GLENWOOD EMERGENCY SERVICES
Better just got Bigger
The renovation and expansion of our Emergency Services is complete and weâ€™re ready to show it off. Please join us for a Ribbon Cutting and Open House celebration.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY 10:00 AM
OPEN HOUSE Community Health Screens, Refreshments & Door Prizes 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
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Music the Way it Was Meant to be Heard In the past, hearing aids processed music and speech sounds similarly, often distorting the clarity and quality of the music for the listener in an effort to make speech more clear. Patients would complain music sounded “muted, distant, fuzzy, dull, muddy, thin, steely [or] compressed.”
“Our patients have told us they want to hear music better with their hearing aids, so over the last few years, our goal was to design something to provide listening enjoyment for people who enjoy music at home and that can also perform for musicians who are in high-demand musical situations,” Principal Research Engineer Kelly Fitz said.
Why does music need a unique prescription?
Our engineering team knew in the beginning that they’d have to design something completely new and unique for music. With input from both current hearing aid wearers and professional musicians, they ultimately found two things:
Music signals have different acoustic features from speech signals, different dynamics and different spectral characteristics. The goals for listening to speech are different from the goals involved with listening to music. Thus, in the past, hearing aid speech processing often conflicted with music listening goals, degrading musical quality and making listening frustrating for those with hearing loss. New Audibel technology processes speech and music independently All that has changed with our new Synergy platform and Acuity OS operating system technology in our A4, Synergy hearing aids. For the first time ever, hearing aid wearers can hear music the way it’s meant to be heard. Synergy is the first hearing aid platform to use twin compressor technology. Only by using twin compressor technology, have we been able to simultaneously process sounds uniquely. With a suite of features designed specifically for music, music comes through clear, crisp and enjoyable. A higher sampling rate also extends the hearing aid’s bandwidth up to 10kHz, enabling music to sound richer and fuller. How we did it: research and process Hearing aids have been successful in improving speech intelligibility, but music dynamics are much broader and more slowly varying than those of speech. Spectral variation is also wider and more significant to the perception of music than speech. And unlike speech, which is largely single-source and often mixed with distracting environmental sounds, music is inherently multi-source and rarely embedded in noise. We worked closely with musicians and current hearing aid wearers In order to enable our hearing aids to process music uniquely, our scientists and technicians worked closely with musicians and current hearing aid wearers to determine the best way to run the complex algorithms so as to provide high-definition music reproduction.
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1. People like it best if they can use a volume knob to adjust the music. People don’t want a lot of frequency shaping or compression, especially for loud music. They just want their music to be natural sounding. 2. Even with a volume knob to adjust sound levels, there are still soft parts of the music that people can’t hear and loud parts that hurt. “Ideally we wanted to make the sound high-quality and be transparent, but the challenge was that some parts of the music were too loud and other parts they still couldn’t hear,” Fitz said. We delivered hearing technology for the next generation of hearing aid wearers The team decided they needed to use the hearing aid’s existing technology to provide little-to-no amplification for the portions of the music that were too loud for listeners and amplify the sounds that were too quiet. In short, the team had to fix what wasn’t working without messing with what was working—a true balancing act. The Solution: As mentioned above, music is multi-source and multi-elemental and requires a hearing ability to process each sound differently from speech. In order to enable our hearing aids to process music uniquely, we wrote new code specifically designed for listening to music. The result is Synergy and Acuity OS, two new hearing technologies that achieve that delicate balancing act and enable hearing aids made to enhance both speech clarity and listening enjoyment. Why Use Musicians? “We used dedicated musicians because not everyone is extremely sensitive to the way music sounds,” Fitz said of choosing a sampling of composers and musicians. “Musicians have more of a vocabulary for what they are hearing, so we figured the fastest way to figure out what people want and don’t want when listening to music is to work with those who are highly sensitive to the way it sounds and can fully articulate what they hear and what they want.” What you hear can be hard to describe and music is especially hard to put into words. Another reason for including musicians when building this prescription was that people who play music are exposed to situations which are more demanding of a hearing aid’s ability to process music. “Playing on stage, in an orchestra or band, these are more demanding of their hearing and more importantly, more demanding of their hearing aids,” Fitz said. “It’s their work, what they do for living, so we wanted to make sure that what we designed could go beyond just listening enjoyment and perform in high-demand musical situations, including musical performances.”
Who says you canâ€™t
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
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Hello Summertime… June, we welcome you with open arms! It is time for warm weather, flip flops and tank tops. It is my favorite month of the year, because I know when June rolls around that it is time for VACATION. For the readers that don’t know, I love to travel, it’s my passion. Although I do not get to do it as often anymore, I believe it is important to teach my kids that life is about experiences, not possessions. I’m sure they will not recall what color their new glow-in-the-dark fidget spinner was, but the memories made hiking Lindsey Sivils, Katie Burke, and through the mountains, snorMiranda Ricks keling in crystal clear waters, or camping in Yellowstone are the memories they will stay with them throughout their lives. Get to the beach, stick your toes in the sand and enjoy a much-needed vacation! In this issue, we also wanted to showcase one of the best things that the Delta has to offer: the music. From Downtown River Jams to live music at Enoch’s and Sundown Tavern, I believe this area boasts some of the most talented musicians in the south. Jordan and Stacey Sheppard, known as Roses & Revolvers, are on the cover. To see them perform, you are in the presence of true, raw talent. Along with many others featured in this book, such as the Josh Love Band, Jig the Alien, and Astro Motel. Keep an eye out, there is more to come! I plan to continue to introduce new and thriving local musicians throughout the year. We say goodbye to local Recently, the community was musical legend, Tito. rocked with the passing of a very talented musician. Known to most as Tito, he leaves a huge hole in the local music community and the hearts of those he met. Tito, we dedicate this issue to you. You will be missed! Much love and God bless, Katie Burke
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General Manager KATIE BURKE firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Assistant EMMA SAGER email@example.com Administrative Assistant ANTOINETTE HOLBROOK Advertising Sales Leader JASON SISK Advertising Sales ALYSSA AKERS firstname.lastname@example.org MALLORY PARKS email@example.com Photographer GARY GUINIGUNDO firstname.lastname@example.org Designer AMANDA HOLLADAY Contributing Writers: Georgiann Potts Chandler Robinson Tara Ambrose Krystle Mahoney Taylor Hance John Farmer Emma Sager Dianne Newcomer Darren Oglesby, RFC Jennifer Schmeer On The Cover Jordan & Stacey Sheppard Makeup: Brittany Dye Clothing: J & H Boots and Jeans Contributing Photographers: Chandler Robinson Arely Castillo GETTING COVERED: DeltaStyle loves a good party! Get your event covered by calling 318-340-0806. If time and space permits, we will be there!
SUBMISSIONS: Did we miss your party? Feel free to call us or send an email with digital images and a write up. We will use them as space permits. WEDDINGS & ENGAGEMENTS: Spread the happy news! Special rates and sizes are available to share your once in a lifetime event. Call 318-340-0806 or email a sales representative for details. INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING? With over 200,000 total views between readership and online availability, DeltaStyle is a great advertising opportunity. Call 318-340-0806 or email any of the advertising representatives today for details! COPYRIGHT: The entire contents of DeltaStyle Magazine are Copyright 2017 by Gannett River States Publishing. No portion of the magazine (editorial or advertising) may be reproduced any means without express written permission of the Publisher. The views and opinions are of contributing writers.
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Nicole West, DVM celebrated her ribbon cutting of her new clinic in Sterlington.
Holyfield Construction broke ground on their newest retail project, The Corner Shoppes on Tower Drive.
F&F aerial surveying provided us with an aerial view of the Bayou DeSiard Dragon Boat Races
DeltaStyle writer, Jennifer Schmeer, is having her first book published. It is inspired by her experiences in Hollywood, Malibu and Louisiana. Her book will be available in July at Books-A-Million.
Jeremy Tinnerello named CEO at IASIS Glenwood Regional Medical Center
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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.
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‘RITA’S ON THE RIVER’
DOWNTOWN RIVERMARKET - MAY 20
Who was spotted? 1. Lance Zeigler, Jennifer & Viincent Martinez 2. Doug & Karen Breckenridge 3. Kayleigh Knight, Rylie Atkinson 4. Danielle Deel, Taylor Lucius, Daniel McHenry 5. Griffin Scott, John Reynolds, Melissa Touchet, Catfish, Katie Burke, Jim Elliot 6. Jason, Brandi, Natalie, Katelyn Sisk, Reece Burtram 7. Melissa Touchet 8. Sheena Burbridge, Melissa Touchet 14 | J UNE 2017 | DE LTAS T YL E M AGAZ I N E
AMERICAN RED CROSS BASH AV FLIGHT HANGAR - APRIL 28
Who was spotted? 1. Jason Kinney, Lorie Jones, Charlotte Devine, Scott Devine 2. Congressman Ralph & Dianne Abraham 3. Robert & Traci Canterbury 4. Ben Dean, Anne Patten, Katie Dean 5. Representative Frank & Susan Hoffmann 6. Gus & Jane Campbell 7. John Landrum, Paulen Luttgeharm 8. Catherine O'Bryant & Austin Works 9. Michelle Davison, Amanda Wimberly, Julie Gustafson 10. Tom and Jennifer Pearson
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ST. FRANCIS MEDICAL CENTER FOUNDATION 6TH ANNUAL GOLF CLASSIC BAYOU DESIARD COUNTRY CLUB - APRIL 28
Who was spotted? 1. Malcolm Maddox, Harvey Marcus, Larry Stafford, Jerry Alexander 2. Stacye Hinson, Jared Furner, Randy Scott, Jason Hill 3. Don Brown, Randy Thomas, Lukas Beebe, Joe Duck
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4. Darren and Breean Moody, Aaron and Kim Dietrich, Patti Wilhite, Brent Vidrine, Megan Tallent, Chris Hilburn, Aimee and Tim Kane, and Caron McPherson 5. Nina Johnson, Stacye Hinson, and Brooke and Courtney Gix 6. Katie Morstead, and Sarah, Hudson, and Kathy Biedenharn 7. EMS Electric of Monroe, Inc. Team: Eric Shopher, Chad Robinson, Todd Gentry, Mike Mullins and Thomas Morstead 8. Ashley Doughty, Katie Morstead, and Jennifer Walker 9. Charles and Brenda Marsala and Tom Deal 10. Alan and Onna Gallagher, Hope Anderson, Debbie Luffey, and Caroline Youngblood 11. Larry Stafford, Aimee Kane, Thomas Morstead, Fr. Phillip, Kristin Wolkart
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ARROW DENTAL PATIENT APPRECIATION DAY ULM BASEBALL GAME - APRIL 21
Who was spotted? 1. Arrow Dental Staff and family
2. Levyn McQuillin, Jennifer Smith 3. Bria Works, Jana Works, Tim Allen, Debbie Counts, Trey Works, Chasity Works, Samantha Counts,Cody Seacy, Steve Counts, Levyn McQuillin 4. Jessica Kirkland, Arabella Kirkland 5. Meghan McEachern, Luke Auttonberry, Jessica Kirkland, Allyson
WALKER RUN 4K
FAMILY CHURCH IN WEST MONROE - APRIL 29
Who was spotted? 1. Michael Lewis, LaTonya Lewis, Kimmy Walker, Randy Walker, Alison Walker, Elizabeth Walker, Jacob, Ethan, & Joshua Walker 2. Kathy Bower, Kelly Hudnall, Hannah Hudnall 3. Fritz, Sarah, Addison, Shepherd Niswanger 4. Baylee Johns, Scott Smith 5. Steele Becton, Roman Howard
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DOWNTOWN RIVER JAM DOWNTOWN MONROE - MAY 4
Who was spotted? 1. Chris McBroom, Dustin Underwood, Pureet Sharma, Melissa Touchet, Ben Ford, Josh Love, Keith Williams 2. Jonathon Boogie Long 3. Jade Davidson - Jaded Artz 4. Catherine Champ 5. Bailey Thomas & Catfish 6. Andy and Becky Tripp 7. Gayle Hutchings, Sheila Hutchinson, Omanga Mwangi
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THERESA MARSALA MEMORIAL GOLF CLASSIC FRENCHMANâ€™S BEND - MAY 12
Who was spotted? 1. Karen Mailhers, Dean Mailhers, Donna Nolan, Pam Corder 2. Catherine Stuckey, Leslie Trahan 3. Cancer Foundation League Volunteers 4. Chris Maciaszek, Joe Maciaszek, Brian High, Sammy Nagem 5. Jamie Miley, Morgan Duff 6. Tina Perkins, Anthony True, Kacie Kronk
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ROE CITY ROLLERS HOST THE EMERALD COAST ROLLER DERBY MONROE CIVIC CENTER - APRIL 28
Who was spotted? 1 .Melanie & Luke Harris, Chelsea King 2. Lacy Hedge, Ridge & Amanda Boyett
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Charlie Lawley, father of Georgiann Potts
Daddy was the most “bookish” of all his siblings, a serious student, but with a delicious sense of humor that surprised at times. GEORGIANN POTTS CONTRIBUTING WRITER
GEORGIANN POTTS Contributing Writer I love this picture of my dad, “Charlie” Lawley. He is about 10 years old here, and is proudly holding a book. I was 15 when he died in 1965, finally suffering a fatal heart attack after years of battling emphysema. His generation smoked cigarettes and paid the price. Daddy’s book makes me smile because of the many memories I have of him reading aloud to me. I would crawl into his lap and “read” the newspaper with him nearly every evening after dinner. After 50+ years, I can still recall his clean scent and deep voice. Daddy was the most “bookish” of all his siblings, a serious student, but with a delicious sense of humor that surprised at times. He lost his younger brother and father while he was quite young, and became the elder half-brother to ---- half-siblings when his mother remarried. Daddy did everything he could to help his younger siblings as they grew. Later, after his death, they told me how important his help had been. So many times, I have thought about him and wished that I could share with him something about my own life as an adult. He would have enjoyed seeing me grow up, and I would have enjoyed sharing my adult life with him. Such was not to be for us, but faded pictures and sweet memories fill the void.
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KATIE BURKE DeltaStyle General Manager Growing up the oldest of three girls, like most men, I knew my dad always wanted a son. Someone to take hunting and fishing and baseball with. Since my dad never got his boy, he had to settle with me. His lack of not having a boy never effected a thing. My dad took time out to coach my softball team almost every year. He took me fishing, hunting, and to football games; you know, those cliché son things. As I got older, he
taught me things like how to change my own oil, shoot a gun, and the importance of being independent. Fast forward 21 years, his first grandchild is born and it’s a GIRL. Yes, another girl! After that, I think my dad had accepted his fate of always being surrounded by females. Then, a few years later, my sister and I found out we were expecting at the same time. Maybe it was fate, or all the years my dad spent praying… In 2006, my dad not only got one Katie's father with his two grandsons: Parker and Caleb
Taylor Hance with his father
Gary's father in Italy
grandson, he got 2 at the same time! My son Parker, and nephew Caleb were born only 3 weeks apart. To see my dad so joyful, holding both of his baby grandsons in his arms is something I will never forget. To the best Pops, and Dad around, I love you! Happy Father’s Day! GARY GUINIGUNDO DeltaStyle Staff Photographer All my memories of dad are favorites but one that stands out took place while on our family vacation in Italy. We were in Rome on our last day and it was pouring rain. Our guide was driving us to the usual attractions such as the Colosseum, the Victor Emmanuel II Monument, and Castle Sant’Angelo. Dad was in a great mood and as we arrived at each location, he would put on his clear rain poncho, get out of the van, and enjoy the scenery. He was quite happy when we got to the Pantheon and I took this picture of him. Perhaps it was the last few hours in Italy or because he was ready to go home, dad was up for anything despite the weather. I remember this clearly even though it happened five years ago. I’m going to talk him into taking another trip - soon. TAYLOR HANCE Contributing Writer I wish that Father’s Day was referred to as Dad’s Day. It was
not until I was older and better able to appreciate my dad and the job that he has done from my birth until now that I dug into the definition or interpretation of the two words and their differences. A father is someone who contributes to your creation and that sharing of DNA is the extent of his duties. A dad is someone who gets up every day and does whatever he must do to protect you and provide you with life’s essentials. He teaches you the value of hard work, molding you into a future productive citizen and to do that he can’t always be his child’s friend and won’t always be the most popular. It took me a long time to realize just how much more of a dad I had than a father and just how lucky I was for just that. Even though I have grown up having tons of fun with my dad hunting, fishing, and playing sports; he has always chosen the tough, non-popular decision, but sent me down the healthiest life path. Now that I am older, I can see and appreciate those decisions where as in my youth at times I thought he was too hard on us. My dad has taught me everything I know about the outdoors, how to be a good employee, what being a man truly means, and so much more. I just want to tell my dad thank you, I love you, and happy Dad’s day!!!!
