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Open Your Heart Spokesperson: Tiffany Olmstead, local publisher/owner of Macaroni Kid $50
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DeltaStyle turns 20!
ow! What a month it has been! My staff and I started the month battling for the title at the Peachy Keen Caper. We completed riddles in record time, knew the dreamsicle flavor at Eskamoes, but could not figure out who George Hamilton was. We didn’t win but we had such a good time! This month’s issue celebrates the 20th of year of DeltaStyle! Flipping through the pages, I hope that you enjoy our fashion shoot that showcased styles through the decades. Katie and daughter, We tackled one of our biggest photoshoots that we have Rylie ever done that spanned over many days, many models, and many late nights. All that work has been leading up to our big birthday party bash. We invite you to come out and meet the new staff and eat some delicious food on May 20th at SQ’s on the Ouachita. If you haven’t been yet to see the transformation from River & Rail that Brian and his team have completed, please join us. Along with our 20th anniversary, this issue also honors our mothers. From traditions across the Delta to a mother-daughter ran farm, we hope their inspiring stories touch your heart. I know becoming a mother was the best gift I was ever given. In March of 2004, my daughter Rylie made her dramatic entrance into this world. That drama and sass still follows with her, daily, now into her teenage years. Then after a horrific car accident and no chance of me ever having another child, my little miracle son Parker was born in November of 2006. I was then blessed a third time with the adoption of my daughter, Reese. I know I would not be the mother or the person I am today without my Mom. I am blessed beyond measure with a self-less, God-fearing mother that raised me to love hard, work hard, and never quit. To all of you mothers out there, Happy DeltaStyle staff at the Peachy Mother’s Day! I hope it is a great one! Keen Caper
General Manager KATIE BURKE firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographer GARY GUINIGUNDO email@example.com
Editors SHARI PUTERMAN firstname.lastname@example.org MICHELE MARCOTTE email@example.com
Designer AMANDA HOLLADAY
Production Assistant EMMA SAGER firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales Leader JASON SISK Advertising Sales ALYSSA AKERS email@example.com MALLORY PARKS firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributing Writers: Georgiann Potts Tara Ambrose Emma Sager Krystle Mahoney Taylor Hance Dianne Newcomer Michelle Marcotte Darren Oglesby, RFC Beth Ricks Jennifer Schmeer Cindy Ingram Rebecca Bingham Katie Burke Jordan Stepp
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Contributing Photographers: Cindy Ingram Kim Wilhite Rebecca Bingham 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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Tired more than usual? It may be hearing loss Do you find yourself low on energy, exhausted after a day of busy interactions, whether at a social or work setting? Hearing loss may be to blame! Hearing loss and fatigue may seem unrelated, but in reality, they are much more connected than you realize. Fatigue is defined as “extreme tiredness, typically resulting from mental or physical exertion.” Mental fatigue results from effortful listening and is often an unfortunate side effect of hearing loss. Let me explain.
C n ou re d his s t ce eff rl sly? Could you read that sentence effortlessly? (It reads, “Can you read this sentence effortlessly?”) Now, multiply that one sentence by everyone you hear all day long. Imagine you had to put that effort into filling in the blanks for every conversation. As you worked to fill in those blanks, you gain an understanding of the listening demands placed on someone with a hearing loss to do the same in coversation!
Cognitive load may be causing your fatigue
This effort to process and make sense of the auditory bits and pieces you hear is an example of “cognitive load.” With cognitive load, the brain is preoccupied with filling in the blanks, leaving little energy to store and process what has been heard into working memory. The additional effort your brain spends making sense of speech, particularly when background noise is present, puts additional stress and anxiety on the listener. Stress or anxiety often result in a rush of adrenaline and muscle tension which can add to that sensation of being “drained” or physically tired at the end of the day. These implications are important for anyone with a hearing loss, but particularly for those with hearing loss-in their personal lives or the workforce. It makes sense that if you don’t have to spend so much effort filling in those auditory blanks, there would be more cognitive energy left to listen and understand more effortlessly!
You can reduce cognitive load
It’s a busy, noisy world, and fatigue associated to listening effort can be an unfortunate side effect. Yet hearing loss doesn’t have to get in the way. Here are some ways to limit the impact of hearing loss and the associated mental fatigue that may accompany it.
1. Give yourself a break — When you find yourself straining from listening in a social or work environment, take a short break to relax and let your mind rest from the rigors of listening. Stepping away, tuning out with noise cancelling headphones to reduce overstimulation, and even a short nap are all methods to de-stress and invigorate alertness. Turn your ears off and take a break from the audio action whenever possible. 2. Meditate — Meditation and locating that calm inside can quiet the stress of effortful listening associated with hearing loss. Meditation is becoming a popular tool for mental and physical wellness. It’s free, can be practiced anywhere, and even a short 5-minute meditation has demonstrated benefit. 3. Record and transcribe — For those with hearing loss, listening-intensive endeavors like meetings and course work can cause stress from the fear of missing important details. There are technologies designed to record or stream such interactions, including many smartphone apps. These apps can stream directly to hearing aids, or transcribe dictation via voice recognition technology such as technology found at www.speechtexter. com (https://www. speechtexter. com/) 4. Work smarter, not harder — Speaking of hearing aids, they’re a terrific solution. Work with a hearing professional (/find-a-professional) to take advantage of their expertise and find the best hearing aid or assistive technology for your needs and lifestyle. Struggling through the workday and leaving yourself no energy to enjoy life is working harder not smarter. Hearing aid and assistive technology is available to greatly enhance your life and reduce the strain that listening and concentrating brings to the hearing impaired. Much of today’s hearing aid technology uses digital processing designed to recognize and suppress noise in the environment which can lead to less effortful listening. You’re already working harder than your normal hearing colleagues and friends to pay attention and be the best listener you can be. So give yourself a break! Make it easier on yourself by investing in a solution to reduce listening effort and you will be richly rewarded. Whether it’s hearing aids, assistive listening technology or strategies to take a break and de-stress, the benefits can greatly enhance your life experience.
SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT FOR A FREE HEARING TEST
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MICHELE MARCOTTE MMARCOTTE@GANNETT.COM
OVER THE PAST TWO DECADES, DELTASTYLE HAS PAINTED A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTS, CULTURE AND PEOPLE OF THE DELTA. ITS PAGES HAVE HIGHLIGHTED LOCAL PERSONALITIES AND HOMETOWN HEROES, COMMUNITY ENDEAVORS AND THE CULTURAL NUANCES OF LIFE IN THE DELTA.
Haik Humble graced the July cover for many years
Jewelry shoot with Rebecca Robertson Loflin in 2015
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DeltaStyle judging the River RUMble in 2017
ince its inception in 1997, the lifestyle magazine has focused on the rich heritage of the Delta. Fascinating stories of its people have included profiles on Lainey Wilson, a local singer who doubled as a professional Hannah Montana impersonator; the men behind Idea Coterie, a north Louisiana think tank investing in startups; and more recently, a half dozen pooch pals dedicating time and energy to dog rescue efforts. Throughout the magazine's history, reader interactive features kept the pages lively and fun. From the hidden crawfish
RIGHT: Heather Parker promoting Best of the Delta in 2013 BELOW: Photo shoot fun with Kylie Stracener in 2014 Some of the ladies chosen for the Sweet 16 in 2010 Winners of Best of the Delta in 2013
Jim Taylor ChevroleT vroleT
"Gumbo" to social scenes and student spotlights, DeltaStyle has entertained and informed. Regular columnists have addressed both serious and lighthearted topics. In the mid-2010s, Oglesby Financial Group offered financial advice in its monthly column, while Sara Catherine Walton Morgan's humorous mom tales in her Because I'm the Momma and I Said So column. Today, you'll find Cindy Ingram detailing the Delta way of life in Delta Traditions; Georgiann Potts recounting fond recollections of her childhood in Delta Memories and the best places to eat in town in Tara Ambrose's Tara's Taste of the Town. In addition, DeltaStyle has not only dedicated pages to celebrating local events, such as The Junior League of Monroe's Spring Market, the American Red Cross' The Bash and the annual Go Red for Women luncheon but hosted some of its
IF YOU GO What: DeltaStyleâ€™s 20th Birthday Bash When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 22 Where: SQâ€™s on the Ouachita, 209 Walnut St., Monroe Cost: Free Info: deltastyle
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DeltaStyle have held many photo contest throughout the years including #deltastylegameface
own as well. Over the years, itâ€™s hosted the annual Best of the Delta, Healthcare Heroes and Women Who Shape the Delta. As the magazine turns a new page in its history with new staff (general manager Katie Burke, production assistant Emma Sager and new sales executives Alyssa Akers and Mallory Parks) new writers and a new look, we want to celebrate its evolution. Join us 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 22 at SQ's on the Ouachita for DeltaStyleâ€™s 20th Birthday Bash.
ABOVE RIGHT: Photographer Gary Guinigundo at a press conferance in an operating room in 2014 RIGHT: Gary celebrates his birthday at the DeltaStyle office
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In honor of your big graduation day Arrow Dental Center wants to wish you a bright future and great success in your new journey. Schedule a cleaning and you will receive free whitening trays and free bleach. Call us today: 361-0381
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On a scale from 1-10, how bad do you need an INTERVENTIONAL SPINE AND PAIN CARE People in pain need specialized care. For expert care that can effectively relieve pain and return patients to an active life, look to Louisiana Pain Care. The physicians at Louisiana Pain Care have over 80 years of combined experience in spine care and interventional pain management.
Our experts carefully evaluate each patient through clinical evaluation and diagnostic testing to determine the source of the pain and then tailor a non-surgical treatment. If patients do not respond to the non-surgical treatment or if a surgical evaluation is warranted, the experts at Louisiana Pain Care can refer patients to the surgeon of their choice.
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DOWNTOWN GALLERY CRAWL APRIL 6
Who was spotted? 1. Austin & Molly Engen, Ricky Sikes
2. Faisal & Jada Ali 3. Jenifer Andrews & Forrest Kavanaugh 4. DJ, Phoenix & Jessica Fortenberry 5. Nathan & Stephanie Smith, Cherie & Mark Anyan 6. Savannah Gaumnitz, Bre Shivers, Alyssa Akers, Ellie Starnes 7. Jeremy Bostelmann, Melissa Touchet, Delia Simpson, Dustin Underwood, Melinda Thomas, Chris McBroom 8. Thomas Bradley Duncan 9. Curt Crutchfield, Amber Madison DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | M AY 2 017 | 19
SPRING WINE TASTING MARCH 23 · TONORE’S WINE CELLAR
Who was spotted? 1. Taylor Sheppard, Rachel Pecanty, Myriah Garaudy, Bradley McAllister 2. Rickey E. Pittman 3. Donna Blackett, Julia Blackett, Baylie Churchwell 4. Julie and Russell Kicey 5. Ambria Anderson, Chelse Scott 6. Luke Brewer, Paul Gullette 7. Polly and Jim Bryant, Andy Harbor, Adrienne Reuther 8. Emma Sager, Alyssa Akers 9. Holly Healey, Renata Rushing, Mona Fordham 10. George Tonore, Arthur Martinez
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COCKTAILS AND CONVERSATIONS
Who was spotted?
MARCH 23 Â· SKENT N DENT IN DOWNTOWN MONROE 1. Chris Cahill, Jack Weidenkopf, Daiel Thompson, Taylor Prickett, Megan Prickett, Scott Eberts, Karen Melvin, Brandi Clifton 2. Jennifer and Jason Thomas 3. Stevie Hill, Anthony Jacola 4. Shelia Mims, Iantha Thomas, Katie Burke 5. Jennifer Russell, Kimberly Hudson, Angie Jackson Wilson, Shelia Mims
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BREAKFAST WITH GOVERNOR JOHN BEL EDWARDS MARCH 23 Â· SQUIRE CREEK
Who was spotted? 1. Greg Hilburn, Senator Francis Thompson 2. Mayor Bill Sanderson, Mike Walsworth 3. Representative Jack McFarland, Representative Patrick Jefferson 4. Suzanne Mayo, Governor John Bel Ewards, Alicia Williams 5. Noble Ellington, Rob Shadoin 6. Sheriff Mike Stone, Ashley Doughty, Randy Ewing 7. Sunny Moon, Autumn Moon, Jay McCallum 8. John Belton 22 | MAY 2017 | DE LTAS T YL E M AGAZ I N E
RIVER RUMBLE AND WOOFSTOCK APRIL 1 Â· DOWNTOWN RIVERMARKET
Who was spotted? 1. Weenie dog race
2. Chloe Ishee, Jenn Lee, Jessica Ojeda, Tori Davis, Selah Russell 3. Cowboy 4. Jason & Brandi, Natalie, Katelyn Sisk & Moni Miller 5. Patti McGilton, Dawn Wilson, Kacey Philley 6. Jo Traylor, Laurel Rogers, Joy Gardner, Renee Dawhaniuk, Tallie Hall, Staci Choate 8. Lauren Rappold, Savannah Gaumnitz, Bre Shivers, Alyssa Akers, Shellie Akers, Heath Clampit, Bentley
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CCA BANQUET MARCH 13 · MONROE CIVIC CENTER
Who was spotted? 1. Caitlyn Mills, Jason Hawkins, Holly Lorance, Haley Huggins and Charley Roses 2. Add and Shelley Goff 3. Billy Haddad and Tod Cagle 4. Nancy Shirley and Bentley Curry 5. Jason Ditta, Tommy Ditta and David Soignier 6. Charlen Campbell, Brad Trascher and Barbara Trascher
KAPPA DELTA SHAMROCK RUN MARCH 12 · FORSYTHE PARK
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LA TECH GREEK WEEK DONUT BREAKFAST THE FASHION OF RUSTON
Who was spotted? 1. Holly Odom, Kelly Hogan, Abbey Bamburg, Samantha Lantrip and Kate Posey 2. Julia Morrison, Karly Franklin 3. Jillian Clark, Torie Stewart 4. Caroline Cone, Victoria Mount and Alyssa Rivers 5. Machaela Mason, Hope Merchant and Rebecca Keathley 6. Cameron Adams and Kristen Shaffer
ROCK N BOX FUNDRAISER MARCH 23 Â· NORTHEAST LA. FOOD BANK
Who was spotted? 1. Kade Bowen, Brooke Coates and Alena Pace 2. Nicole Zordan and Stacey Knox 3. Barry Hobbs and Christy Francis 4. Emma Sager and Alyssa Akers
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SHINDIG MARCH 24 · MBH FARM
Who was spotted? 1. Sue Nawas and Wendell Barnes 2. Dianne Cage makes a purchase at the live auction. 3. Carolyn Fontana Clampit and Billy Justice 4. Mary LaMarca Rhea and Jamie Rhea. 5. Paulen LaMarca Luttgeham and John M. Landrum
ST. FRANCIS SERVICE AWARDS MARCH · AT VANTAGE STATE BUILDING
Who was spotted? 1. John Kahl, Kristin Wolkart, Tammy Belleau, Brett Rachal, Aimee Kane Lorin Fanning and Johnnie Caples 2. Sister Helen Cahill, Sister Mary Ann Sepulvado and Hazel Dowd 3. Stevie Cousans and Kristin Wolkart 4. Todd Martin 5. Sandy Dlabaj 6. Fr. James Dominic
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Seeking the Edge of the World GEORGIANN POTTS
embers of Potpourri Book Club gathered recently at the lovely north Monroe home of Lisa Nelson for their annual business meeting and to hear a book review that reflected their theme for the year:“Inspiration, Survival and Faith.” They welcomed as new members Linda Reeves and Kaydell Jackson. Member Carol Ransom reviewed "Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe" by Laurence Bergreen. Ransom began her review by telling the group that this book was not at all what she had expected when she began reading it. Instead of being the highly technical, sometimes nautically overwhelming book she had anticipated, it turned out to be a “page turner.” “I’m telling y’all, this one would make a great movie,” she explained. “It has a little of everything --- adventure on the high seas, a crew near mutiny, exotic islands with beautiful native women, and a captain absolutely determined to convert the heathens.” According to Ransom, Bergreen carefully retraced Magellan’s historic voyage to discover a route to the Spice Islands including details many of which had been previously overlooked. The voyage began with five ships and over two hundred sailors and ended three years later with only twenty-two making it around the world. Magellan died during the voyage, more likely
Potpourri hostesses Lisa Nelson, Allison Cattar and Denise Smith
the result of his crew being unwilling to save him from the natives he had been determined to “save” and who he had insulted to the point of violence. The voyage succeeded, though at great price. Many lives were lost and four ships failed to return. “The one ship that did return was laden with spices that proved that the voyage had been a success,” reported Ransom. Ransom was discrete in her descriptions of the book’s content, urging the members to read for themselves those sections dealing with Brazilian orgies and unfamiliar interactions between the crew and the native populations. She pointed out that Bergreen depended heavily on Antonio Pigafetta’s journal which chronicled the ambitious mission. In addition, Bergreen used other first-person accounts that had been translated into English for the first time. “It is a riveting book that I highly recommend,” Ransom
Reviewer Carol Ransom with Potpourri president Jane Hayden and Nancy Inabnett
concluded. Home hostess Lisa Nelson and her co-hostesses, Allison Cattar and Denise Smith, provided a beautiful table laden with delicious treats. Centering the table was an impish rabbit, surrounded by lilies and carefully guarding a stash of bejeweled
carrots. A strawberry cake was nothing less than spectacular, heavily iced in white and dotted with luscious strawberries that had been hand-dipped in the finest milk chocolate. Tea sandwiches, miniature candy Easter eggs, cheese straws, and bar cookies completed the offering.
