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Vol. 106 May 2019


SMH Pediatrics 8.375x10.875 032019 Slidell Magazine.pdf




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Editor’s Letter

Kendra Maness Editor/Publisher Slidell Magazine

OUR APOLOGIES: The April 2019 Edition of Slidell Magazine had an error in the EFOP story on Rob Casadaban. Rob’s home was formerly owned by American hero, Captain Charles Butler McVay, not Timothy McVay as was printed in the story. We sincerely regret this unfortunate error.

Cover Artist shane wheeler

PO Box 4147 Slidell, LA 70459 Last month, I finally moved back to Slidell. I have been living in Lacombe for the past 3 years (owning 6 dogs and a goat makes it tough to find a house). Lacombe is a beautiful community, but I’m a Slidell gal and have felt a bit disconnected this whole time.

www.slidellmag.com 985-789-0687 Kendra Maness Editor/Publisher Editor@slidellmag.com

The Slidell Magazine office is in my home. This enables me to keep expenses down, get tons of work done, and spend quality time with my pet family (and work at 4am in my jammies).

Shane Wheeler - Graphic Designer Graphics@slidellmag.com

So, when it came time for the big move, I reached out for help from my Slidell Magazine family and friends. God love ‘em - they had no idea what they were signing up for. There’s simply not enough beer, pizza, and Advil for the amount of work they did.

EFOP, Christine Tramel, Charlotte Collins

Brian Gates and Mike Bell, thank you for digging up fence poles ANCHORED IN CONCRETE. Dawn Hahn and Mike Bell, thank you for packing. And packing. And packing. Dawn Rivera, thank you for building kennels and helping me realize that, no, I don’t need 8 pairs of white shorts that don’t fit. Leslie Gates, thank you for the uneviable job of cleaning out the shed and the AMAZING idea to burn the couches. You were right! What a fire! Eric Kostelak and Donna Bush, thank you for busting your... um, backs, ALL DAY to lift and move, lift and move. Repeat. Repeat. Donna Bush, your help made this all possible. Thank you for the DAYS AND DAYS of moving more magazine boxes than we could count. Actually, we looked through and moved over 6000 magazines. SIXTY BOXES, 40 pounds each. That’s over a ton! Your belief in preserving the history of Slidell Magazine means so much to me; and, I hope, the future will show that it was worth it! THANK YOU ALL. It’s good to be home.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS The Storyteller, John Case Pet Points, Jeff Perret, DVM The Blow Dry Bar of Slidell, Mike Bell Audubon Funeral Home, Mike Bell Bonne Carre Spillway, Story & Photos by Donna Bush Crimmi-Mommly Insane, Leslie Gates Legal-Ease, Ronda M. Gabb Making Cents of Your Money, Mike Rich Go Beyond, Rose Marie Sand The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon, Katie Clark

Cover: 2019 Louisiana Veterans Festival poster by Shane Wheeler

view more of us at www.slidellmag.com SUBSCRIPTIONS $39/YEAR MAILED TO YOU EACH MONTH!


Shane Wheeler was born in New Orleans and raised on the Northshore. After going to college, meeting his wife, and living in Central Florida for 14 years, they moved back in 2015 to be closer to family and their favorite places. Shane has been a professional graphic designer for over 20 years. (We are fortunate to have him as Slidell Magazine’s graphic artist now!) His formal artistic education is in visual communications, graphic design, and computer animation. Shane’s true passion, however, is in creating original stories that he hopes to have developed for TV/film. His love of comics and animated television/features fueled his desire to draw and create his own worlds and characters. He has also packaged his pitch bibles with completed scripts to accompany his imagery to fully express the ideas for development. This is Shane’s second cover for Slidell Magazine. (The first was the iconic “Boudoir Bombshell” from May 2018.) This image was chosen to be the 2019 Louisiana Veterans Festival poster. It was inspired by a photo of his wife, Kristen’s, uncle, Lt. Thomas Leroy Cramer (11/25/1922 - 11/4/2002) in flight school. In the US Air Force, during WWII, Lt. Cramer was commissioned a second lieutenant and received his wings at Turner Field, Georgia, March 15, 1943. You can see more of Shane’s artwork at: www.shanewheeler.com


MAY 2019 Story by Charlotte Collins

Extraordinarily Fascinating Fascinating “Ordinary” Extraordinarily “Ordinary”People People

“You are never too old to set a new goal, or dream a new dream.” ~ C. S. Lewis


hristine Barnhill Tramel is always in motion. As the owner and President of BillBar Construction, Inc., there are always project needs and clients that require her attention. The exception to her physical energy is when she is speaking to someone. Then, she becomes focused and intent. Throughout our two-hour interview, I felt as if I had her full attention, despite the constant phone calls and text messages. Many of them she put off, others she had to explain when she could return the call, but there were those she had to tend to instantly. I could hear the urgency in the voices on the other end, but Christine’s voice remained steady, clear and concise, despite the stress. The construction business demands constant attention. But, for Christine, there is always room for her community involvement, family and friends. Walking into Cafe Luke’s, I spotted her long, blonde hair immediately. She was fast at work on her cell phone, with her


Christine Barnhill Tramel

agenda book open beside her. She smiled and waved, motioning with one free hand that she would be off in a moment. Watching her, I sensed that she possessed a unique, quiet energy. It was an energy that was measured and thoughtful. This mental intensity continued as I questioned her about her past, and how she became the person she is today. Christine was born in New Orleans at Louisiana’s Sarah Mayo Hospital. This historic hospital opened in 1905 as the New Orleans Hospital and Dispensary for Women and Children. It was founded by physician Sara Tew Mayo and six other women physicians. At that time, female doctors were prohibited from practicing in the other local hospitals. It would serve as a location for the female doctors to practice, and also offer free medical care to women and children in need. This is when Christine explained that she was adopted. “Not many of my friends know that, because it just doesn’t

come up,” she shrugged nonchalantly. “My mom and dad, Barbara and Bill Barnhill, are the wonderful parents who raised me, as I know absolutely nothing of the woman who birthed me or the biological father. It was a private adoption; my parents were waiting for me at the birth. I like to think that the woman who gave me up did so for noble reasons, so that I could live the wonderful life I have. My mom and dad raised me so well that I just don’t feel a need to search for the past.” She continued the family tree, “It took my mom seven years to have Greg (oldest son). After two miscarriages, they told her she couldn’t have more children, so they decided to adopt. Two years after they adopted me, she had another son, and two years after, another. I have three brothers,” she said quite proudly. I asked if her brothers spoiled her and she laughed so quickly, she almost choked on her words. “No, indeed! But, what they did was give

me the strength I have today. We all worked in our family; we had a farm in Poplarville and worked in the fields. We had 40 acres of corn, plus all kinds of other veggies, horses, cows and a fishing pond!” She nodded again and proclaimed, “It was great! My mother started the very first blueberry farm in the state of Mississippi!”


Growing pensive, she reminisced, “I always respected and admired my father. And my mother always exposed me to new and different things. I remember we would get in the family Suburban right after my Friday night cheering, and head to the farm. Certain times of the year, she and I went to the Saenger Theatre. My very first live show was Liza Minnelli. It had never occurred to me that I could be on stage, but live theatre enthralled me after that show. Mom made sure I took ceramics classes, too. She was President of the Ceramics Club one year. I had a great childhood. It may not have been what some would consider idyllic, but I thought it was wonderful, and still do. I rode horses, had goats, cattle, and never thought there was anything I couldn’t try.” “Our parents were so supportive in all of our careers. My younger brother Ken operates an 18-wheeler and Tim works with electronics. From the time Greg was born, he was a songwriter and played in local bands. Our parents even supported his choice to go into a musical career. They would come to Olde Towne to listen to his band." “Mom was a closet writer and painter. She joined the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and went to their convention. The next year, one of my brothers got ill, so she sent Greg with my dad. That year they offered critiques. Greg’s tape was selected for review. There was a whole panel that would listen and critique. As soon as the critique session ended, a Warner Brothers guy wanted to sign Greg as a songwriter. Warner reps came to Slidell to watch Greg perform. Dad became his manager. It was all so unbelievable, and so exciting! With that, Greg went to work for Warner Brothers, but our parents still had to help financially, until he got known in Nashville.” Christine sat up and started using her hands to celebrate, “He had a string of hits! If it weren’t for one of my brothers getting sick, the whole scene may have never happened!” Christine's family moved to Slidell when she was three years old and she was raised on Bayou Liberty Road, across from the water tower. She explained that her schools and extra-curricular activities gave her a zest for life and learning. Her first and fondest memories are of school, Angel’s Academy in Olde Towne on Carey Street. The principal was Pearl Williams.





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Her blues eyes gleamed at the memory, “I loved Mrs. Williams, my teachers, and loved school, period! Mrs. Williams lived off Thompson Road, so she would drop me off at home now and then. She made me love education. After that, I went to Temple Christian School off Highway 190. That school was totally different. Students went at their own pace, based on the packets they gave each of us. It was very small, maybe only 50 students from grades1-12. We each had our own cubicle and monitors, but that was before kids had computers. It was developed to allow an accelerated pace for motivated students. I took that challenge and loved it. Teachers were right there and walked around for help, or to administer tests, but the pace was up to each individual. Once you passed, you moved on to the next packet.” Christine moved to Our Lady of Lourdes for two years where she played softball and basketball. Then, it was on to St. Scholastica Academy. Now, she grew more animated as she announced, “Then, Pope John Paul High School (PJP) was opening in Slidell, and I knew I wanted to transfer. PJP was close enough that I could do extra-curricular volunteering.” She sat up on the edge of her chair, and I felt the excitement, but her words continued on a measured pace. “I wanted to take on the yearbook, the newspaper, cheerleading, even the Student Council. In 11th and 12th grades, Principal Gennaro allowed me to start a cheerleading team at PJP. Everyone had to tryout, even me. I wanted it to be fair.” She has stayed involved with PJP throughout the years since graduation. This was a hint of how Christine would spend her life in volunteerism. She is thorough, organized, fair and, above all, inclusive. In 1982, she became involved with Slidell Little Theatre (SLT). They asked for volunteers, and she stayed involved from 1982-1987, until she had her son, Josh. Once he was old enough, she got involved in YATS (Young Actors Theatre of Slidell) and back into SLT, and continues to help to this day. I ran into her at the Northshore Gumbo Cookoff, where she is still helping SLT and NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) raise money for charitable work. Both organizations particularly benefit youth programs. But we skipped ahead a bit. You are probably asking, what happened to Christine after high school? Determined to earn a degree, Christine went off to college at LSU and was having another great academic adventure. But her academic life took an unexpected turn when a car accident landed her in the hospital. Her face hit the windshield, and she suffered a broken nose, and two black eyes. “I


