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GLENWOOD EMERGENCY SERVICES

Better is Bigger

Our Emergency Department’s renovation and expansion helps us better respond to the needs of the our region. It’s also comforting to know that better service, enhanced patient care, and the latest technologies are all close by. When you need us, our doors are always open! • Larger and more comfortable family waiting area • Multiple triage room • Only ER in the region with 24-7 neurologocial coverage for stroke care

www.grmc.com

MN-1000634873

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• Accredited Chest Pain Center

• Dedicated Urgent Care

• STEMI protocols

• 26 treatment rooms, 10 newly added

• Specialized cardiac, trauma and speciality rooms

• Improved patient flow & registration process

1-877-726-WELL (9355)


MN-1000649469

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Untreated Hearing Loss Linked to Depression, Social Isolation in Seniors

Untreated hearing loss has serious emotional and social consequences for older persons, according to a major new study by The National Council on the Aging (NCOA). The study was conducted by the Seniors Research Group, an alliance between NCOA and Market Strategies, Inc.

Carolyn Holmes, PhD, of the Seniors Research Group said, “This survey is groundbreaking not only in the large size of the sample but also in the inclusion of 2,090 close family members or friends of the hearingimpaired respondents who were asked a parallel set of questions.”

“This study debunks the myth that untreated hearing loss in older persons is a harmless condition,” said James Firman, EdD, president and CEO of The National Council on the Aging. The survey of 2,300 hearing impaired adults age 50 and older found that those with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia and were less likely to participate in organized social activities, compared to those who wear hearing aids.

Benefits of Treatment

Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the United States, affecting more than nine million Americans over the age of 65 and 10 million Americans age 45 to 64. But about three out of five older Americans with hearing loss and six out of seven middle-aged Americans with hearing loss do not use hearing aids. Consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss The survey found that significantly more of the seniors with untreated hearing loss (those who do not wear hearing aids) reported feelings of sadness or depression that lasted two or more weeks during the previous years. Among respondents with more severe hearing loss, 30 percent of non-users of hearing aids reported these sad feelings, compared to 22 percent of hearing aid users. Another measure of emotional distress is the perception that “other people get angry at me for no reason,” which psychologists often identify as an indicator of paranoia. Older non-users were more likely to agree with the statement “people get angry with me usually for no reason” (14 percent of users vs. 23 percent of non-users). Among those with more severe hearing loss, the difference was even greater—14 percent for users vs. 36 percent for non-users. Because social isolation is a serious problem for some older people, the study also examined social behavior and found that people who don’t use hearing aids are considerably less likely to participate in social activities. Among respondents with more severe hearing loss, 42 percent of hearing aid users participate regularly in social activities com- pared to just 32 percent of non-users.

Hearing aid users reported significant improvements in many areas of their lives, ranging from their relationships at home and sense of independence to their social life and their sex life. In virtually every dimension measured, the families of hearing aid users also noted the improvements but were even more likely than the users to report improvements. Improvement Area Relations at home Feelings about self Life overall Relations with children, grandchildren Mental health Self-confidence Sense of safety Social life Relations at work Sex life Barriers to Hearing Aid Use

Improvement Reported by Hearing Aid User (%) 56 50 48

Improvement Reported by User’s Family (%) 66 60 62

40

52

36 39 34 34 26 8

39 46 37 41 43 NA

Why are there so many older people with hearing impairment who do not use hearing aids? More than two-thirds of the older, non-user respondents said “my hearing is not bad enough” or “I can get along without one.” About one-half of the non-users cited the cost of hearing aids. And one-in-five offered the explanation that “it would make me feel old,” or “I’m too embarrassed to wear one.” “It is very sad that millions of older people are letting denial or vanity get in the way of treatments that can significantly improve the quality of their lives,” said Dr. Firman, who is hearing impaired himself. “Doctors and family members should insist that hearing impaired seniors seek appropriate treatment.”

MN-1000649470

This study was supported by an unrestricted grant from the Hearing Industries Association. NCOA plans to make the survey data-set available in a few months to other researchers throughout the world. Text summarizing the study in greater detail is on NCOA’s Web site at www.ncoa.org.

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The National Council on the Aging is a private, non-profit research, education, and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting the wellbeing, dignity, and self-determination of older people. Founded in 1950, NCOA has helped to create the Meals on Wheels, Foster Grandparents, and many other innovative programs for seniors. Members include professionals and service providers in the field of aging, government agencies, consumer groups, faith congregations, businesses, and labor groups.


Who says you can’t

ENJOY MUSIC

just because you have hearing loss?

Follow us on Facebook at Audibel The Hearing Center

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BY A WOMAN, FOR A WOMAN

201 Blanchard St West Monroe, LA • 318-329-3949 trinitydiamondsdirect.com MN-1000654622

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is so excited to announce Dr. Leigh Ann Robinson has joined our practice

Dr. Robinson is a graduate from Louisiana State University -School of Dentistry She is also a proud graduate of Neville High School. Both her mother and father were Dentists. Dr. Robinson is now taking new patients.

Welcome her to our community and Arrow Dental Center 1507 Lamy Lane, Ste A | Monroe

318-361-0381 arrowdentalcenter.com

MN-1000649482

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It Doesn’t Hurt To Ask An Expert People in pain need specialized care. For expert care that can effectively relieve pain and return patients to an active life, look to Louisiana Pain Care. The physicians at Louisiana Pain Care have over 80 years of combined experience in spine care and interventional pain management. We are the only board certified and fellowship trained interventional pain specialists in northeast and north central Louisiana. Our experts carefully evaluate each patient through clinical evaluation and diagnostic testing to determine the source of the pain and then tailor a non-surgical treatment. If patients do not respond to the non-surgical treatment or if a surgical evaluation is warranted, the experts at Louisiana Pain Care can refer patients to the surgeon of their choice.

With our compassionate, patient-focused approach and advanced minimally invasive interventional techniques, we are uniquely qualified to address the range of conditions that cause people to feel pain. We don’t just treat symptoms – we get to the source of the pain. Our fellowship-trained physicians dedicate their entire practice to the relief of pain, so you know you are getting the best. Louisiana Pain Care - the LEADER in non-surgical spine care and pain management.

318-323-6405 LAPainCare.com

John L. Ledbetter, M.D D.

MN-1000654636

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nt R. Forte, M.D. Vincen

J. Hardy Gordon, M.D. Ronald L. Ellis, M.D.


The Downtown West Monroe Revitalization Group (DWMRG) wanted to develop the tourism aspect beyond shopping in the Cottonport Historic District and diversify the reasons visitors would go downtown. They will begin hosting guided walking tours. The first historic tour will be offered on Thursday, June 15th at 6PM and it will begin at the Hamilton House Inn. The Historic Walking Tour brochure is currently available at the West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber, Monroe-West Monroe CVB, and Spice and Tea Exchange on Antique Alley.

Ad Club selects new leaders! The Ad Club of Northeast Louisiana elected its Board of Directors and Officers in conjunction with its June Membership Meeting. The new leadership will serve during the 2017 – 2018 Fiscal year which began July 1, 2017 and runs through June 30, 2018. For more information about joining the NELA Ad Club: nelaadclub@gmail.com

P&S hospital celebrates 20 years and is recognized as one of nation's top hospitals “We are honored to be recognized among the nation’s best. We are committed to providing our patients and their families with incredible care.” - Linda Holyfield, CEO

NELA Rehab celebrated their grand opening in Farmerville on June 14! Owner, Casey Scarborough Eckhardt MOT, LOTR, PT, DPT is a physical and occupational therapist with small town roots who is committed to providing superior care to Farmerville and surrounding areas. She grew up in Northeast Louisiana, and is a proud ULM graduate who went on to pursue her Master and Doctorate level degrees in St. Augustine, FL. Congratulations, Casey on your opening!

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WELCOMES WEST MONROE NATIVE

DREW THOMAS, MD GENERAL

OPHTHALMOLOGIST

Accepting new patients. Call today 318-325-2610 MN-1000655937

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MN-1000659913

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P&S SURGICAL HOSPITAL'S 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

FRIDAY, MAY 12, AT VANTAGE STATE BUILDING ROOFTOP

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CASTLE HALL CONDOS GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY

THURSDAY, JUNE 15TH 10 AM · DOWNTOWN MONROE

Who was spotted? 1. Sarah Dowd, Everly, Michael, and Amelia Echols, Cathy Myrick, Cameron Parker 2. Mike Vining, Jennifer and Jason Thomas 3. Clinton Whitney Downing, Byron Bailey 4. Jamie Mayo, Emily Walter, Byron Bailey, Christie & Michael Echols 5. Joe Holyfield, David Sorrell 16 | J ULY 2017 | DE LTAS T YL E M AGAZ I N E


PLAYGROUND BRINGS SMILES FOR ALL THE GRAND OPENING OF SMILES PARK, AN INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND WITH WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE JUNGLE GYMS AT KIROLI PARK IN WEST MONROE · JUNE 3

Who was spotted? 1. Davis McDaniel, 2 2. Memphis Harrell, 4 3. Ella Ecker, 7, center, laughs with excitement in anticipation of helping with the ribbon cutting 4. Steele Becton, 4 5. Collyn McBeth, 4 6. Ella Ackerman, 8, looks in a mirror at the kitty cat with a bow painted on her face while Yellow Fawn Thornton paints a kitty cat on Jayden Brown's, 8, face DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | J U LY 2 017 | 17


ZOOBILATION

JUNE 10TH · LOUISIANA PURCHASE GARDENS & ZOO

Who was spotted? 1. Jenina, Elisabeth, Adriannah, Alexander Bass 2. Mike & Corbin Walsworth 3. Sydnee Knighten, Anna Kelly 4. Rene & Tim Free, Hannah Pese 5. D'Angelo Spliph Johnson, Kaysen Johnson, Yolanda Armstrong 6. Ryan Robertson, Tara Knight Daniel, Hunter Williams 7. Tommy Fields, Buddy Bryant 8. Jodi Carter, Jayci Crow, Kenzi Bragg, Brandi Norred 9. Zoie, Jennifer, Tom Pearson 10. Carolyn Robinson, Janice Jones, Gloria Cohe, Juanita Jones, Aerial Hunter, Rojalyn Phillips, Melvina Parker 18 | J ULY 2017 | DE LTAS T YL E M AGAZ I N E


DOWNTOWN ART CRAWL JUNE 1ST · DOWNTOWN MONROE

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VARIETY AT THE MASUR MUSEUM OF ART JUNE 3 · MONROE, LA

Who was spotted? 1-2. Magician Danny Barton 3. Robert "Guitar" Finley 4. Jenny Burnham, Ben Hickey, EmJ Cruz 5. Chelsey Ware 6. Pint Size Printers

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THE NEW FARMER’S MARKET JUNE 3 - TOWER DRIVE, MONROE LA

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A Unique Approach to Banking Introducing Origin Bank’s newly renovated West Monroe Financial Center

M

uch of it had to do with loyalty. As North Louisiana saw many banks close or merge with other institutions, Origin Bank made a core business decision to redouble its own efforts here in the community. Renovating its West Monroe Financial Center was a show of dedication to those customers who had banked there for so many years — not to mention the family members and friends of these customers who might follow suit in the years to come. “It is our vision to create unique banking experiences that impact the world around us, and we believe we have accomplished that vision with this renovation,” says Lance Hall, Origin’s Louisiana President

and Chief Strategy and Operations Officer. “In addition, we are committed to Northeast Louisiana, and believe that this and future renovations in the area demonstrate that commitment in a tangible way.” When you step into their renovated West Monroe Financial Center, it doesn’t look or feel like a typical bank, which is exactly what they were hoping to accomplish. This progressive-yetapproachable atmosphere establishes a tone that makes your banking unintimidating and even enjoyable. After all, Origin understands that when you feel comfortable, you’ll be open to having conversations that lead to the best long-term financial results.

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You’ll find a welcoming ambiance, complete with upbeat music, warm textures, clean lines and natural materials. The wood floors and stone walls offer a more personal feel – creating a setting more focused on meaningful interactions. Instead of traditional teller windows, personal bankers are always available to assist you at the concierge station. While affording the highest information security, this station allows customers to interact with Origin’s team on a much more personal level. Unique consult booths put a comfortable spin on the chat with your banker. These booths and a redesigned conference room offer spaces where customers can hold meetings with staff members or even conduct personal, non-bank business. The updated center also offers a technology bar with iPads programmed to assist visitors in finding the right mortgage loan for their needs, and a hospitality bar where you can enjoy a cup of

complimentary coffee. This all ties back to creating the overall feeling of comfort that Origin Bank believes is essential for creating a better banking experience. In addition to this innovative West Monroe Financial Center, Origin will soon be renovating the Monroe Financial Center, as well as the company’s headquarters in Ruston. This enhanced design and functionality creates convenience and comfort, demonstrating how Origin Bank puts its customers first.


10 YEARS IN A ROW

COMMITTED TO NORTH LOUISIANA

L–R: Billy Haddad, Linda O’Neal, Rick Siudy, Matt West, Joey McGinn, Taylor Cagle, Ryan Hemrick, Susan Rowland, Harold Book

As part of our commitment to a better banking experience, we’re proud to announce the

completion of a major renovation to our West Monroe Financial Center. The new look reflects our

focus on delivering unrivaled, personal banking service paired with cutting-edge technology –

from the concierge stations replacing traditional teller windows to the iPads in our technology bar. We believe banking should be unintimidating and enjoyable; it’s the very definition of what it means to bank original.