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325-9677 West Monroe www.tomsandersbuildingmart.com
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THE PAST CAME TO LIFE AT MY CHILDHOOD PLANTATION HOME
COURTESY OF THE MOORE FAMILY
The Kenilworth Plantation home in Tensas Parish as it appeared in the 1920s.
Writer’s note: It 's no wonder that I am addicted to history. I grew up surrounded by it. Tensas Parish in my day was replete with not only stories of times past, but also physical representations of those times. Sharing a household with an elderly grandparent meant that I had “living history” at my fingertips. Living in a home that had served as the “country place” for wealthy Natchez planters meant that I awakened every day to the antique, the past. Growing up in a
parish dotted with plantations, Indian mounds, and civil war relics only added to the charm . . . -GP
hen my parents and I moved to Kenilworth Plantation to live with my maternal grandfather, I was something of a fish out of water for the first year. Living on a working farm was an entirely new experience for me, and with the changing of
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each season, there were countless “firsts” to delight and sometimes to baffle me. My father was recovering from a protracted illness that had forced his early retirement from the United States Corps of Engineers. He was often home resting or out on the bayou bank fishing. Mother was always occupied with house things, so during those times that I wasn’t in school, I was pretty much left to my own devices for entertainment.
Learning about Kenilworth My maternal grandfather, Daddy Moore (a former teacher in a one-room schoolhouse), took a special interest in seeing that I had plenty of things to think about and do. He also saw to it that along the way I developed a good knowledge of the history of Kenilworth and the adjacent plantations. It was from him that I first heard the stories about how our family
came to be in Tensas Parish. The closest town to our farm was Newellton, roughly a mile north of where our property was. Daddy Moore was very proud of the fact that some of the earliest settlers to the area — the Newells — were relatives of ours. Newellton was named after those early inhabitants. One of my cousins, the late Newell Fultz, was part of that family line that can be traced back to Edward Newell, a North Carolina native who moved to Tensas Parish around 1834. His son, John Newell, was an attorney and planter near St. Joseph, a town south of Newellton and the parish seat. There were three plantations — Routhwood, Kenilworth and Cypress Grove — that were purchased by Daddy Moore and his two brothers around 1912. None of them had any real experience in farming, but all of them could see the potential of that dark Delta earth, fertile and forgiving. They said a prayer, bought the farms, and moved their families south from Illinois to settle.
Living history Helping with the transition were the workers already living and working on the properties, many of whom had been born right there. At Kenilworth, there were a number of Black families who had known no other home for their entire lives. By the time I moved to Kenilworth, their children and grandchildren were living there. They were an important part of the “living history” associated with my new home and became the source of many wonderful stories about their past and the customs and traditions that they held dear. Daddy Moore and I would sit on the back gallery, he smoking his pipe, and I rocking next to him. He would teach me history lessons as they related to Tensas Parish and Kenilworth. One that he loved to tell was that LaSalle came through Tensas in 1682 as he made his way south along the Mississippi River to
COURTESY OF GLENDA ALFORD
One of the most impressive ancient mounds in Tensas Parish is located at Balmoral.
find that river’s mouth. It was exciting to sit in the afternoon sun, listening to Daddy Moore speak about LaSalle and the bravery of his men as they trekked through lands that were now ours. This lesson always ended with a highly descriptive version of “how it might have been” when the LaSalle party encountered the Native Americans in the region. Because I was something of
a tomboy during those early years on Kenilworth — and because Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were childhood heroes — it was quite natural that I would be interested in knowing about any cowboys and Native Americans who might have lived on our farm. Here, too, Daddy Moore was my first and best source of information. He explained that most people in our parish grew crops primarily, al-
though there were some who raised cattle. As far as Kenilworth, he and my uncle had a dairy herd on the place for a time, but they didn’t require cowboys to handle. I was a little disappointed to hear that.
Ancient mounds However, the question concerning Native Americans was another thing altogether. Daddy Moore introduced me to the
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mysterious mounds that dotted the parish (and elsewhere), relics of prehistoric times and a people remote and unfamiliar. He told me about the ancient Tensas people who were among the first settlers from whom “Tensas” got its name. One day, Daddy Moore took me to see a group of these mounds at Balmoral. I was fascinated as we looked at these three “ground risings” as he called them. Daddy Moore explained when they were first built, these mounds were likely much taller. Over time erosion had taken its toll, but the farmers had also damaged them. In their search for acreage in which to plant their crops, the early farmers thought nothing of plowing over the low hills. This gradually wore down the mounds until preservationists realized that these were archaeological treasures that should be protected. My brother remembers a story about our Aunt Dorothy and her son, R.W. It seems that Aunt Dorothy found out that R.W. and some of his friends were digging in one of the Balmoral mounds. She made them stop immediately, telling them that these were likely burial grounds for the early people and should be respected. Daddy Moore even told me about a place called Poverty Point in a neighboring parish where he was convinced stood the most important mounds in Louisiana. He had been to see them with a planter friend of his and was impressed with what he could see. Were he alive today and could see what satellite imagery and careful archaeological digs have uncovered, he would be truly amazed. Decades ago, he thought it would be important one day, and he was right.
The Civil War was woven into the very fabric of Tensas Parish because of Union General Grant’s march on Vicksburg. Grant and his troops wintered in Tensas Parish before continuing their march when the weather moderated in 1863. Winter Quarters Plantation was the home base for Grant and was spared from destruction. When I was growing up, Winter Quarters was the place where we would visit, completely unaware that the beds we were bouncing on and the cypress beams that bore our initials were of historic importance. This was where our classmate lived, and this was where we played. There is one curious “connection” between the Indian mounds and the Civil War. In 1862, all cotton along the Mississippi River on the Louisiana side was ordered to be burned to keep it from the invading Union forces. The bales were placed on top of the levees and the Indian mounds and set afire. Accounts from the time say that the cotton burned and smoldered for days.
There were no mounds on Kenilworth, sadly, but there was an earthen structure that defied explanation. My brother saw it when he was living at Kenilworth, although I never did. He
The mounds belonged to the original people, but in many ways they belonged to us, too. The interconnection between those inscrutable mounds and our own lives spilled over on oc-
describes it as a low levee or berm that ran between Phelps Bayou and Clark Bayou (approximately the northern and southern boundaries of the property). When Daddy Moore bought Kenilworth and moved down, he and his men discovered it. No one on the place or in the parish could remember a time when it hadn’t been there, nor could anyone remember why it had been built or by whom. Everyone assumed that it dated to pre-Civil War times and was likely built by slaves carrying the dirt in buckets to build the structure. Why it was built is lost in time.
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COURTESY OF GLANDA ALFORD
Official marker describing the Balmoral Mound site.
casion. Glenda Alford, a member of the Tensas Parish Louisiana Historical and Genealogy Group, shared an obituary with me recently that underscores this. The obituary, printed in The Tensas Gazette on Sept. 16, 1938, speaks of the passing of Mr. Willie D. Muir. According to the obituary, Mr. Muir was born on Lucknow Plantation in the northern part of Tensas Parish. He was working as a plantation manager in Mississippi when he died at age 52. The obituary reads: “The remains were brought to Sunflower Plantation, the home of Mr. Douglas Ratcliff, by the Stovall Funeral Home of Greenville, arriving about half past ten on Thursday. A large gathering of friends and members of the family were present on the (Indian) mound at
Sunflower, where the body was brought to be laid away beside his parents. The mound was capped with an array of floral offerings of unusual beauty. Rev. M. D. Fulkerson, of the Union Church of Newellton, performed the simple ceremony.” Today, I marvel at what scientists and historians have learned about those ancient people and their ways. I wonder sometimes if a thousand years from now, another group of settlers will be living in my beloved Tensas Parish, wondering what we were like as children and adults. There is a continuum to life in the Delta, no matter how small our individual roles may seem. We are connected as far back as time can reach, and as far ahead as the mind can imagine.
Caples and Robinson Orthodontics
Northeast Louisianaâ€™s only Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics MN-1000649347
DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | M AY 2 017 | 3 9
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Symptoms & Surgical Treatments FREE HEALTH EDUCATION SEMINAR Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 11:30am Glenwood Medical Mall Community Room
In recognition of National Stroke Awareness Month
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To register, call or visit and click on Classes & Events. Limited seating â€¢ Registration required
Scott E. Henry, MD, PhD www.GRMC.COM DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | M AY 2 017 | 41
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Mother's Day TRADITIONS CINDY & GERALD INGRAM
WE RECENTLY MET UP WITH SEVERAL MOTHERS AND THEIR CHILDREN AT THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE GARDENS AND ZOO TO ASK HOW THEY TYPICALLY CELEBRATE MOTHER’S DAY.
Jenna and Kelly Jenna Justice and her mom, Kelly, have spent Mother’s Day at one of Jenna's dance practices or performances for several years. Afterward, the two then have dinner wherever they happen to be. Kelly was herself a dancer, and Jenna has followed in her footsteps. This year may the first time Jenna and Kelly will be able to be away from the usual since Jenna does not have any dance obligation on the special day. CINDY INGRAM
Heather Morris Moore and her mom, Dianne Yarbrough enjoy the Rose and Iris gardens at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo.
Heather and Dianne Heather Morris Moore and her mom, Dianne Yarbough, share a bond in loving the zoo. Heather is there daily as a part of the zoological society while her mom is an active volunteer. They usually spend the day together on Mother’s Day, and Heather traditionally gives her mom a bouquet of Iris.
Jenna Justice and her mom, Kelly checking out the train station at the zoo, which is soon to be renovated.
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Brenda, Katie and Dora Beth When asked about her favorite Mother’s Day, Brenda Harrison said, “Going to Disney World. We made it a girls trip and it was extra special. My daughters Katie, Dora Beth and I all had a great time. It may have been a little selfish of me, but I loved having some time with just us girls. We usually spend time as a family on Mother’s Day.”
Brenda Harrison and daughter Katie at the petting zoo.
The Mixons The Mixon family, Randal and Rebecca Mixon along with Zoey (4), Aubrey (7) and Sarah (10) spent a lot of time at the splash pad at the zoo. They have a family membership so they end up coming almost every weekend because it gives them time together as a family. “Every Mother’s Day, as I was younger, I would have a hard time when everyone else was a mother except me,” said Rebecca. “Then at age 32, I was blessed and had Sarah and then Aubrey and Zoey. Zoey was the caboose of our train we did not know we needed until she was here.” Mixon said she nicknamed her three girls by their personalities — the mama, the comedian and the diva. “It was in God’s time that I started the journey of motherhood. On Mother’s Day, we usually have church and family day with both the parents (grandparents), I open up gifts that the girls have made at school.”
The Mixon family enjoys the zoo’s new splash pad, which is almost a weekly outing.
The entire Griffin family: Christina, husband Pedro, stepson Kyle, 23 and recently adopted son, Kaleb.
Christina and Kaleb This Mother’s Day will be extra special for Christina Griffin. This year will be the first time her name is on her 41⁄2 year old son Kaleb's birth certificate. She and her husband Pedro fostered Kaleb and recently were able to adopt him. “We always knew we wanted children, I have Kyle my 23-year-old stepson and have not been able to have a baby,” she said. “I say I became a mom to Kyle when Pedro and I married seven years ago. We went through the foster training and knew we wanted to CINDY INGRAM adopt when we could.” Christina with her new The couple received the foster infant wearing a call about Kaleb when he was an infant and was able to com- cute mask plete the adoption process. Shortly after, they were blessed again with another infant to foster. “I always wanted to be a mom.” The entire family was recently enjoying a day at the zoo. As they are in the midst of the adoption process, the baby’s name or photo cannot be published.
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DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | M AY 2 017 | 5 7
Jamie Phelps jumps her mare, Lillemoes
“Kathryn, check your girth!” is not a phrase I thought I would hear on a Friday while working.
KATIE BURKE PHOTOS BY GARY GUINIGUNDO
n this day, I had the privilege to visit Crooked Creek Farms to watch some skilled equestrian riders in action. The horses are warming up in the arena, slow at first, building up to a canter. Each saddle and rider bounces with the rhythm of the horse’s trot. When ready, the horses began their demonstration. One by one with riders of different ages and experience, the horses race towards their obstacles and leap with grace. “Use your legs, not your body,” Mollie instructs the riders as they prepare their ins and outs through the obstacles in the arena. At that moment, Frances Barham, jumps her horse Learning to Fly over the middle obstacle. As the jumps continue, head trainer Jamie makes her entrance to the arena on her Danish warmblood mare, Lillemoes. The gorgeous horse makes the highest jump of the day as our photographer Gary Guinigundo stands close by to capture the shot. It is absolutely mesmerizing watching this giant, gorgeous horse jump hurdles almost as tall as Gary! When riding is over, I get a minute to talk with Mollie Phelps, owner of Crooked Creek Farm that has over 40 years of experience. Mollie was born and raised in New Orleans. She began English riding lessons in 1975, fell completely in love, and has been riding and showing horses ever since. She moved from New Orleans and graduated from Northeast Louisiana University,
Frances Barham jumping Learning to Fly
Jamie Phelps and her mother, Mollie
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now ULM, in 1980. The farm was purchased and opened by Phelps in 1984, only part time at first while she pursued other career paths. Then in 1998, she opened the equestrian school full time. What is it that make this farm so unique? While it is quite an adventure to become an entrepreneur, there will always be hurdles and filled with triumphs, discoveries, failures, and successes. Venturing into entrepreneurship is a quest all on its own, what happens when you have the companionship of your daughter on the voyage with you? “The most difficult part of running a business together is keeping personal
life and business life separate. Coaching her over the years could be difficult. We learned that when I was in the arena training her, I was her coach, separate from being her mother,” says Mollie. Through the years their roles have shifted from mother-daughter to business partners. “I always wanted a child to share my farm and passion of horse with. God gave me Jamie! An August baby, the first day I brought her home, I took her to the barn and rubbed her on my favorite horse. This is an old American Indian custom, in belief that the child will become an excellent horseman.” Mollie explained how
their love of horses have only deepened the connection between them. “Horse shows were not just about showing the horse. The many hours we spent driving to and from the shows, and the time spent at the shows were so valuable. We talked about everything from school, friends, to her worries. This created a bond between us that continues today.” Jamie began riding at 5 years old and trained and showed her own pony at 8 years old. She graduated from Downsville High School, then earned a toxicology degree from ULM in 2012. Since she had always participated in the chores and horse management of the farm, it was a natural evolution for her to move her participation to full time. She works full time at the farm riding, training, as well as, teaching dressage and jumping. She currently shows her mare, Lillemoes in the 1.25 meter jumpers at the USEF shows. Together, this motherdaughter team also hosts other mother and daughters that choose to ride together. Some of those teams are Kathryn Barham and her daughters, Margaret and Frances and Cindy Lavespere and daughter, Cameron. They ride together at the farm and the girls were involved in starting an
Mollie Phelps with the riders after finishing for the day
Equestrian Club at St. Fredrick’s High School. The farm sits on 30 acres including riding trails and a galloping field. It is truly a gem to our area offering a full range of services from beginners to advanced lessons and you don’t even have to own your own horse, they have it all! Despite occasional bumps, this mother-daughter team cherish the time they get to spend together running their successful business. We wish Mollie and Jamie continued happiness in the future as they inspire riders and remain to work on the farm, together as a dynamic, everlasting team.
