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Let’s Unite

Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. GO RED FOR WOMEN® encourages women and their families to take action and live a healthier life. Let’s get started. Let’s unite. Together we are stronger and unstoppable.

GO RED FOR WOMEN EVENT LUNCHEON RUNWAY SHOW Thursday, February 15th, 2018 West Monroe Convention Center, 901 Ridge Ave., West Monroe, LA 11:00am to 12:00pm - Registration, Mingling, Shopping, Education 12:00pm to 1:15pm - Luncheon, Survivor Runway Show and Program with “Open Your Heart”spokesperson, Cindy G. Foust, President and Author of Alpha-kidZ, L.L.C., and blogger at alphabetmom.com. To purchase tickets ($50) and reserve tables, call or email Eddie Craddieth at 601.321.1210/eddie.craddieth@heart.org, or visit nelagored.heart.org.

local cause sponsor

For more information visit nelagored.heart.org


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22nd Annual Bridal Beginnings Sunday, February 18, 2018 | 12:30 to 4:30 PM West Monroe Convention Center

MN-1000680204

As you plan this most important life event, discover new ideas and trends to make your day complete. Find the best local resources for food, fashion, flowers, invitations, photography, videography, entertainment and much more. Get a head start on making your special day fabulous! DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | MA RCH 2 018 | 5


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Substance use/misuse | Process addictions | Co-occurring disorders Palmetto provides fundamental treatment that is both effective and cost-efficient. Our therapy is for men and women of all walks of life, including a plan specifically for recovering professionals.

NTENSIVE UTPATIENT

PROGRAM

MONROE For mild substance use disorders (with or without co-occurring psychological disorders), Palmetto’s IOP is used for primary treatment, or for transitional treatment following a residential stay. Clients participate three evenings a week while living at home. Palmetto has three IOP locations in Louisiana, including one that serves the northeast portion of our state in Monroe.

Bringing hope and lasting recovery to individuals and families since 1993. Privately owned and operated. Most insurance accepted.

86 Palmetto Road, Rayville, Louisiana | (318) 728-2970 or 1-800-203-6612 Email: info@palmettocenter.com | www.palmettocenter.com DELTA STYLE MAGA ZIN E | FEBRUA RY 2 018 | 9


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On January 18, Wraparound of Northeast Louisiana launched its new company brand. The new name, Ascent, and tagline, Life. Elevated., better reflects the company’s passion for helping others and provides an uplifting message to the people they serve. Ascent strives to elevate people from where they are today to where they can be tomorrow. Wraparound started as a small non-profit in 2012. Since that time, the three combined locations- Monroe, LA, Houma, LA and Memphis, TN, have provided support services to nearly 3,000 individuals.

The Children’s Coalition of Northeast Louisiana celebrated their 20-year-anniversary by cutting the ribbon to their new office in downtown Monroe at 117 Hall Street.

Former DeltaStyle employee and model, Courtnee Crews, was named one of the 7 up-and-coming fashion girls who will be big in 2018 by whowhatwear.com. She will be moving soon to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams! Congratulations Courtnee, we wish you the best of luck!

Linda Baum of Kansas City, MO, Lois Hoover of Monroe, & Laura Sledge of Rayville all celebrated their mother’s 105th birthday.

Local women, Opal Pelanowski, celebrated quite a milestone, her 105th birthday! She was born in Nebraska on December 11, 1912 and had a party at her daughter, Lois Hoover’s home to celebrate. Happy Birthday, Ms. Opal!

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Now Available For Lease at

towerplacemonroe.com

Class A Office Space Available | 2 Conference Rooms Available | 7th Floor Terrace with Panoramic Views of Monroe & West Monroe $15 per head, The Think Tank provides a creative, productive atmosphere | Recently Developed Private Offices

CONTACT LISA HOLYFIELD • 318-547-7083 • LISA@HOLYFIELD-INC.COM | JOE HOLYFIELD • 318-366-6307 • JOE@HOLYFIELD-INC.COM SAVANNAH HOLYFIELD • 318-807-4063 • SAVANNAH@HOLYFIELD-INC.COM

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The best place to take your leaks.

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FEBRUARY COMMUNITY EVENT CALENDAR

FEBRUARY 1 • DOWNTOWN GALLERY CRAWL

FEBRUARY 10 • MONROE SYMPHONY

FEBRUARY 15 • GO RED FOR WOMEN 2018

FEBRUARY 18 • BRIDAL FAIR

FEBRUARY 20 • VIKING CRUISE LINE PROGRAM

FEBRUARY 23-24 • THE 2018 QUILT SHOW • 9:00am-

5:00-9:00pm in Downtown Monroe and West Monroe

12:30-4:30pm at the West Monroe Convention Center

FEBRUARY 23 • LECTURE ABOUT FRANK LLYOD’S MASTERPIECE “The Resolution of Unity Temple” 6:00-8:00pm at ULM’s Biedenharn Recital Hall MN-1000679778

UPCOMING EVENTS

7:00pm at the Monroe Civic Center Arena

11:00am-1:00pm at the West Monroe Convention Center

4:00pm at the Restaurant Sage

4:00pm at the Monroe Civic Center Arena

MARCH 3 • RIVER RUMBLE

MARCH 3, 4, 5 • 60TH ANNUAL BARAK SHRINE CIRCUS AT THE MONROE CIVIC CENTER ARENA

10:00am-4:00pm at the Downtown RiverMarket

Mardi Gras Events

FEBRUARY 3 • KREWE OF JANUS MARDI GRAS PARADE, 6:00pm; KREWE OF JANUS CHILDREN’S MARDI GRAS PARADE, 10:00am at the Pecanland Mall Carousel; KREWE OF PAWS MARDI GRAS PARADE, 11:00am in Antique Alley in West Monroe; MARDI GRAS BLOCK PARTY FEATURING STOOGES BRASS BAND

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GO RED PREMIER PARTY | December 12th | Bayou Landing

Eva Burt Edinger

Krista Jones, Dr. Dellie Clark, Hope Anderson, Eva Burt Edinger

Evalyn Yeats Ormond, Missy Amy

Colt Manning, Anna Claire Williams-Varnado, Missy Amy, Leah & Mac Reitzell

Anna Claire Williams-Varnado, Missy Amy

Patrick King

Eddie Craddieth, Kerin Spears, Missy Amy

Hope Anderson

Evalyn Yeats Ormond

Tommy and Evalyn Ormond

Dr. Amber Moreau Shemwell, Hope Anderson, Dr. Dellie Clark, Krista Jones

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NELA SNOW DAY | January 16th

Madeline Clack

Sarah Jessica Hollenshead, Luke Powell,Walker Craft

Addie and Jackson Smith

Raylee Beth Fallin

Swathi Thota

Natalie and Katelyn Sisk

Ella Coon

Tyler and Taylor Webb

Russell White

Lee Mayes

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BUNNIE EDWARDS ROBERTSON


Adam & Marisol O'Neal

Fallon Amber Smith

Ava Chapman

Liam Blackburn

A snowman made by Victoria Hefner

Dusty Alford

Hannah Franks

Jodi D. Carter

Chasity and Liam Estis

COURTESY ASHLEY CULBERSON

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NELA SNOW DAY PETS | January 16th

Amos (owner Erin Hattaway)

Peter (owner Taylor Michiels)

Sandie (owner Dusty Teer)

Murphy (owner Kelsea McCrary)

Cooper (owner Melissa Kiper)

Delta (owner Steve Allen)

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Zoey (owner Leslie Womack)

Gunner (owner Courtney Ogden)


35TH ANNUAL KREWE OF JANUS 12TH NIGHT PARTY January 6th | King’s Palace

If you've never sold a home before, it can be a daunting process. On weeknights and weekends, you'll most likely find yourself anywhere but your own home, allowing potential buyers to see your place in person. That can be quite a time commitment. According to MLS data from the Northeast Louisiana Association of Realtors, it takes an average of 133 133 days to sell a home. If your home is right for one of my pre-approved Buyers, it shouldn't take more than 30 days.

Rhonda & Keith Joyner

Dr. Lee & Suzette Sawyer

To make it worth the journey, you need to avoid making the biggest mistake that many home sellers make: Mispricing their homes. If you price too low, you are leaving "money on the table." If you price too high, you'll likely miss a faster sale and have to lower your price anyway. Get professional help. This is what I do every day: Help buyers and sellers understand what is happening with the market, what homes are selling for, and why they sold. Ultimately, the seller sets the asking price, but getting expert counsel helps you avoid making mistakes. If you're thinking about selling your home after school is over and summer begins, you can save time by starting prep during the winter. Here are a few easy ideas that can help make a great first impression: Focus on the front door: Fresh paint for the front porch and even a new door can brighten your entry. For a finishing touch, add a brand-new welcome mat and change out your door hardware for something shiny and unscratched. Kitchen and bath refreshes: Change out the drawer knobs and handles, and get organizers for the drawers. New toilet seats are crucial. New entryway lights: Designers say that proper lighting can help put buyers in a good mood. The entry is where their first impressions begin, so that's the perfect place to start.

Greg & Melloney Sims

Rachel Spillers, Blake Summarell, Tim Spillers

Abraham Lincoln Power, Jr., Jan James, Herbert & Janet Breard, Alexia Dana, Alan & Gay Nell Barth

Lucy Holtzclaw, Martha Mobley, Lori White

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KREWE OF JANUS GRAND BALL January 20 | West Monroe Convention Center

Suzette Sawyer, Melloney Sims

King and Queen Janus XXXV - Keith & Rhonda Joyner

Todd & Michele Warner

Anthony Perkins, Kevin Caston, Denis O'Leary, Blake & Lynne LeBlanc

Rawdy Smith, Adrienne Ruther, Andy Harbor, Polly & Jim Bryant

Kay LaFrance, Adrienne LaFrance-Wells

Kayli May, Alissa Young

NEW ROUTE!

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2018 BEGINNING AT 6 PM MN-1000679763

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Kick up your heels at the

20I8

For tickets call 318-387-0535

Friday, March 23, 2018 • 7 p.m. - Midnight Featuring Lisa Spann & Company

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Hosted by:

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at MBH Farm in Calhoun, LA ~ SILENT & LIVE AUCTIONS ~

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Catered by

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Choosing the right building materials, and picking the right mortgage lender. Building, remodeling, or purchasing a home is easier when you start with a free quote, and pre-qualifying lets you know exactly how to shop. Our Mortgage Lenders work with you to determine the best choice for your individual needs among available home mortgage options.

One More Reason.

Try the advantage of our personal service with our local lending team.

Contact Ginger Holton

(318) 651-5043 | gholton@progressivebank.com

RESIDENTIAL LENDING SERVICES

Monroe | West Monroe | Winnsboro | Bossier City | Shreveport | ProgressiveBank.com All residential mortgage loans subject to normal credit approval requirements. Mortgage loan rates are subject to change without notice. G. Holton NMLS #464560.

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“Where Louisiana

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Still Buys Boots”


10 ANIKA REED

1

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle The classic fantasy tells the story of 13-year-old Meg Murry and her galactic adventure with Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which. The Ava Duvernaydirected feature (in theaters March 9) stars Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Chris Pine.

2

Personal History by Katharine Graham Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham’s autobiography about her unlikely rise in the company her father owned following her husband’s suicide won her a Pulitzer Prize in 1998. Screenwriter Liz Hannah penned The Post script (in theaters nationwide) based on Graham’s book. The Steven Spielberg film stars Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Sarah Paulson.

3

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews Former CIA operative Jason Matthews weaves a tale about a spy game between the Americans and the Russians in his 2013 thriller. Jennifer Lawrence reunites with Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence for the movie (in theaters March 2), also starring Joel Edgerton, MaryLouise Parker and Jeremy Irons.

4

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline Skip ahead to 2044 in Ernest Cline’s novel about a dystopian future world in an energy crisis and a teen’s journey to find a fortune. Spielberg brings the 1980s to the 2040s with Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke in his retro sci-fi fantasy (in theaters March 30).

5

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan Things get Crazy in Kevin Kwan’s debut novel, centering on the life

BOOKS TO READ BEFORE THEY BECOME MOVIES IN 2018 If one of your New Year’s goals is to read more, then you have some quality pages to turn this year. From childhood classics to action-packed adventures, 2018 has some exciting book-to-film adaptations, featuring stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Hemsworth. Kick off your reading resolution with these 10 books set to hit the big screen this year.

Natalie Portman stars as a biologist in the sci-fi film “Annihilation.” PETER MOUNTAIN of Chinese-American economics professor Rachel Chu and the comedy that ensues when she enters her boyfriend’s world of the Asian rich and famous. Fresh Off the Boat star Constance Wu helms the movie (in theaters Aug. 17) based off of the first book in Kwan’s series.

6

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer Jeff VanderMeer’s first novel in his Southern Reach Trilogy follows a team of four women on their journey through the mysterious Area X. Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tessa Thompson star in the horror thriller (in theaters Feb. 23).

7

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers The popular series of eight children’s books follows the life of the magical nanny Mary Poppins. Emily Blunt takes over the iconic role from predecessor Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins Returns, the sequel to the original film, (in theaters Dec. 25) also starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Streep and Colin Firth.

