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Louisiana Road Trips


Ruby Revelry By Christina Traylor Rusca\ The Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival is celebrating its Ruby Anniversary, and everyone is invited to join in a celebration that is forty years in the making. Hailed as the largest free festival in Louisiana - second only to Mardi Gras - the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival consistently packs the small southern town of Ponchatoula with visitors from far and wide who arrive ready to experience all the thrills, delicacies, entertainment and hospitality festival weekend has to offer. To mark its fortieth anniversary, directors promise festival-goers that this will be the best Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival to date. Held annually on the second full weekend in April, the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival was founded with the purpose of supporting local strawberry farmers while providing a fundraising opportunity for non-profit, civic organizations throughout the community. Forty successful years later, more than 300,000 visitors are welcomed each year to celebrate the ruby red jewel of the south - the sweet, delicious strawberry. 2011 Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival Chairman Leslie Fontenot says, “On behalf of the festival board, I'm proud to welcome everyone to the fortieth year of this amazing and unique festival that attracts people from all over the world. The festival's roots run deep in tradition, and for one weekend out of the year our guests are invited to share in the history, agriculture and way of life here in Ponchatoula, Louisiana that make our town and our festival truly one of a kind.” Putting on a festival of this magnitude is no easy achievement, and the forty member board of directors charged with producing each year's festival work year-round to ensure its success. Mark your calendars now and plan to spend April 8-10 enjoying the live entertainment, great food, thrilling carnival rides and attractions for which the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival is renowned. Join thousands of spectators for the annual Strawberry Festival Parade, billed as one of the largest festival parades in the south. Participate in good old-fashioned family games including auction. There's always something for everyone at the world's sack races, egg tosses and - of course - strawberry eating contests. Come bid on sweetest festival, the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival. For a the sweetest, juiciest award-winning berries to be had at the annual strawberry complete listing of events, visit

Forty successful years later, more than 300,000 visitors are welcomed each year.

Battle of Pleasant Hill Come witness history at the re-enactment of the Battle of Pleasant Hill. On April 9, 1864 the Rebel forces launched an ambitious assault against the newly reinforced Federals at Pleasant Hill. The bloody battle

that ensued was one of the final Confederate victories of the Civil War and effectively prolonged the war as it re-moralized a weary Rebel army. Enjoy the reenactment as part of the annual commemoration of the Battle of

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Pleasant Hill. Events and attractions include a Beauty Pageant, parade, mail call, open camp activities, Church service, period dance, sutlers, food, arts and crafts, and the re-enactments. Re-enactments take place on the


actual battleground where the Battle of Pleasant Hill was fought. This is a family event and the only cost is for parking--$5 per car. Bring your lawn chairs and come for the day!



By Shellie Tomlinson

LRT Publications

"What an Interesting Career Move" Hello folks, it's always nice to visit with y'all in the pages of Mona's delightful magazine. Make yourselves comfortable and let's chat…~smile~ Heaven help us all. I've recently learned that some people are paying other people big money to toilet-train their children. These professional potty training consultants help anxious parents teach their reluctant kids to do the do for the low-low cost of $250 per consult. My friend Paulette says these folks have too much money and not enough sense, and we should get in on it, but as the responsible host of All Things Southern, I can't in good conscience take advantage of these people. I'm even willing to throw in a few pointers free gratis, southern pro bono, if you will. I read where one potty professional believes the secret to getting the uninterested interested is to offer the child a “Potty Party” and let them help plan it. Dear hearts, anyone who has ever washed out a pair of soiled training pants understands clapping and cheering for their wee one's next masterpiece as if it was solid gold, but sending invitations is overkill. Besides, if Sweet Cheeks can help make out the guest list, you've already waited too long. Seriously, I've wanted to weigh in on this one ever since I first noticed the increasingly mature age of the kids in today's diaper commercials, parading gleefully in their pull-ups and announcing, “I'm a big kid now!” Well, I reckon so. Y'all look old enough to drive! This can be blamed on the experts' silly notion that parents should let the child decide when he's ready to learn to potty. Wrong. My Southern Mama taught me and my sisters that our babies were born without shame, that's why they're perfectly willing to screw up their tiny faces and do the do in front of God and everybody. The signal to watch for is the day the little darlings start "hiding out" to do their business in their diapers. Of course, our toddlers tried their best to blow holes in Mama's toilet training instructions, and yours will, too, but, if you'll forgive the bad puns, just be firm; they'll come around. That's it for now. Holler at me if something is on your mind, if you have a story to share, or if you just want to say, "HI!" Until next month... ~Hugs, Shellie

All Things Southern


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

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

SALES Mona L. Hayden (318) 547-1221 Sunny Meriwether (318) 547-8126 Mark Cobb, Media Specialist / Sales • (318) 734-4894


Louisiana Road Trips magazine is published monthly to promote, inform, and entertain the residents of Louisiana. It is distributed FREE; however, home delivery is available. This magazine will reach approximately 56,000 individuals. Submission of articles and photos are always welcome but may be limited to availability of space and edited for content. Copyright 2011 with all rights reserved. Reproduction of any material appearing within this publication is prohibited without written permission of the Publishers. The opinions expressed in Louisiana Road Trips magazine are those of the authors or columnists and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products or services herein. “Louisiana Road Trips” magazine retains the right to refuse any advertisement.

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

Visit our website: Louisiana Road Trips



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

Talkin’ It Up! The sun is shining, the temps are rising, and much to the delight of gardeners and outdoorsy folks, the Spring season is on the horizon. Much to the delight of EVERYONE reading this issue, March kicks off the official Louisiana festival season. This month, we're celebrate everything from strawberries and crawfish to bayous and kites. Don't just take my word for it, keep turning the pages for details on each event. With nice weather and so much entertainment within driving distance, it's time to get serious about planning your next Louisiana Road Trip. On a more somber note, 2011 recognizes the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. History buffs can enjoy quite a few re-enactments across the state. This month we're even featuring a book review on Flora and Fauna in the Civil War that accurately describes the environment during this era based on a collection of authentic and timely documents. How's that for tying it all together? LOUISIANA ROAD TRIPS Magazine is proud to keep you updated on the best of country living and city happenings so make sure you pick up a printed copy or read the latest issue online at In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine and festivities and let's keep in touch!

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

COVER CREDIT: These photographs were provided by the Pontchatoula Strawberry Festival, one of the largest free festivals in Louisiana.

ROAD TRIPS "Celebrating country living and city happenings!"




Landry Vineyards The Power of Pets Louisiana Herbs, LLC Louisiana Delta Community College


My Favorite Fishing Hole by Joe Joslin The Great Fuel Debate When Friendship is Sometimes Better by Johnny Wink

5 7 9 11 13 18 19 21 23 24

Talkin’ It Up! Wine, Dine & Find Spring Planting in Louisiana by Brenda Renee Louisiana Lagniappe – Remember When Fruits of Change by Mae Flager Backtalk March Calendar of Events Flora and Fauna of the Civil War Going Native by Larry Brock Whither Spring? Louisiana Lagniappe Answers



3 3 8 13 15 16




Ruby Revelry by Christine Traylor Rusca Battle of Pleasant Hill


Travel Adventure by Dianne Newcomer Traveling with an Injury/Disability


Hit the Road – by Deborah Burst Thrills and Frills in New Mexico Ski-Resorts

Kite Fest Louisiané - Come fly with us! Laissez les bons temps rouler! by Su Stella Boggy Bayou Festival

Recipes by Stacy Thornton

22-23 Best of Northeast Louisiana

On the Scene – by Deborah Burst Tennessee Williams Festival

by Sunny Meriwether

Battle of Port Hudson


Officer Down: The Murder of Officer William J. Haynie by Lora Peppers

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Hotels Around the World by Lee Estes Louisiana Sweet by Carolyn Files


All Things Southern by Shellie Tomlinson What an Interesting Career Move


A Life of Trial…and Error by Dennis Stewart Beware of Dogs That Read


Runnin’ the Roads by Barbara Sharik Tripping Along Life’s Highway the High Way

MONTHLY TIDBITS Louisiana Road Trips


Officer Down: The Murder of Officer William J. Haynie By Lora Peppers

We are now coming up on the first anniversary of Officer J.R. Searcy's death. This brings to mind another officer who fell in the line of duty in Monroe almost 116 years earlier, William J. Haynie. We know very little about Officer Haynie. According to the 1880 Morehouse Parish census, he was born in Alabama, was married to Virginia, and they ran a hotel in Bastrop. This census also states that his first name was William. He is listed on memorials and memorial websites as W.J. Haynie. We don't know his reason for joining the Monroe Police Department or how long he served. Officer Haynie earned a sad place in Monroe's history by being the first City of Monroe Police Officer to fall in the line of duty. What we know about his death comes from the following article found in the Richland Beacon-News, April 21, 1894. The headline blared: A TRAGEDY IN MONROE. The Monroe News gives the following account of the shooting in that city on Friday night of last week: It appears that two strangers, Henry Gulledge and J.O. Johnston, both of Lincoln parish, arrived in the city last evening and after nightfall started in to see the sights of the city. Later in the night they concluded to take in the town and going to the Ruby Bell house in the eastern portion were admitted. Hardly had they entered when Gulledge began cursing and raising a general racket. He then went to the kitchen, demanded a cup of coffee from the cook, drew his pistol and threatened to shoot if it was not forthcoming. “Ruby” thereupon interfered when he turned his wrath on her, drew a pistol and fired three shots at her, one of which lodged in the wardrobe in Ruby's room. Ruby then telephoned for the police and policeman Haynie responded to the call, but on his arrival they had left, and

getting on their trail he followed the men to Five Points, where Haynie was joined by policeman Hugh Biggar. The officers approached toward Gulledge and Johnston to arrest them, when the two started to run and Haynie called to them to halt. Instead of doing so Gulledge drew his pistol. Haynie told him to “drop the gun,” when Gulledge replied: “Ill drop it and opened fire, first on Hanie then on Biggar and the fire was returned. Gulledge receiving two wounds, one through the heart and one in the abdomen. J.O. Johnston, of Downsville, was with Gulledge and when the shooting commenced he drew his pistol, fired one shot at the policemen and then ran off up DeSiard street, but a telephone message preceded him and he was arrested in front of Garretson's Opera House a few minutes after the occurrence and is now in jail. RUBY BELL'S TESTIMONY: “This gentleman (pointing to Johnston) and the one that was killed were at my house last night and the other one went to the kitchen and told the cook he wanted a cup of coffee and cursed the cook and pulled his pistol, and I went to him and told him he must be quiet. He cursed me and tripped me up, and I asked him what he meant, and told him that I had protection and I would call an officer. I went in my room to find my police whistle. He followed me to my room door and fired three times, one of the balls hitting the wardrobe in my room. I sent for Mr. Haynie who came after the men had left.” She further stated that Johnston did not raise any disturbance and that he was trying to quiet Gulledge. MR. H. BIGGAR'S TESTIMONY: “I was in Johnsonville last night looking for a Negro I wanted to arrest and as I came back through Five Points I was told that Mr. Haynie wanted me. I came on up town and locked the Negro up and went back to Five Points. Two parties came along and went over to Henry Barnes, and at that time Mr. Haynie came

Gulledge began cursing and raising a general racket.