Cameron Lavespere mounted on Will Deux and Cindy Lavespere standing by her mare Will Lead
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Experience Counts… Robotics and the future of Total Joint Replacement Mako Robotic Total/ Partial Knee Replacement In 2010, my partners and I at Specialists Hospital Shreveport invested in a new robotic technology: MAKOplasty- a robotic, arm assisted system for partial knee replacement and I would be the first surgeon in Louisiana to Steven Atchison, MD perform a MAKOplasty, partial knee replacement in July 2010. In 2013, Stryker Orthopedics acquired MAKOplasty and combined Stryker’s market-leading implants (US) with Mako’s proprietary robotic arm technology and began partnership with orthopedic surgeons from around the world (including myself) to create the surgical application of Mako Total knee replacement. Having performed hundreds of Mako robotic partial knee replacements, I was excited and intrigued by the MAKO Total Robotic Knee application and worked closely with Stryker Orthopedics to grow the application. In December of 2016, I was once again, Louisiana’s first surgeon to perform the Mako Robotic Total Knee at Specialists Hospital Shreveport. Total Joint Replacement has made enormous strides in the last five years and I believe Mako robotic total knee is one of its greatest. It isn’t a coincidence that Specialists Hospital Shreveport was the first hospital in Louisiana and one of the first in the United States to launch this cutting-edge technology. Being a physician owned facility that focuses on orthopedic and spine surgery, we are committed to offering our patients the most innovative advances in orthopedics and Mako robotic total knee is exactly that. The latest technology in total joint replacement is the Mako robotic- arm assisted total knee replacement. Robotic technology has been utilized for years in orthopedics, primarily focusing on partial knee replacement and hip replacement and we now have the technology to perform robotic -arm assisted knee replacement. As an orthopedic surgeon, precision and accuracy are key factors in a successful surgical outcome. Using the Mako Robotic arm assisted technology, the surgeon can better execute getting the implant in the pre-surgical plan position determined through an individualized CT (computed tomography) scan. Ideally, the MN-1000651911
more exact the implant is positioned, the better the function of the knee and the greater potential for the longevity of the implant… meaning the implant has the potential to last over a longer period of time. We have used numerous tools and instruments to insure implant placement before, but none are as precise and clear as the technology offered with the Mako robotic arm assisted robot. In my professional opinion, MAKO robotic assisted total knee replacement offers my patients a customized approach to their total knee replacement and provides the technology to insure proper implant alignment and placement intra-operatively with real-time feedback. Any patient with osteoarthritis of the knee, that is significant enough to affect their daily activity level and function to warrant a knee replacement would be a candidate for Mako robotic total knee replacement. When a patient does come to see me and we’ve determined through x-ray and an evaluation that they are a candidate for knee replacement, and they assure me that they are ready for total knee replacement surgery, the next step is getting them scheduled. We will order labs and some preadmissions testing that need to be completed about three weeks prior to their surgery. One of those tests will be a CT (computed tomography) scan that allows us to make an individualized surgical plan that is customized to each patient. Once we obtain the CT scan, we can feed information through the robot, as to indicate the size and location of the patient’s bone, determine the size of the implant to be utilized and exactly where on the patient’s bone we will place the implant. For the most part, patients will spend one night in the hospital following their Mako Robotic-Assisted total knee replacement and be up walking just a couple of hours after surgery. While in the hospital the patient will work with the Specialists Physical Therapy team and learn exercises to promote a strong recovery at home. Patients will go home with walker and generally to progress to a cane and then walking on their own with full regain of function typically occurring with six to eight
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weeks following their surgery. Keep in mind, every patient’s recovery is their own… you get out what you put in to this surgery! Mako Robotic total knee allows for surgical excellence… you’ve got a great new knee, but you have stay focused and dedicate time to your recovery to have your very best outcome. Steven Atchison, MD joined Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1999 and founding partner/surgeon of Specialists Hospital Shreveport since 2007. Since that time, he has led the way in positioning Specialists Hospital Shreveport as an award winning and nationally recognized facility. Specializing in in disorders of the knee and hip, Dr. Atchison was the first surgeon in Louisiana to perform the Mako robotic assisted partial knee replacement in July 2010 and went on to be the first surgeon in Louisiana and one of the first in the United States to perform the Mako robotic assisted total knee replacement in December 2016. Dr. Atchison is a consultant and educator for Stryker Orthopedics, with surgeons travelling from around the globe to learn more about Mako robotic assisted partial/ total knee replacement, as well as, the Direct Superior Approach- Hipminimally invasive hip replacement. If joint pain is affecting the quality of your life, we may be able to help. To schedule an evaluation with Dr. Atchison, please call: (866) 759.9679 or visit: specialistshospitalshreveport.com
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River Oaks School What is The River Oaks Experience? I was approached by a local family recently and was asked, “What is the River Oaks Experience we keep hearing about?” My answer was easy! “Please come to River Oaks School and allow me to show you personally.” So the family decided to come and check it out for themselves. When they stepped onto the River Oaks campus for the first time, they experienced feelings of warmth, excitement and intrigue. As the Director of Marketing and Admissions for River Oaks School, I greeted the family with enthusiasm and Mustang Pride. As the campus tour began, the family immediately noticed the personable staff and the encouraging interaction with their students. The small class sizes were also an instant attraction for the family. At this point in the tour, a parent noted that River Oaks School feels like home. Everyone appeared as though they were a family. As they walked through the cozy, cheerful hallway, they realized that there were no locks on the lockers. I explained there has never really been a true need for a lock here on campus. Then we passed by our “Brag Board”, and boy did their eyes light up! This board was filled with numerous achievements by the River Oaks students made inside and outside the classroom. There were lists of students with ACT scores at 25 or higher, an article about the graduating class of 2015 receiving $3,291,000 in scholarships, a picture of Naysa Modi winning her third consecutive All-Parish Spelling Bee, Science Fair winners, FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) winners, MathCounts winners, and several other accomplishments. As we walked to the gymnasium, the family also noticed that the River Oaks Varsity Cheerleaders were State Champs for 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013. As we approached River Oaks Elementary, the family was able to see the brand new softball field nearing completion and the rendering of the new playground structure, “The Big Kahuna,” coming in July. Their eyes said it all! The family saw first-hand how our elementary program works handin-hand with our upper school program. The fact that grades Pk-12 are located on the same campus is a huge bonus, especially when families have multiple children in different grades. Further, this reinforces the family atmosphere River Oaks promotes by engaging all students in all grades in many school-wide events. As the tour ended, I could tell they were ecstatic! They boldly stated that they would LOVE to have their child become a part of the River Oaks Experience.
Tours of the River Oaks campus are available at any time. Please contact Elizabeth Clack, Director of Marketing and Admissions, to schedule your tour today! 318-343-4185 ext 35. Come and see what all the fuss is about…..
600 Finks Hideaway Road • Monroe, LA- 318-343-4185 • Romustangs.com MN-1000650483
River Oaks has a non-discriminatory open admissions policy
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Jennifer & Jason Thomas in front of Castle Hall.
BRINGING HISTORY TO LIFE DeltaStyle PHOTOS BY GARY GUINIGUNDO
ason and Jennifer Thomas have a love for their community, its historical buildings and being a part of bringing Monroe’s Downtown Historic District back to life. The couple first began working together at John Rea Realty specializing as commercial and land agents. Over four years of focused hard work, Castle Hall on St. John Street became their first acquisition and Third Floor Properties was born.
Walking into their office, maps and plans line the walls and tables. The passion that goes into their work is obvious as Jennifer’s face lights up as she explains, “The downtown Monroe historical district is our passion. We are excited to be a part of the revitalization that’s taking place. Our goal is to create a community within a community; to have the ability to eat, shop and play all within walking distance of your living space is ideal.” Driving by Castle Hall a few years ago, one could not imagine what it will be transformed
Front part of Castle Hall where a tiered stage will remain to become the focal point of a sitting area for the building’s largest condominium.
The view of downtown Monroe from RiverScape balcony.
Third Floor Properties.
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into in just a short period. The Thomases graciously walked the DeltaStyle staff through the historic building they are renovating. The original two-story structure of Castle Hall was built in 1892. The third floor was completed in 1921. The building served as a lodge for the Knights of Pythias. The group was formed and chartered by Congress in 1864 with its purpose being to care for the widows and orphans after the Civil War. The three-floor building is more than 14,000 square feet. The Thomases’ plan is to develop Castle Hall into nine luxury condominiums with retail spaces on the ground floor. They have rounded up some of the best talent in town to transform Castle Hall and plan on keeping their dream team intact as they move on to other projects. The group behind this effort is Michael Echols of Echo Build, Christie Echols of Echo Design, Clinton Downing of Clinton Whitney Downing Design, The Architecture Alliance Group
and Josh Taylor of J. Taylor Construction. The first thing we were shown on the top floor was a skylight that will light up someone’s future kitchen. Walking through, the remnants of the once bustling area are obvious. The original cloth screen still hangs from the third-floor ceiling and a raised tiered wooden stage will remain and be the focal point for a sitting area within the largest condominium space in Castle Hall. The original chairs that once lined the walls where the knights met on the third floor under the ornate ceilings and open windows will also be used in the common areas and retail spaces. The next stop on the Thomases’ tour was RiverScape Condominiums on South Grand Street. Jason explained, “RiverScape was the catalyst for all development downtown, Melody Olsen was the pioneer; the first person who took a chance redeveloping downtown.” The building was once the Penn Hotel. Popular in the
Renovations inside RiverScape.
1920’s and 1930’s, it is rumored that Elvis Presley and Bonnie and Clyde may have stayed there. Now, the penthouse is no longer pink, instead a bright red roof adorns the top of the building. The spark that was created by Olson’s renovations will be finished later this year when the Thomases complete the construction of the last of the unfinished condominiums in the building. After our tour, Jason added, “Our goal for the downtown transformation will be to add around 75 condominium spaces with plenty of parking, a coffee shop, several restaurants, a variety of retail spaces as well as a 24-hour gym provided to anyone leasing from Third Floor Properties. Stay tuned and watch for more exciting updates in future issues of DeltaStyle as the Thomases and their team of experts continue to bring history to life in historic downtown Monroe!
Skylight on the top floor of Castle Hall.
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MCCRARY IS MAKING A
DIFFERENCE GEORGIANN POTTS
Writer’s note: The first thing one notices about Kelsea McCrary is her smile. It fills her face and forces those seeing it to smile right back no matter their mood. After getting to know her, one discovers there is a sharp wit, an old soul, and a caring heart behind that joyful countenance. She’s a serious “thinker,” a dedicated “doer,” and a force to be reckoned with. Clearly, Kelsea is a “millennial” --- a member of Generation Y (those reaching young adulthood at the turn of the millennium). This group is changing the way “we’ve always done things” by injecting a healthy dose of skepticism toward the heretofore dominate culture’s attitudes about the environment, our rapidly disappearing leisure time caused by our growing obsession with work, and our relationship to those unlike ourselves. Watch out, world! The times they are a’ changin’ . . . and McCrary is at the front of the line. -GP
hen Kelsea Brianne McCrary was asked recently what she thought her life will “look like” in five, 10, 25 years, her response was characteristically candid. “I hate this question,” she said. “I don’t have plans, just ambitions.” And her ambitions are wide-ranging. “I want to see as much as I can, for as long as I can, however I can,” she said. “I want to help others, in those same ways, in whatever form that help may take.
Building a life From her earliest years, Kelsea has been a sponge, soaking up every opportunity and turning every experience
GARY GUINIGUNDO PHOTOGRAPHY
Kelsea McCrary at the Downtown Gallery Crawl.
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into a building block for her future. Born into a large, nurturing family filled with joy and encouragement, it is clear she had exactly what she needed to flourish. Kelsea’s parents, Ronnie and Kathy McCrary, provided a home in Bastrop where their children were free to explore their own interests and develop their personalities. Justin, the only boy, loved sports. Their father worked for International Paper before moving to GEO Chemical. His work involved all areas dealing with science, environmental issues and numbers. Of the three siblings, only Kelsea’s older sister Courtney was a math wizard who shared their father’s scientific thinking. Kelsea did not. “Dad got quite excited when I took chemistry in high school, and I tried really hard to be interested in it,” she said. “But my brain said 'nope’ and that pretty much ended it." Their mother was a gifted teacher who influenced her children in many ways. She taught English, history and reading, and only recently stepped into an administrative role. She did not try to push Kelsea toward a particular career, but rather encouraged her to pursue what Kelsea wanted to pursue. Both parents encouraged their children to be involved in their community from an early age. The two girls and their mom sang in the church choir and were involved in whatever community service projects their church or school supported. “Service and being involved in larger bodies than ourselves — academic or otherwise — were just intrinsic parts of our childhood,” Kelsea said. Family was always close by. Although they moved several times while Kelsea was growing up, she says they were always “... down the road from some branch of the family.” That proximity meant strong bonds were created among the family members. When the family gathered (then and today), Kelsea said food is at the center of the often quite loud celebration. Music plays, stories are swapped and love is shared. The word “tomboy” comes to mind when listening to Kelsea
COURTESY KELSEA MCCRARY
Kelsea McCrary at graduation.
“Service and being involved in larger bodies than ourselves — academic or otherwise — were just intrinsic parts of our childhood.” KELSEA BRIANNE MCCRARY COURTESY KELSEA MCCRARY
Kelsea McCrary as a small child.
describe her most memorable childhood experiences. She loved fishing with her dad and grandfather, riding bikes down dusty country roads and fields with her cousins, helping her dad redo a 1950’s Chevy truck, and going to softball practice (although she admits she spent most of her time in the outfield making daisy chains from the clover). “I was the ‘outside kid’ always hanging out with my dad and pestering my grandfather in his shop,” she said with a grin. There were plenty of “girly girl” elements in Kelsea’s childhood, too. She started dance lessons at 4 — a passion that has remained her first love. She also remembers loving to watch her mom cook, but acknowledges her grandfather (Lloyd Wilson Richards, Jr., but “Buddy” to his friends) is the serious cook in the family. His chicken gumbo
is one of her very favorite dishes. “He makes his own roux from scratch, and you can smell the gumbo when you pull into his driveway,” Kelsea said. She believes that the recipe is an heirloom, one that her great-grandfather who lived on the coast taught Buddy how to prepare. To continue the tradition, Kelsea has asked her granddad to write down every single recipe he makes while he is making it so that she can save them. Although the gumbo receives high praise, Kelsea says that eating simple fresh garden vegetables and cornbread in their old iron skillet is still one of her favorite meals with her grandparents. Kelsea’s grandparents have always been encouraging and understanding. They have been inspirations — married for over 50 years and always cheering
her on. She remembers many times when she would call them and say “Guess what?” and they would guess that she had been named president of some prestigious corporation or had won the lottery. “Really, I might have just gotten a haircut or had some seriously unimportant story to tell,” she said with a laugh. “I think I must have internalized that, because after years of being spoken to that way I grew up thinking that I could do and be those things.” During these early years, Kelsea’s skills at situation analysis and problem-solving became evident. For example, she could often been seen at her aunt’s home happily eating “Fruity Pebbles” because her mother wouldn’t buy them. She would get even better at this over time.
Building an education Elementary and junior high school offered Kelsea specific classes for music, art and “discovery” (science in disguise). Kelsea took them all, but the one that stands out was art. Her art teacher at Morehouse Magnet School, Brenda Anderson, had painted all of her classroom ceiling tiles after famous works of art. That made a big impression. Kelsea excelled academically and graduated valedictorian of her class at Prairie View Academy. She also found time for a full non-academic life, serving as captain of her high school dance team, as an officer for her class and other organiza-
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“My generation is looking to revamp the places that those before us built and then vacated. We want to reclaim --- re-purpose --- them. That’s part of the fun, figuring out what we can do in a building that was built a century or more ago.” KELSEA BRIANNE MCCRARY
COURTESY KELSEA MCCRARY
COURTESY KELSEA MCCRARY
Kelsea McCrary as a young artist.
