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How Sweet It Is By Christina Traylor Rusca

The Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival is to Louisiana what the Super Bowl is to the NFL, and we all know – especially this year – how important that institution is! Second only to Mardi Gras, this annual free festival celebrating Louisiana’s beloved state fruit draws over 300,000 revelers to what is arguably the best family-friendly event in the south. Spanning the first full weekend in April, the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival offers a jam-packed three days of fun, food, games and entertainment like no other festival around. Located near downtown Ponchatoula in the 300 block of North Sixth Street on the grounds of Memorial Park, the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival has, for more than thirty years, provided the single largest fundraising avenue for area non –profit and charitable organizations; in fact, non-profits are the only vendors allowed on the official festival grounds. Of course, the city of Ponchatoula itself has much to offer by way of its historical retail sector, given its reputation since 1989 as “America’s Antique City.” A visit to this gem in the heart of the south is warranted any time of year, although you’ll especially want to visit during the Strawberry Festival to take advantage of the seasonal sales and specials.

Friday evening, April 9th, marks the opening of the festival. Featuring food booths that offer mouthwatering southern delicacies, carnival rides to please everyone from the thrillseeker to the greenhorn and an award-winning lineup of local entertainers, the commencement of festival weekend has long been established “family night,” as there is no alcohol sold or allowed on the festival grounds. The first full day of the festival, Saturday, April 10th, begins at 9:30 AM with the annual Strawberry Festival Parade. Billed as one of the south’s largest festival parades, thousands line Pine Street to watch the procession. The festival’s queen, king, grand marshal and chairman lead area marching bands, dance teams, businesses and residents through downtown to herald the pinnacle celebration of their locally grown super fruit. They’re confident that no one can resist the temptation of a sweet, delicious Ponchatoula grown strawberry. And they’re right.

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The Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival is a delight to the senses. Featuring spinetingling rides by Lowery Carnival Co., every type of delectable food you could imagine, exciting games including strawberry eating and egg tossing, strawberry daiquiris, snowballs and beer to quench your thirst, live entertainment second to none (see for a full lineup) and a liberal dose of small-town hospitality for which this southern state is known, this event has earned its reputation as the premier festival in Louisiana. Plan to attend the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival April 9-11, 2010. It promises the most fun to be had south of the Mason-Dixon, and let’s be honest – everyone knows that’s where all the fun is to be had.

God Bless the WHO DAT NATION!!!! A story of destiny for a team, a city, and a people By Deborah Burst

What a week!! It started on Saturday, February 6, Super Bowl eve, clearly a sign of things to come. New Orleans crossed racial and economic lines electing a new mayor in an historic landslide vote, the highest ever in a primary election. Then the big day, Super Bowl XLIV, not the usual neutral corporate crowd but a black and gold Super Bowl filled with a battalion of costumed crazies inked with fleur-de-lis tattoos. We entered as underdogs, scratching our way through the first half, then with the help of screaming “Who Dat” fans we sailed through the second half finishing things off in typical LouBreesiana fashion with a Tracy Porter interception!! The following Tuesday in downtown New Orleans the Victory parade (aka Lombardi Gras) drew record crowds with more than 800,000 from far and wide. Consumed with the endearing chants, teary eyed Saints players hopped off the floats to embrace their cheering fans. And the beat goes on; Lombardi Gras meets Mardi Gras in a never-ending love fest for the WHO DAT NATION. The Journey… Born on all Saints Day in 1966, it took the Saints 21 years to reach the first winning season, 35 years to win the first playoff game and now after 43 years, Saints fans have finally made it to the promise land…the SUPER BOWL. Some say it’s a fairytale season while others declare divine intervention with shades of David and Goliath. It began with a fearless tribe recruited in 2006 by first time head coach, Sean Payton. He assembled a team of “Davids” drawn from what other teams considered misfits or damaged goods. In a giant leap of faith, they joined thousands of fans amidst the rubble of Hurricane Katrina building a new team, a new home, and a new family. By December 2009, the Saints had a 13-0 season, a franchise record battling the NFL icons, New York Giants and Jets, and the Monday Night showdown with the New England Patriots. Winning the NFC South Division title, we set our sights on playoff home field advantage when we fell to defeat in our last three games: Dallas, Tampa and

Carolina. Our fearless leader Coach Payton continued to preach goodwill pulling his starters in the last game, and resting them during the bye week, his ministry to win it all. Another sign of holy redemption…two teams that beat us in previous playoff games would deliver a Saintly home field advantage—the Chicago Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings in overtime. By now you have to think this is karma, or the making of an epic movie. But still we wonder, “Did our team lose their mojo?” NFC Championship--Our Destiny… Some say it was the fluttering of angel wings that guided the ball between the golden arches, all those dearly departed fans on a weekend pass from the pearly gates. The late Buddy Diliberto, sports journalist and WWL radio personality, lead the Saintly Krewe dressed in a white beaded gown (a promise he made if the Saint’s made it to the Super Bowl). As the ball cleared the uprights, Jim Henderson, WWL Radio play by play announcer proclaimed, “Pigs have flown! Hell has frozen over! The Saints are on their way to the Super Bowl!” Under a storm of confetti, Drew Brees raises his arms in victory while his lineman mystified by the moment lay in the confetti debris making snow angels. It was and still is a story for the ages. But more than a game, this is a team of destiny igniting a collective euphoria in a growing swell of Saints fans across the state, the country, and the globe. Drew Brees told WWL Radio’s Bob DelGiorno that he believed in destiny and everything happens for a reason. “God puts us in positions to...take advantage of his purpose for us," Brees told DelGiorno. “I believe that he does have a purpose

Lombardi Gras meets Mardi Gras in a neverending love fest for the WHO DAT NATION.

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for us, and it’s to finish the season the way that we’ve aspired to. That’s to win a Super Bowl Championship for this city and this town.” Another WWL Radio talk show host, Garland Robinette, escaped Katrina’s wrath in the WWL studios across from the ravaged Superdome. The morning after the Saints NFC win, sitting in the same studio across from the now renovated Superdome, Garland talks with his long time friend, Jim Henderson. “Jim, would you ever believe just four and half years later we would be here celebrating this victory?” In a strained voice bruised by the emotional outbursts the night before, Henderson, a master in delivering wellscripted commentaries, proclaimed, “This is a defining moment not just for the football team but for the city of New Orleans.” Suddenly a cracking voice…and then silence…the same raw emotions shared by thousands if not millions of fans everywhere. As one caller noted, “We have washed away tears of sorrow with tears of joy.” Super Bowl XLIV Champs!!!!! Beyond the tears and prayers, our love affair has reached a global stage. The entire world has discovered our fine state and her beautiful people. Misplaced fans and strangers to this land are packing their bags and moving back. Beyond race, gender, and politics, this team has delivered a united front stronger than any man made force – Truly a Divine Intervention. Deb fondly remembers learning the rules of football from her dad at the age of 10 creating a bond that grew stronger with every passing season. She cherished their first Saints game in Tulane Stadium, an early Christmas present on December 21, 1969, a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Although her dad never got to see a Saints winning season, her mom discovered the game this year. Deb swears her dad channeled through for a front row seat!

Watch For Flying Pigs By Su Stella

First, I must say I have never been a big football fan, UNTIL NOW!! The Saints brought pride and life back to an entire region. Thank you! And I sincerely thank all the workers in New Orleans, especially the police and the cleaning crews, and hotel and service workers for creating a magical experience this Mardi Gras season. This is the miracle month, heck – miracle year for Louisiana. Just getting in the Super Bowl was amazing for the sAints. The joke is when the Saints go to the Super Bowl hell will freeze over and pigs will fly. Within days we woke to a gorgeous blanket of snow (as predicted), leading many to a six-day weekend. Add to this Mardi Gras, Chinese New Year, President’s Day, and Valentine’s all in the same week… are you seeing the pattern of miracles? From winning the coin toss to the breathe taking second half, the excitement was electrifying! The win was more than just a game, it was a triumph for the entire state. I usually don’t seek out parades on television but the special Saints parade was not to be missed! Crying, cheering and otherwise thrilled by the whole spectacle, I know I am now officially a Louisianan! At that time, I also had no plans to attend Mardi Gras in NOLA. Then an act of God appeared when I got a message that my friend Tina had booked a hotel on Bourbon Street for Fat Tuesday. My first thought was that it was a miracle to find a vacant room in this city after the Saints big win, and my friend booked it and invited us down. There was no way I was going to miss this, the biggest party on the planet! Even more so,

we were going home to the Gulf Coast. We drove down from Shreveport, parked, and staked out our spot along the parade route in the front row. Truthfully, the front row is over rated but the hardcore parade groupies take it very seriously. We regrouped behind the masses and had a BLAST! So many people still crave the city that they can’t come home to yet. We shared stories and hugged teary-eyed new friends. It was a pilgrimage for so many bruised souls like ours. The French Quarter was crowded with happy groups of people shouting “Who Dat?” The crowd responded, “We Dat.” So many have waited a lifetime for a Saints win and this victory was so special – the dawn of a new day for the entire coast. For two days we ate, drank, saw, and danced to the joyous sounds of NOLA. Honestly, it was some of the most treasured days of my 45 years. Sunburned, exhausted, a bit beer buzzed, and weighed down by beads, we experienced a new beginning. On Fat Tuesday, we heard rumors of reports of flying pigs seen over the entire gulf coast. Unfortunately, I was busy catching beads and missed the photo op – sorry, Mona! It’s the 5th year after Katrina and I am typing this in Biloxi. It’s our first time back in 2 ? years and very emotional. So much is still destroyed but so much is also new and better. Like our favorite restaurant, Wet and Wild, that was destroyed by Katrina only to reborn as Snappers. Our friend Charles not only still works there but he and a small crew rebuilt it with their own hands. We didn’t know if Charles was even alive after the storm and the joy of seeing him was indescribable. Please consider spending your time and money visiting the Gulf area to feel the magic, meet the people, and share the joy. Your tourist dollars are going to create jobs and allow people to rebuild and finally come home. Your gain will be rich, delicious, decadent

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PUBLISHER LRT Publications


EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Mona L. Hayden (318) 547-1221

OUR GUARDIAN ANGEL Debbie Hamilton Pope June 14, 1952-August 24, 2008

SALES Sunny Meriwether (318) 547-8126 Mona L. Hayden (318) 547-1221


Louisiana Road Trips magazine is published monthly to promote, inform, and entertain the residents of Louisiana. It is distributed FREE; however, home delivery is available. This magazine will reach approximately 52,000 individuals. Submission of articles and photos are always welcome but may be limited to availability of space and edited for content. Copyright 2010 with all rights reserved. Reproduction of any material appearing within this publication is prohibited without written permission of the Publishers. The opinions expressed in Louisiana Road Trips magazine are those of the authors or columnists and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products or services herein. “Louisiana Road Trips” magazine retains the right to refuse any advertisement.

ROAD TRIPS P. O. Box 2452 West Monroe, LA 71294 (318) 547-1221

flavors that must be experienced. Su has a Katrina art show booked for the 5th anniversary at the Multi Cultural Center of the South in Shreveport. Her photos are pre- and post-Katrina and morphed into art. Share your Katrina photos with her at

Talkin’ It Up! What an exciting time for Louisiana! We’ve just survived record snowfall across the state, Mardi Gras, and the Saints bringing home The Big One. I was in New Orleans a couple weeks ago for a fantasy wedding (not mine…lol) and the city was still basking in the afterglow – a beautiful sight to behold and a tough act to follow; however, we accept that challenge. March kicks off in grand fashion with the Strawberry Festival in Ponchatoula and numerous others listed on the calendar inside, not to mention the car shows, races, and celebrations of the blues, BBQ, plants, and antiques. Yep, if the sun is shining there’s probably a parade or party nearby so load up the car and join in the fun as we welcome the Spring season with open arms. Enjoy all your days and let’s keep in touch.


Mona L. Hayden, Editor (318) 547-1221

ROAD TRIPS "Celebrating country living and city happenings!"



Wood Portraits, Ornaments & More by Deborah Skipper


Litter Boxes Fiesta Nutrition Centers Relocates & Expands by Sunny Meriwether Cypress Inn on the Bayou


How Does Four Turn Into Sixteen? by Johnny Wink


Uncle John’s Outdoors by John Simeone The Scream of the Eagles


My Favorite Fishing Hole by Joe Joslin Dangerous Sport, This Fishing

FESTIVALS & ENTERTAINMENT 2 How Sweet It is by Christina Traylor Rusca 6 Touring & Antiquing in Historic Jackson 15 Louisiana Nursery Festival 17 Minden St. Jude Vehicle Show & Shine 18 Smokin’ Blues & BBQ Challenge 19 Isleno Fiesta ‘10 by Dorothy L. Benge 21 AHRMA Vintage National Motocross 24 New Orleans Area Festivals 26-27 On the Scene – by Deborah Burst Jazz Festing from Halter Tops to Maternity Tops Great Gator Race!

HISTORICAL COVER CREDIT The cover photos were provided by the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival (see article inside for details).

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Franklin Historic Cemetery Tour Sunday, Bloody Sunday: The Colfax Massacre of 1873 by Lora Peppers

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A Life of Trial…and Error by Dennis Stewart The Perils of I-Phones and Smart-Type


Runnin’ the Roads by Barbara Sharik A Recipe for Filling Up Your Pickle Jar


All Things Southern by Shellie Tomlinson Shark By The Tail?


