be sure to keep your eyes out for our selections of Maker’s Mark, Blue Note, Pinhook, and more. We hope to see you soon and hope you’ll try out one of the barrel picks selected by our staff, and as always thank you for letting us be your Spirits Guides here at Washington Wine & Spirits.

Whiskey Weather


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

AMANDA M. HINTON WAS RAISED IN CONCORDIA Parish on faith, family, and a heartbeat for others. Amanda’s parents Edgar and Laverne Moore were her earliest mentors. They nurtured their children to lead with good hearts and to believe in themselves. She was one of the first in her family to attend college. Married with one child and a new member of the Monroe community, Amanda stepped on the ULM campus, unsure and anxious. She met with Dr. Hood, then Head of Accounting, certain she wanted an education, but unsure how to pay for it. She got a job in the ULM Controller’s Office and also sold purses at home parties to pay for her education.

Amanda is a teacher at heart and off-campus has volunteered teaching Dave Ramsey classes, budgeting, professional women’s etiquette and resume writing. She loves being included in the lives of others so she can encourage them. From serving Thanksgiving dinner at a woman’s shelter, to participating in Angel Tree, to ringing the Salvation Army bell outside of retail stores, Amanda Hinton’s fingerprints have quietly touched our community.

Amanda’s education opened doors and established connections that sustain her even today. As a community leader, she focuses on supporting ULM at the grassroots level. An avid supporter of ULM campus ministries, Amanda enjoys helping students one at a time. As a mentor, Amanda has encouraged local, out-of-state, and international students. It brings her joy knowing that post graduation, all those students are impacting their respective fields. Amanda Hinton knows firsthand the power of education in changing the direction of not only an individual, but an entire family for generations to come. Every time Amanda returns to ULM is a reminder of the first day she curiously set foot on the ULM campus. Amanda Hinton always finds comfort on campus by returning to her educational roots. She is forever “the student” grateful for her ULM education!

Alumni Spotlight

A determined student, Amanda enjoyed her business classes, seeking the toughest professors to prepare for the CPA exam after graduation. As a working mother, on-campus extracurricular activities were limited, but she made the most of her time in the classroom. During her senior year, Amanda and her husband Doug were delighted to learn they were pregnant again. She registered for the fall, even though their baby was due in October. When their newborn required an additional hospital stay, Amanda considered dropping her courses. Two ULM professors visited her in the hospital and insisted she stay enrolled. They agreed to help her finish the semester and graduate. Upon graduation that fall, Amanda was named the Outstanding Accounting Student. After graduation, Amanda sought mentoring and bravely phoned Kitty DeGree and invited her to lunch. Ms. DeGree arrived polished and composed. Amanda said she wanted to learn from her. Ms. DeGree advised Amanda to be intentional about helping others, to foster relationships and to invest in people. Ms. DeGree’s community impact speaks for itself, particularly on the ULM campus. And she definitely inspired Amanda Hinton. After a brief stint at a small CPA firm and then Central Bank, Amanda took a job with Merrill Lynch, where she has now worked for almost 27 years. Now a Senior Vice President at a Fortune 500 company, Amanda has received multiple awards, including invitations and recognition by Barrons and Forbes. She has earned multiple professional certifications, many for which she studied countless hours at the ULM library. Amanda served many years on the ULM Accounting Advisory Council and as a past president of the Institute of Internal Auditors. She has also been invited back to ULM as a speaker, both in business classrooms and at the ULM Women’s Symposium.

ULM Alumna: Amanda Hinton

Attending ULM ignited a desire for lifelong learning, and Amanda continues to study and grow by challenging herself. Amanda Hinton leads with confidence and compassion. She stays grounded in her faith and inspired to give back to others. She is a charter member of the Cancer Foundation League, a cause near and dear to her heart. Amanda is involved with other cancer organizations and recently attended the St. Jude’s 60th anniversary event. Amanda’s passion radiates. She loves God. She loves people. She is an intellectual who loves to read - from business periodicals to romance novels. She and husband Doug travel often. She also loves to introduce people to ULM. Recently Amanda took out-of-town guests on a driving tour of Monroe which included the ULM campus. Amanda showcases the wow effect of ULM nestled on beautiful Bayou DeSiard.

Born and raised in Ruston, Hunter would eventually attend Ruston High School before staying in town to pursue a degree at Louisiana Tech University. As he grew up, Hunter encountered the same questions everyone moving through his teenage years must face, with figuring out and deciding a career path being high on the list to answer. Fortunately, having role models like his father, as well as drawing inspiration from his football coach at Ruston High, Tommy Reeder, greatly helped. As so many other young men across the country do, Hunter loved playing football. With the physically punishing practices, the dramatic highs and lows, and the solid bonds built with teammates, the sport provides numerous life lessons and memories for those who play. Considering these factors, Hunter went to Louisiana Tech to major in education, a degree he earned, so that he, too, could positively impact kids as his own coach had done. After he graduated high school in 1999 he went to work as a football coach, a position he held and enjoyed for over six years, but he began to feel that moving in another direction in terms of a long-term career would be more beneficial for him and his own growing family. With that, he dove headlong into full-time work at Hunter Energy, and his professional trajectory has risen since. With the myriad of technical services provided by HEC, such as drilling production history, lease acquisition, and title research, Hunter states that his favorite part of his job lies in relationship building, which may perhaps be the most important part of any job wherein communication is of the utmost value. In an industry that relies on third party contracting, having a good leader who can effectively and warmly interact with clients allows for the development of mutual trust.

Hunter Smith, the Vice President of Ruston-based Hunter Energy Corporation, a man influenced by his father’s tireless work ethic and the toughness and care of a strong mother, is proving that prospering in such an endeavor can be accomplished through consistency, effort, and the desire to sustain and enhance the family business. While serving in upper management for over a decade as well as more recently adding on a side enterprise selling large scale real estate, Smith personifies diligence and hyper-focus all while also growing a family with his wife, Becky. Certainly, building such a life may not always be easy or a smooth path to travel, but a strong will combined with opportunity and persistence usually lead to great achievements and happiness.

Of course, having a person who attained a degree in education as the face of a company helps as the training to learn, teach, and use resources efficiently greatly come into play in any business, and when one also factors in Hunter’s coaching experience, a job that requires pulling the best from his players, it is easy to see why HEC continues to perform well in their fields. Being detail-oriented and working well with other people are also valuable traits to have in the real estate industry, so when Hunter decided to sell acreage around Louisiana and Arkansas, he proved to be just as adept in that world. Beyond his jobs, Hunter also heavily participates in the community by serving on the Board of Directors for Med-Camps of Louisiana, acting as a board member on the Lincoln Parish School Board, and being on the Core-Market Advisory Board for Origin Bank. Having multiple jobs can be quite demanding, but another asset Hunter possesses is the skill of time management. Time is extremely important for Hunter, not only for his work life but also for his family life. Sharing three teenage sons, Lander, George, and Jack, with his wife Becky keeps him just as busy as his career as his children are all involved in activities. Fortunately, as Hunter believes that “our time is our wealth,” and with the flexibility that comes with being essentially self-employed, he is able to capitalize on his schedule to attend his kids’ activities as well as enjoy time hunting and traveling. Such a busy and full life might create a great deal of stress for many people, especially those who have a difficult time balancing a heavy workload with their personal time. Hunter Smith proves that it can be done, and it can be done well. He adeptly navigates the realms of his various jobs with a big smile and is also able to fully engage with his family in meaningful ways. Even with the career success he has attained, he claims that his greatest accomplishment, that which he is most proud of, is being a father. Perhaps, then, with all of the possible superlatives that could be attributed to him, the simplest description of him is that he is a good man, a hard worker who is devoted to his family, friends, and the community he calls home.


14 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM We Sell Land and Lots of It Set Up Your Property Tour with Hunter Smith Today

OLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF A SUCCESSFUL parent is considered a daunting undertaking, especially in those situations when the child enters the same industry, and definitely even more so when he or she joins the already thriving company created and run by said parent. However, for some kids, those with great drive and willingness to continually learn, finding success is nearly always a foregone conclusion.

Create a drop zone

Make doing homework more fun by creating the perfect space for your child. Let him help by decorating it and then storing it with papers, pencils, crayons, and other school work necessities. It should be in a quiet space in the home and away from any toys or items that may be distracting.

This could be in a mudroom, laundry room, or simply inside the door you use most often. I suggest hanging a coat hook for the backpack and placing a roomy basket underneath for papers and other paraphernalia. Stopping paper clutter at the door is a must for any organizing junkie!

Homework time is a touchy subject in my house, so doing it first before anything else is what works for us. Find what works for you and your child and stick with it.

*Note: This is the perfect time to reorganize your kids closets and drawers! Not only will it help with the transition, it will also free up space for what you purchase.

Organize tomorrow today!

Make a bedtime routine that everyone can enjoy. Draw a bubble bath and add some glow sticks. Add a bit of lavender scented candles or aromatherapy oils to soothe your children and remind them that it is time to wind down and begin preparing for the next day. Try to get in bed at the same time every night,Remember,too. you can never be too prepared! Organize tomorrow today. Happy new school year!

Create a nightly routine

Make a plan for those piles of paper

Goodbye summer!



Plan before you shop The beginning of school is always the busiest time for stores, so it’s a good idea to shop early and be ready with a list of items that you may need. Before going, make sure clothes still fit. Sometimes kids take a growing spurt over the summer. We seem to go through shoes quickly at our house, so I always know to double check shoe size.

A new school year is here, and that means hectic schedules, alarm clocks, and piles of paper. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up, but with a little organization, you can create order out of the chaos and transition from summer fun to schoolwork with minimum complications.Transitioning takes time! Don’t let the beginning of school create a problem in your household. Ease your children into new routines gradually. For instance, after a summer of sleeping in, it will be hard to jump out of bed and hit the ground running. Take that into account and give yourself a bit more time than usual.

This is one of my favorite rules, and it is the reason I stay organized. Do whatever you possibly can the evening before, and it will save so much stress later. For instance, pack book bags and choose outfits. Lay everything out in an organized fashion so it is easy to get dressed. I lay my kids clothes on their beds and then place backpacks where they grab snacks and drinks. What else can you do ahead of time instead of last minute? If possible, make a list of all that needs to be done before leaving for school and post it where everyone can see it. This doesn’t have to be a job just for you! Get everyone involved in pre-planning and they will be learning a valuable lesson. In addition, you might not have to turn the car around to pick up homework forgotten on the kitchen table or leave work to run your child’s lunch box to school.

Invest in a large calendar If you haven’t already, I suggest purchasing a large calendar that you can put in a central location for all to use. When you begin receiving special dates from the school and/or sporting teams, put them in the calendar immediately. If you wait, you may forget and that could spell disaster in the form of stress.

It is inevitable that paper will accumulate even after the very first day of school. I suggest that you devise a plan for what you will do with it. For instance, create a folder for “important papers” and keep it in a handy place in your homework station or drop zone. I also love the idea of scanning coloring pages, A+ grades, and other keepsakes and then tossing the original. Another idea is to create a display area for special papers and rotate them as needed. Create a homework station


HIS ARTICLE IS DEDICATED TO THE THOUSANDS OF individuals, particularly women, who are experiencing hair loss. “I AM NOT MY HAIR” is a title I borrowed from the Neo-Soul/R&B singer India.Arie. I am a fan of Ms. Arie due to the messages of self-love she sends through her meaningful lyrics and musical style. India.Arie has spoken favorably of the need for self-care and therapy before it became a trend for musical artist to discuss. At a live concert I witnessed her saying that was her last performance before taking a mental health hiatus. The song, “I am not my hair” looks at the way our society views beauty. The song encourages us to consider ourselves and others from within and not just what we see on the outside while reminding us how quickly we judge one another by outer appearances. The song prompts the listener to consider the questions does the way I wear my hair make me a better person? Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend? Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity? Originally written for women who lost their hair due to cancer, “I AM NOT MY HAIR,“ sends a clear message of love and acceptance that is applicable to everyone. My decision to write this article is a personal and emotional one. In fact, days before I wrote this article, I made a last check with Katelyn of BayouLife staff to get her thoughts and opinions. What did writing this article say about me, was I falling into the trap of what society regards as beauty? Was I guilty of thinking the therapist should not admit openly to personal problems and challenges? So here it goes, I decided to disclose about my experience with hair loss in hopes of helping others. I can remember the day when it hit me my hair was thinning and falling out at a rate that even my busy schedule would no longer allow me to overlook. Late night commercials and advertisements about hair loss were increasingly grabbing my attention. I contacted my dermatologist and immediately sensed their push for a consultation, and I cleared my scheduled for the next available appointment. Why was my hair falling out? Was it hormonal changes, age, genetics, stressful life events, nutritional deficiencies, autoimmune disease some of the cited reasons for hair loss? I even considered the way I wear my hair (I have worn my hair tightly pulled back in a bun or ponytail since I was 13). Blood tests, a scalp biopsy and a physical examination of my hair and scalp were all conducted to determine the cause. I was initially diagnosed with the commonly known scarring alopecia or cicatricial alopecia and a scalp infection. Alopecia, Latin in origin is a medical term for hair loss regardless of the cause. I would later learn the several types of alopecia and the numerous conditions. I made a lot of assumptions about my hair due to a lack of awareness and as a result made poor decisions. For example, I was a decades long user of biotin, a regiment I self-prescribed after reading magazines targeting women and beauty. My overuse of biotin resulted in a poor blood sample and an erroneous diagnosis. One morning after many attempts to improve another bad hair day I found myself crying to my friend and fellow psychologist Vivian. I shared with her it was not a good day and that I was crying for myself. I confided in her that I was not ready to be bald. She shared my pain and offered her support. My final diagnosis was Androgenic Alopecia frequently known as male or women pattern baldness. This is the most common form of alopecia affecting many individuals; some as early as their teen years. Androgenic Alopecia can be hereditary, as it is in my case. The other types of hair loss include: Alopecia Universalis or Alopecia Areata. This occurs in severe cases when it progresses over the entire body, including the eyebrows. Alopecia Totalis is progress over the entire scalp. Traction Alopecia is in a category of its own and differs from the others in that it is generally caused by the direct actions of an individual. This is most seen with styles like tight braiding and ponytails resulting in tension on the hair as well as excessive chemical treatments like coloring and bleaching which can cause breakage. Hair is often a large part of one’s identity and is often considered to be one’s “crown and glory.” How we care for, style, and wear our hair can reflect how we feel about ourselves and at the same time influence how others perceive us. Our hairstyles can help to make us look younger, more mature, feisty, professional, conservative, preppy, sexy, radical, creative, dramatic, or free spirited. How we wear our hair can help make a fashion statement or it can be the statement. I recall a well-intentioned friend encouraging me to get a good wig and keep stepping. Another friend suggested that I “rock” headwraps using materials I purchased when traveling. Whether you wear your hair boldly bald by choice or by necessity, or wear your natural hair, hair pieces, weaves, head wraps or wigs how you decide to wear your hair is your personal statement. My suggestion when experiencing unwanted hair loss is to ascertain the appropriate professionals to educate yourself about your hair condition. Treatment can slow or help stop hair loss and, in some cases, regrowth may occur; early intervention and consistency are key. The earlier the treatment begins, the better it tends to work. In the words of India.Arie it is not what’s on your head, it’s what’s underneath. I am not my hair; I am not this skin; I am not your expectations; I am the soul that lives within. 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

Hairstyles - A Personal Fashion Statement




Gyorgy Eby

Gyorgy was dedicated to self-improvement and acclimating to his new world. “I started my GED in 2015 and graduated in 2016. After graduation, I took a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) course. After acquiring my certification, I worked in a pediatric office,” shares Gyorgy.


Join us for Spooky Science Night Tuesday, October 18, from 5:007:30. This all-ages event allows our community to trick-or-treat in a safe environment on our Monroe campus, tour the science laboratories and meet our math and science professors. There will be games, prizes, candy, and most importantly, fun, spooky science experiments in the laboratories. Prospective college students and their families are welcome to learn more about our campus and programs. Costumes are welcome but not required.

Gyorgy obtained more than a new language and a career in New York; he also met his spouse. Because of the initial language barrier, he and his now-husband used Google translate to communicate. Gyorgy’s spouse had familial roots in Monroe, and they decided to relocate in 2017, where Eby Technology was born. The future was looking pretty bright for Gyorgy. He passed his citizenship test and was preparing to take his oath when COVID hit. Unfortunately, his appointment was canceled. After a couple of months, though, he got a new appointment to take his oath. The whole occasion was bittersweet because no guests could attend due to COVIDSincerestrictions.Gyorgywas a U.S. citizen, he had the whole world in front of him. “After taking my oath and becoming a citizen, I registered at Louisiana Delta Community College and took my Accuplacer test to pursue my degree in Forensic Science and Technology,” shares Gyorgy. The forensic science program at LDCC is the only associate degree program in Forensic Science in Louisiana. At LDCC, we are fortunate to not only have a state-of-the-art forensic science laboratory with modern equipment currently used in the field of forensic science but also a Crime Scene House that allows mock crime scenes in a realistic environment. Program graduates are prepared to work in the field as crime scene investigators or death investigators and in the laboratory as pathology assistants, crime lab technicians, or forensic photographers. Students may also choose to work in law enforcement. Gyorgy hopes to work for Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries. “Gyorgy has been a delight to teach. His desire to learn, enthusiasm, and energy inside the classroom is palpable and radiates to other students creating an ideal classroom environment. Gyorgy is also eager to volunteer at events such as LDCC day and the CSI Summer Camp, showcasing what he has learned and assisting prospective students in their career choice. I could not be prouder of Gyorgy’s academic and personal achievements,” shares Claire Shepard, forensic instructor.

All Paths Led to Louisiana Delta Community College

YORGY EBY IS A LONG WAY FROM HOME. Cegledbercel, Hungary, is where Gyorgy was born and raised. You might wonder how he ended up in Monroe, Louisiana; I sure did! Portions of his story may sound like something you watched in a movie. Through the ups and downs, the ins and outs, all paths led him right here to Ouachita Parish. As a kid, Gyorgy never dreamed of being on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. He grew up with very modest means, especially after his dad’s passing. Gyorgy left home for Budapest at the age of sixteen to go to work. Unfortunately, that meant dropping out of school. He shared an apartment with others who were also trying to survive. While working, Gyorgy was approached about an opportunity to work in America. He’d never dreamed it possible before but thought this could be his ticket (literally) out of poverty. “It sounded so good! I was going to have a job and a better life,” shares Gyorgy. The person who reached out to him was a fellow Hungarian, which gave him credibility. The year 2012 was starting to look pretty promising. Gyorgy was given a plane ticket to the U.S., and his first home was in New York, where he primarily worked domestic jobs. He made more money than he earned in Hungary, but his “sponsor” took his cut, which became larger and larger. Gyorgy knew he was being taken advantage of, but what could he do? He didn’t know anyone else. He didn’t have any other support. “I didn’t speak English at all, but I started learning English by watching cartoons and listening to music,” says Gyorgy. In 2014 he enrolled in English as a second language and began his education journey. Gyorgy was a little more advanced than his classmates, so his teacher recommended that he start preparing to take his GED immediately.

See for complete course options.




Food Bank Of Northeast Louisiana would like to thank Brookshires for donating over 8,000 pounds of cereal and snacks! These items will go to our neighbors struggling with hunger. Together, a hunger-free Northeast Louisiana is possible.

Neville Junior High announces new principal Mr. Landon Sapp. Mr. Sapp has many years in education. He has been in the classroom as well as the former principal of Start Elementary. The students, staff and parents of Neville Nation look forward to a great 202223 school year.

Meredith McKinnie was honored at the Pursuit with the Athletic Foundation Faculty Recognition Award. Meredith is the Assistant Director of First-Year Composition in the English Program. She was nominated for the Sun Belt Faculty Award by David Godsey, a football athlete who has studied with her in both freshmen and sophomore courses.

On Sunday, July 24, 2022, the ”Together We Can” mural project was completed by Lake Providence native, Brandon Virgil, Sr., 4-H participants (young artists), and other community members.

Two years after Louisiana-Monroe softball coach Molly Fichtner sat down her team to discuss the future, the Stangier-Young Leadership Center came to life. The multi-purpose $1.5 million project houses locker rooms, meeting rooms, a players lounge, equipment storage, laundry room and covered bullpen. Doors opened August 13th with a ribbon cutting.





Dee McDonald Ledbetter comes by her sense of style honestly. She literally grew up surrounded by dapper dressers. Both her parents (Carol and Jesse McDonald) and her maternal grandparents (Mignon and Arthur Emerson) had a certain style that was obvious at first glance. Dee remembers both her maternal grandfather, a dentist, and her father, an attorney, dressing “to the nines” every day wearing suits with a fedora hat in hand. The women in her family were equally stylish. Dee’s maternal grandmother’s matching shoes, bags, and hats for each outfit left a lasting impression on Dee – so much so that she has a collection of those hats on display in her closet. And everyone who knew Dee’s mother, Carol, knew that she was a style-setter in her own right! Because of her own personal style that is reflected not only in her clothing and accessory choices, but also in her approach to life, Dee McDonald Ledbetter is our September Bayou Icon. BY GEORGIANN POTTS KELLY MOORE CLARK


ee McDonald Ledbetter’s childhood was a happy time – with one notable exception (more about that later). She grew up on Lakeside Drive in Monroe, the home in which her parents lived for almost 52 years of their marriage. Her maternal grandparents lived only about half a mile away, so Dee saw them daily while growing up. She adored them both, but perhaps has a special spot in her life for her grandfather. Grandfather


Dee loved weekend mornings in the winter, sitting by the fire in their den. Her mother would be making a “farmers’ breakfast” while her father (aka “Papa”) typed his notes for his Sunday School lessons. “The combination of the glowing, crackling fire which Papa adored, the rhythm of the typewriter, and the aroma of bacon and eggs coming from the kitchen made those mornings very special,” Dee says.


Dee loved her early years at St. Christopher Day School. A favorite memory is of singing “Onward Christian Soldiers” -- a hymn that remains special to her today. When she was attending Lexington Elementary, she and her family would often eat breakfast out on the patio when the morning weather allowed. One morning, they saw a large black streak across their lawn. When they investigated, they found an enormous snapping turtle. “It was mammoth! Guess what I took for Show and Tell?” Dee says with a laugh. “Our principal, Mrs. Roosevelt McDonald, almost had a coronary when she saw him and made me take him home. I guess the old saying is true – ‘Go Big, or Go Home!’ I did both!” While she was 7 years old, Dee had a terrible accident while trying out Mark Anderson’s new bike. She landed quite literally on her face – with her mother watching! That was about the only unhappy time she had as a child. The injuries were severe – she knocked out 2 of her permanent teeth and broke her maxilla bone. Her grandfather and Dr. Jack Davis, an oral surgeon, “. . . put me back together again” according to Dee. Her full recovery would take years.Ironically, that bike accident likely played a part in igniting Dee’s interest in fashion. “I was left with a mouth full of metal and an additional apparatus to secure my front teeth,” Dee remembers. “I will confess that I felt very self-conscious. Looking back, I think I probably put more effort into my clothes to distract from my mouth.”


Emerson would come by after work and take Dee and her two sisters away while their mother was preparing supper. “He would take us to see my grandmother, grocery shop, eat ice cream, or skip around the neighborhood singing songs,” Dee remembers with a smile.


“Every day with him was a fun adventure. He was a hero in my life!” Dee’s father, Jesse, was born in Bernice, Louisiana, and was reared by his grandmother. Because he was the only child in his grade, he went to Jefferson Military Academy in Washington, Mississippi. At 16, he entered Louisiana State University and then completed law school there. Her mother grew up in Monroe. She attended Neville High School briefly, and then – as her mother had done before – went to Ward-Belmont School in Nashville, Tennessee. After graduation, Carol attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She transferred to LSU after falling in love with Jesse. When they married, Dee’s parents made Monroe their home. Jesse established a very successful law practice with Hudson, Potts & Bernstein. Carol ran their home, happily rearing their three daughters, Molly, Dee, and Ainslee. She did not work out of the home until they were in high school and her father needed her help at his dental practice. When the girls were in college, Carol fulfilled a dream and opened her own business – a business centered on style that surely influenced Dee. The company, Backward Glance, featured accessories, clothing, and home goods – all representing Carol’s sense of style.

“Our husbands were very intense about the egg hunt. There were yellow eggs with money and finding the nests required strategic planning on the couples’ part!” To help, Dee remembers that the Easter Bunny left an elaborate poem giving clues and directions about the meaning of Easter and the hunt.

Growing up in a home filled in equal parts of faith and family love meant that holidays were always very special times. Because both of her parents were only children, they celebrated in a big way. They both wanted every Christmas morning to be special for their children. One motivation for this was that when Dee’s father was a child, he had opened and then rewrapped all of his gifts from under the tree days before. Then on Christmas morning, things just weren’t the same – there was no surprise. That lesson was never forgotten. The magic of the holidays did not end when their children grew up or when they married. “We still kept all of our family traditions such as the Easter Egg Hunt even after we married,” Dee explains.

Dee’s preconceived notion about John couldn’t have been more wrong. They doubled with another couple and had a wonderful time. That night, the Texas Rangers set a team record for hits. Later, John’s wedding band would have the score of that game engraved inside his wedding band to honor that first date.


After graduating high school, Dee visited an older Waldemar friend who was attending Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After that visit, Dee knew that Trinity was the university for her. At the two-year mark at Trinity when the career path to become a dental hygienist would have meant a change in schools, Dee decided to remain at Trinity and change her major to Elementary Education. The summer before her senior year at Trinity, Dee broke off an engagement and returned to Dallas to begin healing. She went to summer school at SMU and lived with her older sister Molly and her husband. Shortly after Dee moved in, Molly and Bob left for a week to attend a convention. After classes that entire week, Dee would cook (a passion of hers). By the end of the week, the refrigerator was full so she called all the people she knew from Monroe who were living in Dallas at the time. “I wanted them to help me empty that refrigerator,” Dee explains. Her 6thgrade sweetheart, Lee Ledbetter, was doing a summer internship there so she invited him to join the group. As fate would have it, his older brother John – whom Dee did not know – was there. She told Lee to bring John along.

Dee attended River Oaks School for both junior high and high school. She loved the small classes through which she established tight-knit friend groups – many of whom she remains close to today. A special time during the summer was attending Camp Waldemar for girls just outside of Hunt, Texas. For six weeks each summer from the time they were 7 until they reached 16, Dee and her sisters would go to camp. One summer, something happened that required all of Dee’s beloved Papa’s ingenuity!

(Left to Right): A family portrait with Carol, Molly, Ainslee, Dee and Jesse McDonald


Although Dee had known John’s family all of her life, she didn’t know John. Her siblings were the same age as John’s siblings, but John was four grades ahead of Dee. The evening was a success, the refrigerator was empty, and Dee enjoyed being with her Monroe friends. She wasn’t looking for romance, but romance found her. Two weeks after that get-together, John asked her to a Rangers baseball game. She thought that it sounded like fun, but turned John down because she mistakenly thought he was dating a friend of hers from Waldemar. John quickly corrected her misunderstanding, and she agreed to go to the game with him. “To be frank, I was not excited about the date. I knew he was a nice guy, yet I perceived him to be very quiet and reserved,” Dee says. “I was still on the mend from a wounded heart so my guard was up. I thought I would have to carry the conversation all night.”


The Waldemar tradition is that on the first night that campers arrive, they draw to discover which tribe they will be a member. The three tribes – Comanche, Aztec, and Tejas – are represented by a different color. During Field Days campers wear their tribal colors --- and when their families come for Field Days, they are asked to dress in the tribal colors of their campers. “By the luck of the draw, all three of us sisters belonged to a different tribe,” Dee explains with a laugh. ‘This provided a unique opportunity and challenge for my parents.”Deeremembers that her mother had no trouble with it – she just adjusted her accessories to represent all three tribes. Dee’s Papa had the bigger challenge, and after some thought, he had a tailor make him a custom pair of pants. One pant leg was orange and the other, purple. “Papa wore those pants with a green shirt and white belt,” Dee says. “To this day, Papa’s pants are on display in the Waldemar Hall of Fame and are often worn in camp skits. The outfit was a hit!”


Many teachers have also influenced Dee’s life and faith. A high school teacher, Donna Underwood, was a major influence then and remains one – as well as good friend – today. Lia Cannon, Dee’s Yoga and Classical Pilates instructor, has increased Dee’s knowledge of the importance of exercise and fitness in one’s life. When she was young, two Sunday School teachers – Glen Gore and H.D. Touchstone – impressed her as champions of their faith and committed teachers. Recently two others – Billy Foster and Pat Williams – have helped her grow her knowledge of the Bible. Barbara Thomas and Selene Rae lead a weekly Bible Study through which Dee’s life and faith have been enriched.

Dee has been blessed by a number of special people in her life who have served as mentors and influencers when she needed them most. Her parents are at the top of that list. From them, Dee saw examples of a living faith, an unwavering work ethic, and a love for the community. When Dee was in high school, she would go to Papa’s law office after supper to do her homework just to be near him. There she saw his devotion to his work and his love for the rule of law. On occasion she would get to see him litigate in the courtroom. When her mother started her own business, Dee saw her transformation from homekeeper and mother to successful businesswoman. Both Dee’s father and mother were Christians devoted to their faith and their church, Covenant Presbyterian. Both served as elders and on the Session in a number of capacities. Papa taught Sunday School for decades, and her mother served on the flower guild until she was in her 80s. Papa had a mantra that Dee has adopted for her own life: “Work as if everything depends upon you, and pray as if everything depends upon God.”

The next week they had a second date, and from that point on they saw each other every day for the rest of the summer. Dee was crazy about John, but she was returning to San Antonio to finish at Trinity and John was beginning his first year of medical school in Dallas. Dee was also still “guarding” her heart and she thought that distance and school business would keep them separate. She believed that this was just a summer romance that would fade. John had other ideas – and a plan. He told Dee to go back to Trinity, date, and have fun. The two of them would stay in touch by phone and see each other every other weekend. “I dated like crazy my senior year, and John and I would have late night phone conversations after all my dates,” Dee says. “We did get together every other weekend and thank goodness I had family in Dallas. We spent our days in the library studying and had fun in the evenings.”

Three places influenced Dee’s awareness of fashion – two children’s shops in Monroe and a department store in Dallas. Dee Dee’s and Kelso’s were wonderful children’s shops when Dee was growing up. There Dee Dee Kirkland and Vera and Johnny Kelso offered a combination of classic children’s pieces as well as the latest fashions. Dee loved going to both with her mother, selecting just the right outfit.


After graduation, Dee moved to Dallas and began her teaching career in the Richardson School District. The next January they became engaged, and on June 20, 1981, Dee became a June bride. They were married at Covenant Presbyterian Church and their reception was at Bayou DeSiard Country Club. Dee’s mom created a sophisticated Fiesta for the reception in honor of Dee’s years in Texas.

A FAMILY OF THEIR OWN After four years of marriage, Dee’s first child -- a son -- Mac was born. They were living in San Antonio as Dee supported John through medical school. They moved “home” to Monroe when John accepted a position with Anesthesia Associates. Dee was expecting their second son -- Land -- when they moved. They purchased Dee’s grandparents’ home and settled in with their growing family. When the boys were 7 and 9, the family welcomed a baby girl they named Rachel. “I loved being a boy mom, but God knew that this family needed a girl to mix things up!” Dee says. Not surprising considering how much of their life together was spent in Texas, the Ledbetter family’s favorite cuisine is authentic Mexican. Dee especially loves Mexican restaurants (she collects them like some people collect jewelry and has favorites in every city) – the atmosphere, décor, colorful lights, fresh ingredients, and Mariachi bands!Their children are grown now, with families of their own, but the same spirit of faith and family love that Dee experienced keeps them together. With two granddaughters, a grandson, and a new blessing on the way, Dee and John are enjoying the special joy that grandchildren bring as they watch that part of their family grow. “We just play with the grandchildren and do what they want to do,” Dee says with a laugh. “We read books, cook together, and play board games. The older they get, the more there is that we can do together.”