MALLORY PARKS DeltaStyle Advertising Sales Executive When it comes to dads, mine is pretty one-of-a-kind. For as long as I can remember, he has fearlessly supported & provided for our family without any hesitation. Being the only male in a house full of girls, I can’t imagine that job is an easy one. One of the biggest attributes about my dad that I have always admired is his work ethic. He’s up before the sun every morning, and sometimes isn’t home until it’s long gone down. He cares deeply for his customers and goes above and beyond to
make sure they are well taken care of. It’s that dedication and commitment that has driven me in all aspects of my life, especially now in my career. This picture of us was taken back in 2002 on our first ever family vacation. Even though Dad despises the beach, he planned the trip and never once complained about going because he knew how much my mom, my sister, and I wanted to go. It’s little things like this that reminds me how lucky and blessed I am to have such an awesome dad. Having his unconditional love and support has truly shaped me into the young woman I am today.
Mallory and her dad in Destin
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MIRANDA RICKS – Attributing DeltaStyle Staff – Digital Sales My dad is Steven Fox currently of Newnan, Georgia. He has been an exemplary father. I’ve watched him love and adore my mother and myself for my entire life, and now I get to see him do the same for my sweet baby girl. He hates to dance but will dance with my mom every time “When Doves Cry” is played because that’s their song and her jam. He has traveled for work since I was 10 years old and before that he worked graveyard shifts and attended college simultaneously to better himself and guarantee a better future for us. He and my mother are true artists of sacrificing for the family. Those sacrifices never stopped him from teaching me that Pink Floyd makes the best music, how to fish, or singing opera versions of our conversations on the way to the grocery store. He calls me Punkin’ even though I’m 36 years old. He taught me what a good man and father is and does. He told me to go to business school so that I could afford myself as an adult when I told him I thought I wanted to be in theatre at the ripe age of 18. He’s the best dad and if I could have picked, it would have been him. I love you, Dad! ALYSSA AKERS DeltaStyle Advertising Sales Executive Not everyone has the privilege of having a father figure throughout their lifetime. Luckily for me, my dad has been there since day one. He has never failed to show me how much he loves me, and has always protected me. He always supports me, encourages me, pushes me to be the best version of myself and most importantly, he believes in me. This Father’s Day I hope my dad feels the love we all have for him and I hope he knows just how big of an impact he has made in my life. EMMA SAGER DeltaStyle Editorial Assistant When people ask me if my dad and I are close, I love that my answer is always “yes.” Coming across a father like
Miranda'a dad and her daughter, Olivia
Alyssa and her dad, Chris
mine is hard to find. He has been there for me during all of my good times, and he has been a shoulder to cry on when I needed it. While I was a student at Neville High School, my dad never missed any event. I was a cheerleader, which meant I was in a pep rally every Friday of the fall at 7:30 in the morning. Though I never could find him in the crowd, I knew he was there at all times. He can do that “dad whistle” that I could always hear. This is no ordinary whistle. It is the one that is so loud that everyone in a room can hear it. Over the sound of hundreds of high school students shouting and cheering, I always knew that he was there routing for me. In 2011, I participated in the Bayou DeSiard Country Club Cotillion. This event entailed be-
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Emma and her dad at Cotillion
ing in front of a crowd and dancing with your father. I was so nervous on Cotillion day. If you know anything about me, I am not the most graceful of ladies. I had to tell my dad that he could not let me trip or fall as we walked across the room and began dancing. He held on to my arm tightly during the whole performance that night, and we had a great time together. No matter if I am having a good day or a bad day, I can always count on my dad to support me.
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A Modern-Day Johnny and June love story “It all depends on how [he’s] feeling…If we go back on the road, we will go together. I’ll go where he goes, and he’ll go where I go.” – JUNE CARTER CASH
COURTESY JORDAN SHEPPARD
Jordan and Stacey Sheppard playing at an outdoor concert.
Have you ever had one of those rare moments when you know that you are in the presence of true love? Real true love, the kind of love that Nicholas Sparks writes about or the kind that makes you weep in the movies. Imagine those two people singing together, staring intently at each other as each word leaves their lips in unison. A modern-day Johnny and June is what you get when you put Stacey and Jordan Sheppard together. With every performance, they sing to each other like they are the only two people in the room. “People always comment about how we share a microphone and how intensely we look at each other while we sing,” Stacey said. Jordan and Stacey Sheppard were both interested in music and singing at a young age. The fiddle was the first instrument that Jordan learned to play at the age of eight. At nine years old, he wrote his first song and began playing the guitar at 11. By the time Jordan was 16, he was playing his own solo shows around the Delta. Stacey started down her musical path when she was in high school where she made honor and all-state women’s choir. Her choir experiStacey and Jordan with Chris and ence led her to earn a Morgane Stapleton scholarship and join ULM’s choir. Later, she transferred to Louisiana Tech University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and a minor in Business.
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COURTESY JORDAN SHEPPARD
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Then in 2008, the couple met at a singing competition in that both Jordan and Stacey’s brothers performed in. Stacey’s brother introduced them and within a few weeks, they were dating. They fell hard and fast, and were married eight months later, on February 28th, 2009. “I knew she was the one, so I made a ring out of a broken guitar string until I could buy her a real ring,” Jordan said. Jordan and Stacey’s passion for each other and music is what has paved their path today. “There is nothing like singing with your soulmate, which we think is the reason people are impressed with how in tune we are at shows.” Singing with a significant other seems to produce a higher level of intimacy, which is why Jordan and Stacey can push each other to grow and move out of their comfort zone. Stacey has gotten Jordan to use pop songs more often over the years, while Jordan has helped her to believe in herself and reach her full potential. In the past, Stacy has suffered from stage fright, Jordan had to relentlessly drag her onto the stage until she became much more comfortable performing. They worked together to integrate Stacey into shows more frequently. After hearing “The Civil Wars” play, Jordan and Stacey were inspired by their sound which greatly influenced the harmony and musical styles between the two. Eventually, Jordan and Stacey decided to go by “Roses and Revolvers” when they were playing shows together. They are always working hard to make their performances better with a wider variety of songs for every crowd. “Singing with your soulmate allows you to be honest with each other and not pull any punches about critiques which
GARY GUINIGUNDO PHOTOGRAPHY
makes us be able to grow even more as musicians,” Jordan said. When they aren’t singing the two are constantly laughing, as the DeltaStyle staff witnessed at our photoshoot, and are connected at the hip. Stacey said that they are both big kids at heart, which is part of why they are the perfect fit for each other. “I am half 5-year-old, half 80-year-old man,” Jordan kids during our shoot. Their musical influences have also helped shape and mold their unique sound. As a kid, Stacey was heavily influenced by music from artists such as Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey and Martina McBride; while Jordan’s musical inspiration was from bluegrass and 90’s music. Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and other
“Singing with your soulmate allows you to be honest with each other and not pull any punches about critiques which makes us be able to grow even more as musicians” JORDAN SHEPPARD
blues rock music has also influenced Jordan when playing and writing music. The duo has performed in Dallas, Shreveport, Natchez, Natchitoches, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Tennessee, Hot Springs, and Texarkana. They have also opened for Brothers Osborn, Love & Theft, Whiskey Myers, 3 Doors Down, Dwight Yoakam, played Mudbug Mad-
ness, and Best of the Delta. In 2015 and 2016, they were nominated for the NELA Music Awards. Two years ago, Jordan had to have brain surgery due to a brain malformation that he was born with. The surgery caused him to have to quit his labor job. He has come a long way and, luckily, has could use his music to provide for his family. Stacey
brags that, “he is a very talented, passionate, and a hard-working song writer.” He is currently working on an album with the hopes of selling some of his songs. Along with being booked with private shows, parties, and events, Jordan is a Contemporary Praise and Worship Leader. He can be seen each Sunday, along with our staff photographer, Gary at St. Paul’s Methodist Church. Stacey is currently the dance coach for West Ouachita High School. The couple have three children: Lexi, 5, Sawyer, 4, and Ryder, 8 months. With their roots, so deep in music, their children are certain to be musicians to watch in the future. For booking information, email email@example.com
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Over a span of 32 years, I, Dr. David Nordman have had the privilege of working as a school administrator, classroom teacher, and athletic coach in the Northeast Louisiana area. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science from Northeast Louisiana University (ULM), my first teaching position/coaching assignment was at St. Frederick High School in 1982. I was fortunate to serve at this location for 4 years as a teacher/coach and finished the last 2 years as the Athletic Director. At the young age of 26, I made the decision to improve my earning ability and accepted a position with Adria Laboratories as a pharmaceutical sales representative. I soon found that this position required me to be away from home too often, and it did not fill a void in my life that allowed me to serve and guide our young people. In the fall of 1988, I received an offer to join the staff of Wossman High School under the direction of Principal Grady Jones and Coach Ray Gambino. I believe that this was a calling from God to get me back in to the education field and learn to work in a very diverse student population. This experience allowed me to be a small part in an outstanding school with a strong athletic prowess and an impressive Honor’s program. At Wossman High School, we were fortunate to win several district championships in football and baseball. Several of my former
River Oaks Welcomes Dr. David Norman
students have become teachers, administrators, lawyers, elected officials, coaches, professional athletes, and many have served our country with military careers. I actually served at Wossman High School two different times. The first period was a total of 5 years. In 1993, I accepted an offer to be a Graduate Assistant Strength Coach at Northeast Louisiana University. I primarily worked with the football program, but also spent time with baseball, basketball, softball, and volleyball. This experience culminated with a Master of Education degree in 1994. Wossman High School offered me to come back as Defensive Coordinator for the football team and I accepted this offer. During the my year back at Wossman High School, my wife Ellen and I were married in the Spring of 1995. We would have a blended family of 2 boys and 3 girls. Shortly after we were married, I received an offer to come to Ouachita Parish High School as a teacher and a coach. All of our children were going to school in this system and I gladly accepted the offer in order to be aligned with my own children’s education. While at Ouachita High School, I began to complete my Master’s Plus 30 in order to become certified as a school administrator. After teaching and coaching 7 years at Ouachita High School, I was offered an opportunity to teach and work a half day as
River Oaks School MN-1000653509
an administrator at Ouachita Jr. High School. This was a perfect fit because it gave a chance to “get my feet wet” as an administrator. During my tenure in Ouachita Parish, I was able to work directly under some outstanding administrators. Dr. Robert Webber, Todd Guice, and Gary Armstrong, and Richard Hartley provided me valuable experience to begin the transition from a teacher to an administrator. In the summer of 2003, I accepted the offer to come to Morehouse Parish as principal of Morehouse Magnet School. This school has long been a shining star in the Morehouse Parish School System receiving the highest School Performance Score rating as an A school. During the 4 years I served at this site, we stayed in the top 15 of nearly 3000 public schools in the state of Louisiana. After my 4th year, I was offered the position of Supervisor of Secondary Schools and Curriculum for the district. I served in this position for 6 years before accepting the principalship of Bastrop High School. I have served as principal of Bastrop High School for 4 years. During my time of service in Morehouse parish, I have served the state of Louisiana as an Executive Committee Member of the Louisiana Association of School Executives (LASE), an Executive Committee Member of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, and have served on the advisory
board of the Morehouse Parish School Based Clinics, Louisiana Workforce Investment Board #82 Youth Council Member, the SAFER Task Force to prevent domestic violence in Morehouse Parish, and various civic and educational committees. In addition to working and serving in these capacities, I was also able to attain my Doctorate in Education Leadership from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2013. It is with extreme honor that I am accepting the position of Headmaster at River Oaks School in Monroe, Louisiana. River Oaks is a prestigious school of academic and student life excellence that has been under the outstanding leadership of Dr. Tom Middleton for over 20 years. My hope and desire is that we are able to sustain the momentum and accomplishments of his direction and make a great school even better.
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BY EMMA SAGER
upporting the local music scene is a key to any artistâ€™s success. Local music offers more than people think, there is usually someone for all genres and personal taste. Every single big name artist out in the world has started out in the local scene, playing small venues for very little to no cash. It is the best place to find great, new music too. A perk is to be able to say "I heard it first" before a band or a singer gets signed and turns "mainstream." The Delta is booming with new and longstanding local bands. Talented and driven, these bands are turning heads and worth the recognition.
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Josh Love Band
JOSH LOVE BAND
Just a couple of years ago, the group called, “Josh Love Band” began playing their first music together. Josh Love band plays monthly at the local Enoch’s Irish Pub. This band has also performed the Monroe Copeland’s, Riverside Coney Island, Planter’s Oyster Bar, Sage and Live Oaks Bar and Ballroom. The band has three members that make the Josh Love Band successful. Keith Williams plays the drums; Ben Ford plays the bass guitar and Josh Love is the vocalist and a guitarist for the band. Williams was a fill-in for a show when the previous drummer could not attend a show, but Williams was so impressive with his skills on the drums that the band made him a permanent member. In 2016, the Josh Love band was the recipient of the of “Emerging Artist of the Year” from the NELA Music Awards which is presented by the Downtown Monroe Alliance. The award is given to celebrate and recognize real musical talent here in the Delta. The style of music performed by the Josh Love Band has an older sound to it, ranging from The Beatles to Jimmy Hendrix, to Al Green. They also fuse the sounds of contemporary music to create their own unique genre of music. “All three of us are different musicians, but spending time together, we have melded into a singular sound,” Love said. “We are not afraid to try new things, and we are always seeking new and different sounds to our music.”
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Jig the Alien
JIG THE ALIEN
“We are not the most knowledgeable about our instruments or the most technical bunch, but we feel that is what helps us blend so many different sounds into our music.”
Jig the Alien began as four guys that realized the importance of music in their lives and then dedicated themselves to creating the music they loved. The band started out sweating and working hard in a shed to see what kind of music they wanted to play. Though performing in front of a live audience was not the initial drive of the band, but once they had the opportunity to promote their music to other people, that created an entirely new passion for Jig the Alien. With lots of time and effort, the band was able to record their first E.P. called “Alien Pirate Gold,” which released on February 10, 2015. Asa Stone plays the guitar and sings for Jig the Alien. The lead guitarist is Tyler Martin, on the drums is Brad McCormick, Joshua Grant plays the bass guitar, the vocalist is Joshua Colman and on the guitar, is Jesse Grinter. Jesse Grinter started playing with Jig the Alien and mentoring them, which made the band realized that they had found their missing piece that they did not realize was missing. From there, Colman began rapping over a few of the band’s songs which improved Jig the Alien’s sound even more. “We are not the most knowledgeable about our instruments or the most technical bunch, but we feel that is what helps us blend so many different sounds into our music,” Jig the Alien said. “It is raw and 100% of us goes into what we do.” Jig the Alien has inspiration from many artistic bands such as, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kings of Leon, Dinosaur Jr., Rival Songs, Tool, Foo Fighters and many more that have had an influence on this band’s sound to their music. Jig the Alien recently finished off a spring tour where they worked with the local band “Astro Motel” and another band with a Brazilian punk sound, “Lo-Fi.” During the tour, the band stopped down in New Orleans, LA at Checkpoint Charlie’s, Government St. Grocery in Ocean Springs, MS and Crown the Harp in Dallas, TX. On May 12, Jig the Alien will be performing in Ruston at the Sundown Tavern with Astro Motel, and on June 2, they head to Denton, TX to play at Abbey Underground. In June, the band will be recording for a new album that they cannot wait to show their fans.
