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Fresh eggs from Big Sky Ranch page 32


Welcome to our second issue of EDGE of the Lake. Our editorial team has been hard at work producing stories about the interesting people and places that make the Northshore such a wonderful place to work, live and play. One story that impacted our office — and our waistlines — is “From Bean to Baby: a look at king cakes past and present.” For a whole week we were treated to delicious king cakes from around the region. I had no idea that there were so many different varieties. Having grown up in England, I was not familiar with the tradition of Mardi Gras until I moved here. In England we celebrate Shrove Tuesday which is also known as Pancake Day. I have to say it is nothing like Mardi Gras! Pancakes are eaten and in some villages there is a pancake race, where the locals run a foot race whilst tossing pancakes in a pan. I hope you enjoy the issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. We always appreciate receiving story ideas and pictures of things happening around the community, so continue to send them to edgepublisher@yahoo.com, and don’t forget to listen to the Lake 94.7 — the Northshore’s radio station. SARAH COTTRELL PUBLISHER

PUBLISHER Sarah Cottrell EDITOR Ernst Stavro Blofeld ART DIRECTOR Fernanda Chagas Kirk STYLE DIRECTOR Patty Beal COPY EDITOR Katie-Ruth Priest TRAVEL WRITER G. Brent Brown CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kim Bergeron Sarada Bonnett Sarah Cottrell Andrew Dart Charles Dowdy Sarah Hendon Dr. Catherine Wilbert STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jerry Cottrell CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Yahleen Bacalso-Gaffney Tom Ballantine Andrew Dart Fernanda Chagas Kirk SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVES Eloise Cottrell Rick Clasen ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Rebecca Blossman-Ferran Erin Bolton Daniel Calmes D’Ann Davis Lisa Jones Michelle Wallis-Croas

ON THE COVER Zoë’s Bakery King Cake Photo Jerry Cottrell

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

FROM BEAN TO BABY: a look at king cakes past and present



EDGE Feb | Mar 2017

Just the mere mention of a king cake here in Louisiana can cause heart palpitations and mouth salivations. While the king cake has long been synonymous with the New Orleans Mardi Gras, the sweet treat tradition actually dates back to the Middles Ages of France. King’s Day or Fěte des Rois (January 6th) was the celebration of the Epiphany — the 12 day journey of the three wise men to see the baby Jesus. A bean, or sometimes a coin, was placed inside of the cake and the lucky person who found the small trinket in their slice was “crowned” king for the day. French bakeries today still provide a gold paper crown, all in fun, and a small porcelain figure has replaced the bean inside of the cake. French settlers eventually brought their King’s Day cake custom to the United States, where it was fully embraced by the City of New Orleans, as well as Mexico and some areas of Latin America. It was not until the 19th century when Mardi Gras revelers adopted the Christian tradition and made the king cake a prominent part of the holiday. Both the look and the taste of the king cake have evolved over many centuries, but there is no mistaking the traditional Louisiana one — a braided cinnamon oval cake with brightly colored sugar on top. The prize bean of its European predecessor has been replaced by a little plastic baby. The baby is said to represent the Christ child. Joel Randazzo Forjet, owner of the Nonna Randazzo Bakery, grew up in the business — her father and two uncles started the

Hi Lan Bakery in St. Bernard Parish in 1965. That recipe has not changed to this day. “For a king cake to be a king cake, it needs to be braided,” Joel says. All of the Nonna king cakes are hand-braided, but what makes them both different and recognizable are the colored candy nonpareils that decorate the top of the icing. As for the token plastic baby, theirs is put inside the cake. The ritual goes that whomever finds the baby in their slice has to bring the king cake to the next gathering, which is not a light undertaking. “We do hear stories that no one found the baby (Joel says laughing) but more often than not, no one has claimed to have found the baby.” Local bakeries churn out so many different varieties of the king cake during Mardi Gras season that choosing one can be a weighty decision. The Mandeville Bake Shop, owned by Theresa and Tom Krummel, offers customers a McKenzie– style king cake — a plain brioche dough with the colored sugar baked on top and no icing or filling. McKenzie’s was one of the most famous commercial bakeries in New Orleans until the late 1990’s. Many Northshore residents fondly remember going to that bakery as a child growing up across the lake. The Mandeville Bake Shop also sells the more popular cinnamon hand-braided cakes, iced and filled with a very long list of flavors — cream cheese, raspberry and chocolate are just a few. Theresa explains that the colored sugar that festively decorates the top of a king cake actually has meaning. “They

are the colors of Rex. Purple represents justice, green represents faith and gold represents power,” she says. Shane Gorringe, the owner of Zoë’s Bakery, started baking pastries as a teenager in South London and eventually found himself in the States working as the executive pastry chef at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans. Shane had never made a king cake before opening Zoë’s nearly 22 years ago. In fact, when he was first introduced to the sugary tradition, he scratched his head and thought to himself, “What is this?” Of course Zoë’s has fallen in line with other bakeries and makes the Louisiana style king cakes, but they also offer the European version. “A pithivier is the original king cake from France and it’s made from puff pastry and filled with raspberry or cherry frangipane (an almond cream). The top is egg-washed and then it has a spiral cut into the top so it has a particular look when it bakes. The design is pretty universal,” he says. Clearly king cakes have become the ubiquitous confection for the Carnival season, varying from bakery to bakery with their history, shape and flavor. But in the end, it all means the same thing — camaraderie, laughter and celebration with friends and family. “You get excited about everything around here. You even get excited about Mondays with red beans and rice,” remarks Theresa, “It’s just what you do. It’s a tradition — you bleed purple, green and gold.”

NONNA RANDAZZO’S BAKERY 22022 Marshall Rd, Mandeville 985.898.2444

EDGE Feb | Mar 2017


Photo Sarah Cottrell

Photo Fernanda Chagas Kirk

Photo Sarah Cottrell

S]““SUGAR LOVE CAKES (below bottom) 1329 Englewood Dr. Slidell 985.265.4146


EDGE Feb | Mar 2017

Photo Sarah Cottrell

ZOË’S BAKERY (above) 118 W 32nd Ave. Covington 985.892.5570

277 Lee Lane Convington, LA 70433

(985) 807-2120 www.bellacucinadesign.com

FEBRUARY 11TH (SATURDAY) Krewe of Bilge - 12:00 PM Slidell Krewe of Poseidon - 1:00 PM Slidell Krewe of Mona Lisa & MoonPie - 7:00 PM Slidell

FEBRUARY 12TH (SUNDAY) Krewe of Slidellians - 1:00 PM Slidell Krewe of Perseus - Follows Slidell Pearl River Lions Club - 1:00 PM Pearl River

FEBRUARY 17TH (FRIDAY) Krewe of Eve - 7:00 PM Mandeville


EDGE Feb | Mar 2017


FEBRUARY 18TH (SATURDAY) Krewe de Paws of Olde Towne - 10:00 AM Slidell Krew of Push Mow - 11:00 AM Abita Springs Krewe of Tchefunchte - 1:00 PM Madisonville Krewe of Olympia - 6:00 PM Covington Mystic Krewe of Titans - 6:30 PM Slidell FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

FEBRUARY 19TH (SUNDAY) Krewe of Claude - 1:00 PM Slidell Krewe of Dionysus - Follows Slidell

FEBRUARY 24TH (FRIDAY) Krewe of Selene - 6:30 PM Slidell

Original Krewe of Orpheus - 7:00 PM Mandeville

FEBRUARY 25TH (SATURDAY) Krewe of Bush - 9:00 AM Bush

Magic City Carnival Association - 1:00 PM Bogalousa

MARDI GRAS DAY FEBRUARY 28TH (TUESDAY) Krewe of Lyra - 10:00 AM Covington Covington Lions - Following Covington Krewe of Covington - Following Covington Krewe of Skunks - 1:00 PM Lacombe Krewe of Chata-Ima - Following Lacombe Krewe of Folsom - 1:30 PM Folsom


On the April 29, 2017 ballot, every eligible voting resident of St. Tammany will be asked to consider two critical sales tax continuations for our Justice System, which includes the jail. These taxes directly impact the quality of life we enjoy in this community. Both taxes are being reduced by 20%, from ¼¢ each (one fourth of one percent), to 1/5¢ each, and the renewal term is being reduced by 50%, ten years instead of twenty. This reduction amounts to an approximate $5 million per year savings to the residents of St. Tammany for the current services we now enjoy, in addition to the sustained funding of specialty courts which contribute to a lower jail population and a reduction in the number of repeat offenders. The essential operational needs, agencies, services and programs that these taxes support contribute directly to why we continue to be a model for other communities in regards to our forward–thinking justice system: a system that boasts fewer repeat offenders which translates to a safer, more productive community. By voting for this sales tax reduction and rededication, voters will choose a sustainable ten-year plan, tax–savings for residents, and the preservation of our quality of life. I encourage every voter to learn more about the crucial role our Justice and Jail System plays in the preservation of our quality of life, the low crime rate we enjoy, and the rehabilitation of our fellow citizens who need a chance to start over. You can visit stpgov.org/justice to learn more, or email justice@stpgov.org with questions. A yes vote means lowered taxes and the preservation of our Quality of Life. PAT BRISTER St. Tammany Parish President

