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2019

Your St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission,

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AWARD Southeast Tourism Society 2019

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ACCREDITATION Destinations International 2018

TOURISM OFFICE OF THE YEAR

AWARD Southeast Tourism Society 2018

TOURISM MARKETING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR AWARD LA Travel Association

Visitors spend

$731+

MILLION in St. Tammany Parish annually.

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LouisianaNorthshore.com

2016

TOURISM MARKETING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR AWARD LA Travel Association


Editor’s Letter

Kendra Maness Editor/Publisher Slidell Magazine

Cover Artist PO Box 4147 Slidell, LA 70459 I’ve got a pretty crazy story to tell you. Two weeks ago, I was inside my home on Bayou Bonfouca when I saw a boat slowly approaching my dock. It passed, circled around, and passed again. And again. The two occupants of the boat seemed to be fascinated with a cement pelican statue sitting atop one of my piers. An hour later, they were back again, circling, closer and closer. I watched with horror as they drove into my pier, knocking my statue into the murky depths of the bayou. I was LIVID. I ran outside, yelling profanities and snapping pictures of the boat with my phone. “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?” I’m thinking, these punk teenagers are vandalizing my property! Once I got closer, I saw the occupants weren’t exactly young punks. When I took a breath, the man in the boat explained. “It was an accident. I am 97 years old...” I immediately began to feel like a terrible person. But, oh wait, it got worse. He continued, “I’ve driven my boat past this statue for years and noticed it needed repair. The nice lady that lived in this house would always wave at me when I passed, so I brought my paint and spackle to fix it for her,” as he opened his bag to show me the supplies. Oh. Yup, I’m a terrible person. Within minutes, my boyfriend was in the water, resurrecting the statue from the bayou bottom and loading it onto Mr. Lloyd’s boat for him to take home. Apologies followed and conversation began. Mr. Lloyd & Ms. Hazel live around the corner in Palm Lake. He wore a WWII Veteran hat, and we talked about his service, and about life in general. He pointed out that all of his friends have passed and he would love company - would we join him on his porch for some homemade blackberry wine? I took their number and promised to visit soon. The next day, we called and told him about the Louisiana Veterans Fest and asked to escort him. And I swore to be a lot nicer this time. We had the honor of driving our new friend to the festival and spending the day with him. Every dignitary there came to the tent to meet Mr. Lloyd and thank him for his service. The day ended with a visit from the Victory Belles and the priceless picture you see above. Mr. Lloyd, thanks for crashing into my dock. I look forward to a long and beautiful friendship!

www.slidellmag.com 985-789-0687 Kendra Maness Editor/Publisher Editor@slidellmag.com Shane Wheeler - Graphic Designer Graphics@slidellmag.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS EFOP, STHS Class of 1969, Charlotte Collins The Storyteller, John Case Pet Points, Jeff Perret, DVM Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Story & Photos by Donna Bush Crimmi-Mommly Insane, Leslie Gates Legal-Ease, Ronda M. Gabb Making Cents of Your Money, Mike Rich Go Beyond, Memphis, Rose Marie Sand The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon, Katie Clark

Cover: “Brothers” by Susan Erickson

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Susan Erickson Susan had an interest in drawing from an early age and, with her mother’s influence and studying art in high school, pursuing her passion in the field of arts was inevitable. Susan focused on education, earning a communication in arts/associates degree from the Art Institute of Houston. This lead to a career as a graphic designer for various tourism magazines and graphics firms in the New Orleans area. She found success in this very demanding environment; and, although very rewarding, being home with her family was what she needed most. Susan took the leap and started her own business as a freelance graphic designer, which keeps her plenty busy still today. Her style of creativity is on the realistic side. She says, “Even though I’ve tried to loosen up a bit, I keep going back to trying to make it look as close to what I see as possible.” “I find my creativity and vision from my surroundings. Anything from a fresh flower with drops of morning dew, a stroll down Magazine Street, to the magnificent oaks that adorn the streets and parks of the South, that’s my inspiration. I love Slidell and I wouldn’t want to live any place else.” Is talent inherited? Susan’s mother is an amazing artist so she believes it is. “On the other hand, I also believe it’s a natural ability, a gift from God... like a vocalist, a dancer, a photographer. It’s just there. My advice to anyone who feels that they may have a gift is to embrace it, follow it and have the patience to develop it. The most exciting part for me now is that I’m just getting started!” This month’s cover art shows Susan’s nephews on a perfect, hot summer’s day in Louisiana. You may remember Susan’s work from Arts Evening this past May, where she was chosen as the 2019 Cover Artist. We look forward to seeing lots more covers from her! 5


JUNE 2019 Story by Charlotte Collins

Extraordinarily Fascinating “Ordinary” People

Extraordinary Fascinating Ordinary People

St. Tammany High School Class of 1969

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“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Allow me to set the tone before I introduce this group of 72 people. The year was 1969, a tumultuous year for our nation, filled with history making, culture changing, and societal shifts.

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It was the year that Richard Nixon was elected president, succeeding Lyndon Johnson. To put the state of the economy in perspective, in 1969, the average cost of a new house was $15,550; the average income per year was $8,550; the average monthly rent was $135; the average cost of a new car was $3,270; and gas per gallon averaged 35 cents. It seems like a loooong time ago when you view the time span through those simple facts. Such sweeping changes tend to bring out the good and the bad. All of us who are old enough remember watching breaking history “live” from the Apollo 11 mission on TV, hearing the static, then watching Neil Armstrong take that "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” as he and Buzz Aldrin set the first human footprints on the moon. If you are of an age to remember that, then you may also remember many events in this article on a personal level. "And now for something completely different..." In 1969, the groundbreaking TV program “Monty Python's Flying Circus” was shown for the first time, and that phrase became their famous trademark. Sesame Street and the Muppet characters made their debut on PBS that year. As a matter of fact, Public Broadcast Services, PBS, was established that year, as was Walmart. Many of our now-accepted advances and business models were introduced in that year. When we step back, and look at the cultural shifts, try to imagine the shock it must have been for previous, relatively stoic generations. The Beatles gave my parents pause and, in 1969, they gave their final live performance on the roof of the Apple building in London, England. Maybe you remember that the “skinny model” look was introduced by Twiggy? More shocking yet, Woodstock attracted more than 350,000 rock-n-roll fans, donning head bands, peace signs, long hair, afros, bell-bottom jeans and tie-die t-shirts. I remember my parents’ comments as they stared at the news clips. “You’re not going to believe this!” I recall their comments as we drove past hippies in the French Quarter for the first time, and how shocked they were to see them this far South. The “peace and love” movement also ushered in the anti-war protests to stop U.S. involvement in the

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Vietnam War. There were so many rebellious changes that our parents did not understand at this time. John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their week-long “Bed-In for Peace” at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel, inviting the press in every day. Something worked. The first troops were sent home from Vietnam that same year. Technology made giant leaps within the same year. ARPANET, the predecessor to the Internet, sent its first communication across two networks. Now we can’t imagine the world without email. UNIX, the computer operating system, was developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs, and the first ATM machines were introduced. These were amazing times. Many of these trends and advances took a while to reach us here in the Deep South. However, we had our own tumult. 1969 was a devastating year for our region as Hurricane Camille slammed the Mississippi Gulf Coast, killing 248 people. I recall being with my grandmother on vacation as the radio announcer declared, “The small city of Slidell has been leveled, all but two gas stations.” Needless to say, we beelined home as there were no cell phones back then. The announcer was incorrect, thank goodness. But Slidell did have considerable damage. Now that you have a sense of the year 1969, we turn to another giant step for mankind. One much more impactful to our lives today.

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Many of those responsible for implementing the desegregation of St. Tammany Parish schools are no longer with us to tell the tale. But the next generation can now best tell the story for us, as they were the ones in the midst of these dramatic societal changes. Their experiences and stories are so different from one to the next. So, this month I bring you... The last graduating class of St. Tammany High School, the Class of 1969.

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It seemed that each interview or phone call led to another. So I will bring you accounts of all who I am able to interview from the class of 1969, prior to their reunion May 24-26, 2019. I hope to bring you a follow up as the out of town classmates return, and offer their own memories of the 60's and 70's in our own Slidell, Louisiana.

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination the previous year was still fresh in everyone’s hearts. Desegregation had been ordered by the court decision, Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, in 1954. It would take 15 years for the effects to unfold in Slidell. We turn now to how it impacted our city’s history.


this story as well. Many themes held true for all of these individuals -- the description of their community as a small town that moved much more slowly than our modern rendition today. A sense of respect for your elders, as well as yourself, was paramount. And education was openly discussed as a priority in each of their family values. Parents wanted the most for their children, and dropping out would occur only as a family necessity, not as a personal option. Small, segregated one-room schoolhouses were organized in various communities throughout St. Tammany Parish for black students. Most did not go beyond sixth grade, and many did not hold classes for nine consecutive months. Work was a necessity for older family members “back in the old days.” In the Bayou Liberty area, there was Doucette School. In town, there was the Slidell Colored School (SCS). While detailed history of many of these schools is not common, I did find history on the SCS. In1908, a group of seven men served as the private Board of Trustees for that school, and paid J. A. Salmen $125 for property at the corner of Brakefield and Third Streets. The local school board paid very basic salaries. Local communities worked together to provide the facilities and raise funds to augment salaries, make improvements, and offer additional supplies beyond the used books provided. These were the days when communities worked together to help all children, not just their own. I was reminded that, back then, discipline and values were not private matters, but rather public expectation. Families of color, including Creole and African American heritage, petitioned the school board to offer an education that would continue beyond sixth grade, and cover high school curriculum. They wanted educational opportunities that were career-oriented. In 1921, the St. Tammany Parish Training School opened on Third Street between Guzman and Cleveland Avenue. It was the first school in St. Tammany Parish to accept older students of color. In my interview with Albert Claude from a previous Slidell Magazine story, he described the building as, “a big, two-story wood building that Mr. Rosenwald donated toward, and helped establish, and it was a great thing for the community when it was new. I remember they had a big framed photo of him hanging in the hallway. The boys were trained for construction and farming, and the girls were taught how to cook, and housekeep. The girls had to stay on one side, and the boys on the other. I asked, ‘I play ball with them, why can’t I go over and talk to them?'” I still remember his hearty laugh at age 100. The wooden structure eventually caught fire due to the wood burning stove Picayune, MS • 5 Alex Place they used for heat, and a brick building replaced it. (601) 799-0707 Pearl River, LA • 64185 Hwy 41, Ste. B (985) 250-8000