began having bad headaches afterward and missed classes.” Pausing again, she quietly admitted, “I withdrew and came home, deciding to work until fall. But, I never went back full-time. Taking professional classes here and there have had to do.” Christine’s father did construction work for the Hilton Hotels and found out they were hiring for a front desk position. Christine landed the job. She quickly rose in the ranks, eventually transferring to Ramada Inn after her son, Joshua Colby Barnhill, was born. She was night manager, taking care of her son during the day and her parents caring for him at night from 3-11pm. “I still had my plan to get back to college.” But fate had big plans for Christine’s future. Smiling, Christine continued, “Then Ramada offered me a job as Front Office Manager in Bossier City. I worked there for eight months, with a studio suite on premises and a crib in the office. As the Resident Manager, I had to jump up to deal with every situation, and the Bellman or Desk Clerk had to come sit with my son. One day I realized that my bellman saw my son more than I did.” Looking up, she remembered a conversation as if it were etched in her brain, “I was telling Dad about that moment. Dad was dealing with the fact that the company he worked for was closing and laying off 300 employees, due to the oil bust in 1987. Now, he had to find a job for first time. My mom was telling him, ‘You ran his company for 30 years, why not run your own?’ So, he contacted his clients, including those who hired him to work on the Superdome, and at Freeport McMoran, as well as several large hotel chains. He asked if they would consider letting him bid on the jobs. They all said yes and expressed their respect for him.” Beaming proudly, she stated, “In 1987, BillBar was founded. Bill for Dad and Bar for mom!” Her voice was gaining enthusiasm at this point. “It took off immediately, and Dad was working seven days a week doing the bookkeeping, supervising, everything. I remember clearly when he said, ‘Christine, this business is blossoming, why don’t you come home? I can hardly keep up.’” She smiled and said, “So, I moved home in 1990, to temporarily help him. I fully expected to go back into the hotel management business. I started by setting up operating procedures, bookkeeping procedures, and on and on as the business grew rapidly. Dad taught me estimating, and, by then, we had about 33 employees. Little by little, I started realizing this wasn’t going to be temporary,” she wriggled her eyebrows. Taking a deep breathe, she stifled the perceptible pride when she blurted, “He asked if I was interested

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Left: The Barnhill Family (minus Greg, away at college). Middle: Christine with son Josh in Alaska, 2001. Right: What a great wedding photo! Scott & Christine Tramel, married May 7, 2005

in taking over so he could retire. I was surprised, but I said...sure. It wasn’t my career path of choice, but it was my dad’s legacy!” Reflectively, she describes, “What a great feeling when you step back and see the tangible results of your efforts. I went back to school and took night classes at Delgado for accounting. I was self-taught, but I knew I needed blue print reading instruction. That’s how I got introduced to the National Women In Construction (NAWIC) in 1991.” NAWIC offered classes that fit Christine’s needs perfectly. NAWIC wanted to start a chapter on the Northshore, and asked Christine to be a founding board member. In 1991, the official chapter of the NorthShore NAWIC was started and Christine has been involved ever since, serving as President several times and even serving as a National Officer and on regional committees.

All this time, she had remained a single mom, focused on business and family. In 2004, Christine met her future husband-to-be. She met Scott Tramel when she was cast in a murder mystery at Pinewood Country Club. “In the play, he was an old high school sweetheart. He was the handsome football player and I was the adoring cheerleader.” About a year later, she was cast again, this time as the murder victim, with Scott playing the role of the murderer. “We saw each other for just those couple of weekends. I was taking classes through Clemson University for Construction Management, running the business, and being a mom. For a few weeks after the show, he would email and say ‘I feel bad about killing you, can I take you out to dinner?’ I didn’t respond, but not intentionally. Finally, I succumbed to his persistence.” She chuckled to herself, “For the first

three months, it seemed I always had relatives and friends with us. We didn’t even kiss for about a month. One year later, we got married in Jackson Square with a second line around the Quarter. That was so much fun.” “Scott and I are in Perseus (Mardi Gras Krewe) together as well. The Krewe will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and we would love for all of our community to join us!” Christine still volunteers with all the groups she started with, including NAWIC, SLT, and PJP. When she became Queen of Perseus in 2014, and her husband was King, she wanted to do community outreach, and started inviting present and past Queens to help build for Habitat, and their Women in Construction community project. She explained her newest passion, “In November of 2017, my brother, Greg, asked if I would be the Treasurer for

Left: 2016 NAWIC Officer Installation. Christine has served as President several times. Middle: Perseus Queen 2014 (dancing with her "King", Dad). Right: Christine & Scott as flambeau carriers for Mona Lisa & MoonPie Parade, 2017 10

Christine has spent her life volunteering for the Northshore community! Left: Working on the ADA playground on Koop Drive. Middle: The annual Christmas play for STARC (shown here with Slidell Womens Civic Club sister and Slidell Mag Editor, Kendra Maness.) Right: Working with Young Actors Theater participants constructing a Memorial Garden

the Ozone Music Education Foundation (OMEF) he was starting in St. Tammany Parish. For years now, his desire has been to give back to this community that helped make him the successful artist and person he is today. Since he is in Nashville, I am the local family representative. We all developed a vision, the goals, and action steps. We want to make the NorthShore and New Orleans area the third point in the music triangle from LA, to Nashville, then here. The goal is to create a vibrant music industry on the NorthShore so that people in the music industry don’t have to leave the area to get a job in those other two areas. We have so much talent here! We have already started immersion programs with high school students. It is our intent in the future to create connections to grow their skills beyond being an entertainer. The industry needs attorneys, film writers, soundboard operators and engineers, and just so many more jobs. The development of a music industry in this area would have a huge economic and artistic impact in our area.” Getting down to details, she outlined, “We decided that we needed an event to help fund the educational mission of the foundation. So, the Ozone Songwriter Festival was created. The inaugural fest was held at the Mandeville Trail Head this past October. We planned to start

with 40 songwriters, over maybe a day and a half.” Christine laughed heartily now, and said, “It ended up with 104 writers on four stages for two full days. We even brought in six people from Nashville as our headliners!” She looked up and remarked quietly, “We were put on this earth to help each other... in whichever way we can. It doesn’t have to be programs like this, it can be as simple as cutting your elderly neighbor’s grass. You don’t think you can do grand things, but all those little things add up. One guy may have money to donate, another person may only have two hours of their time. But it takes all of that effort.” In the middle of all her endeavors, she and Scott’s family is blossoming also. Their son is embarking on his own career. She described with a flourish of her arm, “Our son, Josh, just got a job with the Kansas City Chiefs in sales for the NFL! He was in the Army Reserve and was deployed to Haiti during the earthquake. I also have a stepson, Buck, who is a radiologist with Ocshner on Jefferson Highway. He is getting ready to do a fellowship in Charleston, SC. My daughter-in-law, Kristyn, is an audiologist, and presented us with a grandson, Penn, who is two years old.” By now Christine informed me that she had missed 16 text messages. She

wrapped up by reiterating, “I’m truly grateful to the person or people who gave me up. They loved me enough to let me have an opportunity. I lost the adoption papers in Katrina. But I do recall hearing that one condition of the adoption was for my adoptive parents to give me the best education they could afford for as long as I wanted to go to school. Education was important to my birth mother. I didn’t know that until I was 18. Providing an education for others is paramount for me. If I won the lottery, I would start a trade school for carpentry. That provides other people with tools to improve their own lives. You know, you can make your own future with a high school education if you care about what you do. Remember after Katrina? The carpenter was your best friend through all that. If you help just one person, they help another one. It grows exponentially.” “Everyone in our community makes a difference and can help in some way. Slidell still has a strong sense of community, despite our growth. It feels like a community of 500 people, not 50,000, and the ones I know are giving and stay connected with the community. Newcomers often stay and become part of the solution. It’s like this magic of close-knit people, including newcomers, with an open arms attitude.”









h YEAR ! ERSAR Y SAT. m ay 18t h... B






Cinco de Mayo! 7


Grand Opening Southern Self Storage Pearl River • 3:30 PM

Dine & Discover Hands Only CPR Chamber 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM




Ambassador Meeting Chamber • 12NOON

Education Committee Chamber • 8:30AM



Dine & Discover Chamber 11:30 AM

Chamber 101 Chamber • 9:30 AM

EYP Meeting Location: TBD 11:30am



IGNITE Ladies Nite F.I.T.S. Indoor Range Every Last Wed. of Month 5-8 PM



NOMA Art Show • Noel Rockmore • Slidell Art Gallery Open Wed-Fri • Show runs thru May 24


"The Storyteller" John S. Case Free Greenwood Cemetery Tours Tuesdays - Thursdays • 12-1pm • By appointment • 985-707-8727

Ambassador Meeting Chamber • 12 NOON

Education Committee Chamber • 8:30 AM


Rumble on the Gulf Car & Bike Show Silver Slipper Every Thursday 5-9 PM




Business After Hours Retreat at Fremaux Town Center 5-7 PM

Lobby Lounge Concert John Friday z Harbor Center • 7-9 PM

Business After Hours Slidell Wine Warehouse 5 - 7 PM

Lions Bingo Slidell Noon Lions Club Every Thursday • 2:30-4pm




Chalk Fest Children’s Museum, Mandeville • 10 AM


Public Policy Meeting Chamber • 8 AM


LA Vets Fest Heritage Park 1 PM – 11PM

Lions Club Pancake Breakfast 8-11am


Slidell Movie Night Heritage Park 8:30pm


The Queen of Bingo • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm


The Queen of Bingo • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm

Beach Bar Blowout z Live Music Series Silver Slipper Every Friday 6-9 PM

Sister Act • Slidell Little Theatre • 8pm

Camellia City Farmer’s Market EVERY SATURDAY Chamber • 8AM-NOON


Love is a Many Splintered Thing • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm





Red White and Blue Masquerade Harbor Center • 7pm


The Songs of Burt Bacharach • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm

Sister Act • Slidell Little Theatre • 8pm

Fiddler on the Roof, Jr • Our Lady of Lourdes • 7 PM, Matinee 5/4 at 2PM

Royal Golf Club • 12 NOON


Grand Opening Business After Hours 3 Slidell Wine Warehouse Cinco de Mayo Party 4 - 5 PM Silver Slipper • 5-7pm Sheriff Randy Smith Golf Tournament

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Sister Act • Slidell Little Theatre • 2pm

Some Enchanted Evening LPO Concert Heritage Park • 5-7 PM


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M A Y 2 0 1 9

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




t was a small frame church located on an out-of-the-way gravel road in what was already the most remote part of the county. The congregation had never been large; but, if needed, the building could seat about ninety people. That was ample, as on a good Sunday, the attendance was about forty. If more than fifty attended, that would have been considered a special occasion and the collection plate would have been passed twice. The building consisted of one room. As you sat, facing the front of the church, there was what some might call an altar. It was where the pulpit was placed, and it more resembled a small stage. Immediately in front of the stage was a table used for communion services. The table had some writing engraved on its face, but that was turned away from the crowd since the writing was in Latin and no one knew what it said or if it was scripturally appropriate for that denomination.


