THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF SLIDELL
Vol. 117 July 2020
WE KEEP IT FRESH
SAY KEEP IT POSITIVE
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D DA UNITE SIA YPT S A G U N E R A • C • • • ASIA ROPE A T S U U A E STATES G E I • UTH ANT ICA O R • S A • A T S C A S • I A N O I M D • CO H A A J C B E • BAR A • L N • I A A A M R E D K T A CCO A N O • U U E R G R O G • M MA AS • L • A A M N G A A ND U H P A T A L R • B E O • C P I A • UCIA IN • I L A V P A T S N N • I I SKA D S SA A N O L A C A I C A S • • • C CE D S N K A N R A R L F PAIN U S E T • R • I Y L • L A ITA UG T AIN • T R I E O R C P B E • E ALIA • R R D T G S N • A U L A • EY ZEA D RE W N E A O L P N S • TURK A I • G A I N IJ SIN • FSpecials, • ALI& T I A I O A C R I Lots of Deals Bargains! • W ITED NE O HA N A C J I U E X • E D • M TIA Book SSIA RIO A A • B O A U R C C D • RU MU • S • R U E E B P R P Today! O • Y R YPT G AFRICA • ISRAEL • C TA RICA • EU E • IA S S A O N • T C A S P • A A E U A H • JA G D I T A AN ANT SOU C • • • A S A E C S • I IN A O H M D STAT C A A J B • E BAR A • AUSTRALIA N L I • A A A VENICE CHINA R M E K D T A CCO A N O • U U E R G R O G • M MA AS • L • A A M N G A A ND U H P A T A L R • B E O • C P I A • UCIA IN • I L A V P A T S N N • I I SKA D S SA A N O L A C A I C A S • • • C CE D S N K A N R A R L F PAIN U S E T • R • I Y L • L A ITA UG T AIN • T R I E O R IA C P B L E • E A • R R D T G S N • AU EY • EALA Z K D BAHAMAS PARIS EGYPT R RE W N U E A O T L P N S • A I • G A I SIN • FIJ • ALIN T I A I O A C R I • W ITED NE O HA N A C J I U E X • E D • M RIO ATIA A • O B R SIA A U S C C D U • • U R M • S R PRU OPE • BE Y R C A • U C E • I T • R P L Y E A AF A G C I R E • • IS TA R A S I S O N A A C P T • S INT A A A E S • JA D H • A T A N U SO GREAT BRITAIN IGU • CA T • S N AFRICA ALASKA E A A KS T • N R A I A U H ST T C C I • A • OS Eour experienced JAMagents D N • I A A B A R L R Let K A A B M TAIN I E • • U R T A B A • D U A • G you find EN muchOROCCO Ahelp R M G your A • N EY • S A K M A P R • M U L A T A G • Uvacation! BAH T D • R deserved dream N A O A IJI I L P F C E • • C I LU N I I I • A A AW VIA H A S • SP • N O • I C A I D A K N N S I A A A COUNTRY CRUISE and TRAVEL •C C L P S S A • E • D • L C A N N G A A L U R E T F|| 851 ROBERT INA RBLVD., SLIDELL L • O A • IR 985-641-1760 P T Y L A • A C • IT O• ND C A E I L C X A E E E E N D Z M R •
The Travel World is
Kendra Maness Editor/Publisher Slidell Magazine
crying my eyes out for fear that I would lose the battle to stay in business throughout the pandemic. Slidell Magazine is more than my job, she’s my child, my baby. I created her... I’ve nurtured her... I’ve lost countless nights’ sleep rearing her and worrying about her... I’ve protected her and fought for her... I’ve dreamed of her future and all of her potential. I have a mother’s pride in all the good she is capable of doing for our community.
Hi Slidell! We missed you! The July edition that you’re holding in your hands now marks the return of Slidell Magazine after a 3-month hiatus because of the... well, you know. Like many small business owners, the past few months have been scary for me. In June, I “celebrated” the 10-year anniversary of Slidell Magazine alone at my house (probably in my pajamas),
When the businesses of Slidell were mandatorily closed, Slidell Magazine lost two vital elements necessary for her survival - the advertisers that pay for our production, and the 900+ distribution sites where Slidellians could pick up a copy of their community magazine. It took awhile for reality to set in for me - this could be the end.
Cover: “The family bubble” by M.h. reed Slidell Magazine PO Box 4147 Slidell, LA 70459 www.slidellmag.com 985-789-0687 Kendra Maness, Editor/Publisher Editor@slidellmag.com Michael Bell, Graphic Designer Graphics@slidellmag.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS The Storyteller, Chicken & Dumplins - John Case Pet Points, Coronavirus & Our Pets - Jeff Perret, DVM One Way Love - Story & Photos by Donna Bush Crimmi-Mommly Insane, My-My-My Corona - Leslie Gates Slidell, Our History: Creosote - Ted Lewis Legal-Ease - Ronda M. Gabb Making Cents of Your Money - Mike Rich Extraordinary Slidell Neighbors, John Cool by Charlotte Collins
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I consulted with dozens of fellow small business owners and networking partners and the answer became clear. If everyone is willing to work together, we can bring Slidell Magazine back. If you’re reading this now, it’s because you’ve invested in Slidell Magazine’s future by purchasing this copy. And, for that, I am sincerely grateful. I priced the magazine at 99¢ to make it affordable for everyone. Trust me, it doesn’t pay all the bills (by far), but it does allow me to maintain low prices for my advertisers during a time when their small businesses are fighting for survival too. Over the past few months, I’ve received many calls and messages and words of encouragement from the community. It’s made me realize that Slidell Magazine isn’t just mine anymore. She’s yours, too. It’s good to be home again.
M.H. reed This is our fifth cover from Slidell artist M.H. Reed. It is a continuation in a series of paintings that Slidell Magazine readers have come to know and love - his Norman Rockwell-esque circle containing images of his family. Michael’s goal is to create 12 new paintings this year, each depicting the family activities of that particular month. We’ve enjoyed his Christmas cover this past December and loved his combination Mardi Gras/Valentine’s cover in February. This painting was originally slated for our May edition, when we reached out to Michael and asked him to capture the essence of the pandemic as he sees it. In the painting, we see his family gathered together in their livingroom quarantine, each with their own agenda. His wife is reading through her homemade Mother’s Day cards. One of his sons plays with his phone, while the other tackles that day’s homeschooling assignments. Michael is seen in the background, disinfecting his wife’s scrubs before putting them in the wash in the laundyroom behind him. We see the toilet paper, bottled water, and antibacterial cleaner (a.k.a. Corona gold) in the background. And the words... so many of the loud, bold words that are, now, a permanent part of our dialect.
SNeighbors lidell A biography by Charlotte Collins
Sponsored by Kristopher Thompson & Jeremiah Boling Attorneys at Law
Amid the pandemic binge-television period, we were treated to the Space-X Falcon 9 rocket launch. This was the first trip to the International Space Station from the U.S. since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011. In May, I watched the lift off at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and, as the Crew Dragon capsule autonomously docked with the Station, John Cool’s words rang from my February interview with him. Little did I know at the time of our interview of the pandemic, nor the resulting hold on Slidell Magazine distribution, much less that this station docking was pending. Five months after we spoke, I am proud to bring you a trip through his history. This article reveals the script of ups and downs such as those dealt by life. Sometimes soaring into the air, and others crashing back to Earth, then launching into space, and back to ground zero, for a dose of reality. It is like watching a movie with lots of flashbacks. But there is always another act for John Cool. He is an easy person to spot in and around Slidell. Look for a dapper Southern gentleman, with twinkling blue eyes and a smile on his face. You will find him at most every Olde Towne and bayou venue and event with his wife, Sally, on his arm. 6
He can attest to the sweeping changes across St. Tammany Parish in the 60’s, when our population suddenly exploded with the aerospace companies that moved here. In fact, John was part of that industry, hailing from California. I know, I introduced him as a Southern gentleman, because that is who he has become. Because he made friends quickly in our community, he was able to see the changes from both perspectives. Talking to him about the history of Slidell, which begins in the bayou area, you would swear he was a native. He also sought to live in some of the old properties, including one on Bayou Liberty that is thought to have been an ammunition dump for Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812. Another is his current home, that of the Scout Master from Indian Village. His childhood story is one from a traveler’s point of view. He was a bit of a rolling stone, that is, until he moved to Slidell. His life story sounded like a movie to me, so that is how I will present his early escapades... OPENING SCENE: Calumet City, Illinois, the home of Al Capone, and the place where John was born. Bootleggers and gangsters are common in most scenes, carrying violin cases to hide machine
guns. This is the neighborhood he recalls. Pan to a shot with a woman in the middle of an attempted kidnap, being led to a black car. Out comes her husband, shooting his own vigilante pistol, freeing her, and grabbing her in his arms as the car speeds away, kidnap thwarted. That last scene is why John’s father moved his family away, after his gallant action to save John’s mother. That, and the fact that their neighbor across the street was gunned down for unknown reasons. SCENE TWO: The year was 1936, and the family was now in Black Oak, Indiana, away from the violence. There were still concerning issues, as little Johnny began having severe digestive problems. He explained, “I spent many months in the hospital starting in 1938 at only four years old. I apparently had Crohn's disease, but of course no one knew of this condition at that time. In 1943, I went in the hospital and they undertook an extremely risky surgery, which alleviated my Crohn symptoms. That got me from 1943 to 1947, and then all of a sudden I got a low grade fever. I was sent to a TB institution. It turned out to be simply glandular fever that went away. I also had rheumatic fever. I was always a sickly little kid, and consequently, got picked on all
the time. My father got me a punching bag so I could learn to defend myself. I became a hero on the playground for victims of bullying.” So the lights beam up; now, this sickly little boy is protecting the underdog. Again, I remind you, he will overcome anything life throws at him. SCENE THREE: John, his sisters, Ruth and Shirley, and his parents, Robert and Lydia Cool, are back in the car. Their destination, Lake Dalecarlia, Indiana, a popular summer resort location. Dad is now commuting from there to Indiana Harbor with Inland Steel Company and had fallen in love with the clean, rural atmosphere at the lake. In the next scene, he is seen fishing while mom is smiling in this new location. He recounts his youth (age 6-14) in this idyllic lake environment. “People from Chicago had summer homes at the lake, but we lived there year round. I learned to hunt and trap muskrats and mink in the wintertime, and swam and mowed lawns in the summertime. My uncle in Chicago was a stock broker, so all my money went into the stock market.” He laughed, “At eight years old, I was already in the market! Every time I would get a newspaper, I would flip to the stock section to see where my stocks stood. Then I started worrying about it, and started having more stomach problems. So I had this bad stomach and my eyes
were crossed as a little kid. The wind off Lake Michigan was fierce, a damp cold, and my arthritis and rheumatism kicked in.” He laughed at the image of himself that he was revealing. While the last act looked like good times for the whole family, the cold was tough on both little Johnny and his dad, as they both had arthritis. But don’t you fear, this is one tenacious little boy! Looking at this handsome, gregarious man, that previous movie reel seemed quite fictitious. I remember "Johnny B. Cool" in white tennis shorts, holding court at the bar, after a match in Club Chamalé. Little did I know that he saw two balls, and had to learn to ascertain which was the actual one. Wearing thick glasses with prisms for hours at a time helped correct the problem. That, and learning to compensate for the double image. Wearing that enigmatic smile, John looks straight at you as if telling a joke, “I didn’t know which one to hit, and I would miss by this much!” He held his hands apart, still laughing. “I even bought a ball machine for Chamale. I would go out and hit for two or three hours at a time. And actually, I started being able to figure out which one was the real ball!” He practiced relentlessly, until he conquered the seemingly impossible task of following a fast moving ball. Eventually, his tennis game improved.