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Eventually, older students of color throughout St. Tammany Parish rode buses to attend classes there in Slidell. Anthony Alfred, a former student from the class of 1954, became a teacher and Assistant Principal at STHS. He remembered riding the bus from Indian Village as a “big school bus, which was quite a shock to me at first. We were the only African Americans at that time that rode that bus, Welch’s bus. Those were very different times, but we were happy to ride that bus. The principal was the legendary R.C. Brooks,” by the time Mr. Alfred first went to school there. The school grew over time, added athletics, of which Mr. Alfred coached quite a few, and a gymnasium. Lois Parker Adams showed me a photo of “The White Cloud” wooden bus. I try to picture the cloud of white smoke

that signaled its arrival and departure. The White Cloud transported students from as far away as Madisonville. Lois explained, "The bus drivers were just as dedicated as our teachers. Mr. Brooks, our Principal, made sure they all ran on schedule. Everyone, including our cafeteria workers and custodians, respected their position, and knew that they had to answer to him. Mr. Brooks built a sense of responsibility in his employees to do their best for the sake of the children. He was a good role model, and made sure he hired the best people for every position.” Fay Revere Williams recalled with a laugh, “I remember my husband had a car in high school, and Mr. Brooks would take his keys and made sure he did not leave during school hours. I still quote Mr. Brooks to my son and

use him as an example to this day. Our teachers were more like mentors in those days, too. Mr. Anthony Alfred was one of our teachers, along with Sylvia Brown, Leo Casnave, Simmie Fairley, and Arcola Meadors Haney. They made a lasting impression on us. I have Native American, black, white, and French blood, and my whole family spoke French. Mr. Ledet had me read the French lessons, because I could do the accent so well,” she smiled. Pausing, she reflected, “When I heard about the changes coming, I was fine with it. You can see the difference with young kids today, so I’m proud to be part of that history,” she nodded. Every one I spoke with in the class of 1969 had great things to say about Mr. Brooks. I was curious who the previous Principals were, and found a list. The first Principal was Eli Whitney Sorrel, succeeded by J. S. Hayes, Nicholas Harrison, Walter J. King, and finally Robert C. Brooks. The school later was later renamed St. Tammany High School (STHS), having received SACHS accreditation. The curriculum was revised, and programs were updated. The school and its programs continued to grow. In 1966, the federal government ordered the desegregation of all schools, but it was not until July 2, 1969, that St. Tammany Parish had their plan set into effect. During my research, I found a court case filed by a Mr. Thomas J. Smith vs. St. Tammany Parish School System. I called Parish Councilman,

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Robert C. Brooks, Jr. began his teaching career in 1932 in north Louisiana, moving to St. Tammany in 1936 to serve as an Agriculture teacher. He spent 39 1/2 years as teacher, coach, and principal at St. Tammany Parish Training School, later renamed St. Tammany High School, and then St. Tammany Junior High School. In 2004, The Slidell Curriculum Center was renamed the Robert C. Brooks Curriculum Center.

T.J. Smith, Jr., who confirmed that it was his father who helped speed the process after filing suit. I learned that his father was the lone plaintiff, as well as a teacher at Chahta Ima High School at the time. His father was terminated after winning the lawsuit. Now, the last graduating class of STHS would be that of 1969. “His motivation was to give us a more rigorous curriculum, and new textbooks. Our textbooks were ones discarded from the other schools. We had no upper level science or mathematics, so we really couldn’t compete. He sent three of his children in school at the time to three different schools. My brother, Elven, went to SHS, my brother, Dwight, went to Pearl River High School, and my sister, Glynnis, went to Florida Avenue Elementary.” In my 2016 interview with Alice Doucette Twilly, she tells of her first year teaching at Florida Avenue Elementary during desegregation. She was nervous, but in her words, “It worked out just fine for me. I decided to just go in and do the best job I could, and if that didn’t change their opinion of me, then so be it. Everybody welcomed us, and I tried to do the same for all new teachers.”

color. During integration, he was asked to leave his Assistant Principal position to teach at Slidell High School (SHS) under L. V. McGinty. He agreed, and also agreed to take lunch duty in case of any misbehaving. Mr. Alfred recounted the atmosphere as “a fairly smooth transition. There was no violence except for fighting at lunch time or after school. Boys had differences, and that is how they tend to work things out.” He was later promoted to Principal at Alton Elementary School, which is where he was when I joined the St. Tammany Parish School System. As a young teacher, entering the profession, I sensed their gravity, even while it was delivered with a smile. They explained the power of education to me. Their passion charged the educational environment here in Slidell with a sense

of respect for all individuals. Walking into Florida Avenue and Alton, students would smile, and walk up and hug their teachers. I loved walking in those doors. The words, “I’m bored” or “I hate school” simply were never heard. Each child was told that they could make a difference in this world. They believed it, and the positive energy was contagious by the time I entered education nine years after the reorganization. This year marks the 50th reunion for the historic class of 1969. Claudia Pichon Cambell is on the reunion committee and is working to reunite both the students and the teachers this summer. Over coffee, she explained, “Our teachers at STHS were really good. They really cared about us, not just our education, but about our lives and our futures. They still care and we care about them. Many

Alice was one of my earliest mentors when I became a new teacher, paying it forward I suppose you would say. I was not a teacher of color, but she reached out to me as warmly as I imagine she did for new teachers of all ethnicities. Mr. Alfred was another mentor who accepted teachers regardless of skin 11


From St. Tammany Public School Board's website: St. Tammany Parish Training School for Negroes 1, St. Tammany High School: The City of Slidell was incorporated in 1882 and named after John Slidell, confederate emissary to England. There were no provisions made for educating the black children of Slidell until the early 1900's. From 1900 to 1915, black children were educated in small one-room buildings with little or no governing school board. In Starling, LA, which we know as the Indian Village, children went to school three months a year. The other nine months were spent helping and working in the fields. A generous white land owner, whose surname was Rosenwald, donated money to have a colored building built in the city of Slidell. Interest in educating the black children in Slidell by the Parish School Board began in the early 1920's. As stated in the minutes of the School Board meeting on May 9, 1920, "The colored people in the Slidell neighborhood are showing a great deal of interest in the matter of improving their school. It is their desire that a parish training school shall be established at or near Slidell to accommodate all of the children living in and near that town." In August of 1921, the St. Tammany Parish Training School was built. The wooden frame structured school accommodated kindergarten, elementary, junior high and high school. Classes on the ground floor were for older students while the younger children had classes upstairs. The school was under the leadership of E. W. Sorrell. Some of the early teachers at the school were Mrs. T. B. Dixon, Mr. Jack Armstrong, Miss Augusitne LaGarde, Miss Barnes, Miss Barnette, Mr. Richard Lawrence and Miss Juliette Benton. In the mid-1930's, Mr. J. S. Hayes took over as principal of the school. The school was destroyed by fire, caused by a woodburning stove that was used to provide heat in the school. A new brick building was soon completed in the same location. In 1943, Mr. Robert C. Brooks became principal of St. Tammany Training School. Enrollment had always been considerably low, because of lack of transportation. Children walked back and forth to school for awhile and some finally gave up and quit. 12

Eventually, there was free school bus transportation from the Village. The bus was driven by Mr. J. D. Burkhalter and later by his wife, Mrs. Laura Burkhalter. Mr. Clarence Route began driving his bus, "The White Cloud", bringing high school students from Madisonville, Covington, Abita Springs, Folsom, Mandeville and Lacombe. There were only grammar or elementary schools in those areas. School bus transportation caused the campus to be filled with students and the faculty greatly increased. Soon there was school bus transportation available all over the parish. By this time, St. Tammany Parish Training School was almost at an end. Also, requirements for graduation had changed from eleven years to twelve years. Mr. Brooks remained principal for the next thirty-three years. Under his guidance, school enrollment increased and many other programs were added to the school. In the early 1950's, the school's athletic program began to flourish. The first yearbook was published in 1950. At that time, the school was still called St. Tammany Parish Training School. In 1952, the school changed its name to St. Tammany High School and additional buildings were added, including the school's first gymnasium. In 1966, the federal government ordered the desegregation of all schools, thus causing the St. Tammany Parish School Board to integrate all public schools. This course of action took three years to occur. The last graduating class of St. Tammany High School was 1969. The school was then changed into what is now know as St. Tammany Jr. High School. http://sttammanyjunior.stpsb.org/alumni/History