Kitty DeGree Breast Health Center





God Bless the WHO DAT NATION!! by Deborah Burst

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Watch For Flying Pigs by Su Stella

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Talkin’ It Up! Going Native by Larry Brock Finding the Sacred in Nature Louisiana Lagniappe – Remember When Welcome March Madness by Mae Flager Louisiana Road Trips Cover Contest Louisiana Lagniappe Answers Backtalk March Calendar of Events U.S. Soldiers Foundation Fundraisers


Recipes by Stacy Thornton


Travel Adventure by Dianne Newcomer Touring Canada like a Gold Medalist!

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Lafayette Finds & Family by Carolyn Files

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Dreams Come True by Carey Weeks

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Peculiar Jaunts by Carey Weeks Off the Beaten Path in the Big Easy Hit the Road – by Deborah Burst Patriotic Skies and Rolling Countrysides Encounters Among the Youth by Lee Estes Notre Dame – The Bucket List Gift! by Pat Anderson


By Larry Brock

Finding the Sacred in Nature Welcome to winter’s wane. Silver moons rise over snow-dusted fields. Orion stalks midnight’s icy trails. Gray morning fog hangs low over frosted February landscapes. But as author Hal Borland observed, “No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn.” Spring is the season for renewal. Meadows green again. Stubborn leaves finally yield to the lure of the forest floor. March hosts the annual spring equinox – equal dark, equal light; hours same both day and night. Nature still marches to the endless rhythm of the seasons. As Gandalf assured Frodo, “Life goes on much as it always has.” Here in mid-February, when spring is poised on the verge of splendor, take a final moment to consider nature’s design. Sun and moon, wind and rain, rock and soil, plants and animals, birds and insects – all these elements are woven into a single tapestry. For example, a plant turns sunlight into nectar that nourishes an insect that sustains a bird that eats the fruit and disperses the seed. One solitary thread! How many more strands make up the fabric of the natural world? The advent of spring is confirmed by longer days and warming temperatures. Sap is rising and buds are swelling. Winter’s faded bronze foliage will soon be replaced by spring’s fresh green leaves. February still sports a few berries for birds – holly, coralberry, cedar, cherry laurel, euonymus,

nandina and pyracantha in my yard. And what’s that crowd? Gloried golden daffodils dance in gay attire; swaying blooms bring hope and cheer, wearied hearts inspire. Paperwhites and snowflakes delight the senses. Swamp red maple and bush honeysuckle are blooming, along with sweet olive, mahonia and flowering quince. Other mid-February bloomers include coral honeysuckle and Carolina jessamine, henbit and dandelion, violets and yellowtops. The natural landscape hosts a multitude of winter birds, both migrants and resident species. Grackles, robins and doves flock in open fields. Cardinals and thrashers dart through brushy thickets; wrens, chickadees and titmice too. Woodland jays, woodpeckers and sapsuckers call and knock. And after their winter retreat, migrant sparrows, juncos, warblers and kinglets are preparing to depart. Say hello as you pass my sister in Michigan! The diversity of plants and habitat will determine the types and abundance of wildlife that can be supported in a home landscape. Beside the birds, butterflies and bees emerge on warm sunny days to feed on nectar and gather pollen. That’s why winter wildflowers are vital. Spiderlings scurry through the leaf litter; earthworms tunnel beneath. Squirrels race up and down tree trunks. And so many deer have passed through they’re making ruts in the mud. A landscape is an interlocking, interactive community of plants and animals. “We shall never understand the natural environment until we see it as a living organism,”

Winter’s faded bronze foliage will soon be replaced by spring’s fresh green leaves.

author Paul Brooks observed. By one definition, nature behaves as a single, selfregulating system with physical, chemical, biological and human components. To paraphrase ecologist Aldo Leopold, “… the environment is not a commodity we own but a community to which we belong.” Look outside. In nature, rival interests and appetites compete for limited resources. As species adapt to their environment, settle into their respective niches and reach carrying capacity, they arrive at a balanced coexistence that is the natural order. This equilibrium is achieved largely by instinct and driven by issues of survival and availability of resources. But beyond instinct, beyond primal drives and short-term satisfactions, there is another dimension. Humanity stands at the peak of the natural order, created by God with the capacity for abstract thought and moral judgment. Man can manipulate the fate of the entire planet. And with that capacity come responsibility and accountability. Mankind is instructed to care for the world under his dominion. Prudently, not as a selfish profiteer who exploits it nor an indifferent bystander who ignores it. The environment is worth our respect. So look for the sacred in nature. Resolve to live wisely within our shared ecosystems. Pledge to protect our natural heritage. Begin now by Going Native. A life-long resident of Lake Providence, Larry Brock was inspired by his grandfather’s passion for gardening and his own desire to recover the horticultural uniqueness of this region. Larry is drawn to the relationships between plants, birds, insects and soil and can be found puttering outdoors in his yard most any time, weather permitting.

Touring & Antiquing In Historic Jackson On March 26-28, the picturesque little town of Jackson, LA invites visitors to browse through fine antiques and collectibles by select dealers from seven states. These will be displayed in two historic buildings purchased and maintained by the Jackson Assembly with proceeds from previous shows. Preservationists and history buffs will enjoy a self guided tour of the

Historic District and visiting three historic churches and the original 1816 Courthouse of the Felicianas. View historic exhibits and period furnishings at Centenary State Historic Site, two blocks down. After touring and shopping, visitors can feast on homemade soups and seafood gumbo, sandwiches, and delectable desserts prepared by Feliciana's finest cooks served in the 1835 McKowen Store's basement.

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In celebration of the Bicentennial of the West Florida Republic, Dr. Sam Hyde, Center Director for SE LA Studies at SLU, will discuss "The West Florida Republic of 1810" on Saturday at 2pm. Also honoring the Bicentennial, Hickory Hill will open for the first time to the public. A restoration in progress, this federal style home was also built in 1810. Don’t miss the art exhibit and sale all three days in the lobby and ballroom of Old Centenary Inn. $10 admission includes all events. For more info, call 225-6347155 or visit


By Dianne Newcomer

Touring Canada like a Gold Medalist! The Saints might have walked away with the trophy but ex-Golden Girl Betty White being slammed into the mud definitely won our office poll as the best Super Bowl commercial for 2010. It was everything a Super Bowl ad should be: funny, a little shocking, and it got us talking. Unfortunately for its sponsors, none of us were able to remember the product dear ole Betty was promoting! Snicker’s 30-second $3 million Super Bowl X investment had certainly been enjoyed but their ad message to go buy their products had been wasted on us. As I watched the Vancouver Winter Olympics last month, I thought what a great job Canada was doing "selling" their country to the world with their impressive ads – absolutely unforgettable! If you missed any of their commercials, let me highlight some of the more exhilarating adventures they said could be enjoyed on a visit to Canada: * Rock climb the massive granite cliffs of the Grand Wall or leisurely hike the trails of Squamish Valley. * Catch a breeze and fly a kite on Wickaninnish Beach, build a sand castle, watch whales and sea lions, surf the waves, or just relax on the sandy shores of the Pacific Rim. * Follow dinosaur footprints in north-central British Columbia. * Pedal your heart out on the Seven Summits Trail and enjoy the “flow”. * Go dance at a powwow of aboriginals. * Horseback through Banff National Park. * Make like a human yo-yo and bungee jump over the Cheakamus River. * Go polar bear viewing in specially designed tundra buggies. Canada’s bottom line message was always the same: you can hike or bike, saddle up or paddle down, dive deep or climb high, track dinosaur or polar bear, ski the downhill or bungee off a cliff! Now, I understand these high adventure ads certainly go hand in hand with the Olympic spirit but to be totally honest, at MONROE TRAVEL SERVICE, we tend to sell the more conventional trips, like a domed train trip aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, for example. Recently voted the “world’s leading travel experience by train” for the fourth year in a row, this two-day journey between Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies is probably one of our most popular trips. What makes this trip so amazing is

the entire train ride takes place during daylight hours. That way you don‘t miss a single breathtaking moment! The Rocky Mountaineer travels 4 distinct routes every week from April to October. Choosing the best way to go for you is the most difficult part of the trip: First Passage to the West route takes you between the beautiful coastal city of Vancouver and the Rocky Mountain resort town of Banff or Calgary, Alberta. Journey Through the Clouds route runs between Vancouver and Jasper, Alberta. On both of these routes, guests overnight in the historic rail town of Kamloops. Rainforest to Gold Rush route was added in 2006 and gives you the chance to experience British Columbia’s Cariboo and Chilcotin regions between Whistler and Jasper. There is an overnight in the quaint town of Quesnel on this 650 mile train trip. Whistler Sea to Sky Climb route is a three-hour service between North Vancouver and Whistler. It travels northbound in the morning and southbound in the early afternoon. If you want to check out the Olympic site, then this is the way to go! In today’s busy world of iPhones and computers, there is something quite nice about the gentle rhythm of the Rocky Mountaineer as it rolls through such beauty. Rob and I chose the Journey Through the Clouds run between Vancouver and Jasper for our vacation trip a couple summers ago and we loved every minute. It was wonderful not having to worry about all the twists and turns of doing it on our own. We just sat back, dined, relaxed, visited with our neighbors, listened to our excellent guide, and enjoyed the phenomenal beauty outside our window. When we got to Jasper, it just got better as all of the must-see sights of the Canadian Rockies were included in our 7 night itinerary. Here‘s what we got: 2 days onboard the Rocky Mountaineer/ Red Leaf Service;

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7 nights hotel accommodation, transfers and baggage handling; Jasper Sightseeing Tour; Icefields Parkway Tour, including Ice Explorer, between Jasper and Lake Louise; Guided lakeshore stroll at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise; Yoho Park Tour between Lake Louise and Banff; Tour between Banff and Calgary, including Banff Gondola; Summit Helicopter Flightseeing; 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches. The Rocky Mountaineer is a remarkable way to see the Canadian Rockies. A June 17th departure for this same tour is currently $2950 per person, based on double occupancy. PLUS, if you reserve this 7 night tour on any date this summer (or a similar one) before March 12, MONROE TRAVEL SERVICE can give you a free night at the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver and a choice of one of these super great day trips: Whale watching in Victoria with round-trip floatplane flight; Victoria day trip including Butchart Gardens; Flightseeing by floatplane; or a Vancouver City Tour by limousine. In addition to this wonderful train trip, we also have escorted or independent fly/drive vacation packages from 5 to 15 days and from the Atlantic to Pacific coast. The Olympics showed the world this amazing country with their winter games, but it is even “cooler” in the summer! Call MONROE TRAVEL SERVICE at 318-323-3465 and let's talk about a trip to Canada.


By Dennis Stewart

The Perils of I-Phones and Smart-Type My most recent ex-girl friend is mad at me now and it really isn’t my fault. You see, I have an I-Phone which I use to send text messages with and it came with “smart-type”. When you write a text message using “smarttype” the phone guesses what you are going to write but it doesn’t always guess right. For example, you may intend to write “have” but the smart-type will write “gave” instead. Anyway, that’s what happened with me. My girl friend sent me a text message asking if it would be ok if she went dancing with some girl friends. I texted her back, “No problem, you are one crazy little witch, see you soon.” But that’s not what the smart-type guessed. What the smart-type actually sent was, “No problem, you are one crazy little witch, see you soon as hell freezes over, you evil self-centered tramp!” Like I said, it wasn’t my fault. It was the smart-type’s fault. This new technology is a lot of fun though. Like Facebook. I now have my own Facebook page. Facebook gives you lots of new ways to mess with people. Like if your teenage nephew writes on his Wall, “Jason just

became a fan of the Jonas Brothers,” you can write on his Wall, “The Jonas Brothers honk.” Lights him up every time. What’s really fun is to go on Facebook and look up old girl friends who aren’t computer savvy enough to set their privacy settings so that only their approved Friends can read their Walls. You can read who all their Friends are and all their Comments. I get a kick about how many of them waste so much time doing the Farmville thing, which is an obvious indication they have no life and are living a pathetic existence since dumping me. Then, just when they’ve successfully gone on with their lives, you can sabotage them by posting on their Wall something like “Hey, Irene, you were right. The doctor did say it was infected. Thank God for penicillin!

It was the smart-type’s fault.

I had 16 Friends on Facebook. One was my favorite ex-wife. Then she refused to take my advice regarding her dating life and that really annoyed me so I deleted her as a Friend. A few days later she sent me a text message saying “Did you delete me as your Friend?” I texted back, “Gee, it must be some kind of technical glitch”, but the “smart-type” guessed wrong again and what it actually sent was, “See what happens when you mess with me, you evil bee-yitch?” I really need to learn how to switch off that smart-type feature. Dennis Stewart grew up in northeast Louisiana, graduated from La Tech and LSU Law School. After having taught law at ULM and working as an Assistant District Attorney, Dennis is now a Hearing Officer in Rayville. He loves to hunt, fish, read, write, and shop on eBay.

