EDGE of the Lake December 2017 | January 2018

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Pet Adoption page 052 Photo Jerry Cottrell





PUBLISHER Sarah Cottrell

We are so proud to bring you our first anniversary issue. We continually strive to bring a new, edgy look at all things on the Northshore, and couldn’t do it without the talents of our writers, editors, photographers and graphic designers. And, of course, the magazine wouldn’t be possible without the continued dedication of our amazing sales team. To all of our advertisers, we thank you for believing in us; to all of our readers, we thank you for embracing the publication; and to all the people who have shared their stories, we humbly thank you. One of the most gratifying parts of publishing EDGE of the Lake is meeting our readers and hearing them tell me that they read every story. As always, we want to know more about what our readers think and love about living on the Northshore. In our next issue, we will be publishing our first Readers Choice Awards. We encourage you to vote on our website at edgeofthelake.com. Voting is open for the entire month of December, and the winners will be announced in the February/March issue. From our family to yours, we wish you the blessings of the season.


EDITOR Hans Landa ART DIRECTOR Fernanda Chagas Kirk STYLE DIRECTOR Patty Beal BEAUTY EDITOR Caitlin Picou COPY EDITOR Mary-Brent Brown GRAPHIC DESIGN Joseph Flesner CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Beverly Brown Mary-Brent Brown Charles Dowdy Meredith Knight Liz Genest Smith Madeline Smith Stacy Smith Elizabeth Kennedy Wells STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jerry Cottrell CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Beverly Brown Maddie Cairns John Snell Joel Tradewell Paul Wood SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVES Eloise Cottrell Rick Clasen ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Rebecca Blossman-Ferran Erin Bolton D’Ann Davis Dave Dunaway Michelle Wallis-Croas

ON THE COVER Tchefuncte River Lighthouse Photo John Snell

The entire contents of this magazine are copyrighted by EDGE Publishing. @ 2017 with all rights reserved. Reproduction or use without permission of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. Please email comments or story ideas to edgepublisher@yahoo.com. EDGE PUBLISHING • 69170 HWY 190. SUITE 1 COVINGTON, LA 70433 • 985.875.9691

Happy 1st Anniversary to




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ef w h i t t h



Even though the word “roundabout” has been in our vocabulary for some time, it was not always associated with traffic. If two fellows were trying to remember where they hid some buried treasure, one of them might say, “I swear I stuck it roundabout here.” But the roundabout that has become a part of our lives on the Northshore deals with something we all dread: traffic. For a host of reasons, our infrastructure expansion has lagged behind our population growth. There are roads that all of us know not to get on at certain points and yet, because we have water around and through where we live, we often find ourselves at traffic chokepoints at the absolute wrong time with thousands of our neighbors. A guy named Archimedes said the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. If he had ever been on Highway 190 near I-12 at 5:10 p.m. on any weekday afternoon, he might have seen that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line with a few wiggles. I swear, sometimes cutting through big box store parking lots is the easiest way to get down that interminable road. So, a straight line with a wiggle here or there, as long as you don’t have to stop, is probably what Archimedes meant. And that is where we come to the roundabout. It is a circle for traffic to travel around that replaces stop signs or traffic lights. Straight lines, with a little wiggle. And these traffic wiggles have been fully embraced by local officials. A lot of us already feel like we’re running in circles these days, so I guess the government just decided to make it official. In St. Tammany Parish there are nine roundabouts, with two more planned for next year. In Tangipahoa Parish, there is a massive three-roundabout system that goes under I-12 that has loosened a daily chokepoint. And state and local governments in Louisiana plan to keep adding more. When traffic roundabouts migrated to the U.S. from Europe in the 1990’s not everyone was thrilled to see them. I mean, we were going to take traffic advice from people who drive on the wrong side of the road? But polls indicated that as more Americans were exposed to roundabouts the negative opinion we had about them started to reverse. Which, speaking of, you cannot reverse in a roundabout if you miss your turn, and yes, I’ve seen that happen. I think most of us by now have also seen the guy in the old pick-up who stops in the roundabout and kindly gestures for folks on the outside


to come join the party ahead of him (It is a polite gesture, not necessarily an efficient one.) Or maybe you have been stuck behind the lingering mini-van that hesitates to jump into the circle of moving traffic, like a kid standing on the high-dive and wondering how to get down. Roundabouts should not to be confused with what some people call traffic circles. These are some of the multi-lane, iconic traffic locations such as Columbus Circle or Piazza Venezia. And I hate to confuse you when we’re just now starting to figure out the roundabouts, but with a lot of these traffic circles the entering traffic has the right of way and traffic inside the circle must yield. I know, don’t think about that for long. St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister applauds the use of the roundabouts, and not just for the sake of helping with traffic flow. “Roundabouts are identified by the Federal Highway Safety Administration as one of nine proven lifesaving roadway safety strategies,” Brister said. “They are generally safer because they require drivers to slow down and yield if needed. The number of severe crashes is greatly reduced at roundabouts when compared to traditional intersections.” So, roundabouts help move us along, they are safer, and Brister also added that roundabouts are more environmentally friendly. “They are a more green alternative as the need for idling is reduced, so there is a reduction in emissions from idling vehicles,” Brister said. “From an economic standpoint, the reduction in severe crashes, coupled with the lower life cycle costs because there are no traffic signals or signs to upkeep or replace, make roundabouts an overall positive enhancement to the existing infrastructure of our community.” Oh, she brought that up, too. If you’re still not sold on them, it turns out that roundabouts save money as well. You don’t have to pay for and install all those traffic lights. And you don’t need electricity all day, every day of the year, for those lights. And the life of a roundabout is more than two times that of a traffic signal. And if you still think roundabouts just don’t fit in Louisiana, well, they have their own Facebook page, so I’m thinking they are here to stay. But I’ll be honest. To have all of our citizens going in the same direction doesn’t seem that American to me right now. Maybe all of us should ride through that big Hammond roundabout system just to remind us about rules for the greater good and that everybody can go the same direction and actually get somewhere.

BUILDING PRIDE IN 2017 Your Parish Government has much to celebrate as we close 2017. Every day people who work in Parish Government, people you know as your neighbors and friends, work to build pride in our community, and 2017 was no exception. In January of this year, we announced $7.9 million in grant funding for the Lower W-15 Area/Lower French Branch Basin Drainage Improvement Project in the Slidell area. This initiative is currently underway. Soon after, we announced the launch of our full-time litter abatement crew who, in the first thirty days, cleaned up over 50,000 pounds of litter. Work on Safe Haven, our vision for a comprehensive system of behavioral health care, has continued to progress. Earlier this year, we announced that the search for an operator was underway, and we broke ground on the NAMI Day Center on the Safe Haven campus. We launched our real-time interactive Progress Map for residents to utilize as a tool to keep up with road and drainage projects that Parish Government is working to complete. We also announced a partnership with Waze to aid us in pushing out information regarding road closures during any emergency event. This summer, all of you helped us vote the Tammany Trace into the National Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. As we moved through 2017, we unveiled our Path to the Future, a visionary plan that will take a focused, systematic approach to making Capital Road Improvements. You can learn more about all of the initiatives your Parish Government works to complete every day at stpgov.org/initiatives. We want to offer congratulations to the publishing team at Edge of the Lake on your one-year anniversary. We wish you many more. PAT BRISTER St. Tammany Parish President

A statewide celebration of Louisiana’s cultural treasures. Art exhibitions • Art markets • Book signings • Literary readings • Concerts • Live theatre • Museums Dance exhibitions • Art workshops • Healing arts • Local film screenings • Culinary adventures Including St. Tammany’s Holiday Festival of Arts and An Evening with St. Tammany Greats - Covington WineArt Wednesday, Winter on the Water Festival and Christmas Past - Mandeville Christmas in Olde Towne Slidell, Spirit of the Season and Christmas Under the Stars - Slidell

See complete event schedules at www.ShopLocalArtistsWeek.com

These events were made possible with support from the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. Supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council. St. Tammany’s Holiday Festival of Arts is supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts as administered by St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs.