The White Cloud, circa 1943


are coming to the reunion! Mrs. Rebecca Washington recommended me to go to drama summer workshop at Hampton Institute in Virginia. That was quite an experience for a 17-year-old, my first time away from parents and Bayou Liberty. Mrs. Washington even worked out a scholarship, and we paid the train fare. That’s what our teachers did for us. We loved school, and learned to do the right thing. Back then in Slidell, we knew nothing about drugs. Most of us grew up together and our life was, and still is, good. I felt sorry for my younger brothers and sisters, who didn’t have that close knit experience in school. They reported some fights, but nothing serious, certainly not like the ones that made the news. It took people a while for their bias to end. Today, it is truly different. In my grandchildren’s Pre-K, I see the kids getting along as they should. They don’t know about hate. They talk about their friends, with no reference to their skin color. If they don’t hear it at home, they have no hate,” and her smile warmed the whole room. Claudia announced at a planning meeting at Clyde Favre’s home that Mr. Alfred would be their Guest Speaker. They sang a rendition of their Alma Mater for me, “St. Tammany High”, which ended with, “May your name be truly honored and your praise be sung.” For me, that song spoke of bygone days, when respect and honor were more important than winning or losing. That is not to say that this class didn’t participate in mischief. Donald Doyle admitted, "We ran Mr. Brooks a little crazy trying to keep up with us.” I also learned they all had nicknames like “Flip, Cal T, Claw, Jap, and Julio.” I learned they would pull the waist of their skirts down for length checks, then hike them back up again. I heard that there was a back door for the school that led to Lincoln Park neighborhood, where they would sneak for Porters’ Delicatessen, Granny’s Burger Joint, or Ms. Evelyn’s Zips (frozen pops). Mr. Brooks had a paddle board nicknamed “Had to Call”, and you didn’t want to be on the other end when the Principal had to be called. Clyde, aka Julio, remarked, “They lost discipline in the schools the day they took those paddle boards away.” Lois stepped in and agreed, “And stopped the prayers.” There may also be a possibility that their Homecoming Queen may come to town. Mary Smith Branch, who is also T. J. Smith Jr.’s cousin, is hoping to come down, as she hasn’t seen some of her classmates in 20 or 30 years. Mary was the reigning Homecoming Queen of STHS in 1969. Speaking by phone, I learned that her move from Norfolk, Virginia to Slidell, after her dad retired from the Navy, was quite a culture shock for her. She laughed and said, “I thought I had moved to ‘Green Acres.’ Slidell back then was a slow,

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country town. Mother taught us to set goals, and not let anyone stop you. Here, people were much more friendly, and I flourished. It turned out to be a great place for kids to grow up. And STHS prepared me to attend Texas Southern University. Then I was hired by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Texas. Who would have imagined all this? The changes were important, but our class was not faced with integration, because we graduated. My younger sister faced it. Mom said ‘Hold your head up and don’t hold any negativity against anyone as a person. Change is hard.’ Here we had no violence, it was more words and attitudes. But look where we are today!” STHS Class of '69 graduate, Lois Adams, was asked to be in charge of the press relations for the reunion, so I spoke with her at length. She remembered, “In 1969, there were a total of 72 seniors that walked down the aisle. We had two faculty sponsors, Mrs. Arcola Meadors Haney, the high school counselor, and Mrs. Rebecca Washington, one of our teachers.” She showed me the class photograph, and pointed them out, as well as her family. “My twin sister, Joyce Parker Smith, and I were cheerleaders. Next to us are our twin cousins, Larry Parker, and his now-deceased sister, Leola Parker Evans.” As she continued, she described Principal Brooks. "He was awesome and a good role model. Some students called him strict, but we are the better for it. He guided us to where we are now, and insisted that trade school or college should be our future. Most of my classmates are now entrepreneurs and professionals. He instilled in every class that they had to be the best class. When we found out we would be the last class, we really stepped it up. We didn’t find out until midway through our senior year that desegregation would actually occur before the next school year. My biggest concern was for any students in our class that might not graduate with us. The girls in the class really worked with the boys to get them through this, and not leave them behind. We were a close-knit class. I don’t remember any hostility or violence with desegregation. And, as far as I know, it was fairly smooth. We were given the opportunity to go to SHS, but only two or three classmates did, and they had no negative comments. Those classmates did not graduate with us, but with their SHS classmates. The class of 1970 (1969-70) all went to Slidell High School. STHS would be changed to St. Tammany Jr. High School (STJH). Our teachers agreed with Mr. Brooks, and also advised us that trade school or college should be the next step. It is such a historical accomplishment that we were the last African American class of the last historical black high school in Slidell. That’s a history that I am glad to be part of!”


Lois graduated at the top of her class as an honors graduate. She also received a Typing 1 award from her teacher, Mrs. Vera Payton Autry, and the American Government Outstanding Award from her Government teacher, Mr. Winfield Ledet. Mr. Ledet left in the fall of 1969 to teach at Pearl River High School. Ironically, our interview was delayed due to Mr. Ledet’s funeral. This point drove home the fact that many of those who helped facilitate the peaceful desegregation movement in Slidell are no longer here to talk about their vision. After graduation, in the fall of 1969, Lois and her sisters Joyce and Rozela, along with cousin Leola and other students from Slidell, caught a bus from the White Kitchen on Front Street to Sullivan Vocational Technical School in Bogalusa. She graduated in 1971, having earned a Clerk-Typist Certificate. The Bogalusa City School District hired her and, after several promotions, she made history again as the first woman of color to hold the position of Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent of the Bogalusa City School District. “These are historical and monumental feats knowing that my parents did not have an opportunity to go to high school. But they were very instrumental in me and my siblings getting a high school diploma, as all six of us did,” concluded Lois proudly. Mr. Brooks remained at the helm for six additional years, making certain the transition would be a positive one. Then, Victor Doucette became Principal of STJH, and remained so when I started teaching in 1978. Knowing what I now know of his mentor, Mr. Doucette’s, strict, but caring demeanor, makes perfect sense. Under his leadership, a media center, administrative and guidance suites were added, and the school became a state-of-the-art educational facility. Now, it is home to Gifted & Talented Programs, and several other specialized programs as well. Slidell has faced many upheavals, challenges, and seen tremendous growth and change. But we are a city that remembers our history, and wants to solve issues cohesively. I hope you have found these personal accounts of those turbulent and exciting times to be profound, funny, and heart-warming, depending on the experience and the one telling the story. As the classmates and teachers begin to congregate at the end of May, I will try to capture more stories of both a historical and a poignant nature, bringing you an insider’s glimpse of the Class of 1969, the last graduating class from St. Tammany High School.

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Bayou Liberty Pirogue Races St. Genevieve 1 - 7 PM

Fit as a Firefighter SMH Kids Camp Begins

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Education Committee Chamber • 8:30 AM

BEYOND THE STARS NATIONAL DANCE COMPETITION Harbor Center • June 16 - 22

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MON

Grand Opening The Venue Olde Towne 3:30 - 4:30 PM

Chamber 101 Chamber • 9:30 AM

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

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

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

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Slidell Movie Night Heritage Park 8:30pm

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

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28 29 Lt. Governor Business After Hours Chamber Breakfast Patton's • 5-7 PM Harbor Center • 8 AM Lobby Lounge Concert RAMPAGE MMA FIGHTS The Two’s Harbor Center • 7PM Harbor Center • 7-9 PM Frozen • Cutting Edge Theater • 7pm / SUN 2pm

HERITAGE FEST HERITAGE PARK 4 - 11PM

Krewe of Selene Poker Run Starts at The Dock 11AM

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Slidell Movie Night Heritage Park • 8:30pm

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J U N E 2 0 1 9


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

The

Storyteller A SMELLY BUSINESS I am proud to say that, in my entire career, I have never been fired. That does not mean that there hasn’t been a bump in the road. In the 1960’s, there were few summer jobs for teenagers. Mr. Bitsy Hart had a crew of teenagers that cut right-ofways for the utility company. I was not strong enough for that, or maybe I was too lazy. It was hot weather, and it was hard work. There were no McDonalds or Burger Kings, so there was little opportunity; and, when there was opportunity, the pay was low. If I recall, when I was sixteen years old, the wage was about $1.00 per hour. But, one summer I planted corn for $4.00 per day, sun-up to sunset. I had saved some money, and been given some birthday money; so I bought an old pickup truck for my 18

sixteenth birthday. It had a rusty body, but the engine was good, and I paid $300 for it. It was transportation at its most basic form; but, little did I know, an old Chevrolet truck would lead me to losing my first good paying venture into the business world. My dad had a cousin who owned a commercial chicken farm. The building housed thousands of chickens and, to

make the explanation simple, a conveyor belt ran under the cages to catch the droppings. The belt transported the chicken manure outside and dumped it in a pile. Once a week, a truck would come from Baton Rouge and pick up the waste. I suppose they converted it to fertilizer, but I’m not sure. It was July and the weather was hot and dry. The waste company went on strike, resulting in no manure pickup. The pile was growing in size and stench daily. Finally, the odor got so bad it began to affect the egglaying cycle of the thousands of chickens housed in the adjacent building. Even a few of the neighboring farmers had similar problems and complained. Cousin Smith called me and asked if I would use my truck to haul off the waste. I had to load and unload it, but


he would pay me $7.00 per truck load. He arranged for me to spread it in a farmer’s field that was nearby. I calculated that I could do three loads per day, and gross $21.00. Those were not bad wages for even adult laborers at the time. I also found out that some of the ladies in town wanted to use the loads as fertilizer in their flower beds. They would give me $10 a load. Now I was making $51 a day! I hired a helper, which allowed me to deliver five loads per day rather than three. I was now grossing $85 per day. I paid the helper $10, so I was netting $75. Not bad for a sixteen-year-old kid in 1963.

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I had little expenses as I was burning untaxed illegal farm gas in the truck that only cost $.10 per gallon. I got it from my uncle and I probably did not pay him even that much. I was doing good. By the end of July, it had not rained in about thirty days. The dry weather allowed my business to grow rapidly. Word got around. A very wealthy, prominent lady called and asked for a load of chicken manure. We delivered it and spread it around her azaleas. It just so happened that the Garden Club was meeting at her house the next day. They saw how nicely we had spread the fertilizer and all of them wanted a load. My business went viral, and that was five decades before social media. My parent’s phone would ring eight or ten times a night with customers calling for “John’s Secret Nitrogen Supplement” as I had named it. Chicken manure did not sound sophisticated. Even the newspaper took notice. They published a picture of me rolling a wheelbarrow with a load of this “high nitrogen” material. The title of the article was “A Smelly Business.” That night, a call came to my parents’ house and my dad took the call. He knew the lady calling and knew she had a difficult disposition. She had once cut her neighbor's hedge and cut down two of her live oaks, all without the neighbor’s permission, just because she didn’t like them. It was the gossip of the town and a lawsuit followed. She had a large yard and a long, winding driveway. On each side of the drive were azaleas. She told Dad that she wanted to buy enough fertilizer to cover all her plants. She was not concerned with how much it took or what it would cost.