Jennifer Lawrence stars as a Russian spy in “Red Sparrow.” MURRAY CLOSE

8

Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton Doug Stanton tells the true story of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan to fight the Taliban following 9/11. The catch? They have to do so on horseback. Hemsworth rides onto the silver screen in the film adaptation (in theaters Jan. 19).

9

The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian An elderly couple suffering from cancer and Alzheimer’s decide to sneak away from their doctors and take a cross-country trip in their RV in Michael Zadoorian’s novel. The movie (in theaters March 9) stars Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland as the couple on their last hurrah.

10

Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James The final installment of one of the most popular bookto-movie adaptations follows Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey as they settle into married life in their own kinky and dramatic way. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan star in the steamy ending to the trilogy (in theaters Feb. 9).

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Remembering 1965 in the Delta

Love, Sweet Love . . . GEORGIANN POTTS

I wonder how many Delta folk remember the song, “What the World Needs Now”? It was released in 1965 shortly after my sixteenth birthday and near the end of my sophomore year at Newellton High School in the northern reaches of Tensas Parish. I remember that it caused quite a sensation, because it was so easy to sing, simple to remember, and carried a message through its lyrics that resonated through all the Delta generations. Frankly, it resonated well beyond the Delta and became quite a “hit.” A few weeks ago, I found myself “singing” that song to myself in my head. I could not imagine why it seemed to be “stuck” there until I sat still long enough to really think about it. So much Potts of what is so unsettling to us today was present in some form or another back then when I was more than ready to become a high school junior and equally ready to embrace as much from life as I possibly could. Perhaps times have not changed all that much after all. Our world still needs love, and I am still embracing life as much as I possibly can. GP 26 | F EBRUARY 2 018 | DE LTAS T YL E M AGAZINE

What an exciting time it was to be alive! I had just celebrated my sixteenth birthday in early April 1965 and was well on my way to completing my sophomore year at Newellton High School. I was just beginning to date some, and was pretty much a typical teenager growing up in the Delta. Economic realities did not feel as harsh back then, but then cost is relative. Gasoline averaged 32 cents per gallon, a new car carried an average price tag of a staggering $2,650, and the average cost of a new house was $14,200. The average annual income was $6,900. There was also sadness in my life in that year. I was slowly coming to grips with the loss of my darling father the year before from a massive heart attack no doubt brought on by years of battling lung diseases --- tuberculosis and then emphysema.


Remembering Daddy . . . Charles “Charlie” A. Lawley was an exceptional father and an extraordinary man, one who very early on taught me to appreciate the joy of learning. He was a very bright man who made a career working for the United States Army Corps of Engineers. He enjoyed that work immensely and, when I was small, would often take me with him when he took measurements at various waterways. Even though I was still in the early grades, his work fascinated me --- probably because he took the time to “translate” what he was doing and why in a way that a child could comprehend. My father also set a solid example before me for the importance of doing one’s best at whatever task was at hand. When his career with the Corps was foreshortened by tuberculosis (so serious that he had to be institutionalized for nearly a year to recover from it), he found another job that also brought him pleasure. He became the bookkeeper for Delta Oil Company owned by Dale LaPlue, a family cousin on my mother’s side. He could hardly breathe even when he was seated, but he went to work every day and did his job right up until the day of his heart attack. One of my father’s greatest gifts to me was when he taught me to read long before I started first grade by putting me on his lap every evening so that we could “read the newspaper” together. In retrospect, that might also be the genesis of my keen interest in current events. I must admit that I have been a news junkie for as long as I can remember!

Discontent and Unrest . . . Because I was probably more interested in current events than many my age, I sensed nuances that many missed. There was a growing sense of unease that year as national and international events became more intense. Even though I no longer had my father around to discuss these with me, I still paid took note. The “space race” between America and the Soviet Union was capturing everyone’s attention. The late president, John F. Kennedy, had challenged our best scientists and engineers to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade. Since my father was an engineer, he was especially interested in the quest to conquer outer space. I remember his chagrin when the Soviets launched Sputnik, a tiny satellite --- inconsequential by today’s standards, but incredibly important in 1957 when it was successfully placed in orbit around the earth. I was only 8-years-old when that happened, but I remember his deep concern over what all of this might mean for our future, and the world’s.

Fallout Shelters . . . This was a time when people in some parts of America had their own fallout shel-

What The World Needs Now What the world needs now is love, sweet love It's the only thing that there's just too little of What the world needs now is love, sweet love No not just for some but for everyone Lord we don't need another mountain There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb There are oceans and rivers enough to cross Enough to last until the end of time What the world needs now is love, sweet love It's the only thing that there's just too little of What the world needs now is love, sweet love No not just for some but for everyone Lord, we don't need another meadow There are corn fields and wheat fields enough to grow

ters. The Cold War was more of a reality to some than to others --- usually dependent on their proximity to likely nuclear “targets.” People were becoming increasingly nervous about what might happen if a nuclear bomb were to be exploded. This was not some distant threat that we feared might

There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine Oh listen Lord, if You want to know What the world needs now is love, sweet love It's the only thing that there's just too little of What the world needs now is love, sweet love No not just for some, oh, but just for every, every everyone What the world needs now is love sweet love (Whoa, whoa, is love) What the world needs now is love sweet love (Oh, oh, is love) What the world needs now is love sweet love (Whoa, whoa, is love) Songwriters: BURT BACHARACH, HAL DAVID Released April 15, 1965 Dionne Warwick

take place on a foreign shore; most people seriously feared that it might happen right here within the borders of the United States. With missiles being developed that were capable of delivering their deadly payloads over greater distances, the danger became real.

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I remember going to visit family in Sheffield, AL, one summer during this time and being absolutely fascinated by their fallout shelter. I had read about such things, but had never actually seen one. Their proximity to Huntsville, AL, and the Redstone Arsenal military base most certainly increased the likelihood that should a nuclear attack come, their region was a probable target. The shelves inside of their fallout shelter were filled with non-perishable goods, and they had water stored in bulk there, too. As I was taking this all in and thinking about what it would be like to be inside there for an extended period of time without the ability to go outside, I remember my cousin saying that it might not matter anyway, as the earth would not be fit to live in no matter how long people stayed in their shelters. That is the kind of statement that one does not easily forget, especially when young. As for those American scientists and engineers, they were taking the former president’s challenge quite seriously. The Gemini missions were underway and each taught lessons necessary to launch a successful manned mission to the moon. In 1965, putting a man on the moon seemed as though it were a real possibility. The only question was whether it would be the Soviet Union or the United States of America who would get there first. Not all of the discontent and unease was focused on space during 1965, however. There was evidence of both right in the Delta. There was angst over the increasing presence and cost of life in a faraway land about which most Americans knew very little. The wounds from the Korean conflict were still very much in place, and many did not understand why our military should be placed in harm’s way again. As I began my junior year in high school that year, for the first time I became aware of the level of anxiety many of my schoolmates were experiencing at the thought of having to go and fight in a war. Make no mistake, there was no lack of patriotism among the Delta boys. They understood that if they were needed, they would go. The problem was that there was no clear explanation as to why they would be fighting. Even our country’s leaders seemed to be confused. Even though the numbers of those going to Vietnam was increasing, why they were having to go was becoming less clear. That uncertainty of purpose created the anxiety. A second issue that had been a point of national concern for many years was race relations and the voting rights for all citizens. Dr. Martin Luther King was actively leading marches and giving speeches to raise awareness of the need for change. On August 6, the Voting Rights Act was signed into law, and with that action many hoped that peace would return. At the same time, desegregation of public schools was under-

way. Ours was among the last classes to graduate from Newellton High School as a segregated group. My first personal experience with integration in my classroom came during my first semester as a college freshman at Northeast Louisiana State College. Enrolled in my bowling class was football superstar, Joe Profit. He was as good at bowling as he was everything else, by the way. I, on the other hand, was so bad at it that our teacher, the late Coach Bob Groseclose, actually asked me if I were trying to be that bad.

Hemlines and Hope . . . There was another kind of anxiety bubbling up in the Delta during my junior year. The question of skirt length became a major topic of discussion. Hemlines had been inching upwards over several years, but by the time 1965 was almost over, the miniskirt had become a matter of some concern, particularly among our mothers. I still blush when I remember being asked by my Sunday School teacher if I did not think that my skirt was too short. In many ways, the shorter skirts for young women mirrored the so-called “rebellious spirit” that was thought to be seen as young men grew their hair longer. The Beetles were given credit for influencing the fellows, while another Brit, fashion designer Mary Quant, was credited with the mini-skirt. About the only thing that I can remember that the mini-skirt accomplished was that it taught us how to stand and sit with correct posture --- and to do anything possible at all times to avoid bending over! Even with the various anxieties that we were dealing with during 1965 --- not the least of which was just coping with being teenagers, we Delta young people were still filled with hope. Many of us were focusing on getting the very best grades that we could in the hope that scholarships would make the dream of attending a university possible. Others were looking forward to taking jobs after high school graduation that would give the longed-for independence a reality. Still others of us did not know exactly what our future might hold, but we did not worry all that much about it.

What the World Needs Now . . . As I was thinking back over my life as it was in my sixteenth year, I could not help but think about how so much that was in play back then is in play in today’s world. There are still Americans fighting in foreign lands, but recently the reason for their being there has become clearer. We still question how long this must go on, and how many lives must be lost, but once again there is no absence of patriotism here in the Delta. When I Googled “fallout shelter” recently, there were 474,000 results. Apparently, the fear from a nuclear strike from a foreign land is still in place and the market-

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place has responded. There are many fallout shelters available for sale. We have put men --- several, in fact --- on the moon and brought them back home safely. Our scientists and engineers have designed and successfully flown a space airplane that shuttled men and cargo into space for long periods of time. There is now an international space station where our astronauts and those from other countries spend months living and learning together. Plans for a mission to Mars are no longer something to be found only in super hero comic books and movies. We are still watching hemlines rise and fall. The current trend is “back to the future” with maxi-skirts and maxi-dresses showing up everywhere. I do not think that this heralds a return to a particularly conservative era, however. As with Louisiana weather, the hemlines will change yet again overnight. There are many things present today that would not have been thought possible when I was 16-years-old. The technological advances alone are mind-boggling. Our ability to communicate almost without restriction (except when the signal is not strong enough) to people all over the world in real time using a small device held in our hand is something that we take for granted, and that four decades ago we would not have believed. Not all of the things present today that we did not have back then are positive, however. Back then, we certainly did root enthusiastically for our home sports teams, but we did not boo their opponents. Our players practiced good sportsmanship, did not make obscene gestures toward the fans during the games, and absolutely did not kneel while the national anthem was being played before the game started. We took joy from competitions of all kinds, but we did not resort to saying that we “hated” those we were competing against --nor those we disagreed with, for that matter. “Hate” was reserved for sin, serial killers, and the like. I have finally decided that the reason that I cannot get “What the World Needs Now” out of my head is because there really is not enough love in our collective lives anymore. As a people and as a culture we have allowed “hate” to become a commonplace term that many toss about without thinking. We “hate” the coach who keeps winning national championships, and we “hate” his team for good measure, as well. We “hate” the president or governor or congressman who does not happen to do things the way we are used to having them done and refuses to accept “but that is the way we’ve always done it” as a valid reason for not changing. Perhaps the pendulum will swing back and ours will become a more loving, understanding culture. In the meantime, I will just keep humming and hoping.


OIB emplOyees and CustOmers, W e H av e t W O W O r d s F O r y O u :

THANK OIB IS MOVING into the future with a new name, but our people, customer service and culture will remain the same. FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS, our community and customers have been the focus of our business. We’ve shared your joys and sorrows, helped when you needed a financial hand, been a part of your growing family with new homes, new babies, new starts.

WE’LL CONTINUE TO BE COMMITTED to our communities. And we won’t forget the customers who made us successful. To our community and our home, we say thank you.


!

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PRESENTED BY:

So if your pet barks, meows, or chirps be sure to submit the cutest photo of him or her for some fun and friendly competition!

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MODEL: NATALIE GARNETT . HAIR: KATIE ANZALONE . MAKEUP: BRITTANY DYE . PHOTOGRAPHER: ANNIE BARNETT


All of these items would make great Valentine’s Day presents for the special woman in your life! From flirty-date night dresses to a more casual day look, J & H boots and jeans has you covered!

1. Who said Valentine's Day had to be fancy? Be comfy and cute in this pink and white striped shirt 2. Skinny pants compliment the flowy pink top perfectly for a fun day-time look! 3. A little leopard never hurt anyone! Pairing fun leopard print boots with the light outfit gives it a cool, funky feel.


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1. 14k Gold necklace with 14k Gold & Diamond pendant, available at Trinity Diamonds Direct 2.14k Gold Diamond earrings, available at Flair Fine Jeweler’s 3. 14k Gold oblong fashion ring with Diamond design, available at Trinity Diamonds Direct 4. Beaded, hammered gold necklace will add a flare to your wardrobe this February! Available at J & H boots and Jeans. 5. Stay boho chic with this long gold beaded necklace, with fabric tassel! Available at Dusty & Co. 6. Bling Bling! Sparkle and shine with bracelets from Erimish at Dusty & Co. 7. 14k Gold square fashion ring with Diamond design, available at Flair Fine Jeweler’s 8. 14k Gold Dome ring with Diamond design, available at Flair Fine Jeweler’s 9. 14k Gold Diamond earrings, available at Trinity Diamonds Direct

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BLONDE, BLONDE AND MORE BLONDE Blondes will be leading the charge this year! Buttery, platinum, ashy, and honey tones can complement skin tones and flatter facial features. Take a risk and find out why they say blondes have more fun!