Lafayette Finds & Family By Carolyn Files

A great niece born in January provided an excellent reason to head to Lafayette to catch up with family I hadn't seen in years. My sister, grandmother, and I had decided it would be a kids' weekend although we did allow ourselves supper at the Blue Dog Cafe on Pinhook. With great food, live entertainment, and George Rodrigue's work adorning the restaurant, it was most enjoyable. Etouffee and jambalaya fed four generations of family on Sunday while Monday found us heading south to Avery Island and Jungle Gardens. Upon arrival, I was reminded that there are five salt domes in Louisiana, not just Avery and Jefferson Islands. Belle Isle, Cote Blanche, and Weeks Islands are included as well but our destination was Avery. Here, we watched a brief film on the history of the McIlenny Company and Tabasco Sauce. Concerns by the kids over wearing hairnets in the Tabasco factory quickly evaporated as we toured the plant watching flavored sauces being bottled. We learned that the 1. What is the oldest incorporated peppers are picked August through December when they reach a certain shade of red. Le village in the State? Petite Baton, a small red stick, helps pickers determine the ripeness of peppers to be harvested. 2. In 1984, what did LA harvest more (These batons are sold in the gift shop and of course the kids each wanted one.) Mash from the than any other state? peppers, vinegar, and other ingredients are aged three years in barrels that once held Jack 3. How many times has Columbia Daniels whiskey before they were sold to the Tabasco plant. Salt mined from Avery Island is been destroyed? used to pack the mash, preventing outside contamination. When these barrels are no longer 4. Who was Ben Lily? used for mash, they are broken down into small pieces, bagged, and sold to throw on your 5. When did Delta Airlines grill. Jack Daniels and Tabasco – what a way to add flavor to your burgers! first carry passengers? It wasn't hard to persuade the group to check out Jungle Gardens. The children were 6. How were pilots initially anxious about snakes and bears but soon were leading the way along various trails, guided to Monroe’s finding the Buddha and a stone bridge over a pond. Small frogs and a nice first landing strip? sized turtle were other found treasures; however, this aunt found her own 7. What does it mean to find a baby in your piece of treasure in watching three young children enjoy exploring Avery Island, a King Cake? great place for a family outing. 8. What town is the site of the first public library in LA? 9. What LA delicacy is related to the cotton plant? 10. What television personalities hosted the first Annual LA Music Awards in Lake Charles?

ouisiana Remember When . . .

Answers on page 17

Louisiana Road Trips


Louisiana Nursery Festival F riday, Saturday & Sunday March 19, 20 & 21, 2010 Downtown Forest Hill, LA

Saturday, March 20 10:00 am - Parade 11:00 am - Glory Bound Cloggers will be performing

Louisiana Road Trips


Wood Portraits, Ornaments & More By Deborah Skipper

West Monroe scroll saw artist Keith (Mac) McMorrow loves the outdoors in rural North Louisiana. While Mac isn’t native to Louisiana, he fell in love with our great state over six years ago and is proud to call it home. Mac is a great lover of the outdoors, country music, and Louisiana’s wildlife. You can see his affection for these things in the wood art he creates. Some of the most popular items he makes are the 3-D Christmas ornaments featuring America’s wildlife. White-tailed deer, eagles, ducks, elk, bear and bison are among the animals featured in these unique projects. He has cut wood portraits of country music entertainers such Trace Atkins, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and George Strait. Mac first began woodworking over 30 years ago in high school in Westfield, New Jersey in a shop class. After serving in Marine Corps, Mac relocated to North Carolina where he began making items out of wood for sale. About seven years ago, Mac tried his hand at scroll-sawing and the magic began! Today, he

focuses on the wildlife presentations and portraits in wood he is known for. Several of his pieces are currently displayed and available for sale at the Monroe Regional Airport through the River City Art Association. The road to a portrait in wood begins with a photograph of the desired subject. Mac uses his computer to help create patterns he can transfer onto wood and cut out with his scroll saw. It is the cutting process where Mac’s talent and skill are most evident. With his hands guiding the wood from cut to cut, the art in the cutting becomes clear. Eyes focused on the tiny blade, his concentration centered on the cut, each piece must be as near perfect as he can make it. Once all the cutouts are made, the portrait is then cut to desired size, sanded and stained, then sealed. They are then backed with felt and placed in a frame. Most of Mac’s frames are custommade to fit the project. Three-dimensional wildlife ornaments are another favorite. Mac is quick to credit God for his amazing talent. “Without God, I would have nothing. God gave me this talent

and He expects me to use it,” he says. For more intricate works, he smiles, “God gave me the patience to do this, and I have learned that along with this gift of patience, ‘All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me’ (Phil. 4:13).” One of his most popular pieces is the wood portrait of a cowboy kneeling at the cross with his horse beside him. This accurately conveys his feelings about his art and his talent. Keith lives in West Monroe and can be reached at (318) 732-4719 or View the online photo album at When visiting, please sign guestbook. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Jonquil Jubilee Gibsland, Louisiana The Daffodil Capital of Louisiana

Join Us, Saturday, March 6, 2010 for a Historic Home and Garden Tour, “HowTo” exhibits, street vendors and more. For more information call Holly Henley at 318-843-6228

Fast Pak Highway 80 East Gibsland, LA 318-843-6818 “We Appreciate Your Business.”

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Litter Boxes

If you have a new kitten, you will certainly need one important accessory — a litter box. A general rule is that one cat gets two litter boxes and two cats get three. With a two-story home keep one litter box on each floor. The box should be roomy enough for your cat to turn around in. If too small, your cat will simply eliminate elsewhere; too big is just as bad. Buy a small litter box for kittens and a larger one as she grows. With covered boxes, make sure the cat can get in and out easily and has overlapping seams so that sprayed urine will not leak out. However, many cats hate being enclosed when they are at their most vulnerable. Another cardinal rule is to never put your cat’s litter box near her food bowl or bed. Cats do not like to eliminate where they eat or nest. Put the litter box in a quiet low-traffic area, preferably a corner. Remember that cats are territorial and hierarchical so put their boxes far enough apart to be sure they don’t invade the other’s space. There are a number of litter materials to choose from. Once you find one your cat likes, stick with it because cats are very particular and litter changes can alter bathroom habits. Try to remove feces and moistened litter daily, eliminating odors and inviting the cat to return. Depending on buildup of soiled litter and odors, completely clean the box and replenish with fresh litter often. Wash the box with warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly before refilling.

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How Does Four Turn Into Sixteen?

By Johnny Wink I booked a group to hunt this year – the group from hell. And I’m ashamed to admit they came from my own state. I got an uneasy feeling talking to these people on the phone but booked anyway. It’s tough making a living as a duck guide. The man called several times before booking a hunt for four men for two days. I require a fifty-percent deposit to hold a spot and when it didn’t come, I called him back. He said he forgot to send it and assured me he would put the check in the mail that morning. Two weeks passed and no check. He said it must have got lost in the mail. I took his name off the calendar since I have only 60 days to book hunts. I could lose a lot of money with an open calendar. You see, for some silly reason, when people send money they show up. By now I had forgotten these people since they never sent their deposit. One day the check came in the mail. Luckily, the dates they wanted were still available. Their hunt was on for early January. I was at my deer and turkey lease in Meridian when my phone rang. It was this guy, saying they were coming up to get the lay of the land. I asked when and he said “today”. I told him we were closed, that we were in a two-week split. He said that was okay, that they were coming to check out the rooms and wanted to see the ducks around the blinds. I told him again that we were closed. He said, “Just have someone there to open the lodges and gas up the 4-wheeler so we can go to the blinds.” Again, I told him I was in a box stand at the Mississippi-Alabama border deer hunting and no one was at the lodge. I said I would see them after 2pm on the day before his hunt. (If I knew then what I know now, I realize I was lucky they didn't come while I was out of town and rip me off worse than they did). I don’t think he liked that and didn’t hear from them until about a week before their hunt. He then called and asked if he could bring his wife to cook for them – just his wife, and could she stay for free. Thinking what could go wrong with that, I said okay. Wrong answer. One day I was feeding the dogs when some trucks pulled in so I went to welcome them. Remember: Four hunters

and one wife. The line of trucks and cars kept pulling into my driveway. After all the vehicles stopped and everyone got out, there was a total of 16 people. “How many hunters do y’all have?“ I asked. He said, “Four hunters. Everybody else is just going to hang out.” I was in shock. One lodge has 12 beds in it and the other 8. I was double booked both days they were here so I had a full house. Give an inch and they take a mile. Still in shock, I didn’t say a word. I have a pretty big lodge but 16 people is tight. They started asking where everybody is going to sleep and use the bathroom. Then the women start going through my cabinets and pulling out cans. Remember, I don’t supply food or drink. This is made clear to everybody who books so there can be no misunderstandings. One woman went to my icebox and started handing out my sodas to everybody. These people were hungry and thirsty. I asked to talk to the guy who booked the hunt. While these people were opening my food and drinking my sodas, he came in and asked in a strong tone, “What’s wrong?” I said, “Now that y’all are here, we need to settle up the remaining balance of the hunt.” Everyone got real quiet. He informed me that they were not going to pay for the second day unless they killed a limit that day, then they would decide if they wanted to hunt another day. Sixteen people were in my kitchen eating and drinking my food and sodas and telling me that they were not going to pay. Well, in 35 years of duck guiding, this took the cake. I turned my hat around and told them point blank that one of two things was going to happen. Either they were going to pay the balance to hunt or they were going to get out of my house. They started cussing so I put up my canned goods and took my drinks out of their hands and told them to get out of my house. They did, with a lot more cussing at me. I sat down in my chair wondering how people could act like that. Within five minutes I had my money. Again, I showed them where the hunter’s two iceboxes were and said that the one in the kitchen was my personal one. Stay out. It was a fun night. The next morning when I got up, all 16 of them were drinking my coffee. The lead guy had his dog and I asked if he going to bring him. He said he was so I said I would leave my dog behind so they wouldn’t fight. I asked if his dog would be able to get all the ducks and his answer was that he was a hunter retriever champion. We went to the blind and they really liked it being so big and roomy. And the ducks and geese - wow! It didn’t take long for us to get a limit. When we came back, they started taking pictures and high-fiving each other. They were happy and I was too because I wouldn’t have to hunt with

Remember: Four hunters and one wife.

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them the next day, another guide would. In the house, one woman started complaining because she couldn’t find any toilet paper in the bathroom. Instead of arguing, I went to the wash room where I keep extra supplies and got a bundle of 36 rolls of Charmin toilet paper. I handed it to her and said “Merry Christmas.” She took it and walked away from the bathroom. I thought that was strange but this whole situation was strange. I went back to my chair and just happened to look out and see her put the 36 rolls of Charmin toilet paper in her car. Again, it was a quiet night. They all ended up in the bar because I wouldn’t let them smoke in the house. The next morning my guide took them and I went with the other group from Georgia. Thank the Lord. When we got back, the other group had already left. My guide told me they wanted to leave early. That got me scared. I got bad vibes. I later found a $300 hunting jacket missing from one of my closets. In the kitchen my two best stainless steel salad bowls were gone, along with two unopened 500-packs of Chinette paper plates. And don’t forget the 36 rolls of Charmin toilet paper. The place was left in a big mess. I hope I won’t find anything else missing because these people went through my house and were up to no good from day one. Now I lock everything up. It shouldn’t have be that way but I guess it is. I’m changing the rules on my website to state that every non-hunter will be charged $100 a day because they really don’t need to be here anyway. Those people booked this hunt knowing they were going to take advantage of this situation. And that’s a shame, especially being from my own state. I’m flattered if someone comes across the road or across the country to hunt with me, and I’ve had everything from drunks to preachers at one time or another but never a group like this. And I hope I never have a group like this again. At Megabucks, I provide large comfortable blinds and transportation to and from them. I have covered dog kennels and encourage people to bring their hunting dogs, too. There’s a complete kitchen, a barbecue pit on the deck, a large mud room, a six-person hot tub, a 65inch big screen television with surround sound, a private bar, and lodging that includes enough beds for the number of hunters booked. I don’t provide hunting licenses, guns or ammo, hip boots or chest waders, rain gear, or food and drink. Unless somebody steals them from me. I‘ve been doing this for 35 years and know that you have to make certain concessions in this business but this was ridiculous. Thank God for nice people that enjoy hunting – and have manners and a conscience. If you aren’t one of them, please book at other lodge.


By Barbara Sharik

A Recipe For Filling Up Your Pickle Jar Why Worry? There are only two things to worry about. Either you’re sick or you’re well. If you’re well, there’s nothing to worry about. If you’re sick, there are only two things to worry about. Either you’ll live or you’ll die. If you live, there’s nothing to worry about. If you die, there are only two things to worry about. Either you’ll go to heaven or you’ll go to hell. If you go to heaven, there’s nothing to worry about. If you go to hell, you’ll be so busy shaking hands with friends, you won’t have time to worry. All jokes aside, we basically have only two things to worry about each morning; two decisions to make. Choose to be in a good humor or start the day in a bad mood. Simple choice: Be happy. Imagine you’re breezing along in a good mood and something bad happens? Two choices. Either let the bad thing affect you adversely or learn from it. Mistakes are lessons learned. Simple choice: Misery’s an option. So is happiness. Suppose somebody irritates you? Two choices: Let it annoy you or not. The adage about the glass being half full or half empty gives you a choice. Half full’s better. We’d all choose to hang around cheerful folks because grouches pull us down, but realistically that’s not always possible. Therefore, when faced with grouches, smile at ‘em. Kill ‘em with kindness. Tickle their funny bone. How people affect our moods and attitude is our choice. If we blame our bad mood on somebody else that’s laundry without detergent. It won’t wash. Our mood of choice is our choice. Maybe we’ve gotta stop and count to ten, but the ball’s in our court. I remember a magazine cover illustrating the “Pecking Order,” in four pictures. The first featured an angry boss shaking his finger at an employee. The next showed this employee at home angrily shaking his finger at his wife. The next block had the wife and mother shaking her finger in the face of her child. With no where else to go, the last scene showed the little boy shaking his finger at his befuddled puppy dog. In this emotional domino effect, each person took their frustration out on someone

