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THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF SLIDELL

Vol. 115 February 2020 WE KEEP IT FRESH

SAY KEEP IT POSITIVE


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White Linen & Lagniappe • Olde Towne

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Editor’s Letter

Kendra Maness Editor/Publisher Slidell Magazine

Kendra with artist M.H. Reed at the Mona Lisa & MoonPie Parade in 2014, showing off his first cover art for Slidell Magazine.

I’m going to make you work a little bit... Flip back to the cover. Do you see the creativity of this month’s cover? Look carefully. It’s more than Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day. See the Saints jersey? The LSU shirt? The Mona Lisa & MoonPie beads? (M.H. Reed is the official artist for MLMP.) This is one of my favorite covers in our magazine’s history! This year, M.H. Reed has challenged himself to complete an original art design, specifically for Slidell Magazine, each month. We will showcase his covers every 2-3 months over the next 2+ years, to allow for other local artists to have a cover spotlight also. His inspiration came from his two sons, who are quickly maturing into young men. Michael wanted to capture these fleeting days of youthful innocence and family unity before they are gone. This series is also an hommage to the style of artist Noman Rockwell and his depictions of middle American life (note the famous Rockwell circle in all the covers). We are grateful and HUMBLED that Michael has chosen Slidell Magazine as his creative canvas! ENJOY! Cover: “A King’s Love Dilemma” by M.H. Reed

Cover Artist

M.H. reed “A Story for the Cover” by M.H. Reed It’s carnival time, and I need a rhyme. But it’s also Valentine’s Day, that’s what she will say. So, the king took a break, he wanted to eat some cake But there was none, so he will have to get some. He made K and M go with him. They traveled to the store, to them it was such a bore. They found the king’s cake, but there was something else at stake. Finding a card, is just so hard. What to choose, a card to win, or a card to lose.

Slidell Magazine PO Box 4147 Slidell, LA 70459 www.slidellmag.com 985-789-0687 Kendra Maness, Editor/Publisher Editor@slidellmag.com Shane Wheeler, Graphic Designer Graphics@slidellmag.com

Funny or romantic, it can put you in a panic. 99 cents is not that bad, but 9.99 makes the wallet feel sad. It’s just a card, why is this so hard? The boys are ready to go, and it is really starting to show.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS EFOP, Andy Canulette - Charlotte Collins

A card he picks, it should do the trick.

The Storyteller - John Case

Away we go, back to the show.

Pet Points - Jeff Perret, DVM Oregon, Part II - Story & Photos by Donna Bush Crimmi-Mommly Insane - Leslie Gates Legal-Ease - Ronda M. Gabb Making Cents of Your Money - Mike Rich The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon - Katie Clark To Tattoo or Not to Tattoo - Rose Marie Sand

SUBSCRIPTIONS $39/YEAR MAILED TO YOU EACH MONTH! www.SlidellMag.com View current & past editions, advertising rates and more at www.slidellmag.com

It’s carnival time, and I think I found a rhyme. M.H. Reed is an artist and sometimes storyteller. He went to the Savannah College of Art and Design. The cover image, “A King’s Love Dilemma” is part of an ongoing monthly series of images. If you like what you see and want to see more, find him on Twitter or Facebook. You probably cannot buy his work, but you can certainly follow his work, that is if you like the work.


FEBRUARY 2020 "Mug shot" Photo by Chris Granger, courtesy of The Times Picayune-New Orleans Advocate

Story by Charlotte Collins

Extraordinarily Fascinating “Ordinary” People Extraordinary Fascinating

Ordinary People

“Journalism is an act of faith in the future." ~ Ann Curry

If you asked me who has the largest responsibility for preserving and protecting our community, I would have the following list: Number one would be our first responders, such as police and fire protection. They would be followed by key government officials, like mayors, presidents and chiefs for our cities and our parish. Of course, I know the impact educators have on families and the next generation that make up our community, so they would be close to the top. As you read here monthly, the people who volunteer behind the scenes would have to be on the list. From there would be a litany of contributors like members of the arts, medicine, nature preservationists and historians. The one group I omitted, but recently learned to place near the top, are those who report our community news. Without them, we would be blissfully unaware of important local changes or opportunities until they were past. Looking back at the last decade, while our local newspaper industry was shifting, we shared the ride together as 6

Michael Andrew “Andy” Canulette our news sources careened down their various twists and turns. At times, it felt like a roller coaster ride for me. Some of the change was good, bringing the convenience of news as it happens on our screens, and the ability to research over the internet. But don’t take away my daily paper! I suspect most of you relish the idea of snapping those big pages and sitting without a screen to read, maybe on your porch with a cup of coffee. And you like knowing that you have that option as part of your daily routine. Thankfully, we once again have choices about online vs. hard copy. Andy Canulette had a front row seat through these recent events. He also has the knowledge of the origins of the news media; plus, he has been gathering stories since he was a kid. Telling stories about people is something Michael Andrew “Andy” Canulette does well. It’s his profession. Telling your own tale is, however, much more difficult. Because of his experience, this journalist has refined his purpose in life, which helped to center the scope of his tale.

Those who know Andy would describe him as a thoughtful person. Those who know him well also would portray him as driven by his personal sense of moral obligation. While his career captures much of his time and thoughts, family is his foundation, the rock upon which he was reared. As a husband, father of four, and the editor of The St. Tammany Farmer and The Picayune-St. Tammany Advocate, that rock has become the basis of everything he holds dear. He also holds the memories from a history spanning six generations of St. Tammany natives. This is our adventure for the month! Andy and I met for coffee to discuss what you, my readers, will get to experience. I was excited about all of his insights and memories, and asked him where he thought we should begin his story. Andy tilted his head thoughtfully for a second, then straightened, and answered assuredly, “Not all stories are linear, so I guess we need to go backwards.” Then he intertwined the fingers of both hands, and placed them on the table.


He set the tone by informing me that he works for the oldest business still in operation in St. Tammany Parish, the St. Tammany Farmer, which is now 145 years old. He added proudly, “I've been the editor there for two and a half years now. I was writing for The New Orleans Advocate when the owner, John Georges, purchased The St. Tammany Farmer in March of 2017. They asked me to come aboard after the acquisition and I made the move shortly thereafter. It was something I had been waiting for, and I was excited. The vision was to take that historic newspaper and bring it to all of St. Tammany Parish. It had become known as the Covington newspaper; when, in fact, it was started as the St. Tammany Parish newspaper. If you could go back and read the history of the paper, say 100 years ago, there are stories about all the communities in this parish, from Pearl River to Madisonville, and all those between.” If you’ve been to my attic, and I sincerely hope you have not experienced that, you would be able to verify that my family saved copies from that far back. Any newsworthy information was published in "The Farmer”, and all landowners and business owners looked to this paper as a primary source. The first accurate documentation of parish agendas, meetings and ordinances were from The Farmer prior to the updated parish website. News that affected the entire state would be included. Local events, coupons and sales were there as well. Andy smiled as I ran through my memories, and continued, “It was a perfect opportunity because it was about St. Tammany Parish, and that's my bailiwick, my forte! The Farmer is inserted into the Wednesday editions of The Times Picayune-New Orleans Advocate, and distributed throughout the parish. Mr. Georges purchased The Times Picayune early in 2019, and we gained all those subscribers. The Farmer also has its own subscribers, and its own distinct readership." “I'll never forget, after I took the job, I sort of went on this barnstorming tour of all the different cities in the parish and

I sat down with the mayor, the chief of police, the council members, and whoever I could, just to tell them exactly what Mr. Georges’ plans were and what we wanted to do with the newspaper. When I sat down in Mayor Freddy Drennan’s office, he said, ‘Where you been?’ In other words, we've been waiting for this sort of thing to start up. At that point, I knew it was going to work. I knew that people were hungry for news and the right journalist. It was perfect. The most amazing thing was that the people that work for The Farmer now are the same people whose work won a Pulitzer Award in 2006, after Hurricane Katrina.” “So, it's been rewarding to be the editor,” he grinned. Going backwards in time, as promised, Andy reminisced, “I started with The Times Picayune in 1998 and, in 2012, they decided to publish only three days a week. I remember that the New Orleans area was left reeling. There was no viable daily newspaper for the first time in centuries. The Baton Rouge Manship family opened an Advocate office in New Orleans and started producing The New Orleans Advocate. Some of my former colleagues from the beginning were the people who were the brainchild of that newspaper, and were the people who fostered it from the very start. But now, all three papers are owned by the same person, even though the periodicals are still separate entities. The Times Picayune-New Orleans Advocate is the metro newspaper, so it's distributed to daily subscribers throughout the area, including St. Tammany. The PicayuneSt. Tammany Advocate is distributed to people in St. Tammany Parish for free on Wednesdays. It is somewhat similar to The Farmer; however, with The Farmer, you get much more content.” The editor brought me back even further in time as he reminded me, “If you think back to the early 80's, a similar thing occurred when The Picayune purchased The State's Item. Back then, there was a morning paper and an afternoon paper. It started as The Times Picayune-State's Item and, after a couple of years, the title became just The Times Picayune.