Kelsea McCrary and her mother.
tions, and editing the yearbook. Once again, Kelsea’s family provided the necessary encouragement, but without pressuring her in a specific direction. In fact, at the scholarship banquet held during her freshman year at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, her name tag read “undecided” where a declared major should have been. This made her parents laugh, but was perfectly in keeping with the course they had set for their daughter. It was also perfectly in keeping with Kelsea’s need to explore before making a commitment. It would be two years before Kelsea knew what she wanted to study the most – art and design. Her academic record plus Kelsea’s dance skills made attending a university possible. From ULM, she secured an academic scholarship package plus earned a place on the prestigious ULM Warbonnets line. “ULM was the best choice monetarily for me, and it turned out to be the best choice, period,” she said. “I met lifelong friends and discovered a place that truly is a gem of an institution — an incubator for adulthood to generations of students.” During her first two years, Kelsea took drawing, music and history in addition to her other core courses. She always registered for a full load every semester. It was the basic design class that she took during her freshman year that had a major
influence on her. “I felt like that class explained my brain to me for the first time,” she said. Kelsea’s mother is an accomplished pianist, and her grandmother, Shirley Richards (aka “Mams”), taught herself to play in recent years. With those as examples, Kelsea enrolled in piano classes with Coralie White while at ULM. It was something else that she could share with these two women and it helped bring out her “inner artist.” Sculpture classes gave a new dimension to Kelsea’s appreciation for the arts. Her professor, Cliff Tresner, challenged her, forcing her to think beyond her normal patterns. Another art teacher, Dara Engler, taught her through painting classes about working within restrictions and staying true to a schedule – both important tools for whatever career lay ahead. Others in art who inspired her in different ways were Glenda Swann and Camille Jungman. “I’m indebted to the entire Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) faculty,” she says. “Special, special people, committed to their crafts and to the slow molding of creative minds.” Classroom studies and projects were only a part of Kelsea’s university experience. She admits to belonging to nine student organizations at one point during her time at ULM. Honor societies (Phi Kappa Phi, Mortar Board, Alpha Lambda Delta) as well as the art fraternity,
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Kappa Pi, took some of her “free” time. In addition, she served on the Campus Activities Board and 31 Ambassadors. Though busy, these extracurricular involvements provided an invaluable education. “They taught me time management, how to get along with other students who weren’t like me, and also that you get out of things what you put into them,” she said. “I have a hard time feeling sympathy for students who feel like there’s ‘nothing to do’. Campus involvement heavily influenced my professional life, and my community involvement mirrors it closely, too.”
Building a career Kelsea’s first “real job” was coaching the Eagle Line at Ouachita Christian School while enrolled at ULM. She developed the choreography, smoothed the routines and ran the rehearsals for the high school girls. “That job taught me to be transparent and honest, and that you can’t teach what you don’t know,” she said. Jobs at ULM included first being assistant director of student publications (overseeing the Chacahoula, Helicon and Hawkeye) and later becoming an admissions officer responsible for the western part of Louisiana and out-of-state students. It was this position that taught her yet another invaluable lesson. While traveling all over the South to speak to high schoolers about their hopes, dreams and fears, she experienced “burn out” from having to give essentially the same talk countless times, over and over again. “One day, I remembered that each would be the first time that that senior had heard it, and I began looking for the spark that would light up in their eyes and
their parents’ eyes as they saw that there might be a chance for them, too,” she said. “They would begin to communicate with me, and then acceptances would be sent out, and then the first day of class would come, and I’d see them on campus. It was the most complete picture of worthy work that I’ve seen so far. Immediate return on investment, you might say.” From there, Kelsea became director of marketing in ULM’s Office of Public Information. Along the way, she had graduated from ULM with a bachelor of fine arts degree. Her love of learning didn’t stop there. She took French classes while working, and also took several classes towards a graduate degree. She has recently been accepted into the masters program for strategic communications at Liberty University. Kelsea’s career path has found her working as director of brand advocacy and communications for Pine Valley Foods (West Monroe and Dallas) and now holding a position at CenturyLink in the recruitment marketing/employer brand area in human resources. All of her career moves have involved to one degree or another public speaking, branding, social media, web/design/creative direction and digital media. “Learning to travel for work as a young twenty-something, and then learning to be okay in a boardroom as the only representative from my demographic were challenges,” she said. “Now through CenturyLink, I am beginning to learn the norms and mores of corporate America – a new challenge!”
Building a future for the next generation Just as Kelsea’s insatiable curiosity about her world has
Arts Alliance, the Twin City Arts Foundation, Monroe Renaissance, the Ouachita Business Alliance (OBA), ARROW Public Art, and North Monroe Baptist Church have all earned Kelsea’s attention as a volunteer. She provides not only physical help and ideas, but also lends encouragement to the larger community through these associations.
Savoring ' now'
GARY GUINIGUNDO PHOTOGRAPHY
not diminished since childhood, her spirit of volunteerism --that desire to help others --- remains strong. Even though volunteering brings its own challenges (“I think learning to work with people is a constant education”), it also brings its own special kind of reward. Revitalizing downtown Monroe and West Monroe is a major focus for her these days, and she champions the Downtown Arts Alliance at every opportunity. This small group of artists and creative
thinkers volunteer countless hours to promote the arts and to draw attention to the ongoing renewal of the historic downtowns on both sides of the Ouachita River. “We put on six Downtown Gallery Crawls a year, with the sole reward being seeing both downtowns alive and literally crawling with people on those nights. It’s amazing each time,” she said. As is characteristic of her Generation Y brothers and sis-
ters, Kelsea sees downtown revitalization in more than economic development terms. “My generation is looking to revamp the places that those before us built and then vacated,” she said. “We want to reclaim --re-purpose --- them. That’s part of the fun, figuring out what we can do in a building that was built a century or more ago. We aren’t asking to return it to its former glory; we are looking to the next one hundred years.” In addition to the Downtown
At the moment, Kelsea’s heart belongs to Murphy, a rescue pup she retrieved when his owners decided not to keep him. For a year-and-a-half, he has been an integral part of her life. He is her running buddy, her alarm clock, and the world’s best listener when her dad isn’t around. Kelsea’s idea of a perfect day would include good coffee, lots of quiet time, a house already clean, a run with Murphy on the levee, time with friends and family, a healthy meal, and --most importantly --- no agenda. She would “season” her day with her three greatest passions: food (“ ...something we absolutely need for survival but that we have turned into an art form purely for the joy of it... ”), art (“... for all the reasons that others have written better than I ever could ...”) and faith (“...growing and learning and trying to walk my faith daily as an adult is one big adventure, and is always the starting and ending point for me, no matter what happens in between...”). As so many are these days, Kelsea is committed to the “crunchy” movement --- the trend to make one’s ecological footprint as small as possible. To accomplish this, she has begun consciously thinking about ways she can reduce, reuse, or recycle things. In addition, she is seeking to eliminate her consumption of some products altogether. Even in these seemingly small ways, she is making a difference. Kelsea’s mother found a form not long ago that a very young Kelsea had filled out for her first week of kindergarten. On it, Kelsea said that she wanted to be an artist when she grew up --- not a ballerina, or a doctor, or an astronaut, but an artist. Even then, she knew what she wanted. It would just take time for her to get there.
DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | M AY 2 017 | 7 3
OGLESBY FINANCIAL GROUP When Your Children Leave Home, Will You Save More for Retirement?
Darren Oglesby, Registered Financial Consultant
Many parents don’t save significantly more in 401(k) plans BCCRR looked at the Health and Retirement Study, a panel survey of households with members who are age 50 or older. The goal was to determine what happens to 401(k) plan savings after children move out. They found savings did increase by 0.3 percent to 0.7 percent.
You may be asking yourself whether that’s a trick question. After all, almost one-third of 18- to 34-yearolds are still living at home with their parents. It is, in fact, the most common living arrangement for this While parents may find they have age group. extra money on hand when children become financially independent, It’s an important question because researchers found no evidence many studies of retirement readiness to support the idea parents were assume Americans will save at higher inspired to save significantly more rates after their children become for retirement. financially independent. The Boston College Center for Retirement Research (BCCRR) analyzed data The nest is finally empty…what to determine whether retirement now? savings rates increased when parents Gas, electric, water, gasoline, became empty nesters. insurance, groceries – it may be hard to fathom the savings that arrive on “Kids are expensive. As a result, your doorstep when children depart. when children become financially Clearly, the savings strategy that independent, parents often have a suits one person may not be right for substantial amount of extra money another. An individual who is close to on hand. In this case, they have meeting his or her retirement goal, two basic choices: spend more on and has a high probability of having themselves or increase their saving enough savings to live comfortably throughout retirement, may decide for retirement.”
to splurge. An individual or couple at the other end of the spectrum – with too little set aside for retirement – may make an entirely different choice and dramatically increase savings. Many parents may not know how well prepared they are for retirement, even if they’ve been saving for years. Those who haven’t taken time to evaluate their retirement readiness may want to take a few minutes to contact their financial advisor, or use an online calculator, to determine the state of their retirement preparations. Folks who are not as well prepared as they would like to be, may have to make some tough decisions. Their choices may include choosing to save more, retiring later, investing differently, and living on less in retirement. Before making any changes, it’s a good idea to talk with a financial professional who understands both sides of the retirement equation – accumulating wealth before retirement and dispersing savings as income during retirement.
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 74 | MAY 2017 | DE LTAS T YL E M AGAZ I N E
We go the extra mile to enhance your childs smile!
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FOR THE LOVE OF
CHEESE REBECCA BINGHAM
The classic French cheese course usually offers a minimum of three cheeses, each representing a different type of milk (cow, goat or sheep's milk) or a different family of cheese. In Savannah, Georgia, adjacent to the 18th-century Planters Inn, The Olde Pink House serves their cheese platter with Savannah Bee honeycomb, house made raspberry jam and seasonal fruit. (www.plantersinn savannah.com/the-oldepink-house)
ardly a country or culture exists where cheese doesn’t figure prominently in the culinary landscape. But nearly everything I know about cheese I learned from friends. For instance, my Alabama fishing buddy Alan Clemons likes old-style hoop cheese (red or black rind) in the summer, “warm and soft in a flat-bottom
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boat, piled on a saltine with a tin of sardines on the side, and an ice-cold CocaCola to wash it down.” Retired flight attendant Kevin Kalley prefers Vermont Harbison, “a soft-ripened cheese with a rustic, bloomy rind, wrapped in strips of spruce cambium – the tree's inner bark layer – harvested from the woodlands of Jasper Hill.” With nearly 1,800 kinds of cheese produced around the world, you’re sure to find new varieties to try. In the mean-
For a simple appetizer, try this quickie from La Diosa Cellars in Lubock, Texas. Heat one tablespoon olive in a heavy skillet. Add 1 ⁄2-pound of shishito peppers and sizzle until blistered, usually two minutes per side. Remove peppers from the pan, arrange on a plate and sprinkle with salt. Top with crumbled feta cheese. Voila! Chop up leftovers to spice up an omelet. (www.ladiosacellars.com)
time, here are 10 facts to add to your cheese wheelhouse of knowledge. 1. A turophile is a connoisseur of cheese or a cheese fancier – according to Merriam-Webster. Use that word on your next social media profile! 2. Cheese is almost older than dirt. Not really, but scientists say people in Poland were eating cheese as far back as 7,500 years ago. 3. About that “classic” Cheddar color: It’s fake. The golden hue is the result of a dye produced from Annatto, a small reddish-orange pod-producing tree native to Central and South America. One tree can produce more than 500 pounds of seeds. As far back as the 16th century, English farmers added Annatto to colorize their winter cheeses, which were usually white because cows were munching on color-neutral instead of carotene-rich summer grasses. 4. Eating cheese 30 minutes before bedtime can help you sleep better. Parmesan, cheddar and mozzarella varieties contain more of the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan than turkey does. Sweet dreams are made of cheese. 5. The crunchy crystals in hard cheeses are not salt. If you think about it, salt is soluble and dissolves during the cheese-making process. On the other hand, protein chains of amino acids break down. One of these proteins – casein – breaks free and collects into tiny crystals about the size of a grain of Kosher salt. 6. The world’s most dangerous cheese to human health is Casu Marzu (or “rotton cheese”), according to Guinness Book of World Records. Considered a delicacy in Sar-
Little Miss Muffet of nursery rhyme fame claims to have eaten curds and whey. Simply put, cheese curds – sometimes called “squeaky cheese” because of the sound they make when you chew them – are randomly shaped pieces of the freshest Cheddar cheese before they are processed into blocks of cheddar. In Wisconsin and other areas of the Midwest, cheese curds are dipped in a thin batter, then fried for 60-90 seconds to produce the melt-in-your-mouth signature delicacy famous throughout the region. (www.eat wisconsincheese.com)
dinia, Italy, the illegally produced variety starts when the fresh wheel is rolled outdoors. 7. Wisconsin leads the U.S. in cheese production with nearly three million pounds a year. California runs a close second, producing 2.5 million pounds, followed by Idaho at nearly 900,000 pounds. 8. The holes in Swiss cheese are made from bubbles of carbon dioxide, a byproduct of microbes added to the milk. When these bacteria interact, they produce lactic acid, which
gives Swiss cheese its distinct flavor, but which also causes carbon dioxide to get trapped during the 60- to 90-day fermentation process. 9. Cartoons and fairy tales are the only places where mice eat cheese. In 2006, Dr. David Holmes of Manchester Metropolitan University discovered mice actively avoid cheese because of its strong offensive odor. They actually prefer fresh fruit and veggies. 10. Greece is the cheesiest country in the world, where
each person eats an average of 68 pounds a year. France follows at 53 pounds per person, and the U.S. drags up at 11th place, with 31 pounds for each of us. Rebecca Bingham is a Monroe native currently living in Hot Springs, Arkansas. A fulltime travel writer, Rebecca is spending a year living in a series of vacation rental properties while she writes her new book, “Finding Home: Creating Comfort in a Chaotic World.”
DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | MAY 2 017 | 7 7
“Katie Anzalone is a master at color and styling. The Parlor House is simply the best!” - Joni Noble “I’ve lived everywhere from Miami to New York City, and I can tell you that this salon feels like it could be nestled in the most chic and funky neighborhood of a big city.” - Kathy Marshall
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DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | M AY 2 017 | 7 9
DOWNTOWN RUSTON COURTESY THE FASHION OF RUSTON
People waiting for the train in downtown Ruston.
Historic Harris Hotel, sometimes also called Ruston Hotel, as it stands today.
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uring the construction era of its railroads, the town of Ruston grew and took shape. Known in the early years for cotton farming, it was perfect for the passing railways that brought business to the area. Over the years, downtown changed while many businesses moved in and out and some buildings were left vacant for years in need of restoration. One of those building is the Harris Hotel, which some also refer to the Ruston Hotel, built in 1912 in the 200th block of West Park Avenue. It is rumored that Bonnie and Clyde may have passed
through the doors and even writer, Jack Kerouac, who referred to Ruston in his book "On the Road." There were also stories of betting and surreptitious poker games that occurred on the top floors of the hotel in its early years. Eventually the hotel would be converted into a psychiatric clinic by the owner, Dr. Harris, during the 1950's. After its closure, the building was converted into a bar in 1975 that was maintained for 30 years. “Stow’s Bar” was a hot spot to watch the Louisiana Tech University football games and for night life. The bar was said to be haunted by former patients of the psychiatric hospital that had died while they were in treatment in the building, but
Kelly Hogan, owner of The Fashion.
Remodeled carriage way leading to Chartreuse Pear.
none in which was ever proven, just whispered among the locals. Since then, the building has gained a new reputation for having the best of style and trends in the area. The Fashion of Ruston, owned by Kelly Hogan, is a trendy boutique that moved into the building over four years ago. A
year after that, Brenda and Travis Lee moved their business, Chartreuse Pear, down the carriage way behind The Fashion. They offer unique home dĂŠcor, antiques, bedding and gifts. From hotel, hospital, bar, to fashion, this buildingâ€™s colorful history is part of what make downtown Ruston so special.