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Perfect for Father’s Day

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It took three loads to accomplish this. That night she called and wanted me to put an additional load on her plants. The next day we did. A few nights later, she called my dad and wanted a third load. At this point, Dad informed her this fertilize was fresh and had not composted. It was strong and would burn her plants. She insisted anyway. She wanted a third load. We complied. We had delivered nine loads and she owed me $153.00. Most people would give me and my helper a tip and I was counting on this. Dad told me that she was too tight to tip, and to just be content with getting paid. She was to pay me the next afternoon. That night there came a huge summer rain. It rained most of the night. When I pulled up in her long driveway, I knew I had a business problem. The stems of the azaleas were burned so badly they were almost clear. The limbs and stems were all drooping. I hesitated when going to her door. As it turned out, I did not have to. She and a man I knew came out. She was crying and yelling at me, accusing me of poisoning her flowers. I was speechless. I was sixteen years old; she was a well-known, prominent lady. Those flowers, well, they did look terrible. The man with her was a local attorney. I had done yard work for him the year before. He asked her to go inside so he could talk to me privately.

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He explained to me that she wanted to sue me for destroying her landscaping. He knew I had no money and had no insurance. He also knew my dad had no money or insurance; so he would try to make a deal with her. If I would agree not to charge her the $153.00, he believed she would drop her complaint. I was naïve and intimidated and frightened. I agreed. As I said, she was well-known, and the story of our problem spread through town. It basically destroyed my reputation as a horticulturist expert. About that time, the strike ended at the Baton Rouge plant and I would have been out of business anyway. A few weeks passed and her plants did not survive. She attempted to hire someone the dig them up, but due to her personality, no one would work for her more than a couple of hours. I was surprised when the phone rang and it was her. She wanted to know if I would remove the manure, dig up the dead plants, and replant new ones.

20


Before I could answer, she said, “I know how I treated you, and I know I hurt your business. If you will be fair with me, and I know you will, I will pay you whatever you charge.”

and she gave me work when I was home for the holidays.

She concluded by adding, “But you be reasonable now.”

Cousin Smith is now deceased, the chicken house is empty, but the building is standing. The lady with the bad disposition has also passed away. Her yard has been subdivided into two sites. I never pass either place without thinking of my Stinking Business of High Nitrogen Supplement.

I charged her $17 per load to remove the manure, $3.00 per hour for me and $2.00 per hour for my helper to remove and replant. I then sneaked in the $153 she owned me in the first place. She never questioned the bill. For the next couple of years, she used me for odd jobs. Then I went to college

For our wedding, as a present, she sent us an entire place setting of Strasbourg Silver.

Wow, life was simple then.

John S. Case June 2019

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MAKING

CENTS

By Mike Rich, CFP® Pontchartrain Investment Management

WHEN THE STARS ALIGN… “When the moon is in the Seventh House, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars.” ~ "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In"* You might remember these lyrics from the musical Hair - the hippie, free love, irreverent rock hit that was produced in the late 1960s. For live theater, it was groundbreaking back then. I recall that Mary and I attended a performance of the show at the Schubert Theater in Chicago in 1969, our freshman year in college. We were feeling pretty cool. After spending more than 11 years in the money management business, it’s more and more apparent to me that a lot of people who probably don’t know the Seventh House from the house on the corner are counting on the planets to align so they can have a nice, secure retirement. This, despite the fact that they don’t save enough, don’t use

If hoping for the stars to align weren’t bad enough, a lot of people make even more mistakes with their money along the way. Try to avoid these financial minefields for yourself:

1. Borrowing money from your 401(k) account. insurance to protect their family, don’t have emergency funds, and so on. Somehow, they hope, when they reach retirement age, the years of neglect will suddenly be OK, the universe will move in their favor, and all will be well financially. Well, love might steer the stars; but, the last time I checked, you couldn’t buy groceries with it. YIKES!

This is a popular feature in some qualified plans, especially 401(k)s. While it’s not inherently wrong to borrow money from a retirement account, I can’t imagine a good reason why anyone would want to do it, and here’s why: Rather than having your money work for you in your account, it’s being spent on something else that likely has nothing to do with

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your retirement plans. Plus, if the stock market is on an upward tear, you could miss out on big gains. To make matters worse, many plans say that if you get laid off or leave the company voluntarily for another job, you have to pay off the loan right away. If you don’t have the money to do that, you could be hit with taxes and an early-withdrawal penalty. Ouch! Some 401(k) plans offer hardship withdrawals, but a new jet ski probably doesn’t qualify. If you have to borrow money, your bank or credit union is a better choice.

2. Not using life and disability insurance to protect your family. If your family’s financial well-being depends on the money that comes from your job, you need insurance. For most people, the best time to get it is when you are young and healthy, but older people can get it, too. It just might cost more. Call me to figure out how much you need to protect your family – and, perhaps, your retirement – from potential ruin.

3. Thinking your children will take care of you when you are old and sick. I’ve written about my mother-in-law several times, describing her need for assisted living. It has worked out well for her and everyone else involved; and, although she is not thriving, she receives excellent care. Prior to that, while she was living with my sister-in-law and coming down to Slidell for long visits, not so good. The last time she stayed with us, she passed out in the bathroom. Mary’s mom is a small woman, but we had to use all of our strength to get her into a position where we could evaluate her condition. She ended up at the hospital because she had crushed a bone in her back. We realized then that we were coming to the end of our ability to care for her. So, here’s the lesson: if you think your family will drop everything to take care of you – not to mention their very ability to handle it physically and financially – you are probably thinking wrong. Even if they want to do it, they might not be able. Either buy long term care insurance, or set aside the money and have a plan to

pay for someone to take care of you. The long term care insurance landscape is changing dramatically, and for the better. I can help you figure out a strategy that might work for you. The picture on the left page is my grandson, Hudson. We recently celebrated his first birthday. It occurred to me while I was writing this article that Hudson likely has 60 or 70 years or more to amass a financial nest egg to get him through his retirement years, whatever they might look like all those years from now. If he takes advantage of the gift of time – and the mathematical miracle of compounding – there’s a good chance that he won’t have to rely on the stars aligning, magic wands, or wishful thinking. You might not have as much time to save and invest as Hudson does, but it’s never too late to begin. Call me today for a free review of your money life. *

© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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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THE CITY OF SLIDELL IS PROUD TO PRESENT

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


BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Rotary Clubs of Slidell and Slidell Northshore

June 29, 2019 4PM - 11PM Heritage Park

Huge Fireworks Extravaganza 9PM Live music, food, and games! Fun for the entire family

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Audubon Louisiana Nature Center

Story and photos by Donna Bush Less than 30 miles from Slidell, the 86-acre park of Audubon Louisiana Nature Center dazzles visitors with an overwhelming display of nature for all ages. It was created in the late-70’s as part of the "get-back-to-nature-movement" by the Junior League of Greater New Orleans. Originally named the Louisiana Science and Nature Center, it quickly became a treasured local resource, just as it is now. In the mid-90’s, it merged with Audubon Nature Institute and became known as Audubon Louisiana Nature Center. The merger was mostly for economic reasons and Audubon’s larger audience of visitors. 26

In 2005, Katrina brought devastation, flooding the grounds with saltwater, bringing down trees and destroying the buildings. Audubon didn’t let this stop them. The grounds were cleaned up, new buildings erected, trails and boardwalks were constructed. Sadly, their beautiful, hardwood, bottomland forest became 90% Chinese Tallow trees, an extremely invasive species. Staff, along with the help of numerous volunteers, are attacking all non-native species to restore the native forest to its pristine beauty. The Discovery Trail offers a .3-mile loop more similar to the pre-Katrina habitat. A one-mile boardwalk is handicap accessible. The Adventure Trail is the

longest, at .8-mile one-way, and can be combined with the boardwalk for a total distance on 1.3 miles. Everything available at the Center is free with the exception of the Planetarium, school programs or birthday parties. Seldom crowded, a visit allows one-onone time with a naturalist almost always. Anytime the doors are open, one or two naturalists can be found ready to assist visitors, answer questions and provide education on a variety of topics. Often, a nearby local will drop in looking for assistance in identifying something unique that they found in their backyard. If a naturalist doesn’t immediately have the answer, they will pull out books and help identify the subject, making this a great teaching environment.


The Center isn’t just for locals. Tourists passing through will stop by for a visit. Some bring their lunch and take advantage of the rocking chairs on the back deck or go for a walk on one of the nature trails to experience a taste of wild Louisiana in an urban neighborhood. There are regular visitors stopping in to read books, make phone calls, and even one guy playing Pokemon GO! Last year, the Center logged 18,000 visitors and I’m pretty sure a lot of people haven’t realized that they reopened. Prior to Katrina, they typically saw twice as many people visiting per year. Spring is their busiest time of the year, and naturally so. Plants are greening out, flowers blooming, birds are singing, and love is in the air. Everyone just wants to be outside and enjoy! Local schools as far away as Hammond visit for their educational programs. They offer everything from self-guided exploration to a full-blown curriculum. Teacher outreach workshops are also provided and are a big hit. Most exhibits are static; but seasonally, something new will appear - maybe even on a whim. A new exhibit on bees was being constructed when I visited, complete with bee hive equipment, books about bees and bee suits! Children can don a bee suit and experience firsthand what a bee keeper wears to safely handle the hives and extract honey. Naturalists create a seasonal change with the Overlook Outpost. When I visited, the exhibit was about caterpillars becoming butterflies. New for the summer is a traveling exhibit that will be available from Memorial Day through Labor Day called Attack of the Bloodsuckers: The Science of What’s Eating You. Learn about the various types of bloodsuckers – insects, vampire bats, and even some birds. Learn what attracts mosquitoes to us and how they locate us for the bite. Best of all, learn how to keep these blood suckers out of your system. Nighttime experiences occur spring and fall for scout groups and others. Although they have a tent pad outdoors which has been used, most groups will bring sleeping bags, air mattresses and take advantage of the air-conditioned and bug-free Visitors Center. Coming up in July and August are their Wild Nights and Insect Adventures. Explore alongside Audubon entomologists as you learn about insects that come out at night, attracted to the lights, plus those that you see during the day. Registration fee includes an insect collecting kit, headlamp (Wild Nights) or an aerial net (Insect Adventures), a collector water bottle, and a ticket to Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.