A Northshore Cultural Economy Coalition initiative • 2017 LA Senate Concurrent Resolution 20




of Norman Faucheux

Norman Faucheux is a young man working in a very old art form. “Iconography” derives from the Greek words for “image” and “to write.” Religious iconography, Faucheux’s chosen field, is “the artistic depiction of religious figures, often using symbolism.” But for the Folsom native it’s much more than that. The act of putting brush to canvas is a highly personal form of prayer for him. Each stroke is a religious experience, an act of personal worship. “It’s not so much painting as writing out your prayers through art,” he said. Faucheux’s love of religious or “sacred art” began when he was a small boy attending mass with his family at St. John the Baptist Church in Folsom. “That beautiful little church is such a surprise, tucked away in the middle of nowhere,” Faucheux said. “They call it ‘the cathedral in the woods.’ I’d sit there staring at the stained-glass windows and the marble statues and I’d think, ‘Wow, a person did that. How cool would it be if I did that someday?’” He also spent time, as a boy, at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Covington and was enthralled by the artwork of the Dutch

monk and fellow iconographer, Father Gregory De Wit. “De Wit’s murals find a great balance between naturalism and idealism,” Faucheux said. “He painted in the style of his time (the 1950s) yet managed to make it timeless as well.” The son of a commercial artist, Norman spent hours of his childhood drawing alongside his dad, as the elder Faucheaux worked on commercial art projects. “My parents were super supportive of all our gifts,” he said. “They encouraged my brothers, my sister, and me to use whatever gifts God has given us. There was always art in the house and good music and good movies. As young as first grade, I was already telling people I was going to be an artist and the margins of all my notebooks were filled with my drawings.” Norman’s dad was a huge inspiration, offering his son tips and exposing him to different mediums. He also watched him sketch out and create large murals. “Then I got to St. Paul’s and Mr. Gerald Ancar guided me toward fine art and painting,” Faucheaux said. “I knew even then that I wanted to combine my art and my faith.

EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018


NORMAN FAUCHEUX normanfaucheux.com

“Norman is an excellent artist due to his passion, drive, mentality, and his family influence. He was able to see all aspects of art from his father and me, melding the two. He was willing and able to explore all avenues of the things I was teaching him, no matter the challenge. His ability to execute each and every assignment through the years allowed me to see a very talented young artist work through all mediums and excel in solving problems, visually turning out stunning pieces of art every year as a student.” Gerald Ancar, III Fine Arts Department Chair St. Paul’s School


But it wasn’t until my junior year at LSU that I really began taking my faith seriously.” Faucheaux was attending Christ the King church on the LSU campus when he says he underwent a conversion. At that time, several elements came together. As he made an effort to commit himself deeper and deeper to his Catholic faith, he was studying fine art and art history from early Christianity to the Baroque era, and he made his first trip to Europe, visiting Germany and France and viewing the works of the early masters. “I’ve always had an interest in Medieval times,” Faucheux said. “It was something my parents helped me explore. It fascinates me to see a particular people in a particular culture at a particular time preserved on an artist’s canvas. It’s very humanizing: the mind, will, and intellect of the artist coming together in a material work.” As Faucheux merged his artist abilities with his expanding Catholic faith, sacred images began coming to life on his oversized canvases with bright acrylic colors and sharp geometric shapes. “I started in acrylic because it was cheaper and I was still in school,” Faucheux

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said. “I inherited artist-grade materials from my dad, that he had left over from different mural projects. But the acrylics really lent themselves to the effect I was trying to create. We’ve lost so much of the craftsmanship our French, Italian and Spanish forebears built this country on, built into our churches and chapels. I want to help bring it back.” Faucheux has begun selling his exquisite oversized canvases. He’s sold commissioned pieces to St. Benedict’s in Covington and the Abbey and to other churches around the state. “My work is mostly going to Catholic churches, being commissioned by priests,” he said. “For each commission, I research the life of the church’s patron saint. There’s a reason a church is named for a certain saint. There’s a connection. When I’m working on a saint and researching their life for an extended period, they become very present to me. Then it can be hard to let the painting go when it’s complete.” “With sacred art, the end is always prayer,” Faucheaux said. “I am a journeying artist, and I’ve just begun my journey. I’m also a



journeying Catholic just beginning that lifelong journey. I often think of Jesus’ parable of the talents. To each was given a number of talents. But only those who used their talents were given more. I want to use my talents and I want to use them for Him.” For years, Faucheux searched for direction with his sacred art. “I’d search the internet for a school or an instructor, but the only thing I’d see is the Sacred Art School Firenze in Florence, Italy,” he said. “That didn’t seem like a possibility.” Another kind of direction did come into his life, as a result of his involvement at Christ the King church. Faucheux met a beautiful young woman who, last May, became his wife. “Teresa drags me out of myself,” he said. “I’m introverted. She’s extroverted. She said if I’m going to make sacred art my career, I have to go all the way. Now that I’m married and growing more in human love, it’s sparking an interest in learning in the ‘human style.’ Florence, Italy was the center of the humanism art movement. So, Teresa and I are moving to Florence for two years, so I can study at the Sacred Art School Firenze.” Faucheux is already looking forward to the things he’d like to do when his schooling is complete. “I’d like to come back and document the history of Catholicism in Louisiana,” he said. In the meantime, an adventure of another kind is on his horizon. Norman and Teresa will become parents during their time in Italy.

It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since the first issue of EDGE of the Lake was brought to life for our community. On behalf of the City of Covington, I would like to congratulate the staff of EDGE of the Lake for the outstanding job they are doing. Thank you for bringing intriguing and interesting local stories to the residents of this area. The magazine’s creativity and uniqueness offers further appreciation and knowledge about our great community and the people who call the Northshore home. In 2017, we concluded many important infrastructure projects, such as the DOTD Hwy 21 project, local bridge replacements and repairs, street upgrades, and the construction of new sidewalks. Looking forward to 2018, we will initiate more infrastructure projects, and Phase 1 implementation of the Bogue Falaya Master Plan. We also look forward to a renovation of the “Old” Fire Station on Theard Street to bring this gem back to life. I wish all a peaceful holiday season and New Year filled with family, friends, and joy. I invite all of you to get into the holiday spirit in Covington by shopping at our local boutiques and shops, dining at our award winning restaurants, and enjoying our quaint downtown. Lastly, please be generous during this holiday season and throughout the year in supporting our local non-profits and service organizations which benefit our community.

MIKE COOPER City of Covington Mayor

This Holiday Season Give the Gift of Health.





