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P E O P L E

A W A R D S

H E A LT H

FEBRUARY | MARCH 2018

A R T

F O O D

T R A V E L


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2018 PARADES SCHEDULE

NEW HEIGHTS

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FOOD FOR GOOD

AUDUBON ZOO

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SNOW DAY

MAKEUP BRUSHES

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AWARDS

MAASTRICHT

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TALKING FASHION

MY TURN BY: CAYMAN SINCLAIR

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MARDI GRAS

PEOPLE

MEMORIES

READERS’ CHOICE

CUTTING EDGE OF FASHION

GIVING BACK GIFT OF KINDNESS

042 ARTIST

MATT LITCHLITER

The Tuba Player page 042 Art Matt Litchliter

GO FOR IT!

WORTH A DRIVE

BEAUTY

GETAWAY

RESTAURANT REVIEW

AROUND THE LAKE SOCIAL

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CHARLES OFF THE AIR

IN AND OUT


edgeofthelake.com

lake947.net


PUBLISHER Sarah Cottrell What a winter it has been. I, for one, enjoyed the unusually cold weather. I even put up with all the comments from my co-workers about my UGG boots; honestly, I just think they were jealous that I had warm feet. I loved the snow day, and reveled in the fact that I could share it with my family. We saw so many pictures from around the area and share some of them in this issue. I know that before long the snow days will be a distant memory, and we will all be complaining about the heat and humidity. In this issue we share the results of our Annual Readers’ Choice Awards. We thank all of our readers and the listeners of the Lake 94.7 and Highway 104.7 for taking the time to vote. We were excited to get so many votes; we can tell that you love your area just as much as we do, with each area picking their own favorites. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it a perfect time to visit a local chocolatier that along with making small batch, organic chocolates gives back by donating part of her profits. We share her story in this issue. We continue to strive to bring you fresh, edgy stories from all around the Northshore. Please send any ideas to edgepublisher@yahoo.com. Have a safe and happy Mardi Gras,

PUBLISHER

EDITOR Alex Forrest ART DIRECTOR Fernanda Chagas Kirk STYLE DIRECTOR Patty Beal BEAUTY EDITOR Caitlin Picou COPY EDITOR Mary-Brent Brown CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kim Bergeron Mary-Brent Brown Charles Dowdy Meridith Knight Liz Genest Smith STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jerry Cottrell CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS G. Brent Brown Phillip Colwart Brenda Geier Fernanda Chagas Kirk Degen Larkin Caitlin Picou SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVES Eloise Cottrell Rick Clasen ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Rebecca Blossman-Ferran Erin Bolton Dave Dunaway Michelle Wallis-Croas

ON THE COVER Chocolate For Good Photo Jerry Cottrell

The entire contents of this magazine are copyrighted by EDGE Publishing. @ 2018 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


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EDGE Feb | Mar 2018


LETTER FROM THE PARISH PRESIDENT

JANUARY 27TH (SATURDAY) Krewe of Bilge 11:00 AM Slidell Krewe of Poseidon 6:00 PM Slidell Krewe of Mona Lisa 7:00 PM Slidell JANUARY 28TH (SUNDAY) Krewe of Slidellians 1:00 PM Slidell Krewe of Perseus Follows Slidell Pearl River Lions Club 1:00 PM Pearl River FEBRUARY 2ND (FRIDAY) Krewe of Eve 7:00 PM Mandeville Krewe of Omega 6:30 PM Hammond FEBRUARY 3RD (SATURDAY) Krewe de Paws of Olde Towne 10:00 AM Slidell Push Mow 11:00 AM Abita Springs Mystic Krewe of Titans 6:30 PM Slidell Krewe of Olympia 6:00 PM Covington FEBRUARY 4TH (SUNDAY) Krewe of Dionysus 1:00 PM Slidell Krewe of Tchefunchte 1:00 PM Madisonville FEBRUARY 9TH (FRIDAY) Krewe of Selene 6:30 PM Slidell Original Krewe of Orpheus 7:00 PM Mandeville FEBRUARY 10TH (SATURDAY) Krewe of Bush 9:00 AM Bush Magic City Carnival Association 1:00 PM Bogalusa MARDI GRAS DAY FEBRUARY 13TH (TUESDAY) Covington Lions 10:00 AM Covington Krewe of Covington Follows Covington Krewe of Chahta-Ima 1:00 PM Lacombe Krewe of Folsom 1:30 PM Folsom FEBRUARY 18TH (SUNDAY) Mardi Paws 2:00 PM Mandeville

MAKING EFFICIENCY A PRIORITY As the scope of technology and its uses expands, St. Tammany Parish Government continues to expand the technological resources offered to our residents. We have updated and streamlined many parts of our website, so that both outside users and internal departments can seamlessly assimilate into the digital, online world in various capacities. In early 2018, the St. Tammany Parish Council and I made a joint announcement that the updated Code of Ordinances is now available through the ‘Muni Code’ system in a digital, searchable modernized format. These changes offer ease of use for every resident, and they offer employees who must regularly update this document a more efficient way to do so. The culmination of many months of hard work and implementation are now kicking off, with the introduction of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Parts of this initiative, spearheaded by our Department of Technology, are now up and running. When fully implemented, ERP will add efficiency to the internal workings of Parish Government, and will offer resources to vendors and citizens who regularly interact with Parish Government on every level. The vendor portal is expected to be open by early spring, and the citizen portal by late fall. These two projects will not only save time for you, as residents of St. Tammany, but will save time for employees of St. Tammany Parish Government as well, and in turn, save taxpayer dollars. We work every day to employ best practices to give our residents access to fast and reliable customer service, efficient and user-friendly products, and exceptional tools for straightforward interaction with Parish Government. PAT BRISTER St. Tammany Parish President


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ChocolatierHeart with a STORY MERIDITH KNIGHT PHOTOS JERRY COTTRELL

CHOCOLATE FOR GOOD chocolateforgood.com 504.444.3021


Chocolate was an accidental vocation for Robin Bruns. It all started when she found a gourmet coffee, tea, and chocolate shop she loved and began making friends with the owner. “We really connected and one day she asked if I’d like to work with her part-time,” Robin said. “The kids were young, so I told her I would if it was just while they were in school.” And a passion was ignited. “I started helping make the chocolate,” Robin said. “Before long, I was making it on my own. Then I was making it at home in my free time; making it for friends; giving it as gifts.” Robin wanted to learn more and signed up for a week-long course taught by renowned Chef Ewald Notter of the Notter School of Pastry Arts in Orlando, Florida. “I was told to bring a white chef ’s coat, black pants, and clogs,” Robin said. “I ran out and bought what I needed, but when I showed up the first day, all the other students had white chef ’s coats with the name of their restaurant on them. They were all chefs and they’d come from Denmark, Italy, and New York. I was just a woman wanting to learn more about chocolate.” More than a little intimidated, Robin pushed on and found the other students accepting and encouraging of a newbie. She learned a lot that week, including how much she still had to learn. But at the same time, with each new lesson, she realized she wanted to make chocolate her life’s work. She learned to make her creations with organic butter, organic cream, organic spices, and the freshest, best quality ingredients. New Orleans natives, Robin and her husband, Harry, had been transferred around the country for his job, all while they were raising their three daughters. But when it was time for their oldest to marry, there was no doubt they wanted to hold the ceremony in the city they love. “Since she was getting married in New Orleans, she wanted me to make chocolate fleur de lis for the reception,” Robin said. “They were a big hit and the event planner asked me

to make them for her next wedding.” Requests started trickling in and, before long, Harry presented Robin with the idea of starting a chocolate business. “I told him I would if he’d do the ‘business’ part and I could just do the chocolate,” she laughed. “We were still traveling, so I started small, just doing little jobs here and there.” But when Harry retired and the family was finally able to return home, Robin was ready to start her business in earnest. As they built their home in downtown Covington, they built a separate commercial chocolate kitchen so Robin could make her creations. And Chocolate for Good was born. “Whatever we did, we knew we wanted to find a way to support non-profits that are important to us,” Robin said. “Camp Periwinkle is a week-long summer camp for children with cancer and blood disorders and their siblings. Two of our kids work at the camp and we support every way we can, often donating a portion of our proceeds, but also making favors for their gala (for 500 people), attending their events, and donating in other ways.” Chocolate for Good also helps support the Alzheimer’s Association and Boys and Girls Hope. The business has flourished. “We’ve mostly grown by word of mouth,” Robin said. “We make custom wedding favors with the bride and groom’s initials, favorite team logo, or something else that’s special to them, and sometimes they ask us to include information about the nonprofits we support.” Robin also does corporate gifts and holds special showings in her home every Christmas and Easter. But wherever the business takes them and however much it grows, Robin and Harry are committed to find ways to make a difference; to paraphrase John Wesley, to do all the good they can, in all the ways they can, at all the times they can, to all the people they can, for as long as they can. And they’re going to do it with chocolate.


LETTER FROM THE MAYOR

GREETINGS!

DID YOU KNOW? • Every second, Americans collectively eat 100 pounds of chocolate. • The biggest chocolate structure ever made was a 4,484lb, 10-foot-tall Easter egg, made in Melbourne, Australia. • Chocolate was consumed as a liquid, not a solid, for 90% of its history. • Cocoa beans were used as currency by the Mayan and Aztec cultures. • During the Revolutionary War soldiers were sometimes paid in chocolate. • The smell of chocolate increases brain waves which triggers relaxation. • Chocolate is the only edible substance to melt at around 93 degrees, just below human body temperature; that is why it melts in your mouth. • A pair of British confectioners invented solid chocolate. • Milk chocolate was invented in Switzerland. • White chocolate isn’t technically chocolate, as it contains no cocoa solids or cocoa liquor.