In front of the table, facing the church entry, was an aisle, and on each side of the aisle were several rows of benches. These benches were made of wood slats that would creak or moan as some of the crowd swayed while singing their favorite gospel hymn in the a cappella environment. On each side of the stage, placed perpendicular to the rest of the benches, was a very short bench that would only seat three people. The benches' original purposes were not known. Maybe they

were just made to fit the confined space. Each was known as the “Sinner’s Bench.” It became a custom, a very loosely defined custom, that a congregant who wanted to confess his or her sins would sit on this bench and, at the appropriate time, would stand and confess those sins to their fellow “Brothers and Sisters in Christ,” as their fellow worshippers were called. It should be known that the women wanting to confess would sit on one side of the church and the men would use the other side for this undefined ritual. Men tended

to confess their sins more often than women. Only twice can it be recalled that a woman came forth; and, of those, the only confession from a woman that people remember clearly was delivered by Missy Bullock.

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Missy was eighteen years old, a recent high school graduate and maybe the prettiest girl in the county. Through her junior and senior year, she only had one boyfriend and they were inseparable. There were rumors that they had been seen parked one night on some lover’s lane. It also had been rumored they were caught skinny dipping at Bluff Springs. It was thought she had broken up with her boyfriend, as he had not been seen lately. Word got out that she wanted to make a public confession of her sins on the following Sunday. What she would reveal promised to be good, so that Sunday the crowd approached maximum capacity. It was assumed she would tell of her transgressions on the lover’s lane and at Bluff Springs.


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Her confession appeared sincere at first. She related that she had been rude and disrespectful to her mother and asked forgiveness. She quoted the scripture about honoring your mother and father. After this, she paused. It was as if she had looked everyone in the audience in the eye individually. The silence must have lasted a minute. Everyone anticipated a steamy confession and sat spellbound. She began, “The real reason I am here this morning is to advise this congregation that every bench in here should be named the Sinner’s Bench. You see, you are all gossips, busy bodies, and spreaders of falsehoods. No one has ever seen me skinny dipping, because I have never skinny dipped. I will not deny that I once parked on Fire Tower Road. I have kissed my boyfriend, and I know who saw me. The reason I was there is that was the night my boyfriend – who was also my fiancé, I might add – told me he had been drafted and would be joining the Marines, so our wedding would have to be postponed. “Now, the person who saw me is here today. He was there that night, and not with the wife that is sitting beside him now.” With that, every eye in the building moved to see if body language would reveal who the sinner might be. Every man in the group felt he was a suspect. Missy closed her confession with, “God forgive us, as we have all sinned.”



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She then walked straight up the aisle and out the door. She never returned. On that day, the church lost the first pretty lady in the congregation. They would lose another. Most of the confessions, if not all, were from the heart of the repentant - hard working people, working hard at their jobs. People who worked even harder to please the Lord. As Christians today, some were more open about their relationship with Jesus than others. Some were irritated, or made to feel uncomfortable, with the confessions. Others were deeply touched by them, to the point of tears. As most of the confessions were from the heart, most of the confessions were harmless sins, or that is the way some categorized them. For example, Brother Ernest asked forgiveness for cursing when his prize bull got out of the pasture and was hit by a car. Brother Sanders said he was guilty of envy; he had wanted to buy a new Buick, but his credit would only allow him to buy a Ford. Brother Rick had a Buick, and Brother Sanders wanted one too. Some would just ask the congregation to pray for them as they had sinned. Not stating a specific sin often made the fellow members even more curious. If the news got around that, on a certain Sunday, someone was going to confess, you could count on a good crowd in attendance. That is what happened when Brother Hollis told some of the members he had a confession to make and planned on doing it the following Sunday. When Sunday came, Brother Hollis left the Sinner’s Bench and stood up in front of the communion table. He was a plumber by trade and tried to explain the nature of a job he had been hired to do. The long and short of it was that he could not find the quality materials that were specified for the job, so he had substituted a lesser quality product without adjusting his price accordingly. The audience, as usual, left disappointed. About a year later, Brother Hollis was seated on the Sinner’s Bench as the crowd began to arrive. Everyone was sure he was going to relate another typical, small-time sin that no one really cared about. However, this time it was different. He stood in front of the communion table, just as he had the year before, but it was obvious he was disturbed and began to sweat and stumble over his words as

he tried to relate the events that had landed him in this extremely uncomfortable situation. The more he squirmed, the more certain the crowd became that this promised to be good, so all ears listened carefully.


In the audience was an attractive wife and mother who was half his age. Her name was Sister Louise. She sat not ten feet from where he was standing. He then began to relate that he had been hired to do some exterior plumbing work for Louise and her husband. A root had grown through the drainage line blocking the flow. He then said that he had arrived early, about 6:30 a.m., as it was summer and he liked to work in the cool of the morning. He had previously traced the drainage pipe from the master bathroom, so that is where his work began. He then stopped and hesitated. All eyes were on Sister Louise, and you could tell she was very uncomfortable with what his future words might reveal. She had no idea that this confession had anything to do with the plumbing work at her house. Sister Louise had been married before; which, in itself, was a sign of loose morals as far as some of the congregation were concerned. He then revealed that the curtain was open on her bedroom window. She was home alone, as her husband was an engineer on the railroad and did not get home until about 10 in the morning. Brother Hollis said it was an accident, but he just happened to pass by her window as she was coming out of the bathroom, dripping wet from her bath. At first, he hurried by, ashamed that he had accidently been in the wrong place at the wrong time. That is when he said the Devil took a hold on him. He said he could feel the Devil pull on his arm and lead him back to the window. “Well, I couldn’t have helped myself if I wanted to. You know, the Devil, he is a big strong fellow. He assured me she would not see me. So, with the Devil pressing me hard, I watched her. It took her about fifteen minutes of fixin’ her hair and putting her make-up on before she even put on her underwear. “But I got to tell you truth, I want to confess all. I came back three more days and watched. I could have repaired that pipe in two hours, but instead I replaced it all the way out to the road. The Devil told me to. He told me it was ok, but not to charge them for the pipe and I didn’t. I am proud of that.”

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Sister Louise had already left the building, before Brother Hollis related the part about coming back three more days. I am sure someone conveyed all the details to her, and she was never seen in that building again. ********** There was another confessor, one that used the bench many times. His name was Toby. At that time, Toby was in his 40s, but he had the mind of a 12-year-old. About once a month, Toby would be seated on the Sinner’s Bench. The young folks liked Toby, they could relate to him, but the adults had become intolerant of him. They dreaded when he would decide to repent, which happened often. Toby did not divulge the nature of his sins. He just asked for forgiveness by Jesus and the Church, as he had been a sinner.

A lady was heard to say, “Why don’t they tell him that, as stupid as he is, he will get to heaven on a baby ticket. He doesn’t need to confess.” One Sunday, some of the teenagers asked Toby why he confessed so much. His answer was simple and profound. “I confess because I have sinned. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. One sin is just as bad as another in the sight of God. You see, I am not smart. In fact, I have heard them say I am dumb. I will never be great or amount to anything. Therefore, I must make sure God loves me.” Many years later, I attended that church. The Sinner’s Bench was still there. A few of the Old-Timers, the ones my age, remember when sins were confessed, but they say it has not been done in years. Last year, I attended that church again.

I sat on the bench. Toby had been dead for years, but I remembered his words. “We all sin.” Toby’s simple summation may have been the greatest expression of repentance to flow from any bench in that tiny church. As I sat there, I realized that bench needed me to fulfill its purpose. Guess what? I needed it too.

Story loosely inspired by the sermon of Reverend Keith Abramowski First Presbyterian Church Slidell, Louisiana

John S. Case May 2019

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ou might think that a funeral home’s business is all about death, but according to Bobby Ducote, Owner and Funeral Director at Audubon Funeral Home, nothing could be further from the truth. Funerals often bring families and friends together to celebrate the life of the deceased and share memories, some of whom haven’t spoken or seen each other in years. “In the 30 years I’ve been in this business, I’ve witnessed how this industry is a celebration of life,” Bobby explains. “Everyone is important to someone and every life matters, be they rich man or poor man. Regardless of their circumstances, everyone deserves a proper funeral.” Bobby began his journey in the funeral business in Picayune, MS at 18, when he took a summer job and became an apprentice at his local funeral home. The funeral director, Emmett Hayes, took Bobby under his wing, and even encouraged him to attend college to become a funeral director. “I’ll never forget the work and life lessons I learned while working for that small, locally-owned, and family-run business,” Bobby said. “I remember, very early on, one family going out of their way to call and thank me personally for the services we had provided for their loved one. It became one of my most cherished memories about my work in this industry, and a building block of my career.” After attending college to earn his Mortuary Science degree and his Funeral Director’s license, Bobby worked for many years in the New Orleans metro area for funeral homes both large and small. At one point, he was hired to relocate to Naples, FL to oversee the operation of 14 corporate owned funeral homes. “It feels like I’ve experienced everything the funeral industry is, from the small and independent, to the large, multi-state, corporate operations,” Bobby explains. “I’ve witnessed the changes in the industry that come with each generation, first with people my grandparents’ age, then those my parents’ age, and finally folks my age.”