So, we are seeing a similar trend by combining the names. But The Picayune is actually 180 years old! The website, nola.com, is through the roof with its readership. It is highly trafficked; not just for New Orleans news, but for all of the metro area. It goes beyond the local readership, as experts around the world check it out as a resource. It's a great site, and I think that was part of the reason to bring those two sources of expertise together.” Andy revealed his passion for journalism. “The Farmer, I think, is unparalleled locally in the type of news delivery that it brings. We are the only newspaper that covers the local news, that covers every civic meeting; and that's important, very important!” he said passionately. “There seems to be a disconnect in recent years between people and government. The people seem to feel powerless when it comes to civic matters. They sort of rail against the machine, without realizing how much their vote matters. Look at the number of people that turn out to vote in a tax election, roughly ten percent!” He threw his hands up, and continued, “Half the people decide who their sheriff will be or who the parish president will be!” He voiced his hopes for the 2020’s. “I wish more people were plugged into civic affairs. It's still really important, even if you don’t realize it until later. Voting is the greatest right that we have. And, you know, freedom of press and freedom of religion are obviously essential, but we want leaders who will preserve the Constitution and ALL of its freedoms. That is precisely why journalists are here. The fourth estate is there for a reason.” I was lost with that term, so he backed up and explained, “In the French monarchy, the first estate was the clergy. The second was the elite, and the third was the working class. Our job, as the fourth estate, is to be the watchdog of that system.” That was really going back to the origins of the newspaper industry! Then he brought it closer to home by relating, “If you don’t read the local

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news, you miss items that may affect you more than you realize. For instance, last year, there was a renewal of a garbage contract in Slidell. And rather than collecting garbage twice a week, they decided to go with a contract to collect garbage once a week.” He cocked his head and raised his eyebrows as he set the scene. “And I wrote about the story a couple of weeks before they actually voted on it. I wrote about it again when they voted on it. Then a month went by before people started showing up at City Hall to complain about it. And, of course, people would ask me, ‘Why aren't you covering this?'” His voice grew more empassioned as he related, “I was!” and he threw his hands up in frustration. “We were covering that stuff when nobody else was. But, if you're just paying attention to your Facebook feed, then a lot of times you're not going to get the whole story. Now, it's very important for us to make sure that we're getting our news on electronic media, too. And I populate our Facebook page every day with something we're covering in the newspaper too. But it's a little disheartening when people complain how newspapers should be covering something that they simply aren’t reading.”

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I plead guilty. I began to see the big picture and how covering these issues over a long period of time would really give one a greater sense of perspective. History is important, and Andy has the experience to remember that history. Now we switched gears to talk about Andy’s family and his personal past. Andy, as many of you may know, was born and raised here in Slidell, as was his father, and grandfather. Andy settled back and told the story in a more linear fashion this time. “My father’s family originated from Italy, and migrated to the western end of St. Tammany Parish. They changed the name from Canuletti to Canulette, and stayed in Madisonville for a couple of generations after the Civil War. My great-grandfather, Frank Nicholas Canulette, was born in Madisonville. He moved to Slidell with his brother, Andrew, my namesake. They had been supervisors at the shipyard in Madisonville and, in the early 1900's, they purchased the Slidell Shipyard from Fritz Salmen. They owned it up until the early 50's, when my great-grandfather died. At one point, that shipyard was the largest employer in Slidell. It played a huge role in World War II. We've been in the parish I guess for about a century and a half now. Some of that history is in the Madisonville Maritime Museum. It was great going over there with my dad to see history kind of come to life. That history is also in The Farmer.” And he beamed at the memories. Then he grew nostalgic and recalled, “Looking at The Farmer from a hundred years ago is sort of like looking at our early families through time. It's really interesting


to go back and see Floyd Fogg coming back from the Pacific, Mr. Harry Spence coming back from the war, and Mr. Wesley Carroll telling his war story. That's all amazing history. I get goosebumps when I think about that stuff because, you know, their family and their friends are all gone now, of course; but that record is preserved!” He leaned back and painted a picture for me, “The St. Tammany Farmer building is adjacent to the Southern Hotel. Downtown Covington is very cozy and walkable, much like Olde Towne Slidell. Then, directly across the street is the old Parish Courthouse. That is where my dad, Pat Canulette, worked as the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff for 16 years. So I ratted the streets of both towns quite a bit as a kid, especially during the summers. It was a cool way to grow up. I tell these stories to my kids, and it's such a different world to them." "I grew up in Olde Towne Slidell in the family home that my great-grandfather built on the corner of Cleveland and Carey. I point out to my kids markers like the Lions Club, caddy-cornered from us, which was built by Andrew Canulette, the former mayor of Slidell in the 20’s. At one point, that corner of Cleveland was staked by four Canulette houses. My great-grandmother, Fluvia, or 'Flo', lived in the house that my parents live in now. People also nicknamed her “The Queen of Halloween”. Dixie Magazine back in the early 60’s did a huge spread on her. She loved Halloween, prepped for it 364 days a year, legitimately. On All Saints Day, she was beginning the preparations for the next year. My mom and dad still get people who knock on the door asking if she still lives here. Thanks to her, I'm a huge Halloween fan.” We talked at length about our mutual love of Halloween, and putting on a good haunted party. Andy related, “Because things were so safe back then, at seven years old, I could leave my house on Carey Street and walk to the Timesaver on Pontchartrain. I would talk to people who would come in and out of the store, and the guy who worked behind the counter. If I wasn't there, I would walk in the other direction into the heart of Olde Towne to see my uncle at Mire’s Hardware Store, or Johnny Krolak at the lawnmower store where KY’s Bicycle Shop is now. I got my first bicycle from there. And I think one of the first arcade games in Slidell was actually in that lawnmower shop, if you can believe it. I would go visit Mr. Buckley at his shoe store, Mr. and Mrs. Brennan, the Fontana sisters, Floyd Fogg at the Cheryl Building, Miss Janie and CJ Dunaway, Mrs. Ruby and the White Kitchen, and the donut shop. I remember everything vividly like a map etched in my brain. And one of my favorite things to do, which I don't think I told my parents at that time, was to hang out at the Greyhound Station on Front Street, talking to people who would come and go.” I was right there with him in my mind’s memories of my hometown.

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1-2.) Canulette Shipyard owners, brothers Andrew David Canulette (who also served as mayor of Slidell), and Andy’s great-grandfather, Frank Nicholas Canulette. 3-4.) Two impressive examples of the scope of work the Canulette Shipyard performed: left, a passenger vessel and, right, a war ship

Andy also spent a lot of time with his paternal grandparents, Frank Keller Canulette and his wife, Doris. His grandfather’s nickname was “Tooker” and Andy described him as, “a fantastic artist and a carpenter who learned the art of shipbuilding and building houses. He was quite a prolific painter, and created a lot of landscapes and wildlife scenes. I don't think he ever sold a painting. He gave them away. Even today, you can see his paintings hanging in homes and businesses around Olde Towne.” One thing I find in every interview is that we are who we are because of those who came before us. Talents rarely occur in a void, or as an anomaly. I would have to agree with Andy’s statement in the beginning that family is your foundation, and your rock. I surmised that writing was Andy’s artistic bent. Thinking about my previous musings a second, he allowed, “My mother, Kathy, is an artist. And, I didn't know my father was artistic until I was older. He is a

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fantastic writer. He really is just a good storyteller. And you can’t be taught the art of storytelling - it’s about words, the cadence, the timing, and how to express yourself. A lot of it is the ability to see ideas. So, I guess it could come from my grandfather, my father, and my mother. Everything you learn has a place later in your life. My dad is not only a fantastic storyteller and a great speaker, but he also has a great memory and has this way of connecting people to the past. I guess that is sort of a tradition for us, but I don't think it's unique to our family. It's a southern tradition really. That oral tradition came from sitting on the front porch because it was too darn hot to be inside. All that was passed down to my generation.” The great outdoors has also always been very important to Andy and his family. He nodded and relayed, “My grandfather, father, and I all grew up in the outdoors. My generation might be the last that actually spends a lot of

time in the outdoors hunting, fishing, and boating. We were so connected to the water here in Slidell. Dad and John Lamarque were hunting partners. And I was stuck in between them. I can remember many a cold morning as a 7 or 8-year-old kid who would be raring to go before dawn with those two, or my grandfather and my uncles. It was a bonding experience that most kids today don’t get to experience.” Looking upward for a moment, Andy reflected, “I enjoyed keeping the company of folks that were older than me. I'm a big history buff and somehow it connects me to the past and also to the present. It helps me remember who I am and where I am. My wife, Charlene, and I share that gravitation to older friends and family.” This led us into the next generation. He recalled the first time he noticed the love of his life. It was at a saloon in Olde Towne named The Second Story. Andy recalled, “I was standing

Work work work! Left: Andy on one of his many business trips. Middle: With Arthur Hardy, publisher of Arthur Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide, 2019. Right: Andy conducts an historic interview -- the 5 living mayors of Slidell, 2018


1.) Andy and dad, Pat, duck hunting. 2.) In dad's LA State Police hat. 3.) Andy with his parents and sister. 4.) On Ash Wednesday 1985, Andy was kidnapped at gunpoint from his classroom at Our Lady of Lourdes School. The abductor fired at teachers and students and fled with Andy. She was found and arrested within hours and Andy was returned safely.

at the bar with the owner and friend, Chris Merritt. I saw her come in and exclaimed, ‘See that girl? I’m going to marry her!’ We have been together ever since. She has a face that lights up a room, her smile and her eyes said everything that I needed.” Andy announced proudly, “We celebrated 24 years of marriage yesterday, and we have four fantastic kids. Charlene is a fantastic musician, a piano player, and all the kids are musical. Our oldest, Carolyn, graduated summa cum laude from Tulane as an English major. Then, there is Claire, who is a student at Tulane now. My son, Carson, is a freshman at Washington and Lee in Virginia. And Chloe is our caboose. She is a seventh grader and will be 13 in February. It's just the three of us now. She's a fantastic student. We're very blessed, as they have all been really good kids. The three oldest were all valedictorians of their high school classes, which pretty much paid for college.”

“There’s one thing I hope my kids will glean from all our family stories. And that is that we come from a family that has been civically active for a long time. The thing that I'm most proud of when it comes to my past is the generosity that the Canulettes have been able to give back to their community. During the Depression and World War II, there were literally thousands of people working at Canulette Shipbuilding. The stories that I heard growing up from the people who actually worked for them were that they would always give a family man a chance to earn wages. If someone was down on their luck and asked my greatgrandfather and his brother for a job, there may not be any open positions. But he would always find something. They also told me about the big feasts, where everyone was invited. And that sort of community ethic is important.” “For me, telling the stories of the people that make the parish a better place is a way to give back. I wish I had enough hours in a day to go to every charitable

event. There are people behind the scenes who give so much to all of these events. So many of us are so busy in our own lives, that we grow detached. But I like to cover the people that care about themselves and their communities.” I think you can see by now that Andy puts a lot of thought into his purposeful career. Now, here was the challenge for us, his readers, “You know, I challenge everybody that reads the newspaper or looks at a website or listens to the radio or however you consume the news, to question what's going on at City Hall, your schools, your churches. And it's not just for people in public service. It’s the same for shopkeepers and dog catchers and every one of us. Everything seemed very small when I was a child. Slidell seems like a much bigger place now, but it’s still the people who really care that are the heartbeat of this town. There are some really fantastic people here and, if we continue to tap into that, we're going to be great. Slidell is where I choose to live because of their efforts.”