AS PRIL &22 & 23, 2017 S • 10 5 ATURDAY




ANTIQUES | VINTAGE COLLECTIBLES & CRAFTS ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE | LIVE AUCTION APPRAISALS | HISTORIC WALKING TOURS DEMONSTRATIONS | FOOD | MUSIC & MORE For more information, visit www.covingtonheritagefoundation.com or email antiques@covla.com Covington Trailhead • 419 N. New Hampshire Street Covington, Louisiana 70433 • 985.892.1873

A taste of April Covington 5th - 9th Annadele’s Plantation • Dakota RestauranT • Del Porto Ristorante • Forks &Corks Gallagher’s Grill • Mac’s on Boston • Meribo • Pardos • Ox Lot 9 • Seiler Bar A Taste of Covington, now in its sixth year, has become one of the Northshore’s most highly anticipated events. Cliff Bergeron, event chairman, said this will undoubtedly be the best one yet. “Foodies and wine lovers from all over the region will spend five days drinking wine and enjoying world-class cuisine in Covington’s cultural arts district. What’s not to love?” Du During the first two days, Wednesday and Thursday, 10 participating restaurants across the city will feature four-course vintner dinners, each course expertly paired with a different wine. “C “Covington is a renowned artist community, but we have become just as well known for our culinary arts in recent years. Our local chefs relish the chance to show off, and they are good at it!” says Bergeron. You can make reservations online for the fixed menu that catches your eye. But hurry because seating is limited.On Friday evening, Acquistapace’s Covington Supermarket, which boasts the largest selection of spirits in the state, will open up its wine warehouse and

Photo: Lainey Reed

Grand Tasting at Acquistapace’s


two large outdoor tents for the Grand Tasting. This is one of ATOC’s most popular events, as it features samples of more than 75 wines, along with food and live music. On Saturday, don’t miss Festa del Vino, which is the more intimate fine wine tasting at the St. Tammany Art House, sponsored by Covington Mayor Mike Cooper. Following the tasting, patrons can spend the evening perusing downtown Covington’s many art galleries and shops during the annual Spring For Art. This event encompasses the entire downtown cultural arts district and includes live music, a MixMaster’s Ba Bartender Competition, art demonstrations and more. On Sunday, the event wraps up with a champagne jazz brunch at Annadele’s Plantation. Due to the overwhelming popularity of this event, there are now two seatings to choose from. “The wonderful thing about A Taste of Covington is that patrons can pick and choose their favorite events to attend. But therein also lies the difficulty – how do you choose? It’s best to simply attend them all!” says Bergeron.

Ox Lot 9

Del Porto



Caitlin Picou, is a local entrepreneur in the fashion/ beauty industry that is putting the Northshore on the map! Her wildly successful Kismet Cosmetics line produces quality products that not only keep locals coming back for more, but caught the eye of international businessman Tillman Firtitta — landing her on his television reality show Billion Dollar Buyer. Caitlin took a break from the overwhelming response to her product line, including the business deal she struck on the show, to chat with EDGE and tell us a bit about her journey and destiny in the business of beauty.

Meet Caitlin Picou PATTY BEAL: Congratulations on your success. Take us to the beginning. When did you start Kismet? CAITLIN PICOU: The initial launch of our first product, Opulent, a body bronzing lotion was in July 2013. Since then we’ve added matte and liquid lipsticks, illuminators, mascara, lip buff scrub, and bath bombs. The bath and body market is new to us but very popular. PB: Body bronzer? What inspired that idea? CP: Well after graduating from LSU in 2007, my career in PR and product development took me to Texas and New York. My husband and I returned to Covington in 2012 to complete his residency program in Bogalusa. I wanted to launch a Northshore based business. While I was managing POSH, a local clothing boutique, ideas were brewing about my own product line. Women constantly complained about their untanned legs and arms when they would try on clothes. All the bronzers on the market were average at best. I knew I could do better. PB: So you found a hole in the industry and filled it with a superior product. CP: Yes, and more affordable. The demand was there, but not a good enough solution. People love that Opulent bronzer isn’t orange, applies evenly, and is made with quality ingredients. PB: You mentioned PR. Was public relations your major at LSU? CP: Yes. I got an entry level job in PR for a beauty/hair product manufacturer in Texas. Even though it did not pay well, I took it anyway because it was in PR! I moved up the ladder pretty quickly working as product coordinator, which included working with the labs. The company was bought out by a New York based company. I moved there and worked in product development and learned the business side of cosmetics — until we moved back to the Northshore. PB: So, at graduation you had no business background?

CP: Nope. PB: No entrepreneurial, beauty or fashion background? CP: Nope. It was Kismet (with a smile). PB: And there it is! The name — meaning fate or destiny. Is that why you named your company Kismet, because what appeared to start as chance really seemed to be your destiny? CP: I loved that word! I used it all the time to refer to my journey into the cosmetic industry. I had it at the top of my “potential company names” list. It won out over all the others and I had to wait 6 months for the trademark to become available. It was a gamble but it was… destiny. PB: Did you ever expect you’d be the business owner of a cosmetic line? CP: Not exactly, but I was inspired by my father who passed away in 2012. He was a bank president and a driving force in me becoming a business woman. I wanted to use what I learned from him, as an honor to him. I also really wanted to bring something to the Northshore. PB: The cosmetic industry is very saturated. What made you think you could successfully compete in this industry? CP: I saw what went into production and development and thought I could improve on it — using better ingredients, free from many chemicals you find in cosmetics, and made in the United States. I would build it with quality, service and integrity. PB: I noticed (and purchased) your collection in several boutiques around the Covington/Mandeville area like POSH, Shoeffle, Lacy Stevens, Hemline, Obsession and Southeast Hair Designs (Hammond). Why mainly clothing stores as a retail outlet for your cosmetics? CP: I market Kismet as a fashion line, not as a beauty line. I see a lipstick color as an accessory to an outfit. Like shoes and earrings. I believe

EDGE Feb | Mar 2017


“It was a gamble but it was… destiny.” Caitlin Picou Owner of Kismet

your lipstick shade should change depending on what you’re wearing. Fashion doesn’t stop at clothing. It’s head to toe, including lip color. PB: That’s very intriguing. A bit groundbreaking if you ask me. How are consumers responding to that? CP: They love it. I think it’s so much easier for them. A woman can pick out her dress, her jewelry, and her lip color all in one place. It’s the finishing touch. I’d love to see a store in the future where you can get your outfit, hair, and makeup done all in one shop. Complete and convenient. And confident. PB: So how did your opportunity with the TV reality show Billion Dollar Buyer come about? CP: I was contacted by them. Tillman Frititta is a businessman who owns many companies, including The Golden Nugget Casinos. The premise of the show is to see if a small business can strike a purchase deal with the huge business mogul. Apparently he wanted a quality cosmetic line for all his casinos. They asked if I’d go to a casting call. I did, and I got chosen to be on the show. PB: And you made a deal! CP: Yes. The show focused mainly on our lipsticks, but the entire collection is available in the casino’s clothing stores. We are working now to satisfy that order and respond to the reaction from the show. It’s been overwhelming, but we are so grateful. KISMET COSMETICS kismetcosmetics.com caitlin.picou@kismetcosmetics.com


EDGE Feb | Mar 2017


PB: Besides the big new account, what was your take–a–way from meeting Tillman Frititta? CB: He really knows business. He made me realize that to be bigger you have to have confidence in your brand and invest in it to grow it or the business will remain just a hobby. Tillman connected me with the University of Houston’s Entrepreneurial College. They helped me write a business plan, showed me on paper how I could financially take a risk with confidence. We developed a great relationship that will go beyond the show. PB: And I know you’re big on giving back to the community. CP: Yes, we participate in many charitable events, but we partner with the Baton Rouge based LSO Foundation, working to fight skin cancer. 10% of all Opulent profits are donated to this program. PB: What’s next for Kismet? CP: On the tech side, we’re doing interactive consultations now. You can actually email us a photo of yourself and our experts will help you choose a color. As for product, we are currently focusing on order fulfillment. Bath and body products are on trend and I’m envisioning maybe eye shadow in the future — with the ability to customize your eye shadow palette instead of having to buy the whole palette to utilize just a few colors. PB: From my view, it looks like you have another development due soon. CP: We sure do. Scott and I will have our first baby in March. PB: More congratulations to you both! It was inspiring to hear the story of your journey, although I think it’s just beginning. Nonetheless, it is indeed kismet.