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The band Astro Motel originated from the small town of Delhi, LA on Halloween in 2014. Their first gig was at a truck stop bar in Waverly, LA. They play American rock and roll music influenced by southern gothic literature, primitive blues, silent horror films, Junior Kimbrough, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Gun Club, rockabilly, 60’s garage, Cedric Burnside, the Growlers and Bob Dylan. “Our collective life experience, interests, and the dynamic with which we relate to one another all create the filter through which we interpret that cosmic American music,” Astro Motel said. “And our live performances are, if nothing else, frenetic and full of energy.” The band released an E.P. this spring and just returned from a southeastern tour in April with friends “Jig the Alien” and Brazilian punk band “Lo-Fi” and also released a new album. Astro Motel can be found playing at Like Oaks Bar and Ballroom, Enoch’s Irish Pub, Brass Monkey, Sal’s and Sundown Tavern. However, they also have performed in Shreveport, Lafayette, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lake Charles and many parts of Texas including, Marshall, Denton and Dallas. Astro Motel was created by two roommates, Joel Jordan and Blake Goodwin, and shortly after, they added in drummer/writer, Martin Litwin, and briefly bassist, Andrew Rice. In early 2015, Goodwin and Rice left the band to create FretMonkey Records in Arkansas. Later that year, Jacob Lofton became a part of Astro Motel as a bassist. The three band mates Jordan, Litwin and Lofton went on to creating more music of the post-punk influence with the influence of blues and rock and roll. Jordan would also spice up the band’s sound by using an amplified blues harp. Litwin left the group in 2016, where Astro Motel then expanded into a four-person band by adding Tyler Martin, guitarist, and Thomas Goodwin, drummer. Martin splits his time spent with Astro Motel playing the guitar, but also is the lead guitarist for Jig the Alien. Today, Jordan, Lofton, and Thomas Goodwin have developed a local fan base that has steadily been spreading throughout Louisiana and parts of Texas. They have shared the stage with Chief & The Hounds, Age of Man, Jig the Alien, Irene & The Sleepers, The Mississippi Shakedown, and Grammy-nominated Cedric Burnside.
“Our collective life experience, interests, and the dynamic with which we relate to one another all create the filter through which we interpret that cosmic American music.”
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Writer’s Note: It’s always interesting to me how some seemingly little thing will trigger a flood of memories. Yesterday I saw on Facebook a rather small announcement that Paul McCartney will be including a stop at the CenturyLink Center in nearby Bossier City in July for a one-night performance. As soon as I read it, my mind was deluged with memories of my own introduction to Sir Paul, happening long before Queen Elizabeth knighted him and the rest of those glorious Beatles. When I “met” this remarkable band (phenomenon, really), it was 1964, and I was an impressionable Delta young teen of 14. It seemed as though all time stopped when they stepped onto Ed Sullivan’s stage. Squinting at the grainy black-and white image, I was immediately hooked. I still am, it seems. – GP
Beatlemania storms the Delta
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n several previous “Delta Memories” columns, I have mentioned music and the important role it played during my childhood. There was so much music then, and all of the lyrics were understandable. Some forms didn’t appeal to me as much as others, but all of it created a wonderful musical “accompaniment” to my life and that of my Delta family and friends. Even so, none of it prepared us for the Beatles. Earliest Music Memory My earliest memories of music actually come from a time before our family moved to Kenilworth Plantation. We were living in Tioga, Louisiana, a tiny former “mill” town that was a forerunner of what we now call the “bedroom communities” outlying larger cities. In this case, it was located near Alexandria and Pineville (twin cities much like Monroe and West Monroe, essentially separated by a river). My father was still healthy during those years, and working for the United States Corps
of Engineers. Tioga was a perfect place for him to have as a base for his work, and there was the added bonus that a number of family members on his side lived nearby. My initial experience with creating music came when I was a first-grader, and my mother sensed that I might have inherited Mom Moore’s (my maternal grandmother’s) talent for music. Apparently there had been something akin to a vigil being held through the years as Mom Moore’s grandchildren were born, each studied carefully for signs of a hoped-for genetic influence. Although there had been several good sing-
Before I was old enough to reach the pedals, I found myself seated on a piano bench with feet dangling, fascinated by the instrument that loomed before me. ers in the group and a smattering of instrumental attempts by others, for the most part that “next generation” had fallen disappointingly short.
I have no idea what it was that convinced my mother that I might have some musical inclination. Whether she “saw” or “sensed” something, or merely wished that
she did, she decided that I needed to take piano lessons. Nothing else would do. Before I was old enough to reach the pedals, I found myself seated on a piano bench with feet dangling, fascinated by the instrument that loomed before me. Time has taken away my memory of that first piano teacher’s name, but her lovely face will likely remain forever. I remember her sweet smile, lovely white hair, and innate kindness. She seemed to be not at all ruffled by the idea of a six-year-old taking lessons, although she did tell me that I was the youngest student she had ever taken. Her confidence became mine, and
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soon we were a team determined to “make” music together. I loved her primarily because she did not treat me like a child. She gave me books that opened the world of printed music to me, and with seemingly endless patience, moved me through them rapidly. Within the year, I was playing not only recognizable tunes, but also more difficult pieces usually reserved for more advanced students in terms of age and time in study. My “reach” was not an octave wide, but she taught me how to compensate for my still small hands. She would share the piano bench with me, working the pedals until I was able to balance on the edge of the bench and reach them myself. At the end that year as she
had done since beginning teaching piano, she hosted a piano recital, a showcase of her many students and their accomplishments. On that evening, I was the last student to play. I balanced on that bench, stretched my fingers as wide as possible, and fearlessly played German composer Albert Ellmenriech’s Spinning Song from memory. That was to be the only piano recital I ever played in because my teacher retired, and another couldn’t be found before we moved away to Kenilworth. No matter, because it introduced me to the world of music and the joy that comes from it.
Tommy Dorsey and Elvis It was Daddy Moore who introduced me to the great big
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band sounds that were so popular with his generation. He and Mom Moore had a wonderful collection of albums --Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and others --- that I would play in the afternoons and enjoy. I learned to appreciate instrumental music in this way, and developed a serious love for band and orchestra music. My music world expanded considerably when I first hear Elvis Presley sing about his blue suede shoes. I didn’t know what “suede” was, but I certainly knew that it must be something very, very special for Elvis to sing about it. Presley’s music changed the way that we thought about music, just as he and the others of his generation changed the way an entire generation would think about dance. We could
waltz (later my generation corrupted this elegant dance, transforming it into something we called generically “slow dancing” which was hardly dancing at all) to Dorsey, but something quite different was required as far as movement was concerned when Elvis was singing. For this, we developed something we called “fast dancing” --quite to the horror of the preceding generation.
The British Invasion Just when we thought that Elvis had changed everything that could be changed about music as we knew it, the Beatles landed in America. It was an “invasion” in every sense except a military one, to be sure. They were hardly more than mere boys themselves,
but they were different in every way from the boys we knew. Each had his charm, but it was Paul McCartney who won the most hearts. With his almond-shaped, soulful eyes and brown hair, he generated more crushes than any had before. Ed Sullivan had the good marketing sense (as he almost always did) to recognize the “next big thing” and book it for his variety show on Sunday evenings. Sullivan booked the Beatles for two consecutive Sundays, betting heavily that they would draw a good audience. His bet was well-placed. That first live television appearance drew what was estimated at the time to be 23 million households representing an estimated 73 million viewers. The following Sunday, their encore performance for Sullivan drew about 70 million viewers. I have a theory about why that viewership dropped a little the second time they appeared. When that first telecast was over and the audience (many members of it screaming, hysterical girls) had calmed, I looked at my parents and grandfather. I will never forget the expressions on their faces --- a mixture of awe and horror. Only Daddy Moore spoke. In his distinctive voice, he observed, “This is certainly different.” Daddy Moore added about the length of their hair (quite a departure from the normal Delta “short cut” and therefore suspect), the way they moved when they performed (Elvis, though, was far more indiscrete – a point that was quickly observed by my father), and how “simple” their music was. Clearly, the powers that be would be slow to come around to this “new” music and these “different” looking boys. I’ve always believed that many of those sets that were turned off that second week just might have been located in the Delta. It took awhile, but over time the Beatles won over most of the Delta folk. Polly Poe, a lovely girl two classes ahead of me
Hearing “I Saw Her Standing There” made all of us long to be the vision they were seeing. “Eleanor Rigby” and “This Boy” helped us understand loneliness. “Till There Was You” showed us the transformative power of love.
in school, was the most serious devotee of the Beatles I can remember in Tensas Parish. She had her hair cut in the Beatles style --- quite “different” for girls in our day, learned to play and sing nearly every song of theirs, and religiously collected their albums and other memorabilia. She was our “source” for all things “Beatle” and was a one-person marketing guru for them in our parish. If she had ever gone missing, none of us doubted that she would be found in England. She was the first true “groupie” that I ever knew. I still have my own collection of Beatles albums, lovingly collected during my teenage
years. I suspect that some of them might be considered rare in today’s market, but if you think I’m about to give up any one of them, you are sadly mistaken. And in spite of drugs and something called “counterculture” that somehow missed the Delta almost entirely, divorces, deaths, and uneven solo ventures, the Beatles continued to fascinate us and to transform music as we knew it before they came.
Musical Legacy My grandfather was wrong, as were so many others who dismissed them early on as a mere fad. Their body of work over many years revealed an
historic shift in music composition and performance. Their experiments with orchestral elements accompanying their traditional three-guitar/one drum band revolutionized the music of their day. Later through their interviews we learned that they had been influenced by Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Carl Perkins --- all, with the possible exception of Dylan, very well known in the Delta. No wonder we loved them! For music to “matter” it needs to touch more than just the ear. It must touch the heart. Hearing “I Saw Her Standing There” made all of us long to be the vision they were seeing. “Eleanor Rigby” and “This Boy” helped us understand loneliness. “Till There Was You” showed us the transformative power of love. Since that first time we heard them sing “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on the Ed Sullivan Show, many of us have been hooked. On that night over fifty years ago, in front of millions of television sets, young girls desperately wanted to have their hands held. Without doubt, the CenturyLink Center will be sold out to capacity this July, filled with multi-generations of women who still do. Sir Paul will not disappoint.
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Legendary bassist from the Delta EMMA SAGER
ames Cook, also known as Cap’n, knew he was meant to play music from an early age. Growing up in Northeast Louisiana, he spent many years playing in a local band before making the move to Nashville. With his roots in Louisiana, the Delta’s culture has influenced his music career today. James took some time to talk to us at DeltaStyle about his career and what is like to be on the road traveling with Luke Bryan. Where did the nickname, “Cap’n” originate? I believe the nickname “Cap’n” was bestowed upon me by my friend and band mate, General Keith Patterson, in the late 90’s. Often, I have been reminded by others that I share the name with the famous, Captain James Cook, who discovered the Hawaiian Islands, among other places in the South Pacific. I know you were born and raised in Northeast Louisiana. Where did you go to high school? Did you play in the band there?
I grew up in Swartz and lived on Rowland road. I attended Ouachita High School and was very active in the band program in which I played saxophone. Were you part of any local bands in Louisiana before moving away? Before moving to Nashville, I spent close to 4 years as a member of the funk, soul band “Howard Shaft”. In the late 1990’s, Howard Shaft became a local favorite with its 3 to 5piece horn section and intense stage show. We thought we were going to make it! You attended Northeast Louisiana University, now ULM. How was your time spent there? My time at NLU was a very influential experience, as is for most kids when they go from High School into College. You tend to get a little dose of reality with managing your time, and managing what little money you may have. You also find out that you have to do a lot of studying! I majored in music and spent much of my time in the band room. I was a member of the band fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi. During the college years, I played with my band “Slick’s Relief”. Luckily, we had a built-in crowd with my fraternity brothers and sorority sisters. The memo-
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ries I have from those years are very happy ones. When did you make the move to Nashville? I made the move to Nashville in January of 2001. When did you realize that you had a passion for music? When I was around six, my father taught me a little nursery rhyme on the guitar. Once I learned to play it, I was hooked! From then on, I remember having an earworm and never could get a song out of my head. What instruments do you play? The list is long but the instruments I play on a regular basis are, guitar, bass guitar, saxophone, clarinet, flute, drums, piano. I can play most wind instruments and most stringed instruments enough to make a sound. What drew your interest to the bass? I started playing bass for the first time, at my church. The pianist was a great country, honky-tonk player and influenced my playing. It was during this time, I felt that the bass was right for me. There is a whole lot of power in the low notes, you can get people moving. Tell us how it is on the road. Does your family ever get to come? The road can be many things. It all depends on where you are, literally and mentally. You find out quickly how whether you can adapt to the lifestyle. Most people who are committed to being a musician can adapt because, the time put into learning your instrument also teaches you patience. You must have patience. Once you get into the groove of traveling all the time, you can really enjoy what it brings. New places, sights, activities.. people. My favorite thing to do is people watch and try out local food. I am a
James Cook with Luke Bryan and the rest of the band
foodie! As for my family, they do not get to travel with me. Reality is, this is my job and my job doesn’t allow everyone’s family to come to work. Of course, there are many occasions they do get to come, but it’s never on the bus. The bus is our sanctuary and it is the only thing that is consistent in a touring person’s life. You always have your bunk to go crawl into when you need to get away. This question of the road is full of days’ worth of stories. How long have you been working with Luke Bryan? This is my eighth year with Luke. Which tours have you been a part of with Luke Bryan, and where is the most interesting place you have traveled? With Luke, we have been on tours with Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean, Sugarland and many other short one-off runs. As for interesting, it is hard to say. We got to tour a little bit in Europe a few years ago. I liked many places there. As for the US, I like much of the Pacific Northwest and the mountains in Montana. New York City is always fun too. This could be a whole article as well! What other artists have you worked with before? Are there any other artists that you are working with now? I started my Nashville career off with Brad Martin. He was an artist on Sony. From then I worked with Tracy Byrd for around four years. I got to work with one of my favorites growing up, Steve Wariner. That was a treat as well! Jedd Hughes was another that I spent some time with. There are many artists that I have worked with over the years. Currently, I am working with around 6 or 7 different artists in production work. I’m sure through the years you have ap-
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peared on television, on what shows have you went on? First appeared on The Grand Ole Opry. From then I got to perform on The Tonight Show, (Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon), Ellen, Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman, The Today Show, Good Morning America, America’s Got Talent, The Voice, American Music Awards, CMA Awards, ACM Awards, CMT Awards, Billboard Awards, The Bachelorette, and some that I can’t recall. Tell us about being a producer. Who have you produced for? Being a producer is something that takes a special skill set, other from being a musician. It is shaping music as well as shaping and managing people, or a person. A producer should help an artist be the best they can be, artistically and has help the artist see things from the outside that maybe the artist can’t see or hear. As a producer, you have to get songs arranged, choose musicians that are appropriate for the song, and make sure the song is going in the right direction for the artist. There are administrative duties as well. The artists I am working with are very talented and hopefully will be big stars soon. What do you do as an engineer? The differences from producing? Being an engineer is much more technical than producing. You don’t have to be an engineer to be a producer, or vice versa. An engineer oversees getting good sounds recorded, checking microphones, cables, settings, etc. A producer doesn’t really touch anything in the studio, their role is more of “ring leader”. For me, it makes sense because I don’t have to rely on another person to record or change things in the studio or the mix. It is very convenient to be able to try things creatively and put them into the music technically.
What’s your favorite genre of music? Why? All of them! Seriously, I find myself going from classical to heavy metal, depending on my mood or what I am doing. You have links to various instrumental products on your website: jamescookbass.com. What products do you use from those sites? I use all the products that I have on my website, and many that I don’t advertise. It's my way of showing appreciation for what they do for me. The companies will help me with gear and products, in return, I have a responsibility to show them support in social media and on stage. I certainly do it eagerly because many things are quite expensive! What would you consider to be the highlight of your career? I honestly have many things that fit that description. Moving to Nashville, playing on the Opry, performing on television. Even my influence on others makes a profound impression on me. I look at my career as ongoing and look forward to what is on the horizon. My view of things that happen in life looks like a timeline, literally. I see the beginning on the left, and the future to the right, blank and ready to be filled in. Along the timeline are marks where things have happened, good and bad. Everything has purpose and meaning and sometimes you don’t realize that the little things that happen aren’t that little. Something as small as an introduction to someone or a handshake can be life changing. The music profession is more than learning to sing, play, perform, write, manage, produce, etc. It lies heavily on relationships to move forward, much like many things in life. It isn’t enough to get good at your playing abilities. You must find the opportunities yourself, they don’t come to you. It’s like finding new friends and deciding to work with your friends because its way more fun than working with people you don’t want to be around. I am so glad I chose to move to Nashville; it has definitely changed my life and enriched it in ways I couldn’t have had I not moved. I love Louisiana and will always love it, I am proud of being from Monroe. The way I see it, I bring a bit of the bayou into Nashville and it is just a little bit better because of it! In the future, look for updates from James as he plans to share with our readers what life is like on the road as he tours with Luke Bryan.