2 211 N o r t h 7t h St reet , We s t M on roe , L ou i s i a n a 7 1 2 9 1

318.410.4744

www.Origin.bank

MEMBER FDIC

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Celebrating

Those Delta Picnics

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Writer’s Note: The word “picnic” conjures up different images for different people. Their personal experience with this particular way of enjoying an outdoor meal will vary, but there will be some constants --- the fear of rain, the forgotten bottle opener, and the ants. The menu, the location, the time of day, and whether or not the picnic will be the “main event” or merely an accompaniment to a Georgiann larger gathering --- Potts all of these must be taken into account for picnic planning. Even an impromptu picnic requires some level of thought, however rudimentary. We Delta folk have raised the picnic to an art form. Why is that? I think it’s because of that wonderful trait we all seem to share --- Southern hospitality. We are always ready to “pass a good time”! GP One of my favorite family photographs is a lovely black-andwhite picture of my mother, father, and my brother standing on the banks of a small creek. If memory serves (for the photograph itself is long lost), it is my father who is shaking the tree that overhangs the water. That tree is a mayhaw tree, and its berries --- in the hands of a good Delta cook --- become a jelly fit for the gods. Mother is scooping up the berries with what appears to be a cloth “net” designed to capture them as they fall and float on top of the water. Mother was one of those superb Delta cooks, and her mayhaw jelly’s fine flavor is still one of my favorite food memories. Her jelly had just the right balance between tart and sweet, so that it worked perfectly on biscuits and toast, but could also bring an ordinary peanut butter sandwich to new heights. In my memory my brother is looking on, no doubt eager for this project to be over so that he can take a swim. Mayhaw trees could usually be found along river and creek banks, so the association of DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | J U LY 2 017 | 2 5


them with a swim was a given. Although the mayhaw berries ripen between late April and May and the creek waters are still running cold that time of year, such details would never have deterred my brother! I am not pictured in the scene because it will be some years yet before I am born. Perhaps that is one reason I loved this photograph so much. It was a “window” on their world before me. Both my brother and my parents were “older” when I came along, and I missed knowing them --- especially my brother --- during those earliest days they all had together. Picnics and Nature . . . No doubt my brother’s other wish that day would have been for the picnic to begin. Picnics, like swims, were usually a part of a mayhaw “harvesting” trek even after I was old enough to join in the fun. Because these were “working” trips and often spur-of-the-moment, the picnics were usually very simple. A cloth of some sort was spread on the ground in a shady spot, and the meal was offered. The menu always included a thermos of hot coffee. It seems that back then, as today, the need for coffee was a serious one that had to be met! Sandwiches, often spicy pimento cheese or simply a cheese slice with mayonnaise, were carefully wrapped in waxed paper which was held tight by a toothpick or two. Potato chips were a rare treat back then, not so much because they were all that expensive but more so because Mother’s homemade ones were so much better. However, she discovered that the homemade ones didn’t “travel” well on a hot day and reluctantly chose “store bought” ones. The highlight of the fare was dessert. This was usually either homebaked cookies or a generous slice of homemade cake. Both of these did “travel” well (unless someone sampled beforehand), and both were sure to satisfy. Anytime that I asked Mother about that picnic picture when I was looking at it as a child, she

smiled as she remembered that day and many others just like it. She always mentioned the ants. She said that Daddy had a remarkable talent for selecting the same shady spot that the ants had also selected, and that the little devils would appear at some point during the meal to remind everyone that they were a part of this natural “scene”, too. She would giggle and add that the red bugs (“chiggers” to some) would make their presence felt much later. Picnics and Romance . . . Some of the more memorable picnics are those that are a part of a courtship --- picnics where memories are made. One of my husband’s favorite stories is one that his father used to tell. It

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concerned a very special picnic. Jim’s mother, Mary Jim Mooty, was a young school teacher in Waterloo, Alabama. She had graduated from Florence State Normal (now the University of North Alabama) and was a young career woman. She had recently gone home to her family home in Roanoke, Alabama, for a brief visit and was returning to Waterloo to resume her teaching. Jim’s father met her train at Florence, Alabama (his hometown where he ran a business) with the plan that he was going to drive her to Waterloo and spare her the bus portion of her journey. When Mr. Potts met that train, he carried with him a picnic basket that he intended to

share with Mary Jim. He drove her to a lovely spot just off the highway on the way to Waterloo from Florence. There was a spring there that provided a perfect place to stop and share that picnic lunch. What meal he had packed for them is lost in time, but his description of that picnic lives on. Jim says that his dad always said that the picnic with Mary Jim that day was when “. . . they began their walk together” --- a walk that lasted 55 years until his death. Variations on the Delta Picnic . . . As with just about everything else in the Delta culture, there are variations. This is surely true with picnics. Certainly sun, sandwiches, and ants


are common elements, but the differences showcase a certain creative streak that is to be found here. One form of the Delta picnic that has become especially popular during my own lifetime is the “tailgate” phenomenon. The term “tailgate” was coined no doubt by those pickup truckloving good old boys of the South. When it was time to enjoy a meal by a river or a stream, they found shade, dropped their tailgates, and there was the picnic table, ready for use! With the ice chest loaded and the grill ready to fire up, these folks knew how to enjoy themselves. A more practical-than-pleasure variation of the tailgate was the lunch for the workers on Kenilworth, especially during critical times of planting and harvesting. When noon came and it was time to eat, Daddy Moore and others like him on the neighboring plantations would save time and the workers’ energy by taking the lunch to the men instead of having them come in from the fields. There were stands of trees along the edges of the fields that provided shady places for them to rest and eat. Here the pickup truck tailgate wasn’t the table, it was the cafeteria. Tailgating and Football . . . Many words have been written about the tailgating tradition associated with football in the Delta, but until you have experienced it in person, you cannot truly comprehend what that tradition involves. There are so many things to be considered --the location, the equipment, the food, and the “extras” that distinguish one from the others. Tailgating before football games has become a ritual on most Southern campuses. Perhaps that is because our Delta weather is so agreeable (well --most of the time, except when it is blistering hot enough to fry sidewalk eggs or too cold to chip ice) and Delta folk are so friendly and eager to “party” with each other. There are contests nearly every year where fans “vote” for

which school has the best tailgate, and for the most part that is seen as good fun. Still, it would be best if everyone realized that tailgating is actually serious business down here. One thing I can attest to from my own personal experience --football tailgates are things of beauty meant to be shared. “Location, location, location” applies to more than just real estate. Where the institution has designated as tailgate space and its proximity to the stadium where the action will occur are both critical elements. Many schools, if blessed with expansive green spaces, provide fans with shade from trees and soft grasses underfoot. Others, not so fortunate, have to simply pitch their tents as best they can on parking lots and “make do”. Location also dictates the menu. In Baton Rouge, for example, the LSU fans gather early with their cookers so that they can prepare the best of the Cajun fare. It is not unusual to see huge pots of gumbo and etouffee, plus po’boys dripping with gravy (roast beef) or tarter sauce (shrimp). Here alligator

makes an appearance as well, often as sausage or fried as “alligator on a stick”. For Tennessee fans, it’s all about sweet potato biscuits with ham. Meant as a tribute to their mascot, Arkansas fans love pulled pork sandwiches with a side of pork ribs. (It should be noted that when they play away from home, their opponents’ tailgates often feature roasted pig for an entirely different reason . . . ) Raising the Bar . . . It was not until daughter Leigh enrolled at The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) that I saw firsthand the results of the morphing of the old-fashioned Delta picnic into a dining event of the highest order usually reserved for those infamous Delta weekend “parties”. Here in the “Grove” --- a gorgeous, grassy park dotted with grand old trees --- there stood a sea of red and blue, the Ole Miss colors. Canopy tents sported them, clothing featured them, and table appointments reflected them. I use the term “appointments” intentionally, because here it was not unusual to see

fine linens and sterling serving pieces. Depending on the time of day that the game started, the menu might feature either brunch or a full-blown dinner. Chafing dishes held foods normally associated with fine cocktail parties, while well-tended grills were the source for freshly cooked prime-cut meats. The biggest surprises among many for me were the candelabra and chandeliers. One just doesn’t expect to see those at a picnic . . . From those lazy days spent seeking out the mayhaw trees heavily burdened with ripened berries to today’s football picnic with generators for running televisions and other electric “extras”, one thing has remained the same. Picnics are gatherings of people brought together by a common passion. It may be love of family, or for a special sweetheart, or good old boys out for a good time, or sports fans who love their teams. Any of those are excuse enough to make a few sandwiches, find a shady spot, and enjoy the moment --- even with the ants.

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OUR MEDICAL PROVIDERS SPECIALIZE IN YOUR HEALTHCARE NEEDS

Harry Donias, MD Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery P: 318-329-3475

David Gardner, DPM Foot & Ankle P: 318-322-5506

Scott E. Henry, MD, PhD Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery P: 318-329-3475

David W. Norman, MD General Surgery P: 318-329-8411

Michael B. Wright, MD Psychiatry P: 318-329-4419

Dennis Fischer, PA Cardiovascular Surgery P: 318-329-3475

Billy G. Branch, MD Internal Medicine & Pediatrics P: 318-665-0170

Ronald Hammett, MD Pulmonary Specialist P: 318-329-8479

Hannah Morris, PA-C Urology P: 318-329-8517

Ellen Murray, NP Ear, Nose & Throat P: 318-329-8458

Brent Metts, MD, PhD Ear, Nose & Throat P: 318-329-8458

Roland Ponarski, MD Family & Internal Medicine P: 318-329-8485

Jenny Guerre, MD Neurology P: 318-807-4611

Alyce R. Adams, MD Internal Medicine & Preventive Cardiology P: 318-322-0458

Edward Rutland, MD Urology P: 318-329-8517

Kim Kornegay, NP Stat Care P: 318-396-3800

Karen Sinclair, NP Cardiovascular Surgery P: 318-329-3475

Russell T. Lolley, MD Wound Care P: 318-329-8411

Deanna McKee, NP Pulmonology P: 318-329-8479

Lynn Talley, NP Stat Care P: 318-396-3800

OUR PRIMARY CARE CLINICS Family & Internal Medicine 102 Thomas Rd. Suite 104 West Monroe, LA 71291 P: 318-329-8485

Stat Care 1107 Glenwood Dr. West Monroe, LA 71291 P: 318-396-3800

Internal Medicine & Preventive Cardiology 3106 Cypress St. West Monroe, LA 71291 P: 318-322-0458

Internal Medicine & Pediatrics 9052 Hwy 165 N Sterlington, LA 71280 P: 318-665-0170

Schedule an appointment from any device online at MyGlenwoodClinic.com.

503 McMillan Dr. West Monroe, LA 71291

Cheri Perkins, Administrator p: 318-329-4720

www.glenwoodmedicalgroup.com MN-1000634825

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Visit DeltaStyleMag.com from July 1-July 31 to vote for us in Delta Style.

Proudly Serving the Monroe and West Monroe Community with 3 Locations 2761 Louisville Ave | Pecanland Mall | 206 Thomas Rd | RaisingCanes.com DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | J U LY 2 017 | 2 9


SOMETHING SPECIAL WITH 2 DUDES 30 | JULY 2017 | DE LTAS T YL E M AGAZ I N E


How two local guys from the Delta took on new roles of Chief Flavor Engineer and Chief Pitmaster and launched their food truck busniness.

I

EMMA SAGER

f you need food, then you need 2 Dudes! 2 Dudes Catering has been serving up the finest food truck cuisine since March of this year and have become popular across the Delta. The owners, Kevin Meredith (Chief Flavor Engineer) and Chris Brown (Chief Pitmaster), are determined to provide the best bar-b-que food experience for every customer that comes their way. The 2 Dudes serve up pulled pork nachos, bar-b-que pasta, pulled pork sandwiches, po-boys and their famous smoked brisket tacos. These guys focus on two things when someone stops by

their truck: fast and fun. “We are excited because we get to go to all of these events in places like Winnsboro and Tallulah,” Brown said. “It is not just here in Ouachita Parish where people have taken a liking to us, it is everywhere.” The idea to start a catering business began when Meredith’s home flooded in Swartz, and he had to start his life over from scratch after he lost everything he owned. Meredith decided that it was the right opportunity to make a change in his life and do something that he enjoyed for a living. Meredith and Brown have been best friends for years, which makes them the perfect fit to own a business together. They started brainstorming on how they

GARY GUINIGUNDO

Kevo Meredith and Chris Brown, owners of 2 Dudes Catering

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Rosco, the 2 Dudes Radio mascot

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Lindsey Sivils, Chris Brown, Kevo and Mary Meredith

could turn their desire to cook into a business. Around that time, they came across an old AmeriPride truck that was for sale. They immediately made an offer and, before they knew it, they were living their dream of having their own catering business. “This whole thing started because of a flooded home,” Meredith said. “So we work hard to make this pay-off and, so far, it has been really fun.” The 2 Dudes Catering experience begins the moment you walk up to the food truck. There is no window on the side of the truck to place an order. There is always a person in the passenger seat with a credit card machine ready to take orders as soon as you walk up to the food truck. The catering business does not have any raw meat in the truck. All of the food is pre-

made and ready for an order, which helps the Dudes get food to their customers as fast as possible. “We do not cook to order,” Meredith said. “This allows us to turn out a meal in just a couple of minutes, and it works for us.” The Dudes have everything inside their food truck that ensures fresh, hot food is available at all times. Looking inside the truck, you can see that it is very clean. Meredith put a big emphasis on the importance of cleanliness when working with food for customers. Even though there is no raw meat inside the food truck, they still focus on keeping the environment as neat as possible. Inside the truck is a sink, a microwave, two crock pots, and a few hot boxes to hold all of the food. The hot boxes are efficient enough

to keep food at the temperature it is when it is pulled off a smoker for over 10 hours. There is also a press to heat up the taco shells and buns, so by the time the food is served, it is still as hot as it was when it was cooked. “Most people have po-boys, and we have a po-dude,” Meredith said. “It’s a smoked ham po-dude.” After placing an order at the front of the truck, you can walk to the back to wait for the food to be prepared and served. There is a table set up where Meredith and Brown hand deliver the food to each customer that comes to their food truck. All condiments, lettuce, tomatoes, bar-q-que sauce, beverages, and all you need for your meal are available at the table. Being at the back of the truck allows the Dudes to get shake

“This whole thing started because of a flooded home, So we work hard to make this pay-off and, so far, it has been really fun.” KEVIN MEREDITH

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GARY GUINIGUNDO

Orders are placed in the front of the food truck

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hands with everyone that enjoys their food. They both agree that meeting new people and getting to know their customers is the best part of what they do every day. “The number one thing, without a doubt, out of this whole gig is standing back here when someone comes and orders food, and we get to go, ‘Hey, man, we appreciate your business. We hope you enjoy, and let us know what you think,’” Brown said. “Getting to know people is the best, and we love getting to interact with them.” Before their first event as 2 Dudes Catering, they were at a loss about how they should serve their brisket to people. They could not decide if they should cut up the brisket and put it on a sandwich, or serve it by itself in slices to customers. Their cashier, Haley Prine, came up with a brilliant idea that has made the 2 Dudes famous all over the Delta. This idea was to put the smoked brisket in

tacos. “Haley had the idea to put the brisket inside the taco shell,” Meredith said. “So we grabbed some taco shells then we put it out the next morning, and it was a hit.” Meredith and Brown do not just do catering; they also have their own podcast. The podcast began before they started their cooking business. They call it 2 Dudes Radio, presented in the Ouachita Brewing Company Studios and their episodes can be found on iTunes. It is all the things that a “dude” would want to talk about, such as sports, beer, food and more. The podcast is even on Facebook live so people can watch and interact with the Dudes during each episode. “It all started over a beer. About September two years ago, we had been brain storming and said let’s do something that we can do for fun and interact with people,” Brown said. “Having fun and interacting with people is what it is all

about. It is in everything that we do.” They said that all the hard work they do to make 2 Dudes Catering a success is much more fun when your business partner is a good friend. The 2 Dudes brought the food truck at

the Bayou DeSiard Dragon Boat Races this year and have catered for two private weddings. To find out where the 2 Dudes Catering food truck will be next, call 318-232-2818 or go like their Facebook page for updates!

