THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF SLIDELL
Vol. 122 December 2020
WE KEEP IT FRESH
SAY KEEP IT POSITIVE
Inspiration Tree Ad 102119 Slidell Mag.pdf
Editor’s Letter It’s an incredible time to be a woman. I’ve never given a whole lot of thought to my gender, its benefits or its impediments. Well, I take that back...when it comes to a flat tire on the side of the interstate, I thank God I’m a woman. (Don’t judge Karen, you know you feel the same way.) This fall saw unprecedented female pride and empowerment in our country and our community. Being a woman became the cool thing to be and I hope all of my sisters out there are celebrating. Ladies, it does NOT matter who you voted for. I’ll repeat that to prevent my mailbox from overflowing...it does NOT MATTER. As my wonderful, empowered, badass veteran friend Kentrell Jones says, “Women everywhere should rejoice! Maybe she wasn’t your choice or candidate but this means that one day a woman who is your choice can and will hold the highest and second highest position in the USA!” She posted this on Facebook with a graphic that said, “Make sure to wear shoes ladies, there’s glass everywhere!” Indeed.
In the past three months, our country bid farewell, and paid great homage, to a female pioneer of gender equality who held one of the most powerful positions in our nation; and the outpouring of respect and gratitude was overwhelming. Her replacement? A female, from New Orleans no less, making her the first Supreme Court justice from our great state. Then, in November, our country elected the first female vice president and the highest-ranking female elected official in U.S. history. Locally, the pink police car rolled through the streets of our city, uniting our community and raising money and awareness for the fight against a formidable female opponent, breast cancer. Also here in Slidell, East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity kicked off their 5th year of the Rosies Women Build, which saw nearly 200 women work together to fundraise for the charities of our area, while networking and learning construction skills that will enable them to be more independent. This month’s edition of Slidell Magazine highlights 5 female Law Enforcement Officers, two of which were ‘firsts” in their professions. And all of which are spectacular. To all of my sisters-in-spirit, I say ATTA GALS!!
COVER: “THE BRIGHT LIGHT STILL SHINES”
MAGAZINE STAFF Kendra Maness Editor / Publisher Editor@slidellmag.com
Kendra Maness Editor / Publisher
Michael Bell Graphic Designer Graphics@slidellmag.com
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS John Case “The Storyteller”
Donna Bush Stories Through My Lens
Scarlett Maness Women of the Thin Blue Line
Ted Lewis Slidell History
Leslie Gates Crimmi-Mommly Insane
Jeff Perret, DVM Pet Points
Mike Rich Making Cents of Your Money
Ronda M. Gabb Legal-Ease
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nancy pratt Congratulations Nancy on your second Slidell Magazine cover! Nancy Pratt is a multimedia artist and teacher, dance instructor, event coordinator and creator of The Guide to Being Fancy who currently resides in Slidell. She has had the fortune of being selected to do a mural for the City of Slidell, as part of the Celebrate Slidell series, which can be viewed at the St. Tammany Fire Protection District 1 Headquarters on Robert Blvd. Fancy Nancy was also asked to do a floral remembrance mural for Bella Style Salon which you can see on the exterior of their Olde Towne location. You can find her artwork all around Slidell, along with her fashion line #PUNKFANCY at the new Madisonville Art Market. Miss Nancy is an arts and crafts teacher for youth and adults. She teaches monthly classes, camps and parties. Currently, she has Fancy’s Workshop - a place where children of all ages can make beautiful gifts for their loved ones. Schedule & tickets are available at youth events on her website, thefancynancy.com. See her & shop at the Olde Towne Art Market at Green Oaks Apothecary from 5-9 on December 12th.
PO Box 4147 Slidell, LA 70459 www.slidellmag.com 985-789-0687
Etsy: ArtByNancyPratt Insta: @thefancynancy 5
Women of the Thin Blue Line
Story by Scarlett Maness
“And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak; that we are all that stands between the monsters and the weak.” - Michael Marks -
School Resource Officer, Slidell PD
“The Lioness” Imagine this…It’s your child’s first day of school, EVER. You have that separation anxiety that comes from not knowing what your child will be doing and who they will be with. Your child is anxious too, even clingy. You kiss them goodbye and, with a mildly optimistic smile, you part ways hoping that someone, anyone, at school will treat your child as they would their own. You see the Slidell Police unit parked in front of the school and you breathe a sigh of relief. Someone here will protect my child as their own. That someone at Bayou Woods Elementary is Office Amore’ Neck. Officer Neck describes herself as a lioness. "I am there to protect my cubs.” Amore’ says she was approached by a SPD Captain about becoming a School Resource Officer (SRO) because the department was interested in dual duty officers. During the school year, Officer Neck is an SRO and, when school is out, she works the streets as the first and only female motor officer. She can be seen in her neon shirt, riding the streets of Slidell on her Harley Davidson police motorcyle. Amore’s family and friends started a fan club for her and can be seen sporting signs at parades and other
events that Amore’ rides in. Amore’ also gives credit to the men she works with. “They allow me to prove what women can do. There is a mutual respect.”
want what’s best for them. We should be the ones they run to when they need help; the ones they can trust and who love them without even knowing them."