SCENE FOUR: Fast forward to 1948, and the family is packed up again. John's dad had been ill, and he had to quit his job with Inland Steel. Luck had it that an offer from U.S. Steel near San Francisco came. "We stopped in Orem, Utah, home of another U.S. Steel plant. My father liked the environment so much that he accepted a job as a hod carrier, someone who carries bricks on his shoulder for the brick masons. He went from management to physical labor because he loved the mountains. There was fishing, hunting, and he thought he and his son would thrive here.” Thankfully, Utah had less humidity. Life was good. He was to start high school at Orem High. Back in 1941, John had been held back due to rheumatic fever. But the curriculum at this new school was behind those in Indiana, so he was able to skip ahead, missing ninth grade. He graduated in 1952 and got a job with U.S. Steel while attending Brigham Young University. "I worked swing shift work and my grades suffered as a result. And then I had a bad experience.” He shook his head, and with that same, sweet smile, he confessed, “Some girls swiped my fifth of vodka from under the seat of my car, and took it into the girl’s dorm. I had to admit that it was my alcohol, and they didn’t really kick me out per se. But they did strongly encourage me to leave.” John finished up at the University of
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Utah in 1959 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. "It took seven years because I was working odd jobs to pay my way. I became a journeyman millwright with a union card. I learned to machine and weld and use the cutting torch, and with that I could actually build almost anything mechanical. Before I graduated, I married and we were having our first child, Robert. I had to get a real job, and soon. As luck would have it, the steel plant was on strike.” Smiling even more broadly, he reasoned, “So I took off in my little ‘51 Ford and drove to San Francisco where my middle sister lived.” Waving his hand, he summarized, “I had like five or six job offers within the first week. There I was building designer elevators from scratch, and hill climbers to take you uphill 300 feet, from your garage, all the way up to your house on the hill. I remember one customer who was the manager for Disney, and he put a golden carriage on the hill climber frame to get from the pool to his house, 170 feet up." Soon, an offer from General Dynamics in San Diego came, offering him a position to work in the aerospace field. He gleefully announced, “So we moved to San Diego, only to find out that my eyes have a parrallax issue. That means that my eyes don't focus, due to crossed eyes. They tried to tell me I couldn’t work on the high testing towers. My answer was, 'I don't know how I can't, because in the steel plant I was working over 200 hundred feet in the air!'" Nonchalantly, he smiled, “So they finally gave me a disposition. Even though I had the parallax problem, my brain was compensating for what the eyes are supposed to do, giving me depth perception.”
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So with his usual tenacity, John Cool got to work on the Project Mercury for the John Glenn flight, building the Atlas booster and the Centaur. The Centaur is a liquid hydrogen and oxygen-fueled second stage space vehicle. He was really excited, as it was the first of its kind in 1960. “I got in on the development of all of this, and tested different hydrogen peroxide gas generators, thrusters, solid fuel separation rockets, and tanking cryogenic fuels. The Atlas was used as a ballistic missile as well as a manned launch vehicle. In the middle of all this, our family expanded with our second son, Bill.” As Project Mercury was winding down, he saw a job listing in the paper for Chrysler Corporation's Saturn program in 1962. This sounded like the ultimate dream. Plus, he would be in the New Orleans area, so that was quite appealing. With gusto, he described, “The Saturn project that I would be working on was Wernher Von Braun’s first big Saturn vehicle. Von Braun was the lead German engineer who developed the V2 rocket that was bombing England during World War II. At the end
of World War II, the U.S. corralled Von Braun and many of his people and brought them over here. Between 1945 and 1963, Von Braun was working within the U.S. government. His group had also been doing some work with Chrysler before this, on the PGM11 Redstone Missile project. That was a ballistic missile that the U.S. had stationed in Turkey and other places in Europe. This was a NATO Cold War defense system.” To me, this all sounded a bit ominous, but John was smiling.
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"So here was a group of very knowledgeable people who had blown up a lot of missiles. We had a rather high probability of failure. All in all, I got 11 years with von Braun and his guys here in New Orleans. I developed a great connection with NASA in these 11 years, and earned a lot of respect.” It seems he had finally found his dream job and his dream town. John Cool felt at home in New Orleans, calling it “the poor man’s San Francisco” because the culture was so similar. However, a bullying incident with his son Robert prompted John to drive over to Slidell and look for a place. "On the way, I stopped at a little restaurant on Irish Bayou for fried oysters, and happened to meet the Bayou Liberty Bridge tender. This was back in 1963, and he told me that there was a guy developing property off Bayou Liberty Road that was going to be very different. It was not your standard subdivision, and it’s on a beautiful bayou. He more or less explained how to get there, so we drove on over. And, somehow, we found our way into Coin du Lestin subdivision." Once there, John met developer and famed artist, George Dunbar, who offered a boat tour. John fell in love with the bayou, the marsh, the wide open green space, and the friendly people.
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In early 1963, John bought his first piece of property in Slidell from George Dunbar. Then he bought a house on the adjoining lot and now owned two lots in the new subdivision. And so his new life in Slidell began. It also marked the beginning of a friendship with Dunbar that has lasted nearly 60 years. Still smiling, he recalled, “The next thing that happens is around August or September of 1964, Hurricane Hilda is coming. Then another year goes by, and here's Hurricane Betsy. We had a two story house and we had 10-15 people literally on the roof. We did not have time to fully prepare for this storm, so we ended up with six inches of water in the house. Then, in 1969, came Hurricane Camille. To make matters worse, I was traveling a lot during this time with the aerospace stuff, and my marriage was suffering." “This was a hard time for those of us who moved from the North, because we had no real family to speak of. We ended up selling the property. In 1967, we rented Bunky Healy’s 10 acres behind St. Genevieve’s Church. Bunky 9
Left: 8 year-old John at the helm of the first outboard motor he repaired. Middle: Duck hunting in Indiana, 1943. Right: The neighborhood gang at Lake Dalecarlia, Indiana. John is standing, third from left.
called it Delta Plantation. That piece of property used to be an ammunition dump back in the War of 1812 with guns slots in the windows. I became the caretaker of the plantation.” He smiled at a memory of his ski boat, "Grass mowing and water skiing were my release.” John and his wife divorced in 1969. "This was a great time of strife. It was a sociological nightmare to have thousands of people from Seattle, Detroit, and Buffalo coming down for jobs at Boeing and Chrysler. You had all of these families disrupted, and remember, it was the ‘60’s." Within a few years, he married again, and became a step-dad to four adopted children. After 10 years, the couple divorced. A somber moment passed before he continued, "It was also during these difficult years that I lost my youngest son, Bill, to a hunting accident in 1976 when he was just 14." John shook his head and explained, “I worked through
that pain the same way. You don’t ever get over it, you just work through it.”
the hydrodynamics, aerodynamics and acoustic sensitivities.”
In an effort to keep going, he explained, “I moved to the caretaker’s cottage in Chamalé in 1979 and started working on my tennis.” Changing his mood, John put his career in aerospace in perspective as he reflected, “Think about the fact that we launched the space shuttle and went to the moon on a slide rule! We didn't have computers. We had a mechanical analog slipstick, called a slide rule! We did all the calculations manually. It was 1971 before they gave me a Fridon mechanical calculator, which went clackety-clack, that would do a square root for me. I used that at Chrysler and Martin Marietta. It was 1973 before I got an SR-50 Tectronix computer that would work logarithms with ease, and square roots. And we needed the extra calculation and accuracy for Space Shuttle sensitivities between
“We monitored the launch vehicles from John Glenn’s first flight, through the Mercury, Apollo, Gemini, and all the way through the Shuttle Program. Later, the astronauts wanted something that they could actually control and fly, not just sit there and let us monitor and adjust. So we gave them something they could fly, but it was very sensitive. My first major traumatic mission failure was in 1966. The Apollo I flight crew, Grissom, White and Chaffee burned up on my S-I-B6 vehicle. They were up there sitting in that command module when something caused a spark. Of course, the command module had 100% oxygen in its breathing environment, and anything can burn in that environment." After a minute, his smile returned as he shared, “Something else I'll never forget
Left: 1991, Sally with John when he's named Engineer of the Year for Martin Marietta from CEO Norm Ogastein (left). Middle: 1990, John on left in his fire suit with co-workers as they embark on a space shuttle hydrogen leak test for NASA. Right: 1991, Sally with John as he receives the Manned Space Division Employee of the Year for Martin Marietta.
1.) One of the many hill climbers John built in Moterey, CA. 2.) John (left) helping build the gazebo in Coin du Lestin that still stands today. 3.) Enjoying a cigar and waterskiing, 1968. 4.) Sally with John the Elf for Coin du Lestin's famed Christmas on the Bayou, 1984.
is the first camera shot we recovered from an Atlas mission that showed the Earth. These days you can see the Earth from a satellite anytime you want, but the first time I saw that shot of the Earth was from a camera on the Atlas booster that was taking 400 frames per second as it was flying away. Wow, it was hard for me to believe that image was even real. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.”
smitten from the start. “I told her, this time I've got to get it right! I really need to understand you, and you’ve got to understand me." After 7 years of dating, the two were married and moved into another historic home, referred to as the Scout Master’s house, off Indian Village Road. He described, “It was originally floated in as an old barge. It was placed on cinderblocks, and a house was built on top of this old barge frame."
Once again, John found himself working a lot at the Cape and at Vandenberg Air Force Base, plus his regular job in New Orleans East at Michoud where he was responsible for the external tank hydrogen and oxygen vent valves and numerous other hardware. It took three jobs to keep him occupied, plus the tennis!
John and Sally Cool are still happily married, thirty-two years and three children later. You will see the two, arm in arm, strolling through Olde Towne. John retired in 1996, so he has the time to enjoy life with his partner. They love to travel for pleasure, including Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Croatia, China, London, and South Africa.
In 1981, John’s personal life would finally become a dream life. Through a work colleague, John met Sally, and was
In retirement, John kept himself busy with racquetball, tennis, friends and
charitable work. He became President of East St. Tammany Mental Health, and was helping run Sunshine House up until Katrina. They lost the building during Katrina, along with the vans and equipment, but he is still on the board for what is now the rebuilt Sunshine Village in Slidell, which provides housing for those with mental illness. He also reconnects with his aerospace roots by serving as a docent at the Infinity Space Center at Stennis. We should all go take a tour with him. John concluded with, “Now, my goals are keeping Sally happy, checking on Dunbar and Sam Fazio of the old Fazio bowling lanes. They're my tennis buddies, all in their 90’s.” After making all of his leaps in life, John is happy to take small steps with those he loves.