else, which happens too often in our daily lives if pour a couple cans of chocolate syrup into the jar, we let others determine how we behave. realizing again there’s room for something else in what you thought was a full jar. Whether you’re Curve balls come our way. Life’s one big young or old, this lesson’s straightforward. Think dodge ball game. You don’t wanna get hit by a of this pickle jar as your life. The ping pong balls train, don’t sit on the tracks. For every situation, we’ve got choices. Grin and bear it or represent important things such as your family, spouse or significant other, your health, children, get upset. Grinning’s better. Turn the other friends, things about which you’re most fervent. cheek or throw a punch. Getting angry never They symbolize things that even if everything else made me feel better. Revenge isn’t a positive. Crack a joke or retort with something negative. was lost your life’d still be full. The jelly beans symbolize other things that matter like your Jokes’re better. You can pick your fights, or house, job, car. While meaningful, they’re better yet, don’t. It takes two to Tango. It also takes two to tangle. Sometimes it’s best to keep secondary. The cornmeal’s all else -- the small stuff. Had you filled your jar with cornmeal first, your mouth shut when in deep there’d been no room for ping pong balls and jelly water. When faced with viewpoints and beans. Like life, if you spend all your time and outlooks, choosing the widest and energy sweating the small stuff, you’ll never have broadest is best. Never let prejudice be room for things of real worth. part of your makeup. Practice tolerance. The pickle jar demonstration’s a reminder to Smile every chance you get. Truth be told, if you pay attention to what’s most consequential in your don’t have a good sense of humor, you probably life and put these things first. Say nice things to don’t have good sense. your mate every day. Hug your children and Be kind. Meanness spoils the spirit. grandchildren. Broaden your personal horizon; Money’ll buy a fine dog, but only kindness read a good book. Sing a song with the radio, makes him wag his tail. Maintain high values. dance, stroll leisurely, look around and smile always. Don’t worry who’s right or wrong. Never Don’t just make a living, make a life. Enjoy be afraid to say I’m sorry. In other words, take everyday to the fullest. Conquering outer space care of the ping pong balls first because they’re the is fine, but individually, conquer your inner space to discover inner peace. Surround yourself things that really matter. The rest is just cornmeal mush with a few jelly beans scattered here and with good things. Make your house a home. Take up a hobby. Do things you enjoy. Be with there. And the chocolate syrup? Simple. No matter how full your life is there’s always room for people you care about. The only person who’ll be with you your entire life is yourself. Learn to chocolate. And remember, there are only two live with yourself. Never be envious; be grateful things to worry about. Make the positive choice. for what you have. Enjoy the simple things in Barbara Sharik makes her home at Wit's End in Jones, life. Your character and good name are precious Louisiana with a couple old dogs, young dogs and several stupid dogs, a cat, a talking cockatiel and a white dove. commodities; keep it that way. Maintaining a She's active in civic affairs, serves as a Justice of the Peace, positive outlook’s especially essential as we a Notary Public, is the Clerk for the Village of Bonita and a grow older. Don’t let aging get you down; it’s columnist for the Bastrop Daily Enterprise. She has too hard to get back up. authored several books. You can e-mail Barbara at And finally, take a great big empty dill pickle jar. Fill it to the brim with ping pong balls until not another ball’ll fit. Next, pour in a bag of jelly beans. Shake the jar so they tumble down into all the 320 North Fourth, Monroe open spaces between the *Saturday, March 6th *A first day ping pong balls and not Friday, March 12th • Sunday, March 7th fee of $2.00 another jelly bean’ll fit. Is is charged Saturday, March 13th • Sunday, March 14th Saturday, the jar full? If you said yes, March 6th Friday & Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm you’re wrong. Sift a bag of to all adults Sunday: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm to help cornmeal into the jar. The Programs of the Monroe Symphony League are supported, in part, defray by a grant from the Louisiana State Arts Council through the Louisiana building cornmeal fills up Division of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts expenses. and through the Louisiana Decentralized Arts Funding Program everything else so that as administered by the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council. nothing else’ll fit. Finally,

Either you’ll go to heaven or you’ll go to hell.

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Monroe Symphony League Spring Book Fair

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By John Simeone

The Scream of the Eagles The first Bald Eagle I ever saw was on the western end of Mt Magazine in Arkansas. I was about half way up the highest point in the Ozark range when I saw a big black bird with a white head and a white tail flying over the high point of the mountain before I heard its high pitched scream. All I could do was stare in amazement at this breathtaking sight that will be ingrained in my mind’s eye forever. Trips out west and my hitch in Alaska brought more eagle sightings but I never suspected them to be in my back yard in Louisiana. About ten years ago, Bald Eagles made a showing in force along the Sabine River at Toledo Bend Lake. That's when I became an official Eagle watcher and protector through education and awareness. First of all, they’re not dangerous unless you get too close and their main diet consists of small animals and mainly fish along the Sabine River. There’s no reason cattlemen should worry about an eagle as any bad rap associated with them probably stems from the fact an eagle will find a dead cow or calf and take a

free meal. It’s highly unlikely the eagles are killing cattle. After watching our eagles along the Sabine River, I found they don't have to work that hard for a meal considering the river is alive with fish all year long. Every good American knows the Bald Eagle is the national symbol of patriotism in the U.S., the ultimate icon of freedom. My old Army uniform is covered with eagles on the buttons, the brass, and the medals. Even the President of the U.S. is represented by an eagle. It seems the icon perhaps is so familiar that it loses its true meaning as we become complacent in a land of plenty. The Native Americans go much further in their reverence, as the Bald Eagle is a religious icon as a living symbol of “The Great Spirit.” For them, killing an eagle would be like burning down a church or an act of domestic terrorism. Each American has some sort of connection with an Eagle as we all migrated here at one time or the other. The Bald Eagle soaring over the tree tops and mountains with its high pitch scream was, in fact, a welcoming call to a land of freedom.

If God is love, then Eagles scream it to the high heavens.

If left unmolested they will live as old as a man, mating for life with their partner, although I don't try to give animal’s human characteristics. They live simply – eat, fly, and make baby eagles. They are an important part of the ecology, therefore they are supposed to be here. We’re fortunate to have them among us. Each time I see one becomes a new experience to expand the mind in wonderment. I recently conjured up a hypothesis about Eagles that I want to share. While contemplating Eagles in general in the tranquility of wild places, I believe I have discovered something about their communications. Typically, the only sound they make is a high pitched scream, usually associated with fearsomeness down through the ages, and many times associated with the sound of a battle cry. To know what Eagles say requires a deeper understanding of things in general then it becomes very clear. The question is “If you only had one good thing to say to your family and friends, what would you say?” If God is love, then Eagles scream it to the high heavens...Pass it on.

Welcoming March Madness! By Mae Flager

March wasn’t a great month for Caesar but I couldn’t be more tickled by its arrival. Though we aren’t out of the frost danger zone till the end of the month, the weather is decidedly more hospitable for playing in the garden. To be honest, just the word March cheers me up. After those long, cold “-ary” months, a zippy little name like March warms my heart! With March’s spring in my step, I’ll be heading out to tend to my bedraggled perennial beds. It’s the perfect time to divide and replant spring and fall blooming species like agapanthus, garden phlox, aster, bleeding heart, daylilies, and Shasta daisies. While I’m out fussing in the beds I’ll also apply a pre-emergent weed killer to stop weed seeds from germinating. Getting a jump on those nutrient hogs gives my tender seedlings less competition and I like to stack the deck in favor of my “flower children”. I use corn gluten as an organic seed stopper. It works by drying out the seed as soon as it cracks to sprout. This is a non-selective method, meaning it will inhibit any seeds it comes in contact with for six weeks after application so keep that in mind when applying. It won’t inhibit seedlings though so it can be applied directly around the base of new plantings. As an added bonus corn gluten also acts as a nitrogen-based fertilizer. For me this one-two Louisiana Road Trips

gardening punch can’t be beat. If you can’t catch the weeds before they sprout, vinegar is a great organic way to stop those invasive beasties in their tracks. It’s the acetic acid that does the trick, damaging the leaves and restricting growth. Vinegar works best in combination with plenty of sunshine so check the weather before applying. Again, this is a board spectrum herbicide so careful application is key, but with a little care this is a cheap and effective way to weed-out the undesirables without loading up the chemicals. While I’m weeding and redistributing perennials through the garden I’ll be keeping a keen eye out for those firsts signs of Spring, such as little flower petals peeping out of their leaves. Crocuses are certainly at the top of my watch list but they aren’t the only trumpeters of spring. Glory-of-the-snow, winter aconlite, common snowdrop, netted iris, and spring snowflake are all early Spring bloomers. Though small, all these varieties are striking calling cards of warmer weather when planted in mass. I hope March sees you and your garden shaking off the fallen leaves of winter in anticipation of a bright and bountiful Spring. Mae Flager is a native Floridian who's enjoying her new north Louisiana habitat. A writer and gardener, she enjoys digging in the dirt and seeing what grows. Please let her know if you have thoughts, suggestions, or gardening tips that just must see the light of day,

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by Stacy Thornton

WHO DAT! February was an awesome month – Geaux Saints! I am still in awe of the Super Bowl but must move on with a big grin and embrace the blessings of March. Hopefully these whodalicious recipes will find a place in your hearts and those you love. Good food and good times are a given in Louisiana and I don't think anything is better than enjoying the company of those you love over a table full of good food and conversation. Enjoy these recipes as Louisiana keeps smiling. After all, the Saints won the Super Bowl!!

2 slices bacon 1 large onion, chopped 1/4 tsp pepper 28 oz can whole tomatoes

1 chopped cabbage 2 tsp salt 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped dash of cayenne pepper

Cut bacon into small pieces and fry until crisp, then drain. Add onions and bell pepper and sauté with bacon until tender. Chop whole tomatoes and stir in mixture. Season to taste. Add cabbage to skillet and cook about 7 minutes until tender.

Love Me Some Corned Beef and Cabbage

Cabbage, Onions, Potatoes & Sausage This is comfort food worthy of a Saint Patrick's Day celebration. Serve with a pan of homemade southern cornbread. 1 head of cabbage, chopped 2-3 unpeeled potatoes, diced 1 lb smoked sausage, sliced 6 small ears of corn, optional

Creole Cabbage

3 lb pkg corned beef brisket with spice packet 8 to 10 new red potatoes 5 carrots, peeled and chopped 1 large cabbage, cut into small wedges Place corned beef in large pot and cover with water. Add spice packet, cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 50 minutes per pound or until tender. Cook according to package directions. Add potatoes and carrots, cook until almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes. Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add as much broth as desired. Slice meat across the grain.

1 onion, chopped Creole seasoning 4 to 6 slices bacon

Cut up cabbage and rinse, separating pieces. Boil potatoes until just done, drain and set aside. In large dutch oven, fry bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Cook onions in bacon drippings until tender. Add cabbage, reduce heat and cover. Allow cabbage to steam with onions about 10 minutes. Add potatoes and sausage. Season with Creole seasoning and toss to combine all ingredients. Cover and heat about 15 more minutes. Crumble bacon over each serving if desired when adding potatoes. You can also add small ears of corn as well as diced tomatoes.

Southwest Stew (Not Irish but very good!) 2 pounds ground beef 1 onion, chopped 1 (14.5 oz) can peeled and diced tomatoes 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed 1 (15.25 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained 4 potatoes, cubed 1 cup medium salsa 1 can chicken broth 1 tsp ground cumin salt/pepper to taste 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese Cook ground beef and onion. Add remaining ingredients and simmer covered for 45 minutes. Works great in a slow cooker!

Aunt Joy's Microwave Pies My Aunt Joy Belle takes my Granny’s pie recipe and prepares it in the microwave so she gets full credit for this creation. It works – and is delicious! Be sure to use a microwave safe (glass) bowl. Chocolate Pie: 1 cup sugar, 2 tbsp cocoa, 4 tbsp flour, 2 cups milk, 3 eggs (separated), 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 stick butter, baked pie shell. Mix dry ingredients and stir in 1/2 cup milk. Beat egg yolks and set aside. Scald 1-1/2 cups of milk in microwave. Stir scalded milk in with beaten eggs yolks, stirring constantly, then mix into dry ingredient mixture. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stir, cook 3 to 4 more minutes. Mixture should be thickening. Add butter and stir until melted. Add vanilla, then pour into pie shell. Allow to cool before topping with meringue. Coconut Pie: 1 cup sugar, 1 small can coconut, 4 tbsp flour, 2 cups milk, 3 eggs (separated), 1 tsp vanilla, 1 stick butter, baked pie shell Same instructions as above but leave out the coconut; add after butter is melted, mix well and add vanilla. Cool, then top with meringue.

Louisiana Nursery Festival The Louisiana Nursery Festival is the annual marking of the arrival of spring for Central Louisiana as the 240+ nurseries in Forest Hill show off their beautiful plants and flowers. As the days turn warmer, gardeners get the fever to start working outdoors readying their beds for planting. This is an excellent time for homeowners and garden enthusiasts to ask questions, get ideas, and buy plants. The festival features local nurseries offering an array of plants for sale and

providing gardening tips on their care. It’ll be difficult to decide from all the beautiful plants that strategically line the outer perimeter of the grounds. All types of shrubs and trees, most abundant with blooms, are available in various sizes. Also, be sure to pick up some bedding plants to provide color in your garden all summer long. Vendors include food booths, garden items and accessories, porch swings and chairs, displays of lawn and garden equipment, and many arts and craft items.