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AMERICAN DREAM Bruno sets the example
Writer’s Note: As I have gotten to Among many of the know Dr. Nick Bruno over great beliefs that Amerithe past two years ca has established is through our work togeththat through hard work er on the Ouachita Busiand dedication, a person ness Alliance, I have discan succeed and pros- by covered that he is an exper. In literature, the Georgiann cellent example of somenovels of Horatio Alger, Potts one living the American Jr. set the model for this Dream. From his earliest belief. Published after years, working beside his the Civil War, these father on their dairy farm, books brought hope to many to today, as president of the Uniwho had lost everything and versity of Louisiana at Monroe, were quite literally beginning Bruno has shown a remarkable their lives all over again with capacity for work, an awarenothing but their wits and phys- ness of the importance of conical strength to depend on. Al- tinuing to grow and learn, and ger’s protagonists --- through an humbleness of spirit that goodness of character, hard makes him approachable even work, and a determined spirit to the newest freshman. His life --- all achieved what was called is the stuff America’s best then, and now, the “American dreams are made of . . . Dream”. GP Whether Alger’s writings ot too many folks were based on his personal behave heard of liefs, or were merely propaganSweetwater, Louisida designed to underscore the ana, a little commuimportance of capitalism renity that is the birthmains a topic for scholars to debate. What is not debatable, place of ULM president Dr. Nick however, is that there are count- Bruno. When asked exactly less examples of individuals where Sweetwater is located, who have made a better life for Bruno explains that it is “ . . . themselves and their families three miles east of the small town in spite of significant chal- named Independence (population 1,200).” If the exact geolenges.
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Linda and Nick Bruno with their 3 children
Nick Bruno with his father, Carlo
graphic location still isn’t clear, one thing is certain. Bruno’s childhood was not spent in a metro-center. No, this fellow is a country boy at heart! Early Childhood . . . Work was very much a part of Bruno’s life from his early years. The family had a dairy, and those herds demanded almost constant attention. Even so, Bruno counts those long days among some of his fondest memories. “Working with my father and uncle on the farm was hard work,” he explains, “but being around my father allowed me to spend most of my formative years beside him.” Bruno describes his parents as nearly ideal role models. They were kind and understood the importance of family love and creating a nurturing environment that would encourage their children. His father, a dairy farmer for the first 15 years of Bruno’s life, was known for his ability to work long hours to get the job at hand done. Bruno’s mother was a homemaker who devoted her time to her children, Nick and younger brother, Carlo, and her husband. In time, both of their sons would bring honor and pride to the family through their own hard work and determination. Carlo works as an oil distributor and is an 8-term councilman for Tangipahoa Parish. A common thread that weaves throughout Bruno’s life is continuity. His parents lived in the same home in the same location until their deaths. Other family members including grandparents lived within a mile
“Working with my father and uncle on the farm was hard work. But being around my father allowed me to spend most of my formative years beside him.” of Bruno’s home so everyone was very close. He remembers Sunday dinners surrounded by many of them, sharing stories and strengthening the sense of “family”. Bruno attended Mater Dolorosa, the local Catholic school in his area, from kindergarten through eighth grade. For high school, he attended Independence High. There he was as active in as many school activities as possible, playing baseball and football and participating in 4-H and Key Club. This was in addition to his daily responsibilities on the family farm. To most, this much activity would have been too challenging, but Bruno found it to be a perfect fit. “I have always liked to be very busy,” he says with a grin. Higher Education Dreams . . . Bruno’s parents encouraged their sons to attend college while they were in high school. Their dad often said that a college education would be the key to a good life for his sons. Carlo chose to begin farming instead of pursuing college, and later on began his oil distribution business. No one in Bruno’s family on either his father’s or his mother’s side had ever attended and completed college. Nick Bruno would be
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the first. Perhaps because of his proximity to the animals on the farm, Bruno’s initial career goal was to become a veterinarian. He had always wanted to go to college, and this was the career that attracted him. Financial realities changed all of that. There were no schools of veterinary medicine in Louisiana at that time, and he could not afford to go out of state. Thanks to an alert guidance counselor, Bruno received advice that was to serve as the basis for a very successful career. The counselor advised him to choose accounting as his major. Bruno has never regretted following that advice. Tax accounting was Bruno’s favorite class as an undergraduate at Southeastern Louisiana University because it was always changing. “Tax accounting was a continuing challenge,” Bruno explained. “It provided the opportunity to solve problems by planning and understanding content. It was a dynamic topic instead of a static one, since the tax laws changed continually. I liked that ongoing challenge.” James “Jim” Honea, an accounting professor at Southeast-
ern, was an important mentor for Bruno during his undergraduate years. Bruno remembers his encouragement today with gratitude. Bruno earned both his Bachelor’s (B.S.) in accounting in 1972 and the Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in 1980, both from Southeastern. Bruno was not as involved in extra-curricular activities while he was in college simply because he did not have time. He was working an average of thirty hours per week to fund his education on top of taking as many classes as he could. Bruno describes himself as an average student “… who had to work harder and longer than many of my peers”. Even so, he finished his undergraduate degree in three years. The academic subject not related to his major that Bruno enjoyed the most was history. This attraction is perfectly in keeping with Bruno’s drive to understand process and how it impacts lives. “I learned that history provides us with lessons that, if heeded, will help us to avoid repeating those mistakes made by those who preceded us,” he explains. A Career Begins . . . Bruno began his formal career after college working in public and corporate accounting with some auditing. Both underscored for him the value of having earned his college education. He also realized that this “real world” experience would continue to develop his knowledge and skills. In 1976, Bruno entered the world of higher education as an
Dr. Bruno and Linda with their daughter
The Bruno Family
employee (where he would stay for the next 42 years and counting) when he became a property manager maintaining the moveable property inventory for Southeastern. From that position, he moved to auxiliary director remaining on the “business side” of the university’s operations. As his work experience expanded, he became an assistant vice president for special initiatives and international activities, a position that included opportunities to develop projects and programs that were not currently being offered. Among the most rewarding of these for Bruno was coordinating training seminars for business and government workers from Central and South America. “This brought to the campus a perspective that we did not have at that time,” he explains. “Particularly the Columbian delegation.” Bruno was named vice president for business and finance for the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2002. This position introduced him to the ULM campus, faculty, and surrounding community. Another career advance presented itself, and in 2005 Bruno was named vice president for business affairs for the University of Louisiana System. When Bruno was working as a mid-level employee in higher education manager, he had set his goal to become a vice president. In 1990 Bruno entered the University of Mississippi’s doctoral program pursuing the Ph.D. in higher education leadership. He earned the doctorate in 1994. It was during this time that
about their professional “legacies”. For him, his children are his legacy, and they all make him very proud. “Two of the three have personalities much like mine,” he says with a laugh. “The third is more like Linda. This makes for interesting family gatherings.” Community is Family . . . Bruno has always tried to find time to volunteer within the communities where he has lived. At one time or another, he has been active in Kiwanis, the Knights of Columbus, and the Cattlemen’s Association. The bulk of his volunteer time today is devoted to area civic organizations including service on the boards of the Monroe and West Monroe/West Ouachita Chambers of Commerce and St. Francis Medical Center. One group he is particularly active in is the Ouachita Business Alliance, a small group of business leaders who are trying to position our region for the greatest possible economic growth. In OBA, Bruno is both a spokesperson for ULM, but also uses his presidency with this volunteer placement to help advance higher education for the entire state. “I’ve learned that the more you invest in volunteerism, the more you learn about yourself,” he says. “Every day this job (ULM president) allows me to touch people in a positive manner.” Change Comes . . . Education has changed significantly since Bruno began his career over four decades ago. While he supports any effort that
Bruno set a new goal, that of becoming a university president. Dr. David Cox, a professor at Ole Miss, opened a new avenue of thinking for Bruno, critical thinking. “He was an amazing teacher who blended the practical with the theoretical,” Bruno says. “This taught me to be creative and to think critically in all decisions.” Bruno senses Dr. Cox’s influence nearly every day. Education has become more of a “calling” than a career for Bruno. Over the years he has watched countless young people grow as they learn, a transformation that he never tires of seeing. “Ours is the one profession that builds the future. It is the foundation,” he explains. “It keeps us civil, enriches our lives, and provides fuel for the economic engine.” A Life’s Partner . . . In 1989, a chance encounter at the baggage claim in the Savannah, Georgia, airport was to change Bruno’s life forever. There he met Linda Capra who was working at the time as a higher education administrator at the University of Texas at Austin. That meeting led to many others, and the discovery that they had much in common. She, too, had grown up on a dairy farm and loved animals and farming. Eventually she gave up her career to become Bruno’s wife. She became a full-time wife and mother, rearing their three children while he pursued his career. Both are deeply committed to family and their children. Bruno laughs when other people speak
will improve the educational system, he feels that there are often too many changes occurring too frequently. As a result, the reporting function has often overtaken the time to engage in actual teaching. “When I was a younger administrator, the entire summer was dedicated to planning for the upcoming academic year,” he recalls. “We no longer have that luxury.” Bruno believes that adding to this have been the technological advances that have occurred. He is seeing email replace telephone conversations and face-toface discussions. This “advance” has come with a significant price --- the loss of some social interaction and finding oneself “on duty” 24/7. On the positive side, he also realizes that data is available almost immediately now at a level heretofore unknown. This means that decisions can be data-driven, giving a decided advantage in strategic planning. “Technology is the best and worst thing that has happened in our profession,” he concludes. As Bruno’s career advanced, with each step came new challenges. He admits that it was assuming new roles that always presented the greatest opportunities together with the greatest need to learn even more. He is determined to remain current on both trends of today and those that may very well be faced in the future. Fiscal crises pose the greatest threat. “The challenge of operating an institution in the face of the most significant budget reductions in the history of the state can be overwhelming,” he explains. “We must find ways
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Nick and his wife, Linda
to minimize the impact on our employees and to maintain or increase the quality of our students’ educational experiences, but we must also sharpen our vision of growth and excellence.” He adds, “During difficult times you learn the true commitment of so many individuals to their work and institution. That makes the impossible, possible.” Bruno has always enjoyed doing things that others said could not be done. Accepting those challenges has served him well, as throughout a long and successful career he has done many things that others had dismissed as impossible. He has always committed himself to the job at hand, and has never expected recognition. His pleasure has come from the doing, not the accolades. Future Dreams . . . The job description of a university First Lady is a mercurial thing. Each campus brings unique demands, and each president’s wife brings a unique vision for how to address those demands based on her own personality and skills. Bruno credits Linda for bringing grace to this very difficult role. “We had al-
“I’ve learned that the more you invest in volunteerism, the more you learn about yourself. Every day this job (ULM President) allows me to touch people in a positive manner.” ways before had a very private life which we both enjoyed,” he explains. “We have had to adapt to the demands that are made of us which do not always allow for that privacy.” The two have complimentary personalities, but not identical natures. Bruno says that she is a calming influence on him, but confesses that he often disturbs her naturally quiet nature. Over the years together they have found a balance that works. Both have hobbies --- he reads biographies and enjoys gardening, she loves antiquing and needlepointing --- that they don’t have time to pursue at the moment but hope to resume in the future. They share a love for travel, and plan someday to visit Italy and Ireland. Bruno is Italian, with his paternal grandfather
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emigrating to America from Palermo, Sicily. Linda’s ancestry includes both Italian and Irish. Her grandparents were reared in Torino, Italy. Both Bruno and Linda want to visit those areas where their grandparents lived and to experience the cultures that they had experienced. Horses and a Farm . . . When asked what he hopes for after he closes his career, Bruno quickly says “Good health through my winter years.” He wants to spend as much time as possible with Linda and their children, and some day, perhaps with grandchildren. There are other wishes --- to do a little whale watching, to visit all 50 states, to hunt, fish, and garden --- but one stands above the rest. He would like to purchase a farm and return to their roots.
When Bruno became president, Linda had to sell her horses. He wants a farm so that she may have horses once again, and so that he can have a few head of cattle that he can observe and care for. “Animals have a very calming effect on me, “ Bruno says, “and Linda still misses her horses.” A regret that Bruno has is that he never got to meet Linda’s parents. He would love to have known them and learned more about them. As for his own parents, now gone, he regrets that he never had the chance to ask them questions now that he is old enough to know what those questions are, and that he wishes he could tell them how much he loves them and appreciates how they raised him. By every measure, Nick Bruno is still a country boy at heart. Although his brains and determination --- combined with strong mentors and a measure of good luck --- have brought him to the pinnacle of his profession, that humbleness of spirit remains. From the farmland of his youth to the boardrooms of today, Bruno represents the best in America.
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THE LAND OF FIRE AND ICE A local photographer explores Iceland STORY AND PHOTOS BY CHANDLER ROBINSON
The Land of Fire and Ice A local photographer’s trip to Iceland Over three years ago, shortly after buying my first camera, I came across an image that struck me and shortly after manifested itself into an obsession to recreate the image myself. The image I am referring to is a photograph of Kirkjufell Mountain in western Iceland. For the next years, I would spend a good amount of my time looking at photos of Iceland and dreaming about how I would get there to see what is arguably the most beautiful country in the world while at the same time housing some of the most otherworldly landscapes. After years of anticipation I finally had the opportunity to turn those dreams into a reality. One evening I received a call from a friend saying she was going with a small group to Iceland over spring break and invited me to come along. I immediately jumped on the researching and trip planning to find that getting to such a seemingly remote and harsh country was actually a lot easier and cheaper than one might imagine. A little drive to Dallas, a quick flight to JFK and a flash of the passport, and a six hour hop over the Atlantic and we had arrived in the Land of Fire and Ice, home of the Vikings: Iceland. Arriving in early morning
on April 16th we were greeted with a cold arctic wind upon stepping out of Keflavik International Airport, and that cold arctic wind only seemed to become colder and stronger for the remainder of our week in the small North Atlantic island country. Even during spring and summer always come prepared for strong winds sweeping down from the North Pole and freezing temperatures. Snow is not uncommon at any time during the year, we came across snow at least five of the seven days we spent in the country. If it isn’t snowing then there is a very good chance it is raining, so with that being said always bring plenty of layers and a waterproof outer layer on any excursion in Iceland. As you will find out, the locals do not let a little rain or snow stop them from getting out and about. If you need any more trivia on just how cold it can be, or want to one-up any of your friends’ travels, just know that Reykjavik, the largest city and capital of Iceland, is the northernmost capital city in the world. Most flights from the US to Iceland are overnight so hopefully you will get the same first impression as I did; looking out of the plane window in the morning light seeing the blue abyss of the Atlantic finally transition into the red lava fields of the southern coast and immediately thinking “I’m
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about to land on Mars.” Once landed and inside your rental car you will most likely drive from Keflavik—the only international airport in the country—to Reykjavik. This 35 minute drive will make you forget how exhausted you are and show glimpses of just how otherworldly this tiny country is. From the deep blue waters right off the coast on your left to the crazy, moss-covered rock formations in the lava field on your right, you very quickly realize how special of an Island you are on. Once making it to your Airbnb, hotel or guesthouse, in or around, Reykjavik I would suggest going out and ex-
ploring the city to better fight jet lag instead of crashing right away. If you are anything like me, you couldn’t care less about cities and concrete jungles, but you’re probably not like me so you will thoroughly enjoy walking the streets of Reykjavik, eating some local food (perhaps five month old fermented shark, it’s the worst thing I have ever eaten, but hey now I have a cool story to tell), or checking out the growing local art and music scene. We even came across, and of course stopped at, a Chuck Norris themed burger shop. I’m no food critic, but the Round House Kick
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Burger was very good. After roaming the streets for a few hours and even catching an Easter service at a local church we drove 30 minutes north of Reykjavik to check into our Airbnb and get ready for the jam-packed days to come. Thanks to our good friend jet lag we were up and ready to go at 1am the next day, so we hopped in our Toyota Land Cruiser and began the four hour drive northwest to the mountain that started my Icelandic obsession some three years ago, Kirkjufell. It is one of the most photographed locations on the planet for a reason. This near vertical 1500ft moun-
tain, paired with its own set of waterfalls, is only a five minute hike from the parking lot. If you can make it to the famous overlook early enough you may have the most beautiful sunrise you have ever seen all to yourself like we did. A truly special morning it was. From Kirkjufell we drove deeper into the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Snæfellsjökull, a 700,000 year old volcano with a glacier that covers its summit. You will need specialized gear and a guide to get to the glacier, but just viewing it from the base is quite the sight. The next day we drove out east to see Strokkur Geysir, a
Church in the Icelandic Countryside
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Black Sand Beaches
geyser erupting every 7-10 minutes that would easily rival Old Faithful. From Strokkur there is a quick 20 minute drive to Gullfoss, one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland (that’s saying a lot because it seems like there’s a waterfall at every turn). The wind was absolutely punishing this day. Arctic gusts seemed to slice open any exposed skin, a fun snowfall quickly turned into what I, being from Louisiana, would describe as a blizzard, and operating my camera was almost impossible since I couldn’t feel my fingers. Learn from me, wear a thin pair of gloves under your thicker gloves where you can still operate electronics without almost losing fingers to frostbite. The last few days we spent
driving around the southern coast. In the south you will find a plethora of waterfalls, natural hot springs, active volcanos, and ominously beautiful black sand beaches. Seljalandsfoss is a 200ft waterfall that, if you don’t mind getting a little wet, you can actually walk behind and have an outstanding and unique view. Right down the road is Skogafoss, a powerful 49ft wide and 200ft high waterfall that demands your respect as soon as you pull into the parking lot. There is an old legend that the first Viking settler of the Skogar area hid treasure in a cave behind the falls, but after seeing it in person and hearing the roar and power of Skogafoss I wouldn’t dare try to make it to the other side to find out if the legend is true.