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With the new year underway, I would like to begin by expressing my appreciation to the employees of the City of Covington, all of whom go above and beyond the call of duty and are dedicated public servants. Also blessings to Covington are the many residents who share their valuable time supporting our various service organizations. In particular, the West 30’s Task Force is an initiative to affect change and has shown that when a community comes together with a positive agenda, great changes are possible for its residents. With the second half of the school year recently starting, I would like to acknowledge the academic and athletic achievements of the students of our local high schools this past fall semester. I encourage all to keep up the good work! I wish everyone a safe Carnival Season and invite all to enjoy the annual Krewe of Olympia parade on Saturday, February 3rd, and the Lion’s Club Parade with the Krewe of Covington on Mardi Gras Day. This recharged Mardi Gras day in Covington has become a festive, family- friendly destination on the Northshore. Returning this spring will be the Sunset at the Landing Concert Series and the Columbia Street Block Parties. The first Sunset at the Landing is Friday, March 16th from 6:00 - 9:00 and the first Columbia Street Block Party is on Friday, March 23rd. I look forward to seeing you there and at all of the great events and activities we have to offer. As always, it is an honor to serve the citizens of my hometown.

MIKE COOPER City of Covington Mayor


La Cornue Gourmet Cooking Classes

Professional Chef Demonstrations from Keith Frentz of LOLA Restaurant 227 Lee Lane Covington, LA 70433

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Hooray for Snow day! STORY SARAH COTTRELL PHOTOS JERRY COTTRELL

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EDGE Feb | Mar 2018

H

ere in south Louisiana, snow-on-the-ground snow days are a rare and special treat for those who want to enjoy the beautiful white fluff. When we actually get accumulated snow, we have the opportunity to don our winter wear and go outside to frolic and build snowmen. On December 8, 2017, we had such a day, and all the students in the tri-parishes were given a lagniappe day off from their studies. The snow began to fall during the early morning hours, and excitement grew as reports of more snow traveled the airwaves. First falling to the west and north, in Tangipahoa and Washington Parishes, at last the snow hit St. Tammany Parish. Procrastinating families, such as ours, even took the opportunity to go out into the frozen tundra to snap pictures for their (very late) Christmas cards. Numerous Northshore denizens have never experienced snow like this before. All over the area children young and old bundled up and headed out to play. The Mandeville Lakefront was populated with snowmen of various shapes and sizes, evidencing the creativity of many local families. All too soon for some, the snow was gone and everything returned to ‘normal.’


Photo Phillip Colwart

EDGE Feb | Mar 2018

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We are excited to release the results of the Readers’ Choice Awards! Thank you to the thousands of readers and listeners who took the time to vote. Since EDGE of the Lake distributes throughout the Northshore, we divided the voting into four geographical areas — we know that each area has its own unique identity, and residents feel passionate about their hometowns. We hope you enjoy reading what you and your fellow readers voted for in each area. We did have some categories that didn’t meet the minimum number of votes to award a winner. If you have any categories you would like to see added next year or have any comments, please send them to edgepublisher@yahoo.com. Don’t forget to listen to the Lake 94.7 during the morning show in February when Charles Dowdy will be interviewing some of your favorite businesses. Thank you, and congratulations to all our winners!


St. TAMMANY EAST 022

EDGE Feb | Mar 2018

ARTY Artist Adam Sambola Art Gallery Chamber Market Place Author John Case Band Four Unplugged Theater Group Cutting Edge Cooking Classes Passionate Platter

DERMATOLOGY CLINIC Northshore Dermatology Hammond, Madisonville, Slidell and Picayune 985.641.5198 northshorederm.com

Dance Studio Galloway’s Music School Kristie’s Music

BEAUTY Day Spa Woodhouse Spa Hair Salon Bella Style

MEDICAL

URGENT CARE Doctors Urgent Care 985 Robert Blvd. #101 Slidell, 70458 985.690.8300 doctorsurgentcare.org

Chiropractor Josh LaBlanc DC Dermatology Clinic Northshore Dermatology Dentist Silvestri and Deniger DDS Home Health Slidell Memorial Hospital Hospice Hospice of the South Hospital Slidell Memorial Hospital

ROMANTIC/ WEDDING VENUE Palmettos on the Bayou 1901 Bayou Lane Slidell, 70458 985.643.0050 palmettosrestaurant.com


Urgent Care Doctors Urgent Care

Insurance Agent Vicky Magas

Ophthalmologist Fred Birmingham MD

Photographer Paul Woods

OB/GYN Camellia City

RESTAURANTS

Orthopedist Mark Hontas MD

Bar Food The Blind Tiger

Veterinarian Michelle Newfield DVM

BBQ Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

NIGHTLIFE

Breakfast Terry Lynn’s Cafe

Bar Maple Bar

Burger Times Grill

Daiquiri Castaway’s

Coffee Creole Bagelry

Happy Hour Copeland’s

Fine Dining Nathan’s

Live Music Maple Bar

Ice Cream Old Town Soda Shop

Margarita Caretta’s Grill

Kid Friendly Old Town Soda Shop

Martini Coté

King Cake Marguerite’s

Place To Dance Speckled T’s

Mexican El Paso Mexican Grill

PEEPS

Pizza Lee’s Flying Pizza

Architect Design Tech

Po-Boy Southside Cafe

Attorney Michelle Blanchard

Romantic Palmettos on the Bayou

Builder Sunrise Homes

Salad Counter Culture

Chef Allan and Kathy Little

Seafood Peck’s Seafood

CPA Dale Moore

Snowball Bayou Snowballs

Financial Advisor Jay Badeaux

A/C AND HEATING Brendan’s A/C & Heating 64290 Hwy. 41 Pearl River, 70452 985.863.2077 brendansac.com

FINANCIAL INSTITUTION First Castle Federal Credit Union 100 Cherokee Rose Lane Covington, 70433 / 985.867.8867 1402 Gause Blvd. Slidell, 70458 / 985.643.1933 firstcastlefcu.org

TOURIST ATTRACTION Bayou Adventure 28178 Hwy. 190 Lacombe, 70445 985.882.9208 bayouadventure.com


Sushi Koi’s Asian Cuisine

Antiques Antique Row on First Street

Wedding Venue Palmettos on the Bayou

Baby/Children’s Store Once Upon A Child

SERVICES

Bakery Marguerite’s

A/C and Heating Brendan’s A/C & Heating Car Wash Rainforest Dry Cleaner Larry’s Financial Institution First Castle Federal Credit Union Pet Boarding/ Grooming Gause Blvd. Veterinary Hospital

Car Dealership Supreme Ford Consignment 0nce Upon A Child Gifts Three Divas and a Sugar Daddy Florist Petals and Stems Furniture Levy’s Hardware Store Ace Northshore

Radio Station Lake 94.7

Jewelry Deep South Gold

Real Estate Company Ebeck

Meat Armond’s

Senior Living Summerfield

Pharmacy Finnan’s Family Pharmacy

Summer Camp KidCam Camps Elementary School Whispering Forest High School Slidell High School

Sporting Goods Sportsman’s Warehouse Supermarket Rouses Wine Wine Market Women’s Boutique Three Divas and a Sugar Daddy

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EDGE Feb | Mar 2018

SPORTS & LEISURE B&B Bayou Haven Charity Event Home Is Where The Art Is Parade Selene Festival Louisiana Veterans Festival Fitness Studio Planet Fitness Health Club Crossgates Family Fitness Golf Course Royal Golf Public Park Camp Salman Karate Studio Premier Martial Arts Tourist Attraction Bayou Adventure Swim Club Crossgates Family Fitness

St. TAMMANY WEST

SHOPPING

Steak Coté


ACTING SCHOOL Creating U 69154 Hwy. 190 Service Road Covington, 70433 985.893.2218 creatingu.com

HOME HEALTH St. Tammany Parish Hospital Home Health 725 W. 11th Ave. Covington, 70433 985.898.4414 stph.org/homehealthhospice

ART GALLERY St. Tammany Art Association 320 N. Columbia Street Covington, 70433 985.892.8650 sttammanyartassociation.org

HOSPICE St. Tammany Parish Hospital Hospice 725 W. 11th Ave. Covington, 70433 985.871.5976 stph.org/homehealthhospice

ANTI-AGING SPECIALIST Kelly Burkenstock MD 2040 N. Causeway Blvd. Mandeville, 70471 985.807.1441 skinbodyhealth.com

HOSPITAL St. Tammany Parish Hospital 1202 S. Tyler Street Covington, 70433 985.898.4000 stph.org


URGENT CARE Rapid Urgent Care 218 E. Boston Street Covington, 70433 / 985.875.0077 1111 N. Causeway Blvd. Suite 2 Mandeville, 70471 / 985.674.4464 rapidurgentcare.com

MARTINI N’Tini’s 2891 Hwy. 190 Suite D Mandeville, 70471 985.626.5566 ntinis.com

VETERINARIAN/PET BOARDING Liza Ledet DVM Mandeville Animal Hospital 419 Girod Street Mandeville, 70448 985.377.0800 info@mandevilleah.com

ATTORNEY Michael Bradley Bradley & Almerico 708 E. Boston Street Covington, 70433 985.590.4132 bradleyalmerico.com