Louisiana Road Trips


up in Habevan's bus and got out. We walked down the street to Faulk & Renaud's and met the two men (Johnston and Gulledge) who began to run. Mr. Haynie called to them to “halt I want to see you,” and this gentleman (meaning Johnston) fired one shot and then run and kept running, but the other one stopped in a dark place across the street and began firing fast at Mr. Haynie and then at me. He leveled his pistol at me and I dropped to my knees and began firing at him.” Gulledge remarked, “well, gentlemen, you got me.” And Mr. Perry McCabe ran up and wrenched his pistol from him when he fell on his face. The coroner's jury rendered a verdict that W.J. Haynie came to his death by a shot from a pistol in the hands of Henry Gulledge and J.O. Johnston, and that Henry Gulledge came to his death by shots from a pistol in the hands of W.J. Haynie and Hugh Biggar in the discharge of their duties. J.O. Johnston is now in the parish jail to await a preliminary trial. Both men used 38 calibre S.&W. revolvers. Gulledge was a farmer living near Downsville, Lincoln parish, and leaves a wife and two children. Officer Haynie was shot in the stomach and lived only about one hour. He was a gallant member of Ouachita Fire Company No. 1, a member of the Knights of Pythias (Stonewall Lodge), and of Ouachita Lodge No. 2, L.O.O.F., by which orders he was buried in Bastrop, his former home. Officer Haynie was laid to rest in the Old Bastrop City Cemetery. Twelve years later, Virginia was buried beside him. Haynie was to be the first of six officers Monroe has lost in the line of duty through the years: Paul W. Hilton (1900), W.R. Roberts (1912), Tom Watson (1913), C.M. Earle (1920) and Sgt. Ocie Desay Howard (1961). The Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office has lost two now: Sheriff John H. Wisner (1870) and Corp. J.R. Searcy (2010). There is one more that I call the lost officer. He is not included on the Officer Down memorial page, probably because his town does not exist anymore. We don't even know his first name. Constable of the Ward and Policeman of the town, Constable Fitzgerald was patrolling the town of Trenton (now West Monroe), when he was gunned down in 1878. He left behind a wife and three children. Rest in peace. Lora Peppers, a Monroe native, grew up in Bastrop and graduated from ULM. Her love of history dates back to childhood when one of her favorite activities was visiting local cemeteries to examine headstones. She also loves to travel, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park being her favorite place on Earth. Her job as a genealogist and historian has given her the opportunity to lead many lectures and author several books. She can be reached by e-mail at

Wine, Dine & Find

Ladies, if you like to get your hands dirty and feel sweat trickling down your back as you welcome the Spring season, don't miss Ladies' Night Out at FSC in Mer Rouge. David Pipes and his staff at FSC in Mer Rouge have been potting hanging baskets, combining plants with a variety of textures and colors to be ready for the most discriminating gardener in early April. Coleus and potato vines especially will also be looking for a good home as well as several hundred Australian Sword Ferns, tall and straight, filling most of one greenhouse with a tropical flair. These ferns don't shed as much as Boston ferns which is a nice bonus. There's also a great selection of colorful bedding plants guaranteed to delight. Pea gravel, mulch, and potting soil are a few extras available. Local businesses like FSC provide exceptional customers service so, of course, someone will be glad to load up the sacks for you. Don't miss out on the prize drawings and take advantage of several professionals on hand offering their information and advice. There will also be refreshments provided by FSC Catering/Gifts, located inside FSC and owned/operated by Chesslye Pipes Sanson. This is a great way to sample many of Chesslye's goodies so you'll remember her catering service for your next event. Enjoy wine and punch along with dips, veggies, cheeses, and sweets as you shop the greenhouses and load up for Spring! As of press time, a firm date has not been set so please call (318) 6473681. The possibility of an early Spring has date specifics on hold right now but look for it in early April. We'll be sure to post it here as well. FCS is located at 206 South 14th in Mer Rouge.

Louisiana Road Trips


Catering & Gifts

318-647-3681 800-841-3543 Farm Supply Center Catering & Gifts 206 S. 14th Street P.O. Box 253 Mer Rouge, LA 71261 CHESSLYE PIPES SANSON Email:

Kite Fest Louisiane' - Come fly with us! April 1, 2 & 3, 2011, Kite Fest Louisiane will fill the skies with exotic and unique kites at The West Baton Rouge Soccer Complex in Port Allen, Louisiana (just off I-10 west of Baton Rouge, Exit #151 to Rosedale Road and Hwy 415.). Kite Fest Louisiane` is the only Kite Festival in the entire state. It will include an array of activities for children, families and adults of all ages presented by WBRZ-TV, The Advocate, Entergy, WYNK, West Baton Rouge Convention & Visitors Bureau, Lamar Advertising, Louisiana Office of Tourism, Placid, Miller Brewing Company, EMCO Technologies & ExxonMobil Excite. Kite Fest Louisiane will kickoff on Friday, April 1, 9am-2pm with Student Day offering an open invitation to all schools, educators and parents to bring students and children out for a field trip. “Educators and parents can develop lesson plans focusing on air, flight, or wind prior to the festival

and culminate that lesson plan by showing students how to build a kite and bring it to the Soccer Complex to fly,” says Sharon Boudreaux-Stam, Executive Director of the West Baton Rouge Convention & Visitors Bureau. Kite-building instructions are available by the festival in advance, upon request. Educators are encouraged to contact the WBR Convention & Visitors Bureau to reserve space and obtain information on how they can participate. Saturday and Sunday, April 2 & 3, from 11am-6pm, activities will include Sport Kite Demonstrations and Show Kite Musical Ballets by professional kite flyers, a Kite Design Competition, Children's KiteMaking Workshops, Kite Ground and Air Displays and Kite Flying Lessons, as well as Candy Drops, Bol Races for kids, Inflatable's and much more. Come fly with us! Central Texas Cloud Chasers Kite Team, Austin End of the Line, flying 2 line kites and from the

Louisiana Road Trips

Northeast Rev Riders flying 4 line Kites, are the featured kite flyers performing at the event. Gayle Woodul AKA Regional Director and Cory Gray will also be on hand as Safety & Field Coordinators and will be displaying large colorful kites. “Entergy is proud to be a presenting sponsor of the Kite Fest Louisiane because it will offer families and friends a fun-filled educational opportunity with an array of festivities for all to enjoy,” says Owen Cope.


Kite Fest Louisiane will encompass many facets and offer a real taste of Louisiana at the Louisiane Food & Beverage Court and Louisiana Travel Information just in time for summer vacation planning. Musical entertainment with be provided during the event by “Classic Sounds by Jude”. For general information about the festival or field trips, contact the WBR Convention & Visitors Bureau at 225-344-2920.

When you're in Tallulah, stop by the Madison Parish Tourism Commission and visit with the Director, Tina Johnson, to learn about all the local hidden gems. She knows the area well and can help you make the most of your visit. Tina can be reached at 1-888-744-8410 or 318-574-8519.

Spring Planting in Louisiana By Brenda Renee We are very fortunate to live in a moderate climate that allows for a richly diversified Spring planting season. While enjoying blooming tulips, forsythia, and azaleas, we can also design and plant our flower beds. Perennials offer long range possibilities but often vary in their bloom time while annuals bloom throughout the season but die with the first killing frost. Herbs can be perennial or annual; they bloom, but their appeal arises mainly in their functionality. Most gardeners are familiar with verbena because it is an easyto-care for versatile plant that provides lots of color. One of the best perennial verbenas for our area is “Homestead” verbena. It comes in purple and red, and blooms all the way up to December when winters are mild. It is a trailing plant that hugs the garden floor and withstands our

heat and dry summers quite nicely! Verbena bonariensis “Buenos Aires” is an upright verbena, often called “Candelabra Verbena”, and grows 3' tall. One of the few tall plants that does not need staking, it makes an open, airy addition to the back of a border. Clusters of bright violet flowers are held atop the candelabra branches like purple light bulbs. Verbena is typically “at the root” of any established flower bed. To add height and dimension to your garden, try Salvia. This comes in many sizes, forms, and colors. Salvia greggi is a woody type salvia that is more like a shrub. Salvia g. ”Navajo Bright Red” has a deep red bloom and grows 12-14” tall. Salvia g. “Lipstick” grows 24-30” tall with a pink rose bloom.

Salvia is loved by hummingbirds and butterflies alike.

Louisiana Road Trips

Salvia greggi covers itself in blooms Summer through Fall. It can be planted in your shrub border as well as your flower bed. Salvia microphylla “Hot Lips” is very much like the greggi varieties but tends to mound and has smaller leaves. It grows 12-14” tall with bi-color red and white blooms. Salvia is loved by hummingbirds and butterflies alike. In the plant world, just as in the fashion world, we have designer brands. Simply Beautiful selection is continuously breeding newer, bolder, more improved annual varieties. “Black Velvet” is the first solid black petunia in the gardening world. “Phantom” has a black base with a yellow star pattern on the petals. It makes an excellent companion mixed with Black Velvet. “Pinstripe” is a deep purple with creamy white star patterning. These petunias make fantastic accent plants! Their height and spread is 8-12”. Petunias are sun lovers and make


excellent hanging basket and container plantings. The top requested herb is Basil due to its culinary and ornamental value. This tender annual relishes heat. Sweet Italian Basil is the most commonly used basil for cooking; however, other basils, such as Thai and Lemon offer just a dash of “other” to a recipe. “Boxwood” Basil forms a petite, round topiary ball and is also good for making pesto. Basil leaves can be used fresh or dried in cooking. Many herbs are important pollen and nectar sources for honeybees. The most aesthetic and useful flower garden includes perennials, annuals, and herbs combined together to make it visually interesting. It provides fresh plant material for use in the home and helps sustain wildlife species. What more could you ask for? Brenda Renee is the owner of Butterfly Haven Nursery. Look for her plants in local nurseries and garden centers. Visit


By Dianne Newcomer

Traveling with an Injury/Disability By Dianne Newcomer In “Walk a Mile in my Shoes”, the King of Rock used to croon…“If you could see you through my eyes…I believe you'd be surprised that you've been blind.” Thanks to a snow skiing accident in early December, I now “see” things differently. In the last 8 weeks, I have not driven a car, cooked a full meal, done the laundry, been to the grocery store, worked a full day at my travel agency, etc. According to my doctor, it's very likely to be another month before I can even put any weight on my leg. How I miss my former life! Everything has become an effort. I now over-think and anticipate my every move. How far will I have to maneuver? Will there be a place to sit comfortably if I use my walker or will the wheelchair be in the way? Is the bathroom accessible? Can I open the door? Is there parking near the wheelchair ramp? Is it worth the effort of getting dressed and loading up the car to even go out? What I have learned is patience is definitely a virtue. There is also a very special place in heaven for the caretaker, especially the one who understands asking for help is sometimes as difficult as giving it. Yet I am lucky as my doctor tells me within a month or so of hard work and therapy, I will be able to get my old life back. Some people don't get that second chance. Because I have now walked a mile in your shoes, I am no longer blind. I understand a little better what you go through and deeply respect the effort that you (and your caretaker) put into everything, so if you ever feel the need to run away, we need to talk!