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From Skogafoss the next big attraction would be found about an hour farther east, right outside a small village called Vik. Vik is the southernmost village in Iceland and is home to the black sand beach, and if you’re a fan of long walks on the beach this might just become your new favorite place. With sheer cliffs on one side and the punishing North Atlantic Ocean on the other it is a walk on the beach you will never forget. Drive a little farther down the coast and you will come across a parking lot full of vehicles, but for what seems like no apparent reason. After parked, walk down the path towards the ocean for about an hour and you will find an old US Navy Douglas Super DC-3 aircraft that was forced to crash
land due to low fuel in 1973. Instead of recovering the aircraft, the navy decided to leave it to rust away on the unforgiving Icelandic coast. We made the trek out to the wreckage at night to get some long exposure photographs and it just happened to be raining the entire time. Again, be sure to bring weatherproof layers when going to Iceland. One week in Iceland proved to not be enough time and everything I’ve mentioned here barely scratches the surface on all this tiny island has to offer. I will most certainly be back to see the floating icebergs in Jökulsárlón, the arctic fox in the West Fjords, the truly rugged highlands of Thórsmörk (Thor’s Valley), and hopefully with a little luck I’ll finally get a glimpse of those elu-
sive Northern Lights. If you are like me and have a passion for beautiful landscapes and photography, Iceland is a dream come true. Even if you just enjoy traveling, Iceland should be very high on your bucket list. Chandler Robinson is from Bastrop, LA and presently lives in Collinston. He has taken time off from ULM to travel more and turning his passion for adventure photography and travel into a career. Currently, he has traveled to a few National Parks, Russia, Iceland, and planning a trip to New Zealand for this Thanksgiving.
Dc -3 Plane Wreckage
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FINDING HEALTH AND PEACE
Relax, renew, and revive at Blue Sky Yoga
n between traveling and work, I like to focus on fitness and I try to change things up as much as possible. I was inspired by big wave rider, Andrew Cotton, who I had interviewed in the past and was always talking about via social media the benefits of yoga. This led me to reach out to the local yoga studio, Blue Sky Yoga. Although I had taken several yoga classes when I lived in California, I still had my reservations since I am not without injuries. I have pins in my left ankle from a slip and fall incident while with my gymnastics team in high school and a shoulder that pops By Jennifer out due to an old skateboarding injuSchmeer ry. Not to mention, I am older now and spend most of my days sitting at a desk. The promotion that Blue Sky Yoga offers beginners is perfect with just a $30 fee for thirty days of unlimited classes. The studio in Monroe is warm and allows you to relax and focus on your body and breathing. After just a few classes, I felt more flexible, stronger, more energy and centered. The students ranged in age and levels, so it was not intimidating at all. With two locations, Blue Sky Yoga is easy to find with a wide range of classes and times. I wanted to find out more about the owner, Donna Ponder-Franks, who opened Blue Sky Yoga, so we sat down and discussed her history and the benefits of her yoga classes.
Message on the board at Blue Sky Yoga
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Tell me about your background & why you decided to open Blue Sky Yoga? I have 3 sons and live in Ruston, LA. In 2002, I took my first yoga class. The way my body and mind felt after the practice was amazing. Less anxiety, relaxed, and energized, the passion to share this practice and what it can do for mental and physical health was ignited. I practiced often, gradually gaining strength, and knowledge. In 2004, I began sub work for a friend, Julie Smith, who was a yoga teacher and then taught a regular class at her studio. In 2005, I began teaching at Ruston Parks and Recreation. In 2006, I began teaching at Louisiana Tech Lambright Center, 2007 attended train-
ing for 200 RYT (registered yoga teacher) with Baron Baptiste. The year of 2007, I wrote about, manifested, Blue Sky Yoga. The word that best describes what I hoped to achieve by opening a studio is, community. A place where all would be welcome to move and breathe, and practice together. All levels of physical ability welcome. A place for anyone who is seeking mental and physical wellbeing, a refuge of health and peace. In 2010, I began teaching yoga at Structural Awareness Center in West Monroe. At this time, I was teaching classes at a handful of locations in Ruston/West Monroe area. Classes started to grow in West Monroe. Many of the locations that I taught at did not have space that was specifically designated for yoga. The environment
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at a gym is very different than that of a studio. In February of 2012, the classes were full at Structural Awareness Center, and made a decision to open Blue Sky Yoga. May 1, 2012, Blue Sky Yoga opened doors in Monroe, Louisiana.
You have two locations one in Ruston and one in Monroetell me about the different types of classes you offer. Restorative Yoga - very gentle, supported poses that stay in for 5 to 10 minutes each. Focus on calm breathing and relaxation. Yin Yoga - Yin Yoga targets the connective tissues, such as the ligaments, bones, and even the joints of the body that normally are not exercised very much in a more active style of asana practice. Yin Yoga generally targets the connective tissues of the hips, pelvis, and lower spine. The poses are held for 1 to 5 minutes. Yoga for Life - A chair is used for added stability, and for better control of the intensity level. There is a focus on breath, strength, stability, and flexibility. Yoga Spa - This class begins with poses that work the body, and then moves into stretching and relaxation with added aromatherapy. Hot Power Flow - An athletic style practice, focusing on breath, strength, flexibility and stability. The room temp 90 degrees, 60 percent humidity. Power Flow - An athletic style practice, focusing on breath, strength, flexibility, and stability. Room Temp 75 degrees.
What benefits do you feel yoga provides? Physical - strengthens and lengthens muscles along the spine, relaxes muscles of hips and legs. Stability is increased. A balance of strength and flexibility in the body. Increased range of motion. MENTAL - depression, anxiety, yoga helps to reduce these. Through practice the skill of breathing calmly and staying clearly focused becomes stronger. This carries out into life, dealing with moments with reactions that we choose verses ones that we regret. Yoga teaches us a pause, a calm breath, before the reaction.
You have several instructors- how are their styles different? There are currently 14 instructors at Blue Sky Yoga Monroe/ Ruston. Some of the instructors have had training outside of Baptiste, Live Love Teach, and Blue Sky Yoga School. Teachers obtain training, and this is only the beginning! The learning is never ending and this is exciting! Each teacher is to be true to their authentic self, delivering a class that is with their words, their discoveries, passions, and inspirations. The title of the class will let one know what will be receiving, but within that guideline there is plenty of space for the teacher to deliver a class that is unique.
What advice would you give to someone for their first class? Be good to yourself! If you cannot control your breath, do less in the pose, or rest, until you have control of your breath. If something is painful, STOP! If a modification or solution to the issue is not addressed in class, please talk to a teacher. There are many ways to modify poses, but a teacher cannot read your mind. So please talk to us! Yoga is not performance. Yoga is not competitive. We do these things to ourselves. Listen to your body. Work with the sensations that are there, and keep showing up on the mat. Acknowledge yourself for beginning something new! Enjoy being a beginner!
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My favorite class was the hot yoga. What benefits does a hot room give the body during class? The Hot classes demand focus on breath. In a hot, humid room, breath becomes more interesting! It must be a focus. The heat helps with flexibility work, and warm muscles aren't injured as easily. Sweat is detox. The heat adds another element to practice breathing calmly within.
Are you looking to add any new classes?
classes and teachers.
Have recently added a few new time slots of existing classes in Ruston and Monroe. Hoping to add Kundalini in the near future.
How can someone reach you? Website? Social media?
Any promotions going on right now for someone interested in joining? For those new to Blue Sky Yoga we have a great introductory offer! Upon your first visit to our studio can sign up for 30 days for $30. Take as many classes as would like, both studios, for 30 days, no further obligation. This gives the opportunity to try the different
Monroe location-2360 Tower Drive; 318-614-1619 Ruston location- 212 West Mississippi Ave; 318-614-1619 - blue-sky-yoga.net You can find us on Facebook-Blue Sky Yoga Ruston; Blue Sky YogaMonroe or Donna Franks BlueSkyyogasoul - Blueskyyoga@yahoo.com DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | J U N E 2 017 | 7 9
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Downtown Ruston June 23-24
Friday Noon - 11pm
(Free Admission Noon till 5pm)
Saturday 8am - 11pm
GI V E PEACH A CHANCE
Arts & Crafts • Parade • Rodeo • Kids’ Activities • Sporting Tournaments • Live Music $1000 Prize Peach Cobbler Eating Contest • Antique Car Show • Fine Arts Exhibit
LI V E MUSIC Friday, June 23rd 6pm | Bethany Raybourn 7pm | KATALYST 8:30pm | Grant Terry 10pm | The Chee-Weez
Fri @ 10pm
The Chee-Weez Fri @ 10pm
Sat @ 10pm
Saturday, June 24th 11am | Piney Hills Harmony Chorus 2pm | Lawrence Gibbs & The Russ-Town Band (at The Dixie) 6pm | Zach O’Neil 7pm | Beaux Atkins with Monty Russell 8:30pm | Kendal Conrad 10pm | Uncle Kracker
Arts and Crafts Show
1-800-392-9032 Full event schedule at louisianapeachfestival.org
DELTA STYL E MAGAZIN E | JU N E 2017 | 81
WITH DR. AND MRS. JOHN LEDBETTER KATIE BURKE PHOTOS BY GARY GUINIGUNDO
r. John Ledbetter is recognized in the area for founding a successful medical practice, Louisiana Pain Care. In order to get to know him better, Patti Thurmon, Gary Guinigundo, and I enjoyed a recent visit with him and his wife, Dee, in their home. The Ledbetters' charming home sits among a plethora of giant oak trees whose branches gracefully shadow the house. The house, in fact, has a very special history for the Ledbetters. It previously belonged to Dee's grandparents. "I was over here every day of my childhood," says Dee. Ironically, much of John's childhood was spent riding his bike up and down this street on his way to the "dime store" to cash in soft drink bottles for change which he would use to buy baseball cards. He had always admired the house from afar. "They had a tree house in the front yard, and it was the coolest tree house I had ever seen. It was huge and very professionally done. It had walls and a rope ladder hanging from a hatch in the floor. I lusted for that tree house, never knowing that it was built for my future bride and her sisters, nor that I would one day live in this house." THE HOME The original quaint two-bedroom family home has undergone a few renovations since the Ledbetters purchased it in 1986. The first was converting the attic to bedrooms to accommodate a growing family. The most recent change was an update of the kitchen. "I wanted a kitchen that didn't feel like a kitchen, more of an entertaining space," says Dee. Its
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John and Dee Ledbetter
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Dee with a potrait of her grandmother, Rachel Mignon
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3 dimensional painting of the Ledbetter's children
new, sleek, modern look goes well with custom furniture pieces that can be found throughout the house, the renovation of which was designed and overseen by John's brother, Lee Ledbetter. "After 30 years, and many transitions we now have the house the way that we want it in this stage of our life. My brother Lee is an incredibly talented architect and interior decorator. We were fortunate enough to have him and his eye when updating the home," says John. The Ledbetters have added many modern elements to the home while keeping true to the past and filling the space and rooms with history. Lee Ledbetter designed and had built custom glass tables, cabinetry, and acrylic stands to display some of the more interesting art pieces. He commissioned an architect colleague who was also an artist to paint a unique three-dimensional portrait of the Ledbetter children surrounded by elements of their favorite activities and interests. A portrait of Dee' grandmother, Rachel Mignon, who, with her husband Dr. Arthur Emerson, lived in the house for over 50 years, is displayed prominently in the dining room. John and Dee named their daughter Rachel for this special lady. Along with those paintings and furniture, the Ledbetters
have works by local artists that perfectly match their personalities and that are displayed throughout the home. "We love to support the local art community. We have purchased many pieces of art from the Masur at the Off the Wall party. That event has grown over the years into something awesome. I love what the Masur does to get the community involved and make it possible for anyone to come in and buy some art. It is important that most anyone can have access to original art and that is made possible by the Downtown Art Crawls and the Masur Museum," says Dee. Dr. Ledbetter then leads us to his study, the room in which he begins every morning. Baseball-themed art and artifacts line the walls along with a sizeable collection of old baseball memorabilia behind his desk. "I love baseball, particularly the history of the professional game, "says John. He explained to us about how he has taken his children on tours of historic major league parks across the country, some of which have since been destroyed. Around the corner from the office and den, the individuality of the home continues. A set of built-in lockers is in the hallway. There is one for John and Dee and for each of their children. The photos of the childrenâ€™s faces at the age they were when the lockers
Dr. Ledbetter and his children on the cover of DeltaStyle 20 years ago!
were installed still adorn the top of the locker doors with photos of their feet at the bottom. THE FAMILY We then take our delicious limeades outside to sit with them in their delightful back patio. Every inch is well manicured and it looks as if it is straight out of a movie. The vines and greenery gracefully pour out of pots and along the edge of the yard. "I love being outside because, growing up with my grandmother, everything was about the outdoors. She adored her garden and most of what she did to the home was outside the house. During our renovations, I maximized the window space in an effort to â€˜bring the outside in,' in honor of my grandmother," says Dee. As we sit, they give us the his-
tory of something other than the home: their family. Both John and Dee were reared right here in Monroe, growing up only blocks from one another. John's brother, Lee, and Dee were sixth-grade sweethearts, and there were other siblings in the families who were the same age and were friends. Dee was present at the Ledbetters' home many times during her childhood for birthday parties and other activities. Being four years older than Dee, John didn't take much notice of her when they were young, but that all changed later. Once they were young adults, John and Dee became reacquainted. On a couple of occasions, their paths crossed during their college years when both were in Monroe for holiday
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Dr. Ledbetter and Dee in his study
visits, but their timing and availability never seemed to sync up. Then, by chance, in Austin, Texas in 1979, Dee accompanied her sister, Molly, to the wedding of John's sister, Anne. John recalls, "I still remember the red dress she was wearing when I ushered her to her pew." John was moving to Dallas the next day to begin medical school, and Dee was going to be there in summer school for three months. The rest, as they say, is history. They were married in 1981 and had their first son, Mac, in 1985, and another son, Land, and daughter Rachel would later follow. After completing his medical training and Anesthesiology residency, John contemplated various job options. Ultimately, they decided to make Monroe their home. "We were drawn to the small-town life. Our parents and many friends were here. Both of my parents grew up in
this area, so there was a lot of history with this place," says Dee. Dr. Ledbetter joined Anesthesia Associates and practiced anesthesiology for 8 years, working at all three of the hospitals which were operating at the time. "I loved anesthesia and I enjoyed our group practice, but I left it after I realized what a need there was in northeast Louisiana for a formal pain management service. Pain Management is a sub-specialty of anesthesiology, so I had been exposed to it in my residency," says John. "But in order to â€˜do it right,' I knew that I would need fellowship training and board certification." He moved for six months to San Antonio for a pain management fellowship, and, upon his return, he already had patients scheduled in the clinic and many others waiting to get an appointment.