Left: John was particularly proud to win the "Yankee Race" at the Bayou Liberty Pirogue Races in 1991. He won a pirogue filled with booze! Middle & Right: John & Sally Cool, 1990 & 2019. 11
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The City of Slidell and the Commission on the Arts extend a gracious thank you to our 2019-2020 Cultural Season Sponsors who have helped make the city’s cultural events and exhibitions possible for our citizens. Renaissance • $5,000 Sponsors:
Season Sponsors, Dear 2019/2020 Cultural e couldn’t do it W ! ts en ev al ur lt cu of on ntastic seas Thank you for another fa ltural events and cu e m su re to le ab be to e cannot wait without your support. W riate time. Thank you! op pr ap e or m a at y it un m com celebrate safely with the The City of Slidell
Member Orientation Chamber Slidell Office 8:30 - 9:30AM
RIBBON CUTTING Raymond James & Assoc. 4:30 - 5:30PM “SAFE KIDS 101” SMH Wellness Pavilion 9AM - NOON
B2B Networking Chamber Boardroom Slidell / 8:30 - 9:30AM
TRIVIA NIGHT The Brass Monkey 7PM
B2B Networking Chamber Boardroom Covington / 8:30 - 9:30AM
"The Storyteller" John S. Case Free Greenwood Cemetery Tours Tuesdays-Thursdays • 12-1 PM By appointment • 985-707-8727
LeaderCast St. Tammany Covington Movie Tavern 8:00AM - 2:30PM
Food for Seniors Distribution Day Good Samaritan Ministry / 1PM
Legislative Wrap-Up Luncheon Greystone - Mandeville 11:30AM - 1PM
“GUY TALK” SMH Wellness Pavilion 5:30 - 6:30PM
Slidell Gun & Knife Show The Harbor Center
AUGUST Camellia City Farmer's Market EVERY SATURDAY 8AM-NOON
Camellia City Farmer's Market EVERY SATURDAY 8AM-NOON
Camellia City Farmer's Market EVERY SATURDAY 8AM-NOON
Olde Towne Slidell Art Market Green Oaks Apothecary - 4PM
The Harbor Center in Slidell
Movie Tavern in Covington
Castine Center in Mandeville
WED, September 30, 2020
UPCOMING CHAMBER EVENTS: for more info and to register for events, go to our website (StTammanyChamber.org), or call (985) 273-3007
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Krewe of Dionysus / Daddy Day Care Festival / Lakeshore Marina
NORTHSHORE’S FINEST Fleur De Lis Event Center / 7PM
Junior Explorers S.T.E.A.M. CAMP Lake Pont. Basin Maritime Museum 9AM- 4PM 31
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN CASE “The Storyteller”
Oak Harbor in Slidell
THUR, October 15, 2020
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“SAFE SITTER” SMH Wellness Pavilion 9AM - 3PM
Slidell Gun & Knife Show The Harbor Center
NATIONAL HAWAII DAY
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J U L Y
CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS That idea has recently resurfaced with health insurance; but, in those days, the state curtailed that venture.
Tennessee Williams’ play, The Glass Menagerie had an absentee character named Mr. Wingfield. In the play, he was Amanda’s husband and he worked for the telephone company. One of the better lines reads, “He fell in love with long distance.” Of course, that meant he deserted the family. Somehow, that line reminds me of my father. He in no way deserted the family, but you might say he fell in love with a dream. This, in its own way, caused the family problems. Dad was a smart man, with little formal education. He was not averse to hard work, either mental or physical; but Dad always would dream that the grass was greener in another vocation. He would abandon one job before he had an opportunity to see it to fruition, just to go on to another “wild goose chase,” as my mom often said. We were considered middle-class, well, I think we were; but that had to do with Mom’s frugality more than Dad’s earning power. I knew, when the evening meal was tomato gravy and biscuits, things were “stretched” according to Mom. Likewise, I knew when there was a ham on the stove, or fried chicken, times were good. I guess you could say that a Dunn and Bradstreet report of my family’s finances could have
been written based on an analysis of what we ate. I only remember steak, other than round or ground steak, a couple of times. Dad loved Mom and she loved him. She had to, to stay married to him, but it had to be trying. Once, he spent the utility money to buy me a collie dog. Mother cried, but she filled the lamps with kerosene, and we made do. Once, he borrowed money from a relative and flew in a private plane to Washington D.C. to patent a self-rocking cradle. That was not successful either. He had a wash board manufacturing business just as washing machines were coming out, and a well bucket company just as wells were having pumps attached. You see, Dad had good ideas, just at the wrong time. He even brainstormed about founding a life insurance company where you only sent in your money if someone in the group died.
On a joyful afternoon, Mom and Dad sat down with my brother and sister and me and recorded the story of their marriage and their life. It was their 50th anniversary. They lived in 17 houses and Dad had 28 jobs. That was back in 1980; but, recently, I listened to the tape. It brought back memories and gave me insight into why some things were the way they were. I now can even better relate as I have raised two children, balanced a job, an amateur writing career, and a family. I have lived the ups and downs. I have felt the emotions that my mom felt, and I am sure my wife has also. I also know where my dad was coming from. Dad loved to wear a hat. In his younger years, I seldom saw him in a cap, just a hat. His love for hats may have been his vanity, as he had male pattern baldness at age 23. He also loved Stetson hats. Not the western type, but more the fedora type. In his mind, a Stetson hat was class and, if he could only afford one classy item, it would be his hat. Amusingly, the mood Dad was in was reflected in the way he wore his hat. If
his hat was sitting square on his head, he was in a serious mood. This is the way he wore it when he went to church. I expect he wore it that way when he went to Washington D.C. If he was in a carefree mood, he wore it pushed back on his head, revealing his forehead. He also whistled a lively tune when in such a mood. His emotions ran the gamut from happy to depressed. He called the depressed days his "blue days." Mom, on the other hand, was more even keeled. She was seldom bubbling over with happiness or hampered with being blue. I remember, however, an incident that stands out where both personalities interacted with each other. I have remembered it for 64 years. Dad must have shared with Mom that he was having a good week. I have no idea which of the 28 jobs he was doing at the time, but I remember it being a late Friday afternoon and being in the kitchen with Mom. I must have been about eight years old. My sister was married, and my brother was staying in town with my aunt to go to a school function. It was just me and Mom. Mom had put on a new blue dress. Well, at least it was new to her. I remember, to this day, Mom telling her sister that she bought it at “Don’t Throw Away,” a used clothing store, for one dollar. I don’t remember her dressing real nicely except to go to church; and this was not a go-to-church outfit. I am sure she had pride in cooking a more than average meal and I am sure the dress she wore was to telecast a happy, maybe flirtatious, mood to my dad. She set the table with her best china, Blue Willow, and some pale blue depression glass water goblets. On each plate she placed a pineapple ring. In the center hole there was a banana, and it was topped with mayonnaise. The finishing touch was a cherry and grated cheddar cheese. This salad was a favorite of Mom’s and, for a few years, it was served often. For dessert, she had prepared a dish she
called a "date bar." That was also a standby and served on many Sundays. Of course, only when times were good. The main dish that day would be chicken and dumplings. It was perhaps the dish she took the most pride in, and she took a long time in its tedious preparation. She said her secret was that she used a hen, not a fryer or a broiler. Even now, I don’t know the difference. We didn’t have a car at that time, and I would listen for the Greyhound Bus to stop in front of our house. We lived several hundred yards from the highway, but you could hear the distinct sounds of the bus as it geared down, braked and stopped. You could also hear the engine as it revved, and the air brakes exhaust as it pulled away. The arriving of the bus meant Dad was home and would be walking up the driveway in just a minute or so. Then, I heard him. He was whistling a happy song. I can still remember, “She’ll be coming round the mountain.” I rushed to meet him and saw the hat pushed back on his forehead. Even I knew that meant it was a good day. I intercepted him about halfway up the drive. He seldom brought me any type surprise. It was not his nature. On that day, he reached into his coat pocket and gave me a bag of potato chips. A bag of potato chips was then much larger than they are today. I immediately bit into the upper part of the bag where the cellophane is sealed, tearing the bag almost in half. By the time we entered the kitchen, I had consumed most of the bag of chips. Seeing Dad, Mom had a big smile and, as she hugged him, he gave her a chocolate bar. She was beaming. Then, she saw me eating the potato chips. Her mood changed as if you turned off a light switch. From an almost coquettish interaction, she went to a look that projected almost hatred. Tears came to her eyes and she said, “I’ve worked in this kitchen all day and now you have gone and spoiled his appetite. I deserve more respect than that. What I do is important too.”
She then turned off the stove and went to her bedroom. My memory is dim on what happened the rest of the night. I don’t recall eating the chicken and dumplings, the pineapple salad or the date bar. I know the next morning the kitchen was clean; and, I remember, it was years before mother ever cooked chicken and dumplings again. You and I would say the incident was no big thing. We would say my mother overreacted, and that would be true; but, over the years, I have thought about what was behind her reaction. It was obviously more than a bag of potato chips. Things I have considered were that she did not feel respected, as she was considered just a lowly housewife in those days. I also considered that Dad did not give her credit for what she did as a mother, etc. It could have been a hormonal thing, as she would have been about forty-four. Whatever it was, I don’t think she ever totally got over it. Within a year, she had enrolled in classes to become a Certified Dental Assistant. This elevated her from the status of a rural housewife, to part of the respected healthcare profession. She was no longer less-than-equal, as a woman or a wife. She was no longer dependent on Dad’s good weeks or bad weeks. The fact that someone’s attitude can influence another person exists outside of families. Probably more so than within families, simply because we have many more contacts outside the family. I know I have said things to people and, even though they have never said a word, I know their attitude toward me has been forever changed. Likewise, my relationship with others has been changed by what they have said to me. Maybe, on another occasion, the incident would have been ignored. I have no conclusion to the problem; but, I am cognizant that if Dad had been more attentive to Mom prior to the incident, it would have been no big thing. Likewise, if we are more attentive to others' thoughts and needs, we can avoid the cold spots forming in our relationships. We must do a better job at being our brothers' keeper. John Case CONTINUED >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 15
I am often asked where I get the inspiration for my stories. Most, if not all, of my stories are based on some real-life happening. Most also are enhanced to be more appealing, but some are not. Some are told just as they happened. My stories, “The Tales of Wags,” “A Very Special Button” and “Dip Net” are examples.
I recently attended an excellent writer's workshop sponsored by the City of Slidell. Folks, Alex Carollo, Director of Cultural Arts, is doing good things like that, so you should take advantage.
I must admit, after 110 stories, subject matter does not come as easily as it once did. After all, one young man can only have so many adventures. I have discussed this with Kendra, the Editor of Slidell Magazine, and advised her that I will cease writing on a regular basis if, in my opinion, the quality of my work diminishes past a certain point.