As one would expect, holidays remain major highlights each year. At Christmas, whichever children are home for the holidays will join John and Dee in volunteering to deliver Meals on Wheels Christmas dinners. “We pile into the car with coffee or cider and make our rounds,” Dee explains. “We have met, prayed with, visited, and sung with some very dear people. Each stop we switch up the two people who walk to deliver the meal. That way by the end of the route, we all have different experiences to share.”


A hobby -- and talent – that Dee’s mother loved is evident in Dee’s own life. Her mother loved arranging flowers, studying floral design, and creating lovely floral tributes for others. Dee laughs that she developed her love for flowers “probably by osmosis” because she watched her mother’s passion for it.



Dee’s earliest travel memory is of a family trip to St. Louis. The family drove to Jackson, Mississippi, and then boarded a train for the trip to Missouri. The train trip was as exciting as the St. Louis Zoo. “The conductor, the coal engine, sleeping on the train, dining while moving with the views zooming past us --- it was all a big deal in our eyes!” Dee says. “The most fun was standing out on the caboose, waving and experiencing the wind and movement.” Since that introduction to train travel, Dee has enjoyed many trips. Travel is a love that she and John share. There have been moments, however . . . one time her plane missed the runway; on another flight, her aircraft was struck by lightning that caused what Dee describes as “dramatic effects.”


When Dee began arranging flowers, her mom (a floral design judge for The Garden Club of America) taught Dee about the mechanics of floral arranging, conditioning flowers, and the elements of design. Along with her mother, Dee was also influenced by the talents of Georgie Touchstone, Joy Marshall, Dot Breard, and Julia Trichell. Her affiliation with The Monroe Garden Study League for the past 25 years has aided in honing, defining, and growing her skills.

“I think your style should reflect your personality, not only in the way you dress, but also in your home,” Dee says. “Since I come from a long line of close family members who were steadfast in their style and enjoyed it as I do, I believe it comes naturally to me.” So do we.

Neiman Marcus in Dallas was the third place that offered a window into the world of fashion for Dee and her sisters. Her grandmother would take her mother to shop at Neiman Marcus. When she had daughters of her own, Dee’s mother continued that tradition. The family made a weekend of it.

Dee remembers the excitement of lunch at The Zodiac Room at Neiman’s during which models would stroll around the room, modeling the latest offerings. Afterward, Papa would sit as his daughters modeled their own choices for him. If he approved, the clothes came back to Monroe.

Dee and John with children and grandchildren at the wedding of Lauren and Land Ledbetter. Photo courtesy of Mary Dawson

Another time while traveling by bus in Europe, the bus had to be diverted to a road off the main highway so that Yugoslavian President Tito’s motorcade could come through. The time that she was traveling on the Orient Express and crossing the border into Hungary was among her most interesting experiences. The train was stopped and all of the passengers were ordered off the train by military in full uniform and fully armed! They searched the train before allowing the passengers back on and the train to continue its journey. In spite of that scary adventure, Dee would love to travel to many more places. The south of France, Croatia, Paris, Africa, Alaska, and Israel are on her wish list. A hobby -- and talent – that Dee’s mother loved is evident in Dee’s own life. Her mother loved arranging flowers, studying floral design, and creating lovely floral tributes for others. Dee laughs that she developed her love for flowers “probably by osmosis” because she watched her mother’s passion for it.

When Dee started developing her own personal style, she coined the term “Classic-Forward” to describe it. She loves classic lines, yet Dee also likes a piece to have an unexpected interest or detail. “I usually keep it simple with clean lines, yet there is usually a subtle twist either in the design or the accessories,” she says. Adding the right accessory can help to pull together future outfits. They are her favorite fashion pieces to buy.Dee does not have a favorite designer; instead, she adheres to the old saying “Variety is the spice of life”. If something catches her eye and fits well, she will add it to her closet. Known in the past for an impeccable, clean look – often monochromatic -- today Dee adds pattern and bold colors to her wardrobe. Not all of Dee’s style depends on the “newest” thing. She loves vintage clothing and has a number of her mother’s and grandmother’s pieces that she often wears. She also adores estate jewelry. “I wish those pieces could talk and tell me about their adventures,” Dee says. ‘Where have they been? Who wore them?”

Whether playing with grandchildren, traveling with John, learning a new floral design technique, or just floating around the lake “chilling” – one thing is certain, Dee Ledbetter will look pulled together and ready for anything!


Be sure to come by The Medical Spa this month to take advantage of our specials and events, and to find out more about the medicalgrade 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 specials, sales, promotions, and giveaways. For additional information about our services visit

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Simone McMillon, FNP-C, earned her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and is a boardcertified Family Nurse Practitioner and member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners. She specializes in Aesthetic Medicine at the St. Francis Medical Spa. She is thankful to have been called to a profession of service and takes great pride in seeing her patients full of joy and confidence. In her spare time, Simone enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and daughter.

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Botox is considered a neuromuscular blocker. When Botox is injected into a muscle, the signals from the nerve to the muscle are blocked, meaning the muscle is unable to contract, therefore relaxing the wrinkles and lines. Botox injections are FDA approved to treat lines in the upper face, such as, frown lines, forehead, and crow’s feet. Botox provides a smoother, refreshed look, with results in 7-14 days. Depending on the dosage, results can last 3-4 months. Dermal filler is used to replace volume loss and smooth out wrinkles, and we proudly use the Juvéderm XC line at The Medical Spa. Juvéderm is made from hyaluronic acid, a natural substance found in the body. Fillers can be used to soften creases, such as the nasolabial folds, marionette, and vertical lips lines. Fullness can be added to your cheeks and lips as well. The results are seen instantly with dermal fillers with the best results seen after 2 weeks and lasts for 12 months or longer. You may experience some bruising and swelling afterward. Before the injection, topical numbing cream is applied to minimize any discomfort experienced. The Juvéderm XC line also contains lidocaine to numb the inner tissues during the injection as well. If you are considering Botox or filler, we would love to help you choose the best option for the results you are looking to achieve.

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Talley sets the stage for this literary masterpiece discussing the September 2018 issue of Vogue Magazine with Beyonce on the cover. The fashion genius spares the reader no mystery as to his recognition of his race and the role that played in his journey to the top. He injects the legacy of white sheets and their connection with America’s racist past of slavery and life on plantations. He wrote that the white sheets (like Beyonce is holding on the cover) represent a life servitude in the south and that Beyonce holding it up freely is a testament to their struggle to make life better for future generations. He attributes his love for fashion to his grandmother and the church. While reading or listening to the audiobook, one can sense the intimate connection to his grandmother and how much her non-verbal teachings of fashion inspired him into that life. He watched her get dressed for church and was inspired by the attention to detail that she and many other women of color paid as they joined together at Sunday worship.

Talley enjoyed lasting friendships with many of the designers and creative leaders of the fashion world post Civil-Rights era in America. For a time, he even worked at Johnson Publishing Company in Chicago along with Eunice Johnson. She, along with her husband, produced the Ebony Fashion Fair show that traveled to over 190 cities in America annually. Johnson would travel to Europe purchasing the fashion of the ages to bring back to the United States, showing mostly people of color a taste of the world that many never had a chance to see. He was fashion. He lived it. He breathed it. He even said in an interview that fashion is not what you wear, but its who you are.


Talley threw himself into the world of fashion, seeking magazines and watching First Lady Jackie Kennedy on television. He thought the world of her and said that she was fashion to him in every way. One of the hallmarks of Talley’s rise to prominence was his attention to the craft. He studied French literature and majored in the field in college. Before he took on the world of fashion, he earned a Master’s Degree in French Literature from Brown University. He spoke fluent French and knew his way around Paris as if he was a native. As he reads his book, one can hear the French dialect roll from his lips as he pronounces many of the luxury fashion brands like Yves Saint Laurent and Oscar de la Renta with such ease and distinction. He speaks of the popular hotels and venues in the great city of style, culture, and beauty.


As he tells his story, Talley makes it known that he was not the object of Affirmative Action and that he wasn’t chosen to be at the table because of his race or some corporate diversity campaign. He worked hard at his craft, sleeping on the floor in friends’ apartments, working over during holidays when everyone else went home, and taking jobs with low pay only to get his foot in the door. He was a brilliant man and his fabulous nature made him very desirable to be around. The fashion world became attracted to him and he became its muse. He not only told about his successes in fashion, but in his memoir, Talley opens up about his childhood difficulties which led to personal problems in adulthood. He was openly gay and talks a bit about his sexual escapades in his youthful days in Paris. However, many of his hangups came about from members of his own family back in North Carolina when he was just a youth. He attributes his inability to love and hold genuine relationships to the treatment he received as a boy.


Fashion Genius Broke Many Barriers for People of Color in Fashion N JANUARY, THE WORLD OF FASHION LOST AN ICON with the death of Andre Leon Talley. However, he would not depart this life without leaving us an incredible memoir of his rise to fame and success in an industry that was not created for people like him. In 2020, Talley published his memoir The Chiffon Trenches. It was named one of the best books of the year by the New York Post and NPR. The pages are filled with his freedom of expression, unfiltered and gives the reader a look inside a world closed off to many, especially people of color. The runways and magazine pages are filled with African-American models, however the power that controls these industries from the designers, creative directors, magazine editors, and fashion journalists is still closed to a select few. Talley found himself a lone man of color in that world, the first to break into it.

Talley was said to have picked up his first Vogue magazine when he was 9-years-old. This was 1957 in Jim-Crow South. Going to public libraries was still not allowed for African-Americans. However, one can only imagine the world we would have if a young African-American boy in North Carolina would never have set eyes on a magazine filled with the fashion of whites and dared to dream bigger than the racist environment of which he lived. While many were fighting for Civil Rights in the streets, Andre Talley was inside, reading books, analyzing fashion in the magazines, and learning new languages. Fashion was his ticket out. France was his destination. He would show the world that he was to be judged by the content of his character and not by the color of his skin. That was Andre’s style.

Remembering Andre’s Style

Talley, Andre’ Leon. 2020. The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir. New York: Ballantine Group.

The interesting thing about all this is how male fashion has evolved over the centuries and how things I would not be caught dead wearing today I will happily don for living history purposes and take great pleasure in being seen and photographed. I love answering questions in great detail about buckles, lace trim, ruffles, covered buttons and the bow tied into my ponytail.


Some years ago I was at one of my regular annual events talking to one of my friends when he referred to the two of us as “Say“metrosexuals.”what?”Atthe time I had never heard of that word. My friend kind of chuckled and said “It means we are masculine men who can go to the fabric sutler’s tent and be very choosy about the fiber content, texture and color of various fabrics and can also have a discussion about the appropriate use of lace trim on our clothing.” Oh. He was right. In our living history circle of friends the two of us had the strongest reputation for dressing well and having a variety of clothing to suit our respective needs or desires for the particular day. In short, yes, I have and continue to do a lot of research about historical clothing, period fabrics and dyes, when and where certain male fashion trends were in use and I have an extensive closet of period clothing, shoes, boots, hats and accouterments for use as I need or desire when I go to an event.

ne of my major hobbies is living history- recreating how people lived and worked in the past for present day people to see and to learn. Although I have and still can portray characters in any general time period over almost 300 years of history, the majority of my living history for the past 20 years has been 18th century military and civilian portrayals.

When I first moved to Louisiana I became interested in French Colonial history and began portraying a French Marine of the mid-1700s. The French Marines were the military assigned to protect the colony, especially at its frontier forts. After I couple of years I was elected an officer of the Marines and continue a similar kind of portrayal today within the umbrella group of likeminded living historians who participate at events all across the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada. Colonial French Marines: wooden or masonry forts, cannons, flintlock muskets, swords and lots of testosterone. Also fine linen shirts with ruffled cuffs and ruffles or a lace-end linen cravat at the throat, dress hats with a white feather boa around the rim, a coat that has a long pleated “skirt,” fancy gold or silver shoe buckles, a fancy brass and silver plate worn around the neck (called a gorget) and either hair braided or tied with a bow or a powdered wig. At least all in the previous sentence being appropriate and expected for an officer of the French Marines of the mid-18th century. Marine officers were chosen from well-respected local men of prominence so they also wore civilian clothing at times. Embroidered vests were popular among the well-to-do, mostly floral designs. Very well off men might also have an embroidered coat and maybe even embroidery on the matching breeches. If you owned embroidered clothing it was expected your shirt would have lace cuffs showing at your wrists and a lace jabot adorning your throat. Silver-topped Malacca canes were a must for a gentleman and often they were held with a perfumed lace hanky between the hand and the knob. Or the lace hanky could be attached to a cuff button and left dangling to show beneath the coat cuff and hand. Colonial times were very odoriferous and a gentleman might want to raise the perfumed hanky to his nose if there was a particularly egregious odor nearby. A gentleman was always dressed to at least the level of a vest if not also a coat in the presence of ladies or when out about the town. For comfort at home a gentleman might remove his coat and don a silk banyan. A banyan is a robe with a Chinese or other patterns woven into the silk. A soft silk cap would replace the hat and wig when a banyan was worn. Of course the gentleman was still wearing shirt, vest, breeches, cravat or jabot and shoes and stockings under the banyan.Women also had their own versions of elegance and high fashion but in the mid-18th century men who could afford it could be clothed in ways that might seem more effeminate to some people in today’s world. If you were of that time, however, there is no doubt that a man dressed in the ways I’ve described would be thought of as every bit as manly as a soldier in full battle gear or a rodeo cowboy about to ride a ornery bronco or a bull.So I guess for those of us who take living history very seriously and want to be as period correct as possible, we men who are historical gentlemen of means might be considered metrosexuals. There is no doubt that masculine gentlemen of the mid-1700s were metrosexuals even though that word had not yet been invented.


ImpressionsHistorical by Guy Miller, Vice Chair Emeritus, Chennault Aviation and Military Museum



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“Thanking Jesus for getting us through situations we should have never been in was one of our family’s superpowers”

Ifirst heard of Kiese Laymon’s work in a book review podcast and was immediately drawn into his discussion of revision. He is known for buying back the rights to one of his books to change some of the essays previously published. Unlike the publishing industry, Laymon does not view published work as ever really being finished. He believes in revisiting the past with the perspective of the present. He dares to say he was wrong.Inhis memoir Heavy, Laymon recounts the heartbreaking reality of growing up with a mother who loved him ferociously and broke his heart daily. As a young boy, Kiese is the overweight black kid who buries his feelings in food and seeks acceptance from his mother and peers. As a successful, yet poor, academic, his mother struggles to balance the pressures of being a black woman in academia and supporting a son she doesn’t quite understand. She demands perfection and employs upon her son society’s insistence that a black boy be superior intellectually and morally to even have a shot. Even as she demands excellence, she fails to provide the structure and support her son so desperately craves. Often left in the care of his maternal grandmother, Kiese navigates body image issues, social acceptance, romantic confusion, and his love of reading and writing. He must find for himself what defines success. Laymon tackles themes of race, education, weight, violence, and family. The throughline in the novel is his intense love of his mother despite her Laymon’sshortcomings.writingpower exists in the simplicity of his narratives that unpack intense emotional turmoil. While the memoir is a story, it unfolds in parallel perspectives, Kiese as a boy and now as a man. Some of the most compelling sections occur in his exchanges with his uneducated, black grandmother. She is the root that tethers him to Mississippi soil. In one discussion about his mother, Grandmother says, “Ain’t nothing in the world worse than looking at your children drowning, knowing ain’t nothing you can do because you scared that if you get to trying to save them, they might see that you can’t swim either.” Laymon balances the weight of the narrative with the lightness of words. He instinctively knows that heavy phonetic patterns work against his universal messages of love and family. Heavy is a heavy read, but a beautiful, melodic weight to carry. I immediately told everyone who cares to grab this book. Admittedly, I am a sucker for a well-written memoir, but Laymon’s work is beyond exceptional. Heavy was published in 2018. Laymon’s previous books include Long Division and How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in “EveryAmericatimeI sat down to write, I imagined sitting on that porch with layers of black Mississippi in front of and behind me.”

40 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM “Heavy: An American Memoir” by Kiese Laymon


The memoir is ultimately readable and uproariously funny. Published in 2007, the terminology showcases the ramblings of a teenaged boy, oblivious to political correctness or tact. The novel has been accused of capitalizing on racist and homophobic undertones and outright profanity. Some American high schools have gone as far as banning the book. While many lines are cringeworthy, the heart of the novel beats loudly, radiating a warmth that makes Junior and his plight hard to ignore. With so few recognized indigenous authors, Alexie’s writing humanizes Native Americans by presenting a complicated, yet realistic picture of the hardships they face. While the novel is classified as young adult reading, its themes and subjects are intriguing for adult readers. Regardless of cultural differences, the high school experience is universally filled with highs and lows, moments of intense triumph and mortifying gaffes.

“I can’t blame my parents for our poverty because my mother and father are the twin suns around which I orbit. My parents came from poor people who came from poor people who came from poor people, all the way back to the very first poor people.”

“Poverty doesn’t give you strength or teach you lessons about perseverance. No, poverty only teaches you how to be poor.”

Alexie explores the delicate balance of pride in where you come from compounded by the reality of confronting the bleak outlook of staying put. Alexie does not shy away from criticizing the privileged students who don’t understand the new Indian boy in their midst, the lanky outsider with a stunning jump shot. Alexie also delves into the humanity that inevitably surfaces when people of different backgrounds are forced to come together. Junior is the underdog a reader roots for, though it’s complicated by the underdog only succeeding when separated from the community who raised him - the ultimate underdogs still surviving on the reservation.

42 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie REVIEW BY MEREDITH MCKINNIE bayou PAGES

Alexie’s semi-autobiographical young adult novel provides an intimate and heartbreaking, yet humorous, glimpse of life on a modern, rural Indian reservation. Through the voice of 14-year-old Arnold Spirit (Junior), Alexie explores themes of poverty, alcoholism, violence, and budding sexuality. Junior dares to believe he is meant for something bigger than the poverty-stricken Spokane Indian reservation where his family has lived for generations. A nerdy oddball, Junior relies on his friend Rowdy to defend him against class bullies. Rowdy’s alcoholic father abuses the young boy, and Rowdy stays anxious for a fight. When Junior decides to transfer to the predominantly white school across town, he struggles to fit in and endure the jealousy/hatred of his former classmates on the reservation. Junior recognizes the hopelessness that slowly eats away at his people who barely get by: “Reservations weren’t meant to be prisons, you know? Indians were supposed to move onto reservations and die. We were supposed to disappear.”



Kam recognized her passion for fashion early on. A self-described creative, Kam was always enamored by aesthetics. She made clothes and furniture for her American Girl dolls as a child, leaning into the impulse to do it herself. During quarantine, Kam taught herself to sew and began making her own clothes. She derives inspiration from Pinterest and social media. Her personal style is trendy and girly, like a model off duty. She prefers neutral colors and is most comfortable in a minidress and a shoulder bag. When Kam designs, she leans into her personal style, relying on basic silhouettes and simple pieces. Even before attending Neville, Kam set her sights on fashion design school. She viewed traditional school as a means to end, a foundation from which to soar to new heights. Kam always imagined living and working in a metropolis where fashion and diversity merge. In high school, Kam joined the cheer squad and dance team and immersed herself in art and graphic design classes. Focused on building a resume worthy of a top design school, Kam worked at the local boutique Hemline as a sales associate and stylist, mastering interpersonal skills. As a self-professed introvert, the impulse to engage strangers did not come naturally, but Kam knew the importance of fostering conversation, especially in a new place far from home. She handled social media accounts for local businesses, perfecting the art of marketing and promotion. Kam interned with Sue Sartor, a local dress designer. Job shadowing with the online brand allowed Kam to explore the digital market and its broad scope. In a digital media class at Neville during her senior year, Kam ran the school’s social media accounts and added a TikTok page for the school. All these avenues of experience solidified Kam as a worthy candidate for a top design school across the country.

Wendy Lasuzzo, Kam’s mother, encouraged her daughter to think outside the box when choosing a career. The two share a close bond, frequenting estate sales and vintage stores. Also a creative brain, Wendy recently started selling antique and vintage jewelry. Kam’s social media expertise comes in handy, as she can help craft the business’s online image through photography and marketing. Kam keeps a keen eye on aesthetic appeal in social media posts, paired with catchy, yet brief, phrases. When marketing online, it’s important to know one’s brand and audience, cautions Kam. Venturing into different areas of the fashion business, even at the local This fall, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City will welcome one of Monroe’s ownrecent Neville High School graduate Kam Buttitta. level, provided Kam the experience to impact local commerce, a credible component to measuring one’s future success in the industry on a much broaderWorkingscale. primarily behind the scenes, Kam focused on the business side of fashion. She is interested in visual media and particularly the mechanics of creating a successful business. Working with Laura at Hemline showed Kam the unique business aspects of the fashion industry which steered her toward business management. At FIT, Kam will major in fashion business management, focusing on marketing and financials. She eventually wants to create her own fashion line and knows running a business is about more than just one’s creativity. Kam shares the desire for ethically made fashion, prioritizing good quality clothes with original designs. She wants to see consumers move away from fast fashion and embrace mindfully made, sustainable clothes. Like many of her generation, Kam values thrifting as it produces less waste. She loves repurposing vintage clothes from estate sales. Kam knows that looking good and feeling confident doesn’t have to mean wreaking havoc on the environment. Never one to shy away from dreaming big, Kam applied to three design schools across the country - with FIT being her first choice. She composed admission essays on her experience with fashion, why she wanted to attend fashion school, and showcased her knowledge of resale apps like Depop, Thread Up, and Poshmark for more environmentally conscious shopping practices. Headed back from a senior trip to Europe, Kam received an email from FIT with the words “Congratulations.” She was stunned - not only had she been accepted, but she would be moving to New York City, a lifelong dream to live in a thriving metropolis. Born and raised in Monroe, Kam is anxious to step out of her comfort zone. She adores traveling to new places and experiencing different cultures. In big cities, fashion is more diverse, more intentional. It is easy to express oneself in a city that prides itself on diversity. Kam anticipates the friendships she will cultivate with people from


Kam loves repurposing vintage clothes from estate sales. The designs above are two that she created. Like many of her generation, Kam values thrifting as it produces less waste. She eventually wants to create her own fashion line and knows running running a business is about more than just one’s creativity.


At FIT, Kam will major in fashion business management, focusing on marketing and financials. all over the world - stepping well outside the box, per her parent’s advice. At FIT, Kam will live on the Manhattan campus in the Chelsea neighborhood, a hub of the art world. The school offers a two-year associate degree, and then students have the option of continuing in the program for a bachelors. Living in New York City, Kam hopes to pursue internships and work with New York Fashion Week and the Met Gala alongside her peers. She has already used social media to interact with her future cohort at FIT. While laser focused on the fashion path, Kam remains open-minded about where this journey may lead. She wants to dabble around with different mediums, relish in her classes, and see where her passion takes her. The fashion industry is much larger than one might imagine, and the career choices are endless. Meeting the right people and fostering those connections will be key to landing in the right place. With three older siblings, Kam is the last child to leave the nest. At first, Kam didn’t think she would be able to attend because of the high out-of-state tuition and New York City’s cost of living, but she has been saving up money and her parents are willing to do whatever it takes for Kam to pursue her dream. Kam imagines becoming a stylist, or creating her own fashion line, or even opening a vintage store. The possibilities are endless, and the path is wide open. Kam appreciates all the people in her life who have guided, encouraged, and supported her throughout her journey and she is grateful for their guidance moving forward. What is so remarkable about a recent high school graduate embarking on a major life change is that she had the courage to take the first step. She didn’t just dream big, but she acted big, seeking the experience to set herself apart from the rest. Kam is a testament to small town dreams becoming big city realities if one believes it’s possible.


As a mom and dentist, Rachal is driven by her desire to give patients and parents the best, positive experience possible. She enjoys pediatric dentistry and loves providing her smallest patients a home for their dental health needs. Her most memorable moment as a dentist came when a patient told her, “You have changed her life! We can’t get her to stop smiling and taking pictures.”

These Fun Facts About NELA Dental Dentists

Dr. Rachal grew up in Monroe and graduated from high school at Neville High School. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a major in biological sciences and a minor in chemistry. Dr. Rachal then graduated from LSU School of Dentistry with his Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree in 2017. Dr. Rachal is a member of the American Dental Association and the Louisiana Dental Association. Rachal’s favorite part of being a dentist at NELA Dental is the relationships he has with his patients. He treats all of them like family. Some of the most memorable moments he shares with patients is when he can pray and empathize with them. Sometimes letting the patient know that he understands their feelings and their previous experiences helps him to ease their fear. Also, prayer provides comfort for his patients and himself.

After graduation from Kilbourne High School and Northeast Louisiana University, Dr. Costello received his doctorate from LSU School of Dentistry in 2005. He is a member of American Academy of Implant Dentistry, Academy of General Dentistry, American Dental Association and Northeast Louisiana Dental Association. He completed the MCG/ AAID Comprehensive Training Course in Implant Dentistry in 2009. He is a board-certified diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology/ Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID). The American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry Diplomate (ABOI/ID) designation symbolizes the highest level of competence in implant dentistry.Costello is driven by his desire to change people’s lives through dentistry. It’s rewarding for him to develop his patient’s outward and emotional confidence. Having the latest technology provides the best opportunity for care for his patients, and it’s one of the many things Costello loves about NELA Dental. Costello is known not only for his accomplishments as a dentist, but his endless supply of dad jokes too!


Raymond has completed an implant fellowship with the International Dental Implant Association (IDIA). As a member of the IDIA, he continues to build his continuing education portfolio as he works alongside industry experts to learn about the latest practices and techniques to provide his patients top-level results. One of Dr. Raymond’s favorite things about working at NELA Dental is his staff. They are like family to him. They laugh, cry, have fun, and share in each other’s successes and struggles. He truly values loyalty, hard work, honesty and leadership and gives all of the glory to God. One thing he said he would never do again, is to pull one of his own children’s teeth!




Are Sure to Keep You Smiling!

Well Do You Know Us?


DR. MARY RACHAL Dr. Mary Webster Rachal is placing her roots deeper into the community she grew up in! She is a Neville High School alum and former valedictorian. She attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe receiving her Bachelors of Science. She later obtained her doctorate degree from LSU School of Dentistry. Mary is a member of the American Dental Association, Louisiana Dental Association, and the Northeast Louisiana Dental Association.

DR. MALLORY PRUDEN Mallory Pruden is a graduate of LSU Dental School class of 2017. She then went on to receive her postdoctoral Advanced Education in General Dentistry from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 2018. Pruden loves having patients see how much the NELA Dental team cares for and respects each other. She says their team works together with love and appreciation. She strives to help her patients understand their individual dental condition and the options to best fit their situation. If you haven’t noticed yet, she loves silly earrings! Her collection is vast and began with holiday designs from Kmart. She has almost enough holiday earrings to wear a different pair each day in December!

Dr. Raymond grew up in Monroe, Louisiana where he attended St. Frederick High School and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He graduated from LSU School of Dentistry in 2009. Dr. Raymond is a member of the American Dental Association, Louisiana Dental Association, Northeast Louisiana Dental Association, and a Fellow of the American and International Dental Association.

Fall is an especially great time to play with leopard print, plaid, and other patterns since you’ll be wearing more layers than you would in spring, but your look won’t be hidden underneath a big winter coat. Anchor your patterned look with neutral basics like denim and leather. For example, you can recycle summery, feminine florals in the fall by pairing them with black combat boots and a denim jacket.

Magnolias and Lace Boutique

When the weather turns cooler, it’s time to swap your sandals for boots and booties, which signal the coming of winter. Pair suede ankle boots, heeled knee-high boots, or combat boots with a summer dress or denim skirt for a fall-ready look.

Pair a summer piece with something warm. Most of your summer pieces can work for fall with a little layering. Try a slip dress over a black turtleneck and leggings, and wear your crop tops with high-waisted jeans and a cardigan. Almost any summer dress can be layered over a short- or long-sleeve top to keep you warm. Tank tops can work when layered under a long cardigan or oversize button-down.

Pair a winter piece with something summery. Fall is the time to embrace cozy winter basics like turtleneck sweaters, jackets, and pants. Wear cotton clothing. Cotton is one of the most reliable fabrics in the textile industry and frequently used fabric for fall clothing. While cotton fabrics like flannel, corduroy, and denim can be too heavy for summer and too slow to dry for rainy winter and spring, they’re perfect for the windy weather of fall. Keep in mind that wide-leg jeans allow for more airflow, while straight-leg and skinny jeans prevent wind chill.

Another perk to shopping at Magnolias & Lace is the tanning salon. Keep up your summer glow even in the winter months. Our maintained beds along with our friendly staff will help you choose the correct amount of time to keep that natural- looking tan gradually over time.

Magnolias & Lace Boutique and Tanning Salon is located at 715 Louisa 311 Street in downtown Rayville. Open Monday - Friday 9:30- 6 and Saturday 10 - 2. Follow us on Facebook for new in store items and all sale products!

Choose striking colors. Fall colors look great on trees, but the idea that you should color your wardrobe to fit the season is definitely outdated. You don’t have to wear burnt orange or dress in the color of a pecan pie—wear the colors that make you feel great. If you stuck to light colors all summer to beat the heat, consider bringing in bright hues and darker neutrals for fall. Play with prints and patterns.


So Much More Than Clothing GRAB 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.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 in Rayville since opening its doors in 2017. Locally owned and operated by Jessica Clack, Magnolias and Lace offers everything from newborn items, shoes, home decor to Old South tees and hats for guys. We 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. 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 2x in women’s apparel, newborn to size 14 in girls, boys up to size 8 and men’s tees up to extra large. With some of our items on sale, you are sure to fill up your wardrobe for the fall season. Consider these fall outfit ideas to help you transition between seasons: Invest in a go-to piece of fall outerwear. Whether it’s a denim jacket, a plaid flannel shirt, a cardigan, a versatile piece of outerwear is the most important part of your fall wardrobe. For easy layering, choose something lightweight enough to wrap around your waist. Your fall coat doesn’t have to be as warm as your winter coat, so take this opportunity to play with fashion trends. Find the perfect pair of fall boots.


1 sprig rosemary 1/2 teaspoon olive oil 2 lemon wedges 2 ounces rosemary simple syrup Sparkling wine Preheat oven to 400º F. Toss the grapes and rosemary in olive oil on a sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Squeeze a lemon wedge in wine glass. Add 8-20 roasted grapes. Use a muddler to crush the grapes. Add 1 ounce of rosemary simple syrup. Fill the glass with ice and pour in sparkling wine until the glass is full. Garnish with roasted grapes and rosemary.

2 cups red seedless grapes

This wine cocktail is perfect for anytime of year. Fall notes take center stage in this combination of rosemary, roasted grapes and refreshing lemon.





According to cardiologist Dr. Kapil Kumar, the likelihood of developing Afib increases with age and affects over 4 percent of the population greater than 60 years old. Although it is more common in older adults, Afib can affect those younger than 60, especially when there is a strong family history. The condition can be intermittent or persistent and is associated most commonly with hypertensive heart disease and coronary heart disease.