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Imagine being able to hear the past. No, not see, hear. About 1.3 billion years ago, which is about 1.2 billion years before dinosaurs existed — and even before there were multi-celled organisms on Earth — two black holes collided. And on September 14, 2015, we heard it happen. Black holes appear often in sci-fi movies as portals to other universes or prodigious black monsters set on sucking in the entire universe, but what are they really, and why are they called black holes? Well, a black hole isn’t really a hole. It’s a place where a large amount of matter is contained in a very small space. Imagine an entire mountain squished inside a container smaller than the tip of a sharp pencil. A long time ago, before they were black holes, these illusive astronomical objects were actually stars. Most black holes form when, at the end of its lifecycle, a massive star collapses in on itself. So all of the mass of that star crumples into a much smaller space. The gravitational pull of any stellar object is dependent not only on its mass, but also its diameter. Because there is so much mass packed tightly in such a (relatively) tiny place, black holes have extremely strong gravitational force. If the Earth were to suddenly become half as big, but kept the same mass, we would all become four times as heavy! When a star collapses, this happens on a much larger scale, and gravity becomes so strong that even something as fast as light can’t outrun the pull of a black hole. It seems strange to think about light not being fast enough to escape something. When you flip on a light switch, the light seems to instantaneously fill the room. Actually, light has a finite speed. It is so fast, though, that the human eye can’t detect it, so something must be very, very far away from a light source for us to notice the time it takes for light to travel. If the Sun were to all of the sudden “turn off,” the sky wouldn’t actually go dark for another 8 minutes. This is because the Sun is so far from the Earth that the light takes about 8 minutes to reach us. So the reason the sky wouldn’t go dark immediately is that the light that was en route to us right before the sun went dark will still reach us. For example, if you knock over a glass of water, but catch it before all of the water spills out, the water that left the glass right before you caught it will still hit the ground, even though by that time no more water is spilling out. The reason the speed of light is so important is because it is the fastest thing we know. Though whether or not something could theoretically travel faster than light is up for debate. In either case, there is a boundary of sorts around a black hole called the Schwarzschild radius, inside of which the gravitational pull of the black hole is so great that nothing, even light, can escape. This is why black holes are black: if something doesn’t emit or reflect light, we cannot see it. It is also why they are so hard to study. Most of the things we want to look at in the universe emit light or radiation. These can be detected in the form of waves that travel from their locations deep in space all the way to our detectors on Earth. Black holes don’t emit anything, so we can’t detect them. Or at least not until 2015.

In 1915, Albert Einstein published his theory of general relativity. In it, he predicted the existence of gravitational waves. Before this time, scientists believed objects in the universe did not affect the space or time around them: both space and time were constant. Einstein, however, proposed the existence of a universe in which the mass inside that universe influenced the space and time around it. This is called space-time. Einstein said that certain objects with extremely high mass and acceleration would produce ripples in the ‘fabric’ of space-time. These are extremely small, however, and even the slightly larger waves produced by the collision and merger of two black holes equate to a change from the norm by only 2 billionths of a billionth of a yard. The barely detectable ripples in space-time starkly contrast with the violence of the actual event. When two black holes begin to orbit around each other, their powerful gravitational pulls cause them to spiral inward towards each other. As they get closer and closer, they spin faster and faster, continuously sending waves with higher and higher frequencies. The speed at which they move is unimaginable: two objects orbiting each other at 6/10 the speed of light! Eventually, their mutual gravities cause the spherical black holes to stretch in towards each other, becoming oblong, until they finally collide in a cosmic cataclysm. The change in frequency as the black holes get closer is why when we convert that gravitational wave to something we can hear, it sounds something like a drip of water from a leaky bathtub faucet hitting a tub full of water. Relative to the rest of the universe, the waves are so small and hard to detect that Einstein didn’t think we would ever be able to construct a machine sensitive enough to detect them. So when gravitational waves were actually detected in 2015, we proved Einstein right by proving him wrong. The waves were detected by machines in Washington State and right here in Livingston, Louisiana at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). The machines use a laser that is split into two parts that travel almost 2 ½ miles to a mirror and are then reflected back onto a light detector. There is an intricate system to account for any movements of the Earth that could disrupt the laser. These range from earthquakes halfway across the world to a supply truck driving into the facility. All of these changes are taken into account so the scientists there are able to detect and isolate the smallest shifts caused only by gravitational waves. The two locations (since then a third is up and running in Pisa, Italy) were able to compare data to rule out any data imperfections and confirm the first detection of gravitational waves. So we know why we can hear the collision of two black holes, but how do we hear into the past? Well, we already know that light from the sun takes about 8 minutes to reach us. So the light we see when we look up towards the sun was emitted 8 minutes ago. The sound detected two years ago traveled 1.3 billion light years to reach us. A light year is simply how far light travels in one year, and since these gravitational waves have been proven to move at the speed of light, the waves that reached us were emitted 1.3 billion years ago. For all we know the black hole formed from this collision is vastly different now, but we won’t have a chance to find out until 1.3 billion years in the future. There is a slim chance it is currently colliding with another black hole and emitting gravitational waves large enough to detect, but maybe that far in the future we will be able to detect even the slightest ripples in space-time. Or will humans even be here to hear it?

LAT 30° 33’ 46.7899” N, LONG 90° 46’ 27.1423” W LIGO: Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory ligo.caltech.edu/LA 19100 LIGO Lane, Livingston 225.686.3100 Visit on Science Saturdays: 3rd Saturday of every month

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EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018

When Richard Reeves was on the New Orleans police force, he was looking for a relaxing hobby to counteract the stress of his job. He took up decoy carving in the late ‘70s, and once he realized he was pretty good at it, he took some lessons off-andon to get better. Now, a retired Police Major, Reeves is a threetime world champion decoy carver. Reeves says that he never considered himself artistic before he started carving decoys. In fact, he says that he can’t create ‘flat art.’ But it is perspective that is important to create 3D art, and Reeves has a real gift for it. Richard and his wife, Kathy, moved to Covington from Chalmette. While they lost most everything in Katrina, Richard’s carving knives made it, even after siting underwater for two months. Now Richard and Kathy live on a lake, and Richard spends most nice days sitting outside carving and listening to soft music or audio books about history from the public library.

Carving takes good eyesight, steady hands and a patient disposition. It takes Reeves about six months to finish a pair of decoys. Because Reeves now makes his livelihood doing what was once merely a relaxing pastime, he works on several miniature birds at the same time he is carving the larger pair. Reeves says that the smaller birds are more affordable, so he sells more of them, especially for gifts. The larger birds usually end up in the office or home of a collector. Reeves has customers from around the world who check in with him periodically. They may call to ask, “What are you working on?” Reeves says, or they may want to commission a piece. Reeves, himself, has a fine collection of his own work, but he doesn’t have all three sets of birds that won him three world championships. The pair that won him his first world championship is on display in a museum at the University of Maryland.