Most of the people that attended the workshop were more advanced in their writing careers and talent than I am.
We were to write a story of only a few paragraphs that contained at least one of these words. My story was a brief summary of the one you just read.
When you go to a writing seminar, you gain knowledge a drop at a time. You do not attend, and leave saying, I have learned everything I need to know. I compare it to going to church. I do not leave church each Sunday a completely changed person; but I leave a little changed each time. Writing seminars are similar.
I used some of my prior knowledge of writing to finish the story. I used a tip that has been the most important I have learned in writing - write what you know about. I could no more write a story on the “emotions of a Superbowl quarterback" than I could the “apprehensions of a girl's first date.”
We participated in an exercise to help us develop a plot. A dictionary was passed around and each person opened it to a random spot. They then choose a word from the page and we all wrote it down. The dictionary was passed around the
I had to write what I knew about. I knew about my family.
To keep me going, I am doing more study and training on writing than I did in the first five years. I have listened to tape lectures on writing, read Steven King's book on how to write, paid for writing courses and
table with each person choosing a word at random. Some of the words chosen were potato, averse, derby, atom bomb and penalty.
John S. Case July 2020
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Dear Citizens, In these times of COVID-19, I would like to thank all of you for taking this public health emergency seriously. You followed the State of Louisiana’s Stay at Home orders and listened to the CDC’s recommendations for practicing social distancing and wearing masks in public. Because we took this seriously, we have successfully helped to responsibly expand capacity of our businesses, services, and places of worship in Slidell.
Mayor Cromer and Peggy Cromer distributing free face masks donated by Hanes to the public
on the front lines to keep our essential businesses open for our community during this pandemic. It was heartwarming to see our community pull together to take care of each other, making masks, delivering groceries to those in need, keeping essential services open and available to our citizens and in all ways making certain that our community was protected! I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for
Slidell Memorial Hospital to salute all of the
I ask everyone to continue to be personally and socially responsible and respectful of those around you. Remember, we are all in this together and together we will get through this and be stronger and better for it. Sincerely,
Mayor Greg Cromer
Thank you to Team Slidell Heroes at Acadian Ambulance Services, City of Slidell, Slidell Memorial Hospital, Ochsner Health Systems, Slidell Police Department, and Slidell Fire Department
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By Mike Rich, CFP® Pontchartrain Investment Management
DURING TIMES LIKE THESE, NOT KNOWING HOW TO READ IS A GOOD THING. This is my number-three grandson, Hudson. He’s a cute little guy, and Mary and I love him so much, we just want to pop. Lucky for us, he lives right here in Slidell, so we get to spend a lot of time with him. Hudson is only two years old, and he has a lot of advantages. He has good parents, a loving sister, and doting grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. He’s safe, healthy, and well-fed. And, when it comes to financial matters, he has a REALLY big advantage: Hudson doesn’t know how to read.
Internet and TV live for this kind of stuff, and they are taking advantage of COVID-19 big-time. Here are some recent headlines: “What corporate insiders are doing as the coronavirus spreads and the stock market tanks” “U.S. trade deficit falls 6.7% – impact from the coronavirus still unclear” Hudson is lucky that he has not yet mastered the English printed word. As I am writing this article, the financial markets are in a tizzy over the fallout from the coronavirus. Financial media folks you see on the
“Wall Street braces for more market volatility as wild swings become the ‘new normal’ amid coronavirus” “Make these moves now to save your golden years from ruin”
2065 1st Street, Slidell, LA mypontchartrain.com | 985-605-5066 Securities & advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, member FINRA/SIPC.
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Hudson can’t read any of this, so he can just go on living the carefree life of a toddler. For the rest of us, however, it’s difficult to escape, especially with 24/7 news coverage. The danger is that we read this stuff at our peril. To be sure, the coronavirus is serious. Although a lot of smart people are working on a vaccine to combat it, no one knows how long the scare will continue. I understand that. But I also know that financial media feeding frenzies do not help those of us who are serious about our money. Here are some things that drive me nuts:
■ When the media says investors
are doing this, or investors are doing that, most of the time they are not talking about investors. They’re talking about traders, the guys and gals on Wall Street who make their livings buying and selling financial
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products, oftentimes without even caring what they are dealing in, only that prices are moving in one direction or the other. In fact, much of the so-called “investing” is done by computer algorithms that probably have nothing to do with your longterm plans. If you are reading this article, my bet is that you are an investor, not a trader. Your time horizon is measured in years, not days. Do not let the talking heads tell you otherwise.
The coronavirus and the turmoil it has created will pass, and history tells us that financial markets will recover. If you are young and building your savings nest-egg, opportunities abound. If you are near or in retirement, you and your advisor have probably been working on a game plan for times like these, and big changes to that plan are not in order. It’s time to be like my grandson, Hudson. Stop reading.
■ The people who write for the
popular financial media sites will always have a reason that something happened. “Investors sell XXX over fears that the virus is on an uptick” or “Traders dump so-and-so because consumers are still holding back.” How do those writers know those things? My guess: they don’t, but it makes a good headline.
Mike Rich, CFP® Pontchartrain Investment Management 985-605-5064 email@example.com Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
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Creosote. Just the unappealing sound of the word induces the image and smell of sticky tar applied to utility poles and exposed wood. Just call creosote an unpleasant necessity. Many will remember the American Creosote Works that operated alongside Bayou Bonfouca from 1882-1972 was so much a source of pollution that the 54-acre area was declared a Super Fund site, where more than 170,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment was dredged up. The tally on contaminated groundwater removed is 17.6 million gallons, plus 45,000 gallons of creosote oil and counting. Thankfully, the site has been converted into Heritage Park and the restoration of the bayou culminated in 2018 with the opening of a 2.6 million dollar marina. Further back, in 1915, American Creosote Works’ predecessor, the Southern Creosoting Plant, operating on the west quadrant of Front Street and what is now Gause Blvd., burnt to the ground, with the loss in life of 55 workers and three firefighters, making it the worst man-made disaster in Slidell’s history.
It also prompted the move to Bayou Bonfouca. But, before those unhappy events, Slidell was a center of creosote production, aided by the abundant presence of the slash pine forests that stretched across the Northshore and into Mississippi and Alabama. Besides the timber, pitch, turpentine and coal tar, the basic ingredients of creosote, were produced on a large scale. In fact, the importance of creosote as a preservative was demonstrated nearby when, in 1870, a L&N train traveling from New Orleans to Mobile plunged into Bay St. Louis because the bridge pilings were not adequately treated and were eaten though by “teredos,” or marine boring worms. The bridge had been constructed less than a year before. The railroad would send J.W. Putnam to England to study waterproofing methods. Putnam brought back pressuring techniques that were first employed at the first creosote plant in the U.S. in Gautier, MS., about 70 miles east of Slidell, in 1874. A few years later, a creosote plant was built in Slidell alongside the tracks of the New
Orleans and Northeastern Railroad before the city itself was chartered, lending ample supply to treat the trestles and crossties that went to the railroad’s construction connecting New Orleans with the rest of the country. Obviously, creosote played a major part in the birth of Slidell. Wrote one newspaper at the time, “At the creosote works, there is quite a town being built, called Slidell, and a great deal of land in the vicinity has been bought by speculators. Several houses and stores have been put up lately and town lots are selling at good prices.” So impressed was Methodist minister G.R. Ellis that he described the works as “stupendous,” marveling at the 100-foot cylinders in which the wood was treated. The creosote works would come to employ several hundred men and, even after the disastrous fire of 1915, three years later, after America’s entry into World War I, a full-page ad in a special patriotic edition of the St. Tammany Farmer would declare, “The Southern Creosoting Company ranks foremost among the greater industrial plants of Slidell.”
Story by Ted Lewis Photographs provided by Alan Case and The St. Tammany Farmer The ad didn’t mention the fire, but did detail the creosoting process, detailing how rough-hewn lumber would be trimmed and shaped into its desired form and then steamed dry before being injected with creosote oil. The ad closed with an appeal by the management for the public to purchase war bonds. But inside the ad are signals of trouble to come. Advertising that your product is a “poisonous germicide” while bragging about being within easy access of Bayou Bonfouca would not be advisable today. Neither would one point out that the surplus oil was being stored in underground tanks. Finally, in 1972, the evitable happened – a fire destroyed the plant and ruptured the storage tanks, polluting the bayou almost beyond reclamation. “Biologically sterile” was the official description. Declared a Super Fund site, it took until 1997 for the bayou to be considered clean again. And, to this day, it is regularly supervised by the EPA and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. That Heritage Park, which is enjoyed by so many citizens, occupies the site of the old creosote plant and was declared a public health hazard in the mid-1990s, is a minor miracle. The opening of the marina even drew an “Excellence in Site Reuse” commendation from the EPA. Creosote continues to be employed in wood treatment, albeit in much more controlled conditions and no longer in Slidell. But there was a time when the smell of creosote was also considered the smell of money. CONTINUED >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 23
The Slidell Magazine staff has deep family connections with the Southern Creosoting Company. Writer Charlotte Collins' great-grandfather, Brick Pomeroy 'B.P.' Dunham, worked at the plant from 1906-1949. He spent many years as the plant's superintendent, living in a large home provided by the company on the creosote property. The picture above is believed to be the superintendent before B.P., although we're not certain.
Brick Pomeroy (B.P.) and Lucy Jane Hall Dunham at their home on the creosote plant property, with their children and a creosote employee, Elijah. Children l-r: Leighton Hall, Gladys "Boots", Pomeroy and Russell Dunham. Pomeroy Dunham was Charlotte's grandmother. Russell, was/is the "Dunham" of Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance in Olde Towne, the oldest insurance agency in Slidell (founded in 1903) owned by Charlotte's sister, Brenda Case, and John Case, The Storyteller of Slidell Magazine.
The Dunham family lived in this home in Olde Towne only for a short time before it caught fire and was destoyed. B.P. was the only family member home at the time and escaped by climbing down the bannister to safety. The family later moved to 1602 Bayou Lane, on the creosote property. That house is no longer there. Lucy Dunham McAllister remembers her family visits to her grandparent's house on the creosote property. "We would come every holiday. The house had plumbing and electricity even before Olde Towne did because it was hooked to the plant." Lucy talks of a building with scientists hard at work, formulating the chemicals. She also vividly and fondly recalls the smell of the creosote tar, and recognizes the smell to this day. She warmly recalls that "creosote smells like home." 24
A newspaper picture documents the 1972 fire that destroyed the creosote plant.
This full page advertisement in The St. Tammany Farmer, dated July 27, 1918, explains the creosoting process and its importance, albeit in a vernacular that would surely be avoided in present-day: "The main business of the company is the injection into lumber and timber of Creosote Oil or Dead Oil of Coal Tar. This oil is a poisonous germicide possessing properties which render wood impervious to atmospheric onslaughts and decay..." The advertisement concludes with a pledge of support for the efforts of World War I through war bond sales: "The whole organization is a model for any community as regards its patriotic stand during the present war; the officials are doing everything in their power to help the Government in its sale of bonds and war savings stamps and has always done its utmost to further the success of Slidell in filling its quota. Mr. Grant [Vice-President of the plant], when asked his opinion concerning the sale of government issues, regretted particularly the inability of the general public to realize the necessity of helping the Government in its war savings campaign. 'It is beyond my comprehension,' he said, 'how some people can go on ignoring the whole war,' and he and the other members of the Southern Creosote Company are actively engaged in dispelling, as far as in their power lies, any callousness or indifference to the great cause of humanity in which our people are engaged, and in paving the way to the war's speedy and victorious close."