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Great places within a short drive to travel to this summer. Do you ever want to pack up and get out of town, but aren’t able to escape for very long? A day trip to some of these interesting locations just might satisfy the inner travel bug in you itching to get out. Whether you crave the beach, peaceful and quiet scenery, or a crazy night out on the town, these destinations have it all.

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Lake D’Arbonne A relaxing, beautiful lake view at sunset on Lake D’Arbonne is something that can’t be beat. This 15,000-acre lake located in Union Parish makes for the perfect weekend escape.

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Going to the Watermelon Festival, this outfit is the perfect thing to wear

THINGS TO DO: » The 54th Annual Watermelon Festival - The last weekend in July is the perfect weekend to plan your stay. The streets will come alive within Courthouse Square with the celebration of the 54th Annual Watermelon Festival. The festivities begin that Thursday, the 27th, with a treasure hunt and pageant. Friday night is the time for the infamous street dance with live music from the Mike McKenzie Band and tricycle racing. There are multiple contests throughout the night, such as best dressed watermelon, armwrestling, watermelon eating and seed spitting contests. Saturday morning, the parade will roll down Main Street and the night will end with the crowning of the Watermelon Pageant Queen. » Stay at EdgeWood Plantation – When visiting the Lake D’Arbonne, make plans to stay at Edgewood Plantation. It stands about one mile west of the town of Farmerville at 8876 Hwy 2. Today it is one of the biggest wedding and special event venues in North Louisiana. Make your reservation to stay inside the home, or in one of the unique cabins on the ground, and experience Mrs. Kay Carroll’s hospitality. Guided tours are also available. KATHI TALLEY

Lake D'Arbonne

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Memphis:

THE TOWN OF MUSIC AND BBQ

There’s a reason that more than 10 million people visit Memphis, Tennessee each year. It is rich in art, culture, great food, and music. It boasts more than 100 BBQ restaurants and numerous musical attractions like Sun Studios and the Gibson guitar factory. If you are a lover of food and music, this destination is for you!

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Memphis Pyramid

THINGS TO DO: Beale Street - Take a walk down Beale Street, one of the most famous streets in America, where the Blues of the Delta found a home. Live music will fill your ears and make your feet want to move. Sing your heart out and dance with the locals as you visit an array of local taverns and pubs. Rooftop Parties at the historic Peabody Hotel – The rooftop parties take place every Thursday night during the summer. Relish in live music with great views, admission includes one cocktail. On the way to the party, watch the whimsical Peabody Ducks march through the hotel lobby. Elvis Week– Take a walk through history and visit Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley on August 11-19 for Elvis Week. There will be a candlelight vigil commemorating the 40th anniversary of his death on August 15th with other activities throughout the week including auctions, a 5K, reunions, and other tributes the late King. Pyramid of Memphis- Built in 1991 as a sports arena, the “Tomb of Doom” was then abandoned and reopened in 2015 as a Bass Pro Shops with an indoor swamp, “underwater” bowling alley, and glass observation deck. The retail chain is inside what is the largest pyramid in the US. Spend an afternoon, explore, shop, and enjoy the view from the top.

Memphis BBQ

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Ship Island Take a short ferry ride to one of the Gulf’s most pristine beaches on Ship Island. The island was named in 1699 by French explorers, and became the “Plymouth Rock” of the Gulf Coast. In the war of 1812, nearly 10,000 troops met on the island when plotting the takeover of New Orleans. Having the only deep-water harbor between Mobile Bay and the Mississippi River, the island served as a vital anchorage for ships bearing explorers, colonists, sailors, soldiers, defenders and invaders. The French, Spanish, British, Confederate and Union flags have all flown over Ship Island. Today, West Ship Island serves as a tourist destination. Activities include fishing, swimming, and tours of Fort Massachusetts.

Essentials to bring to Ship Island

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THINGS TO DO: Relax on the Beach – Upon arrival to the island, umbrellas and chairs are available for rental. A short walk brings you to a snack area with picnic tables that sell snacks, hot meals, and beer. Grab a beer, put your toes in the sand, and relax! Explore Fort Massachusetts – When visiting the island, bring more than flip flops and sunscreen. Bring your imagination as you walk through a piece of history upon the island. The salt water and harsh gulf winds have eroded the fort, but the remains are steadfast, unwavering offering a glimpse of the past. When Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union, the confederate army took possession of the island and fort and converted it to a Confederate Army base. The brick wall construction began in 1859 and lasted until 1866. The confederate army mounted cannons on the fort walls and were only used once in 1861, firing at the Union Navy’s USS Massachusetts. The biggest cannons could fire 400 pound balls up to 3 miles. Today, you can walk the grounds and stand atop the fort to get the same view that soldiers had of the land so many years ago. The Lighthouse - After docking back on shore in Gulfport, take the short ride down to Biloxi. There is a lighthouse that has been the symbol of resilience through the years and many storms that it has withstood. Hurricane Katrina toppled many of the bricks inside and had surges enveloping a third of the outside. It underwent a remodel in 2010, opening the 162-year-old lighthouse up for public tours. The tours still run today.

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Broken Bow, Oklahoma If you are looking for a nice, quiet, and serene setting to relax, Broken Bow Oklahoma is the place for you. Nestled in the Southeast corner of Oklahoma, it is in the Ouachita National Forest and the gateway to Broken Bow Lake, and the Mountain Fork and Glover Rivers. Take a weekend, get off the grid, and soak up nature.

Beaver's Bend Lake in Broken Bow Oklahoma.

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THINGS TO DO: Stay at Beaver’s Bend State Park - Beaver’s Bend boasts 47 cabins and over 100 campsites to accommodate experienced campers, RV’s, or the expert tent camper can pitch up right along the waterside. Keep an eye out for wildlife that roam the lush forest such as beavers, deer, and bear. Canoeing and Kayaking – With all the waterways surrounding Broken bow, the kayaking and canoeing options are endless. There are many businesses that provide kayaks or canoes for rental with transportation to the drop-off sites and back. offer 3 mile floats, or 8 hour floats for the more adventurous. Horseback Riding – What better way to spend time in the outdoors! Take a relaxing trail ride around the lake along the David Boren Hiking Trail, one of the best in Oklahoma. Broken Bow, Oklahoma

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Port Gibson, Mississippi: EXPLORING OFF OF THE BEATEN PATH

The mighty Mississippi River was the beginning of development for many towns in the South. Port Gibson was one of Mississippi’s original settlements first established in 1729 by French explorers. It was later named a town in 1803 after the Louisiana Purchase was chartered. The town rose in popularity and numbers with the river being so easily accessible for the incoming steamboats and for the flat, abundant land for growing cotton. After the civil war, with the abolishment of slavery, the town began to decline. The once glorious, booming businesses are overgrown and abandoned leaving the remnants of what once was. Amidst the disarray, the historical artifacts are worth the drive.

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THINGS TO DO: Windsor Ruins - Deep-rooted oak trees overlap the road driving through the Mississippi country side to the Windsor Ruins. Located 10 miles southwest, the four-story home was originally a 2600-acre plantation built with slave labor between 1859 and 1861. It was designed by architect David Shoder and built by prosperous cotton grower, Smith Coffee Daniell. It was once called the most magnificent home in the state of Mississippi. The above-ground basement alone had a doctor’s office, dairy, schoolroom, commissary and multiple other storage rooms. The upper floors had 23 bedrooms with a fireplace in each and water storage tanks on the roof collecting rainwater. The materials for the home were imported from New England, back then, a distance that far was only for the highest luminaries. At age 34, Mr. Daniell died only a few weeks after the completion of the great home. The plantation carried on, even serving as a hospital for Union soldiers in the Civil War until 1890. A fire was started by a house guest flicking a cigarette into a pile of sawdust. The once illustrious home that Mark Twain called ''The mansion high above the bluffs,'' and that it ''was visible for miles in every direction,'' was gone. All that remains today are 22 haunting molded-brick and plaster pillars. Grand Gulf Military Park - A short drive from the Windsor Ruins, the Gulf Grand Military Monument Park will bring you back in time to wear a battle from the Civil War was fought. The park includes a cemetery, a museum, campgrounds, hiking trails, and many authentic artifacts of the Civil War days. There is a church on the grounds used by Confederate soldiers and a submarine used in the prohibition days to smuggle booze down the Mississippi River.

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OGLESBY FINANCIAL GROUP Supersize Me: Here’s a Way to Fatten Up Your Retirement Savings

Darren Oglesby, Registered Financial Consultant

Wouldn’t it be something if you could plump up your retirement savings as easily as you can put on a few pounds eating fast food? Here’s one way to do it: Open a health savings account (HSA). It offers a triple tax advantage and you can contribute the maximum every year. Here’s the catch: Not everyone can do this. They are only available to people enrolled in their employers’ highdeductible health insurance plans (HDHP) and who do not participate in any other health insurance plans.

HSAs offer a triple tax advantage: 1 Contributions are tax-deductible 2. Any interest and earnings grow tax-deferred 3. Distributions are tax-free when used for qualified medical expenses

HSAs are portable. FSAs are not. The money in your HSA account is yours. If you change employers, the account, and any savings in it, remains yours. Typically, FSAs are ‘use it or lose it’ plans. If money is left in an FSA at year-end, one of three things may occur:

Unlike flexible spending accounts (FSAs), there is no ‘use it or lose it’ 1. Any unspent savings is lost. provision. Any money left in an HSA 2. The employer’s FSA provides a at the end of the year belongs to the grace period of up to 2½ months account owner and remains in the after the end of the plan year during account, growing tax-deferred, until which the savings can be used for qualified medical expenses. it is distributed. •

The HDHP must have minimum deductibles ($1,300 for an individual and $2,600 for a family for 2017) and maximum out-of-pocket costs ($6,550 for an individual and $13,100 for a family for 2017). If you are enrolled in a plan that meets these requirements, then you may be able to fatten up your retirement savings with an HSA.

3. The employer’s FSA has a carryover feature, which allows You can save more in an HSA up to $500 to rollover and be used than in an FSA. An individual for qualifying medical expenses can contribute up to $3,400 to during the following year. an HSA in 2017, and a family can contribute up to $6,750. That’s a HSAs offer a clear advantage for lot more than anyone can save in people who may not incur significant an FSA, which has a maximum medical expenses each year. HSA contribution of $2,600 pre-tax assets can accumulate until you need them – even if that’s after you retire. for 2017. V OT E D

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Stay tuned next month for Healthcare Hero winners and pictures!

DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | J U LY 2 017 | 5 3


GARY GUINIGUNDO

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JOHN JONES

Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park

Jones’ DREAMS FOR TOMORROW GEORGIANN POTTS

Writer’s Note: Famed photographer Ansel Adams once wrote, “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.” I’ve always loved that quote because I have found it to be absolutely true. The most expensive photography equipment in the hands of someone with no “vision” will not produce a decent photograph. In the same way, the cheapest phone camera can produce amazing results in the hands of one who “sees” and captures that sight that the rest of us miss. John Jones is a visionary. His remarkable photographs reflect it. His career embodies it. Jones “sees” what most do not ---

whether in a landscape, in a face, or in a corporate challenge --- and, more importantly, he “sees” a way to capture these things for the good. I first met Jones when he enrolled in an American Literature course that I was teaching at Georgiann night in the Potts 1980’s. Those classes were always crowded, and Jones by his own admission was very “low key” back in those days. I remember only that he was bright and was an older student working on an advanced degree. Through the years our paths crossed occasionally. At differ-

ent times, we both taught at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM), and we both worked there directing Public Affairs. It was not until nearly three years ago that our paths merged. That was when he asked me to begin working with the Ouachita Business Alliance (OBA), an organization that Jones was helping to found with a group of other business and community leaders. By this time, Jones was senior vice president - policy and government relations for CenturyLink, Louisiana’s only Fortune 160 company headquartered in the State. Forming OBA made perfect sense in terms of Jones’ vision for how our region could grow and prosper, positively impact-

ing not only residents of Ouachita Parish but those living beyond. He believed there had to be a group of independent business leaders who would step forward and offer to help the various local governments here address priorities. He was right. And, yes. Jones is still occasionally taking photographs that take your breath away. That vision hasn’t diminished, either. GP John Jones has always been a hard worker. When you hear him tell stories about his family, you realize that he came by his work ethic honestly. Throughout his life, he has been fortunate to have mentors nearby --both in his family and those who are “like family” --- to reinforce

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JOHN JONES

A photo shot by Jones on a trip to Israel with wife, Susan.

his attitude toward work and life. When John Jones’ mother was 40 years old, she entered the workforce for the first time. Betty Ann Taylor Jones’ 30-year marriage to Frank Jones had produced five children, but after a divorce, she found herself a single mom responsible for her household. She began her career as a court reporter, and later became office manager for a new medical business, Pathology Associates. She worked with Doctors Blanchard and Geisler until she retired some 30 years later. She was a successful mother and career woman who was devoted to her family. Betty Jones’ children were very likely a handful when they were growing up. Bright children always are. Each became successful, but in quite diverse careers. Three earned university degrees from the University of Louisiana at Monroe (then Northeast Louisiana University) and two graduated

from Louisiana Tech. Their mother attended and graduated from both. The oldest of the group is Dr. Floyd Jones, a retired family practice doctor and full-time hospitalist at Glenwood Medical Center. John is the second born in the group, and the only one who developed a career in corporate telecommunications. Three sisters were born after the two boys. Ann worked as an elementary school teacher and is now retired and living in California. Marilyn was a successful entrepreneur and recently retired after selling her one-ofa-kind women’s health club in Ridgeland, Mississippi. The youngest Jones is Julie, born 16 years after Floyd. She works for the 4th Judicial District judges handling Human Resource and Benefits. She worked prior to that as a supervisor for State Farm in Monroe before they closed their regional office. A family joke shared by the Jones clan concerns their maternal grandmother, Elizabeth

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Rinehart Taylor. She was called “Buff”, a name she acquired when Floyd was a toddler and couldn’t say “Elizabeth”. Jones says that “Buff” always said that she was the first Elizabeth Taylor. She lived with the family after her husband died. “We were fortunate beyond our childhood understanding to have her live with us,” Jones says. “She played a major role in raising us, and I think we can all attribute any social skills and work ethic we have to her.” Interestingly, the source of Jones’ interest in the community may have been Buff’s father who was himself a community leader. Jones’ great-grandfather, Robert Lafayette Rinehart, was mayor of West Monroe during the turn of the last century. There is a bell tower on Trenton Street that commemorates the location of the first official City Hall that was built during his tenure. The Jones children understood that education beyond high school was going to have to

be financed primarily by themselves. “All of us pretty much put ourselves through college by working while going to school,” Jones remembers. “Parental financial help was not really an option at that time in our lives.” Bicycles and Sidewalks . . . Jones treasures memories from his childhood spent growing up in Monroe’s Garden District, a premier residential area in the early 1960’s filled with families with young children. The family lived at 908 North 3rd Street, perfectly positioned to give the Jones children access to both Georgia Tucker and the network of neighborhood sidewalks. “There were kids everywhere,” Jones recalls. “We had a great sidewalk system that connected multiple blocks in every direction. Bicycles were critical transportation for us, and we rode them everywhere.” Jones remembers that time and that particular neighborhood as ones where children


JOHN JONES

Phillips Bridge in Monroe

could roam about freely and safely. They would ride to the levee, to the park, and up to North 18th without fear. Families in the neighborhood knew and looked out for each other. Jones attended Georgia Tucker, Lee Junior High, and Neville High School, and enjoyed them all. He says that some of his most memorable teachers taught at Georgia Tucker, but that all three schools provided him with an excellent education. His years at Neville were focused primarily on two things: his studies and work. Because he had to work, he did not get involved with much during high school except his classes. His focus was on getting into college and getting more education. What he did get involved in was an “after school and weekends” job at the Hobby House. Here he worked for Richard Harrison, a fellow he credits as being “ . . . possibly one of my most important mentors.” Harrison and his wife, Jean, were

more than just people to work for. In a way, Jones says they helped rear him. “Richard taught me more about interacting with people, integrity, ownership, and responsibility, and pursuing multiple interests than I have ever learned in a class,” Jones says. The University Years . . . Jones had no specific career in mind for himself while he was in high school. Perhaps because of his older brother’s desire to be a physician, Jones also looked at options in the medical field. When he enrolled at Northeast Louisiana University in 1972, he selected dentistry as his career goal. To get the most from each semester, Jones took 18 hours of coursework while working two part-time jobs to cover the cost. This load, combined with the fact that he wasn’t all that interested in chemistry, meant that he decided after a year and a half to eliminate dentistry and look at other career options. In his search for another ma-

jor, Jones saw that there was a degree offered in photo-journalism. He was an excellent writer, and --- although selftaught --- a better-than-average photographer. The new major seemed a perfect fit. In many ways, it was. “When I learned how to combine my camera skills with my writing, I discovered that it was pretty natural for me and that I was pretty good at it,” Jones explains, “I felt like I was where I was supposed to be for that time in my life.” One of Jones’ campus jobs was in the NLU Photo Lab where he and other students learned more about their craft from Billy Heckford. Among those Jones met there was Leo Honeycutt, who remains a close friend. “This job was the closest thing to ‘social involvement’ that I had while at the university,” Jones remembers. “Still, I probably met more people and covered more events than most students did while there.” After earning an Associate of

Arts degree in that field, Jones returned to the university later to earn both a Bachelors degree in Journalism and a Masters degree in communication. During his time at the university, Jones came under the influence of a number of exceptional professors. He minored in history --- his favorite subject not related to his major --- and in that curriculum especially enjoyed Dr. Richard Haynes, Dr. H.P. Jones, and Dr. Thomas Strickland. Not one of these professors shared the same teaching style, and yet all of them were remarkably gifted in making the case that history was a teacher from which all could learn. In his journalism studies, Jones was mentored by Bob Carroll and Earl Casey. Both men helped Jones to understand the world of reporting and the need for equal parts of accuracy and curiosity. It is Dr. Pat Hebert, Jones’ major advisor for his Masters program, whom Jones says challenged him the

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JOHN JONES

The pier at Gulf Shores

most academically. His respect for Hebert is still evident. Jones says, “I owe much to him for his focus on academic integrity and his great sense of humor.” Something else happened during these years at the university. Once again, mentor Harrison played a role. Harrison suggested that Jones consider volunteering for Mainline, a nonprofit group that was operated as an all-volunteer helpline to help callers connect with professionals in the community who could help them with their drug problems. Mainline was a ‘70s-era service that operated on shifts that ran from 5:00 pm until 7:00 a.m. During those hours some social work and counseling professionals together with 30 or more collegeage volunteers responded to callers and developed strong friendships among themselves. Love and Marriage . . . It was 1974 at Mainline that Jones met another volunteer, Susan Covington. She was volunteering there to log hours as a

NLU student nurse. Two years later they were married. Today, 41 years later, Jones credits a similar sense of humor, a shared value system, and their mutual respect for one another as keys to their happiness. Both have high stress careers --- she is a retired cardiac intensive care nurse, a career that matches his in intensity. Susan was head of CCU at S. Francis Medical Center for nine years. “Susan is a phenomenal caregiver, and has been a God-given gift for caring for others,” says Jones. Susan’s volunteer work as a medical missionary is one of the things that Jones admires most about his wife. “She has worked all over the world with various mission teams,” Jones says. “She has traveled to Israel 14 times and has developed her own network of contacts and friends there.” Career Path . . . Also in the mid-‘70’s, Jones began working for the Alexandria Daily Town Talk as a photojournalist. His work there in-

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cluded covering the nation’s bicentennial. During that stint, he also covered presidential candidates Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and George Wallace when they campaigned in Louisiana. It was a very exciting job for a young man in his twenties. John and Susan returned to Monroe in 1979 to be closer to family and so John could finish his education. Over the next 12 years, he worked for the university as Student Publications manager, taught communications courses, was University Publications manager, and finally Public Affairs director, reporting to the university president. These positions helped Jones to sharpen his skills and gain invaluable management experience. During this time, he further developed his people skills and learned about working collaboratively with various department heads, faculty, public officials, and the media while mentoring students. Life changed for Jones and Susan during this period when

their pastor, Mickey Humphrey, told them that a baby was going to be born in less than two weeks and he thought that the two of them should adopt the child. According to Jones, the decision was a “no brainer” although they did pray for guidance. They selected a boy’s name and a girl’s name, and in ten days, they became Taylor Jones’ parents. “Susan was playing first base on a girls’ softball team for our church when our son Taylor was born,” Jones remembers with a smile. “It was a lifechanging event for all three of us, and probably the best thing we have ever done.” Taylor is 29 now, living in Atlanta, and as their only child, is still the focus of John and Susan’s attention. In 1993 when Jones was 40, an opportunity presented itself that was to change everything for him. That was the year that he was offered and accepted a position at CenturyLink (then CenturyTel). He began there in Corporate Communication and soon found himself tasked


JOHN JONES

Koi pond at feeding time

with tracking and summarizing federal legislation that would transform the entire telecommunications industry. “I had a steep learning curve on the substantive issues, but I had some good teachers internally who helped me get up to speed. What I did have was relationships in Congress --- mostly staffers who had backgrounds similar to mine,” Jones explains. There were elements in the legislation that were critical to CenturyTel at the time. Because of his skill, Jones was moved into a government relations/ regulatory role, becoming only the second person to do government relations for the company. The next thing he knew, he was making frequent trips to Washington, DC for industry meetings and lobbying work. That work continued until 2008 when the company formally opened a DC office. During his career at CenturyLink, Jones has enjoyed watching the company grow from 2,500 employees and few-

er than 250,000 customers to where that company is today. The government relations “department” that began with two now has 185 people working in that area for state, federal, and compliance work. He enjoys helping his employees achieve their full potential in their area and become better leaders. “This is a dynamic company that has not stopped changing since I joined it,” Jones explains. “I’ve never been bored, and it’s important to help those I work with navigate frequent change successfully.” No, boredom is not an issue. One of the reasons, according to Jones, is because of the diversity of the people he gets to meet in the course of his work. He cites a recent experience that reflects this. He and two coworkers went to New York for a meeting with former Mayor Rudy Guiliani to discuss cybersecurity issues and CenturyLink’s role in providing protection. “Going to Washington, interacting with members of Congress,

and just walking through the Capitol are still extremely rewarding,” Jones says. “Looking back, the relationships I have developed and maintained have really been instrumental in any success I have had.” The Simple Life . . . Those who know Jones well know about his love for fishing. He seems happiest in photographs showing him in a boat, fishing gear in hand, out on a lake in brilliant sunshine. He enjoys hunting as well, but it is fishing that attracts him most. His “photographer’s eye” does not fail him when he has the chance to be out in nature, preferably near or on water, watching as the light changes just after sunrise or toward twilight. Jones has no immediate plans for retirement, but will likely not stray far from communications. He lists travel-related writing and photography as possibilities, but adds that he would also enjoy doing some political or public relations consulting. “I would not do well sit-

ting completely idle,” he says. One thing that he especially looks forward to is spending more time with Susan and Taylor. He freely admits that balancing his corporate workload and frequent travel away with home has taken its toll on his private time. Both Susan and Taylor have been understanding, but Jones still wishes that he could have done more when Taylor was younger. From riding his bicycle all over the Garden District, to mowing yards (at one point he had 7), to sacking groceries at Piggly Wiggly, to selling shoes on commission on nights and weekends while going to college, to his career in photo-journalism and university publications and public relations, to his emergence as a corporate senior vice president covering one of the most important “waterfronts” for CenturyLink --- John jones has proved over and over again that he knows how to work to achieve his goals.

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TALKS on TOWER

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“Growth is not by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – James Cash Penney North Louisiana is always growing and expanding. At DeltaStyle, we want to recognize those individuals. Every month, we are going to feature several new businesses, as well as, veteran businesses that have recently expanded. XSTREME ATHLETICS Terry and Derry Taylor, owners of Xtreme Cheer and Tumble, believe that cheerleading is not just a sport; it’s a lifestyle. The twin brothers were born and raised here in the Delta. When they were 10-years-old, they moved to Texas where they began their cheerleading career in high school. Terry and Derry have been in and coached for competitive cheerleading competition for years all over the nation. When they had the opportunity to open their own tumbling gym, they immediately began working on their dream to coach competitive cheerleading.

“We love cheerleading, it is what we live and breathe,” Terry said. “I would not want to start our gym anywhere but Monroe.” Xstreme Cheer and Tumble opened in the middle of April with six children in their class. Now, the twins train almost 100 athletes of all ages at their gym. Terry and Derry teach all their athletes that it is important to perfect a skill before progressing to the next level in cheerleading. They explained that they strive for a competitive environment while teaching the values of cheer

as a team sport that is all about encouragement and unity. “Cheerleading and tumbling is physically demanding on the body more so than a lot of other sports,” Derry said. “It requires every part of your body.” To Terry and Derry, cheerleading is much more than a sideline sport. They wanted to take all the abilities they learned from their personal experiences in competitions across the nation and bring it back to Monroe. Coaching and training others is what makes each of the twins want to work even harder than

GARY GUINIGUNDO

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GARY GUINIGUNDO

Fresh herbs at the farmer's Market

GARY GUINIGUNDO

GARY GUINIGUNDO

they had in their own competitive cheerleading career. “The most gratifying aspect of coaching is helping the kids learn a new skill and get it by themselves,” Derry said. “Their faces are priceless.” Not only do the twins train competitive cheer and tumbling, they also know how to demonstrate each of the skills they want to teach their athletes. To keep up their tumbling abilities, the twins challenge each other on a weekly

basis so throw some of the toughest, most elite skills to ensure they maintain their muscle memory at a full capacity. Terry and Derry strongly believe that being able to teach what they already know how to do is the best way for an athlete to learn. “We know every cheerleading and tumbling skill on the spectrum, and we know how to coach it,” Terry said. “We know how to do everything that we teach to the athletes.”