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It is no wonder that his art has achieved such significant recognition. The detail on his decoys is so accurate that the only way to know for sure that he has not attached real feathers is to touch them. And even then, you have to touch them again, just to be sure. “I’m creating something that hopefully 100 years from now someone will still appreciate,” he said. “It gives you a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.” And accomplishments come in abundance for Reeves. Along with being a three-time world champion, he is a four-time North American champion and has won over 100 best of show awards from competitions across the country. For the World Championship, all competitors enter a pair of the same species of ducks; in 2018 they will all be carving a pair of Gadwalls. The Masters is the next level up, and to qualify you need to have placed in the top three in the World Championship. The carvers only enter one bird for this event. “This hobby just happened to pop up, and it’s one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done,” he said. “I’m a hyperactive person, so you wouldn’t think I could spend a lot of time on detail, but it’s the exact opposite. Once you get involved with carving, it calms you down.” “It’s almost addictive. You want to do it all the time. I wake up in the morning and think about what I’m going to work on that day,” Reeves said. Reeves estimates that he has carved upwards of 1000 ducks over the years. He says it is a true American art form, but “has become an old man’s game.” Richard and fellow carvers are trying to change that by giving demonstrations at Southeastern Louisiana University. He then teaches any students for free, even providing the wood (Tupelo Gum) and tools to use. Richard clearly has a passion and a talent that he is eager and willing to share and cultivate. While the World Championship is the largest decoy show in North America, the second largest is the North American Show in Mandeville. This is a fall event at the Castine Center hosted by the Louisiana Wildfowl Carvers and Collectors Guild. It attracts decoy lovers and professional carvers from all over the world, and also people just curious about the art. Reeves says that each year they usually pick up a new carver or two. With the enthusiasm Reeves shows for his art form, and his willingness to teach it to others, maybe soon decoy carving will become a young man’s (and woman’s) game. RICHARD REEVES 985 892 2215


EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018

SIMPLY SOUTHERN Join us as we celebrate “The most wonderful time of the year” with our incredible selection of Louisiana made Christmas ornaments! 70488 Hwy 21 / Covington / 985-871-1466 Www.simlysouthern.com

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f you’re a student of 20th century pop culture, or old enough to personally recall, you know that Walter Cronkite’s famous nightly broadcast sign-off was truly emblematic of the newsmen of yesteryear. Serious television journalists like Edward R. Murrow, Roger Mudd, and Cronkite were pillars of detached stoicism. They were purveyors of information who managed to engage their audiences without injecting themselves or their personalities into the stories they reported. While today’s news anchors are still expected to maintain a certain degree of objectivity, the advent of the digital age has altered the culture. Just ask Fox 8 News anchor John Snell. An industry veteran of 40 years, he’s personally witnessed the evolution of the business, and adapted along with it. “I remember years ago while I was covering a story, I was fixated on a welding arc. I started wondering what shutter speed would capture the lines of light, then realized it was taking away from my job as a reporter. Today, journalists are encouraged to capture a story visually in this digital world. If you had told me that six years ago, I would’ve laughed.” One might think that a serious-minded journalist would develop a creative hobby as an escape from the rigors of such a meticulous line of work, but in Snell’s case, it evolved alongside his professional endeavors. “As I began shooting my own stories, I started experimenting with video,” he explains. This experimentation led to a genuine love of and talent for photography. As a result, he’s become a celebrated local wildlife photographer. “It’s primarily for fun and relaxation. It’s therapy. My most awe-inspiring moments have taken place at sea level or at 11,000 feet up in the mountains.”


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Nature, News & the Northshore


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EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018

Photo Jerry Cottrell

If you check out his Facebook page, @ JohnSnellNola, which he says is the best place to view his work, be prepared to lose yourself for quite a while. Snell describes it as a “collection of photos, news items, geeky tech stuff & whatever piques my interest (but mostly photos).” He’s not kidding. His page contains a multitude of his own incredible images — many of which are of waterfowl, sunrises, and sunsets — that reflect careful composition and attention to detail while celebrating the untamed, unmitigated majesty of nature. As a resident of the Northshore, it’s no wonder that some of Snell’s favorite places to shoot are the nearby Tchefuncte Lighthouse in Madisonville, Lake Road in Lacombe, and Salt Bayou on Old Spanish Trail in Slidell. One of his most stunning images, however, is understatedly labeled “Lighting up the Oaks.” Taken in Fontainebleau State Park on October 18th of this year, it captures a dramatic moment when an ancient, Spanish moss-covered live oak tree, backlit by the sun, appears to be fully engulfed in flames. It’s almost surreal. Though he spends a lot of time photographing the Northshore, Snell is quick to add that he doesn’t limit himself geographically. “I’m known to jump in the car and drive to Holly Beach on a whim on a Saturday morning and just start shooting. I take pride in having been to pretty much every dot on the Louisiana map.” If you ask about the best images he’s ever captured, the consummate journalist can immediately recall the dates and circumstances with laser focus. One in particular was taken on December 3, 2009. “I decided to take a picture of St. Louis Cathedral. It was bitterly cold, and just as the sun came up, I glanced in my rear view mirror and aaauuuuggghhh!” he exclaims (“I don’t know how you’re going to spell that,” he joked.) “The clouds lit up in an unbelievable scene. People think it was Photoshopped, but it really was an explosion of blues and tans.” Sadly, Snell’s work is not currently available for sale. This is partly due to time constraints — he’s a busy guy — and partly because he simply doesn’t see his photography as a business venture. “I love Louisiana. I think posting pictures is my way of expressing love for it. I only had a one-year contract when I first came here, and



I had a chance to leave, but this is where I want to live. It gets in your blood.” But his love of the region goes beyond aesthetics. He’s developed a keen interest in our local ecology, as is apparent in his 2012 documentary, “Disappearing Defenses.” It delves into South Louisiana’s ailing wetlands and dwindling natural storm protections. And, by the way, it won an Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio-Television Digital New Directors Association and a distinguished Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Beyond photography, which he describes as “a mix of art and mechanics, and knowing what the camera will do,” Snell claims he has no artistic ability. “I can barely write my own name,” he kids. “I should’ve been a doctor.” Humility seems to be one of Snell’s defining characteristics. Not only was he exceedingly patient and accommodating when a few scheduling issues and technical snafus delayed and disrupted this interview, but when you watch his reporting or scroll through his Facebook page, the words “understated” and “unassuming” frequently come to mind. The succinct, deferential text that accompanies his photographs allows him to lend perspective without actually stepping between the beauty and the beholder. In this respect, he has a lot in common with the news industry’s famously stoic pioneers. Yet, if Cronkite, Murrow, or Mudd had any creative leanings, the public certainly wasn’t privy. And that’s the way they wanted it. In Snell’s case, his photography bespeaks his very personal investment in this region, which adds compelling depth and sincerity to his reporting. And that’s the way it is.