DAIQUIRI Bistro Byronz 1901 Hwy. 190 Mandeville, 70448 bistrobyronz.com

CHEF Pat Gallagher 509 South Tyler Street Covington, 70433 985.892.9992 gallaghergrill.com


ARTY Acting School Creating U Art Classes Painting With A Twist Artist Denice Hopkins Art Gallery St. Tammany Art Association Author Erica Spindler Band Four Unplugged

Cosmetic Surgeon Michelle Cooper MD Dermatologist Eric Soine MD Dentist Randell Foto DDS Doctor Lauren Elder MD Home Health St. Tammany Parish Hospital Home Health Hospice St. Tammany Parish Hospital Hospice

Theater Group 30 by Ninety Theatre

Hospital St. Tammany Parish Hospital

Cooking Classes Culinary Kids

Urgent Care Rapid Urgent Care

Dance Studio Apetrei

Optometrist Colin McCominsky MD

Music School Northlake School of Music

OB/GYN Katherine Williams MD

BEAUTY Day Spa The O Spa Hair Salon Paris Parker Salon & Spa Mani-Pedi Spa Bella Nails

MEDICAL Anti-Aging Specialist Kelly Burkenstock MD Cardiologist Paul Stahls MD Chiropractor Mark Richards DC

Oncologist Jay Saux MD Orthodontist Jessica Brown Ulmer DDS

INSURANCE AGENT Melissa Penzato Allstate Insurance 330 Falconer Drive Covington, 70433 985.875.7707

PHOTOGRAPHER Abby Sands 2337 Monroe Street Mandeville, 70448 985.807.3835 abbyphoto.com

Orthopedist Roch Hontas MD Pediatrician Patricia Greene MD Physical Therapist Paul Jones PT Veterinarian Liza Ledet DVM

NIGHTLIFE Bar Barley Oaks Daiquiri Bistro Byronz

REAL ESTATE AGENT Felicity Kahn, REALTOR® RE/MAX Alliance 625 N. Causeway Blvd. Suite C, Mandeville, 70448 felicitykahn.com


BBQ Smoke BBQ 1005 N. Collins Blvd. Covington, 70433 985.302.5307 smokebbqcovington.com

BREAKFAST Mattina Bella 421 E. Gibson Street Covington, 70433 985.892.0708 mattinabella.com

Happy Hour Columbia St. Tap Room

Tattoo Artist Eric Fox

Live Music Columbia St. Tap Room

Teacher Jill Maggio

Margarita La Carretta

Travel Agent Stephanie Miller-Murphy

Martini N’Tini’s

RESTAURANTS

Place To Dance Ruby’s Road House

Bar Food Columbia St. Tap Room

Sports Bar The Chimes

BBQ Smoke BBQ

PEEPS

Breakfast Mattina Bella

Architect Justin Greenleaf

Burger Times Grill

Attorney Michael Bradley

Asian Trey Yuen

Bartender Bryan Delchamps

Coffee Abita Roasting Co.

Builder Velvet Pines

Tea English Tea Room

Chef Pat Gallagher

Fine Dining OxLot 9

High School Coach Greg Salter

Ice Cream Just Chillin’

CPA Jerrold Rabalias

Kid Friendly The Shack

Financial Advisor Brian Garrety

King Cake Nonna Randazzo’s Bakery

Massage Therapist Amanda Miranda BURGER Times Grill 1896 N. Causeway Blvd. Mandeville, 70471 / 985.626.1161 1827 Front Street Slidell, 70458 / 985.639.3335 timesgrill.com

Insurance Agent Melissa Penzato Personal Trainer Tammy Nunez Photographer Abby Sands Real Estate Agent Felicity Kahn

Mexican La Carretta Pizza Pizza Man Po-Boy Bears Romantic The Lakehouse Restaurant


COFFEE Abita Roasting Co. 504 Water Street Madisonville, 70447 / 985.246.3362 1011 Village Walk Covington, 70433 / 985.246.3345 abitaroasting.com

TEA The English Tea Room 734 E. Rutland Street Covington, 70433 985.898.3988 englishtearoom.com

FINE DINING OxLot 9 428 E. Boston Street Covington, 70433 985.400.5663 oxlot9.com

KID FRIENDLY The Shack 1204 W. 21st Ave. Covington, 70433 985.888.6288 theshackcovington.com

KING CAKE/BAKERY Nonna Randazzo’s Bakery 2033 N. Hwy. 190 Suite 5 Covington, 70433 / 985.893.1488 22022 Marshall Rd. Mandeville, 70471 / 985.898.2444

ROMANTIC The Lakehouse Restaurant 2025 Lakeshore Drive Mandeville, 70448 985.626.3006 lakehousecuisine.com


SEAFOOD Morton’s Seafood 702 Water Street Madisonville, 70447 985.845.4970 mortonsseafood.com

WEDDING VENUE Maison Lafitte 402 Lafitte Street Mandeville, 70448 985.778.2045 maison-lafitte.com

A/C AND HEATING Three Rivers Services 21041 Hwy. 36 Suite A Covington, 70433 985.892.7071 threeriversairandheat.com

MECHANIC Christian Brothers Auto 4376 Hwy. 22 Mandeville, 70471 985.377.9937 cbac.com/mandeville

PRINTER Speedway Printing 2575 N. Causeway Blvd. Mandeville, 70471 985.626.0032 speedwayprinting.net

GIFTS Simply Southern 70488 Hwy. 21 Covington, 70433 985.871.1466 simplysouthern.com


Salad Coffee Rani Seafood Morton’s Seafood Snowball Shack de Ville Steak Keith Young’s Sushi Little Tokyo Wedding Venue Maison Lafitte

SERVICES A/C and Heating Three Rivers Services Car Wash Blue Harbor Pointe Car Mechanic Christian Brothers Auto Dry Cleaner Corporate Cleaners Financial Institution Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Landscaping Grounds Guys of Covington Pet Boarding/ Grooming Mandeville Animal Hospital Radio Station Lake 94.7 Printer Speedway Printing Real Estate Company K2 Realty Senior Living Christwood

Summer Camp Mandeville Sports Complex Contractor McMath Construction Elementary School Our Lady of the Lake High School Lakeshore High School

SHOPPING Antiques St. Romain Interiors

FLORIST Florist of Covington 2640 N. Hwy. 190 Covington, 70433 985.400.2763 floristofcovington.com

Home Décor Niche Modern Home Baby/Children’s Store Once Upon a Child Bakery Nonna Randazzo’s Bakery Bridal Southern Bridal Car Dealership Bill Hood Chevrolet Consignment Style Encore

HARDWARE STORE ACE Mandeville 2445 Florida Street Mandeville, LA 985.626.3113 acehardware.com

Gifts Simply Southern Florist Florist of Covington Health Food Totally Rawsome Furniture American Factory Direct Hardware Store ACE Mandeville Jewelry DeBoscq Fine Jewelry Lingerie Store Bra Genie

LINGERIE STORE Bra Genie 2881 Hwy. 190 Mandeville, 70471 985.951.8638 thebragenie.com


MEAT Saia’s Super Meat Market 2225 Florida Street Mandeville, 70448 985.626.9724

TIRES Tire World 1806 N. Causeway Blvd. Mandeville, 70471 985.626.8538 tireworldccc.com

B&B Blue Heron B&B 510 Girod Street Mandeville, 70448 985.373.8902 blueheronmandevillela.com

FITNESS STUDIO Just Breathe Yoga 339 Girod Street Mandeville, 70448 985.264.0200 justbreatheyogamandeville.org

TOURIST ATTRACTION Global Wildlife 26389 Hwy. 40 Folsom, 70437 985.796.3585 globalwildlife.com

SWIM CLUB Nu Wave Swim Club 23052 Hwy. 1088 Mandeville, 70448 985.264.6163 nolaswimming.com


Meat Saia’s Super Meat Market

Karate Studio Mike Storms

Men’s Clothing Jos A. Banks

Tourist Attraction Global Wildlife

Pharmacy Braswell’s

Swim Club Nu Wave Swim Club

Sporting Goods Massey’s Sunglasses Sunglass Hut Supermarket Rouses Tires Tire World Wine Acquistapace’s Women’s Boutique The Villa

SPORTS & LEISURE B&B Blue Heron Charity Event Empty Bowl Chef Soirée Parade Olympia Festival 3 Rivers Art Festival Fitness Studio Just Breathe Yoga Health Club Franco’s Athletic Club Golf Course Beau Chene Public Park Bogue Falaya

Art Classes Painting With A Twist Art Gallery Hammond Regional Arts Center Author Pam Bankston

TANGIPAHOA

Swimwear Bora Bora

ARTY

Band Impaired Faculties

Physical Therapist Annatomix PT Veterinarian Hickory Small Animal Hospital

NIGHTLIFE Bar Crescent Bar Daiquiri Rainbow Daiquiris

Dance Studio Lemoine Academy of Dance

Happy Hour Crescent Bar

BEAUTY

Live Music Mule’s Cate Street Pub

Day Spa Jean Maureen’s Hair Salon Noland Stewart Mani-Pedi Spa Jean Maureen’s

MEDICAL Chiropractor Anthon Chiropractic Dermatologist Robert Benson MD Dentist Michael Turgeu DDS Doctor Greg Allen MD Home Health Care At Home Hospice Richard Murphy Hospice Hospital North Oaks Optometrist North Oaks Eye Center

Margarita Sarita’s Mexican Grill and Cantina Martini Crescent Bar Place To Dance Tin Lizzie Sports Bar Iron Horse