Did you know that, in the world of travel, there has been a real effort to provide safe, easy and accessible accommodations for all persons with disabilities? Whatever your special needs may be - large-print or Braille menus, an amplified phone in your stateroom, or a lift transfer from the airport to the ship or at the ports of call - we can usually have it arranged with advance notice. For travelers with limited mobility, I think there is no easier vacation than a cruise. Many of today's new ships have wide wraparound promenade decks, spacious public rooms and larger staterooms. As your travel agent, we can arrange special wheelchair accessible staterooms with wide-entry doors, roll-in showers with grab bars, benches, and hand-held shower nozzles. We can even arrange to have a motorized scooter waiting for you at the pier that can be used on the ship as well as off the ship at ports of call! At MONROE TRAVEL SERVICE, we will work hard to make your cruise vacation exactly what you need it to be. Here are a few of the special needs we have handled for our clients: * Dialysis: If you require peritoneal dialysis, we can arrange for your fluid and equipment to be delivered to the ship. For travelers undergoing hemo dialysis, we know companies who specialize in this service so you won't need to worry. *Medical Oxygen: Travelers with respiratory needs can either bring your own oxygen and/or equipment or we can arrange to have oxygen delivered to the ship. Ask us for complete details! *Vision and Hearing Impaired: To help maximize your cruise experience, many of the cruise lines we represent offer sensory enhancements like infrared systems in the showrooms and theatres; Window-Eyes computer software that lets you navigate the web as you listen to the text; downloadable daily activities with screen readers and tactile alert for door knocker, the phone and the alarm clock. I certainly understand that getting out of town may not be the easiest

Louisiana Road Trips

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thing if you have a disability but I want you to at least think of it as a viable option. What fun it could afford! It might just be worth giving MONROE TRAVEL SERVICE - 323 3465 - a call and let us explore the possibilities? My recent experience also taught me how much more user friendly airports and the TSA have become for the handicapped. Think about it. Traveling always has challenges but by planning ahead, MONROE TRAVEL SERVICE can make a lot of the problems go away. Isn't it time to go have some fun and see the world?


By Dennis Stewart

Beware of Dogs That Read Poopeater for a couple of minutes, about long enough for a dog to run across a 40 acre field. Then Poopeater opened up again, “Wooo, Wooo, Wooo!” Hmm. “Just as I suspected”, said H.D. “Ole Poopeater was running across posted land!” The fact that Poopeater could read a “No Trespassing” sign impressed me. I gave H.D. $500 for him right on the spot. Big mistake. There is no bigger smartaleck than a dog that can read. I was shaving one morning and Poopeater was sitting on the toilet, reading a Monroe newspaper. “Hey B'wana,” said Poopeater. (B'wana is his affectionate nickname for me.) “Good news, B'wana. Says here that tests show that Rogaine actually works. Maybe you should try it.” Poopeater was smirking. “It's not a bald spot,” I said. “It's a solar panel for a sex machine,” I tell him. “B'wana, you couldn't get a date in a woman's prison with a pocketful of pardons” said Poopeater. Truth be told, I am somewhat jealous of Poopeater. He is quite a lady's man. Poopeater is the poster-dog for siring more puppies than he could ever possibly afford to support. They've even fastened posters with Poopeater's picture on telephone poles and fire hydrants as a warning to female dogs in heat. Poopeater has an incredible ego, which means I have to take every opportunity to cut him down to size. One day he and I were sitting on the front porch playing checkers and this stranger drove by. Then the stranger turned around and drove by again, this time real slow. The next time around he stopped 1. Where is Cooter's Point? and got out of his car and walked up the 2. What former Governor has a tabernacle named after him in steps and just stood there and watched me Jackson Parish? and Poopeater play checkers. Finally, the 3. Where is the deepest portion of stranger found his voice. “That is the most the Ouachita River? amazing thing I have ever seen in my life! 4. Who was the first southern That dog is actually playing checkers! That is governor to create a human just amazing!” Poopeater was grinning from relations commission? ear to ear, basking in the praise. “The dog 5. Who penned the Pulitzer Prize winning novel ain't that smart.” I snickered. “Sometimes I based on the career of beat him two games out of Huey P. Long? three.” Poopeater had a 6. What was Vidalia's original name? sarcastic leer on his face. 7. Which President's visit caused a town to be named What a smart-aleck. for him? 8. Why does Louisiana have the longest constitution? Dennis' black lab, 9. When Louisiana entered the Union in 1812, Poopeater, responds… what number did it enter as? I would like to thank 10. What LA Governor once said, “When I Ms. Mona for this took the oath of office, I didn't take any opportunity to set a vows of poverty”? few things straight. Answers on next page 24 The Great White Hunter,

I bought my mangy dog, Poopeater, the night I learned he could read. A group of us were fox hunting near Jigger in Franklin Parish. For those of you who are not familiar with fox hunting, what you do is drive way out in the woods with your dogs around 10 o'clock at night, turn them loose, build a big bon fire, remove your bottles of antifreeze from the liquor store plastic bags, and just listen while your dogs run a fox. You don't take guns because you don't shoot the fox. The pleasure of fox hunting comes from listening to the dogs and from being able to tell the dogs apart just from the sound of their barking in the darkness. The owner of the lead dog declares proudly, “That's my Jethro up front.” Someone else retorts, “The hell it is, that's my Beep-Beep.” On this particular night it was me, H.D., W.P, W.D. and Floyd. Poopeater belonged to H.D. back then, and Poopeater was running a fox all by himself. He must have been right on the fox's heels because he was barking like crazy. “Wooo, Wooo, Wooo!' All of a sudden, Poopeater went silent. “What happened to Poopeater?” someone asked. “Hush, hush!” replied H.D. There was not a sound from

Remove your bottles of antifreeze from the liquor store plastic bags, and just listen.

ouisiana Remember When . . .

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B'wana Dennis, has somehow created the myth that he possesses superior hunting skills. Believe me, I've been there for most of his “exploits”, and nothing could be further from the truth. Just this past December, the wood ducks finally returned to the duck hole on his tiny hunting tract in Richland Parish. The first afternoon he duck hunted, B'wana Dennis fired three shots and killed three wood ducks. The neighbors heard the shots and were waiting for him at his truck. They were amazed to see that he had three ducks to show for firing three shots. B'wana acted like it was no big deal, as if he seldom misses. Well, the truth is, wood ducks fly much too fast for B'wana to hit them, so he waits until they land and are swimming around. Then he pops them. I can't even remember the last time he shot at a duck flying. I was probably just a pup. B'wana has also created the myth that he is something of a ladies man. Har, har, har. What a joke! I was there when he met his present girlfriend. We were squirrel hunting and came upon the ugliest human I had ever seen. What was even weirder was although he had four dead squirrels hanging from his rope belt, he didn't have a gun! He and B'wana talked for a while, and finally B'wana asked him how he had killed the squirrels. The man replied that he was so ugly that he usually just walked through the woods and when a squirrel saw his ugly face, they would fall dead out of the tree. Then the man looked sad, saying he had a daughter who used to squirrel hunt with him using the same method but that she had grown so ugly she no longer could hunt because she tore the squirrels up too bad. B'wana begged for an introduction and they have been dating for six months now. B'wana has created another myth that he is some kind of humanitarian. You wouldn't think that if you saw what he feeds me. Table scraps. Which is pretty bad because the only thing B'wana knows how to cook is chili and Hamburger Helper. What I wouldn't give for a bowl of Gravy Train once a week. Chili nights are the roughest. The only redeeming feature is that on chili nights he gives me a little ice cream for dessert. The next morning I sit on the pot and howl, “Come on, ice cream!!!” Oh, oh, I've got to go now. B'wana wants to use the computer. Dennis Stewart grew up in northeast Louisiana, graduated from La Tech and LSU Law School. After having taught law at ULM and working as an Assistant District Attorney, Dennis is now a Hearing Officer in Rayville. He loves to hunt, fish, read, write, and shop on eBay.


By Pro Angler, Joe Joslin

The Great Fuel Debate EPA ignores with boats. Boat US says "A strong solvent, boaters in fuel debate ethanol has been known to degrade marine fuel - As boaters and systems, damage engines, add safety concerns, anglers, it is not like and lead to expensive repair bills." we don't already have Here's another scary statement by BoatUS: a challenge paying for "When filling up at gas stations, boaters are used expensive outboard motor oil (averaging $25 to pulling up to the pump and filling up the tow per gal) and high octane fuel. Does E15 sound vehicle first, and then putting the same fuel familiar to you? If not, it will before long. The nozzle into the boat," said BoatUS Director of beloved EPA (Enviromental Protection Damage Avoidance, Bob Adriance. Also adding Agency) just sent boaters and outboard "If that happens with E15, it could be a big engine manufacturers a message a few mistake." Gee, that's weeks ago: “ your with comforting. it!!" They (EPA) approved E15 (gasoline up What are some to 15% ethanol) with no testing on reasons boat engines outboard motors. E10 has been a challenge have more issues in and of itself and has caused boaters to with ethanol? add expensive additives (Staybil/Yamaha sheds Ring Free) to try and negate some of the some light on this problems that fuel made from grain seems question with one to cause. Does ethanol cause the same Author Joe Joslin gasing up his factor being gas is concerns for 4-stroke outboards as it does often stored in our new 2011 Skeeter 21 FX with E10. for 2-strokes? “Hold the phone, we're boat gas tanks longer working on that answer but so far have not than the 90 days recommended for ethanolfound solid info to say either way but early treated gas. While most car/truck owners indications say most likely.” replace fuel every two weeks, most boat owners One term in the ethanol issue is called do not. Replacing fuel every week or two 'phase separation' which happens when gas normally will successfully prevent the possibility becomes over-saturated with water, leading of water-contamination/phase separation which the water/ethanol mixture to separate from is one of the major issues of ethanol. the gasoline and fall to the bottom of the tank They also state that "boat engines live in a (where the engine's fuel pickup is located). water environment and alcohol gas loves to absorb water." Ethanol gas can absorb large However, since ethanol absorbs water more amounts of water into the fuel tank, MTBE (ether readily than gasoline and it burns harmlessly additive) in conventional gasoline did not. In through the engine, adding more ethanol to addition, boat engines usually last longer than gas will decrease the chance for phase cars and using a marine engine from the 70's or separation. You'd think that would be a good 80's is not uncommon. These older engine parts thing, right? However, as you increase the and tanks were not usually designed or tested to amount of water in ethanol, this mixture also withstand the damaging effects of alcohol gas becomes more acidic, increasing the potential to corrode metal, engine parts plus aluminum and some older marine engines (prior 1992) have plastic and rubber parts and fiberglass tanks that fuel tanks. Also keep in mind that once gas are not compatible with E10 alcohol fuel not to has phase separated, the only remedy is to mention E15. completely empty the tank. Boat US, one of Hold your favorite Skeeter/Yamaha hat the groups fighting the E15 issue, generally because Boat US says all of this means that feels that fuel additives are a good thing but when E15 starts to appear in gasoline stations, evidence of any additive being able to restore boaters must heed the warning (EPA Sticker phase-separated gas back to its original state saying E15 is NOT approved for boat engines) has not been documented. on the pump and shouldn't even think about Another huge concern for boaters is that using it in a boat. marine engines are only warranted for use Presently, we have no choice if E15 is with up to 10% (E10) ethanol. While E15 allowed to happen. We can hope that with could be fine for your tow vehicle, it's not some new leadership in the government this good nor is it authorized by the EPA for use