Travis and Brenda Lee. The mother-son team who own Chartreuse Pear
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Taylor using his WWM Turkey Call
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LOVE ForTHE the love of OF theTHE The couple behind Whitetail Widow Makers details appreciation for the sport. TAYLOR HANCE & KRYSTLE MAHONEY
Editor's Note: Taylor Hance & Krystle Mahoney are our newest DeltaStyle columnists. The couple founded Whitetail Widow Makers, a west Monroe marketing company that specializes in outdoor products. They also film hunts, review products and provide a place to celebrate legal and ethical harvest. f the word “trophy” is defined as large, high scoring, or abundant amounts of game, then we are by no means accomplished “trophy” hunters or current “trophy” hunters in our yearly pursuits. Currently, neither our home nor our camp contains memories of past hunts in the form of high scoring buck mounts, long bearded stuffed turkeys or waterfowl wearing a hunter’s favorite jewelry while being frozen in time mid-flight. Yes, we have mounted game animals in our house like most hunters. However, the reasoning behind agreeing to the taxidermy bill and the memory the mounted game will summon may be a little different than most. Placed along our wall are two bucks that may not score 75
on the Boone & Crockett scale of deer measurement, but they are deer that will forever live in the hearts of the hunters who harvested them. One is Krystle's first buck and the other is that of her son, Braxton Mahoney. A mallard drake possessing no real unique characteristics other than the fact that it was Taylor's first duck killed with his grandfather also sits along our wall. You never forget your first, and we have made sure of that. With that being said, we are hunters. Just like any hunter, our heart beats just a little bit faster as our hands shake just a little bit harder when that animal we pursue ends up being a “trophy” in the large or high scoring sense of the word. We also recently have and will choose to mount said “trophies” with extreme amounts of enthusiasm and eagerness to see our conquered foe once more. As we write this, Krystle has a giant Osceola turkey possessing three beards at our local taxidermist from a recent hunting trip to Florida. We eagerly await the opportunity to place him in the living room so we can reminisce on a once in a lifetime bird forever. So, as you can see, we appreciate harvesting game worthy of a little bragging, but we view the word “trophy” a little different than most other hunters. A trophy — when it comes to describing a game animal a hunter devotes his or her own personal time and effort —is a self-defining term. We all have differ-
GARY GUINIGUNDO PHOTOGRAPHY
Taylor Hance & Krystle Mahoney
An Alligator killed on a hunting trip in Florida in March 2017.
ent goals when we begin our preparation for hunting season. We all have different scenarios in hunting and in life in general that make us willing to continue to push forward. We all have different places we spend our precious time pursuing the game we enjoy, and we all have different levels of appreciation for what the harvest brings to each of us. Although, what we all share is the desire for this sport and this way of life to continue for years to come. We as hunters, huntresses and outdoor enthusiasts need to support each other while embracing people’s right to be different. We said all of that to let you, the readers, know who we are and who we are not, as well as what this column is and what it is not. This will never be a column full of hunting commandments or must do’s. It will not be a quick step by step monthly guide to kill huge bucks, tons of ducks, or turkeys with beards that drag the ground. That is not who we are, that is not something we are qualified to do, and most importantly that is not something we would like to read. What you can expect is content from two people who truly
love the outdoors and believe what really makes it special are making memories, sharing it with other people, giving back, having fun and all the little things overlooked at times. You can expect when we talk about products, companies, places or people, they are honest reviews from two average hunters who use the products and believe in the people. We have been together for six years and engaged for one. People always ask us “When is the wedding?” and we think finally we are going to make it official this July. That is the perfect month because we have no hunting seasons, outdoors shows or events, major off season property management, and it’s too hot to fish. In all seriousness though, our lives have been extremely busy, but it all remains so fun. Through starting this adventure, by simply hunting together, we now do absolutely everything together. Four years ago, it all started with a simple inquisitive self-invite to go deer hunting. Krystle decided to see what being gone every single weekend for four months in the winter and one
A Houston native, Krystle Mahoney moved to West Monroe when she was in the sixth grade. Being raised by a single mom didn’t leave many opportunities to get outdoors and go hunting. But during summers, Krystle would visit her grandparents in Montgomery, Texas. There she would "fish" with her grandfather in the neighborhood lake, which mostly consisted of putting gum on a brim hook and waiting for a baby brim to accidentally hook himself. Their home also had a thermometer outside of the front door that would indicate what outdoor sport one should do that day. Krystle said 99 percent of the time it landed on hunting, and her only definition of that at the time was catching frogs and lizards. So each morning she would check the thermometer and go on her own adventures. Even though, she wasn’t really hunting in the traditional sense, she said she was getting outdoors and experiencing nature. "I loved that feeling," she said. Krystle graduated from West Monroe high school and then from ULM with three majors and four minors. Shortly after college she had her son, Braxton Mahoney. She is outside sales rep for OfficeLinx in Monroe.
A Dallas native, Taylor Hance moved to West Monroe when he was in first grade. He attended West Monroe High School and the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He works in outside sales for CocaCola in Monroe. He played organized sports for many years growing up, but it did not take him long to realize it got in the way of his hunting and fishing. His family hunted and fished so he had the good fortune of always having someone to tag along with on outdoor adventures. His father taught him a thorough level of firearm safety, a healthy respect for the many safety hazards that can arise in the outdoors and how to react if something goes wrong. Taylor said he instilled in me selflessness to allow another to harvest before his tags are filled and the appreciation for the ability to spend time in the outdoors with others. "I am forever grateful for him and the knowledge he has provided me through the years which has resulted in this truly wonderful way of life I am blessed to participate in," he said. Connect with us on social media. Find us on Facebook @whitetailwidowmakers3, on Instagram @whitetail_widow_makers, and on Twitter @WT_widow_makers, and here in our monthly hunting and outdoor column. Feel free to send us questions, comments, or anything else that we can help you with at email@example.com.
Taylor and Krystle on a successful turkey hunt.
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Turkey killed in an orange grove on a hunt with Red Eye Safaris.
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month in the spring was all about. She killed her first deer that day, and well, if you’re a hunter, you know how the rest of the story goes. The next season she bought a bow and has never looked back. Nine months ago, there was some negativity going on in the hunting industry in regards to the ethical methods of harvest. A gigantic rift occurred in the hunting community between people who agreed and disagreed with a hunter's kill of a bear with a spear in Canada and the subsequent decision by Under Armour to drop its sponsorship of the hunter's wife. That negativity mixed with the ever-present judgment some hunters cast on others due to differences in opinions and/or ideas of successful hunts sparked our dream to become part of the outdoor industry. The idea started just as casual banter when a quote from Wayne Gretzky — "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take" — showed up in front of us. We knew we had to quit dreaming and start doing. There was no particular vision for what we wanted to do. We just wanted to take casual hunting to another level. We wanted to do it different than most, and we wanted to stay true to ourselves. To achieve our dream of becoming something in the outdoor industry, we took things slow. We went one step at a time and made sure every step was thoroughly thought out before moving forward. The first step was a name and a logo. As much as we love to fish and hunt other game, our passion is bow hunting whitetail deer and our way of doing things is different yet simple. Hence, the name Whitetail Widow Makers. Social media was a large breeding ground for the negativity that led to the creation of WWM, so we decided to flip the script. We were going to give people a judgement free place they could proudly share any legal and ethical harvest they made with our 100 percent support. We believe that good attracts good and bad attracts bad in most cases so as long as we continue on our path this will continue to be a positive experience.
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Pecan crusted cobia with sweet potatoes and fried kale.
KING OF THE KITCHEN DeltaStyle sits down with Louisiana King of Seafood EMMA SAGER
rom Colorado to New York City, Chef Blake Phillips is spreading his creative southern-style cooking techniques across America. As of April, Phillips is the new executive chef at Bayou Roux. He is an active member of the community and has made a name for himself as an award-winning chef, including being named the 2016 King of Louisiana Seafood. Phillips was born and raised in Monroe, where he taught himself how to prepare and cook meals for himself and his family. His first inspiration to become a king in the kitchen came from the lo-
cally-known cookbook, “Cotton Country Cookbook” and Paul Prudhomme’s “Louisiana Kitchen.” These cookbooks were the start of Phillips’ genuine passion for creating southern-influenced meals. He attended Neville High
Blake Phillips is crowned the Louisiana King of Seafood.
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School and graduated in 2001. For Phillips, cooking was not only a hobby but also where he wanted to begin his career at an early age. “In high school, I remember when I started working that I loved the fast-paced atmosphere at my first job when I worked at a Monroe restaurant,” Phillips said. “It’s important to have problem solving skills because cooking is an intense setting where you have to be ready for anything, which can cause stress sometimes, but that is exciting to me.” In Austin, Texas, Phillips attended the Le Cordon Bleu of Culinary Arts. From there, he worked his way up to cooking in multiple resorts in Colorado. Four years later, Phillips moved to New Orleans, where he honed his craft of southern-style cuisine. Once he was cooking in New Orleans, his experience and techniques in the kitchen only improved. Phillips was the sous chef at Mike’s on the Avenue and contributed to opening Huck Finn’s, where he was the head chef. During his time in southern Louisiana, Phillips also worked for a catering company where he prepared meals for major motion pictures, commercials, large events and even for the Super Bowl. After nine years of cooking in New Orleans, Phillips came home to Monroe to continue his career at a local restaurant as the executive chef. Recently, he was offered the opportunity to be the head chef at the new restaurant Bayou Roux. He has been recognized across the state for his ability to provide a fine dining experience to all his customers. In 2016, he was named of “One of the Best Chefs of Louisiana” by the American Culinary Federation of New Orleans (ACFNO) at the Best Chefs of Louisiana Fundraiser. ACFNO is a professional organization of chefs and cooks in the greater New Orleans area that endorses the development and education of the culinary specialty through mentorship, apprenticeship, certification and scholarship. Phillips participates in the Louisiana Culinary Trails. This is where a chef can travel to other cities to take over a restaurant and recreate the type of meal one would have made in their home-
town. He has had the opportunity to visit Austin and Charleston to show off his southern cooking expertise. This year, Phillips will travel to New York City for the Louisiana Culinary Trails. “I like to represent northeast Louisiana food that’s not only Creole, but rather all classic southern-influenced dishes with my own special twist to it,” Phillips said. “It’s just not food to me, it’s an experience.” He is a spokesperson for the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. Phillips promotes our part of Louisiana culinary methods and helps to grow tourism in northeast Louisiana by traveling to events across the country. In this position, he can spread information about using Louisiana seafood, which contributes to increasing money and jobs within our state. Phillips’ most famous title is from the ninth annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off where he was crowned the 2016 King of Louisiana Seafood. The Louisiana Seafood Cook-off is a prestigious competition among the finest chefs across the state to represent the best of the best food from their area. Phillips was the only chef who competed from a city north of the Baton Rouge area. Before the cook-off, he decided to venture to Italy to seek inspiration. It was there that he used the Italian twist of fava bean and truffles in his dish that was a different take on his standard Louisiana-influenced cuisine. This exceptional approach in the competition led to Phillips being crowned the King of Seafood. “When I went to Italy, I was not sure what I would find that could provide an advantage in the upcoming event. I enjoy seeing different cooking ideas and techniques from all kinds of places,” Phillips said. “That is an exciting aspect of cooking, there is always something new to learn.” In 2016, there were 10 chefs who went head to head for the coveted title as the King of Seafood where each dish was scrutinized by a panel of eight judges. Though Phillips undoubtedly is a natural cook in the kitchen, being timed in a big competition created more pressure to have all the food prepared perfectly. The cook-off was in front of a live audience where every second counted for all the chefs.
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COURTESY LARRY COLLUM
Blake Phillips participating in the National King of Seafood Competition.
He presented his unique flair of superior quality Louisianastyled food with his winning dish. Phillips prepared blackened sous vide grouper and fava bean and truffles and sweet potato puree with corn, crab and mirliton slaw to earn the Louisiana Seafood crown. Louisiana Cookin’ magazine also recognized Phillips as one of the “Chefs to Watch of 2017.” There were six chefs who qualified for this title and, again, he is the only chef from an area north of Baton Rouge. Louisiana Cookin’ magazine provides readers with all the best restaurants and culinary locations to experience the true Louisiana culinary lifestyle. As a “Chef to Watch,” Phillips will be featured in the magazine as one of the top chefs in the entire state. Since Phillips has been the executive chef at Bayou Roux, he has been tweaking all the dishes to put his natural twist of culinary style in each meal. This occasion truly allows him to utilize all the skills and techniques he has been developing his entire life. “Moving to Bayou Roux is an excellent opportunity to spread my creative wings in the kitchen since it is a new place where I can adapt all the food to my southern style expertise,” Phillips said.
“I’m planning on making some big changes to the menu pretty soon.” In October, Phillips will be the emcee at the North Delta Food and Wine Festival at the West Monroe Convention Center. This event will be a weekend-long chance to experience meeting some of the top chefs from the southern Gulf region, mingle with craft beer enthusiasts and wine and beverage representatives. Chefs will also be working with Monroe restaurants to prepare extraordinary wine and meal experiences for all the attendees. Phillips will oversee all the events and meals throughout the North Delta Food and Wine Festival. In addition to his passion for preparing and serving fine cuisine, Phillips also has the desire to teach others how to become chefs, too. “My favorite aspect of being a chef is putting a smile on a person’s face. It is an instantly gratifying job,” Phillips said. “Whether I am teaching someone else how to prepare food in the kitchen or I am presenting a meal to a person, it brings me joy to provide someone a positive and delicious experience.” Be sure to look for his new column in the upcoming issues of DeltaStyle!
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Renovated Cascio's dining area.
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REVIVED, REJUVENATED AND REBORN n the words of Mama Josephine Cascio, “like something out of my dreams,” the Cascio family legacy continues with Joe and Rene’ Cascio’s gem — Cascio’s Chateau. Situated in the hauntingly decadent building owned by N. Edward Hakim and Joseph Hakim, the restaurant opened in February at 2001 Louisville Ave. in Monroe. Cascio’s Chateau opened as Joe and Rene’ dove head first into the dream that Joe himself shared with his late father, Victor Cascio. Recalling their decision, “It was scary… and we ( Rene’ and I) were scared to death.” But even as a young man in 1985, Joe knew what the restaurant business “meant to this family.” He expressed his desires, even then, "to enhance and expand upon the good thing” the Chateau was. He has done so successfully with the divine artistry of two of this area’s most
crafted culinary geniuses — general manager Marco Tumminello and head Chef Derek Tony. A New Orleans native, Tumminello began realizing his culinary abilities when he took second place at a gumbo cookoff in New Orleans about 17 years ago. Beginning his career at the Dockside in Harahan, Tumminello spent years learning and cultivating his name in the food service/restaurant industry before making Cascio’s Chateau his home. Tumminello made the perfect pairing with Joe and his kitchen crew upholding Joe’s desire to provide their customers with the freshest product, vibrant dishes, as well as palatable pleasing plates to even the most refined connoisseurs. Cascio’s newest venture is a culmination of his family legacy coupled with the revamping of a dream he and his family had long pursued in the north Louisiana area. “It just made sense for Rene’ and I to open in the old Brandy House location,” Cascio said
Joe Cascio (owner), Rene’ Cascio (owner) and Marco Tumminello (general manager).
Joe and Rene’s sons – Benjamin (Ben) Cascio, Carter Cascio and Joe David Cascio.
PHOTOS BY GARY GUINIGUNDO
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with passion. “This (the new location) had such class and poise to offer our diners with the flare that they’ve come to expect from the Cascio family … and with the addition of the ice bar, we (my family and I) felt like this was our chance to really give the wonderful people of north Louisiana a beautiful place to dine, as well as being able to offer them a memorable dining experience.” The Cascio family has been a part of north Louisiana for decades, wowing patrons with their home-like hospitality, while providing each diner with homespun recipes from the heart. Casco’s prides itself on offering fresh, never frozen, speckled trout and salmon, Argentine reds, Texas farm raised quails (which are featured in their bacon wrapped dish with blackberry compote), as well as a beautiful assortment of steaks. In addition to several new items on the menu, you will find Cascio classics such as “The Artichoke Desiard” Cascio’s famous “Snapper Tony” – fried or pan seared and topped with fresh lump crab meat and paired with an exquisite butter sauce, and many more of the classic flavors we’ve all grown up with thanks to the Cascio family. Located conveniently on Louisville Avenue in the heart of Monroe, Cascsio’s Chateau stands as a legacy promising that your dining experience at Cascio’s Chateau will most certainly be one that Mama Josephine herself would be proud of. Special thank you to the Cascio family for opening their kitchen to the readers of DeltaStyle Magazine.
Bacon wrapped Texas quail with blackberry compote
Tomahawk ribeye with filet mignon.
“Trout Cascio” – topped with lump crabmeat and butter sauce.
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COURTESY GLENWOOD HOT SPRING LODGE
The pool at twilight.
