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Vol. 104 March 2019


Patrick’s Day

PARADE Olde Towne

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Editor’s Letter

Kendra Maness Editor/Publisher Slidell Magazine

Cover Artist nancy pratt PO Box 4147 Slidell, LA 70459 985-789-0687

The beautiful couple you see above are my aunt and uncle, Hazel and Frank Maness, celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.

Kendra Maness Editor/Publisher Shane Wheeler - Graphic Designer

Wait... read that again.



EFOP, Naulty’s, Charlotte Collins

At their anniversary party, I sat amongst my cousins and extended family, listening to stories and soaking in the moments that just don’t come often enough. As I visited with my aunt and uncle, the realization hit me... I will NEVER witness this again. How many of us have ever met a couple who have been married for seventy years?

Pet Points, Jeff Perret, DVM

As one of their city councilmen read a declaration from the mayor in their honor, I learned about the people within the couple that I’ve known my entire life, but never really KNEW. Hazel and Frank Maness have lived in service of their family, their country, their community and the Lord their entire lives. They both had successful careers, raised four beautiful children and put them through college, and have reveled in their roles as grandparents and great-grandparents. I’ve lost contact with my extended family over the years, and it’s something I’m committed to changing. Most of them live in Gretna, so distance isn’t an issue. The problem is me. I’ve been so preoccupied tending the garden of my life that I’ve forgotten my family tree and the roots that run deep within me. It’s springtime. Perfect for watering my roots to see what can grow!

The Storyteller, John Case Northshore Ace Hardware, Mike Bell Wellness Physical Therapy, Mike Bell Flying with a Purpose, Story & Photos by Donna Bush Crimmi-Mommly Insane, Leslie Gates Legal-Ease, Ronda M. Gabb Making Cents of Your Money, Mike Rich The Ides of March, Rose Marie Sand St Patrick’s Day Parade, Research & Photos by Ronnie Dunaway

Cover: “Irish Lass” by Nancy Pratt

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Nancy Pratt is a multimedia artist, traveling gnome, dance teacher/ choreographer, fashion stylist, and creator of The Guide to Being Fancy. She’s a Slidellian now, but was born in California. This military brat has had the fortune of living in Maryland, Hawaii, Mississippi at USM, and most recently in Denver, Colorado. Miss Fancy Nancy’s colorful pop art style is inspired by New Orleans city life, jazz music & musicians, vintage pin-ups, sci-fi, computer deconstruction, couture fashion and her many travels and adventures. Art mediums include acrylic on canvas, stenciling, collage, sculpture, photo projects, painted clothing & shoes and vinyl record work - painting, melting and molding. You can find her art in Slidell at The Wine Garden, Bella Style Salon and Hope Beauty Bar and she teaches kids’ art & craft classes at Lori’s Art Depot in the historic Slidell Train Depot. Feel free to contact Nancy about classes, private lessons, commissioned art and events! Or just to tell her how much you love this month’s cover! See more of Nancy’s art at:

MARCH 2019 Story by Charlotte Collins

ExtraordinarilyFascinating Fascinating “Ordinary” Extraordinarily “Ordinary”People People

“I am indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes.” ~ William Shakespeare

If you’ve ever been there, I’m quite sure you agree that there simply is not another shop in Olde Towne like Naulty’s Shoe Repair. Actually, there’s not another shop like it anywhere. I wish I could have brought each of you with me for my interview. Browsing their showcase bay windows on Carey Street has to bring a sense of nostalgia to even the busiest of you. It is hard to rush inside without pausing to spot some previously unnoticed sculpture of a shoe. There are antique porcelain ladies boots, hand-carved wooden men’s boots, delicate high heels, children’s shoes, toy shoes, even animals with shoes. I actually lost a sense of time standing out there, when I was supposed to be inside meeting with Karla and Allen. After talking to them, I know now, that this is exactly their intent. This cobbler couple hopes people will slow down and "smell the...leather." Stepping in the door, I was actually relieved not to find one of them already at the counter. It gave me a second to breathe in that smell that is uniquely earthy and calming. I got a chance to look around without feeling like I was dawdling or wasting their time. The items for sale in the main office, in front of the curtain, 6

have always gabbed my attention. I just never know what I might find. Where else can you grab a shoe stretcher or leather boot strings, discover the coolest recycled ladies boots in the world, or sit on a giant upholstered high heel chair? And, of course, there’s the countertop - a pair of ladies fishnet stockinged legs and men’s leather chaps holding up the solid wood top. Every time I walk in, I have to always remind myself to stop gawking and tend to business. Luckily, waiting for them to get my items from the back

Karla and Allen Naulty gives me more time to peruse the creative assemblages. But today, I go behind the curtain! What an experience. Massive sewing machines, drills, tools hanging over work benches, and, of course, the shoes, purses, belts, saddle bags, suitcases, beloved baseball gloves, leather jackets, backpacks, hats, wallets, even a spare tire cover needing a new zipper. As Allen says, “You never know what someone is going to bring in here.” Karla laughed, “And it always needs to be fixed in a hurry!”

Karla and I sat at her work bench, as it is the only one with chairs. Allen leaned against one of the machines with his arm wrapped over it like it was his old friend. Now that I say that, I realize, it probably is. Allen’s grandfather, Bennie Giordano, built the store in 1954, and named it Bennie’s Shoe Service. Allen furthered, “The original part ended at this curtain. Everything from there back has been added after 1954. My grandpa, Bennie, grew up where the Soda Shop is now. My great-grandfather, Beniditto “Bernard” Giordano, and his wife, Mary, had Giordano Buckley’s Shoe Repair in that location on First Street, and they all lived up top. Several siblings and Dad worked there. Shoe repair and sales have been the family business for four generations here in Slidell.”


I learned that after Bennie built his own place here, Bennie’s brother, Nunzio, and his daughter, Carol, also worked here, along with his son, Allen. Nunzio started new shoe sales up front, and Allen’s grandfather did most of the repairs in the back. Later, Nunzio opened a shop next door and Allen’s dad came in full time. “My dad, J.C. Naulty, began working in the shipyards, then went to work with my Grandpa, and eventually married Bennie’s daughter, Elaine,” Allen relayed with a sly smile. “Back in the day, there were up to four people working at one time in this shop. When Grandpa retired in 1974, Dad renamed it Naulty’s Shoe Repair. So, Naulty was Bennie's son-in-law,” Allen concluded. Now I know why Slidell had so many shoe shops back in the day. It was all in the family. Allen continued with the four-generational business. Allen smiled when he recounted, “I grew up as a child, riding my bike from Effie Street to the shop. I worked here after school. After high school, I joined the Army and traveled to Hawaii. After my four years, I determined to come back home and work with Dad and Grandpa. In 1983, Schwegmann’s opened a store in Slidell, and Dad had me and my sister Carol set up shop in a small space in the front of the grocery store. That’s how I met Karla. Karla Atwood worked the cash register at Schwegmann’s while she was going to college.” He smiled at her, “I could see her from my shop as she talked to the customers. I talked about her with a friend of mine, Jerry Brown, and he said, ‘I know her. We are distantly related.’ So he agreed to introduce me. I asked her to come sit in my shop with me during her lunch break. She watched me work, and kept saying, ‘I could do that. I could do this. I can do this.” Karla laughed and interjected, “He would look at me and say, 'Oh no, you can’t!'" Allen got a twinkle in his eye and a boyish grin as he looked at her, adding, “I didn’t know then that she knew how to sew.” Smiling proudly, Allen explained, “She started helping my dad at the Olde Towne location. He taught her the basics. Think about it, This would never have happened through online shopping. Not their meeting, not the apprenticeship, not the cool shop we all love and depend on, none of it. Then Karla explained, “My dad could always fix everything. So it’s in my genes. I can sew, and I can fix things.”




If you’ve met Karla, you’ll agree with me that she’s never long without a good laugh. She did so again as she related how a customer was surprised to learn that she actually did some of the work in the back. “I told that lady, ‘It’s an urban legend that Mr. Naulty fixes everything that comes out of this shop. I can do it, too!' She thought all I did was bring lunch for the men!” As if to calm her, Allen continued with the timeline, “My sister, Carol, worked here, and so did my cousin, Bobby Giordano. Once our son was born, Karla sewed at home. Then I heard that Schwegmann’s was going to close, and I actually got very short notice. I had to find a place quickly, and moved to a strip mall on Gause Boulevard. Meanwhile, we started adding on here. Then dad passed away, and Karla and I moved over here permanently.” They will have been married 30 years by the time you are reading this. Now Karla knows how to do most of the work. As she terms it, “I do the rips, sewing, stitching, patching, zipper work, all but the orthopedic work and mending soles, and heels." Allen explained that he prefers the sole work, and he showed me one shoe that cost $1,500. It was a special-made one, requiring two whole sheets of sole rubber in the process. I hadn’t even considered the medical need for cobbling. His masterful touch is something that certainly could not be obtained online. It requires the human interaction, and watching how someone walks, or leans, to fine tune the fit for true comfort.

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Karla was quick to praise her husband, “One man was worried about how good his craftsmanship was, and asked how long he had been doing this. Allen’s quick response was ‘all my life.’ When that man came back to get his shoes, Allen showed him the better soles he had added and the man got worried. When he asked how much that was gonna cost, Allen told him, 'Nothing.' Bam, he got Naultified!” Karla threw her head back, laughing again. “We’re the cobbling couple. Customers always think that’s so great!.” “Karla loves to say, 'They got Naultified' every time we amaze our customers,” Allen chuckled. Seeing a giant shamrock on the wall, they both got excited to share that they used to make their own shoe-themed floats for the St. Patty’s parade every year. Allen started describing his favorite, “One year, we put my Dad in a recliner in the back of a pickup. He was holding a scepter with a shoe on the end, and wearing a big crown. He was the “King of Sole.” We were in a trailer in the back as “The Sole Men.” We made the TV news with that one.” “Another year, we made a giant leprechaun shoe,” Karla added. “We also did an Old Lady in the Shoe scene, and I was the Old Lady. We’ve been thinking about trying to get a shoe in Mona Lisa and Moon Pie. Maybe this year is it!” I hope my readers get to see Karla’s creativity this year! Distracted once again, I spied shoes hanging over his machines on hooks, and asked how a pair gets to sit in that spot. Allen explained that these were the ones on an

absolute deadline. “You can turn around in here and get side-tracked pretty easily. That’s how I keep them in my sights. Shoes have changed, now they are made more cheaply, which means sometimes they can’t be repaired. Sometimes it’s just not cost effective to fix them. But customers are often still willing to have them fixed because of comfort, or personal attachment,” and he shrugged and smiled.