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A parade on Saturday will start at 10am featuring floats decorated with flowers and plants, queens and princesses. Carnival rides start Thursday, March 18th, from 5-9pm and continue each day from 5-11pm on Friday, 11am-11pm on Saturday, and 11am-3pm on Sunday. T-shirts and nursery festival posters are also available for sale. For more information, call Mary at 318-748-6300 or visit


By Carey Weeks

Off the Beaten Path in the Big Easy counter here on South Carrolton, not to mention the grilled chocolate pecan pie. Craving a yummy snack between museum visits? Check out the Garden District’s finest chocolate emporium, Sucre, on Magazine Street. Just one look at the bakery’s display A macraoon tree at Sucre windows from the sidewalk lets weary travelers know they have reached a sugary heaven. From creamy French gelato to flavorful macaroons, the piece de resistance, however, is the large case packed with rows upon rows of shiny artisanal chocolate candies. It’s hard to resist a little pink box shaped like a purse full of chocolaty goodness. Rum raisin, Sicilian pistachio, chicory, chai, and Absinthe are just a few flavors to try. If you’ve set out to eat like a local, a freshly baked pie from Rocky’s Pizzeria on Magazine Street is a must-have. Unpretentious and cozy, here they dish up pizza creations using garlic, Have you ever wanted an opportunity to andouille sausage, get your kid on the cover of a magazine? crawfish, Tasso, and Louisiana Road Trips and the American Cancer your choice of a red Society have teamed up to offer the 2010 Cover or white sauce as the Kid Contest. The goal of this online competition is to raise money for the American Cancer Society and be featured on the cover of the May issue. Nine runners-up will have their photos included inside the issue as well. Entry forms and official contest rules can be found online at or More information is available from the American Cancer Society at 318398-7248. The deadline has been extended and entries will be accepted through the first week of March. The American Cancer Society saves lives and creates more birthdays by helping you stay well and get well by finding cures and fighting back. For cancer information or to find the Relay For Life in your community, call 1-800-227-2345, or visit

It’s easy to succumb to the usual touristy destinations when visiting the Big Easy. Grabbing a hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s, scarfing down warm beignets at Café Du Monde, and listening to live music at the House of Blues are certainly activities not to be missed but it’s worth a little effort to go off the beaten path. The best way to see authentic New Orleans is to eat like the locals. Sure, it’s a lot of fun to try fresh oysters at Acme Oyster House or eat at a restaurant created by a celebrity chef. However, some of the best food in the city is prepared by small, independent establishments. One of the oldest and most exciting traditional diners in Uptown is the popular Camellia Grill. Watching the waiters rattle off orders to the cooks in warp speed while sipping on an icy Freeze (their version of a malt) is reason enough to hang out at the

Some of the best food in the city is prepared by small, independent establishments.

Louisiana Road Trips Cover Contest

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base. The hand-tossed crusts make delivery pizza look like frozen dinners and getting a togo box here guarantees a delightful midnight snack. As exciting as it is, don’t get lost in the French Quarter for the entire trip sight-seeing as there is an extraordinary amount of things to see and visit all over this beautiful city. For instance, take a stroll along the Warehouse District, popping into the changing exhibits at the Arthur Roger Gallery and the Ogden Museum of Art. For kid-friendly fun, check out the Louisiana Children’s Museum where crafts, prizes, and science discoveries are always on tap. For representational art and history, take a driving tour of the nineteen sculptures placed throughout the city commemorating Hurricane Katrina. From a set of lone white steps on the lawn of the New Orleans Museum of Art to the slatted metal boat standing on posts in the water at West End Park, these “memorials” are worth a drive or streetcar ride. To print out a list of each piece of art, visit Doug MacCash’s article and videos of “Art in Public Places” at From good food, live music, historic places, museums, and romantic B&B’s, you can easily find yourself going back to more hidden gems off the beaten path. Camellia Grill is open 7 days a week at 626 South Carrollton Ave. (504) 309-2679?. Rocky’s Pizzeria is located in the Garden District at 3222 Magazine St. (504) 891-5152. Sucre ( is open 7 days a week at 3025 Magazine St. (504) 520-8311. The Louisiana Children’s Museum ( is at 420 Julia St. in the Warehouse District. The museum is open Tues-Sun; $7.50 admission.


By Shellie Tomlinson

Shark By the Tail? Hello folks, forgive me here, but a lot has happened since our last get-together in the pages of this fine magazine and I’ve just got to say, “WHO DAT?!” Thanks. I feel better now. Let’s chat…~smile~ Picture this: You’re canoeing down the river when you see a fisherman standing on the bank and struggling to pull in an unidentifiable but very big fish. What do you do? A. Stop and watch. B. Take a picture C. Jump in the water to help. If you chose C, you’re most likely a good old boy and possibly

All Things Southern “Bringing you the charm and heritage of the South…” ph 318-559-0319 • cell 319-282-2508

first cousin to Richard Tebbutt in South Africa. This was apparently his first response, too. I suppose, and this is mere speculation, his second response went something like “Good googly moogly! Shoot up in here amongst us. Somebody’s got to have some relief!” For that’s when Richard realized he’d grabbed a five foot Zambezi shark by the tail! While this is very similar to the time our very own Buck Owens sang about having a tiger by the tail, we here at All Things Southern don’t recommend either. The aggressive shark turned on his new assailant, lacerating his shoulder, and spilling fresh red blood into the murky water. At this point Richard chose to abandon the next line of the remarkably fitting lyrics “I’m a losing weight and turning mighty pale” in order to, and I’m quoting now, “smack the shark.” This move stunned the big predator; much as I used to be stunned when Papa

would reach down the pew and thump my ear when he caught me talking during church. Richard used the shark’s confusion to escape. He was rushed to the hospital where he received stitches to close his gaping wound and a card from the fisherman that read in part, “Look here, Tarzan, when I want your help I’ll ask for it.” I suppose there are Richard Tebbuts everywhere, people who are prone to finding trouble. But there are also those skilled in avoiding it. I’m reminded of a couple good old boys who were out squirrel hunting when they came across some extremely big bear tracks. “Tell you what,” the first fella said, “You follow these tracks and see where he went, and I’ll go the other way and see where he came from!” Now, that's a smart fella! Y'all have a big time on my porch today and drop me a note if you get a chance. It's always a pleasure to hear from y'all. Until next time... ~Hugs, Shellie

Minden St. Jude Vehicle Show & Shine Saturday May 1st, 2010 will be the 7th year in Minden that antique and classic transportation enthusiasts have come together to show that they care. Held at the Minden Fair Grounds, you don't

want to miss the 7th annual open class vehicle show and shine. If it has wheels you need to bring it out. This year’s show will include a silent auction, raffle items, $500 cash drawing, good fun, good people, and a great time. Live music will be provided by Minden’s own Elvis, Mike Spillers, and the Dorcheat

Bottom Band with a few special guests to keep toes tapping for most of the day. Lots of goodie-bag items, plenty of Coca-Cola products and maybe even a few surprises before the day is over. Most of all, lots of GREAT cars, tractors, and motorcycles (over 300 vehicles have registered in the past with 4,000 spectators attending this event)! This year the show has added available 1. Harrisonburg vendor and swap meet spots. 2. Fish Previously, this show has 3. Three times: 1878, 1900, 1909 donated $73,000 to cancer 4. The greatest bear research and $13,000 to the local hunter in history after museum and again this year, St. Davy Crockett; also Jude Children’s Research Teddy Roosevelt’s chief huntsman in Hospital and the Dorcheat LA Historical 5. 1929 Association 6. By placing vehicles at the four corners of Museum, Inc. are the strip to give pilots a bearing two great 7. It means you must give the next causes that will “King Cake Party” within a week benefit. 8. Rayville Show 9. Okra 10. John Denison and organizer Susan Allain and promoter

ouisiana Answers …

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Schelley Brown reports that last year over 90 cars were registered by April 1, but also commented that some folks wait to see what the weather is going to do. “Weather issues have come up in the past but we have always been able to pull off a very successful show. In fact, this is one of the fastest growing vehicle shows in the Southern region.” Preregistering also gives you two chances for the $500 cash drawing and $200 to the club with the most members preregistered. “We are praying for beautiful weather and big crowds! I hope everyone in the area will come out to show their support and see the beautiful cars, trucks, tractors, bikes, and just enjoy the day.” For more information, contact Schelley Brown at 318423-0192 or visit m and


By Pro Guide, Joe Joslin

Dangerous Sport, this Fishing Fishing is slowly improving as we and the fish recover from the coldest winter in recent memory. As we enter early spring, cold fronts slow action down for a day or two but it soon rebounds. The main challenge has been high winds which takes many fishing options off the table and adds a huge safety concern. Those who have fished Toledo and Rayburn have a major respect for these enormous bodies of water that present many safety challenges; the smartest approach is to not push your limits or your equipment. Whether your boat is built in Kilgore, Flippin, or Nashville, it’s no match for extreme high winds and waves on exposed sections of Toledo and Rayburn with 180,000(Toledo) and 130,000 (Rayburn) surface acres. If you get caught on one side of the lake in a storm or frontal high winds and feel you have to cross back on the open lake, please evaluate the situation and always come down on the side of caution. Instead, make a phone call to explain the situation and wait it out or have someone bring your trailer to you. Look before turning… One of the most common and dangerous mistakes anglers/boaters make is to make sharp turns without checking behind them to see if anyone is trying to pass. If you are going to pass someone, be sure they see you first unless you have plenty of room to avoid them if they make a sudden change. 75% of boaters will not look back before they turn...big mistake. This scenario is where serious accidents can and do happen. Big on bilge pumps! Bilge system in Skeeter's Also, make sure your boat 21FX with large white unit, has two large capacity bilge a 1500 gal per hour automatic, and the smaller pumps, one auto and one red bilge on the left is an manual. Bilge pumps are 800 gph manual unit. The two red units in foreground cheap and can save your life. are pumps for livewells. If you get a big wave in your boat, one pump is not enough to quickly get the water/weight out. If your boat is weighted down

with water, the chances of getting another wave are highly increased and two large waves can sink you. Trust me, you need to get that water out fast. Pardon my bluntness but it is just dumb to launch your boat without bilge pumps in working order. Check your bilge pumps regularly and make sure they are not clogged with paper/plastic worms. If your boat goes down in cold water conditions, a life jacket will not save you. With current water temps, hyperthermia will lower your body temperature within minutes to a point where life is not possible. Obviously, always have a life jacket on and buttoned as well as your engine safety This boater has engine safety stop lanyard (kill stop lanyard (kill switch) working and switch) working and attached to the driver. attached to the driver. I’m still amazed at how many people run down the lake 40-75mph without a life jacket. My boat doesn’t move unless everyone has a life jacket on. I don’t want to be the one who tells your wife or family that you drowned while we were fishing; I want to do everything in my power to minimize the possibilities of such an occurrence. Catch a lot of fish this month as March is one of my favorite times to fish. Oh yeah....please be safe! Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or and WEBSITE


Smokin' Blues & BBQ Challenge Downtown Hammond will host the Smokin Blues & BBQ Challenge March 26-27, 2010. The event will also feature 60+ local teams competing in the Backyard Boogie and the Lamar Outdoor Advertising Chicken Little Contest, making this the largest BBQ event in Louisiana for the 7th consecutive year. Enjoy world class BBQ and listen to local and regional bands. Chef Frank Davis will also be on hand as one of the distinguished judges. TARC and Louisiana Special Olympics will be the 2010 beneficiaries of Smokin' Blues & BBQ. Call 985419-9863 or visit for details.

I was thrilled to see Magic Grill on the cover! I eat there once a week and would more often except then I’d have to spend my weekends walking off the extra calories. Great article!! ~Paul J., Monroe

We just love to ride around our great state! I print each month out ( and have a special folder to keep it in! I am just sorry I have only recently learned of your site. Thanks again. ~Polly R., Perry Your “Growing Old Gracefully” article (by Barbara Sharik, Jan 2010) sounded as if you were writing about my life. It feels good at almost 62 to know that I am not alone in being, as my friend used to say, “almost-about-to-be-middle-aged…” Thank you for sharing and making me laugh. ~Linda E., West Monroe I have saved every article written by Larry Brock (Going Native). His words are like poetry and his keen eye for detail is simply amazing. I am working hard to make my yard a native haven. ~Bev F., St. Joseph Is May Shadoin really Dennis Stewart’s mother? I can definitely read the resemblance. lol ~Brad S., Lake Charles I was so pleased to see you feature the Norton Gallery in Shreveport. It’s one of my favorite places to visit in north Louisiana. ~Jamie W., Zachery

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Calendar of Events

March 2010

March 4 ______________

March 13-14 ___________

March 20-21 ___________

Ark-La-Miss Rodeo Monroe – 318-329-2225

Soul Festival New Orleans 504-581-4629

Earth Fest, Audubon Zoo New Orleans – 504-581-4629

March 18-21 ___________

Los Islenos Fiesta Chalmette 504-278-4242

March 6 ______________ Shadows Arts & Crafts Festival New Iberia – 877-200-4924 Great Gator Race New Iberia – 337-367-3277 Festival Ray*La*Ne Rayne – 337-334-4470 Jonquil Jubilee Gibsland – 318-843-6228

March 6-7 _____________ Frisco Fest Garyville – 985-535-2341

March 10-21 ___________ Amite Oyster Festival Amite – 985-748-7156 (call for schedule)

March 12-14 ___________ Chanel Spring Festival Paulina – 225-869-5778 Swamp Stomp Festival Thibodaux 985-448-4633 (Nichols University) Living History & Civil War Reenactment Springfield – 225-294-3150 Sicilian Heritage Festival Independence 985-878-2086 La Sportsmen’s Show Gonzales – 504-464-7363