Left: Andy, Chloe, Charlene, with mom & dad, Kathy & Pat. Middle: The Canulette family - Carolyn, Andy, Charlene, Chloe, Carson and Claire Canulette at Carson's 2019 Slidell High graduation. Right: Andy & Charlene

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March

20 - 28

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Cutting Edge Theater

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14

february march

april

may

1 - 16

985-649-3727 CUTTINGEDGETHEATER.COM

3 - 25

the Musical

FRI - SAT 8PM

13 15

February


JANUARY

Slidell Gun & Knife Show Harbor Center • 10am

Krewe of Dionysus 1pm

23

11:15 AM - 1:15 PM

24

17

5

29

Harbor Center 4:30 and 7:30pm

WED

2/7 - 3/13

11

19

Ribbon Cutting Northshore Families Helping Families Covington • 4:30 PM

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ASH WEDNESDAY

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

Krewe of Chahta Mardi Gras Parade Lacombe • 1pm

25

18

Slidell Cultural Center Reception: 6-8 PM Feb 7 Viewing Hours: Wed & Fri 12-4 PM, Thurs 12-6 PM

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St. Tammany Chamber Ribbon Cutting Installation & Awards Luncheon St. Tammany Parish Library Tchefuncta Country Club Covington • 11 AM

4

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TUE

Salad Days Juried Exhibition of Student Art

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3

27

MON

z

z

1

Perseus Bal Masque

Pickleball Tournament Harbor Center • 7AM - 5PM

FEBRUARY

SAT

Krewe of Poseidon • 6pm

Krewe of Bilge Starts at The Dock • 12 NOON

Slidell Gun & Knife Show Harbor Center • 9am - 5pm

z

Valentine's Day

z z

15

Krewe of Slidellians Ball Harbor Center • 7PM

Krewe de Paws • 10am Krewe of Titans • 6:30pm

The Reluctant Dragon • Slidell Little Theatre • 7 PM

Dionysus Pre-Parade Party Slidell Municipal Auditorium

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The Reluctant Dragon • Slidell Little Theatre • 7 PM

Poseidon Pre-Parade Party Slidell Auditorium • 7 PM

8

9 to 5 • Cutting Edge Theater • 8 PM

Mayor Greg Cromer's Prayer Breakfast Slidell Auditorium 7 AM - 10 AM

Selene Coronation Ball Hyatt Regency New Orleans • 1 PM

7

31

FRI

27

20

Lions Bingo Slidell Noon Lions Club Every Thursday • 3 PM

Lions Bingo Slidell Noon Lions Club Every Thursday • 3 PM

28

21

Bayou Gardens Open House Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex Lacombe • 9AM to 4PM

29

Camellia City Farmer’s Market EVERY SATURDAY Griffith Park 8AM-NOON

Good People • Cutting Edge Theater • 8 PM

Tomorrow

LEAP YEAR!

Krewe of Selene 6:30pm

22

Give my Regards to Broadway! • Cutting Edge Theater • 13 & 14 @7pm • 15 @8 PM

13

B2B Networking Chamber • 8AM - 9AM Ribbon Cutting In-Telecom • 4:30 PM Lobby Lounge Concert The Krickets Harbor Center 7 PM

Lions Bingo Slidell Noon Lions Club Every Thursday • 3 PM

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6

30

THU

Look for the St. Tammany Chamber emblem to see all of the local Chamber Events!

The Reluctant Dragon • Slidell Little Theatre • 2PM

16

The Reluctant Dragon • Slidell Little Theatre • 2PM

Krewe of Perseus followed by Krewe of Slidellians • 1pm

9

2

Blithe Spirit • Slidell Little Theatre • 2 PM

Fontainebleau State Park Educational Programs Times vary

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SUN

2020

f e b r u a r y


The

Storyteller

THE SERMON Memories can be recalled to mind by the most obscure things. The first breath of Fall air opens a mental theatre of previous Falls, and usually those are pleasant thoughts. Music is a great reminder of our past and usually brings forth pleasant memories. Scents can bring to mind Grandmother’s cooking or the perfume worn by a long-lost love. All these are usually welcomed. A pronounced scent common to most that were raised in a rural environment is the odor of fresh hay being cut, bailed and stored in a hay loft. John David

looked forward to that time of year; and it was in the hay loft that he would stack the bales in a manner that would create tunnels. These tunnels would lead to small rooms he had carefully created with other stacked bales. All kids like tiny, cozy places to play. John David felt secure in these spaces. It was an escape from his dysfunctional, single-parent home that his mother had deserted when he was four years old. It may have been the only secure place in his life, even though it was somewhat imaginary.

Practically ignored by his father, John David started experimenting with smoking cigarettes at about twelve years old. It was not that he was addicted, but finding a half-smoked butt on the ground was like finding a small treasure. It gave him a sense of pride and confidence that he did not get from other sources. On this Saturday, all the workers were cutting, bailing and loading the hay onto the farm trailer. John David sat in the tall, uncut hay watching the process. On the other side of the large field was

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the farm owner’s house. Mr. Clayton lived there with his wife and teenaged daughter, Liza. John David and his father, J.C., lived in a tenant house on the property, as J.C. was employed on the farm. They owned nothing. Even the hay loft where John David played was owned by Mr. Clayton. There was too much social, economic and age difference for Liza to have even a remote interest in John David. That did not keep him from fantasizing about her, however. He knew she loved to watch the hay gathering process. She was known to rescue the baby rabbits when their nest was destroyed by the large mower. Usually the grown rabbits would flee, but sometimes the babies were too small, and a few would be unharmed as the blade passed over them. If her purpose for being present that day was to rescue rabbits, his purpose would be to watch her from a distance. It happened around noon, when the workers had gone to the Clayton house for lunch. Mrs. Clayton and a cadre of household help would provide large meals that they would hand out the back door to the farm hands. The field workers left a trailer loaded with hay attached to a new Farmall tractor. It was parked less than 100 yards from where John David was sitting, hidden by the tall, uncut hay. He was pleasantly surprised when, from almost nowhere, Liza appeared. He didn’t know that she, too, was a smoker until he saw her hide behind the wagon to shield the wind from blowing out her match. Immediately, he saw her throw down the cigarette she had just lit and run toward her house. Then John David saw the smoke and, in a moment, the flames.

The smoke could soon be seen by the workers eating lunch at the Clayton’s house. They rushed to the burning tractor, trailer and hay. By the time they reached the flaming vehicle, nothing could be salvaged. Most of the farm hands knew John David and they saw him nearby. He was guilty by circumstantial evidence, no questions asked. “Boy, I don’t want to be in you or yo daddy’s shoes when Mr. Clayton finds out about this,” one of the men said. John David did not say a word in his defense, just turned and walked away, towards home. His dad had driven some calves to the auction for Mr. Clayton and did not know about the accident. John David did not tell him either. Soon, Mr. Clayton’s truck came roaring up to the front of the house. J.C. was on the front porch. “What’s the hurry, Mr. Clayton?” J.C. could tell Mr. Clayton was angry.

a trailer and the new Farmall tractor smoking those cigarettes. Get him out here.” “John David! Get yourself out here on this porch.” “Yes sir, Dad.” “Did you set fire to Mr. Clayton’s hay and tractor?” “No sir.” Mr. Clayton screamed, “He is lying!” His statement continued, containing several expletives, as would his entire rampage that afternoon. “If you didn’t do it, who did? You were there,” Mr. Clayton said. “I ain’t gone tell you.” “He’s lying. He did it, or he would tell me who did,” Mr. Clayton’s anger was rising. “J.C., you need to whip that young’un till he admits what he did.” “He said he didn’t do it, Mr. Clayton.”

“Inside the house, why? You need him to do a chore for you?”

“Don’t you start taking his side. Who do you think you work for? You whip his behind till he confesses or be off this property by morning. Do it. Do it now while I wait here.”

“Little bastard burned up a load of hay,

J.C. had never known John David to

“Where is that boy of yours?”

15


tell a serious lie, but there was some merit to the fact that Mr. Clayton had lost a lot of money and, in J.C.’s opinion, John David should reveal who did it.

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“Come on, son.” The two reluctantly retreated into the house as J.C. unbuckled his wide, thick leather belt.

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John David slowly emerged from the house holding his hands on his buttocks. “Boy, did you do it?” “No sir.” “Then you better tell me who did.” “No sir.” “Your daddy didn’t whip you hard enough. Pull down those pants. I want to see how bad a whippin you got." John David looked for help from his father but he got none, only a nod as if his father agreed with Mr. Clayton. He turned around and dropped his pants to his knees. “That ain’t no whippin boy. J.C., whip the boy like a mule. I want you to bring the blood.” “Now, Mr. Clayton, that’s too much. You can’t treat us like that,” J.C. replied. “Either you do it, or I am going to. Ain’t no son of a bitchin kid, on my place, gone lie to me or not tell me what I need to know. Whip him!” J.C. was angry now. Angry at Mr. Clayton, but also angry at John David. His loyalties were conflicted but he knew that John David could stop the whole ordeal if he would just tell Mr. Clayton who set the fire. He also was not looking forward to being unemployed. The process was repeated. This time there were whelps and traces of blood oozed from some of them. “You gone talk boy?” Mr. Clayton asked, almost yelling. “Yes sir.” “Good boy. Finally beat some sense in you. Now tell me you did it or tell me who did.”

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“No sir.”

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“I thought you just told me you were gone talk!” Mr. Clayton babbled on with curse words and name calling.

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“Bring him out here. I want to see him and hear him confess.”