This full page from The St. Tammany Farmer, dated November 9, 1918, is another advertisement by Southern Creosoting Company in support of the war efforts. It is a call to donate to 7 different organizations who support the troops worldwide by providing a "hut," or a place of respite and socialization. "Your Boy wants a place to rest, a place to get warm, a place to smoke and get a hot drink and hear somebody talk United States. He sees a light ahead! It's a hut! Do you think he cares whether that hut is run by the Knights of Columbus or the Y.M.C.A., Jewish Welfare Board or Salvation Army? Not much! He knows what he wants and he knows he'll get it - whatever uniform the fellow inside happens to be wearing. Your boy knows what real democracy means. He's fighting to make it something bigger and better and finer than it ever was before. He's the world's greatest authority on democracy today." It concludes with, "You have loaned your money to supply their physical needs. Now give to maintain that Morale that is winning the war!"
one way love
Story and photos by Donna Bush
Back in December, I received a phone call inquiring if I would volunteer my photography services to take high school senior portraits of homeless students in St. Tammany Parish for an organization known as One Way Love. This organization was founded by Rosemary Manit and her sister, Sandra Douglas, to assist the homeless high school students of St. Tammany Parish. Many of these students are homeless because they don’t have a safe living environment - an abusive home life, either verbal, physical or both. Both Rosemary and Sandra were sexually abused as children. They founded this organization to offer hope to similarly treated youth; to make certain they know their value and their worth; to know someone cares;
to know they are not forgotten; and that they are loved and seen. The organization does this by working with local school counselors to provide gift cards, clothing, and needed supplies, pay for driving school, help out with car repairs, hotel vouchers and much more. Each holiday, the students are showered with gifts. The community has pulled together to help these students. A Covington restaurant provided $2500 worth of gift cards. The Slidell Harley Davidson dealer gave them $20,000 worth of clothes. Planet Storage in Pearl River provided a storage unit where they could store donations. I wasn’t the only photographer to volunteer. Other photographers included Mark Smith, Carolyn Baringer,
Christina Lowrance, and Paul and Julie Wood. Lots of emails ensued, trying to determine the best location that would be convenient for all of the St. Tammany Parish students, photographers, and volunteers from One Way Love. We decided on Camp Salmen as a fairly central location with lots of outdoor options and a covered pavilion where cap & gown shots could be taken with a backdrop and all the necessary lighting. In total, we photographed 17 students, allowing lots of time with each, with multiple poses, and multiple outfits. Our photo shoot was March 7, and the day dawned as a beautiful crisp, cool, clear morning. Carolyn thought of everything – creating a map with all the photographer locations marked;
One Way Love is completely funded by donations. Annually, they present their fundraiser, A Night of Hope, at the Slidell Auditorium, catered by Speckled T’s, with music by Witness. A silent auction adds to the fun. Tickets are $60 each. In return, you receive delicious, gourmet food, complimentary wine or beer, and delightful music. Plus, you’ll be helping a worthy cause! Please support the work of this wonderful organization that has made such a difference in the lives of these young men and women. Volunteers are always needed to assist with events and as mentors, especially male mentors. Donations can be made via their website, onewaylove.org. One Way Love Mission Statement The courage to see those who are hurting. a spreadsheet for each photographer showing when to expect each student; she even brought mirrors for each photography spot, allowing the students to check their hair, clothes, etc. before each round of photos.
The courage to feel the sadness of others.
I made my way to the downed tree, happy that I had chosen that spot. There was lots of shade and options to move around the tree.
To break the cycle of homelessness.
I was able to visit and talk a little with each student. I quickly realized that I was truly the lucky one, meeting each of these amazing young people. I asked each what their plans were after graduation. Every single student had a plan. Some were joining the military. Some were going into nursing school. All knew exactly what they wanted to do. I thought back to when I graduated high school and I had no earthly idea what I wanted to do.
The courage to act when no one else will. One Way Love Goals To provide shelter and safety to the vulnerable and abandoned. To help youth live up to their potential and see the potential inside themselves.
I was incredibly impressed with their politeness, their demeanor, and their outgoing nature. With each student that visited me, my joy increased; until, by the end of the day, I was smiling from ear to ear, feeling so blessed to have participated. One Way Love's desire is to break the cycle of homelessness by providing : • Safe housing – most of their students are sofa surfers or living in a park or a shed; wherever they can find a place. All are in school, desiring to better themselves. • Life essentials and education supplies – these students don’t have the basics to survive, making it difficult to focus on school. One Way Love provides these basic needs. • Mental health and mentoring programs – One Way Love works with school counselors to provide desperately needed mental wellness and mentoring relationships, restoring a sense of self and community. • Single parent support – many single parents are struggling to survive and make things better for their children. One Way Love helps provide food and utility assistance. 27
Les Story by
EDITOR'S NOTE: At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US, and what would become "Quarantine" for Louisiana, I asked writer Leslie Gates to keep a journal. With so many changes and so much information (true and false) coming at us, I thought it was important to chronical the daily moments and feelings to preserve them in time. The truths we know NOW, were still very much in question THEN, as I'm sure will be the case months and years from now. Leslie's journal is a funny, scary, and heart-warming time capsule that documents what life in Slidell was like, in real time, as the world changed forever. ~ Kendra Maness, Editor
As I begin this daily Coronavirus journal, keep in mind that these words are only my thoughts, feelings, opinions and information of the day, and not intended to be 100% truth. By the time you read this, many facts will have changed, never existed in the first place, or possibly became even worse than what we imagined. This is just one account, written by a middle-class, stay-at-home mom in Slidell, Louisiana with her husband, 3 kids, 4 dogs, 1 cat and a bearded dragon. Just a tiny fish in a global pond, swimming day by day through the unknown muddy waters of this worldwide pandemic. And I pray that when we look back on what is about to happen, it won’t be as bad as predicted. God bless everyone as they hunker down at home or work and watch this scary, intimidating, and unfamiliar situation unfold. 28
MY-MY-MY CORONA Day 1: Monday, March 16, 2020 This is Day 1 of schools being closed. Restaurants and casinos have also shut down today, other than take-out and drivethrus. Found this out a few minutes ago as my friend, Karen, was watching the latest updates from her phone on my back porch. She is a single mom who relies on her second job as a restaurant hostess to pay the bills. I don’t know what to say to her. Ran to the grocery store and the parking lot was completely full. Went in for paper towels and toilet paper, came out with one box of Kleenex. Strangers were smiling and the checkout lady was extra helpful, although I overheard her telling a person in the other checkout that she is stressed. The person replied, “Me too. My company shut down and I have no income.” Is this really happening? What will people do without work? What will happen to the small businesses? The economy? All the what-ifs right now are really blowing my mind! Got a family text between me, my mom, sister and brother. My sister works in a hospital and has a low-grade fever. They must do temp checks every morning before entering work. I believe anything above 100.3 is Corona territory. My brother, a paramedic, isn’t worried a bit. Not sure he would even tell us if he was... I kicked the soccer ball in the backyard with our son a little while ago. It went over the fence to the neighbors behind us. Then, something strange happened. The neighbor immediately popped his head over, waved, and threw the ball back. Then I popped my
head over and gave his son a sucker. Now we know each others' names (although I have already forgotten his). It was the first interaction we have ever had in 11 years. My son and his girlfriend walked around the block and came back with a bouquet of picked flowers. She put them in a vase on the kitchen table. I wonder what will come of this as people are forced to slow down. My gut is telling me it will be much needed, but the news headlines make me feel guilty for even having the thought. According to social media, it seems most people are not scared, or just choose to hide their fears through hilarious Coronavirus memes. I will be keeping a log of the funnier ones. Laughter is definitely the best medicine to treat this virus right now and, apparently, the only medicine. Day 2: LA stats: Positive cases: 171 Deaths: 4 Clinical trial begins for possible COVID-19 vaccine in Seattle. Local restaurants providing curbside pick-up. Food donations for our hospital workers as well. Community seems to be supporting one another. All of this information I just gathered from my cell phone news feed. I can really feel the panic rise today as people hustle to get things they need. The social media vibe is even a little more serious, as I notice less jokes about Coronavirus and more fear-based questions and debates. It’s Day 2 of school being out. We woke up late because we can. As the cases rise, I have decided no more friends are coming over. We did however
drive out to a friend’s farm and adopted 5 baby chicks. Ran into the tractor supply store for chicken starter feed and somehow ended up with 2 baby ducks as well. Not too many people out and about since so many businesses have closed. The kids seem to like the excitement of everything; but, at the same time, they are starting to question what’s REALLY going on. Brian and I are trying to keep any anxiety to ourselves and the TV news to a minimum. On a good note, I was admiring the fresh picked flowers on our table again and, in the distance, I saw a roll of paper towels had mysteriously appeared on the holder. Am I already losing my mind on Day 2? I’ve been home with kids for 17 years. If Day 2 makes me lose my mind, that would just be embarrassing. Day 3: Positive: 240 Deaths: 5 Journaling the statistics may seem grim, but I’m guessing most people are doing the “daily check.” It’s hard not to when you are trying to gauge the fear factor of the day. The news is too unreliable right now. But numbers are solid. I can trust numbers. Folks inside the gas station were unusually friendly to one another. I got that same vibe after 9-11 and Katrina. Like people have become human again,. And, although I hate that more people are getting sick, and there was a new death today, this awakening of humanity, in my opinion, has been needed for a long time. Heading back to the grocery store again, the kids keep eating everything. Think it’s time they learned about rationing food. Tomorrow’s lesson - rationing toilet paper. #1, two squares, max. #2, five squares, max. Fold, wipe, fold again, wipe, fold a third time, wipe. If you've produced more than the instructed wipe protocol can handle, then let the shower take care of the rest. If you didn’t qualify for the shower, then wash your hands good, because we only have one-ply, and of course, because the government said so. Just had a thought about Mardi Gras and it makes me think that the numbers will be rising to higher levels in New Orleans because of all the tourists that visited from around the world. Surprised no one has mentioned that yet. Got an Amazon package from China today. It was something on back order that finally arrived. I kicked it into the front yard in a way someone would kick a live grenade. I'll give it about 48 hours before spraying it with Lysol and retrieving it.