can be delayed at least until there is another fuel choice or the outboard industry can figure out how engines can use the alcohol/grain gas.Not everyone is in favor of this EPA move. Besides the boating industry's opposition to E15 for mechanical reasons, there are those that feel strongly about the U.S. being much more aggressive when it comes to exploring/drilling for the huge amounts of oil reserves we have in the ground/bays/oceans. There are also those who feel that taking huge amounts of sugar cane/grains out of food services for fuel drives up food costs, and trends would agree. In the meantime we can hope E15 never makes it to the gas pump. One way to minimize the bad impact of ethanol is to use your boat more freguently to keep fresh fuel on board. Now that's the best reason I have heard in favor of E15. Fish more!!! And the wife asks,"Now can you repeat what you just said about why you are going to fish more?" I reply, "Yes, my dear, you see..there's this organization call the EPA and " be continued. Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler, and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or or

Visit our website: Louisiana Road Trips

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Laissez les bons temps rouler! Let the good times roll!

by Su Stella Mardi Gras is more than catching colorful beads and scrambling for assorted trinkets while jazz music fills the air. “Mardi Gras” is French for “Fat Tuesday” which ends Carnivals party season. That's when all the feathers, glitz and glam get put back into their boxes and you recuperate because Wednesday morning brings a trip to church for Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. For the next 40 days and nights it is a time of fasting, or abstaining from one's decadent pleasures. For those friends of Jesus, this is time to reflect and honor the 40 days that Jesus fasted and prayed. Leading up to Lent is the fun and merriment of Mardi Gras, usually sponsored by “Krewes”. Originally, the Krewes were secret men's clubs but fortunately “The Krewe of Iris” was founded in 1922 by the type of women that made history, the cool ones! Krewes today are a mix of families and friends spanning all ages and generations who throw fancy balls and parties and lucky for the rest of us, they bring the party to the streets with awesome parades. Members of the Krewes work really hard and spend a lot of their own money preparing for these events. If you can get to the Barnwell Art Center and Memorial Garden in Shreveport on Clyde Fant Parkway before

March 6th, you'll see many of the local Krewes memorabilia and galleries filled with local art, including two pieces of mine. If you're lucky enough to get to New Orleans on Fat Tuesday, do it! There's nothing like the real NOLA parades. If you think parades are just for kids, or have that 'did it' attitude, please rethink this and enjoy your local celebrations (what if the Mayans are right?). Ok, I admit it. I am one of those 'Damn Yankees' but in my own defense, my Grandparents immigrated in the early 1900's and stopped just outside of Boston so they could afford to get all the family into America. If funds allowed, they would have gone South. I know this because my Mom always said we were “People with Flavor” not like regular people. Her food was always the first empty dish at every potluck dinner. FLAVOR…Louisiana is flavor in every sense of the word, including all the five senses… and the something extra Lagniappe! Weird as it sounds, “I am so lucky to have moved to Louisiana after hurricane Katrina.” I love this state for its wonderful everything. I love Mardi Gras so much that I threw off my Art Institute of Boston snobbery and embraced my *inner glitter* as an art tool. I now create my own line of Mardi Gras Soap. Guess I got the PurpleGreenGold Fever! I hope you catch some, too.

Fruits of Change By Mae Flager

Can you feel it, the electricity in the air, the hum of life bursting out all around us? March blows out the stagnation of winter and ushers in the wild energy of spring. All the early bloomers are peeking their heads out of the chilly ground - glory-of-the-snow, common snowdrop, netted iris, and spring snowflake. Of course, we can't forget the showstoppers crocus and daffodil. All this new growth makes me anxious to plant. I always have seeds left over from years before and want to make sure I get the most from them. Seeds that can be saved for a year are aster, candytuft, columbine, ornamental onion, honesty, kochia, phlox, salvia, strawflower and vinca. Some common flower seeds viable for more than one year if stored properly are alyssum, calendula, centaurea, coreopsis, cosmos, marigold, nasturtium, nigella, petunia, salpiglossis, scabiosa, schizanthus, sweet pea, verbena, viola and zinnia. Veggie seeds can be saved as well and usually keep for a year. I've found the best way to save seeds is to start with a large sterile jar with a tight fighting lid. Fill a small open bag with a _ cup of powdered milk and place this in the jar. This will absorb any moisture in the air that might cause the seeds to germinate. Then I place the seeds in a labeled envelope and put in the jar, which goes in the refrigerator till I'm ready to plant. Along with all the flowers, March brings insect pests back to the garden. To protect young trees from oak moth larvae, spray liberally with Bacillus thuringiensis. Slugs and snails can be handpicked from the garden or baited with dry cat or dog food. You can also use inverted cabbage leaves as the pests will use it as a shelter and then you can dispose of them all at once. Copper is a good deterrent as it gives snails and slugs a shock on contact. Copper flashing can be wrapped around tree trunks, flower pots, and raised beds to keep the creepy crawlers out. Just make sure the cooper is wide enough to prevent slugs from lifting themselves over it. A 6-8-inch piece works fine. Another trick involves burying a small dish in the yard so the rim is at ground level and filling it with beer or a mixture of yeast and honey water. The insects will crawl in and drown. Aphids are also a problem this time of year. Neem oil is an excellent organic pesticide for aphids. You can also blast them off plants with a strong stream of water. I hope this March brings rejuvenation to not just your garden but to all the energy in your life. May this Spring be filled with all the possibilities of renewal and all the tools we need to grow those seeds into the fruits of change. Mae Flager is a native Floridian who's enjoying her new north Louisiana habitat. A writer and gardener, she enjoys digging in the dirt and seeing what grows. Please let her know if you have thoughts, suggestions, or gardening tips that just must see the light of day,

Louisiana Road Trips

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Landry Vineyards An unlikely gem lies nestled in the rolling hills southwest of West Monroe. Landry Vineyards moved up to northeast Louisiana from Folsom not long after Hurricane Katrina's devastation in 2005. Jeff and Libby Landry and their four sons now nurture their vines on 20 acres on New Natchitoches Road; the vineyard includes a tasting room as well as the winery. The family encourages drop-in visitors to the tasting room, but asks that they call ahead Monday through Friday at (318) 557-9050 so they can be prepared to welcome you. On Saturdays, the tasting room is open from 11am until 5:30pm. The tasting fee is $5 per person but waived with the purchase of one bottle per person. Landry Vineyards produces a variety of wines designed to compliment Louisiana cuisine and to suit every palate. They include Blackberry Merlot, a semi-sweet combination of blackberry wine and Merlot; Blanc Dry, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Blanc du Bois; a Blanc du Bois Semi-Sweet; a Blueberry Merlot Semi-Sweet; a Dry Merlot, a blend of Norton/Cynthiana and Merlot; a Merlot Semi-Sweet, a fruit-forward styling: and of course, a wine made from Louisiana's native grape, a Muscadine Blush. The winery also sponsors a concert series each year, with the first event kicking off on March 19th and continuing each month through November. For more details and driving directions, visit their website at

Ouachita River Art Gallery

308 Trenton Street • West Monroe, LA 71291

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

The Power of Pets Did you know your pet is a multi-faceted professional? He doesn't need years of schooling to be able to help you get into shape, be happier about your life, and have better physical health. Personal Trainer - Next time your dog wants to walk around the block or jog through the woods, go and enjoy the exercise. Fetch, tug-of-war, and Frisbee are other fun games to play with your dog to improve fitness. Psychologist - “Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms,” stated novelist George Eliot. An animal does not mind what our pasts hold, how we dress, or if we didn't get that promotion. A true friend through good times and bad, a pet is always offering unconditional love. Doctor - By encouraging exercise and decreasing stress levels, pets also improve the physical health of humans. It's been proven that pets can decrease your odds of suffering a heart attack and the recovery time, improve cholesterol levels and vital signs, decrease frequency of minor illnesses, and help prevent depression. Spend time with him, give him the love and attention he deserves, and he will give you more than you could ever imagine! Louisiana Road Trips

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Boggy Bayou Festival Plans are in full swing for the Boggy Bayou Trail Ride on March 19, 2011 and the 26th Annual Boggy Bayou Festival to be held on April 1, 2, & 3, 2011. There's still time to reserve a vendor booth so contact Christy Ortego at 337-599-2031 weekdays from 8am-4pm. Boggy Bayou Festival, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to raise funds for Prairie Manor Nursing Home located in Pine Prairie, Louisiana. Throughout the years, Boggy Bayou Festival has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars for the purchase of equipment used to care for the residents at Prairie Manor Nursing Home. This exceptional facility puts the needs of its residents first, making it a very special place in the community. Prairie Manor Nursing Home Board and Administrative Staff recognize how hard the Boggy Bayou Festival Board Members and the entire community pull together for this common goal and would like to extend their heartfelt thanks and appreciation. Please make plans to attend the 26th Annual Boggy Bayou Festival, located _ mile south of Pine Prairie, LA, just off Highway 13. Bring your lawn chairs and family and friends to enjoy all the festivities and have a good time at this most entertaining fundraiser!