PEEPS Architect Pistorius Associates Attorney Elsbet Smith Hollywood Bartender Claude Hooks Builder Wainwright Construction Chef Tommy Masaracchia CPA Ed Burns Financial Advisor Andre Terriot EDGE Feb | Mar 2018

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Insurance Agent Alexis Ducorbier

Wedding Venue Chesterton Square

Bridal The Royal Oak

SPORTS & LEISURE

Photographer Johnny Chauvin

SERVICES

Car Dealership Bill Hood Imports

B&B Historic Michabelle Inn

Real Estate Agent Pat Tucker

A/C and Heating Nick’s Heating and A/C

Consignment Rock Bottom Furniture

Charity Event Richard Murphy Hospice Gala

RESTAURANTS

Car Wash Fastlane

Gifts Bayou Booksellers

Bar Food Buffalo Wild Wings

Car Mechanic Johnny’s Conoco

Florist Hammond Florist

BBQ Old McDonald BBQ

Dry Cleaner Downtown Cleaners

Hardware Store Reeve’s True Value

Breakfast Jeanie’s

Financial Institution Gulf Coast Bank

Jewelry George Ibert Jewelry and Gifts

Burger Blackened Brew

Mechanic Twin Tire

Coffee PJ’s Coffee

Radio Station Tangi 96.5

Fine Dining Tope La

Printer K-Team Printing and Imaging

Men’s Clothing Royale Oak

Real Estate Company Wainwright

Pharmacy Mannino’s Pharmacy

Senior Living Live Oak Summerfield

Swimwear Ruby

Ice Cream Sweet Rolls Mexican Sarita’s Mexican Grill and Cantina Pizza Tommy’s on Thomas Po-Boy Lee’s Drive In Romantic Jacmel Inn Salad Cate Street Seafood Station Seafood Middendorf’s Steak The Steak House Sushi Cate Street Seafood Station

Lingerie Store Bra La Vie Meat Crescent Bar

Contractor C.T. Wainwright

Sporting Goods Archery & Fishing Unlimited

Summer Camp Camp Rec

Supermarket Piggly Wiggly

Elementary School Oaks Montessori

Tires Twin Tire

SHOPPING

Wine Crescent Bar

Antiques Ponchatoula Antiques & Statuary Home Décor Hammond Florist Baby/Children’s Store The Old School

Women’s Boutique Ruby

Parade Ponchatoula Christmas Parade Festival Smokin’ Blues and BBQ Fitness Studio Downtown Yoga Health Club North Cypress Fitness Golf Course Oak Knoll Public Park Zemurray Park Karate Studio Sani Karate Tourist Attraction Kliebert’s Swim Club North Cypress Fitness


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Art Classes Cajun Canvas

Bar Maple Bar – Union Square

Artist Summer Stewart

Daiquiri Coconutz Daiquiri

Theater Group Franklinton Community Theater

Margarita Maria’s

Dance Studio Southern Sass

BEAUTY Day Spa HL Brownstone Hair Salon Salon Rouge Mani-Pedi Spa Magic Nails

MEDICAL Dentist Mitou LeMarie DDS Doctor Steven Ogden MD Hospital Our Lady Of The Angels Optometrist Mark Hautot MD OB/GYN Maria Buenaflor MD Pediatrician Raghbir Mangat MD Physical Therapist Jay Schultz PT Veterinarian Elizabeth Penton DVM

Sports Bar The Red Zone

PEEPS Attorney Rick Brown Builder Brent Nobels High School Coach Michael Cummings CPA Walter Adams Massage Therapist Meagan Wheat Insurance Agent Chris Workman Photographer Bert Burr Real Estate Agent Heather Bush Teacher Kelli Banburn

RESTAURANTS Bar Food Chrissy’s BBQ Redwood Grill Breakfast Yoyo Burger Glenn’s Drive-In

Asian Dragon Palace Coffee My Morning Grind Fine Dining Mike’s Frozen Yogurt Zesto’s Kid Friendly Maria’s Mexican Maria’s Po-Boy Coaches Salad Golden Pear Seafood Bino’s Snowball Sunshine Snowballs Steak Redwood Grill Sushi Yamato Wedding Venue The Louisiana Castle

SERVICES A/C and Heating Carney’s A/C Dry Cleaner Bogalusa Dry Cleaners and Laundry Financial Institution Magee Finance Landscaping Pope & Co. Landscaping Pet Boarding/ Grooming Bella’s Paw Spa


Radio Station Highway 104.7 Printer Delta Printing Senior Living Rest Haven Living Center Summer Camp Believe High School Franklinton High School

SHOPPING Antiques Esma’s Home Décor Fancy Fig Baby/Children’s Store Little Feet Car Dealership Best Buy Autoplex

Women’s Boutique Wild Blu

SPORTS & LEISURE Charity Event Annunciation Catholic School Auction Parade MCCA Festival Bogalusa Blues Festival Fitness Studio HL Brownstone Golf Course Bogalusa Country Club Public Park Bogue Chitto Tourist Attraction Washington Parish Fair Swim Club Bogalusa YMCA

Gifts McMillian’s Nursery Florist Deirdre’s Florist Hardware Store Barber’s Jewelry Tyler Ross Meat Travis’ Grocery Pharmacy Nielsen’s Supermarket Country Super Store Tires Magic City Tires Wine The Pumping Station

Thank you for nominating us the BEST “Antiques” in Slidell! Come spend the afternoon in the Slidell Antique District and enjoy lunch at one of the many restaurants available Don't forget our spring street fair! March 28th & 29th 10am - 5pm Daily Antiques, art, collectibles, repurposed furniture, food and live music. First, Second & Erlanger Streets Booth Info: 985.710.9122 Check us out on Facebook! slidellantiques.com

Fremaux, First, Erlanger and Robert Streets, Slidell, LA


talkin g fashion STORY PATTY BEAL PHOTOS BRENDA GEIER

EDGE’S Style Director, Patty Beal, sat down with the winners of the Peoples’ Choice Award, Best Clothing Store category, in West St. Tammany for a few, fun Q & A’s.

THE VILLA 1281 N. Causeway Blvd. #1 Mandeville 70471

JOS A. BANK 2735 Hwy. 190, Space 120 Mandeville, 70471

MARTA BRAGG Owner, The Villa

LARRY GRICE Manager, Jos A. Bank

Patty Beal: When did The Villa open? Marta Bragg: February 2000. We are in our 18th year!  PB: Why the name, The Villa? MB: When we bought the store from the previous owner, we didn’t want to change the name.  PB: Best comment from a customer? MB: You always tell me the truth! Customers constantly tell us they appreciate how nice and how real we are.  PB: Favorite fashion season: Spring or Fall? MB: Oh that’s so hard! When I see Fall I say, “Oh, this is my favorite season!” Then months go by and I see the Spring collections and I say, “Oh, this is my favorite!” PB: Prefer heels or flats? MB: Heels. PB: Leather or lace? MB: Leather. PB: Trendy or classic? MB: Classic with an edge.  PB: Favorite color? MB: Blue. PB: Favorite designer? MB: That changes every season! I’d say Bella Dahl and Lilla P at the moment.  PB: Fashion Advice? MB: Don’t be afraid to try something new. It never hurts to just try it on. Take a little risk.

Patty Beal: When did Jos. A. Bank open? Larry Grice: October 2012 for the Mandeville location. PB: Who is Jos. A. Bank?  LG: He’s a real person. He started the company in Baltimore, in 1905. PB: Best comment from a customer? LG: “I can always count on you to put together the perfect outfit for me.” PB: Favorite fashion season: Spring or Fall? LG: Fall. PB: Prefer long tie or bow tie? LG: Long tie. PB: Monogram or no? LG: No monogram for me personally.  PB: Suit or sport coat?  LG: Sport coat more often.  PB: Is sport coat one or two words? LG: Technically it’s two, but it’s often condensed!  PB: Favorite color? LG: Blue. PB: Favorite designer? LG: Hickey Freeman. PB: Fashion advice?  LG: It’s important to be comfortable with what you are wearing (from both a fit and style perspective).


PHOTO GIFTS OF KINDNESSS


WANTED: KINDNESS. It seems to be a lost art as of late, exacerbated by political divide, racial tension, allegations of sexual harassment and more. But an anonymous team of goodwill ambassadors is working to change that, one random act of kindness at a time. The local Gift of Kindness movement started in November of 2016 as an effort to provide a tiny bit of joy during extraordinarily tense times. It began with festive bags containing small gifts placed in random locations throughout Slidell. Initially, the gifts contained hand written notes encouraging finders to “Pass it on.” Those notes were soon replaced with little yellow cards with the following message: “Congratulations! You have found a random Gift of Kindness. Please enjoy this treat, compliments of someone who has chosen to share a little joy. Then consider ‘paying it forward’ with an act of kindness for another person. Please be sure to include this card so your recipient can be inspired to do the same. Want to share more joy? Please post your Gift of Kindness and tag #ShareKindness.” The bags popped up on park benches and in shopping carts in local mall parking lots. Gift cards were placed under car windshield wipers while holiday shoppers perused stores. They could be found at gas station pumps, in coffee shop drive-thru lanes and in local restaurants. Some made their way to hospital waiting rooms, retirement center entryways and even hotel lobbies, the latter of which was intended to bring a bit of delight to out-of-town visitors. A few gifts even went on vacation with some of the Kindness Ambassadors and were left in states far beyond Louisiana. In an effort to further the cause of spreading joy, a Facebook page was launched in December of 2016. “The Gift of Kindness Shared” featured photos of the gifts in random locations, clues that helped lead the curious to find their little bits of happiness and encouraging them to share pictures of their finds. Stickers were added to the gift bags with the note “Finders, Keepers” and the Facebook page info, making sharing even easier. The random acts made their way to the Southshore as well. There were little nutcracker ornaments, gift boxed and placed in random locations within Jefferson Performing Arts Center for the holiday performance of The Nutcracker,