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What is on the horizon for Spring 2018? We checked in with our glam patrol at The Parlor House in Monroe to see what looks are red-hot this season.

DYNAMIC DIMENSION Tired of drab hair? Want a change from your all-over color? Adding subtle pops of color brightens the look and creates depth.

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METALLIC MAKEUP Metallic makeup in all shades will be a trend in 2018. It can be worn subtly with a holographic shimmer over your favorite lipstick or be daring by using a bold, shimmery shadow.


LESS IS MORE For some women, one thing we will see more in 2018 is “beautiful, natural skin.” Various oils and tinted moisturizers will replace heavy foundations. Freckles will shine through and nude color palettes will be used. The face can be softly highlighted to achieve a fresh glow.

Hair by Katie Anzalone

LOOSE CURLS Soft and effortless curls are classic, charming and graceful. You can incorporate layers throughout the hair to balance out the weight of the curls for extra lift. The soft waves are ideal for formal events or everyday life. They can be created easily with a straightening iron or curling iron.

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Winged eyeliner, also known as a “cat eye,” could be one of the most classic and bold trends in history. It’s perfect for any eye shape, and it always makes eyes bigger, bolder, and more noticeable. Adding long lashes and nude lips perfectly balance this timeless look. Makeup by Brittany Dye

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Kostelka’s dedication inspires many

GARY GUINIGUNDO

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GEORGIANN POTTS

obert “Bob” Kostelka has never been R ne to be idle for long. Throughout his one ife, this man has filled every moment of life,

very day with a zest for living that is every he envy of many. To be fair, he has the lowed down some in the last severslowed all years as the weight of time’s passing has begun to press. Even so, one would be hard-pressed to find a more engaged fellow whose nimble mind misses nothing. It is not surprising that now, at age 85, Kostelka is still very much “tuned in” to his community, his state, his nation, and the world. After all, one does not spend a lifetime defending the rule of law on which our country was founded and then just ignore increasingly serious attacks against it. Throughout his distinguished career, Kostelka has filled many roles — attorney, disrict attorney, district judge, Court trict off Appeal judge, Louisiana State enator — bringing to each his comSenator itment to the law, his compassion for mitment is fellow man, and his steadfast integrihis ty. ut there is another side to Kostelka, one But hat may surprise people who do not know him that eyond his work in the courtroom and the Louisibeyond na Legislature. While he is completely “at home” adana udicating a case or urging passage of a law, a part of his judicating eart has always been far away. It lies somewhere out heart West, his favorite place on earth. GP

Kostelka's Louisiana Senate Plate GARY GUINIGUNDO

n many ways, Robert “Bob” Kostelka’s In enealogy represents the “melting pot” that genealogy iss the United States of America. Family history says that family name “Kostelka” is Czechoslovakian. Census records reveal that there were a number of Czech families who came to America and settled in Texas, many near Austin. The population of Czechs in Texas is large enough that there is an official Czech festival in that state every year. About all that Kostelka knows about his maternal grandmother, Annie Corbitt, is that she was Irish, born in County Clare. She and Kostelka’s maternal grandfather were living in New Orleans, LA when he was a young boy so there were not many opportunities for him to be around them. He has only a vague memory of his Irish grandmother, but none at all of his grandfather. They remain mysteries to him for the most part.

Kostelka never really knew his grandparents nts on his father’s side, either. His paternal grandfather, Robert Kostelka, was a captain on the police force in Shreveport, LA. Kostelka’s father’s name was William “Bill” Kostelka. From these two men came Kostelka’s name, Robert William. Kostelka’s mother, Lillian Luzenberg, and father met in Shreveport where both were employed at the Arkansas/Louisiana Oil Company. They married in 1923 and that union produced a daughter, Billie Louise, and a son, Bob. Today, Kostelka’s sister is 93years-old and lives in Natchez, MS.

WWII Changes Life . . .

“I remember saying to my dad that there was no way that little island bombed the ‘big USA’ and that we would beat them out of the

World War II exacted a singular influence water in no time,” on the eight-year-old Kostelka. His father had gotten a job in the oil industry in Houston, KOSTELKA AS A CHILD TX. His family followed the news of the war ON PEARL HARBOR ATTACK

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by listening to radio broadcasts and going to the movies. He remembers the unease that surrounded the day that Pearl Harbor was bombed. He asked his father where Japan and Pearl Harbor were. His father took down a world atlas and carefully pointed out the two geographic points. Kostelka’s reaction was immediate. “I remember saying to my dad that there was no way that little island bombed the ‘big USA’ and that we would beat them out of the water in no time,” Kostelka said. Direct involvement in WWII did not really figure in for the Kostelkas. His dad was too old and had a family so he was unlikely to be drafted. A hard worker, he worked at various jobs in the oil industry both in Louisiana and Texas. Even though his father was not going to see battle, young eight-year-old Bob was eager to take an active part in protecting his country. “I wanted to start a ‘little boy’ army so that I could fight,” Kostelka remembered. “I dreamed of being a fighter pilot or a B-17 bomber pilot.” A particular thrill for Kostelka, who was now living in Overton, TX, was when the B-17 “Memphis Belle” flew over his hometown. The plane and crew were just back from combat and were on a war bond sales tour. Kostelka remembered that his school was let out so that the youngsters could see this important part of history. When the family moved back to the Shreveport area where Barksdale Air Force Base is, he learned to recognize the unique sound of the engines on the different types of planes.

First Job . . . When Kostelka graduated from Byrd High School in Shreveport in 1951, he enrolled in Centenary College. Financial realities meant that he couldn’t attend college away from Shreveport where he had a job at the Texas Eastern Gas Transmission Company. He worked as a mailroom clerk and delivery truck driver. The delivery truck job required some innovative thinking on Kostelka’s part. When he was applying for the job, he was asked if he could drive a pick-up truck – an obvious question for a driving position. He told them that, of course, he could, even though neither he nor his family owned a car. “In those days you could obtain a commercial driver’s license by passing a written test,” Kostelka explained. “The test was really a joke

Bob and Felicia Kostelka

GARY GUINIGUNDO

because the correct answers were obvious.” With license in hand, Kostelka taught himself to drive by driving the truck around the company parking lot until he, as he said, “ . . . got the hang of it.” He was responsible for making deliveries to several locations around town. “I got so good (and fast) at it that I

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could drive to the various locations on time and still have enough time left to pick the guys up and go have coffee,” Kostelka said with a chuckle.

Pursuing an Education . . . Kostelka was the first person in his family to go to college. At Centenary, he especially enjoyed courses in history, speech, government, and Ger-


man. He also realized that a college education was the key to accomplishing important things. While studying at Centenary, Kostelka encountered some excellent professors who helped him to realize that good grades on his transcript would be very important. During this time, with WWII still on his mind and the Korean conflict still raging, Kostelka volunteered for the Army Reserve. He completed his basic training at Fort Hood, TX. Part of his reasoning for volunteering was based on his hope that if he should be drafted, he wanted his training already to be completed so he could have the chance to go with his own local outfit. After setting graduating from Louisiana State University (LSU) as his goal, Kostelka began figuring out how to make money to live on during his time in Baton Rouge, LA. An attorney friend gave him the help he needed. “With his help and a lot of luck, I got a ride down to Baton Rouge and a job with the insurance rating commission,” Kostelka explained. “I checked insurance policies for the commission and also had a small income from the Army Reserve.” At LSU, while studying as an undergraduate and then while in LSU law school, Kostelka again encountered some excellent professors who helped guide his work. There was a young economics professor who urged Kostelka to learn what he was being taught, but also to feel free to differ with what his textbook or his professor said. Together with economics, classes in logic and German were his favorites as an undergraduate. In law school, Dr. J. Denson Smith, Dr. Mel Daken, Dr. Dale Bennett, and Dr. Wex Malone taught Kostelka both how to think clearly and how to express his thoughts efficiently and effectively --all keys to the successful practice of law. Kostelka graduated with his law degree in 1957. “In those days you could combine your first year of law school with three years of undergraduate study and then obtain the law degree in six years rather than the usual seven,” Kostelka said.

Law Career Begins . . . Timing is everything, or so it seems. Just as Kostelka was preparing to begin his law career, former Louisiana Governor John McKeithen’s firm --- McKeithen, Mouser, and McKinley --- had an opening for a young lawyer to handle the firm’s Monroe office. With a strong recommendation from LSU criminal law professor Dr. Bennett, Kostelka got the job. He had no Monroe connections, but immediately set about making the com-

GARY GUINIGUNDO

munity his home. During these early years, Kostelka’s law practice focused on Tort Law, worker compensation, and criminal defense work with cases from all across northeast Louisiana. As with most young lawyers, he was often appointed by the Court to represent indigent defendants free of charge. At that time, there was not yet an indigent defender board supported by the State. Over time, Kostelka’s work caught the attention of the District Attorney (DA) Albin Lassiter, particularly when he was successful in getting innocent verdicts in cases the DA was confident of convictions. In 1964, he accepted a position as assistant DA, a job he held for eight years --- seven as assistant and the final one as DA. It was while he was working with Governor McKeithen and then while serving as assistant DA that Kostelka first began considering a career in public service. He believed that he could make a difference, and felt strongly that the key to success in that arena would be to do the right thing even when it might not be appreciated or understood at the time. The correctness of those controversial decisions would become evident over time. A bid to be elected DA was unsuccessful, and Kostelka began setting up a law practice. He took in former State Senator Lawson Swearingen as a law partner, a position Swearingen held until his appointment as president of the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) in 1991. Other attorneys who worked in Kostelka’s firm were Jerry Jones, recently retired District Attor-

ney; Elmer Noah, Ouachita Parish School System attorney; and Robert Wooley, former State Insurance Commissioner.

Transitions . . . In 1983, two events happened that were to change the course of Kostelka’s life. He ran for district judge, winning the election and serving until 1998. This position was to offer Kostelka the best experience to date for his future undertakings. There was also tragedy in 1983, however, when his wife of 26 years, Bobbie Morales, succumbed to cancer after a long illness. Kostelka credits her as being a “silent partner” with him by helping to establish his private law practice and build his law office while serving as his bookkeeper. Together they had four children. Son Bill, a CPA, is married to Donna, a retired teacher, and they have Kostelka’s two grandchildren, Evan and Katie. Evan and his wife, Caroline, are the proud parents of Kostelka’s first great grandson, Cooper. Daughter Kathryn is married to Larry Lemoine and living in West Monroe. Kostelka’s second daughter Carol lived for some time in Texas before retiring. She is now married to Terry Gros and they live in Port Allen, LA. The Kostelka’s fourth child, son Cliff, passed away. In June of the following year, Kostelka married Felicia Danna. He had first met her in 1980 when she worked at his law office as an intern while pursing a pre-law degree in history and government with an English minor from ULM. After that internship and graduation,

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she took a position as a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company and was based in Shreveport, a position that she held for five years. When she was transferred back to Monroe, they met once again, began dating, and subsequently married. In 1991, their only child, a daughter, was born. They named her Claire Louise in honor of Kostelka’s maternal grandmother’s home county in Ireland, his sister, and Felicia’s mother. Claire, now 26, lives in Youngsville, LA, and is co-owner/manager of Heirlooms by Herringstone Boutique.

Political Realities . . . In 1992, President George Hebert Walker Bush nominated Kostelka to be appointed to the Federal District Court bench. His nomination was never heard in the United States Senate, because then Senator Joe Biden, serving as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, blocked all of President Bush’s appointments to be considered until after the upcoming presidential election. In that election, President Bush lost and consideration of any Bush judicial appointments was dropped. In 1998, Kostelka ran for judge on the Court of Appeal, Second Circuit. He won the election, but had his term foreshortened, because of existing law at the time. The term would have run for ten years, but, in 2003, Kostelka had to retire, because he reached 70-years-old even though he still had five more years left on his term. (The law was later changed to allow a judge to serve his elected term regardless of age). With a forced retirement based on age to contend with, Kostelka was at a crossroads. While he was contemplating the next chapter in his career, friends and members of the Republican Party approached him about running for a seat in the Louisiana State Senate. He won the race, and went on to serve three terms as Senator from District 35 until he was termed out in 2016 by State law. During that time, he served as chairman of both the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Judiciary C-Criminal Law Committee. Since then, Kostelka has taken appointments by the Louisiana Supreme Court to serve as judge whenever and wherever a local judge is recused, ill, or has a conflict in the case. He continues to serve as a member of the Louisiana Law Institute. Kostelka was the first member in his family to pursue law as a career, and he was also the first one to become a politician. During his time in public office, he was successful in completing a number of major initiatives whose impact will be felt for decades. Among these were two that concerned the vital Spar-

ta Aquifer. He helped to save the aquifer and the jobs associated with it, and later secured funding for Sparta Protection. Kostelka also secured funding for expanding the Ouachita River Port and the Lincoln Parish communication center. With workforce development such a critical issue for both Louisiana and nationwide, Kostelka’s work with Jim Fannin to authorize the career diploma law in high school has to be considered one of his major accomplishments. Former Governor Bobby Jindal signed the law that allows students to graduate with the skills and professional credentials even though they might not be able to pass the regular requirements for a high school diploma. The signing was at West Ouachita High School.