Karla spoke up, “We will never, ever not have work. Allen had surgery recently, and I tried to explain that we had no idea when he could come back to work. They all insisted on leaving their repairs anyway, because there’s no one else they trust with it.” I realized then that this cobbling couple truly empathized with their customers, and comprehended the impact they had with people’s favorite boots, or purse, or any of the myriad of personal items in front of me. Of course, Allen asserted, “We will put an orthopedic job ahead of others because, when they say they need it, they really do. But we get a lot of interesting requests. His smile broadened as he remembered, “One day, a lady from the Children’s Museum walked in and wanted to know if Karla could fix their giant stuffed pig. It was beautiful and, of course, it was the children’s favorite. She had to take on that challenge!” Karla rolled her eyes at the memory, “That thing nearly killed me. I had no idea what I got myself into. First, I had to unstuff it,” and she mimicked pulling out all the stuffing. “It took three huge garbage bags to hold all that. Then I had to carefully turn it inside out, sew it back together, then carefully turn it back right side out, and fit all that stuffing back inside again.” She slapped her knees, “But I did it!” Her dark eyes were shining, so I knew she actually enjoyed the challenge of it all. Allen remarked, and he was probably right, “No one else would have done that.” It was obvious how much pride they take in their work, and in each other. Since they were working after closing time today, I wondered how much they worked after hours. You guessed it, a lot! Allen confirmed, “We even come in Mondays, when we are closed. But to me that’s different. I can think, and do several things at once.” Both of the cobblers agreed that team work is what made their business so successful. Karla allowed that, “I can only do all of this if Allen keeps turning out the volume of work he does. He works on the bench and has all he needs right next to him, but mine is all spread out across the store,” and she motioned again at the majority of the space. “Allen can put out the work. Mine is more time consuming and consists of multiple, tedious jobs. Together we can cover everything.” Pointing at his wife, Allen said, “She’s all about customer service. I don’t really like to talk that much, I just work. Men and women are different like that. I’m really the shy one, I guess. I was so nervous on our first date that I just kept drinking, and then I fell asleep. There almost wasn’t a

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Left: Allen's sister, Carol Naulty, with their father, JC, and grandfather, Bennie Giordano, at the shop in 1986. Middle: Bennie and Allen in 1980, courtesy of the Times Picayune. Right: Allen's parents, JC & Elaine Naulty

second date until I explained why.” They both laughed at the thought of that first date. “Now, she accepts that I just like to work back here silently, and let her handle the customers. They like to talk, and if I go to the counter, they just ask for Karla.” Nodding, Karla agreed. “With my customers, we become friends. I can sew and talk. I like to know about their lives, their families and whatever they want to talk about. One lady comes all the way from Alexandria, every time she visits her brother, and brings her repairs. We had another lady that came from Washington, D.C. to visit her mom and brought her repairs.” For a visual person like me, this cornucopia of special things really made it hard to concentrate, and continue taking notes. My eyes just kept wandering involuntarily. Everywhere were little treasures. Mixed in with them were the racks of leather scraps, swatches with staining color samples, and oh, her beautiful rainbow of large spools of thread. Hanging just over her head was a bright, cherry red bowl with needles of all sizes, razor blades, and other sharp objects. I finally had to interrupt and ask about that one. She took it off the wall, and I realized it was magnetized so that the small objects didn’t roll away. Next to that was a bejeweled pair of pliers that I learned was the only way Karla prevents her husband from borrowing her tools. “Once I glued those on there, he won’t touch it,” she snickered. That also explained the screwdriver painted bright pink. 10

Now I was curious about Allen’s space. It was obvious that he must work in constant motion, because his machines were all in rows, facing each other. There were machines to shine, sand, sew, drill, punch nails, and I could picture him seamlessly moving from one to the other with a boot held firmly in his hands. Allen showed me his favorite, the one he calls his Big Stitcher. I had no idea all this was behind the quaint store front. Inquiring if these machines made it through Katrina, I learned that Allen had to haul all these machines to Illinois to find a man that still works on them. While the equipment was being repaired, the couple worked on the building. “After Katrina, we questioned if Slidell would come back, and how we could stay in business. But it was quite the opposite. People just kept coming in and dropping stuff off.” They opened just six months after Katrina!

2007: Featured in Yada Yada Magazine, with a baseball glove believed to be owned by Jackie Robinson

Remembering those days, Allen recalled, “Customers would bring us food, candy, home grown fruits and vegetables. Look over here, someone even gave us these alligator belts to sell.” That rack was fascinating, with the raised scales, even a cute little head on one of them. Being squeamish, that’s when I moved over to the most surprising part of the shop, a full kitchen! “Karla cooks lunch all the time,” Allen related. “Yesterday, she made the best chicken enchiladas. We don’t have time to go out and get lunch. Our customers don’t stop, and for that we’re so blessed.” I was surprised when, hours after closing time, another customer stopped by. Karla wasn’t the least bit surprised, and said, “That door never stops opening and closing. She grinned, “That’s many years of doing good work at a fair price, and this is our reward. It’s entertaining in here, the customers keep us laughing. I could start a virtual reality show!” I bet I know what she would title it - Naultified. Still smiling, she admitted, “But, our legacy’s gonna end one day. Our son, Austin, isn’t interested in being a cobbler. He's an actor. There are lots of people who want to apprentice with us, but we have to put our hands on everything that goes out of here.” Turning to her husband, she touched his arm and said, “I worry about what might happen if something happened to you. Once I learn to use that Big Stitcher, I would then be able to do everything in here. I need to learn,

Left: Karla & Allen will celebrate their 30th anniversary this month! Middle: The St. Patrick's Day parade has long been a favorite for the couple. Here they are in 1989, the day after their wedding! Right: St. Patty's King & Queen, 2006.

just in case.” He didn’t budge. Not one to lose her smile for long, she jumped up and said, “But I’m too busy to take time to learn.” Returning to her jovial self, she announced, “I was on TV once. Naturally N’awlins with Frank Davis. My window decorations caught his eye, and that was my 15 minutes of fame!” But surely Karla and Allen must have future dreams outside their shop? Allen really had to think before he came up with, “Hmm, I would like to take Karla to Hawaii and show her where I was in the service. It’s beautiful. It would be great to take a vacation, but we just have so much to do here...” and he trailed off, picking up shoes and putting them in the bins marked for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Karla’s infectious laugh rang out, “We finally took our first week off for the Fourth of July this year. I said then that we needed to take off another week for Christmas. Now, customers are going to have to accept that we will be closed until after New Year’s. We just don’t say no very well. If I could have just one wish, it would be that people could get stuff worked on in the off season.” They both looked at each other and nodded with consent. She described, “For instance, one evening an 89 year old customer from Mississippi called and asked me to wait while she drove down here. She said she was going to her best friend’s service the next day, and her heel had fallen off her black pumps.

How could I say no? She fascinated me, and we talked for an hour and a half. I sat and worked on my backlog while we visited. Work is always going to be here, but people may not. One thing I don’t have to worry about is not having work, we do too good of a job,” she grinned. "Besides, Allen couldn’t be happy retired at home. This is his passion.” “And I’m always coming up with things I want to create,” Karla said. Allen grabbed a leather fleur de lis with red and gold details, and handed it to me. “This is a luggage tag I designed for a customer. Now she wants three more of them. Add that to my list.” Looking off, she mused, “Sometimes I think I could start new things.” When I asked what she meant, she said “There’s a well-known purse designer that offers a lifetime warranty. But they don’t have crafts people to repair them. Instead, they send a new one. I could do those repairs. Just a while ago, John Fluevog’s store called and asked if they could send their manager with three items to test the quality of our craftsmanship. They had tried six cobblers, and weren’t satisfied yet. My answer was, ‘If we are number seven, then you won’t be looking for number eight.” That brought a smile to all of our faces.

Allen concluded with, “We really like what we do, and our day flies by. It’s really something when you wish your workday was longer, so you could get more done. Not many people get to feel that way. Now she is marinating some steak for me, so I guess we need to take a break.” We walked out, and I lingered as long as I could, photographing those windows. I have to confide to my readers that I can’t wait to get back to Naulty’s. I think I feel a painting coming. Also, the Naulty’s are looking for any old photographs, prints or images of all of the shoe businesses, so let them know if you have one they can copy for their collection. Karla and Allen's story is yet another reason why I’m so passionate about the mantra, “Shop Local.” Now, don’t go purposefully breaking a heel, but when you do, get over to Naulty’s, slow down and smell the leather!

“I like to imagine that we could be ‘Shoe Repair Cobblers for the Stars’ some day. But, I like being a Mom-and-Pop store. Where would I be without my customers popping in? And how would I even have time?” she asked rhetorically. 11




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M A r C H

of N b u l C s s e r P " Winner, 2018 "Best Column



Storyteller THE CLOCK The call was not unexpected. She had lived longer than any of us imagined. After my grandfather passed away two years prior, she never faced reality. She talked to him as if he were alive almost constantly; and, I suppose, in her lucid moments when she realized he was gone, she decided to just give up. Those two really loved each other for 65 years. I was in college and I came home for the funeral but went back the very next day. There was nothing that I was needed for anyway. I was just a grandchild. The rural homestead had remained intact and in her possession after my grandfather's passing; but, with her passing, it would

be sold and the assets of the real property dispersed between their eight children. The personal property would also be divided, but the grandchildren were told they could have their pick of the left overs. My grandparents had provided a stable homeplace for countless family members, brothers, sisters-in-laws, nieces and nephews. They were also a revolving motel for itinerant ministers that were passing through. My grandfather, being a rural mail carrier, at least had an income during the Depression. Their home was an oasis for comings and goings. Some would stay for a day or two, and others for months at a time.

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Whatever the length of the stay, the houseguest would invariably leave some of their personal property behind. I remember a trunk with Great Aunt Tera’s clothes in it. She died in 1932. There was Uncle Oscar’s gas mask that he left after his return from WWI. Then, World War II came along. Four sons saw active duty. Four sons brought home souvenirs to become part of the collection. There were literally dozens of automobile parts placed neatly on a hillside behind their house. It looked like a growing crop of transmissions and motor blocks. I remember that there was a box that I was forbidden to open. It was a small box about the size of a cigarette pack. I was told it held an ear that had been cut from a Japanese soldier on Okinawa. One day, I got the nerve to open it. There was nothing in the box. I have always tried to figure out which cousin beat me to opening that box and took the ear. Another non-relative contributor to this junk was Peach Tree Reaves. Peach Tree was a traveling arborist, using the term very loosely. He was much like a Johnny Appleseed. He traveled in a covered wagon with his wife, most of (if not all) their possessions, and a team of two mules. He was a transient, but he carried with him hundreds of small peach trees. It is believed he got some type of state grant to distribute these trees to farmers, encouraging them to plant fruit orchards.

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Like most people, he trusted my grandfather and my grandfather allowed him to use an old barn for his campsite while in the area. Peach Tree had used my grandparent’s property as his base of operations many times over several years and his visits were not only welcomed, they were looked forward to.

APRIL 26 - MAY 4

A visit to that storage shed was like a modern segment of the TV show, “American Pickers.” Unfortunately, even though I had given myself the self-appointed title of being the favorite grandson, I was not a party to the distribution of this junk.


There were three reasons for this: One, I was a grandchild and the direct children rightfully had first choice. Next, I was away at school and not present to make any picks. Finally, I had no place to keep anything of any size as I was a student with no real home of my own. A month after everything was cleaned out and taken, I visited the homeplace one more time. It was a very sad time for me, as I had been extremely close to my grandparents. Living nearby, I had spent many happy hours at their house. The few items that remained had a history. There was a slide rule. I knew my uncle had used that when he studied engineering at Mississippi State. There was a bucket with hundreds of holes in the bottom. I knew it had once been a homemade shower designed by another uncle. I saw an old muzzle-loading rifle and a very old pistol in a burn pile. The stocks were



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Dr. Joseph B. Boucree, Jr. Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Certification, Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery • 985-205-3456 1570 Lindberg Dr. Suite 6 • Slidell, LA 16

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missing and they were severely damaged. I took the old guns and laid them aside. I might choose to keep them. Under the wringer part of an old, disassembled washing machine, I saw a piece of finished wood. I lifted the wringer and found a clock. I recognized it. I had seen it in that shed for years and I seemed to recall when it sat on the mantle in the main room of the house. It was a Seth Thomas clock. I knew that it had been replaced by another Seth Thomas that my grandfather wound daily. The clock was an ornate rectangular shape, taller than wide. The last time I saw the old homeplace while in my family’s ownership was that day in 1967 when I walked away with the pistol, the rifle, and the clock. I had not been the victor, but I got the spoils anyway. I was pleased to have something with which to remember that part of my childhood. Tokens, pieces of a piece of life that had been so simple, but would never return. That night, at my parent’s house, I sat that clock on a table by my bed. The key was missing, but I assumed it would not run anyway, as it had been replaced and relegated to the shed. So, there I sat with a broken clock. I realized that there was something special about this clock, or at least it was to me. I thought, “You know, that clock has a face. So do I.” I had seen some stuff in my limited 20 years. What more had that clock’s face seen from its position on the mantle of a home that was much like Grand Central Station for various people? It had witnessed deep discussions about the value of life and God's place in one’s life. My grandfather, who was also a lay minister, used that room where the clock was placed as his spiritual office. I am sure it had witnessed disagreements between family members that were not pleasant. I expect it had witnessed childbirth, as the master bedroom was also a main room of the house. Maybe it had witnessed proposals of marriage. I knew that it had witnessed funerals, as in those days, they were held at the home. I imagined it watched as my grandmother hugged each of her sons goodbye as they went to serve their country. I bet, if it could talk, it would tell of the joyous reunion when they came home. The clock took on a personality. I found myself talking to the clock, and then I found myself answering on its behalf. Those are the best kinds of conversations. College years and military training saw a great deal of transition in my life. Many things I owned were misplaced, lost, or maybe even stolen. Not the clock. Some ten years after I acquired the clock, my uncle, the one who had left the slide rule in the shed, visited our house. By that time, I was married. He noticed the clock which, not in operating condition, sat on a table with other what-nots.