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GARY GUINIGUNDO

Brittany Ramsey, Amy Scott, and Drew McGuire

As a competitive gym, Xstreme Cheer and Tumbling has a youth and a senior all-star competition teams that compete in the southeast. They had to host two different try-outs for the allstar teams due to high demand from parents and kids wanting to enroll. Terry and Derry ended up with 39 athletes for their all-star competition squads. With a 7,000-square foot gym, the twins have all the space and tumbling gear they need to build the teams they believe are the best of the best. Xstreme Cheer and Tumble offers introduction classes for children between 3 and 6, intermediate classes for those who have already developed a cheerleading skill set, and elite classes for the those with most advanced ability to tumble. Training is available for ages 3 to 18, and all classes are between 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Check out their website at www. xstremeathletics.com to sign up for classes with Terry and Derry! THE FARMER’S MARKET ON TOWER If you have driven down Tower Drive on Saturday mornings, I am sure you

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have noticed something new and different. Nestled back between Newk’s Eatery and CC’s Coffee House is a new Farmer’s Market. Happening every Saturday morning between 9Am and 1PM, the farm to fork affair is sponsored by CC’s Coffee House, Newk’s Eatery, Holistic Chamber of Commerce, For His Temple, and Ouachita Green. “Kingsland Ranch is one of our local vendors that comes to the market with their locally-raised brisket and ground beef. We also have Swamp Fox Farms there with duck eggs, jams and jellies. “As it grows, different vendors, artisans, and farmers are attending,” says Deidra Adair. “We wanted to dedicate this area to being family friendly and having a fun, organic lifestyle.” The Farmer’s Market also has live music, activities for the children, and fresh locally grown produce. Come out and support the local farmers and artisans and put money back into the local community. SWITCH Does it feel like everyone is always on their phone, caught up in technology and unengaging in the world around

them? Find it hard to meet new friends or date? Three local friends have decided to change that. “I got the idea one evening & pondered on it for a few weeks. I just kept thinking about it. I have a lot of single friends that say it is challenging to meet new people in person, but they were also really tired of Tinder & other online dating platforms. I asked Amy Scott her thoughts on it and asked her to partner up with me on getting it going,” says Brittany Ramsey. After talking with their friend, Lee McGuire, SWITCH was born. “It's a fun idea that is really needed in this Monroe/WM market and I was glad to help. I was chair for a volunteer event that has done numerous speed networking events in Vegas so it's going to be exciting seeing this take flight and grow,” says Lee. “I've been single in this market and the dating scene is not the easiest so this format is a great alternative to the impersonal online avenues.” SWITCH gives you the opportunity to change the way you connect with people. They will be hosting pop-up events that range from speed dating to professional networking. They encourage you to put


down the devices, look up from your screens, and connect face-to-face! Amy adds, ““I'm lucky to have a diverse group of friends that includes several smart, successful, attractive singles ranging in age from 21 to over 60. One of the most common complaints I hear from single friends is that online dating feels impersonal or disconnected, so when Brittany approached me with the idea, we went to our single friends and asked their feedback on whether they'd be interested in participating in an experience that gives them the opportunity to connect with real, likeminded singles in a safe, fun, rejection-free environment. The response was overwhelmingly positive.” The first event, “Lucky in Love” was held on June 29th at Enoch’s Irish Pub. Keep an eye out for other events from these ladies in the future! Connect with them on Facebook @switcheventsmonroe or they can be contacted at switcheventsmonroe@gmail.com. HAIK HUMBLE EYE CENTER Haik Humble Eye Center has been offering total eye care needs for over 30 years in North Louisiana. They have expanded many times through the years now having over 85 employees. This month, they are growing again as they welcome Dr. Drew Thomas, Opthmalogist to their team. Thomas grew up here in the Delta, he graduated from West Monroe High School where he met his wife, Tara. They have just relocated back to the area with their two daughters, and another child on the way. “We are very excited to have Dr. Drew join our team,” says Mary Sue Jacka, administrator of Haik Humble Eye Center. “I think that it is great that he has moved back home to practice and we are happy to have him.” We are happy to have him back in the area, look for more information to come about Dr. Drew in the future!

GARY GUINIGUNDO

GARY GUINIGUNDO

Dr. Drew Thomas

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NOMINATE US! Best Place for a Romantic Date Best Gumbo Best Breakfast/Brunch Best Outdoor Dining

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thanks for your continued support! DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | J U LY 2 017 | 6 9


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(318) 323-3426 • 2301 Sterlington Road, Monroe, LA 71203 74 | JULY 2017 | DE LTAS T YL E M AGAZ I N E


Neville Tigers Recognize The 2017

NAFA Scholarship Winners

Back Row (Left to Right): Jamier Singleton – The Fred Golson, Michael Marchman – NAFA, Robert Williamson – NAFA, John Henry Hebert – The Thomas Stephens, Charles Evan Smart – The Roosevelt Rankins, Nathan Nolan – The JoAnn Davis, Cullen Guerriero – The Joyce Mehl, Jacob Boykin – The Davidson Family, Trey Sartor – NAFA, Hawkins Royer – The Trey Altick & the Ruple/Brown Front Row (Left to Right): Josh England – The McMakin, Edmund Willson – The JoAnn Davis, Harrison Travis – The Scalia Family & McDade Tiger Award, Abby Wise – 1976 Memorial, Charlie Barefoot – The McMakin, Katherine Burkett – The Charlotte Bolton, Tae’lor Arnold – The James Traylor, Annabelle Yates – The James Machine Works, McKenna Kicey – The Courtney Kenney & Scott Foundation, Talia Teplitzky – NAFA, Whitney Kwentoh – The Brian Gregory

Ellie McElroy & Lori Guimbellot

Stewart Shelby & his son, Mason Shelby, future Tiger!!

Pat Anderson, Tiger Scramble Chairman

Tiger Scramble Funds Ruple Brown Scholarship awarded to:

Hawkins Boyer

Jay Traylor, NAFA President & Pat Anderson, Tournament Chairman

Lee Jefferson & Lyle Miller enjoy the tournament DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | J U LY 2 017 | 7 5


IN THE KITCHEN WITH BLAKE

Blake Phillips, executive chef at Bayou Roux gives a peak into what a day is like preparing his monthly wine dinners BLAKE PHILLIPS PHOTOS BY: GARY GUINIGUNDO

I

t’s a Thursday morning as I walk into what is now a clean, cold, and silent kitchen. With the day’s normal tasks at hand, there is excitement brewing in my mind. Tonight is our monthly wine pairing dinner at Bayou Roux. Jotting down my prep for the day, I start to truly get inspired; confit duck legs, pickled tomato relish, truffle soy vinaigrette, smoked jumbo lump crab, lavender and burnt honey ice cream, to name a few. A little

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over a week ago I wrote my menu and diligently paired them with some of my favorite wines, but now the real fun begins. Being a professional chef comes with tons of responsibility and a bit of monotony so being creative and getting outside of my comfort zone keeps me striving for more. With no set recipes, it’s a creative flow of time versus experience. Sure, I have made most of the items involved in each dish before but usually not paired with what’s on the

rest of the plate. At 1:30, our lunch shift has ended, of course busier than expected, leaving me with less and less time to feel comfortable about having each dish perfectly executed for tonight. Knowing my night crew will be here any minute gives me reprieve that we can make it happen. We are still needing to prep most of the components for 3 out of the 5 courses. Having written out a few recipes and delegating specific tasks to each cook makes


the fact that a reservation for twenty people, taken five minutes ago, will surely add to the excitement. Picking plate ware and making descriptions of wine that will complement the food are next to cross off the list. At 4:45, the restaurant and kitchen are filled with employees, bustling to finish last minute details and set the mood for what feels like is going to be a perfect service. The dining room is perfectly lit and tone has been set. Now it’s time to plate an example of the food so everyone can see and taste each course. And of course, take pictures for social media sake. First course: Gourmet Nachosdaikon chips, duck confit, pickled tomato relish, green onion cream cheese, avocado aioli. Paired with a balanced pinot noir. Second course: seared asparagus, truffle soy vinaigrette, oranges, toasted pecan, and goat cheese mousse. A crisp Riesling for this one. Third

course: cucumber gazpacho with smoked crab and grape tomato. Sean Minor Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly. Fourth course: lamb lollipop, bacon wrapped scallop, mint chimichurri, sweet potato. Buehler Cabernet Sauvignon. Fifth and final course: lemon crumb cake with lavender/honey ice cream. Fonseca ruby Port always is an excellent dessert wine. Service goes smoothly and we are flooded with compliments of how great the food was. All the work is done, the kitchen now, hot, messy and filled with signs of a good night, will be cleaned and reset for the following day. As a chef, these are the days I love. I will be hosting a wine dinner the second Thursday of every month at Bayou Roux. Be sure to look out for the menu as it is a chance to get to experience something truly original and creative. Chef Blake Phillips, Bayou Roux

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EXPERIENCE ROMANTIC LOS CABOS

Magical service and beautiful views make the ONE & ONLY PALMILLA the perfect honeymoon destination DIANNE NEWCOMER

S

ticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you....that was mama's mantra when I was growing up. I don't know. Maybe I was "that" child. You know, the whiner, the tattle tale, or the bully to my little sister, but I grew up thinking those words were true. Perhaps it made me a little more tough-skinned for the moment, but I doubt very seriously if any mama would ever teach such an idea today. We know better. Words are powerful! Why, in our world today, a single "tweet"-just 145 letter characters --can make millions think! Every day, as a travel agent, I see words at play and how the marketing geniuses can masterfully conjure up images that evoke an emotional response designed to make you invest in yourself and take time off. Picturesque words like The Dreams, Hedonism, Secrets, The Palace, and The Royal Hideaway are examples of words that sell expectations. When a resort so very boldly steps forward and names itself The ONE & ONLY, one must stop and take notice. In only 3 words, they have said it all, right? In my quest for travel truth, I asked newlyweds Lance and Molly (Husted) Glaser to tell us about their week at the ONE & ONLY PALMILLA in beautiful Cabo, Mexico. If you are looking for a special getaway, you might enjoy what they had to say: Q: What was your first impression of the ONE & ONLY? It started at the airport in Los

Cabos, we were quickly whisked away by our friendly airport hosts from ONE & ONLY PALMILLA, not having to lift a finger with our luggage, and swiftly loaded into a brand-new Cadillac Escalade. When the staff at PALMILLA opened the door to our SUV, we were immediately greeted with genuine smiles, and their signature hand-over- theheart that you can’t help but want to return. They handed us each a tamarind and coconut popsicle refreshment, which ended up being Lance’s favorite treat (he sweet talked the staff into bringing them to us on a regular basis after that and they happily obliged!). They also offered me a parasol (their words, not mine!) to shade my skin from the sun on our short walk from the porte-cochere to the grand entrance of the resort. We then hopped on a private golf cart passing the lush green landscaping, which honestly felt like it hydrated your skin just from being around it, and pulled up to our private oceanfront suite where the warmest smiling face led us to our room. Margareta introduced herself as our personal butler and offered us a welcoming tequila tasting, as well as to unpack our bags for us while were out to dinner that night. After becoming acquainted with our suite, we grabbed an ice cold Pacifico and slid into the plunge pool on our balcony overlooking the Sea of Cortez, where we were greeted by a school of jumping stingrays who seemed to be welcoming us to their piece of paradise! In a nutshell, this was our

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Newlyweds in Cabo

first impression—the start of what would soon become the best week of our lives to date! Q. So....did you feel like you were THE ONE & ONLY at this resort? Why? We DID! We truly felt like we were the only ones at the resort from the way the staff treated us to the way they structured the resort layout. It was just so perfect. Our room had a view of the ocean that felt very secluded and private. The details of this resort are what set it apart to us. Let me give you an example. We went to dinner at what ended up being one of our most favorite spots, Agua by Larbi, on the first night. They walked us to the edge of a cliff to a table overlooking the water, and I had on black silk shorts while Lance had on light dune colored pants. Before we sat down, they very quickly swapped out our two white napkins for one black napkin and one

white. You see, it's in the details: they think through what you want and need before you even know you want it! Q. Did you take advantage of their luxurious spa treatments? Were you prepared for sticker shock pricing everywhere? The whole resort felt like a spa experience to us, from the burning incense mixed in with the landscape along the paths leading to our home for the week, to the fresh flowers everywhere you look, we left feeling like we had been at a spa the entire time. However, we did take advantage of the ONE & ONLY Spa, and it was pure bliss. Upon arriving, we were led through a jungle-like path to our own private luxury villa for the day! Our therapists had a magical touch, using ESPA products that made for a truly relaxing experience. After two hours of therapeutic treatment,


our spa hosts left us to indulge in some warm hibiscus tea and dark chocolate dipped dried apricots on our outdoor shaded cabana. It was one of the most personal and enjoyable spa treatments that we have ever had! Q. Did you enjoy Pelican Beach, which is one of Cabo's only swimmable beaches? Paddle board? Deep sea fish? See whales? Snorkel? Scuba? Golf? It was definitely an added benefit of the ONE & ONLY! Lance and I spent a few days on the beach and took advantage of the calm protected waters, taking a dip to cool off every once in a while, in the sea. We were also assisted by the resorts’ amazing staff as we went paddle boarding one afternoon to explore the crystal clear blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. A few other activities that we enjoyed while we were there included morning yoga sessions with our wonderful instructor, a few trips to the gym which was furnished with state of the art equipment, and countless games of poolside ping pong , which I am much better at than my husband! Q: Cabo has such a fun nightlife scene.... did you participate? We did not get to check out the club scene while we were in Cabo, as we mainly focused on relaxing at the resort and having a great meal for dinner each night. One cool experience that we did happen upon due to our late check out on Sunday was attending the church service at the Chapel at Palmilla. Set on a hill over-