Don’t Fence Me In . . . Pursuing justice, defending those wrongly accused, working tirelessly to enact law to protect the environment and workforce --- all of these have been hallmarks of Kostelka’s life. However, as he would be the first to tell you --there is more to life than work. Cole Porter’s iconic song praising the west, “Don’t Fence Me In,” might very well be Kostelka’s personal theme song. He loves the land, starry skies, and wide open country that this song immortalizes. When he married Felicia, he took her to what he calls “ . . . my favorite part of the world” for their honeymoon. They began their life together at Glacier National Park and Yellowstone. Nearly every year since, they have vacationed out west, enjoying the freedom and breathtaking vistas that such geography provides. An excellent outdoors woman herself, Felicia has been the perfect match to Kostelka’s adventurous spirit. Together, these two have enjoyed many outdoor adventures, but perhaps the most memorable to Bob is a particular canoe trip on the Flathead River that runs from Canada to Kalispell, MT. They were miles from nowhere when danger appeared. “Felicia was pregnant with Claire, and we almost hit a floating log jam,” he remembered. “We did not tip because Felicia did exactly what I told her to do and the canoe came around the log jam.” Kostelka is proud that he has never tipped a canoe even though he has tackled white water runs in Arkansas, Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado. Snowmobiling and hiking are also favorite pastimes, with the big sky country of Montana and Wyoming being favorite spots to enjoy. Sometimes, dreams take decades to be realized. Kostelka had a close friend in high school, Louie Levy, and the two of them had agreed that if they were drafted, they would volunteer for the

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paratroopers. As it turned out, Kostelka was deferred because he went to college. Levy was drafted and became a paratrooper. Levy enjoyed teasing Kostelka through the years by reminding him that joining the paratroopers had been Kostelka’s idea, but that he --- Levy --- had made all the jumps. Kostelka had the last laugh, however. Never one to back away from an adventure, he went skydiving in Montana with some former paratroopers and sport jumpers. They jumped at 13,500 feet and deployed their chutes at 5,000 feet. Afterward, he sent Levy a picture of his jump. Levy’s reply was a confession --his first jump had been a “night jump,” because Levy’s eyes were shut when he jumped. Whether canoeing alone the length of Yellowstone Lake to the headwaters of the Yellowstone River, or hiking in Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, Kostelka has always found a way to coexist with nature --- even some of the fiercest parts of it. “I have walked up several times on grizzly bear while hiking,” Kostelka said. “The bears and I have a mutual agreement to leave one another alone.”

A Life Well-Lived . . . Kostelka, in the midst of a packed work schedule, has always found time to volunteer for his community. He has served as a Boy Scout Master and Boy Scout District Chairman; is a former Director of the YMCA and a Gra-Y football coach; served three terms as chairman of the Salvation Army board and was named Citizen of the Year in 1971; and served as chairman of both the Arthritis Foundation and Multiple Dystrophy Foundation’s fundraising campaigns. When asked how he would sum up his life, Kostelka’s answer was exactly what would be expected. He said that he has done a lot and been reasonably successful, though he admits that some who knew him long ago might be surprised by what he has been able to accomplish and “. . . that I did not wind up in jail or even unemployed.” On further reflection, Kostelka credits Felicia with “salvaging” him at one of the darkest times in his life. “She brought to life a man who was discouraged with little hope and desire to continue,” he said. “A man who once believed he could accomplish much for his country and be remembered for so doing, may now at least be remembered by his loved ones.” Robert “Bob” Kostelka has lived -and is continuing to live -- his life well. Those of us who have also lived and worked in Louisiana have all benefited from his dedication to justice and fairness for all. His legacy will endure.


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TO SWIPE, OR NOT TO SWIPE‌ A look at modern-day digital dating basics BRITTANY RAMSEY

Long gone are the days of traditional courtship, and today, we find ourselves right in the middle of the digital dating movement. With the progression from online websites to mobile apps, meeting someone new is right at the tip of our fingertips. We are no longer waiting for our crush to call, but for our phone to tell us we have a match. Yes, there are many fish in the sea, but is there a catch in the process?!

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In the beginning: Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, Match, eHarmony and Zoosk These dating apps are relative to a pair of jeans from Old Navy; there is absolutely nothing wrong with them, they have just been around a while and are bland compared to what else is out there. These all use a traditional structure for dating websites. You can write lengthy paragraphs about your interests, hopes, dreams, fantasy football team or whatever and upload multiple photos. Each site states they will find your perfect match based on personality factors! Messaging is a two-way street and some do not even require there be a match made between users for contact to be made. Sites like this make me think of when Forrest Gump’s mama said, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

What’s hot: Tinder Tinder's the hottest thing to shake up online dating. It pretty much created the idea of right-swiping for "yes" and has evolved from its original "hookups-only" reputation to a more standard dating app. Tinder puts your pics front and center, and it gives you a small space for writing an elevator pitch about yourself. If you are uncomfortable being primarily judged by your photos, you are better off with a more traditional site like the ones listed above, where you can impress your future suitor with more details in a more eloquently written profile. Tinder does allow you to “unmatch” with someone, if so desired. I know we are all thankful for this option, for one reason or another.

For women who keep the ball in their court: Bumble Being a woman on the internet almost guarantees that you will be harassed. That is not exactly the most optimal dating environment. Bumble seeks to decrease the number of unwanted messages women receive on dating apps by giving them the decision to message a match first. Bumble, like Tinder, uses a simple right-swipe-based design. Bumble has no qualms in calling out unruly behavior on their app, and it also offers photo verification to quell any fears of being "catfished." If you are a woman who is uncomfortable with online dating, Bumble is the closest thing to an online safe space for single women.

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And many, many more. Dating apps get very specific to the user as they are broken down into even further themed sites, if you want to narrow the results of your matches even more. I know we have all seen the commercials for FarmersOnly.com and can sing the jingle! There are groups for ethnicity, religion, even specific interests and hobbies. All dating apps have pros and cons---just ask anyone between the ages of 21 and 45. Despite this, they have become the “normal” way to meet people and ask them out. Some users find a successful love story and the partner of their dreams; some end up with some great stories to tell their friends. See below for reviews from some members of our community that have used dating apps: » My experience has been positive. Easy way to meet new people, go for a drink, and who knows from there. I would say Plenty of Fish and OkCupid are not my cup of tea, but I am sure there are nice girls on there. Match has been a good experience, and Tinder is not just for hookups. I have met many girls on there looking for a date or relationship, and that just happened to be their avenue. -David P. » My current husband and I started talking on Plenty of Fish in August 2013. We messaged for a few weeks, and then we met in person in September. We lived about 90 miles apart. After a couple of dates, I decided to let him meet my son. After dinner and a trip to the zoo, I knew he was the one. He treated my son like his own, and he never excluded him in anything. We got engaged in June of 2014, married in April 2015, and had a baby together in May of 2016. We now live happily ever after with our two sons, a dog and two cats! -Kelbie G. » Times are just so different. My experience was never good with sites. I have made a few friends from it, but

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nothing serious. -Anonymous » I tried Plenty of Fish, and it was terrible. False profiles, people just looking to hook up, and not quality matches. Match was not much better. I met my fiancé on Tinder, despite the reputation it has for being a hookup site. My uncle met his wife on eHarmony, and they have been married for several years. -Stephanie S. » There are too many fake profiles. It’s too hard to keep up with who is a real person and who is not. Sometimes, you are not sure if you are talking to a real person or an auto bot system. -Bryan A. » Deleted my dating profile on Match, because my estranged dad was totes creeping! -Anonymous My personal experience with digital dating has led me to this synopsis: BE SMART. Whether you are looking to make new friends, engage in fun “flirtationships,” or keeping your eye on finding “the one,” know what it is you really want, stay true to it, and just be smart. Not every match is a match for you; remember all they know about you is the five pictures you have uploaded (filtered, probably. We all do it!) and a limited character amount description of yourself. That barely even scratches the surface for the wondrous you that you are! So, keep that in mind the next time you get “ghosted” or that SnapChat streak does not stay as LIT as you hoped. You are still you! Another thing I have learned is not to give up on organic connections. Dating apps get old and monotonous, so you can take a break. Most apps let you deactivate or delete, or maybe it is just not for you. Meeting people is still possible. Check out a singles group at church, give speed dating a try, or just walk up to someone that catches your eye and say hello! No matter what you do, keep an open mind, an open heart, and step out of your comfort zone. They say that is where the magic happens!


2

Chamber Diplomat Spotlight Profile Tiffany Olmstead

MEMBER MEMBER

Tiffany is the owner of Macaroni Kid West Monroe, a free weekly, hyper-local e-newsletter and website featuring events, activities, products and places for parents, kinds, teens, and familiar in Monroe, LA, West Monroe, LA, and surrounding areas. She is also employed by Glenwood Regional Medical Center as an RN and BSN.

Spotlight

She and her husband Keith have two children, thirteen and nine. Tiffany volunteers in may capacities including as a Diplomat with the West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce, Louisiana Purchase Zoological Society board member, formerly as Secretary in 2017 and newly elected as Vice President for 2018. She also is an official adopter of Lenwil and Drew Elementary Schools through the OPSB’s Adopt A School program. When asked about her involvement with the Chamber she says, “It is a great source to connect as a new small, locally owned business with many established businesses in the area. You also get advice from established businesses along with gaining increased visibility with both the business and private community. The West Monroe chamber provides a support system which is invaluable to the small business owner”

At Elahi Eye Care, each member of the vision care team is selected by Dr. Mercy Elahi-Neal based upon his or her experience, professional demeanor, and dedication to providing personalized care to their optometry patients. The entire West Monroe optometry staff is committed to ensuring the comfort and satisfaction of each and every patient. They will do their best to accommodate your busy schedule by finding appointment times that meet your needs. The knowledgeable staff at Elahi Eye Care will work with you to help you understand your vision insurance coverage and provide financial alternatives to ensure you get the best vision care possible. You have a choice when it comes to West Monroe optometry, so they strive to provide comprehensive eye exams, a great selection of glasses, and personalized care.

Elahi Eye Care 303 McMillan Rd. | West Monroe, LA | (318) 387-7257

RIBBON CUTTING:

SOUTHERN ESCAPE WEST 112 Blanchard Street, Suite 1 in West Monroe

MN-1000679369

SPECIAL EVENT:

Focus on Education Luncheon Featuring Ouachita Parish School Superintendent Dr. Don Coker Tuesday, February 6 at Noon West Monroe Convention Center Tickets are $20 each - call the Chamber at 325-1961 for more information.

Sponsored by Ouachita Valley Federal Credit Union

INDIVIDUAL AND BUSINESS INCOME TAX PREPARATION SERVICES

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“We’re More Than Just A Lumberyard” Tom Sanders Building Mart is your local Monessen Fireplace dealer featuring Gas and Woodburning units. We offer a large selection of realistic Gas Logs Sets to suit any décor. From Traditional To The Latest In Contemporary Designs.

431 Downing Pines Road West Monroe, LA 318-325-9677 1-800-256-7263 www.tomsandersbuildingmart.com


Romancing the Stone Getting to know the team behind diamond dealers in the area that make every girl’s dreams comes true.

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The staff at Trinity Diamonds Direct

EMMA SAGER - PHOTOS BY GARY GUINIGUNDO

“A kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” From a young age, every little girl dreams of their wedding day. What the dress would be like, the venue and food, but, most importantly THE RING. Some dream of pear-shaped, emerald-cut, or cushion-cut diamonds, others may want a multi-stone ring or a colored diamond. The possibilities are endless and one often needs help with the decision. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with the people behind the scenes of creating those dreams. Trinity Diamonds Direct was established 10 years ago with owners Shane Ware and Newt Goings. The idea started when Ware and Goings recognized that people across the Delta were searching for a trustworthy place to purchase their jewelry without being overpriced. They spent much of their time traveling all over the country to recover the best jewelry they could frim to bring home for northeast Louisiana customers. Ware and Goings decided to open a retail facility in 2015 to be of better service to their

current customers and grow to an even larger customer base. In October 2016, Trinity Diamonds Direct opened its doors and was ready to get to business. Ware was born and raised in West Monroe, LA. He has three children and is married to April Ware. Their children attend Claiborne Christian School where Kaylee is a junior in high school, Maddie is a freshman in high school, and they also have a son named Cooper. Ware found that his personal mission with his diamond business was to create a low-pressure environment that is faith based. “Faith is what drives us in everything we do here,” Ware said. “That is the core; to be ethical and Godly.”