On Friday, December 8th at dusk, the Old Mandeville Business Association will host their annual “Sips of the Season.” Stroll or take a trolley, stopping along the way to visit our wonderful merchants. A mug purchase ($20) is your admission and allows you to sample the creative libations at each stroll stop. For more information, visit mandevillebiz.com. On Saturday, December 9th, a full slate of Christmas activities are planned, starting with the Farmer’s Market at the Mandeville Trailhead and the Old Mandeville Business Association’s Christmas Past Festival from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., featuring Amanda Shaw from 12:30 - 2:00. Girod Street will be lined with arts and crafts, food and beverage, and bands and strolling carolers, all following an old-time holiday theme. “Winter on the Water” begins at 4 p.m. with Santa’s parade from Jackson Avenue to the Gazebo — then photos with Santa! Next, I will light the oaks and entertainment will be provided by Soul Revival. Mandeville Elementary will ring the bells, face painting will be available, and a boat parade on the lake will follow. The festivities end at 6 p.m., leaving plenty of time for dinner at one of our local restaurants. Mardi Gras season arrives early this year. The Krewe of Eve will parade February 2nd and The Original Krewe of Orpheus February 9th. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! DONALD VILLERE City of Mandeville Mayor

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Make sure Santa doesn't forget Mama



EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018

Across the country, chambers of commerce work to bring their communities together, uniting the interests of local business owners and citizens and fostering community pride and prosperity. But few have filled this role with the flair and finesse — and just plain FUN — of the East St. Tammany Chamber. I recently spent the morning in the iconic local landmark that serves as their offices and found it reminiscent of an old town square, with townsfolk popping in and out, local artists and artisans collaborating on their work, and even an impromptu singalong. Four years ago, Chamber CEO Dawn Sharpe spearheaded renovations of the circa 1808 building, which sits across from the historic train depot in a spot she calls “the gateway to Olde Towne Slidell.” “Anyone who grew up in Slidell has a memory of this building,” said Sharpe, who herself remembers eating there with her family on Mother’s Day when she was growing up. “We have older residents come in all the time to share their memories of this place.” Over the years, the 8,000-square-foot masonry structure has served as a liquor store, hotel, saloon, restaurant, mini-brewery, trading company, nightclub, photography studio, office building, and if local lore is to be believed, a brothel. And, yes, there is a resident ghost reported to reside on the top floor. Just before the chamber took possession the building served as a manufacturing plant. “It was in a very raw state when we bought it,” Sharpe says. “It was important to the board of directors and to me that we maintain the original


character of the building.” And that they did, right down to the paint colors on the outside. “There were a few spots on the inside walls where the old brick was showing through and the contractor said, ‘We’ve got to fix that.’ I’d tell him, ‘NO! That’s character!’” Sharpe’s vision was to place chamber offices on the top floor and open the ground floor to local artists and small businesses. “We now have 30 artists cooping their work downstairs,” she says. “We also have a coffee shop, a pottery studio, a pie lady (who sold almost 500 pies in her first month here) and a space for small businesses to incubate. We added an awning and outdoor decking where we hold after-hours events and a Saturday farmer’s market.” Artwork for sale in the open artists’ area includes traditional paintings, many with regional themes, pottery, stained glass, handmade soaps, multimedia creations, and an entire room of eclectic “Mardi Gras mischief dolls” crafted on the spot. In the center of the space is a one-of-a-kind, hand-painted piano, donated by a local family, which one Slidell resident likes to visit on Wednesdays. I was lucky enough to be there when she popped in. An Alzheimer’s patient, she’s been non-verbal for years. But on her weekly visits to the chamber building, she settles down to the piano to play. And the songs come out, word-for-word. As she played this day, the artists stopped their work and they and a few shoppers made their way over to the piano. Our songstress’ smile was radiant — and contagious — and it occurred to me that this is what a chamber of commerce was meant to look like.

DEAR CITIZENS, I am inviting you to join us for these free Christmas events in Olde Towne Slidell: Christmas Under the Stars: Dec. 1-2 & 8-9 in Griffith Park featuring lights and decorations, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Parade of Trees, Santa’s Magical Mailbox and letter writing station, food and drink, and life-size Christmas Cottages and Nativity created by artist Lori Gomez. Christmas in Olde Towne: Saturday, Dec. 9th from 6 to 9 p.m., featuring caroling, dining and unique shopping experiences. Spirit of the Season competition: Olde Towne Slidell will be decked out in lights and decorations, Dec. 1 through Jan. 1. Mixed Media December juried art exhibition in the Slidell Cultural Center at City Hall: Wednesdays and Fridays from 12 to 4 p.m., Thursdays from 12 to 6 p.m. and during Christmas Under the Stars. Slidell Movie Night: Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. at Slidell’s Bayou Christmas in Heritage Park. Holiday Concert with the Northshore Community Orchestra: Thursday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Slidell Municipal Auditorium. For more information, please visit myslidell. com or call the Dept. of Cultural & Public Affairs at 985.646.4375. This holiday season, I’m asking everyone to shop local. Save on time, money and gasoline and support your local small businesses. They need your patronage now more than ever. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

FREDDY DRENNAN City of Slidell Mayor


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April 6-29 Fri. and Sat. 8PM Sunday at 2PM

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EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018

Make Up Gift Box

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EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018


Green Velvet Jacket TAT 2 Necklace The Vine Boutique

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gift basket Nonna Randazzo’s

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EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018

holiday DRESSES Once Upon A Child

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1326 Corporate Square Boulevard Slidell 985.649.1326

Skincare Products Paradise on Columbia Med Spa

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EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018


necklace Shoeffle

228 N. Columbia Street Covington 985.898.6465

bracelet The Villa

1281 N. Causeway Blvd #1 Mandeville 985.626.9797

Shoes Style Encore

4244 Hwy 22 Mandeville 985.674.7776


EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018

Skincare Line by Skinauthority The O Spa at Franco’s Athletic Club

100 Bon Temp Roule Mandeville 985.792.0200

wrap Columbia Street Mercantile

231 and 236 N. Columbia Street Covington 985.809.1789 EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018


Mix Masters

The St. Tammany Art Association (STAA), along with the sponsorship and support of local businesses, galleries and restaurants, presented Fall for Art in historic downtown Covington on October 21st. The annual event draws some 4,000 visitors. During Fall for Art the STAA hosted their Mix Masters competition, pitting bartenders from local restaurants against each other in the hopes of earning the Mix Masters title (and cash prizes). Evaluating the contestants’ specialty drinks were judges United Way Executive Director Charlotte Champagne, ArtScape columnist Sarah Bonnette, and EDGE of the Lake publisher Sarah Cottrell. Spectators were also invited to participate in sampling the cocktails and voted on a People’s Choice award. The winner of both the People’s Choice and the Mix Masters Award was Oxlot 9’s Paul Calecas. Paul prepared a Serrano Apple Margarita.

SERRANO APPLE MARGARITA INGREDIENTS • Calvados • Cimarron Blanco Tequila • Lime juice • Agave nectar • Apple-Serrano purée DIRECTIONS • Dip the rim in Agave Nectar and dust with salt, cinnamon and pepper. • Mix all ingredients in a shaker, pour into glass. • Garnish with Compressed Apple. Recipe courtesy of Paul Calecas


Stockings are hung, presents are wrapped and you found the perfect holiday outfit. You are feeling festive, and dare I say, bold. You want to spice it up a little with a nice red lip. But, wait. You have tried this before and, well… disaster. Let’s try it again, but with a little guidance.






Your Best Red A Plum Wine Our Pick Desert Rose by Kismet

Your Best Red A Raspberry or Cranberry Red Our Pick Moment by Kismet

Fair skin ladies, such as red heads, have to be cautious when selecting a red. But if done right, you will look phenomenal. Anything too dark and you run the risk of washing yourself out. Do not try to match the lipstick tones to your hair — it will give you the same result. A plum wine is your go-to shade. The cooler undertones will go perfectly with your cooler skin tone. Complete your look with some gold eye shadow and bronzer on the cheeks.

For lighter skin tones, whether a brunette or a blonde, there are a lot of options when it comes to red lipsticks. But you won’t ever go wrong with a Cranberry Red. Berry-reds really compliment the cooler-pink undertones you find in lighter coloring. Finish off your look with a minimal eye, contoured cheeks and voluminous lashes.