“I talked. I just didn’t tell you what you wanted to know.” “Now, you are a smart mouth little shit. J.C. whip him again until he can’t walk, and if he don’t talk when you finish, I am going to whip him with that chain in my truck.” John David never uttered a sound, but after about twenty lashes he passed out. With his right hand, J.C. lifted a shotgun off the wall and, with his left hand, he dragged John David by the arm to the front door. He had no clothes on from the waist down, and he was bleeding profusely. “He ain’t gone talk to you, and nobody’s gone whip him no more. I’ll be gone by daylight.” ********** J.C. soon got work with Mr. Dearman, a small contractor. They moved to a more urban area and John David missed the farm and the open spaces. He began to run with the wrong crowd. Mr. Dearman had a son about John David’s age named Richard. J.C. had been working for Mr. Dearman several weeks before Richard and John David met. Richard would later say John David had that vacant look in his eyes. A look like nothing was behind there, just empty space. A look as if he didn’t relate or care about anything or anyone. He was withdrawn and not talkative. Richard and John David never became friends. At some point in time, J.C. told Mr. Dearman about what happened. He told him it was Mr. Clayton’s daughter that started the fire. Sometime, probably years later, Mr. Dearman told Richard. In a few years, John David ran away from home and J.C. quit working for Mr. Dearman. It is not known what happened to either of them over the next few years. Richard knew Mr. Clayton and he knew Liza. Mr. Clayton was known to be an overbearing person. He held some influence in the community because of his wealth, but most people figured he was just a hot head. Liza, on the other hand, was a sweet girl. People say she was more like her mother. Richard could not imagine that her conscience didn’t bother her if she knew what had happened, so he assumed she didn’t. ********** Richard heard about the trial on TV. He had mixed feelings. John David was being charged with the murder of his boss and the prosecution was asking for

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17


the death penalty. Supposedly, his boss slapped him when he refused to lie to the OSHA inspector about an accident that had occurred on a job site. They say that he hid in the parking lot and shot him in the back. No one deserves to be murdered; but Richard, who was now a respected minister, thought that if he could somehow let the jury know about the abuse John David had suffered, it might at least save him from the death penalty. He contacted John David’s court appointed defense attorney. He was informed that the judge would not allow his testimony. That was several years ago. Richard read in the paper that John David was to be executed by lethal injection in a few days. All the appeals, so far, had been denied. The attorneys now representing him were not the same ones that handled his defense in the beginning. Richard called them. They were not optimistic,

as everything Richard knew was hearsay and he was not present at the burning of the hay wagon or the whipping.

same firm as her husband prior to his election. If she chose to, she would have no problem talking to him.

Richard prayed. That day, he practiced firsthand what he had so often told his congregation to do. He prayed hard. When he finished, what he had to do was clear. He had to make a call. It took some time, but he found her. She lived in a neighboring town, Elizabeth Clayton Patterson. He called her and, after a minute or so, she recalled who he was. She listened carefully. Even though she knew nothing about the whipping, the story Richard told had credence because she remembered and admitted that she had set the fire. He told her she had to talk to someone.

Richard watched TV intently all evening of the execution. Then came a news flash.

She had reservations. Her dad was still alive and very alert. He had become much more mellow in his older years. This would kill him. She said she would think about it. She told Richard the governor had practiced law in the

"We interrupt this program to inform you that the execution of John David Mercer has been stayed by the governor. There are no details, but it is known that he has been in a meeting with well-known farmer Andrew Clayton for the past couple of hours." The execution was just postponed. It remains to be seen if they will go through with it, but he was bought some time. Richard’s Sunday sermon theme was, Killing is Wrong Regardless of Who Does It. Some of his congregation did not agree.

John S. Case February 2020


LOVE SONGS By Rev. Tracy L. MacKenzie Lead Pastor, Aldersgate United Methodist Church

Do you remember your first love song? You know what I mean… that first song that when you heard it, your heart leapt…your pulse quickened…your body trembled… Do you remember that song? I can tell you that I remember my first love song! I can tell you where I was…when it was…who I was with…why I can remember it as though it was yesterday. I was eight years old…I was in the church at St. Paul’s…it was during Vacation Bible School…I was holding hands with Paul Herman…and, we were all singing, “Jesus Loves Me…” Well, what were you thinking? I knew in that moment that I believed in God… in the Bible…and in Jesus who loved me very much! Well, I grew up a little bit and the love songs that I learned changed… There was Diana Ross belting, “Listen, baby…Ain’t no mountain high…Ain’t no valley low… To keep me from getting to you…” Then there were the BeeGees…oh, those Gibb brothers…now, they could make this girl’s heart race…and, the year…well, it was 1977…I was a freshman in college…and there was a certain song recorded on the soundtrack of a certain blockbuster movie… Saturday Night Fever…and, the song…well, the song was “How Deep is your Love?” Well, we can fast forward to a few decades of love songs in my life…I won’t bore you with the details…there was the Captain and Tenille, Barry Manilow, Jimmy Buffett, John Denver, Barbara Streisand…oh, too many to name and remember… What is it about the love songs of our lives? What makes them so powerful? What amazing images they provoke? Why, we even claim them as “ours.” Their lyric and their music fill a place of emotion and expression deep in our souls. Love songs try to capture the breadth and length and depth of the emotions of human relationships…love songs try to speak the words that humans find difficult to say to one another. Love songs often speak of love that is just out of reach…or love that has a tinge of despair…or love that is not returned…it seems that even love songs find it difficult to express the exact emotions of the human heart. Two thousand years ago, the Apostle Paul, in writing to the church at Ephesus tried to express…to communicate…to put into words…the powerful love that God has for God’s children. (Ephesians 3:14-21) The message that God’s loves us…or that Jesus loves us…is a simple message, really…If it is so simple, why is it that we so often miss it. Is the idea that Jesus loves us sometimes beyond our ability to fully grasp?

In the prayer for the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul is praying that the Ephesians have the ability to grasp just how much Jesus loves them. Isn’t it interesting that the Apostle Paul uses the biggest/most infinite metaphor of which he can conceive to describe the love of Christ. In Paul’s day…and I guess that the same could be said for our day…the only way that philosophers could describe the universe was by using four dimensions: width, length, height and depth. Paul uses this concept to make real the complete nature… and the bigness…that the love of Christ has. Literally, the love of Christ is so massive that it fills the entire universe. The width of Christ’s love reaches the whole world and beyond. The length of Christ’s love stretches through all of time. The height of Christ’s love raises believers to the heights of heaven. The depth of Christ’s love reaches down into the depths of this sin soaked world to bring redemption. The truth is that in our feeble human understanding we will never be able to fully comprehend just how much Jesus loves us. Yet, only the love of Jesus makes us who we are meant to be and without it we will never be whole. What are the love songs that God is singing to your heart? Is God singing to you that “Jesus Loves You?” Or, that there’s a fountain of God’s love flowing deep and wide? Or, perhaps, he is giving you the assurance that there “ain’t no mountain high enough…ain’t no valley low enough…ain’t no river wide enough…to keep me from getting to you…?” Or, maybe he is asking you for a commitment, “How deep is your love? I know your eyes in the morning sun…I feel you touch me in the pouring rain…And the moment that you wander far from me…I wanna feel you in my arms again…How deep is your love, how deep is your love…I really mean to learn?” I don’t know…but aren’t love songs great? And, yet…when all is said and done…a love song is not worth anything unless you believe… Blessings, Rev. Tracy L. MacKenzie

Worship With Us: Sunday School:

8:30 AM Traditional Service 9:45 - 10:45 AM 11:30 AM Contemporary Service All Ages

360 Robert Blvd. • Slidell, LA 70458 • aldersgate-slidell.org


• The City of Slidell presents •

Arts Evening Saturday, March 21, 2020 5-9 pm • Free Admission Olde Towne Slidell 646-4375 • MySlidell.com Local Artists & Artwork Live Entertainment Fine & Casual Dining Antique, Boutique & Unique Shopping “Seeing Beyond: Ansel Adams Photographs from the New Orleans Museum of Art” in the Slidell Cultural Center at City Hall

“Biking in Olde Towne” by Susan Erickson, Arts Evening 2019

The City of Slidell and the Commission on the Arts would like to thank our 2019/2020 Cultural Season Sponsors for making this event possible: Renaissance $5,000 Sponsors: Sophisticated Woman Magazine

Baroque, $2,500 Sponsors: Acadian Ambulance • C. Ray Murry, Attorney At Law Jazz on the Bayou/Ronnie Kole Foundation • Silver Slipper Casino Neoclassical, $1,000 Sponsors: Councilman Bill & Laura Borchert • Lori’s Art Depot/Lori Gomez Art Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance Agency • Purple Armadillo Again Impressionism, $500 Sponsors: Chateau Bleu • CiCi’s Pizza • Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer • Flatliners Entertainment Old School Eats • Olde Towne Print Shop • Pontchartrain Investment Management • Roberta’s Cleaners • Sirocco Coffee Co. Slidell Historic Antique Association • Terry Lynn’s Café • Tanya Witchen, Engel & Völkers Real Estate

This event is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts Thi as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affffaairs.


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

Legal-ease

THE SECURE ACT The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, signed into law by President Trump on December 20, 2019, is quite lengthy so this article is just a “CliffsNotes” version. Let’s get the WORST part of the Act out of the way first. For most of us, the SECURE Act now takes away our ability to “stretch” out the distributions, over our lifetimes, of the IRAs we inherited from those that have died on or after, January 1, 2020. The SECURE Act now mandates that the entire IRA must be “emptied out” within ten (10) years after the date of death of the original owner. How and when the beneficiary pulls the money out is now entirely up to them: take no distributions until the last day ten years later and pull out the entire balance in a lump sum, take it all out on day one, or pull it out monthly over 120 months…it’s all up to you. As you can imagine, this is surely a boon for the IRS, it’s projected to bring in $15.7 billion (yes, that’s a “B”) of new tax revenue over the next ten years! Many people are now concerned with the repercussions of a trust being the present beneficiary of their IRA. For the vast majority of our clients, this isn’t an issue because the Trustee retains the power to decide what to do with the IRA over the 10-year period. The trust provisions that would cause concern are those that would limit the Trustee’s power to take only the “required minimum distributions” (this would be a rare provision for my clients). This is because under the new 10-year rule, unless you are an “eligible designated beneficiary” (explained below), there are no more “required minimum distributions”. The problem for trusts with this provision is that it would cause the Trustee to be unable to access any of the IRA money for the beneficiary until the end of the 10 period. This could be a very dangerous provision for a beneficiary who would need access to these funds during that 10-year term! There are five beneficiary exceptions to the mandatory 10year rule, now called “eligible designated beneficiaries”: 1) surviving spouses (they are still allowed to treat it as “inherited” or as their own), 2) minors (however once they reach age 18 it must then be pulled out over 10 years, so the maximum deferment is to age 28), 3) disabled individuals (special needs beneficiaries), 4) the chronically ill (which is medically defined), and 5) a beneficiary who is not more than ten (10) years younger than the original owner. The rest of the SECURE Act is the BEST of it: • The age for when you must begin taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from your IRA has been raised to 72 (from 70.5).