looking the entire resort, is a whitewashed open aired chapel with seating for less than forty people. This unique setting made for an intimate and holy service that was absolutely exquisite and the perfect way to end our week in paradise! Q. Was the dining experience at ONE & ONLY as good as I remember? Which was your favorite? The dining in Cabo, especially at the One&Only, was some of the best that we have ever experienced. We certainly did not get shorted on any of our meals, as all of them were fantastic. From the avocado toast and poached eggs, with fresh squeezed orange juice (Lance’s favorite!) and endless cups of piping hot coffee for breakfast at Agua, to the mesmerizing views at Sunset de Mona Lisa where they cooked our steaks right at our table, to El Farallon at The Resort at Pedregal where we picked out the pieces of fish that they prepared for us while sipping our favorite champagne, it all was a dream! Our favorite spot, if we can only pick one, would probably be Flora Farms. It wasn’t the fanciest meal that we had compared to Seared and Suviche at the O&O, which were both amazing, but it was a magical dining experience right in the middle of an organic farm accompanied with live music, unique cocktails, a gelato truck, and acres of beautiful scenery. Our driver warned us ahead of time not to be alarmed when we turn off road once we got near the farm, but you turn

off on a dusty road into what seems like nothing traveling down the side of a mountain. Then, the next thing you know, you see peaks of white stone buildings and the most beautiful little oasis. It was the most memorable evening and dining experience imaginable! Q. Considering ONE & ONLY is one of the world’s top resorts, would you return? We have already talked about when and who we will be returning with. We thought it was the perfect honeymoon destination because it felt very exclusive and luxurious; however, we also met a precious family from Los Angeles and they mentioned they have returned every year for the last 10 years for their vacation because of how special it is to them and how kid friendly it is! Q. I once had a client who said he never saw a blade of grass that was out of place, would you agree? Absolutely! It looks like they clip the hedges and grass with fingernail clippers! My husband is a little particular (to say the least) when it comes to landscaping and our lawn, so his absolute favorite feature of O & O Palmilla was the pristine grounds and lush landscaping. Q. Do you think it is the perfect honeymoon spot? Why? We truly believe that the One&Only Palmilla is the perfect honeymoon spot. We felt spoiled from the moment they greeted us at the airport, to the last popsicle they gave us as we were leaving the resort to catch our flight

home. There was more than we could have ever imagined to enjoy in Los Cabos and at the ONE & ONLY. From the beautiful scenery, delicious meals and firstclass service to the luxury rooming accommodations, resort amenities and private seclusion, you certainly knew how to pick the perfect spot and plan a memorable trip for our honeymoon! Q. Lance had wanted Molly to be “blown away” by the honeymoon, so I had to know if it happened: We were both absolutely blown away! The ONE & ONLY PALMILLA exceeded our expectations by far! It sounds cliché but it truly was everything and more than what we wanted it to be. We were wowed from the very beginning, and it honestly got better each day, if you could imagine! Q. Would you change anything about your trip? Honestly, we would not change a thing, other than plan a longer stay! The ONE & ONLY PALMILLA was a true gem, and we are forever grateful for your recommendation and helping us to plan the trip of a lifetime! Wow! What powerful words....and so very true. If you are looking for an exceptional getaway, give MONROE TRAVEL SERVICE a call at 318 323 3465 and let's talk about THE ONE & ONLY PALMILLA in Cabo or maybe even consider their sister property in the Bahamas. It's hard to imagine a better name for these stunning resorts!

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THE PALMS

Poolside along the beautiful waters of the Caribbean

FIND ME IN S THE PALMS… THE PERFECT CARIBBEAN GETAWAY JENNIFER SCHMEER

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ummer is upon us and we head to the Caribbean to celebrate my daughter’s straight A’s and a much needed break for moi. After a two hour and twenty minute flight from Atlanta, we land on Providenciales Island in Turks and Caicos. Clear skies and 85 degrees predicted all week. I made sure to arrange one particular car service for our stay on the island; Jay at Island Paradise Taxi & Tours company. I met Jay my last trip to the island, who is a former Rastafarian; born and raised on the island, so he knows it well and can arrange different types of vehicles and handle any other special requests. His company provides tours and I feel safer having one driver our entire stay while on the island. Jay could not be friendlier and shows up within minutes, so it was a comforting feeling having our very own driver. Greeted at the airport, Jay was there to whisk us to our first stop, The Palms. A 72-


suite resort located on the white sands of Grace Bay boasting world-class amenities such as a 25,000 square foot spa, fitness centre, state-of-the-art infinity pool, water sports, tennis, and a dedicated children’s club. With a one, two or three bedroom penthouse complete with butler service, The Palms can meet all your vacation needs. The Palms… At our arrival at The Palms, we are handed welcome towels with temple spa Quietude scent and it was refreshing and instantly washed away the travel marks. The welcome towels came with welcome drinks consisting of cucumber mint, lemon, water, and brown sugar. Delicious and the personal check-in was quick, efficient with smiles and professionalism. Sabrina, the Executive Manager, made us feel right at ease and shared the highlights of the resort and invited us to experience the Spa during our visit. Perfect way to start a holiday! We settle into a 1500 square foot, one bedroom suite just steps away from the turquoise water I have come to be reunited with. The suite has vaulted ceilings, marble flooring, custom-made mahogany furnishings, one and half luxury bathrooms and a beautiful, private patio with outside sun loungers with direct views and access to Grace Bay. Life is great! I love the crown molding and doors throughout the suite, the full kitchen, the powered blue walls in the master bathroom with a deep soaking Jacuzzi tub that overlooks a free standing shower just a couple of steps from the bathtub creating a very sexy spot. The patio outside is so comfortable and a great place to have a glass of wine in the evening or watch the boats and parasailers go by in the afternoon. On the dining room table that overlooks the patio and Grace Bay, there is a kind, welcome note from the General Manager, Jeff Morgan personally welcoming us to The Palms. We feel so special and enjoy the wine and cookies near the note. The sum-

THE PALMS

THE PALMS

The Palms Spa

mer holiday has officially begun! 72 West… After we settled into our suite, we decide to dine at the resorts on-site restaurant, 72 West, located at the lower pool deck between the infinity pool and the beach. We arrive at the beachside dining spot with fire pits with a family-friendly, Caribbean inspired menu. Jamaican born Carlson takes care of us with caicos conch for starters then moving on to a fried cracked conch sandwich with pickled relish & capers, tartar dressing, sweet chili sauce, iceberg lettuce, Bermuda onion and tomato. Carlson whips up a wonderful chocolate smoothie for my daughter with some panko breaded calamari rings with Caribbean alioli sauce. We have melted right into vacation mode. The Spa @ The Palms… It was my daughter’s idea to experience the Spa first on our holiday agenda and I could not have agreed more. The walk to the Spa was lovely as we strolled through the landscaped gardens with flowers on both sides of the path amongst the resort’s striking architectural design. Think white columns decorated with vines and flowers and the design and resort layout are works of art. The Spa at The Palms is the largest on the island and offers a variety of treatments including restorative, hot stone, Ba-

linese, Thai, Shiatsu and stress relief massages as well as mother to be massages. My daughter is fortunate to experience a mani & pedi at this relaxing spa which is her favorite spa treatment as a teenager. As for me, when they tell me my masseuse goes by the name of Earl; I immediately think of the south. Earl is actually a handsome man from Jamaica and the Head Masseuse at the Spa. I do find that I cross paths with a lot of Jamaican’s while in the Turks & Caicos and I am grateful my path has crossed with Earl’s. I will experience a 60 minute Custom Massage which is a blend of deep and Swedish techniques by the hands of Earl and I gladly submit. His touch is gentle, yet firm at pressure points and one of the best massages I have ever received. Receiving a massage at the beginning of our holiday was a perfect way to ease my body into vacation mode. Just spending time in the Spa at The Palms with the reflecting water, white columns, excellent service; your mind and body slows down for a moment; naturally. Revived by a massage and my sidekick’s nails shine bright white, we head to Grace Bay for a swim. I am in love with the water of the Caribbean especially around Turks and Caicos and it will never break my heart and leaves me feeling reborn. The Palms has the per-

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THE PALMS

fect spot and beach loungers with domes that pull over your chairs for coverage and privacy. The beach bar & food service is just another reason why this is a great set up. They will bring any type drink or snack right to your lounger while you enjoy the ocean. And of course you have the main star, Grace Bay with perfect, calm turquoise waters and endless white sand. Hemingway’s After our swim in the warm, glistening Caribbean waters, we walk down the beach to Hemingway’s restaurant that has a deck expanding over Grace Bay. Tracy is our host and she serves up fresh fish and chips for my daughter and fish tacos for me with a smile. When Tracy finds out we are from Louisiana, she shares the news of her upcoming trip with 45 of her closest girlfriends to New Orleans. I recommend the beignets and she takes great care of us while we enjoy fresh fish on the deck. It is an easy walk back to the resort on Grace Bay after another quick dip in the calm, warm waters. Back in our ocean-front suite, bubble baths in the deep marble tub were had and the shower is a personal favorite of mine. The Caribbean fight channel was enjoyed on the flat screen TV’s and restful nights are easily obtainable at The Palms. Prive’ I noticed a brochure by the phone in the living room of my suite and it read, Prive’ which peaked my interest. Prive’ Fine Ocean Charters the finest and only true private yacht charter company in Turks and Caicos Islands. Bescoby co-owner of Prive’ is from England and started out in construction/devel-

opment fast forward to yachtsman and technical diver with a passion unsurpassed for the oceans. Now he is enjoying the good life the Caribbean has to offer while Prive’ offers a variety of the finest services tailored to your needs from fishing for big game, exploring the coast and the many cays, snorkeling or scuba diving with private Chefs and full staff which can include massage services available on extended charters on board as well as jet skiing. Prive’ has it all from 40 to 80 foot yachts with additional yachts being added to the fleet this year. Prive’ services high-end clientele from rock stars to movie stars and pro athletes, as well as politicians and even presidents and royalty from around the world, but families will find the perfect boat in his fleet as well. Sleek finishes and spacious cabins, the yachts are immaculate with professional crews that make your time aboard with Prive’ so memorable with the perfect Caribbean backdrop. Garin was kind enough to bestow a 40 foot yacht for us for the day with a historical crew! Captain Trish, with years of experience and one of the only female captains in the area will guide us on our tour for today. Also part of the crew is Captain Paul, who takes great care of us throughout the day; even getting in the water with me to show me all the beautiful marine life on the reefs that the islands are famous for. We are fortunate to have such an experienced crew for the day while exploring around the islands. While enjoying fruits, cheeses, breads, and drinks, we pass right by a sunken ship just off a secluded, white sanded beach. We explore the islands conch farm in the water

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and the only one in the world. The turquoise water is electrifying for me. Finding a private island, we anchor close to a perfect, bright white sanded beach. My daughter and I get into the clear, shallow water and dive for sand dollars. We find live ones that we leave alone and find numerous shells. The water temp is perfect and the sun is Caribbean strong, so the ocean floor lights up with its limestone powers. Spending the day splashing around in the turquoise water as a turtle swims nearby; this is a wonderful day that we will never forget. Sand dollars are collected; new friends are made. And at one point I floated on my back effortlessly closing my eyes for a moment right off a secluded beach and felt certain heaven must consist of these Caribbean waters. Back on the yacht, we were served stuffed potatoes, breads, quiches, shrimp salads, red velvet cake and other desserts. As I sipped on rose’ champagne while passing secluded islands, I wondered whose life I had fallen into and wondered when I will have to give it back. On our way back, we pass by Jo Jo, the Caribbean’s most popular dolphin. Exciting day! Our yachting experience with Prive’ was one of the highlights of our journey so far and I made sure to keep Garin’s number as I am sure I will call very soon as I would love to continue to explore more of the Caribbean from the private yachting experience. As we departed from the yacht and made our way up the dock, I hear my name by Patricia who wanted to make sure we did not leave some desserts behind, so my daughter could enjoy later that evening. So thoughtful and leading the way in female captains! Parallel 23… In the evening, we will dine at the resort’s very own Parallel 23 on a terrace overlooking a garden with flowers and trees with lights streaming above our heads. Gliding through the French doors, the ambiance is admired and appreciated. Live music plays under the trees while it feels like time sits still for a moment. Raquel from Jamaica will serve my daughter a delicious dish of octopus from Spain with soft and crispy octopus tentacles, saute’ of bok choy dried apricot and red onion, smoked scamorza cheese sauce and paprika fragrance while I sample the conch ceviche which is fresh, local conch in lime and lemon juice wrapped in a papaya, champagne pineapple and beetroot ravioli, mango orange dressing and yucca chips. For our main courses, my daughter will have the butternut squash ravioli with creamy butternut squash filling in light