Day 4: Positive: 347 / Deaths: 8 This sounds strange, but I have this peace about me, and I wonder if others do too. Part of it is not feeling like the only isolated person on the planet, as stay-at-home moms often do, but that’s not what I’m talking about. To think that right now, WORLDWIDE, this could be the only time since WWII that so much compassion and empathy is occurring all at once. In different languages and cultures of course; but, in essence, that the undeniable urge to reach outside of ourselves for the greater good is literally EVERYWHERE right now. Something each human being has been gifted with since birth but has lost with the demands of over working, over scheduling...screens. And now, as the entire world is forced to slow down, clearing more room for their hearts to see out, and climb out from under the rubble of unfulfillment... they are remembering the innocence of pure, non-ego-based living, and that it has been in them all along. At this very moment, people are seeing that pure joy was never in something they were chasing, but in what they were running from. Stillness, authentic selfless interactions, and people… mainly the people trying to steal their 4-roll pack of toilet paper, made from some off-brand company we have never heard of. Headed to bed now. Last thing I just heard before walking away from the TV is that the drug for Malaria can cure Coronavirus. We shall see what tomorrow holds. Day 4 (again) Just got word of a possible mandatory 2-week lock down, so I left my jammies on and went on ANOTHER hunt for TP. Someone gave a FB tip that Mizers had some, but by the time I got there, they were all gone. The stash of restaurant napkins we shove in the back of the glove box? Yep. Repurposing time! Filled my buggy with a 2-week supply of food and it will be the first time that I am doing a meal plan to ration food. These kids will eat everything in 2 days if I don’t provide strict instructions. That might require me scaring the crap out of them a little - nothing that will require therapy down the road, just the photos I took of the empty shelves in Walmart. There is no shame in using this opportunity to take a step up in my parenting skills. It is always a step up when you can finally get them to do something without any backtalk. They
could probably use a little reality check on how blessed they are anyway. UPDATE: I found FIVE single rolls of TP at a gas station on Old Spanish Trail! I only bought two, but damn, IT WAS HARD! Anyway, those guys at the gas station are my new heroes. Day 5: Positive: 479 / Deaths: 10 The kids have given in to the fact that friends can’t come over and that we have nowhere to really go, so they are starting to find constructive activities to do. My daughter has rearranged her room where my son now hangs out with her. They watch the chicks and ducks for hours. They usually never hang out like this, so it makes me happy. My daughter has changed the chick bedding 3 times in 2 hours to see which environment they like best. Pine shavings, dirt, or sand. I’ve been watching her go back and forth as I sit out back in my bathing suit hoping for a tan. Homeschooling Code: I’m sitting at my desk watching my child do her science project. I'm about to start cleaning the back yard of sticks and pinecones then start a bonfire. Can smell other people’s bonfires in the neighborhood and now I’m jealous. I’ve been checking the news feed on and off, but kinda needing a break from it today. Got word from a friend that the Z-pack (antibiotic) is showing promising results to treat this virus. Interesting. Most stores are still out of TP, hand sanitizer, bread, eggs, and cheese is slim pickins too. The 2-week lock down was just a rumor, but at least now we have plenty of food. My elderly mom lives alone and is feeling the isolation more than any of us, meaning me and my siblings. Did a 4-way Facetime call with her, which lifted her spirits greatly. I know I’ve mentioned many times over the years how much I hate screens, but they are helpful in times like these, aren’t they? I’m sure people’s spirits have been lifted by all these Coronavirus memes and jokes; I know mine have. It’s also been great for local restaurants to advertise these curbside meals they are providing. And seeing individuals offer up babysitting services for those who are still working while the kids are out of school makes my heart happy. Families are outside walking and riding bikes. Playing in their front yards. Waving at one another or starting a conversation with a neighbor they don’t know. Seeing calm in the middle of panic can really help people through their fears.
Day 6: Positive: 585 / Deaths: 16 It’s Saturday, so my husband is home. He works for the government where his job responds to these sorts of disasters. We are lucky that he still has a job, seeing that so many people don’t now. He is replacing old fence boards today with our son. My daughter is walking around the block and my other son is feeding the neighbor’s dogs. I’m sitting outside listening to the sound of fence boards cracking, birds chirping, and neighbors talking and laughing. It’s not quiet out here at all, yet, inside of me is a stillness that I’m not used to. And remember, I’m home pretty much all the time; so, it’s weird. I do recognize this feeling, but it’s been awhile. I don’t need a bunch of deep, thought provoking, emotionally heavy words to describe this feeling either. I know exactly what it is. It’s simply, PEACE. I also know that not everyone can feel this right now... Doctors, Nurses, CNAs, Paramedics and EMTs. Police Officers and Firefighters. If they weren’t out there, I wouldn’t feel this peace. Then there are news reporters, journalists and government workers. I watch some of them on TV trying to keep their eyes open as they work tirelessly to find the facts and deliver the latest information. Restaurant and grocery store workers still providing food. Gas station attendants aren’t getting much credit, and they are exposed to unknown “positives” probably more than anyone, with only a small piece of plastic hanging between them and the customer. There are so many heroes out there right now in the cracks and crevaces of society that we may never know about. Then there are the single parents trying to work and find somewhere for their children to go, or those that aren’t making the money right now to pay the bills. Small business owners worried about the future of their business. Elderly people in nursing homes or sitting at home alone. Charity organizations that have closed as they worry about the individuals they are unable to serve at this time. But, as I take note of all these things, I also notice where the need is great and struggle is apparent, others have stepped forward to help in the places where their hearts have led them to help. Peace could come in the form of giving to others, receiving from others, a word of encouragement in unlikely places, a quick laugh with a stranger in the grocery store because you are both buying pita bread to make spam sandwiches, organic soy milk to put in the crappy-O’s cereal, and 30
coffee filters to wipe our butts… making due with whatever is left on the shelves. After all this is said and done, you may find SOMETHING good out of this - inspiration, strength, perseverance, hope in humanity, or a positive pregnancy test. There is also talk of government checks being sent out and mortgage payment breaks. That would be some incredibly good news. Day 7: Positive: 837 / Deaths: 20 Our governor called for a stay-at-home order starting Monday at 5pm. People can still leave for food or medical services. People are sewing masks from home. Elon Musk and other car companies talk of producing ventilators, to help with the shortage. My chuckle of the day so far was on a Facebook post. A mom posted, “Tell me something your kids did today but refer to them as your students.” Of course, there were the normal type of answers. Then, there were THESE moms: “One of my students rubbed her whole body with an onion so she could smell like a porcupine.” “One of my students wrapped a battery in foil and wondered why they got shocked.” “My student snap chatted me a picture of waffles and asked me how to make them because she burnt herself.” Day 8: Positive: 1172 / Deaths: 34 Slidell Magazine is stopping production of the April edition, but John Case (The Storyteller) will be reading and recording his stories for people to enjoy on FB. Dallas apartment residents sing “Lean on Me” together from apartment windows. Democrats and Republicans are battling over a virus stimulus bill. Funny how our nation can come together for the good of the country, but the politicians cannot come to an agreement on something that can only be beneficial right now. That’s all the politics I will probably talk about. There are lots of people suffering financially right now. The lucky ones have essential jobs or can work from home. Lucky, meaning they get a paycheck. US Positive Cases: 41708 / Deaths: 537 (Up by 8,432 cases, 156 deaths in 24 hours) World Positive Cases: 372,563 / Deaths:16,381 (Up by 39,986 cases and 1,891 deaths in 24 hours). This shit is getting REAL.
Day 9: Positive: 1388 / 46 deaths They are only reporting numbers at noon every day now. All is quiet on the home front, but the kids are getting a little stir crazy. I have them making cards for the Slidell Ladies For Liberty to send out to troops. I was told this is the first time in 17 years that they haven’t been able to send packages to them. My sister works at SMH and said 30 patients possibly tested positive there, and there are only FOUR ventilators left. It’s hard to know what information to believe right now. It comes from so many different directions. Some based on facts and some on opinion, and as most of us sit in our homes right now watching different news channels, FB posts, and Twitter feeds, we don’t know what to do other than clean out a pantry or weed a garden to calm our minds from it all. It’s OK to feel safe by keeping up with the latest fear of the day, but I’ve had my limit and need to shut it down and do something with the kids. It’s 4pm now and my son and I played tennis in the driveway for an hour. Was a nice break and a beautiful day for it. Almost every day has been beautiful. It is indeed getting scarier as the numbers rise, especially since the Louisiana Governor just reported we have the fasting growing cases per capita in the world. THE WORLD! It's predicted death cases will rise to as many as 2.2 million if we don’t "flatten the curve." Honestly, this is the first day I have felt anxiety over it all. I feel it in other people too. According to the New Orleans mayor, 50% of EMS are quarantined in the city. My brother, a paramedic for Acadian in Slidell, told me they are sending some of their people to NOLA. Numbers continue to rise, and predictions are getting worse. I wonder how long it will be until I see a local death and then recognize the name. Day 10: Positive: 1795 / 65 deaths Just woke up to a wonderful smell. My husband put a big roast in the crock pot this morning. Woo hoo! Two days of food! Taking the kids to my mom's house today for about 3 hours of yard work. They are sitting around too much, and I keep seeing all these parents on FB taking the time to teach life lessons. I think it’s amusing but it also makes me feel like I should step up my life lessons game, so, yard work it is. Yard work done. Kids worked hard and we got to have a social distancing conversation
with my 74-year-old mom who has been in her home alone for 15 days. If I had to describe the vibe today, it’s a sort of “eh.” I think people are tired of reading and hearing information that they can’t quite confirm. Our brains are tired of all these “what-if” scenarios, good and bad. I’m taking a break from going down the information rabbit hole. Time to come up for air... (3 hours later...) Well, that didn’t last long. Had a social distancing glass of wine in the front yard with my friend who works at a hospital lab. We went down a BIG scientific rabbit hole of how the combo of an anti-parasitic and antibiotic drug can cure a virus. She analyzes people’s blood work and said she is seeing very strange results. Made us wonder how long this virus has REALLY been here, and why the tests were not here sooner, especially knowing Mardi Gras would happen. There is also talk of how much this virus seems to be mutating. Day 11: LA Stats: 2,305 positives / 83 deaths According to Nola.com, Drew Brees pledges $5 million to LA in 2020 and to feed 10,000 people a day. Love that guy. A 17-year-old died from the virus today. The cases have gotten younger and there is more than one strain that could cause symptoms to look different and possibly affect younger people. The mutation thing again. There was also an updated symptom list put out today listing 7 more possible symptoms. There are gonna be a lot of people sitting at home today, convinced they have the virus now. Even if their diarrhea and nausea is because they ate too many cans of chili and Dinty Moore beef stew or they have a headache from staring at news updates for days on end. If you could turn the volume up in the US right now, all you would hear people saying for the rest of the day is, “I KNEW I HAD IT!” I wonder how many Coronavirus memes have been created up to this point. If anything is keeping people sane, it’s the memes, for sure. About to play some driveway tennis with my kids again and do the daily wave and greeting exchange of neighbors walking by. I don’t remember having so many friendly neighbors before this, nor do I recognize most of them (and we live in a very small neighborhood). I’m expecting many people will come out of this pandemic with new friends. And a new outlook on life.