Catfish Festival Washington – 337-826-3626

March 19 _____________

Oak Alley Spring Arts & Crafts Vacherie – 800-442-5539

Washington Catfish Festival Scott

March 24-26 __________

March 19-20 ___________

Tennessee Williams Literary Festival New Orleans – 504-581-1144

Que ‘in on the Red Alexandria – 318-449-5225

March 25-27 ___________

March 19-21 ___________

Bluegrass Festival Oak Grove – 318-428-5282

Audubon Pilgrimage St Francisville – 225-635-6330

March 26-27 ___________ Smokin Blues & BBQ Challenge Hammond – 985-419-9863

Calling of the Tribes Pow Wow Houma – 800-688-2732

March 26-28 ___________

Louisiana Nursery Festival Forest Hill – 318-748-6300

Antiques Festival & Tour Jackson – 225-634-5619

Oyster Festival Amite – 985-748-7156

Crawfish Festival Chalmette – 504-271-0537

Rabbit Festival Iowa – 337-582-3044

March 20 _____________ La Redbud Festival Vivian – 903-796-4781

Uncle Earl’s Hog Dog Competition Winnfield – 318-932-5937 45th Jackson Assembly Antiques Show & Tour Jackson, LA

Isleno Fiesta ’10 By Dorothy L. Benge

Each year Los Islenos Heritage and Cultural Society holds its annual heritage festival. This year the 34th Annual Fiesta will again be held at the Isleno Museum Complex at 1357 Bayou Road in St. Bernard, Louisiana on March 20-21. Everyone is invited to enjoy two fun filled days of events, including folk craft displays and sales by local Islenos artisans, Heritage Pageants, and living history activities. Entertainment from the Canary Islands will be Los Cabuqueros and Pricesa Dacil. The festival will be held from noon till 8pm each night, with the rededication ceremony held Saturday morning at 10:30am. Authentic Spanish dishes, such as caldo, paella, flan, croquettes and empanadillas will be sold. Gumbo, jambalaya, fried seafood po’ boys and platters, raw and grilled oysters and homemade desserts of all kinds will also be available. Proceeds generated by Fiesta ’10 will support the efforts of the Society including a $1,000 annual scholarship for an Isleno High School student and enhancement of the Isleno Museum and Village. The Society’s mission is to preserve the Isleno heritage and culture and to further awareness of the Canary Islanders who settled in St. Bernard beginning in 1778. Isleno descendants are the last living vestige of Spanish Colonial Louisiana. Louisiana Road Trips

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New Orleans Roadfood Festival New Orleans

March 26-30 ___________ Pyrate Week New Orleans –

March 27 _____________ Southdown Marketplace Houma – 985-851-0154 Merryville Heritage Festival Merryville – 337-825-8740

March 27-28 ___________ Battle of Port Hudson Reenactment Zachery – 888-677-3400

March 28 _____________ World Championship Crawfish Etouffee Cookoff Eunice – 337-457-7389 –

Dreams Come True By Carey Weeks

Once upon a time there was a beautiful little girl with silky golden curls that was in awe of the Disney princesses. She collected all things Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. Her closets were full of tulle dresses in yellow, blue, and pink, each with its own assortment of sparkling accessories. Then, after many long years, a new princess arrived at the Disney kingdom by the name of Tiana. She hailed from a not-so-far-away land called New Orleans with an entourage of animal friends straight from the bayou. The little girl with the golden curls watched Tiana’s story in the theater and excitedly made the journey to the Big Easy to see the original artwork on exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art. With dolls in each hand, she was entranced by the dramatic sketches adorning the gallery walls. Standing in the last room of the exhibit she declared “How do I love The Princess and the Frog? Let me count thy ways!” If you’ve never been to the New Orleans Museum of Art beneath the gigantic oaks of City Park, now is certainly the time to check out the wonderful things this great museum offers. Until March 14, 2010, the gallery is displaying over 600 pieces of original art from the famous Walt Disney Studio in a special exhibit called Dreams Come True. Hand drawn storyboard

sketches, concept art, and detailed paintings line the walls of princess themed rooms that chronicle Disney’s cinematic masterpieces from the classic Snow White to the newest blockbuster The Princess and the Frog. Have you ever wanted to know the history behind films such as Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, or Sleeping Beauty? NOMA is the only museum in North America to offer this one-of-a-kind sneak peek into the stories and artwork behind our generation’s most beloved fairy tales. For instance, being an avid scrapbooker, I was amazed at the amount of paper crafting that it took to create the many layers of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This dark-haired beauty, originally taking on a Betty Boop-like form, was meticulously drawn and cut out carefully to be positioned on a large array of colorful background scenes. As for the newest princess, Tiana from The Princess and the Frog, it was exciting to get an in-depth look at the work it took to create such a thrilling story about Louisiana culture. One of my favorite characters, Ray the firefly, took on many different personas before transforming into the twinkling Cajun that we

One-of-a-kind sneak peek into the stories and artwork behind our generation’s most beloved fairy tales.

know and love today. Ever wonder how musical genius Randy Newman came up with catchy tunes about travelling down the bayou in search of the magical Mama Odie? Now is your chance to take a look at his journal of liner notes scribbled in pencil by the man himself. After viewing the plethora of art within the winding corridors of the first floor gallery, pop into the Courtyard Café for some Turtle Soup or a salad crafted by the well-known Ralph Brennan’s restaurant group. Don’t forget to take a stroll in the park to gander at the many outdoor sculptures or to feed the ducks. Whether you are a follower of the Disney princess from the very beginning or you are introducing them to your children for the first time, this family friendly exhibit is an experience not to be missed. The New Orleans Museum of Art is located in City Park at 1 Collins Diboll Circle. Admission is $8 for Louisiana residents and $5 for children 317. The gallery is open Wednesdays from noon until 8pm, and Thursdays through Sundays from 10am until 5pm. The Dreams Come True exhibition will run through March 14, 2010. Carey lives in Shreveport with her husband and daughter. Her writing has been featured in Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine. She is currently working on a compilation of historical fiction short stories. Her artwork is available for purchase at the Artspace gallery in downtown Shreveport. Read her blog at

U.S. Soldiers Foundation Fundraisers The U.S. Soldiers Foundation and Rodney J. Hobbs Post 1809 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, located at 1490 Hwy 594 and U.S. 80 in Monroe, is hosting a grilled chicken dinner fundraiser at the VFW Hall on March 5th from 10:30am – 6pm. Proceeds go to the U.S. Soldiers Foundation, a non-profit organization, to help Louisiana mild traumatic brain injured soldiers treated by specialists in New Orleans. Foundation assistance is available to all soldiers with an honorable discharge returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, veterans of all wars, and their families. Tickets are $7/plate and can be purchased by calling 318-680-3477, 318-342-8807, or 318-235-6595. Enjoy grilled chicken, potato salad, baked beans, and rolls. Chicken was donated by House of Raeford Meats in Arcadia and bottled water provided by Crystal Clear Premium Waters in West Monroe. Piromaniac’s DJ Services will provide music and entertainment during the fundraiser and Ray Pace Band will perform at the VFW Hall from 7-11pm ($6/person tickets). The U.S. Soldiers Foundation will also partner with Fox’s Pizza Den on Monday and Tuesday evenings in March from 5-9pm at both locations: 4015 Hwy 165 in Monroe and 1250 Hwy 15 in West Monroe. A portion of sales will be donated to the foundation. Door prizes and raffle items will be distributed throughout the evening. Their Ruston location at 2029 E. Kentucky Avenue will also be supporting the foundation on Thursdays. For further information about this fundraiser or to volunteer, call Amy Piro at 318-680-3477 or e-mail at To learn more about the U.S. Soldiers Foundation or to donate, visit Louisiana Road Trips

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AHRMA Vintage National Motocross

Franklin Historic Cemetery Tour

Diamond Don’s 8th Annual AHRMA Vintage National Motocross will be held April 16-18, 2010 on property located one mile from Jefferson, Texas adjacent to the Historic Jefferson Railway. Over 600 entries are expected for the three day race event which includes Cross Country and Trials on Friday, Vintage Motocross on Saturday with Post-Vintage on Sunday. The event will include Diamond Don’s world famous BBQ and crawfish cookout on Friday evening and finishes with the Wind-Down Party and a fantastic fireworks show on Sunday. Trampas Parker, winner of two World Motocross Championships, will be the Diamond Don Legend of the weekend. In 1989, he won the 125cc World Championship on a KTM and followed two years later with a 250cc win on a Honda. Parker was inducted in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame as the first American to win two Motocross GP world titles. He was also a multi-time Italian national MX champ and lives in nearby Mansfield, Louisiana where he still competes and is a master teacher of motocross. Marty Tripes will be honorary Chef at Diamond Don’s Friday evening BBQ & Crawfish extravaganza. Music will be supplied by Chris & Louis LeBlanc of The Chris LeBlanc Band. Tripes won the Superbowl of Motocross at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1972, just a few weeks after turning 16. He also won the first FIM 250cc motocross United States Grand Prix in Unadilla in 1978. In his career, he won 11 National Championships and was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2001. Brad Lackey, another Motorcycle Hall of Famer, hasn’t missed this event yet. Bad Brad will provide the event T-Shirts and is always available to sign autographs and share “bench-racing” stories, along with the other legends. The wide, flat grassy pit area offers great viewing of the racetrack that runs through the grass pasture and the cool woods. Diamond Don has created a natural terrain grass track reminiscent of the early 70’s. The track runs through the 1880’s ruins of an old sawmill and along the Big Cypress Bayou River. Jefferson is nestled deep in the Piney Woods of East Texas and seems frozen in time. It is a charming town and an elegant reminder of a bygone era. There are over a hundred buildings in the city with historical markers. Many historic homes offer bed and breakfast accommodations. Dozens of other historic buildings house museums, craft and antique shops and restaurants. For more info, call 866-398-2038 x 4 or visit

Sweet Remembrances: A Historic Cemetery Tour will be held Saturday, March 27 in Franklin, LA. The driving cemetery tour along Main Street will be a celebration of life and death of some of the oldest families in the area including Wilson McKerall, Kramer, Berwick, Ibert, Litton, Birosall, Schaffer, and Schoenstein. The tour begins at Shadowlawn at 10am and admission is $10 per booklet. Three historic churches in Franklin will be open to the public during the tour – Church of Assumption, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, and Asbury Methodist Church – as well as the Grevemberg House Museum, Fairfax House, and Oaklawn Manor. The Fairfax House will host a tea following the cemetery tour. Call 337-828-1195 to make reservations. Visit for more information.

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Fiesta Nutrition Center Relocates & Expands By Sunny Meriwether

meat substitutes is also available, from tofu “This is my dream store… it’s what I always wanted.” Angie O’Pry Blades smiles as and tempeh to Quorn and Field Roast she looks around the spacious new location of products. There’s also an entire aisle dedicated to gluten-free products, a section of Kosher Fiesta Nutrition Center in Monroe. The 34foods, and an area dedicated to natural year-old health and natural foods store cosmetics and body care products. opened at the corner of North 18th and Roselawn in January and held its ribbon-cutting February 12th. Blades had worked at Fiesta for 29 years, starting as a part-time employee while in college. She quickly realized it was more than just a job, it was a calling. In 2005, when founder Ed Arnold decided to retire, she bought the business from him. Over the years, as the natural and health food markets expanded and a wider range of products became available, Fiesta’s original location tucked in a corner of Twin City Shopping Center became more cramped Front row, L. to R. : Sue Riggle, Tim Hitt, Robin Hitt, Angie and crowded. Blades says she realized O'Pry Blades, Jerry Blades, Norman O'Pry, Al Peterson more space was needed; and when realtor Of course, Fiesta carries vitamin Al Peterson showed her the former Woman’s Shop building, she knew she’d found the right supplements and herbal and homeopathic products. Blades says what sets them apart place. At first, she says, expanding from 2,300 square feet to 4,000 was a bit daunting but she from those available in mass-market stores is soon realized how much more she could do that these with the space. manufacturers use highThe renovation of the 1965 building quality raw materials maintains its architectural integrity to create a comfortable, welcoming environment to shop. with no fillers or artificial colors. And Blades says the additional space allows her to they’re more “usercarry a wider variety of refrigerated and friendly,” supplied as frozen products like Shelton’s Organic turkey, liquids, sub-linguals, beef, chicken, and buffalo, and sliced deli and chewables. meats, hot dogs, and sausage. A variety of

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Blades is passionate about locallyproduced natural foods. She carries fresh (in season) and frozen blueberries from certified organic grower Lyle Malloy as well as fresh vegetables and honey from other local growers. Recently added are goat-milk products from WesMar Farms, including fresh goat milk, several varieties of chevre, and goat-milk soaps. She’s eager to add other local producers and encourages them to contact her. Opening in early March inside Fiesta is Cilantro Café, which Blades describes as a healthy alternative for “grab-and-go” lunches. The menu includes veggie wraps, rice and cold noodle salads, sandwiches, and breads baked fresh twice a day. Patrons who eat in have access to free wi-fi as well as complimentary tea and coffee all day. Blades says she envisions Fiesta as a “mecca for a like-minded community.” She plans to host meetings and events as well as a farmers’ market in season. Fiesta Nutrition Center, 1211 N. 18th St., Monroe, 318-387-8446,

Hit the Road

Patriotic Skies and Rolling Countrysides An historic trail from Washington D.C. to Prince William County, Virginia By Deborah Burst