By April Clark Honaker, M.A., CCC-SLP

For patients looking to prevent Afib, some research suggests adding fish oil to your diet or consuming a Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil may lower the risk of developing Afib. Patients are also advised to reduce alcohol consumption, seek management for high blood pressure, increase physical activity, and lose weight to improve overall health.

September is atrial fibrillation awareness month. Also known as Afib or AF, atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat caused by electrical malfunction in the heart. It is the most commonly treated type of irregular heartbeat, and according to the American Heart Association, it affects over 2.7 million Americans.

Afib is definitely a complex condition with a variety of potential causes and complicating factors, but medical management is crucial when it comes to reducing the associated risks. In addition, Kumar reported, “Many patients have dramatic improvement in their sense of well-being when the ventricular rate is slowed.”

“My heart flip-flops, skips beats, and feels like it’s banging against my chest wall, especially if I’m carrying stuff up my stairs or bending down.”“I was nauseated, light-headed, and weak. I had a really fast heartbeat and felt like I was gasping for air.”

Why is it important to know about Afib? Having afib increases a person’s risk of death, especially due to events related to coronary artery disease or stroke. In fact, the American Heart association reports that untreated Afib increases a person’s risk of stroke by 5 times and doubles the risk of heart-related death. It is a more serious condition than many realize, and getting appropriate treatment reduces many of the risks associated with Afib.

The good news is that Afib can be effectively medically managed.


According to Chappell, intervention by an electrophysiologist may also be needed at times. Electrophysiologists are doctors who specialize in treating heart problems involving electrical activity and heart rhythm disorders.

However, there are other conditions associated with Afib, including cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), obstructive sleep apnea, heart failure, low blood pressure, thyroid disorders, alcohol abuse, and drug use. According to Shannon Chappell, a physician assistant in a local cardiology clinic, Afib can also occur with acute infections such as pneumonia and COVID-19.

“If you’re having symptoms, you should call your doctor,” said Kathleen Moore, a local nurse practitioner. “And if the symptoms are severe, you should go directly to the ER.” According to Moore, it can be a medical emergency if the heart is beating really fast. Moore works in a clinic that specializes in blood thinner treatment. Blood thinners are often prescribed to those with Afib because they can effectively reduce a patient’s risk of heart attack and stroke.


According to the American Heart Association, patients experiencing Afib have described the symptoms this way:

For those with risk factors, recognizing Afib can be crucial. Chappell said the most common symptoms of Afib include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, and lightheadedness. She said patients will often feel weak and dizzy with a noticeable change in their heartbeat. However, she said Afib can also be asymptomatic at times. Chappell said it’s important to have regular checkups. Afib can be diagnosed by a primary care provider, but according to Chappell, they would typically order a test called an electrocardiogram to confirm the diagnosis. A full workup may also include cardiac monitoring, exercise testing, and other laboratory tests. Scheduled screening for Afib is not common practice. According to Dr. Kumar, there is currently not enough evidence to show that specialized screening of patients without symptoms is better than typical care, such as pulse palpation, for detecting Afib. Chappell said that Afib can also be heard by your doctor with a stethoscope during physical examination.

Dr. Kumar cites the ABC (Afib Better Care) pathway as a practical framework for treating patients with Afib. The “A” is for anticoagulation, “B” is for better symptom management, and “C” is for cardiovascular and comorbid disease management.

So, again, regular checkups are important when it comes to detecting Afib. Not every skipped beat or heart flutter is Afib, according to Dr. Smit Vasaiwala, but it’s important to consult your doctor if you think you may be having symptoms.

Kumar recommends that Afib patients follow up with their doctor routinely every 12 months if they are stable with their current treatment and more often if they have any change in symptoms or are on high-risk therapies. According to Moore, “There is no reason someone with Afib can’t live a long and healthy life.”

ver the years I have fished in about every weather condition you can imagine. I have fished in tornado warnings, with hurricanes approaching, sleet, freezing rain, high winds, brutally cold and hot temperatures. You name the weather, I can honestly tell you I have fished in it and even better, I have caught fish. One of the hardest things in bass fishing is to develop a positive mental attitude, and not just develop it but keep one as well. Throughout my years on the water, I have always enjoyed tournaments where the weather was going to play a factor because I felt like these were some of the easiest events to win. I knew going in that half of the anglers did not want to be there, half of the remaining half already had their excuse ready for when they did not catch anything. That always left me feeling like I only had to beat a handful of people. It usually played out just like that. When fishing weather conditions always remember, no matter how good the weather may be or how bad it might get, the fish are biting somewhere. They may not bite long, you may not catch a lot, you may only get a handful of bites, but someone will catch something. It has been my experience they always do. I have won tournaments three times weighing in only one fish. The interesting thing about those events is not only did I win but I also won the big bass pot as well. All three events were in January with extremely chilly weather, low water temperatures, off colored water, and cloudy skies. I also caught each fish on a ½ black/blue jig with a large trailer. The first tournament I won like that led me to winning the second as well as the third. Same exact conditions, same body of water. Okay, now that we have established what I am talking about in this month’s article, let us look at some different scenarios that you may encounter over the next few months. First, weather conditions play an important part of the puzzle, but time of year is a critical element as well. A cold front in the springtime compared to a cold front in the fall or winter are as different as night and day. A cloudy, rainy day in the summer is a bit different than a day like that in the wintertime. Always consider the time of year as well as the weather patterns. A common misconception about rainy summertime weather is it makes bass in shallow water bite a topwater lure. In some instances, such as in a lake with water clarity over three feet like Caney or Claiborne, this is true, but I have found on stained bodies of water such as D’arbonne or the Ouachita River, the bigger fish tend to move tighter to cover, making them harder to catch. In these stained water scenarios, I have had much better luck catching fish on lures such as a big worm or a spinnerbait than I have a moving topwater. One of my favorite weather conditions to fish in is snow and/or sleet. For whatever the reason, a meteorologist told me it is due to these types of lowpressure weather systems, the fish bite very well when it snows, especially in clearer water bodies of water. I have had excellent days twitching a rogue in the early springtime with snowflakes the size of silver dollars hitting the water. I have had a lot of success waking a spinnerbait above and around grass beds in the late fall and early winter with the lids of my live wells frozen shut due to the ice buildup. The fish in these weather conditions, if your water temperatures are about 45 degrees, seem to really prefer moving lures such as spinnerbaits and crankbaits.Oneofthe most dreaded fishing situations is when you have high winds. The old saying “the wind is your friend” is accurate, unless the wind situation makes fishing unmanageable. In a tournament I fished earlier this year and I credit my winning strictly because of the amount of wind and a favorable wind direction in the area I was fishing. Wind creates current and bass will position themselves to take advantage any food the current brings to Currentthem. due to heavy rains or winter run off can create fish catching situations not normally found in most lakes. Areas where the lake bottle necks down can create a natural current flow moving the fish to areas where current breaks are. Cypress trees, docks, logs, old roadbeds, or anything else that fish can position themselves in and around, are potentially good areas.One interesting thing to remember when fishing current, due to the aggressive nature of the fish, they will usually hit moving lures such as a crankbait or rat l trap regardless of the time of year or water temperature. In a situation where the current is moving around shallow water areas, I have had good success pitching and casting a lighter jig, letting the current move it across my targeted area as I swim the jig off the bottom. It is a terrific way to catch quality fish. On a closing note, when it comes to weather conditions, if a body of water is unsafe due to wind and/ or other weather, unless it is a tournament situation, I will not attempt to fish it. I can only remember twice when a scheduled tournament cancelled due to inclement weather. However, I have taken shelter away from dangerous storms and lightning more times than I care to count while I was already on the water. No fish is worth losing your life over!Well, it looks like we have run out of space and time for another month. I hope we were able to share some information that will make your next trip on the water more enjoyable, no matter what the weather might be doing! Take care and remember to catch one for me. See you next month!


Fishing With Kenny by KENNY COVINGTON





From compact purses to super stylish fanny packs, these bags are functional and fashionable. Find these and other great pieces at area boutiques. styled by taylor bennett photography by kelly moore clark model molly claire west BAG IT UP Bag from Eleven26 Boutique Outfit from Dusty & Company HemlineHerringStonesMonroe Dusty & Company Palette House & Plume Vence & Co.


60 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM Looking for this season’s mane fashion trend? These hair accessories from local boutiques are perfect for fall. No longer reserved for your little sister, these grown-up looks are great for locks of all ages. styled by taylor bennett photography by kelly moore clark models katelyn mcallister and courtney thomas HAIR FLAIR THE GOOD DAZE VENCE & DUSTYHERRINGSTONESCO.&COMPANYMAGNOLIAS & LACE

HEAD TO TOE Don’t forget the feet. Find a stylish pair of socks to add a peek of personality.


Dressy with personality. Pair a sports coat with a beautiful floral buttondown. Modernize a dressy look with a shirt with fine detailing. elegant on everyone. This suede calfkin tassel is a must-have for fall.

The same pair of jeans can be worn casual or dressy. Mix and match colors and textiles to create a new look.

GAME DAY Ready for football season? This look is perfect for game day. A relaxed fit denim is paired with leather shoes and a leather belt to create a cohesive, polished casual look.


Ron Alexander offers us seasonal looks perfect for fall get-togethers. From casual days to dressy events, these items combine textures and colors that create a polished look. Find these items at Ron Alexander Clothiers in Monroe.



Dusty blue knee-length boots from Eleven26 Boutique, jeans from Dusty & Company, fringe purse from Magnolias & Lace.

Have a heyday with these western-inspired pieces from area boutiques. Do the boot scootin’ boogie with these bold cowboy boots perfect for cooler nights.

styled by taylor bennett photography by kelly moore clark model molly claire west

Eyelet dress with ruffle from Vence & Co., fall floral dress and suede boots from HerringStone’s, denim dress and metallic boots from Hemline Monroe.

Denim button-shirt from Palette House & Plume


“Mistletoe Marketplace truly has something for everyone,” says Bethany Smith, 2022-2023 Junior League of Jackson President. “For me, Mistletoe is an opportunity to discover the perfect gift for my loved ones, to see my children light up when Santa walks into the room, to enjoy all the festivities and admire the beautiful holiday decorations— but most of all, to know that I am contributing to an organization that gives back to our community.”

Let it Snow

FOR MORE THAN FOUR DECADES, THE JUNIOR LEAGUE of Jackson has transported thousands of guests from near and far to the whimsical holiday wonderland that is Mistletoe Marketplace. Join in the holiday wonder this year as we “Let it Snow” November 2-5 at the Mississippi Trade Mart in Jackson, Mississippi.


Each year, hundreds of Junior League of Jackson volunteers plan, organize, and execute Mistletoe Marketplace, which serves as the Junior League of Jackson’s largest fundraiser and the South’s premier holiday shopping event. This year, over 100,000 square feet in the Mississippi Trade Mart will be seamlessly converted into a cozy, snowcapped ski village. “What evokes classic holiday nostalgia more than a snowcapped ski lodge decked out for the holidays?” says Kristen Blackard, the 2022 Mistletoe Marketplace Chair. “Picture yourself surrounded by earthy greens, cozy textures, and wooden accents. You will feel as if you’re sitting fireside in a mountain lodge!”

Junior League volunteers donate more than 55,000 hours of service each year. They pack backpacks with school supplies, create access to nutritional foods, and help children improve problem-solving skills and build self-esteem through Junior League projects. “Bring your friends and family along for this memorable event that is sure to put you in the holiday spirit!” says this year’s Co-Chair, Adriane Louie. After you make your way into the Trade Mart, grab your shopping bag and get ready to shop over 150 merchants from all across the country showcasing their unique and exclusive products. Shop women’s, men’s, and children’s apparel; home décor; health and beauty products; specialty foods; jewelry; and more. Some merchants have been to every Mistletoe Marketplace, but the event also features several first-time merchants each year to keep the shopping new and exciting.

“On behalf of the Junior League of Jackson and all of the volunteers who have been working tirelessly to prepare for Mistletoe Marketplace, I hope you will join us for what is sure to be a fun-filled and memorable event.” You’ll be SNOW glad you came!

In addition to shopping, Mistletoe Marketplace provides fun and exciting special events for all ages. Each event is different, so you are sure to find an event that is perfect for you!

Held just two hours east of Monroe, Louisiana, Mistletoe Marketplace is so much more than a shopping extravaganza. Funds raised support the Junior League of Jackson’s mission and more than thirty community projects and initiatives for children and youth in impact areas focused on children’s health, early literacy, and social development.

GENERAL SHOPPING HOURS Thursday, November 3 | 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM Friday, November 4 | 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM Saturday, November 5 | 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Wednesday, November 2 7 – 11 PM | Let It Snow | Mistletoe Marketplace Preview Gala Presented by the Junior League of Jackson Thursday, November 3 8 – 11 AM | On the Mountaintop | Mistletoe Morning Presented by Trustmark 6– 8 PM | Après-Ski | Girls’ Night Out Presented by Visit Mississippi Friday, November 4 8 – 11 AM | Sunrise on the Slopes | Marketplace Brunch Presented by Regions 12 – 2 PM | Sleigh Bells Ring | Baptist Luncheon and Style Show Presented by Mississippi Baptist Medical Center 4 – 5:30 PM | Hot Cocoa and Haute Couture | Tween Fashion Show Presented by University of Mississippi Medical Center 7 – 10 PM | Up to Snow Good – 90’s Nostalgia Night Presented by Southern Beverage Co., Inc. Saturday, November 5 9 – 10:30 AM | Bunny Slopes Breakfast | Children’s Event Presented by Alliant Construction, An Ergon Company For more information about Mistletoe Marketplace or to purchase tickets, please visit

Mistletoe Marketplace Presented by the Junior League of Jackson


I once said that I think that my one and only older brother starting picking on me while I was still in the womb. I was 2 1/2 years younger than my brother Steve. I was a chunky young man, and wore Huskies and my brother wore Slims. He was lean, mean and had an attitude that his job for life was to toughen me up. That is strange, as we did everything together. We did our chores together (which always ended in a fight). Our afternoons were spent fishing, hunting or exploring. For the most part we lived in the country. Our minister father was an engaged dad, who would come home from his work so we could shoot some hoops, toss a football, work in the garden or play his favorite game, paperball. This game was played with no running bases, much like baseball. The “ball” was cylindrical rolled newspaper and a broom handle was the bat. My mom once said that my dad knocked out more church windows than her two sons ever did. Dad was a gamer. But my brother Steve was something. I never saw him without a knife. Not just one - hunting knife (that he slept in the bed with me and had it under his pillow) and a sharp folding pocket knife he took everywhere. I can recall four stabbings and one mishap with a dart where he dared me to run and I was stupid enough to do it. Now, of course, he would be very apologetic and I would cover for him, he was my brother. But the one thing we loved to do was to go camping. We started camping around the age of 10. You have to remember this was in the early 70’s and our camping equipment consisted of a sheet we stole from Mama, a quilted blanket to sleep under and an old pillow Mama had put outside for the dog. We stole wieners, bread if we had any and a jug of water. That was about it. Steve liked camping because he could drag out a machete along with the trusty hunting knife and pocket knife to retrieve a pile of wood for a fire. He would cut enough fire wood for a family of six to survive the winter, but we were never cold. We spent our nights running “set lines.” This meant somebody (guess who) had to wade into the edge of the pond and hang the lines. Daddy always had chicken livers so we had bait. Most times we would dig up under the old oak tree in the back yard and take some night crawlers. Daytimes were spent exploring. Steve was an arrowhead geek and if he found a rock with any point on it, he called it an arrowhead. I never found one as I was always figuring out how to hook up to a big bass on my Zebco 33. Steve cared little for bass fishing and we soon developed a fierce competition when it came to any kind of fishing - all the way into our late 50’s. Steve had a habit that drove me nuts. I don’t remember a single time he didn’t walk by me and take his middle finger, poke me hard in my belly and call me “fatboy.” He was relentless. I promised myself that one day I would get the courage to challenge him. I didn’t plan it and I didn’t want it, but the constant picking on me was getting old. Then Steve turned 15. At that time a young man could get their driver’s license at 15. We begged, we pleaded and finally broke my Dad down so he would loan us his truck and his boat to go camping and fishing on Spring Bayou in Marksville, where we lived. Anyone that knows Spring Bayou knows that it is a swamp. To this day I would not let any one of my kids go there and would never loan my boat for them to go. It is a spooky, dark place littered with stumps, alligators and cotton mouths. But dad relented. We hoed the garden, cut the lawn (twice), washed his car, anything to be able to go on our own and enjoy the great outdoors. The big day finally came and 15-year old Steve and 13-year old Dan took off on our adventure of a lifetime. Now, mind you we took no food, we were gonna live off of what we caught. We caught some crawfish in a ditch and borrowed dad’s bucket where he kept his trot line. Our goal was to fish until we dropped, but then it got dark and the mosquitoes showed up. The one thing we didn’t bring in all of our great planning was mosquito spray. We launched our boat at a ramp we had used hundreds of times with our dad. We set our trotline and went back to our spot to light a fire. We piled every pile of cypress moss and green limbs we could to stave off the mosquitoes and waited. When it got past suppertime, Steve looked at me and said he was ready to go home. The mosquitoes were just too bad. We then opted for the inside of the truck. About midnight our stomachs were screaming, so I had the bright idea to cook the crawfish we had left over. I’ve eaten crawfish about every way you can, and I will say those were the best I’ve ever tasted. At daylight we left out to check our lines and try the catfish. I hooked a huge one only to see my brother reach out with his hunting knife and cut my line. To make it worse, he laughed. I was furious and I exploded. Round and round that boat we fought until we were exhausted. We went back to the landing and that’s when we could see our reflection in the rearview mirror. Our disdain for each other turned into fear, as we knew that dad would literally kill us. We came up with every scenario a kid could come up with to explain my black eye, his bloody nose and our torn up clothes. To our relief, dad walked out, looked at both of us and said, “Well boys ya’ll look like you had a good time” and walked away. I lost my brother to brain cancer in 2019. I think of him and our times together often I miss those days so badly. I would give my world to have my brother back. Even if he poked me in the belly and called my “Fatboy.”



March marked a milestone. I turned 40. I remember my 30th birthday. I had a large, overly populated party at two locations. I felt high on life and anxious for a new decade. My twenties consisted of hard changes. My thirties brought positive life developments. I feel like my 40s are for me. And the unknown feels alluringly exciting. Birthdays are tricky in that we don’t know how or even if people want them recognized. As I’ve gotten older, I appreciate smaller gatherings, with one group conducive to conversation rather than random chatter bubbles that require my constant migration. Long gone are the days for social interactions that wear me out, especially when I am the honoree. The actual day is big for me. I want all the texts and salutations. I want those closest to me to remember. Oddly, my husband has often missed my birthday. Being a coach, he is typically in season, and spring birthdays conflict with spring seasons. I was excited this year because for this sport, he is the head coach. He makes the schedule. His availability is not contingent on the whims of a superior. We don’t discuss his schedule well in advance. We arrange childcare and compare notes usually a week out. So, when a friend mentioned my birthday falling on the following Thursday, I saw panic in my husband’s eyes. He had forgotten. I knew it. My husband doesn’t let me down often, but when he does, I tend to milk it - shameless, but I am who I am. I casually shook it off, changed the subject when he tried to address the issue. And get this, not only did he schedule a game on my birthday, but it was an away game, an hour from the school. Even if he rushed, I could expect his presence no earlier than 9 pm - after the girls have gone to bed and the day is essentially over. The morning of, my husband woke up early, tried to give me the attention normally reserved for a weekend, but I was irritated. I knew my birthday wouldn’t feel like one. I just wanted it to be over. At ten am, I get an enthusiastic call from my husband. He had confirmed an earlier start time for the game. He was grasping at straws, but I could tell he was bothered by my disappointment. I carried on with my day, colleagues acknowledging the occasion, no doubt informed by Facebook (as we all are now). I started a typical afternoon at home alone with the girls, luring them to the backyard and curling up with my book of the moment. Suddenly, around 4 pm, my husband comes barreling in the door, motioning me to the front yard. I froze, as I could see something unexpected was happening and I hate surprises. I walked through the carport and immediately noticed the police lights bouncing off the neighbor’s windows. A long yellow bus was parked in front of my house, and my husband’s entire softball team was leaning out of the windows. He raised his arm and they launched into a Happy Birthday serenade. I stood awkwardly with my hands on my hips, not sure how to respond to these girls I barely knew. About the third line, I settled a smile on my face and just let the moment play out. My husband dug deep in the chest for a romantic gesture. He’d detoured the game route, police escort and all, to wish me Happy Birthday. As the head coach, he’d erred, but as the head coach, he still had power.My husband made it home by 8 pm due to the earlier start time. I’d kept the girls awake, and we had cake and presents, and it felt like the birthday I’d imagined in my head. Though the celebration was small, it involved all my favorite people, relishing in the same conversation, in which I was the honoree. I know birthdays seem trivial as we age, but as I get older, I want to celebrate being alive. I want to smile around a table of loved ones who appreciate my presence. I want to make a big deal, on a small scale, about an occasion that always happens if we’re still around to appreciate it. It sounds complicated, and the dynamics will change every year, but I’m worth it. We all are. Make it a big deal; when in doubt, make it bigger than she ever imagined.



Meredith’s Musings by MEREDITH MCKINNIE


Octoberfest is available locally in six and twelve pack bottles and on tap at select locations.

2. Place flour in a shallow bowl. Mix in cayenne and smoked paprika. Whisk eggs in another shallow bowl. Place bread crumbs in a 3rd shallow bowl. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, egg, then bread crumbs, shaking off excess. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Sam Adams Octoberfest, 5.3% ABV (Alcohol by Volume) According to Sam Adams’ founder, Jim Koch, “Sam Adams OctoberFest is fall in a glass, brewed for the good times it was both named for and continues to inspire. In keeping with tradition, our brewers have meticulously maintained the integrity of this classic Oktoberfest beer for over thirty years. In that time, we’ve watched drinkers rally behind Sam Adams OctoberFest in unique ways, from stocking up on the seasonal the moment it hits shelves, to participating in stein hoisting competitions at festivals.” Sam Adams

THE OKTOBERFEST TRADITION started in 1810 to celebrate the October 12th marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to the Saxon-Hildburghausen Princess Therese. The citizens of Munich were invited to join in the festivities, which were held over five days on the fields in front of the city gates. The main event of the original Oktoberfest was a horse race. Anniversary celebrations were held annually thereafter that eventually became larger and more elaborate. When the city began allowing beer on the fairgrounds, makeshift beer stands began cropping up, and their number increased steadily until they were eventually replaced by beer halls in 1896. The beer halls, like the beer tents of today, were sponsored by the is of a variety called Märzen. Darker and stronger than traditional beer, Märzen is bottom-fermented, and is lagered for at least 30 days. Samuel Adams began brewing its own version, Octoberfest, as a seasonal offering in 1989. Since then, many other breweries have joined in on the trend. Here are some of our favorites, available locally.

Celebrate your own Oktoberfest with this fun twist on a traditional German recipe!

Flying Tiger Oktoberfest, 7.2% ABV This malt bomb Märzen style Oktoberfest is chock full of biscuit malt goodness with layers of caramel and a hint of dark fruit on the finish. Flying Tiger Oktoberfest is available locally in four pack cans and on tap in the brewery’s taproom. Shiner Oktoberfest, 5.5% ABV Shiner Oktoberfest is a classic Oktoberfest style brewed with premium two row malt, Munich malt, and caramel malt. It is balanced with Mount Hood, Hollertau Tradition, and Hersbrucker hops. This beer pairs well with spicy foods, chicken, sausage, and mild cheese. Shiner Oktoberfest is available locally in six pack bottles and on tap at select locations.


5. To assemble sliders, top rolls with chicken schnitzel, sauerkraut and honey mustard. 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

3. Heat about 1/2 cup of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 chicken thighs to the skillet at a time and cook until golden brown on both sides, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season.

Raise a Stein for Oktoberfest,,


Bell’s Octoberfest, 5.5% ABV Crafted as a flavorful session beer, Bell’s Octoberfest Beer is a signal that autumn is upon us. Octoberfest spends a full six weeks maturing in the fermentation vessels and trades in the assertive hop presence for a focus on light caramel malt notes, lending body without too much sweetness. Bell’s Octoberfest is available locally in six pack bottles and on tap at select locations.

4. Repeat for remaining chicken, adding more oil as necessary in between batches.

SAM ADAMS OCTOBERFEST CHICKEN skinless chicken thighs, cut to fit the slider rolls 12 oz. Samuel Adams OctoberFest

2 tbsp. salt 2 tbsp. brown sugar 1 cup water 1 cup all purpose flour 2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper 2 tsp. smoked paprika 2 eggs 2 cups breadcrumbs vegetable oil, for pan frying sauerkraut, for serving honey mustard, for serving • slider rolls, for



1.INSTRUCTIONSservingWhisktogetherbeer, salt, brown sugar and water in a large mixing bowl. Add chicken thighs, cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.

74 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM PUMPED UP KICKSPumpupyoursneaker game with these cute kicks from area boutiques. From high-tops to fashion shoes, these are fall's must-haves. Styled by Taylor Bennett Photography by Kelly Moore Clark HERRINGSTONES THE GOOD DAZE VENCE & CO. DUSTY & MAGNOLIASCOMPANY&LACE ELEVEN26 BOUTIQUE HEMLINE MONROE


< Amanita virosa and related species are solid white mushrooms found under oaks and pines. They are deadly toxic.



Louisiana’s warm and humid climate sets the stage for an impressive array of mushrooms to be observed, and the roles they play in our gardens and both natural and cultivated landscapes cannot be underemphasized. So, this month, let’s look at some of our fleshy fungi. What exactly is a mushroom? Any mushroom is simply the spore-producing structure of a fungus classified as a basidiomycete. This means the fungus produces its spores on microscopic structures called basidia. A single basidium with the spores on it looks rather like Jughead’s hat and if you get that reference, then you’re old. Mushrooms typically don’t last more than a few days. When certain environmental parameters like soil moisture and nighttime temperatures are right, mushrooms emerge, oftentimes in a matter of hours, throw their spores, then die away. The rest of the fungus is in the soil or potting medium, so we never see it. Out of sight, out of mind. Microscopic spores are carried away by air currents, land in a suitable habitat, and start a new mycelium in the soil. Spores of two mating types (+ and -) are required for mushroom, and therefore spore, production. Mushrooms that have gills on the underside of the cap are called agarics. If it has pores instead of gills, then it is called a bolete. Many fleshy fungi don’t resemble mushrooms at all. Some look like coral from the sea, blobs of jelly, brains, or even a slice of beef liver. There are even mushrooms that glow in the dark! Some gardeners freak out when they see a mushroom growing in a flowerpot or in a bed. But mushrooms themselves are harmless to most garden plants. Bracket fungi, or mushrooms growing out of live trees, are a concern, however. In fact, having fungi like that in your soil or potting medium is a good thing. Ecologically, fungi are important as decomposers. Imagine if all the leaves dropped by deciduous trees every fall never decomposed. Fungi help turn those dead leaves back into nutrient-rich soil. During decomposition, nutrients tied up in leaf tissue are made available once again to other plants. Fungi do the same thing in our gardens and especially in compost piles. All the straw, hay, grass clippings, wood chips, or dead leaves used as mulch this year will be soil in coming seasons thanks to fungi.

Fungi do something else that is vitally important for plant health. Fungi form symbiotic relationships with roots and allow plants to take up nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorous, from soil more readily than they would otherwise be able to. These beneficial


Bird’s Nest Fungus is another example of saprophytic life history. They break down organic matter into nutrient-rich compost from which our gardens and landscapes benefit. Of course, a lot of folks are interested in whether a mushroom is edible or not. Bottom line, never eat a mushroom you’re unfamiliar with or that you don’t have a positive identification for. As mycologist and author David Arora writes in Mushrooms Demystified (Ten Speed Press), some mushrooms are “better kicked than picked.” But, before you punt that toadstool across your lawn, think about the fact that that fungus simply means you have healthy soil. Consider yourself lucky!

Saproamanita thiersiBird’s Nest Fungus by Joseph Roy thiersii

“Bottom line, never eat a mushroom you’re unfamiliar with or that you don’t have a identificationpositivefor..”

WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | SEPTEMBER 2022 77 associations are called “mycorrhizae,” which literally means “fungus root.” Plants ranging from oak and pine trees to Bermuda and St. Augustine grass rely on mycorrhizal fungi for this exact purpose. This plant/fungus relationship was established when plants first colonized land and has remained a vital component of land plant evolution. This is one reason the species of mushrooms found in any given habitat, from lawns to woods, can be predicted. For example, the deadly “destroying angels,” Amanita virosa and related species, occur here in the ArkLaMiss under oak and pine trees with which they are mycorrhizal. They are solid white, even the gills (hence the “angel” part of their common name) and will have a ring around the stalk. They will also be sitting in a little fungal cup that occurs either at or just below soil level. While they are deadly poisonous to anyone or anything that ingests them, they are biologically beneficial to the trees under which they are growing. Other than being admired for their haunting beauty, they are best left Severalalone.less dangerous fungal species that mimic Destroying Angels are to be found here in the ArkLaMiss. One is called “The Vomiter” (Chlorophyllum molybdites), a large, white mushroom occurring in lawns. The gills under the cap turn sea-green momentarily after being picked. While The Vomiter is a toxic species, it is not deadly poisonous. It will simply live up to its nickname. Another solid white mushroom that colonizes lawns is a close cousin of Destroying Angels, but information on its toxicity is ambiguous. I’ve photographed Saproamanita thiersii in Monroe’s Garden District in a grassy area off Stubbs Avenue. As the genus name suggests, this species is not mycorrhizal. Rather, it is saprophytic, meaning it decomposes dead thatch and the grass clippings that are left after the area is mowed. Its shaggy appearance is distinctive, but its solid white color is also a red flag. When in doubt, toss it out. Relatives of the grocery store mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, are also in Louisiana’s fungal flora. Agaricus species have gills that turn from salmon pink to chocolate brown after being picked or after the spores have been discharged. The next time you buy fresh mushrooms at the grocery store, look at the gills. They’re brown and this immediately separates them from the dangerous Amanita species.Chanterelles are much sought after by foragers and fungal aficionados, and Louisiana has plentiful populations. One of the more oddball fungi is Bird’s Nest Fungus, genus Cyathus. The “eggs” in the nests are called peridioles and contain the spores.

Tune in to Louisiana Living every Tuesday at 4:30 for In the Garden with Kerry Heafner of the LSU AgCenter.

Chanterelles are much sought after by those in the know. They are summer mushrooms in our area.


Systemic hormone therapy is available in several of its own forms, like skin patches, pills, or implanted pellets placed under your skin. These contain higher doses of estrogen than low-dose products and are absorbed throughout the body instead of just in the vaginal tissues. If you’re interested in learning more about hormone replacement therapy or finding out if it can relieve your symptoms, call Louisiana Center for Women’s Health for a consultation or book online today.


Does a

Louisiana Center for Women’s Health works with you to decide on the best way to take your hormones. If the team has decided that taking hormones will benefit your health and wellness, they may recommend: Low-dose hormonal vaginal products products like vaginal estrogen creams or tablets can improve some vaginal or vulvar symptoms of menopause, like vaginal dryness or painful sex.


Hormone Imbalance Have You Out of Balance?