Greetings to all! “Carnival in Covington” is officially underway as the St. John Fools of Misrule kicked off the season with their annual march through downtown Covington on Saturday, January 7. The frigid weather did not deter our dedicated revelers from proclaiming the start of the Mardi Gras season in their own unique and festive style. Covington will proudly host the Mystic Krewe of Olympia’s 52nd annual parade which will roll on Saturday, February 18 at 6:00PM. Also, carnival fans can attend Covington’s traditional Fat Tuesday celebration on February 28. We are proud to announce that Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser will serve as 2017 Honorary Grand Marshal for the 10:00AM parade which will feature the Lion’s Club, the Krewe of Covington, local bands, and marching groups. The month of March has much to offer the community this year. On March 11, the Covington Celtic Club will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a walking parade through downtown Covington. The Youth Service Bureau Chef Soirée’ draws thousands to downtown Covington for some of the best food, drink, and entertainment the Northshore has to offer. The Covington Trailhead will again be home to the Soirée’ on Sunday March 19. In closing I would like to wish all citizens a safe Mardi Gras Season and a Happy Spring. For complete information about everything going on please visit our website at covla.com or our Facebook page — City of Covington –Office of Cultural Arts & Events. As always, it is an honor to serve you. MIKE COOPER City of Covington Mayor

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EDGE Feb | Mar 2017

A cool breeze blows through moss draped trees. A fishing boat makes its way through the bayou, generating gentle waves that lap onto the shore. And the rich tones of jazz music waft through the air. Now and then, an egret floats across the sky, with an occasional dive into the murky waters in search of a snack. But for the hundreds of guests attending Jazz on the Bayou on the banks of Bayou Liberty, there is no need to search for tasty fare. It’s served up in abundance by many of the area’s finest chefs and restaurants both days of the weekend celebration. The setting is Chateau Kole, home of world renowned pianist Ronnie Kole, and his wife Gardner, and the event has become known as the “best backyard festival in the state.” Held every spring, Jazz on the Bayou has all of the ingredients of a perfect Louisiana weekend: delectable fare, amazing music, refreshing libations, incredible artwork and auction items, all of which are enjoyed by about 400 Jazz aficionados for whom this is the “must attend” event of the year. And with

2017 marking the 25th Anniversary of Jazz on the Bayou, the event promises to be bigger and better than ever. Technically, the event has been around much longer than 25 years. Its first incarnation began in 1975, founded by the Performing Arts Guild. The organization was created by Gardner, wife of the now late Pete Schneider, Sr., heir to one of Slidell’s founding industries, St. Joe Brick Works. Her goal was to raise funding to bring performing arts presentations to the city. Gardner, a ballet instructor, recalls that Slidell Little Theater was providing theatrical performances, as were local high schools. But she wanted to broaden the offerings to include other artistic genres, and to ensure that adults and children had access to such. “We had an opportunity to bring in legendary flamenco dancer Teresa Torkanowsky, the wife of Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Warner Torkanowsky. But we had no place to present her performance, nor did we have an organization to produce the event,” said Gardner. “That led to the creation of the Guild, paving the way to bringing this experience and more to the people of our community.” It was fellow arts patron Gloria Miramon who conceived the idea of Jazz on the Bayou as the Guild’s fundraising vehicle. She, Gardner and friend Kay Fitzmorris spearheaded the efforts to bring that vision to reality. The inaugural gala was held at Tranquility Plantation, an antebellum mansion on the banks of Bayou Liberty. Over 300 guests attended, dining on jambalaya and sipping wine and cocktails while enjoying entertainment by legendary jazz guitarist Edmond “Doc” Souchon and his band.

But it was the behind–the– scenes efforts leading up to the event that provided quite a few entertaining antics. “We sat down and started planning, beginning with what we would serve our guests,” said Gardner. “Pete loved to cook, and he suggested we use his mom’s fantastic recipe for jambalaya. We thought that was a good idea because everyone likes jambalaya!” She chuckled as she reminisced. “A lot of the ladies had these little G.E. ovens, and we calculated that each one would hold 60 portions of the dish,” she said. “So each of us made that many servings and took them over to Sarraille’s Market and Grocery on Front Street to store in the cooler, ensuring that the food stayed cold. Even Miss Nelly, the wife of former Slidell mayor Homer Fritchie, cooked!” Back then, there were no companies offering rentals of tables, chairs or linens. So Gardner had to “call and beg, getting 50 here, and 100 there.” She loaded the loaners in her pickup truck. The ladies also borrowed a tent from a local funeral home, which graciously offered to cover up the Honaker logo on the front of the tent. The Guild board members made aprons, tablecloths, and vests for the young men who were going to help park cars. In true southern style, the vests matched the tablecloths — checkered pink and yellow. Despite a bit of rain that first year, their spirits weren’t dampened. The following year, the event was held on what was, at the time, the grounds of Archbishop Joseph Rummel’s summer home. It also brought the addition of a new tradition — the Jazz Girls, clad in antebellum dresses, adding sweet southern charm. Though the event was later held at two other locations, it made its way back to the Archbishop’s grounds. The property was later purchased by Gardner and Pete, and since that time, it has served as Jazz on the Bayou’s home.

Proceeds funded a variety of performances, including a modern dance group residency, a ballet company from New Orleans, and symphony performances. “We would bring in children to enjoy these experiences, and they each paid fifty cents,” she said. “I wanted every child under fourth grade to see each of the symphony groups that would perform — strings, brass and woodwind. And by the time we finished, they had. The children would listen to the music and paint pictures inspired by it. It was so good.” In 1977, Pete passed away, and shortly afterwards, a broken-hearted Gardner decided to take a break from the Jazz on the Bayou efforts. The event quietly faded away. It would be several years before the Performing Arts Guild revisited the festival efforts. The group hosted a tea and fashion show, inviting potential sponsors and guests. Performing inside the home was a young pianist whose talents had impressed Gardner at a New Orleans Museum of Art fundraising event. As she dashed back and forth during the tea, dealing with the ladies changing for the fashion show, the event shuttle bus that had run out of gas, and the many guests, she would pause momentarily and ask the musician to play something for her. “And it was beautiful,” she said of that calm within the storm. “So finally I said to him, ‘You know what? You ought to just move here, so I can pass by and tap you on the shoulder and you can play something for me.” That passing joke became a reality in 1984, when Gardner married that pianist, Ronnie Kole. “We never dreamed that was going to happen,” laughed Ronnie. After several more years, talks of resurrecting the fundraising event resumed. In 1992, Jazz on the Bayou version 2.0 premiered under the guidance of the Koles and friends Jack and Brenda Stroup. Coming on board shortly thereafter were Gardner’s son, Pete, Jr., and his wife, Elizabeth. They were later joined by long

EDGE Feb | Mar 2017


Photo Kim Bergeron


term volunteers Pam and James Franklin, and a whole team of volunteers which continues to grow annually. Through the years, the Jazz team has enjoyed many memories, including its first celebrity chef, Justin Wilson, who cooked up a storm in the Koles’ kitchen. Gardner chuckled as she recalled WWL–TV’s Angela Hill in the kitchen, washing dishes. “We never knew what to expect,” said Ronnie. “It has always been an adventure.” The event has since grown from a single day to a two day event, and the list of chefs and restauranteurs has grown to over two dozen, with half of those serving on each day of the festival. The roster of entertainers has also grown. It includes performances by Ronnie Kole and his trio, former Crew Cuts crooner John Perkins, trumpeter Bobby Ohler and the Storyville Stompers Brass Band, plus occasional surprise guests. Ronnie takes great pride in noting that no one working with this event is compensated. Each of the participating chefs brings enough food to serve 350 to 400 people. And the entire Jazz team volunteers their time. “I always say I’ve got holes in the knees of my pants from begging,” he says. “I know so many people get requests for donations, so we’re quite grateful for all of our contributors’ generosity.” Since its return, Jazz on the Bayou has distributed over $1.5 million to local causes. Initially, its beneficiary was a designated fund with Easter Seals of Louisiana, an organization for which both Ronnie and Gardner each have served as the state president. That list has since grown to include STARC, Safe Harbor and, returning to its roots, arts organizations in St. Tammany. On March 25 and 26, Jazz on the Bayou will celebrate its 25th Anniversary with a celebration befitting its quarter of a century history. “We’re working on some really fun ideas,” said Ronnie. “From the time guests step off the shuttle bus and are greeted with glasses of champagne, to the time they head back home, they’re going to enjoy the adventure.” One would expect no less from “the best backyard festival in the state.”

JAZZ ON THE BAYOU 985.445.3300 or 985.643.5761 jazzonthebayou.com


EDGE Feb | Mar 2017

DEAR CITIZENS, I invite you and your family and friends to come experience Mardi Gras in Slidell. Grab your folding chairs, ice chests and king cakes and head on out to the parade route to enjoy the many parades that roll through Slidell. I am proud that many families choose to celebrate Mardi Gras here in Slidell. I ask that everyone be respectful and help us maintain a fun, family-friendly environment. Please remember that City ordinances prohibit the presence of animals along the parade route. The use of silly string, streamers, fireworks and other explosive devices is also restricted. It is important that we all work together to have a fun and safe carnival season. Keep Slidell Beautiful is looking for volunteers to help clean up after the parades. If you or your family, church group, civic group or school group would like to volunteer, please call (985) 646-4307 or visit Keep Slidell Beautiful’s website at keepslidellbeautiful.org for more information. Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! FREDDY DRENNAN City of Slidell Mayor


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Jay Connaughton and his Mandeville based advertising agency spent a year and a half cooking up a campaign for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame prior to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Then he happened to run into an old friend. Her name was Kellyanne Conway. Connaughton rolled his eyes as he thought about it. “We just crisscrossed in a hotel and Kellyanne and I had not seen each other in a while and she said ‘You’re coming to New York’.” She wasn’t inviting him to take in a Broadway play or see the sights. Conway was climbing to the top of Donald Trump’s campaign and by New York she meant Connaughton was coming to Trump Tower. There was a lot of shared political mileage behind Connaughton and Conway. His media team had crafted winning messages out of polling and focus groups that Conway ran. It was a partnership that had their two teams working on the winning side of six different Senate races during the previous two years.