5pm: Just drove down Gause to drop the cards off for the Ladies For Liberty. I’m thinking all these cars are just taking joy rides to get out of the house because there is not much going on around here. Shopping mall parking lots are empty and not very many cars are in fast food restaurant drive-thrus. Well, except for Chick-fil-A, of course. Not even a viral pandemic can make that line short. That should be their new slogan: “Not even a viral pandemic can shorten our lines! We’re THAT GOOD!” The snowball stand on Military Rd. has a long line again. Look, if I’m going down, I’m going down holding a wedding cake snowball with condensed milk, while saying, “I KNEW I HAD IT!” Day 12: Lots of people are complaining about being stuck in their homes. After 17 years, it doesn’t faze me a bit. Maybe this is what I have been training for all along. Who knows. It is good to see that people are spending this quality time with their kids though. Playing games, building forts, teaching them something new. There is a lot of fear today as the numbers rise, but a lot of memories being made for quarantined families. I’ve left my quarantined home for an emergency situation, so now I’m quarantined in a Dallas hotel for the weekend with my sister. Haven’t posted anything about it because people are beginning to get angry at anyone leaving their homes. I get it, but I had no choice, and the precautions I am taking are ridiculous, but necessary, according to everything I’ve heard. A few hours down the road we wondered if we should take the chance at a gas station bathroom or just find a bush somewhere. Needed gas anyway, so I pulled in to fuel up and automatically grabbed the pump handle and started pumping. I hear my sister's panicked voice, “Did you use the glove?!” CRAP! I made sure not to touch my face for the rest of the fuel pumping; which, of course, makes my face automatically itch. When finished, I opened my truck door, reached for the sanitizer my sister was already handing me, sanitized my hands, the door handle, my hands again… then finally scratched that itch in my eye without thinking. Burned any virus residue RIGHT OUT of my eyeball. As we slowly and cautiously opened the gas station door with our gloved hands, we saw about 5 people inside. Each time I passed a person, it was as if we were both the positive side of a magnet, automatically repelling away
from one another as we passed. Once in the bathroom, I looked around with one unsanitized eyeball and thought, "Yep, this is where I’m gonna get it. This is where it all goes down.” Alone, inside that small, viral escape room of sorts, I stood there, studying the situation for clues on how I could do what I needed to do, and escape uninfected. I thought, well, my glove is already tainted, so, I can’t touch the toilet paper to lay it on the seat… I’ll just hover. While hovering, I was trying to decide if the hand under my glove would be considered sanitized, even though I touched the glove to put it on. I decided that it was good enough, so, once done, I removed the glove, grabbed my TP (while thinking, OMG! They have TP!), wiped, then flushed with my foot. Used my elbow to turn the sink water on, then off. The paper towel dispenser wasn’t hands-free, so I skipped that step. My sister was waiting outside the bathroom door to go next, her face looked panicked again. “Did you just touch the doorknob with your bare hand?!” CRAP! Immediately, my nose started itching. ...We just pulled up to the hotel parking lot in Dallas. My sister and I may be the only people here. We are breathing a sigh of relief (into our masks) that we made it into Texas. The latest news around the time we hit Shreveport was that they are blocking LA people from entering Florida and Texas. From that moment, until sitting in this parking lot, I felt like we were driving the leprosy car…I could FEEL people behind us staring at my license plate in disgust, making calls to report us to the COVID police. I remembered the latest 5G/Corona conspiracy (although I never knew what it was about) and wondered if the British male voice controlling my car was leading us to a “camp” surrounded by barbed-wire fences. And, as all the Louisiana people are driving through a security gate, there is a big guy in a full chemical suit stamping permanent red “C’s” on our foreheads. Didn’t happen though. I’m going to back my truck into this spot that has a brick wall behind it. It will hide my license plate for when the cops do a parking lot drive thru check later... Well, made it to the room. When the guy at check-in asked me for my license, I handed it to him slowly and tried making conversation to disrupt his train of thought. He looked at it, and handed it right back, glancing at me awkwardly. Like I wasn’t acting strange 31
enough already, my sanitized eyeball was still giving me trouble, so it appeared that I was also winking at him. I don't see people wearing masks and gloves here yet, but the streets are the same as in Slidell, empty. Used my elbow to push the elevator button and there was another person in there. I panicked a little, did a 6 foot measurement in my mind, but realized there was nothing I could do anyway. We both just automatically stood in opposite corners and held our breaths. At least I did. Once in the room, I put hand sanitizer on my hands, retrieved my sister’s mega-sized can of Lysol, rubbed hand sanitizer on THAT, then back on my hands again, and sprayed everything down in the room. I opened the door again to spray the outer handle, then realized I didn’t spray the inner handle first, so I sprayed that too, and then just sprayed my hand. Now, we are sitting in the room, high on Lysol fumes, and wondering where and HOW to eat something. Found a list of places that were delivering and picked one that sounded less virus-y. Just for fun, I asked if they would deliver a bottle of wine and they said YES! There are five states right now that have temporarily allowed to-go alcoholic drinks, and lucky for us, Texas is one of them. YEE HAW! On a more serious note… LA Stats: 2,746 positive cases / 119 deaths Day IDK Tues? The 7th? It's been awhile since my last entry, as you can tell by the numbers. So sad. 16,284 positive cases / 582 deaths My child got mail today from one of her friends that lives a few neighborhoods over. Not email or text mail, but a REAL handwritten letter placed in an envelope with a stamp. Not only do I have no clue what day it is, I’m also beginning to wonder if we have time warped back to 1980. I put a sign up by our street that reads, “Happy Quarantine Trail. (Get your happy thought of the day)”. It leads into the woodsy part of our side yard for the neighborhood walkers to detour through. My daughter wrote happy thoughts on strips of paper that sit in a bowl on a small table at the end of the trail. We have started with 15 thoughts. We'll see if anyone takes the bait. Other than that, I’m out front doing yard work. ...Seven long hours of yard work done. There was a lady walking her dog. She couldn’t
see me because I was trimming behind a bush. She passed the Happy Quarantine Trail sign, stopped, turned around, and went up the trail. I yelled out, “YAY!” Scared the poor lady. She came out with her happy thought and a big smile. She said it made her day. I told her to come back tomorrow. April 8: I don’t think I will look at the statistics today. I did, however, check the Happy Quarantine Trail and there are 3 missing happy thoughts. YAY! April 14: 6 days have passed since my last entry, but I can sum it up easily. Yard work every single day. Just started a vegetable garden with my son and a fairy garden with my daughter. Need to make more happy quarantine thoughts. LA stats: 21,016 cases / 884 deaths April 15: Robocall from Superintendent Trey Folse. The Governor has announced mandatory school closures for the rest of the school year. April 26: Final entry... Numbers as of today: LA cases: Positive: 26,773 / Deaths: 1,670 US cases: Positive: 928,619 / Deaths: 52,459 As I bring this journal to a close, all jokes aside, my heart goes out to everyone that has been affected by this. Financially, emotionally, and most importantly, those who have lost their lives, the families that grieve the loved ones they lost, and those currently hospitalized. I don’t know why this happened, and I’m not going to attempt to find the big meaning in it all, like I usually do. It’s not my place. Everyone has their own stories and the lessons learned within those stories. Even our children. And it’s not over yet. Once this invisible enemy is defeated, we will learn that those stories and lessons of heroism, strength, compassion, family memories, connections, patience, gratitude, perseverance, and many others, will live on throughout history. There are billions of personal stories around these messages or lessons, but in each one is a small fight within this bigger battle; and, when added up, we may just realize that it WAS the biggest part of our victory. God bless you and your families.
EDITOR'S NOTE: At the time of publishing, June 22, 2020, LA cases: Positive: 50,239 / Deaths: 3,004 US cases: Positive: 2,324,956 / Deaths: 121,766 Worlwide cases: 8,546,919 / Deaths: 456,726
LAGNIAPPE: Things that will forever remind you of the Coronavirus: Flatten the curve Self-quarantine Toilet paper Toilet paper memes Toilet paper hoarding Toilet paper ANYTHING Social distancing Face touching Hand washing Drive-thru testing Curbside meals Chinese virus Face mask Homemade masks Hand sanitizer TYLENOL, not Advil Fever, cough, shortness of breath Slow the spread Ventilator shortage Confirmed cases Empty shelves Worldwide Pandemic Tom Hanks Murder Hornets Tiger King 6 feet Invisible enemy 15-day challenge Governor Andrew Cuomo Essential workers Phase I, II, and III
IMPORTANT MOMENTS TO REMEMBER: (Copied from Facebook with edits and additions) -Gas below $1.75 -Schools canceled for the year -Tape on the floors at grocery stores to help distance shoppers (6ft) from each other -Limited number of people inside stores, therefore, lineups outside the store (Kenney's Seafood, OMG) -Non-essential stores and businesses mandated closed
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-Parks, trails, entire cities locked up -Entire sports seasons canceled -Concerts, festivals, entertainment events - canceled -Weddings, graduations - canceled
-Churches are closed -No gatherings of 50 or more, then 20 or more, now no gatherings of 5 or more -Children's outdoor play parks are closed -Shortage of masks, gowns, gloves for our frontline workers -Shortage of ventilators for the critically ill -Panic buying sets in and we have no toilet paper, no disinfecting supplies, no paper towels, no laundry soap, no hand sanitizer -Shelves are bare -Manufacturers, distilleries, etc. switch their lines to make visors, masks, hand sanitizer and PPE. People sewing masks from home to donate to hospitals
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-Borders closed to all non-essential travel -Stadiums and recreation facilities open for the overflow of Covid-19 patients -Press conferences daily from the President -Daily updates on new cases, recoveries, and deaths - Naval hospital ships “Comfort” and “Mercy” deployed to East and West coast to help with hospital overflow -Barely anyone on the roads -People wearing masks and gloves outside -Essential service workers are terrified to go to work -Medical workers are afraid to go home to their families - TV commercials made specific to this situation, with added messages such as, “Stay home, stay safe,” “Reach out to loved ones from a distance” and “Thank you to our frontline heroes."
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- Pizza commercials offering “No contact delivery”
- Long lines at Lowes and Home Depot as people make use of their time with yardwork and home improvements
Certified Health Coach
by Jeff Perret, DVM
CORONA VIRUS AND OUR PETS The short answer is “No.” But nothing is ever that simple. For the longer answer, read on.
In case you haven’t heard, there’s a pandemic on. Late last year, someone in Wuhan, China apparently ate an animal in a market, and thanks to a mutation, the entire globe is now dealing with the novel (new) Human Coronavirus, now officially classified as SARS-CoV-2, and the respiratory disease it causes, known as COVID-19. I don’t profess to be an expert on the subject, but there are some common Corona concerns related to veterinary medicine. When I need information on this situation, I turn to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA; what the AMA is to human medicine or the ADA is to dentistry); to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The first, most obvious question for a veterinarian about SARSCoV-2 would probably be “Can my dog or cat catch this thing?”