“Dang, ole Peach Tree’s clock,” he said. I had heard the stories of the traveling arborist. Those stories were well established in family lore, but I had no idea that the clock had belonged to him. “Yes, I was always told it was his. He left it with Papa the last time he ever stayed at our place. He told Papa that he was going down to Louisiana. Tangipahoa Parish, I think I was told. He didn’t like to go down there because twice he had been robbed. He left most of his non-essential property that had value with Papa to keep until he returned. The clock was a nice clock and it ran then. He, nor his wife, never returned to reclaim it.” “What happened to him?” I asked. “We never knew. Lots of rumors. Never heard from his wife either. Some say he got murdered. Others say his wife left him, and he just drifted off into someplace.” “When did all this happen?” I asked. “Before I was born. About 1922, I would think. Papa talked about him a great deal. You know those peach trees that were behind the garage at the old home place? They came from him.” ********** Some years later, Mother called me. A long distant call is one financial splurge Mother would make. She had to keep in touch with her children. In the conversation, she said she had a strange visitor. He was the grandson of Peach Tree Reaves. His name was Charles and he was writing a book about his family history and wanted to gather all the information he could find on his traveling grandfather. Mother remembered Peach Tree and his wife well, and I am sure she gave him a great deal of insight into who he was. Mother did learn from his grandson that he had been shot in a robbery attempt and died a few days later, only briefly regaining consciousness. His wife returned home but died a very short time later of T.B. She learned that they called Smith County home.


15 - 19


“My, my... how can I resist you?” After playing 14 years on Broadway and 19 years on London’s West End, Mama Mia! is making its non-profit regional debut at Cutting Edge Theater on March 15th. After playing in over fifty countries on all six continents, the jukebox musical was adapted to film in 2008 starring Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski, Pierce Brosnan, and Amanda Seyfried. A prequel, Mama Mia! Here We Go Again, was filmed and released in 2018 and included the addition of Cher to the cast. The musical, based on the music of ABBA, includes such hits as Super Trouper, Lay All Your Love on Me, Dancing Queen, Knowing Me, Knowing You, Take a Chance on Me, Thank You for the Music, Money, Money, Money, The Winner Takes It All, Voulez-Vous, SOS and the title song, Mama Mia! The all star cast includes Sara Pagones, multi-award winning actress, Brian Fontenot, Ginny Award winner, Jennifer Elizabeth, multi-award winning actress, Lauren Turner of American Idol and Upper Cut Award Winner, Annie Gambino who toured internationally with The Young Americans, Ronald Brister, multi-award winning actor and singer, the multi-talented Rob Reidenauer, Chloe Elizabeth Vallot and Josiah Rogers, both of whom studied at The Young Americans College of Performing Arts and Nathan Bauerle, who is just coming off the incredibly successful run of The Color Purple. Over a dozen additional actors, singers and dancers round out the lively cast. Cutting Edge Theater is taking reservations now! Directed by Brian Fontenot and Suzanne Stymiest, Musical Direction by Lauren Turner, Choreography by Kristi Ann Lyons, Photography and Lighting by Richard Fuentes.

Mother continued, “I told him that you had the clock. He didn’t ask about it; but, after I told him, he seemed to lose interest in anything else that I was telling him. He did ask your name and address. I hope you don’t mind me giving it to him.” ********** I no longer talked to the clock as I had when I was trying to conjure fond memories. It was just a non-working knick-knack that sat on a shelf with other items that had no value to anyone except me. I decided to see if it could be repaired. Now living in Louisiana, I took it to the clock shop in the Pere Marquette Building. The

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repairman told me it may take a few weeks before he could get to it. ********** While the clock was being repaired, we traveled out of town for the weekend, arriving back home after dark. I noticed that none of the motion-activated lights turned on as we pulled into the garage. I thought that was strange, as I had replaced the bulbs only a month or two prior. I reasoned it was a faulty motion sensor and continued to park the car. If it is your home, it has a spirit of its own. You can tell if its premises have been violated without visually seeing anything. You can feel the presence of evil. Occasionally, this proves to be a false sensation; but, other times, it is alarmingly real. The experience that followed was somewhere in between.

drugs, either prescription or illegal, in the house. I assured him that we may have some pain killers as a result of dental work, but checking found they were in the medicine cabinet. In time, the incident was forgotten. ********** Several years passed. I received a call from the grandson, Charles Reaves, that had visited my mother years before. He asked if he could visit and see the clock. According to him, after careful family research, it was the only item that he could pinpoint having belonged to his grandfather. I welcomed him since I am a genealogist-type also. Charles arrived early on a Saturday morning. He was several years older than I had expected. He appeared to be a pleasant and courteous type.

Our house was small. The den was the main living area and that is where most of our possessions were kept. I first noticed the books on the bookshelf were leaning and not meticulously spaced as my wife was known to do.

After a few minutes, I took him to the den and lifted the clock from its resting place. He nervously turned the clock in different directions to examine it. I asked him to be careful, as I had spent considerable money having it repaired.

I noticed cabinet drawers ajar. Entering the bedroom, I noticed a window had been broken. After days of checking our belongings, we could not find a single thing missing. Coins were in the jewelry box, guns were in the closet, all electronics were undisturbed.

“You had it repaired?”

I remember feeling the insult when the investigating officer asked if we kept

He seemed disappointed to hear it was working. Then his attitude changed.

“Yes, about ten years ago. It took extensive reworking of the mechanics, but it works fine now.” “So, it has been totally disassembled?” “Yes,” I answered.

“Well, since this appears to be the end of my search, I will tell you the truth. You see, the story goes like this and I am sure it is true: Grandpa had been robbed in Louisiana on more than one occasion, but he needed the income he got from going to that area. He did not believe in banks, so he was always in danger of being robbed.” He then paused and took a deep breath. “Well, if I'm going to tell it, I might as well tell the truth. Grandpa had a good bit of money. His peach tree sales and getting paid by the state is true; but, under those trees were gallons of moonshine whiskey. That is where he made his money. He 18

made big money, but the same people who bought the whiskey knew he was an easy target to rob.” Charles’ story continued, “Twice a week, while in Louisiana, he would leave my grandmother at this place he stayed. Much like when he stayed with your grandparents. Late in the afternoon, he would leave and travel to a secret spot and drop the money in a steel barrel he had buried somewhere near the Louisiana-Mississippi line. He only put coins in there, but it is believed there were lots of them. Before he died, he regained consciousness for a few hours. He told my grandmother the map to the barrel was in the clock back at the Stringer place. Unfortunately, she died before the family could find out which Stringers or where they lived. Over the years, we have inquired with many Stringer families, mostly in Marion County, to no avail. Finally, by coincidence, I ran into your mother." "Like most families, we have those who are not so honorable. I will confess that my cousin broke into your house years ago in search of the clock. I apologize for that.” After listening to the story, I told him he was welcome to examine the clock, but anything that may have been inside would have been removed by the repairman. I also told him I had opened the clock prior to taking it to the clock shop and found nothing inside. He told me that his grandfather had another stash near their home that had been found. It had over $5,000 in silver coins in it. I commented, ‘Wow, some business for the 1920s.” As he left, I could tell he was disappointed almost to the point of dejection. Charles was a well-dressed fellow and had arrived in a late-model luxury automobile. I don’t think the monetary value of this cache had anything to do with his quest. I think he just got obsessed with the hunt. Like hunting for buried treasure, and I felt sorrow for him. A few days later, I picked up the clock. I noticed something that I had not seen before. The working mechanism of the

clock, including its face and hands, were placed on a decorative base. There was some distance from where the two were attached to four externally mounted legs. This gave the appearance of a drawer, but there was not one. I examined how the clock and base were attached. They were attached by a series of tiny brass screws, but some of the screws were missing. In their place were tiny rusty nails. I had an eyeglass repair kit and carefully unscrewed each tiny brass screw. I then took a needle-nose plyers and removed the small nails. The bottom dropped off. ********** Taped to the bottom of the base was a yellowed page. I opened it. I somehow thought I should contact Charles and let him be involved in the exciting discovery. On the other hand, I had too much curiosity. It was written in pencil. It was not a map at all, but it was rather detailed directions to what he termed “My Bank Account.”

It read: Go to the old Jewish Cemetery near Chatawa. On the northeast corner of the cleared field, there is an oak tree. You must go at 10am on May 1st. The sun will cast a shadow. Follow the shadow 150 feet from the tree. You will be standing over a buried steel barrel that has my deposits in it. I know nothing about astronomy, but had my son contact his friend who is a world class ocean sailor. He gave me the corrective measurements as I did know the sun slightly changes directions over time. He told us the direction change over the timespan from 1922 until 2016 was actually insignificant. I learned this in January and I knew the sun would change directions between then and May 1st. I had to wait. I immediately attempted to find the Jewish Cemetery on FindAGrave. (That is not the real name of the cemetery or the location. I have intentionally not given

that information, as I do not want to encourage vandalism.) Now, all I had to do was wait until May 1st. I counted the days. I must admit, I thought about calling Charles, but the excitement of finding it alone overruled that. I don’t think that I thought I would come home with riches. Honestly, I don’t know what I thought the outcome would be. At 7am that May morning the sky was overcast. Would there be a sun today? No sun, no shadow. About quarter to ten, the sky cleared, and the sun shown brightly. The shadow formed. As it lengthened, I measured. Even before the tape measure was stretched, I knew the treasure would not be found. Over the exact spot left on the note, there was a substantial building where cemetery lawn equipment was kept. I looked in the window. The building was built on a concrete slab.

John S. Case March 2019





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Rayme Pullen, PT, OCS


hen asked why she became a Physical Therapist, Rayme Pullen, PT, OCS said that she was inspired by the 1991 Harrison Ford, Annette Bening film, Regarding Henry. In the beginning of the film, Harrison Ford’s character, Henry, is shot during a convenience store robbery and suffers a serious brain injury. He spends the rest of the film, with the help of therapists, relearning to walk, talk, read, write and interact with his family and the world. It was this journey of recovery that put Rayme on the path to becoming a physical therapist herself. “In my life and in my practice, I have witnessed the transformative power of physical therapy,” Pullen said. “It means everything to me when I hear a patient say, ‘You guys helped me walk again,’ or the knowledge that we’ve cared for patients who, themselves, are the primary caregivers for their elderly parents, young children, or family members with disabilities.” Pullen, who was raised on the Westbank, earned degrees and certifications at both Tulane (B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology, 2000), and LSU’s Health Sciences Center (Masters in Physical Therapy and Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, 2002). She and her husband moved to Slidell in 1998, as it was halfway between his work in Mississippi and her schooling in New Orleans. She began practicing her chosen vocation after graduation, and eventually landed her current role with Wellness Physical Therapy in 2010. Wellness Physical Therapy has been locally owned and operated in Slidell since the late 1990’s, and though they have relocated several times, they have occupied their current location (at 1311 Gause Blvd - next to Italian Pie) since 2006. Wellness PT employs around 14 staff members, including two full-time physical therapists and two full-time physical therapy assistants (PTA’s). Besides offering a full complement of Physical Therapy treatments and services, like Orthopedic PT, Parkinson’s therapy, Workers Comp related therapy, FCE’s, Dry Needling, ASTYM and MED-X, it is their Aquatic therapies (assisted by the on-site, indoor pool) that truly makes them unique. They are the only in-house aquatic therapy program in East St Tammany Parish.