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The pain management clinic started with one nurse, one secretary, and Dr. Ledbetter. After several years of steady growth, which required the addition of more doctors, nurse practitioners, and staff, Louisiana Pain Care opened its current location on I-20 in downtown Monroe in 2006. "We have had incredible support from the community and the area physicians and providers. There are so many people who need a pain management specialist," says John. "Only God can take one doctor, one nurse, and one secretary and turn it into 70 employees," says Dee. She told John, "I prayed you into this job. I prayed for a job that would allow you to help people and then to come home at night to your kids. God knew what he was doing." Today, Louisiana Pain Care has grown to four doctors, 7
nurse practitioners, and over 70 employees. They treat acute and chronic pain problems, including back and neck pain, herniated discs, spinal compression fractures, nerve pain, arthritic pain, cancer pain, pain from shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia, RSD, and other conditions. After great conversation and many laughs, we begin to leave when Dee brings one last thing to our attention. John and their children were on the cover of one of the first issues of DeltaStyle in 1997! The cover still hangs in their home today. What a great way to celebrate 20 years! "They are just the most genuine, kind, and humble individuals you will meet." says Patti, "and I am very fortunate to be working with such great people." With their smiles beaming and hospitality overflowing, we leave knowing that Patti is right about the Ledbetters.
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DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | J U N E 2 017 | 8 7
GIVING BACK KRYSTLE MAHONEY & TAYLOR HANCE
eople often ask us why we love the outdoors. Why is it that we chose to spend our time and our hard earned money in the pursuit of the elusive whitetail or the dream of getting a single season grand slam on Long Beards. For us the answer is easy. It’s the time spent around the camp fire with friends and family. It’s those moments when you’re out in the
woods and not a single living creature knows you’re there and you get to watch the woods come alive. You get to see things not everyone gets to see and have that quiet time with yourself to reflect on life decisions and think where to go too next. The outdoors is a fix-all for anything really. Weather you’re happy or sad or indifferent, you can find your place in the woods. It’s that healthy outlet in a world full of unhealthy opportunities and that’s why we choose to put all of our energy and focus into it.
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Oddly enough, we’ve found we aren’t the only ones who feel this way. We have had the pleasure of getting to know the guys behind a non-profit organization that works with veterans to get them re-acclimated into society through different hunting, fishing and sporting activities. Mike Barker, founder of Heroes Sports, realized while working as a physical therapist at a Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio Texas that veterans could use these activities not only help their bodies get back into the working condi-
tion needed after a combat injury, but that these sports and outdoor activities were also helping them socially and mentally as well. While being active duty, the military provides these healthy outlets to create an environment of brotherhood comradery and opportunities to be physically fit. However, when these service men and women are transitioned out of the military, these opportunities cease to exist as well. But what if they didn’t have to? What if there were more opportunities offered for our service
Military Veterns Stanley Ohneck, Joey Marzula, and Brian Keaton, Sr
Heroes Sports founder and veteran, Mike Barker. To his right, fellow veteran Cory Bussart
members to fill their time with like they had while they were active.? This is what sparked Mike Barkers dream of giving back. He started by creating a baseball league which grew into much more than he could have ever hoped for. What started out as a one sport opportunity quickly turned into a wide variety of accommodating activities to meet the need of any transitioned veteran. They currently offer recreational activities like volleyball, sitting volleyball, basketball, slow pitch softball, golf and flag football just to name a few. So far this year they have also taken veterans on hunting and fishing trips to E3 Ranch in Ft. Scott Kansas for a deer hunt, Monroe Louisiana for a duck hunt, Port O’ Connor Texas fishing and to the Let It Fly Ranch in Texas for a predator hunt. They will visit Red Eye Safaris for an alligator hunt soon as well. Once getting the organization off the ground, Mike didn’t want to have his reach end in San Antonio. His vision was bigger than that and he wanted to reach every veteran he could which would mean expanding. Fast forward two years later and his first venture out is to Monroe Louisiana. He reached out to a Monroe native, fellow veteran Grant Rogers, who is currently in Afghanistan. Grant
introduced Mike to Trey Vocker, a local sales supervisor for coca cola who also happens to be a veteran himself. Because of his extensive military experience and his local footprint in Monroe, Mike asked him to be the director of Heroes Sports in Northeast Louisiana to which he gladly accepted. Trey served as Field Artillery in the United States Army, 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment when deployed to Baghdad then Sinjar and then to Tal Afar Iraq for operation “Restoring Rights”. His Tiger squadron was turned into an infantry unit. He also served in Operation “Foil Eagle” in Korea. Overall, Trey served 4 1⁄2 years from 2003-2007. We were able to sit down with Trey and ask him a few questions about Heroes sports. Whitetail Widow Makers: “What is the goal of Heroes Sports?” Trey Vocker: “We want to help every veteran possible. We are hoping to reach different avenues not previously pursued before to reach all veterans and to rebuild the veteran population which will in return help the community of Monroe.” Whitetail Widow Makers: “What do you feel is holding Heroes Sports back from meeting that goal?” Trey Vocker: “There are a few different things holding us
Stanley Ohneck, Brian Keaton, Sr, john Griffin, Joey Marzula, Mike Silve, John Silva.
back. One being lack of flagship sponsors or yearly contributors. Another being, this is a fairly new organization so the awareness of it isn’t there yet. We also need more Veteran participants and volunteers. Whitetail Widow Makers: “How can Veterans get qualified or get signed up for events and how can civilians get involved or contribute to the pro-
gram?” Trey Vocker: “To get qualified veterans must show a valid military ID or a valid DD214 which shows an honorable discharge. Who gets to go on which outdoor activity or play in any specific league depends on availability and openings which are determined on a first come first serve basis. As far as civilian involvement, we can always
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Trey Vocker while deployed
use volunteers at events. Monetary donations are always welcome. You can go to www.heroessports.org and click the ‘donate’ button. Community involvement and support is always needed as well. Whitetail Widow Makers: “What has been your favorite part about Heroes Sports so far?” Trey Vocker: “Helping Veterans. Making all the new connections and making new friends. I love planning the events and getting all the people together. My favorite event so far is probably when we get the group together and bring bingo and snacks to the veterans at the Northeast Louisiana Veterans Home. Those guys don’t get many visitors so it’s nice to just go get to spend time with them.” Whitetail Widow Makers: “Where do you see Heroes Sports in the future?” Trey Vocker: “We are hoping to make this a national Program. Veterans love and need sports and outdoor activities and getting together so there is no reason that this can’t be a national organization. Whitetail Widow Makers: “What are some upcoming events or leagues going on for veterans? How can people get involved in it and how can people reach you?”
The Whitetail Widow Makers on a duck hunt with Heroes Sports
Trey Vocker: “There are several events and fundraisers in the works, but for now, the ones set in stone are, June 3rd- First Annual Heroes Sports Fishing Tournament. There will also be a Golf Tournament at Black Bear Golf Course on September 16th. Currently there is a veteran bowling league and in the works is a 3 on 3 basketball league. For more information on these events and any other opportunity to get involved
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with Heroes Sports, please visit heroessports.org or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach me by phone at 318-4173604. For us at Whitetail Widow Makers, we are truly grateful that our love for the outdoors has done for us what it has. We have a better connection to each other and a common passion that has become a family affair. To get to see it bettering the lives of others as well is tru-
ly a beautiful thing to witness. We were able to see this organization in action January of this year when we hosted a Duck hunt with Daniel Putnam of Bayou Built Duck Calls. The comradery and brotherhood bond that forms through the organization is second to none. There were more laughs and memories shared during that weekend than there were ducks falling, and at the end of the day, it’s the memories that last. It’s about finding that healthy outlet that gets you outdoors and what you can do for someone else. The fact that we found those two things in one organization, well that’s definitely the kind of thing we want to give back to and stand behind. Taylor Hance and Krystle Mahoney are DeltaStyle columnist. The couple founded Whitetail Widow Makers, specializing in hunting products 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 email@example.com.
OGLESBY FINANCIAL GROUP It’s Time to Talk About Aging
have been used to pay for basic needs • such as housing, food, and medical care. ”
Registered Financial Consultant
Watch for signs in older relatives By 2030, 72 million Americans will and friends be age 65 or older. The good news If you’re not sure whether older is longevity has been improving, and relatives or friends are safe from people are remaining healthy and abuse, the U.S. Department of Justice vibrant at older ages. The bad news has identified signs and symptoms is cultural perceptions of ‘old’ people that may indicate a problem. The have not kept pace. A 2016 analysis first step is to stay in touch and ask by the World Health Organization questions to uncover any issues. In found ageism was abundant and many addition, it’s a good idea to watch for: people were completely unaware of their biases toward older people. • Sudden changes in bank account Ageism and elder abuse One of the ugly things hiding beneath the rock of ageism is elder abuse, • including financial exploitation. During 2017, the Department • of Health and Human Resources • reported: • “Elders throughout the United States lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more • annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation, funds that could
Previously uninvolved family members claiming the right to manage an older person’s affairs or appropriate their possessions
Plan ahead to protect yourself The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority recommends investors take several steps to protect themselves. These include: •
Taking inventory and getting organized.
Giving a list of emergency contacts to your financial professional.
or banking practices, including withdrawals or transfers of large • sums of money
Creating a durable power of attorney.
New names on an older person’s bank signature card
Elder abuse and financial exploitation Unauthorized ATM withdrawals are all too common. It’s important to Changes to a will or other take steps to protect both our loved financial documents ones and ourselves. The best way to The disappearance of money or safeguard against the issue is to raise awareness among family and friends valuable possessions Forged signatures on financial and stay in touch with potentially transactions or for the titles of vulnerable parties. possessions
V OT E D
2016 All securities through Money Concepts Capital Corp. Member FINRA/SIPC Oglesby Financial Group is not affiliated with Money Concepts Capital Corp.
W W W. O G L E S B Y F I N A N C I A L . C O M
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Kathy Patrick, Alison Cattar, Joy Loomis
REMEMBERING THE “GHOSTS” POTPOURRI LEARNS ABOUT WWII POWS STORY AND PHOTOS BY GEORGIANN POTTS
Marilyn Stern, Martha Jane Anderson
he mark of a gifted Southern hostess is her ability to open her home to others seemingly without effort and exhibiting both ease and grace. Lillian Gentry is the quintessential Southern hostess. She recently invited members of the Potpourri Book Club to hold their meeting and book review in her north Monroe home. Her co-hostesses, Carole Kilpatrick and Nancy Staab --- both gifted Southern ladies in their own right, joined Gentry in making everyone feel welcome and special. The mood turned quite serious, however, as soon as the book review began. Talented reviewer Martha Hayden closed out the club’s yearlong theme of reading books that told stories of “Inspiration, Survival, and Faith” with a sobering look at the so-called “forgotten soldiers” stranded in the Philip-
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pines in WWII as described by Hampton Sides in Ghost Soldiers. These soldiers could not be rescued because the United States didn’t have the resources to save them, according to Hayden. Hayden told the group that Ghost Soldiers is a narrative history of a group of prisoners of war whose ordeal began with an American general’s decision to surrender to the Japanese in 1942. According to Hayden, the book is riveting, disturbing, and well worth reading. “It is easy to understand after reading this why so many had very harsh feelings toward the Japanese,” Hayden explained. Many of these “lost” prisoners had first survived the Bataan Death March shortly after the surrender. Hayden pointed out that this ordeal was enough to kill many, as they were forced to march 30 miles per day without food or water. After that march, those who survived were imprisoned at Cabanatuan and later on Luzon. “The condi-
Judy Worthen, Martha Hayden
Carole Kilpatrick, Lillian Gentry, Nancy Staab
Marilyn Stern, Dianne Cage
tions under which these POWs were living and working were unimaginable,” Hayden said. “Still, some managed to survive.” Possibly the most powerful section of the book, according to Hayden, was the description of the successful rescue of the surviving POWs imprisoned at Luzon. This rescue was carried out in January 1945 by a new specialized group unknown to the POWs, the Army Rangers. “When the Rangers arrived to free the POWs, some of the prisoners actually resisted, fearing that this unfamiliar group might actually be an assassination squad deployed to kill them
by the Japanese,” Hayden explained. The excellent review prompted additional questions and observations by club members. Clearly, many in the group were moved by learning about this proud group of brave POWs and the incredible rescue effort that was launched on their behalf. The ladies continued their discussion afterward while enjoying a delicious offering of food and drink that the hostesses had prepared. Eliciting compliments were delicate cucumber canapés, decadent black olive tea sandwiches, a luscious sour cream pound cake with fresh strawberries and
whipped cream, and lemon thumbprint cookies. Soft drinks, bottled water, and coffee played supporting roles. Gentry’s dining table was centered with a lovely collection of hydrangea blooms ranging in hue from snow white to deep purple. Each bloom was held in a glass “tube”. In turn, these “tubes” were suspended in a brass “structured vase”. The look was at once contemporary and traditional. The club will close its year in May with its annual picnic. At that time, officers for the coming year will be announced.
Our ultimate goal is the detection and elimination of imbalances and structural distortions that CAUSE the “check engine light” to turn on in the first place.
as much structural and functional integrity as possible, and then providing you with the tools to manage your spinal health yourself!
Who We Are… At Spinal Health Center, our primary focus is the restoration of proper, healthy, spinal joint movement and support. While there is no panacea, or “magic bullet”, to ensure one’s health, it is literally IMPOSSIBLE to experience optimal health and abundant living without a healthy spine. In fact, 90% of the essential nutrients your brain requires are delivered, or influenced, through the normal, healthy movement of your spine! To assist you to that end, we employ current, stateof-the-art methods for analysis and treatment through researched/evidence-based chiropractic techniques, manual and physio-therapy as well as soft tissue remodeling and rehabilitation.
How we are different… Drugs and invasive treatments are designed to modify, or sometimes mask, your body’s built-in warning systems, or “check engine lights”. Our primary focus is NOT just your pain or symptoms. While we DO initially dedicate ourselves to provide relief of your symptoms, we DON’T just stop there.
We are very thorough in our initial assessment.You can expect an honest appraisal of any structural and functional weaknesses or breakdowns along with clear-cut expectations of what benefits are possible and essential treatments to maximize your recovery. Problems tend to gradually get worse over time and may require a similar process over time to stabilize and become strong again.
Our Mission… Knowledge is Power so we dedicate time to EDUCATE you regarding the most common preventable day-to-day causes for your mechanical breakdowns/movement disorders. Next, we work to EMPOWER your body’s natural recovery processes. Finally, we will EQUIP you with an action plan essential for you to personally stabilize, strengthen and maintain the progress we begin in our facility. We are passionate about helping you restore
Our Vision… Our Vision as we provide care is three-fold: balanced and strong POSTURE (structure), optimal physical PERFORMANCE (function), and PREVENTION of onset or recurrence of injuries (wellness). If you are currently not experiencing any symptoms or challenges, we can also screen to detect underlying problems before they become symptomatic, potentially saving you time and money in long-term repair costs. To see if we can help you, give us a call and mention this ad for a complimentary cause-andeffect exam and X-rays, if needed (up to a $290 value)*! *Exclusions: ALL Tri-Care, Medicare, Medicaid, personal injury and ACN policies.
3103 CYPRESS ST. SUITE 4 WEST MONROE, LA 318.322.2250 WWW.SPINALHEALTHCENTERWM.COM MN-1000649371
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Coastline in Ravello, over the gulf of Salerno, Amalfi coast, italy
WONDERFUL WATERS OF THE WORLD
ust as the ocean is never too full of water, our world is not too full of great places where you can enjoy its wonderful waters. Since the season when we all want to run to the water and linger awhile has finally arrived, I wanted to give you an idea of where you can find some cool water spots, because who knows? You might hear the waves calling and, then, you'll call me at Monroe Travel Service to help you make memories....you know, the kind that will be there long after the footprints in the sand are gone!
FOR THE WORLD's BEST WATERVIEWS: Go to ITALY! If you ask me, the Amalfi Coast has the best water views in the world ! There is no doubt in my mind the coastal trip from Sorrento to Salerno will absolutely leave you with your mouth wide open and your I-phone filled with a zillion photos! Each turn in the road only gets better--and, speaking of turns in the road, I must warn you: the drive itself is quite the adventure. I strongly suggest getting a driver or letting us book a bus tour so you can appreciate the beautiful waters of the Mediter-
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ranean without freaking out about that 500 foot drop beside you. Charming little coastal towns line the drive and, although they are pretty touristy and rather expensive, no matter, the million dollar views of the Amalfi coast are free! Yet, I cannot lie. Traffic is so heavy on this drive that, in the summer, local cars are only allowed to drive it every other dayâ€”even numbered license plates on one day and odd ones the next. Luckily, tourists are exempt, but, if you consider letting someone else do the driving, you will thank me later! Another great thing about this road trip adventure is that after you have
enjoyed it, you still have beautiful Sorrento, jet-setting Capri, ancient Pompeii, and amazing Naples to explore. This is an area of extremes: from Pompeii, the place where time has stood still for centuries, to the stunning village of Positano, this great beach area of Italy is not to be missed! Put the Amalfi Coast on your todo list; no matter the season, it is one of the world's most wonderful places to be.