THE PALMS

JENNIFER SCHMEER

Executive Chef Lauren Callighen

Dessert sampler made by Chef Lauren

ravioli pasta, citrus beurre blanc, tomato concasse’, goat’s milk cheese, toasted pecans and herb pesto which I will admit to taking several bites from her plate and we both loved this dish. I would experience the Angus Ribeye of all its 12 ounce premium Black Angus prime ribeye glory with soya sauce, sautéed mushrooms, za’atar cauliflower head, Merlot demi-glace. We loved all the dishes immensely and dessert did not disappoint with their signature warm date pudding called, Sticky Toffee Pudding, filled with toffee sauce and house made salted caramel ice cream. Affogato Expresso (ice cream and expresso) was experienced for the first time and became my daughter’s new request moving forward on this adventure. Raquel would be kind enough to introduce us to the legend behind this wonderful meal; Executive Chef Lauren Callighen and we had a moment to chat with her beside the L’Attitude Bar while my daughter delighted in the enticing dessert sampler plate that has been placed in front of us for a late evening snack. Thank you for such a wonderful meal! Tell me about yourself and your culinary background. Chef Lauren: Been on the island for about 12 years and here with The Palms for the past 5 years as Executive Chef. From St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada; moved to Ontario when I was about 13. Growing up, all the boys loved cooking. My family is really very passionate about cooking. My grandfather was actually a cook with the Merchant Marines and my great grandfather on my dad’s side was also a cook in Florida. He did the chef circuit in Florida, so it’s kinda in my blood, I guess. I went to

culinary school in Ottawa; worked in the ByWard Market which is a famous part of Ottawa for restaurants and bars. Moved to Turks and Caicos in 2005 and been with The Palms the past five years. Tell me about some of your dishes. Chef Lauren: We have some house favorites. The menu is a signature between me and Andrea Del Campo, who is from Italy and is our Head Chef, who is very influential in what goes on to the menu. I am more classical, refined. I have a five ingredient rule. I don’t like to overpower the plate. He is younger, modern, interested in different flavors and dynamics. One of my favorite dishes right now is the Beef Tartare which is a classic. Also the Butternut Squash Ravioli. My daughter had this tonight and I sampled it. It was the best ravioli I had ever experienced! Delicious! Chef Lauren: It is a house favorite! Been on the menu for years; we have tweaked it over the years, but it has been a classic. We had the Affogatto Expresso and we both raved about this treat as well! Chef Lauren: (Laughs) It is traditional in Italy. Your signature dishes? Chef Lauren: It’s hard. We have had a lot of different dishes on the menu over the years. We try to change it to keep the people interested. We have a lot of patrons that come back and request we never take certain items off the menu. We try to keep it interesting. One of my favorite dishes is our Roasted Sea Bass with roasted tomatoes, onions, chili, balsamic, lemon juice to name a few. Your go-to spice? Chef Lauren: Cumin. It’s versatile. It can

be smoky; it can be sweet. Reminds you of different cuisines. Found in a lot of Indian food; found in Middle Eastern food. Also found in Mexican food and in the Caribbean. I like how it can take you in a lot of different directions depending on what you add to it. What advice would you give to someone wanting to be a Chef? Chef Lauren: Definitely go for it! It is an incredible career! It is a passion more than a job. It almost chooses you. You’re working in a hot kitchen, long hours; very demanding. The demand on your creativity is also something to consider. It can be stressful. But once you start cooking, it all flows. Ever catch anything on fire? Chef Lauren: Oh, just myself; my eyebrows. (Laughs) No, I haven’t. Pretty good about that. Thank you, Chef Lauren, for everything! Summer Continues… The next morning, we enjoy our last complimentary breakfast at The Palms and feel completely renewed and grateful for our time at this elegant resort and for the new friends. Our driver, Jay with Island Paradise, is here waiting our ready departure to the next designation. I think we will head down and explore a little more of this Grace Bay. Maybe take another cruise on a yacht with Prive’. More stories from the Caribbean coming soon! If you are interested in the same experiences, contact: www.palmstc.com, www.prive-yachts.com, www.hemingwaystci.com, or islandparadisetaxiandtours@gmail.com

DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | J U LY 2 017 | 8 5


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READY FOR HUNTING SEASON?

THE ATA SHOW FEATURES AN ARRAY OF PRODUCTS TO PREPARE YOU FOR THE HUNT. TAYLOR HANCE

T

Krystle and Kip Campbell at the Scentcrusher booth

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hroughout my life I have always heard the saying “Do what you love and you will never work another day in your life.” I still don’t know that feeling or experience, but this past January at the 2017 ATA show was about the closest I have come to seeing and experiencing that first hand. Since childhood, I have wanted to be involved in the outdoor industry one way or another. Whether that is a career, TV show, staff member, or anything that is just more than casual hunting. The ATA show has always been my a dream of mine, my personal Superbowl. The personalities, products, innovation, and everything else I saw on a yearly basis were something I thought I would only see through various outlets supplying me the overwhelming amount of wallet reaching news. That was until 2017. Through our decision to stop dreaming and start doing back in August, when Krystle and I created Whitetail Widow Makers, we formed some wonderful relationships that allowed us to attend the ATA show. We bounced around working various booths and gathering info about new products to bring our followers. That brings me back to my opening statement. Krystle and I left the show all three days after working from 8am-6pm as exhausted as we have ever been, but instead of the normal response to an exhausting workday we would go to our hotel room, relax for a moment before dinner, and laugh as we talked about the excitement of the show. It was an experience I will never forget and I hope to con-


tinue to be a part of for years to come. Now, let’s talk about some of the new and innovative products I saw that have released or will be released very soon. I am going to break them down into categories and go over the ones I thought stood out from the rest. No rankings so just because it is first of last doesn’t necessarily mean I think it was best or worst. First, I will talk about arguably everyone’s favorite new item to learn about every year and see what new crazy design companies have come up with to attempt to poke out. Yep, you guessed it BROADHEADS!!!! This was probably the most widely displayed product at the show with a large percentage of booths offering some type of tip for your arrow with the claim to provide the most accuracy and most devastating result. » Cheap Shot Affordable broadheads made by Cold Steel. These things really stood out to me because they look like a Native American arrow head, are made out of hard plastic and are $5 for a 10 pack. Very honest people admitting that they were not going to stand up to the same abuse as a metal head, but these would be a great alternative to wasting a good head on a pig or coyote. » Dead Ringer broadheads. I didn’t even name them all due to the fact that they released new ones and redesigned almost their entire existing line. They use Switchback technology that gives you the option to shoot fixed or expandable, but also released a few true fixed blade heads and a bow fishing head. Oh, did I mention that Uncle Ted Nugent shoots one of the new fixed blade heads??? » Trypan by Rage. I need to to throw this one in there for all the Rage lovers. This head is very similar to the hypodermic, but with a redesigned tougher ferrule and the thickest blades from Rage ever. They also released a turkey broadhead and a new designed 3 blade, chisel-tip broadhead. Next up, another product that people will argue is the best all day long, but at the end of the day with this product I have found to each his own. I am talking about BOWS! Compound bows to be exact. These new speed demons are taking archery to the next level. » The entire Bear line was extremely impressive. Offering something to every hunter whether you were looking for speed, a smooth draw and release, something for women, something for kids, or something for the target range Bear had you covered. » The Mathews line that includes the Halon 32, Avail, and the Stoke. These bows continue to carry on the Mathews reputation of being extremely well designed and engineered bows. The Avail is one of the best designed women’s bows I have ever witnessed and the Stoke is the first high performance youth bow. » The PSE Evolve and New Carbon Air. Both use the new Evolve cam system that gives a 90% let off option that truly allows

Don and Kandi Kisky at the Dead Ringer booth

for almost endless amount of draw time before having to release. The air is a true carbon frame that when you pick it up you will see where it got the name “air” from. The absolute perfect mix of speed and feel. The next item is something everyone seems to just have hanging around all over the place, TREESTANDS! Another product that there just seemed to be endless variations around the show. » Advanced Treestands released a new stand called the Swing Down that will come with their newly released 20ft set of climbing stick for a total price of only $229. The sticks have a unique hook that fits into the side of the stand allowing easy hanging. They will also be sold separately. » Millennium Treestands released the M360 Revolution which you just have to see to truly appreciate. It is a round platform with a swivel trademark Millennium lounge seat in the center allowing 360 degrees of vision and range of motion. » Hawk announced a new partnership with the Bone Collectors and released mul-

tiple newly designed stands, seats, and chairs. This next category is for all you smelly folks out there that really need an advantage during hunting season. I am talking SCENT CONTROL gear or items. This will include gadgets, attractants, and clothing. » Wind Pro, who are the makers of a very successful mock scrape system, released a new synthetic ultra-absorbing licking branch vine so that you can now create a mock scrape and licking branch anywhere you desire. » Scent Blocker probably had the coolest looking booth at ATA. It was a giant yellow spider, synonymous with their safety harness logo, that spread out over their entire booth floor where they used the legs as places to display various items. They released an unnamed mystery suit that will not be named until a later date, but was chock full of innovation, comfort additions, and very sharp looking. » Carbon Skin showcased their evergrowing product line with a very impressive

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booth that was always full of interested customers wanting to know more about this budding company. They also make a product for fishermen called Fish-Be-Gone that is truly like no other when it comes to removing not only fishy smells, but all tough unwanted smells. Next items on the list probably provokes the most excitement and optimism following a scouting trip. I am talking about TRAIL CAMERAS and that giddiness that we all get when we are about to put that SD card into our readers or computer to figure out how to pattern that big buck you have creatively named. » Reconyx released a trail camera that looks very similar to a mall security camera called the MicroFire. With an easy to mount system, its own cell phone app that is wifi enabled to connect directly to your phone, and cellular options this camera is in a class of its own. » SpyPoint officially made it able to own a cellular camera at an affordable price with the Link-EVO that will sell for an industry first $249. They also offer the same camera in their trademark integrated solar panel version so you never have to worry about dead batteries again. At some point, you are going to harvest an animal or are just going to need one of these to keep your camp food and drinks cold. Either way these COOLERS will help you out for sure. » Boss Buck has officially entered the cooler game with the Rotomolded Cooler. These things have a rugged and tough look that goes hand in hand with the Boss Buck name you have grown accustomed to. They have an integrated LED light inside the cooler to provide light in dark situations, a very unique push button opening system, and are made right here in the USA! » Orion Coolers was an unknown brand to me before the show, but I will never forget what I saw at their booth during my visit. A truly unique graphic system to where no two coolers are the same color or design no matter if I ordered 100 of the same color. A customizable cooler top pad, standard cutting board with utensils, and just about every connectable accessory option you can truly dream up plus about 10 more. » Yeti now has colors and lots of them! They also released a smaller version of the very popular Hopper which is called the Hopper Flip. That’s not all though. They now offer a Yeti rambler in half gallon and gallon size with a carrying handle, accessory options, and best of all a magnetic screw top that sticks to the top of your rambler so no worries of losing the top. Lastly, we have: » Advanced Treestands not only released sticks and a stand, but they introduced what I believe to be a true game changer in the hunting world and a soon to be must have on every stand, camera, and anything else needing protection or safety. It’s called the Lockdown and it is a steel cable ratchet

David, Taylor, and Lindsey at the Wind pro Booth

strap with a integrated locking system. Don’t overcomplicate the mental picture it really is just that simple. » HHA Sports released an HHA first 3 pin sight for some folks that want the single pin adjustment, but with two set pins for that Murphy’s Law moment. They also released a new fall away rest that looks to be very well built and a new serious player in the bow rest game. » Sitka released a new camo pattern called sub alpine for us folks that need more of a green camo pattern. It is also going to be available in some lighter weight options than the existing super warm Sitka gear. They also released a full women’s line and a partnership with Lacrosse boots. » Thermacell gave their already must have early season gadget a facelift. Same great effectiveness. Same ability to fit all your existing holsters, butane cartridges, and blue pads. Just a new slick design. » Tactacam showcased their truly impressive new 3.0 and 4.0 models of their famous POV cameras.

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I encourage you to do your research to find out all the new and innovative products released this year. In conclusion, if you love the sport of archery and have the opportunity to attend the ATA show, I motivate you to do so. It truly is an eye opening and unforgettable experience. Lastly, if you have a dream no matter what it might be don’t be afraid to go for it. You will never know where it may lead you if you just quit dreaming and start doing. Taylor Hance and Krystle Mahoney are DeltaStyle columnist. The couple founded Whitetail Widow Makers, specializing in hunting products, opinions on hunting gear from personal experience, and providing a place for others to celebrate the outdoors. Connect with them on social media. Find them on Facebook @whitetailwidowmakers3, on Instagram @whitetail_widow_makers, and on Twitter @WT_widow_makers. Feel free to send questions, comments, or anything else to whitetailwidowmakers3@yahoo.com


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Celebration Time POTPOURRI LUNCHEON CELEBRATES CLUB YEAR PHOTOS AND STORY BY

GEORGIANN POTTS

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Potpourri president Jane Hayden and Lisa Nelson.

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he ladies of the Potpourri Book Club ended their club year in style recently, celebrating together at a lovely alfresco luncheon held poolside at Bayou DeSiard Country Club. Hostesses for the occasion were Jane Hayden, outgoing Potpourri club president; Lillian Gentry, outgoing Potpourri club secretary; and Shearon Henry, outgoing Potpourri club treasurer. As the ladies approached the pool area, they could hear music provided by Rod Allen Payne. Many began singing along as they gathered to enjoy one last meeting together before the annual summer break.

White cloths covered each table for eight. Each table held a centerpiece that brought back memories of Southern picnics through the years. Antique wooden boxes that might once have held soft drinks formed the foundation. A bright redand-white gingham cloth was

Lillian Gentry and Carole Kilpatrick.


Linda Reeves, Kaydell Jackson, and Martha Jane Anderson.

Barbara Cattar, Pat Blanchard, and LaVerne Bodron.

loosely placed in the bottom and allowed to overhang. A terracotta pot held perky daisy plants in a cluster. Nestled elsewhere in the box were fresh lemons, a tall glass of lemonade, and one of the several books that the club had read during this year. Jane Hayden welcomed everyone to the luncheon and thanked them for their participation during this year. She offered a special thank-you to her officers, without whom she said

sauce. The main course was fried chicken with all the appropriate picnic “fixins’. Dessert was a lovely passed plate of mixed sweets including decadent double-chocolate brownies and lemon loves. Tea and coffee completed the meal. Enjoying the event were Jane Hayden, Lillian Gentry, Shearon Henry, Judy Worthen, Barbara Cattar, Allison Cattar, Pat Blanchard, LaVerne Bodron, Dianne Cage, Nancy Inabnett, Kaydell Jackson, Bettie

the year would not have been possible. Lillian Gentry rose to thank Hayden on behalf of both the outgoing officers and the club members. Gentry pointed out that it had been a joy for everyone to have Hayden serve. She noted that Hayden is a true “steel magnolia” who can handle anything. With music playing softly in the background, the ladies enjoyed a lovely meal that began with a mixed green salad dressed with Green Goddess

Phillips, Carole Kilpatrick, Linda Reeves, Martha Jane Anderson, Lynn Hodge, Nancy Lowrey, Sue Nawas, Martha Hayden, Nancy Staab, Rosemary Luffey, Jerry Oakley, Kelly Oakley, Georgiann Potts, Lisa Nelson, and Delores Johnson. Potpourri will begin its upcoming club year in September. In the meantime, all of the ladies will be enjoying their summers and either rereading old favorites or discovering new ones.