For effective, low-cost advertising, call

Mona L. Hayden

(318) 547-1221 Louisiana Road Trips

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On the Scene

Tennessee Williams Festival By Deborah Burst

anniversary March 23-27, and on March 26 the The festival reaches all genres of writing centennial birthday of their namesake, the and writers, fiction and non-fiction, authors lauded and journalists, poets and songwriters. playwright, Besides the Literary Late Night at area Tennessee nightclubs, a must see is the Sunday morning Williams. He program at the Palm Court Jazz Café with called New noted jazz musicians and Irvin Mayfield Orleans his reading from his new book and performing “spiritual new tracks from his recent CD. home,” and In addition to lessons learned from this many literary lofty list, perhaps the most treasured gift is the enthusiasts gift of gab for a cloistered freelancer who agree. The fivecraves shop talk. At the end of the festival I day fête am inspired, motivated and moved in features master knowing there are others who know the pain classes; of a blank screen and the frustration of denial distinguished letters. . panelists; Deborah Burst, freelance writer and photographer, lives celebrity interviews; comedy improv and a and writes in the piney woods of Mandeville. After a 30year stint in banking, she graduated from Tulane in poetry slam; short fiction, poetry and one-act 2003. Her work has appeared in regional, national, and play competitions; a breakfast book club; international publications. A personal translator blessed French Quarter literary walking tours; a book with an emotional art form, Deb discovers the food, fair; special evening events and parties; theater, culture, and people along the backroads each month in food and music events; and the infamous Stella Louisiana Road Trips. shouting contest. Some of the literary luminaries include Pulitzer Prize Breston Youngblood says he has always winner Robert Olen been interested in herbs and botany. Butler, Winston Following his heart, he recently established Groom (Forrest Gump; Vicksburg, 1963); Jason Louisiana Herbs LLC to grow herbs and Berry, author, reporter promote the health benefits of both culinary preparation and their medicinal use. “My and film director mission is simple,” says Breston. “I grow (Vows of Silence); herbs for healing, herbs to help, herbs for syndicated advice columnist and author health, and herbs for happiness.” Louisiana Herbs is located at 276 Amy Dickinson; bestBreston Lane off Highway 165, just 4 miles selling mystery north of Columbia, on the grounds of the writers John oldest plantation home in Caldwell Parish - Breston Plantation. Connolly, Laura Breston says, “Here you'll find fresh cut herbs for culinary use, for Lippman and Nevada both the personal and professional chefs. If you want a particular herb Barr, and inimitable that I may not have, let me know and I will grow it for your kitchen or filmmaker, writer and garden. Right now we have heirloom tomatoes started in a greenhouse artist John Waters. and they'll be available year round, as well as fresh cayenne peppers and a wide variety of culinary herbs.” Breston also encourages For more information, call 1-800-990-3378 (FEST), or visit gardeners to plants their own herbs and heirloom tomatoes so he sells the Festival website at for every plant that he grows. “Our goal is to provide quality over regular updates, an online Festival program book, ticketing, quantity with Louisiana home grown pride. We grow most everything and information on how to become a “Friend of Tennessee.” from seed unless it's faster easier to propagate from cuttings, like mint and rosemary. Some plants cannot be duplicated except by cuttings Host hotel with special TWF rates: Royal Sonesta Hotel such as blueberries and figs.” New Orleans, 300 Bourbon Street, New Orleans, LA, Contact Breston at 318-450-2100 or email him at 504.586.0300 Groups are welcome, just call to make arrangements.

If you're looking for a creative palette, the city of New Orleans never disappoints. A true southern belle, she woos visitors with sultry street-side musicians, cayenne soaked gumbos, and the oozing beauty of garden mansions and French Quarter cottages. But did you know she is home to a very elite clan of literary legends? Her southern charm and hospitality offer visitors a soothing climate in year long festivities toasted by mint juleps and sassy Sazeracs. Just as one holiday fades away, another takes its place. Of course we use the term “holiday” loosely with Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, and for me, the Tennessee Williams Festival (TWF). Recently I compared the festival to a spring time Christmas. Just as my New Year's resolutions are tucked away (never to be found again), I start counting the days to the TWF. My first visit began after reading Mike Tidwell's book on Louisiana's vanishing coast titled Bayou Farewell. He appeared as a panelist on environmental writing and fell in love with the state after hitchhiking on shrimp boats along the ailing coastline. I continued to follow him in subsequent TWF appearances and recall his comments on the New Orleans weather, a nice break from the Chesapeake Bay area, “…you leave the bleak landscapes of the northeast to green grass and flowering wisteria.” And he's right. In the last weekend of March the French Quarter gardens are spiked with azaleas and wisteria. But there's so much more. I have gained a wealth of personal friends and colleagues along the way, a tribute to the festival in gathering hundreds of people who share a passion for the arts. My contacts led me to two panel assignments, moderator of a travel writing panel in 2008 and a blogging panelist in 2009. This will be a banner year for the Tennessee Williams Festival celebrating its 25th

Louisiana Road Trips

Louisiana Herbs, LLC

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Battle of Port Hudson The siege of Port Hudson began on May 23, 1863, pitting roughly 30,000 Union troops against 6,800 Confederates. On the morning of May 27, and again on June 14, the Union army launched ferocious assaults against the 4-1/2 mile long string of fortifications protecting the river batteries near Port Hudson. These actions constituted some of the most severe and bloodiest

fighting of the entire Civil war. Places such as Fort Desperate, the Priest Cap, Slaughter's Field and the Citadel became names forever etched in the pages of American Civil War history. With the fall of Vicksburg, Confederate officers realized nothing could be gained by continuing the defense of Port Hudson. Surrender terms were negotiated and on July 9, 1863,

after 48 days and thousands of casualties on both sides, the Union army entered Port Hudson. Port Hudson is significant for another reason too, for it was here that African-American soldiers - in the First and Third Louisiana Native Guards - in the regular United States Army first participated in an assault. The Office of State Parks acquired the land encompassing a

majority of the Port Hudson battlefield in 1965, and the site opened to the public with a museum, trails and interpretive exhibits in 1982. In 1974 the Port Hudson battlefield was designated as a National Historic Landmark. The battle is re-enacted yearly in late March.

Regarding Deb Burst's article in memory of Anna MarieCatori (February 2011)... “This probably will be the last time she (Anna Marie) appears in the paper. How she loved being in the paper. She had so much more to do with her life, so many more projects, books, and people to reach… It's very nice. It made her dad cry. Mary C. (mom) “I want to thank you for the touching tribute you wrote for Anna Marie... She was truly an incredible person and had the spirit of an angel here on earth. I know that these kind words mean a great deal to her parents. Thank you.” JoAnn D.

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When Friendship is Sometimes Better By Johnny Wink

In my opinion, friendship is best kind of relationship because it can last a lifetime whereas sex can only last a few minutes. Have you ever wondered why the anticipation is so much fun? Why, before it happens, you think of all the things you can do and how much fun it's going to be and then after it happens, all of a sudden, everything changes? You ask yourself, what have I done? Now, you're stuck with just one person. Now I can't go play with other girls, even just for fun. I can't stay out late with the guys because she'll think I'm trying to find another girl. And with all the technical trackers like texting and Twitter, she'll want to know your every move. Now wait just a minute. Before we had sex it was great. We talked a little. We texted a little. We did stuff with the guys. We did stuff with other women. We were friends. But once we stepped over the line, it was all over. Three minutes of my life then meant that now my life as I knew it was over. If I go fishing I have to say when I'll be back. If I stay 30 minutes too long, was I seeing other women? If she comes along, we'll be fighting in no time because she wants to go home, she wants something

to eat, she hates mosquitoes, and it's too hot. Before we had sex we could stay all day and fish till the sun went down. But let that great three minutes of my life happen and now it's total hell. You know a man has these urges so what's he to do? Simple. Just stay friends. That way everybody's happy. You can go to the movies with a female friend, then get up in the morning and go fishing with a male friend, catch a lot of fish and have fun, then go home and bring a pizza and movie over to a female's house, snuggle, and rest and have fun. Just friends, no ties that bind. They don't get mad if you're late. You can be out dancing with a lot of your female friends and then go talk football with your guy friends and everybody's happy. But if you fall down and slip up and have sex with her, it all changes. So how would you want to live life? In hell or in a dream? Be everybody's friend or have chains tied to you? Everybody wants to be free to stay up all night if you want and go away for as long as you want. That's why we have choices in life. Some pick hell and some of us live our life free as a bird. You can choose what friends you want to spend time with when because they all like you.

But wait. There are some out there in the world who hate your guts. It's all your male friends' wives! They don't want you around their husbands because they can't fish and go hunting all the time or talk to females or make friends with them because they might have a good time and a married man's not supposed to have fun. He's supposed to be miserable. He can't look at another female or talk to a single guy friend because they might want him to do something that's fun. So, that's why I have so many friends -female and male. I like to learn about other people and what they do and think. Some have a lot of money and some have enough, but all seem to be alike once they have sex with a woman. It's all over. Money and power mean nothing after you've done this. They're all equal. They even have to ask for permission to go outside for a while. She asks, "Why are you going outside?" And why can't she put the toilet lid down? I mean, you put it up; she can at least do her half and put it down. You're just doing it so it won't get wet and that's the thanks we get? Doesn't it sound a lot more fun to just have friends? I've had female friends all my life. I just go visit them because being intimate with one would mean losing her as a friend forever. So I hold myself back and just dream about it instead of doing it. I Nice article about Deridder last month (by apologize for my bluntness Sherry Perkins). Reminded me of growing but I just finished four up nearby and all the fun times we had. months of hunting with Jerry T., Lake Charles hunters from all over the country. I've gotten up every Thanks for sharing you travel experiences morning at 4am, rain, sleet or (Barbara Sharik, Jan 11) with me and snow, and hunted til noon. other readers. I've traveled for several Then we did deer and goose years and have seen some of the same hunts every afternoon, all signs. Keep up the good work! It made me laugh. winter long. J. R., via iPhone Now the season's over and I'm trying to wake up at Tomorrow, Feb 11th, is the day my friend Jesse and I drove down to a normal time, which isn't Enterprise, LA and got the two little tombstones from John Ed Bartmess happening yet but I know my THREE YEARS AGO!!! I was just thinking about that and wanted to get in body will catch up with time. touch with you or him but I'm in Texas right now and I am flying home The season was a great tomorrow. Even though that was three years ago, I still tell people about success. And so, while I'm in that wonderful experience and still appreciate the wonderful story you this state of mind, sometimes wrote in your magazine. I'm so happy to have my Grandfather's first I talk without thinking first. cousin, Mary James Files' tombstone right next to his in the Hamburg, AR Cemetery. If we ever get down your way again, I'll be sure to give you a Honestly, I just hope I'll meet call. If you talk to John Ed, tell him I said Hello. someone soon for three Susanne Files, Frederick, MD minutes so I can get back to normal. I don't click "like" buttons (on Facebook) but I have to say that this is a I thank God every day very intelligent little magazine...not your usual fluff and advertorials. It's for letting me be a duck guide an interesting read, cover to cover! in Jones, Louisiana in via email, Galveston, TX Morehouse Parish.