Rayme is not just one of the full-time Physical Therapists, she is also one of the owners. During her time with Wellness PT, they have become the Pre-Employment and Return To Duty Clinic for St. Tammany Fire District One, and the clinic continues to grow and offer new services. She attributes their success to her amazing staff, the more than 20 years they have been serving the Slidell community, and the relationships they have built with their patients. “We often are privileged to be able to spend several hours a week with some patients,” she explains. “When it is just you and them, working toward concrete goals, we really get to know them.” When asked why she loves Physical Therapy, Rayme had this to say: “I love the trouble-shooting aspects of this job. Being able to figure out how best to serve and treat my patients is incredibly rewarding. This profession may not be for everyone; but, from my perspective, there are so many opportunities for our young people to pursue. The science of physical therapy is evolving rapidly, teaching and research opportunities are everywhere, and therapists are called upon to work in many different settings and in many different industries.” In the coming year, Rayme is looking forward to earning her doctorate in Physical Therapy and adding “Doctor” to the front of her name; growing the clinic’s Industrial Health offerings; adding more Dry Needling specialists; and hiring more Physical Therapists so that they can offer greater, and more specialized, care to their patients. Rayme’s typical patients include pre- and post-surgical individuals, chronic pain sufferers, geriatric patients, and those people experiencing “limited activity” due to muscular or skeletal issues. Most of the clinic’s new patients come from referrals, either from doctors, current and former patients, or from their participation in organizations like the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Rayme was quick to point out that since Louisiana passed the “Direct Access” law, patients are no longer required to obtain a doctor’s referral before selecting the physical therapy they want to work with. Contact Rayme at Wellness Physical Therapy for your appointment or consultation today!

1.) Rayme at work in the pool with a patient 2.) Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity 3.) With husband, Kenny 4.) Fun times for Halloween with the staff of Wellness Physical Therapy

Wellness Physical Therapy • 1311 Gause Blvd • Slidell, LA • 985-649-6577 Wellness-Physical-Therapy-of-Slidell



By Mike Rich, CFP® Pontchartrain Investment Management



January, Mary and I spent a weekend with our daughter and her family in Tallahassee, where they have lived for more than 15 years. As the state capital and home to Florida State University (where my son-in-law works), Tallahassee appears to be a prosperous city, and it’s a nice place to visit. Mary and I make that five-hour drive every few months so we can spend time with our two grandsons, Rex and Maxwell. Here’s a picture of Maxwell, who just made seven. He’s a cute little kid who never stops talking – or moving. It’s fun to be around him. We also celebrated Rex’s 13th birthday while we were there, so our trip was even more special.

because it was me who wanted to do it, and not them. At any rate, eager to strike while the iron was hot, I spent that weekend at their house getting their financial documents in order, entering the information into my really cool software, and laying out the basics of a plan that will get them started. I had a blast. You probably think it’s weird to have a blast doing this, but this is the kind of stuff that gets me really excited, especially when I am helping my kids. But, enough with the grandsons. I was particularly excited about our trip this time because my daughter had asked me a few weeks before to sit down with her and her husband Robby and “make a financial plan” for them. YIPEE!! As a financial advisor, I had been trying to do that for years, but to no avail, probably

A big plus is that, now, after the work we did together that weekend, Heather and Robby have a plan, and that is a great place to begin. I can’t share the details with you, but their plan has many of the elements of what most of us should be doing to work toward achieving financial security. For example:



Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, member FINRA/SIPC.

Lesson Number 1


A single, unplanned, nasty event, such as a disability that stops your income, a premature death that deprives your family of its breadwinner, a car accident that leaves you at the losing end of a lawsuit, or a long term care expense that goes on for years can cause irreparable damage to the best of financial plans. A carefully-designed insurance program can help you deal with these risks, and I can show you how.

of their gross income, year in and year out, until they are ready for retirement. Yeah, 20% is a lot, but that’s what it might take to potentially amass enough money for retirement. I can’t guarantee this, but simple math tells us that small amounts of money can eventually grow to big sums. Just for fun, I like to show clients that $5,000 a year, invested over 30 years in a tax-deferred account at 8% per year, will grow to $611,729.34. I also show them that, if they increase that $5,000 by only 5% a year, the total will be $1,033,328.61.1 If you would like to figure out something that might work for you, call me.

Lesson Number 2

Saving and Investing

When it comes to potentially growing wealth, time can be our friend. I don’t care if my clients spend their money on comic books and Cheez Whiz, as long as they save and invest 15% to 20%

Lesson Number 3

Managing Debt One of the biggest roadblocks to making financial headway is debt, and shortterm, high-interest debt can be a killer. When I put together a financial plan for clients, we spend a lot of time on how to manage debt.

As a financial advisor, my passion is to help people work toward financial security. Unfortunately, many of us take a haphazard, cross-your-fingers, wishful-thinking approach to financial management. My experience has been that it’s not likely to work. On the other hand, if you are ready to take control of your money and your financial life, give me a call. Let’s put in place a financial plan that has your name on it.

Mike Rich, CFP®, Pontchartrain Investment Management, 2065 1st Street, Slidell, LA 70458 985-605-5066 These are hypothetical examples and are not representative of any specific situation. Your results will vary. The hypothetical rate of return used is not guaranteed and does not reflect the deduction of the fees and charges inherent to investing. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.


Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

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Olde Towne’s

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Cabbages, Carrots, History and Fun! In 1976, business owners and members of the Olde Towne Retail Mercants Association - Dudley Smith, Bob Delaney, Jake Levy, Stanley Samrow, Warren Buckley, Leon Moore and Joe Minacapelli - gathered together to plan the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Slidell. The parade was organized to promote Olde Towne and draw business and people back to the heart of our city. The first Grand Marshall was City Attorney, Patrick Berrigan. Patrick’s roots to Ireland were deep. His grandfather immigrated from Ireland in 1846, carrying with him a shillelagh, which Patrick carried in the first parade. The first parade was

loosely organized, but not lacking in enthusiasm or participation, as floats and parade goers took to the streets on March 17, 1976. In the beginning, the parade began at the White Kitchen on Front Street, made frequent stops at Currie’s Bar, continued to Twin Oaks on Erlanger Street, Minacapelli’s on the corner of First and Cousin, then City Hall for the official toast. The parade ended at the White Kitchen for a meal of corn beef and cabbage, with music by Warren Buckley, on the organ, playing Irish melodies.

Over the years, the parade grew bigger and better organized with just as much enthusiasm and green beer. Previous to 1980, the parade was held on St. Patrick’s Day. In 1980, St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Sunday and, after that, the parade rolled on the Sunday previous to St. Patty’s Day. Starting this year forward, the parade will be anchored on the second Sunday in March. Mainly confined to Olde Towne, the parade route has changed and been extended many times over the years. Because of the parade’s longevity, it has seen many of Slidell’s founding clubs and organizations participate. Clubs

such as the Slidell Women’s Civic Club, Slidell Newcomer’s Club, Bayou Liberty Civic Club, the Tammany Twirlers, Sons of Italy, Domino Dolls, and Krewe of Kork have participated and competed for prizes in varying categories. Ronnie Dunaway, owner of The Who Dat Shoppe in Olde Towne and one of the parade organizers, says, “The philosophy behind the parade has not changed at all. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is about having a great time, while showing what Olde Towne has to offer and, hopefully, bring more customers to the businesses here. We hope that we can attract people who don’t normally shop Olde Towne to come back and spend their money locally. Leading the parade and festivities is the Grand Marshall, chosen for his civic leadership qualities in the community. The 2019 Grand Marshall is none other

Did you know?

than Slidell Magazine’s Storyteller, John Case. It is a well-deserved honor for John and his family, who have operated their insurance business in Olde Towne since 1901. Serving as his Queen is Jen Baudier, owner of the chic Olde Towne salon, Bella Style Salon.

Each year, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will throw:

This year’s parade will host an honorary Grand Marshall, Ivan Toney, affectionately known as “Mr. Slidell.”

10,000 onions

The 2019 St. Patrick’s Day Maids are: Carrie Calvin, Bonnie Johnson, Jonna Turner, and Slidell Magazine Editor, Kendra Maness. Serving as Dukes this year are: James Graham, Will Rachal, John Hodges and Police Chief Randy Fandal. The 46th Annual Olde Towne Slidell Association St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Sunday, March 10, 2019. The parade rolls promptly at 1pm with a toast at City Hall.

5,000 cabbages 25,000 potatoes 15,000 carrots Over 200,000 strings of beads Stuffed animals and much more!





First, Second & Erlanger Streets OLDE TOWNE SLIDELL, LA For more info, contact: 985-265-4551

LENTEN BLESSINGS By Very Reverend W.C. Paysse, V.F. Pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes Church Dear Friends, “Hey, throw me something, mister....” Familiar words indeed for many of us during the Mardi Gras season here in New Orleans and the Slidell area. Parades, Mardi Gras balls and tailgate parties all permeate the milieu of the season. The purple, gold and green flags are displayed in our streets and across the porches and balconies of our city. They remind us of the jolly and mischief of the season and how we are to remove all meanness from the carnival season, maintaining a balance of courtesy, civility, and respect. As Christians, we welcome and accept all persons regardless of their race, heritage, gender and religion. I recently learned an interesting fact or two about the month of March. The very word ‘March’ comes from the Roman ‘Martius’. This was originally the first month of the Roman calendar and was named after Mars, the god of war. March was the beginning of our calendar year. When we embraced the Gregorian calendar in 1752, the year began on January 1st, as we know it today. The Anglo-Saxons called the month Hlyd Monath, which means stormy or rugged month. In our own lives, life can sometimes be stormy or rugged with the many demands of daily existence. When we stop and think about it, we can honestly say that it is not always a parade. Rather, we are reminded time and time again in the scriptures to place our trust in the Lord Jesus. God in the flesh comes not to throw us just any trinket, but a heavenly favor that lifts our spirits and crowns our lives with eternal majesty. The Almighty, unlike Rex who rules for the day, wishes to reign forever in our hearts. We reach out in faith towards Jesus the King, and He shares His scepter of love, faith and hope. As Christians, allow the parade of saints and angels to accompany us toward the heavenly Jerusalem. As Christians, we share our faith and our treasure with all who come our way or cross our path because we want to witness to Jesus. As Christians, let us turn the stormy days to bright, sunny days and allow God to make the rugged way smooth. If you are looking for God, know that He is as close to you as your heart because the Lord’s favorite place to reign is in our hearts! As we quickly approach the Lenten season with the celebration of Ash Wednesday on March 6, we enter the desert with Jesus who, for forty days and nights, was tempted but did not sin. We follow His path, we walk the way of the cross to glory, and we do not give in. Rather, we are heaven bound, wrapped in a mantle of celestial purple, gold and green – not shouting, “Throw me something, mister” but allowing the Holy Spirit to whisper most gently, “Peace, joy and love forever and ever.” Lenten Blessings,

FEBRUARY EVENTS CHURCH 3/02 First Saturday Devotions, 8:30am Mass followed with Confession, Adoration and Benediction at 10am 3/06 Ash Wednesday. Masses with ashes: 8:30am, 12 noon, 6:30pm; Confession 5-6:15pm RCIA 7pm, Parish Life Center (Recurring every Wednesday.) 3/07 That Man Is You with Mass 6am, Parish Life Center (Recurring every Thursday.) Catholic Daughters of America 6:30-7:30pm, Parish Life Center 3/08 Way of the Cross 8am, 2pm, 6pm; Mass 8:30, Confession; Mass 6:30pm. (Recurring every Friday.) 3/12 Knights of Columbus Meeting; dinner 6pm, meeting 7pm, KC Hall 3/13 Mass 8:30am, Confession 9am. Lenten evening Masses: Confession 5-6:15pm, Mass 6:30pm (Recurring every Wednesday.) 3/14 Men’s Club Meeting 7pm, OLL Gym 3/15 & 3/29 Lenten Fish Fry – dine in or drive up, 5pm-8pm, OLL Gym 3/16 St. Joseph’s Altar Blessing 11am; Altar viewing 12 noon-6pm 3/19 Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Meeting; dinner 6pm, meeting 7pm, KC Hall 3/22 - 3/24 OLL BAYOU BASH (Parish Fair) ALL Welcome! 3/31 Lenten Mission Begins (See parish website:

SCHOOL 3/01 First Friday Mass and Devotions 8:30am OLL School Mardi Gras Parade 9:30am Dismissal 11:30am 3/04 3/08 Mardi Gras holidays, school closed 3/09 Cub Scout meeting 6:30-7:30pm, OLL Gym 3/12 Lenten Mission Assembly (for information, call school office 643-3230) Girl Scout meeting 6:15-7:30pm 3/14 PTC Meeting 7pm 3/15 School Mass 8:30am (Recurring every Friday) 3/18 3/22 Book Fair (for information call school office 643-3230) 3/20 Spring sports photos (for information call school office 643-3230) 3/22 11:30 Early dismissal from school due to Parish Fair

Very Reverend W.C. Paysse, V.F. Pastor

3/25 No school, Parish Fair clean-up day

Go Beyond

by Rose Marie Sand

Beyond the Ides of March William Shakespeare warned, “Beware the Ides of March” in his 1601 play Julius Caesar. That was a soothsayer’s warning to Julius Caesar of the impending betrayal by members of the Roman Senate in 44BC. But the Ides of March actually has a non-threatening origin story, and one that is celebrated in modern day rituals. And it’s a really good topic for a column, me thinks. The term “Ides” was an ancient marker used to reference dates in relation to lunar phases. Ides simply referred to the

first full moon of a given month, which usually fell between the 13th and 15th. In fact, the Ides of March once signified the New Year, which meant celebrations and rejoicing. (Thank you Wikipedia.) Consider these modern day ideas to celebrate the Ides. Instead of doing away with an authority figure (don’t try this at home!), how about symbolically killing off one hour of the day? Daylight Savings Time will take care of that for you. When you set your clock forward in spring, you’re effectively cutting off an hour of sleep! As murderous a plan as Brutus ever had.

The Ides was also the occasion of the Feast of Anna Perenna, a goddess whose festival concluded the ceremonies of the New Year. The commoners among the throng celebrated the feast with drinking and revelry. Sound familiar? Surely those Romans couldn’t hold a candle, revelry wise, to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations. Therefore, when I revel this March 5th, I’m simply behaving like a goddess. The Ides were supposed to be determined by the full moon, reflecting the lunar origin of the Roman calendar, and March was the first month of the year back then.

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Here’s another fact about the Roman New Year - get this – the whole Father Time figure we like to kick out at the end of our calendar year may have been influenced by another Ides tradition. An observance on March 15th called Mamuralia involved beating an old man dressed in animal skins and driving him from the city. That’s gotta account for the Father Time image, right? You may think this is a stretch, but Wiki doesn’t. I don’t make this stuff up, you know. And surely neither does Wiki. Here’s another impressive factoid about the Ides. That date was notable to the Romans for settling debts. Do you think the Internal Revenue Service had that in mind when picking the Ides of April as tax day? I know for the Catholics among us, March 6th’s Ash Wednesday heralds 40 days of seriousness. So for you, readers, and only for you (not to stretch this column), I’ve done extensive research (at a coffee shop over a cinnamon scone) and compiled a list of heretofore-obscure holidays for you to celebrate this month, even during Lenten days.


There’s the Spring Equinox on March 20th, the moment the sun crosses the imaginary line in the sky above the equator. Heralding the beginning of spring, lots of folks have spiritual or psychic experiences during an Equinox. So get out there and hug a monolith. But let’s get a bit more secular about March. There’s National Potato Chip Day, National Meatball Day, National Artichoke Day, National Puppy Day and National Pi Day. For the Irish among us, there’s St. Patrick’s Day, and for the Italian’s there’s St. Joseph Day. Two more reasons to revel like you’re Irish or Italian. So, eat, drink, do some math and hug a puppy. Perhaps the most important day in March to commemorate is Memorial Day, which will fall on Monday, March 27th this year. A time our government has set aside to honor those who have laid down their lives for the United States national defense. American flags and red poppy flowers are placed on the graves of fallen war heroes. The tribute of the poppy and Memorial Day harkens to the flower, which bloomed in battlefields during the first World War. What a much more fitting way to observe March’s significance! So, let me wrap this up, as the coffee shop is going to close anyway. Brush up your Shakespeare, set your clocks forward, send up a prayer to a hero, fill out your taxes, hug a puppy, eat potato chips, a meatball and an artichoke, and celebrate March the way nature intended!





Kelly Lutman

Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach




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pend any time in the company of Larry Gillio, the owner of Northshore Ace Hardware on Robert Blvd in Slidell, and you can’t help but see his enthusiastic passion for helping his customers and supporting our community. He grew up in New Orleans and, though he loved the city and its rich culture, he began searching for a more conducive environment to raise his family. In 1999, he moved his family to the Northshore. “Slidell is such a great place to live, and somewhere along the line I was pulled into wanting to keep our city the amazing place it is,” he said. “We are so blessed to live somewhere with such amazing law enforcement, fire protection, local government, educators, and public services. Coming here, as a new resident, I had no idea how profound of an experience becoming so involved in our community would be.” Hardware, apparently, is in Larry’s blood. After graduating from UNO in 1994 with a degree in Marketing, he began a life-long trend of working for companies in and around the hardware industry. Whether in sales or retail management, Larry has just about done it all in the retail hardware business. The same year he moved his family to Slidell, he was offered a District Manager position with Ace Hardware. In his new role, he oversaw 45 stores in the region, including Park’s Ace Hardware, which had opened in Slidell, on Robert Blvd, back in 1972. In 2005, just prior to Hurricane Katrina, Park’s Ace was closed after 33 years. As the district manager and a newly minted


Slidellian, Larry often heard from folks in the community how much that store was missed, and what it had meant to the community. A seed was planted in Larry’s mind to try to find a way to bring back that Ace Hardware location. After three years of working, saving, and renovating homes to raise the money, Larry quit his district manager job and became the proud owner of Northshore Ace Hardware. He re-opened in the same location that Park’s Ace had occupied. “What makes Ace Hardware different from many other large hardware chains, is that each store is locally owned, and the store owners are the company’s only shareholders,” Larry explained. “At the end of the year, when the nationwide profits are divided, it all comes right back into the communities where it came from. This means that we are intrinsically tied to the communities we serve. Nearly all of our business comes from local businesses and residents, so we turn right back around and spend it locally ourselves.” It’s no surprise that Larry’s passion includes supporting local businesses, local manufacturers, and local community organizations. “The more involved I became in our community, the more blessed my business, my employees, and I have become,” he explains. “I love working with local businesses to help them accomplish their goals, and working with many local non-profits to build a better Slidell.” Among the local organizations that Larry and Northshore Ace Hardware have participated in or donated to are:

St. Margaret Mary Men’s Club, Knights of Columbus, East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, Slidell Youth Sports, Police & Fire Fundraisers, Hospice Foundation of the South, Slidell Boys and Girls Club, and East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity, just to name a few. “I received so much unexpected and much appreciated support from local people when I was working to start my business,” he said. “I never could have imagined all the people I’d meet, the businesses I’d assisted, and the organizations I’d be blessed to ‘pay it forward’ to.” For the future, Larry hopes to make Northshore Ace the best place it can be by doing more for his employees, offering more locally-sourced products, and doing even more for our community. He also wants to remind everyone that Lent is fast approaching and St. Margaret Mary Men’s Club will be offering Lenten Fish Fry meals every Friday until Easter. When asked about his business motto, Larry smiled and exclaimed, “When you’re looking for both convenience and service, make Ace your place!” To visit Larry and support the friendly folks at Northshore Ace, drop by the store at 1037 Robert Blvd, visit their website at, or give them a call at 985-641-1404.

Flying with a Purpose Story and photos by Donna Bush


sweet lady had fallen on rough times, suffering a series of unforeseen circumstances. About to be evicted from her beat up trailer near Vidalia, LA, a friend offered a place to stay but just for her. She could not bring her dog, nor could she afford to buy the medication her faithful companion, Munch, needed. She acquired Munch, a Shih Tzu, when he was 4 years old and they had been best friends for 15 years. He was now deaf and mostly blind, needing daily medication. She reached out to Terrie Varnado with Don’t Be Cruel Animal Rescue and Transport, a 501(c)3. Terrie located a senior dog sanctuary, Polo’s Refuge, in Tallahassee, FL who would house and care for Munch. He wouldn’t be confined to a kennel or a

cage. He’d be able to run free for the remainder of his life. Owen Bordelon, a volunteer pilot with Pilots-n-Paws, a 501(c)3 non-profit that connects willing pilots with helpful animal rescuers, took a leg of the flight. On December 1, 2016, Owen departed Lakefront Airport in his Piper Warrior, enroute to Vidalia to pick up Munch from his distraught mom. Everyone was in tears saying their sad goodbyes. Shortly thereafter, Owen delivered Munch to Terrie at the Hammond Northshore Regional Airport where he would spend the night before continuing to Tallahassee the following day. Fast forward to a little more than two years from the date they said goodbye...

Munch’s mom had turned her life around. The entire time they’d been apart, she had kept tabs on him, calling Polo’s Refuge for reports and photos of her baby. With life looking much better, she again reached out to Terrie for help. Terrie contacted Owen. As soon as she told him who was involved, he immediately said, “Yes! When?” On January 5th, 2019, Owen reversed his flight, landing at Hammond Northshore Regional Airport, where he met Terrie and picked up Munch. He took off for the same small airport in Vidalia, where Munch’s mom was waiting to be reunited with her baby, now 21 years old! It was a tearful reunion, but this time happy tears and puppy-kisses. In Owen’s words, “My favorite flight ever!”

Left: Owen and his mom say a tearful goodbye. Middle: Terrie, Owen and Munch prepare for the flight home. Right: The happy reunion of Munch and his mom!

Pilots-N-Paws was founded ten years ago, by an animal-lover and a pilot, as a means to connect the two together. Per their website, the organization offers a forum and “meeting place for volunteers engaged in the valuable services of rescuing, sheltering and adopting animals, and volunteer pilots and plane owners willing to assist with animal transportation.” They coordinate with 6000 pilots and 12,000 non-pilots covering all 50 states, even Hawaii. If you look at a map of their activity over the past 30 days, it resembles a big bowl of spaghetti! Pilots include both commercial and private pilots; those who own their own plane and those who rent. Even student pilots have flown for the cause. Actually, it is a win-win situation. Since they are a 501(c)3, flights are tax deductible. If you are a student pilot, you have to rent a plane and pay your instructor for the lesson. If you are flying a Pilots-NPaws trip, it’s all a deduction, even your cross-country flight! One of their dedicated sponsors, Petmate, provides pilots with kennels, leashes, collars and seatbelts. Win-win! Although they primarily transport dogs or cats, they have also transported donkeys, dolphins, reptiles and even a sea turtle. The non-pilots in the group are made up of volunteers involved in the rescue, shelter and transport of animals. Terrie, who I mentioned earlier, has been transporting animals for many years, starting out as weekend ground transport with On the Road Again (OTRA). This animal transport group combines overthe-road truck drivers, cars and personal vehicle transports to aid rescue animals in moving to their forever or foster homes. When I asked Terrie more about her animal rescue experiences, she likened it to being in the Mafia, “Once you get in, you can’t get out!” She progressed to a full-time transport coordinator with the group and from there, she became a volunteer flight coordinator with PilotsN-Paws, shortly after the BP oil spill. So many residents, affected by the spill, had to surrender their pets. The founder of