Friday, June 28 THE Harbor Center, slidell Catch the Explosive MMA Action! Professional & Amateur Match-ups Doors Open 7pm, Fights Start 8pm

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A lot of thought went into the design of the exhibitry. All exhibits are movable and can be shifted from place to place. They can easily be relocated to make room for an event – such as community meetings, book signings and weddings. Their Second Saturday Community Market, kicked off in April, showcases vendors offering produce, seafood, organic fresh smoothies, pies, and seasonings. Surprises pop up everywhere. Last winter, they brought in a kiddie pool and filled it with dirt. Children were encouraged to sift through the dirt to see what they could find. Imagine the excitement of finding your first roly-poly or earthworm and learning about their benefits to the

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environment. Of course, at this point our conversation took a slight turn to my childhood and my experience with roly-poly bugs. I confessed to Isaac and Annie that, as a small child, whenever it rained, I would build a kayak rapid where the rainwater dripped off the eaves. I would whittle out a stick that would be my kayak and I would place a roly-poly in the kayak (stick) and send it down the rapids. It was immense fun for me. I’m not sure about the rolypolys. Isaac confessed that, as a young child growing up on a walnut orchard in California, he would roam the woods near his home. One day he found a pond and discovered several frogs. Liking the frogs, he began stuffing them into

his pants pockets. Later, he threw his pants in the laundry. After a short while, a blood-curdling scream was let out by his mother when she discovered frogs in her laundry room! Oops! The Planetarium provides a journey into space with real-time images from NASA. Each show is inherently different based on the presenter and the night sky. Each night sky is different. Each presenter will tailor the show to their audience. It might address constellations, planets, or stars. Several films are available, including The Universe in our Backyard and Flight of the Butterflies. Planetarium shows are offered once daily, Wednesday – Friday, and three times per day on Saturday and Sunday.


The original Botany Center was completely restored and still stands as an icon of the original Nature and Science Center. The Tropical Fruit Salad Garden is grown from items found in a grocery store – pineapple, papaya, passion fruit, persimmon and bananas. Seeds of native species harvested from the grounds are growing sycamore, cypress and other trees that will reforest the area. Per Isaac Wyatt, Director of Operations, “We are building a following from the local New Orleans East community outward. We exist to provide a touch of nature at everyone’s level. We’ve found that, to some kids and even some adults, a patch of grass maybe the only nature they’ve ever come in

contact with. On a hot summer day, the beautiful Visitor Center is a wonderful destination to learn about nature in the comfort of air-conditioning. At some point, they can explore the outdoors, but at their own pace.” The Center differs from other Audubon Institute experiences by offering a free venue to explore nature. For the longest time after Katrina, it appeared that New Orleans East would linger forever without any restaurants or other amenities. Not true today. There are numerous fast food places nearby and even healthy alternatives. Much like a hotel concierge, the Center maintains a list of what is nearby. They don’t sell food, so they encourage visitors to bring their own.

Isaac shared that his first memories of the Audubon Nature Center was his regular weekly visits when his son was just a young child. They would visit every weekend to explore the trails and learn about nature. Today, it warms his heart to see other young dads guiding their children along a trail or through an exhibit in the Visitors Center. Whether looking for a short walk, an answer to a question about a plant or animal you’ve seen, or Mom just wants the kids and Dad out of the house, consider taking that short drive to explore what the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center has to offer. I promise you will not be disappointed!

Audubon Nature Institute is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit operating ten museums and parks solely dedicated to nature. They provide an educational and environmental resource to locals, visitors and the community. Their goal is to “help create a bright future for generations to come.” Their mission statement says it all: Audubon Nature Institute's purpose of Celebrating the Wonders of Nature is woven into our vision of creating a family of museums and parks dedicated to nature. This vision is fulfilled by eight objectives that support our mission: • Provide a guest experience of outstanding quality • Exhibit the diversity of wildlife • Preserve native Louisiana habitats • Educate our diverse audience about the natural world • Enhance the care and survival of wildlife through research and conservation • Provide opportunities for recreation in natural settings • Operate a financially self-sufficient collection of museums and parks • Weave quality entertainment through the guest experience 29


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

Legal-ease

INTESTACY IS INCONTESTABLE!

When someone dies “intestate”, it means that they have died without leaving a valid Last Will and Testament. If that happens, then the “intestacy” laws of the State of Louisiana will direct where your assets devolve. The “heirs” via intestacy will always be the people who are your closest relatives by blood, adoption, and only by marriage as the surviving spouse. The “heirs” will never be friends, partners, charities, or stepchildren. There can never be any specific bequests, such as a specific dollar amount or any other particular item (like a car or a home). There will never be an executor chosen. While a Will may be challenged for many reasons, such as inadequate form, excluding forced heirs, undue influence, lack of competency of the testator (the person making the Will), etc…intestacy is incontestable! The intestacy laws of Louisiana are set in stone and while you may not like what they say… there really is nothing to contest. If you don’t like the intestate “Will” the State of Louisiana has already written for you, then you need to be sure you die with a valid Last Will and Testament in place. This can be as simple as handwriting your own “Olographic” Will. The Olographic Will must be entirely written in your own handwriting, any part that is not in your own handwriting is not read as a part of the Will. It must be obvious that it is meant to be your Last Will (and not mere instructions), and it must be dated and signed at the end (not necessarily on every page). There is no necessity for it to be witnessed and certainly not notarized. While a “Notarial” Will (one drafted by a Notary Public) is certainly preferable, an Olographic Will is still far better than intestacy if you do not like where the State of Louisiana says your assets will go! A quick primer on intestacy: If you are married with children, your “community property” assets go to your children (or down the line to your grandchildren if any of your children have predeceased you leaving descendants), as “naked owners” with your spouse enjoying a “usufruct” (being able to use the property and the income from it), which ends at the earlier of their death or remarriage. The spouse may not sell the real estate (or brokerage accounts) without the signatures of all the children/grandchildren (naked owners). If the assets are “separate property” (usually assets acquired before the marriage or inherited during the marriage) the spouse does not even enjoy a usufruct, the property devolves in full and complete ownership to your children (or possibly grandchildren). If you are married with

no children, your spouse inherits the community property in full ownership. If you have no children, your separate property, regardless of marriage, goes to your siblings, or your nephews/ nieces if your siblings have predeceased you (as naked owners), subject to a “lifetime usufruct” in favor of your parents. And don’t forget, “beneficiary-driven” assets (life insurances, IRAs, annuities) do not go through probate/succession, or even through your Last Will, as long as you have named a beneficiary (both Primary and Contingent) directly on these plans’ beneficiary designation forms. Notary Public Preparation Course Make a commitment to become a Louisiana Notary Public. Ronda will help prepare you to pass the statewide Notary Public Exam on Saturday, December 7, 2019, to get your lifetime notary commission. Classes begin in August, and will be held on Tuesday nights at our office: 40 Louis Prima Drive, Covington (off Highway 190, just north of I-12). For details and registration information, contact Judy at 985-892-0942, or reception@rondamgabb.com

See other articles and issues of interest!

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

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Go Beyond

Memphis by Rose Sand

"She walked into the party like she was walking onto a yacht." ~ Carly Simon, You're So Vain - kinda.

I walked into a room of musicians, and was introduced to thunderous applause, like the rock star I truly am. I pulled my instrument from its case and when the host said I was from Slidell, Louisiana, the cheers were deafening. Okay, not exactly accurate, but the closest I’ll ever get. Last month I joined the Memphis Ukulele Flash Mob for a jam session at a barbeque joint, and played and sang and laughed and ate so much I’m still full. Whenever I travel, I always look to see if there’s a Uke Group I can sit in with in that town. I’ve played with folks from Panama City to Hawaii and I’ve never been disappointed. The Memphis group combined the best of all of them – friendly people playing their hearts out in a community that embraces the sounds. The organizer of MUFM is a charismatic and kind guy named Pete McCarty, and he and his wife, Dee, know how to pass a good time. I met Pete a couple of years ago at the Strummin’ Man Uke Fest in Panama City and have been following his Memphis group on Facebook ever since. They’re quite active in Memphis, playing at events all around town as well as their own strum meets at Central BBQ. I planned my trip to Memphis around their activities so I got to play with them twice in four days – I was elated. The first time I parked for the strum meet at Central BBQ Restaurant, a Memphis legend, I hung in the car before walking in. I’d posted on their FB page that I was coming in but I didn’t really know anyone and wasn’t sure what to expect. When I walked into a big room in the back, I was immediately greeted by a couple of gals, Janine Miller and Vickie Campbell, as I passed by. 32


I introduced myself, but they treated me like an old friend immediately and invited me to share their table. They showed me the ropes; and, as more and more people joined the strum meet, it felt as though most of them came up to say hello and welcome me to MUFM. When Pete and Dee arrived, I was overjoyed to be invited on a little private tour of their own in Memphis after the meeting, along with a new friend who had joined the fun during her visit from London, Christina Wall. When Pete introduced those who’d traveled to play (a regular occurrence), people all knew where Slidell was and cheered that I’d traveled the five and a half hours to visit. “Did you come here just to play with us?” was a regular question. “Yep, I’ve been looking forward to this for months,” I’d reply. And nothing about the day disappointed me. First off, the barbeque in Memphis is different than the barbeque from other places I’ve visited. I’ve never had BBQ, baked mac or potato salad I didn’t like, and I still wasn’t prepared for my smoked hot wings with a side of sweet heat sauce. I’d been told repeatedly that I had to try the wings at Central, so that’s what I ordered with the much-loved mac and cheese. Then, Pete and Dee sent over an order of banana pudding, and my calorie count for the day was sufficiently and happily blown. And then the music started. Pete, or Petey Mac, as he’s known in Uke circles, has created dozens of arrangements of popular songs for the ukulele, and Dee controls the computer that projects the arrangements on a big screen on the back wall. There’s a bass ukulele player and some guitarists who joined in, rounding out the sound of about 100 people playing Uke and singing happily for two straight hours, mixed with the smells of barbeque and beer. I stood up in the back, the better to dance and sing and play. We were joined by a regular back-of-theroom crew, and these people came to play. There were all levels of expertise, from the newbies to quite accomplished players and singers. We played some Elvis, “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” some Johnny Cash and Tina Turner! If you think that Uke music is all “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” and Don Ho, you’ve got another thing coming.