Goings was also born and raised here in the Delta in West Monroe. His wife of 22 years is from Bastrop, LA and, together, they have three children. Their first born is Chandler who attends Louisiana Tech University. Their other to children are Lauren, a junior at Ouachita Christian High School, and Peyton, a 6th grader at Ouachita Christian School. Goings primary hobby is stand-

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ing as the boys’ soccer team coach at Ouachita Christian School. These two men pride themselves on being a local organization and bringing the best products to their customers. As partners, they ensure that they provide a highclass service in the jewelry industry to all of their customer base. To better provide these products and services to the people of the Delta community, they also work with the Sills family at Trinity Diamonds Direct. Scott Sills got involved in the diamond business through his father. In 1965, Scott’s father opened Flair Jewelers in West Monroe. For 20 years, Scott worked at Flair Jewelers learning everything that it takes to successfully manage and run a diamond store. In 1986, Scott married now Kathy Sills, and they have been together for 23 years. Together the Sills have four children. Their oldest, Kristin Anderson, is a labor and delivery nurse at St. Francis Medical Hospital. Lauren Tomi is an Occupational Therapist in West Monroe, and Ryan May is a driller on a pipeline. Their youngest, Scotty, works with his parents at Trinity Diamonds Direct. Scotty attended Cedar Creek High School in Ruston, LA and graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in December 2016. The Sills are a very large family, to say the least. Scott and Kathy’s four children have had seven grandchildren; six girls and one boy. Maddy is 17-years-old and lives with her mom in Florida and is a sophomore in high school. Scotty’s son, Dawson is 7-years-old. Then there is Aubrey who is soon to be 5-years-old and is in Pre-K. Aubrey’s sister, Milli, is 2-yearsold. The other three girls are Avery who is 2-years-old, Molly who is 1-years-old and Teller who is only three months old. “We spend all of our free time together as a family,” Scotty said. Ware and Goings approached Scott around the time Flair Jewelers closed and proposed that they all become a team by opening a completely new retail diamond business, Trinity Diamonds Direct. Today, Scott manages the store and welcomes his customers from his time spent at Flair Jewelers. If you are looking for a high-quality, flawless engagement ring, Trinity Diamonds Direct is the perfect place to go. They have a wide variety of diamonds to choose from, as well as, precious gemstone jewelry. They are located at 201 Blanchard Street in West Monroe and can also be contacted by phone at 318-329-3949 or at their website www.trinitydiamondsdirect.com. The store is open from 10:00am to 5:30pm Monday through Friday, and it is open on Saturday from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Visit Shane Ware, Newt Goings and Scott Sills today to find your best friend!

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*Dr. Eric Geist, *Dr. Richard Willis, *Dr. Matthew Fowlkes Dr. Nicholas J. Gregory *Board Certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

The Leaders in Dental Implant Surgery (Over 15,000 placed) Reshaping your quality of life through education, experience and excellence. Dental Implants, Impacted Wisdom Teeth, Extractions, IV Sedation General Anesthesia, TMJ Treatment, Laser Surgery, Reconstructive and Corrective Jaw Surgery 2003 Forsythe Avenue Monroe LA 71201 | 620 S Trenton St, Ruston, LA 71270 318- 388- 2621 w w w. o r a l s u r g e r y a s s o c i a t e s . c o m

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6 Reasons Your Mortgage was Declined

Shopping for a mortgage?

By: Paulen Luttgeharm The path to a mortgage isn’t always a straight line. According to Pew Research Center, 12 percent of homepurchase loan applications were denied in 2015. A piece of your financial history could block your mortgage. Here are six common reasons people aren’t approved for a mortgage. 1.

2.

3.

Your credit score is too low. Pulling your own credit report, also known as a “soft inquiry,” doesn’t affect your credit score. In fact, regularly checking your credit report is a responsible financial practice. You are entitled by law to one free report from each of the three reporting bureaus every 12 months. Keep in mind that if a lender pulls your score to approve a new credit account, it is a “hard inquiry” and can lower your credit score. You typically have to authorize this process. The most effective way to positively influence your credit score is to pay your debts on time. You have too much debt. The sum of your debt payments each month—including your current mortgage—should be less than 35-40 percent of your total monthly income. Your best plan for lowering debt is to make a plan to pay it off. Remember, closing a credit account lowers your available credit—which can raise your debt-tocredit, also known as credit utilization ratio and therefore lower your score, especially if you carry balances on other cards. Your loan amount and home appraisal value don’t match. Options include a second appraisal or a different lender. If you buy a home, it should cost no more than 2 to 2.5 times your household income, and ideally your mortgage should be no more than 80% of the home’s value to avoid paying mortgage insurance. Consider including in your purchase agreement a contingency clause that allows you to back out if your loan falls through, the home doesn’t appraise at its sale price, or you lose your job.

4.

You’ve applied for too many credit cards. Applying for a mortgage within six months of applying for any other type of credit may influence your credit score. Analyze your situation prior to opening several accounts in succession. Opening too many accounts quickly, and multiple credit inquiries can take points off your credit score, more so for someone with few credit accounts or a short credit history.

5.

You have spotty employment history or big income shifts. Consistency is key: Lenders usually request at least two years of tax returns so they can meet regulatory guidelines to verify stable employment and income. Before you start your home search, meet with a lender or mortgage broker to determine how much money you are qualified to borrow. Having a pre-qualification letter in-hand offers peace-of-mind to you, the seller, and your real estate agent.

6.

Paulen Luttgeharm, Agent State Farm Agent 2116 Forsythe Avenue Monroe, LA 71201 Bus: 318-388-2450 Fax: 318-388-2449 NMLS #139716, NMLS MLO #359137 MLO License #359137

You don’t have a down payment. Without 3 to 20 percent of the purchase price saved, expect approval snags. The amount you’ll need for your down payment will vary depending on the size of home, its location, and the type of mortgage you seek. Some lenders may offer loan programs with low down payment options, but may require mortgage insurance which will increase your total monthly obligation. Discuss your options with your lender.

Your best bet? Thoroughly review your finances, save as much as you can and get pre-qualified before you view the “For Sale” listings.

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We have a great selection. As life changes, so do your needs. Let State Farm Bank® help with a mortgage that fits your life and your budget. Let us help you make the right move. Bank with a Good Neighbor®. CALL ME TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Some products and services not available in all areas. 1001306.1

State Farm Bank, F.S.B., Bloomington, IL


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OGLESBY FINANCIAL GROUP Are We Ready for the Baby Boom Retirement?

Darren Oglesby,

policies. In fact, sales of these policies have during the next few decades.5 fallen by 60 percent, according to LIMRA.2 Here’s the good news: The resources Here’s the good news: Sales of combination available through private and public products, such as life insurance policies or organizations “can help solve long-term Registered Financial annuities that also have long-term care care issues and ease the strain on the Consultant provisions, have increased.2 caregiver,” according to AARP. Home Fifteen years ago, a Health Services Health and Wellness and community-based services often Research report described the challenges Here’s the bad news: Older Americans have include companionship, transportation, ahead for the United States as the Baby many more physically unhealthy days than housekeeping, and meal programs.5 Boom generation aged into retirement. younger Americans do, according to the Perceptions of Aging Four issues were paramount: 1) improving Centers for Disease Control.3 Here’s the bad news: Cultural views of payment and insurance systems for aging are slow to change.6 long-term care, 2) ensuring people Here’s the good news: Boomers are more remain healthy and active as they age, 3) focused on health and wellness than Here’s the good news: We continue to organizing community services so care is prior generations. In a Forbes article, evolve as we age, and our lives often become readily available, and 4) changing cultural the authors of Health + Wellness 2017 more fulfilling, according to the longest wrote, “There has been, perhaps, no more longitudinal study of human development perceptions of aging so everyone remains pervasive lifestyle shift in the American in history. “Surrounding oneself with “integrated into the fabric of community contemporary scene than the desire among positive people is boomers’ best strategy to life.”1 Baby Boomers to lead active, healthy lives… be joyful in their third act, with love and Have these challenges been met? Let’s take it is the initiative taken by aging Boomers support from others a far more effective a look at each issue: to create a new way of living based on the anti-aging technique than any pill or pursuit of not just wellbeing but being treatment,” reports Psychology Today.7 Long-term Care Needs Here’s the bad news: Government estimates well that has driven permanent changes in While some issues related to the health and 4 suggest 62 percent of older Americans will America food culture and healthy living.” wellbeing of the Baby Boom generation need long-term care (LTC) during their Caregiving have yet to be resolved, many boomers will lifetimes, yet just 7 percent of Americans Here’s the bad news: The need for probably enjoy rich and satisfying lives for age 50 or older have stand-alone LTC caregiving is expected to increase rapidly years to come. Sources: 1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1464018/ 2 http://www.limra.com/Posts/PR/Industry_Trends_Blog/Combination_Products_Giving_Life_Back_to_Longterm_Care_Market.aspx 3 https://www.cdc.gov/aging/agingdata/data-portal/callstoaction.html 4 https://www.forbes.com/sites/thehartmangroup/2017/10/31/older-consumers-redefining-health-and-wellness-asthey-age/#60d6cd8715fd 5 https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/local/info-2017/community-services.html 6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25326508 7 https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/boomers-30/201711/the-four-common-traits-happy-baby-boomers

8 http://archive.jsonline.com/blogs/lifestyle/93906139.html 9 https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/03/5-women-you%27ve-never-heard-of-who-changed-the-world/ 10 https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/lilian-bland-the-first-woman-to-fly-an-aircraft-inireland-1.2765782 11 http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/11/15-best-sports-quotes-of-all-time 12 https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/244486#11 13 https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/mario_andretti 14 http://www.azquotes.com/author/23246-Babe_Didrikson_Zaharias 15 http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/09/the-50-greatest-yogi-berra-quotes

The above material was prepared by Carson Group Coaching. Carson Group Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer. All securities through Money Concepts Capital Corp • Member FINRA/SIPC Oglesby Financial Group is an independent firm not affiliated with Money Concepts Capital Corp.

Securities offered through Oglesby Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. The above material was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.

W W W. O G L E S B Y F I N A N C I A L G R O U P. C O M

MN-1000679258

866-OGLESBY

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MINUTES WITH M

Jason Barnard NELA Mediation owner gives us tips on how to keep your cool when relationships get heated EMMA SAGER | PHOTOS BY ANNIE BARNETT

To say the least, divorce can be difficult and complicated. It puts a strain on all parties involved; the parents, the children, finances, and so much more. There must be another option to work through the family issues without going through the long and tedious court process. That is where the term “mediation� comes in. In legal systems, mediation can be used as an alternative dispute resolution instead of taking the divorce case to court. Local mediator, Jason Barnard, sat down with us to discuss how mediation can be a great conflict resolution process for those families going through a divorce.


Where are you from? I am originally from West Monroe, I did move to Baton Rouge for about eight years before coming back to this area and putting down roots in North Louisiana.

over going to court? The financial cost of going to court alone is exhausting as it is, so the financial burden is less through mediation, which makes the families happy. Mediation can avoid a lot of pain for the parents, the family, and their finances. Another thing that I find to be beneficial is working with the teenagers. One of the most tragic things in this is that parents feel guilty about their situation, so they start giving the kid too much power in the deciding process. Especially in a long legal process, the parents are now not parenting. So, I give the kids a say in the process to where they are getting out their pain and working to ensure their discipline at the same time.

What was your childhood like? I grew up around a lot of animals, and I raised cows and sheep. My mother was always very insistent that they were fed before we were fed. I enjoyed being active in junior leadership programs like 4-H, which was a neat experience. Where did you go to school? I was in public school until my sophomore year in high school when I transferred to Ouachita Christian School (OCS). I became a Christian around that age, so I wanted to get around some folks that could help me out, and that school was very loving. Do you have any children? Yes, I have twin boys that are 15 years old. They are Allen and Griffin, and they have attended school at OCS since they were in Pre-K 3. I think OCS is a tremendous environment that helps kids feel very safe. They have smaller class numbers, so the students get more one-on-one interaction with their teachers. What are your hobbies? I spend my free time fishing and parenting. I love to fish, because it is great to just have an opportunity to get out and get away, and I get to enjoy the nature. I am also very active in small groups at a local church. Tell me about how you began a career in helping people. Around the age of 15 or 16, I had a huge conviction that I needed to help people. I either wanted to go into public service, or I wanted to do anything else that would allow me to help as many people as possible. I felt convicted that maybe ministry was the best spot for me. So, I started working with teenagers and troubled kids, and I got really heavy into that. When I lived in Baton Rouge for about eight years, despite being a country boy from northeast Louisiana, the city kids were drawn to me. I started to seeing a lack of father figures in their lives, so I tried to bond with them in that sense. I poured myself into that community and wherever else I was welcome. You started off helping children, how did you transition into helping families? As I got older, I started working with families. It just seemed like there was a trust barrier between the kids and their parents when they were having difficulties. They knew that I had the best interest in their kids, which was kind of like their common denominator. Taking care of the kids was the one thing the family could always agree on. It was the teenagers that were suf-

Is mediation confidential? What we do in mediation is a completely confidential process. It is protected by Louisiana state law. This allows people to get out all the “nasty stuff” and speak freely. As long as there is not child abuse, the information cannot be shared.