XPERIENCING HORMONE FLUCTUATIONS AND A general drop in estrogen, progesterone and testosterone production with age can have major consequences for your sexual health and wellness. These menopausal occurrences are also responsible for the inconvenient or downright irritating symptoms you experience as your body stops its menstrual cycle for good. Hormone replacement therapy offers a way to replenish the hormones within your body so they can better regulate certain processes. As a result, you’ll experience fewer menopausal symptoms and relief from any resulting sexual dysfunction or pain. Furthermore, hormone replacement therapy can lower your risk for bone density issues that can come as a result of a drop in hormones during menopause. The team at Louisiana Center for Women’s Health tailors your treatment to suit your needs, and uses the lowest dosage of hormones possible to achieve results safely.

Hormone replacement therapy has the potential to ease many of the symptoms and complications that arise as you approach menopause. The symptoms are so diverse that you might not even link many of them to menopause at first. The Louisiana Center for Women’s Health team might recommend hormone replacement therapy if you have moderate-tosevere symptoms of menopause like: hot flashes, night sweats, frequent bone fractures or bone density loss, vaginal dryness, vaginal itching, painful sex, insomnia, weight gain, mood changes or early menopause or an estrogen deficiency. You might still get periods as you approach menopause, but they don’t come as regularly or consistently as before. You’ll know you’ve reached menopause when you stop getting menstrual periods altogether.

Louisiana Center for Women’s Health Can Help

Dark paint will make the room feel smaller. Instead, opt for whites, light grays, and other light colors. A well-placed mirror will also expand the room’s appearance. Just think of the times you’ve been in a restaurant and a mirror made the space look twice as large. RAISE YOUR WINDOW TREATMENTS


Your first inclination might be to arrange all your furniture flush against the walls. Though this may add a little extra room to move through the room, it’ll make everything feel more crowded and congested. Instead, try arranging items at an angle, or pulling them six inches away from the wall.


It’s common to hang your curtain rods just a few inches above your windows, but to make the ceilings appear taller, you can hang them just a few inches below the ceiling. It can have a dramatic effect.

BAD LIGHTING Have you ever seen the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry’s date looked different depending on where they went to dinner? It was the lighting. I know you may feel that your “daylight” white light bulbs help to reduce fatigue, but it’s very harsh lighting. Soft warm lights always have a cozy, inviting vibe. Some things are better left to the professionals. No matter how handy you are, I would not advise tampering with electrical, plumbing or other systems that require a licensed professional. Which brings me to my next point, the services of an experienced Realtor and a full service professional real estate firm. I have systems in place to address both common and not so common issues that arise when selling a home. My extensive network of licensed contractors are on speed dial when a home inspector comes in and finds a laundry list of items to repair. My knowledge of the local market is invaluable to circumvent problems like having a low appraisal. My contacts with local title companies are essential when dealing with a title issue you never knew about. These problems only come into play after you get a buyer on the hook. My marketing strategies and systems are proven effective time and time again. You can’t sell the home if nobody sees it, or worse, if buyers see it and are turned off by a bad impression. I showcase your home in it’s best light with professional photography and videography to ensure maximum exposure in today’s digital age. In this “new normal,” I have adjusted the way I show homes, ensuring clients’ safety, while still maximizing the ease and accessibility of showing options. Many of my listings have three dimensional 360 degree virtual tours available, allowing buyers to virtually walk through the home. This is just one of the ways that I work to exceed my clients’ expectations, ensuring that they get their home listed, sold so they can move on! Again, it’s best to leave the big jobs to the professionals. I would love to be your real estate professional.


Helping People Find Home List It. Sell It. Move On.

UMMER IS OVER, AND THE KIDS ARE back in school. Temperatures will start dropping before you know it, but the housing market is still hot! Interest rates just aren’t that bad. There are still more buyers than homes available in our neck of the woods. Here are some simple DIY projects that can increase the appeal of your home.




FOR RACHEL AND ZACH MADDEN, their business is all about family. “Dixie Cleaners has been around since the late 50s or early 60s…which is a legacy in itself. When my in-laws, Craig and Ann Corder, bought the business in 2013, it was important to them to carry on that same legacy under their direction,” says Rachel. And carry on they did, as Dixie Cleaners has become a name you can trust with your dry cleaning and laundry. For the next nearly 10 years, Craig and Ann ran their business with the same care that had preceded them, and when retirement began to call their name, Zach and Rachel decided to make a move. “Zach was working pipeline and I was teaching Pre-K and the furthest thing from our minds was running the family business. But as our family continued to grow, we knew we wanted Zach to be home, so for over a year we prayed for a different opportunity. That’s the real story here, God answered our prayers by making the way for us to buy Dixie Cleaners, and we are so grateful for the opportunity,” says Rachel. So with crossed fingers and a lot of prayer, Zach and Rachel took over the reins in March of this year. Zach was able to train and learn the ropes as it was so important that their customer’s maintain confidence in their business. Says Zach, “Rachel especially loves being up front visiting with our customers but for me, I love the satisfaction of the before and afters! Our customers bring in their laundry with the expectation that we can remove the stains, and we work very hard to meet that expectation!”

Visit Dixie Cleaners at one of their three convenient locations!


Actually, together Zach and Rachel both work hard at quality control because they truly care about how they take care of their customer’s clothes. “We like being in the stores working close with our employees to service our customers,” adds Zach. And a true reflection of their good name is how satisfied their customers are and that’s a responsibility they take very seriously. Says Rachel, “We are truly here for the long haul as we would love to pass this business on to one of our children one day. We work hard to carry on the long legacy of Dixie Cleaners so it’s important to keep our customers happy. We love that they trust us with their dry cleaning. With three locations, in Monroe, Rayville and Bastrop, things can get pretty busy, but we love our business and look forward to taking care of all of our customers. We are just so grateful that we were able to work into the family business, which brought Zach home and our family of four kids under six all together.”

Locally and Family Owned

Helping Bring Your Confidence Back

Dr. Robert Marx - Urologist


Because bladder incontinence seems so common, it’s sometimes difficult for women to understand that they may have an actual problem that requires medical attention. The best way to address your concerns is to talk to Dr. Marx.Depending on the severity of your condition, as well as how frequently you feel urges to use the bathroom or urinary accidents, Dr. Marx will be able to determine if you have minor to moderate incontinence that can be improved with physical therapy, Kegel exercises, or medication. In some instances, incontinence is severe and doesn’t respond to non-invasive treatments. In these cases, Dr. Marx may recommend bladder suspension surgery. This procedure can be performed in several ways, including through an incision in the vagina. Each procedure involves pulling the bladder back into place and securing it with sutures so that it stays Successput.rates for bladder suspension surgery are good. Success often depends on a patient’s medical history or other medical conditions, age, how long she’s been managing with incontinence, and how active she is following surgery. To maximize the effectiveness of your post-op results, be sure to discuss your lifestyle, limitations and any concerns you may have with Dr. Marx. Whatever level of severity your problem is, Robert D. Marx, M.D. and his dedicated staff are ready to assist you. Dr. Marx prides himself on the personal attention he provides each patient. He understands that this is a sensitive time for you. Dr. Marx has decades of experience providing careful, appropriate treatment to put you at ease. The office’s goal is to make you feel comfortable, so you can openly address your problems and let them help you fix it. Conveniently located in the Glenwood Medical Mall, they are happy to be accepting new patients. Call today for an appointment.

THERE IS NO NEED TO LIVE IN fear to live your life to the fullest. If you are having bladder problems it’s okay to seek help. You don’t have to continue living with a leaking bladder and you don’t have to be embarrassed by it. There are many ways to manage bladder control problems.

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 SpecializingP&S. in female urology since 1998, Dr. Marx is board-certified offering specialized care for female incontinence. Dr. Marx promises caring, confidential consultations and personalized solutions for any related problem such as: bladder prolapse, removal of mesh, InterStim, urethral bulking. He also treats male incontinence. Vasectomies are done in the office with a no cut technique.

Proceeds Will Provide Comprehensive Bereavement and Infant Loss Training

82 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM L OCAL NONPROFITS,THE ZOEY RENEE PROJECT, I Will Carry You: Birth + Bereavement Doula Services, and Sam’s Love, have teamed up to host the Second Annual Angel’s Gala on Saturday September 17, 2022 at Bayou Pointe on the campus of ULM in Monroe, Louisiana.

The Angel’s Gala will be used to provide Louisiana hospitals and The Woman’s Clinic with comprehensive pregnancy & infant loss specific bereavement training courses through Rachel’s Gift, a team of medical professionals and grief specialists based in Atlanta.We hope you will join us as we celebrate angels + improve bereavement care with features including cocktails, a seated dinner, special guest emcees Friday + Ashley Ellis, Mayor & First Lady of Monroe, live music from the Main Event Band, and both live & silent auctions. You will also hear heartfelt testimonies from this year’s spotlight family, Danny & Amber Boyd as well as St Francis Medical Center Labor & Delivery Nurse, Jackie Tichenor. These special guest speakers will give those in attendance a glimpse of the impact quality bereavement care has on the family through two totally different perspectives.Withone in every four women experiencing the devastating loss of a pregnancy, it is necessary to give medical professionals at our local hospitals the tools they need to confidently provide the best care possible. The quality of bereavement care that families receive in the hospital and clinic settings make a great impact, not only during the loss, but also throughout the grieving and healing journeys that follow. The highly specialized training that Rachel’s Gift provides will ensure that all families who experience pregnancy loss in our community receive the care they deserve and so desperately need.

The Angel’s Gala is a black-tie fundraising event held each year for three primary reasons: to raise awareness for pregnancy and infant loss, to give loss families an avenue to freely and openly celebrate the lives of their precious babies, and to improve the care families receive during their Proceedsloss.from

If you have an Angel of your own or love someone who does, we hope you will consider supporting our mission. We look forward to celebrating angels alongside you at the Second Annual Angel’s Gala! Event tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available now at

The Second Annual Angel’s Gala

A: Your skincare professional should educate you on anticipated reactions when using medical grade retinols. Potent retinols will cause this temporary reaction. It is usually a sign of tissue repair.

A: A potent peel that provides epidermal exfoliation and boosts skin renewal. It is designed to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, acne scarring, rough texture, large pores, and dullness.

Q: How do I know if I am a candidate for a peel?


Q: What is a 3-Step Peel?

Q: I used a retinol in the past, and I got red, dry, and itchy. I decided I must be allergic to it, or my skin just cannot tolerate it. Is that right?

The Woman’s Clinic offers free consultations with our certified ZO Skin Health Expert and Registered Nurse, Claire. She will recommend a tailored protocol for you from a wide range of dermal and epidermal retinols, hydroquinone, blending cremes, enzymatic brighteners, and in-office 3-step peels. Dr. Zein Obagi has pioneered advanced skincare solutions and is ranked among the world’s top experts on chemical peels. His ZO Skin Health products are physician-dispensed only, and they set the standard for skin health restoration and rejuvenation. We asked the expert some questions of our own:

UMMER IS OVER, WARM MEMORIES and beach photos remind us of all the fun we had. However, an unwanted reminder is the damage we may have done to our skin. Even with the use of hats and sunscreen, many of us have hyperpigmentation and sundamaged skin. Now that fall is officially here, we can get to work restoring our skin to a healthy, even glow.

A: No. It will feel good. The temptation is to pick or pull since the peeling will be in sheets. We recommend that you leave it alone. Underneath of that peeling is fresh, glowing skin that will not be sensitive but will need to be protected with good skin care and sunscreen.

*3-Step Peels and *Retinols are 20% off until September 30th! Peels may be purchased during the month of September and used at a later date. Retinols include Radical Night Repair, Wrinkle and Texture Repair, and Retinol Brightener. Sun Damage at The Woman’s Clinic

A: You will use a second application of 6% retinol the next morning. This will be given to you after the procedure. Expect peeling to begin by the evening of the third day. You will peel days 3-5 post procedure. Some peel up to day 7.


Q: How do I know which retinol is the best for me? What’s the difference?

A: Anyone interested in a peel will need to be prepped with a retinol of at least 0.5% or tretinoin for a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the peel. Even so, some patients are not candidates and would have better results with some milder treatments such as enzymatic brighteners, exfoliating polish, vitamin C, and hydrators. All of which can be found at The Woman’s Clinic.

Q: When will I start to peel after the procedure?

Q: Will my skin be very sensitive while peeling?

Peel Revealand Repair Summer

A: We have dermal and epidermal retinols as well as different strengths. The dermal/ epidermal depends on the formula and delivery system. The strength will depend on the condition of your skin. We will guide you at your consultation depending on your needs.


“Art is too important not to share.” This quote comes from Brazilian artist Romero Britto, but it’s more than that; it’s a phrase in which 19-year-old Katherine Bonner fully believes. These words, displayed on her website homepage, sum up her philosophy as an artist.


So far, Bonner says, she seems to be on the right path, even without a college degree. Many parts of her journey have confirmed it, she reveals, “There were definitely a lot of little moments where I was like, ‘This is what I want to do. I’m doing the right thing, and this is bringing me joy.’ There were a lot of times where I could see it growing, and it’s just very exciting.”


“My grandmother had a shadow box in her house, and it had [my great-grandmother’s] calligraphy pen in there,” the Ouachita parish native recalls. “I looked at it all the time. One day, my grandmother opened up the shadow box and pulled out this old calligraphy pen that had been in there I don’t know how long, and I got to play around with [it]. Then, I invested in my own things and started playing around with [calligraphy].”

brings people joy,” Bonner explains. “It’s kind of like a domino effect. When you have the courage to share your art, you give someone else the courage to share theirs. You give them joy; you inspire them to go travel or create. [Sharing your art] can give people the ability to problem solve, and it can open up minds to all these ideas.” Take the murals scattered across the twin cities, she goes on, “They’re such a public way to show art. Even if you’re not looking for it, you’re going to see it, and you’re probably going to be inspired by it.”

Further solidifying Bonner’s decision not to go to college was an unwelcome interruption that might have added an extra degree of difficulty to her freshman year: a thyroid cancer diagnosis the summer after graduating high school. She often felt sick, and the disease was slowing her body down, she remembers, but she was determined not to be bitter. Instead, she leaned on art, the thing that had brought her joy since ART

Almost anything can inspire her, Bonner says, and if she sees anyone do something, chances are she will want to try it herself. This ability to pull inspiration from a wide range of sources seems to work to her advantage, as it motivates her to seek the resources necessary for learning new mediums and techniques. Since she opted not to attend a university after high school, Bonner has had to get creative when it comes to sharpening her skills. This means checking out library books, watching YouTube tutorials, being bold enough to try something new, and persisting — even when the first few attempts are less than stellar.

“Pursuing art without a degree was very scary to me, but I knew I didn’t want to go into debt for college,” she says of her decision to forego a college education. “But I knew this was what I wanted to pursue, that doing art full-time was always going to be the end goal. I think not going to college can be such a negative thing, but I just knew this was what I wanted to do: start a business, start doing art classes with kids and other people, and just see a little community start to thrive. You can be a creative even if you’ve never taken an art class in your life or don’t have a degree.”

Bonner’s belief that simply seeing another artist’s work can inspire is not merely an assumption or something she has observed; it is something she has experienced firsthand. She draws inspiration for her own work by seeing what other artists are doing, she explains. Bonner’s interest in calligraphy is a prime example of this, as it was born from simply looking at her great-grandmother’s calligraphy pieces and the tool she used to create them.

“I just knew this was what I wanted to do: start a business, start doing art classes with kids and other people, and just see a little community start to thrive. You can be a creative even if you’ve never taken an art class in your life or don’t have a degree.”

childhood, and spent time dreaming of and brainstorming for her business, The Magnolia Makery’s, future.

Ultimately, providing a space for artists to create is what Bonner hopes to accomplish through The Magnolia Makery, and as she continues selling her own creations, hosting workshops, and teaching classes, she works toward a bigger goal: opening a permanent location in which creatives can gather.


“Everybody says they’re very therapeutic, which is awesome because they’re a very therapeutic thing for me,” she says of the workshops she’s held so far. “Those are really fun because we talk, we get to know each other, and you get inspired by what the person next to you is doing.” These workshops, plus the children’s art classes she teaches at the local Montessori school, are yet another way Bonner feeds her passion for art, a seed planted in her as a child that has been blooming ever since. Though no one else in her immediate family is an artist, Bonner was encouraged to make and learn about art from a young age, thanks to the support of her elementary art classes.

Bonner, cancer-free since April, officially launched The Magnolia Makery about a year and a half ago. Since its inception, Bonner has sold goods like greeting cards, bookmarks, and painted canvas bags through her website, at art crawls, and at downtown Monroe’s vintage and local-made goods store The Good Daze. More recently, the young artist has added art workshops to her business’s list of offered services.

Unlike Painting with a Twist-style classes, Bonner’s workshop attendees don’t paint the same image in the same way. Instead, there’s more room for individual expression, with everyone painting whatever they’d like while enjoying the company of others who simply want to make something.

“I really want to have a space downtown where we have constant workshops and classes where people can come together, whether there is a class where we’re all learning one thing or it’s just a time where you bring whatever you’re working on and meet other creatives,” Bonner muses. “Just a space where people can come together and have kids art camps and things like that. I’m very passionate about that, and that is definitely what I’m working toward constantly.”

Bonner shares her work on her website, www.themagnoliamakery., on Instagram @the_magnolia_makery, on the Magnolia Makery Facebook account, at The Good Daze, and at area art crawls. Follow her socials to find out when The Magnolia Makery’s next workshop will be.

“I just loved art class; that’s definitely where I wanted to be,” she remembers. “Around 4th grade is when I started taking afterschool art classes, and that’s where my appreciation and love for art really started to take shape. Having the space to be creative and try new mediums, that was where I thrived and loved to be.”

Until that dream comes to fruition, however, Bonner will continue sharing her creations how and whenever she can — unsurprising, considering her belief that art is too powerful to keep to yourself. She urges others to do the same and says, “Art is a very important part of life, and even if you’re just doodling in a notebook, share it. You don’t know if it could inspire someone else or bring them joy. Share your art and grow in it.”

Andi Holyfield LDN, R.D. 318-348-3120 | | Customized Diets


I VIVIDLY REMEMBER THE DAY I SAT IN DR. Melton’s office reviewing my lab work from MD Anderson and explaining to him that my hepatologist recommended a liver transplant due to my liver damage. It was during that visit that Dr. Melton referred me to Andi Holyfield – a local Registered Dietitian to begin my lifestyle transformation. Andi pushed me to visualize myself 3 sizes smaller in the next 6 weeks and she created healthy, attainable goals that included exploring my hobbies like art and teaching. By week three of Eat to Lose I began to see that Andi’s vision could come true. In only 21 days I lost 2 inches off my waist and was already off 6 medications due to my new diet lifestyle,” says Courtney Brasher. Within the first 6 weeks Courtney was able to lose 26 pounds, 3 dress sizes, and decrease over 28 medications. Three months later, Andi Holyfield’s program assisted Courtney in a very noticeable discharge from MD Anderson hospital with no need for a liver transplant due to all healthy labs! “My only regret is that I did not start meeting with Andi six years ago when my illness started to steal LIFE from me,” said Courtney. Shopping for clothes is so much easier for Courtney now that she no longer needs a size 26 and can easily slip on a size 16 with enthusiasm.

Dr. Stuart Melton, a family physician and Courtney Brasher’s primary local doctor had confidence that Andi Holyfield LDN, R.D. could customize a special diet plan to guide Courtney in the right direction to heal her liver, reverse the diabetes type II and decrease her high blood pressure. “The implementation and management of a proper diet not only reduces the risk of certain medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension but also reduces them over time,” said Dr. Stuart Melton. People with fatty liver disease often have insulin resistance. Andi designs diets to reverse this as well as PCOS. Even a 5 % body weight loss can lower the fat in the liver, decrease LDL cholesterol, and decrease the entire lipid panel. The liver is an incredible multitasker. This vital organ is a filter that rids the body of toxins and can repair itself with authentic diet lifestyle changes. Courtney no longer needs 34 medications nor makes long trips to MD Anderson hospital. She spends her days teaching at Ouachita Christian school, painting beautiful artwork, walking, and having healthy delicious meals at home with good friends. “April 1st, 2022, was day 1 of my new diet lifestyle and only 3 months after that date I went from a size 26-16, picked up my artwork, dropped 34 medications and was officially discharged as a patient from MD Anderson on July 29th, 2022,” Courtney says. Eat to Lose is a six-week weight loss program for children and adults that is personalized to suit your individual lifestyle and authentic food cravings. This successful, customized program educates patients to make informed choices, understand how to read nutrition food labels, enjoy eating out, consider portions and manage food cravings. With over 21 years of experience, Andi has assisted countless adults and children to develop lasting, healthier eating habits. Whether the goal is to reduce the risk of heart disease, lose weight, sports nutrition or simply improve lab work to decrease medications. Eat to Lose works. When ten or more people enroll in the diet plan, everyone will receive a $100.00 discount on program costs. Often, insurance providers offer discounts on premiums as health goals are met, which saves employers and employees money. Fire up your metabolism with your own customized diet today!

Eat Loseto




Here is what you will receive when you see a cosmetic dentist:

As an added bonus, you should know that I’ve been creating smiles for more than 30 years and have taken hundreds of hours in continuing education. I take pride in my work in the office and with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, where I am the 61st accredited Fellow. My office has won the annual smile competition at the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry several years in a row with our restorative and cosmetic dental solutions.

● Improved Self-Confidence – Flashing your gorgeous smile will make you feel incredible and more confident.

NY GOOD DENTIST IS INTERESTED IN SAVING ALL of your natural teeth. But natural teeth aren’t always attractive teeth. They can be crooked individually, out of alignment with each other, and discolored. That’s where I, as a cosmetic dentist, can help you get the smile of your dreams.


Many people are tempted to try do-it-yourself teeth whitening. Professional teeth whitening will work faster and protect sensitive gums and tooth-root surfaces better than over-the-counter whitening products. Having an oral exam before you begin any whitening process is an important first step, as we want to make sure your tooth discoloration is not the result of a dental condition in need of treatment. We offer ZOOM! whitening and Professional Tray Whitening in our office.

The latest technologies in cosmetic dentistry mean that you really can enjoy your life more fully and have the smile of your dreams. If your teeth are less-than-ideal and causing you pain, discomfort, or embarrassment, then now is the time to find a cosmetic dentist to help you solve your problems. We have seen patient after patient returned to a full and happy life no longer selfconscious about their smile, no longer hiding their mouth at any opportunity, no longer letting their teeth hold them back from the life they want to lead! And now, you can join them!


● Your Dream Smile – Imagine waking up in the morning, looking in the mirror, and seeing the most beautiful smile looking right back at you!

● Reduced Risk of Future Problems – With a small correction to your teeth now, you could save having to deal with far more serious problems in the future. This is the time to sort out any issues that you might have, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant they may be. I take a patient’s smile very seriously and consider myself an intricate planner. I also involve the patient in the process every step of the way. On any given smile creation case, we’ll take photographs and then create a wax model to show exactly what your smile will look like after treatment.



Improve Your Appearance, Improve Your Life


Much love, Anahy, founder of Vence & Co.

P.S. Just a reminder: it’s never too late for your “vence” moment.

New Kids on the Block H

THERE! MY NAME IS ANAHY SATERFIEL, AND I’M the owner of a cute little shop named Vence & Co. in Antique Alley. After being solely online for a few years, we have opened our first brick-and-mortar location in West Monroe, Louisiana and can’t wait to meet you! This company was born out of a desire to see a boutique give its customers a diamond-in-the-rough experience, and hopefully we have achieved this goal at 309 Wood Street. The very idea of having a shop started with, well, online shopping. In 2016, I found myself living in a season of unexpected changes as I finished my undergraduate degree and started my career. Oversized LA Tech t-shirts and church clothes filled my closet, but with my new job, I needed clothes for the in-between—dressy casual outfits, yet modest and comfortable enough to wear all day. Over the next few months, I discovered some of my favorite online boutiques via Instagram, and as my love for these shops grew, and a dream sprung in me…a dream that had nothing to do with my degree but brought me back to an old love: fashion. As a child I would design clothes and doodle in my “fashion designer” journal, which I carried with me everywhere. I never quite let go of that passion, but as I grew up, it became a small hobby—something I enjoyed learning about but did not consider a possible avenue. After a few months of research and prayer, and with the invaluable help of my loved ones, Vence & Co. finally became a reality on October 6th, 2017. Since then, our quality-over-quantity business model has made its mark in a world of fast fashion, shipping to women all over the world and forming amazing relationships along the way.

Although it has been difficult to balance my job and schooling with the business as it’s grown, I’m grateful for the timing of it all. So much of the inspiration behind the store comes from my experiences in college. In fact, it was in one of my classes that I learned of one place that fit my vision for our aesthetic: St. Paul de Vence, a small, yet culturally rich commune located in Provençe, France. Vibrant floral archways and artwork surround this picturesque town, where old beauty feels modern and welcoming. St. Paul de Vence remains a diamond-in-the-rough for those who appreciate it for what it offers—nothing less and nothing more than what it has always been. This inspiration led to our name: Vence and Company. Simple, yet effective. The absolute best part about using the word Vence, though, is that it actually means “you overcome/triumph” in Spanish. For me, as a first generation immigrant from Mexico, every step I take toward the future has been a “vence” moment, whether a minute or grand. To know that my family came here to make a home, and that this business represents our willingness to quite literally overcome truly brings our experience in the United States to a full, beautiful circle. Though the story behind this business may not be conventional, as a company, we embrace our uniqueness. Our customers often describe Vence & Co. as “different, but a good different” and we hope that when you stop by, you find that difference just as valuable, beautiful, and timeless as we do. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us as a business and for our community, and I am forever thankful for where God has already led us.

Vence & Company


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.


Give BeautyYouraBoost Gain Your Confidence Back

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.Nomatter your age or issue you want to address, Dr. SowmaFakhre and the staff at DermaMediQ can help you achieve your beauty goals and look your best at any age! DermaMediQ is also offering waxing and eyelash extensions. This is an easy route to start feeling your best this fall.





In just one treatment, FaceTite can provide significant improvements to the contour of the face. Using RFAL technology, FaceTite is the next best thing to a traditional facelift, without the associated large scars and downtime.

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.


Bodytite is a minimally-invasive device for body contouring, delivering results previously only achieved through excisional procedures. BodyTite is powered by directional RF resulting in threedimensional tissue remodeling through fat coagulation and volumetric heating. The coagulation of fat using RF-induced heat results in radiofrequency assisted lipolysis

NFORTUNATELY, THERE IS NO TRUE FOUNTAIN of youth… at least not one we have discovered yet. DermaMediQ offers treatments to help your skin achieve the youthful glow we all desire. These treatments and services include BodyTite, FaceTite, PRP hair treatment, Emsculpt and Morpheus8.

For optimal elimination, regular bowel movements need to happen anywhere from one to three times daily. Four to eight inches in length is a healthy stool size (pellets are normal for bunnies, not people) and you shouldn’t have to strain to eliminate it. A couple of minutes is all you should need to finish doing your business. If you’re locking the door and staying in there for twenty-eight extra minutes just to find some peace and quiet, well, that’s understandable. If you’re actually using that entire time to finish going, you have a problem. The wall of the intestines and bowels are coated with a mucosal lining. This not only protects the gut from invaders and assists in maintaining a healthy microbiome, it also assists with easy movement through the bowels. To support this gut lining and encourage more frequent elimination, several things are needed: hydration, protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, and relaxation.

f you have a history of struggling to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight, you’ve probably expended a lot of effort managing the quantity and quality of what’s entering your body. However, if you haven’t experienced the results you think you should have, perhaps you should start focusing on the other end of your digestive system. The quantity and quality of what’s leaving your body is just as important as what enters it when it comes to maintaining a healthy balance throughout your system. One of the first questions I ask a new weight loss or wellness client, along with how much sleep they’re getting, is how often they’re having bowel movements. It no longer surprises me when I hear that one, even two weeks can typically pass between them. My jaw used to hit the floor when I heard that response and clients would then typically respond with, “But it’s always been like that. That’s just normal for me.” Even if infrequent bowel movements are what someone is used to, this doesn’t meal it’s normal or healthy. If these clients had been having more frequent bowel movements, maybe they wouldn’t have needed to come to me for help in the first place. For these constipated clients, priority number one is going number two. Sorry, I could’ enters the small intestine, bile from the liver and gallbladder combine with it to emulsify fat soluble ingredients.


A Process of Elimination

The nutrients your body needs, along with the toxic substances it doesn’t, both get absorbed through the intestinal wall and make their way to your liver. The liver sorts through this material and decides what the body should keep and what needs to be sent out with the garbage. Healthy nutrients are kept and used to create energy, hormones, neurotransmitters, etc, while toxic material is sent back down to the bowels with bile for elimination.Inthebowel, these toxic substances latch onto fiber and become part of the stool. However, if there isn’t enough fiber present, up to 94% of that toxically loaded bile will get reabsorbed and head back to the liver again. What isn’t eliminated gets recirculated. This recycling process can happen several times, and if the toxic sludge doesn’t find fiber to bind with after several attempts, the liver gives up and sends the material to the fat cells for storage. The fat cells serve not only as storage sites for excess energy, but also for these damaging toxins. What if the fat cells run out of space and can’t store any more? No problem, the body just makes more fat cells!

HYDRATION Maintaining proper hydration in your body helps to keep that mucosal barrier hydrated, too. A good rule of thumb is to be sure you’re getting 1/2 to 3/4 of your bodyweight in ounces of clear water daily. However, not all water hydrates your body equally. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine demonstrated that drinking alkaline water improved the hydration status of subjects more effectively than those drinking standard purified water. Spring water naturally con tains a higher mineral content (which makes it more alkaline) than purified tap water, so choose spring water when possible. Another simple option is to add a squeeze of fresh lem on or lime to purified tap water, along with a small pinch of unrefined sea salt, which



FIBER You already learned why fiber in the diet is so important; if toxic material doesn’t have enough fiber to bind with in the intestines, it recirculates back to the liver and can wind up being stored in the fat cells. Fiber intake averages about 10-15 grams daily for most adults, but it should be closer to 30 grams. Plant foods are highest in fiber, so be sure to include plenty of whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.


PROTEIN You may be familiar with serotonin as your feel-good brain chemical. A lesser known effect of this chemical messenger is the action of peristalsis, or the wave-like contractions of your intestines that push material through. About 90% of your body’s serotonin is made in your gut from the amino acid tryp tophan. Ensuring an adequate intake of tryptophan rich protein sources in your diet will help support serotonin production, and in turn, healthy movement of in your numberelimination.aminoGlutamineintestines.isanotheracidneededforhealthyItprovidestheoneenergysourcefor the mucosal lining in your intestines, so without it, you won’t have enough of the building blocks required to support it. The richest food sources of both these amino acids are animal proteins, like turkey, chicken, red meat, pork, fish, eggs, and milk. Other tryptophan and/or glutamine sources include tofu, spinach, cabbage, lentils and beans.

WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | SEPTEMBER 2022 93 increases the mineral content and makes that water more easily absorbed by your cells. However, keep in mind that your stomach environment needs to maintain a very acidic environment for proper digestion, so avoid drink ing mineralized or alkaline water with meals. Ideally, if you drink enough between meals, you won’t need more than a few sips of water while you eat.

Lastly, fatty acids assist with lubrication in the intestines. Include organic extra virgin olive oil, butter (from organic, 100% pasture raised and grass fed cows), fatty wild fish, nuts, seeds, etc. Omega-3 fats, in particular, are known to ease inflammation (including inflammation in the bowels) and help ease constipation. Wild fish (not farm raised), avocado, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts are rich in omega-3 fats. In addition, beef and butter from pasture raised cows contain it, while feed-lot raised versions don’t.