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I loved it all and, with my ukulele strap along my shoulder, I felt like I was in the world’s largest and happiest aerobic ukulele mob. People encouraged me to come back anytime and I assured them I would. They take to the streets and play for St. Patrick’s Day parades, for the runners of races, for libraries and senior centers. I wanna be in that number.

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Exhausted, my face hurting from smiling, I drove to my rented little home in midtown Memphis to unpack, and then Pete, Dee and Christine picked me up for our journey about Memphis. First stop, with only minutes to spare, was the Peabody Hotel to view the Peabody Duck March. Several ducks make their home at the hotel and swim around in a fountain in the lobby. The “Duck Master” announces their march through the lobby to the elevators and their home at the Royal Duck Palace on the rooftop. Then Pete said we had to take a photo with Elvis’ butt, so he drove us to see a bronze statue of Elvis, complete with guitar, at a small center on the Mississippi River at Mud Island. We viewed the famous butt and a statue of another Memphis legend, BB King. Perhaps, for

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me, the more interesting sight was the view of the river that flows from Lake Itasca in Minnesota to our very state of Louisiana. The river was quite high then, and there were conversations about current and past flooding threats along the river. Our next stop was a surprise – did you know that there’s a pyramid in Memphis? Now housing a Bass Pro Shop, the building was originally called The Great American Pyramid and opened in 1991 as a sports arena. In addition to an incredible assortment of fishing, boating, hunting and outdoor gear, the mega store includes a 103room hotel with tree house cabin; 600,000 gallons of water teeming with over 1,800 fish; a cypress swamp with alligator pools and duck aviaries; and a breathtaking observation deck at the top

of the 32-story steel pyramid. There’s even rumors of a skull that was once placed in the pyramid when it was built! I had no idea what could be in store next, although Pete hinted we were going to get the best chocolates in the world at a funeral home nearby. Since we’d just visited a pyramid, I figured what the hell! As we turned into the park-like grounds of Memorial Park Cemetery, I had to wonder about jumping into the car of this charismatic family. This was Easter Saturday, and the grounds were beautifully dressed, with a large cross covered with white lilies facing a small group of chairs for an Easter Sunrise Service the next morning. There was no evidence of bonfires or open graves, so I just walked around peacefully taking photos of the beautiful flowers, fountains and ponds.


Pete led us to a grotto, and suggested we sign in at an open notebook near the entrance. The pen wasn’t working right, so I turned to ask my group if anyone had a pen, and was dumbstruck by what I saw. This 60-foot deep, man-made, magical cave is full of dark beauty. The cave has almost 5 tons of natural crystals forming stalagmites, collected from the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, and hand placed onto the cave walls and ceiling. To be in this place of peace and beauty on Easter Saturday was a moment I’ll always treasure. As we drove away, Pete promised us a culinary adventure at the next stop. There it was fried whole catfish and plenty of local beer. I drank and ate my full, and enjoyed my new friends completely. Pete and Dee are the perfect hosts. They dropped me off at my little house away from house, and I slept in after such an amazing first day in Memphis. I’d been invited by one of the Ukers to Easter Sunday services at her church, but I woke up too late. But another one of my new Memphis Uke friends, Theresa Burgess, offered to pick me up and take a drive to strum together along the Mississippi. So, there we sat along the swollen river on Easter Sunday, making music and musing about this mutual passion. I couldn’t believe the hospitality and friendships I’d found! Next, I figured I had to experience Beale Street.

Now, I have to tell you - while Beale Street is funky and cool and all that - after hanging in the Quarter all my life, the 1.8 mile Beale Street just isn’t all that. There’s some rock and roll museums and music coming at you from everywhere, but I was kinda let down. Maybe it was the fact that this was Easter Sunday and the restaurant I wanted to visit was closed. Maybe it was the crowds, although that usually doesn’t bother me, I’m a Jazz Fest fan, after all. But I knew in my heart it was because – been there, done that better. Oh, but I did find an oyster restaurant a short walk from Beale Street, with grilled oysters that were fantastic. Never miss an oyster break. So, it was back to my little house, and noodling around on my Uke. I knew Monday was gonna be another big day and it was. Another new Uke friend, Phil Amaido, and I met at a very cool coffee shop in Mid Town for breakfast Monday morning, and then he offered to take me for another drive around the area and to stop at a park to play together. Come on, are these people great or what? The park was called Shelby Farms, and it was peaceful and pastoral. We took out our Ukes and played together from Pete’s songbook outside at a lovely pavilion. Some passersby thought we were all that, and asked about playing. I actually thought we were all that, too. Phil is Hawaiian, and I talked him into playing some Hawaiian songs for me.

Just beautiful. Next it was a drive out to Collierville where Pete and Dee live. They had promised me crawfish sushi – notice a food theme? Once seated at another outdoor area, Pete took out his Uke and strummed until our sushi arrived. I’m telling you, I was in Uke and food heaven. They took me for a ride to see the picturesque town square of Collierville, Tennessee. This place is Hallmark card beautiful – in fact, they told me a Hallmark Christmas movie was filmed there! I can’t wait to go back when it’s decorated for Christmas this year. I woke up early on Tuesday morning, and found more really cool things to do. Breakfast at Sunrise in Downtown Memphis was truly memorable. Funky interior, buscuits to die for – try the King Biscuit. It features fried chicken, pickle, Tabasco, honey and, for an extra buck, you can add an egg for a “mother and child reunion." Next, I found a museum called the Pink Palace and enjoyed an unusual afternoon of eclectic exhibits. The Pink Palace Family of Museums is covered in pink Georgian marble. The city of Memphis acquired the mansion when Clarence Saunders, the founder of Piggly Wiggly, became bankrupt. He had been building the residence in 1923, but lost a fortune, and the home, due to financial reversals on Wall Street. In addition to the remarkable building, there are exhibits that include a replica 35


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of the original Piggly Wiggly store, the first self-service grocery store. There is amazing 15th century Native American pottery, pre-Columbian artifacts, fossils and dinosaurs, mounted animals – and a whole room housing a miniature circus. I sat in the cool IMax Theatre along with a group of school children for a great movie, and then enjoyed a planetarium experience to round out my Pink Palace experience. Next was a ride to a music store, where I bought another Uke. Because. UAS…Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome.

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My last adventure for that Tuesday was another strum meet at Central BBQ with the Memphis Ukulele Flash Mob group, and two more hours of aerobic ukulele playing. I met even more of the beautiful people who play together monthly, and saying goodbye was like saying goodbye to old friends. I enjoyed more Memphis barbeque at Central that night, but decided on my way back to have one more BBQ experience in Mississippi. By the way, the differences in barbeque in the south are overwhelming. I’ve had BBQ in Little Rock, Arkansas and Carey, North Carolina recently – all good and different. (Okay, I didn’t like the North Carolina, vinegar based BBQ.) But, the best I’ve ever had is Leatha’s BBQ in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. My mom always talked about “making memories,” and Leatha’s holds a lot of good memories for me. I urge you to go there sometime when you get a hankering for smoked meat and sauce. As much as I love me some barbeque, I am now officially barbeque satiated. On to some boiled crawfish, please. And the joys of Louisiana. I’ve walked into quite a few uke groups like the one in Memphis, and they all have their own unique personalities. In some of them, I’m even known as Slidell Rose! I belong to a Uke group here in Slidell, called The Slidell Ukulele String Orchestra. We have ukulele players, guitar players, keyboardists and drummers. We hope to become as big as MUFM someday, and we are just as welcoming. Join us, and we’ll show what passing a good time in Slidell is all about! And maybe go out for crawfish, too!