Pilots-N-Paws reached out to Terrie for her coordination assistance of a fly-out at Lakefront Airport of 52 pilots organized to move dogs out of the New Orleans area. They were able to move 171 dogs out of the local shelters in one morning! Terrie moves 400-500 dogs in a year when there is a catastrophe, such as Hurricane Katrina or the BP oil spill. Other years, 250-350. As of January of this year, she has already moved 43 dogs. She has numerous rescue organizations that she works with - Cocker-spaniel, Golden Retriever, Dalmatian, Border Collie, and several small breed rescues (anything under 15 pounds). Per Terrie, “In January, we are moving lots of small dogs out because people who got new puppies for Christmas presents are surrendering their older dogs. February and March bring an influx of surrendered puppies, as the new owners realize they are a lot of work, cost money, and chew on things. So many of these dogs shut down when put in a shelter because they are depressed. They are suddenly closed in a kennel when they’ve been used to roaming free.” Thankfully, Terrie’s organization can pull animals from shelters that are on euthanasia lists. Per Owen, “Terrie is a master coordinator. I don’t know how she does it, but she pulls it all together and makes it look easy.” Terrie shares, “Transport coordination is the most stressful and time-consuming

part of rescue.” She should know, she’s been doing it for 10 years! What does a volunteer flight coordinator do? It’s intense, with lots of logistics and coordination. For example: A Golden Retriever in Houston, Texas is on the euthanize list at a local shelter. Terrie submits the paperwork to pull it into rescue from the shelter and arranges for an area volunteer to pick up the dog. She sends out pictures and information to all of the Golden Retriever rescues. If a Golden Retriever rescue based in Pensacola, Florida (example only) has room for the dog, Terrie will prepare the dog for transport. All dogs transported across state lines must be evaluated by a licensed vet, who issues the dog a health certificate. This process verifies that the dog has no communicable diseases that could be passed to humans or other animals. Once this occurs, a post is added to the Pilots-N-Paws forum requesting a dog transport from the zip code of the origin city to the zip code of the destination city. This request is broadcast to volunteer pilots in those areas and along the route. Any pilot who can assist will respond stating which leg of the journey they can fly and what day / time they are available. Most pilots fly a 300 nautical mile route. As responses come in, Terrie pieces together the puzzle until all legs are filled. In the receiving city, Pensacola in 33

Owen’s First Pilots-N-Paws Flight October 13, 2015 "They say you never forget your first. King was my first rescue flight. King is a really cool Border Collie that was hit by a car in Houston. His rear legs were paralyzed, and he was about to be euthanized. An incredible rescue group pulled him out of the shelter and, within a couple of days, found a permanent adopting home for him. The lady adopting him ran the volunteer animal rescue shelter in her hometown. She adopted special needs dogs, and she wanted King! The challenge was that he had to be transported immediately from Houston to where she lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. On the day of the flight, I flew to Houston, picked up King from the rescue group and flew him to Dallas. I handed him off to the second pilot who flew him to Tulsa, OK and I flew back from Dallas to New Orleans that night. It was an ambitious flight and a long day.... about 10 hours of actual flying time. King spent the night in Tulsa with a skilled special needs foster and the next day, two pilots flew the remaining two legs and got him to Cedar Rapids before sunset. Four pilots and less than 36 hours for the entire transport. His new mom and two television stations were waiting for him at the airport when he landed. He was on the 6 o’clock and 10 o’clock news. His new mom changed his name to Arlo, and he became the official greeter at her shelter. I soon got pictures of him going to work with her at the shelter every morning, wearing a scarf, running around on his wheels showing the new dogs around the shelter. One of the pictures shows him having fun, playing with a toy with one of the other dogs in his new home. He quickly bonded with me on the flight. I had him on the grass at the Houston and Dallas airports. If I walked a little distance away to do something, he would drag himself over to be next to me, totally oblivious to what we humans would call a 'disability.' His strength, determination, and courage in his adversity, which was still very new to him, were heartwarming and truly inspiring to me. I have never forgotten him, and I still check up on him from time to time."

our example, either a foster or ground transport volunteer will meet the flight and deliver the dog to the rescue’s veterinarian or to a rescue foster home. If a pilot is not available for one of the route legs, ground transport would be arranged to fill that portion. A volunteer flight coordinator, such as Terrie, assists the pilots during the coordination of the flight and sends out a flight sheet, with all pertinent information, to all volunteers involved in the mission. With flying, weather is always a big consideration, in addition to pilot certifications of either instrument flight rules (IFR) or only visual flight rules (VFR). Pilots look ahead to verify weather is optimal for their leg of the route. This must be coordinated with each leg and, if conditions change, the puzzle gets more complicated. Terrie says that she always has a backup plan. The size of the plane determines how many dogs can be transported at one time. Also, if the dogs are not familiar with each other, there might be fighting amongst them. If that occurs in the air, you can’t just pull over on the side of the road and separate them. Terrie goes above and beyond to verify that rescues, fosters and potential adopters are legit, confirming that she is not moving a dog from one bad location to another. She has contacts all over the country, assisting her in verification. She also contacts the rescue’s veterinarian to see how they care for the animals they have rescued. There are so many heartwarming stories! I flew two flights with Owen. My favorite was to Pensacola with 4 dogs that Terrie pulled from a New Orleans shelter on the euthanasia list as owner-surrenders. We met Aspen and his best friend, Chloe - Shih Tzu mixes, Daisy – a two-year old Maltese mix, and King – a four-year old Shih Tzu with a treatable skin condition. Poor King was almost naked of fur. It was a packed plane with Chloe and Aspen in the baggage compartment behind the back seat. Daisy in a kennel on the backseat, and me beside her, holding King, wrapped in a blanket to keep him warm. In the cockpit were our capable pilot Owen, assisted by flight instructor, Mohamad Chehab. It was a fun flight, with beautiful scenery, lots of flight stories and serenaded the entire way by Chloe, as she sang the song of her people! Here are a few of the stories that were told: Emma, 12/15/15: Houston, TX to St. Augustine, FL About 10 years earlier, a Boxer puppy was in an abusive situation. Among other things, she had been kicked in the face and had a broken jaw. A young Navy Seabee, Carlos, rescued her, named her Emma, and nursed her back to health. His wife became pregnant with their first child and Carlos was being deployed for the first time. He and his young wife didn’t think she could handle a new baby and Emma by herself, so he asked a friend to watch her during his deployment. When he returned, he could not find the friend or Emma. Emma was lost. Ten years later, after being deployed three times and badly wounded several times, Carlos was stationed at a Navy base in St. Augustine, Florida and being processed out on a medical discharge. He received a phone call from the Houston police


saying that Emma had been found at a crime scene. He was advised that she was in a Texas shelter and would be euthanized if he did not get her out within a few days. Owen received the call and contacted a Houston pilot friend to fly Emma to New Orleans, with Owen handling the rest of the flight. On a Florida airport tarmac, Emma was reunited with Carlos and family. Monty, February 2018: New Orleans to Pensacola Owen flew a rescued Chinese-Crested Hairless dog to Pensacola to his forever home. He was terrified, huddled in the back of the kennel the entire flight and even when they arrived. After landing, he was too scared to drink. As the water dish was placed inside the kennel, he made a break for it, wearing a sweater and dragging a leash. He ran all around the tarmac, crossed active runways,

with Owen and ground transport trying to catch him. Employees used golf carts to try to capture him, but he thwarted them at every turn. He ran into a thickly wooded area around the airport perimeter. The Airport Manager and security would not allow anyone into the woods due to poisonous snakes, coyotes and other predators. Animal rescue volunteers arrived to try to catch the little guy. That wasn’t going to happen easily. Monty eluded his rescuers for five days, running across runways, the tarmac and from one wooded area to another. Traps were set unsuccessfully. This couldn’t go on indefinitely. Pensacola is a very active airport with commercial, private and military traffic frequently landing and departing. The Airport Manager devised a plan, allowing a few animal rescuers to come onsite and work with his team. Only airport personnel were allowed into the wooded area to

flush Monty out. Three runways were shut down to all traffic for approximately three hours to allow the team to safely apprehend him. Like border collies herding sheep, the team pushed Monty towards a ditch where they were able to catch him. His new owner gladly drove up to Pensacola to pick him up! For another flight, Owen flew a dog from Mobile, Alabama to Gulfport, Mississippi for emergency surgery. As with most airports which support private pilot traffic as well as commercial, there can be a wait to take off. Commercial airlines usually have priority. Not knowing if it would help, Owen contacted air traffic control (ATC) at the Mobile tower to explain the situation and see if his flight could get priority. It did help! Owen’s plane was allowed to take off ahead of all other traffic! As a flight progresses, the current tower hands off the flight to the next tower for heading, altitude and

Left & middle: The reunion of Carlos and Emma after 10 long years. Right: Victory! Volunteers and airport crew celebrate the capture of the elusive Monty!




Sunday, March 17 5:00 - 7:00 pm

WITNESS St. Patrick's Day Concert in the Park

Sunday, March 31 5:00 - 7:00 pm

REDLINE Party in the Park!

Sunday, April 14 5:00 - 7:00 pm

SGT. PEPPERS Beatles Tribute Band

Heritage Park • Free Admission Thank you to our 2019 Cultural Season Sponsors:

Renaissance • $5,000:

Baroque • $2,500 Sponsors: CLECO Power, LLC Jazz on the Bayou/Ronnie Kole Foundation The Slidell Independent

Neoclassical • $1,000 Sponsors: Councilman Bill & Laura Borchert • Lori Gomez Art Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance • Purple Armadillo Again Impressionism • $500 Sponsors: Dr. Nathan Brown, Northlake Oral & Facial Surgery Chateau Bleu • Chef Charmaigne, Fine Creative Food • CiCi’s Pizza Mayor Greg Cromer • Flatliners Entertainment Old School Eats Food Truck • Olde Towne Print Shop Pontchartrain Investment Management • Roberta’s Cleaners Silver Slipper Casino • Slidell Historical Antique Association Terry Lynn’s Cafe & Creative Catering

Supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs.

direction. As Owen’s flight was handed off to each new tower, the previous explained the reason for the flight and they were again and again given priority. When they entered Gulfport airspace, the tower had already been alerted. Commercial flights, such as Delta and United, were kept in the pattern, as Owen was cleared to land immediately on a priority runway. There are a lot more animal lovers than we know! If you are a pilot, please consider joining the PilotsN-Paws organization. I can guarantee you many feel-good memories and rewarding flights. As Owen has shared, “To us it’s just an ordinary day. But to the dogs, it’s a life changing day! Their world has changed forever!” I can’t vouch for every Pilots-N-Paws pilot because I haven’t met them all. But I can tell you that Owen is one of the most animal passionate and compassionate people I have ever met! He brings toys, treats and love for the dogs on each flight. He’s prepared with blankets and bedding in the luggage compartment and for his passenger-held occupants, as well as kennels on the backseats. He always holds, loves on and talks to each rescue. If I come back in another life as a rescue animal, I want Owen to pilot my flight! HOW YOU CAN HELP: If you are a pet owner, please, please, PLEASE spay or neuter your pets! Remember, accidents happen. Even the best fences can't always contain your pet. There are so many inexpensive programs that make spaying/neutering easy and affordable. The number one preventative for euthanasia in our shelters is preventing unwanted litters. For feral cats, there are numerous Trap-Neuter-Return programs. Also, please adopt from local shelters or rescue organizations. If a pedigree dog or cat is what you're looking for, that's great! There are literally THOUSANDS of pure bred pets that are searching for loving homes. Call St. Tammany Parish Animal Services with any questions. They're happy to help you help pets! 985-809-0183. Also, if you are interested in adoption or fostering a pet, please visit:

“Your Estate Matters” By Ronda M. Gabb, NP, JD, RFC

CHARITABLE GIVING WITH TAX-DEFERRED ASSETS Most of us have assets in some type of “tax-deferred” account. Most often this is found in our (non-Roth) retirement accounts. This would be our IRAs, 401k, 403b, TSP, etc. It also holds true for “Qualified” annuities (and to the growth in “Non-Qualified” annuities). What does tax-DEFERRED really mean? It simply means that one day a human being is going to have to pay the income tax on these assets. The income tax is only deferred, not eliminated. This is because the “seed” itself was never taxed, therefore the “harvest” will be taxed. (More on that point later.) However, properly approved 501(c)(3) charities and foundations do not pay income taxes! If you are leaving significant “after-tax” assets to these charities through your Last Will and Testament (or Living Trust), I suggest restructuring your estate plan. Why? Let’s use an example: You want to leave “Charity ABC” a $100,000 bequest. You ask your daughter, would you rather me leave you $100k from my IRA or through my Will? Your savvy daughter should say, “from your Will because those are ‘after-tax’ monies, if I receive $100k from your IRA I may only walk away with $65,000 after tax!” Charity ABC will say “we don’t care, because we walk away with $100k either way, we don’t pay income tax.” Another reason I prefer to leave charitable gifts through the “pre-tax” assets is that they all pay via true beneficiary designations (all IRAs, 401k, annuities, etc.). You can name the beneficiaries yourself by simply requesting new beneficiary forms (or online) from the company, your H.R. department, or your financial advisor. You do not need your estate attorney to do this, although I would be happy to assure that all is handled properly. People often change their minds regarding the charities they have chosen. They may want to add more charities, delete some, and/or change the amounts they have chosen to give. It’s nice when you don’t have to pay your attorney to continually amend your Wills to reflect these changes. You simply fill out a new “change of beneficiary” form. The only real downside to this strategy is that generally you cannot leave “fixed” amounts through the beneficiary forms, you must leave whole PERCENTS. We suggest that minimally you review your estate plan at least once every three years (I prefer annually) and you will simply keep your finger on the pulse of the values of your beneficiary-driven assets. This is most important once you have reached age 70.5, as you will be forced to start drawing from your IRAs through Required

Legal-ease Minimum Distributions (RMD). As an added note, if you are already 70.5 and taking your RMDs and you wish to donate some of this (up to $100,000!) to your favorite charity, I highly recommend doing so through a Qualified Charitable Deduction (QCD). A QCD will allow your IRA administrator to pay the chosen RMD amount (up to $100k) directly to the charity and you will not have to report any of this distribution on your tax return. How quick and easy is that? When you are ready to name your favorite charities as beneficiaries, please be sure to call the charity and get their full legal name, address and tax identification number as most beneficiary forms will require this information. Some “scam” charities will try hard to have a name that is very similar to the “real” charities that they want you to think they are, so this extra step is important. I highly suggest researching your charity at or first. But, unfortunately for us all, the IRS has won. They wanted us to fund our retirement accounts with untaxed money (the seed), and now those accounts have exponentially grown (the harvest). At age 70.5, the IRS now forces us to remove this money and finally pay the income taxes. However, most of us are not in that lower income tax bracket we were promised. Sometimes this extra taxable income makes our Social Security money taxable, and so on. Perhaps we would have been far better off, in hindsight, of “taxing the seed and NOT taxing the harvest”? So, yes, that is what ROTH-IRAs and ROTH-401ks do, but a ROTH drastically limits how much you can contribute, and for higher earners, you cannot contribute to a ROTH at all. The good news is that for many people (and the younger the better) there is a far better strategy available called the “Tax-Free Retirement”. Yes, it’s true…but you’ll just have to wait for the article!

See other articles and issues of interest!

40 Louis Prima Drive, Covington, LA (off Hwy 190, near Copeland’s) Ronda M. Gabb is a Board Certified Estate Planning and Administration Specialist certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. She is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Governor’s Elder Law Task Force. Ronda grew up in New Orleans East and first moved to Slidell in 1988, and now resides in Clipper Estates.

40 Louis Prima Drive (off Hwy 190, behind Copeland’s) • Covington, Louisiana • (985) 892-0942 •

Crimi-Mommly INSANE Leslie Story by


“Fight for your Light” There are two words that have been popping into my life lately. Essence and Ego. Essence is your authentic self. The person you were as a very small child before a loss of basic trust created real, lasting fear in you. The kind of fear that caused you to build barriers around yourself for protection in a world that made you believe you weren’t good enough just the way you were. The ego is that barrier. And it looks different for everyone. The good news? Your essence is still underneath the inauthentic person you have created. It hasn’t changed, nor will it ever. Honestly, people like it better. It is where they see your light shine. Our family recently loaded our bikes up and took a drive out to Bogue Chitto State Park. I believe my essence hangs out there a lot. The first time I discovered this place was two years ago, days after my dad passed away. Where, sitting in the shallow part of the river and digging for rocks, somehow broke through the rough exterior shell of my ego, and held me, 38

giving me permission to expose my essence and vulnerability so I could start the long road of accepting my loss. Being such a spiritual place for me, I thought a bike ride with Brian and the kids would be a good activity for us to do there. A nice pause from the speed of life. I learned to ride a bike on the streets where I grew up, in Westchester Estates. While all the older kids were out exploring, I was confined to our driveway with my training wheels and a lot of energy and curiosity. I wrestled between the excitement of retiring my training wheels, and the fear of falling or failing. My dad must have noticed, because he stepped in. He took a break from the yard work to help me; maybe because he saw how bad I wanted to learn, or wanted to help me face my fear, or was just tired of my whining. After taking the training wheels off, he had me hop on the bike, then began pushing me down the street. Feeling the sideways pull and wobble of the bike, I realized my only support from busting my head on the concrete was my dad’s love for me and my trust in him. I froze up. “PLEASE DON’T

LET GO DAD!” I held the handlebars tightly, trying my best to keep them sturdy and straight as he moved his hand to the back of the bike seat. “Just keep the bike straight and keep peddling,” he told me with a stern confidence, pushing faster. I kept repeating “I’M GONNA FALL DAD! DON’T LET GO!” Followed by his same words, “Just keep the bike straight and keep peddling.” After about a minute, I opened my eyes. With his words now in the distance, a feeling of freedom, pride, and absolute horror swept over my 6-year-old body once I realized I was the only one steering the ship. All wide and shaky-like, I turned my bike around to head back towards him. Quickly approaching, I made a smart decision to aim my wheels towards the lawn so that my bike and I could ungracefully, but safely, fall in the grass. Crying, I angrily looked at him and said, “YOU LET GO!” Then immediately jumped up to hug him and thank him. It was the beginning of many years of bicycling adventures that filled my childhood with so much imagination and fun. My essence, riding right there with me on the handlebars, so easy to

access when the big bad world placed unsettled, unwanted feelings inside of me, trying to snuff out that bright light. It’s every kid's story, just different settings and characters. Different efforts to maintain a happy place. Riding bikes was mine. As the story continues though, we grow up and have less adventures and more responsibilities. The characters change, continuing to come and go; some good, some bad, but a few leave a little damage behind. The kind that requires you to create more protection around yourself. More time passes, and before we know it, we are living off artificial lighting in a place we created completely out of fear. It's why people spend so many days unhappy and unfulfilled. Losing their purpose and light underneath the rubble of their own ego. Have you ever met someone you didn’t know and had an immediate connection that you couldn’t explain? A conversation that flowed so freely and openly even though you had just met? That was two people living briefly from their essence. Feeling comfortable and accepting enough to be exactly who they both authentically are. Did you also notice the thoughts beginning to take over? Sounding something like, “This is too good to be true.” Or, “What is this person’s motive for being so nice to me?” And just like that, you snuff out the light as the ego enters the conversation to protect you from a perceived threat. It would probably be easier to trust that essence more if we didn’t live in a world that brainwashes us with hate and division everyday when we turn on the news. Telling us that our differences are a bad thing, then using them to divide us into categories. I’m pretty sure most people don’t feel a divided hatred like our screens lead us to believe. Maybe I sound naive, but if someone from a different category was drowning and you were holding the life vest, wouldn’t you throw it? Think of a certain

John Lennon song, then imagine us all living out of our essence. Where’s the division now? Probably not stuck in your head like that Lennon song will be today, but it definitely would no longer exist. The good news is the hope that our light never went out. It’s been there from the beginning. Divinely placed in each one of us for a unique purpose, and it's not going to stop bugging you about it until you start the search to find it again. How do we do that though? Well, I have some rambling thoughts about it. Maybe our essence can reemerge when we slow down and stop letting the noise take over. The noise in our head about ourselves and the noise that we let in from the outside. Realizing that we can CHOOSE times during the day to check in with ourselves and see if we are living the present moment out of fear, shame, or anger. Or if we are even in the present at all. Once that is established, we center ourselves to take in the simple beauty of our familiar, routine, sometimes mundane lives. Because that present moment, it’s all we really have when we know the next breath isn’t promised to us. If we can slow down for just 5 minutes, without allowing any of the noise in, then the light inside of you, where God sits and waits, can be seen and heard a little clearer. And for 5 very peaceful minutes, the ego will move

over some, allowing even more room for a place of gratitude to blossom from out of that light. When you feel a connection to something greater than yourself, the ah moment will be in knowing that the “something greater” is in all of us, has always been there, and is the very thing that connects us. It is also how we find purpose in our circumstance. The work it takes to live from an authentic place isn’t automatic, but when it starts to happen, our natural gifts begin to seep out from the cracks of our ego. When ego plays out as control, we are blindly and fearfully controlling our lives just enough to not to be exposed or hurt, and because we can’t let go of that control, we miss out on living the life we were born for. It seems that so many of us speed through life with our eyes half closed, throwing defensive punches in the air. It would suit us better to slow down, open our eyes to compassion, and throw a little glitter instead. Since diagnosing others is a favorite past time of mine, I attended a 2-day workshop on different personality types, what forms their particular egos, and practical steps that each can take towards transformation. The speaker, Suzanne Stabile, whose books and Podcasts I absolutely love, summed her two-day message into this… Care and transformation is important for each personality type, but it can’t be our only focus. You can’t transform without hearing the stories and wisdom from the people who are different than you. If you only know your own struggles, then you miss the chance to have compassion for someone else’s. Without compassion, transformation can not take place. She went on to say, “The work isn’t easy, but we owe it to ourselves and one another. If we feel like we must MAKE everything happen, then we can’t be connected to anything bigger than who we are. Different than who we are. 39

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Slower than who we are. Big things happen one day at a time. One practice at a time. One slowing down at a time. And if we can’t manage this, our lives are actually not going to be significantly more satisfying and they’re certainly not going to hold any more meaning.” She ended with this reading by David Whyte: The Great Tragedy of Speed When it becomes all-consuming, speed is the ultimate defense. The antidote to stopping and really looking. But it is such a costly defense to becoming who we truly are. If we really saw what we were doing and who we have become, we feel we may not survive the stopping and the accompanying self-appraisal, so we don’t stop, and the faster we go, the harder it becomes to stop. We keep moving on whenever any form of true commitment seems to surface. If commitment becomes unlikely or unnecessary then we can be OK with moving even faster, and sadly that means commitments even to ourselves. Speed is also a warning, a throbbing insistent indicator that some cliff edge or other is very near. A sure diagnostic sign that we are living someone else’s life and doing someone else’s work. But speed saves us the pain of all that stopping. Speed can be such a balm, a saving grace, a way we tell ourselves in unconscious ways that we really are not participating. The great tragedy of speed as the answer to the complexities and responsibilities of existence is that very soon, we cannot recognize anything or anyone who isn’t traveling at the same velocity as we are. We see only those moving in the same whirling orbit and only those moving with the same urgency. Soon we begin to suffer a form of amnesia caused by the blurred vision of the velocity itself, where those germane to our humanity are dropped from our minds one by one. We start to lose sight of any colleagues who are moving at a slower pace. And we start to lose sight of the bigger, slower cycles that underlie our work. We especially lose sight of the big unfolding wave form passing through our lives that is indicative of our own central character. On the personal side as slaves to speed, we start to lose sight of family members, especially children, or those who are ill or infirm. Who aren’t flying through the world as quickly and determinedly as we are. Just as seriously, we begin to leave behind the parts of ourselves that limp a little, the vulnerabilities that actually give us color and character. We forget that our sanity is dependent on a relationship with longer, more patient cycles extending beyond the urgency and madness of the office.” The five miles around Bogue Chitto State Park with my family was filled with long periods of silence

and no control. We all traveled at our own healthy speed, on our own mental adventures, living in only the present moment with one another. Happy to JUST BE. Now if we can just make this work on hectic school/work days, that’ll be great. At least we know it’s possible, and the work of slowing down is taking place. With all that said, I’m going to take a break and pause from my thoughts for just five little minutes. Only five. I’ll be back. In the present moment, I’m sitting outside of our house. It is 9pm, 60-something degrees, and a cool wind just brushed my face. The buzz of the street light is competing with the sound of one of our dogs loudly slurping water. I just went inside for a second; Brian is watching basketball, one kid is facetiming with a friend, and another is practicing clarinet in her room. I just heard the third one laughing at a YouTube video through his window, the one I’m sitting underneath right now. Every now and then, I look up from the paper I am writing on and look at the firepit, full of wood to be burned soon. I see our home and all the memories shared here with so many people. I see a stepping stone my friend Tonya painted a dog on, and a wheelbarrow that belongs to our neighbors and good friends, Bruce and Johnel. On the windowsill, Karen’s bookmark she left. As I quickly peak in the art room, Meagan’s painting of “Mr. Jangles” looks back at me. The street light still buzzes, and my child still laughs. The past will try its best to creep into this peaceful, perfect place. So will all the worries of tomorrow, but I won’t let them. They have their own place in time and that time isn’t now. If they show up, it’s because I let them in. And for 5 minutes of my life, I can be strong enough to not let that happen. Nothing will interfere with the simple, precious gift that is this present moment. Taking a deep breath, I feel myself whole. Complete. Exactly where I’m supposed to be. And exactly WHO I’m supposed to be. In the pure essence of all God made me to be. Your turn. Trust yourself enough to ride through 5 minutes of your life. Give yourself the gift of only enjoying and being grateful for the scenery around you. The happy, important small messages they tell you. Your essence will surface again; because, just like riding a bike, you won’t ever forget that part of you. Adjust your speed to a more natural level and choose to live in total gratitude before you start. Find your light. You can do it. God is holding on to you. Just keep it straight and keep peddling. 41



ua n n A

Bubbly on the Bayou “A Tip to the Derby” For the Love of Rainbow Child Care

Sunday, March 31, 2019 11a.m. – 2p.m.