One of the changes that has fundamentally altered the funeral industry is how commonplace cremations are now. Back when Bobby started in the industry, cremations were only performed about 1% of the time, but have grown to over 60% in the ensuing years. Generations have changed in the way they view funerals. Other reasons for the rise in cremations include: lack of burial space, cost of burial space, lack of affiliation with a church, environmental concerns (such as limiting a carbon footprint), flexibility on time constraints, families are more mobile and spread out so they are less likely to be tied to a particular location, and more acceptance of cremations by religious affiliations. “A funeral has always been about helping the family and friends of the deceased pay tribute to the life of their loved one, and to begin the grieving process,” Bobby said. “Whether it’s a open casket service or a memorial with an urn, the most important elements of the service are what is going on internally with our guests. There is no ‘proper way’ to celebrate and say goodbye to a loved one, so we help facilitate the way that best fits the individual families we serve.” It’s this hyper focus on serving the individual clients that Bobby is passionate about, and it was the early death of his own brother which helped change the way he views and approaches his profession. “Experiencing my brother’s loss from the ‘other side’ has given me a much deeper insight into the role a funeral home plays in a community,” he explains. “When I ran and oversaw corporately-owned funeral homes, my focus was split between serving grieving families and serving the board and investors of the company. I never got into this business for the money. It appealed to me because of the comfort and trust you can forge when you bring people together to celebrate the life of a member of our community.” Bobby has come full circle, and is back running his own local, familyoperated funeral home. Audubon Funeral Home, located on Hwy 11 in Slidell, just north of I-12, is a new and stylish facility with plans to add their own cemetery on the land next door. To schedule a tour or a consultation, please call Bobby or his wife Melissa at (985) 645-0600.

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www. AudubonFuneralHome.com



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or the everyday woman who is on the go, there often isn't enough time or desire to take an extra hour out of the morning to perfect her hair and make-up. If you lived in the city, it wouldn't be a hassle to book an appointment after work to get your hair washed and styled for an evening event. Yet, when owner Erica Williams moved back to her hometown Slidell, she found herself missing the convenience of the amenities found in a big city. “I was so accustomed to the ease of having everything in my back yard, that I decided to bring a touch of the modern blow dry and nail bars that are prevalent in New Orleans, to Slidell.” Being the granddaughter of the late Councilwoman-at-Large, Pearl Williams, Erica was raised with a deep love for Slidell and awareness of the importance in investing back into our community. So, when it came time to choose a location, there was no better place than Olde Towne. “Some of my best memories as a child were of running around the old City Hall Council chambers before meetings or helping her plant flowers and trees along Front Street for Keep Slidell Beautiful.” For anyone who truly knew Pearl, they knew that she never skipped an appointment with Mrs. Vicki to get her hair done for the week. “It was 'her time' she used to tell me. She treated me to getting my toes painted to keep me quiet while she got her version of a blow out. It was then I knew how important 'me time' is to any woman.” When asked what her inspiration was in creating this beautiful space, Erica answered, “Before construction, I stood in the doorway of the empty building reminiscing on those memories with my grandmother at the salon. I knew then I wanted to build an experience like none other available in our community. I designed a place where the busiest of enterprising women, to the tired new mother, and everyone in between can indulge in

'me time' with their favorite drink of choice from the full-service bar - all while our amazing team makes them feel relaxed, beautiful, and confident.” Not everyone is familiar with the concept of a blow dry bar. Erica understands, "We are a little different than most. Simply put, our boutique salon is a place where anyone can come to experience a simple wash and style or up-do, a mani/pedi, personalized make-up application, tailored brow and lash services, waxing, or a customized spray tan. The only catch is we do not offer cut and color hair services.” She went on to elaborate that The Blow Dry Bar of Slidell was created with the vision of being an all-inclusive service location for anyone’s beauty and selfmaintenance needs. The Blow Dry Bar of Slidell also offers bridal, pre-event, or party packages for hair and make-up, as well as group mani/pedi packages. Packages include gourmet appetizers, refreshments, and liquor of your choosing, all while you enjoy their space and services, exclusively. “As we grow, we hope to become the go-to destination for any girl's or mother’s night as we work to bring our community new and exclusive services, like our hair product line, Oribe, which is brand new to Slidell.” The Blow Dry Bar of Slidell, located at 2048 Front Street, is open 7 days a week, even open till 8pm Friday and Saturday, to accommodate anyone’s schedule. You can visit their website to book an appointment online, or call for a customized experience. Walk-ins are always welcome!

www.theblowdrybarslidell.com 985-201-7324




By Mike Rich, CFP® Pontchartrain Investment Management

TAKE CARE OF YOUR MONEY, OR IT MIGHT LEAVE YOU. The person behind the mask you see here is my daughter, Betsy. She’s a dental hygienist and has been in practice here in Slidell for more than 15 years. Her patients love her. During her final year of training at LSU Dental School, Betsy had to take one of her qualifying examinations, the one that tested her on how to administer Novocaine. Having moved on from injecting oranges with needles, she needed a real, live patient for her test, and she asked me if I would volunteer. “I’m really good at it,” Betsy said, “and I promise that it won’t hurt a bit. It’ll be a piece of cake.” How could I say no? On the day of the exam, I showed up at the dental school ready to make Betsy look good. She was a little nervous, but I assured her that she would do great. “Besides,” I said, “it’s only one injection, right?” “No, Dad,” she replied, “actually, it’s 11 injections, in different parts of your mouth. But don’t worry,” she

mind, and you’d be right. However, I took them like a man (and a dad). The good news is that Betsy passed her exam, went on to graduate in the top three of her class, and now has a thriving dental hygiene practice. And, it took only a week for me to stop drooling.

said, “after the first couple of shots, you won’t feel a thing.” She tried to hide it, but I thought I heard her giggle a little bit. About that time, her professor came over and said it was time to begin. “Get in the chair, Dad,” Betsy said, “it’s show time!” You might imagine that enduring 11 Novocaine injections in one sitting tends to focus the

When I was in college, I read a book about teeth, and I remember the author writing something like, “If you don’t take care of your teeth, they will leave you.” Just recently, I went to see Betsy to have my teeth cleaned, and I was thinking that money, too, can leave you if you don’t take care of it. How can that be, you ask? Let’s count some of the ways…

1. Life has risks, and we have to protect our money from them. If your family depends on you and your job for money, you need life and disability insurance.





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

For life insurance, the most cost effective approach might be to use term insurance to protect your family during your working years. You know those commercials you hear on the radio about cheap life insurance? You might want to pay attention. Term life insurance can, indeed, be very inexpensive, and for lots of age groups. Disability insurance, on the other hand, is not as cheap, but it covers a different type of risk, that is, the inability to work due to an accident or illness. Many people have group disability insurance as a benefit. The coverage is often not great, but at least it’s something. However, if you are the family’s breadwinner, and you don’t have group disability insurance, you really should think about getting your own policy. Call me to find out.1

2. Money does not grow on trees. Now I’m sounding like my dad. However, Dad was right. Money doesn’t just appear. Most of us have to work for it. And, most of us have to save and invest, sometimes over a very long period of time, to have enough money to fund a long retirement. I’ve

said this before in my articles: if you don’t save money for the future, it’s unlikely that anyone else will do it for you. Here’s a happy thought: a 25-year old who invests $300 a month at an average 6% rate of return can amass about $600,000 in 40 years. That’s real money, and $500 a month makes him or her a millionaire. It doesn’t happen overnight, and there are no guarantees. Also, you have to be consistent, and it helps a lot if you have an advisor to help you manage risk. No matter the amount of money you have to work with, practically anyone can use this strategy, and the best time to start is today.2 Call me, and we’ll crunch the numbers.

3. When you are old, you might need to pay someone to take care of you. My grandfather spent all – all – of his money, accumulated over more than 50 years of work, on nursing home care. It’s something our family members still talk about. If you’ve been a long-time reader of my articles, you know the numbers by now: there is a 70% chance that the average person over the age of 65 will need some type of care before he or

she dies.3 For many of us, that care is going to have to come from someone other than a family member, and it’s probably going to cost a lot of money. The good news here is that some types of long term care insurance are not “use it or lose it,” meaning that, if you don’t need the insurance for long term care, the policy can still pay a death benefit, or, you might even get your money back. To find out how this might work for you, call me.1 I do not want my teeth to leave me, so I see Betsy regularly for a cleaning. Likewise, I don’t want your money to leave you, either. If you’d like to discuss more ways to try and keep that from happening, call me today for a free consultation. Mike Rich, CFP®, Pontchartrain Investment Management, 2065 1st Street, Slidell, LA 70458 985-605-5066 Benefits are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing company.


This is a hypothetical example and is not representative of any specific situation. Your results will vary. The hypothetical rate of return used does not reflect the deduction of 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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Created to honor & celebrate the service & sacrifice of armed service veterans throughout the state, The Louisiana Veterans Festival is hosted by East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity. All proceeds benefit their Veterans Build program. Too many of our Veterans are homeless or cannot afford a decent place to live. The initial Veteran Build house broke ground on Veterans Day, November 11, 2013. With hard work and funds from the previous five Louisiana Veterans Festivals, construction is nearing completion on the third veteran home. 24

Even t 1pm- Time 11pm

U.S. Congressman Steve Scalise (Keynote Speaker)

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser (Keynote Speaker)

M AY 1 8 T H , 2 0 1 9 H E R I TAG E PA R K




FUN 25


Bonnet Carre’ Spillway Story and photos by Donna Bush

For Mardi Gras 2019, New Orleans and the surrounding areas were inundated with more than tourists, beads and booze. The Mississippi River was quickly approaching flood stage and earlier than usual. Snowmelt in the US Midwest and Mid-Atlantic areas began early. The contiguous United States experienced the wettest winter on record. Swollen tributaries north of New Orleans that feed into the Lower Mississippi River from the east include the Eastern Ohio, Tennessee, White, Green, Wabash and Yazoo. From the west, the Missouri and Arkansas rivers add to the deluge. All funnel to the Gulf of Mexico via Baton Rouge and New Orleans. On February 27th, a few days before Fat Tuesday, the United States Corp of Engineers (USACE) made the decision to open the Bonnet Carre Spillway, pulling pins to open 28 bays. This was the first time the Spillway has ever been opened in back-to-back years. Last year it was open for 23 days in March. This year became the fourth longest opening on record.