A faint whistle and stream of light pierce the early morning darkness experiments at the Spark!Lab, a hands-on as the Virginia Railway Express slowly pulls into the Manassas station. The science and invention center. Mansion doll daily commuter train offers the houses, Kermit the frog, Dumbo the flying small town charm of Virginia elephant and countless characters are suburbs and a scenic ride (less than located throughout the museum. an hour) to Washington DC, a Back in Prince William County (PWC) beehive of commerce and historic – The county is a blueprint for urban and museums. I grab a window seat but historic renewal where residents have find myself drawn to people embraced historic towns preserving the watching, men and women in blue architectural heritage and landscapes. suits and leather briefcases mixed Downtown Manassas brings together the charm of an old fashioned rail with students in jeans and tattered bookbags. Some tune in to their iPods town grown during the late Victorian era. Many of the town’s houses and and laptops while others bury their heads in newspapers. buildings reflect this style and now serve as museums, boutiques, art I pop in my ear buds and listen to Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel as I galleries, antique shops, and restaurants. gaze at life along the railway stations watching the sun skipping along the For a taste of Creole cooking, Okra is the local favorite, and for the best treetops in a blur of green and gold highlights. A vignette of backyard Tapas in town, La Capilla restaurant offers top notch South American gardens filled with children’s toys rumble past commuter towns of cuisine inside the romance of an historic church. In nearby Woodridge set Alexandria, Crystal City, and finally Union Station in D.C. Inside the station I your sights on Dixie Bones for the best southern style fall-off-the-bone wander wide-eyed glued to the dynasty of architecture in massive arches and barbeque, and an old-fashioned burger and malt at Silver Diner. jeweled domed ceilings with three stories of food, shopping and travel vistas. Wooden rail fences and grazing thoroughbreds line country roads Washington D.C. – Outside, similar to New York, a vibrant energy while highways roll through waves of forested mountains. The region owns permeates the city. Grab a cab or walk to the National Mall, a one mile two national parks, two state parks, and more than 50 county and municipal outdoor corridor lined with museums flanked by parks, wildlife refuges and preserved wetlands. For a truly stunning drive the Capitol and the Washington Monument. Make and hike, follow the North Valley Trail inside Prince William Forest Park. your first stop the Smithsonian Information Center, Blessed with peak fall colors, I walk along a russet colored trail showered by known as the castle, with information specialists, cool breezes and a storm of leaves. Hikers appear dwarfed by a ceiling of the Castle Café and coffee shop. towering trees in a 17,000-acre park filled with multiple varieties of native After lunch at the Café, I mingle outdoors with plants and animals. the “lunch hour execs” on the clay track of the The beating heart of Civil War legacies - The Prince William County National Mall. It’s a midday workout with ladies in Civil War Heritage Trail brings to life some of the war’s most infamous tennis shoes and business suits alongside shirtless battles at forts, museums, state parks, national battlefields, and historic men in jogging shorts joined by teams of young men farmhouses. Educational events along with lectures and reenactments follow and women playing Frisbee football. On the the tour which is detailed in a colorful brochure with historic sites and a perimeter, a more sedate crowd relaxes on park travel map. benches shaded by cherry trees set against the To honor some of our more recent veterans, the newly built National patriotic skies of the nation’s Capitol. Museum of the Marine Corps captures both the personal and technical side One of my favorite museums, the newly renovated American History of war in a timeline of battle exhibits featuring everything from fighting gear Museum, presents more than 3 million objects from the cultural, social, to enduring inclement weather. The slanted triangle design resembles a technological and political history of the United States. Teary-eyed exhibits silhouette of the flag-raising heroes of Iwo Jima set inside 135 acres of forests. such as the Abraham Lincoln’s Legacy brings to life the hardships and Closing – A region rich in history and landscapes, Prince William triumphs of a president, inventor and orator. The Star-Spangled Banner County offers travelers a peek into the past, present and future. More than exhibit captures the Fort McHenry battle scene which moved Frances Scott two centuries of military heroes are honored in museums and battlefields. Key to pen the national anthem. Then the original 30 by 34-foot flag glows Shopping mixes the old with the new in miles of antique corridors and the inside a stage dressed in dark colors and minimal light preserving the Potomac Mills Mall with more than a square mile of shopping. And enjoy fragile wool and cotton fibers. Exiting the exhibit, multiple versions of the the outdoors in open fields, rolling country sides and 12 public golf courses. anthem follow walls of Join me next month as we take a Prince William County,, 1-800-432-1792 patriotic photos. road trip on the Journey Through Virginia Railway Express (VRE),, 703-684-1001 Foodies will enjoy Hallowed Ground, a National Scenic Smithsonian,, 202-633-1000 the Julia Child’s Byway on a 175 mile trail along Route 15 National Museum of American History,, 202-633-3129 from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Kitchen along with videos of Emeril Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Marine Corps Heritage Foundation,, 800-397-7585 Lagasse introducing Virginia. Traveling through rolling Prince William Forest Park, the finer art of peeling mountain ranges to softly plowed fields, Journey Through Hallowed Ground,, 540-882-4929 crawfish. And children we’ll explore historical sites, Presidential Dining: Okra’s restaurant,, Dixie Bones,, have fun learning homes, battlefields, and communal Silver Diner,, La Capilla, engaged in science footprints in small town America. Louisiana Road Trips

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New Orleans Area Festivals Chef Soirée – The Chef Soirée, presented by Capital One Bank, will take place on Sunday, March 21 from 59pm at the Bogue Falaya Park in Covington. The Chef Soirée is the annual fundraising gala for the Youth Service Bureau that provides advocacy, counseling, education, and intervention for at-risk youth and their families, helping them reach their full potential. Sample small plates from more than 85 of the Northshore’s finest restaurants and beverage purveyors along the scenic waters of the Bogue Falaya River with live music and a grand fireworks finale. For more information call, 985-893-2570. Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans, March 24-28 – If you love books, this is a glittering celebration you'll never forget in the French Quarter. Master Classes, a roster of lively discussions among great panelists, celebrity interviews, theater, music, food/drink, great parties and film events. A scholar's conference, comedy improve, and a poetry slam. Short fiction and oneact play competitions at La Petite Theater, a breakfast book club, and a crowd favorite…the STELLA! contest in Jackson Square. This year’s festival includes a cast of literary greats: Dage Eggers, Jill McCorkle, Michael Lewis, Winston Groom (Forest Gump), Jill Conner Browne (The Sweet Potato Queen Series), John Dufresne, Jospeh Boyden, Molly Haskell, (The Wire's) David Simon , Eric Overmyer (Treme), Emmy Award-winning journalist Cokie Roberts, political strategist James Carville, literary agent Marly Rushoff, among many others!! For more information, or to puchase tickets, go to or call (504)581-1144 or (800)990-3378. You can purchase tickets for panel passes, master classes, or all access passes (which include all the great parties!) Prices are on the website.

Romantic Romantic Historic Charming

Louisiana Road Trips

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Encounters Among the Youth By Lee Estes

young people in various places Travel in foreign countries has become participating in local initiations affordable for the American middle class and celebrating graduation from during the past half century largely because of high school. group travel packages with fixed itineraries The Scandinavian countries and professional guides/escorts, usually seem to be the most prone to advertised as lots of interesting places with slick brochures and subject young people to the beautiful photographs. Sadly, many itineraries travel too far, too fast, humiliations of public initiation. I and although actually passing through all the places advertised, you never found out which mainly see it from the bus window. Also, those tour guides would probably be lost as a goose if forced to vary the itinerary a few miles in organizations were involved but I ran into the activities several any direction. As a planner and leader of group tours for about forty times. In the public square of years, I tried very hard to leave the usual routes and go to places Linkoping, Sweden, with a large seldom visited by the motor coaches. I still took in the ‘must see’ fountain as a centerpiece, I found properties but also stopped where no other tour operator dared to Linkoping, Sweden-1993 There must be some strong attraction a group of youngsters subjecting tread. That in itself, set my programs apart from the ordinary but for a person to stand and let an egg their initiates to all kinds of better still, I made an effort to provide free time for my clients to be crushed n his head without protest. actually mix with the locals instead humiliations including having to stand at attention while fresh eggs of being led into the were broken over their heads and nearest shop where having to frolic in the fountain. In the guide would Stockholm, two groups, both male make a commission and female, were engaged in some on every sale. kind of contest by gradually Quite often, removing their clothes and extending during those periods them end to end upon the pavement of free time, until they determined who could opportunities would make the longest line. That was arise which would be followed by the losers frolicking impossible with major almost nude in the nearest public tour operators that I’d fountain. All this happens without like to share. I could Stockholm, Sweden-1993 This ritual in Stockholm required those involved any evidence of malice despite the tell about being invited to carry a small cooking vessel swinging from into an elderly couple’s around their neck home in Cortina, appearance of being a another gracious lady inviting us little sadistic. Another for tea in Dublin, and an time, at Versailles, I unbelievable experience visiting a encountered gentleman and his wife in Alter do hundreds of young Chao, Portugal. However, this people lying face article will describe, in words and down, head to feet, pictures, some encounters with on the cobblestones while those in Versailles, France 1982 command moved among them barking commands to lie still until allowed to stand. I was there for some time, and they were still motionless on the pavement when I left. Sometimes the activities are celebratory. In Debrecen, Hungary, I photographed a group celebrating graduation from high school and they made a colorful production of it. Another time, in Huesca, Spain, we heard music and decided to find its source. It was emanating from a school yard where a flamenco performance by students was taking place. How refreshing to see these lovely young ladies perform compared to the calloused performers you find in the tourist traps of Granada and Seville.

Louisiana Road Trips

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On the Scene

Jazz Festing from Halter Tops to Maternity Tops By Deborah Burst

Buried in deadlines on a bluesy day, I close my eyes and steal one of those moments. Salty beads of sweat trickle across my lips while the body convulses in an erotic rhythm warmed by the burning rays of a brilliant sun. No, it’s not a nude beach but a Jazz Fest flashback born from a festing fiend. Fest Fans come far and wide feeding on this mind-altering love affair seduced by an orgy of food and music. It’s a spiritual passage, waves of sunglass faces sipping suds, raising their beer cans to the musical gods swaying to the beat of the Nevilles, Bob Dylan or the cries of the Gospel Tent. And it never leaves, tucked away waiting to explode in blogs, emails or an occasional Jazz Fest frenzy at the bar, by the pool, or the latest tailgating bash.

The Hall Closet A Unique Shopping Experience 745 Johnson Road West Monroe, LA 318-366-9807

Jewelry Purses Gifts & More

For locals, Jazz Fest fever begins right after Mardi Gras. We bury our faces in the steamy mist of crawfish, recalling memories of cross-legged feasts sucking the heads with a cold brew. The temps climb and the ultimate springtime ritual--the resurrection of the Jazz Fest straw hat. My Fest journey began in 1975, more than three decades from halter tops to maternity tops, different partners along the way, introducing my children and now doing solo jaunts. A blur of parking rituals, road-side parties, and Port-a-Potty adventures keep company with day-long feasting and second-lining in shin-deep flood waters. Every year still brings a full-body rush walking through the front gates. The sweating garlic swirls above the food tents and the music plays tag across the stages with a faint whiff of burning herbs. In the 70s brevity was the norm: halters, bathing suit tops and JC (Jesus Christ) sandals. Sun worshippers basted their skin with the sweet smell of coconut oil in the days before SPF terror alerts. For less than $20 you blew the day away tripping to Professor Longhair or singing “Blueberry Hill” with Fats Domino carting an ice chest packed with food and libations. We roamed the craft booths adding to our collection of tie-dye T-shirts and faded bandanas ending the day jamming to a heaping dose of the Radiator’s fish head music. The 80s brought marriage and maternity tops but never slowed me down. Six months pregnant I waddled across the straw trails – minus the beer – with frequent trips to the portable toilets. After rockin’ and rollin’ the port-a-let trying to balance a basketball

stomach on tip toes, I found a trailer of bathrooms that still exist today, a little walk, but well worth the trip. I introduced my kids to the fest in the 90s with sporadic visits, but they didn’t share my passion until their college days. In 2002, my college-age daughter and I joined my sister and a gaggle of festing friends. We parked our blankets and camp chairs in front of the Lenny Kravitz stage and watched waves of people flood our shrinking piece of real estate. In one of those Jazz Fest moments, we gathered our book bags, baseball caps, and sneakers and sculptured a sleeping fester. Fearful of trampling this snoozing gnome, the crowds parted around us. We ended that fest standing on camp chairs, arms in the air, singing with Lenny to “Love Rules.” In 2006, I returned with my son and daughter and set up residence early in front of the Dave Matthews stage. Little had changed; the sultry smell of garlic, burning herbs, and coconut lotion mixed with a day long feast of music. Clouds of smoke bellowed above us as a neighbor rolled a cigar sized reefer from a butt he found on the ground, nothing like a little recycling at the old Jazz Fest. As the decade marched on, duty called with interviews and photos. My first solo year forecasted rain, serious rain! I pack my poncho, water shoes and camera gear, and within hours the heavens explode. Scores of soggy people hover over their prized po-boys and bowls of jambalaya and seek shelter inside the Jazz, Blues and Gospel tents. Inside, the tents are rocking with bright lights shimmering on a rising pool of water. Some continued on next page > > >

Visit our website: Louisiana Road Trips

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Notre Dame – The Bucket List Gift! By Pat Anderson