Emma discussing mediation with Jason

fering that most, because they gain a greater authority and power during a divorce. Many times, the teenagers are even calling the shots in certain situations. What made you want to work in mediation? It attracted me, because my heart has always broken for people that are in dark places and kind of forgotten about. I started seeing that these people were very lonely, and I wanted to do something about it. When did you begin working in mediation? My passion for mediation began in 2009. I found out by word of mouth through a Christian university the benefits of mediation. From a Christian perspective, they felt like the church did not like the aspect of divorce, and that it is bad, but everybody knows that. No one could tell you that divorce is wonderful, but they did impress me, because the churches were taking a step back, and they turned it over to the legal system, which led me to NELA Mediation. That is sometimes appropriate to let the legal system to work through certain conflicts. Have you ever had a mediation case with a family that needed to continue the process in court? Ever since I started working in mediation in 2009, I have never had a case that went to court afterward. So, I have a 100% success rate, and I feel great about that. What are the benefits of using mediation

Is mediation a process that is required by the state? It is interesting, because every state is different. in Texas, it is required to go through mediation before the case can be presented in court. In Louisiana, it is not required. However, it is a great option. How do your clients react when they work with you through mediation instead of court? The most common response I receive from people is stating that they wish they had known about mediation sooner. That’s why I am diligent about extinguishing conflict before it arises. Do you bring in your religious beliefs with all your clients? With each client, if they do not refer to God, I do not push that on them. One thing people get confused about is that if they come to me through a divorce, because I’m a Christian, I will end up trying to convince them to go through Christianity. I do not spend any time talking to grown adults into doing anything they might not want to do. I respect that, and I respect my clients. What do you want our community to know about mediation? Through mediation, I make customized agreements for both parties. I understand that someone cannot just say that they are sorry, but rather, they must reconcile. That is what I am here to do. I recognize all the issues, seek the greater interest for both parties, and fuel the resolution of those issues. I spend a lot of time on conflict resolution and helping people prevent certain situations. I want people to know that mediation is an option. That awareness can help our community a lot.

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The more you know… the better the outcome Pre-operative Education for Total Knee or Hip Replacement Surgery Patients

P

reparing for your total knee replacement or hip replacement begins the moment you and your surgeon have scheduled a surgery date. At that moment, you have become the key player in your healthcare team. The more you know and the better prepared you are for your surgery, the greater chance there is for a faster and stronger recovery. For me, it’s important that my patients have a strong understanding of what my responsibilities are as your surgeon and what your responsibilities are as the patient and identifying and addressing clear expectations, so that your outcome is optimal. My partners and I at Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana and Specialists Hospital Shreveport, are very committed to educating our patients. One of the greatest resources we have for patients that are having total knee replacement or total hip replacement is Specialists Joint Camp. Typically, a few weeks before your surgery, we ask our patients to complete the following: • Pre-admissions testing and labs (blood work, EKG and urinalysis; for robotic joint replacement surgery, CT Scan) • Obtain any requested clearances from your other physicians (cardiovascular) • Attend Specialists Joint Camp So, what is Specialists Joint Camp? Joint camp is a pre-operative class that helps patients to prepare for their upcoming joint replacement. The group setting allows patients to address any questions or concerns they may have about their upcoming surgery and reduce their pre-operative anxiety. Topics discussed at Specialists Joint Camp include: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

What to expect before, during, and after joint replacement How to prepare for surgery Review exercises and physical therapy that will take place preoperatively and postoperatively Review information about pain control proper utilization of the pain scale. Discuss discharge planning, equipment, devices, and resources available during and after your joint replacement. Discuss protocols followed by your Specialists Surgeon and your healthcare team Diet & Exercise Guidelines (pre/post operative) Your Specialists’ Surgeon’s Protocols & Guidelines (pre/post operative) Important Contacts & Specialists Team Guidelines (pre/post operative) Patient Equipment Guidelines (pre/post operative) Pain Management Tools (pre/post operative) Time Management Guidelines (pre/post operative) Patient Goals & Expectations (pre/post operative) Follow-up Appointments with your Specialists Surgeon

My preference is that my patients attend joint camp at least two to three weeks before surgery. This gives the patient time to familiarize and begin working on their pre-operative exercises and diet changes prior to their surgery. We encourage loved ones who will be assisting the patient to attend joint camp, as well… loved ones can be a great resource to the patient offering encouragement and reminders both before and after surgery! The goals we hope to achieve in Joint Camp Include: • • • • •

reduce patient anxiety prior to their surgery to increase patient participation in their recovery increase coordination and preparedness for the discharge process following surgery enhance the patient and their loved one’s knowledge about hospitalization and recovery address patient questions and concerns in a group setting

A big part of attending Specialists Camp is empowering the patient. Not only do we educate the patient on the protocols followed at the clinic, hospital and by your surgeon, we also educate and provide tools so that you become the most active and important participant before and after your surgery. It’s important that you are familiar with the exercise and strengthening regimes that we encourage both before and after your surgery and that you begin making simple, yet essential changes to your diet, like increasing your water intake. By working with your healthcare team. your loved ones and your surgeon, you can create realistic goals and expectations prior to surgery and go on to achieve these goals and expectations in an efficient and reasonable time frame after your surgery. MN-1000679753

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Setting up multiple lines of communication with your patients is very important… Joint Camp is a great opportunity for patients to learn and ask questions and allows for another avenue for the patient and their surgeon to communicate and learn from another. The more you do know, really will be a key factor in your successful and healthy recovery. If you have scheduled a total knee or total hip replacement, ask your surgeon if their facility offers pre-operative classes or similar resources for their patients... at Specialists we really have seen the positive impact that Joint Camp has made… it truly empowers our patients and their loved ones and sets them on a great path towards a healthy recovery!

Chase Lobrano, MD

Specializing in Total Joint Replacement- Knee & Hip, Mako Robotic Partial Knee Replacement, Mako Total Knee Replacement, Mako Total Hip Replacement and Anterior Approach Hip Chase Lobrano, MD is the latest addition to the Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana and the Specialists Hospital Shreveport team. Specializing in total joint replacement of the knee and hip, Dr. Lobrano has spent the last year in his fellowship at Southern Illinois University, focusing on adult reconstructive techniques in hip and knee replacement. He is passionate about robotic total joint replacement and is currently certified in Mako Robotic Partial Knee Replacement, Mako Robotic Total Knee Replacement and Mako Robotic Hip replacement. Dr. Lobrano also utilizes the Anterior Approach-Hip Replacement, when applicable. Dr. Lobrano believes in a hands-on approach to patient care. It is important to Dr. Lobrano to establish a strong level of communication with his patients, so that he may offer a knowledgeable and reasonable treatment plan that work to restore the patient’s quality of life. Growing up in South Louisiana, Dr. Lobrano has always enjoyed the outdoors and working with his hands. In his free time he enjoys hunting, fishing and athletic pursuits. He currently is combining is love of the gym and carpentry skills by converting his garage into a home gym. Dr. Lobrano and his wife, Dr. Susan Lobrano (ER Physician, LSUHSC) are the proud parents of two young children, Olivia and Hank. Fellowship: Adult Reconstruction, Southern Illinois University, Springfield, Illinois. 2016-17 Residency: Orthopaedic Surgery, LSU Health Science Center Shreveport, Louisiana, 2011-2016 Internship: General Surgery, LSU Health Science Center, Shreveport, Louisiana, 20102011 Medical School: M.D., LSU Health Science Center, Shreveport, Louisiana, 2011-2016 Undergraduate: B.S.-Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge Louisiana CERTIFICATIONS & MEMBERSHIPS • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons


Exclusive Q & A with

MTV Heartbreaker Contributing local writer, Jennifer Schmeer, discusses life with MTV's Siesta Key’s Alex Kompothecras. JENNIFER SCHMEER

The he show, Siesta Key, highlights a lifestyle of boating, fishing and beaches hich offers all the elements of a great time in Florida. I have watched the which how, and it made me interested in this location since my dad developed a show, ishing resort called, Snook Haven in Venice, FL in the 70’s. fishing here is so much more to Alex Kompothecras than that of what has been There ighlighted in a TV reality show. This guy has a big heart, ambitious purhighlighted uits and always 100 percent in to help others. His passion for fishing resuits inds me of Hemingway, but his generous spirit stands out. minds hile in my suite at the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail, CO, I was lucky enough to While e able to call Alex Kompothecras and ask him about the next season of be iesta Key, premiering on January 15 and everything in between. Siesta 78 | F E B RUA RY 2 018 | D E LTA S T Y LE M MAGA AGAZ Z I NE

J - How did you spend your holidays? A - I got out of school on December 15th and I immediately came home and spent the majority of the time at our family home. I did not to do as much fishing as I wanted to. I had put some things off during finals that I had to get done during this holiday. I did not get to spend as much time as I wanted with my brothers. We did have quite a few holiday parties at my house; New Year’s Eve party with tons of family that came down. It was a great time! My cousin, Nick from New York, came down which is always awesome. J - Family seems very important to you. Tight family? A - Definitely!


J - So was Santa good to you? A - Ya know, I did not ask for anything. Believe it or not. I felt I really had what I need right now. I did get some clothes. It is really about my family – my younger sisters and brother. Three of them, so it is fun watching them go crazy when the presents show up in the morning! I film that! I get more excitement from watching them. J - Did you get any cold weather – snow in Siesta Key with all of these arctic blasts? A - No snow, but it did snow in Tallahassee, FL. I believed it had not snowed in about five to six years in Florida. Today, it is 45 degrees – freezing! The heater does not work on the first floor in my house, so it was a little cold last night. J - Who has had the biggest impact on your life? A - My dad for sure. He is a really influential person in my life. He is a great father figure. He is able to balance work life and the drive he has; it is really the fire under my rear to keep moving forward. There is always more to do! I get my softer side from my mom. I have great all around parents! J - Are you excited about seeing the next season of Siesta Key roll out? A - Yeah, I am really excited! With me being in school and with my jaw operation, I was not able to participate as much as I would have liked. I do not know what to expect! We get to see it a couple of hours before the general public. I have been getting texts from people telling me they see us filming at Marina Jacks, but it is not me filming. So with scenes with Brandon and Madison, I have no idea what to expect. I will be watching as a viewer instead of an actual cast member. That should be pretty interesting. J - What are some things we can expect for the next season? A - From what I have heard, there are eight episodes which means eight big things are going to happen! I think you can expect to see some personality conflicts. It has been colder, so not as many beach scenes. Still some water activities as Florida allows it, but more bonfires, winter clothes, more outings. J - First person to take you fishing? A - First person was my dad, and it is funny because my dad hates fishing! Absolutely! Despises fishing. I do not think my dad has any hobbies, but it is probably the last thing in the world he would rather do than go fishing. I grew up on a canal, and my dad had a ski boat at the time and obviously you cannot go fishing behind a ski boat. One day, he came home and said he had a surprise out in the car and told me to go look. I was about five-years-old and wanting a dog. I went out there, and it was a fish-

ing pole. I was just as stoked. I thought this is awesome! My dad did not know how to tie knots or anything. I figured it out on my own and as I got more involved with fishing. I mean, I had rod holders on my bike, and I would bike with my best friend, Chase, his brother and the Lambert Family. We all had bikes with rod holders and would bike from bridge to bridge and fish and fish! My dad would take me on professional charters which are what I do now. I would remember all of it to a "T." I would learn each time. Then I met this guy name, Dale Velvet, who I might go fishing with next week. He was in his late 20’s, early 30’s and was a Captain out of Marina Jack. I met him while I was playing basketball; small neighborhood and he knew I liked to go fishing. He invited me over to teach me some stuff about fishing. I was riding my bike over to his house, and he would teach me new knots and this stuff. Eventually, my dad sold the race boat and got a boat you could still race, but also fish off it as well. We hired him, and he took us out, and I had the best day of fishing ever off shore. That was when I was 100 percent hooked. I guess I was hooked before, but he took me from a beginner to a mediocre fisherman, and I just continued to learn and get better. He was the first real professional I got to meet and hang out with. J - Curious, since you spend a lot of time out on the water. Do you notice any impacts due to climate change in Florida over the years or other impacts? A - Well, yeah. I have also done some commercial fishing with my mom’s side of the family that had a commercial fishing business. My mom’s uncle, Hale, who is now in his early 70’s; he is a commercial fisherman. We would go out and commercial spearfish for eight days at a time on his boat, and we would go to Florida middle grounds which is a huge area of coral out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Spectacular spot! When the BP oil spill took place, it killed tons of fish out there. It went from just flourishing

with life – hogfish, grouper, and snapper. It was almost all wiped out due to oil spill. That was unfortunate. We stopped fishing the middle ground, and I have not been there in years. I heard it is getting better and that was one of my favorite places to go. J - Is that where you feel most comfortable out on the water. Why do you enjoy being out on the water so much? A - Being on the water, I learn so much. Being out there at an early age-of 12years-old –operating a boat, how to make my own decisions. I was put in the position to be a leader; to act responsible. People ask me if I get bored going out there and seeing the same things. It is not. It is different every day. You see new things. It is an adventure! I really enjoyed it and need it. Salty air! I love it! Away from the phone; time to think. I appreciate every little thing about it. It is always a good time! J - Do you eat what you catch? A - If I harvest the fish, myself, family or close friends will eat it. If I take people out on charters, they will eat it. I do love catch and release too. I enjoy catching carp fish. I love game fishing. Catching marlin and all of those fish you do not harvest, but we have fish fries at the house. My uncle comes down to eat fresh fish. We will get some stone crab claws in the winter months, and I go out and catch grouper, and we will have a nice fish fry at the house. Also, I donate fish to food banks. A lot of these tournaments donate to Habitat for Humanity with every fish being weighed in goes to them. I have donated thousands of pounds of fish over the years, and that is what I want to do this summer. Set up my own tournament. Not sure what charities I will be working with, but the fish will go to Habitat. The money generated will go to either autism or cancer charities. J - Very cool! Love those ideas and donating the fish! Have you ever tried surfing? A - Oh, yeah! I do everything the water allows me to do! Surfing, kite-boarding, wake-boarding, water-ski, scuba dive, free dive; I do it all! My dad was a lifeguard at Rockaway beach in New York. He loved to surf. He got me into surfing before fishing. I was riding the board with him when I was eight-years-old, and he took me on his surfing adventures with his surfing buddies. We went to Puerto Rico; rented a van and went on this whole surfing endless summer when I was really young. I taught my little brother, Gabriel, how to surf. My dad says he is better than I was when I was young. He is into fishing, but not as much as I was. Maybe he will go down the surfing path.