The trigger point for opening is when the river flow at the Spillway structure reaches 1.25 million cubic feet per second, which generally coincides with a flood stage of 17 feet at the Carrolton gauge. Although the levees can protect the city to 20 feet, a lot of stress is inflicted on them. As USACE prepared for the opening, the initial plan was to open as many as 200 bays and keep some bays open until the end of March. In reality, a maximum of 206 bays were opened by March 14, and 10 bays closed on March 15. This has been a slow, slow process. As of this writing, there were only 99 open bays. Per USACE, all of the bays should be closed by mid-April. As I drove home after visiting the open Spillway on February 27, I received an alert to the closure of the Huey P. Long Bridge over the Mississippi River at New Orleans. The mast of a northbound tanker ship, known as Clio, hit the lower support structure of the bridge. The bridge was closed for a damage inspection. Thankfully, no

damage was done, and it reopened a short while later. The high-water level and swift current cause grief for ship traffic. Clio hasn’t been the only incident. The northbound tanker, Taho Asia, experienced difficulty maintaining control while waiting in an eddy at Algiers Point for passing traffic. Fortunately, nearby tugs were able to corral the ship before any damage was done. Coast Guard imposes restrictions on ship traffic during high water events. Southbound traffic is restricted to daylight hours only. Ships that are loaded and anchored along the river must have a river pilot on board at all times. USACE, in conjunction with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA), permit subsurface construction within 1500 feet of the center line of the Mississippi River. When the river reaches a level of 15 feet at the Carrolton gauge, all construction is shut down. Daily, USACE performs levee inspections looking for seepage points, barges parked


close to the levee, cars or equipment parked on the levee. George Burkley, executive director of Maritime Pilots Institute, elaborated on one of the difficult navigation situations that ships face with the Spillway open. As a ship maneuvers its way downriver fighting the high water and fast current, when it approaches the open Spillway, the high water is being diverted left towards Lake Pontchartrain. The ship needs to turn right towards New Orleans. With the flooding, the Coast Guard imposed speed restrictions in the area of the Spillway. The slower the ship is moving, the more difficult to maintain control, due to the less effectiveness of the rudder. Per Senior Hydrologist, Jeff Graschel, with the National Weather Service in New Orleans, “April has been pretty dry in the Ohio & Tennessee Valleys, so the rivers have receded in these areas. Warmer temperatures have melted most


of the snow and the snowmelt crest on the Mississippi River is approaching St. Louis. Since the Ohio River has receded over 10 feet from earlier crests, the combination of the Ohio and the volume of water from snowmelt is not enough to cause the Lower Mississippi River to rise again. Right now, we are not seeing any higher stages in our long-range model. We are still vulnerable to more flooding over the next two months but heavy rain in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio Valleys will be the key.” What is the impact of opening the Bonnet Carre Spillway? The opening prevents flooding south of New Orleans and alleviates pressure on the levees. But it also allows 250,000 cubic feet per second of sediment-loaded water to rush into Lake Pontchartrain. This has a huge effect on the fishing in the Lake. The effect is both good and bad. Lake Pontchatrain is made up of brackish water – a mixture of salt and fresh water,

saltier than fresh water, but not as salty as seawater. This brackish water is home to species that can tolerate that type of mixture. On most days, a fisherman will find both fresh water and saltwater species depending on where he fishes. Speckled trout, a variety of bass, catfish, and crappie delight fisherman year-round. Louisiana isn’t named "The Sportsman’s Paradise" for nothing! I reached out to Don Dubuc, famed Louisiana fresh and saltwater fisherman and host of the WWL weekly Fish and Game Report. His insight: “Fresh, muddy water from the Mississippi will displace the brackish water species, especially the speckled trout.” The introduction of the nutrient-rich water is another good/bad scenario. The downside is the nutrients can cause an algae bloom, depleting oxygen in the water and causing a fish kill. The nutrients and small prey species such

as minnow, shad, crawfish and freshwater shrimp provide food for the predator species. The freshwater fish ultimately will find their way to fresh rivers and creeks, restocking those areas. Long-term, the nutrients will improve the health of the lake. Per Don, “Bottom line – short term, mostly negative. Long-term, mostly beneficial [to fishing].” Louisiana is losing land and running out of time. According to mississippiriverdelta.org, roughly 9 million cubic yards of sediment is lost during each Spillway opening. This is sediment that could be used to protect our wetlands and, in turn, protect people and property from major hurricanes. The sediment pouring into Lake Pontchatrain does help to rebuild the wetlands bordering the lake. While the levees prevent flooding of thousands of homes and communities, they also keep nutrients from traveling to where it is needed most, our coastline. It’s a tough choice. What can be done? There are two sediment diversion projects in the works. One is mid-Barataria, located on the west bank near Myrtle Grove, and the other is mid-Breton, on the east bank in Plaquemine Parish. Both are in the engineering phase. What is a sediment diversion? Per mississippiriverdelta.org: “A sediment diversion is a large-scale coastal restoration project including a structure of gates that will be built into the Mississippi River levee system to allow river water, sediment and nutrients to flow into degrading wetlands to help sustain and rebuild land. Sediment diversions mimic the natural processes that once allowed the river to build the land of coastal Louisiana.” These projects would reconnect the river to the wetlands allowing crucial sediment required for the success of our coast. The Spillway bays are being slowly closed with no issues. No algae bloom. No levee breeches. No flooding. A bullet, known as Mississippi River flooding, has been dodged again by opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. Thousands are safe and we are thankful for that. Now, let’s look forward to the sediment diversion projects to help rebuild our coastal wetlands.

Mississippi River Facts Draining 41% of the 48 contiguous United States, with a basin that covers more than 1.25 million square miles, makes the Mississippi River the fourth largest drainage basin in the world. Only larger are the Amazon, Congo and Nile Rivers! Rain in New York, Montana, Kansas and Michigan will eventually flow into the Mississippi River and out into the Gulf of Mexico. Think of it as a huge funnel with an open spout at the Gulf. The Mississippi River is the second longest river in North America, flowing 2,350 miles from its source, Lake Itasca, to the Gulf of Mexico. A tributary of the Mississippi, the Missouri River, is about one hundred miles longer. The Port of South Louisiana located along the Mississippi River near La Place is one of the largest volume ports in the United States in terms of tonnage. Roughly 500 million tons of goods are shipped per year through this port. Agricultural goods such as grains, soybeans and livestock, along with petroleum, petroleum products, iron and steel, grain, rubber, paper, wood, coffee, coal, chemicals and edible oils are a few of the items traveling the Mississippi River.


History of the Bonnet Carre Spillway The Spillway was constructed by the USACE in response to the extensive flooding of the Mississippi River in 1927 when more than 500 people lost their lives and over 700,000 were displaced. The idea for the Spillway came from the success of blowing up a section of the levee downriver at Caenarvon, LA to release the flood waters and save New Orleans. The Spillway was built between 1929 – 1931 and became part of the federal Mississippi River and Tributaries Project, a flood control program. It is maintained and operated by USACE. Construction came with some challenges. Four critical tasks had to be completed for the Spillway to be a success: 1. The foundation of 70-foot long wooden pilings must hold in the soft mud. 2. The onsite lab must successfully develop a formula that would nearly double the strength of the concrete. 3. The temporary hydraulic lab built onsite must provide accurate data on which to base a successful Spillway design. 4. An engineered breech [the Spillway] at the site of numerous 19th century levee breaks must permit the river to create a new permanent path to Lake Pontchartrain. Failure of any one of these tasks would result in failure of the Spillway project.


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First opened in 1937, the Spillway has saved New Orleans from countless flood damage. Located approximately 33 miles north of New Orleans, in St. Charles Parish, the 1.5-mile long Spillway consists of 350 bays with each seven-foot wide bay containing 20 creosote timbers (pens or needles). The design engineered high bays and low bays, with less water flowing through the high bays. USACE opening procedures document which bays to open and how many should be high or low. When a decision is made to open the Spillway, two cranes move along the structure, pulling needles from the pre-determined bays, allowing the diversion of a portion of the Mississippi River into Lake Pontchartrain and out to the Gulf, preventing flooding further south. Guide levees exist along each side of the floodway’s 7000 acres. The floodway is 5.7 miles in length and provides a fantastic recreation area when not flooded. Activities consist of hunting, fishing, hiking, birding & wildlife viewing, biking, horseback riding, boating and water sports. There is even a radio control airfield and ATV/motorcycle riding area.

“Your Estate Matters”


by Ronda M. Gabb, JD, RFC

LOUISIANA SECURITY FREEZE Do you worry that someone may “steal your identity” and open new credit lines if they obtain your Social Security Number (SSN)? If so, there is a way to “freeze” your credit file so that no one (not even you) may access it without your unique personal identification number (PIN) issued by each credit bureau. The good news is once your credit is frozen you could put your SSN on a billboard without a worry in the world. The bad news is that you better not lose your PIN number. I was probably one of the first people to freeze my credit and a month later all my PINs got destroyed by Katrina! It was not an easy task to get them reissued. Louisiana was actually one of the very first states to implement this “security freeze” law back in July of 2005. The actual law is found at La. R.S. 9:3571.1, but for a layperson, the best information can be found if you simply do a GOOGLE search for “Credit Freeze”. You should find this link will come up first: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/09/free-credit-freezes-are-here You must contact and freeze with each credit bureau individually. The “Big 3” are the most important: 1. Experian (1-888-397-3742) 2. Equifax (1-800-685-1111) 3. Transunion (1-888-909-8872) However, there is another bureau making some strides called Innovis (1-800-540-2505) that you may wish to freeze as well. This can be done by telephone or online. The best website to visit is the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information page (that is the link above). It has web links to each of the “Big 3” bureaus that you can click on and it will bring you to where you can do all online. The good news is that since September 21, 2018, it is all FREE! It is free to both freeze and “thaw”. This change is due in large part to the huge Equifax data breach of 2017 that affected almost half of the U.S. population (145 million people)! Prior to this change, it was only free for those 62 and older. Once your SSN is frozen, no one may access your credit information without knowing your unique PIN, not even you. If anyone tries to access your credit file through your SSN it will come back as being “blocked” or “frozen”. When someone needs to access your credit (to open a new bank account, credit card, or get a credit score or loan, etc.), you must plan in advance and “thaw” the freeze for the amount of time needed to run your credit report. I recommend that you call ahead and ask the bank (or lender) exactly which bureau they use to pull credit reports so that you only need to lift the freeze from that particular bureau.