But let that great three minutes of my life happen and now it's total hell.


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Calendar of Events

March 2011

Lafayette Mardi Gras CALL 800-346-1958

New Orleans Area celebrations CALL 504-566-5009

March 6 ______________ Church Point Mardi Gras 337-684-2026 or 2739 Old Time Boucherie Eunice – 337-457-7389

March 5 ______________ Liberty Theater Show Eunice – 337-457-7389 Women's Courir du Mardi Gras Iota – 337-779-2214 Grand Boucherie des Cajuns St. Martinville – 337-394-2233

March 18-20 ___________

Carnival d'Acadie Crowley – 337-783-0824

March 11-12 ___________ La State Square Dance Ruston

Audubon Pilgrimage St. Francisville – 225-635-6330 Rabbit Festival Iowa – 337-582-3044

March 11-13 ___________ Living History Civil War Reenactment Springfield – 225-294-3150

La Nursery Festival Forest Hill – 318-748-6300 Oyster Festival Amite – 985-748-7156

La Sportsmen's Show Gonzales – 504-464-7363

Swamp Stomp Festival Thibodaux – 985-448-4633

Sicilian Heritage Festival Independence – 985-878-2086

March 12 _____________ Assemblee De La Marine Natchitoches – 888-677-7853

March 12-13 ___________

Great Gator Race New Iberia – 337-367-3277

Frisco Fest Garyville – 985-535-2341

Here's the Beef Cookoff Opelousas – 337-948-8004

Soul Festival New Orleans – 504-581-4629

March 7 ______________

March 18-19 ___________

La Redbud Festival Vivian – 903-796-4781

Tickfaw Arts & Crafts Fair Springfield – 225-294-2218

March 19-20 ___________

St. Joseph's Day Info @ Piazza d'Italia, French Quarter 504-522-7294

March 19-20 ___________

St. Joseph's Day Alters in Gretna 504-362-0070, 504-368-1313

March 20 _____________

Earth Fest - Audubon Zoo New Orleans – 504-581-4629 Los Islenos Fiesta Chalmette – 504-278-4242 Chef Soiree Covington – 985-893-2570

March 24-27 ___________ Tennessee Williams Literary Festival New Orleans – 504-581-1144


March 25-26 ___________ Merryville Heritage Festival Merryville – 337-825-8118


Smokin Blues & BBQ Challenge Hammond – 985-419-9863


March 25-27 ___________


Antiques Festival & Tour Jackson – 225-634-5619

State_________ Zip___________ Phone_________________________ To subscribe, send check or money order to Louisiana Road Trips at P O Box 2452, West Monroe, LA 71294 Louisiana Road Trips

March 27 _____________ All Town Garage Sale Abita Springs – 985-892-0711

March 30-April 3 _______

Lundi Gras Street Party Mamou 337-468-3772

Chic-a-la Pie Parade Kaplan – 337-643-2400

Battle Port Hudson Reenactment Zachary – 888-677-3400

Czech Heritage Day Libuse – 318-445-4965

Shadows Arts & Crafts Festival New Iberia – 877-200-4924

St. Joseph's Day Alters in New Orleans

March 26-27 ___________

March 19 _____________

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

Mardi Gras Folklife Festival Iota – 337-779-2214

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

World Championship Crawfish Etouffee Cook-off Contest Eunice – 337-457-7389

Mardi Gras Royal Gala Lake Charles – 800-456-7952

March 8 ______________

New Orleans c New Orleans – 504-581-1367

Black Heritage Festival Lake Charles – 337-488-0567 Crawfish Festival Chalmette – 504-329-6411

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Bluegrass Festival Oak Grove – 318-428-5282

Hotels Around the World Some Grand, Some Bland, and Some the Setting for Great Memories and Stories! By Lee Estes During four decades of planning and leading tours to foreign lands, I had occasion to stay in many hotels. With few exceptions, they were all comfortable and served their purpose well. What makes a hotel memorable for lots of people is reputation so they can brag about staying there; others enjoy being pampered with fine bathrobes and mints on the pillow, but I want to tell about memorable incidents and remarkable vistas from the hotel windows. Once while staying in Hotel Grand in Stockholm, breakfast was served in a large glass enclosed room facing the square with the usual magnificent smorgasbord of delicacies typical of Scandinavia. Among the offerings were two large baskets of boiled eggs, clearly marked, hard boiled and soft boiled. Among the guests in this five star hotel was an American who apparently decided to examine the eggs and make his own determination, cracking one of the soft boiled eggs and dripping it all over the remaining eggs. I was impressed with the head waiter's restraint while attending to the clean-up. In this same hotel was another American named John Anderson, who fashioned himself as a candidate for President some years ago. Watching him and his wife for several days made you fully aware of where the term "Ugly American" came from. He was tolerable but she sure wasn't. Two couples from my group were conversing in the hotel lobby when Ms. Anderson strides right between them without so much as a "Pardon me." Another memorable event occurred at The Limerick Inn in Ireland. We were finishing an extensive tour of the British Isles when we arrived at the Inn. Included in our itinerary was an excursion to John O'Groats, northernmost point in Scotland. Among our group was a gentleman from New Orleans, Thor by name, who was an avid photographer

with a considerable collection of tools of the staff was dressed in a grand manner with trade. In addition, he was a rock collector and waiters wearing tails who were busting their some beautiful examples littered the beach at tails (excuse the pun) trying to bring us up John O'Groats. Thor helped himself to some of even with our friends. We're enjoying this these stones and having no other place to put pampering when one of those coat tails caught them he removed the cameras from his the top of the wine bottle and turned the cooler shoulder bag and replaced them with stones. over spilling ice and wine on the Ritz carpet. Now his cameras, both quite heavy, had to be Now, that caused a stir, and lots of apologies, carried by straps around his neck. No problem before our dinner was finished. When I went to once we reboarded the motorcoach until we our room that evening we found a nice gift arrived at Limerick, last stop before basket and card with another apology. transferring to Shannon Airport for the flight Now for the exceptional properties I have home. This is where all hand luggage must be enjoyed. The most unusual is Sveti Stefan that removed. Everyone was off the vehicle except I wrote about in a previous article. Another is Thor, my wife Lottie, and me. Thor gathers his Ashford Castle at Cong, Ireland, and The belongings, one big camera Great Southern in Killarney. bag, another shoulder bag, Any of the Paradors in Spain or and two cameras slung Pousadas in Portugal will make around his neck and begins you want to come back. Hotel to negotiate the space de la Cite in Carcassonne, between seats toward the France is situated in the front of the coach. Lottie is ramparts and one of the right behind. As he started accompanying photographs to make the turn to step shows a view from my window down from the coach he but the beds were not had to lift his shoulders to comparable to the view. clear the two bags over the Although not highly rated by Michelin, the Astor Hotel in seats. As his shoulders went up, his trousers went View from Parador in Segovia, Spain Athens affords a magnificent down. Embarrassing, to say the least. Lottie view of the Acropolis. For sheer elegance, I and I are trying to keep from laughing. Thor would place the try to extricate himself from the situation. This Grand in Eastbourne, takes a little time and his wife, having been in England near the hotel a few minutes, comes looking for him. She hardly expected to find her husband the top of the standing at the top of the motorcoach steps list where each with his pants down. After the initial shock person at dinner wore off, we all had a good laugh. is served by their very own Another time we were staying in the Ritz waiter. The in Madrid. During a previous trip there, I had Normandy in visited the great Spanish Photographer, Jose Deauville, Ortiz-Echague, and made the last photograph France faces the taken of him and his wife Carmen. Now, back English Channel in Madrid, I wanted to take a copy of the photograph to their daughter, since both and attracts lots parents had passed away. of rich and This excursion delayed us famous but tour View from Hotel de la Cite in Carcassonne Hotel, France 1977 about half an hour late for groups are not dinner in the Ritz dining among their regular patrons. It gave me a bit room. With the usual of a charge to photograph my motorcoach efficiency of a fine hotel, the parked among the Rolls and Bentleys. Ritz staff kept our places at Lee Estes, a Kentucky native, migrated to Louisiana in the table intact although the 1956 with his wife, Lottie. He worked in aviation then with A&LM Railway. He began making photographs in rest of my group was Europe after WWII and ranked among the leading already into the main monochrome exhibition photographers in the U.S. during course. Everything was in the 80’s. His extensive travels included leading tours across the globe. Lee has authored three order including a free photo/documentary books and is currently involved with standing wine cooler the documentation of The Dixie Overland Highway complete with opened (US80) in Louisiana, funded by a grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities bottle. The dining room

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Hit The Road

Thrills and Frills in New Mexico Ski-Resorts Year round activities and discounts at family owned ski resorts

By Deborah Burst There's nothing more invigorating than standing on a mountain top breathing fresh crisp air surrounded by a view so stunning you almost hate to ski down the mountain. Well, almost. Then you take off, swishing your way down a wide powder-packed trail, gliding through a snow covered forest, and on the descent, a cinematic view of wall to wall mountains. It's a natural roller coaster filled with thrills and frills with a little workout along the way. And the best place to ride nature's raw landscapes is the land of enchantment, the ski resorts of New Mexico in Ski Santa Fe, Taos Ski Valley, Red River and Angel Fire. Each resort offers sky-high activities in a home-style atmosphere that caters to everyone from novice adventurers to thrill seeking daredevils. Many offer year round activities with special family packages. With more than 400 trails throughout the state there are no jam-packed ski lifts or wait lines. New Mexico not only offers quiet beauty but lift prices