JUNE BLESSINGS By Very Reverend W.C. Paysse, V.F. Pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes Church Dear Friends, Jean Hursey tells us, “June is the gateway to summer.” Well, June has taken off like a racehorse, and it moves ever closer to summer. Yes, for thousands of children across the nation, summer vacation has arrived. No chatter at the bus stop, no school crossing guards at the corner, no sound of school bells or announcements riding the neighborhood winds, to name a few. Instead, there is a spirit of care-free existence with late slumber, swimming, camping and replacing the school bag with a paper bag of peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches. We are creating memories on which we will one day look back. Throughout June a regimen or routine of life continues. May I propose that we take advantage of June as an opportunity to reflect, rebirth and respond from within to the many obligations, responsibilities and opportunities life affords us? If you are like me, life is constantly engaging. From the moment I arrive at my office, I am swallowed up in the frenzy of life and the lives of other people. Being a Catholic priest gives me great satisfaction knowing that I am helping others and serving their needs. But we all need refreshment. It is a custom in my office that during the months of June and July, the staff gets a reprieve with the Friday office closure. Yes, well deserved lagniappe! Each person needs to allow oneself to relax and take it easy for our physical and spiritual health. To grow as a person it is necessary to rest, sleep, exercise and reflect. Taking a leisurely walk or smelling the roses from time to time affords us an opportunity to recharge and redirect our lives. Remember, you are important! I recall many years ago Archbishop Philip Hannan saying, “You are unrepeatable....” In other words, there is no one like you! You are important as an individual in God’s creation; you are important to your family and friends. Yes, your very being is a gift for others. So, let us slow down and be good to ourselves. Take that extra five or ten minutes to sit quietly and listen to the birds sing as they offer us a brief symphony from nature. This is prayer, too! Allow the moment to permeate our being and fill our hearts with joy. Don’t miss the opportunity to notice a rose or flower or some form of natural beauty because it can really be balm for the soul. Read a poem. Allow the gift of water, as St. Francis would remind us, to cascade over us with a sense of spiritual renewal. Most importantly, acknowledge your needs and the needs of others. Prayer and reflection can be strong bookends in our lives and keep us focused and attentive. They also can be the gateway to a new beginning, a new outlook, a new way of thinking, a new opportunity to grow closer to God, oneself and others! Happy June blessings, Very Reverend W.C. Paysse, V.F. Pastor

JUNE EVENTS CHURCH EVE RY THURSDAY: That Man Is You with Mass 6am, Parish Life Center 6/01 First Saturday Devotions, 8:30am Mass followed with Confession, Adoration and Benediction at 10am 6/02 Deacon Dennis’ Ordination Reception, following 10:30am Mass, OLL gym 6/06 Catholic Daughters of America 6:30-7:30pm, Parish Life Center 6/11 Knights of Columbus Meeting; dinner 6pm, meeting 7pm, KC Hall 6/13 Men’s Club, 7pm, OLL gym 6/18 Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Meeting; dinner 6pm, meeting 7pm, KC Hall 6/23 Annual Corpus Christi Procession, begins 12pm at OLL, concludes 2pm at St. Luke

SCHOOL OFFICE HOURS FOR THE SUMMER 6/03 6/06 9am-2pm 6/11 6/13 9am-2pm 6/18 6/20 9am-2pm 6/25 6/27 9am-2pm 7/02 7/03 9am-2pm 7/09 7/11 9am-2pm 7/16 7/18 9am-2pm 7/23 7/25 9am-2pm 7/30 8/01 8am-3:30pm 8/05 8/08 Teacher In-Service and Retreat 8/09 Opening Day of 2019-2020 School Year


lie Gates

Les Story by

“GOLDEN MOMENTS” Kids WEAR YOU OUT, and what I am starting to learn is that this doesn’t necessarily get easier as they get older, just different. Those sleepless nights when they were waking up crying every few hours as babies, turn into sleepless nights when they are teenagers because their ever-fluctuating emotions have YOU waking up crying every few hours. When my kids are bothered by something, they all 3 show it in completely different ways. One will get clingy and sad; one, angry and touchy; and one, quiet and reserved. And when I’m bothered by what is bothering them, I do all the above, minus quality sleep. Add wine. Have you ever just had those moments right smack dab in the 38

middle of life, where you think about your kids and just start crying because of how much you love them? I know, I totally just switched this up on you. It could be the poor sleep, or I could be onto something. Let’s find out. Let's say that two days before that happened, you went a little bat-shit, because they STILL hadn’t cleaned their rooms. You reached the end of your rope, feeling as if you spend your entire life cleaning up after everyone. Your breakdown seems totally valid, because it’s true. You DO clean up after everyone. And as they go off to do a half-assed job of cleaning, you get that look from them, as if you WERE just as crazy as they suspected. The night after that, you laid on the couch and binge-watched The Golden Girls, nodding your head

to whatever the kids were saying about the latest video game, not even hearing a word of it. Inside you just want to scream, “Let me tell you about MY GAME! The one I play EVERYDAY! YA READY?! It’s where I walk around helping all of YOU in hopes that you will learn to help YOURSELVES properly one day, but I can’t really tell if it is sticking, so, I WORRY. I worry and I’M TIRED! And man, I’m hungry! The next level of the game is where I walk around the kitchen looking for something that I can eat on this low-carb diet! The tricky part of the game is that I must feed 4 others while, at the same time, caring about my OWN healthy intake levels! My parachute usually ends up landing in a place where all I can find are pork rinds, cheese and Diet Coke! Then, out of


nowhere, something hits me with a major life bomb! So, I give into the enemy by eating 10 handfuls of goldfish crackers while chugging down the gallon jug of sweet tea, desperately finding wisdom and hope from Dorothy Zbornak!” Then, on the third day, out of nowhere and for no real reason, you just SEE your kids. Like, see them see them. Not wanting to miss any word or thought they have. Wanting to just lay with them and hold them, even though they are teenagers and it would be weird. Doing something completely strange, like just cleaning their room FOR THEM, maybe leaving something special behind on their bed. Because everything in your spirit pushes you to remind them that they are loved and seen. That time is precious, and childhood is fleeting. BOOM! You are now totally confused as a parent. Possibly pre-menopausal. But MAN, you love them SO MUCH! They are equally confused and wondering why you keep staring at their face and smiling. I’ve had these moments a lot. And even though I know I love them every day, it seems to be God’s way of reminding me what full-blown, walls-down love REALLY feels like again. It’s so powerful and beautiful… so… extremely scary. Because the thought of ever losing that is TOO MUCH. I weep so deeply when these feelings hit, the happy kind of weeping, and honestly wish I could stay in the moment longer. Eventually though, whether consciously or unconsciously, I go back to a more “realistic” version of love. One where I don’t live daily with such an utterly vulnerable emotion. I mean, how functional and productive would someone be if they spent every day in that kind of emotional state? Then, I wonder, DO PEOPLE? Am I missing some important memo that all the other parents received? This wouldn’t be a strange occurrence since I am the parent that never seems to get the word on things like extra dance recital practice, or a school fee that was due. Wait. Am I scared to love because I’m scared to lose? Why am I not feeling this overwhelming love everyday for my children? Is this normal? Why am I telling you this?

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Just so you are clear, I had one of these “I love my children SO MUCH moments” three days ago, and it is still VERY powerful in me. I want to know what to do with it, if anything. The Golden Girls haven’t told me yet. After some reading, I concluded that a lot of parents experience this. It is the result of slowing down, for whatever reason life nudges you to do so, and finding your way into the present moment as a parent. When it is time to change focus, life will nudge you back out. So, we all get different memos at different times in our children’s lives. It’s an individual path between parent and child. We are never going to be perfect, whatever THAT is, and to quote Joyce Meyer, “We may not be where we need to be, but thank God we aren’t where we used to be.” Who knows, maybe we are afraid of love. Maybe we learned to suppress it so it wouldn’t hurt so bad if we ever lost it. Maybe the overwhelming love I have felt for 3 days COULD be there every day, I seriously do not know. Maybe Sophia said it right, “People waste their time

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pondering whether a glass is half empty or half full. Me, I just drink whatever is in the glass!” We are right where we need to be in OUR own journey of growing in love. There will be times in the process where it will be hard, but in order to see the love, you must go through the pain. You won’t die. Blanche says so. “I thought I was gonna die. I swear I have never felt such agony. I saw my entire life flash before my eyes and I thought, what a shame if I die now, I’m too young, and I’m wearing the wrong underwear.” My children have been teaching me ever since they came into this world. Each time, I learn something that I never knew before. A new feeling of love from a higher level. One that is very hard for me to explain. Even if I miss that dance practice or my kid ends up borrowing a $2 fee to participate that day, I figure, if these love bursts keep coming, and I am responsive to it, I’m still on the right path. If you can’t sleep because of your children, then you love them, we know this.

They were given to us FOR this very reason. To learn different lessons. Hard ones, easy ones… one way or another, we come into parenting as a broken adult, thinking we were going to teach THEM everything. That’s the difference between God’s plan and our own. He flips it around. If we teach them something about life from an area we could label “broken” within ourselves, a funny thing happens. First, we realize we might have screwed it up a bit. Then, grace comes. In all our brokenness, those little clueless people that drive us crazy and seem to break us apart even more at times, are actually the ones that end up putting most of our pieces back together. Simply put, if you feel strongly that one or more of them needs something deeper from you at certain times, don’t deny it. They need your love and attention, and you need the lesson. Jump into the game and aim your parachute right for them. You may also aim for a big slice of cheesecake, if you wish. Because I’ve earned it! I mean… YOU’VE earned it! As they say in St. Olaf, I’m not one to blow my own vertubenflugen.


Southeast Louisiana Council Boy Scouts of America Cypress District Serving more than 780 youth members in East St. Tammany Parish

Sen. Sharon Hewitt Campaign Fund

Grant P Gravois, State Farm Insurance

Judge Jim Lamz

Joe DiGiovanni, CPA

Planet Storage

Lloyd Labatut

Ted Longo

Councilman Gene Bellisario

E.C.O. Builders, Inc.