TAKE A SLOW BOAT ON THE RIVER RHINE! "We'd go back in the blink of an eye," smiled local banker Scott McDonald, who sat in our office at Monroe Travel Service telling
about his recent cruise on the Rhine River from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, Netherlands. "Everything was perfect--much more than we expected--and that included our flights!â€? The AMAKRISTINA was a beautiful boat, and, along with the other 158 passengers on board, we had an amazing adventure on this mighty river that is over 800 miles long, and one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Of course, we were curious to see life on and off the river, experience a lock or two, and enjoy the comfort of river cruising, but, to be honest, it was the Rhine Gorge--the 36 mile or so stretch of castles and villages between Mainz and Koblenz--that we had traveled so far to see. Thanks to rigidly enforced laws by the Germans preventing new construction along the river, the Rhine Gorge has not changed for centuries. Per square mile, it has more castles than anywhere else in the world. With modern day Germany hidden from view, these ancient castles lord over the river, the medieval villages, and the vineyards that have climbed the Gorge's steep cliffs for so many years. This is storybook Germany at its best and we had expected it to be the highlight of our trip, but we were so wrong! We just had no idea how absolutely amazing our ports of call would be! The river took us to Riquewihr, France, where we not only enjoyed Rieslings from their vineyards, but appreciated the charm of a village that looks very much like it did in the 16th century. In Strasbourg, France, we enjoyed the ultimate European city, a blend of both Germany and France. In Heidelberg, we saw a beau-
Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, known as "the Pfalz", a famous toll castle on the Falkenau island in the Rhine river, Germany
tiful old walled city and an amazing castle. Rudesheim, Leisel's favorite, looked like a perfect Hollywood set, and this good Catholic boy was in heaven in Cologne because I got to see the sumptuous shrine of the 3 Magi in Cologne's extraordinary cathedral. Yet, what surprised us most was how we looked forward to returning to the boat and enjoying the fine service, excellent food, and the new friends we had made during the cruise. In short, the River Rhine had shown us a world we only knew from history books , but it was the Amakatrina that was providing the fun. We made life-long friends, which made returning to the boat as special as going ashore. Since the exact same thing happened to Rob and me on our river cruise, I totally understand when Scott said their extraordinary experience on the Rhine leaves them looking forward to heading out on the waters of our world again!
FOR WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE, go to HAWAII! Lounging by the pool in para-
dise is always nice, and, trust me, there are few places with as many fine hotels as Hawaii, but, here's the thing: you really need to get up and out and enjoy the warm waters of the Pacific and feel the sand between your toes. The most difficult thing about this year round destination is choosing the island where you wish to play, because with water, water everywhere, the choices are tough. Here's a rundown on the islands and their best water adventures: KAUAI: the oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain is known for its breathtaking cliffs, so you must take a boat or helicopter tour to appreciate the views along the Napali Coast! Of course, kayaking the coast is a relaxing way to find your personal beach spot, too. For the really adventuresome soul who loves a most unique water sport, you might want to try mountain tubing, which basically involves sliding very rapidly down the island's old irrigation ditches. OAHU: the heart of Hawaii is Waikiki Beach and this is where the fun never sets. It is also the home of big time surfing! On
Waikiki, you can ride a gentle wave in a canoe or play in the surf. Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve is where you go to snorkel., but, if you want to experience the birthplace of big wave surfing, go to the legendary North Shore's Waimea Bay; it's where the world's best surfers come to play in the warm waters of the Pacific. MAUI: from Kaanapali Beach to Makena (Big Beach), this is where you find the best beaches in Hawaii. Hookipa Beach has been recently named the windsurfing capital of the world, but probably the biggest beach sport in Maui is whale watching! From December to May, the humpbacks return every year, and, although every water activity in the world happens here, whale watching always wins out as the favorite. Like the Amalfi Coast drive, the Road to Hana has some stunning waterviews that will take your breath away! HAWAII: the big island is the most unique of this chain. Some of our clients at Monroe Travel Service are raving about manta ray snorkeling. This boat tour begins at sunset off the Kona coast and centers around scuba diving or snorkeling with friendly manta rays who glide within inches of you. Of course, if this water adventure is not your thing, the Big Island is the deep sea sports fishing capital of the world, so get out on the water and go find your fun! Think about it. Civilizations have grown up along the shores of rivers and oceans of our world, so you only need to follow the water to have a great vacation this summer. Water, water is everywhere, but, at Monroe Travel Service, it is our job to help you find the best places to play!
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Everything is coming up roses You love the roses - so do I. I wish the sky would rain down roses, as they rain from off the shaken bush… / They would fall as light as feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be like sleeping and like waking, all at once! (From the poem Roses by George Eliot) The rose is arguably one of the most popular and well-love of all flowers. Both its fragrance and hardiness contribute to this flower’s popularity. However, it is the undisputed beauty created as each rosebud unfurls into a unique flower that contributes most to this flower’s universal appeal. How fortunate we are to behold the unfolding of such loveliness. Everywhere in the environment roses are now in full bloom. Those who planted
early or trimmed back rose bushes previously are now happily reaping both the visual and aromatic benefits of their labor. This is clearly evident in the beautiful rose bushes adorning the lawn of my neighbors
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and recent “Arklamiss Yard of the Week” winners, Richard and Janice Winder, as well as in the picturesque individual roses currently in bloom on the climbing bushes of my own property. Although the recommended planting period for this year has passed, the following planting guidelines can be used for longterm planning to create beautiful, fragrant rose beds to be enjoyed for years to come. Factors to consider when planting roses: Time of planting: The recommended period for planting bare-root rose bushes is from late January through February, and for container roses from January through April. This timeframe not only provides ample time for the plants to become established before buds begin to sprout but also enables the plant’s root system to develop before the onset of the intense summer
heat, thus promoting both the quality and number of flowers on the bushes and contributing to their overall beauty. Soil requirements: Ideally, rose bushes should be planted in soil with a pH level of 6-6.5. If the native soil is not suitable for planting, the soil can be amended or a raised bed can be created with a high-quality organic compost soil mix. If unsure of the soil’s composition, have a soil sample tested through the LSU AgCenter Extension office. Location: To promote healthy plant growth, it is crucial that rose bushes be planted in sunny, well-drained areas. It is also recommended that the bushes be planted in areas where both their beauty and fragrance can be readily enjoyed. Suggested locations are in garden beds visible through windows, as well as along walkways, patios and entrances. More specific information on growing roses in Louisiana can be found in the LSU publication, “Roses Selection, Planting and Care,” which is available both online and at your local LSU AgCenter office.
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Susan Robinson, Betty Nolan, Gin Heflin
WooHoo! I Won! MGC HOLDS ANNUAL GARDEN AUCTION STORY AND PHOTOS BY GEORGIANN POTTS
hat is it about a silent auction that brings out the competitive spirit among some of the finest gardeners in north Louisiana? Whatever it is, the result is a gathering that will not be forgotten for a very, very long time. Monroe Garden Club ladies and their guests descended on Bayou DeSiard Country Club recently and went to work immediately, checking out tables laden with temptations of every variety, all celebrating the joys that come with a Southern garden. Funds raised from the silent and live
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auctions will support the Club’s many beautification projects. The mood for the morning was clearly whimsical. Twin wreaths bedecked the French doors at the club’s entrance, bringing a smile to everyone’s face as they approached. Simple vine wreaths were decorated in an airy, loose style with greenery and blooms all on a small scale. To the side of each door, large concrete urns held a collection of spring stems, seasonal greenery, and flowering branches. Cascading over the sides and spilling below was lush dark green English ivy. Nestled inside the arrangement were gilded eggs in pastel colors. In the foyer, the hostesses
softened the look further. A tall bronze stand held a crystal bowl filled with white cyclamen blooms and peach roses clustered among spring grass. Balanced among the flowers was a gilded nest filled to overflowing with small eggs in peach and gold with a gold and silver wash. A gilded branch rose above the arrangements, with more golden eggs hanging above. Nestled around the base of the stand were additional eggs in a variety of pastel eggs washed with gold and silver. Just beyond, a round table in the Great Hall held a charming Easter tableau. A large rabbit stood observing the auction, surrounded by ferns, callas, grasses,
Amanda Barry, LaNell Armstrong
Alise Oliver, Debbie Sawyer
and a variety of pastel eggs. He held an oversized carrot, similar to ones seen scattered about the tabletop. A rustic burlap cloth provided the perfect neutral base. The ballroom was lined with tables holding silent auction items just waiting for bids. Among the items offered were a number of exquisite plants. Some --- hibiscus, philodendron, iris, callas, and impatiens --- were old favorites, always dependable for both the indoors and the outdoors. Equally exquisite were a number of less common plants --Indigo fera, ponytail palms, crown of thorns cactus, bromeliads, and angelania --- which attracted lots of attention throughout the bidding period. Novel items were offered for bid as well. A Louisiana-themed doormat perfect for placing before the entrance to your greenhouse tempted many. Others were drawn to a terracotta pot filled with garden gloves, Oscamote time-release plant food, and a bag of Miracle Gro potting soil. A Chinese blue and white pagoda drew those looking for a “perfect
Pam Laudenheimer, Johnette Mintz
Debbie Luffey, Therese Nagem
something” to decorate their garden space. For those who secretly have a knack for killing plants, there was a lovely selection of garden and flower coffee table books to bid on. In between placing their bids, the ladies enjoyed a lovely brunch featuring fried chicken and waffles, cheese twists, and deviled eggs with lemonade, tea, coffee, and mimosas completing
the offering. The ladies sat at skirted tables in the main dining room, enjoying their brunch and one another’s company, and eagerly awaiting the beginning of the live auction. The live auction was every bit as competitive as the silent auction. The difference was that the ladies were seated all together and had to “show their hands” publically as they actively bid
against one another. One of the most eagerly anticipated items coming up to bid was an olive tree. Donated by member Babs Oakley and potted in a stunning ceramic pot worthy of any patio or courtyard, the olive tree drew lots of bids! Debbie Luffey and Therese Nagem not only co-chaired the event, but also served as the auctioneers. Both ladies have handled these duties for a number of year, and each year has been more successful than the last. Serving with them as their very able committee were Amanda Barry, Margaret Barker, Kay Baughman, Joan Beene, Many Jane Bentley, Sharon Booth, Patsy Deal, Kathy Duke, Debby Edgerton, Nancy Guimbellot, Pam Jill, Katy Hunt, Pam Laudenheimer, Brenda Marsala, Rhelda Nolan, Alise Oliver, Mandy Pruitt, Mary Riser, Sally Rose, Stephanie Schaeffer, and Johnette Mintz. Each wore a “perfectly pink” apron with her name embroidered across the top. For more information, please visit www.monroegardenclub.com and like us on Facebook.
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Aboveand Beyond CONGRATULATIONS, JEREMY TINNERELLO, CEO C We take great pride in announcing that West Monroe native, Mr. Jeremy Tinnerello, W h been named the new CEO of our dedicated Glenwood family of caregivers. has W believe that his diverse knowledge and over twenty years of experience We a Glenwood is a tremendous asset for our hospital and our patients. With at s strong leadership, advancements in medical technology, and skilled medical p professionals, Glenwood will continue to go above and beyond to provide the h highest quality of healthcare throughout our region.
Jeremy Tinnerello Glenwood CEO
503 McMillan Rd., West Monroe, LA 71291 1-877-726-WELL www.grmc.com
Bariatric Weight eight Loss Surgery Surg FREE Health Education Seminar Monday, June 12th M 6:00pm
Glenwood Medical Mall
Featured Speakers Henry Zizzi, MD Bariatric Surgeon Charlene Smith, RN Bariatric Coordinator
To register call
318-322-1339 Misty of Wesst Monroe lost 121 lb bs. with Bariatric Weigh ht Loss Surgeryy!
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www.GRMC.com and click
Classes & Events.
A campus of Glenwood Regional Medical Center
. BARIATRIC SERVICES
1275 Glenwood Drive West Monroe, LA 71291
Most private insurance accepted. Financing is also available.
GUITAR101 How to choose the right guitar when taking lessons JOHN FARMER
hen shopping for a guitar for guitar lessons, I would recommend buying from the salesfloor of a guitar store as opposed to shopping online. When considering the needs of young people, and the wide variety of guitar shapes and sizes, I think it is important to 'try on' the instrument like it were a pair of shoes: Your child will tell you honestly if they are comfortable or not holding the instrument. Oftentimes, music stores will have guitar teachers in-house who can be available by appointment to assist in wisely advising what instrument to get for your child, having worked with many types of clients already.
Electric or acoustic? There is a prevailing notion that people should begin on an acoustic, because the strings are heavier, and that it will be harder to learn, so that must mean that learning on an acoustic guitar will produce a higher quality player. I disagree with this notion: The guitar can already be a difficult instrument for some students, and there is no need to compound the difficulty for any reason if it can be helped. Again, this is where I would advise consulting with a teacher, having them teach a chord or two, and trying multiple guitars out. Maybe your student loves the sound and feel of an acoustic. A guitar teacher will jump at the opportunity to help pick out a guitar that they believe the student will
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have long-term success playing. Maybe your student prefers the slimmer body shape and tonal possibilities of an electric guitar. Whichever guitar is selected, electric or acoustic, the strings and string height can be adjusted for greater ease of playability. For young people, ages 5 and up, I would recommend a 3/4 size guitar, and a nylon string guitar when possible for very young people. Some people who are very young are not bothered by having to develop callouses by playing a steel string guitar (standard acoustic), although some are. A nylon string guitar eliminates this possibility altogether. Later, if they desire a steel-string guitar, that can be considered (playing nylon strings does build callouses, but cause much less pain to the fingertips than steel). Once the average child turns 10 years or older, manipulating an adult-size guitar becomes steadily possible. I have seen some children younger than 10 prefer to play adult-size guitars and achieve good results, but it is somewhat rare. I have seen some children older than ten prefer
to continue to play on a 3/4 size guitar for a little while longer. Almost all high-school aged students can manipulate an adultsized guitar, just fine. When selecting a guitar teacher: · Be willing to travel to the location if possible. · Find a guitar teacher that can offer recital opportunities. · Many parents assume that all guitar teachers will be able to teach written music notation . Ask if the teacher is capable of teaching treble clef note-reading. Your child may prefer a formal approach with classical training, but you'll never know if your teacher insists on a by-rote/by ear approach, simply because they do not read music! Once you have your teacher: · Establish early on with the teacher what level of commitment to practice that you and the teacher can agree on as generally being 'good'. As every child is different, you perhaps should weigh differently the practice commitment of a child who is active in sports and many other extracurricular ac-
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tivities in addition to guitar lessons, then a child who is enrolled only in music lessons. The level of commitment expected should be clearly communicated to the student, through parent and teacher. · Establish whether you want your child to read musical notation, play by ear, or both. A qualified teacher can do both. · Don't be afraid to let your guitar instructor know what you're looking to get out of lessons for your child, and encourage your child to speak up and voice opinions about material covered. There is such a wide range of repertoire available for the guitar that it is not asking much of an instructor to tailor material for the student, within reason. John Farmer is a guitar instructor at Matt’s Music and is currently enrolled at ULM studying Music Education. When not teaching lessons, he can be seen playing around town at places like the Warehouse No.1 Restaurant and with the ULM orchestra. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about guitar lessons.