that fit comfortably in your schools in the country, 51 percent climate, Angel Fire lights up the vacation budget. of runs are ranked at an “expert summers with a long list of family level and above” with 25 percent Ski Santa Fe-Only sixteen outdoor activities surrounded by considered “intermediate” and 24 miles from the historic town, Santa the Carson National Forest filled percent rated “beginner.” Enjoy Fe Ski Resort is one of the highest with scenic mountain valleys, rustic ski lodges, ski-in/ski-out ski areas in the U.S. Ride the New majestic overlooks and alpine condominiums, quaint bed-andMillennium Triple Chairlift with 73 forestlands with abundant breakfasts and luxury hotels in the wildlife. Trail the terrain in a total runs including steep bump valley. Take a break from the runs, powder filled chutes, gladed guided ATV tour, witness the slopes and visit the historic town tree-skiing, and plenty of cruising mountain scenery on a horseback of Taos filled with Native groomers. Kids love the children's trail ride, gather the family for a American culture, historic adobe complex with a snow play area, ski gold panning adventure, and at lessons and their own conveyor lift. buildings, art galleries, boutique the end of the day saddle up for a shops and world-class dining. And there's a special program to chuckwagon dinner. Red River teach young adults an easy Ride the Chile Express for a Located in Carson and fun way to snowboard. bird's eye view of Angel Fire and the National Forest in Start your day off with Moreno valley, and at the top, take the Sangre de Cristo coffee, hot chocolate or a full time to hike the groomed trails or Mountains of breakfast with views of the enjoy a picnic lunch. Bring your northern New ski run, or break for lunch or mountain bike up on the lift and Mexico, Red River is drinks higher on the slopes. bike the cross-country trails at the touted as one of the Taos Ski Valley-One of summit or fly down the mountain on most family friendly the biggest and most the World Cup downhill trails. Catch ski areas in the historic New Mexico familyyour dinner at Monte Verde Lake country. The entire run resorts, the Taos Ski chocked full of rainbow trout with family can enjoy Valley boasts some of the fishing equipment, bait and boats Ski Taos extreme skiing, most glorious terrains available. Or enjoy a day on the river skiing, courtesy of snowboarding, framed by blue skies and with half and full day trips rafting Ski Taos. snowmobiling, cross fluffy powder snow. through the Rio Grand Gorge. In Summary…The majority of country skiing, snowshoeing, Offering one of the top-rated ski New Mexico ski resorts are still tubing, and sleigh rides. The family-owned, catering to all ages snowboarding park has 290 acres and incomes. Trust your little ones to of terrain with seven lifts, and on award-winning ski schools while the same mountain there are three mom and dad hit the slopes. Many terrain parks for freestyle skiers resorts offer “kids ski free” programs and snowboarders. On Saturday's An Environmental Reference Guide and discounts for the entire family Nights, the Red River Ski Area by Kelby Ouchley including lift tickets, accommodations presents the Rail Jam and Author Kelby Ouchley, a collector of firstand equipment rental. Torchlight Parade with fireworks. person accounts detailing the environment There are ground level, midAnd be sure to check out the town during the Civil War, has combined his mountain and top of the mountain of Red River steeped in history profound knowledge and insight with his cafés, grills, and accommodations. with chairlifts just a short walk collection of reference into a compelling read of In nearby towns enjoy a variety of from Main Street. flora and fauna during this era. As the war affordable dining from Angel ravaged landscape absorbed the brunt of the battle, Kelby meticulously casual steak houses to Fire-In describes the influence of this man-made trauma to the plants and authentic New Mexican northern New animals in its path. cuisine, and checkout Mexico By tracing noted documentation of daily life during the Civil War, some of the local nestled high the author restructured vivid images of the surrounding landscapes musicians performing at in the Sangre and the accompanying animal life. In his book, individual species are restaurants and bars. De Cristo identified and defined accordingly alongside some very interesting Info and cams on Mountains, personal notes relayed in this book. all New Mexico ski enjoy a wide “Collectively, no better sources exist to reveal human attitudes resorts can be found at range of snow Angel Fire Terrain Park, photo toward the environment in the Civil War era. This one-of-a-kind sports all on by Anna Stewart reference book will spark widespread interest among Civil War Summer activities the same scholars, writers, and enthusiasts, as well as environmental historians.” at Angel Fire are listed at mountain: ski, snowboard, tube, Kelby Ouchley was a biologist and manager of national wildlife refuges for the U.S. snow bike, cross country skiing, Fish & Wildlife Service for more than thirty years. He and his wife Amy live in the summer/activities.php. ice fishing, and horseback riding. woods near Rocky Branch, Louisiana, in a cypress house surrounded by white oaks and But if you prefer a little warmer black hickories.

Flora and Fauna of the Civil War

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Louisiana Delta Community College Dr. Luke Robins, Chancellor

Louisiana Delta Community College is an open-admissions teaching facility offering twoyear degree programs, certificates, and technical diplomas. We take pride in providing a learning experience tailored to your unique educational goals that include a vast range of course offerings, talented faculty and staff, small class sizes, a comprehensive array of student support services, and a welcoming atmosphere. Whether you are a student at our brand new Monroe campus, attending Delta campuses in Tallulah or Lake Providence, or participating in on-line courses, you'll find that Delta is focused on helping you attain the education required to be successful in your chosen field. We welcome the diversity of our students, from recent Louisiana Delta Community College high school graduates to adult learners, first-time Monroe Campus: 318-345-9000 attendees to more seasoned students wanting to Tallulah Campus: 318-574-4820 further their education. Lake Providence Campus: 318-559-0864 One of the ways LA Delta assist students in preparing to meet job competitiveness in today's market is in creating a state-of-the art learning environment. To accomplish this, we seek out community and industry partnerships for their support. In fact, in working with Louisiana Fast Start, the college will receive a new integrated manufacturing trainer (valued at over $450,000) that will define our Advanced Technology Center as a first rate high-tech facility in providing advanced manufacturing training for business and industry. Another supporter is Rapid Response, whose funding will allow us to explore new or enhanced programs in forensic science and health care. We are constantly work to strengthen our collaboration with local school districts, colleges, and universities, particularly ULM. At Louisiana Delta Community College, the goal of excellence is always the target. That's why our motto is: "Delta is more than a place…it's an attitude." Contact us for more information.

Best of Northeast Louisiana

By Sunny Meriwether Start in the Twin Cities of Monroe and West Monroe, then make day trips further afield. A good place to begin is downtown Monroe. Stretch your legs on the Riverwalk in front of the Ouachita Parish Courthouse, then visit the Masur Museum of Art, the Cooley House, Layton Castle, or the Children's Museum (parents will have fun, too). And don't forget Art Alley, the center of a growing community of artists' galleries that are revitalizing downtown. Have lunch at Coda, in a historic renovated building. And if you can squeeze in the time, visit St. Matthew's Catholic Church, to see the beautiful ceilings painted by the late Glenn Kennedy. Across the Ouachita River in West Monroe, shop til you drop on Antique Alley, filled with a multitude of great little shops. And enjoy the larger-than-life-size metal flowers sculpted by the late Edmund Williamson. Then head out to Restoration Park, a former gravel pit now reclaimed as a natural wetland. Kiroli Park is a great choice, too, with a nature trail and plenty of space for outdoor activities. Back on the Monroe side of the river, visit the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens, which include the Bible Museum and the Coke Museum and Forsythe Park right across the street. Finish your day at Enoch's with great “pub grub” and live music. Venture out the next day to Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, off US 165 north of Monroe. Go canoeing or just walk out on the pier to look for alligators, herons, turtles, and other native wildlife. Coming back, have a great roast beef po-boy at Magic Grill. Then head out east to Poverty Point State Historic Site, where native Americans built mounds and ridges that are older than the Pyramids! If there's time, head north to Lake Providence to the Louisiana Cotton Museum, or east to Tallulah to the Hermione Museum. Back in Monroe, wind up the day with fine dining at Restaurant Sage, Warehouse #1, Waterfront Grill, or the Brandy House. And if crawfish are in season, try Cypress Inn or Cormier's! Head south on US 165 for another great day trip to Columbia. Visit the Martin House Museum for a glimpse into how life was lived in “the old days”. Columbia's small downtown area has been lovingly restored. Don't miss the Watermark Saloon, where you can still see the line marking how high the Ouachita River rose in the 1927 floods. The Schepis Museum always continued on next page > > >

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By Larry Brock

Whither Spring? Whither the weather? Back in October 2010, scientists at the USA Climate Prediction Center forecast “wild weather extremes across the U.S. for the winter months of December, January and February.” Boy, did they nail that one! In the South we've endured “bouts of deep freeze and snowfall that we don't normally experience.” An ice storm here in the first week of February and 2” of snow in the second week! Where's global warming when you need it? Add in the effects of a persistent drought and outdoor plants have been stressed by the weather extremes. My evergreens were bent over by the accumulated ice. Some cherry laurels broke under the weight and had to be cut back. But after the clouds parted, the web of icy branches in the orchard south of my house resembled a dazzling bright crystal chandelier. To the north, glazed cottonwood branches sparkled like diamonds against the clear blue sky. Below, everything was sterling bright glazed grasses, silvery seedheads, hanging icicles - everything was rainbow white!

Native Americans named the full moon of February, Hunger Moon. It's the time of year when last year's supplies run low and new crops haven't produced yet. For birds it's hard to find a decent meal. During winter we provide left-over fruit, peanuts and bread products. Blue jays sneak in and fly off with discarded egg shells. But with the added stress of ice and snow cover, I broke down, bought seed and broadcast it. Cardinals, sparrows and blackbirds were eager takers. The full moon names for March hold more promise names like Crow whose cries announce the end of winter and Worm whose castings signal the return of the robins. In Lake Providence, fox squirrels are the exclusive metro squirrel, though gray squirrels can be found in nearby woods. Squirrels prize pecans, preferring the paper shell kind which pits them against orchard growers and homeowners. In a year like 2010, when the fall crop of

From December's dark Solstice, it's three months 'til the bright March Equinox.

Best of Northeast Louisiana has interesting exhibits. Then check out Jim Bowie's Relay Station in Enterprise, a trip which can include a ride on the historic Duty

cultivated pecans failed here, they were limited to native pecans and acorns. A squirrel's natural menu is diverse, consisting of nuts, seeds, fruits, berries, corn, insects, tree buds and bark, green shoots and green vegetation. They also gnaw on cypress balls and pine cones in my yard. Many homeowners enjoy watching bushytails … until there're discovered in the pecan crop or bird feeders, that is. Colorful nandina, pyracantha, coralberry and holly berries vitalized an otherwise drab deciduous winterscape. At this writing, coral honeysuckle, sasanquas, sweet olive, violas and dianthus persist in bloom. Bush honeysuckle and paperwhites join a few flowering quince, frosted red buckeye blooms and daffodils anticipating spring. Expectant bloomers include camellias, swamp maple, forsythia and redbud. Compared to last year we're running late. Out in the meadow, weedy dandelion, henbit and chickweed are blooming now, an early source of pollen for honeybees. Wild honeybees overwinter in hidden clusters where they huddle for warmth, surviving on stored honey and venturing out on warm days for pollen.

A life-long resident of Lake Providence, Larry Brock was inspired by his grandfather’s passion for gardening and his own desire to recover the horticultural uniqueness of this region. Larry is drawn to the relationships between plants, birds, insects and soil and can be found puttering outdoors in his yard most any time, weather permitting.