Your Best Red A Blue Red Our Pick Burnout by Kismet

Your Best Red Oxblood Our Pick Vino by Kismet

For those with a medium skin tone, find a bright red. Whether you want to go fiery or with a true-blue red, you can pull off both. My recommendation is a blue-red, because the cooler undertone will make your teeth look whiter. Keep the rest of your makeup subtle: try a simple winged eyeliner in black.

The darker the skin, the darker the lip. Those with dark skin get to wear the fun colors all makeup artists dream about. While it may seem a bit dramatic, you can absolutely wear these colors during the day and into the night. Top off your look with a shimmery gold eye color to really nail the holiday look.

EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018

BROOKE Fair Skin - Desert Rose

HEATHER Lighter Skin - Moment

CALLIE Medium Skin - Burnout

COURTNEY Dark Skin - Vino

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Experience the Holidays In Old Mandeville December 8th - 9th

November 24th thru January 1st

Shop Local Artist Week December 3rd - 9th

To participate in the Lighted Boat Parade & Contest contact Brian at (985) 789-0998 or keelbt@aol.com. Don’t forget cameras for pictures with Santa. FREE to the Public.

Do you have selective hearing or simply not hearing as clearly as you once did? Call our board certified audiologist, Dr. JJ Martinez, today to set up your appointment.

CAFE LUKE Dinner Theatre

Sunday, December 31 7PM-12:30PM 5 course Dinner Live Stage Play Music • Dancing

Reservations required $55 per person (cash bar)

DON’T HUG ME WE’RE MARRIED OTHER DATES: JAN. 5, 6, 12, 13 - 2018 153 Robert St., Olde Towne Slidell LA 70458 985 707 1597 cafeluke.com

631 N Causeway Blvd Mandeville, LA 70448

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125 E 21st Ave Covington, LA 70433

Photo courtesy of Nan Sanders


Back in the day when you mother’s right arm was your seatbelt, kids and their dogs roamed free – from morning ‘till dinnertime – with nary a worry. Gaylord, a canine of dubious lineage, was my roaming companion as I journeyed barefoot to places that interested me: the neighborhood pool and park, various friends’ houses and sometimes the inside of model homes when there was no car in the driveway. After a day of satiating a bit of wanderlust, I was called home for dinner by my mother. Without knowing where I was, she started with a whistle. If that didn’t work, she wandered around the neighborhood looking for Gaylord. Whatever front yard he was sitting in, was the house I was playing in. Gaylord became our family dog in 1969 when we adopted him from the Slidell ‘pound.’ He was medium size, white and black, loving, loyal and smart. It was only after he moved in with us that we discovered he had a natural bent for mischievous pranks. When the dog catcher made his way through our neighborhood, Gaylord made a point of running alongside the dog catcher’s paddy wagon to get his attention. Then, once the dog catcher was out of the truck and running down the street toward Gaylord, Gaylord would circle back, jump into the front of the truck – it was open like a mail truck – jump out on the other side and then run away. It was brilliant! Now, years later, in a time when cars come with their own seatbelts, the Slidell Animal Control, formerly known by kids in Slidell as the ‘pound,’ is still matching dogs (and cats) with their forever families. My elder daughter recently adopted a dog from the Slidell Animal Control. He is small, white with a little brown,

loving, loyal and smart. Whether Neds has a mischievous side is still unknown. But I hope so. So many animals in St. Tammany, Washington, and Tangipahoa Parishes are looking for homes just like yours! Pets of every breed, size, and age can be found at the animal shelters around you if you look with a patient and loving eye. Some people are hesitant to adopt from a shelter because they are seeking a certain breed or look, but do not fear, shelters have a pet for even the pickiest owners. Purebreds do come into shelters, so keep a vigilant watch if that is your goal. And while you’re looking, you may surprise yourself by falling for a more scraggly, scruffy new friend. If a forever pet isn’t for you, consider fostering a pet so that they can enjoy a little more love while they are waiting for their forever home! Animals need to be fostered for a variety of reasons, such as being too young for adoption, recovering from an illness or procedure, needing a more calm environment, or requiring more one-on-one attention than shelter employees and volunteers have the time to provide. Fostering can also be a great way to find out what kind of pet is best for you, whether calm or active, dog or cat, big or small. Most shelters have an adoption fee, which is much lower than a breeder’s fee, and helps defray the costs of taking care of so many animals. When you adopt a dog or cat, chances are it will be spayed/neutered and have up-todate vaccinations. Some centers also deworm and pay for flea and tick prevention. Microchips may be an added bonus and can help return a lost pet, even without a collar. Check with your chosen shelter to see what they offer!

EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018


Photo Jerry Cottrell

BIG SKY RANCH AND RETREAT Big Sky Ranch helps fund the CATNIP Foundation. They provide care, advocacy and treatment for neglected and indigent pets. bigskyranch.org/adoptions 985.276.0270 GREYHOUND PETS OF AMERICA Retired racing greyhounds looking for loving homes! (Louisiana and Mississippi) houndsabound.org 985.893.6981


EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018

ST. TAMMANY ANIMAL SHELTER IN LACOMBE This shelter also takes in lost pets and tries to find their owners! stpgov.org/departments/animal-services ST. TAMMANY HUMANE SOCIETY Adopt here and get 10% off all vet services! sthumane.org 985.892.7387 TANGI HUMANE SOCIETY All pets welcome for a $25 microchip in case they ever get lost! tangihumanesociety.org 985.419.9900

Photo Jerry Cottrell

SLIDELL ANIMAL CONTROL This shelter also has small animals like rabbits and ferrets! myslidell.com/animal.control 985.646.4267 ST. TAMMANY ANIMAL RESOURCE TEAM Visit these pets at PetSmart in Covington on Saturdays 12-4 pm! startfosters.com

MAGNOLIA CHAPTER OF THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF LOUISIANA All dogs and cats are welcome for low cost spay/neuter at two clinics each month! magnoliahumane.rescuegroups.org 985.241.4290 PONCHARTRAIN HUMANE SOCIETY Consider a targeted donation from their wish list! pontchartrainhumanesociety.org 985.699.9040

EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018


125 Lake Drive Covington 985 327 7111 1915 S. Morrison Blvd. Hammond 985 345 8550

The City of


Christmas in the Country in Historic Downtown Covington Friday, November 24 thru Saturday, December 23

Holiday Festival of Arts Shop Local Artist Week Sunday, December 3 thru Saturday, December 9 Historic Downtown Covington

Deck the Rails at the Covington Trailhead Saturday, December 9 • 4 pm to 7 pm Children’s Event featuring Disney’s “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” and “The Small One”, Santa Claus and more . . .