Stress dries out the mucosal lining in your gut and prevents the movement of material within the bowels. Just like the choice to store toxins in fat cells, turning off the ability to move your bowels during periods of stress is a very smart survival tactic by your body that perhaps saved the lives of your ancestors, but is rather inconvenient in today’s climate of chronic stress. Any form of stress management that you can employ into your daily life will positively impact every aspect of your health, including your bathroom habits. Breathing exercises, meditation, connecting with friends, laughter, warms baths, or anything else that provides a bit of joy or relaxation into your day is a must.Inshort, to ensure that you’re getting the enough of the nutrients needed to support healthy elimination, include a serving of protein at every meal, cover 1/2 to 2/3 of your plate with plant foods, and use healthy fats for cooking or drizzling over your food. Add in whole fruit, nuts and seeds for snacks, and drink plenty of mineralized water between meals. Lastly, set aside time every day for some form of fun or relaxation, or at a minimum, focus on some deep breathing. Remember, healthy balance inside the body is about both what’s going in and what’s going back out!

94 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM SOME INSURANCES JUST GO BETTER together. With so many types of insurance to choose from, it’s hard to know what you need and what you don’t. Protect yourself and let independent insurance agent Darryl Tate walk you through that process. As an independent insurance agency we are committed to doing business face-to-face and being your advocate in times of need. Beginning in September, we will be seeing clients every 2nd week Monday - Wednesday in our satellite office at 905 Louisa Street in Rayville, LA. There will be seminars on different aspects of insurance with the first being Medicare 101. Here are a few reasons why Currency Insurance Agency/Tyner Jeter Insurance should be your first and last stop when looking for insurance:•Wework for you when you have a claim. • We have value-hunters who look after your pocketbook in finding the best combination of price, coverage, and service. • We offer one-stop shopping for a full range of products, including home, renters, auto, business, life, medicare and more. • We periodically review your coverage to keep up with your changing insurance Currencyneeds. 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. 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. Here are just some of the insurance options we offer: Personal Insurance • Auto Insurance • Renters Insurance • Homeowner Insurance • Life Insurance • Motorcycle Insurance • Boat Insurance • Health Insurance • Flood Insurance Business Insurance • Business Insurance • Landlord Protection • Commercial Auto Insurance • General Liability Insurance • Commercial Property Insurance • Workers’ Comp Insurance To find out how our independent insurance agency can help you find the right insurance coverage while saving you money, contact Darryl Tate at 225.485.1909 or darryl@tynerjeterinsurance. com. Licensed in Property, Casualty, Health and Life (LA, TX, MS & AK). Peace of Mind Comes Standard Get Expert Advice for Your Home, Auto and More from Currency Insurance and Tyner Jeter

“Patient education is one of Dr. Smith’s talents,”\ says Jason. Dr. Smith emphasized that robotic technology would significantly improve Jason’s outcome because minimally invasive surgeries mean less recovery time and less pain. He used the da Vinci to perform the surgery with an advanced set of instruments and a 3D high-definition view of the surgical area.


Recovery from the surgery went well, Jason said. “It wasn’t bad at all. A few days later, I was up and walking.”

Hernia risk factors:

• As we age, the muscles in our abdomen and groin weaken Family history Chronic constipation

• Men are eight times more likely to develop a hernia

ASON NELSON WANTS YOU TO KNOW THAT “THE QUICKER you act, the quicker you heal.”

Patient Urges People to be Proactive About Their Health

• Those who have had a hernia in the past are more likely to get them again

Last year, the Monroe native noticed a mass in his lower groin area, and while it was unnerving, it did not hurt. So, like many, he waited for the area to Approximatelyheal. six weeks later, Jason experienced a slight dull ache, which prompted him to seek medical treatment. He said, “When you conduct your own research, even on Google, you learn very quickly that the quicker you act, the quicker you heal. And being proactive is cost-effective; you lessen the chances of the injury becoming an emergency.”

Jason was referred to Dr. Patrick Smith at the Surgery Clinic of Northeast Louisiana, who diagnosed him with a bilateral hernia that required surgery.

• Premature birth and low birth weight

Jason Nelson


Jason’s initial consult with Dr. Smith made Jason feel more comfortable for another reason: Dr. Smith’s bedside manner.

• Strenuous physical activity that involves heavy lifting

In addition to Dr. Smith, the Surgery Clinic of Northeast Louisiana is home to surgeons Dr. Walter Sartor, Dr. Bart Liles, and Dr. Mohamed Bakeer. Contact the clinic, home of Delta Vein Care, with any questions about minimally invasive surgery options or other medical needs, such as vein care procedures and weight loss surgery.

“Dr. Smith is very personable. Having a good bedside manner is super important. You don’t know what is right or wrong, so you need someone to tell you and review your options. My experience with Dr. Smith was very positive.”

“He gave me the option of robotic surgery. That’s not my area of expertise, and I didn’t need it to be. He sat with me and answered all of my questions,” Jason said. “I didn’t get the impression I was just a number.”

Improve Your Life at The Surgery Clinic

Dirty Home? No?

Southern Xtreme Softwash proudly serves the North Louisiana region. Homes & 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 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 roots 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.

96 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM ARE 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 worn 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? No worries, let Southern Xtreme Softwash come to the rescue.

Top Rated Pressure Washing In Monroe We Love To


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.

Help You!

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Patrick Ensminger will be joining our all-star team of fellowship-trained sports medicine providers: Dr. David Trettin, Dr. Sol Graves, and Dr. Jeffrey Counts. Our expert surgeons diagnose and treat sports medicine injuries with the latest treatments available. “Always keep up with the most current techniques – that’s the key,” states Dr. Counts. “New advances are constantly being made, and for the best interest of the patient, continuing education is necessary.”

Call 318-323-8451 to schedule an appointment in Monroe or West Monroe clinic or call 318-957-5044 for the Ruston Clinic. To learn more about our practice and our 14 surgeons, please visit

Local Partner of Athletics

Successful sports medicine programs also adopt a team approach. Optimal recovery occurs when physicians, athletic trainers, and therapists work together to achieve the specified goals for each individual patient. Through our partnerships with local schools, student-athletes and their guardians have access to orthopedic care without delay, which is critical in facilitating an early injury diagnosis. Our experienced team of physical and occupational therapists assists athletes in regaining the flexibility, strength, power, and endurance necessary for them to return to their sport as quickly as possible. With the popularity of athletic activities in our area, injuries happen often and can greatly vary. Our sports medicine program benefits from the assistance of our boardcertified general orthopedic surgeons, who provide coverage for local high school and college sports teams, as well as treatment for everyday injuries. Our fellowship-trained foot/ ankle, hand/upper extremity, and back/neck specialists are also available to treat any issue that arises in their area of expertise. Our accomplished sports medicine program is proud to serve at the collegiate level as well. Our longstanding affiliation as the Official Athletics Partner for the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) remains strong, and we look forward to the future of this relationship. We are also greatly excited to announce that we are now the Official Athletics Partner of Louisiana Tech University. With our new state-of-the-art facility located at 1500 Commerce Street in Ruston, we are thrilled to offer the latest in specialized orthopedic equipment and care to LA Tech student-athletes.

At North Louisiana Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Clinic, we are committed to advancing the overall quality of healthcare services. Whether it’s an ACL injury, a torn rotator cuff, a torn meniscus, a sprained ankle, or any other sports-related injury, you can rely on our team of expert board-certified surgeons to get you back in the game!

WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | SEPTEMBER 2022 97 CHEERING FROM THE BLEACHERS under Friday night lights. High-fiving your neighbors after a last-second buzzer beater. Celebrating in the stands when a player slides into home. Medical professionals and community members dedicated to supporting athletes by keeping them healthy and strong. Sports bring communities together. Since 1951, the expert physicians of the North Louisiana Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Clinic have been helping our area athletes stay healthy and maximize their performance with superior orthopedic care. Along with sports medicine, our broad range of services includes spine surgery, knee and hip replacements, foot and ankle care, and upper extremity surgery.

North Louisiana Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Clinic

Designs originated from a passion for design and functionality that showcases personal style. After working in the pharmaceutical industry for years, Heather sought change that prioritized her love for interiors. As a design consultant, she offers a practical approach to home updating and organizing that utilizes existing decor in combination with cost-effective purchases to achieve a modern and livable interior that is as functional as it is appealing. If you are considering putting a fresh touch on an existing space or rethinking a room‘s purpose, Functional Designs (FD) can help you transform your everyday environment. FD also specializes in decluttering and organizing home spaces such as pantries, bookshelves, play rooms etc. Making the most of one space requires everything having a designated place. Creating cozy spaces where customers enjoy spending time is essential to simple living. In Heather’s transformations, auditing the area and prioritizing functionality is the first step in updating a space. Aesthetics and practicality go hand-in-hand. A client’s space should serve their personal needs and work for day-to-day life. Understanding the purpose of a space is paramount to achieving functionality, whether it’s an area served for social gatherings or a living room that is used as the kid’s play area and family movie night. Your home can and should be equal parts useful and appealing. Heather stresses that functionality does not have to be expensive. Many existing spaces suffer from clutter for numerous reasons: whether we buy every beautiful piece we see and add them to our shelves, or we want to utilize things that have sentimental value and don’t know where to properly place them, or we just do not have an organizational gene in our body. FD assesses existing pieces that matter to clients, finds suitable places to feature those pieces, while keeping the rooms purpose top of mind. People are often surprised by what items can serve as decorative pieces. Heather has an eye for detail that so many homeowners could benefit from. Functional Designs offers staging services as well. If homeowners are considering selling a home, staging the property is crucial to maximize market value. Having lived in a space it can be difficult to see it through the eyes of a potential buyer. Properly staged homes allow prospective homebuyers to better visualize their lives in a new home. Decluttering and staging homes provides a facelift that transforms your property into an ideal condition for the next buyer. If functionality is prioritized, a home on the market will appeal to buyers. Functional designs offers dramatic changes without maximizing a budget. If your home needs a decorative facelift, call Heather Grant to update your space!

Updating. Staging. Organizing.






pm. Transportation provided along with lunch and snacks while attending sessions. Medication is managed by our board-certified Psychiatrist. Come and Join Us Where Change Starts!

Helping You Get Your Life Back on Track

recovery, contact us at

OutpatientIntensive Program

Whereas residential treatment requires that clients reside on site, clients in intensive outpatient programs live at home. IOPs are sometimes used in conjunction with inpatient programs as a way of helping clients to more smoothly and seamlessly adapt back into their families and communities. They are designed to establish support mechanisms, help with relapse management, and provide coping strategies.Ideal candidates for intensive outpatient treatment have a safe home environment. This means encouraging family members and friends who are ready to support their loved one in their recovery efforts. IOPs are generally not recommended for those with severe cases of addiction or cooccurring disorders. Generally, these cases are referred to inpatient treatment since they require more immersive treatment and 24-hour supervision.OurCypress Bend IOP provides a higher level of care than outpatient psychotherapy, but is a lower level of care than an inpatient program. Our medically supervised program provides the services of physicians, nurses, mental health therapists, and other trained professionals who are experienced in improving the quality of life for those in need.

An IOP gives participants opportunities to: Increase Self Awareness and socialization Receive education to increase knowledge, normalize treatment issues, and motivate towards positive changes Practice coping strategies in a safe, real- world environment Improve decision making skills

• Anxiety &

• Problem Solving • Cognitive coping & processing • Relaxation Skills • Self-Awareness & Socialization For more

NTENSIVE OUTPATIENT PROGRAMS (IOPs) are treatment programs used to address addictions, depression, eating disorders, or other dependencies that do not require detoxification or round-the-clock supervision. They enable patients to continue with their normal, day-to-day lives in a way that residential treatment programs do not.

• Communication &

Master skills and learn new skills to replace maladaptive coping strategies Observe healthy behavior modeling Improve symptom management and healthy expression and regulation Learn healthy interpersonal boundaries Learn productive ways to manage triggers and symptoms related to mental health diagnosis Learn skills tailored to specific personcentered goals Improve relapse tolerance Receive support from peers for increased growth and development sessions will focus on: skills depression education management assertiveness information on effective treatment and support to empower life long 420 12:20

• Coping

Vine St. Bastrop, LA. 71220 Phone: 318-283-3950 Group times meet Monday – Thursday 10:00 am-

• Stress




100 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM very day is a completely different adventure,” says Elizabeth Griffon about her experience as a science teacher at St. Frederick Catholic High School. With wavy curls colored ombre green and a few visible tattoos, Griffon is clearly the cool teacher. We sat in her classroom as her two young sons drew impressively creative dinosaur hybrids on her whiteboard. At one point, a sophomore football player who had been attending summer football practice walked into her room just to say, “Hey!” Led into teaching just a few years ago, she considers the profession more than just a job. In fact, her role as an educator has extended beyond the classroom. Right outside of her classroom windows a plot of growing vegetation is visible and marks the spot of her second classroom. Griffon heads the school’s garden club, a student-run, service-based project that keeps growing thanks to local grants and the support of the Monroe community. Initially, Griffon wanted to be a veterinarian, but after working in a vet clinic for about four years, she decided the lifestyle wasn’t for her. At the time, she was a senior at Louisiana Tech pursuing a degree in animal science with a pre-vet concentration. Because of her exceptional class standing, she was given the opportunity to teach a science lab. “This is way more fun,” she thought, realizing she had a stronger passion for the instructional side of academia. Her first teaching job was at Ouachita Christian School (OCS) where she taught English and science courses all while working on a Master of Arts in teaching at Louisiana Tech. Currently, she




Elizabeth Griffon heads St. Frederick Catholic High School’s garden club, a student-run, service-based project that keeps growing thanks to local grants and the support of the Monroe community.

article by VANELIS RIVERA photography by KELLY MOORE CLARK

WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | SEPTEMBER 2022 101 is certified to teach 6th through 12th grade English and science. After three years at OCS, she jumped into the public school system teaching speech and creative writing at Ouachita High School. “I ended up getting burnout, so I took a year off,” she informs. During that hiatus, the principal at St. Fred’s approached Griffon about applying for a teaching position. They were in need of a science teacher, and she immediately got hired.

Griffon’s stepdad, Dan Lindow, started the garden club at St. Fred’s six years ago. When she was hired, he automatically ushered her into the program as a cosponsor. Known for her writing craft, he asked her to take charge of the grants which helped the program survive year after year. Then, this past year, he took a step back allowing her to take the reins. “It was kind of gifted to me, but I love it. It’s super rewarding,” she says. When Griffon first started with the club, they had two cinder block-raised garden beds, but thanks to grants from the Junior League they were able to pay for the addition of rosemary, a variety of herbs, squash, and tomatoes. The year Griffon joined, a second garden bed was started. Grant funding has also allowed them to purchase a greenhouse, currently in need of repairs after the last hurricane, a turning compost bin, and their most recent buzzworthy addition, a beehive. The first goal of the garden club was to educate students about the gardening process and how rewarding it can be.

Griffon asks her students to better understand where food comes from, wanting them to contemplate why it matters and why we should all care. “I mean, I don’t have to tell you about the health benefits of fresh produce and why knowing what you put in your body is important,” she stresses.

The second goal was to give back to the community. All the clubs and organizations at St. Fred’s are service oriented. “We have all of these blessings. We have all of these resources. We have all of this stuff,” says Griffon, explaining that it’s part of the school’s mission to improve and build up their community. So far, the garden club has donated to the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and Grace Place Ministries. “We’re giving whatever yield we have…which the kids really love, and they’re in charge of it,” Griffon gleams, proud of her garden club members, particularly the club officers who check the garden during the summer for any vegetables they can deliver. The club consists of about 20-25 mostly upper school students. “I’ve had several seniors who accidentally joined when they were juniors,” laughs Griffon. During a garden club meeting held at lunch, they walked in just to follow their friends and eat lunch. They ended up accidentally joining the club’s Google Classroom but ended up being some of the most active people of the

“We’re giving whatever yield we have…which the kids really love, and they’re in charge of it,” Griffon gleams, proud of her garden club members, particularly the club officers who check the garden during the summer for any vegetables they can deliver.

At first, some students are lost, confessing to Griffon, “I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know anything about plants,” but with her guidance students quickly become immersed. Griffon finds it rewarding enough just to get the kids outside, disconnected from the everyday distractions like technology, schoolwork, and competitions. “Everything we do is by hand,” explains Griffon. Club members are responsible for pulling weeds, planting, checking soil composition, and companion planting. A significant aspect of the club is also research-based. In the classroom, they learn about native pollinator plants, native ecosystems, and how to support and encourage pollinators.

Students will then research the content and find ways to apply it to the garden; in turn, helping them see their garden through a big picture lens–the more they provide food for their pollinators, the larger their crop yield, increasing the produce they can donate.

It was Griffon’s students who suggested merging the two raised garden beds, wanting to bring planting back to the ground in zones. After researching what plants should go near each other, they tilled a rectangular area the length of two classrooms and began what now is a flourishing space. Growing happily are zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, a few regular tomatoes that did not enjoy the summer heat, radishes, carrots, a plethora of herbs, baseball-sized watermelons, cantaloupes, and several peppers. “And then we’ve got tons of flowers,” says Griffon. Hues of lilac, bright orange, yellow, and peach rise from the greenery in the form of zinnias, daisies, coreopsis, cone flowers, and more. “The bees love them,” exclaims Griffon.

102 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM bunch. One of them became co-president and another held the office of vice president.


While a few pollinators buzz happily from flower to flower, the St. Fred bees seem to be the busiest. The beehive was a purchase made possible by a grant from the Junior League of Monroe. It’s a Flow Hive made by a company based out of Australia. This hybrid hive uses BPA- and BPS-free food-grade plastic frames with premade cells on which the bees build their combs and beekeepers can pour out the honey through a spigot and faucet without having to mess with the frames. No bees

The beehive was a purchase made possible by a grant from the Junior League of Monroe. It’s a Flow Hive made by a company based out of Australia. This hybrid hive uses BPA- and BPS-free food-grade plastic frames with premade cells on which the bees build their combs and beekeepers can pour out the honey through a spigot and faucet without having to mess with the frames.

There is a social aspect to the club which initially draws some students in. They get to work alongside their friends, listening to music while maintaining the garden.

The St. Frederick High School Garden Club is always happy to accept monetary or seed donations. Call (318)323-9636 for more information.

• Junior League of Monroe: Educational Mini-Grant (purchased bees and beekeeping equipment)

• Monroe Garden Club: Mini-Grant (purchased flower beds for native pollinators)

• University of Louisiana: EPA Environmental Education Grant (helped in investigating nutrient pollution and supporting native pollinators)

• St. Francis Medical Center: Community Grant (helped update science department classrooms and equipment)

Thanks go out to the following local organizations offering grants that help our community flourish:

WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | SEPTEMBER 2022 103 get squashed during this process, as built-in gaps allow the expert pollinators to hang out while the honey is extracted. This practical hive is perfect for a school setting. Not only does it minimize contact with the bees, but it cuts a lot of the preparatory work most traditional hives are known for, including gearing up, smoking the bees, and carefully removing honeycombs, which can hurt some bees. Though the hive is small, it comes with compartments starting with the bottom box “just for the bees,” a queen separator, and the top box which holds the three flow frames. Residing in the sky-blue apiary are Italian Hybrid bees, the most recommended for first-time beekeepers due to their gentle demeanor. The bees were an anonymous donation and were introduced to their new home thanks to the parent of one of Griffon’s students who keeps hives on her property. By October, honey will be harvested and bottled. “We’ve had a lot of support,” says Griffon, mentioning active parents, the Junior League of Monroe, the Monroe Garden Club, particularly by way of Jada Taylor, and the University of Louisiana, Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee, Dr. Kevin Baer, and Dr. Saswati Majumdar. She credits the success of the garden to the active level of community involvement. As a result, she has witnessed students’ sense of curiosity light up. Her own role in this multi-faceted project has provided her with the kind of “eclectic knowledge” that helps fan her creativity as an educator. There’s a very clear impact that teachers can have on students, and Griffon is doing for her students what she valued in her own teachers. After all, she says, “It’s always education for a higher purpose.”


In Enhancing Cancer Care Services

The Cancer Center building is located only a block away from the main campus of St. Francis Medical Center and is easily accessible from Interstate 20. Construction should be complete by early October.

T. FRANCIS MEDICAL CENTER WILL INVEST nearly $4 million towards renovations of its Cancer Center building, located at 411 Calypso Street, to establish a comprehensive cancer care center for Northeast Louisiana. Three Monroe Medical Oncologists, Dr. Scott Barron, Dr. Coy Gammage and Dr. Barry Weinberger, have joined the St. Francis Medical Group and will provide medical oncology and hematology services through the St. Francis Oncology and Hematology Clinic. These three physicians offer nearly 80 years of combined experience in providing care for patients with cancer.


St. Francis to Invest S

St. Francis Medical Center is a not-for-profit 317-bed medical center in Monroe, Louisiana with more than 1,800 team members committed to caring for those we serve. With an acute-care hospital, freestanding outpatient center, 19 outpatient clinics and nearly 350 physician partners, St. Francis Medical Center provides comprehensive healthcare services for a variety of medical and surgical specialties. St. Francis offers Northeast Louisiana’s only Level III NICU, Level III OB, and Level II PICU services. St. Francis Medical Center leads the region in heart and vascular services, critical care, and complex and minimally invasive surgical procedures. The hospital offers a designated Level III Trauma Program, Accredited Chest Pain Center and Centers of Excellence in the areas of obstetrics, bariatric surgery, robotic surgery, minimally invasive gynecology, and breast health.

Renovations to the second floor of the Cancer Center building will provide space for the St. Francis Oncology and Hematology Clinic as well as the St. Francis Outpatient Infusion Center for chemotherapy treatments. The first floor of the Cancer Center building currently houses the Northeast Louisiana Cancer Institute (NLCI) which offers comprehensive radiation oncology services.

“St. Francis Medical Center was established by six Sisters over 109 years ago to care for the residents of Northeast Louisiana. Improving cancer care will continue their Mission of impacting our community for the betterment of all,” said Gullatt. This latest investment in cancer services signals an ongoing commitment of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System to provide outstanding and compassionate care to patients using leading-edge cancer treatment.

“Bringing these services and oncology physicians together in one convenient location will greatly enhance the care experience of patients fighting cancer,” said St. Francis Medical Center President Dr. Thomas Gullatt. “Being able to stay close to home and receive high-quality cancer care that is coordinated and accessible can help reduce the worry and stress associated with a cancer diagnosis.”

Join Haven September 8th to celebrate 25 years in Monroe!


Join Haven to celebrate their grand re-opening of their space at 1127 Forsythe on Thursday, September 8th from 4-7. Shoppers will enjoy refreshments and live music, while getting a first look at the beautiful new shop and merchandise. There are so many fun things to see! Be sure to also register for their door prizes. Haven is giving away some amazing store merchandise, including several gift certificates towards a special-order rug or set of bedding. This is an event you won’t want to miss!

OWNER SANDY MCMILLAN IS EXCITED TO BE celebrating 25 years of business in Monroe. To mark the occasion, she is thrilled to introduce a new venture by broadening Haven’s offerings. With an additional 1500 square feet, Haven will have a new space that is design oriented, offering shoppers access to so many wonderful additions for their home. This new space will increase Haven’s in-stock bedding and custom throw pillows; lamps and lighting; in stock and special-order furniture; and a large selection of rug samples to check out and view in your home. One of the most exciting areas will be the curated collection of beautiful design accessories for your bookcase or coffee table. Color is what fall 2022 is all about and Haven has it! As an experienced and licensed Interior Designer, Sandy has used her talents to select an incredible curated collection of interesting design accessories, trays, and boxes. Stunning new design books are in stock and can be a decorative add or a great read. Be sure to also see the newest abstract paintings by Jennifer Poe. This artist always showcases great color combinations. Art is always a great way to introduce color into a space. This expansion project that has been in the works with a year of detailed planning. Haven will also have a space to look through wallpaper books and discuss bedding with a dedicated in-store consultant, Camryn Huval. Haven is excited to have Camryn to join their design team. Camryn will be available to assist walk in customers with a variety of design needs. Their current and new space have been updated to provide a more beautiful shopping experience and fresh modern feel. New merchandise has been introduced throughout the shop in every area.


Barefoot Dreams and pajamas have been restocked, as well as Lafco’s amazing Absolute Collection of candles in hand-blown vessels. The bar section at Haven always has a nice selection and Riedel wine glasses have been added to the mix. Nest fall candles in Pumpkin Chai and Autumn Plum are in, as well as everyone’s favorite velvet pumpkins. The color assortment is stunning this year! Come by and select a few for your home because they won’t last long!

25 AnniversaryYear Event is Doubling its Retail Space

Tuesday, September 20th, from 10:00 a.m.– 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 21st, from 10:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m., Thursday, September 22nd, from 12:00 p.m.– 6:00 p.m., Friday, September 23rd, from 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m., and Saturday, September 24th, 9:00 a.m.- 12:00p.m. Shopping days Thursday - Saturday, everything marked in RED will be ½ price. There is no charge to shop during the public sale! Don’t want to wait? An Early Bird Presale is available for eager patrons from 10:00 a.m.- 3:00p.m. on Monday, September 20th for $10. Are you a new mom or mom-to-be? Or a grandparent? Simply register online at www.monroemunchkinmarket. com and you can shop at 4 p.m. on Monday, September 19th. Ever wanted to consign? There are so many perks to consigning with Munchkin Market… now is your chance! With 400+ consignors, our consignors make on average $300-$350. Also, you will make more at Munchkin Market than selling at the local Children’s resale store! And last but not least, if you consign and volunteer, you get to shop FIRST! What are you waiting for? Sign up to consign NOW at www.’twanttomissout on this event. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram to get in on their awesome contests and experience the Monroe Munchkin Market, you will keep it on your calendar for years to come. For more information about the sale visit, Follow Monroe Munchkin Market on Facebook and Instagram or send an email to


“We are moms and know the expense of trying to keep your children clothed. At Munchkin Market, You can buy your child’s whole season wardrobe…one-stop-shop! We help a huge number of families in our community clothe their kids for less and also donate after the sale to help out even more families!,” says India.

Local Consignment

The sale is open to the public


The Monroe Munchkin Market Fall 2022 Event is just around the corner! From September 20th through the 24th, the Fall/Winter event will once again be held at Pine Grove Church Gym, located at 4300 Loop Road in Monroe. There will be new and gently used children’s clothing (girl’s: newborn to junior; boys: newborn to 18), toys, books, baby equipment, furniture and gear, shoes and much more.Monroe Munchkin Market is a small business started by longtime friends and moms, India Gregg and Amie Smith, both of Monroe.

Munchkin Market Offers Options For Local Moms Returns for the 2022 Event

Nail Fungus: A Never Ending Story? The First FDA Cleared Laser for Nail Fungus BY JUDY WAGONER

Safe and effective, this in-office treatment is pain free, has no harmful side effects, and typically takes only 30-minutes to an hour to complete. There is also no downtime. One treatment kills the fungus for most people. However, there is a chance of reinfection because the fungus is present everywhere in the environment. We will recommend care techniques to help reduce a recurrence.

WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | SEPTEMBER 2022 107 S TOP SUFFERING THE PAIN AND embarrassment of unsightly nail fungus. PinPointe™ FootLaser® is the easy and convenient procedure that helps turn your discolored and disfigured nails into clearer, healthier looking nails. Nail fungus is a chronic condition that impacts your quality of life and can even lead to serious health problems for patients with diabetes or immune disorders. It can be caused by poor health, nail trauma, a warm, moist climate, exposure to infected nails, increasing age, and tight shoes. It’s difficult to treat because the infection is under and inside the nail, which makes it hard for products to penetrate and destroy the infection. Prescription drugs and ointments were once the most common treatments for nail fungus, but today the PinPointe Foot Laser, the first machine to receive FDA clearance, is considered, by many doctors, to be the gold standard of toenail fungus treatment. The laser penetrates through the nail without damaging the nail or the tissue around it. In North America, fungal infection is responsible for 50% of all nail disease. An estimated 3 to 4 million people are diagnosed every year, not to mention those who aren’t diagnosed. Nail fungus is the most common cause of yellow, thick and deformed toenails. The nails can become rough and brittle, and often tend to separate from the nail bed. This highly contagious fungus is usually the same fungus that causes athletes foot. It tends to be a progressive infection that damages the nail. It usually starts at the tip of the nail and progresses gradually to the nail bed. It can affect a single toenail or several nails on one foot or both feet. The fungus thrives in moist, dark environments; therefore, it’s more likely to affect toenails rather than fingernails since shoes can cause sweaty feet.

Professional Laser Center has treated and cured thousands of patients over the last 10 years. We offer the easiest, most efficient solution to get clear, fungus-free nails. For example, medications need to be applied for over one year and cures less than 10% of the patients. Compare that to a one hour treatment with our laser, with a success rate of about 85%, and you can see it’s the easiest, most efficient solution to nail fungus. Unfortunately, the procedure is considered aesthetic and, therefore, not covered by health insurance. However, your HSA, Medical IRA, or Health Spending Account may cover the treatment. Cost of the procedure is determined by the number of nails being treated. For more information about the PinPointe Foot Laser, or to schedule an appointment, call 318-361-9066.

Carlstedt’s is located in the heart of midtown Monroe, just off Tower Drive, and is an importer and wholesaler of fresh cut flowers. However, Carlstedt’s sells directly to more than 20,000 customers and reaches even more with their partnerships with retail outlets like Amazon, Walmart and Wholefoods.

Carlstedt’s Offers A Variety of Options

ARLSTEDT’S IS GEARING UP FOR the holiday season and what better way to decorate than with fresh flowers and greenery! To accentuate your Thanksgiving tablescape, you can choose from a variety of seasonal flowers like warm yellow sunflowers, rich red rover mums and orange lillies, just to name a few. Crotons are a great accent to put on the front porch as well. They are a colorful perennial evergreen shrub with thick, leathery leaves that come in a variety of full colors. This month is also the time to order your Christmas plants, flowers, wreaths and greenery. Carlstedt’s offers wholesale prices and if you order in bulk, you can an even greater price break. Nothing says Christmas quite like a poinsettia and Carlstedt’s offers them in classic red, as well as white and pink. They offer a variety of sizes - 4.5 inch, 6.5 inch, 8 inch and 10 inch. Another favorite during the holiday season are Paper Whites, a perennial bulbous plant that flowers at Christmas. The white flowers are borne in bunches and Carlstedt’s has the 6-inch variety. The potted Amaryllis is available in a variety of colors and is a great way to add dramatic color to your home during the holidays. Plus, they make great gifts for hostesses, co-workers, friends and more. Another potted plant available is the Christmas cactus, or the scientific name - Schlumbergera bridgessii. This is a very popular houseplant and when they bloom, they produce colorful, tubular flowers. Not only are they beautiful, but the Christmas cactus has a long bloom time and doesn’t require much when it comes to care and maintenance. Carlstedt’s offers the Christmas cactus plants in 4.5 and 6.5 inches, as well as a 10 inch basket. In addition to the plants, you can also order greenery and wreaths from Carlstedt’s as well. They offer a variety of garland in a variety of sizes including mixed evergreens, cedar, douglas fir and pine. They have wreaths from 16 inches wide to 60 inches wide. You can also order a variety of crosses, that many people use this time of year to display at the gravesite of a loved one. You must place your order for Christmas plants, wreaths, garland and novelty items by November 10th. While they will have some available throughout the season, quantities are subject to availability.