Photo courtesy of Jay Connaughton

“My pitch to them was that I felt like America knew the Donald Trump who was leading the rallies.” Jay Connaughton Owner of The People Who Think

A presidential campaign was something else. Connaughton admitted he had some reservations about it, but late last summer he ended up in New York, made his pitch to the Trump team and never came home. When asked about his pitch, Connaughton said, “Kellyanne’s advice to me, and we know each other very well, was just be honest. Don’t try to sugarcoat anything.” So he didn’t, and, if anything, he kind of advocated lowering the volume on a loud and energetic campaign. “My pitch to them was that I felt like America knew the Donald Trump who was leading the rallies. They saw that on TV every day. But what they didn’t see of Donald Trump was the man who was thoughtful, very intelligent and an awesome listener. The national media wasn’t covering that side of him.” Connaughton said that since they were getting free publicity of the raucous rallies from the national media, it was his job to personalize their advertising and show what a Donald Trump presidency would mean for the average American family. People in Louisiana did not see a lot of these commercials. But if you lived in a battleground state, these “problem and solution” ads were everywhere. When we sat down to talk in his Mandeville office, Connaughton kept moving things on his desk and looking around like a man who didn’t feel quite comfortable in his spot, understandable given he had been away for months. And while he talked about politics with the terminology of a pro, his eyes and expressions displayed someone who revels in the political contest as much now as he did when he ran his first campaign as a high schooler. His wife, Jennifer, is his business partner. They are raising three young children in Mandeville, although he is away a lot, spending 150 to 200 days a year on the road during a normal year, and the Trump job wasn’t normal.

“This one was a little more unique because it was basically 3 months in New York. I came home three or four times for LSU games and that was it.” And if he was in New York, he was in Trump Tower. Connaughton laughed as he said, “It wasn’t like we were up there having a good time. I mean there wasn’t a single night where you took someone to dinner or cocktails or something. If you left before seven or eight o’clock, they’d joke and say you worked a half day.” When asked about working with his wife, Connaughton said, “We’re opposites. I’m the risk taker; she’s more conservative. I’m thinking about what we are doing next week; she’s thinking about next year. So, we balance each other out really well.” Appropriately enough, they met through politics. She was already working with the Republican party in Baton Rouge when he showed up as a college freshman for an internship. “I walked in the door and thought I owned the place, and she was like ‘Who do you think you are?’.” Together, Jay and Jennifer are now running a multifaceted business called People Who Think. It combines a full–service advertising agency and specialty brands that focus on politics or the food and beverage industry. Connaughton doesn’t hesitate to brag about the talented people they have assembled inside their office in Mandeville. And whatever they are trying to promote, he said advertising comes back to smart and effective applications of creativity. “For us, creativity has to be centered around the client first. You can be creative and yet be ineffective. So, while you can be as creative as you want, there needs to be guardrails, parameters, that funnel you toward success.” He said there are really two basic mindsets based on who the client is and what they need, broadly describing the political

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PEOPLE WHO THINK 985.809.1975 peoplewhothink.com info@peoplewhothink.com


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world as an aggressive one and the corporate world as one that requires much more precision and structure. But he said those two mindsets assist them with both corporate and political clients. “The corporate clients that we work for love the fact that we are competitive, we’re always pushing. Our DNA at its core is always winning and achieving something. But then our political clients love and understand that we bring more process to the table than a normal political consultant might.” Connaughton said success allows them to be more selective now and that they get to pick and choose the clients they want to represent. And he said changes in the way we consume media means their job is about more than just a great ad. “While we’re probably best known for doing ads of national caliber even for local or regional clients here, today we focus on way more than just that. It is way more than just the creative. It is ‘Are you delivering on that brand promise every step of the way? And that’s the truth with political advertising too’.” As the ads he helped create chipped away at that blue wall, Connaughton said the political team in Trump Tower felt confident in their polling numbers leading up to Election Day. If anything, they were questioning why no one else was seeing what they were. He said that in focus group after focus group, the members kept coming back to Trump and kept asking what the businessman could do for them.


“I like the challenge of doing something creative and different.” Jay Connaughton

Photo courtesy of Jay Connaughton

Owner of The People Who Think

I asked him if Trump was simply seen as a change agent, while Clinton was saddled with the status quo. “I don’t know how you couldn’t say that,” he said. “If anything, Trump was more like Obama than she was just in the sense of giving people hope and inspiration.” Jay Connaughton is already looking for the next round of campaigns and candidates. With the success of the Trump campaign they are probably looking for him, too. As we wrapped up our conversation, he seemed to be thinking about the future and his place in it. “It is a rough and tumble business and if you don’t have someone who operates with integrity it can really hurt you professionally and personally. There are a lot of consultants out there who are not on the up and up and they don’t care about scorched earth and the human cost of what we are doing. I guess we have been around long enough and have balance with the corporate work so we don’t have to take those risks.” And when Connaughton is not cooking up new ad campaigns for clients, then you might find him really cooking. He said he has collected more cookbooks than he cares to admit. Just don’t expect him to try the same recipe more than once. “I don’t have a ‘go to’ dish,” he said. “It is always a different dish. I like the challenge of doing something creative and different.”

The City of Mandeville is gearing up for the Mardi Gras season. The Krewe of Eve will roll on Friday, February 17th and The Original Krewe of Orpheus on Friday, February 24th. Both will commence at 7:00 p.m. Stay tuned to our City website for more information, parade routes and rain dates. We are asking all residents and visitors to help us make it a safe holiday. Last year we had an estimated 15,000 in attendance and our police will be on the lookout for parade violations. Glass is banned and animals are prohibited from being closer than 150 feet to the route. Ladders, scaffolding and platforms of any type must be placed at a distance and not fastened together with other ladders and platforms. Parking along the parade route is prohibited within 25 feet from intersections. Keep Mandeville Beautiful requests that you please refrain from littering. The Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws will be held on Sunday, March 5th at 2:00 p.m. on Lakeshore Drive. For more information, registration and highlights, check out their website at mardipaws.com. This year’s theme is “Under the Big Top.” In March, we will begin our Mandeville Live! Free Friday night concert series. We will be kicking off the first event at the Mandeville Trailhead on March 17th at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. Refreshments are available for sale. The concerts will continue for the next five consecutive weeks. Our City website, cityofmandeville.com is loaded with information on all of our departments and current projects. If you haven’t already done so, sign up for E-Briefs on the front page. This will keep you in touch with the latest happenings, current City meetings and emergency information as it progresses. Hope to see you at the Mardi Gras!

DONALD VILLERE City of Mandeville Mayor


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So, what’s all the fuss over backyard chickens these days? It seems more and more folks are flocking to local feed stores to add “urban chicken farmer” to their resume. But why the renewed interest in these ubiquitous creatures that have inspired contributions to culture, art, cuisine, science and religion over the millennia? Fresh eggs, farm–to–table enthusiasm and a rapidly growing interest in local and organic foods have certainly made this once “country bumpkin” activity now “city chic.” What better way to know where your breakfast comes from, than collecting it from your own backyard! It doesn’t get much fresher and more wholesome than that. Eggs from backyard and free-ranged chickens have a lower fat content and a much higher nutrient content than those of battery hens, not to mention-provided you feed them “the good stuff” (more on this later) — they are free of harmful chemicals and antibiotics, and they just taste better! Ask any backyard chicken farmer and they will tell you that once you delight in your own fresh eggs, you will never go back to store–bought! These highly intelligent and social animals, however, are much more than a food source. Chickens make great pets that are relatively easy and inexpensive to keep. Many backyard chicken keepers have been known to sit and watch their flock, “chicken TV,” for hours, and enjoy the company of their fowl friends as much, or more than that of their cat or dog. Chickens are full of personality and can be quite affectionate and loyal, and because they have full-color vision — just like we do — chickens can recognize their caregivers, as well as distinguish

among more than 100 faces of members of their species! Who knew that their memories rival those of elephants? And if that’s not smart enough for you, chickens actually tell each other about what they see. Chickens communicate with more than 24 vocalizations, each with a distinct meaning, including warning their friends about different types of predators and where they are coming from. Chicks let their mothers know when they’re scared and even “talk” to them through their shells before they hatch. Anyone who has ever called you “chicken” as an insult has never seen a mother hen defend her young from a predator! Free therapy and stress reduction are but two additional benefits of your own backyard flock. Chickens, by far, are your most economical backyard workers and organic exterminators. Chickens love to eat protein– packed insects, and will happily take care of crickets, grass hoppers, snails and other pests in the garden as well as any ticks on your property. They also love to eat weeds, and their natural scratching and digging tendencies serve them well as they can help you create top–notch garden beds. Once you’ve harvested everything you want from your vegetable garden, your chickens will happily clear the beds, scratching out and eating unwanted weeds, slugs and seeds, acting as little gasoline–free tillers, mixing the top layers of soil with compost or other mulches and fertilizing the soil while they’re at it. Chicken manure contains high levels of  nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, and is more economically valuable than synthetic fertilizers. If your farm–to–table dream includes

organic gardening, your backyard flock will certainly make your work as a gardener much easier. In fact, using your hens to recycle food and yard waste, thus keeping it out of landfills, makes a huge contribution to the environment as a whole. Amazingly, a single chicken can biorecycle about seven pounds of food scrap in just one month! So now that you are convinced (yes?) that backyard chicken keeping is definitely on your “must do” list, what’s next? Once we fully understand why we want backyard chickens, we need to know how to start our urban farm. Before you run out to your local feed store to buy chicks and a coop, I would encourage you to do your homework. Like anything, to be successful at backyard chicken keeping, you will need to spend some time researching and planning to ensure successful implementation. The first and most important step in your research is to determine if you can keep a flock at your urban or suburban dwelling. Because there has been a lot of urban chicken advocacy with the local food movement, many cities and towns are relaxing rules and ordinances and becoming more accepting of chickens within city limits, but it’s important to check the laws before you get too far down the chicken road. Many homeowners’ associations ban roosters because of the noise, although this is not a deal breaker as hens will still lay without them, and some municipalities limit the number of backyard chickens you can keep, or the size, type and location of the structures you keep them in.