This “thaw” usually occurs within the hour. Be aware that many mortgage lenders require a “triangulated” credit report so that all three major bureaus must be lifted at the same time. You can also have a security freeze placed on the credit file of “protected persons”. This would be minors or someone who has been interdicted by the Court (placed under a legal guardianship). The benefits of having a security freeze far outweigh the only downside of merely having to plan a little bit ahead. I no longer pay for any credit monitoring services, but you still need to keep a good eye on your existing credit accounts. A security freeze also solves a problem that is becoming increasingly rampant…new credit lines being opened literally a day or two after someone’s death. When the SSN is on “lock down”, no new credit may be opened, even post-death. If this freeze was not in place at the time of death, the credit bureaus will not “lock” a deceased person’s SSN until they are in receipt of a death certificate. Another disturbing trend is that death certificates can take weeks (or even months depending on the manner of death) before they are issued. A security freeze is certainly worth the effort to give yourself peace of mind and prevent the huge hassle caused by identity theft.

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 • www.rondamgabb.com


FIND HAPPINESS By Very Reverend W.C. Paysse, V.F. Pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes Church Dear Friends, Another word for the month of May is happiness. That sense of contentment, free from worry, peacefulness. Like a field of poppies or black-eyed Susans that bring the soul to pause and acknowledge from the inside out that something larger than oneself is present in the moment. It is also an occasion to slow down from the hectic daily work routine, the academic schedule and the obligations of life. One can say that it is a time when spring drifts into summer. Nathaniel Hawthorne puts it this way, “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” Yes, our lives are rushed, pushed and stretched beyond the human limit much of the time, and it is good to slow down and regain the gift of happiness so our souls might reset. It is important for us to create moments or periods in our lives when we can be renewed and refreshed for ourselves and those we cherish in our lives. To create memories that will last for generations can be very uplifting and healing. What are your memories as a child, an adolescent or young adult? How do you see yourself now? How can you grow happy and uplifting memories? For example, I enjoy gardens. I recall as a child riding my bike and particularly noticing a neighbor who planted beautiful sweet peas every season. Yes, they were planted against a white picket fence, always in a rainbow of color. They are etched in my memory like a canvas painted with a splash of Monet! The sweet peas stood tall and graceful, so poised, gentle and soft, like ballerinas. We must allow ourselves to be natural in all we do so we might grow more so towards the supernatural. After all, we are immortal, and God has created us for heaven. The Lord has created us a little less than the angels, according to the Bible. So, my friends, drink up the month of May, and be filled with all she offers from the Creator. Grow from the inside out, and stand tall like the sweet peas of long ago. Do not be pushed or rushed or stretched, but be lifted upward where you can see all things the way God intended. Yes, be you! Be Happy,

Very Reverend W.C. Paysse, V.F. Pastor 32

MAY EVENTS CHURCH EVE RY THURSDAY: That Man Is You with Mass 6am, Parish Life Center 5/2

Catholic Daughters of America 6:30-7:30pm, Parish Life Center


First Saturday Devotions, 8:30am Mass followed with Confession, Adoration and Benediction at 10am


Blood Drive, 7:30am-1pm, Bloodmobile in Church parking lot

5/12 Mother’s Day. Vocation Sunday. May Crowning, 8:30am Mass 5/14 Knights of Columbus Meeting; dinner 6pm, meeting 7pm, KC Hall 5/21 Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Meeting; dinner 6pm, meeting 7pm, KC Hall 5/23 Men’s Club, 7pm, OLL gym


School May Crowning, 10am, Statue of Our Lady on Berkley and Westchester

5/3 & 5/4 Pope John Paul II High School production of Fiddler on the Roof, Jr. including cast members from OLL & St. Margaret Mary, 7pm, OLL cafeteria and on 5/4, 2pm and 7pm 5/9

PTC Banquet, 6pm, St. Tammany Yacht Club

5/11 Sacrament of First Holy Communion, 10:30am, Church Father/Daughter Dance, OLL cafeteria 5/14 Pre-K4 End of Year Program, 10am, Church 5/15 Kindergarten End of Year Program, 10am, Church 5/16 7th Grade Mass and Promotion Ceremony, 7pm, Church 5/22 Pre-K3 End of Year Program 9am, Early Childhood Development Center 5/23 Early dismissal 5/24 Last day of school. Final school Mass, 8:30am, Church 9:30-11am grade-level awards, gym. 11:30am final dismissal 5/28 Summer Camp begins



ran away with the


Salt & Pepper By Katie Clark I remember standing in my college apartment, cordless phone wedged between ear and shoulder, as my mom in Baton Rouge walked me through the process of cleaning a chicken. “What is this bag in here? Gross!” I somehow managed to feed myself and avoid salmonella poisoning. When I got my first apartment, I was given a pantry starter kit: Salt, Pepper and Tony’s. That would be Tony Chachere’s spice mix. I used that stuff on everything. I was a chef, after all - the master of my kitchen. My recipe for spaghetti was a jar of tomato sauce, meat, microwaved in a colander, and a big dash of Tony’s. Taco night? Ground beef, microwaved in a colander, shredded cheese and a big dash of Tony’s. Mashed potatoes? Boil the potatoes forever until they fall apart and then mix them up and add – a big dash of Tony’s. I like to think I’ve come a long way since then. Reflecting on that first apartment brought up a memory of the first, and perhaps the last, study group I ever hosted. Someone requested coffee. My mom only used instant coffee growing up, so I rushed to the kitchen, microwaved some water and put a heaping of (NOT) instant Community Coffee into the heated water. Someone asked for cream so in went a dollop of vanilla ice cream. If you are keeping track, that would be: hot water, raw coffee grounds and a scoop of vanilla. To go please! My, oh my, how did I survive four years alone in New Orleans?

When I visit the spice aisle in the grocery store, I am overwhelmed by the expensive glass jars of exotic spices. Spices for ethnic dishes, spices for blackening, and spices to elevate your chicken, or as someone says, to “kick it up a notch.” The salt section has certainly grown in recent years – coarse, Kosher, Himalayan Pink, old-fashioned Morton’s, Finishing Salt… I was a fine cook when I met my husband, coming a long way since my Tony’s addiction. I had gone to culinary school, although that only taught me the recipe for a massive amount of debt. (One student loan, plus two tablespoons of children, a dash of a car note and whipped health insurance on top.) However, I knew my way around a kitchen. I know how to chiffonade and how to chop fast to impress. My husband is the one who

opened my eyes to “salt and pepper.” He believes that food should taste like the food it is. Over-seasoning to him was like a lady who wears too much perfume. I believe the rule is you should only smell a woman’s perfume when you lean in close for an embrace. Perhaps the same is true for food. A nice amount of salt and pepper goes a long way. It certainly makes you appreciate finer ingredients and slower meals. Of course, there is always a place for spices, don’t misunderstand. But sometimes it is nice to “take it down a notch,” to appreciate a protein or a vegetable for what it is. Take the underrated parsnip, for example. Parsnips are complicated, they are dull in color, but full of flavor. They are the carrot's well-traveled cousin with a satchel of postcards and souvenirs – earthy, sweet and sophisticated. Baked, then finished with salt and pepper and fresh parsley, there’s truly nothing better. But who am I to tame your wild palate? Feel free to take this all with a grain of salt! ROASTED VEGETABLES Preheat oven to 425°. Peel and dice carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Mix with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender. Turn at the halfway point with a spatula. Finish with fresh parsley. 33

Go Beyond

by Rose Marie Sand My dear friend, Debbie Lefort, told me of a philosophy shared by her and her late husband, Nolan Lefort: “Leave nothing unsaid.” A book by that name was written by their friend, Judy Nolan, and it speaks to leaving nothing unsaid to the important people in your life. Both Nolan and Debbie – teachers, artists and musicians – experienced life that way organically; and perhaps that’s the message of an artist. Creativity passes


on through the hands and heart of those who create, and those who experience the creation. I believe it is the artist’s way of leaving nothing unsaid. This idea came full circle as I walked through the inspiring rooms of the Walter Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs, MS, hoping for a spark that would end my bout of creative block. Anderson’s work and his life story have long served as a creative oasis for me. I think that,

through Walter Anderson’s complicated life, he left nothing unsaid. He painted the nature of his beloved area in a way that reminds me of our beloved Slidell artist, Nolan Lefort; both artists used their gifts to express their love of nature and life. Anderson painted the creatures and plants of the area he called home in Horn Island, MS. Nolan’s muse was often from his Cajun roots and the plants and animals he studied there.