“People don’t realize it, but we sell flowers to everyone!,” owner Alice Givens explains.

“If you want a beautiful work of art, then go to one of the thousands of flower shops we supply. But you can also walk right into one of our flower coolers, pick what you would like, go home and experiment and create something on your own!”

Decorate for the Holidays

What is Lumecca? Lumecca (IPL) is a powerful light treatment which targets skin imperfections such as age spots and visible veins, to help create a more even, clear skin surface - whether it’s on the face or elsewhere on the body. Unlike other IPL treatments, Lumecca boasts higher efficiency treatments and optimized light output, meaning Lumecca provides better results in fewer treatment sessions compared to other competing IPL machines. And, Lumecca’s “sapphire cooling tip” provides a higher standard of comfort for patients during their treatment sessions. Lumecca IPL treatments improve the appearance of your skin in 1-3 treatments, with 4 to 6 weeks between sessions. Natalie recommends pretreating the skin with ZO Skin Health Hydroquinone – from our medical grade skin care line - for 6 to 12 weeks prior to IPL treatments to optimize results. Lumecca is safe for all skin types, but a consultation visit with Natalie is required prior to scheduling IPL treatments.

For More Youthful Skin BY EMILY ROBERSON, RN, BSN

What to Expect You will want to be sure to avoid unprotected sun exposure or tanning one month prior to treatment. During your treatment at Mickel Plastic Surgery, there will be a bright flash of light from the Lumecca device that feels like a light rubber band snap. Redness and a slight warming of the skin are normal after treatment and usually subside within an hour. Over the next 24-48 hours you may see a darkening of pigmented areas of the skin; in the week afterwards, the pigmentation will crust and flake off, leading to a more beautiful, clear, even skin tone.

As early as the first session you will notice a significant change in the appearance and clarity of your skin. Multiple sessions provide even better results. Improvement in sun damage and complexion can be seen a few days after the first session and the treated area will continue to look younger and more brilliant over time with the most visible results after 1-2 weeks. Schedule a consultation with our experienced licensed medical aesthetician, Natalie Todd.

LumeccaPulsed Light


ICKEL PLASTIC SURGERY OFFERS NOT ONLY COSMETIC surgical procedures but also medical grade skincare services that are simple and cost-effective methods of providing a more youthfulNatalieappearance.Todd,a licensed Medical Aesthetician, has been working with Dr. Mickel for over 25 years, and her experience shows. During the winter season, Natalie’s services are often focused on improving hyperpigmentation, sunspots, and melasma. Hyperpigmented skin can be an effect of sun exposure or hormonal changes, and Natalie has helped many clients improve their skin, resulting in a more youthful appearance. Her treatment of choice for women or men with hyperpigmentation is Lumecca intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments.


The DazeGood Supports Secondhand BY STARLA GATSON

110 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM A CCORDING TO THE 2021 resale report from popular online thrift store thredUP, the secondhand market is projected to double in the next five years, evolving into a 77 billion-dollar industry. What’s the cause of this secondhand merchandise boom? Why are so many shoppers choosing used goods instead of buying new ones? Local business owners Jackie Murphy and Hartley Waldrop weigh in. Even though they cannot speak for the millions of others who are passionate about the secondhand industry, they do provide three compelling reasons for why their downtown Monroe shop, The Good Daze, is centered around secondhand vintage goods:Vintage fashion is one of a kind. Most retail clothing stores have dozens of the same items hanging on a rack. However, rather than buying in bulk from wholesale clothing vendors, Murphy and Waldrop fill their store with vintage and secondhand clothing they selected. This means you won’t find two of the same articles of clothing in the shop. Plus, the likelihood of you showing up to your next event in the same outfit as someone else is significantly decreased. Shopping secondhand is good for the environment. Selling secondhand is a form of recycling clothing, and it saves the piece from ending up with the 85 percent of America’s discarded textiles that end up in a landfill every year. Fewer articles of clothing tossed in the garbage means fewer non-biodegradable synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon, and acrylic sitting in landfills for up to 200 years before they break down into smaller pieces. Those smaller pieces take a huge toll on the planet, releasing toxic chemicals, dyes, and harmful microfibers into the groundwater and soil. Vintage items are also a blast from the past! The funky secondhand items sold in The Good Daze are a fun way for buyers to appreciate previous fashion trends. Besides, fashion trends are cyclical, so if the 1970s-made quirky patterned shirt you bought from The Good Daze hasn’t made it back in style yet, chances are it will soon. And you’ll be ahead of theAsidecurve.from shining a light on the good of secondhand shopping, The Good Daze exists to create a space that gives off “good vibes and happiness,” hence the business’s name and bright blue exterior. The store also sells items made by local creatives — “the makers, doers, and shakers,” as Jackie calls them. In addition to a carefully curated collection of secondhand vintage clothing and shoes, you’ll find works by artists including Daniel Myers, Rae Tedeton, Katherine Bonner of The Magnolia Makery, and more on the shelves of the store. Whether shopping for yourself or a loved one, you’re bound to find something you love. The best way to see what The Good Daze has to offer and support the secondhand merchandise industry is to visit Jackie and Hartley at 401 Walnut Street in downtown Monroe Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can even shop online at You can also stay up-to-date on all things related to The Good Daze by following the store on Instagram and TikTok @thagooddaze, like their Facebook page “The Good Daze.”


Tech football is in full swing, and we are always happy to cheer our Bulldogs on to victory—join us on Friday, September 9th at 7 pm for our first pep rally of the year in Railroad Park. Here alumni and students alike will be joined by the Tech Band of Pride and Tech cheerleaders to get in the spirit for our first home game on Saturday, September 9th against Stephen F. Austin at 6 pm. Want to go to the game but don’t want the hassle of parking? We’ve got you covered with our free shuttle service from Downtown Ruston to the Joe! The shuttle runs two hours before kickoff and one-hour post game, so you can come and go as you please. This service is a fan favorite around here, and lets you get your shopping in before game-time—or if you prefer, you can grab a bite to eat after.

Fall in Love with Downtown Ruston

The Dixie Center for the Arts has a great lineup this year and you don’t want to miss Shelley King in September. Bringing artists Downtown makes the Dixie a great part of our Cultural District. Live music, theater, and so much more—be sure and check the schedule online at District, we have more fun lined up with the Ruston Art Encounter on September 24th. This Saturday afternoon event will be host to mural artists who can be found all over Downtown Ruston. Be sure to stop by and try your hand at the demo wall and discover so much more about our Downtown. While you’re here, grab a bite of lunch and get a little shopping in, too. Last, but certainly, not least the Bulldog Auction will be happening on September 29th at 6:30 pm at the Davison Athletics Complex. This fundraiser for The Ruston Cultural District board has been long awaited by many people who have an eye on the bulldogs around town. Seven of the eleven will be up for grabs in a live auction-style event. Proceeds from this event will go back to the Ruston Cultural District 501(c)3 for more exciting events in our Ruston Cultural District. For more information and tickets for this event can be found at


We want to invite you to all the fun we have planned. This month you can see a show at the Dixie Center for the Arts, cheer for the bulldogs at a Downtown Ruston Pep Rally, learn about murals and meet artists, and make a bid on one of the Cultural District of Ruston’s Big Dogs for your business.

Join Downtown Ruston for Their Upcoming Fall Events

From fall florals to Western-inspired looks, these outfits are perfect for days in the city. Bold patterns and haute hues take center stage this season. Find these great looks and more at area boutiques.



Special thanks to the Remington Suite Hotel & Spa, Models are Natasha Regard and Allison Levesque, Hair and Makeup by Meka Bennett


A chic take on the classic button-up blouse, this top in a floral chiffon features double chest pockets with ruffle detail and a ruffled short-sleeve. Wear this style tied at the waist with the coordinating skirt. Accessorize with these snake-embossed sandals contrasted with a woodgrain block heel.

This great blackand-white dress is perfect for weather.transitionalPairitwiththesewhitebootieswithpulltabs.

THE GOOD DAZE (this page) Known for upcycling clothes, this cute outfit features a gray denim skirt with frayed hem, paisley top and a Guess jeans cropped black jacket. Pair it with brown leather boots, a bandana with leather toggle and shapedhorseshoe-earrings.

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VENCE & CO. This sleevepairedjumpercorduroymustard-coloredknee-lengthisperfectlywithalong-browntee.Pair it with this chic wool hat with structured brim.

HERRINGSTONES Featuring a smocked bust, three quarter length sleeve with a ruffle cuff and square neckline, this dress is absolutely a must-have this fall. We love the extra ruffle along the skirt… it’s all about the details. Accessorize with cowboyinspired boots featuring synthetic leather uppers with lightning bolt stitching.

MAGNOLIAS & LACE This jewel-toned purple top features beautiful smocked detailing on the cuff and waist. Pair it with classic high-rise black jeans and these ivorycolored weaved sandals.

PALETTE HOUSE AND PLUME With ruffled shoulder detail and flattering tiered bottom, this is a Victorianinspired silhouette. Stonewashed to perfection, it will only get better each time you wash. It comes in a vintage-inspired stripe. Accessorize with a Chan Luu turquoise and gold necklace and gold hoops.


This beautiful floral dress features a high neckline, ruffle hem, belted waist and eyelet detailing. Pair it with these stunning boots featuring feathered fringe. This high-heeled boot has a corset lace design in the back and side zipper. Accessorize with gold earrings and a wide stiff brim felt hat.






On August 4th, the new St. Christopher Day School held it’s second town hall event at Tower Place in Monroe. Headmaster Faith Gremillion shared plans with community members about a whole new educational experience as well as introduction of teachers to those in attendance. A whole community has gathered to carry on the legacy of what once was Grace Episcopal and now the new St Christopher Day School. St. Christopher Day School will offer a new type of curriculum. This curriculum will help develop all children through different programs including STEM and Robotics. For more information on K-3rd grade classes, call 318.977.9301 or

31 4 5 6 2

St. Christopher Day School Town Hall


On the BayouScene 1 Julie Boggs, Linda and Joe Holyfield, and Lisa Holyfield Ginny Montgomery and Kirstie Ford Hester Burnside and Mindy Le Blanc Katie Hodge, Lisa Holyfield and Zhanna Cannon Emily Ackerman, Rebekah Norman, Jessica Simoneaux and DeDe Richard 6 Faith Gremillion and Katrina Branson


and Baker Family 5 Charles &


4 Mike Russell, Mike


clients in every


a “hands on” approach to financial guidance through Money Concepts. 21 3 4 5

1 Dr.

Guests enjoyed food and refreshments while listening

On the BayouScene and Mrs. Clyde and Brian Allred Cason, and Cameron Oglesby Tyson, Janet Colvin Tammy Poole, Waldroup and Charles Poole



The Oglesby Financial Group held their annual half time event at the Bayou Pointe event center. to Darren W. Oglesby. Financial was founded with the goal of assisting their aspect of their Their staff consists of experienced professionals have

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financial lives.

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“Analysis of the 12 April 2020 Northern Louisiana Tornadic QLCS,” was co-authored by Associate Professor and Atmospheric Science Program Coordinator Todd A. Murphy, Assistant Professor of Geosciences, Tyler Fricker, and university students Tessa Stetzer and Lauren Walker, along with National Weather Service meteorologists Brad Bryant and Charles Woodrum.

RECENT PAPER PUBLISHED IN THE National Weather Association’s “Journal of Operational Meteorology” by the University of Louisiana Monroe analyzed the impact of tornados that formed on April 12, 2020, in Monroe. This event produced two EF-3 tornadoes that destroyed 23 homes and damaged 458 homes. The used casualty model suggests a $39 million in economic savings from the expected versus actual casualty losses. The research results found 0 casualties, including injuries and fatalities, directly attributed to the tornado. This scenario could expect at least 19 casualties, suggesting that improved low-level coverage provided by the ULM polarimetric Doppler weather radar greatly assisted the National Weather Service warning operations in issuing a better tornado warning lead time.

Some analyses were based on UAS flights of the tornado track provided by Paul Karlowitz and Stephanie Robinson from the ULM UAS program. The full publication can be accessed via

The paper examines the event by looking at the evolution of the pre-tornadic environment and the tornadic circulation, estimating tornado intensity using a variety of traditional and new methods, and finally applying a casualty model to the storm survey data.


“This paper shows for the first time the type of economic impact the ULM radar has for our region. The ULM data-sharing partnerships with surrounding NWS offices have led to numerous positive outcomes since the radar became operational and is a model that could be used in other radar gaps across the country,” Murphy said.



Prevention of Natural Disaster Loss

HE ULM COLLEGE OF PHARMACY ALWAYS LOOKS forward to welcoming back its graduates for ULM’s Homecoming. In addition to the fun events ULM has lined up, the College of Pharmacy always throws in some extras just for our “Pharmily!”



Thursday, October 6, 2022, 6:00 pm

ULM College of Pharmacy, 1800 Bienville Dr., Monroe, LA Pharmacy representatives, both locally and from across the nation, have the chance to meet our pharmacy students. It is a great networking opportunity for companies and students. Any pharmacy-related companies interested in having a table at the event can email maclin@ for more information. There is no cost for a table and interview space will be provided if your company would like to interview some of our future pharmacists.

Friday, October 7, 2022 7:30 am – 3:00 pm: ULM College of Pharmacy Career Fair

Saturday, October 8, 2022 10:00 am: Good Morning Gala Homecoming Brunch Bayou Pointe Event Center Hosted by ULM Alumni Association. For more information call 318-342-5420.

College of Pharmacy T

8:00 am – 5:00 pm: ULM College of Pharmacy Preceptor Conference

ULM College of Pharmacy, 1800 Bienville Dr., Monroe, LA Preceptors for ULM’s College of Pharmacy are invited to attend our Preceptor Conference and earn CE credit at no cost. This year the conference will be held face-to-face, so sign up to reserve your spot.

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: ULM College of Pharmacy Milestone Class Reunion Happy Hour, Location TBD ULM/NLU College of Pharmacy Classes of 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002 and 2012 are invited to a special celebration honoring their milestone reunion years.

ULM Downtown Pep Rally/Monroe Downtown Art Crawl Washington Plaza The Warhawks take over downtown Monroe, in conjunction with the Downtown Art Crawl. Everyone is invited to come out and join in the pep rally while experiencing Monroe’s local art scene.

4:00 pm -7:00 pm: Pharmacy Homecoming Super Tailgate ULM Baseball Field 7:00 pm: ULM vs. Coastal Carolina Malone Stadium Welcomes Back Graduates for Homecoming 2022

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm: ULM College of Pharmacy Alumni Party ULM College of Pharmacy, 1800 Bienville Dr., Monroe, LA Hey ULM Pharmily! ULM/NLU College of Pharmacy alumni, staff, and faculty join us as we dance to the sounds of DJ Kyle, enjoy food, drinks and giveaways, as a kickoff to the weekend.

article by VANELIS RIVERA photography by KELLY MOORE CLARK

Owners Robyn Walker and Kelli Angell worked as servers at the original Jo’El’s before purhcasing the restaurnat from the owner. Naturally, they hit it off, becoming sister-friends who would begin dreaming of owning a restaurant together. In 2015, the opportunity arose and now their recent move to a new location is offering a space and menu that runs on love, peace, and burger grease.

The original owner of Jo-Els named the cafe after her father, but by 2015 she was ready to retire and Kelli decided it was an opportunity she could not pass up.

Robyn nods in agreement, then interjects, “A customer named it.” & BURGER GREASE

And while their customer-base has been eagerly waiting to devour their favorite menu items, this re-opening also ushers in a few brand new items the sister-friend team can’t wait to serve their clientele.


Another frequenter favorite that also happens to be Robyn’s go-to is the “Chicken Bacon Ranch” flatbread. This simple combination of chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, and ranch is elevated by the flattened dough it rests between.


During a Black Friday shopping run, Kelli revealed her plans to Robyn, asking her to stick with her. Robyn agreed, at that point only acting as a supporting hand. Unfortunately, by 2019 Kelli had to close shop, but never gave up on wanting to resuscitate the endeavor as soon as possible. “We were separated every day,” says Robyn, who decided to move down the street from her bestie in order to still be together on a daily basis, which included having joint dinners every night. For a while, the pair looked at various locations in West Monroe, the original stomping ground of the original Jo-Els. Surprisingly, their match was across the river among the nostalgically attractive homes of the Garden District. Jo-Els in Monroe officially opened its doors on July 12th of this year. And while their customer-base has been eagerly waiting to devour their favorite menu items, this re-opening also ushers in a few brand new items the sister-friend team can’t wait to serve their clientele.

“Debbie did plate lunches,” says Kelli, describing the popular item from the original menu. But for the most part, they began expanding their selections. A crowd favorite is their delightfully titled poboy, the “11 Napkin Roast Beef Poboy.” The title as well as the menu warns that it’s a “yummy mess.” The debris style roast beef is roasted for 12 hours, then placed on toasted Gambino French bread, topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayo, then served with a side of gravy and your choice of chips, fries, or tots. “It’s a mess,” says Kelli with a smile, adding, “it just falls apart…you just gotta eat it with a fork and 11 napkins.”


Jo-Els in Monroe officially opened its doors on July 12th of this year.

Robyn Walker and Kelli Angell get wrongfully identified as sisters all the time, especially when they are working alongside each other at their restaurant, Jo-Els. Though the two women share subtle resemblances–warm glinting eyes, distinguished cheek bones, and wide-set smiles–their synchronicitous dynamic has been years in the making. Before they purchased the restaurant from the original owner, the two worked as servers there and shared a common passion for riding motorcycles. Naturally, they hit it off, becoming sister-friends who would begin dreaming of owning a restaurant together. In 2015, the opportunity arose and now their recent move to a new location is offering a space and menu that runs on love, peace, and burger grease.

“No one else has the flatbreads that we have. That’s the very thing that we try to impress. We use them different than anybody would use them,” says Robyn. Currently, the eatery offers four flatbreads, and the combination gunning for tying with first place is the “Steak and Cheddar” (shredded ribeye steak, onions, bell pepper, cheddar cheese and BBQ ranch). Robyn comments, “They’re trying to fight over who’s the number one because we have sold so many steak contenders.”Forthemost part, Kelli is the head cook of Jo-Els, but she was not always the one behind the kitchen counter. Originally, she was a server, but this changed on a packed lunch day. With customer patience thinning, she became so frustrated with the speed of the kitchen line, that she stepped into the kitchen to help the cook dress burgers. Noting her determination, the owner turned to her and said, “If you think you can do it faster than him, why don’t you do it?” She took the challenge, for the first time ever stepping in front of a grill and expediting


Now that Jo-El’s has a larger location with a bar area, they have added a brunch menu now available on Saturdays and Sundays, which includes bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys.

130 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM favorites. “I’ve hired some great people over the years that have taught me as much as I’ve taught them,” Kelli says. “I don’t even do the cooking at home,” she laughs, giving that credit to her husband. Robyn claims more at-home cooking savvy, explaining that she assists Kelli when she can, but back in the day it was not as efficient to do so, as the original Jo-El’s kitchen was a very small work space. “So having two butts back there didn’t really work,” humors Robyn. But the two got accustomed to switching from front of house to cooking, Robyn admitting she learned the menu by watching Kelli in the kitchen. “You wanna do it, you’ll figure it out,” asserts Robyn.One menu item Kelli is most particular about is probably what the cafe is most known for–the burgers! “I hand-pat every single burger every single day,” says Kelli, informing that the seemingly simple task is actually quite complex. Even the temperature of your hands can change the texture of an uncooked patty. “I don’t allow anybody but Robyn to touch them,” she says. Robyn chiming in, “I can touch them now. Took a lot of years, but I got there.” The eight burgers on the menu are sure to satisfy a variety of palates, though Kelli is partial to “The Complete Meltdown,” as she loves patty melts and almost had a meltdown trying to name the burger with melted pepper jack cheese, sautéed onion, and mayo on Texas toast. On the larger side, their “The Big Chief” (which can also be ordered with one patty) is sure to “cause the need for a nap.” It boasts two patties, opened faced on a jalapeño cheddar bun, smothered in gravy, sautéed onions, and shredded cheese. Recently, the burger besties brought back Burger of the Week, which features some phenomenally constructed creations that any burger maniac wouldn’t want to miss. The “OG” burger on their menu is “The Whistle Stop,” which consists of a ⅓ lb patty on a jalapeño cheddar bun, topped with pepper jack cheese, thousand island dressing, lettuce, and a fried green tomato. If you love a little heat, you’d be crazy not to give Robyn’s favorite, “The El Loco,’’ a try. It’s a ⅓ lb patty placed on a jalapeño cheddar bun, topped with shredded queso cheese, jalapeño ranch, crunchy tortilla strips, and a jalapeño popper! The ideas for burger week come from customer requests as much as Kelli’s


meals, making sure to convey that no requisite is needed: “It doesn’t matter if you’ve fallen on hard times or ran short of money, you don’t have transportation, you are disabled, elderly or just alone. We want you to have Thanksgiving!” Since 2015, they have made sure to offer free meals during this time out of their own pocket and from the money raised by the sticky buns sold during the month of October. They hope to keep this kindhearted tradition going with the help of the community. Another endeavor they are planning to include in their new location is a pay-it-forward program where customers will be able to pay for a meal for anyone who comes in that cannot afford it or is in dire need.

Jo-Els is located 305 Wood St, West Monroe, LA 71291 and is open Tuesday through Wednesday between 11 AM to 9 PM and Sunday between 11 AM to 3 PM. Follow them on Facebook to learn about more exciting food items and events soon to come.

“We love the community and the community loves us,” informs Robyn, speaking of their relationship with customers and employees. “Most of them really are our family, basically,” she says, referring to some of their children who run the registrar and bus tables. She adds, “And if they’re not, if we pick them up along the way, they become family pretty quick.”

WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | SEPTEMBER 2022 131 imagination. She starts by considering a favorite ingredient, which often ends up being a sauce, and then begins to work around that ingredient. The crazier and weirder, the better. Of late, Kelli has been partial to “The Brewski Pub,” made with a beer cheese that Robyn has to stir fervently to get right, it sits on a pretzel bun and is delightfully tangy. In spite of the complexity of these burgers, Robyn admits that coming up with the names is the hardest part. Now that they have a larger location with a bar area, they have added a brunch menu now available on Saturdays and Sundays. It will feature “Chicken and Waffles’’ and creamy “Shrimp ‘n Cheesy Gouda Grits.” While Kelli takes care of the grits, Robyn presides over the étouffée sauce. The best part–they get to work side-by-side now that they have a stove big enough for multiple pots and pans (and butts). Of course, brunch wouldn’t be complete without bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys. Eventually, the pair hope to bring back an item they used to only serve once a year–homemade cinnamon rolls. “We make some of the best cinnamon rolls,” says Kelli. During October 2020, the sister-friends took over a friend’s bakery in order to make as many cinnamon rolls as they could in order to answer a significant call–to feed the hungry during Thanksgiving. On the Jo-Els Facebook page they announce their free

Hooshang’s ‘Black Thunder’ Added to Museum Collection Hooshang Khorasani / Hooshang Studio


NE OF RUSTON artist Hooshang Khorasani’s equine paintings has been added to the permanent collection of the International Museum of the Horse in Lexington, Kentucky – the largest and most comprehensive museum in the world dedicated to exploring the history of horses and their impact on human civilization. Chosen for the collection was “Black Thunder,” a 36-by-36inch acrylic-on-canvas painting. Hooshang’s running horses are among his most popular works. With over 64,000 square feet, IMH features permanent museum exhibitions that highlight the history of the horse from ancient to modern times and its influences on war, agriculture, transportation and sport. Also included are exhibits that explain how humans domesticated horses. Its contemporary art exhibitions focus on the talents of equine artists around the globe and give exposure to a worldwide audience.IMHopened in 1978 in conjunction with the opening of the Kentucky Horse Park. Visitors can learn more about the breeds and events seen throughout the park, plus the countries and cultures that the park’s equine residents originated from. The International Museum of the Horse (entrance shown on right) is adding Hooshang Khorasani’s “Black Thunder” to the museum’s permanent collection.

4. Leafy greens. Dark leafy greens are a great source of nutrients for the brain. These greens include kale, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, arugula, and many more. All of these options are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can improve brain function and protect from damage. We plan to grow plenty of leafy greens fresh in our on-site greenhouse at the Gardens of Somerset with the help of our partner, P. Allen Smith!


5. Dark Chocolate. It’s true, dark chocolate is important for promoting brain health! Chef Randy incorporates this superfood into many healthy, yet delicious desserts here at the Gardens of Somerset. This delicious snack is packed full of flavonoids, antioxidants, and important minerals, such as magnesium. Who knew that something so tasty can potentially protect cognitive function and lower the risk of dementia?Incorporating these foods into your diet is just one of the many ways to keep your mind sharp. Eating healthy is something that we take very seriously at the Gardens of Somerset, but we also encourage our residents to live a healthy and active lifestyle through gardening, cooking, and all of the things we enjoy the most. We hope that you’ll join us in our commitment to eating healthy and living well!

3. Eggs. At the Gardens of Somerset, we are committed to providing our residents with a 100% farm-to-table experience! All of our eggs are locally sourced from Double BB Farms. They are a great source of protein, vitamin D, and vitamin B12, which can help prevent brain shrinkage. The yolk is extremely important, as it is very high in choline, a vital nutrient for brain health. It can help improve memory and cognitive function.

5 Foods to Boost Brain Health and Memory

1. Salmon. Chef Randy’s garlic butter baked salmon dish is not only delicious, but it’s also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are also proven to help reduce inflammation, protect the brain from age-related damage, and provide the body with a healthy amount of vitamin B12. Including salmon in your diet is a great way to boost brain health!

2. Nuts. Nuts are a great source of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin E, all important nutrients for the brain that allow more clear and positive thinking. Vitamin E, in particular, is associated with improved cognitive function, so it is a crucial component to regulating brain function and protecting the brain from age-related damage. Walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts are especially beneficial for brain health.

EEPING YOUR BRAIN HEALTHY AND WELLfunctioning is essential to overall health and vitality. After all, the brain is responsible for governing the body’s systems, from motor function to mood. As our partner P. Allen Smith knows, our diet influences so many aspects of our overall health, and one of the best ways to keep your brain healthy is by eating ‘brain-boosting’ foods. It’s critically important that we include these foods in our diets to keep our minds sharp as we age.

A Farm-to-Table Philosophy with Gardens of Somerset

Dr. Zach Scogin

134 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM THE ORAL SURGERY ASSOCIATES, CENTER FOR Advanced Dental Implants, would like to welcome Dr. Zach Scogin home to Monroe. Dr. Scogin has joined our practice as an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. He is excited to serve his home town with highly trained surgical skills, extensive knowledge base and compassion. He joins Drs. Fowlkes, Geist, and Gregory as an expert in the face, mouth and jaws. Dr. Zach Scogin grew up in Monroe, Louisiana, son of Ricky and Julie Scogin, with older brother, Jonathan Scogin. He attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge for undergraduate studies earning a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences in 2012. He continued his studies at Louisiana State University School of Dentistry where he was president of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery interest group and was awarded the dental student Oral Surgery Award from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He was also inducted into the C. Edmund Kells and OKU Dental Honor Societies. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 2016. After dental school, Dr. Scogin continued his training at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, and completed a 6 year oral and maxillofacial surgery residency in 2022. During his training he received a Doctor of Medicine degree in 2019.

Oral Surgery Associates

Dr. Scogin spent his time in New Orleans volunteering at the Ozanam homeless shelter providing care to underprivileged patients while educating dental students. He is a member of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Dental Association, Louisiana Dental Association. He was published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with “Assessment of bone width for implants in the posterior mandible,” in 2014, and “Capnography detection using nasal cannula is superior to modified nasal hood in an open airway system: a randomized controlled trial,” in 2019. Dr. Scogin provides IV sedation, wisdom tooth removal, dental implants, dentoalveolar surgery, facial trauma surgery, TMJ surgery, treatment of oral and facial pathology, reconstructive surgery, and cosmetic surgery.

Dr. Scogin is married to Ashley, and they have two sons, Eli and Lukas. Dr. Scogin enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, hunting, and being outdoors. To schedule a consultation with one of our highly trained surgeons at Oral Surgery Associates, Center for Advanced Dental Implants, call 318-388-2621.

Welcomes New Surgeon

Dysphagia Treatment Can Help BY BRIAN T. LEVATINO, M.D.

There are many different reasons that this swallowing interruption can occur. One test that we use to diagnose the issue is Esophageal Manometry, which measures the strength and rhythmic coordination of esophageal muscles as they move food from your mouth to your stomach. It also evaluates the sphincters at the top and bottom of the esophagus, known as the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) and lower esophageal sphincterWith(LES).normal swallowing, the UES opens only when a person is swallowing food and otherwise remains closed. Peristaltic contractions then move the food down the esophagus. At the bottom of the esophagus, the LES opens to allow food to empty into the stomach. Once the food has passed, it remains closed to prevent stomach contents from going back up into the esophagus. Esophageal Manometry works to uncover any breakdown in the swallowing process to help your gastroenterologist determine the appropriate therapy. If you are struggling with swallowing issues, talk to your doctor or make an appointment to see a gastroenterology specialist at the Gastroenterology Clinic in Monroe, West Monroe, Ruston, or Bastrop.

Feeling Stuck With Swallowing Difficulties?

WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | SEPTEMBER 2022 135 AT THE GASTROENTEROLOGY CLINIC, A COMMON issue for which many of our patients seek help is swallowing difficulties, also known as dysphagia. Swallowing trouble can be encountered while eating solid foods, drinking liquids, or taking oral medications. Patients often have the sensation of food taking longer to reach the stomach or food getting stuck in the neck or chest, causing discomfort.Onecause of dysphagia is a mechanical abnormality in the esophagus that obstructs the flow of food. Rings or thin bands of tissue that create narrowed areas in the esophagus can form over time. Strictures or scar tissue from chronic reflux disease is another common dysphagia cause. Gastroenterologists use an upper endoscopy, also known as Esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD for short, to properly diagnose the condition. It involves a thin camera inserted into the esophagus to visualize, dilate, and treat the narrowed areas. The EGD is a quick outpatient procedure that is performed with mild sedation. Some patients experience relief from their swallowing difficulty immediately following the procedure. Another cause of dysphagia can have more of a neuromuscular component interrupting the swallowing function. Your esophagus contracts and pushes food into your stomach when you swallow. Circular muscular sphincters inside the esophagus then open to let food and liquid through. After swallowing, the muscles close to prevent food, liquid, and stomach acid from coming back up. For some patients, these coordinated efforts are disrupted by weakened esophageal muscles or the failure of the sphincter muscles to relax appropriately.

A Grateful Heart Create a Happy Life, No Matter the Circumstances by Cindy G. Foust





I mean, I’ve been bringing these monthly tomes (I love using big words that I have to look up while I write the column) for nearly 10 years (I figure I need to start working on Cassie now if I want a really good 10 year anniversary gift since she has essentially ignored my anniversary requests for the last who knows how many years) and I can tell you I am the first one who is quick to share my life. Sometimes, much to the chagrin of my family, there’s too much sharing. But I can’t help it, readers, I am an open book and I have such an exciting and titillating life that I want to share it with the world. Except I really don’t, I am really quite boring but I am a pretty good storyteller because I can sometimes google big words to make my story really good. And this month’s story?No big words or funny tales because this month’s story has got this writer in a blue kind of way. You see, I’ve got a good friend who in fact is struggling with her health, like really struggling, and my heart is conflicted about what to pray for. First and foremost, I hate cancer. There, I said it. I do. I hate it so much and just about the time I make peace for how it’s affected my life, then BAM…it strikes again. I mean, let’s face it, we’ve probably all been affected by the C word (I don’t even want to give it the benefit of typing it out). Right? Primarily because it doesn’t discriminate and no one is immune to the possible havoc it can bring to someone’s life in a matter of seconds.Tobetter illustrate this, you simply have to visit a hospital like MD Anderson to know that there is no one certain thing that distinguishes

Wait. Not Tour de France, that’s a bicycle race, but the summer Olympics in track and field. Anyway, the point is I have fans. And they were cheering me on, and boy, do I need some cheering friends, to like really cheer me up.