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J - I have seen some flips you have done with wake-boarding on the show. When did you learn how to do flips and how? A - I learned to do flips when I was about 14-years-old through trial and error. Definitely wiped out a few times. The whole fear factor. You have to fully commit. You are being pulled behind a boat about 25 miles per hour and getting launched into the air. If you do not put it all in, you're going to fall on your head basically. You just have to go for it. Once you get the board around, it is about turning. Once you get that feel, it is like riding a bike. I can do 20 in a row now, but it took a while to get there, but tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and now have to wear a brace. J - You have a goal to own your own marina one day, so do you collect ideas as you visit marinas for your future design one day? A - Oh, absolutely! Absolutely! I have got my marina painted out in my head in exactly how I want it to be. The older I get, the more I learn about pulling permits and the preparation work. I will go to a new marina and notice design. I like how the way they worked around that or other design features. I know I want a restaurant, a big pool; like a fishing camp. Everything. Almost like a club, and real estate is so expensive, so year every year I am tweaking it in my head. J - Tell me about your efforts with veterans. What inspired you to get involved, and what are you doing? A - I went to military school when I was in high school, and it ended up being one of the best things I have even done. Sergeant Major Richardson was my 9th grade ROTC teacher, who recently passed away, was tough on me, but he saw my potential. He worked with me and disciplined me. I always respected him for that. The ones that were the hardest on me which ended up being the best for me were veterans in the army. They are very respectful people. They have a presence when they are in the room. I always through that was very fascinating. It whipped me in shape, and I would not be here today if not for some of those veterans. From there, I was really inspired by the United States Military regardless of what field. Marines, Army, Navy - all of it! Listening to their stories; an eye opener in itself. Life lessons. 100 percent inspired. My dad and I were invited to an event for the Wounded Warriors and I was 100 percent in! They will have stories to share, and I am really looking forward to this event in Feb. J - Awesome! Such a great cause! You are also very involved with your fans.

Why, and what are some things you do with your fans that we might not know about? A - I would not be here if not for my fans. It is awesome to see how involved they are with the show and cast and all of the details they remember from the show. Yesterday, I picked up this kid named, Quinn, who is 14-years-old from Michigan, and he is really into basketball and the show. My dad met his dad, who recognized him from the show. My dad arranged for me to pick him and take him to the local gym. We went and played basketball yesterday and had lunch at the health food store. I brought him to my house, too. A fun day. He is texting me right now wanting to go hang out. I might go hang out with him after this interview. Really cool kid. Things like that I try to do with fans. J - Sweet! So I know all the female fans want to know - are you single? A - I don’t want to spoil anything! You will just have to tune in to Siesta Key to find out! You can keep up with my adventures through Instagram @Alex_Kompo, Twitter-@AlexKompo, Facebook @AlexKompoSiestaKey and Youtube @AlexKompo for more behind the scenes. J - What characteristics do you look for in a girlfriend? A - My mom’s approval is huge. Internal beauty is important. I look to see if she is motivated, what their interests are, and are they driven. You have to look at all those areas. Most importantly, do they work well with my brother and sister with special needs. That is huge for me. J - Looking back at Season One - any regrets?

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A - I would have liked to see more boating and more water activities, because that is what this place is really about. The word on the street is that we will be doing more on the water. J - Exciting! Any rituals regarding fishing/boating? A - No bananas on the boat! J - Words to live by! Last book you read? A - The Old Man and the Sea J - Are you a fan of Hemingway? A - I am! J - Very cool! Have you ever gotten lost in your house? A - No, but I have lost things and had not found them in weeks! (Laughs) Right now, I am looking for my dog’s harness and no idea where to find it. J - What makes a good life to you? A - Above all - health. I am a people pleaser, so I am in the position where I can put a smile on someone’s face, and that makes me feel good. I have been able to do that with fishing. Being able to take people out and catch some of the most amazing fish they had ever seen. I love giving back which is how I was raised and I enjoy it. J - I noticed you use to wrestle in high school. Do you still wrestle? A - Yeah, I enjoyed wrestling, but I tore my ACL and had to have surgery and then tore it again. My wrestling days are over. J - Did you ever try Jiu Jitsu? A - My dad tried to get me involved in it, but it is a different type of grappling. One of my friends, John Gettle III, is a MMA pro and lived down in Vegas for a while. We roll around a lot to stay in shape. He is really good in Jiu Jitsu. J - I am a fan of the Diaz brothers. A - Oh yeah! He knows the Diaz brothers really well. J - So cool! So when the show ends, what do you hope the fans take away from it? A - I hope the fans enjoy watching the show, and they find someone they can relate it. Inspire people to be something they did not think possible. Encourage people to come down to Siesta Key! J - What is next for you? A - School starts on Monday, so I will be focusing on that. We do have a great Martin Luther King Jr. event that we will be working with and supporting. The goal is to help kids and encourage equality. We contribute to this cause since education is huge, and everyone should have a fair chance if they want an education. The opportunity should be there if people want to go to collect. J - Great cause! Thank you, Alex, for your time in sharing so much with me! Best of luck! A - Thank you for your time!


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Roast Beef Po-Boy served at Bayou Grill

PHOTOS BY GARY GUINIGUNDO

BORN ON THE BAYOU TARA AMBROSE

This time of the year makes me reflect on new resolutions, family and those who mean the most to us in our intimate settings. We range from those we collectively refer to as “friends” to those we consider as our “family”, whether it be by blood relation or not. This month, I thought about the many friends and “food family” I’ve made throughout this culinary journey and about

those who never seem to quit and those who have recently joined the family through the food they offer. With that being said, I couldn’t help but think of one of the new places that I’ve recently visited, Bayou Grill, and owner Ray Bradberry. Ouachita Parish’s own local native, Ray Bradberry is no stranger to heapin’ helpings of hard work, coupled with large amounts of determination, all adorned with copious servings of raw talent, which is ex-

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Bayou Grill

5120 DeSiard Street Monroe, LA 71203 Telephone: (318) 343-0055 Facebook: www.facebook.com/bayougrill


Southwestern Eggrolls

actly what he and his staff have been dishing up on the plates at Bayou Grill! Although the restaurant industry is something that Ray grew up around, he always had a vision similar to his mother and great grandfather for pursuing a career in the restaurant industry, which has been realized through the utter joy and love of food found within the walls of Bayou Grill. Surrounded by mostly family, Ray’s kitchen and team are comprised of his son, brother and his cousins – which only adds to the family vibe felt from within. “No corners are cut here”, Ray shares, “come give us a try and taste the difference.” Ray graciously elaborates about his menu as I inquire about my typical subjects. Bayou Grill offers their patrons with inhouse scratch made items such as their crawfish kickers, southwestern eggrolls, house made roast beef for their po-boys and even scratch made gravy for that little something extra. Bayou Grill also offers their patrons fresh catfish from Herring Pride out of Winnsboro, Louisiana, as well as Louisiana gulf shrimp, frog legs and oysters from Houma. And the surprise doesn’t stop there as Ray prides Bayou Grill for battering their own seafood in house. “You won’t be disappointed”, Bradberry states as he talks more about the hours of cook time that put into each roast that is cooked, which are used for the roast beef po-boys. “From the juice, we also make our gravy in house – absolutely no corners are cut,” Bradberry urges. “I will not buy proc-

essed food”, Ray goes on to say, “…even my burgers are 100% real ground beef, no fillers allowed.” In addition to Bayou Grill, Bradberry is also the new owner of Dylan’s in West Monroe, located on North 7th Street. Opened in 1959, Dylan’s has been a staple in this area for more than 50 years, so it is with great pleasure that Bradberry is remodeling the location that previously was “Miller’s Drive-In” and then even an “A & W” in years past. Ray and his staff now welcome you, your family, and friends to share in his dream. Doors to Bayou Grill are open wide to the people of North Louisiana, inviting and bidding diners “welcome” to his humble, yet quaint establishment, with a menu sure to please even the most selective diners! So

Ray Bradberry

grab your family and your appetite and come out to see Ray and his crew for tastes to delight everyone. For fabulous food finds, one need not to look outside of the confines of our locally owned restaurants, so roll up your sleeves and don’t be afraid to dig in to savor that local flavor. For more photographs of this restaurant, and many more, follow Tara’s Taste Of The Town on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TarasTasteOfTheTown.

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For the Love of Gardening Bright right flowering plants are perfect for attracting butterflies.

ROSE YOUNG-LEE

"Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour." John Boswell For gardening lovers, environmental conditions during the month of February often pose a hindrance to practicing the passion we love. In February, variations in temperatures can range from cold to mild, and even a light freeze may still occur. In addition, typically, there is frequent rainfall throughout the season, resulting in soggy ground conditions. Even if the weather on a particular day is fair enough for a little “tidying Rose Lee up” outside, it is still strongly recommended that walking on the moist soil be avoided in order to prevent movement or damage to the soil. Hence, performing gardening chores in the yard right now is pretty much out of the question, at least during the early part of the month anyway. Don’t be dismayed, though. This is an excellent time to perform another perhaps less regularly practiced task related to gardening, “studying up." As you idle away the hours of a cold winter’s day, this is a great time to daydream, research and plan for spring. The often overcast, windy, inclement days of winter are great opportunities for “cozying up” inside and contemplating

new ideas for gardens and landscapes; ideally, wrapped up warmly in front of a large window with a hot mug of coffee or cocoa in hand. As stated in previous articles, having a beautiful garden in the spring requires planning and preparation beforehand. Whether you want to rearrange specific plants or groupings, or start fresh with all new trees, shrubs and bedding plants; “studying up” on the following aspects of gardening and paying attention to instructions and recommendations can help steer you in the right direction toward accomplishing your goal of a beautiful, lush landscape in spring and beyond – a yard that will make others RED with envy.

Garden design, location, functionality and maintenance As we all know, magazines, books and online media are excellent sources for gardening ideas. However, do not get too carried away by the lush, colorful visions of beauty you find there. Before you initiate any steps, at a minimum, the following issues should be considered: » Budget. » Gardening style preference (formal, cottage, southern, etc.) » Compatibility to architectural features of your home. » Shape preference (oval, circular or linear shapes) » Amount of shade or sunlight present in

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the proposed area(s) throughout the day. » Contribution of changes not only to the overall color scheme, but also to year-long color in the landscape. » Realistically manageable size (Tip: start small but leave space for enlargement.) » Quantity of time, effort and physical exertion that will be required to complete and regularly maintain the landscape (i.e., removing weeds, edging borders, mulching and watering, etc.) and your physical capability to regularly perform these tasks. » Other than aesthetic appeal, other functions the landscape changes will serve (i.e., assistance with drainage or erosion, camouflage for unattractive equipment or structures, shade for open areas, etc.)

Incorporating plants and habitats for butterflies and birds into the garden Building a wildlife habitat does not have to be a major undertaking.To keep the price within reason while still creating an aesthetically pleasing safe haven along with a clean food and water source, the following aspects should be considered in advance: » Recommended flowers, trees, shrubs and vines to be planted as food sources. » Availability of water, shelter and a sunny location to attract the wildlife. » Possible locations for baths and feeders, not only for the most audible, visual and aesthetic appeal, but also as a hygiene source and safe haven for the wildlife.


Ideas for rearranging trees, shrubs & plant groupings in the landscape Whether dividing groupings of plants in order to repeat sweeps in other areas or transplanting individual plants to more desirable locations, the following issues are worth considering: » Compatibility of the newly transplanted plant(s) with the features (color, size, water and light needs, etc.) of other plants in close proximity, as well as in the overall landscape scheme. » Recommended time for moving and replanting the bulbs or other plants in order for the root system to be established before warm weather arrives. » Suggested diameter and depth for both digging up and replanting the plant, bulb, shrub or tree (Will assistance from others be needed?) » Plant’s maintenance needs, especially watering, at least initially anyway.

Steps or tips on how to grow specific plants and vegetables from seed or transplants

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Growing plants from seeds to transplant

As previously stated, an abundance of information related to this and other garden topics can be readily found in magazines and books, as well as acquired from online media sources. Some issues to consider in researching include:

» Steps for creating a vegetable or flower garden bed. » Appropriate season to plant or transplant desired plants and vegetables. » Light, water, fertilizer and maintenance needs. » Length and phases of growth cycle. » Types of wildlife the vegetation may attract, as well as possible protective measures.