In February 2020, samples from the nose and mouth of a 17-year-old pet Pomeranian in China tested positive for the virus. This dog’s housemate tested negative. Both pets belonged to a human patient who had been positively diagnosed with COVID-19, and both were being held in quarantine. On March 19, a similar scenario unfolded, with one pet dog in a COVID-19 patient’s household testing positive, and another testing negative. The positive Pomeranian dog has since died, presumably of unrelated causes; he was, after all, 17 years old, and suffered from pre-existing health issues. But neither he, nor the second positive dog, nor either of the other 2 negative dogs in these households, ever showed any symptoms related to SARSCoV-2. The consensus of scientists in China and around the world is that there is no evidence that domestic animals, pets included, can spread SARS-CoV-2 to humans, despite these positive tests. A couple of dogs have tested positive for the virus in the US more recently, but the bottom line holds true; no serious threat exists that we can catch it from our dogs. Cats are another story. Like dogs, they can’t spread the virus to humans, but a few felines, especially big zoo cats, have tested positive and even showed symptoms related tot the virus. Again, our common pet house cats are’t a threat. So, unless you’re inspired by “Tiger King” and your LSU obsession to acquire a new 650-pound pet, don’t lose any sleep over the feline angle.
Dr. Jeff recommends using:
OUTDOOR PARTIES? NO PROBLEM. NO FLEAS.
ONLY WITH BRAVECTO. ®
To complicate things just a bit, there are a couple of Canine Coronaviruses that have been around for quite some time. As most of the public has learned by now, Corona is a family of many viruses affecting mammals and birds. Canine Enteric Coronavirus (CCoV) causes at most mild diarrhea that lasts for a day or two in young puppies. Many veterinarians, myself included, consider it a non-issue. Canine Respiratory Coronavirus (CRCoV), identified in 2003, is an even less significant source of disease in dogs. Think of these viruses as “cousins” of SARS-CoV2, perhaps, but relax; neither has anything to do with COVID-19, despite the similar names. Another reasonable question might be whether our pets can act as passive carriers of the virus on their skin or fur. According to the CDC, transmission of SARSCoV-2 primarily occurs through contact with an infected patient's bodily secretions, such as saliva or mucus droplets from a cough or a sneeze. Transmission via touching a contaminated surface or object (a fomite, to us nerdy science types) is also possible, but that appears to be a secondary route. Hard, non-porous surfaces like countertops and door knobs transmit viruses better than clothes, paper money or pet fur, because porous, especially fibrous, materials absorb and trap the virus, making it harder to transmit through simple touch. As a result, many practicing veterinarians across the country, including yours truly, have begun a no-contact or limited-contact policy, whereby pet owners are handing their animals over to hospital personnel in the parking lot, near the front door, or in the waiting room. The necessary exam, procedures and treatments take place inside the clinic, while client communication and payment are handled separately. This practice allows us to continue to offer essential care to pets during the crisis, while still doing our best to protect ourselves and our families. Bottom line, your pets are still welcome inside my office, but you’re not, or at least not fully, at least for a while. I hope you understand. All these factors notwithstanding, it would certainly make sense for anyone positively diagnosed with COVID-19 to avoid handling, snuggling and petting their animals if the pets are going to come in contact with other people later. Things change quickly. Some veterinary hospitals may close altogether. Research may reveal new findings related to pets and SARS-CoV-2. Stay informed. Consult your veterinarian to get answers to your petrelated questions, and to be sure you’ll have access to veterinary health care and needed medications as the situation evolves. I was hoping we’d all wake up on April 1 to find out this was just a big joke; no such luck. So be smart, stay safe, WASH YOUR HANDS WELL AND OFTEN, and take care of yourselves and each other.
370 GATEWAY DR, SUITE A SLIDELL firstname.lastname@example.org
Fritz • No Exposure to Diseases or Parasites from Other Dogs • Medication Administered • Less Separation Anxiety • Insulin Injections • Waste Cleanup • Mail Pickup • Daily Walks • Nail Trim
Gina Triay 35
“Your Estate Matters” By Gina C. Noto, Trust Paralegal/Notary Public
IS A REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST RIGHT FOR MY FAMILY? Lately, many clients are inquiring about revocable living trusts. This advanced estate planning tool can work beautifully to accomplish a client’s wishes, both upon incapacity and after death. But this is not always the best estate planning tool for everyone. A client who chooses a revocable living trust as part of his or her comprehensive estate plan must be willing to do some legwork during life, so that the trust works as it should upon death. This means the client must know what types of property, accounts, investments, and retirement assets they own, and how those assets are titled. Surprisingly, that is not always the case! Savings bonds or a stock certificate can be tucked in a drawer for many years and forgotten about. Mineral rights can be inherited through many generations and be difficult to determine ownership. It is necessary to locate all assets so that they can be retitled into the name of the trust. Think of the trust as a box--upon creation of the trust, it is an empty box. It must be filled with assets, or “funded” so that upon death, nothing (no assets that would be subject to probate) is owned individually and there is no need for a Succession/Probate. Some assets naturally avoid probate as, by contract, they are paid to named beneficiaries (for example, retirement accounts, annuities, and life insurance), so they would not be retitled to the trust in most cases. Essentially, having a living trust is like getting a prepaid succession. The cost to set up a revocable living trust is more than a Will because it is more involved. As mentioned above, if the legwork is done during life and the trust is properly funded, it will avoid Succession.
long as property owned in other states is titled in the name of the revocable living trust. 3. Privacy > A properly funded trust will not require a Succession/Probate upon death, so it is not typically required that a trust be filed in the public record as a Will is required to be filed in the Succession. 4. Ease of administration upon incapacity or death > Since a trustee is named in advance, that fiduciary is in place to handle the trust assets upon incapacity or death, without needing a Guardianship (called Interdiction in Louisiana) or Succession/Probate. Otherwise, many of the same planning options can be done in a Last Will and Testament. Both living trusts and Wills are accompanied by ancillary documents for a comprehensive estate plan, which typically include a Power of Attorney for assets, a Health Care Power of Attorney, and Living Will, as well as updating all beneficiary designations for those IRAs, 401ks, life insurance, etc. Our goal is to provide sound advice to establish an estate plan that is best suited for you and your family. It feels good to accomplish this lifelong goal—TRUST me!
Some benefits of revocable living trusts are: 1. Incapacity Protection > The designated trustee can handle all assets titled in the name of the trust in the event of incapacity. 2. Avoid Probate > A properly funded trust will not require a Succession/Probate upon death. Ancillary probate (a probate proceeding outside of, and in addition to, the state where domiciled) can also be avoided as
See other articles and issues of interest!
Gina C. Noto is our Estate Planning and Trust Paralegal, and a lifetime Louisiana Notary Public. She has worked at Ronda M. Gabb & Associates, LLC “A Louisiana Estate Planning & Elder Law Practice” since January 2000, and has nearly 40 years experience in office administration. She graduated from Cabrini High School in New Orleans and received a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies from Southeastern Louisiana University. Gina is a native of New Orleans and resident of the Northshore since 1991.
40 Louis Prima Drive (off Hwy 190, behind Copeland’s) • Covington, Louisiana • (985) 892-0942 • www.rondamgabb.com
We look forward to welcoming everyone and our Dance Recitals back to The Harbor Center. To once again share life and create memories! How We Are Keeping Our Guests Safe When They Return: • Providing hand sanitizer stations • Sanitizing frequent touch points hourly during events • New floorplans that provide social distancing
Check out our new website!
• Conducting wellness checks of staff • Staff will wear masks • Sanitizing the facility & equipment after each event • We encourage guests to wear masks
THANK YOU to all of the Slidell Magazine Facebook followers for your pictures! Here are just a few of the pictures we received. These are snapshots of Slidell in the spring of 2020: We ate drive-thru dining We held drive-by parties We visited with our relatives through nursing home glass. We played dress up, as only true Louisianians can do, and poked fun at Tiger King (because it was just sooo easy). We homeschooled our kids with celebrity help, we held solitary graduation ceremonies, and learned to appreciate our teachers, while growing closer to our children. We Googled and we gardened. We Facebooked, Face Timed and face masked. We prayed to the angels in Heaven, honored the healthcare angels on Earth, and looked to the skies for the flight of the Blue Angels above us. We delivered food, We hoarded toilet paper, We bought local. We canceled Easter, Regretted Mardi Gras, And missed Jazz Fest terribly. We celebrated... Baby births Small victories New beginnings. We captured the moments as best we could. We mourned those we lost. We weathered the storms of Cristobal, conspiracy theories, community concerns, and conscience. We learned how to Zoom. We endured. Weâ€™re finding our way through this together Slidell. We got this. Stay strong.
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On the Lake!
As part of the CENTURY 21 system, I am poised and READY to help with all of your Real Estate needs. Working with Buyers and Sellers is one of my Specialties.
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WENDY P. ENGLANDE,
REALTOR, ABR, SRS, RENE, MRP
My knowledge of the process, as well as all of my resources, is key to giving you the service needed to bring you through the experience and get your desired result. I am fluent in both Spanish and English. I also hold the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) and Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) designations. If you’re in the market to buy or sell Real Estate, put my hard work and dedication to work for you! Your REALTOR®,
Darayda Pares De Baez
ction New Constru
664 Dockside Drive The Landings $449,000 181 Cypress Lakes Oak Harbor $349,000
968 Valerie Breckenridge $295,000
249 Rue Jonathan French Branch $349,000
A gated community houses this beautiful home with an open floor plan to kitchen & living room. Separate dining & breakfast area, large master suite & bath with walk-in closet, separate tub & shower. Custom trim work. Large bedrooms with plenty closet space, walk-in laundry room. 2 car garage. Large kitchen, granite countertops. Beautiful green grass in the over-sized fenced yard.
C21IR.com | 985-643-4200 | 2160 GAUSE BLVD. SUITE 100 | SLIDELL, LOUISIANA 70461 EACH OFFICE IS INDEPENDENTLY OWNED AND OPERATED.
YOUR SLIDELL REAL ESTATE COMPANY Whether you are relocating to Slidell from another state or moving across town, CENTURY 21 Investment Realtyâ€™s Relocation Services Division makes it a smooth, hassle-free experience.
CALL OUR RELENTLESS AGENTS! TRESSA BELL
Build your me! Dream Ho 55 N Treasure Isle Rd Lot size: 100x293x100x314 $289,900
229 Leeds St. Turtle Creek $439,000
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36282 Sigrid Lane Brownsvillage $299,900
3513 Jackson Blvd Chalmette, LA $242,900
664 Dockside Drive The Landings $449,000
344 Stonebridge Loop Stonebridge Estates $354,000
Beautiful S 2008 Sunset Blvd. Lakeshore Estates $718,000
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JACKIE MILLER BROKER/OWNER 504-250-0469 JACKIE.MILLER@C21IR.COM
Lot 111A Lakeshore Boulevard Lakeshore Estates $180,000
CARLENE ALFONSO OWNER 985-643-4200 CARLENE.ALFONSO@C21IR.COM
C21IR.com | 985-643-4200 | 2160 GAUSE BLVD. SUITE 100 | SLIDELL, LOUISIANA 70461 EACH OFFICE IS INDEPENDENTLY OWNED AND OPERATED.
Slidell Magazine - 117th Edition (July 2020)