REJUVENATE IN COLORADO'S HEALING WATERS JENNIFER SCHMEER
aking a break from my Caribbean exploring, I headed to Colorado for a weekend to visit my cousin and enjoy some hot springs and snow. We flew into Vail, and the airport reminded me of a winter chalet and was simple; just the way I like it. Greeted at the door by my cousin, Troy, we drive through the mountains to his scenic home that has the Eagle River flowing through his backyard. He just opened up his first business, Troy Fuller Insurance Agency that resided on the other side of the river, so it is an easy commute for him. My daughter and I run around in the snow as if it was our first time. My flip flops are not fitting into this location, but it does not faze me. I had a mission this trip besides spending quality time with my cousin; feeling natural hot springs.
Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge We head to Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge, which is surrounded by mountains and rich in history. This lodge holds the world’s largest hot springs pool that contains over a million gallons of naturally heated mineral water supplied by the Yampah Hot Spring, just a few steps from the bathhouse. The therapy pool is kept at 104 degrees Fahrenheit while the main pool is an inviting 90-93 degrees. The main pool is the length of a football field with swimming lanes and a diving area. There is also a seasonal water slide and a mini-golf area. From a historical perspective, each summer the Ute Indians would come to this hot springs that they called, “Yampah” meaning “Big Medicine.” They would come to this area for a place to rest, to hunt and fish and to use the waters to heal their sick and wounded.
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T Two of the largest rivers in Colorado, the Colorado River and the Roaring Fork River converge in Glenwood Springs, so it makes sense that this is such a popular place for fishing. In 1860, a group of geologic explorers led by Captain Richard Sopris discovered the hot springs. It would be another 20 years before it was opened up to permanent settlements. The town of Glenwood Springs was created during the early 1880’s, named after Glenwood, Iowa in 1885. Walter Devereux and his two brothers and a group of British investors paid Captain Cooper $125,000 for the Yampah Hot Springs and 10 acres of land in 1886. Their plan was to build the largest hot springs in the world. Theodore Von Rosenberg, an architect from Vienna, Austria, was hired to design and build a red sandstone bathhouse and lodge. The building was completed in 1890 at a cost of $100,000.
The bathhouse was fitted with tubs, Roman vapor baths and special accommodations for the pool bathing. In 1986, the resort built a new hotel, the 107-room Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge. In 2008, it brought a multi-million dollar renovation to the old original stone bathhouse where the Spa of the Rockies has been reborn. Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge and Pool Company celebrated 125 years of business in 2011; it's Glenwood Springs oldest continuous business. Today, the Yampah Spring flows 3.5 million gallons a day and is believed to be one of the hottest in the world. Sounds like a perfect place to spend some time. Arriving at Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge, we take a quick tour stopping to admire the Athletic Club, which is its premier health club facility containing a Precor Cardio Theater, state-ofthe-art aerobics, pilates and spin-
COURTESY GLENWOOD HOT SPRING LODGE
A red sandstone bathhouse and lodge was completed in 1890 at a cost of $100,000. The bathhouse was fitted with tubs, Roman vapor baths and special accommodations for the pool bathing.
ning room, fully equipped weight rooms and yoga studios. The Athletic Club also boasts racquetball courts, indoor whirlpool and steam rooms. You can also stop by the Sport Shop that holds the largest collection of swimwear on the Western Slope and Colorado-style fashions and sportswear as well as pool accessories for the kids. There is also a spa onsite called, Spa of the Rockies which utilizes the natural hot springs water in the treatments they offer at this award-winning spa. With a collection of treatments of massage, facial, and nail care, there is something for everyone. Unique treatments are offered such as oxygen therapy, mineralrich Moor Mud treatments to reduce muscle and joint pain and a ginger renewal treatment where essential minerals are combined with gingers healing properties in an invigorating full body exfoliation.
When you stay at the Lodge, guests enjoy unlimited access to the hot springs pool and a complimentary hot breakfast served at the pool side grill.
Hot Springs swimming We head to our rooms and quickly put on our bathing suits for an afternoon swim. I find a kind note welcoming us to the Lodge with a bag of goodies on the table. Grateful for the hospitality, I find the rooms comfortable with a flat screen TV, iPod docking station, mini-fridge, coffeemaker and a microwave. Walking out to the hot springs pools surrounded by snow covered mountains, I notice the steam rising from the water, and I quickly get in to experience the mineral-rich waters. My body immediately relaxes and because the pool is so large; you don’t even really notice the other people soaking. The hot springs flow past my
body and a smile of contentment rest gently on my face. As the sun dips behind the mountains, the hot springs pool takes on a different feeling. The night air is crisp and we spend our time going in between the two hot spring pools. Now, here is the best part of this story. I noticed two gentlemen rolling in on wheelchairs. Someone assists them with getting into the hot springs as they do not have use of their legs. One of them looks like a veteran with military tattoos and what appeared to be a war scar down his entire back. He sat beside my cousin on the steps inside the hot springs pool. My cousin shares with him how great the hot springs feels and he responds, “I can feel my spine.” I was moved and thought about the Ute Indians and how they were really on to something special. As we waded around in the hot springs under the black night, I thought about how special
this place was and the benefits it brings to so many.
The Pullman After slowly retreating from the hot springs, we decide to explore downtown Glenwood Springs taking in the shops and sounds. It is a beautiful night and we feel revitalized from soaking in the mineral-rich water. For dinner, we decide on experiencing the downtown restaurant, The Pullman. This American eatery seats 80 with another 12 seats at the inviting bar. I noticed the subway tiles and distressed concrete the restaurant utilized as materials. It is a relaxed setting and the homemade bread is delicious. I enjoy the special of the night; squid ink cavatelli and had the opportunity to catch up with the Chef Taylor Wolters, who explained her technique for making this special dish. First, she sears the blanched pasta in oil to cara-
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melize and develop flavor then adding shallot and some chili flake to the pan. Then there is a deglaze with white wine and finished with herbs and butter. For the seafood, she steams the mussels and calamari in some of the octopus poaching liquid. To present the dish, she puts some snow pea puree in the bottom of the dish and then makes a small mound with the pasta and calamari. The mussels are placed around the dish to show the beautiful meat inside their shells. To finish the plate, she adds some of the octopus that has been sliced very thin tossed with the pea tendrils and oregano vinaigrette. And finally, pecorino cheese is grated over the top. It was marvelous! My cousin enjoys the Colorado lamb sirloin with olive panzanella, roasted romas, basil, cauliflower and crisp garlic. My daughter keeps it simple with chicken fingers and fries. We enjoy the atmosphere in a small setting with great food. And it only cost $70 for all three of us. A steal! After dinner, we walk through downtown with our bodies still reaping the benefits of the hot springs and a delicious dinner.
Snow Day The next day, we enjoy breakfast at the poolside grill at the Lodge before heading to the Burton U.S. Open. The Grill offers a variety of breakfast and lunch options and guest enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast with your stay. The fresh smoothies are a great way to start your day. I had never been to any type of snowboarding competitions, so the Burton U.S. Open was a great place to start. It was exhilarating to watch the snowboarders on the half pipe fly into the air and spin around so effortlessly. I even got to see the famous snowboarder, Shaun White dazzle the crowd and take the win. And although the altitude reminded me of my mortal state, I was delighted to experience something different. The weekend trip went by quick, but grateful for the quality time we got to spend with our cousin. He showed us a glimpse of the snowboarding world and we shared our favorite Hamish and Andy clips. Enlightened with the benefits of the hot springs the Ute Indians call, â€œBig Medicine,â€? we head back home. For more information, visit hotspringspool.com and to make Lodge reservations, call 1-800-537-7946.
Squid ink cavatelli at The Pullman.
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do you have the deltaâ€™s cutest kid? We are searching for our August cover model! Contest entries will open on May 1st and voting on June 1st
Please email entry to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Secrets Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
GET READY FOR SUMMER TRAVEL DIANNE NEWCOMER
n baseball, spring training is when important decisions are made. Players want to turn heads, maybe show they are good enough to take that next step ... and it is usually a big one. Coaches and general managers always hope to be pleasantly surprised. Yet, sometimes, they are bummed beyond belief by the events of spring training. Everyone fears having the rug pulled out from underneath them with an injury, and no one ever wants to sputter out at the wrong time. In short, the pressure is always there. Everybody has something to prove. To turn heads with a strong showing is the goal of every player during what often becomes a make it--or break it--time. For managers, spring training is their chance to learn more and be better prepared when the real play starts. In many ways, spring break vacations are very much like baseball's spring training camps. In my world of travel, expectations are always high when it comes to vacations. Everyone wants those special “wow” moments that will turn heads and make lifetime memories. No one wants to be bummed beyond belief or to have unwanted surprises when it comes to a vacation, and that is exactly what got me to thinking. I thought it might be fun to share the stories of some local travelers' spring break trips with you today. This way, you can be like a coach and see tor yourself exactly what is
"out there." Who knows? You might even find a new game, a place you never thought about before. At the very least, it could help you get ready for the "playing" season that is just around the corner! These folks have already put in the work and the effort to make their spring break memorable. Now, all you have to do is follow their lead and call the travel coaches at Monroe Travel Service,1908 Glenmar (right next door to the Muffin Tin) and let us put you in the game because the summer season is almost here. Since you need to be play, here are a couple of ideas for you field:
Paradisus Playa del Carmen Esmeralda, Mexico First up to the plate … the Neitz family of Monroe, who spent five nights at the Paradisus Playa del Carmen Esmeralda for spring break! If you are looking for star treatment, this place is it! According to Eddie and Kindra Neitz, the Paradisus Esmeralda is their alltime favorite all inclusive; a luxury playground for kids and adults alike. This beautiful resort has 14 world class restaurants and 16 bars. Families have all sorts of activities to choose from and, since you have your very own family concierge, it is hard to miss out on anything. Our four kids loved it. Corder, our youngest, particularly enjoyed all the activities in
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the Kids Zone program, but we all had a great time in the two huge lagoon pools and the ocean. The weather, the beach, the food, and the resort had everything we had wanted and more in our spring break getaway! I also must tell you the staff and service was excellent, too. If you want a top notch family vacation that is fun, upscale and easy to get to, then, our family would highly recommend the Paradisus Playa del Carmen Esmeralda!
Costa Rica The next trip stepping up to the plate is one taken by the Hopper family, who played fast and hard in Costa Rica for spring break! “This trip is all about Hayden,” said Susan and Kevin Hopper when they came into Monroe Travel Service and asked about a spring break getaway. They knew they wanted a beach trip for 7-year old son Hayden, but travel consultant Rob Newcomer convinced them to go a little wild and head to Costa Rica for a most unique beach adventure! After much thoughtful consideration, this family of three flew to Liberia, Costa Rica and spent five nights at the Riu Palace, a fun resort on the beach of Guanacaste, where Hayden's adventure never stopped. Just ask, they will tell you — or, better yet, check out some of the fun moments of Hayden's big adventure: While the Hoppers played in the Guanacaste area, Rob and I were exploring an entirely different area of Costa Rica with our daughter Lori and granddaughter Madelyn, who was also on spring break from Neville.
PHOTOS COURTESY DIANNE NEWCOMER
The Neitz family in Playa del Carmen.
We had chosen to stay at the Dreams Las Mareas, a stunning all-inclusive family resort situated almost on the Nicaraguan border in northern Costa Rica. Like the Hoppers, we enjoyed all the sun and water sports, but I suppose hanging out with the monkeys and the occasional raccoon who would visit us while we dined was some of the most unusual nightly entertainment we had ever experienced. In Costa Rica, you just never knew who or what would pop in and share your adventure, and that is just one of the reasons why a Costa Rica vacation is so much fun.
Disneyworld, Orlando, Florida Of course, if you plan to run with the big boys, you must be able to play long and hard…and there is nothing like spending spring break at Disneyworld to test your playing condition! Accompanied by her father, David Hage, Susan and Paul Hosea from Newellton headed off to Orlando with sons Christian and Levi for their seven-night spring break getaway at Disneyworld's beautiful Contemporary Resort. “It was an absolute blast!! Everything couldn’t have been more perfect — even if I did not take time out to go to the spa. My boys got to ride their first roller coaster and loved it. Mickey Mouse actually delivered a birthday cake to Levi, and we all sang to him. I took
lots of pictures. The scooter you rented for daddy was perfect. He was able to keep up (sometimes we had a hard time keeping up with him) and when the boys got tired of walking, they rode on it with him. I sooooo didn’t want to come home. Everyone there was so nice and helpful — It was just such a totally magical week for all of us!? Exclaimed Susan.
New York City Of course, into some lives some rain must fall ... and trips, like life, just does not go our way. This is exactly what happened to the spring break plans of Suzy and Ericka Cherene, Pamala and Sydni Knight, and Marilyn and Desirae Bedgood. Mother Nature did not just rain on their parade, she dumped the wildest, coldest snow storm of the year in their path for spring break! Yet, this little band of travelers were true champions as they endured their spring break trip to New York City. ”The secret to our good time was we just kept moving," laughed Suzy, "because it kept us from freezing to death! It was slow going sometimes, but we still saw a whole lot. Probably the absolute highlight for everyone was the Broadway play "Wicked." My daughter, Ericka, said she did not think she breathed the whole time--and we all understood exactly what she meant! We all plan to return to the
The Hoppers fishing in Costa Rica
Big Apple one day soon— but without the snow boots and rain gear!”
Secrets Resort, Dominican Republic So, it seems, in spite of rain, sleet, snow or even a few years, nothing stops us from making the most of our spring break fun. Why, just take a look at the Crazy Sistahs, six dear friends, who just got back from the Secrets Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic! Who could ever suggest these happy faces weren't having the time of their lives? The purpose of their trip was to celebrate the 80th birthday of Sistah Lois Hoover—and, of course, savor some warm sunshine, party with friends, eat food they did not make, and drink some wine. I'm guessing these ladies can teach us all how to make spring break last a lifetime. Enjoying their time together are from left: Arlene Ballenger, Gretchen Hamel, Carol Dougall,Laura Sledge, Lois Hoover, and Kay Katz. There you have it, folks. Spring break may be done, but not the fun memories. Don't miss out. Summer vacation season is just around the corner. It's time to swing for the fence! Dianne Newcomer is a travel agent at Monroe Travel Service, 1908 Glenmar in Monroe. Contact her at (318) 323-3465 or email email@example.com
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8 TIPS FOR CREATING A
OUTSIDE RETREAT N BY ROSE YOUNG-LEE
ow, that spring has arrived, the mildto-warm temperatures and sunny days beckon for us to relax outside. Although, we all would love to enjoy our natural surroundings in a peaceful, undisturbed setting, the reality of flying pests (mosquitoes, wasps, bees, flies, etc.) and creepy crawlers (spiders, geckos, snakes, etc.) often make doing so difficult, if not completely impossible. To increase the likelihood of relaxation in a calm and soothing external environment, certain features should be incorporated into the outside setting. While the following elements are recommended to maximize outdoor enjoyment, for those days when inclement weather prevent outside activities, it is always nice to have a cozy interior spot with a picturesque exterior view from which to enjoy the natural surroundings. Remember, creating an outdoor retreat does not have to be an expensive endeavor. Of course, weather-resistant furniture and materials are outdoor living essentials; however, many of the recommended features can be created with what is already available or can be purchased economically. Add a cold glass of water, lemonade or other refreshments and “take it outside.” Rose Young-Lee is a Northeast Louisiana Master Gardener.
Hanging Ferns liven up and outdoor space.
PHOTOS: ROSE YOUNG-LEE
Popular outdoor options & décor 1. A decorative water feature may be small or large, like the one installed in front of a recently built home in my neighborhood. 2. Porch rockers offer a peaceful spot to enjoy a cool drink with a friend or a temporary respite from outside labor. 3. Decorative pillows and container plants add color and ambiance to the outside area. 4. An open deck with outdoor drapes or a screened-in, roofed porch provides both comfort and protection from outside pests. 5. A back stoop with a pair of chairs can be used as a temporary spot to enjoy a quiet moment outside. 6. Scrolled ironwork or other metal work on exterior walls adds interest to bare walls. 7. Colorful, fragrant foliage help to soothe the senses and entertain the eyes. 8. A cozy interior spot with outside views is essential for outside viewing on those days when excessive heat or inclement weather prevent outside activities. Decorative Water Fountain.