• If you are still working, even if age 72 or older, you may still contribute to your IRA. • Someone under age 59.5 may now pull out up to $5,000 (lifetime limit) from their 401k or IRA, penalty-free, to help offset the costs of a new birth or adoption of a child. • As to 529 college savings plans, the Act now allows these funds to be used for “apprenticeship” programs, and up to $10,000 can be used toward student loan repayments. • The Act repeals the unfavorable “Kiddie Tax” rate hike implemented in 2018. • Beginning in 2021, part-time workers can participate in their employers’ 401k plans. • Qualified Charitable Deductions (QCDs) can still be made to charities from your IRAs at age 70.5 (not 72), a unique opportunity here that I think fell through the cracks. • Annuities are now allowed to be used in 401k plans. • A new tax credit for employers who automatically enroll their workers into their retirement plans. I plan on posting some videos that will go into more detail regarding the new SECURE Act rules on my Facebook page and we will be scheduling a “live” seminar for the clients of our firm. Please follow us on Facebook for more information.

See other articles and issues of interest!

40 Louis Prima Drive, Covington, LA

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

21


MAKING

CENTS

By Mike Rich, CFP® Pontchartrain Investment Management

DO YOU HAVE A MAP FOR YOUR MONEY? My son-in-law, John Manion, is an avid outdoorsman. Here’s a picture of him with a few ducks he shot during a recent hunting trip in Plaquemines Parish. Aside from writing for a popular Louisiana sportsman magazine, Johnny is also an excellent cook and, as his favorite father-in-law, I get to sample many of his creations. He has a recipe for what he calls “duck wraps”, and they have become a holiday tradition in our family. Succulent pieces of duck breast wrapped in bacon, marinated in Johnny’s special sauce, and cooked on a charcoal grill. H-o-l-e-y m-o-l-e-y! Johnny spends a lot of time in the marshes of southeast Louisiana in

to find his way around the marsh. “A good map is indispensable,” he says. “Without one, you’re taking a big chance on getting lost, and you don’t want to get lost in the marsh.”

his mud boat, plying those shallow waters for prime hunting and fishing spots. Of course, he has one of those supercomputers we all carry around with us in our pockets every day, and he uses GPS to guide him during his hunting trips. Prior to that, however, he tells me that he used regular, old-fashioned maps

As an LPL Financial Advisor, I urge my clients to have a plan – a map, if you will – for their money. It seems we all know that not planning to do the right things with our money now and in the future will likely end badly, just as we all know that a steady diet of Johnny’s duck wraps is not good for us, either. So, with this article, I hereby announce to one and all: I’ve had it with excuses, your financial security won’t happen by magic, and it’s time: “Get a map!” Here are just a few of the things that should be on it:

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985-605-5066 Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, member FINRA/SIPC.


1. Protect first: It doesn’t make much sense to build assets if you aren’t protecting the ones you already have. Your family comes first, so any wage-earner in the house needs life insurance. For many people, term insurance is inexpensive and easy to get. And, for your biggest asset (no, it’s not your house), you need disability income insurance. EVERYTHING STOPS if you can’t work and don’t have an income. If you have a group policy, make sure you understand how it works (some don’t work very well). If you don’t have a group plan, get your own. Call me to figure out how much you need. 2. Eliminate short term debt: In my opinion, short-term debt is bad debt, and I want it off your balance sheet. Pay off high-interest credit cards first, then tackle the rest.

3. Build a diversified portfolio of assets with an eye on stability of income in retirement: No matter what your goal – college savings, a bigger house, retirement, or a new mud boat for duck hunting – rate of savings is key, and planning for the long term is even more key. It’s especially important to have a retirement income plan that includes a stable, guaranteed income. After nearly 12 years as a financial advisor, I cannot overstate the importance of building a plan for retirement income, no matter what your age. The investment landscape can be overwhelming, and the financial entertainers on TV and the Internet pummel us with so much drivel that it’s no surprise many of us just give up trying to figure it out and then, sadly, do nothing. If that’s the case, call me to help. It’s my job, it’s what I love to do, and I’m passionate about helping people set and achieve their financial goals.

Like the maps my son-in-law uses to find his way through the marshes, a map for your money is just as important. It’s a pretty safe bet that, if you don’t know where you want to be money-wise five, ten, or 25 years from now, there’s a good chance you won’t get there. Why take that risk? Call me today for an appointment, and we’ll get started on the map to your money’s future. Mike Rich, CFP® Pontchartrain Investment Management, 2065 1st Street, Slidell, LA 985-605-5064

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. To determine which investment (s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing

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23


P re s e n ts Saturday, February 8, 2020

Krewe of Bilge

Starts at 12 pm at Phil’s Marina Cafe

Krewe of Poseidon

Starts at 6 pm on Pontchartrain Dr.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Krewe of Perseus Day Parade St. Patrick’s

Starts at 1pm on Pontchartrain Dr.

Krewe of Slidellians Follows Krewe of Perseus

Krewe of Pearl River Starts at 1pm in Pearl River

Saturday, February 15,, 2020 Krewe of Selene King and Queen Mr. Chad Nichols Ms. Dayna Burkhardt King XXII Queen XXII

Krewe de Paws

Starts at 10am in Olde Towne Slidell

Mystic Krewe of Titans Starts at 6:30 pm on Pontchartrain Dr.

Dates and times subject to change.

24

ans

Krewe of Tit

Krewe de Paw

s

Krewe of Slidellians


The 2020 Parade Schedule Sunday, February 16,, 2020

Krewe of Dionysus

Starts at 1pm on Pontchartrain Dr.

Friday, February 21,, 2020

Krewe of Selene

Krewe of Dio

nysus

Starts at 6:30 pm on Pontchartrain Dr.

Tuesday, February 25,, 2020

Mardi Gras Day Krewe of Chahta-Ima Starts at 1pm in Lacombe

Sunday, March 8,, 2020

St.. Patrick's Day Parade Starts at 1pm in Olde Towne Slidell

Krewe of Poseidon

Saturday, October 24,, 2020

Mona Lisa & Moon Pie Starts at 7 pm in Olde Towne Slidell

rseus

Krewe of Pe

Krewe of Bilge

Mona Lisa an

d Moonpie

25


New Year, New You!

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ns "Cont a e l r O w e N f o b Donna Bush, Winner - 2019 Press Clu

inuing Coverage"

We continue our journey with Slidell Magazine's award-winning writer and photographer, Donna Bush, on her travels to

Oregon In last month’s edition, I shared with you part of our adventure driving the Oregon Coast. Although we had always spoken of making this incredible drive, when our friends, Susan and Paul, moved from Slidell to Depoe Bay, our commitment became reality. In last month's magazine, we had just finished our tour of the Oregon Coast Aquarium and our unique octopus encounter with Rangiroa. After dinner at Local Oceans in Newport, we headed back to Depoe Bay for our last night with our friends. We enjoyed a late night of sharing stories and laughter, followed by an early morning for Eric and me. Our plan was to make it to the Devil’s Punchbowl for low tide and an opportunity to explore the tide pools. We did make it over the slippery rocks, but the waves were really crashing in. Having already had an experience with a sneaker wave, I wasn’t eager to repeat the ordeal as the tide began to grow. We explored the beautiful Otter Crest beach and enjoyed the roaring waves from a distance. We continued south to our next night’s lodging and my favorite of the entire trip - Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast, where we stayed in Victoria’s Room. The Queen Anne-style lighthouse is named after Spanish navigator and explorer, Bruno de Heceta, who surveyed the Oregon coast in 1775. Constructed between 1892 and 1893, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

In 1995, the remodeled lightkeeper’s house was opened as a B&B, offering six guest rooms; intimate parlors for enjoying the amazing ocean views; fireplaces to break the ocean chill; a fully equipped guest kitchen; and a beautiful wrap around porch with gorgeous ocean and lighthouse views. The parlors are full of lighthouse artifacts and historical memorabilia. Be sure to check out the ghost story book and let me know if the ghost visits you! Each room has flashlights, allowing and encouraging you to take the short walk to the lighthouse. The lighthouse is still operational, although unmanned. After our Oregon wine & cheese social, including formal introductions to other B&B guests, we headed up the hill to see the lighthouse and enjoy the sunset. Some of my favorite photos from our trip were from this viewpoint. The ocean views were absolutely stunning, especially with stormy skies and an amazing sunset. I couldn’t stop taking pictures – the lighthouse at ground level and from above; the ocean views from the lighthouse viewpoint, above and from the lightkeeper’s house (aka, the B&B). We headed back to our lodging for dinner as it started to rain. After dinner, the rain cleared for a bit and we walked to the lighthouse to see what it looked like in the darkness, with the Fresnel lens providing the only light on a stormy night, and just a hint of moonlight when the clouds parted. It was amazing! The sweep of the light and the fog in the air gave it an appearance of spokes.