Top: Self portraits by Walter Anderson, Anthony DiFatta, and Nolan Lefort. Bottom left: Painted in 1951-52, Walter Anderson's 2500 square-foot Community Center murals resound with his belief in civic duty. His compensation was a $1 check he never cashed. Bottom right: The Walter Anderson Museum is located at 510 Washington Avenue, Ocean Springs, MS. Hours are Mon- Sat 10am-5pm. Find out more at: www.walterandersonmuseum.org

Nolan was a good friend, and the art of Walter Anderson helped me feel in touch with this illusive creative spirit. Since Nolan’s passing a few years ago, the treasures of the artwork he left behind have often inspired me. That spring day, the Director of Education, a young man named Anthony DiFatta, talked to a small group touring the museum. As he described Walter Anderson’s influences in the art world, I mentioned my friend, Nolan, and his nature-inspired work. Anthony’s response startled me. You see, Anthony was a science student of Nolan’s in Pearl River in the 1980’s. And when I explained that Nolan had passed away, Anthony had a visceral reaction to the news. Although it’s been years since he’s seen Nolan, he’d never forgotten this Slidell teacher who inspired him years ago. “If you asked me, ‘What do you regret in life?’ I’d say I don’t have any regrets. Because, if I could go back and change even one thing, it would change who I am now,” Anthony explained. But there is one thing he wishes he could do over – “I wish I had kept up my relationship with Nolan.” Nolan Lefort was a prolific artist and influential teacher for many years in Slidell, and his family, friends and fans miss him terribly. Little did I know that both Nolan Lefort and Walter Anderson had influenced my new friend, Anthony, too. We sat in the studio across the street from the museum, where Anthony now teaches, and discussed the path that led Anthony from Louisiana to his own art and his role at the Anderson Museum.

“Nolan influenced me in a way of looking at the world,” Anthony said. “When I lived in Slidell, I was in an environment that did not foster curiosity about how the world works.” He remembers Mr. Lefort’s influence and that he was “a very entertaining teacher with a funny but sinister sense of humor!” That evaluation is exactly what Nolan’s students and friends remember, too. Like the time Nolan decorated a Christmas tree in his science class with dead birds! But, he also had a very life-affirming manner. “He seemed unafraid to buck convention and that made an impression on me and my future work,” Anthony said. While Tony was a science student of Nolan’s, he also knew of the amazing artist that was just beneath the surface in everything Nolan did. The young man had a lot in common with Walter Anderson and Nolan Lefort, both, naturalists that drew inspiration from local plants and animals. Born in Hattiesburg, MS, Anthony moved to Slidell with his family at the age of seven. He grew up “in the swamp off Military Road” and doodled in the margins of his notepad in science class. “I remember playing with crawfish holes. Living close to New Orleans also had a big impact on me because my parents didn’t take us to museums and galleries.” But the “art kids” gravitated towards each other, and towards those who would open their eyes to the artist life. He fondly remembers his role models, including his grandmother, Lena Mae Harrington, who helped the youngster by providing a desk with art supplies.

Top: Slidell artist, Nolan Lefort, on the boat and in nature which served as a constant inspiration for his artwork, as seen on the right. Bottom: "The Big Easy" and "Decatur looking towards Canal" by Anthony DiFatta 35

“I was always drawing and drawing. I don’t ever remember not making stuff.” And he knew that’s what he wanted to do someday.

He began to volunteer and teach at the Anderson Museum. “Unlike other jobs I’ve held, I feel recharged when I leave this job and being around Anderson’s work.”

It seems Anthony’s path to Ocean Springs, and to the Walter Anderson Museum, was ordered by his creative muses. After high school in Slidell, he went to Southeastern, then joined the military.

Anthony now shows art in several mediums, and his work can be found in galleries and shows around the country. I visited him recently, and exchanged one of Nolan Lefort’s self portraits for one of Anthony’s portraits of his son, Preston, and a copy of his book. The similarities and influence is astounding.

“My world view was evolving, and I got to travel with the military to Antarctica a couple of times. That was very liberating; my confidence grew working with scientificminded people.” Then, after a stint at the University of Mississippi taking sculpture and painting classes, he visited Slidell and his old stomping grounds. By that time, Nolan had become an art teacher and his work was hanging in the school. Anthony had not seen Nolan’s art before, only knowing him as a science teacher with an incredible mind. “I reconnected with this unconventional and influential man,” Anthony said. The connection to the art of Walter Anderson, leading to his current position with the Museum, began when he found Anderson’s work. Anthony’s previous job as a graphic designer wasn’t fulfilling his mission in life. “When I got off work, I’d feel completely drained; it was hard to be creative,” Anthony said. Although he was showing his work in galleries around the country, he decided to move back to Mississippi and get a teacher’s license to secure his family’s income.


He started working in the State arts program and a homeless art program. It was there Anderson’s work became instrumental to his future. There, he learned about electroshock therapy, and the work that Anderson produced in the 1940's when he was a patient in the same hospital where Anthony now taught. An art show of Anderson’s work at the hospital led him to visit the Walter Anderson Museum, and to incorporating the essence of that work into his own art program. “I worked with so many artists with different types of mental disabilities and learned that creativity is very healing.” He received a grant to write a book called “Images from the Edge,” about the art of the patients he taught at the hospital. From there, the journey to Ocean Springs was a decision he and his wife, Melissa, made easily. They bought a piece of land, steps away from the Walter Anderson museum, and built a beautiful home there. Melissa is an attorney, and she’s on the board at the George Ohr Museum in Biloxi.

And it’s obvious that his wish to live a life as an artist with no regrets, a life that integrates the places and the artists he loves, has led to amazing art that will now affect many others. When I shared Anthony’s story with Nolan’s wife, Debbie Lefort, she was pleased but not surprised to learn of the impact her husband had on his student. She summed it up this way, “It warms my heart to hear how Nolan touched the lives of his students. He was a great teacher of science, art, and most importantly, life.” Anthony says it this way, “I wish I had stayed in touch after reconnecting. He really made an impact on the way that I looked at the world and challenged my own ideas, thoughts, and opinions about things. We are raising our son to think the same way; so, in essence, he’s influenced another generation.” If you are interested in booking a tour of WAMA, contact Tony at: educate@walterandersonmueum.org

Top: "Canal from Astor Crowne Plaza" by Anthony DiFatta. Bottom: The scenic beaches and wildlife in Ocean Springs, MS serve as inspiration for Anthony today. Anthony works and lives only a few blocks from the Gulf Coast beach. Bottom right: Anthony DiFatta. Slidell Magazine wishes to express our gratitude to the Walter Anderson Museum, Anthony DiFatta, Debbie Lefort and Jonathan Soo for permission to reprint the art in this story.

The City of Slidell presents

with the

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

Sunday, May 5, 2019 Slidell’s Heritage Park Ronnie Kole concert at 5 pm Special Presentation at 5:30 pm LPO Concert at 6 p.m. Free Admission!

646-4375 • MySlidell.com

Thank you to the City of Slidell’s 2019 Cultural Season Sponsors! Renaissance $5,000 Sponsors: Baroque $2,500 Sponsors: CLECO Power, LLC • C. Ray Murry, Attorney at Law, LLC Jazz on the Bayou/Ronnie Kole Foundation

Neoclassical $1,000 Sponsors: Councilman Bill & Laura Borchert • Lori Gomez Art Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance Agency • Purple Armadillo Again • Silver Slipper Casino Impressionism $500 Sponsors: Chateau Bleu • Chef Charmaigne, Fine Creative Food • CiCi’s Pizza Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer • Flatliners Entertainment • The GlassMen • Old School Eats Food Truck Olde Towne Print Shop • Pontchartrain Investment Management • Roberta’s Cleaners Slidell Historical Antique Association • Terry Lynn’s Cafe • Tanya Witchen - REMAX Alliance Supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs. 37

lie Gates

Les Story by

“HERE’S YOUR SIGN” There are over 7 billion people in the world. You are only one of them. How is it possible to stick out and make a difference with such a measly number as 1? We have the Oprahs of the world that once you hear their name, you know them immediately. The contributions they’ve given, lives they have changed… we certainly can’t compare with that. There are people we haven’t heard of, who choose to stay private in their contributions, but have given their time, money and compassion just as fiercely. Like the stories we come across every now and then on Facebook. The hidden heroes. There are also big people in individual communities that may not have a huge income or done as much as the Oprahs of the world, but are still well-known by name, 38

getting out there and making big differences in smaller places… blooming where they are planted. Then, there are the rest of us. When you think of a big music group, it’s usually only the lead singer that sticks out. That’s how it is for me at least, with 80’s and 90’s music, minus your Keith Richards or Slashes of the world. Either way, we weren’t all meant for “big things” or for taking center stage, were we? So how do we come to believe that we matter? What if someone is confined to a wheelchair in a nursing home, or without family or friends, living alone, unable to get out in the busy world where they feel they might make a difference? How about someone in prison, trying to work through mistakes they’ve made? A dad, who feels drained

from the constant work-eat-sleep cycle to keep food in his children’s mouths? A mom who does the same, or maybe one who spends her days alone, drowning in poop diapers and laundry, wondering if anyone even notices her efforts? It’s all about growth, and we all continue to grow until God decides our work here is done. No matter who you are, where you are, or how old you are, there will be points throughout your life when you do take center stage, even if it’s center stage for only one person. You need both lightness and darkness to grow. I tend to focus on growing in darker places because that is apparently some funny gift God decided to give me. But, it’s Springtime now; so, for this month, I challenged myself to find lighter words in my writing and

brighter colors in my painting. This doesn’t come easy for someone who sits comfortably with darkness. But, I realize, not everyone does. My friend Meagan is selling her house and hasn’t had any takers. She sent me a picture of the ForSale sign in her front yard. It had fallen over. She typed, “It’s a sign!” and we both LOL’d. Not everyone believes that there are “signs” that lead us into the light when we feel sad and hopeless, but I do. That’s why my friend picked on me. So, I’ve also challenged myself to see no signs what-so-ever this month… to just live everyday moments for what they are, not what I reframe them to be. I started this challenge by taking a walk in the morning of the first day of Spring, attempting to bask in the sunlight while taking in the simple beauty of budding flowers and happily chirping birds. Five steps into my walk, all I could see was the yard work that needed to be done and all I could hear was the chirping of my text messages.

Focus, Leslie, focus. Turning my phone down and ignoring the work, I proceeded on my positive journey towards finding inspiration in the newness of Spring.

needed journey of positivity and light, it took everything I had to not think of her. To refocus myself towards the sights and smells of all the blooming flowers around me.

When I got to the end of the driveway, the trash cans weren’t there, and because they would be picking trash up any minute, there was no choice but to turn around and drag them out to the street. So, I did. Brushing off the brief interruption and continuing my walk, a neighbor that I didn’t know was driving by. She stopped and rolled down her window.