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GARDEN SAFETY

AS TEMPERATURES RISE, STAY SAFE AND COOL OUTDOORS ROSE YOUNG-LEE NELA MASTER GARDENER & DELTASTYLE CONTRIBUTING WRITER

A

s with any tasks, the right clothing, gear, equipment and products are imperative for successfully completing gardening chores. Now that summer is here and the temperatures outside have begun to regularly hover from 80 to 90 degrees and above, it is important to both prepare and protect ourselves for the strenuous outdoor tasks related to Rose maintaining our gardens and flower beds. While the Young-Lee first step of preparation before beginning any yard work should be a stretching routine and a good douse of high-SPF formula sunscreen, especially over exposed body parts; it is equally important to have the right clothing, tools and products for the job.

Gardening gear for warm temperatures

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The right gardening gear is essential for both comfort and safety when working outside. Recommended gardening apparel includes: · All-weather footwear, such as crocs or rain boots (wellies) · Long trousers, rather than shorts or cropped pants · Long-sleeve, lightweight shirts · Wide-brimmed hat · Gloves · Sun glasses · The right tools and equipment are also crucial to gardening success. Items that can make gardening tasks easier include: · Sharpened pruners, loppers, garden spade, trowel, shovel, hoe and post hole digger · Rake · Knee pads or a kneeling stool · Watering can and other lightweight containers · Large-scale broadcast sprayer · Garden cart · Gardening product staples to help protect ourselves and our plants, increase yield, and promote beauty include: · Insect repellent spray or lotion · Fertilizers, such as Osmocote© or Miracle Gro© · Pesticides (insecticides, or insect killers; herbicides, or weed and plant killers; fungicides, or fungus killers; and rodenticides, or rodent killers) Finally, as gardening tasks are performed in hot weather, it is important to take periodic breaks, as needed; to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated; and to stop completely before extreme exhaustion sets in. With the right preparation, precautions, products, tools and equipment, gardening can still be fun; even in the hot and humid weather that is typical of our southern climates. Happy gardening!

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Shrimp and cheese grits

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SQ’s

Experience outdoor dining at it’s best along the Ouachita River TARA AMBROSE

O

PHOTOS BY: GARY GUINIGUNDO

nce again, I started my trek this month to find a local eatery worth sharing with the phenomenal readers of DeltaStyle Magazine. Grabbing my trusty cohort in gastronomical investigations, Gary the Gastronaut, I found what must be dubbed as outdoor dining at its best – SQ’s on the Ouachita! Located in one of the restored historical buildings in downtown Monroe, SQ’s is more than just a building with personality. Formerly the Swift Meat

Packing Plant, SQ’s still hosts the framework of this dinosaur building from the past. Eclectic, yes SQ’s most certainly is, as well as possessing the simplicity that comes with refined elegance. Owners, Brian and Eric Eskew, are not only two brothers with a brilliant vision for making memories in dining, but they also possess a flare for the unexpected. Executive Chef Stephanie Pitarro, lovingly referred to as “Chefanie” by the Eskew’s and those who love her, gives new meaning to the word fierce in the culinary sense. Pitarro may be petite in stature, but she

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certainly packs a powerful punch in the kitchen with her down right delectable desserts. With such items as her 24K cheese cake, key lime pie and apple bread pudding with bourbon cream sauce, it is no wonder that the Eskew family keep her hidden away as their best-keptsecret! “I have 21 years of traditional style cooking under my belt,” Pitarro explains “… and I like to think that I learn something new every day,” Pitarro elaborates with a glimmer in her eyes and a smile on her face. “Eric and I wanted to create a restaurant with an atmosphere of almost a gourmet sports The "Filthy McNasty" burger

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bar… to be the hub of downtown Monroe,” Brian expresses as he exudes excitement describing SQ’s. “This town needed something different, something that is a break from the norm. Our area has nice restaurants, we have Italian, American, Sicilian… we wanted to create an experience, not just a place for patrons to come and enjoy a meal,” Eskew describes as Pitarro nods her head in agreement. “Our commitment is to our service, it honestly is, and that’s one thing that I would like to convey to the amazing diners in our area… SQ’s is committed unconditionally to providing ex-


Momma Lisa's lasagna rolls

cellent service, from start to finish, to each person that walks through our doors,” Eskew emphatically conveys “… whether it be the young couple out on their first date, the lady who meets her co-workers for appetizers and drinks after a long day at the office, or whether it’s the gentleman coming to have a few cold brews with his buddy after a grueling day at the office, SQ’s is a place for everyone!” Aiding in the enforcement of the Eskew’s family commitment is General Manager Shane Wall, who promises patrons memorable experiences, as well as making certain to attend to

each minute detail of those special moments shared in SQ’s marvelous settings. Grabbing a menu, I couldn’t help but notice all of the simply divine appetizers one may begin their culinary journey with at SQ’s. With such amazing choices to select from, I would highly recommend bringing a table full just so one may share such delectable items as SQ’s Crawfish & Shrimp Stuffed Mushrooms, their decadent Duck Wraps, their Jumbo Crab Cakes – made with lump crab meat, breaded, pan seared and served with a roasted red pepper sauce, or even SQ’s Jumbo Lump Crab

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Meat Nachos – a generous portion of crispy tortilla chips, laden with queso, black beans, jumbo lump blue crabmeat, pico and jalapenos. Diners who visit SQ’s need only to bring their appetite and enjoy such fantastic finds as Mama Lisa’s Lasagna Rolls, comprised of 3 hand rolled pasta sheets which are stuffed with spinach, a duo of ricotta and provolone cheeses, Italian sausage, and topped with their family sauce which has been lovingly crafted from a more than 100year-old family recipe. For those who would prefer a more “traditional flare”, SQ’s

offers such items as their gulf redfish, blackened and topped with a lovely lemon caper butter sauce, served atop cheese grits and garnished with sautéed mushrooms. But the menu certainly doesn’t stop there! SQ’s throws out “hum-drum” by offering such tantalizing tastes as their Cajun Chicken Pasta, 16ounce grass fed and grass finished hand cut ribeye, 8-ounce filet mignon, pecan crusted chicken breasts and even their take on Shrimp & Grits. Prior to whetting your appetite, SQ’s patio provides patrons with a beautiful glimpse of the Ouachita River, with comfort-

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able seating and open fire pits for that “little something extra” you’ve been searching for. Should one not be in the mood for the fancier fare, SQ’s signature sandwiches and burgers will not disappoint! “It’s kind of funny, each sandwich and burger possess a meaning – like the “Filthy McNasty”… my grandmother’s name is Sue Elaine Fitzgerald, and my grandfather would jokingly call her Sue Elaine Fitzgerald Filthy McNasty, III, so it just made sense when Eric and I were naming menu items that we added a little humor in the making…”, “… just like Fat John is my father-

in-law’s nickname from childhood and the Royals Royce burger is named after our dad, Royce Eskew,” Brian says with a grin and giggle. Opened to the wonderful patrons of North Louisiana on February 9th, 2017, SQ’s on the Ouachita is a place where diners can have it all – elegance, ambiance and taste, all the ingredients needed to just roll up your sleeves and EAT! Follow Tara’s Taste of the Town on Facebook, for great giveaways from this fabulous eatery and many more at www.facebook.com/ TarasTasteOfTheTown.


24K cheesecake

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NOMINATIONS OPEN JULY 1st! www.deltastylemag.com DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | J U LY 2 017 | 10 5


AE president Felicia Kostelka and AE chaplain Lauretta Tucker served as AE delegates to the 2017 Louisiana State convention.

Yvette Greer and Travis Breard.

P.E.O. LOUISIANA STATE CONVENTION 2017 CHAPTER AE RECEIVES HONORS

M

embers of P.E.O. from all around Louisiana gathered in Shreveport, Louisiana, for their annual Louisiana State Chapter convention. New members joined seasoned veterans to celebrate P.E.O. as an organization, to conduct the State Chap-

ter’s business, to recognize outstanding service, to hear firsthand from scholarship recipients, and to remember those who have passed away during the year since the last convention. Leading the Chapter AE delegation was chapter president, Felicia Kostelka; past AE president and past State Chapter

Lauretta Tucker, Loura Barr, and Dianne Lawrence.

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president, Loura Barr; and Lauretta Tucker, official delegate and AE chaplain. Barr, Tucker, Michelle Brown, Wendy Gentry, Stephanie Schaeffer, Linda Taylor, and Carolyn Myrick presented a special program during the convention. Melanie McStravick, AE recording secretary, joined the delegation for part of the gathering.

One of the most inspiring of all of the events surrounding the convention was the address to the delegates and guests by Lakeysha Bullock. Bullock is enrolled in the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s aviation management program and works at the Monroe Regional Airport as an Operation Specialist. She is a recipient of a Program for Continuing Education (PCE) scholarship and spoke about the importance of such scholarship programs from her own personal perspective. During the course of the convention, Chapter AE was recognized for a number of achievements, including the fact that it has been a chapter for 55 years. AE member Jean Davis was also recognized for her 55 years of membership in P.E.O. Awards received by AE included the P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education (PCE) Board of Trustees’ recognition for funding a 2016-2017 PCE Named Grant, the P.E.O. Louisiana State Chapter’s recognition for sponsoring a P.E.O. PCE Scholar during 2016-2017, the P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship (IPS) Board of Trustees’ recognition as a 5-year IPS Partner in Peace


Chapter, recognition for sponsoring an International Peace Scholarship scholar, the “Top Hat” award in recognition of AE’s meeting the State Chapter goals for 2016-2017, and recognition for contributions to the P.E.O. 150th year fund. The State Chapter theme for 2016-2017 was “Hats Off to P.E.O.” and the convention carried out that theme in creative and meaningful ways. One particularly popular part of the celebration was the presentation of original hats created by each of Louisiana’s P.E.O. chapters. Three were selected for recognition, and one of those was handmade by AE president Kostelka. The AE hat was a widebrimmed straw that was covered with daisies. At the center of each flower was a portrait of an AE member. All of the AE members were represented in this very clever way. The hat was perched above lady’s hat form that was covered in newsprint. Surrounding the lady’s neck was a white ribbon with more daisies, and a medallion with the chapter’s letters, AE, hanging just below.

MN-1000654686

Joy Loomis, Michelle Brown, and Ann McClendon.

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 opportu-

Call today to schedule a tour and lunch is on us!

nities 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.

4380 Old Sterlington Road Monroe, LA 71203

Chapter AE president Felicia Kostelka designed and created the chapter’s hat for convention. The hat was recognized as one of the top three submitted statewide.

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BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS

ORPHAN ISLAND BY LAUREL SNYDER (AGES 8-12). Nine children live on an island and not an adult in sight. Day after day, they exist in an almost perfect state--never hungry, never lonely, never wanting. Until the day of the Changing. Each year, a boat arrives taking the eldest child from the island and leaving a youngest child. Jinny, now the Elder, knows that her duty is to teach Ess, the new arrival, everything that she needs to know about the island. But as the time comes for Jinny to leave, she questions "Why?" Her path towards self discovery and reliance presents a layered transition from childhood to adulthood. This sensitive take on the dystopian genre will give readers much to think about.

ALEX AND ELIZA BY MELISSA DE LA CRUZ (AGES 12 AND UP) Based on the factual pairing of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, this imagined historical romance is an engaging blend of document and drama. While this is not award winning literature, it is timely and relevant in the wake of the Broadway explosion of the famed musical. Yes, tell us more about this relationship that changed the course of American History! This is really Eliza's story, and it is fascinating to learn about the beginnings of our country told through the eyes of a teenager. The writing is quick paced and the characters are well-developed; a fun, yet informational read.

DEAR READER: A NOVEL BY MARY O'CONNELL (AGES 12 AND UP) This modern-day retelling of Wuthering Heights, is weird and awkward, yet intriguing and interesting. The narrative switches between the voices of 17-year-old Flannery and her teacher Miss Sweeny while referencing the Bronte classic. Flannery struggles in high school but finds solace and inspiration in Miss Sweeny's AP English Class. When Miss Sweeny goes missing, Flannery gives the police everything except Miss Sweeny's copy of Wuthering Heights. As Flannery reads the well-worn, marked text, she realizes that Miss Sweeny has decided to take a risk, and it inspires Flannery to set off on an adventure of her own.

THE CASE OF THE STINKY STENCH BY JOSH FUNK (AGES 5-8). Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are back to solve another culinary mystery. This time, there is a dastardly odor coming from somewhere in the fridge, and they are racing against the clock to uncover the smelly culprit...or risk losing their foodie friends to either the trash or the pan! Told in engaging rhyme and using advanced vocabulary with a humorous twist, readers of all ages will appreciate the humor and smart use of language, and the detailed fold out of the refrigerator is a "feast" for the eyes.

7 ATE 9 BY TARA LAZAR (AGES 3-6). This is a clever, fun book narrated by Private "I" as he investigates the concerns of a worried 6 regarding a missing 8. Spinning off the popular kids' joke ("Why is 6 afraid? Because 7 ate 9,"), this "punny" take nods to the 30's noir mystery genre reminiscent of Mickey Spillane. Also a great math book, it includes references to prime numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, composite numbers and more. Kids will enjoy the unexpected twist, and older readers will appreciate the inside jokes. Read this book now...mystery solved!

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