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Next, you will want to choose your breed. You will be surprised at how many variables come in to play when choosing your chickens. Just like dogs, cats, and other animals, different breeds of chickens have different qualities. You will want to build your flock based on the characteristics best suited to your family and the environment in which you are raising them. Size, temperament, egg production and color, and climate can all affect your choice of the best bird for you. Where you get your chicks is an important consideration as well. Most folks get their chicks from a farm store in the spring; however, your selection will often be limited, and most only sell “straight run” chicks, which means you get what you get, and that’s a 50/50 shot at getting a rooster. If you want to ensure you’re getting hens, a hatchery might be your best choice. Online hatcheries, just like everything in life, have their pros and cons. While you get to choose your exact breeds, get only hens, and the chicks are normally in really good health, there is a lot of stress in the shipping process, for both you and the chicks! It is not uncommon to lose

some chicks if the weather gets cold or there are shipping delays. The best of both worlds is finding a local hatchery, where you can actually choose your chicks. They normally have a better selection and better sexing than the farm or feed stores, and you don’t have to deal with the hassle and worry of shipping. You’d be amazed at how many different sized hatcheries there are, especially in rural areas. Social media, farmers’ markets and local “chicken swaps” can all be good resources to find the best source for choosing your perfect chicks. I also recommend starting with just a few chicks, perhaps 3 to 5, so you can really give your chicks the attention they need and give them friends with whom to interact. With a flock this size, once they are laying you will get 4 to 5 eggs per day, which is more than enough for an average size family: a chicken lays one egg about every 24 hours. It can be really tempting to pick up “extra” chicks as they are so tiny and cute, but remember, each fluffy baby chick becomes a big eating, pooping, adult chicken requiring extra space and food! Speaking of food, since you are going to all this trouble to have a

sustainable food source for good, healthy, farm fresh eggs, just remember that what you feed your chickens will determine the quality of those eggs. The foundation of their nutrition is their daily feed. This is where you can make or break the health of your birds and the quality of your eggs. Avoid cheap feeds produced with genetically modified corn and soy and distillers grain fillers. It is worth spending a few extra dollars to provide your birds, and your family, with food that is free from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), antibiotics and hormones. If you choose Certified Organic feed, you can be certain all ingredients are non-GMO and that antibiotics and other harmful chemicals aren’t snuck in as a component of the grain or pellet, even though they may not be on the label. While these feeds are slightly more expensive, they are packed with nutrition and your chickens will be healthier and satisfied with less feed, and more importantly, you won’t be eating Roundup for breakfast! Supplements are also very beneficial for the overall health of your flock. Flax Meal to raise the Omega 3 production in their eggs, Kelp for healthy metabolism, Probiotics for healthy gut and general

Photos courtesy of Dr. Catherine Wilbert

vitality, and Diatomaceous Earth for fewer worms and parasites, can all be added to their daily feed. A tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar added to your chickens’ water will also help keep their pH balanced and healthy. If you free range your flock, they will get a lot of their nutrition from the bugs and plants they pick out of the ground, as well as the compost they “turn.” Organic kitchen scraps are a wonderful supplement to their diet as well. Free ranging your chickens will definitely give you the happiest chickens, the healthiest eggs, and reduce your feed bill, but just remember chickens are pretty much everyone’s favorite food. It is important to make certain they are safe from becoming prey to other animals, even smaller animals like opossums and raccoons. And even in your own suburban backyard, Fido and Fluffy can be of equal threat. There are literally hundreds of ways to design coops and runs to best suit your birds and their environment. Remember, when it comes to coop size, bigger really is better. You will have happier and healthier birds, and you can always put fewer chickens into a bigger space, but you can’t put more into a smaller space. Building your own coop or having someone build it is almost always the most economical, and gives you the opportunity to use structures or materials you might already have. The one place

you won’t want to skimp in your coop building is with the wire. Always choose hardware cloth or .25” welded wire. Chicken wire isn’t good for anything, it doesn’t last, and a raccoon can tear it open easily to have your chickens for a late night snack. Pinterest, Google and books at your local feed store can provide inspiration as well as clever ideas on new and “upcycled” coops, nest boxes and innovative feeders. Hay or straw provide the best nesting materials, and are easier to replace and compost. Sand is by far the best material to use in the run, as it is economical and super easy to clean, it can be raked and basically scooped like cat litter, and it keeps your coop cooler in hot weather. If you are now excited and ready to join the ranks of the chic, chicken keeping culture, and want to learn more to get started, there are a lot of good books and articles on backyard chicken keeping and urban farming. Big Sky Ranch in Folsom also offers seminars and workshops as well as Family Farm Days and Farm Camps for children and adults. These programs provide fun and interactive hands on opportunities for families to learn while enjoying quality time together in nature and with animals. All proceeds go to fund CATNIP Foundation at Big Sky Ranch, our 501(c)(3) non profit animal welfare and rescue organization.

“Once we fully understand why we want backyard chickens, we need to know how to start our urban farm.” Dr. Catherine Wilbert is co-owner/ operator of Big Sky Ranch and Retreat, a ten acre retreat and sanctuary in Folsom, LA, dedicated to conscious living for people, pets and planet.

BIG SKY RANCH 985.276.0270 bigskyranch.org




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Falling somewhere between action movies and colonoscopy prep on many moms’ least favorite things list, car line is ordinarily not a go–to activity for stress relief. But when my daughters were younger I travelled quite a bit, and that normally frenetic procession was one of the only times I could have a few precious minutes alone with them. During one of those times (was it eight years ago or was it just yesterday?) I sat watching this rambunctious little girl next to me sing along to the radio and bob her head to the music. In a moment of pure inspiration she turned the radio off and said “Hey mom listen to this!” and she proceeded to belt out the Jason Mraz song I’m Yours. (Shockingly well, I might add). As cool as it was, I really didn’t think anything of it until later that year when she signed up for her school’s talent show. As parents, we’ve all experienced the horror of learning that one of our obviously deranged children has decided to expose themself to potentially widespread ridicule by volunteering for one of these insidious events, and we hope and pray that they don’t fail too badly. When the big day came, to my great surprise, she didn’t fail at all. As a matter of fact, she was pretty stinkin’ good. In all fairness, her musical roots run deep. Her grandmother lit up audiences west of the Mississippi in the 1950’s. She was a hit with the Vegas crowd and hung around with the Rat Pack while she was there. I don’t believe she ever shook Sinatra’s hand, but Buddy Holly played on her first demo record and she opened for Elvis. So it was natural for me to encourage Maddi to pursue a career in show business, right? Not a chance. Whenever someone talks about the cool parts of show business, there’s always another side to the story. As is the case with far too many performers, my mom suffered with anxiety, depression and addiction. It’s a cutthroat living, filled with hard, mean people. I did not want that for Maddi. I wanted to protect her

from all of the heartache brought on by a life in show business. Murphy’s law being what it is, of course, her desire to sing grew even stronger. I knew I needed to support her, but I decided to do so in a way that would involve minimal risk and would be fun for both of us. We came up with a plan. Once a year, we would go to auditions for the big television singing shows, the ones within a day’s drive. We kind of made it our thing, our mommy-daughter bonding time. The first one was in Austin, Texas and I’m not going to lie, it scared me. I was scared that if they said “no” then she would cry, then I would cry, and then things would just stink. Well, they said no. But guess what! She didn’t cry — she thanked them for having her and she walked out with her head held high. I was so proud of her and how she handled herself. To celebrate, I told her I would take her to any restaurant she wanted, and in that moment we had another ‘our thing.’ We started picking competitions that were in really cool places. After Austin, we went to Nashville, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia. We began visiting colleges while we were there and made it a fun couple of days. It really became more about our experience together after the audition than the actual audition. But just like the first time, she always went in and came out with her head held high, and she was always very appreciative of the opportunity. Although we cherished the time together on those road trips, it was not easy going for Maddi. She heard “no” more than she heard “yes.” But, ever positive, she’d always say, “It’s not if, it’s when.” The “when” started for Maddi in her midteens. She auditioned for and was accepted into the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, a performing arts school in the city. She spent a year at NOCCA, honing her craft and learning much from their outstanding instructors. It truly is a remarkable school that is cultivating future generations of

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MADDI TRIPP madditripp.net • 985.789.7183 sb@saradabonnett.com