Linda Larkin

Troy Ingram

BJ Petersen

Bill & Sharron Newton

Mayor Greg Cromer

Chief Chris Kaufmann

Lou & Cheryl Thomas

Kate Chabreck

Slidell Noon Lions Club

Honaker Funeral Homes

Rev. Donald Bryan

Michael & Mary Rich

Andrew Corrollo

Kidney & Hypertension Assoc., Dr. David Powers

Easy Lube and Oil

Sheriff Randy Smith

Ross F. Lagarde, APLC

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Slidell Family Dentistry, Dr. David Hildebrandt, DDS


The

Dish

ran away with the

Spoon

Holy Trinity By Katie Clark

Having a baby, of course, made my husband a father; but, it also consequently made him a master baker. Those first few weeks made Alan feel like he was standing in front of a microphone not knowing what to do with his hands. After he dug a 6-foot hole in our backyard (another story for another time), he took to baked goods. His mission was to bake the perfect pie crust, which I considered a noble and welcome pursuit. It didn’t take long for the perfect crust to form, so to speak. He made Chess Pies, Apple Pie, Coconut Cream Pie... he experimented with the fat-to-flour ratio; different types of fat – butter and lard; and then made more pies. It was glorious – each pie more delicious than the next. Our house was filled with sweet newborn baby smell and heavenly pie smells. When Frances was born two years later, pie was replaced with sourdough bread. It takes about 24 hours to create a loaf: starter, proof, shape, rise, flour, flour, flour, shape, bake, toast, butter, exclamation point! Jelly-topped in the morning; mozzarella, tomato, basiltopped at lunch; smoked salmon and dill for supper. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! Sourdough is a beautiful thing made from flour, salt and water. It is a living thing. It behaves and misbehaves; it disappoints, it satisfies. Could there be a more apt metaphor for our current state of life? My husband’s brother, Chris, is a chef. He has the food truck, “Old School Eats.” And their father, Mr. John, is an exceptional cook. He’s known for his

“Daddy’s Specials.” These are typically late-night concoctions thrown together with refrigerator delights. I think the first one I had was some combination of grits, crawfish, cheese and fried okra – something that would be impossible to recreate. But the thing Mr. John does best, are his vegetables. First, he boils a chicken, like he’s making chicken soup. Then he uses that broth to boil his vegetables. There are no wild spices, just salt and pepper and, of course, butter. The chicken broth acts as a spotlight to the vegetables, allowing them to shine. My own father may not be known for his culinary prowess, but his “choppy eggs” are infamous. Choppy Eggs are scrambled eggs, but he uses a spatula to “chop” the eggs into a hundred tiny pieces as they cook. If I had to guess, I think he likes the sound it makes. The dramatic “clack clack clack” makes him sound and feel like the Iron Chef; or, at least, a very talented Hibachi chef. His specialty is his BBQ. He’s written down the recipe once. It is 12 pages long and

includes lots of breaks for drinking a “cold one,” checking on “the game,” and taking a nap. Dads bring all kinds of different things to the table. I’m lucky to have three dads in my life that surround me with the best examples of beautifully prepared food. And I’m thankful for my husband who is the salt to my pepper, as well as the 24-hour line cook to our children. Below, find Alan’s “I Eschewed My Parental Responsibility to Bring You This Perfect Chess Pie” recipe. Happy Father’s Day!

CHESS PIE Ingredients: 2 cups sugar 2 tablespoons cornmeal - heaping 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour - heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup butter melted 1/4 cup milk 1 tablespoon white vinegar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 large eggs, lightly beaten Powdered sugar, for garnish Step 1: Make your life easy by using a store-bought pie crust, just don’t tell Alan, as he will most certainly judge you. Step 2: Stir together sugar and next 7 ingredients until blended. Add eggs, stirring well. Pour into piecrust. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes, shielding edges with aluminum foil after 10 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Cool completely on a wire rack. If desired, garnish with powdered sugar. Coconut Chess Pie: Prepare filling as directed above; stir in 1 cup toasted flaked coconut before pouring into piecrust. Bake as directed above.

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Sponsored By:

by Jeff Perret, DVM

Grain-Free Diets Several times each week, various pet owners will brag to me about the “good, grain-free” food they’re feeding their dogs. Sometimes, I do an internal eye roll, smile, nod, and bite my tongue. But when I know I have sufficient time to get into it, I’ll tell these well-meaning folks, who are typically convinced that their pets are allergic to grains, that grain-free foods, despite the fact that they are everywhere, are generally a solution in search of a problem. Here’s what I mean by that:

As a rule, an itchy dog is an allergic dog. Dogs can certainly scratch due to fleas, mange (a mite infestation), lice, or other parasites. And other skin diseases can make a dog pruritic (fancy medical term for itchy). But most of the dogs who present to my office with the complaint of itchy, dry, flakey skin, often accompanied by hair loss, scabs, odor, and greasy build-up, are suffering from allergies of one kind or another. Fleas notwithstanding (that’s a subject for another day), a pet owner

Dr. Jeff recommends using:

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ONLY WITH BRAVECTO.® 44

who is new to this type of condition invariably assumes that he’s dealing with an allergy to something in Fido’s food. Always the food. And it’s typically the grains, corn in particular, that they assume are the cause of the problem. And who can blame them, really? Dog food commercials portray our pets as practically identical to wolves; they tell us that Fido (even if he is a Poodle or a Pekingese) craves the protein that his wolf ancestors hunted. No self-respecting carnivorous wolf would eat anything but beef, chicken, salmon or bison!


So the concerned dog owner dutifully buys a bag of the grain-free food, assuming the grains in the previous food were the culprit. If the dog food company goes to the trouble to make a product with no grains, there must be a reason, right? The fact is, though, that food allergies are relatively rare. Much more common are seasonal, air-borne and environmental allergies to things like pollens, mold spores, dust mites and the like. The same allergens that clog up human sinuses and make us sneeze, wheeze, and cough, result in mostly skin problems for dogs. Food allergies account for a small fraction of the itchy dogs walking into my exam room. But it gets even better. The rare foodallergic dog is almost always allergic to a protein, not a carbohydrate. This is why I say grain-free foods are a solution in search of a problem. Dogs whose skin issues will suddenly disappear after a switch to a random grain-free food are exceedingly few and far-between. I used to finish up my rant on this subject by saying that grain-free dog foods are probably fine nutritionally, just not the answer to the problem, and not worth the extra cost or trouble of buying them. But it seems I may have been giving them too much credit. In the last year or so, there’s been mounting evidence to suggest that grain-free diets may be linked to a specific heart disease in some dog breeds where it had seldom been seen before. Causation hasn’t been established, and research is ongoing. But a large majority of the dogs in question have one thing in common: they were on a diet free of grains. Legumes, chick peas and such are used to provide the necessary carbs when the grains are left out. It seems that this substitution leads to an imbalance in a nutrient called taurine that may be related to the heart disease. And unfortunately, it’s not as simple as adding taurine to the diet. When their diets are changed to include grains, the dogs with the heart problems frequently are cured. Again, it’s too early to reach the conclusion that grain-free diets cause heart disease, but there’s definitely reason for concern. Myths about pet nutrition abound. Snake-oil salesmen make ridiculous claims for supposed miracle cures (ever heard the commercials for a product called Dinovite? I hope not). Ultimately, your veterinarian should walk you through the steps to determine what’s causing your pet’s problems, be they skin, heart, joint or kidneyrelated. Don’t try to buy a grocery store supplement or a bag of “all natural, holistic” food to fix a perceived problem. And be careful with the internet research. Dr. Google is sometimes wrong, as hard as that may be to believe. Make a long-lasting relationship with a vet you trust and let him or her be your guide.

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OUT TAKES

ag Slidell M019 e2

107 - Jun

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

and graphic designer Slidell Magazine’s t, tis ar er st Fest po the 2019 LA Vets isten Kr fe wi th wi r, Shane Wheele cover artist!) (also a Slidell Mag

Mayor Greg Cromer reads the official proclamation naming the Heritage Park stage “The Ronnie and Gardner Kole Stage.” There to celebrate were members of Slide ll City Council, Rep. Mary Dub uisson & Parish President Pat Brister

Slidell Mag Editor, Kendra Maness, joined the PICT URE PERFECT Victory Belles, on loan from the World War II Museum, at the Louisiana Veteran ’s Festival

46

Keynote speaker, alise, Congressman Steve Sc to te bu tri l rfu gives a powe 19 20 e th at ns era our vet stival Louisiana Veterans Fe

THE GREATEST GENERATION! Randy Smith to It was a true honor for Sheriff II veteran, War ld Wor d r-ol yea 97 t mee dy Moo d Lloy

It was a beautiful evening for a ride! Councilman-At-Large Bill Borchert and wife Laura show off their cycling skills at the LPO Concert, Some Enchanted Evening, in Heritage Park

Zebra frontman, Randy Jackson , ROC KS OUT THE PAR K at the 2019 LA Vets Fest

Slidell Magazine is EVERYWHERE! in Here’s one of our brave soldiers for ies Lad ll Slide Qatar. Thank you ul Liberty for sending these wonderf d loye dep our to es care packag community members!


Look-a-like winner Moon Beam and owner Ms. Janice

Yoda, the Cutest Dog Contest Winner, and proud owners Corianne & Alyssa Green

People’s Choice, and Grand Marshal for Bayou Bark Fest 2020, Yeti enjoying his winnings

Costume Winner Oscar, in his Star Wars attire, with owners Sherry, Caden, & Marlie Danna

June 1 June 3 & 4 June 5 - 8 June 11 - 15

Galloway Studio of Dance Recital The Dance Project Just Dance Elite Dance Revue

A First for Bayou Bark Fest! The Meeting of the Courts. King of Barkus, Stanley James Louis Preston Foxworth meets Krewe du Paws King, Toby Cusimano and Queen Callie Curry-Thompson….AND Bayou Bark Fest’s own Harvey!

June 23 - 26 June 27 June 28 June 28

Che ck out o ur n ew w e bsite!

Gulf Coast Elder Abuse Conference Lobby Lounge Concert Series presents The Two’s East St. Tammany Chamber Breakfast with Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser Rampage Fighting Championship (RFC) MMA Fight Night!

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.

Bobby J. Ducote Owner Funeral Director Embalmer Cremation Certified

Proudly Servicing St. Tammany and Surrounding Parishes 48

61101 Hwy 11, Slidell, LA 985-645-0600 www.audubonfuneralhome.com

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Slidell Magazine, June 2019  

Slidell Magazine, June 2019  

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