and a Gift of Kindness left in a hotel elevator, outside of a Southshore diner and even in a New Orleans museum. Anonymity has been a big part of the effort, which has no agendas other than spreading happiness. All of the gifts are funded entirely by the Kindness Ambassadors, and no business or political connections are permitted. In January of 2017, the group decided to kick it up a notch with its first Lucky Duck challenge. Fifty hand-numbered rubber duckies were hidden throughout Slidell, each sporting a card asking a simple question: “Is this duck worth $100?” Clues were posted on the Facebook page and finders had to stake their claim to the money by posting the picture of their captured ducky on the page. Prior to the Lucky Duck challenge, three random numbers were selected by Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal and sealed in envelopes, which were then delivered to St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith. On the final day of the challenge, Sheriff Smith selected and opened one of the envelopes to reveal the winning number. Until that time, no one knew which duck would take the $100 prize. A second Lucky Duck challenge followed in July, again with a $100 gift certificate for the winner. All along, the random individual gift bags have continued to pop up throughout the area. The hardest part, say the Kindness Ambassadors, has been stashing the gift bags and ducks and taking pictures for the clues without being caught in the act. Sometimes, there is no opportunity for a photo. Other times, those who placed the gifts have secretly watched from afar as they waited for the gifts to be found, enjoying the reactions of the recipients. It’s all about the joy. The ultimate goal of the group is 500 random acts, in the hopes that each triggers additional efforts. “We know we’re not going to eliminate the dissention, the racism or political divide,” says the organizer. “But if we can bring one small moment of happiness to someone’s life, perhaps at a time he or she really needs it, then that effort has been worthwhile. And if this serves as a catalyst for another random act, and that one has the same effect, we can all remind folks that kindness matters — one small gesture at a time.” Follow thegiftofkindnessshared on Facebook, and share your own random acts of gifting.


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OBSESSED WITH ART STORY KIM BERGERON

For as long as he can remember, Matt Litchliter has been compelled to create. As a child, he enjoyed sketching and painting, drawing much of his happiness from paints and pencils. His obsession, he says, was not so much with the finished product as it was with the process. When he was in kindergarten, his teacher presented him with a special award in recognition of his artistic talents. He didn’t know it at the time, but that was not one of the school’s standard awards. It was conceived especially for him to foster his passion and his talent. That effort was ignited when the young, aspiring artist visited a gallery featuring the works of George Dunbar, who happened to be a friend of Matt’s parents, Fred and Grace. “It was the first real art show I ever attended,” he said. “And it was then that I decided that this was the life for me.” That desire was intensified when he was afforded an opportunity to speak with Dunbar, with a subsequent visit to the artist’s studio. He remains incredibly grateful for the experience, and for the seasoned professional’s time and advice. “Everything Mr. Dunbar has done throughout his storied career has been an inspiration, and the dream I chase is to have my work held in the same regard,” says Matt. “My goal is to ensure that everything I have created or will create meets those same exceptional standards.” As he transitioned from grade school at St. Margaret Mary to high school at Pope John Paul, the artist also changed the way he looked at his craft — it was no longer something he did for fun, but was a passion for which he was intent on practicing and improving both his technique and the finished product. His work took a commercial twist with the pursuit of his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with a concentration on

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graphic design, at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He graduated in May of 2005 and returned to Slidell. Just a few months later, Hurricane Katrina hit, bringing with it massive devastation. Following the storm, Matt worked a number of jobs to make ends meet, including cleaning carpets, and working as an art tutor and a freelance artist for hire. Then he landed a job in graphic and web design for eMerge, a Slidell based internet company, for which he continues to work as the company’s creative director. In 2009, the lifelong Slidell resident married Rachel Solice, whom he had met through work at a local movie theater while both were still in college. The couple shares two daughters, Lydie and Elise. While his family remains his top priority, Matt says that when the girls are asleep, he often embraces an opportunity to paint. “As an only child, I was able to spend all of my free time drawing and painting,” he says. “Now, as a husband and father of two, I don’t have ‘free’ time any more — so I just have to make time to work. My father always told me to try to do what I love so it doesn’t feel like work.” What he finds frustrating is the challenge that many artists face — that of having to work “a real job” to pay the bills while aspiring to be an artist as well, because few artists can sustain a living via artwork alone. Adding to that difficulty is that society in general doesn’t always respect that the creation of art is not just a hobby, it’s a profession and should be respected as such. “You make your money how you can and you paint or create when you can,” he says. “And hopefully, one day you can live off your art alone. That’s my goal. In the meantime, I’m fortunate to have a creative job that also pays bills too, but I didn’t always — and may not always — have that luxury.”


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LETTER FROM THE MAYOR

The artist is drawn to what he considers “interesting and sometimes weird art,” citing influences including Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and John Scott — even though their styles are vastly different than his. Though initially his medium of choice was acrylic, he pushed himself to explore other options. In doing so, he developed a love of mixed media, which he considers to be the most expressive, non-restrictive process. “I get these ideas, like visions, sometimes in the middle of the night,” he says. “Each idea will play into the next. I guess I would say my main inspiration could be symbolism and creating a feeling of certain symbolism.” Among his favorite works is a piece he created in 2015, on a large canvas on which he had previously painted three different works. In a sharp departure from his jazz musician series, he decided to take a risk with new subject matter and media. He began working on the piece in April, and over the next six months, he incorporated acrylic, paint pen, colored pencil and gold leaf. “It was at a time I was starting to get burnt out and bored with what I was doing, so I decided to just go for it,” he said. “I have this ongoing fascination with the juxtaposition of something normally viewed as ominous — in this case, a human skull — but depicted in a very bright and non-threatening way. I surrounded it with something a Mardi Gras Indian would wear. Though it may sound odd, it was the first time I had painted a piece just for my own fulfillment rather than something with a broad appeal for a selling market. It felt good to challenge myself and take a risk.” He titled the resulting work, “Investigation of Fear,” and he was so pleased with the results that he decided to take yet another chance, submitting the work for consideration in the City of Slidell’s annual Mixed Media juried art exhibition. It was the first time ever that he had entered a professional art competition. The work took home the Best of Show award. “When that happened I felt like an artist… a real one,” he said. “And I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.” He also remains actively involved in promoting the arts and artists. He joined the Olde Towne Arts Commission in Slidell and the Northshore Cultural Economy Coalition, connecting with equally passionate volunteers working together to create more opportunities for local arts and artists. He emphasizes the importance of taking an interest in and supporting the local arts scene. So what advice would he give to aspiring artists? “Trust yourself,” he says. “Don’t worry so much about your marketability. Your audience will find you and love your weird work. Don’t compromise to get an audience. As you grow, your art will grow with you.” Matt says that the process and the growth are what he continues to enjoy, because creating makes him feel like he’s giving something back to the world. He believes that art plays a major role in society, and that everyone has a creative need within. “Art is therapeutic and emotionally freeing,” he says. “Many people have rigid ideas when it comes to art, that it has to be something that they recognize or that art solely has to yell opinions at you. Art can be all of those things and even none of those things, you just have to be open to ideas. Art has the ability to change you and show you your true self. “ He sums up his thoughts with three simple words. “Art is honesty.”

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 are 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. For the complete parade schedule, please visit the City of Slidell’s website at myslidell.com. Be sure to sign up for our email notifications to stay updated about all the latest news and events in Slidell. You can also follow the “City of Slidell, Louisiana” on Facebook and Twitter. Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! FREDDY DRENNAN City of Slidell Mayor


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STORY LIZ GENEST SMITH PHOTOS JERRY COTTRELL

Technology is a wonderful thing. It’s an integral part of modern life, playing a major role in our communication, entertainment, education, travel, and of course, healthcare. Yet some of the most effective tools for dealing with life’s challenges come from the simplest wonders of nature. In recent years, there’s been a great deal of attention focused on plant-based remedies to heal the body, and animal-assisted therapies to soothe the soul. Most of us have seen or heard of specially trained dogs that visit children’s hospitals, nursing homes, and trauma groups, or assist individuals in their daily lives. But we’re generally less familiar with the use of horses in helping people overcome physical and emotional issues. Right here on the Northshore there is a team of incredibly compassionate instructors and volunteers dedicated to challenging and inspiring veterans and those with special needs through an extraordinary equestrian program. New Heights Therapy Riding Center in Folsom gets input from doctors, therapists, instructors, and parents, then pairs student riders with specifically chosen horses. Each session is tailored to meet the needs of individuals or groups. THE PROGRAM Thought to have originated in the 1960s when an Olympic rider used a horse to help in recovering from a stroke, the official term for this type of approach is equine-assisted activities and therapies, or EAAT. It employs horseback riding — and even simple interaction with horses — to complement ongoing therapy and education for people who are physically, cognitively, or emotionally challenged, in an effort to improve their quality of life. According to the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.), the organization that accredits individual centers and certifies staff, there are over 4,800 certified instructors and equine specialists, and 881 member centers worldwide. Each year, they help more than 66,000 children and adults, including more than 6,200 veterans and active-duty military personnel. Emotional connections and a sense of accomplishment are two very substantial benefits for participants. Riders build trust with the horses, gain riding skills, and learn how to control a 1200-pound animal. One of New Heights’ prize students is fiveyear-old Felicity (pictured), who developed neurological deficits because of a brain tumor. “Her physical therapist reached out and asked us to take her on. She’s stolen the hearts of everyone. We are her fan club,” New Heights’ Executive Director, Krista Carpenter admits. “Part of it is socializing. The success of this program is not measured just in physical progress, but in the emotional growth. We’ve seen some come right out of their shells.”