Information on completing “how-to” gardening projects In addition to constructing wildlife habitat features, such as a bird bath or butterfly feeder, information on how to complete other gardening projects can be researched and planned in advance of spring. Additional projects to consider are: » Compost pile. » Raised vegetable or flower garden bed. » Mini greenhouse. Again, magazines, catalogs and online media are excellent sources for gardening information. One of my favorite is the Louisiana State University AgCenter official website, www.lsuagcenter.com. So, grab your mug, your H&G magazines or books, and your laptop or tablet; then, get comfortable in your favorite spot and start “studying up” for spring gardening. Remember, preparation now is the key to success later. Happy planning!

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Winter Wonderland! Avenue of Trees A

GEORGIANN POTTS

Monroe Garden Club Pauses to Celebrate the Season GEORGIANN POTTS

There had been whisperings for weeks that there was something truly special being planned for the annual holiday decorations created by members of the Monroe Garden Club for Bayou DeSiard Country Club. While no one outside of the hostess committee had any specific information, everyone was anticipating a “new look” at the Club. No one was disappointed. The twin French doors at the club’s entrance held the first hint as to what would be inside. Identical wreaths and the flanking side urns were beautifully appointed in a deceptively simple color scheme --- ice tones of gold, copper, silver, and white. When the ladies entered the foyer, they found before them the Great Hall, lined on either side by tall silver and white trees each covered in hundreds of tiny white lights. Each stood on a base of “snow.” The effect was magical! Many of the ladies said that the scene reminded them of the traditional decorations seen at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. As the ladies moved from room to room throughout the Club and in the tea room out by the pool, each venue elicited praise. All through the buildings were exquisite trees, beautifully decorated

mantles and mirrors, and vignettes tucked into corners or on table tops --- all reflecting the winterscape theme. The late afternoon gathering featured a delicious buffet from which the ladies could choose their favorites. Among the offerings were a variety of holiday cookies and truffles, decadent fudge, gingerbread triangles, everyone’s favorite --divinity, Camembert en croute with fresh fruit, and crisp bruschetta with fresh tomato and olive topping. Wine, holiday punch, and coffee completed the offering. Everyone agreed that the hostess committee had outdone themselves this year! A special word of appreciation goes to Lisa Lewis, chairman; and Sherrie McCraw, co-chairman. Their vision for the transformation of the Club was a perfect one. Helping to carry out the theme were hostess committee members Kathi Barnhill, Kay Baughman, Amy R. Brown, Jan Clay, Mary Ann Dunn, Carolyn Gates, Ginger Huckabay, Paige Oliver, Diane Paschall, Marsha Powell, Kay Prince, Susan Reynolds, Lisa Riddle, Mary Ann Riddle, Susan Robinson, Noreen Smith, Laura Ulrich, and Ruth Ulrich. For more information, please visit www.monroegardenclub.com and like us on Facebook.

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MGC president-elect Alise Oliver and MCG president Thereze Nagem PHOTOS BY GEORGIANN POTTS

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P - 318.388.8885 | F - 318.388.8822 2483 Tower Drive Unit 5 • Monroe, LA. 71201 www.yoursummit.com DELTA STYLE MAGA ZIN E | FEBRUA RY 2 018 | 9 3


Rolling on the River

GETTY IMAGES

DIANNE NEWCOMER

Once upon a time in the world of travel, there was this wonderful cruise line named Royal Viking .......................................... When I started as a travel agent about 30 years ago, they were simply the best. Our clients at Monroe Travel Service loved the ship, the service, the food, the entertainment, and the cabin sizes. Everyone was willing to pay extra for what was truly a deluxe experience. In short, Royal Viking ships set the standard for luxury cruising, and Torstein Hagen was its CEO. This was the 1980's. The cruise business was growing by leaps and bounds, and, for some reason, Royal Viking Line's owners decided it was time to put their ships on the

market. Hagen vehemently opposed the sell. He loved everything about the cruise industry and his ships. His opposition resulted in his being ousted as CEO from the company. Torstein refused to go gently into the night. He spent countless hours, energy, and money scrambling to put together a deal, finally, with a group of employees and investors, he came up with a buy-out that would have ultimately given him back the company he so dearly loved. He thought he had succeeded in saving Royal Viking! Yet, in spite of the fact that he had raised the capital, the owners of Royal Viking Line actually sold the company right out from under him to Norwegian Cruise Line, which was part of the Kloster Cruise Group. To

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Torstein, his ouster as CEO was difficult to accept, both emotionally and financially, but, now, he was embarrassed and ashamed. He had failed his friends and the employees who had believed in him; he felt he had let so many people down. Torstein Hagen, who had once managed the best luxury line in the world left Bergen, Norway, a dejected man. He took little comfort in the fact that in only a few years, his once prestigious cruise line was so badly mismanaged that his beloved ships were sold off one by one; luxury cruising basically died in the marketplace. About this same time, Mr. Hagen was given the opportunity to experience a river cruise on the Volga River in Russia. This was the trip that changed his life --as well as


the travel industry's—forever. Because he saw river cruising as the future, he convinced others to believe, too. Hagen was back in the business of travel. With four Russian river boats, Hagen launched Viking River Cruises in 1997, and, if you have ever been on the rivers of Europe, you probably know the rest of the story. In those early start-up days, I often talked to Mr. Hagen when booking our clients at Monroe Travel Service on a Russian river cruise. Back then, he had time to chat, since there was only him and another guy in the office taking reservations. He knew so much and loved to share his enthusiasm for the product. Little did I realize that I would one day be talking to an industry legend! Why, in Europe alone, today his river fleet has expanded to 49 identical Longships plus 5 custom-built Longships designed to navigate the shallow waters of the Douro and Elbe Rivers. This year's big news is Viking River Cruise is leading the way and returning to the Nile River in Egypt. They have also announced that by the end of 2019, Viking River Cruises will have 69 ships in their fleet, something I find totally unbelievable. But, wait...there's more! In 2015, Torstein Hagen returned to Bergen, Norway. This time, the occasion was to christen his new 930 passenger Viking Star, the first of 6 brand new ocean liners that he has since

built and operates today as Viking Ocean Line. From the rivers of our world to its vast oceans, Hagen's cruise line has it covered. Torstein Hagen is the comeback kid! Today, his Viking River Cruise Line owns 50% of the North American cruising pie, and the popularity of his Viking Ocean division is growing every day. Our clients love the new ocean ships and there is no doubt they are destined to be formidable competitors in the industry. As a travel agent, I personally think it is innovative how all of Mr. Hagen's boats and ships are identical in design and decor; clients know exactly what to expect. The destination may be different, but it's like coming home again when you step aboard a Viking product. No time is wasted getting acquainted with your boat or ship; you quickly know your way around and can start enjoying yourself. Yet, with his ocean liners, Mr. Hagen did deviate from the cruising norm. He proudly calls his product the "no cruise line" by announcing (1) there will be no children under 18, (2) no casino, (3) no formal nights, (4) no butlers and (5) no umbrella drinks on his ships! Instead his "no cruise line" has all-verandahs, all chic Scandinavian design, and the best all immersive itineraries in the business with more time in port and fewer days at sea. He made the Viking way revolutionary in

the marketplace today. I am sure it was not easy, but the man who lost his bearings so many years ago never gave up on his love for the sea. I am sure the Norse gods are smiling, because one of their own--Torstein Hagen-- is a force to be reckoned with on the waters of our world. If you would like to learn more about the Viking Cruise Line—river and ocean—program, please join Monroe Travel Service in welcoming Laurie Smith, our sales representative for Viking River and Viking Ocean Cruises for an informative meeting at Restaurant Sage on Tuesday, February 20, at 4pm. Come learn more about this amazing product that Mr. Hagen's love of the sea built. Please RSVP to Lori@MonroeTravel.com.

We would love to see you on February 20 at 4pm! Dianne Newcomer is a travel agent at Monroe Travel Service, 1908 Glenmar. For all your travel needs, contact her at 318 323 3465 or dianne@monroetravel.com.

Dianne Newcomer

Monroe Travel Service is actively seeking a travel agent to join our team! Send resume to Lori@MonroeTravel.com

RSVP to Lori@monroetravel.com DELTA STYL E MAGA Z I N E | FEBRUARY 2018 | 95


Holiday Shenanigans! Spence Welcomes Potpourri Book Club GEORGIANN POTTS Nancy Inabnett and Gretchen Dean PHOTOS BY GEORGIANN POTTS

Allison Cattar, Joy Loomis, and Kathy Patrick

Judy Worthen and Jane Sartor

June Poole, Lillie Traxler, and Sue Nawas

Anyone lucky enough to be invited to Dr. John and Alpha Spence’s home at any time of the year is in for a treat. When that invitation comes over the winter holidays, that treat is raised to the nines. Reflecting both the Spence’s love of entertaining and their practiced eye for finding “just the right thing” for their home, the home is annually decorated beautifully in celebration of the season. There is something to see at every turn, room by room. It is immediately clear that much love and attention is paid each year to celebrating the holidays by this family. Members and guests of Potpourri Book Club were lucky recipients of such an invitation during the holidays recently. A gorgeous, but brisk sunny day welcomed them as they arrived for brunch. The home’s front door set the tone for what was to be seen within. Classic holiday hues of green and red dominated the decorations, with tweaks of gold and silver for contrast. From the huge wreath on the door to the matching swags over the sidelights, every element reminded those approaching that this was a celebration! To one side of the door stood two terracotta figures reminiscent of the Wisemen from the East who came bearing gifts. Opposite stood a sassy reindeer sporting an oversized red velvet bow held in place by a necklace of

holly and berries. After being welcomed by Alpha Spence, the ladies quickly moved inside to begin “visiting” either around the massive fireplace with its welcoming warmth or to gather by the wet bar where Santa John Spence dispensed libations appropriate to the occasion. Sharing hostess duties with Alpha Spence were Barbara Cattar, Nancy Staab, Jane Conrad, and Pat Blanchard. Together, they prepared a brunch buffet that held temptations for everyone. Among the offerings were cured ham, biscuits with all of the appropriate accompaniments, and cheese grits that elicited praise from all who tried them. Sweets played an important role in the meal, and the hostesses made certain that there was something for everyone --- a multi-layered white cake, petite brownies, tarts, and assorted candies. Seen enjoying themselves through the noon hour were Adele Ransom, Martha Hayden, Dianne Cage, Allison Cattar, Joy Loomis, Kathy Patrick, LaVerne Bodron, Nancy Staab, Barbara Cattar, Carole Kilpatrick, Vicky Zambie, Lisa Nelson, Jorenda Stone, Carolyn Dolecheck, Judy Worthen, June Poole, Sue Nawas, Mike Husted, Nancy Inabnett, Gretchen Dean, Rosemary Ewing, Linda Reeves, Jane Sartor, Lillie Traxler, Martha Anderson, Georgiann Potts, Denise Smith, Marilyn Stern, and Rosemary Luffey.

Jane Conrad, Lisa Nelson, Allison Cattar, Barbara Cattar. Denise Smith

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Rosemary Luffey and LaVerne Bodron

Allison Mead, Carole Kilpatrick, Martha Hayden, and Mike Husted

Barbara Cattar and Vicky Zambie

"Santa" John Spence and Alpha Spenc


Cooking for a Cause P.E.O. Chapter AE Raises Funds For Projects GEORGIANN POTTS

Genevieve McDuff and Stella McStravick PHOTOS BY GEORGIANN POTTS

Yvette Greer, Joy Loomis, Lauretta Tucker, and Annetta Hill

Members of P.E.O. Chapter AE spent quality time in their kitchens and craft rooms this winter preparing delicious foods and interesting non-food items to offer for sale. The AEs annually present “Make, Take, and Bake” – a fundraiser designed to raise money to support the club’s projects. Moore Hall at Good Shepherd Catholic Church and school was the perfect setting for the sale. Organizers for the sale were Carolyn Myrick, Loura Barr, Lauretta Tucker, Michele Brown, Travis Breard, and Felicia Kostelka. They carefully thought of every detail, even providing hot wassail or coffee plus cookies for the shoppers to enjoy. Mindful that many households are smaller these days, the ladies provided options that were designed to feed four to six people together with more generous offerings. Among the foods for sale were cakes, pies, fudge, a large variety of homemade jams and jellies, gumbo, jambalaya, dressing, peanut brittle, toffee, chili both with

Hostesses Lauretta Tucker and Loura Barr

Lois Hoover, her mom Opal Pelanowski, and sister Laura Sledge

Linda Taylor, Melanie McStravick, and Carolyn Gates

Stephanie Schaeffer, Felicia Kostelka, and Tendy Tarver

Jams and jellies

and without beans, taco soup, and broccoli cheese soup. Among the non-food items were grocery totes, a variety of holiday decorations, and handknit “cozies” for that special bottle of wine or favorite mug. P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization), one of the pioneer societies for women, was founded on January 21, 1869, by seven students at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Today, P.E.O. has grown from that tiny membership of seven to almost a quarter of a million members in chapters in the United States and Canada. The P.E.O. Sisterhood is passionate about its mission: promoting educational opportunities for women. Our sisterhood proudly makes a difference in women's lives with six philanthropies that include ownership of a two-year women's college, Cottey College; and five programs that provide higher educational assistance: P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund, P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund, P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education, P.E.O. Scholar Awards, and P.E.O. STAR Scholarship.

Items Bought

Rum Pound Cake

DELTA STYLE MAGA ZIN E | FEBRUA RY 2 018 | 9 7


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