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DIAMOND IN DALLAS
MONROE GARDEN CLUB EXPLORES THE DALLAS ARBORETUM GEORGIANN POTTS
embers and guests had been anticipating this most recent presentation on the Dallas Arboretum for months. Margaret Duncan and Nancy Nance, volunteers at the worldfamous arboretum, gave a slide presentation on the history of the arboretum, the physical properties, the glorious gardens and the people who made it all possible. Everyone present was mesmerized by slide after slide of gorgeous vistas and flower profiles, each more impressive than the last. Junkin, a retired elementary grade teacher, began the presentation with an excellent review of the arboretum’s historical background. She followed this with a visual “walking tour” of the gardens and grounds. She pointed out that the arboretum opened in 1984 and has continued to grow ever since. There are now 66 acres that comprise the arboretum grounds. As she was showing slides of some of the exquisite gardens, Junkin paused and said, “Our horticulturists are artists!” Everyone agreed with her. Among the many charming special events at the arboretum that Junkin spoke about was the annual “Twelve Days of Christmas” tableau. The arboretum’s gazebos are transformed into magical ballrooms filled with dancing ladies with each gazebo representing one the 12 gifts. The ladies are covered in lovely gowns made entirely of flowers and plants. At night, the gazebos glow with color that delights visitors. Following Junkin’s talk, Nance spoke to the group about the plant trials program ongoing at the arboretum. A Master Gardener, Nance is part of the volunteer Speaker’s Bureau for the arboretum. She explained there are 20 gardens within the arboretum that require daily care through-
PHOTOS: GEORGIANN POTTS
Guest speakers Margaret Duncan, Nancy Nance and MGC president Jane Conway.
A bunny rabbit holding a basket of fresh blooms greets ladies at the entrance to Bayou DeSiard Country Club, offering a lovely lilac to all who enter.
out the year in order to thrive. The climate averages 30 days with over 100 degree temperatures. This creates a clear challenge, and also makes the arboretum an ideal geographic location for plant trials. “We plant 500,000 bulbs every year that we import from Holland,” Nance explained. “They arrive in November and are stored onsite in a 18-wheeler. We begin the planting immediately after Thanksgiving.” The bulbs are hyacinth, tulip, and daffodils.
Debbie Ryan, Brenda Adams and Susan Robinson.
Nance noted that whimsy is a major part of the arboretum’s attraction. The best example is the two vintage Volkswagen vans that are planted entirely with flowers and greenery. This “Make Love, Not War” salute to the ‘60’s was first done a few years ago and proved so popular that it was brought back this year, according to Nance. Greeting the ladies at the entrance to Bayou DeSiard Country Club was a delightful bunny rabbit, holding a basket of fresh blooms and offering a lovely lilac to all who entered. Opposite the bunny was a sign that read “Welcome to Peter Rabbit’s Secret Garden — Bursting Bulbs”. Behind each on either side were the club’s urns filled to overflowing with asparagus fern, ivy, and assorted greenery all “overlooked” by towering flowering quince branches. Once inside, the clever theme continued. The entry foyer table featured another whimsical rabbit, this one pushing a cart filed to overflowing with assorted white blooms — callas, tulips, and roses. Interspersed among the stems was glorious English ivy that spilled over the cart’s edge and trailed beyond the tableaux. In the great hall, yet another rabbit held court. Here Peter Rabbit stood proudly surrounded
by his garden of floral delights. Iris, tulips, lilies, callas, and daffodils provided a riot of spring colors against the greenery. A cloth of cream burlap provided the foundation for the lovely scene. The ladies enjoyed a delicious brunch featuring cake doughnuts lightly dusted with cinnamon and sugar, a medley of fresh fruits, buttery croissants, date bars and a spicy breakfast frittata. Fresh juice and coffee completed the menu. Centering the brunch table was a simple arrangement of white tulips and garden greenery all held in a white ceramic vase. Lisa Lawrence chaired the lovely affair, together with cochairs Sherri McCraw and Donna Payne. Offering able assistance were members of their hostess committee Billie Barringer, Mary Jane Bentley, Theda Birdsong, Sheryl Gillian, Phyllis Gordon, Pam Hansen, Beverly Jarrell, Nancy Johnston, Kay Katz, Judy Marx, Susan Marx, Janet Masur, Sylvia Masur, Connie Mott, Sharon Scott, Carol Strass, Mary Williams, Phala Wright, and Mary Frances Young. For more information, please visit www.monroegardenclub.com and like us on Facebook.
DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | M AY 2 017 | 10 7
E S S A L G N U S R A WE
! S E Y E R U O Y TO PROTECT
! T I G N I O D D O O G OOK
Larger frames and wrap-around styles provide lthough there’s no way to deny how great
extra UV protection by blocking rays that come
you look in that killer pair of shades, there’s a real
from the side. Frames should fit snuggly on your
reason to wear them! On top of being an awesome
nose and ears, but not pinch or rub.
fashion accessory, sunglasses protect you from various forms of ultraviolet light, increasing optical clarity in bright conditions while reducing the risk
You may want to go with gray or green lenses
of damage to your eyes. Sunglasses are essential
because they’re neutral and don’t change color. If
for people exposed to high levels of Ultraviolet (UV)
you want to see more contrast, choose brown. Just
light during activities like snowsports, watersports
keep in mind that brown may distort colors a bit.
and driving in bright weather. When purchasing sunglasses, one of the most important things to look for is 100% (UV) protection. Even though the
If you’re active in sports, the opticians at Haik
sun is 93 million miles away, the ultraviolet (UV)
Humble Eye Center can help you select glasses
rays it emits can be a factor in causing cataracts,
and lenses that can protect your eyes and help
macular degeneration and growths on the eye,
optimize your performance.
Children and teens also need to protect their eyes
Talk to the eye experts at Haik Humble Eye
from the sun. We get 75-80% of our UV exposure
Center about the advantages of these lenses and
before we turn 18, so it’s especially important that
whether they’re right for you. Different lens shapes
kids wear sunglasses from an early age.
compliment the most common face shapes— oval, square, triangular and round.
To block out all of the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, the best sunglasses will have a “UV 400” rating or state “100% UVA/UVB protection.” This
A$20 pair of sunglasses can look pretty similar
means they will provide full ocular safety against
to a $150 pair, so why pay more? The difference
the detrimental effects of UV radiation. Good to
is in the technology, which offers more comfort,
know, but how easy is it to find said protection in
durability and performance. For around-town
a fashionable form? When it comes to choosing
wear and while driving, an inexpensive casual pair
sunglasses, determining your face size and shape
may be all that you need. But for regular outdoor
is important because it will help you find a better
activities, performance sunglasses are usually well
fitting, more functional pair of sunglasses. Proper
worth the investment.
fitting sunglasses can give you a stylish look all your own. Here are some tips that will keep your peepers protected and looking pretty:
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WHY YOU'LL WANT TO
ROSÉ ALL DAY! I JORDAN STEPP
’m open to trying new things. Aside from attempting to rock a pixie cut, I’ve found expanding your comfort zone offers a rush of sorts. However; when it comes to wine, I don’t stray far from my tried-andtrue reds. Grenache and Syrah will forever be my first choice. But, I’ve tried a new wine that I can’t stop thinking about: rosé. At a barbecue last month, the host poured a glass of a salmon-colored rosé. After seeing the color, I was immediately put off. The host urged everyone to try so I gave in and tasted. I couldn’t believe the flavors bursting with such bright and crisp notes. I was transported from a backyard barbecue to a picnic in the country – snacking on green apples with a triple-crème, breathing fresh, summer air and enjoying rosé. The wine paired perfectly with our smoked meats, summer salads and (surprisingly) s’mores later in the evening. Safe to say, I found my new summer drink. What is Rosé? The name Rosé means “pink” in French. Rosé first became famous in Provence, where the wine is most produced. Let me assure you that rosé is not made by mixing white wine with red wine. In 2009, the French Commission proposed new laws that would allow winemakers to produce rosé that is made by mixing white and red wine. Considering that Provence drinks more rosé than white wine, it’s understandable that the winemakers protested the proposal until it was withdrawn. The process of making rosé is very similar to making other wines. All grapes when pressed, produce clear juice. Color is achieved through maceration. Maceration is a meet-and-greet for grape skins and the juice of those pressed grapes. Skins bleed into the juice forming the yellow or red color. Some red wines ferment for weeks at a time on red grape skins, rosé is stained red anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Skins are removed when the color is ideal to the winemaker. Rosé is best enjoyed fresh – not suitable for aging. Rosé is best served cold and pairs wonderfully with almost every food. My current rosé obsession is the 2016 Milbrandt Rosé ($12–$15) perfect for sitting on the porch on a Sunday afternoon. Milbrandt Rosé is dry with crisp melon and tart cherry flavors. This rosé also makes a killer sangria! Don’t be fooled by the color- rosé all day! Salut!
DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | M AY 2 017 | 10 9
RIVER CRUISING SIMPLE, SAFE ADVENTURE FOR EVERY GENERATION REBECCA BINGHAM
y mother and I represent the top two tiers of four living generations in our family. Sure, we love celebrating holidays and sharing vacations in all the traditional extended-family ways. But a few months ago – just before Thanksgiving – she and I booked a last-minute, seven-night European river cruise with AmaWaterways, sailing along the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel. Just the two of us. And it turned out to be one of the most fun times of our adult lives. For starters, river cruising is one of the simplest and safest ways to travel. Basically, all you need is a passport and a suitcase. Budgeting is fairly straightforward for trips like this one, where nearly everything except gratuities is included in the package price. With a little more advanced planning – usually a year ahead of the trip – you can snag
some super deals, which even include free or highly discounted airfare. A couple of days after we paid a deposit to confirm our reservation, a detailed itinerary complete with transfer vouchers arrived by overnight carrier. When our flight landed in Amsterdam, we simply looked for the representative holding a sign for AmaWaterways guests and joined others for the short van ride to our ship, which felt a lot like a luxury yacht. And because you’re not sailing the ocean, you never have to worry about getting seasick.
Ship amenities For us, another big advantage to river cruising is being able to unpack once and wake up in a different city each day. Although the size of the staterooms (160350 sq. ft.) can’t compare with a standard hotel suite, ours included a seating area plus ample desk and closet space, as well as the convenience of a French balcony. European bedding is plush, show-
PHOTOS: REBECCA BINGHAM
River cruising is no longer the exclusive domain of couples. AmaWaterways creates special group activities that encourage passengers traveling alone to feel welcome and included. My mother and I especially enjoyed sunrise yoga, afternoon tea and world-class live entertainment after dinner.
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On an AmaWaterways river cruise, you won’t just pass through a town; you will customize your experience in each port of call by selecting activities from a menu of shore excursions. Whatever your physical agility – gentle walker, regular or active – you discover exceptional sights and historical treasures.
ers have multiple heads and the WiFi works better than that on most other ships I’ve sailed, partly because owners Rudy Schreiner and Kristin Karst – who regularly travel on their ships, by the way – invest in local digital infrastructure so their passengers aren’t stuck with slow and often unreliable satellite service. What’s more, because AmaCerto holds a maximum 130 passengers, we always felt safe and well-cared for by the staff, each of whom continually greeted us by name – which blew me away, especially since we weren’t wearing big blazing nametags! And of course, we loved each little towel sculpture carefully created and displayed on our bed by our cabin steward.
A palate-pleasing voyage Every aspect of an AmaWaterways river cruise is bathed in understated elegance and tasteful luxury, perhaps nowhere more obvious than in the dining room. To help that happen, Executive Chef Primus Perchtold, winner of three gold medals at the European Championship of Culinary Art, oversees the menus of all the cruises in Europe. This doesn’t mean that every meal is a multicourse affair with successive displays of culinary art on the plate – although that happens often enough! What it does mean is that every menu is thoughtfully conceived, delightfully presented and served with genuine hospitality that is attentive but not intrusive. Those of us with special dietary preferences and restrictions are never fussed over, but rather are respectfully offered appropriate optional selections. No matter which river you sail, AmaWaterways treats her guests to regional food favorites like goulash while cruising through Hungary, bratwurst and sauerkraut after returning to the ship from Vienna, or Camembert cheese while on the Seine. If that doesn’t appeal to your taste buds, no worries. Every menu also includes traditional Western options. At breakfast, you can sip Mimosas with fresh pastries and other selections from the buffet or opt for something made-to-order from the menu. For drinks, you can enjoy complimentary unlimited wine, beer, delightful zero-alcohol mocktails or soft drinks. You may also order from the full bar anytime. A full com-
Legendary rivers of Europe have been celebrated for centuries in prose and song. Serving as major highways during the rise and fall of ancient civilizations, these waterways continue their roles as commercial and cultural viaducts for citizens and tourists alike. Sections like the Rhine River Gorge are lined with the ruins of Medieval castles and fortresses on the hills and with more recently established villages along the banks.
plement of coffees and teas is available around the clock for caffeine addicts like me. My favorite dining experience is the Chef’s Table, an intimate affair of no more than 28 people (in our case, seated in two separate private dining rooms) who share a special multi-course meal paired with wine or other beverages, as an opportunity to meet other travelers and make new friends.
Customized shore excursions and optional activities Another thing we love about AmaWaterways is the option to choose which activities to enjoy together – like photographing the majestic Gothic cathedral in Cologne, sharing hot chocolate thick as melted nougat bars in the university town of Heidelberg and huddling in a gondola for an afternoon ride on Amsterdam’s legendary city canals. Occasionally, we split up: Mom, for a late morning comprehensive bus tour of Strasbourg; I, for an extended bike tour through the cobbled streets of Old Town, where buses are prohibited. In every case, shore excursions offer three options to accommodate travelers of all physical abilities: slowwalker, regular and active. Occasionally, if the ship is ahead of schedule and weather permits, the cruise manager organizes an impromptu activity. One night, for instance, while we were
docked in Breisach, he offered a 9 p.m. walk about town. Out of 130 passengers, 99 of us went with him, despite near-freezing temperatures! Although it was too chilly for my bones to get wet, some of our fellow passengers took a dip in the sun deck pool. A few others took advantage of onboard massages and the hair salon. Everybody seemed to take turns in the library. And many of us worked off calories on the walking track and in the fitness room.
Other itineraries The hardest part of a cruise like this is saying goodbye to folks who have become your new friends. The next most difficult thing is finding a cure for the obsession to do another cruise somewhere else. AmaWaterways continues to expand their fleet as well as their itineraries. If your idea of adventure is the magic of a more distant and unfamiliar land, you might try a cruise on the Mekong for a taste of Vietnam and Cambodia; the Chobe, a combination of river and land expeditions in Africa; or the Ayeyarwady to discover mystical Myanmar (Burma). Wherever and whenever you travel, every AmaWaterways cruise guarantees customized opportunities to see the sights, as well as to be immersed in the destination you visit.