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outstanding artistic talent. It was this experience that gave her the confidence and the foundation she would need for what happened next. In 2015, Maddi won a spot to audition at Industry Network in Hollywood, the same competition that launched Addison Riecke’s acting career. At the end of the grueling fourday event, she was awarded the honor of “Singer of the Year” and was invited to return in 2016 to perform as a past winner. During that competition, Maddi attracted the attention of music producer Marc Williams, who later signed her to produce her first E.P. She spent two months in L.A. with Marc working on the tracks, and the first fruits of that effort can be heard in Maddi’s single, The One. Maddi has learned to deal with many highs and lows in her young career, but like her grandmother, she suffers from depression and anxiety. This makes transitioning between those ups and downs especially difficult. When she was in L.A., Maddi was constantly on the go, either in the recording studio, on a photo shoot or doing radio interviews. When she got home and things slowed down (as they should for a girl still in high school), she really didn’t know how to cope with the let down and she just crashed emotionally. Maddi came home in tears one day and said that a guy in her class was telling people she came back from L.A. because she couldn’t make it

there. Initially, she didn’t know how to respond to that. My heart sank because for the first time in her career I saw true disappointment in her eyes. This was not the first time Maddi had to deal with a form of bullying. She was bullied terribly throughout elementary and junior high school. As we did back then, we had a long mom-daughter talk about the boy at school and decided that his hurtful words were just a reflection of his own demons. In the end, we realized that she didn’t start this to be famous, she started it to do what she loves every day. She doesn’t need to be an A-lister, she’s fine just being Maddi — the girl who loves to sing — and bullies can’t take that away. That bad experience at school led Maddi to another project that’s become very important to her. She has started a Facebook page called BE NICE to help others dealing with bullying and social anxiety. Maddi says that if the page helps just one other kid overcome the anguish of bullying, she will count it a tremendous success! As always, in true Maddi fashion, she pulled herself up, dusted herself off and got back to work. She has another single out now called Shadows, which was recently named in the top 30 on Music Mafia radio, and she has been invited to her biggest audition to date. Stay tuned… there is much more on the horizon for this little Covington girl.

Congrats to our students! Congratulations to these students for booking print work with GAP and runway modeling for Saks 5th Avenue, Od Adomo and various boutiques with our latest Creating U runway show. Posing Print and Runway classes are a great way to make new friends, build conďŹ dence and learn to walk with poise and posture in a fun and exciting way!

creatingu@att.net | 985-893-2218

Maybe something is said about the grandeur of the bay after coming out of that long, crowded tunnel. There is a good chance someone in the car will comment on the battleship as you pass under her guns. Perhaps you are too focused on the beach or theme park waiting on the horizon to think about the downtown you just travelled around and under. But the nickname “The Little Easy� will make sense if you stop in downtown Mobile.



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Proximity to the interstate makes this the perfect lunchtime pit stop to escape the traffic and stretch the legs. Or, it might be a good option on the return trip as you try to recover from your vacation. Maybe it is the perfect place to grab one more night before going back to the real world. Whatever the reason, downtown Mobile is right there and yet well hidden from the interstate as we go back and forth. But put it on your radar if it isn’t already because downtown Mobile is worth a stop, and a stay. After escaping the interstate on the Water Street exit, there are plenty of dining options within a few blocks. While you probably want to check online for reservation availability, some restaurant leads for downtown Mobile include Noble South, a reasonably priced farm to table enterprise on Dauphin St. Or explore picturesque Bienville Square before trying out Dumbwaiter Restaurant, a self–described quirky and quaint eatery full of the nostalgic southern charm Mobile is known for. Or you could stroll around the tree–lined Cathedral Square before sampling Noja, a more upscale restaurant which features a blend of Mediterranean and Asian cooking styles. Just looking for something cold and refreshing? Haberdasher is the best bet for craft cocktails and beers, and what they call the best pub grub in town, but there are many other options. And downtown Mobile isn’t only about food and drink. Sure, the already mentioned USS Alabama is a fun, floating adventure within a mile of downtown. But why go that far when there is so much to do downtown? There are over 90 interactive exhibits at the GulfQuest National Maritime


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Museum of the Gulf of Mexico. You could also see what’s going on at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center and its IMAX Theater. Mobile also has its own Saenger Theatre, bringing in national acts in song and dance. And don’t forget the beautiful homes in the downtown area, offering a wide array of Victorian, Spanish Colonial, Italianate and Greek Revival styles of architecture. If you are staying the night there are plenty of hotels in the downtown area, from well–known chains to more intimate B&B’s. So, the next time you are travelling east from the Northshore and waiting to get though that tunnel, escape the taillights and traffic for something better. Downtown Mobile is literally right there. And whether as a destination in its own right or for just a quick bite, “The Little Easy” is a great escape. (And you didn’t get it from us, but the old tunnel is right there at the end of Government Street, and the wait isn’t as long.)

LAT 30.6954° N, LONG 88.0399° W • GulfQuest National Maritime of the Gulf of Mexico 155 S. Water Street 251.436.8901 • Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center and its IMAX Theater 65 Government Street 251.208.6873 • Saenger Theater of Mobile 6 South Joachim Street 251.208.7261 • Noble South 203 Dauphin Street 251.690.6824 • Dumbwaiter Restaurant 167 Dauphin Street 251.445.3802 • Noja 6 North Jackson Street 251.433.0377 (Reservations recommended) • The Haberdasher 113 Dauphin Street 251.436.0989 FOR MORE INFORMATION visitmobile.com

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We can also replace those worn out units before the heat of the Summer gets here. Service Areas: West St. Tammany Parish including Mandeville, Madisonville, Covington, Abita Springs, Ponchatoula and Hammond. (985) 892-7071 • threeriversairandheat.com


On an unusually warm December morning I headed out to my first Quidditch game. I really wasn’t sure what to expect. A bunch of teenagers flying around on brooms? Butter Beer and Harry Potter? I decided the best idea was to talk to Andrew Dart — the resident Quidditch expert and coach at St. Paul’s School in Covington — to get the low down. So how would you describe the game? Quidditch is so much more than a bunch of nerds on brooms running around (which, it absolutely is!). I always laugh when the uninitiated assume it's a nonathletic sport, and have had to shrug off far too many snide comments that assume too much about the game.   Each team has seven players on the field at a time, with four unique positions: Keeper (goalie), Chaser (scores points), Beater ("knocks out" players à la dodgeball), Seeker (sole player responsible for caching the Snitch, ending the game). The game, of course, only ends when the Snitch is caught.  The Snitch, a player with a flag-football style belt, is released at the 17 minute mark, and the game will continue until it is caught. This means there is no set game time limit — and games have, in rare cases, gone on for a considerable length of time. Any time the Chasers put the Quaffle (the main scoring ball, a volleyball) through any of the three hoops, they score 10 points. A Snitch catch is 30 points. This means the Snitchcatching team is not always the winner, so a certain amount of strategy is required in knowing when to catch the Snitch. This is all happening at the same time Beaters are throwing the three dodgeballs at opposing players to knock them out of play — forcing them to retreat back to their own set of scoring hoops to re–enter play.


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What is your favorite aspect of the game? My favorite part of the game is its inclusiveness. One of the five core principles of Lasallian education at St. Paul's is fostering an inclusive community, and I believe Quidditch fulfills this need more than most other sports can. We have star athletes (who happen to be off-season), bookworms and students with a host of varied interests — of all shapes and sizes — all playing on the same field.  This is coupled with the cleverly named Title 9 ¾, which was mandated by the United States Quidditch (USQ) organization to require at least two out of the seven players on a team to be of a different gender than the majority of the team. It's been somewhat controversial in national application (particularly in disallowing single-sex university teams from competitive play), but the spirit of its intent is admirable — and we do our best to comply by inviting our sisters from St. Scholastica to join our team with a faculty moderator of their own (Mrs. Charity Jones) whenever they are able.   When did it become a club sport at St. Paul’s School? The club began several years ago as a loose group of students who wanted to play Quidditch, each an avid Harry Potter

fan. In September of 2015, the club was formalized under my direction, with the invaluable assistance of Mr. Barrett Baumgartner who played at the college level, Mrs. Rachel Peak and Mrs. Julie Beck. The interest is so large that we have four teams for intramural play. I submitted a grant proposal to the USQ — which awards a single grant annually to a starting team — and we won among countless other entries! The grant enabled us to purchase all the equipment for the game. While college Quidditch allows tackling and full contact, the high school level does not. You can compare high school level contact to soccer. Do any other schools in the area play? LSU, Tulane, Loyola, and other local colleges all have teams — but no other local high schools do. We hope to change that! I am personally willing to help any other local school form a team to create a sort of "league." So please, if you or anyone you know wants to get a team started, contact us. At a bare minimum, you only need seven players and a moderator/coach!  Don't know the rules? NO PROBLEM, we'll teach you!

EDGE Feb | Mar 2017



EDGE Feb | Mar 2017

Photos Jerry Cottrell

QUIDDITCH Interested in starting a Quidditch Team? Message St. Paul’s Quidditch on Facebook or Instagram @spsquidditch

Summer Camp

WEST ST. TAMMANY YMCA #BestSummerEver ymcaneworleans.org


When you join the Y, you’re committing to more than simply becoming healthier. You are supporting the values and programs that strengthen your community.

For more than a workout. For a better us.