Story & photos by Donna Bush


Life as a lighthouse keeper was not an easy life, but it paid well for that period of time. Paid according to their rank, Head Lighthouse Keepers received $800 per year; First Assistants $600 and Second Assistants $550. The keeper must tend the lighthouse to keep the fire burning, but he also had to keep everything spotlessly clean. His wife must do the same with the home and the children. All buildings must be free of dust, rust, and painted. Equipment had to be polished and in top working order at all times. An inspector could show up any time, day or night, and often did, with no advance warning. Repercussions were tough if any task was not complete. There was literally a white-glove test! After electricity was installed in the mid-1930’s, stature was also recognized by the number of lightbulbs. A Second Assistant received 4 bulbs; First Assistant 5 bulbs; and Head Keeper 6 bulbs. In just 29 years, the lighthouse went from an oil lamp and 3 keepers to an automated computer system with no keepers. 30

Breakfast the next morning was everything I thought a Victorian seven course meal should be! Breakfast commenced with the ringing of the captain’s bell, calling guests to gather around the large table in the main parlor. After coffee and tea were served, the meal began with fresh fruit to stimulate the appetite and the mind. Fruit colors and tastes were chosen to complement each other and served with white chocolate Frangelico cream! Sweetbread accompanied the fruit as a complementary choice. Next was a seafood course. Why not? We are on the coast of Oregon and fresh seafood abounds. Who would turn down Heceta Head crab cakes with a capered remoulade sauce? This was followed by a Pinot Gris cocktail made of fruit, Pinot Gris and mascarpone cream! A locally grown egg course followed, then a meat course, which included alder-smoked bacon and sausage. Dessert was up next with an Oregon berry crisp! Yum! Our final course followed the European tradition of fruit and cheese. OMG! Of course, all of the food is locally grown or sourced, carefully selected by the chefs. Many of the herbs are grown onsite. Did I mention that the B&B is run by certified executive chefs Mike and Carol Korgan and assisted by their daughter and son-in-law?


Showers continued on and off with spots of sunshine in between. We learned about spindrift waves. Spindrift refers to the spray blown off a cresting wave in a storm. They are very cool to see and photograph. The Beaufort Wind Scale says they appear with winds of 34-40 knots and waves of 18-25 feet. The wind classification is gale. Well, we certainly had them rolling in. Of course, we couldn’t leave without one more trip to the lighthouse. This time we were able to view the small museum representing life as a lightkeeper. Next up - a hike on the Hobbit Trail, where wind and salt shaped the trees and shrubs, forcing them to tightly compact together. Looking at the clumping of moss-enshrouded shrubs brought to mind Keebler elves baking cookies in the forest. As with almost every trail in Oregon, we eventually ended up at the beach for a blustery walk. The sea fog was thick not far from the shore, easily accentuating the need for lighthouses to guide the seafarers. As we made our way south, we were again surprised by the terrain change as we reached the Oregon Sand Dunes National Recreation Area. These sand dunes are unlike any other dunes in the world. Formed by wind, water and time, these desert-like landscapes, lakes, rivers, oceans and forest blend together to create a unique and diverse home for plants and animals. It is an ever-changing scene. Summer winds blow from the north and northwest at a steady 12-16 mph. Coastal mountains deflect the wind helping to shape the dunes. Winter winds blowing from the south and southwest can easily exceed 100 mph and move large amounts of sand. The strong ocean currents play their own part in relocation of sand. Our next stop was a tour of the Umpqua River Lighthouse. Illuminated the same year as Heceta Head and nearly identical architecturally, this lighthouse is the only one on the Oregon Coast that emits a red and white light. This is also one of the few Oregon lighthouses that you can

climb all the way to the top. Tours were not allowed at the Heceta Head Lighthouse due to damage from foot traffic on the spiral staircase. Even though the two lighthouses were built from the same plans, the spiral staircase was attached differently at Umpqua, allowing patrons to make the 65-foot trip to the top! Our continued southerly drive took us to another unique coastal formation location. Shore Acres State Park, perched high above the ocean on rugged sandstone cliffs, was once a grand estate owned by timber baron, Louis Simpson. There are beautifully landscaped grounds with flowers and shrubs from all over the world, multiple rose gardens and a Japanese-style garden. For us, the walk along the ocean trail was the highlight. With each turn, we were amazed by the different formations. Some looked like the rocks had been peppered with cannon balls, leaving large indentations. Others seemed as if someone were playing a game of marbles with giant rocks! There were many wave-cut platforms known as wave terraces and cliffs that looked like they had tracks cut in them from long ago. We found an amazing, dead, beautifully weathered tree that made a beautiful photo with or without people! A friendly passing couple offered to take our photo. We moved on to our next lodge in Bandon, Oregon which boasted their own private entrance to the beach across the street. This would make an ideal spot for shooting the sunrise! While this wasn’t my best sunrise, I will not complain. Lots of color, waves, seabirds and rocks rising out of the ocean made it a beautiful morning. Breakfast, and then we were off to Jerry’s Rogue Jets for a jet boat ride on the wild and scenic Rogue River. We signed up for the 64-mile round trip historic mail boat tour, recreating the route taken by pioneers from 1895 and beyond to deliver mail to the town of Agness. They still deliver the mail this way today! The ride started at the Pacific Coastal estuary and continued through pristine canyons and flats

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with abundant wildlife and gorgeous scenery. We were treated to osprey overhead, great blue herons fishing for lunch, deer watching us from the shore, and a family of river otters frolicking on the beach. Jet boats are capable of traveling in just inches of water and that’s exactly what we did, several times, seeming to skim on top of the rocks like our airboats skim through the marsh.

This 10,000-acre park protects oldgrowth coastal redwoods along the Smith River. In fact, it contains 7% of the old-growth redwoods left in the world. We started with Howland Hill Road, a 10-mile one-way, mostly unpaved road passing through the largest redwoods I have ever seen. Even though it was a fairly short drive, we spent almost two hours oohing and awwing at every turn. It

Cape Sebastian State Park was a beautiful expansive forest of Sitka spruce dropping down to a pristine beach with sea stacks rising out of the ocean. The 700-foot vertical rise of the land makes this one of the highest points in Oregon. The wave action was wildly popular with wind surfers.

was beautifully winding and narrow with lots of pull-outs and hiking trails. We hiked the stunning Stout Grove Trail that meandered between 300-foot tall redwoods. The waist-high sword ferns accentuated the towering redwoods, which were the star attraction. Smith River floodwaters prohibit the growth of understory trees and shrubbery, helping to emphasize the redwoods that much more.

The Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor offers a twelve-mile oceanhugging drive along the rocky coast between Gold Beach and Brookings. Offshore rock formations, craggy bluffs and secluded beaches dazzled at every turn and pull-out. We found a natural bridge, and a rock formation in the ocean that looked like a whale’s head. Our favorite stop was Lone Ranch Picnic Area. The beach vistas were amazing with crashing waves hitting the shore and the rugged rock formations. We were so enthralled that we decided to make this our sunset destination and we weren’t disappointed. Two years ago, when we drove the California coast, we weren’t able to see much of the redwoods. So, we chose our last adventure to drive through Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, which is located at the northern end of California. Awesome decision! The park is named for one of America’s greatest trappers/explorers, mountain man Jedediah Strong Smith. He left his northeast home and headed west in the 1820’s. He is credited with being the first white man to enter California from the east.

Drift Creek Falls 33


Burls, a knobby growth full of unsprouted bud tissue usually found at the base of a tree, added texture to the tree bottom and also, another shot at life. The burls contained the genetic make-up of their parent tree. If the tree was stressed by drought, fire or storm, the burl would sprout forth an exact clone. From time to time, we encountered an almost perfect circle of redwoods growing next to each other. Upon research, I discovered that these were known as fairy rings and occurred from several burl sprouts encircling a fallen parent tree. Redwoods are unique in that they only reproduce via burl or seed from their cones. Along our hike we found fallen trees allowing us to see just how large the root system is. In some places along the trail, a tree had fallen, probably due to a winter storm, and had to be cut to allow passage. Seeing the diameter and beautiful wood texture was a real treat. Previous forest fires left holes in the center of some trees, large enough to live in! What trip to see the world’s tallest trees would be complete without seeing “The Big Tree?” Found in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, this tree is thought to be one of the oldest trees in the forest, with a height of 286 feet; diameter 23.7 inches; circumference 74.5 inches; and estimated age of 1500 years! We ended our redwood tour with Lady Bird Johnson Grove trail in Redwood National Park. The historic trail wanders through upland stands of old-growth redwoods, Douglas fir and tanoak to the location where Lady Bird Johnson dedicated the park in November of 1968. She visited again in August of 1969, when President Richard Nixon named this grove of trees in her honor for her dedication to preserving and enhancing America’s natural beauty for everyone to enjoy.

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Now it is time to bid goodbye to Oregon and California, hop on a plane and return home. Our vacay has come to an end, as they all must eventually do. Stay tuned for my next ultimate adventure.

Mail Boat History: Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night… During the 1850’s, settlers, trappers, explorers and gold miners began moving to the Rogue River Canyon. The vast, isolated wilderness cut the pioneers off from civilization for months, sometime years at a time. The closest post office, located in Wedderburn Oregon on the north side of the river, received mail from San Francisco delivered by small sailing schooners or an inland train. Pack mules carried the mail from there to outposts along the river. Elijah Price proposed a U.S. sanctioned Post Office at his Big Bend homestead, forty miles upstream from Wedderburn. He proposed to move the mail to the isolated pioneers by boat. The first mail boat trip upriver was made in an 18-foot wooden boat that was pushed, pulled and carried upstream with assistance from sails, poles and oars. It took four days to complete the forty-mile trip! Soon, the Post Office was relocated to Agness. In the early 1900’s, gasoline engine powered boats began delivering the mail, with the assistance of poles to get over the shallow areas. In the mid-1920’s, gasoline powered round bottomed boats, equipped with a special lift to raise the propeller up behind the boat, allowed the boats to more easily navigate the shallows. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) completed construction of a steel suspension bridge over the Rogue River in 1932. However, the 1964 flood completely destroyed the bridge, which was never rebuilt. One of the postal contractors on the River designed the first "tunnel" boat in 1959. This unique design allowed the propeller to operate up in a tunnel built into the boat hull. After World War II, people began traveling via the mail boat for pleasure. Author Zane Grey, river-runner Glen Wooldridge, and various Hollywood celebrities helped spread the word of the pristine beauty of the area.