Happy fall y’all (I wait all year for September to be able to say that little catchy fun phrase that really probably kind of makes fun of us southerners). But I digress. As usual. I hope this month’s column finds each of you happy and healthy and enjoying this crisp fall air that we are enjoying. That’s a total lie. It’s actually hot as blue blazes (whoever that is), humid and muggy. Will we ever see any cool fall air? I actually walked though campus this afternoon trying to trim up for my son’s upcoming nuptials (more on that a bit later) and nearly fainted at the crosswalk. Literally thought I was going to have to get a coworker to come pick me up, but alas, some of our students drove by hanging out their window cheering me on, like I was in the Tour de France for geriatrics, so I couldn’t let them down and even acted like I was jogging for a minute.

My heart is in a heavy place, readers, like many of us get sometimes, and I’m trying to fight my way out of it. It’s not me, no I am in a very good place medically speaking and feeling better than I have in years. Well, except for menopause. Wait. I think this is still a children/ family column so nobody out there probably really cares about my hot flashes and mood swings, right? Or the fact that I might have to get an apartment so my family will still be my family. I think I’ve said this in previous columns but nobody out there is listening and trying to help this poor writer out.

I know, readers, this has been a heavy column, but I won’t apologize. Instead I would remind you to take it on like our friend at MD Anderson… no matter what you might be struggling with, take it on with fervor and passion and gratitude. It’s been 10 long years since I started this column so if you’ve been with me a minute, you know I’m prone to talk about gratitude. But it’s real friends, and a grateful heart helps create a happy life, no matter what you might be facing. Get you an attitude of gratitude with ole’ Cindy Foust and savor the days, the gift of the life we are so privileged to live. 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.


a cancer patient from another. Nothing. And let me tell you, a visit to MD Anderson is a heavy visit. At any time. For any reason. I’ve been both the patient and the caregiver and either way it (rhymes with ducks). It does, readers and last month, I was all in my feelings, worried about routine tests that are put in place to just keep me safe and well, and I was literally having anxiety to the point my heart was racing out of my chest. And then it happened. That humbling, in your face kind of moment that takes your breath more than your heart racing out of its mind, that happens in flash, and if you miss it, if you are so wrapped up in your own selfpity that you miss it, then, well, it’s all on you. For me, it came when I am standing in front of MD with my husband waiting on our valet. As I said, I am near tears… worry is creeping in and has its grip on me. About that time, this young attractive guy comes flying out of the hospital, and he has one leg, he’s on crutches and has no hair. He “scoots” by me, gives me a megawatt smile, a big wink and makes his way to his car, like he’s on the red carpet for the Oscars. He then promptly “jumps” behind the wheel and takes off like it’s a motor speedway.Iwish I could insert a cricket emoji right here. Maybe you had to be there, but for me, I shifted. I shifted in a way that is palpable, that’s tangible. If my new friend can breeze by me with all the ease and confidence in the world, with one leg and no hair, then I, Cindy G. Foust, can DRY IT UP (I want to upper case those words so bad but the editor in me won’t let me, but Meagan changed it for me in the 25th hour), shut it up and get moving. I can get moving in a way that God has blessed me to be able to do. I can get in my own car and go to dinner with my husband of nearly 27 years (thank you Jesus he likes me enough to stick around during menopause central) or the grocery store (yes, we are total culinary nerds and visit grocery stores in every city we visit) or just go back to our room to watch a movie. I can get back to my beloved hometown, to my healthy children, to my family, my friends, and my job(s) that I love so much. I can because God, good doctors and medicine made that way for me… made that possible. And why doesn’t everyone get that way? I wish I had the answer to that readers, I wish I could understand or know the “why” to that question. I understand as well as anyone that life is truly a gift, a fleeting beautiful gift that touches each of us at different ages. My Sammy, my baby, who would have been 22 this week, only had two years. It wasn’t cancer, but the “why” is still the same. As I write this column, my dear childhood friend is facing the end of hers. I’ve watched her suffer so, in my heart can barely take it and I just don’t know what to pray for. Except I really do. I pray for peace and comfort for her transition. And for her family who love her so and will be here without her. Because that’s a really hard place to be. I’m still there, actually, after 20 years.

138 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM PursuitULM On the BayouScene 1 Dr. Christine Berry and Chris Dewitt 2 Traci and Robert Canterbury 3 Meghan and Brice Jones 4 Mike and Hannah Federico 5 Mayor Friday Ellis and Ashley Ellis 6 Laurie and Mick Traweek, and Joellyn Lewis 7 Angel Darden, Shelley Hamilton, Michael Gammon and Mady Katchen 8 Tim and Amanda Baldwin, and Rachel Pollock 9 Meredith McKinnie and William Smith 10 Molly Fichtner and Lea Wodach 11 Stewart and Donna Cathey 12 Don Gonnillini, Ashton and August Rocconi 13 Chris Williams, Alicia Rollins, Erik Burton and Alonzo Hampton 14 Clint and Holly Whittington 15 Charles Jackson and Dr. Gwenn Jackson 16 Mark Norton and Shawn McCoy 17 Janet and Bob Durden 18 Randy and Cherry Morris The Pursuit was held on Monday, August 4th at the Bayou Pointe Event Center. This event is the University’s premier kickoff event for the football season as well as the 2022-23 academic year and is sponsored by BancorpSouth | Cadence. Guests enjoyed listening to comments from ULM President Dr. Ron Berry and Athletic Director Scott McDonald as well as keynote speaker head football coach Terry Bowden. All proceeds from the event benefit the Warhawk Athletic Foundation. 1 2 3 12974 16 17 18 13 10 11 8 5 6 1514


140 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM Top Under2040 On the BayouScene 1 Morgan and Ashleigh Livingston 2 Shelby and Raegan Sims 3 Shelly Odom and Leslie Parker 4 Riley McEacharn, Amanda Demere, Krystine Poindexter and Melissa Shackelford 5 Kelsey Burr, Michael Cox and Mike Lawrence 6 Dr.Brice and Meghan Jones 7 Adrianne Lovelady, Lacie Russell, Tyler and Chelsea Higginbotham 8 Don and Susan Barksdale 9 Caleb and Erin Etheridge and Josh and Amber Etheridge 10 Jimmy and Sue Hopson and David and Suzette Doughty 11 Brittany Myers and Amber Marshall 12 Audrey Martin, Kelsea McCrary and Steven Keirsey and Ronnie McCrary 13 Kema Dawson-Robinson and Maggie Generoso 14 Jessica Tico 15 Klarence and Dorea Flintroy and Almaz Flintroy 16 James Miles, Ronshnea Baker and Rick Cook On Thursday, August 11th, the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Louisiana Young Professionals recognized 57 of Northeast Louisiana’s top young professionals at the Top 20 Under 40 celebration. The event was held at the Monroe Civic Center in Howard auditorium. The Top 20 individuals were selected from a highly talented group of 57 nominees. These individuals are advancing in their careers, active in the community and dedicated to making Northeast Louisiana a better place to live and work. Presenting sponsors were Origin Bank, Thomas and Farr, Reeves, Coon & Funderburg. Additional sponsors were City of Monroe, Progressive Bank, Etheridge Pipeline & Conduit, Faulk&Foster, Stauss Interests, Heard, McElroy and Vestal, The Radio People, Staphens Media Group, KTVE/KARD and BayouLife Magazine 11861 15 16 12 10 9 7 4 5 2 3 13 14





142 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM ArtDowntownCrawl On the BayouScene 1 Leigh Buffington, Mary Buffington, Paul Tennis 2 Phoebe Butler, Trey Skains, Lauren Nowell, Jansen Nowell and Anezka Tornerova 3 Lonesha Tyson and Odenesha Tyson 4

Josh Colson and DJ Fortenberry Catherine and John Mabray Katy Temple, Elijah Temple, Mackenzie Ernest, Jaceinthe Maljaars, Charlotte and Eloise Maljaars Allandra Washington and Margaret Burrell

Kelby Ouchley and Emily Caldwell Norma Sherman, Margaret Ann King, Allison Sherman and Leigh Buffington Maya O’Neil and Mica O’Neil Jasmine McCoy and Emily Evesy Ella Pankey and Sadie Prince Josh Freeman, Jarod Stokes and Steven Kirksey



The Downtown Arts Alliance held another great summer free event on Thursday, August 4th with it’s Gallery Crawl. Local artists and makers showed off their amazing works as many businesses and galleries opened their doors to the community. The Downtown Monroe-WestMonroe Gallery Crawl shows fine arts from local, regional and national artists at least six times a year. The galleries provide a free and fun environment for the community to interact with, observe and learn fine art. Thank you to the businesses that participated in this event, Antique Alley, Sugar Gallery, DOMO Nutrition, Flying Tiger, Revival, Anatole, Neville House, Atomic Vintage, The Palace, Baker Building, Art Alley Marketplace and The Good Daze. The Arts Alliance enhances the culture of the 318 area to allow North Louisiana artists to grow prosper and connect with each other and to continue to revitalize our downtowns.




Larry and Lisa Johnson Nick Carlson and Reid Coie Marlee Day, Amber Harris, Carey Day, Laura Maciaszek and Annie Holmes



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OOTBALL IS BACK! THE NATION’S largest beer brand is gearing up for another action-packed football season. Whether it is a fantasy football draft, Saturday college gamedays, NFL Sundays or Monday Night Football, make sure Bud Light is a part of your gameday tradition.

BUD LIGHT In 1982, Anheuser-Busch introduced Bud Light nationally. Bud Light, the most popular beer in the country, is a light-bodied lager with a fresh, clean and subtle hop aroma. Its delicate malt sweetness and crisp finish provide the ultimate refreshment. Bud Light is brewed using a blend of premium aroma hop varieties, both American-grown and imported, and a combination of barley malts and rice. Its superior drinkability and refreshing flavor make it the world’s favorite light beer. Bud Light contains 4.2 percent alcohol by volume (ABV).


Twitter: Instagram:@marsalabeverage1@marsalabeverage

Bud Light Partners with Football Teams Across the State F

ULM and Bud Light have had an excellent partnership for over 50 years. This partnership goes as far back as when Marsala Beverage was Budco Distributing. This partnership is something that has a tremendous value to the Bud Light brand in Northeast Louisiana. Over the past eight years Bud Light has been the exclusive beer sponsor of the ULM Warhawks. As the ULM athletic department rebrands themselves this year, Bud Light has many new assets in the market. Please be on the lookout for them this fall. So, grab some Bud Lights and come on out to the grove to help the Warhawks

“These universities are the backbone of our communities and it is important to Marsala Beverage that Bud Light supports them,” says VP of Marketing Tyler Flemister.

Locally, Marsala Beverage employs about 100 full-time employees. Marsala Beverage, LP is the largest malt beverage, wine/spirits and non-alcoholic distributor in Northeast Louisiana. Their success is based on the fact that they never lose sight of delivering what is really important – quality products, timely service and a genuine concern for our customers’ needs. Annually, they deliver over 2.4 million cases of beverages to over 700 retail accounts. Please find us at www.marsalabeverage. com or follow us on social media:

Facebook: Marsala Beverage


Bud Light has been the exclusive beer partner of the LSU Tigers for over 10 years. This year something very exciting is happening. The LSU logo will be placed on the Bud Light Aluminum bottle for the first time ever! In fact, LSU will be the only school in the country that will have their logo on a Bud Light aluminum bottle this football season. Geaux Tigers!

This football season, Bud Light will once again be the official beer of the NFL. As a matter of fact, Bud Light has been the official beer of the NFL since 2011 and has renewed its sponsorship through the 2022 Super Bowl. As the partnership with the NFL continues, Bud Light is also committed to partnering with 28 of the 32 NFL teams. Lucky for us, Bud Light and the New Orleans Saints have had an excellent partnership. This season, be on the lookout for Saints branded Bud Light packaging on Bud Light Suitcases and Bud Light Aluminum Bottles. Although Bud Light is a massive global brand, with partners like the NFL, a focus of Marsala Beverage is to make sure that Bud Light continues to stay entrenched in the community of Northeast Louisiana. One important reason the Bud Light brand is so successful in this market is the local sports partnerships that we have. Bud Light takes a great amount of pride in being the only malt beverage brand to have partnerships with ULM, Louisiana Tech and LSU.

Marsala Beverage


Bud Light has been a strong partner of Louisiana Tech’s for over 20 years. The Louisiana Tech partnership is not only valuable for Bud Light in the Ruston market but all over Northeast Louisiana. Join us in raising a cold Bud Light and wishing the best of luck to the Bulldogs this football season.






Presenting sponsors is Origin Bank, Thomas & Farr, Reeves, Coon & Funderburg and BayouLife Magazine. Additional sponsors are City of Monroe, Etheridge Pipeline & Conduit, Heard, McElroy and Vestal, NAI Faulk and Foster, Progressive Bank, Strauss Interests, KTVE, Stephens Media Group, and The Radio People.




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 Twenty Under 40 Young Professional Awards. The Awards Reception was held Thursday, August 11th at the Monroe Civic Center Conference Hall. These individuals are advancing in their careers, active in the community and dedicated to making Northeast Louisiana a better place to live and work. Those nominated are: Mark Kent Anderson, Mid South Extrusion; Joseph Armstrong, Delta Fiber; Brandon Baker, Lifeshare Blood Center; Sophie Barksdale, Cummins & Fitts; Allie Brasher, Atmos Energy; Josh Carroll, SnapMe Creative; Darius Cooper, KickzThrone; Nicole Davis, State Farm; James Doughty, First Monroe; Markeaya Eaton, JPMorgan Chase; Amanda Elias, ULM; Dorea Elmadih-Flintroy, Monroe Regional Airport; Kimberly Essex, City of Monroe; Caleb Etheridge, Etheridge Pipeline & Conduit; Tyler Flemister, Marsala Beverage; DJ Fortenberry, City of Monroe; Brooke Foy, ULM & Arrow Public Art; Taylor Gaines, High Klass Hair; Anna Grimmett, The Center for Children & Families; Alisha HollandLawson, McCann School of Business & Technology; Dr. Brice Jones, ULM; Dylan Jung, NE Delta Human Services Authority; Corbin Legg, SERVPRO of Monroe & 318 Construction; Adicia Lewis, LA Department of Revenue; Harrison Lilly, THLT Realty; Morgan Livingston, Hudson, Potts & Bernstein; Michael Lofton, Reason & Theology; Anna Martin, Bank of Oak Ridge; Michelli Martin, City of Monroe; Katie Masters, Camp Quality Louisiana; Jamie Mayes, Jamie Mayes Educational Consulting; Kelsea McCrary, City of Monroe; Ashley McDonald, Heard, McElroy & Vestal; Riley McEacharn, Second Chances Addiction Recovery Center; Ashley McTurner, Newcomer, Morris & Young; Diamond Melton, Origin Bank; James Miles, Pelican State Credit Union; Chaniquel Miller, United Way of NELA; Brittany Myers, Drax; Hannah O’Briant, Atmos Energy; Lateef Odeyemi, Parkway Pharmacy & Parkway Pharmacy South; Tiffany Rials O’Neal, Sterlington Elementary; Gregory Pritchard, Green Qube; Charles Regian, VCOM-Louisiana; Bruce Rushing; Origin Bank; Tavaris Sanders, Amazing Transport; Kristen Shambro, Centric Federal Credit Union; Walt Silmon, Redeemed Auto Body; Shelby Sims, Thomas & Farr; Anne Marie Sisk, ULM; James Stephens, Reeves, Coon & Funderburg; Katy Temple, St. Francis Medical Center; Lee Thomason, Cochran, Clark & Thomason; Jessica Tico, Food Bank of NELA; Lyndsay Turner, Pure Drip Wellness; Dr. Lindsey Vincent, LA Tech University; Lezlee Vincent, Legacy Mobile Dysphagia Diagnostics; Dr. Dani Walker, VCOMLouisiana; Marlon Watts & Nick Clark, WRLDINVSN; and CeCe Whitfield, Legal Aid of North Louisiana.



Mark Kent: Get out of your comfort zone! Napoleon Hill said it best, “Strength and growth come through continuous effort and struggle.”

BL: What do you do to give back to your community? Mark Kent: First and foremost, I ensure we are doing everything possible to care for our 200+ team members at Mid South Extrusion. My obligation is to our people, and I feel responsible for our team and their families. By doing this, I believe we are empowering our community as we continue to grow and create more opportunities in our area. Also, I believe in the missions of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of NELA, proudly serving on the board of directors for both organizations.


Mark Kent Anderson, Jr. is a lifelong resident of Louisiana, raised in Monroe, Neville High School Class of 2009 (Student Body President), graduated from LSU in 2014, then explored a career in commercial real estate while in Baton Rouge. In 2017, he returned to Monroe to start his career at his family’s business Mid South Extrusion. Since his start with the company, he has grown from a Corporate Sales Representative to a leadership position serving as Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” – The Law of Significance.

BL: What do you hope to accomplish by age 50?

BL: What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

BL: If you could go back in time, what would you tell your college self?

BL: What advice would you give someone in a new leadership position?

James: Continuing to provide opportunities for young people to lead and doubling down on what makes NELA great.

BL: How do you balance being a successful young professional and having a family? James: Being intentional. I’m still trying to find that balance but being intentional with date nights with my wife and family time with my kids.

BL: What can Northeast Louisiana do to retain young talent?

James: Keep your eyes on Jesus and don’t wait so long to ask Kirstyn out on a date.

BL: What do you do to ensure your growth and development as a leader?

BL: Tell us something about you most people don’t know.

James Doughty was born and raised in Rayville, LA. He graduated from LSU with a Bachelors in Kinesiology and received a Masters of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. James serves as the pastor of First Monroe Baptist Church. He is married to Kirstyn and they have two kids, Piper (6) and Chapal (4).

BL: What do you do to give back to your community? James: I have partnered with Teach 1 to Lead 1 to help mentor students at Wossman High School. I love the opportunity to invest in the next generation.

BL: What is your motivation?

by Harry S. Truman. I also enjoy attending leadership and communication seminars; they challenge me to think differently and highlight my deficiencies. Two leadership programs that I highly recommend are Leadership Ouachita and Leadership Louisiana.

Mark Kent: I was born in Durham, NC, at Duke Medical Center due to a genetic disorder called Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID), known as the bubble boy disease. I was the first baby in the world diagnosed in utero with SCID and cured at eight days old by a bone marrow transplant from my older sister, Ainsley.

Mark Kent: READ! I love the quote, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers,”

JAMES DOUGHTY Pastor at First Monroe Baptist Church

MARK KENT ANDERSON, JR Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing - Mid South Extrusion

James: I’ve always heard that it’s not how you start but how you finish. I want to be found faithful to my family, my church and this community.

James: The Gospel. I like the way Paul put in Corinthians 5:14-15: “For the love of Christ compels us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

James: Having the privilege to serve and lead First Monroe during this transition to our new location.

BL: What professional accomplishment are you most proud of? Caleb: I think our partnership with Delta Community College to offer workforce development programs has really been something to be proud of. Just in the first offering of the Trenchless Utility Installation Technician course, we had six graduates go from having no knowledge of our industry to completing utility installations in six weeks. These guys were out there operating heavy equipment with precision it took me years to learn all because of the wonderful simulators and training LDCC offered. In that moment you realize this could be scaled and these skills could really allow people to lift their families out of financial struggle for the rest of their lives. Its easily our proudest accomplishment, and we’re just getting started with it.

BL: Tell us something about you most people don’t know. Dorea: English is my second language; Arabic is my native language. To help those understand me better, as a freshman in high school, I learned English. I was the only girl at the school that graduated 8th grade. Due to my father’s encouragement and guidance, I persevered.

Dorea: By age 50, I would like to have become an Accredited Airport Executive and complete my degree in Civil Engineering. I would like to become the light at the end of the tunnel for those in need by mentoring them. If mentored, then you understand how powerful it can be to someone’s destiny. Lastly, I would like to learn a new language: French.

Dorea serves as the Director of Operations at the Monroe Regional Airport. In this role, she works to maintain the Airport’s Operating Certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration through maintaining safe practices of airfield usage. Dorea earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture from Louisiana Tech University and has one year remaining for the completion of her Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from LA Tech. Dorea is currently studying and preparing to take the American Association of Airport Executive Certified Member (CM) written examination, which is the first of three steps to become an Accredited Airport Executive. This is a highly respected accreditation in the airport management industry. Dorea is married to Klarence Flintroy and mother of Almaz Flintroy who she refers to as “her entire world.” Dorea’s favorite quote is: “When you were born, you cried, and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.”

BL: What do you do to give back to your community?

Dorea: My wonderful family. My husband has always made me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to. He is very dependable in all aspects of our life. My husband takes the initiative to ensure I can focus whenever a task is at hand. He has always been there to push and encourage me to be the best I can be. My daughter, who is always on my mind when I am making any decisions. She admires and values me heavily. Lastly, I am very motivated by all those little girls from my home village in Sudan, Africa who are also watching and look up to me as their role model. I want them to know that women can do anything they put their minds to.

Caleb: Through EPC we sponsor and participate in many events, organizations and programs that have a positive impact in our community. We actively give to organizations such as United Way and Cancer Foundation League and we sponsor numerous local events and programs such as Leadership Ouachita. We lend our time and expertise on local boards such as the Monroe Chamber Technology Committee and we are a dedicated partner to Delta Community College; helping coordinate and facilitate workforce development programs to teach our local citizens the skills needed to land a well-paying job in the utility construction industry. We also are a vocal advocate for Rural Broadband Initiatives in our area.

BL: If you could go back in time, what would you tell your college self?

BL: What is your motivation?


Caleb: I would say find ambitious people who want to do good and make time often to be with them. And, leave the party at 12! Because nothing good happens after 12!

Etheridge Pipeline and Conduit


BL: What do you hope to accomplish by age 50?

DOREA ELMADIH-FLINTROY Director of Operations Monroe Regional Airport Caleb is the co-owner and CEO of Etheridge Pipeline and Conduit, and Etheridge Performance Cable. He is a graduate of LaSalle High School and Northwestern State University. Caleb currently resides in West Monroe with his wife Erin, pup Koda and cat Manny. They are also patiently awaiting the arrival of their first child, Hallie Elaine. In his spare time, you’ll find Caleb hunting, golfing or watching an LSU football or baseball game.

Tyler: It has been most exciting to grow and develop with the same company for the past 15 years. I seriously have the best job in the world. It was extra special to see Marsala Beverage transition into a new state of the art facility this past year. I’m truly blessed to have the opportunity to work with the best co-workers and brewery suppliers in the beverage industry.

Tyler: Local industry is important. But it’s important to flex the muscles that we have while always looking for opportunities to do the small things to continue to grow and promote a strong sense of community.

BL: What can Northeast Louisiana do to retain young talent?

BL: What advice would you give someone in a new leadership position?

Tyler Flemister was born and raised in Monroe and has lived his entire life involved in the community of Northeast Louisiana. Growing up and after graduating from Neville High School, Tyler attended ULM, where he played baseball from 2004 to 2007. After obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 2008, he began his career at Marsala Beverage. Over the 15 years, he has worked his way up through the company and now serves as the Director of Marketing. In this role, he oversees the marketing, advertising and community involvement for the company. He has worked with numerous nonprofits organizations, schools and groups, helping them raise money through donations and partnerships. He was recognized in 2019 as the ULM Young Alumni of the Year. Additionally, he serves as a board member for the ULM Athletic Foundation. Tyler volunteers as a coach and serves on the board of the Monroe Youth Softball League. Tyler has been an integral part of many local events. In the past, he has served as a board member for the Twin City Art Foundation and the NELA Red Cross. Tyler is an active member of North Monroe Baptist Church. Tyler is married to Becky Flemister, and they have two children, Madelyn - 9 and Molly - 6.

Alisha Holland-Lawson has been known by many titles: daughter of Frank Holland and San Bolden, wife of David Lawson, and mother of Kennedy and Nolan. Professionally, she is the Director of Education and Career Services at McCann School of Business and Technology. After achieving an honors diploma from Wossman High School at the age of sixteen, she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Louisiana Monroe. With Jesus Christ as her foundation, she believes education, hard work, and dedication are pillars of success, and she has applied these principles to her life.

BL: How do you balance being a successful young professional and having a family? Alisha: My family has always been an integral part of my life. Their support has helped me balance my personal endeavors while maintaining my most important roles of wife and mother.

Alisha: I educate individuals seeking personal success and support the Music, Women’s, Youth, and Education Departments of the Living Gospel Church where my uncle, Otis Holland, is the pastor, and my husband, David Lawson, serves as youth leader. This year, I will also assist the Young Leaders United Group of United Way NELA.

BL: What do you do to give back to your community?

BL: What is your advice to recent graduates?

Alisha: Network, give back to others, and uphold your moral standards.

BL: What was your first job?

Alisha: My first job was a tutor at Benoit Recreational Center.

Director of Education and Career Services McCann School of Business


Tyler: The best advice I can give someone would be to listen to others. If you are the smartest person in the room, you are probably in the wrong room. Be open to having a teachable spirit. Embrace change and innovation in whatever field you may be in.

TYLER FLEMISTER Director of Marketing Marsala Beverage

BL: What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?


BL: What can Northeast Louisiana do to retain young talent?

BL: What do you hope to accomplish by age 50? Alisha: I enjoy promoting the spiritual, emotional, and professional development of others. So, I hope to have assisted many youth, young adults, and future leaders in breaking spiritual, socioeconomic, personal, and generational barriers that have halted the success of many before them.

Alisha: Be willing to hire and invest in individuals who may not have as much experience as others and provide incentives that neighboring states provide to their young talent.

BL: How do you balance being a successful young professional and having a family?

Brice: As my friend Charles Stevenson at Louisiana Delta Community College likes to say, ‘Skills pay the bills.’ Be hungry to advance your skills and competencies even if they are outside your comfort zone or current area of work. Interdisciplinary skills are especially helpful for projects that cut across various sectors.

Monroe Morgan Livingston was born and raised in Monroe, LA. He is a graduate of Ouachita Christian High School, University of Louisiana Monroe and Mississippi School of Law. Morgan is an associate attorney at Hudson, Potts & Bernstein and a real estate closing attorney for Hudson Lane Title Company. Morgan married his high school sweetheart, Ashleigh Livingston. The couple has a little girl, Josie Livingston, and a baby boy, Max Livingston, on the way. He enjoys spending time outdoors, whether it be hunting, fishing or playing golf.

Associate Attorney Hudson, Potts & Bernstein

BL: What professional accomplishment are you most proud of? Brice: As a very “green” scholar, fresh out of the academy, I was asked to serve on the editorial board of my discipline’s flagship academic journal. I served in that capacity for three years.


Brice: I am constantly seeking to learn new skills and knowledge to be more efficient as a manager of people and projects. Sometimes, this is learned through raw experience, but I am also blessed to have quite a few mentors in my life who have helped me along the way.

BL: What was your first job? Morgan: My first job was being a laborer for Rimcor, Inc. My dad has worked for that company for 40 years and got me the job. I worked on shutdowns in various paper mills and chemical plants in multiple states throughout the south. Most of shutdowns occurred during the summer months and the majority of my work occurred inside lime kilns, which are essentially huge pipes with a flame thrower on one end. Needless to say, it was also the hottest conditions of any job I’ve had to date. The job taught me a respect for work ethic and a love for air conditioning that I have still today. I owe all my motivation to finishing school and becoming an attorney to that first job.

DR. BRICE JONES Executive Director of Marketing and UniversityCommunicationsofLouisiana

BL: What advice would you give someone in a new leadership position? Morgan: Lead by example. To lead by example means to guide others through your actions and behavior. Your actions and behavior should set the standard and expectations of behavior for the people around you. Your purpose needs to be to using those actions to inspires others to produce similar behaviors. It is always easier to tell someone what they should and shouldn’t do, but it’s showing someone by example that is a true quality of a leader.


BL: What do you do to ensure your growth and development as a leader?

Brice Jones, a Mississippi native, serves as the Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at ULM. Trained as a historian of Early Christianity, he received his Ph.D. from Concordia University and his M.A. from Yale University. He is married to Meghan Jones, Director of Marketing and Communications at United Way NELA, and is father to Hadley (10), Leighton (8), and Carter (6). He enjoys bass fishing, deer hunting, woodworking, and spending time with his family.

BL: What is your advice to recent graduates?

BL: What do you hope to accomplish by age 50? Morgan: I would like to accomplish more things that I can use to make difference in our community. I was a 2018 Ouachita Leadership graduate, and that experience has inspired me to apply for Leadership Louisiana. One of my goals is to be accepted to Leadership Louisiana and upon completion of the program, bring that knowledge and information back to Monroe to help improve our community. I would also like to utilize these experiences to run for an elected position or possibly Judge one day. Our elected officials are the voices of our community and there is no better place to make a difference.

Brice: Janet Durden of United Way NELA once told me, ‘When you get home, take off your work coat, and leave it at the door.’ This is easier said than done, especially in a leadership role, and involves some give and take. But, I do my very best to reserve my time outside of work for my family.

BL: What is your advice to recent graduates? Michelli: If I could go back in time to talk to my college self, I would tell her to try more things. Go out and have more experiences and don’t be scared to fail. Apply for every internship, club that interests you, and opportunity! You will not get this time back.


BL: Tell us something about you most people don’t know.

BL: What can Northeast Louisiana do to retain young talent?

Michelli: My motivations are many. I am a 3 on the Enneagram Chart-I am driven by achievement. Long story short, I like to win, but I also want others to win, too. Most importantly, I want to be someone my little girl can be proud of.

Katie: I love being outdoors. I enjoy hiking, kayaking, and camping. I have this terrible fear of heights, which doesn’t really match up with my love for hiking, but I still love it!

Michelli Martin serves as Media Relations Director for the City of Monroe, before this job, she was Evening Anchor and Political Reporter for KTVE NBC 10 News in West Monroe. Michelli earned her Bachelors in Political Science from Louisiana Tech University and her Masters in Mass Communications from ULM. She is married and has a little girl named Elliott Monroe, named for the city where her parents met. One of her favorite quotes is something B.B. King said, “the beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.”

BL: What is your motivation?

Katie: My advice to someone in a new leadership position would be to listen to the concerns and needs of others. Have a heart for the people you work with. Connection with others is key to being an effective leader.

Michelli: NELA can retain young talent by ensuring they have a seat at the table where decisions are made. I am so fortunate to have a job wear my voice is not only heard, but given legitimate consideration. Another way to retain young talent is to create an environment they can see themselves planting roots and growing their family. An emphasis on improving and supporting quality of life endeavors must be supported.

BL: What professional accomplishment are you most proud of? Michelli: One of the professional accomplishments I am most proud of is interviewing a sitting president. It’s on the bucket lists of many journalists and I am so proud I got to check it off my list before leaving television news. I love politics, especially Louisiana politics, and I have been blessed to interview several elected officials. It’s really crazy to now work on the other side of the camera.