“Everyone deserves the opportunity to be Happy and Healthy” -

After the Flood


To her talented art students at Franklinton Junior High, Summer Seal Stewart is known as Miss Summer, a Bogalusa native with an art education degree from Southern Mississippi. But Summer Seal Stewart is best known to the public for the poster she created for the 2016 Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival. As a well–known artist in the area, she was commissioned by the festival to design the poster. Summer’s inspiration was the venue for the Blues and Heritage Festival, Cassidy Park in Bogalusa. The Bogue Lusa Creek that normally flows through the park had flooded and ravaged the area in March of 2016 causing widespread damage. Organizers of the festival didn’t know if they would even be able to host the event at the park, but with volunteers and a lot of hard work they were able to bring the park back in time for the festival at the end of September. It was the flood that Summer immediately thought of when designing the poster. It is full of symbolism. For example, the rain drops becoming music notes and the totem pole paying homage to the Native American Museum that was lost during the flood. When Summer started the painting she wanted to show the sadness of the wrecked park and she made the sky Posters are available at Delta Printing and Country Frames and Gifts in Bogalusa or can be ordered from the artist at summerseal@aol.com


EDGE Feb | Mar 2017

very dark. As she worked on the painting she found herself gradually reworking the sky so that it is clear with a crescent shaped moon to represent that all storms pass. It was another flood in August of 2016 that inspired Summer’s latest work Louisiana Resilience — Louisiana Flood. Many friends that had grown up with Summer and moved to Baton Rouge knew of her work and encouraged her to paint a piece depicting the flooding that desolated the area. This painting depicts the rainstorm that flooded southeast Louisiana in August. Like Summer’s other art she wanted to tell the story of the flood. She included in her painting flooded businesses and flooded homes such as the Governor’s mansion and a Cajun style house with a mailbox displaying a blue ribbon, representing the policemen killed in Baton Rouge, and the address 2016, representing the year. The people of Louisiana are also portrayed coming together to help the animals and one another. She included the National Guard, a State Trooper and people with boots representing the grass root efforts of the Cajun Navy. Summer had the mixed media painting made into a poster so that it would be available to everyone. The original paining will hang at the State Capital.

985 727 1887 www.aboutfaceco.com • info@aboutfaceco.com 3441 E Causeway Approach, suite M, Mandeville




PAT GALLAGHER’S 527 527 N. Causeway Blvd Mandeville, LA 70448

Photo courtesy of Christine Clouatre

For reservations call 985.778.2820

ABOUT THE CHEF Thomas ‘Lolo’ LoPresti has been working in kitchens since he was 12, and has spent many years serving food all across the country and in the US Virgin Islands. After opening many restaurants for others, he opened The Shack in Covington in May 2016.


EDGE Feb | Mar 2017

My turn: by chef Thomas LoPresti

My wife, Christine, and I are looking forward to a night out on the town without our three little ones, Althea 3, Matthew 21 months, and Marley 7 months. For the overnight special, St. Julie (Christine’s mom) will wrangle our three beauties while we enjoy the perfect night out. In this day and age there are so many restaurants to choose from, with a good piece of hit or miss, but tonight we are in for a treat, heading to Pat Gallagher’s 527 in Mandeville. Chef Pat has been a staple in the St. Tammany restaurant business for over 30 years. Pat’s latest endeavor — 527 — boasts much of the same great food, fabulous wine, and impeccable service that the Northshore has grown to love, appreciate, and expect from a Gallagher owned and operated restaurant. We live in Covington, and wanting to make the most of our night we decided to Uber down to 527, twelve dollars each way and worth every penny. Reservations for a table are a must, although we didn’t have one because we prefer to sit at the bar. We let Frederick know our plans and headed past the elaborate wine bar and dining room into the bar area. Brennan, our bartender, kindly greeted us and immediately took our drink orders. For me a perfectly made vodka martini and for the misses a glass of Prosecco, cold and bubbly. We were happy and relaxed.

At last it was time to order. We chose the Crabmeat St. Francis, which was a special — a delicious jumbo lump crabmeat dish with a soft trinity, light cream and just the right amount of crunchy bread crumbs. Chef Pat allows the fresh ingredients to speak for themselves. For our entrées, my wife and I like to share so we always end up splitting whatever we get. Tonight I ordered the 16 oz Prime Center Cut NY Strip and Christine ordered a 527 favorite: perfectly seared Pompano topped with jumbo lump crab meat and served with beurre blanc. The NY Strip arrived on a sizzling platter with just the right amount of butter, spot on medium rare, with the capability to feed three adults. Wow, so tender! If all this wasn’t enough, we pigged out on a loaded baked potato and delicious brussel sprouts for our sides, both awesome. Finishing our bottle of La Crema Pinot Noir (a go–to for us) one would think that we had already had enough, but no perfect night out is complete without dessert! Grand Marnier for me with Ooey Gooey a La Mode, and amaretto and flourless chocolate cake for Christine. We shared and finished every last drop. All this was possible only because we had more than half of that beauty of a NY Strip to take home. It became our breakfast of steak and eggs the next morning. So we thank Chef Pat Gallagher and 527 for being the best part of our perfect night out, and for providing us with two great meals.

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EDGE Feb | Mar 2017

Dr.Christine McDonald has 21 years of experience treating cats, dogs, ferrets, rodents, rabbits and reptiles. LSU Class of 1995! Madisonville Animal Hospital since 2003 – it is the oldest and largest clinic in Madisonville. Madisonville Animal Hospital is proud to feature Companion Animal Therapeutic Laser Therapy – a drug free way to treat injuries, wounds and arthritis for those older pets that have slowed down. Doggy Day Care and boarding – with a large exercise yard, experienced kennel help, doctor supervised and reasonable rates! Gentle and Professional Pet Grooming – for all breeds of dogs and cats. Competitive prices on heartworm and flea preventatives. A friendly, warm and caring support staff – Who care for your pets like their own.

Mardi Gras In Mandeville 2/17 - Krewe of Eve 7:00 p.m. 2/24 - Krewe of Orpheus 7:00 p.m. 3/5 - Mardi Paws 2:00 p.m. Mandeville Live! Free Friday Concerts Beginning 3/17 @ The Trailhead www.cityofmandeville.com


985 845 4681 1956 Hwy 22 W , Madisonville www.madisonvilleanimalhospital.com



A Taste of Slidell March 16 - 19, 2017

Food, Wine, Music & Art www.ATasteofSlidell.com



Experiencing the grandeur of the Grand Canyon is on most everyone’s bucket list. It is truly one of nature’s marvels. While you are there, don’t miss the opportunity to visit some less wellknown majestic sites in the area.


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HORSESHOE BEND LAT 36° 52’ 35” N, LONG 111° 30’ 07” W

Aptly named, Horseshoe Bend is a horseshoe-shaped scenic bend in the Colorado River deep within Glenn Canyon. There are three ways to experience the natural beauty of Horseshoe Bend: from the river in a water raft, from several thousand feet above in a plane, and from the canyon’s edge looking down to the river 1,000’ below. The third option is free and accessible by a 1.5 mile round trip hike. Horseshoe Bend is conveniently located between the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon. Parking is available just off of Highway 89, one mile south of Page, AZ. It is an easy hike to the edge of the canyon for a wonderful view of the bend in the Colorado river far below. But note, there are no guardrails at the edge of the canyon, so caution should be observed at all times.

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ANTELOPE CANYON LAT 36° 53’ 20” N, LONG 111° 21’ 59” W

Antelope Canyon is a spectacular slot canyon with deep, narrow passageways formed from years of water rushing down through open slots at the top of the rock. The curved sandstone walls are imprinted with a smooth wave pattern formed by this rushing water. There are two parts to Antelope Canyon — Upper and Lower — each with a little something different to offer. Experiencing Antelope Canyon, at any time of the year, is to experience extraordinary beauty first hand, but a note of warning is warranted. Because each year brings more and more tourists, the experience is no longer as tranquil as it once was. You will be experiencing Antelope Canyon with many other visitors, especially at Upper Antelope Canyon where the path is out and back, so you will pass people all along the way. Nevertheless, your guide will do his or her best to stop the foot traffic so you can take a picture that looks like you alone discovered the canyon! Antelope Canyon is 110 miles — approximately 1.45 hours — from the Grand Canyon’s East entrance, on land owned by the Navajo Nation. Admission to both the Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon is exclusively through private guided tours. Tours of the Upper Canyon leave from Page, AZ and tours of the Lower Canyon leave from the site itself. Each part of the canyon is owned by different Navajo families. Advanced reservations are highly recommended.

Upper Antelope Canyon Upper Antelope Canyon is visited more frequently because of the dramatic shafts of direct sunlight radiating down from the openings in the top of the canyon and because it is at ground level, so there is no climbing. If the conditions are right and, with the help of your guide, you are in the right position, the sunbeams begin to appear as if by magic. It is a positively breathtaking experience. Whether you visit the Upper Canyon during April — September when the sharp sunbeams appear, or October — March when the passageways are lit by warm indirect sunlight, the colorful patterns on the walls are a sight to behold. Note that during April — September, the sharp sunbeams appear only when the sun is high, but a visit early or late in the day will result in a much less crowded experience and the opportunity to view the flowing walls of the canyon bathed in soft reflected light. Lower Antelope Canyon Visiting Lower Antelope Canyon requires a more difficult hike with areas of uneven footing and several ladders and flights of stairs, so it requires visitors to be in shape for some moderately strenuous activity. However, the rich reward is less crowded tours and a one-way passageway, so your experience here will be closer to what the Navajos experienced before the influx of tourists. Although there are no direct light beams here in the Lower Canyon, the formations on the walls — many with names that will be pointed out by your guide — are perhaps even more interesting. It should be noted that if thunderstorms are in the forecast, the Lower Canyon may not be open as flash floods in this canyon would be dangerous.