212 WALNUT STREET MONROE, LA 71201 (318) 323-3461 WWW.MONROE.ORG Find us on Facebook!
Leadership Ouachita visits Baton Rouge
Young Professionals meet at SQâ€™s Ribbon Cuttings/Ground Breakings
Fleet Feet Sports
Griffin Funeral Home
The Corner Shoppes
Prime Time Head Start
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where the music and food nurture your body and soul! PHOTOS BY GARY GUINIGUNDO
reeStyle Catering, where the music and food nurture your body and soul! Jumping into my foodfinder, with Gary my trusty cohort in gastronomical investigations in tow, I anxiously zoomed down to the historical town of Columbia, Louisiana where the music is sublimely blended with some of the best soul-food one can wrap
their lips around. Owners, Tim and Renne Free’s newly opened restaurant sits directly off highway 165 south in a charming building, which I henceforth dub as being prominently painted “pastry pink” for the sweet and eats located within. Although this couple shares culinary talent, its Tim’s love of music that adds the “icing on the
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cake”. An avid pianist Tim most certainly is, however, Free also treats patrons daily to his other musical talents with the guitar, mandolin, stand-up bass, trombone, trumpet and harmonica playing. While not located within the walls at FreeStyle, Tim also plays the Hammond organ. “Sometimes folks just come in and sit down waiting on a table, and listen to the music,” Free
says warmly. Prior to becoming Columbia’s pit master, Tim Free played piano in the Big Easy for tips and food. “I didn’t have money to eat back then, so I played for tips and a meal, which sometimes didn’t work out so well at the end of a long night,” Free recalls. “There were many nights that I barely made enough in tips to buy whatever was leftover in
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FreeStyle Catering Co. 6924 US Hwy 165 Columbia, Louisiana Telephone: (318) 502-5000 Hours of Operation: Lunch - 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and Sunday Dinner - 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday only.
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the kitchen, and when Renne and I began this journey, I wanted to make certain anyone who eats with us never leaves hungry,” he explains, so it was no surprise to me that Tim and his lovely wife, Renne, open each day with their staff in a group prayer and close each day the same way, thankful for their blessings, and a family style meal elbow to elbow. Serving up behemoth portions of chicken fried steak, hand-cut fries, ribeyes, bar-bque and more, Tim certainly has the “wow” factor figured into the FreeStyle equation. But, one must save room for dessert as Renne (aka the “Queen of Confections”) dishes out some of the most delightful desserts on the south side of the Ouachita. Scratch made cakes, cookies, pies, pastries and even bananas
foster are just some of the samplings one can expect to devour at FreeStyle. But it’s not just about food and music with Frees, it’s far more than just that. Visiting with Tim and listening to his stories about the people they serve, it only takes a moment to understand why this couple chose this path in life. Tim goes on to share a story about a pint-sized patron, “this little boy came in with his Mama, and just blurted out “Mama we are eating at the Cake & Steak”, and if Renne and I hadn’t already chosen the name for the business, his comment would have sold me completely.” The overwhelming sincerity, love and fabulous aromas emerging from FreeStyle Catering certainly make it worth the short drive to this eclectic town, so grab your family and your appetite, and dig on in!
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Glenwood ER Renovation and Expansion To Be Unveiled
In May 2016, IASIS
Glenwood Regional Medical Center announced its plans to renovate and expand the ER Department to better respond to the to the emergent needs of Ouachita Parish and the surrounding areas.The renovation and expansion will be completed later this month. The $11 million project including a renovation of the existing 11,212 square foot space and the addition of approximately 5,400 square feet, brings the
total footprint of the unit to over 16,000 square feet. To carry out the mission of expanding access to high quality healthcare, Glenwood will continue to grow with the community. In the last ten years, IASIS Healthcare has made significant investments to expand services and bring advanced patient care technologies to the area. Glenwood’s Emergency Department expansion has added ten new treatment
rooms, including specialized rooms for trauma, cardiac and bariatric patients,bringing the total room count to twenty six. The renovated and expanded ER also features a dedicated fast track, ambulatory care area, larger triage and family waiting areas. Glenwood will host a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Wednesday, June 21st at 10:00 AM outside the ER department at 503 McMillan Road in West Monroe.
The Ceremony will be followed by a Community Open House featuring health screens, refreshments and door prizes from 10:30 AM until 12:00 PM. The community is invited to attend. For more information about Glenwood’s Emergency Services, please visit our website at www.GRMC.com.
Jeremy Tinnerello Named IASIS Glenwood CEO On Monday, May 16,
and began his career at 2017, Jeremy Tinnerello Glenwood over twenty years was named Chief Executive ago. His extensive background Officer (CEO) of IASIS in health care began in 1993 Glenwood Regional when he was first employed Medical Center. Tinnerello by Glenwood as an orderly. has been a long standing Upon completion of his member of the Glenwood nursing degree at Louisiana Tech University, he continued Regional Medical Center administrative team, serving his career as a nurse in the Emergency Department for 15 as Director of Nursing, Chief Nursing Officer and years and served as director of Glenwood’s Disaster ManageChief Operating Officer. ment Program for Hurricane Tinnerello is a native of Katrina and its recovery. West Monroe
Following his tenure in the Emergency Department, Tinnerello took over the directorship of multiple departments within the facility before completing Master Degrees in Nursing and Health Administration in 2014. He presently serves on the Board of Directors for the West Monroe /West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Louisiana Cancer Institute, United Way of
Northeast Louisiana, and is involved with several other organizations. Jeremy and his wife, Nikki have been members of the West Monroe community for over thirty years. The Tinnerellos are the proud parents of two children.
NEW GOALS. NEW LEADERSHIP P.E.O. Chapter AE Begins New Club Year STORY AND PHOTOS BY GEORGIANN POTTS Elnice Davis, Stella McStravick BELOW: PEO Officers: Lauretta Tucker, Melanie McStravick, Felicia Kostelka, Loura Barr, Linda Taylor, Travis Breard
embers of P.E.O. Chapter AE have had a very successful year, raising funds to support scholarships for deserving women, welcoming new members, and enjoying that special pleasure that comes from accomplishing im-
portant work in spite of busy lifestyles. The group met recently in the lovely north Monroe home of Linda Taylor to review their year and welcome a new member. Carolyn Gates has become the newest member of AE. She enjoyed hearing about the organizationâ€™s year and about plans for the upcoming state P.E.O. convention to be held in Shreveport.
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Tency Tarver, Pat Barham
Cynthia Travis, Ann Sanders
Betty Farr, Genevieve McDuff
Annetta Hill, Pat Barham, Carolyn Gates
Even as the ladies welcomed their newest member, they also bid farewell to member Pat Barham who is moving out of state. Loura Barr presented Barham with a gift from the chapter to show their appreciation for her service within AE. Chapter AE also welcomed a new set of officers for the club year. Felicia Kostelka will serve as AE president. Serving as vice president will be Margaret Brock. Treasurer will be Loura Barr, with Melanie McStravick and Linda Taylor serving as recording secretary
and corresponding secretary respectively. Lauretta Tucker will be the chapter’s chaplain, with Travis Breard acting as guard. Serving as hostess with Taylor were Genevieve McDuff, Lauretta Tucker, and Ann Hargon. Taylor’s dining room table was filled with delicious offerings from which the ladies could choose. Among the delights were cream puffs, delicate chicken salad tea sandwiches, a fresh fruit and cheese tray, “only a bite” muffins, and home-baked chocolate chip
cookies. Coffee and juice completed the menu. Centering the table was a lovely informal arrangement of spring blooms and greenery in a crystal vase. 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. Sister-
hood is passionate about its mission: promoting educational opportunities for women. Our sisterhood proudly makes a difference in women's lives with six philanthropies that include ownership of a two-year women's college, Cottey College; and five programs that provide higher educational assistance: P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund, P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund, P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education, P.E.O. Scholar Awards, and P.E.O. STAR Scholarship.
Healthy Lives Begin with Happy Smiles! MN-1000649434
HEBER TUFT D.D.S M.S.D Board Certified
• When should my child first see a dentist? When your child has their first tooth or first birthday; whichever comes first! • We Specialize in dental care for Infants, Children and Teens • Most Insurances Accepted (No Network Affiliation) • Offering a friendly, gentle and comfortable environment • Conscious Sedation, IV Sedation or Hospital Dentistry available for children with special challenges related to age, medical or developmental conditions • Tooth colored crowns and filling available • Honored and Excited to be a part of the Monroe Community and Surrounding Areas
1101 Royal Avenue Suite B • Monroe, LA 71201
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Ribbon Cuttings: DBK DANCE
2408 N. 7th Street in West Monroe
Chamber Diplomat Spotlight Profile Pam Lavender
This month’s Diplomat Spotlight Profile is Pam Lavender.
C’EST LA VIE BOUTIQUE 302 Bridge Street, Suite 3 in West Monroe
Pam is Director of Grief and Community Outreach for Kilpatrick Funeral Homes. Kilpatrick Funeral Home began in 1927 and is now on a third generation, family owned company. The family and staff are committed to serving families and our community. She is actively involved with the NELA Food Bank, Alzheimer’s Advisory Board, St. Vincent DePaul Pharmacy volunteer, CABLE, CHEN, Wreaths Across America and also volunteers with the West Monroe, Monroe, Union and Lincoln Chambers of Commerce. When asked how her involvement with the WMWO Chamber of Commerce has benefitted her she said, “ It helps both personally and professionally. I strive to use chamber Member’s business in each parish I work in.”
ELAHI EYE CARE 303 McMillan Road in West Monroe
Since 1984, Acme Glass and Mirror has served Northeast Louisiana with auto glass, residential glass and mirrors, and commercial store fronts. Operating on the philosophy of offering quality products and superior service at a fair price. Acme has grown into a dominant factor in the glass industry. Acme Glass and Mirror has always chosen the correct and safest installation methods, which are not necessarily the cheapest. Maintaining a high standard of quality has earned Acme Glass its reputation as a business that consumers can trust. No matter what your glass needs, Acme Glass and Mirror can provide you with service you can trust and count on. We have been here in the past and will be here tomorrow. Give us a call today! GIVE US A BREAK...and we’ll shine through!
Acme Glass & Mirror 544 Cypress St., West Monroe, LA 318-325-0777
PARAMOUNT HEALTHCARE CONSULTANTS 1905 N. 7th Street, West Monroe
Yard of the Month The Kirksey Agency
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Artist: Alyssa Guidry Posey - Upstairs Gallery
SPRING INTO SUMMER Downtown Arts Alliance celebrates summer with a showcase of local talent
ow is the time when children stretch their wings, expressing their joy in the promised freedom of summerâ€” and adults do the same! The Downtown Gallery Crawl gives us all that opportunity to wander about, seeing art and artists freely expressing their creative nature. We are all artists as we express ourselves, both making art and enjoying othersâ€™ creations! Local and visiting artists will be displaying their art at nine galleries in downtown Monroe and West Monroe, Thursday, June 1, 5-9 pm. The Crawls are always free and always feature fine art, food and drink as
well as music and other artistic pursuits. The whole family will enjoy this event! Original art will be for sale, too, so all can share in their very personal expression. Resident and guest artists will be on hand to talk with patrons about their art. And neighbors will simply enjoy visiting with neighbors during this bi-monthly occasion. Sugar Gallery, on Art Alley (N. 2nd Street, Monroe), is featuring art as "Unburied Treasure" at this Crawl, focusing on upcycling and the creative ways artists incorporate found objects into art--from guitars to lamps to paintings and photography. Scott Stone, who shows on the landing, has been recycling for over 30 years. It was 10 years ago when he was inspired by upcycled guitars while vacationing in Florida. He found a guitar that had been trashed; he then transformed it into a piece of art using bottle caps and Scrabble letters. He donat-
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ed it to an Autism Society auction in Lafayette, and more upcycled pieces soon followed. "I've used copper out of an old travel trailer, broken mirror bits, nuts, bolts, jewelry, seashells and whatever unburied treasures I could find," says Stone. He has rescued5 things to do this weekend many more guitars from fires, ditches and trash and transformed them into beauties. "I'm always on the lookout for those special pieces to add to my box--whether along the side of the road or in an old junk drawer, knowing that one day they might find a permanent place in my Unburied Treasure collection," Stone adds. More upcycled pieces will be shown by other Sugar artists: Melanie Douthit, Leah Reitzell, Burg Ransom, Chris Cox, and Stacy Medaries. Upcoming artist Bekah Hardin will also be showing paintings and drawings, and 2016 Louisiana Seafood King Chef Blake Phillips from
Artist: Rhyan Emery Taylor - Big Room
Artist:Scott Stone - Sugar Gallery
Artist: Daniel Adams - Palace
Bayou Roux will be providing food samples. At Sugar Gallery there's always something sweet! The Outside Gallery, facing the railroad track at the end of Art Alley, will host Baltimore artist Kei Ito with his photography exhibition “It Made Angels Out of Everybody.” Dealing with themes of loss and danger in the atomic age, Ito’s pictures have a ghost-like, irradiated appearance that gives visual form to the transience of our earthly existence. The show serves as a dramatic reminder that history is cyclical and that humankind is often the agent of its own destruction. More information about Ito can be found at kei-ito.com. The Outside Gallery will also be collaborating with the Masur Museum in support of its AltEx program, as a result of the fire that damaged most of the museum’s permanent off-site art collection. While the museum itself was not damaged, the exhibition program will be disrupted during the fire recovery period. AltEx, short for Alternative Exhibition, is a public art program that will feature temporary public art projects throughout northeast Louisiana—including the Outside Gallery. While the museum’s galleries are serving as a conservation/restoration lab (open to the public) for the foreseeable future, art projects will be popping up throughout the area, and educational programs will continue. To keep informed, “like” the Outside Gallery and the Masur Museum of Art on Facebook; the Outside Gallery is also on Instagram as outsidegallery318. More information is available by phone: 318-329-2237. Are you curious about the creative act of making art? Resident and guest artists in UPSTAIRS will give you a chance to watch them making art in their Open Studio during the June crawl. Selina Akter, Anna Rowan, Amy Ouchley, Leigh Buffington, Emily Caldwell, Jenny Ellerbe, Kay Mc-
Donald, Alyssa Guidry-Posey and others will be on hand to show work in various stages including photography, oil paintings, acrylic paintings, watercolor, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, mixed media pieces, and pencil/ink drawings. The Big Room’s exhibition— Human Error--is focused on the fragile balance of our technological progress and our primitive, organic environment, and the struggle for power that emerges between them. This group show includes EmJ + Ali, Annie Dollar, Whitney Hicks, Katie Minyard, Jason Byron Nelson, Rhyan Emery Taylor, Madi Viola, Sarah Prescott, and Brandon Wilson. The show features an interactive video installation, cyberpunk face painting, sculpture, paintings, and photographs on view and for sale! The show at the Downtown Gallery, curated by Ricky Sikes on Art Alley, will be by guest artist Chris King, head of the Visual Arts Program and Gallery Director at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Titled “Up All Night,” the show’s themes have been influenced by the artist’s personal history, such as the places he’s lived, as well as contemporary popular culture. Since moving from Los Angeles to Louisiana in 2008, King has noticed changes in his perspective, while recent political tensions—the “winner-loser” mentality now current—is increasingly reflected in his work. King was born in Massachusetts, earning two bachelor of fine arts degrees from the University of Massachusetts and then a master of fine arts from CalArts in Los Angeles. His artwork, including painting, sculpture, performance and video, has been exhibited in galleries and museums all over the U.S. The Palace Gallery on DeSiard Street in Monroe will host a show abbreviated as HULA—Harding University in Latin
America, where artist Daniel Adams and his wife Meagan traveled four times over twenty years. The fifteen original etchings resulting from this project are printed in limited editions of 25 each, then gathered into portfolios that will be for sale, with part of the proceeds going toward a scholarship for future student-artist travels. Further artistic offerings include a 7 pm concert of New Music on the Bayou musicians. On South Grand Street, Brooke Foy of the Garrett House is excited to present West Monroe High School’s art students under the instruction of Victoria Smith. The show “Snack Attack” is an energetic assortment of paintings turned sculptures. Viewers may think they have seen the usual snack items like chips and candy, but these students are reinventing the normal. These everyday snacks will be something that captures their audience’s attention and leaves it hungry for more! On Antique Alley, Rumo’s Gallery will present work by Michael Kasey, RGHNCK. Curated by Austin Bantel, this show will be lively and interesting. Owners Russell and Morgan Moore always host a great show in a friendly space, including snacks and drinks. Golf carts will transport Crawlers back and forth across the river. Sadly, the Downtown Arts Alliance announces the closure of the Ouachita River Art Gallery, also located on West Monroe’s Trenton Street. The faithful and talented artists of this gallery will be missed! Arender Gallery on Monroe’s Art Alley will round out the evening’s offerings. All nine galleries’ artists invite you to view and discuss their work, enjoy refreshments, and listen to live music. Outside the galleries on Art Alley, the public is also invited to participate in being artists themselves, with panels and paint available for hands-on painting.
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DeltaStyle had to opportunity to assist with Logan Trisler’s proposal to Holly Tyler at SQ’s before our 20th Birthday Bash. Congratulations! We wish you the best! Photos by Gary Guinigundo
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