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BOOKS TO READ THIS MONTH M BETH RICKS
other's Day is celebrated with enthusiasm in over 46 countries around the world. And although these celebrations take place at different dates and months, what is remarkably similar are the feelings with which people honor the special maternal figures in their lives. Children of all ages and nationalities enjoy treating their mothers to thoughtful gifts and cards. It is a time to stop, reflect, and honor those who work so hard at keeping the family in sync. Happy Mother's Day. Feliz Dia de las Madres. Furaha Ya Mama Siku. It doesn't matter how you say it, the sentiment is the same: Happy Mother's Day, Mom. We love you. Thank you. You are the center of our family and for that, we are grateful. Mother's Day: A historical perspective England was one of the first countries to set aside a day for honoring mothers. In the UK, Mother's Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. It's called Mothering Sunday. During medieval times, poor families often sent their children off to work as domestic servants or apprentices to rich families. Their rare day off was traditionally granted during the Lenten season, so they could worship the Virgin Mary and visit their home, "mother church" and their families. Many used to pick flowers from the verges along the way to leave in the church or hand to their mothers when they got home. Special cakes called Mothering Cakes or Simnel Cakes (the holiday even used to be known as Refreshment Sunday because the strict Lent fasting rules were put aside for the holiday). Though this custom stopped when the Industrial Revolution altered the working and living patterns of the people, one Sunday for Mothers was established as a holiday in the 20th century. Mother's Day: An American tradition In the United States, Mother's Day did not become an official holiday until 1915. Its establishment was due largely to the perseverance and love of one daughter, Anna Jarvis. As a girl, Anna had helped her mother take care of her garden, mostly filled with white carnations, her mother's favorite flower. When Mrs. Jarvis died on May 5, 1905, Anna was determined
STUDIOGSTOCK, GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO
Mother's Day will be celebrated on Sunday, May 14 in the United States.
to honor her and she asked the minister at her church in West Virginia to give a sermon in her mother's memory who not only honored Mrs. Jarvis but also all of the mothers in attendance. Anna began a letter-writing campaign to garner support for a national Mother's Day holiday and sent a stream of solicitations for support of the idea. She believed that mothers deserved their own special day and that it would help strengthen family bonds. Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. Mother's Day: An international celebration Everywhere in the world, families take time to shower their mothers with love, care and gifts. Here is a glimpse of a variety of today's worldwide Mother's Day celebrations: India — Hindus in India celebrate the
goddess Durga, or Divine Mother, during a 10-day festival called Durga Puja in October. Durga Puja celebrates the triumph of good over evil and is earmarked by gifts given to friends and family, as well as feasts and celebrations. Serbia — This country needs three days to fully acknowledge their mothers and the spirit of family. Mother's Day takes place in December and is part of a series of holidays including Children's Day and Father's Day Ethiopia — Another country which celebrates for three days ... Mother's Day is celebrated at the end of the fall rainy season, as part of the Antrosht festival, dedicated to moms. When the weather clears up and the skies empty of rain, family members come home to celebrate with a large feast. Daughters traditionally bring vegetables, butter, spices and cheese, while the sons bring meat of various types, including lamb or bull. These
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COURTESY FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX
Escargot by Dashka Slater COURTESY CLARION
We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement that Defied Adolf Hitler
will be included in a traditional hash recipe. Singing and dancing is shared by all family members. Japan — Young children draw pictures called "My Mother" and enter them into an exhibit. This exhibit of pictures then travels to many different countries around the world. Sweden — Mors Dag (Mother's Day) is celebrated on the last Sunday in May. The Swedish Red Cross sells little plastic flowers in the days leading up to Mother's Day then uses the money to support mothers and their children in need. Mexico — Mother's Day, or Dia de las Madres, is May 10 in Mexico. It's a hugely popular occasion celebrated throughout the country, with special events sponsored by schools, churches, cities, and civic groups. The family tradition is for sons and daughters to come to their mother's house on the eve of Mother's Day (May 9). Festive Mother's Day masses, handmade gifts, flowers, cards, and children's' school presentations are also often part of the nationwide observance. However you choose to celebrate this holiday, honor the amazing mothers in your life in a way that celebrates and acknowledges family, history, and appreciation for Mom's sacrifices, support, and most importantly, love.
Books I'm reading now: "Escargot" by Dashka Slater (grades pre-K-1). Escargot is a delightful French snail who is very impressed with his shiny tail and the way that he glides when he moves. Escargot has one thing on his mind ... to get to the delicious salad at the end of the table. But, when he arrives, "Quelle Horreur!" There is a carrot! And, Escargot despises carrots, but with a little help from the reader, Escargot may just learn to appreciate trying something new. "Little Fox in the Forest" by Stephanie
COURTESY FLATIRON BOOKS
Graegin (grades pre- K-2). This wordless picture book, told in a series of frames, details the story of a girl who has lost her toy fox. As she searches for her favorite animal, we see that a young fox has found it first and dashed away with it into the forest. With each turn of the page, the illustrations come to life as the colors fade from dark washes of gray to the soft shades of nature — orange, green, brown, and yellow. The wordless format will provide lots of opportunity for young readers to infer emotions, plot, and narrative as well as appreciate what it means to engage in a truly selfless act of kindness. "See You in the Cosmos" by Jack Cheng (grades 4-7). For fans of "Wonder" comes a new voice that will have readers rooting for space-obsessed Alex Petroski. Alex has dreams of launching his iPod into space a la Carl Sagen and has been recording his experiences on Earth so that aliens will have an understanding of life among humans. The novel consists of these "recordings" and is an interesting stream-ofconsciousness read into Alex's emotional point of view. While the level is middle school, the content seems more young adult. This is a thoughtful book that will inspire compassion and hope. "Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere" by Elise Gravel (grades 2-5). This new series is a wonderful addition to the genre of beginning chapter graphic novels. For fans of "Captain Underpants," readers will love Olga and her obsession with science and be just a fascinated as she is at the discovery of a new species.
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the olgamus ridiculus. The text is humorous, weird, and big on the visual gags. The combination of science, hypothesis, recognizable real-life complications, and general wackiness will delight younger readers who are waiting for the next Wimpy Kid. "Caraval" by Stephanie Garber (grades 9 and up). This is an amazing book that will take readers on a wild roller coaster ride through a magical game, Caraval. The story follows two sisters, Scarlett and Tella, who live with their cruel and powerful father on a tiny, isolated island. When Scarlett's father reveals that he has arranged for her to be married, Scarlett panics and fears that she will never be able to see Caraval, a once-a-year performance of a magical circus/carnaval where the audience is invited to participate in the show. But when Tella is kidnapped by Caraval's master organizer, Stella must find her first or suffer dangerous consequences. "We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement that Defied Adolf Hitler" by Russell Freedman (grades 6-8). This powerful story of siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl will inspire readers to be moved by the courage and strength of these two youth who stood up against the Nazi regime. While their friends enjoyed being part of the Hitler Youth Movement, Hans and Sophie questioned the brainwashing and the unrelenting messages that conflicted with their views of enforced conformity. Secretly, they joined the White Rose Student Resistance Movement and began publishing pamphlets that spoke out against Hitler and the Nazi establishment. Events will take a dark turn, but Freedman handles them gracefully and with dignity for his subject. This is a fascinating, well-documented treatment of a lesser known aspect of WW II. Beth J. Ricks is the head of school at Grace Episcopal School. She can be contacted at 318-322-5837 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 3rd • 3-6pm At the Origin Bank Riverwalk BEER BY: Choice Brands, Inc., Flying Tiger Brewery,
FOOD TRUCKS ON SITE:
International Wine & Spirits, Marsala Beverage, Ouachita Brewing Co, and a variety of homebrewers
2 Dudes Catering and Wayne vs. the Winnebago
Live Music by Josh Ezell & Early Ray Borden - This is always a sellout event GET YOUR TICKETS BEFORE THEY ARE SOLD OUT!
Available at brewfest17.eventbrite.com Sponsors: Glenwood Regional Medical Center, Lamar Advertising, AmeriPride, Delta Disposals, ESPN Radio, Lagniappe Broadcasting, Los Abydos Podcast, Avocado’s, Monroe Civic Center, Choice Brands, Inc., Downtown Monroe Alliance, DeltaStyle, The News-Star, International Wine & Spirits, Marsala Beverage, Flying Tiger Brewery, and Ouachita Brewing Company
DoMoBrewFest.com DELTA STYLE MAGA ZI N E | M AY 2 017 | 115
Vases that Dr. Bill Wright brought back from WWII in his duffle bag
THE HOME JOURNEY
Local bungalow owner walks us through the history in his home CINDY & GERALD INGRAM
Chinese Prayer doll from Clowe Wright
laiborne Smelser has many talents and interests including: real estate agent, house flipper and interior and home designer. Smelser hails from a long line of the original Monroe developers and his remodeled bungalow over flows with charm and history. The bungalow was built in 1965 and previously owned by Mildred Hindmans. Upon arrival at the front door, the brass knocker reflects days gone by. Across the threshold is an open space that was once many tiny rooms â€” typical for 1960's-era construction. In the adjacent dining area, the centerpiece for the table is a vase full of cotton stems and bolls from one of his relative's farms.
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"I always keep cotton on my table as a reflection of and reminder of my heritage," Smelser said. "My dad was a cotton farmer. His family owned Glendora Plantation up by the Horseshoe Lake Road." When the Smelser family moved to town from Glendora Plantation, many treasures were put away. The large 1940s-style mirror with gold leaf on the edges in the living area has a history. It fell from a moving truck and broke into, as they say, a million pieces. The pieces were gathered up and put away. Claiborne eventually took the mirror to a local frame shop to be restored. After many weeks and much work, the mirror was restored to its glory. On his TV table, which is a primitive with a butcher-block top, are two vases hand carried by his grandfather, Dr. Bill Wright Jr., from China in World War II. The
Bronze doorknocker from Glendora Plantation.
Antique clock in Smelser home.
living area has two classic sofas and a solid mahogany carving of a man. “This is not a family item, but something I purchased while working for Safari Marketplace in high school," he said. "I never took home a paycheck. I started collecting things that I loved around 16, planning for when I could put them into a home." The bedroom has a beautiful carved bed from one of the many estate sales he's attended through the years. The set — from the 1940's or earlier — has several large pieces he has divided between two rooms. This is Smelser's second time to live in this bungalow. He rented the house while he was in college and he always told its then-owner Miss Mildred he wanted the house if she ever wanted to sell it. Nine years later, he received a call from one of Miss Mildred's family members telling him that it was written in her will, and asked if he still wanted it. That began the journey to make the house, his home with his own unique flair and sense of history. Since he purchased the house, he’s filled it with treasures, many from Clowe Wright, “the” Monroe decorator in ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. “After Clowe became ill, I would visit her at cocktail time,” Claiborne said. “And she would almost always give me one of her treasures, to be remember by me.”
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212 WALNUT STREET MONROE, LA 71201 (318) 323-3461 WWW.MONROE.ORG Find us on Facebook!
U.S. Congressman Ralph Abraham
Young Professionals Meet at Sage
Young Professionals Meet at SQ’s in April
Higher Education Lunch
Ambassador Lunch April
Ribbon Cuttings/Ground Breakings
Mel’s Cajun Fried Chicken & Catfish
Terri’s Tax Service
C’est La Vie
Kim’s You Nique Boutique
Affinity Clinic Broadmoor
RiverMarket Phase II
Bank of Ruston
First South Farm Credit
Pelican State Credit Union
Vantage State Building
Downs Law Firm
Paramount Healthcare Consultants
Barbara T. Bonner Music Arts
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THE FASCINATING, YET UNCLEAR, HISTORY OF THE MARGARITA STAFF REPORT
here have been many controversial stories about the history of the margarita. It is most certainly the most wellknown tequila cocktail in the world. It is served shaken, blended or straight up, it even has its own glass! But what’s the history behind this famous drink? As with most drinks, nobody knows their exact origin, and many have taken credit! There are dozens of stories of the Margarita’s creation. Here are a few:
Early 1930s: Agua Caliente Racetrack in Tijuana and Bertita’s Bar in Tasca, Mexico both claimed to have created the margarita. 1935: A bartender at Las Dos Republicas in Matamoros, Mexico supposedly created the drink for a guest named Marguerite Hemery. She loved the cocktail, and he named the drink after her – the “Marguerita” 1936: Danny Negrete was a bartender at the Hotel GarciCrespo in Puebla, Mexico. The drink was a wedding present to his brother’s fiancé, Margarita.
1937: John Durlesser was Head barman of the Los Angeles bar, McHenry’s Tail O’ the Cock Restaurant, and claims to have invented the cocktail as a tribute to a girlfriend. 1938: Carlos “Danny” Herrera supposedly created the cocktail for a showgirl named Majorie King who was allergic to most spirits, but not Tequila. The owner of the “La Plaza” bar in San Diego knew Herrera and visited frequently, and was also known for popularizing the Margarita in San Diego in the 40’s. Albert Hernandex, bartender at the La Plaza, also confirmed this story.
1940’s: Enrique Bastate Gutierrez worked at The Foreign Club in Tijuana where Margarita Carmen Cansino (Stage name: Rita Hayworth) worked as part of a dance act. Gutierrez claims to have invented the Margarita in the dancer’s honor. 1941: Margarita Henkel visited Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico. The bartender there, Don Carlos, had been experimenting with drinks and offered her one of his recent concoctions. It was served in a salt-rimmed glass over ice. Don Carlos named the drink after Margarita, as she was the first to try it.
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CAMROCKER, GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO
1942: Francisco Morales created the Margarita on July 4, 1942 in a bar called Tommy’s Place in the El Paso-Juarex area. Morales was asked to create a Magnolia – a drink he didn’t know. Instead, he whipped up a drink – that the customer loved. It became the Margarita. Morales moved to the US and became a milkman for 25 years. 1948: Margaret “Margarita” Sames was a rich, young Texas socialite and was hosting a Christmas party at her home in Acapulco. The story goes, Sames was challenged to create a cocktail and the result was the Margarita. 1958: The first mention in print of a Margarita cocktail is 1953 issue of Esquire magazine where it states simply that, ‘She’s from Mexico, Señores, and she is lovely to look at, exciting and provocative’.
TO WHOMEVER CREATED IT, WE SAY THANK YOU! ENJOY SOME OF THESE RECIPES FROM FOODNETWORK.COM THIS CINCO DE MAYO:
Classic margarita Rub the rim of 4 rocks glasses with lime; dip in coarse salt. Fill three-quarters of the way with ice. Combine 1 cup tequila, 2/3 cup fresh lime juice, 1/3 cup orangeflavored liqueur and 2 teaspoons superfine sugar in a cocktail shaker. Shake well, then pour into the glasses. Garnish with lime.
Pomegranate Margarita » 1⁄4 cup pomegranate juice, store bought is fine, plus seeds for garnish » 1⁄3 cup Tequila Blanco (about 4 ounces) » 1⁄8 cup Triple Sec (about 1-ounce) » 1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 ounces) » 12 ounces ice cubes » margarita salt, optional Combine all ingredients, except salt, in a blender and pulse until frothy and well combined. Rim glasses with lime juice using a lime wedge then dip in margarita salt, drop some fresh pomegranate seeds in the bottom of the glass and pour margarita mix over the top.
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Jalapeño margarita Make a big batch of margaritas with a twist. Pulse 1 thin slice jalapeno, a handful of celery leaves, 6 ounces fresh lime juice and a spoonful of confectioners' sugar in a blender. Mix with 16 ounces tequila and 8 ounces orange liqueur in a pitcher; chill. Serve on the rocks in salt-rimmed glasses.
Mango margarita » 3 tablespoons kosher salt » 2 cups ice » 1 lime, juiced » 1 orange, juiced » 2 cups mango nectar » Tequila (optional) » Lime wedges, for garnish Spread the salt out onto a small dish. Dip the rims of 4 margarita glasses in water and then dip them into the salt. Into a blender, add the ice, lime juice, orange juice, mango nectar, and 4 shots of tequila, if desired. Blend until smooth. Pour into the prepared glasses and garnish with a lime wedge
Saturday May 20th
Tastings from 11am to 3pm RiverMarket shopping from 10am to 4pm
TICKETS: 25 in advance at ritas-on-the-river.eventbrite.com $ 30 at the door (if we do not sell out)
Join the DōMo Text club by texting DOMO to 51660 to receive $5 off your ticket to ‘Ritas on the River and other RiverMarket events!
EVENTS: • Shopping, food, and live music at the Origin Bank RiverMarket from 10am to 4pm • The day will feature tastings from 12 different restaurants and bars from the area as they compete for bragging rights. • Winners announced at 3:30 Best Dressed, Best Classic, People’s Choice, Best Alternative Flavor • Fun activities like pin the tail on the donkey, a limbo competition, and more! • Chiweenie and Chihuahua race
This event sold out so quickly in 2016 that more tickets had to be added, and those sold out in less than 24 hours
•Brass Monkey Pub & Patio •Portico Restaurant & Bar Monroe •Iron Cactus •Trapp’s/Fieldhouse Bar & Grill •Warehouse No.1 Restaurant •Restaurant Cotton •El Jarrito Mexican Grill & Cantina •Neat/Pickle Barrel •El Chico Cafe •Corner Bar •Chili’s Grill & Bar •SQ’s on the Ouachita
RIVERMARKET SPONSORS • Origin Bank
• Monroe Civic Center • Spherion Staffing • Choice Brands, Inc. • Downtown Monroe Alliance • City of Monroe • Monroe-West Monroe Convention & Visitors Bureau • Bear’s Towing
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Go Red for Women Declaration
GO RED FOR WOMEN®
“Let’s Unite” Go Red for Women Event Luncheon, Runway Show, and Silent Auction Thursday, May 25th West Monroe Convention Center
Go Red for Women
Go Red for Women
Go Red for Women Go Red for Women
Go Red for Women
Go Red for Women Go Red for Women 877-726-9355
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