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CANYON DE CHELLY (pronounced DeShay, below) LAT 36° 09’ 13” N, LONG 109° 32’ 19” W

It is a 2.5 hour drive from Page, AZ to Canyon De Chelly National Monument. The trip will be well worth the time for the visitor searching for out of the way majesty. This Canyon is owned by the Navajo Nation, but co-managed with the National Park Service. The park has a visitors center with captivating exhibits about the formation of the canyon and history of the Navajo Nation. There are also thought-provoking exhibits of the mysterious Anasazi people who lived in the Southwest before the Navajo and other Native American tribes. There are two paved rim drives at Canyon De Chelly, the North and South, each with numerous overlooks. If time is short, the South rim drive would be preferable, ending after 16 miles at the Spider Rock Overlook. The Spider Rock — a natural rock obelisk — is said to be the center of the Navajo universe. The Navajo still live and farm in the canyon so the only self-guided access into the canyon itself is via the White House Ruin trail. This 3 mile outand-back trail rapidly descends 600 feet and leads to the base of the ancient White House Ruins. These ruins were built and occupied by the Anasazi, known by the Navajo as the “Ancient Ones,” from 1060 AD to 1300 AD. To many fans of old western films, this area will be familiar from the Gregory Peck film MacKenna’s Gold circa 1969. To those with more time, a trip into private areas of the canyon with a Navajo guide will be captivating. There is also a Navajo Nation run hotel, the Thunderbird Lodge, within the Monument grounds boasting a historic trading post with authentic and beautiful native American items.

TUWEEP (above) LAT 36° 12’ 53” N, LONG 113° 03’ 24” W

One of the most fantastic out of the way destinations near the Grand Canyon is actually a part of Grand Canyon National Park — the Tuweep section. This remote section of the Grand Canyon requires a 2 to 3 hour drive down a bumpy gravel and dirt road. A visit here will require advanced planning and determination. The route has no services and sometimes, after a rain, may require a high clearance vehicle. At Tuweep, there is a small campground with 9 sites that must be reserved ahead of time. This is certainly not the place to visit on a whim, but for the traveler who accepts the challenge and makes the trip, the reward is one of the most wondrous views of the Grand Canyon in a remarkably uncrowded and unspoiled atmosphere — Off the Beaten Path indeed.

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Hi, I’m David Melton with Abita Lumber... Working hard to save you money.

063 21459 LA-36, Abita Springs, LA 70420 | (985) 892-6530 EDGE Feb | Mar 2017



could feel the deep boom of the gunshot as it rattled the leaves. My head turned. Then there was a second thunderous boom somewhere on the other side of a green wall of trees, about three seconds after the first. It sounded close, but the people standing in front of the office at Covey Rise didn’t even bother to look. Why would they? In fact, after a few minutes, I didn’t notice the group firing away on the sporting clays any more than they did. What I did notice was the beauty of the place. I was standing on a 400–acre plot of woods near Husser, not twenty-five minutes from the Northshore. On one side, I could see rolling hills filled with growing crops. On the other, the tree line was dotted with buildings and paths. Covey Rise began in 1999 and has grown in purpose and practice since then. In fact, it has grown in ways one of the men who founded it cannot believe. “We started with just the quail hunting and over the years have added all these things,” Jimbo Geisler said. “It used to be just for sportsmen to come out hunting, but now it is used for a lot of things. It is a mix of a hunting lodge, a corporate retreat, and a getaway.”

Geisler has a broad jaw and a fit build. He had a cap perched on his head as we explored Covey Rise by golf cart. There was not one aspect of the land around him that he did not seem in tune with, and not one question about it that he did not answer at length. Geisler got a Masters in Wildlife Management from LSU and was running his own hunting business when a partnership with a landowner helped him put down roots. Now he appears to manage those 400 acres better than most guys tend to a quarter acre yard. Covey Rise cannot be explained easily. Even the guy who founded it struggles to provide a succinct answer to what Covey Rise is. You could say it is a hunting country club and that they provide a relaxing, Southern, full service hunting experience with shooting facilities, on property hunts, summer youth camps and more. Geisler said, “We provide the guide, the dogs, the vehicle, and we do a lot of corporate entertainment where we even provide, you know, if they’re flying in, the guns, the shells, the birds are cleaned, packaged, sent with them in a soft cooler, the whole deal.”


But do not get the impression this place is all about big corporate events. Geisler said most of their corporate events happen during the week while the weekends are usually geared more toward family. First things first, to say Covey Rise was part of some grand design would not be accurate. “Lack of a business plan and just going after a passion at the time got me here,” Geisler said. Then he added, “Of course, I was very fortunate to have certain people opening doors for me. But no, I had no plan. It just sounded like something fun to do.”

COVEY RISE LODGE 985.747.0310 info@coveyriselodge.com


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P.O. Box 40 24009 Singing Waterfall Road Husser, LA 70442

There are several different options for skeet shooting on the property, including the sporting clays that I eventually witnessed, which is not unlike golf, except your shots go exactly where you aim them. Meanwhile, the hunting options have expanded. “Everything we did was wing type shooting,” Geisler said. “But this year we added the big game with deer hunting and the rifle.” That’s because Geisler said an opportunity presented itself at a nearby facility for big game hunting and he didn’t hesitate. And you get the sense that his planning and vision for Covey Rise is as organic as their farm next door. That’s right. The people at Covey Rise eventually decided there was another common factor that would bring people together: great food. And, why not grow their own? Yes, they did that. Covey Rise created a farm that has some people asking

Geisler how to buy their vegetables. That wasn’t his intention or the reality. But people who stay at Covey Rise get to enjoy meals from right off the farm, or, if you eat at any of the best restaurants in New Orleans and on the Northshore, odds are you are enjoying the food from Covey Rise as well. So, they have all kinds of hunting and shooting options. They have great food. What about the accommodations? “There are different ways people stay here,” Geisler said. “One is in the main lodge, and in the lodge we have chefs to prepare all meals. We do not mix groups in the lodge. We also have cabins on the lake. Those cabins are rented more like a condo.” The lodge is large and comfortable, with plenty of gathering space for big groups. The houses on the lake are also very nice, with great views and top of the line amenities.

So why haven’t you heard of Covey Rise? Because they have not made a huge effort to promote it. “You know most of it has been word of mouth,” Geisler said. “You get a group of people here and somebody in that group likes it and realizes they have an event or something they could use Covey Rise for.” Perhaps the best use for this place he helped create could be one Jimbo Geisler might not have intended. Covey Rise seems like the perfect place to do nothing. Well, nothing that we do in our normal day to day lives. Rent a house. Go for long walks. Fish in the lake. Enjoy the silence and nature. (OK, there may be some gun action on occasion.) Play tennis on the courts. Swim in the pool. Reconnect with yourself or your family. So whether you use it as a getaway for the family, a corporate retreat or for a social event, be careful. If you ask Jimbo Geisler what Covey Rise is about you better be prepared for a twentyminute answer. Perhaps you could see it as the only unfocused thing about the whole place. Or maybe you could simply see it as a vast stretch of nature with limitless possibilities and the guy who is willing to explore them all.

K&S ARCHERY Stephen Chatman (Bow Tech) kandsarchery@gmail.com K&S Archery on Facebook H&H GUN SHOP & HUNTING SUPPLY Brent and Lisa Hoggatt (Owners) hhgunshop@bellsouth.net

Shop 985.839.7709 Cell 985.966.0426 Fax 985.839.7705 1304 Washington St. Franklington, LA 70438






EDGE Feb | Mar 2017

EDGE LAUNCH PARTY The EDGE of the Lake team celebrated the inaugural issue of the magazine with a launch party on November 29, 2016. Community leaders and advertisers enjoyed an evening meeting and mingling with the remarkable people featured in the issue. Friends Coastal Restaurant in Madisonville hosted the event and guests were entertained by musicians Ricky and Jan Windhurst and Rick Samson. Tom Ballantine was on hand to photograph the occasion. Please send photos for Around the Lake to edgepublisher@yahoo.com EDGE Feb | Mar 2017


80’s, 90’s, Today and

Everything Northshore

Tune each morning 6-10 to hear Charles Dowdy and each afternoon 2-6 with Dave Bruce. Local news, weather, traffic and sports each and every hour. Are you involved with a church, non-profit, civic group, or any other organization that is trying to help out on the Northshore? We’ll help promote what you are doing. Go to lake947.com and click on the interview tab to get started. And don’t miss the daily Rewind at lake947.com. It’ll have the Lake Loot answers and copies of our local interviews.

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EDGE of the Lake February | March 2017  

EDGE of the Lake gives a fresh edgy look at the parishes north of the lake and the unique mix of people that make up our community. Expect t...

EDGE of the Lake February | March 2017  

EDGE of the Lake gives a fresh edgy look at the parishes north of the lake and the unique mix of people that make up our community. Expect t...


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