KATIE MASTERS Camp Quality Louisiana, Department of Children and Family Service Child Welfare

BL: What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

MICHELLI MARTIN Media Relations Director for the City of Monroe

Katie: I am most proud of being named Social Worker of the Year by the Monroe Foster Parent Association a few years ago. To win an award that came directly from the people I serve was a huge honor.

BL: What advice would you give someone in a new leadership position?

BL: What do you do to ensure your growth and development as a leader?

Katie: My main focus is supporting families in Northeast Louisiana. In my role with DCFS, I support foster parents as they parent children who have come from abusive or neglectful situations. My goal is for all foster parents to know they have support and an advocate in their journey. With Camp Quality, I support families as they face challenges related to childhood cancer.

Katie Masters is married and has two children and three bonus daughters. She has worked for the Department of Children and Family Services Child Welfare office for 12 years. Katie attended the University of Louisiana Monroe to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and is currently working on her master’s degree. She also works part-time for an organization called Camp Quality USA. Camp Quality offers summer camps and year round support to children with a cancer diagnosis and their families. Her passion is working with families to ensure they feel supported during stressful times.

Katie: To ensure my growth and development, I am constantly seeking opportunities to learn something new. I enjoy reading books on time management and organizational skills. I’m also currently a college student because I love challenging myself. I believe learning and challenging yourself is a great way to grow as a leader.

BL: What do you do to give back to your community?

BL: What do you hope to accomplish by age 50? Ashley: I hope to have grown the Ad Agency to provide more jobs for our community. I want to influence the lives of other professionals to invest in our community through community service or entrepreneurship.

BL: What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

Ashley was born and raised in northeast Louisiana, specifically Monroe. Ashley attended college at the University of Louisiana Monroe and graduated with honors with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration. She is the current president of the Monroe Rotary and past president of the Ad Club of Northeast Louisiana and is an active member of the Junior League of Monroe. She is married to her high school sweetheart Matt McTurner and has 2.5 children, River 10, and Allie 7, along with new puppy Bullet. Ashley is being groomed to take over the family business, Newcomer, Morris & Young Inc, which has been in business since 1984.

KELSEA MCCRARY Chief Economic & Cultural Development Officer, City of Monroe

Kelsea: Our collective cultural story is powerful, and it’s woven together in ways that we are still uncovering. We have so much to be proud of, and the more we can vocalize the good things, the more young talent will recognize the deep roots and the unlimited future that our region can offer. It might seem too easy, but branding and communication can solve many of the problems that we experience – good information is worth its weight in gold, and the trust it fosters is nearly unbreakable. We have had decades of headlines and external influence, so to speak, that have veiled our eyes to the beauty, downright coolness, and heritage of our home – it’s up to us to own that narrative and tell our story, as many times as it takes… even to ourselves.

Kelsea: To be as extroverted as I am, I am a pretty private person…so it tends to come as a shock that I am, at my core, relatively goofy. Whether it’s consistently carrying too many things in my hands and leaving a trail of coffee through City Hall, or losing my keys every single day, I tend to overlook the smaller details of life. My mom is going to read this and not be surprised at all, because when I was growing up she dubbed me “Amelia Bedelia,” after the lovable yet clumsy and mischievous book character.

Ashley: I am extremely proud of being awarded the American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal it recognizes men and women who have made outstanding contributions to advertising and have been active in furthering the industry’s standards, creative excellence, and responsibility in areas of social concern.

BL: What is your motivation?

Ashley: My motivation is my family. I want to set a good example for my son and daughter, by working hard and giving back to our community.

BL: What was your first job?

BL: If you could go back in time, what would you tell your college self?

BL: Tell us something about you most people don’t know.

Kelsea McCrary is the Chief Economic & Cultural Development Officer for the City of Monroe. Her style of telling Louisiana’s stories elevates the artistic and cultural threads woven throughout each community and ties them deeply into the economic prospects of Louisiana’s cultural richness. Kelsea’s background includes leading the Cultural Districts and Civic Design program for the Louisiana Division of the Arts, creating the Public Policy communications brand at LUMEN Technologies and building out their Employer Brand function and serving as Director of Marketing for the University of Louisiana Monroe. Kelsea has grown arts organizations, programmed historic buildings, executed cultural events and quality of life initiatives, and led creative place-keeping projects throughout the state of Louisiana for over a decade. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Louisiana Monroe and a Masters in Public Administration from Louisiana State University. With a dog named Murphy, a cat named Cat, and a husband named Steven, she lives in Monroe and loves to run the levees of the Ouachita.

Ashley: Honestly, I would tell myself to take more relevant classes to my degree. I graduated in Business Administration but that can be general and more specialized courses would have been helpful.

Ashley: My first job was at 18 at Smoothie King on Forsythe. My mom said that as long as I played soccer, I didn’t have to get a job. The minute high school ended I started looking for a job. I loved working at Smoothie King learning about scheduling and inventory. My only complaint was they opened at 7am. I always managed to be on the morning shift.

Newcomer,President Morris & Young Inc.

BL: What can Northeast Louisiana do to retain young talent?




James currently works at Pelican State Credit Union as the Business Development Representative for North Louisiana. He is so grateful to be in role that allows him to empower individuals through financial knowledge.

BL: What do you do to ensure your growth and development as a leader?

Brittany Stringer Myers is the Deputy General Counsel North America for Drax. Brittany received her BA in Communications from ULM graduating 1st in her class. She subsequently received her MA in Communications from ULM. Brittany then went to LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center where she earned her Juris Doctorate and Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law graduating Order of the Coif and 10th in her class. At LSU, Brittany was a member of the Louisiana Law Review where she served as Issue Editor. She is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and has been practicing law for over 10 years in both private and in-house counsel roles.

BL: What do you do to give back to your community?

Brittany: I serve on the United Way NELA Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Young Leaders UNITED cabinet. I love working with the United Way. I’m passionate about the United Way’s mission because I have personally seen the direct and positive impact that the United Way has on our local community, especially in regards to education, heath and financial wellbeing of individuals living in NELA. I’m also a supporter of the Food Bank of NELA, Chenault Aviation and Military Museum, Louisiana Purchase Zoological Society, and Twin City Ballet Company.

BRITTANY MYERS Deputy General Counsel North America for Drax

Brittany: I’m most proud of receiving the W.L. Hargrove Award for Outstanding Service. As most would assume, law school is academic focused. However, this award was chosen by fellow law school colleagues and faculty based on my service both to the community and my law school colleagues during my time at LSU law.

Brittany: One of the most challenging aspects of being a young professional is balancing work and family. I believe it is essential to clearly communicate to your family that they are the most important. However, they must also realize that there are times when one is required to work or travel and that it is their job and responsibility. Time management and prioritizing are certainly important. It takes a village, and I’m very thankful for my family and friends that are a part of mine.

During the past year he has been focused on expanding the knowledge of financial literacy to surrounding rural communities.

JAMES MILES Business Development Representative Pelican State Credit Union

Brittany is married to Justin Myers, an attorney at Hammonds, Sills, Adkins, Guice, Noah and Perkins, and is the proud mother to a 5-year-old son, Nolan Layne, and a 3-year old daughter, Lilah Mae.

BL: How do you balance being a successful young professional and having a family?

James: Approach all aspects of your life with the mindset of being a student. Life has a way of forcing us to always evolve and if you are not teachable…then you may become useless.

James: Say less and listen more! Be open to learn and grow with your team. You all share the same journey so why not travel it together?

BL: What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

BL: What do you do to give back to your community?

James Miles was born and raised in Monroe, LA. He is the son to Ronshnea Baker. James is a graduate of Ouachita Parish High School. He is a graduate of Colorado Technical University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration Management and Master of Business Administration-Global Leadership.

James: I place myself in unfamiliar places that forces me to think outside my norm. Never become complacent with the things I have accomplished. Seek counsel from individuals who dwell in places I imagine to be and taking notes on what I need to do to get there.

BL: What is your advice to recent graduates?

BL: What advice would you give someone in a new leadership position?

James: My love for our community runs deep within me. I have the mindset that if one is suffering, we all suffer. That’s the reason why I am so passionate about bringing awareness of financial literacy to anyone I encounter. At Pelican, we believe that bad things happen to good people. Everyone deserves a second chance or a little help to get through this thing called life. I volunteer regularly at the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana. What they do to support our region is amazing, and I will forever support them. I also serve on the NELA Reentry Coalition to help create resources to ensure previously imprisoned individuals have what is needed to aid in a successful reentry back into society. I also assist with the new construction of the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum where I serve on the Board of Directors and Advisory Board member.

BL: What is your advice to recent graduates?

Lateef: My biggest motivation is my family. I was raised to respect the value of hard work and to never settle for anything less than my dreams.


BL: What was your first job? Tiffany: My first job was in high school at Miss Cindy’s School of Dance when I was in high school. Through this job I discovered my love of children which is why I decided to become a teacher.

Lateef: I feel Northeast Louisiana can host more community networking events for entrepreneurs of small businesses and more internships in a wide variety of fields to retain young talent.

BL: What do you do to give back to your community? Tiffany: I am the current President of the Junior League of Monroe, and have been a member for the past 8 years. Our main focus is helping women and children in need. We sponsor several programs such as Cinderella Project, We Care, Care Closets along with many others that give back to women and children in need in our community

BL: What do you hope to accomplish by age 50? Lateef: By the age of 50, I hope to grow Parkway Pharmacy into a chain in multiple states all offering the same outstanding services such as free delivery and vaccines. I also would like to continue advocating for the expansion of our field as pharmacists. We have the knowledge and tools to be successful and I feel we need to continue fighting for our provider status.

BL: What is your motivation?

South Tiffany Rials O’Neal is a Pre-K teacher at Sterlington Elementary and has been teaching for 20 years. She received her Bachelor Degree from the University of Louisiana Monroe, her Master’s Degree from Louisiana College and her +30 Post Graduate Degree from the University of Louisiana Monroe. She has been a member of the Junior League of Monroe for the last eight years. She has served as Community Outreach Chair, Planning and Research VP, Membership VP, President-Elect and is currently serving as President. Tiffany was voted Teacher of the Year in 2017 and was featured in DeltaStyle as Women Who Shape the Delta in 2018. She also received the Sterlington Community Enrichment Award in 2021. In her spare time, Tiffany enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with her 5-year old daughter, Sage Olivia.

BL: What do you hope to accomplish by age 50? Tiffany: By 50, I would like to be a Curriculum Coordinator. I love the planning and research side of education. That is my goal in my career. I would also still love to be making a positive impact in our community. Volunteering will always be an important part of my life.

Dr. Lateef Odeyemi was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. He graduated from The International School of Ibadun. After high school, Lateef attended the University of Lagos in Nigeria where he received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology. After graduation, Lateef came to the United States where he obtained my second degree with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences. He then began pursuing his PharmD whichhe obtained in 2017 from the University of Louisiana Monroe. Lateef worked as a retail pharmacist for two years and knew he wanted to do more. He always had the mindset of being an entrepreneur in the medical field and that goal was achieved in August of 2019 when Lateef acquired Parkway Pharmacy and again in January of 2022 when he opened Parkway Pharmacy South.

Lateef: My advice to recent graduates would be to never forget that networking is vital. We should support each other and keep in mind that there is enough room for everyone on top regardless of race, age, gender or religion. I would also share that it is important to pursue your dreams and goals. I have learned firsthand that if your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s not big enough.

BL: What can Northeast Louisiana do to retain young talent?

BL: What professional accomplishment are you the most proud of? Tiffany: I am extremely proud to have received the Sterlington Community Award. I have been teaching for 19 years and love volunteering in our area. I was so excited to be recognized as a leader in our community.

TIFFANY RIALS O’NEAL Pre-K SterlingtonTeacherElementary

DR. LATEEF ODEYEMI ParkwayOwner/OperatorPharmacy & Parkway Pharmacy

Tiffany: My motivation is my 5-year old daughter, Sage. I believe children learn by example, and I try to be a good role model for her. I want to inspire her to become a great leader and change maker for her generation.

BL: What is your motivation?

BL: What is your motivation?

Tavaris: I would tell someone in a new leadership position that you have to work and know the business. There will be trials and tribulations, but don’t give up or don’t give in. It will be greater later.

BL: Tell us something about you most people don’t know. Tavaris: Most people take me as a serious guy, but I am fun to be around once you know me.

BL: How do you balance being a successful young professional and having a family? Lee: It is tough, but I always try to prioritize my family. My work schedule is generally flexible enough to be at their ball games, school functions and spend time with them at home. I give my wife, Nikki, a lot of credit for helping me balance work and family.

Tavaris: I put God first, serving Him gives me the opportunity to put family and business under one umbrella.

BL: What can Northeast Louisiana do to retain young talent? Lee: We need to continue to invest in our schools, local universities, and trade skills. The other spot is economic development. We need to have a job waiting for our homegrown talent when they are ready to enter the workforce.

LEE THOMASON Managing Partner Cochran, Clark & Thomason

Tavaris: Life has its up and downs, but stay the course and finish what you started.

BL: If you could go back in time, what would you tell your college self?

Tavaris: I’m proud to have opened my own business and to be able to provide people in this community jobs with a competitive salary.

BL: What is your advice to recent graduates? Lee: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Find mentors, co-workers and friends in your profession and ask questions when you don’t know the answer. I have been very fortunate to have great mentors, both in my accounting career and in other organizations that I serve.

BL: What advice would you give someone in a new leadership position?

TAVARIS SANDERS Co-owner, Amazing Transport Lee Thomason is a shareholder of Cochran, Clark & Thomason, CPA firm in Rayville, LA. He is married to his wife Nikki and they have two children, Ali (12) and Tripp (9). Lee graduated from Riverfield Academy in 2004 and from ULM with degrees in accounting and finance in 2008. He obtained his CPA license in 2010 and Certification in Business Valuation (CVA) in 2012. Lee enjoys coaching/watching his children play sports, cooking, hunting, playing golf and spending time with friends and family.

BL: What do you do to give back to your community? Lee: I currently serve as the Chairman of the Richland Parish Chamber of Commerce, on the Board of Directors at Riverfield Academy and the Chairman of the Finance Committee at Rayville First Baptist Church. I served as the President of the Rayville Kiwanis Club in 2019.


Tavaris Sanders was born and raised in Bonita, LA. He is the oldest of three siblings and a graduate of Delta High School in Mer Rouge. Tavaris later attended and graduated from The Hope Bible Institute in Baton Rouge, where he obtained a Doctorate in Theology & Religious Studies and is a licensed professional Christian therapist. Tavaris has been married to Miesha Sanders for thirteen years. The couple have four boys: Jaylen Wade (21) who is a senior at ULM, Javari Sanders (18) attends Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Ja’Bez Glosson (16) attends Bastrop High School, and Tahj Sanders (11) attends Ouachita Jr. High School. Tavaris is a memeber of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Monroe. He and his wife are the owners of Amazing Transport, LLC.

BL: What was your first job? Tavaris: My first job was working for my dad in the summers fixing tires. He taught me the significance of what work really was.

BL: How do you balance being a successful young professional and having a family?

BL: What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

BL: What was your first job? Lee: My first job was working Saturdays at a memorabilia store in Rayville called “Legends of the Game”. I collected baseball cards when I was younger, and the owners of the store were family friends.

Tavaris: God’s word, my wife and kids...and family overall.

BL: Tell us something about you most people don’t know.

Lindsey currently serves her alma mater as the Associate Dean of Research, Outreach and Innovation in the College of Education and the Director of the Science and Technology Education Center (SciTEC) at Louisiana Tech University. She is a founding member of the LSU Health Sciences and Louisiana Tech University Digital Literacy and Well-Being Collaborative and has been PI or CoPI for multiple local, regional, and federal grants focused on education, workforce development, and outreach. She loves learning new things and traveling with her husband Matthew and their children. She thanks God every day for her many blessings and tries to give back to a community that has given so much to her.

BL: What do you do to give back to your community? Lindsey: I have had the privilege of serving on a number of leadership teams and councils. Most recently I was appointed by Governor Jon Bel Edwards to the Louisiana STEM Advisory Council, am serving on the advisory council for the Louisiana Center for Afterschool Learning, and am serving as a member of the Parent Faculty Council at my children’s school. We are also charter members of Ruston’s Krewe of Pomona, and I have also recently joined the United Way’s Young Leaders.

Dani: I began working as a lifeguard at the Winnsboro town pool at the age of 14.

BL: What do you do to give back to your community?

Lindsey: My first paid gig by an outside employer was a perfume sprayer for Unilever in Pecanland Mall. In fact, at $12 an hour decades ago, it was quite a highly paid job for a high school student. I simply stood by the counter and offered to spray a new fragrance for others to try. I learned quickly when to push for a sale or when to step back and revisit my strategy. My first unpaid job was an interesting and formative one, too, as it included writing prices on neon cardboard star stickers for my dad to use on coolers when he sold wine and spirits. I think he had me help with this activity to keep me busy as to not distract him so he could get his work done.

BL: What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

Dani: Northeast Louisiana can retain young talent by continuing to grow a family friendly community. Our family spends most weekend mornings playing at Forsythe Park or strolling the Garden District. We also love the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum and the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo. Those places help create lifelong memories for families.

Dr. Dani Walker serves as the Director for Medical Education for VCOM-Louisiana, located on the campus of ULM. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education, a Master of Education Degree in Educational Leadership and Technology, and an Educational Doctorate in Higher Education Administration. She has been married to her husband, Wade, for five years and has a son, Preston, 3, a daughter, Celia, 2, and two dogs, Riley and Roux.

Lindsey Vincent grew up in Swartz, LA, and attended Ouachita Parish High School. She is a first-generation college completer and holds a B.S. in English Education, an M.S. in Adult Education, certification in Biology education, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership as well as certificates in Positive Psychology and Contact Tracing through Coursera.

DR. LINDSEY VINCENT Associate Dean of Research, Outreach and Innovation in the College of Education and the Director of the Science and Technology Education Center at Louisiana Tech University

Dani: I serve on both the Louisiana Purchase Zoological Society Board as Secretary and the Louisiana Purchase Council Boy Scouts of America Executive Board as Vice President of Membership. I am passionate about both organizations and look forward to growing in these roles in the future.


Dani: The professional accomplishment that I am most proud of is completing the Leadership Ouachita Program with the class of 2021. The connections made through this program opened a wide variety of doors for me to become more involved in our community. I became involved with both boards that I presently serve on through connections made in this program.

BL: What can Northeast Louisiana do to retain young talent?


BL: What was your first job?

DR. DANI WALKER Director for Medical Education

BL: What was your first job?

Dani: As a child, I spent summers “working” in the fields with my dad who owns a diesel mechanic business that specializes in farm equipment. I mostly ate his snacks and complained about the heat, but today one of my favorite things to do on any given Saturday morning from April to October is travel to the fields with my husband who consults for local farmers.

Friday Night and Football Feet

BY J. MARSHALL HAYNIE, MD SCHOOL IS BACK IN SESSION, AND HERE IN THE South, that means most of us have plans of sitting in the high school bleachers on Friday night. A lot of young athletes have spent the majority of their summer preparing and training for the upcoming football season, only to have the season cut short due to an injury. Foot and ankle injuries are some of the most common in football. Learning about the most common foot and ankle injuries that we treat may help you prevent them this season. Here are some of the most common injuries we see:


JONES FRACTURE Jones fractures (the scientific term for broken bone) happen when you break your fifth metatarsal — the bone that joins your pinkie toe to the base of your foot. This fracture is one of the most common fractures we see in young athletes- particularly football players, basketball players, and dancers. Jones fractures are sometimes the result of repeated overuse like standing, walking and/or running on uneven and hard surfaces for extended periods of time. More often in football, Jones fractures are the result of a sudden movement like twisting too quickly. You will likely feel pain, have tenderness, and possibly bruising along the outside part of the foot. Treating Jones fractures typically involves immobilization, but often in athletes, surgery is used to help the fracture heal quickly and robustly. This allows the athlete to get back to sports as soon as possible. Young athletes are resilient, and they often think they can work through a sports injury. The only thing worse than being injured is not properly taking care of it. As I often say, “You burn no bridges by coming to the doctor.” Take the time to check out possible injuries! Ignoring pain and symptoms- thinking you can walk it off- can result in a more significant injury on the field or down the road.

Common Foot and Ankle Injuries in High School Football Players

TURF TOE Turf Toe got its name because this injury became more prevalent when football players started playing on artificial turf versus grass. Turf Toe is a sprain of the big toe joint. It occurs when the toe is hyperextended beyond the normal limits of range of motion. This injury can occur when the foot is planted on the ground, followed by another player landing on the back of the foot causing the toe to bend back even further. It can also result from a player continuously pushing from their toes when running or jumping. Most of the time, the injury is a sprain of the ligament and heals with conservative treatment from a foot and ankle specialized orthopedic surgeon.

The Achilles tendon is located at the lower end of the leg and attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone. While supporting one’s full body weight, it allows us to push off with the strong leg muscles for bursts of speed when sprinting. The Achilles tendon is one of the largest and strongest tendons in the body.


Achilles Tendinitis: Increasing the frequency and intensity of a player’s workouts can cause the Achilles tendon to become inflamed resulting in Achilles Tendinitis. Over exertion and strain can cause the Achilles tendon to weaken and become less stable. When a player continues to play with increased stress, it can ultimately cause the tendon to tear or rupture.

Achilles Tears/Ruptures: The sudden stops, starts, and pivots that are common in football can cause Achilles tears. Cornerbacks are at risk of Achilles tears when they stop backpedaling and start accelerating quickly. These sudden movements and shifts can cause the Achilles to pop or tear completely. When this occurs you will feel pain in the back of the leg that will be exacerbated by exercise or simply walking. The tendon is likely to feel sore to the touch and will stiffen upon awakening the next morning. There are both surgical and nonsurgical approaches for treating an Achilles tendon tear/ rupture depending on the severity of the injury.

ANKLE SPRAINS Ankle sprains are one of the most common football injuries. An ankle sprain occurs when there is a tear to the ligaments that surround and connect the bones of the leg to the foot. Running, jumping, or a tackle can all result in an ankle sprain. A lower ankle sprain may take 2-6 weeks to heal. A high ankle sprain with greater ligament damage can take 6 – 12 weeks to heal. Not seeking proper treatment may lead to repeated ankle sprains and ultimately, long term pain caused by arthritis.

J. Marshall Haynie, MD is a board-certified, fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in disorders of the foot and ankle at Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana in Shreveport/ Bossier City. To schedule an evaluation with Dr. Haynie, please call or visit: (866)759.9679 or


Beaux Atkins Live at Trapp's Beaux Atkins performing live at Time:Trapp's.6:00 PM -10:00 PM Venue: Trapp’s, 113 S Riverfront St, West Phone:Monroe(318)855-6428

The Dixie Center for the Arts Presents: Shelly King The blues, roots-rock, gospel singer stands out in the crowd as an award-winning songwriter, steeped in Americana music.

Hours: 9 AM- 1 PM Cost: Venue:FreeRuston Farmers Market, 220 E Mississippi Ave, Ruston, LA Phone: (318) 957-1305

Time: 10:00 AM -12:00 PM Cost: Venue:$5.00Biedenharn Museum and Gardens, 2006 Riverside Dr, Monroe Phone: (318) 387-5281

Time: 6:00 PM -7:30 PM Cost: Venue:FreeFant-Ewing Coliseum, 4099 Northeast Dr, Monroe Phone: (925) 899-6568

ULM Soccer vs Tarleton State ULM vs Tarleton State soccer, at Brown Stadium.

Time: 7:30 AM -8:30 AM Cost: Venue:$30.00Kiroli Park, 820 Kiroli Rd, West Monroe

Time: 7:00 PM -9:00 PM Cost: Ticket prices vary Venue: ULM Malone Stadium, 514 Warhawk Way, Monroe

ULM Football vs Nicholls State Cheer on the ULM football team's first home game as they tackle Nicholls State!

Time: Friday & Saturday 9 AM-5 PM, Sunday 10 AM-4 PM Cost: $5.00 per vehicle for the Venue:weekend327 California Plant Rd, Dubach, LA Phone: (318) 680-1304

September 8 Downtown Rundown Join Fleet Feet at the Flying Tiger Brewery every 2nd Thursday of the month for a free 5k Fun Run/Walk!

Children's Funday

Time:music!7:00 PM -11:00 PM Cost: Venue:$10.00VFW Rodney J Hobbs Post 1809, 1499 Hwy 594, Monroe Phone: (318) 345-4185

The Biedenharn Museum & Gardens invites you and your kiddos to Children's Funday of 2022! This session's theme is Water Features!

Time: 6:00 PM -7:00 PM Cost: Venue:FreeFlying Tiger Brewery, 506 N 2nd St, Monroe Phone: (318) 855-3146 Haven's 25th Anniversary Grand ReOpening Event Join Haven at their grand reopening and celebrate 25 years in business! Stop by to see their newly expanded showroom and design resource center.

September 9

For a full list of event happenings in Northeast Louisiana, see our website at

Time: 7:00 PM Cost: Adult $30.00, Students/Youth Venue:$15.00 Dixie Center for the Arts, 212 N Vienna St, Ruston, LA 71270 Phone: (318) 255-1450 September 3, 10, 17, 24 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.

Time: 4:00 PM-7:30 PM Cost: Adults: $10.00 Young Adults (1318): $5.00 Children Under 12: Free Venue: Landry Vineyards, 5699 New Natchitoches Rd, West Monroe Phone: (318) 557-9050

160 SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM Calendar of Events

September 3 North Louisiana Makers and Producers Market North Louisiana Makers and Producers Market is working to bring artisans, makers, crafters, livestock producers, and food producers together in North Louisiana.

Join us for a great night of food and fun benefiting International Missions at North Monroe. Event will include live and silent auctions and raffles. Prizes will include firearms, hunting and fishing gear, destination hunts, and more. Time: Doors open at 5:30 PM Cost: Venue:$50.00North Monroe Baptist Church, 210 Finks Hideaway, Monroe

Time: Thursday-Saturday at 7:00 PM, Sunday at 2:00 PM Cost: Ticket prices vary Venue: Strauss Theatre Center, 1300 Lamy Lane, Monroe Phone: (318) 323-6681

Time: 1:00 PM -2:00 PM Cost: Venue:FreeBrown Stadium ULM, 518 Warhawk Way, Monroe

Time: 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM Cost: Venue:FreeHaven, 1127 Forsythe Avenue, Monroe September 9-11 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!

ULM Soccer vs Texas Southern ULM vs Texas Southern soccer, at Brown Stadium. Time: 7:00 PM -8:00 PM Cost: Venue:FreeULM Brown Stadium, 518 Warhawk Way, Monroe September 10 Run For Recycling 5K/10K If you like a challenge, you'll love this 5K and 10K road race challenge through a hillier course. All proceeds from this even benefit Ouachita Green - the nonprofit organization that works extra hard to keep our streets clean of debris in all forms.

September 17 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. Time: 10:00 AM -12:00 PM Cost: Venue:FreeOrigin Bank Family Garden, 127 Hall St, Monroe Phone: (318) 323-8775 Greenwood Community Celebration Part of NCLAC's Lift Your Voice event, this celebration marks the unveiling of a new mural, community art market, Greenwood documentary, and Time:more!11:00 AM -4:00 PM Cost: Venue:FreeGreenwood Park, 1306 Cornell Ave, Ruston, LA Second Annual Angel's Gala This formal black-tie event will feature live music, a seated dinner, cocktails, and live and silent auctions. Time: 6:00 PM -10:30 PM Cost: $100.00 +$7.72 Fee

September 15 Sportsmans Banquet

Phone: (318) 343-4730 September 15-18, 22-24 Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun

Jesse Dale Middleton Join Rodney J. Hobbs VFW Post 1809 for some great music by the Jesse Dale Middleton Band from 7pm11pm for some awesome country

The story is a musical tale about the life of Annie Oakley, a sharpshooter who starred in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, and her romance with sharpshooter Frank E. Butler.

Time: 9:00 AM -3:00 PM Cost: Venue:Free1905 N 7th St, West Monroe Phone: 1 (318) 372-4753

September 11

Landry Vineyards ConcertSmackwater & Red Grape Stomp Celebration Enjoy this fun event while listening to live performances by Smackwater. Ladies and children can stomp in the grapes for free! Ladies can stomp shortly after the music starts.

September 13 ULM Volleyball vs Alcorn State Cheer on the ULM volleyball team as they tackle Alcorn State!

Cost: Ticket prices vary Venue: ULM Malone Stadium, 514 Warhawk Way, Monroe Kerwin Claiborne Comedy Show Laugh your way through this comedy show with Kerwin Claiborne featuring Jessie McDonald and Tramaine Raw.


Venue: Monroe Civic Center, 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, Monroe Phone: (318) 801-4394

Cost: Tickets starting at $40.00 Venue: Monroe Civic Center Banquet Hall, 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expy, Monroe September 30 Irish Night with Emerald Accent Don't miss out on Celtic music with Emerald Accent at Enoch's Irish Time:Pub!

7:00 PM -10:00 PM

Cost: Venue:FreeFlying Heart Brewing & Pub, 204 Commerce St, West Monroe Phone: (318) 855-3146

Cost: Venue:$40.00Souls Harbor United Pentecostal Church, 113 Slocum Rd, Phone:Calhoun(318) 372-2064

ULM Soccer vs Southern Miss ULM vs Southern Miss soccer, at Brown Stadium. Time: 7:00 PM -8:00 PM Cost: Venue:FreeBrown Stadium ULM, 518 Warhawk Way, Monroe

September 17-18 30th Annual Piney Hills Classic

Join Fleet Feet Monroe every 4th Thursday of the month at Flying Heart Time:Brewing!6:00 PM -7:00 PM

September 24 Run for Recovery

The annual regional agricultural fair for the Monroe-West Monroe area. Sponsored by the West Monroe Civitan Club. Cost: Adults $5, Children (2-11) $3; Price of armbands varies Venue: Monroe Civic Center, 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, Monroe

ULM Football vs Ragin' Cajuns

Time: 8:00 PM -10:00 PM

Help support Calhoun’s first local men’s recovery home and aide in their mission to support full recovery in a Run for Recovery!

Time: 7:00 PM -9:00 PM

Venue: Bayou Pointe Event Center, 100 Warhawk Way, West Monroe Phone: (318) 789-8854

Join Ruston Art Encounter for a walking tour of the murals and other art showcased in Downtown Ruston.

Hours: 12:00 PM -4:00 PM Cost: Venue:FreeDowntown Ruston

September 30 - October 9 Ark-La-Miss Fair

Mural and Street Art Experience

Cheer on the ULM football team as they tackle the Ragin' Cajuns!

September 22 Pub Run at Flying Heart Brewing

September 22-23 ULM Volleyball vs Texas State Cheer on the ULM volleyball team as they tackle Texas State! Time: Thursday 6:00 -7:30 PM and Friday 2:00 -3:30 PM Cost: Venue:FreeFant-Ewing Coliseum, 4099 Northeast Dr, Monroe Phone: (925) 899-6568

Time: 8:00 AM -10:00 AM

Driven Desires 2022 Come out to Driven Desires 2022 for a automotive show for local car, truck, and bike enthusiasts to come together for a great time and to also help the local families effected by Muscular Dystrophy.

This two-day mountain bike festival is open to all, with races ranging from 2.5 to 27 miles. Register at,211ParishRd,Ruston,LA

Time: 10:00 AM -4:00 PM

Cost: Cover charge varies Venue: Enoch's Irish Pub, 507 Louisville Ave, Monroe Phone: (318) 388-3662

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