Sponsorship opportunities available by calling 985-646-1603

Patton’s Champagne Brunch Celebrity Bartenders Mayor Greg Cromer Police Chief Randy Fandal Fire Chief Chris Kaufmann Sheriff Randy Smith

Tickets: $65 $75 at the door Tickets available at: Rainbow Child Care, Patton’s My Girlfriend’s Closet

The 7th annual Bayou Clean Up

Saturday, March 16, 2019 heritage park marina VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

8AM - 12NOON

Please bring your Flatboats, canoes, pirogues & kayaks! Gloves, bags, trash grabbers will be provided by Keep Slidell Beautiful

For more info: Zane Galbert 985-640-3672

BAYOU CLEANUP SLIDELL LA Food & Drinks available after cleanup at Heritage Park Marina

Sponsored By:

by Jeff Perret, DVM


Pain is one of the key evolutionary survival tools for animals. Pain says, “Hey, that’s hot, get away from the burning forest.” Pain says, “Don’t bite that; it’ll break your tooth.” Pain says, “Hey, that other guy has sharp fangs. Run!” Human animals interpret pain a bit differently from most of our fellow creatures. Pain says to us, “Gee, I’d better see the dentist,” or “I don’t feel so good; I think I’ll spend the day in bed,” or “My knees are toast; no more running for awhile.” Most humans no longer have to hunt food – even if we’re too sick to get to the grocery store, hopefully someone will bring us a pizza. If a tooth hurts too much for us to eat, we can make a smoothie and a dentist appointment. We can use crutches or stay off the bum knee, because we’re not being stalked by a large predator while we wait for it to heal. Our pets aren’t so lucky. Evolution has planted deep roots in their brains. After all, what’s the number one goal? Survival! And in order to survive, most animals hide signs of injury or illness. Cats and birds are particularly good actors. No one wants to be the feeble, sick-looking zebra when the hungry lions show up. This means

pet owners may sometimes miss critical cues from our pets that they are hurting. He’s still eating / walking / playing with his toys, so he can’t be in pain, right? I’ve often had pet owners say to me, even as Fido hobbles around the exam room on 3 legs, “Well he’s not crying out, so I wouldn’t say he’s in pain. He just won’t put that leg down!” Since our pets won’t tell us directly what they need or when they’re hurting, it’s up to us to be aware of the types and signs of pain. Some are subtle, some more obvious. CHRONIC VS ACUTE Pain can be chronic – long term, usually with a more gradual onset, stuff the patient gets used to over time. Or it can be acute – sudden onset, often presents itself as more dramatic or severe. For chronic pain, think about your old football or tennis injury; it’s been there as long as you care to remember, it gets better some days and worse others, and you tend to pop an anti-inflammatory and hopefully forget about it until things get really bad. Acute pain is more like the broken wrist or fractured tooth; it’s new, it’s intense and it’s often debilitating. While it may

not seem as intense, anyone with chronic pain can tell you it takes a significant toll on well-being over time. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION When monitoring your pet for signs of pain, it can be helpful to remember that lots of body systems have nerves that send pain signals to the brain. Pain can be: Musculoskeletal – bones, joints, muscles, tendons (fractures, sprains, bruises, arthritis, etc.). Visceral – coming from internal organs such as heart, lungs, gall bladder, stomach, intestines, liver, urinary tract, even eyes (think UTI, stomach ulcers, hepatitis, pneumonia, cancer, glaucoma, etc.). Neurologic – sometimes the nervous system sends mixed signals; neurologic pain can come from damaged nerves, neuropathies, and some auto-immune diseases, herniated discs (Weiner Dogs!), even diabetes. Dental/oral – mouths hurt, too; oral pain can come from fractured/damaged teeth, gum disease, oral ulcers, or oral foreign bodies, like that stick wedged in your dog’s mouth.

Dr. Jeff recommends using:

Four-LEAF CLOVERS. POTS of gold. No fleas. Lucky dog.


Dermal – don’t overlook skin as a possible source of pain the skin is the body’s first alert system and it’s full of pain receptors; scrapes, burns, punctures, and rashes can all cause pain.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR Signs of pain can include: loss of appetite, decreased activity increased activity – horses in particular may pace or roll excessively when in pain (just don’t call me for this - I’m strictly a dog and cat guy!) decreased engagement with human and animal friends panting, shivering, salivation posture changes – rigid, hunched, or drooping wide eyes, limping/change in gait change in behavior – aggression/irritability whining/moaning/crying out incontinence – may not feel good enough to go outside or to litter box squinting, blinking, excess tears, eye redness or discharge WHAT TO DO When your pet is normal, pay attention to how she behaves. How does she move? Does he jump onto things? Climb? Play games? Dig holes and destroy things? Seek attention? Come running to greet you at the door? Knowing what normal looks like helps you spot abnormal more quickly and confidently. Log changes if something seems gradual. Videos can help. Report sudden changes — such as a lack of eating, drinking, playing, and cuddling — to your veterinarian right away. Report any change in birds and small mammals (rodents, rabbits, etc.) right away as they often don't show signs of illness until they're knocking on Death's door. Again, call a qualified veterinarian for your pet’s particular species. This next part should go without saying, but I’m saying it anyway: DO NOT TREAT YOUR PET WITH ANY AT-HOME HUMAN PAIN MEDICATIONS. Call your veterinarian if your pet exhibits any of the symptoms mentioned above, and follow his or her advice, which will almost surely include a visit to the vet’s office. Remember, old age is not a disease. While animals may slow down a bit as they age, there is no need for them to experience a loss of quality of life. Musculoskeletal pain such as arthritis can be managed with medication, and “accidents” in the house are not normal signs of aging, but often are indications of conditions needing treatment. Animals show pain differently than we do. Your dog wagging his tail doesn’t mean he isn’t in pain. Some dogs, such as Labrador retrievers, have been known to come bouncing in to the clinic wagging their tails on legs that are severely fractured. If your pet is favoring one leg, don’t assume he is “fine” just because he looks happy. You can help your pets achieve many years of quality life by knowing the signs of pain, letting your veterinarian know when you see them, and pursuing the appropriate diagnostics to find the source of the pain and treat it appropriately.

Hay, houses, and bedding to keep your pets warm!

Double “M” Feed Garden & Pet Supply Monday-Friday: 8am - 6pm Saturday: 8am - 5pm


1121 Gause Blvd. Slidell, LA

PET SITTING Gumbo • No Exposure to Diseases or Parasites from Other Dogs • Medication Administered • Less Separation Anxiety • Insulin Injections • Waste Cleanup • Mail Pickup • Daily Walks • Nail Trim

Gina Triay 45


ag Slidell M2019 ch

104 - Mar

Slidell Magazine was EVERYWHERE this month! Here are just a few of our adventures!

e Color Purple! ess RRR!! We loved Th BEST PLAY EVER vera, Donna Bush & Kendra Man bow. Ri t las wn e Da on ’s r fo ine t az Slidell Mag zanne Stymies Su or ct re Di & cast join the entire

Glenda Drennan & Police Chief Randy Fandal reign majestically as King & Queen Samaritan in the Krewe of Slidellians parade

g writer & Flying dogs! Slidell Ma sh holds Bu nna photographer Do mission her on , pup cue res King, a Bordelon en Ow h for Pilot-N-Paws wit

The Storyteller, John Case, is give na “sobriety test” by Chief Randy Fandal. The test was part of a demons tration by the Slidell Police Department held for Rotary Club members at the Wine Market. (I wonder if John passed the tes t??)

The Quarterly ChamberOne luncheon was a blast! Having fun while networking are Dan Arroyo, Gary Arnold, Heidi Crouch & Tim Pillsbury

The many faces of Bill Davis! A touching trib ute & farewell party was held for Bill as he leaves his 18 year tenure at SMH

y Clement The incomparable Miss Rosemar their and daughter Mary pose before Ball C SWC the at ance orm dance perf

American Heart Repr esentative Tricia Otis provided im portant information for guests of the “T hink Red Luncheon”

or Miller, enbotham, Tayl Stephanie Higg & Carole , Venita Hutton Jennifer Berger al it during the l Memorial Hosp Haynes of Slidel heon” “T hink Red Lunc

z Free Blood Pressure Screenings offered by Nune as ital Community College and Slidell Memorial Hosp part of the “Think Red Luncheon”

Luncheo n guests Miranda T isha Ba Parke tuk & Sh annon Lip r, ps

Mary Chatelain & De bra Redfearn representing Slidell Memorial Hospital

March 9 March 10 March 16

Bayou Reefkeeping presents “Fragniappe” Here Comes the Bride Expo Tiger Rock Taekwondo National Tournament

Che ck out our n ew w e bsite!

nge Lobby Lou

March 20 March 22-24 March 26-30

Lobby Lounge Concert Series, “Up Close & Musical” Beyond The Stars Regional Dance Competition Gulf States Quilting Association Seminar

w w w. h a r b o r c e n t e r. o r g

• The City of Slidell presents •

Arts Evening Saturday, April 6, 2019 4:00-9:00 pm • Free Admission Olde Towne Slidell (985) 646-4375 • Local Artists & Artwork Live Entertainment Fine & Casual Dining Antique, Boutique & Unique Shopping “From the Vaults of the New Orleans Museum of Art” exhibit in the Slidell Cultural Center

“Heads or Tails” by Mary Christopher 2018 Arts Evening Poster Artist

The City of Slidell and the Commission on the Arts would like to thank our 2019 Cultural Season Sponsors for making this event possible: Renaissance $5,000 Sponsors:

Baroque, $2,500: CLECO Power • Jazz on the Bayou/Ronnie Kole Foundation • The Slidell Independent Neoclassical, $1,000: Councilman Bill & Laura Borchert • Lori Gomez Art Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance Agency • Purple Armadillo Again, LLC • Impressionism, $500: • Dr. Nathan Brown, Northlake Oral & Facial Surgery • Chateau Bleu Chef Charmaigne, Fine Creative Foods • CiCi’s Pizza • Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer • Flatliners Entertainment Old School Eats Food Truck • Olde Towne Slidell Print Shop • Pontchartrain Investment Management • Roberta’s Cleaners • Silver Slipper Casino • Slidell Historical Antique Association • Terry Lynn’s Café & Catering This event is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs.

Profile for Slidell Magazine

Slidell Magazine, March 2019  

Slidell Magazine, March 2019