The most wonderful things can happen at a football game. It was the Tuesday night ULM game that was televised on ESPN nationally. My wife, Martha Jane, and I were invited to the Cofer’s home before the ballgame and then to the President’s box for the game. What a break – it rained really hard during the entire first half and there we were, high and dry. My friends, that’s were to be on a rainy night for a ballgame. During the game, I met a new friend, Jim Hummer, who was in Monroe on a business trip. While visiting with Jim, he mentioned that he had graduated from Notre Dame. I asked when he was there and said when Dan Devine came in as head coach. That set off an alarm for me! I then asked if he went to school with Rudy. “Yes, I did,” he said, “I graduated with him, but we really didn’t know who he was until ‘The Football Game’.” He said he was actually at a Notre Dame game when they shot the sequel for the movie. Wow – great conversation, ‘high and dry’, and the Warhawks were winning. I said, “Jim, I’ve always wanted to go to a Notre Dame football

game at South Bend and see everything. That’s on my bucket list.” He said, “What? Somebody from Louisiana is a Notre Dame fan?” I assured Jim that there were many Notre Dame fans here. He said that he might get me tickets if I really wanted to go. We enjoyed visiting and the Warhawks won the game on that dreary Tuesday night. On Thursday, I received a call from Jim. He was in South Bend and told me he could get us tickets and gave us some dates. We picked November 7th, the Navy game. Well, Jim delivered! About a week or so later, he called back and said that he had us four tickets in preferred seating, plus a parking pass for the Navy game. What a gift, a dream come true! We invited our friends, Bill and Carol Ledoux, to accompany us on our trip to Notre Dame. We left Monroe on November 6th, the day before the game, arrived in South Bend around noon, found the hotel then headed for Notre Dame. We spent the entire evening on the campus viewing all the historic places. The beauty, tradition, and mystique make it completely awesome – the three stories high bookstore, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the Golden Dome, the library with “Touchdown Jesus” on the side of it, the stadium, the

grounds of the university, the architecture. I could go on and on, but the people make it what it is. I’ve never felt so welcome in any place in my life, not even Disneyworld or a family reunion. Everyone seems so pleased that you came to see their university and do everything possible to make you feel welcome. This was a trip of a lifetime. Martha Jane, Carol, and Bill will agree on that. I’m glad it was at the top of my bucket list. The football game at the stadium that Knute Rockney built was an outstanding event as well. They even had a “fly over” since they were playing Navy and in honor of Veteran’s Day. What a wonderful day – more than I expected! After the game we went to the Basilica for Mass. That’s a tradition. On top of all that, I made a new friend in Jim Hummer. Also, Jim’s friend, Daniel Reagan at Notre Dame, was a big part of making this happen for us. Dan is the Associate Vice President for University Relations. We are friends for life to this ole boy for such a wonderful gift. God has blessed me all my life and the weekend we spent at Notre Dame make us feel that we were in a very special place, and I want to go back!

Jazz Festing continued soak their feet jiving to the beat while others splash dance and second line to the horn blowing troubadours. An occasional flip-flop floats by, collateral damage in a rain-drenched day. And the beat goes on, bringing together the music greats from yesteryear while still engaging today’s icons, young and old, people near and far, embracing immortal sounds moved by distant memories. Standing in the photo pit I zoom in and watch the sweat pour down Joe Cocker’s brow. Dressed in black from head to toe, minus the wiry hair, his trademark body thrusts and passionate yells consume the audience. Sultry backup singers turn up the heat while jumbo screens scream the music across the field. As the sun hangs low and the crowd sings “A Little Help From My Friends,” flashbacks of those “blacklight” days listening to Cocker albums come to mind. And texting the scene to my kids as they sit in an office and classroom…PRICELESS! This year’s Jazz Fest, April 23 to May 2, promises to be one of the all-time bests with Simon & Garfunkel, Pearl Jam, Aretha Franklin, The Black Crowes, Van Morrison, the Allman Brothers Band, Wide Spread Panic, Lionel Riche, and the local favorites, B. B. King, Irma Thomas, the Neville Brothers, the Meters and an age old favorite, The Radiators. Visit for a complete schedule. Buy at a discount with advance tickets or pay regular price at the gate. Louisiana Road Trips

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Sunday, Bloody Sunday: The Colfax Massacre of 1873 By Lora Peppers

Reconstruction was in full swing in Louisiana. Former slaves, called Freedmen, had civil and voting rights. For the first time in American history, blacks held local, state and national offices. It didn’t come easy. Federal troops still occupied the South, ensuring fair elections and that the results were carried out to the letter. Unfortunately, President Grant was losing northern support for federal troop occupation, and this only made southern “White Leagues” bolder. Grant Parish would stage the opening shots for a white challenge to Reconstruction. On April 1, 1873, the White League decided they would take the Grant Parish courthouse at Colfax and restore “White Rule”. It wouldn’t happen without a fight. According to the Ouachita Telegraph at the time, “The negroes had strongly entrenched themselves in the Court House and built breastworks three and four feet high. There were, it is said, about four hundred men armed and equipped thoroughly.” Hundreds of people on both sides began to pour into the tiny town, ready for a showdown. It would happen on Easter Sunday. On Sunday, April 13th, word was sent to evacuate the courthouse of women and children. Thirty minutes later, around noon, the White League began to storm the breastworks. Over one hundred fifty whites (some say three hundred) firing against an

unknown number of black defenders. By 3 pm the defenders had retreated to the courthouse and barricaded the door. The White League had captured the breastworks. Dozens lay dead on the ground. Years later their bones would be unearthed during some construction. Those barricaded in the courthouse waved a white flag of truce. What happened next is still in dispute. When a party was sent to the door, shots were fired, mortally wounding James Hadnot and killing a man named Harris. According to the White League, shots came from the courthouse. According to the defenders, the shots came from a trigger happy White Leaguer. The White League was out for blood. The courthouse was set on fire. As people ran from the burning building, they were shot and bayoneted. By four o’clock, it was all over. Forty were captured and plans were made to take them to the Alexandria jail. Most men dispersed. The rest of the men settled in to sleep for the night or began to drink. At ten o’clock, some of the men were still out for blood. They went to the yard where the forty prisoners were being held and began shooting. Some witnesses said all were killed, and some say half ran away into the surrounding woods. One man, Levi Nelson, who played dead and survived, later testified against those indicted for the attacks. All total that day, three White Leaguers and over one hundred blacks were killed.

Years later their bones would be unearthed during some construction.

Great Gator Race!

Lora Peppers, a Monroe native, grew up in Bastrop and graduated from ULM. Her love of history dates back to childhood when one of her favorite activities was visiting local cemeteries to examine headstones. She also loves to travel, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park being her favorite place on Earth. Her job as a genealogist and historian has given her the opportunity to lead many lectures and author several books. She can be reached by e-mail at


Southern Mutual Help Association hosts the 7th Annual Great Gator Race March 6th, 2010. The event takes place in Bouligny Plaza, downtown New Iberia. Food booths will begin serving at 11am. Geno Delafose and French Rockin' boogie will provide music entertainment until 4pm. At high noon, with the help of the New Iberia Fire Department, Iberia Parish Sheriff's Department and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department, 5,000 plastic gators will race down the Bayou Teche. The first 9 gators to reach the finish line will represent the order of prizes. Prizes this year consist of a 4-night cruise for two, charcoal cooker, two teeth whitening kits, restaurant gift certificates, plus many more fabulous prizes. Tickets can be bought at branches of Iberiabank, Community First, Teche Federal, Regions Bank, The Daily Iberian, and Paul's Flower Shop. For more info, call Sarah Grabert at 337-367-3277. For more information on Southern Mutual Help, visit Louisiana Road Trips

Actual numbers will never be known since many of the bodies were taken away by families and friends to be buried elsewhere. When federal troops arrived, they found dozens of bodies and the White League scattered into the countryside. The massacre made national headlines. Ninety seven men were later indicted, with only nine going to trial on violations of the US Enforcement Act of 1870. Two trials later, three men were found guilty of conspiracy against the freedmen’s right of assembly. The Supreme Court later ruled that the Enforcement act did not apply to individuals or private conspiracies. This was a state matter. The convictions were thrown out. State level trials would never convict a white man, so no one was ever punished for the crime. It was a virtual death sentence for Civil Rights. The Klan, White League and Rifle clubs only became bolder and Federal troops were finally pulled out in 1877. In 1950, the state erected a state highway marker commemorating the “Colfax Riot” which contained the following words: “On this site occurred the Colfax Riot in which three white men and 150 negroes were slain. This event on April 13, 1873 marked the end of carpetbag misrule in the South.”

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Enjoy LOUISIANA ROAD TRIPS for only $20/year Name_____________________________________________________ Address___________________________________________________ City______________________________________________________ State_________ Zip___________ Phone_________________________ To subscribe, send check or money order to Louisiana Road Trips at P O Box 2452, West Monroe, LA 71294

Kitty DeGree Breast Health Center Now Offers This Area’s First Breast Cancer Patient Navigation Program The Kitty DeGree Breast Health Center, the only American College of Radiology accredited Breast Imaging Center of Excellence in North Louisiana, is proud to announce another exciting and essential service for all newly diagnosed breast cancer patients in the Region 8 area (Union, Morehouse, West Carroll, East Carroll, Lincoln, Ouachita, Richland, Jackson, Caldwell, Franklin, Tensas, and Madison Parishes). Now available to these patients and their families are the area’s first Breast Cancer Patient Navigation program and Breast Cancer Patient Navigator, Angela Jarratt. Angela’s background in nursing and case management provides her with the expertise necessary to assist breast cancer patients in our Region 8 community. Our Breast Cancer Patient Navigation Program supports patients needing assistance with one-on-one contact, ensures that all patients with suspicious findings receive a timely

resolution, moves patients through the health care system and implements problem solving to ensure quality care, and works within the organization and community to eliminate barriers to health care. The main goals of our Navigation Program are to save lives from breast cancer, eliminate barriers to care, ensure timely delivery of services, reduce patient anxiety, monitor care through a close relationship with the patient, identify potential gaps in care, and increase awareness through physician and community outreach. Key roles and responsibilities of our Breast Cancer Navigator include streamlining appointments and paperwork, offering psychosocial support and access to resources, educating for patient-led treatment decisions, and maintaining open communication with specialists, primary care providers, caregivers and

patients. Other duties include facilitating access to support systems, linking patients, caregivers and families with appropriate follow-up care, and maintaining personal contact with patients throughout the continuum of care and following their progress. As our Breast Cancer Patient Navigator, Angela will serve as your personal health care assistant. She will help you navigate the way through the healthcare system following a breast cancer diagnosis. Working in collaboration with our available community resources, she will be there to assist you in meeting your needs throughout this difficult time. Please do not hesitate to contact Angela if you or someone you know has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer or is currently receiving treatment. Her office is located at the Kitty Degree Breast Health Center. She welcomes all breast cancer

patients experiencing the journey through this difficult time. All inquiries are welcomed. Physicians may make direct referrals via phone, email, or fax. We encourage you to visit for more information. Here you will learn more about the services, how to read your pathology report and much more. Additionally, we have available onsite at the Kitty Degree Breast Health Center the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Resource Center with literature, audiovisual materials and computers with dedicated hyperlinks to the most current and evidenced-based practices in the treatment of breast cancers. This center is a convenient, easily accessible place people can visit for information and support services related to breast cancer. Please contact Angela using any of the following options: (318) 388-8126 or toll free (866) 2907072, Fax (318) 388-8129,

Introducing Our Breast Cancer Patient Navigator As the breast cancer patient navigator, I serve as a “healthcare personal assistant” to help newly diagnosed patients through this difficult time. There are no economic or social qualifications. For those unfamiliar with local resources and hesitant to seek costly treatments or medications, I can connect you with resources and help you stay on track with your treatment plan and follow-up care. While serving breast cancer patients throughout Northeast Louisiana*, our focus will be to: • Dismantle barriers faced by all patients with breast cancer • Improve patients’ quality of life • Help breast cancer patients follow their treatment plan • Provide breast health education through outreach and community efforts

Angela Jarratt, RN (318) 388-8126 Toll Free: (866) 290-7072

3421 Medical Drive • Monroe, LA

*The Kitty DeGree Breast Health Center and the Northeast Louisiana Cancer Institute work together in providing cancer patient navigation services, offering guidance and support throughout a cancer patient’s medical journey. These services are available to all patients in Region 8 which consists of Caldwell, East & West Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, and Union Parishes. Louisiana Road Trips

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Cypress Inn on the Bayou Cypress Inn is ready for the party season with a beautiful multilevel deck perched among the Cypress trees of Bayou DeSiard in Monroe. Owners Jenny and Vic Hendricks have worked hard to create a paradise of seafood dishes and several party areas to enjoy them. The Hendricks purchased the restaurant several years ago and are continuing the traditions of the past 22 years while adding their own special touches. The restaurant has the ‘all you can eat’ experience, including the popular spicy snow crab legs that are now permanently on the menu. During Lent, enjoy an array of fish dishes available here. Be sure to try the grilled catfish; dress it up with a sauce and enjoy a new taste sensation at Cypress Inn. If you’re giving up fried foods, opt for grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp and veggies as your side, or a fillet or ribeye steak grilled perfectly for you. A huge favorite at Cypress Inn is their spicy boiled crawfish, great with a pitcher of cold beer and homemade onion rings topped off with Creole cheesecake or special recipe buttermilk pie. Owner Vic Hendricks said, “We have big extended families that enjoy eating crawfish together and if available, we have several family party rooms for these customers. If they call ahead, we can have the tables set up and ready for when the group gets in the restaurant. For those not eating crawfish, we have a variety of menu items including burgers and fries. We do a good burger.” Cypress Inn is located at 7805 DeSiard in the Lakeshore area in Monroe. Call ahead for to-go orders or to make party room reservations – 318-345-0202. Bring in your church bulletin and get 10% off your ticket. The restaurant is open Tuesday thru Sunday for lunch and dinner.

Ouachita River Art Gallery

308 Trenton Street • West Monroe, LA 71291

(318) 322-2380 Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am-5:00 pm

Louisiana Road Trips

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Louisiana Road Trips

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Louisiana Road Trips March 2010  
Louisiana Road Trips March 2010  

Louisiana Road Trips lets you discover north Louisiana like never before. This mag is chock filled with road trip ideas that include lots of...