Ferry. The restaurant at Jim Bowie's is open only on Friday and Saturday nights, but the Relay Station also includes a grist mill, a covered bridge, and even “Uncle Earl's Pig Palace,” a collection of more than 1,000 pigs begun by Officer Earl Isongood in 1968, when many policemen were reviled as “pigs.” A trip west towards Ruston should start with a visit to the Piney Hills Art Gallery downtown. It's housed in the

Louisiana Road Trips

Whither spring? From December's dark Solstice, it's three months 'til the bright March Equinox and the official start of spring. Here in mid-February, walls of frost still separate us. Yet, days are already longer and we look forward to more time outdoors. Already we hear the sap rising, feel the buds swelling, and see the bulbs blooming. The first colors of spring are most welcome. January's delicate paperwhites have led to February's yellow daffodils that renew hope and beckon us into their warm embrace. Come March, the spring flower show will be in full swing. In closing, thanks to Donna Lee and Glen Dixon at our local LSU Ag-Center office for help with soil test results and pruning decisions. Also, thanks to our parish library for stocking more books about native plants. Their latest addition is a 2010 publication, “Best Native Plants for Southern Gardens” by Gil Nelson. It's well worth the read. Happy Gardening.

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Dixie Center for the Arts, so check out what's playing there. Ruston's downtown area is home to a number of charming shops, many of which offer works by local artists and craftspeople. Don't miss Follette Pottery in Pea Ridge east of Ruston, for beautiful handthrown pottery in a lovely rural setting. Once back in the Twin Cities, check out the website of the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council ( for art and cultural events, ranging from theatre to symphony to ballet to exhibits. You're sure to find something to wrap up your visit in style!


By Barbara Sharik

Tripping Along Life's Highway the High Way group of folks; in fact a huge number of particular people. And that's pertinent. To design something with Baby Boomers in mind would target a large portion of today's population. A sizeable segment of that population grew up with contemporary, ultra modern and Danish modern furniture. Our taste in furniture still runs toward the sleek and fashionable, but the streamlined, near to the ground stuff has gotten hard to manage. As we age our joints get creaky. Our backs, hips and knees scream in pain when trying to get in and out of lowslung furniture. At 40 it was no problem. At 60 it's practically impossible, not to mention downright embarrassing. No one wants to put concrete blocks under all their current furniture, although it'd work. What we need is a whole new line. And that's what I propose. Create a complete line of revolutionary furniture that's both smart and practical. Make the legs taller and feature ultra thick but firm cushions so that once you sit down you pop right back up again

and don't have to roll out because rolling doesn't work either. I know. Getting up off the floor ain't easy. Oh, TacoBelle, Rosie and BooCat love it when that happens. They assume Mom's playing games and hunker down to join the fun, tails wagging. I'm teaching them to dial 911 when that happens. Most lift-chairs on the market are recliners and not especially chic. Besides, my friend Dennis said he refuses to have a recliner of any sort or mode in his home, stressing how easy it would be to sit down in a recliner and end up spending the day in front of the TV. He sees recliners as addictive and detrimental to good health. Our first rate taste is still with us even if our abilities aren't. We still like and want pretty furniture, but we need it geared toward usability for folks who are older and less limber. Wouldn't it be nice to sit on a stylish sofa and not sink so low your knees bump your chin, knocking your bottom teeth into your top teeth causing you to bite your tongue which makes your eyes water whereupon you sneeze. Sneezing in turn makes you bump your chin again. There's a terrible chain reaction going on and your bobbing head looks like one of those perpetual 1. On the Tensas River motion swinging ball desk 2. Jimmie Davis ornaments. By the way, 3. At Jane Russell Hills south TacoBelle, Rosie and BooCat it of Bosco when that happens too. 4. John J. McKeithen 5. Robert Penn Warren I haven't dared sit in a 6. Post of Concordia chaise lounge or Adirondack 7. Roosevelt lawn chair in a long time (Teddy) because I know once 8. Because it includes tax rates, public seated, I'm there for the official salaries, a map of paved duration. And as far as I highways, etc. and must be know, no one makes amended as these details roll-about cranes. become dated. My tall furniture 9. 18th 10. Richard W. Leche idea can be applied to dining room chairs, club chairs and

Trying to think of an interesting road trip to chat about this month and my mind seems to have gone on a trip of its own. And it forgot to invite my body along. Not unusual. My mind's normally alive and well and doesn't wanna be hampered by a body that's pretty much worn out. Thinking about bodies deserting the mind, or the other way around, I'm reminded of trying to get up again once I sit down. Have you ever plopped down on a couch or chair and had difficulty getting back up? Youngsters can bounce around and never mind lowslung furniture, but after a certain age, low-slung is not so good. Like sports cars; I always wanted a Corvette. Now I'd need one equipped with an ejection seat or I'd have to call it a camper and eat, sleep and live in it. Therefore, I avoid sports cars and when I walk into a room I look for the tallest chair available. I'd like to create a whole line of furniture labeled as Baby Boomer and Beyond. The term “Baby Boomer” is way overused, but it refers to a distinct

Now I'd need one equipped with an ejection seat.

ouisiana Answers …

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ottomans, couches, love seats and wing backs. Indoor and outdoor furniture can all be built to accommodate the needs of all the oldies but goodies. Stylish and utilitarian would be a brilliant combination. You'd just seat yourself without a second thought and when you're ready to get back up, you can do it. Ah, we start out in high chairs as babies, and you ask me, it'd be just fine to end up in them too. Barbara Sharik makes her home at Wit's End in Jones, Louisiana with a couple old dogs, young dogs and several stupid dogs, a cat, a talking cockatiel and a white dove. She's active in civic affairs, serves as a Justice of the Peace, a Notary Public, is the Clerk for the Village of Bonita and a columnist for the Bastrop Daily Enterprise. She has authored several books. You can e-mail Barbara at


by Stacy Thornton

March seems to have taken its sweet time but it has finally arrived! This month is jam packed with many holidays -Mardi Gras ends (Fat Tuesday, March 8th), Ash Wednesday (March 9th), the Ides of March are upon us (March 15), St Patrick's Day (March 17), and Spring begins (March 20). Oh, and Pound Cake Day (March 4)! So my best advice is to prepare for warmer weather, great food, family gatherings, the green of St Patrick's Day, and the blessings of everything and everyone around us. Be thankful and enjoy!

Cajun Popcorn 2 lbs peeled crawfish tails 1 cup flour 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp onion powder 1/2 tsp each salt, garlic powder, white pepper, and red pepper 1/4 tsp thyme 1/8 tsp basil black pepper 2 eggs 1 1/4 cups milk cooking oil Rinse crawfish and drain. Beat eggs and milk together. In a large bowl combine flour and seasonings. Gradually add milk mixture, whisking until well blended. Allow batter to sit at room temp for about 1 hour. Coat crawfish tails in batter. Heat 1 inch of oil in large skillet to 370 degrees. Fry crawfish tails in batches until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Swamp Sauce: 1 1/2 cups ketchup, 3 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup horseradish, 1/2 tsp black pepper. Combine and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Fish Tacos 2 (6 oz ) tilapia filets 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp butter sea salt blackening seasoning 2 tbsp cornmeal 3 small tomatoes, chopped 1/4 cup chopped red onion 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro 1 tsp minced garlic 1 fresh lime 1 pkg cream cheese 1 cup shredded cabbage, optional 1 avocado - sliced, optional 8 (6 inch) whole wheat tortillas Heat olive oil and butter in skillet over medium high heat. Season fish with sea salt and blackened seasoning. Sprinkle cornmeal on both sides. Cook fish for about 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Pico de Gallo: Combine onion, tomato, garlic, cilantro, and juice of 1/2 lime. Mix well. Heat tortillas in skillet over low heat. Spread cream cheese over tortilla and fill with fish, cabbage and pico de gallo. Serve with avocado slices.

Greek Spinach Frittata 16 oz cottage cheese 2 tbsp flour 2 tbsp lemon juice 2 tbsp dill black pepper

4 oz feta cheese 4 egg whites 10 oz frozen spinach, drained 2 tbsp dried minced onion lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. In a mixer or food processor, mix cottage cheese, feta cheese, and flour until smooth. Add egg whites, lemon juice, dill, onion, and pepper. Stir in thawed and drained spinach. Mix well. Pour into prepared pie plate. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until set. Serve with lemon wedges. Great brunch recipe. Louisiana Road Trips

Cabbage, Onions, Potatoes & Sausage This is comfort food with an Irish flair for St. Patrick's Day! 1 head of cabbage, chopped 1 onion, chopped 1 lb smoked sausage, sliced 4 to 6 slices bacon Creole seasoning 2 to 3 medium red potatoes, diced with skins on Cut up cabbage. Rinse cabbage separating pieces. Cook potatoes in boiling water until just done, drain and set aside. In large dutch oven, fry bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool. Add chopped onion into bacon drippings and cook until tender. Add cabbage over onions, reduce heat and cover. Allow cabbage to steam about 10 minutes. Stir to combine. Add potatoes and smoked sausage. Season with Creole seasoning and toss to combine all ingredients. Cover and continue to cook until heated through about 15 more minutes. Crumble bacon over each serving if desired. You can also add small ears of corn on the cob to this recipe as well as diced tomatoes. If so, place in pot when adding potatoes.

Louisiana Sweet By Carolyn Files

King cakes sprinkled with purple, green, and gold sugar display two Louisiana trademarks - Mardi Gras and sugar cane. Wesley Jones is one of many sugar cane farmers who provide the basis for holiday treats. I spent a golden-blue October morning riding with Wesley as he graciously explained his work as a custom cutter/farmer while we eased along rows of cane in a chopper harvester. He and his crew were cutting a field near Rosedale this particular morning. As the harvester spit cane into the ten ton billet wagon pulled by a John Deere tractor driving along side, Wesley told of the working relationship between Alma Plantation, who processes the sugar cane, and the farmers. Alma has two shifts, starting at 2am. Yes, crews start cutting that time of morning. Each field being cut has a set truck limit per day, with truckers handing tickets to the refinery so each farmer can be credited with a set amount of cane brought in. Grinding season lasts about one hundred days depending on amount of rainfall. Forty percent of farmers' crops are taken by Alma for processing the crop. Today's 450,000 acres of cane grown in twenty three parishes can be traced back to Jesuit priests bringing cane to Louisiana around 1751. These days, eleven mills process the cane, down from more than fourteen hundred mills before the Civil War. An acre of cane may average forty tons of sugar, which was averaging about 24 cents a pound last fall. Farmers can get three years of crops from a planting before plowing under and replanting. Virgin fields that haven't had cane planted can initially produce exceptional crops. Watching red tailed hawks hunting for rodents as cane is cut is an interesting diversion for the crew. Once, Wesley mentioned watching a pair of bald eagles collecting the shuck for their nest. Last year, Wesley had just started in a field when a ferel hog accidently got ground up, taking sugar-cured ham to a new level. Occasionally, a skunk gets caught in the harvest. When I asked Wesley how that's handled, he grinned, saying that he let Alma worry about that. Thank these farmers as you down your King Cake this season!

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Louisiana Road Trips

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GRAND OPENING! April 29, 30 & May 1, 2011

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Louisiana Road Trips March 2011 Edition  

Louisiana festival season, everything from strawberries and crawfish to bayous and kites. Don't just take my word for it, keep turning the p...

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