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Individuals who are restricted to wheelchairs benefit in multiple ways, too. On a physical level, they’re able to engage the core muscles that they don’t usually use. And the phrase “up on your high horse” has never had a more positive connotation than when it’s applied to these circumstances. People in wheelchairs are used to society literally looking down on them. Being hoisted up into a saddle gives them a whole new perspective on the world, and it lends a very literal dimension to the program’s figurative goal of reaching New Heights. Another appealing feature of this program is that siblings can join in. For many, this provides a rare opportunity to do something physical together which, in many cases, is not possible with other sports. THE HORSES What makes horses so effective in this capacity? According to Carpenter, “They are herd animals, but are also considered prey. In this situation, they are constantly aware of the energy of the person they’re working with. They try to figure out how you fit in the herd. They create a bond, and are very sensitive to moods. We see almost an intuitiveness with a rider that has challenges. It’s a powerful interaction.” All of the program’s horses are on-loan from their owners, and they come from a variety of backgrounds. While they all must be in their teens or older, and assessed for 30-60 days to see if they’re a good fit,

that’s where the requirements end. The current roster includes a retired racehorse from the Thoroughbred Retirement Network of Louisiana, as well as some that were rescued from abusive situations. “They all have different personalities,” Carpenter says. “We have everything from draft horses to polo ponies, and everything in between. That’s part of the uniqueness of our program.” The horses are matched to the riders based on both temperament and physical attributes. For example, a larger, broader horse wouldn’t be a good choice for someone with limited hip mobility. The structure of each session depends on each individual’s abilities, but it all begins with a slow introduction to the horse. From there, they may interact from the ground only, or combine ground and saddle activities. THE STAFF Working at a facility such as this requires dedication and both physical and cognitive skills. Instructors must commit eight months to a year of their lives to completing workshops, taking tests, and ultimately getting certified. Carpenter is grateful for the strong volunteer corps that invests so much heart and soul, and develops special bonds with the clients. Some staff members have been with the organization as long as fifteen years. She, herself, got into this line of work by accident.


LETTER FROM THE MAYOR

GREETINGS,

“I grew up riding and was asked to start teaching,” Carpenter explains. “One day, a physical therapist from Children’s Hospital called and asked me to consider working with patients. My first client was a teenager with cerebral palsy who was in a wheelchair. It was so rewarding to see her gaining core strength. She used to need a chest strap, then one day her mom called and told me she was moving furniture around!” THE FUTURE New Heights’ success depends on the generosity of owners who loan their horses to the program, volunteers who give their time and energy, and of course, donors who provide financial support. In addition to sustaining the current programs — and their policy of not turning away students due to financial constraints

— New Heights is looking to expand in the future. “We’re hoping to grow and create vocational opportunities for special needs students who have graduated high school and entered the black hole, where their options become very limited,” Carpenter says. “Some of them have been our clients for so many years. I would love to create other avenues for them.” These avenues would entail securing additional funds and structuring a program that will teach them news skills and allow them to help out around the facility, for instance, with the care and maintenance of the horses. There are multiple ways to support New Heights, including making a general donation, or attending and/or sponsoring one of their annual fundraisers. Planning is underway for this year’s Garden Party, which is coming up on April 22.

Laissez les bon temp roulez! Mardi Gras in the City of Mandeville is just around the corner. The Krewe of Eve will roll on Friday, February 2nd at 7:00 p.m. with the theme “Once Upon A Time,” and on the following Friday, February 9th, The Original Krewe of Orpheus will roll at 7:00 p.m. with their theme, “Orpheus Goes To The Movies.” On Sunday, February 18th, The Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws will be in full swing on the lakefront beginning at 2:00 p.m., benefiting the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. This year’s theme is “Fables, Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes.” For more information, visit their website at mardipaws.com. City Hall will be closed Monday, February 12th and Tuesday, February 13th for the Mardi Gras holiday. The Parks & Parkways Commission will be distributing free tree seedlings at the Trailhead on Saturday, February 3rd during the Community Market. William Afton from the LSU Ag Center will be available to answer any questions. This year’s focus will be on wildlife and fruiting trees, which include Willow Oak, Sassafras, Swamp Red Bay, Snow Bell, Arrowwood and Buttonbush.  Mandeville Live! will kick off their spring concert series at the Mandeville Trailhead with The Boogie Men at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 16th. Six weeks of live entertainment will follow. Admission is free. Hope to see you there! DONALD VILLERE City of Mandeville Mayor


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LAT 29° 55’ 21’’ N, LONG 90° 7’ 49’’ W STORY MERIDITH KNIGHT PHOTOS FERNANDA CHAGAS KIRK

For twelve long years, my son, Hewson, has mourned the fact he wasn’t born into a normal family; his definition of normal being athletic. This is a boy whose singular desire upon exiting the womb has been to run, jump, kick, tackle, throw, hit, score, compete, excel, and dominate at anything that even resembles sports and is condemned to live with five people whose idea of fun is an historic home tour. Since age seven, Hewson has had a dream; the members of his family playing a simple game of

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kickball in the backyard. This will never happen. Instead we sit around the dinner table with a pad of paper. Someone writes an opening paragraph to a story then passes it to the next person who adds a paragraph, passes it, adds a paragraph, to see where the story will go. Woo Hoo, now that’s fun! So, it was that, as this poor kid bemoaned for the one millionth time how he just wishes we could be NORMAL for one day, that I lost my head and decided I could pull off a family day doing


something — anything — outdoors that involves some degree of physical exertion. Wait a minute! We live in Folsom. Canoeing was a logical choice. A quick Google search later, and we had the choice of Rocky Bottom in Franklinton and Bogue Chitto in Bogalusa, both less than a half hour away. We could rent a canoe for three hours, five hours, even all day. I figured, for us, three was pushing it. I started the week before talking it up with the rest of the family, which consists of two teenage sisters — seventeen and fifteen — one dad, one fiveyear-old little brother and me. Seventeen is the bookwormyist of us all. I knew we weren’t getting her in a canoe. Fifteen was a definite maybe. Five was down for some canoeing although he had no idea what that meant. I reminded my husband, David, several times that a family canoe trip was on the calendar for Saturday. He thought it sounded like a great idea. Each time I brought it up to him or one of the kids, I felt an ever-growing knot in the pit of my stomach. Water and I have never been friends. And I live in fear of snakes. I love my son enough to put my phobias on hold though, and set my sights on the moment when we’d drag our canoes out of the water, tired and hungry, but laughing about the great time we’d just shared. I tried not to think about the actual canoeing in snake-infested waters (Did you know snakes sometimes dangle from trees where they can drop into your canoe?), and focused instead on Hewson’s face as he finished a three-hour canoe trip with his normal family. It would be more than worth it.

The day of the big family adventure arrived with a surprise — water covering one bathroom floor. Upon inspection, my husband announced that the little valve dealie that leads to the toilet tank was shot. David is a wonderful man, a good Christian, loyal husband, and devoted father but handy is a word nobody has ever used to describe him. He doesn’t know a monkey wrench from a monkey’s uncle and worst of all, he’s in blind denial about it. So, the canoe trip was put on hold, and here I go to the hardware store with a temporary reprieve from my knotty stomach. I will not indulge myself by replaying the conversation where David told me that the part we needed was standard and I reminded him that my last several trips to the hardware store proved that nothing is standard and asked him to take off the little valve, so I could pop it in my pocket and match it up with its replacement at the store. He gave me that women-knownothing-about-this-manly-stuff look and I ran myself up and down the Folsom Highway to the hardware store twice, each time returning with the wrong size standard valve. He finally took the doodad off the toilet, dropped it in his own pocket and went to the store to get the right size (Women!). But it would be self-serving to include that part of the story. So, I won’t. With all these trips to the hardware store, the morning was dwindling, and the toilet was no closer to being fixed. I figured I was looking at two choices. A) Wait and go canoeing when Daddy (or the plumber I hoped we’d be calling soon) got finished with the job or B) Take the kids canoeing myself. If the thought of paddling down a

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FOR MORE INFORMATION 6500 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA 70118 504.861.2537 audubonnatureinstitute.org/zoo

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snake-infested river with David and the kids put my stomach in a knot, the thought of going with the kids and no David broke me out in a cold sweat. I remembered Hewson — a dozen years of foreign films and poetry readings — and realized that the days of him wanting to spend time with his family are limited. A couple more years and he’ll have his own social calendar, which may not include us. I sat him down and presented our options. He was a champ about it. Twelve years of disappointing family is character building. Then I had an epiphany. The Audubon Zoo! “Hey, Buddy, I just thought of another option. We could wait for Dad and go this afternoon. We could go without him OR we could save canoeing for another day and go to the zoo instead.” (I resisted the urge to mention the Jane Austen Festival or the Tennessee Williams symposium in town that weekend). Amazingly, a trip to the zoo sounded good to him and I felt the week-old knot in my stomach dissolve. I hated myself for being so relieved to get out of my promise to my son. But I was.