Remembering walks from previous Springs, I looked for a dandelion to make a wish on… a wish that I could be in the present moment and all that it had to offer. But the dandelions hadn’t bloomed yet; so instead, I said a prayer, giving these swirling thoughts in my mind over to God to see what HE really wanted me to see.

“Beautiful morning!” I cheerfully said, wanting to just cut it short so my mind wouldn’t stray away from the main focus. It was a little, old, white-haired lady with a soft voice, hard to understand. She had a different plan in mind as I stood and listened to all the morning worries of her day for 15 minutes, even though I could barely understand any of them. The only thing I could totally understand was the sadness in her eyes. As I marched ahead on this much

Turning the corner, about a block up, a dog caught my eye. It was walking in the street and headed in the same direction as I was, so I sped my steps up a bit. It must have heard me because it turned around, happily wagging its tail, changing its direction to head towards me. Although a prayer had been said just seconds before this, I reminded myself that not everything is a sign, so, I ignored it, walking past it, figuring it just belonged to someone in our very small neighborhood. With the dog now behind me, I walked ahead, blocking out both the lady and the dog the best I could. I came to one of two intersections in the neighborhood and saw a stop sign. Even though IT IS a sign, I didn’t stop. A bird flew in immediately after this only to land on this same stop sign. It began chirping loudly.

It’s Springtime Leslie, that’s what birds do. It’s not a sign! Becoming increasingly curious, unable to stuff down this inherent pull at my heart, I turned around. The dog was following me. I knelt down and called it over. It was an older, small, white poodle mix, very gentle and sweet. I could Art by Leslie Gates 39

“Center Stage” The stage is set, and the curtain is open. The morning sun breaks through the tree branches, illuminating its leaves. The shimmering green does

joins in. Spiderwebs carefully spun throughout a

I made my way back home with Daisy following behind me, noticing that no one else had their trash cans out by the street. Three minutes of my life that put me off track because I got the days confused. No big deal. Reaching the edge of our driveway, I grabbed both cans and dragged them back up to the house, Daisy still following.

neighboring tree, the swaying beams presenting

After getting her some water, I called the number.

a dance with the light while the breeze conducts, as if to give approval to begin. On the branch, a bird, not fearing its moving platform but adding some music to the performance, attracting a friend who

the interwoven art as laser lights. In full bloom, pink azaleas decorate the stage, attracting tiny dancers and buzzing singers. Behind it all, fluffy white clouds on a big blue screen moving in only one direction, playing a long reel of ever-changing shapes and sizes...a strong, graceful reminder of how to accept the flow of life. Everywhere you turn the earth is alive and happy in its natural state,

“Hello?” “Hi, I have your Daisy at my house if you would like to come get her.” TEARS. Five minutes later, a familiar looking car pulls up. And out of it, an older, white-haired lady with a soft voice yells out, “MY DAISY!” as she reaches for her best friend.

warmth opens your wings. A budding flower with a

Miss Margaret lives one neighborhood over and was looking for her dog that morning. I just didn’t hear that part of it at the beginning of the conversation. Plus, I was focused on something very different. She has been widowed for one year. Daisy was their baby. Daisy is her HEART.

fresh new bloom, never exactly like the one from

So, my walk.

seasons before. The harsh winter no longer existing, taken away by that same gentle, hopeful breeze.

I didn’t ignore the signs and was supposed to be looking for flowers, but I didn’t.

As the sun rises above the trees, it sees you and

All I found was ONE LITTLE DAISY.

shines its cleansing light upon any dark places. You lift your face towards the spotlight as it warms

But there was light. LOTS OF IT. Set center stage for only one person to enjoy.

you with the promise of a new season. Then, filled

You do matter.

with new strength, you proudly take center stage

We ALL matter.

setting the example, and YOU are standing in the middle of it all, watching the magic, feeling the energy...just as capable as what has been set before your eyes. Strong roots ground you as the

in this beautiful, renewing performance of Spring.

40 40

tell that her owners loved her because she was people friendly and well groomed. There was a flowery pink collar around her neck with a heart-shaped tag that read “Daisy”. There was also a phone number.

And our contributions are uniquely our own.



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Sportsman Warehouse 300 Kensington Blvd. Slidell, LA 70458 (985) 641-7800 www.sportsmans.com Outdoor Gear & Sporting Goods

Topper World 774 East 1-10 Service Rd. Slidell, LA 70461 (985) 646-0028 www.topperworld.net Truck Accessories

Gold Coast Skydivers St. Tammany Regional Airport Abita Springs, LA 70420 (800) 796-7117 www.goldcoastskydivers.com Skydiving experience

S J unday,

Boat Stuf 662 Old Spanish Trail Slidell, LA 70458 (985) 649-9044 www.boatstuf.com New & Used Boats

Gus’ Tackle & Nets 726 Old Spanish Trail Slidell, LA 70458 (985) 643-2848 www.gustacklenets.com Fishing Gear and Accessories

une 16th

John Case “The Storyteller” 123 Magnolia Bend Slidell, LA 70460 (985) 707-8727 www.magnoliabendpress.com Short Stories Collection

Pinewood Golf Club 405 Country Club Blvd. Slidell, La 70458 (985) 643-6893 www.pinewoodgolfclub.com Round of Golf


Sponsored By:

by Jeff Perret, DVM

Drunk Raccoons

Rabies and distemper are the two things that first come to mind when a raccoon is acting strangely. “Strangely” here means neurological, not right in the head: overly aggressive, oblivious to the presence of humans, seizures, or wobbly / falling over.

Rabies Virus is a concern because it can also be transmitted to people. Distemper is also a viral infection, caused by canine distemper virus, and is transmissible to dogs and some wildlife species, but is not zoonotic – meaning it cannot be

Dr. Jeff recommends using:

Thank you for your service. No fleas. Lucky dog.



transmitted to humans. Raccoons are very susceptible to distemper, and infections and outbreaks are common. If raccoon rabies is present in the area, we need to err on the side of caution and treat an abnormal raccoon as potentially rabid until

proven otherwise. If rabies isn’t endemic to wildlife in a given area, an abnormal raccoon may be more likely to have distemper (but remember that rabies is always a possibility; we can’t rule it out without testing).

Energy to spare or running short?

But there is another possible cause for a raccoon to be acting somewhat “drunk”… It could be drunk! A story from last fall (yes, I’m a bit slow) in the Washington Post tells of a rabies scare in West Virginia. Ultimately, the culprit was found to be something a bit less dramatic than rabies or distemper – it was alcohol. The raccoons hadn’t raided a liquor store – it turns out they’d been eating fermented crab apples. Crab apples are native to parts of North America and Asia. However, it's not just crab apples that can cause raccoons - or other animals - to become drunk. All fruit has naturally occurring yeast on the skin. Yeast can ferment the sugar in the fruit. Any fruit can ferment (become alcohol) as long as there is yeast or bacteria in the environment and they are located in an environment without oxygen, such as inside a piece of fruit. Surprisingly, and fortunately for the raccoons, they weren’t immediately euthanized when their abnormal behavior was noticed. Just as we might do for any other drunken mammalian species, including our own, the raccoons were held and observed and kept out of harm's way until they sobered up, and were then safely released. A photo of one of the offenders was released by the Milton, West Virginia Police Department. It’s much cuter than the typical mug shot. Drunk or not, it’s best for the public to stay away from raccoons behaving abnormally. Leave them alone or call Animal Control. If you're curious, you can Google videos for all of the above situations, including a popular one of a drunk squirrel, after feasting on fermented pumpkin.

Rather than drinking a boost... Let’s correct the root cause!

Call me!

www.PursueWellnessForYou.com Kelly Lutman

Certified Health Coach


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


Raccoons are cute, but human encounters with them have the potential to go badly, for both species. Leave them alone, or leave it to the pros. Gina Triay 45

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

cover artist, Slidell Magazine (with Kendra) Matt Litchliter, ing his stuff ow sh ll, Hi at Notting 2019 for Arts Evening

Crimi-Mommly Insane writer, Leslie Gates, gets in the Easter spirit for a party at the new Slidell Mag office! Bunny ears are MANDATORY!

JAZZING IT UP! Kendra plays Wine Goddess at Jaz z on the Bayou with SWCC sisters (l-r) Rhonda Miller, Melba Houvenaeghel, Linda Larkin, Bar bara Doyle and Rosemary Clement


THIS. IS. NOT. FUNNY. (even though it really is!) Suzy, the Slidell Magazine pet goat mascot, wishes everyone a Happy Easter!

ag Slidell M 19

106 - May


Slidell Magazine Ahhh -- the lovely and talented Pratt, at Bella cy Nan ist, art r March 2019 cove 2019 ing Even Style Salon for Arts

Board members and staff of EST Habitat REPRESENT at the Chamber Expo! l-r: Fire Chief Chris Kaufmann, Dan Arroyo, Kentrell Jones, Rene Arcemont and Troy Brackett

Slidell Mag writers, Dawn Rivera and Donna Bush (joined by Donna’s husband, Eric ) at the SMH Foundation Rooftop Rendezvous

Money” writer, “Making Cents of your e company th s joy Mi ke Rich, en ning 2019 at Eve ts Ar at e!) win (and the nagement Ma t en tm es Pontchartrain Inv

Kendra McArth ur and Victoria Langlinais provide great information, and prizes, for the EST Chamber Business Showcase

are Cheryl Scaglione & Miranda Parker s! race h wfis Cra ready for the races.

John Friday, May 23rd @ The Lobby Lounge Tickets available on Eventbrite.com

Alex Carollo with the City of Slidell and Olde Towne Main Street gave attendees information, and popcorn!

Audrey Baker & Susan Pappalardo always bring fun to any event. And, of course, ice cream!

May 10 Bring It Home Northshore Red, White & Blue Masquerade May 14-18 Creative Dance Studio Rehearsal and Recital May 19 Giacobbe Dance Recital

Che ck out o ur n ew w e bsite!

Welcome! d the Walk-On’s Team an in Jay Cra

May 23 Lobby Lounge Concert Series presents John Friday May 30 Galloway School of Dance

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


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Celebrating Lives. Honoring Memories.

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Slidell Magazine, May 2019  

Slidell Magazine, May 2019