Covington Heritage Foundation’s History and Holly 2017 Tour of Covington Homes Sunday, December 10 • 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm Christmas Caroling at the Covington Trailhead Thursday, December 14 • 7 pm to 8 pm Let It Snow Family Event Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17 For more information, call 985.892.1873

Covington Farmers Market Covington Trailhead • Every Wednesday • 10 am to 2 pm 609 N. Columbia Street • Every Saturday • 8 am to Noon

www.covla.com | gottaluvcov@covla.com | 985.892.1873

Free In-home Design Consultation Covington, LA • Baton Rouge, LA • Long Beach, MS www.afd-furniture.com




EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018

It’s everywhere! Not only is velvet dominating the women’s clothing, accessory, and shoe industry, but this sumptuous fabric is the luxe trend in menswear and home interiors as well. This uber trend started last fall with Prada, Bottega Veneta, Valentino, and so many more luxury clothing designers showcasing velvet in their 2016 fall collections. Thankfully the trend has returned with a fashionable vengeance and bolder interpretation. Make no mistake, this doesn’t mean you can dig that old black velvet dress out of the back of your closet. This season’s velvet colors are shades of fine jewels and go beyond the elastic-waist black column skirt from the 90’s. Way beyond. This plushy textile can be seen in all the shoe stores from tennis shoes to high heels and boots; and it’s covering the accessory market as well, from belts to back packs. Thinking about updating your home décor? Consider a velvet piece of furniture, such as an ottoman, sofa, or chair. We found several at American Factory Direct during our photoshoot. The visual appeal and smooth touch of velvet can make a living room so warm and inviting. But what exactly is velvet? The art of velvet weaving began in the Far East and made its way to Europe, becoming popular in the late medieval times, with the most magnificent velvets coming from Italy. Manufacturers create velvet on a special loom that can weave two different thicknesses at the same time. While the back is smooth, loops are woven and then cut short creating a dense, soft pile fabric on the front. It’s a complicated process and historically an expensive one, as the first velvet textiles were made of silk. The earliest mention of velvet in historic writings is in the 14th century where it’s referenced as the fabric for grand artistic wall hangings and robes for nobility. Today, velvet can be made from many natural and synthetic materials and is known for its smooth hand, rich colors, and ease of dyeing. As the owner of four velvet garments, one belt, and a pair of slip-on tennies, I am definitely crushing on the 2017 interpretation of this decadent fabric.

EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018


Live Nativity Storytelling

Open House


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Family Holiday Photos

For more information:

Sanctuary Tours

Silent Auctions

Bonfre Sing-along

Children’s Holiday Crafts

Food and Refreshments



The Enchanting City on Two Continents


Perhaps one of the most accessible and hospitable destinations in the Middle East, Istanbul is a place where flower boxes bloom beneath window bars and elderly men sit outside the same cafes every day, watching passersby or road construction, whatever may be happening that day in the ‘city of two continents.’   One of the most festive times to visit Istanbul is during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that occurs in the ninth month of the lunar calendar, usually spring or summer. Dazzling at night, long strings of mahya lights stretch between minarets – towers surrounding mosques from which calls to prayer ring out. Today loud speakers in the minarets broadcast the call to prayer five times a day and LED lights present the Quran phrases, but for centuries entire careers were dedicated to carefully stringing candles and hoisting them between towers. These men had to arrange candles based on the height of the minarets and the distance between them and then keep them lit all night, throughout each night of Ramadan. Through candlelight, swirling Arabic

script and intricate pictures delivered a religious message – sometimes scenes even involved continuously moving the ropes to create waves or fire – and illuminated the streets below for those breaking their fast at sunset. Today, the modern mahya lights accomplish the same thing and the streets are indeed filled, with celebrators enjoying the food and shows at nightly street parties organized to publicly celebrate the holy month of generosity. The one downside of the season is that those not fasting may not appreciate the beating of drums in the streets before dawn to signal that fasters should rise and eat before the day begins.   Beautiful day and night, interior and exterior, is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, commonly known as the Blue Mosque. It boasts an interior covered with intricately decorated blue tiles and an exterior of blue domes. Completed in 1616 when Muslim tradition fully embraced aniconism, dictating that religious art not feature human or animal forms, the interior of the Blue Mosque looks very different than

the interior of Christian churches of similar historic periods and significance. Symmetrical designs and Arabic calligraphy fill every wall and every inch of the ceiling, for an almost overwhelming visual experience. More than 20,000 ceramic tiles were handcrafted to accompany the stained glass windows and decorative verses from the Quran to create a spiritual place that inspires awe in worshippers of any religion.   Modest clothing is a requirement in many mosques. At larger and more famous mosques clothing judges diligently monitor the entrance and distribute reusable skirts and robes to anyone in tight or revealing clothing. These articles resemble medical scrubs and are fittingly blue at the Blue Mosque. Scarves are also given to women who do not bring their own head covering. While shoes must be removed, the plush carpet is a welcome respite for tourists’ tired feet. Smaller mosques still value modesty, but usually do not have the funds and manpower to make modest dress a requirement, so it is more of a strong suggestion.

Directly across from the Blue Mosque – and standing for nearly 1500 years through both Christian and Muslim rulers – is the Hagia Sophia. It is truly stunning to see what was originally a church transformed into a mosque through clever concealment of the bodies of Christian holy figures and the addition of a large mihrab. The mihrab shows the direction of Mecca, toward which the congregation faces to pray. Today the adornments of both religions are evident, a show of tolerance in what is now a museum. Through both deterioration and purposeful removal of sections of the top layer of design, Christian murals and mosaics can be seen side-by-side with Arabic prayers.   A romantic, or perhaps haunting, stop near Sultanahmet Square – the historic district in the center of the city with the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque – is the Basilica Cistern. Built in 532 AD to store water for a palace long-gone, this Byzantine cistern is now a tourist destination and an event venue that can be rented for weddings and gatherings. Enchanting music follows you as you stroll on raised wooden walkways above a shallow lake filled with carp. The hundreds of mismatched columns holding up the arched ceiling were taken from ruined temples, and in one spot two statues of Medusa lie upside down and sideways because, rumor has it, the builders were afraid to meet her gaze head-on. This grand, cavernous space is surprisingly beautiful for an underground site the builders thought no one would ever see.   Providing both practical transportation and a grand view for tourists, ferry rides to the Asian side of Istanbul run regularly and allow visitors to say they’ve been to another continent. Shopping across the Bosphorus River is some of the best, and the view

of mosques, mansions, and bridges is unbeatable at sunset. With the right timing, you can hear the evening call to prayer whilst on the river.   On a recent trip with my sister, our backpacks didn’t leave room for many extras, but we made an exception for carefully bubble-wrapped pottery. We visited Firça Ceramics, a shop that has been making beautiful, hand-crafted items for over 200 years. Their tradition, including a process knows as underglazing so that the colors are especially durable, has been passed down for generations. Whether to use or to display, the bowls and plates are exquisite, with prices based on size and intricacy of the design. Although Turkey is not famous in the U.S. for tulips, the region is proud of these flowers, and they are featured in many of the patterns.   Bazaars are the real place to shop in Istanbul, with more stores and stalls than you can visit in an entire trip. The Grand Bazaar alone has over 4,000 shops on 61 covered streets. Turkish scarves of every pattern and color are a main attraction, but there are also entire shops devoted to a single item, such as embroidered boots or scissors. Bazaars originated as sources of income for the mosque next door, with a small tax on every purchase benefitting the upkeep of the mosque. As such, there are roughly as many bazaars as mosques. While mosques are closed to the public during times of prayers, bazaars are open all day.   Charity is one of the pillars of Islam, and while tithing is required year-round, Sadaqah is voluntary charity – above and beyond what is required – and is practiced especially during Ramadan. It is a time to be generous – feed stray dogs, offer strangers advice, give money to the poor, etc. So if you get lost, just yell – or ask – for help. Several Turks are sure to rush to your side.