Dad was out of the zoo trip because the leaky potty still loomed before him. The sisters were out because Dad had shut off all water to the house and they weren’t going anywhere without washing their hair. So, at nearly noon, we headed for the Causeway, just me and my boys, where I learned yet again that the best family outings — the real memory makers — are the ones that aren’t planned. I was determined to do everything Hewson wanted to do at the zoo, so for the next five hours, we rode the train, climbed the rock wall, took a virtual safari ride, ate Roman chewing candy, climbed on the zoo’s historic oak trees, and saw every animal there was to see. The weather was perfect. The crowd was amiable. And my son was happy. When we finally found the front gate again (which after five hours looked like a desert mirage) we melted into the car and declared it the best zoo trip ever. Fiveyear-old Jonah proved it by falling asleep before we left the parking lot. Hewson tilted his seat back, closed his eyes and with a sleepy smile asked, “So, can we go canoeing next weekend?” And the knot returned to my stomach.


STORY AND PHOTOS CAITLIN PICOU

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EYESHADOW BRUSH eyeshadow ANGLED SMALL BRUSH powder eyeliner fill in eyebrows FAUX VS. REAL There has been some debate about whether synthetic or real animal hair in a brush is better for makeup application. The answer depends on the type of makeup you are applying. If you are using any sort of cream or liquid, it is better to use synthetic. Real animal hair is porous and will absorb the liquids into its fibers. You don’t run into this issue with synthetic brushes. Also, with synthetic brushes no animals are harmed. SOFTNESS, FALLOUT & HANDLES There are a few things to look for when selecting the perfect brush. Softness is important. Remember, you are using these brushes on your face. You don’t want anything too rough or harsh. The softer the better. Also, when choosing a brush, give it a test run on your arm. See if any hairs fall out. Fall-out means that it is not well made. Finally, look at the handle. You want something easy to hold and grip. When you are trying to draw a precise line, you need an easy to hold brush. While some handles are very attractive, make sure it is comfortable for you to hold.

FAN BRUSH powder illuminator and bronzer

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STORY MARY-BRENT BROWN PHOTOS G. BRENT BROWN

MAASTRICHT Photo Degan Larkin

M

uch as the Northshore is one of the best areas in Louisiana (and, arguably, the South), Maastricht is one of the best towns in the Netherlands (and, arguably, Europe). A two and a half hour train ride from Amsterdam brings you to a quieter venue where you can soak up the beauty and see all the highlights in just a few days. Cozy cafes have the best croissants outside of Paris, bookstores reside in old churches, and each resident owns, on average, more than one bicycle. The most beautiful view of Maastricht is from the Meuse River, which the Dutch call the Maas. The town’s very name means “crossing at the Maas” for the river that runs through the city. The oldest bridge in the Netherlands, built out of stone when its wooden predecessor collapsed in the 1200s, is the best place to view the two sides of the city. On both sides are 1,677 national historic sites, second in number only to Amsterdam. One of the most ancient cities in Europe, Maastricht has origins Before Christ, but the most is known about its origins as a Roman settlement. The old Roman wall can still be seen almost 1000 years after it was built. Part of the wall, Helpoort, or Hell’s Gate, is the oldest city gate in the Netherlands and has two namesake stories: first, prisoners were kept in its tower and second, victims of the 1300’s Black Plague were expelled from the city through this gate, unlikely to return. Today the gate fittingly houses a history museum. More recently, the Maastricht Treaty, the original document creating the euro and what we know today as the European Union (EU), was drafted and signed here in 1992. During the negotiations leading up to the treaty, the Netherlands was President of the Council of the European Union, a sort of predecessor to the modern EU. It was here, in government buildings along the Maas, that delegates from twelve countries hammered out the details of membership in the EU and the requirements to be able to adopt the euro as currency. On top of one of the highest points in Holland, a measly five hundred feet above sea level, is St. Peter’s Fortress. The fort hosts tours, but the real treasure lies underneath: 250 miles of man-made tunnels with 20,000 corridors. Because of cave-ins only about fifty miles are still accessible today. This is not surprising since limestone is so soft before it is dried that without modern tools, the miners cut blocks with their equivalent of a chainsaw. Tours are available only with a guide, and once you visit you will understand why. Because there is no electricity in the tunnels, guides carry lanterns to part the intense darkness, and with so many turns and passageways an untrained visitor would have no idea how to get out of the labyrinth. These tunnels have a rich and lengthy history. Some thousand years ago, miners started harvesting limestone for building material and, as time went


on, they pushed deeper and deeper underground to get more. Eventually the mining was halted, but Maastricht found other uses for the caves. During World War II they were put to use as a vault, an underground railroad and — for a short time — an underground city. Secretly known as “National Storage Facility no. 9,” the tunnels have year round cool temperatures that made for a perfect hiding place for many Dutch national treasures, including Rembrandt’s famous “The Night Watch.” Because the tunnels lead to Belgium, Jewish residents used them to escape the Nazis. Fearful of what might happen aboveground during this time, Maastricht residents began to set up a city in the caves, complete with a well, bakery, church, and toilets. Luckily the Americans freed the area before this was required, making Maastricht the first Dutch city to be liberated by allied forces, but some residents did live there for several days. Possibly to stave off the boredom of mining or living underground temporarily, people began carving artwork in the limestone walls long ago, with the earliest marked date in the 1700s. Some of it is the historical equivalent of “Kilroy was here,” but many etchings are impressive in their skill and detail. Now tourists are forbidden to participate in order to protect the integrity of the walls and the existing drawings, including a complete Stations of the Cross. Squares in Maastricht are pedestrian-only areas near the town center that leave plenty of room for children to frolic and friends to meet. Vrijthof Square (pictured with the bicyclist above) is the largest and most well-known square in Maastricht, and where festivities are most likely to occur. In winter Vrijthof Square is turned into Magisch Maastricht, rightfully titled Magic Maastricht, with an ice skating rink and a Christmas market people flock to each year. In March, the City Polo Maastricht Foundation covers the square in sand and hosts charity polo matches open to the public. Fairs with rides, open-air concerts and culinary festivals are

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almost as common as vlaii (rhymes with ‘fly’), a beloved Dutch fruit pie. But by far the most popular event in Vrijthof Square is Carnival. The Dutch equivalent of Mardi Gras, Carnival begins the Sunday before Fat Tuesday when shots are fired and the Mooswief, a statue of the patroness of Maastricht, is raised on a flagpole to signal the beginning of celebrations. A parade for families runs on Monday before the whole city turns out for the Tuesday parade. Proper attire is a must, meaning intricate face paint and a flashy, but warm, costume. Stores all around the city sell elaborate multi-piece attire, with some open year-round for anyone looking to gear up early. Indoor and outdoor parties rage all night throughout the city in anticipation of the beginning of Lent. Much like the Northshore, Maastricht is an established arts community. It is home to artists, museums, galleries and the European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF), the world’s most prestigious fair for art, antiques and design. Maastricht University students joke that “when you start to see more luxury cars than usual, it must be time for TEFAF.” Every March, TEFAF draws over 70,000 visitors from more than 60 countries for a weeklong event featuring selected pieces from 275 of the world’s top galleries. Pieces range from Old Masters to modern and contemporary, and are vetted to ensure quality, authenticity and condition. Whether you are interested in taking a piece of art home or ‘just looking,’ it is a spectacular event for any art lover. Because of its location in the southern tip of the Netherlands, Maastricht provides a location from which one can bike to Belgium or take a short bus ride to Germany. This proximity yields an enriched mashup of languages, cultures, and people. While Dutch is the national language, French and German are very common. English is mandatory in Dutch schools and, therefore, often used as a ‘lingua franca,’ a common language, by students and expats. Less common, but still proudly spoken by some, is Limburgish, the language of the Limburg province, of which Maastricht is the capital. Limburgish can also be an accent, making the Dutch spoken in Maastricht difficult to understand, even for fellow Netherlands Dutch speakers. Living on the Northshore, we expect the best in a laid-back format, and that’s what Maastricht offers. So, if you are planning a trip to the Netherlands, or anywhere nearby, spending a few days in Maastricht will be the respite you need to get off the beaten path and live like a local in a city that captures the history and heartbeat of the Netherlands.

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ABOUT CAYMAN SINCLAIR Every issue EDGE of the Lake invites a local restaurateur to visit another eatery on the Northshore. Cayman Sinclair started in the restaurant business as a teenager and got his first big break at Dakota. He and his brothers then opened and ran Louisiana Grill before Cayman opened The Lakehouse in 2009. Cayman has expanded The Lakehouse from restaurant and special events catering to include catering for disaster relief efforts and for the film and festival industries. Cayman is also part owner of Maison Lafitte, a special events venue in Old Mandeville. The historic building, located next to Our Lady of the Lake Church, can accommodate events from 30-300 guests, all of which are catered by The Lakehouse.