The

Dish ran away with the Spoon

By Katie Clark

A quick google search will debunk the idea that St. Valentine was romantic or associated with love, really, at all. There’s a rumor he performed illegal marriages for Emperor Claudius’ soldiers – not true. In 1382, we start to see evidence of roses being given as gifts, but let’s be honest - Valentine’s Day was created to sell chocolate between Christmas and Easter, right? A cynic might agree and call it a “Hallmark Holiday.” Don’t care. I love Valentine’s Day. Do you know who else loved Valentine’s Day? Julia Child did! She and her husband, Paul, would spend hours making homemade Valentine’s Day cards. She claimed it was because she couldn’t get herself together to send Christmas cards. (Which is why my family and friends will be receiving Valentine’s Day cards this year, too!) B.B. (Before Babies), I too would spend hours making homemade Valentine’s Day cards. Some were ribald, others sweet. Some years, they were crafted out of fabric, and one year I made an

arrow out of a pencil – all hand-delivered, when possible. What an old-fashioned custom! Certainly, you remember covering a shoebox with construction paper, decorating it and leaving an opening for Valentines to be delivered? And then later in high school, one could purchase a carnation for $1. I bought one for a boy who I thought was funny. I disguised my handwriting because I didn’t want him to know it was me. (As if he had memorized my handwriting!) The plan backfired, as he thought it was a joke. Like I said, he was funny, not particularly handsome. Let’s just say this was the only flower he received. Ever. No good deed goes unpunished, as my dad says. Every year for Valentine’s Day, my darling husband makes a trip to Rouses. He returns home with every single red thing he can find – Coca-Cola, Siracha, red bell peppers, ketchup, Tabasco, apples, cherries, red solo cups, Special K with strawberries, strawberries, Community Coffee, Biscotti, Red Stripe Beer, Instant Mashed Potatoes, Sardines and the list goes on. It’s my favorite time of year. And even though it is a tradition, he always catches me off guard. And isn’t that what it’s all about? So whether it’s a gigantic bear bought out of the back of someone’s truck, a text message to say, “Be Mine,” or a dining room table filled with “red things,” take a moment and let someone know how you feel. It’s so easy, it’s like Chess Pie... It’s Chess Love, darlin.’

IT’S CHESS LOVE, DARLIN’

CHESS PIE 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. 35


Have you heard this story on NPR? It seems a woman in Sweden got a tattoo of her kids' names, Nova and Kevin – except the tattoo artist inserted a random “L” into her son’s name. So she ended up with the name “Kelvin” inked on her arm. As it’s expensive to have a tattoo surgically removed, she just left it there. In time, she grew to like the name Kelvin and, instead of changing the tat, she changed her kid's name to Kelvin! Little Kelvin is probably famous in Sweden due to his mom’s tattoo. This story was on my mind recently when I got a new tattoo of my grandsons’ names. Trust me, they’re spelled correctly. I didn’t get my first tattoo until I was well into my 50’s, after a lifelong fascination with this art form. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to ink onto my body, though, and was always reminded of the words of a Jimmy Buffett song: The Indian on her back was poised for an attack She said a tattoo is a badge of validation But the truth of the matter is far more revealing It's a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling Amnesiac episodes that never go away It's no complex memento; it's not a subtle revealing Just a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling

When the time came and I decided I knew exactly what I wanted, I also had no idea how painful to expect it to be. I fortified myself with Barq’s Root Beer and a couple of Hershey’s chocolate bars to get through the experience. This tattoo is a traditional rose interwoven with initials of family members. It’s old school looking, beautifully designed by a friend of mine named Rai, across my ankle. I was comfortable enough during the process (more chocolate!) and continue to be pleased with the results. When I am asked the inevitable question, “Did it hurt?” I reply, “Of course it hurt!” Tattoo pain, perhaps like that of child birth, tends to fade before the ink does. In fact, I was in a podiatrist office sometime after I’d gotten so used to the tattoo on my ankle that I’d quite forgotten it was there. I needed a shot in my toe for a painful neuroma, and was squirming in the chair and asking a thousand questions that all came down to - “Is it going to hurt much?” The nurse looked at me, looked at my tattoo, and said a bit sarcastically, “Did that hurt?” Oh, yeah, it did hurt. And so did the shot. But, they both helped me in different ways. In many ways, tattoos are a conversation starter for those who notice them. I’ve always been surprised when someone asks me about the significance of my ink, because it’s just become a part of me. They’re not fashion accessories;

they’re as much a part of me as my eye color or my height. As Johnny Depp said, “My body is my journal and my tattoos are my story.” There’s always a story attached, or an emotional response, from the sight of ink art. Perhaps it’s a modern day version of social branding. Some research studies indicate that 15 – 38% of Americans have some type of body art. Once considered a sign of rebellion or even brutality, tattoos have almost become normal. But people get tattoos for many reasons – for attention, self-expression, rebellion, cultural traditions, and a visual display of a personal narrative. It’s been commented to me that tattoos are a sign of low self-esteem. I don’t agree; having a visible piece of art on one’s body usually has little to do with esteem. Maybe it’s either/or – either you like tattoo art or you don’t. And even if you do, how do you know it’s right for you to put your permanent reminders in permanent ink? And then there’s the question of where to put your tattoo. As to the later question – all five of my tats are in places that are visible to me; therefore, to everyone else. Many people, perhaps many women, choose to get tattoos in places usually covered by clothing. That may be a good choice depending on career choices, too. With changes in mores and social acceptance, perhaps that will change.


As to how to know when or if it’s right for you – I suggest this process: Get a friend to draw a representative design on your body with a Sharpie. Not as brave as a tattoo, but you may find that "temporary" reminder is enough. Or you may feel so strongly about the message that you know it’s a "permanent feeling." My process for one of my tats was to order a custom temporary tattoo online, and wear that for a few days. It helped me know how to refine the design for my permanent ink.

370 GATEWAY DR, SUITE A SLIDELL clarkhaner@allstate.com

My favorite tattoo is from an inscription my mom wrote on a wall in my house. You see, when I got my first place after Katrina, all on my own, I designated a wall for signatures and messages from anyone who visited. When it was time to move and the wall had to be painted over, I took pictures of all of the signatures. One that my mom wrote saying, “Relax and be tough like me! Mom” was the hardest to paint over. I had a bracelet made that replicated her exact handwriting of this message. But I found I wanted more, so I had a “bracelet tattoo” inked on my wrist. Times when I’ve needed to hear her voice, I can glance at my wrist and know she’s left me a legacy. Sometimes, it’s even made me laugh out loud at my intensity! Personal messages like this are common designs, but think about opting for a “tiny tat” your first time out. One of my friends has a small pig on her ankle – she used to own one! Small designs are unobtrusive and can be quite charming. And, like any other chance to peruse art, it’s not unusual to spend hours online looking at tattoos.

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Author Michael Biondi wrote, “Our bodies were printed as blank pages to be filled with the ink of our hearts.” That’s a romantic sentiment indeed. And many people have tattooed the name of a lover on their bodies, only to split with that lover and disavow the offending ink. Breaking up is hard on a tattoo – celebrity tabloids make a fortune with those stories! So, let’s talk about what happens if you do change your mind – or your boyfriend – and can't find a new one named Kelvin. There are creams that will help lighten – home concoctions even include salt and lemon juice – but that can lead to scarring or infection. Laser removal or cover up tattoos are the only ways to go, and both are expensive and time consuming. But, even permanent ink can be removed, at $200-$500 per treatment with several treatments often necessary. So, do yourself a solid and look before you leap. Most reputable tattoo artists will provide a free consult to discuss your design ideas.

A great opportunity is coming to Slidell after July 1, 2020! If you are age 50 and older, and have ajoy for learning, the OLLI Slidell Camellia Chapter is for you. OLLI stands for

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

at LSU, is a membership-based program offering non-credit courses focusing on community interests.

One more caveat – if you want a symbol in a non-native language, do your homework. Tian Tang, an engineering student, has compiled photos of mistaken Chinese symbol tattoos on his web site. Some of the translations are hilarious, and others questionable. The weirdest tattoo, he says, was the one that read “crazy diarrhea” on a woman’s lower back. Tang blogged about it, and heard back from the woman in question who said the selection was intentional. Talk about a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling!

The OLLI program at LSU is one of a network of more than 120 University affiliated programs across the United States. All classes will be held in Slidell. The membership year is from

July 1 to June 30 each year with easy renewal for more exciting options. There is a membership fee of $50 per year. (Course fees will vary depending on course needs but are generally $50 or less.) Watch for more information from the Slidell Camellia Chapter in the coming months or, for further information on OLLI, contact the following:

www.outreach.lsu.edu/olli email: olli@outreach.lsu.edu 39


Sponsored by

lie Gates

Les Story by

“THOUGHTS ON FAITH” Someone on Facebook had posted their results of a silly test they had taken: “What will be your greatest accomplishment in 2020?” Bored, I decided to click on it to find my own results. When redirected to the test page, there were many more tests to choose from, so I chose a different one. Struggling on and off with my faith in God the last few years,

I clicked on, “What is your Bible verse for 2020?” The answer was one, FOR CERTAIN, that I will never forget. “When did you start believing?” This was one of the questions written down on an index card in the teenage Sunday school class I just started teaching with my husband. These are the same kids I taught years ago, now grown up and posing more mature