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EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018


The eyes of freedom

orporal David “Bear” Stewart, United States Marine Corp, was a true gentleman with a kind soul. He was a good listener, laughed wholeheartedly, and saw service to his country as a calling. After his first tour in Iraq, Cpl. Stewart was awarded the Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal for Valor as a result of a heroic act in battle. That act occurred in 2003, when fellow marines were pinned down under enemy fire and the bullets were jammed in the gun on his amphibious assault vehicle. Under heavy fire, Cpl. Stewart crawled out of the vehicle to dislodge the jam. Not once, but twice. Back for the second Iraq War, Cpl. Stewart was assigned to the turret on an amphibious assault vehicle. This time he was on top of the vehicle as the “gunner.” On August 3, 2005, the vehicle came in range of an improvised explosive device (IED). The detonation of this IED was the most deadly explosion in the Iraq War. It sent the amphibious assault vehicle hurling into the air and it landed top down.

Shortly before this, Cpl. Stewart’s family in Bogalusa had received what would be the last letter he wrote home. He was looking forward to turning 25 the following week, and to coming home for Christmas to spend time on the river with family and friends and to see his fiancé. He specifically wanted a “motivated Christmas tree,” which meant entirely red, white and blue. Motivation was important to Cpl. Stewart. His fellow marines said that when morale was low, he would cheer them up, make them laugh, keep them going. In fact, they thought it was unusual that the most motivated marine they knew was so kindhearted. On Veterans Day 2017, Cpl. Stewart and 22 other fallen marines were honored in Bogalusa through a powerful tribute: a memorial to one of the most heavily engaged units of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Through 23 life-size portraits, artist Anita Miller’s vision has become a powerful traveling military tribute honoring all who answer our Nation’s call: then, now and tomorrow. It is called The Eyes of Freedom.

EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018


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Portrait and Wedding Photographer, LA Website: maddicairnsphotography.com Instagram: @maddicairnsphoto Email: madelinercairns@gmail.com

Every week or two, I like to take my 7-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter to the English Tea Room in Covington. They love it, and when it’s ‘Tea Room time’ they know that it is special. The English Tea Room is everything British, including the flags and the great red phone booth outside. My kids like to get the Nipper’s High Tea, which is an adorable assortment of finger sandwiches, desserts, scones, and, of course, a small pot of tea. I usually get the soup of the day and the Coronation Chicken Salad, which is chicken in a curry-based sauce with grapes, chopped apples and walnuts. Sometimes I lean towards a more English meal and order the Traditional Egg Salad. But my absolute favorite part of the meal is the Savory Scones. I have no idea how they make them or what is in them, but it is probably the best thing I have ever had, especially with the house-made clotted cream. It is to die for. My husband Jeffery doesn’t always get to go on these family outings. When he does, he loves to get the Bangers and Mash, which is two sausage links served with mashed potatoes, brown onion gravy, a side salad, and a scone. Sometimes he goes with the Cheese and Branston Pickle Sandwich, which is tangy, sweet pickle relish and cheddar cheese served on sliced bread with crisps. High tea was not something our family did on a regular basis before finding the English Tea Room in Covington. It is such a gem for this town. You walk into a different world, but at the same time, you feel like you are at home, too. The English Tea Room, in downtown Covington, is located on the corner of Rutland St. and N. Florida St. just a block from the antique stores on Lee Lane and a block from the art galleries on Columbia. They are open Monday through Saturday 9-6. The Tea Room is available for private events on Sundays. Reservations are recommended.

THE ENGLISH TEA ROOM 734 East Rutland St. Covington, LA 70433 englishtearoom.com 985.898.3988

My turn: by chef Jeffrey and

Amy Hansell

ABOUT CHEF JEFFREY AND AMY HANSELL Every issue EDGE of the Lake invites a local restaurateur to visit another eatery on the Northshore. Oxlot 9 is an upscale southern bistro located on the ground floor of the Southern Hotel. It is owned by Chef Jeffrey Hansell and his wife, Amy. Jeffrey was born and raised on the gulf coast of Mississippi, so seafood finds its way into many of his dishes. Before settling in Covington, the Hansells worked for award winning chefs and restaurants in Birmingham, Aspen and New Orleans. Oxlot 9 is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 10, with Happy Hour every day, except Saturday, from 5 to 6:30. They offer Sunday Brunch from 10 until 2. The Hansells also own Smoke BBQ in Covington.


EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018

EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018


1 Team Fox Louisiana held it’s annual Kickin’ Parkinsons fund raiser at Stone Creek Club and Spa. Guests were entertained by Bag of Donuts and dined on food donated by local restaurants. All funds raised through Team Fox go directly to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s disease research. 2 The 5th annual Men Who Cook event held on the top level of the St. Tammany Parish Justice Center parking garage. Local celebrity cooks partnered with local restaurants in a competitive “cook-off.” Funds raised went to the Children’s Advocacy Center Hope House. The Covington facility works to break the cycle of child abuse in St. Tammany and Washington parishes. 3 You Night Empowering Event hosted their runway show and celebration at the Castine Center featuring the women of the Class of 2017. Through a six month program You Night teaches cancer survivors how to overcome the physical and


EDGE Dec 2017 | Jan 2018

psychological challenges of cancer treatment through teamwork, coaching, and strong interpersonal support from a network of other survivors. 4 Hundreds of tribute American flags line Ochsner Blvd. outside of Stone Creek Club & Spa. The display is part of Stone Creek’s “Salute our Soldiers” campaign. The club raises funds each year through corporate sponsorships and individual donations from club members & the community. All monies raised benefit 3 military support charities that assist our troops in unique and different ways — The Wounded Warrior Project, Operation Homefront, and Wounded War Heroes. 5 Catherine Cooper and Kathy Brusco, Executive Director of The Hospice of the South, at the 9th Annual Wine and Dine held at Benedict’s Plantation. 150 wines and food from 12 different local restaurants were offed to guests to sample and the money raised

benefited The Hospice of the South. 6 The Public Relations Society of America awarded Kim Bergeron three Fleurish Awards, including one for her story in EDGE of the Lake magazine. Congratulations Kim! 7 Ricky Windhorst of Four Unplugged took EDGE of the Lake with him while fishing for Salmon on the Columbia River near Portland, Oregon. 8 Riverside Elementary recently had the first Citizen of The Month awards of this school year. Pictured along with Riverside Principal, Ms. Jordan, are the 1st & 2nd grade Citizens of the Month. 9 St. Scholastica Academy celebrates the father/daughter bond with their traditional Father/ Daughter Dinner Dance. The theme was “Space Jam.” Pictured are Claire and Vic Schmitt and Dr. Kevin and Diana Darr. Send a picture of you with EDGE of the Lake magazine to edgepublisher@yahoo.com

The Law Office of James Graham www.jamesgrahamlaw.com  New Orleans Office 701 Loyola Ave #403 New Orleans, LA 70113 504.777.3625 / 985.202.8110 Fax 504.324.0507

Slidell Office 1929 2nd St. #A Slidell, LA 70458 985.202.8110

Living and working in our community, we are dedicated to providing the best sanitation service on the Northshore. Working together, every day, we can make our community a better place for our children to play and our families to grow. That's why we are here. That is our commitment to you, our neighbors. No job too big or small! Let us service your residence, business, or even next event!