OXLOT 9 428 E. Boston Street Covington, LA 70433 oxlot9.com 985.400.5663


My turn: by Cayman Sinclair My wife, Sara, and I recently visited Oxlot 9 in downtown Covington. We go out to eat at least once a week together, although it is usually in the company of our two year old, so we were looking forward to something a little more formal. We had both been to Oxlot 9 before, so to give it a proper review we decided to try something new off the menu. Sara’s palate runs toward fresh, clean and simple, while I admit to loving rich, heavier foods, and I’m not scared of a cream sauce. Oxlot 9’s interior is kind of French Modern. When visiting an open kitchen concept like Oxlot 9, I like to check out what is going on in the kitchen, but I’m more interested in people watching, including the patrons around me. Sara loved the art and thought the room was very comfortable. We both admired the big windows that look out over downtown Covington and how they show off the energy of the neighborhood. We shared a bottle of pinot noir, while starting with the seared scallops and seasonal salad. The scallops were served with compressed apples, smoked bacon and pumpkin seeds, and they were excellent. The seasonal salad was right up Sara’s alley. She really liked the candied walnuts, watermelon radish and the accompanying Blood Orange Vinaigrette. For the main course, I went with the filet while Sara ordered the stuffed rabbit. The rabbit had a sweet potato underneath with tasso stuffing. Sara admitted it was closer to comfort food than the lighter fare she prefers, but she described it as yummy and the perfect antidote to the chilly temperatures outside that night. The filet came with potatoes, asparagus and a Hollandaise sauce. Anytime I’m not going with a traditional Louisiana dish, I prefer meat and potatoes. The filet was delicious and perfect for a cold winter night. Time prohibited us from having dessert that night, but on a previous trip to Oxlot 9 we shared a Campfire Dessert, and we both raved about it. We highly recommend Oxlot 9. The service was excellent and we appreciated the locally sourced ingredients and the creativity and energy that was put into our meal.


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1. The Eyes of Freedom traveling memorial was exhibited at Bogalusa High School. Families and friends of fallen Marine Corporal David ‘Bear’ Stewart honored his memory at the memorial. 2. The inaugural Shop Local Artists Week was celebrated around the State during the first full week of December. St Tammany Parish President Pat Brister, with the support of five St. Tammany mayors, signed an unprecedented Joint Proclamation in support of the Shop Local Artists Week initiative. Events included a Holiday Art Market in downtown Covington featuring local artists, Louisiana seafood cooked by local restaurants, local musicians, a cooking demo by Gavin Jobe from Meribo, along with a Christmas tea hosted by The English Tea Room with proceeds donated to the St. Tammany Arts Association. Volunteers from St. Paul’s School’s Flat Earth Club and Mandeville High stepped up to help the organizers put on the event.

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Events took place nightly, including a concert by musical greats Ronnie Kole, John Perkins and Bobby Oher at the Fuhrmann Auditorium and a Sip and Stroll in Mandeville. 3.The Southern Hotel rang in the New Year with a lively party featuring food by OxLot 9, music by Groovy 7 and their signature Pinecone Drop. 4. The St. John Fools of Misrule celebrated 12th Night with a walking parade in historic downtown Covington. The parade began at the Seiler Bar before proceeding to the Covington Trailhead where Mayor Mike Cooper announced the start of the Northshore’s Carnival season. The merriment continued with the ‘Fools’ and the ‘Jewels’ parading throughout downtown accompanied by their Skulls (members dressed as skeletons), a brass band, stilt walkers and flambeaux carriers. Photos Matthew Schienker 5. Five enterprising women were selected to receive the first Women’s Choice Awards handed

out by the Professional Women of St. Tammany at a special awards luncheon. The honorees were Barbara Doyle, Owner of Pelican Pages; Caitlin Hunter, Community Engagement Specialist at Chevron; Lacey Toledano, President & CEO of the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce; Lisa Condrey Ward, Attorney at Law and Owner of the Southern Hotel; and Dr. Catherine Wilbert, Owner and Operator of Big Sky Ranch. Congratulations Ladies! Photos Paige Henderson 6. Senior Foster Willie of Lakeshore High was awarded Student of the Year. Congratulations! 7. The New Orleans Advocate has named junior Carlin Beal (Mandeville High) and senior Adam Wise (Fontainebleau High) as the 2017 All Metro Cross Country Outstanding Runners of the Year. Way to go! Want to be featured in Around The Lake? Send your pictures to edgepublisher@yahoo.com


STORY CHARLES DOWDY

Charles Dowdy is a broadcaster and writer living with his wife and four children on the Northshore. You can hear him each weekday morning from 6 to 10 on Lake 94.7.

A

fter dropping out of law school because I refused to spend hours memorizing a case about whether two drunks entered into a contract on a bar napkin, I went to London and got a job selling contact lenses on commission in the Financial District. The guy who ran the place had crooked teeth and wore loud, plaid jackets. Not that anyone saw him. He sat upstairs and watched the store on closed circuit TV. I talked to him twice: the day he hired me, then two weeks later, on the day he fired me. I went after the job for its signing bonus, which amounted to a couple hundred dollars. I knew nothing about contact lenses. The other salespeople were always looking in a mirror while they picked at their eyes, or taking their lenses out and sticking them in that solution stuff. Perhaps my employer assumed otherwise but I did not wear contacts. So, I would sit near one of the little mirrors and mess with my eyes as if I did, just to fit in. The girl who trained me was Vietnamese. She had her hair pulled back and huge, dark eyes. She was beautiful and did not laugh at one joke I told her. In fact, everyone who sold

contacts there was Vietnamese and they were serious about the high-volume eye business. My training was less than extensive. The girl watched the front door while I tried to ask a few questions. She cut me off. “You wear the contact lenses?” “Of course,” I said. “You can put the contact lenses in the eyes?” She was pointing at my eyes. “Yes.” “Show customer how it is done with contacts in you eyes one time. One time only. Then make them put in contacts. One time only. If you slow at training station, we wait and make no money. With the contact lens, it is in and out, in and out, then move on.” I was impressed by the way the Vietnamese women moved their clients through the store. It reminded me of old police shows with a handcuffed perp being manhandled through the squad room on the way to interrogation. It wasn’t surprising. These people had less than perfect vision. Add the language barrier to it and I suspect the British were just too polite to complain. When my turn came, I led an older woman to the optometrist. In fifteen seconds, the

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optometrist determined that she had terrible vision. Then I took her to stand before a wall of tiny boxes. I looked at the slip of paper I’d gotten from the optometrist. I took a box out and compared the numbers. It was close enough. I led her to the training station. Since I did not wear contact lenses, there was no way I could get one in my own eye, so the in and out was going to have to be in the woman’s eyes. I perched that little contact on my finger, moved it toward her eye, and dropped it on the floor. Instead of acknowledging my mistake, I went through the motions of putting something in her eye. The woman blinked a few times. “That’s spot on,” she said. “I expected a bit of discomfort.” I was more careful with that second little bastard. I dug it out of the container, held it upright, pried her eye open, then jammed the contact in before it could slide off my finger. There was a cry of pain, then lots and lots of blinking. I had her do the in and out with one eye only, since the other contact was on the floor. She did a much better job than I did, and before I knew it, she was out the door. My first contact sale. My commission was about two quid, which wouldn’t even buy me a pint, let alone pay the rent. I was beginning to understand the importance of the in and out. Over the next few days, I learned that selling colored contacts was big money. The Vietnamese women pushed the colored contacts hard. It was the same thing with every guy. “Yes, big man, with big baby blues, you look like John Wayne. You will buy them, yes?” I made the mistake of pitching the colored contacts only one time. The problem was you could see them in the customer’s eye. So, if I dropped the contact on the floor, or stuck it in wrong, the customer could tell. “I have one brown eye and one blue eye,” that customer told me. I could see the other contact. It was folded in one corner of his eye. I stuck my finger in there to get it and the contact disappeared. Was it possible to push something to the opposite side of an eyeball? Was my customer now looking backward with 20/20 vision? I had no clue what to do. A cough interrupted my panic. I turned. The Vietnamese women were crowding me with their blind customers. I was holding things up. I told the guy his eyes were too brown for the blue contacts and he bought that for some stupid reason. So, I took out the one we could see. Then I kind of poked around in the other eye before selling the guy some regular contacts. For a while, at least, I managed to keep my ignorance under wraps. But, while the pay was good, I felt guilty about what I was doing. My big thumb

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probably looked like something out of a horror movie as it came at them. They would squirm and thrash while I wedged contacts into their eyes, in and out, in and out, before I stood them up and led them to pay. They would try to count money, but most times I had to help them. Then I’d march them out the door and hope they didn’t get hit by a bus. My fellow sales people treated me with scorn, and I took it, until I watched the girl who trained me do something familiar. “I saw that,” I said, once she was back in line. “You see nothing.” “You dropped one of the contacts from your last customer and left it. You didn’t put anything in his left eye.” She frowned. “And where you think I learn that from?” It took a second. “From me?” “You faster in and out. All we do it now.” “All we do it? Wait, we’re only putting one contact in all these people?” She looked both ways, then held up her finger. “Faster in and out. That means more money.” Someone was going to get hurt and it was going to be my fault. Not only did I wonder if someone might step in front of a bus, what if they drove the bus? These people were going to learn that they could see better with one eye. Forget wankers, thanks to me, England was going to become an island of winkers. I tried every way I could to convince my co-workers that we had to stop. No matter how long I tied up the training station, I got two contacts in every customer. It was only a matter of time before the manager summoned me to his office. He was sitting at a desk, a wall of black and white screens behind him. “You put your hands on the customers,” he said as I entered the room. “Excuse me?” “You touch them. We are not like Americans. We are more reserved.” Reserved? He was wearing a jacket that looked like Taco Bell vomit. Before I could defend myself, he said, “And there have been complaints from your co-workers.” I could have fought it. Employees have more rights in the UK. But the guilt was wearing me out. I went back downstairs, then picked my way through the customers. Just before I descended into the tube stop, I looked over my shoulder. Blind people were streaming in and out of that tiny, contact lens store like ants. Could they see? Were they in pain? Did they wink all the time like my uncle Ed? Did it matter? They went in with money and bad eyesight. They left with the confidence of clearer vision, thanks to a contact lens, maybe two. The in and the out. In and out.


Profile for EDGE of the Lake

EDGE of the Lake February | March 2018  

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 2018  

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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