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questions. Since then, I have also grown up some after taking a long break from church and experiencing my own “wilderness” of sorts, as referenced in the Bible. The few years in this wilderness of mine brought the most challenging and heartbreaking situations. My faith was tested in ways I never saw coming... seeing things I can never unsee and discovering truths about myself and others that changed EVERYTHING. The struggle has been great, at times, taking me deep into self- pity where I didn’t want to believe at all anymore. I looked for signs to find more meaning in life and wondered how a loving God could allow so much pain in people without providing any immediate relief. Looking back throughout my life, I have noticed a pattern of this. You probably have too. Where everything was going great, you felt safe and hopeful; then, out of nowhere, for no reason at all, a hard season crept its way in and took hold of you, testing the very faith you claimed. The truths that are easy to remember when life is going great, but hard to grasp when it’s not. When all your hope falls on those truths, and yet, you see no answers right away. It’s a scary, lonely feeling. For

some, it could last weeks or months; others, many years. My friend, Linda, asked me to teach this Sunday school class and, although she doesn’t know everything about me, she knows a lot. She knows I’m not the perfect example of the way a Christian should look; although, she might argue that statement. Either way, I’m messy, I’m moody, I procrastinate, I hardly ever answer the phone, and I don’t always go by the book. The kids know this too because I flat out say it, God help them, but they still like me for some reason. Linda has always believed in me, pulling me out of my head and house to serve others, because she knows the gift that comes along with that. My friend, Kendra, editor of this magazine, also knows my struggles. Yet, after 6 years of my bullshit, she still believes that I have something helpful to say here. So, she quietly awaits the late email notification of my article and deals with all the chaos that follows. Who in your life does this? Shows up time and time again to lead you forward? Be grateful for people who believe you have something to give. They may be your angels in disguise,

leading you out of yourself to somewhere greater. Seeing a beauty in you that you can’t quite see yet. I used to believe that God was somewhere out there and that He would get to me when He wasn’t busy with someone else. When I would talk to Him, there would be this sad, longing stare of abandonment into the sky. Inside my chest, a heavy feeling of shame, as I found the right words to beckon His call. If my prayers weren’t answered, there was a belief I wasn’t praying right, or He was mad at me because I was still drinking and cursing. I have since learned that God is everywhere and in everything and loves me unconditionally. Like with Linda and Kendra, it is the very essence that brings us together when we use the gifts bestowed upon us to bring out the good in those around us. If something is getting in the way of our gift, it is up to us to chip away at those things until we can see it a little clearer. Wherever it is your conscience is leading you to clear the path. Some find it early in life, some never do. I’m still chipping away at 42. My faith tells me it will happen when it is time. Although, it also tells me, maybe it is already happening and you 41


should just be grateful and see the blessings right in front of you. Personally, I think my faith is bipolar. STRONG, but bipolar. I can roll with that though. Back to the Sunday school class... It was our first one and it fell in the first month of the new year of 2020. The message: Looking back on the past... letting it go...but taking the lessons that it taught and living with them. Not dwelling in them. Also, asking what they are looking forward to in 2020. This was basically the same lesson I’ve been giving to myself. And the questions on index cards... something I will try my best to answer, this, being my first attempt. “When did you start believing?” As we wrapped the class up, I told them that I hadn’t yet found a Bible verse that fit the lesson, but I was still looking (while pressing buttons on my phone to search key words for a fitting bible verse). My husband chimed in, his keyword search being quicker than mine, “I found one.” And he hands me his Google search results. After reading it to the curious group of teens, I paused, looked up with slight shock, and stared into nothingness, as I do. “OH. WOW!”

“What?” they questioned. “It’s the same verse from my little Facebook quiz!” About 2 days later, I started to read a book my husband bought me for Christmas. I’m normally a self-help book kind of gal (go figure), but this was a fictional story that had a self-help twist. From the moment I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. I don’t think Brian has ever bought me a book in 18 years; and, if he has, I’ve never read it. He knows how hard these last few years have been. He also knows I don’t read something unless it’s going to help me. It’s just who I am. But he took the time to pick it out, so I read it anyway. There were 7 lessons in this book that were extremely helpful for this man in the story who wanted to give up on life. He was in a “wilderness” and he was TIRED. The 7 lessons were taught by important people from history as he traveled through time, into the past, after a self-inflicted near-death experience. They were very eye-opening lessons, but that wasn’t the best part. From a book I would have never picked up on my own and was hesitant to even read, there it was, for the third time in one week, the same Bible verse. Actually, the only one in the whole book. If you ask me, “When did you start believing?” my answer would be, “It depends on which time you are talking about.” We all experience our answer to this question in a different way. But from what I know personally, once you experience your own “believing” for the first time, you must hold on to that moment, FIERCELY. Because life can get hard. To me, faith is not a onetime thing, it’s something that builds on itself. You

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have to keep that faith until the shift... before it gets hard again. And when it’s hard, you need to remember and TRUST that the answer will come again, in the unique way you were meant to see it. When you are in the wilderness, hold on. Something greater has your back and will never give up on you. Remember your angels. Remember the gift that lies within you. And remember that your gift comes from that “something greater” and was set in motion before you even had time to lose your faith in it. It’s already been written. And, in those words, you will find your answers, even if they have to hit you upside the head a few times before you are able to move on to your next chapter. They may be small segments that don’t seem to get you where you want to be, but they are life-breathing, in-the-moment answers that you cannot ignore. They bring you to the chapter where you are SUPPOSED TO BE, not where you think you should be. I’m nobody special, but I know deep down inside my bipolar faith, there are those messages that I cling to, because I know they are greater than anything I could ever make up. And, when you find yours, hold on to it until next time. Because not only is that your hope in the wilderness, it is the belief story that you can tell others when they need to hear it.

Krewe of Slidellians 70TH ANNUAL BAL MASQUÉ

Platinum Jubilee: Let’s Dance! A FORMAL EVENT

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2020 7:00PM – 11:00PM

THE HARBOR CENTER

100 HARBOR CENTER BOULEVARD

SLIDELL

QUEEN SAMARITAN 70

LINDA K LARKIN AND

KING SAMARITAN 70

CARL ARREDONDO III

“For I know the plans I have for you said the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you. To give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

For Tickets call 985-373-2767 43


Sponsored By:

by Jeff Perret, DVM

CAT ALLERGY VACCINE About 30% of people have an allergy to dogs or cats, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, and cats cause people to react twice as often as dogs. While some people can treat their symptoms so that they can live in the same house and still breathe, others can not and therefore must avoid contact with cats. In some situations, this means the cat and the person must or should live apart because breathing is, after all, mandatory. In almost all instances of allergic reactions, the person experiencing the reaction is the focus for developing ways

to decrease this unwanted response. Your immune system reacts to the pet allergen, often in the form of dander, and gets all hyperactive, so you take something for it. But when it comes to people with cat allergies, researchers are changing the focus: instead of trying to give the person something to eliminate the reaction, they are taking aim at the cat to decrease its amount of allergen, which is what causes allergies. You don’t react to cats, technically, but to their allergens. The point of the researchers’ focus is the Fel d 1 (not a typo) antigen, the allergen

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that is found mostly in cats’ tears and saliva. It is believed to be the instigator of most people’s allergic reactions to cats. When the cat decreases the number of allergens it produces, the allergic person’s body doesn’t produce so many antibodies in response, thus lowering the reaction that person has to the cat. The first method being studied to decrease the amount of Fel d 1 antigens is a vaccine to be given to the cat. It is being developed in Switzerland. Results from their current study were released over the summer in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The results


showed that after a series of vaccines, the cats being studied made their own antibodies against the Fel d 1 antigen, thus lowering the amount of “active” antigen a human could be exposed to. Few side effects were reported in the cats, on par with the mild side effects commonly seen with other common current vaccines. Another important finding in this study was that the vaccine did not require an adjuvant. Adjuvants are substances added to a vaccine to enhance the immune response; it makes the vaccine stronger. Because of concerns with adjuvanted vaccines causing injectionsite cancer in cats, this is important to the cat’s health. On the sneezing human side, the vaccine appears to work, decreasing human reaction to the antigen based on laboratory tests using blood from cat-allergic people. Further testing will be needed to see how long the vaccine’s effect lasts in cats and to make sure that there are no long-term unhappy effects in cats, as well as if vaccinated cats actually reduce reaction rates in allergic people. The second method is being studied by Nestlé Purina PetCare, and uses the cat’s food. The concept is similar: to have the cat develop its own antibodies against Fel d 1 so as to decrease the number of allergens cat-allergic people are exposed to. In this instance, the stimulus to produce these antibodies is delivered in the cat’s food rather than with a vaccine. The initial results indicate a reduction in active Fel d 1 allergens. Fewer antigens means fewer reactions in people. Unlike the results released for the vaccine, for this study using cat food there were no laboratory tests using cat-allergic people’s blood. The study also does not discuss if the diet is palatable, or has long-term effects for the cats, and it is unknown if the reduction in Fel d 1 allergens was enough to decrease or eliminate the allergic response in a human. One potential advantage of a food over a vaccine might be the ability to keep the level of antibody more consistent, but more research is needed. With both methods, it is important to realize that these products are still in development and may not be available for years. It is also important to understand that while a given cat may be made less allergenic for a cat-allergic human, neither the vaccine nor the food is likely to work every time. Allergic individuals – or their partners or kids - may be more comfortable at home with their treated cats but may still have strong reactions when around other untreated cats. Perhaps the biggest advantage will be for cats. Since human allergies are a common reason for cats to end up in animal shelters, these products may decrease that need. And that it would be nothing to sneeze at.

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

Slidell has a busy & vibrant Mardi Gras season! The balls are great - you get to dres s in your best and have fun with your favorite peop le! L-r: Bill Davis, Editor Kendra Man ess, Fire Chief Chris Kaufmann & wife Pam, Peggy & May or Greg Cromer

Slidell Mag Editor Kendra Maness teamed up with Keep Slidell Beautiful Director, Trey Brownfield, to judge the Bonne Ecole School Science Fair. Two of the MANY exceptional students presenting were Ashlyn Donnell (left) and Mackenzie Thigpen (right)

ag Slidell Mry 2020

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Cooper, takes his Our new Parish President, Mike nding-room-only sta the es ress add oath of office & bless all of our crowd on January 13, 2020. God gs together! thin t elected officials; let’s do grea

And the Winner is ... OLD SCHOOL EATS! Congratulations to Christopher & Karen Case for winning the $17,000 Makeover My Brand Give-away! You’ll see Old School Eats in Slidell Mag and EVERYWHERE this coming year as the Makeover My Brand team helps their business grow!

Theater in the Broadway WOOHOO! Big wins for Cutting Edge of their MANY awards were World 2019 Regional Awards! Two Crayton, as Best Lead our Jan 2019 cover model, Brittney le, and Suzanne Stymiest Actress in a Musical for Color Purp Steel Magnolias. as Best Lead Actress in a Play for

ALL HAIL THE QUEEN! Queen Linda Comeaux is revealed with a flourish at the 2020 Slidell Newcomer’s Ball held in Slidell Auditorium


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Season 2 2020 Concerts FOLLOW THE LOBBY LOUNGE ON FACEBOOK FOR NEW SHOWS AND TICKET SALES. TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLY AT WWW.EVENTBRITE.COM BRINGING NATIONALLY TOURING MUSICIANS TO OUR COMMUNITY “UP CLOSE & MUSICAL” JANUARY 23 FEBRUARY 6 MARCH 12 APRIL 23 MAY 19 JUNE 23 JULY 23 AUGUST 20 SEPTEMBER 17 OCTOBER 13 NOVEMBER 12

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