In 1999, Amore’ started working with St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s office as a reserve Criminal Patrol Deputy, at the suggestion of her wife, who is also an LEO (Law Enforcement Officer). She says that, after her first shift, “I was hooked.” After moving to St. Tammany Parish, she worked in the parish jail as a corrections officer. She then transitioned to the Criminal Patrol Division as a Corporal. The spectrum of her experiences - chasing criminals to protecting children - comes naturally for Amore' because she is a parent. “I asked to be at an elementary school with smaller kids who haven’t been tainted by the media or friends who think that all police officers are bad. I want to make an impression that police officers
Children can be intimidated by the uniform and the equipment LEOs wear. Amore’ says the children express that her gun, handcuffs and pepper spray are the most important things she wears. Amore’ tells the students that the education behind the uniform is her most important tool and she encourages them to complete their education to be the best at whatever they choose. All police officers have to complete 40 hours of SRO training. This includes drills that simulate active shooter scenarios. Amore’s role at the school is protection and not discipline. She knows the importance of being approachable. She is loyal to her oath, and to her cubs.
The word "Shero" has been around since 1892. Oxford dictionary defines a shero as "a woman admired or idealized for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities; a heroine." 6
Major Cathy Porter
St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office
“Tough Love” Cathy Porter didn’t like accolades. She believed that every honor she received was part and parcel of the oath she took to protect and serve. Her work ethic was stellar. She wore her uniform and her badge with pride and professionalism. She earned the respect of peers, professionals, victims and offenders alike. She was bold and blunt, and epitomized tough love. But she was relatable and empathetic, making her the perfect mix for law enforcement. Cathy Porter’s long career in police work started with Slidell Police Department in 1970. She was a young mother with two small children when she started in dispatch and discovered her passion for law enforcement. That passion led to criminal patrol, investigations, juvenile division, internal affairs, training and the establishment of a field-training program for officers. Cathy retired, more than once, but found her way back at the request of her superiors and a need to be needed. Cathy Porter was fiercely determined to be known as a good police officer, not a good female police officer. “I don’t believe police work is a man’s occupation. I pull my weight like any man,” Cathy said in an interview. And that belief earned her the respect of her male peers and superiors, leading to many promotions in a career spanning over 40 impressive years. A pioneer in female law enforcement in St. Tammany Parish, Cathy was the first female criminal patrol officer in Slidell and the first female division commander. She rose to the rank of Major.
kept Shelley from seeing much of her mother. Later, when Shelley pursued law enforcement, her mother told her, “You’re gonna forget what your kids look like.” Personal sacrifice is common to all in law enforcement and knowing this didn’t keep Shelley or her daughter, Shelbey, from police careers – proof that Cathy had a profound impact on her children and their children. Over the years, Cathy affected the lives of many young people - victims, runaways, addicts, countless offenders, gang members, and hundreds of police officers in training. She called most people “Kiddo.” This was never condescending, but put others at ease.
This compassionate style is probably why many approached her with thanks for the lasting impression she made on their lives. I first met Major Porter when I was a teen. Years later, I worked with her in Corrections and saw how much she was loved and revered. I came to feel that way about her, too. Her friends and colleagues would be quick to say she was tough, but also generous, fun and funny. Sadly, Major Porter passed away in October. Her legacy is one of passion, empathy, commitment, and a sterling example of service to others.
When Cathy’s daughter, Shelley, approached her mother about pursuing a career in police work, Cathy was not in favor of it. She expressed to Shelley that police work was “not for the weak” and that, as a female in the police field, “respect is earned, not given.” But, Shelley was not deterred. As a young child, her mother’s shift work 7
Criminal Patrol Division, Slidell PD
“Hopps” Officer Brittany French has an extensive list of credentials. Her peers call her “Hopps” because she is so like Officer Judy Hopps, the overzealous, energetic bunny police officer in the animated film, Zootopia. “I don’t like to sit behind a desk. I want to be on the streets with the action.” Brittany is a criminal patrol officer and has been with SPD for one year. Prior to SPD, Brittany worked armed security at NASA. Brittany’s journey to law enforcement is atypical. She is a Marine. Brittany states that she is one of “the fewer, the prouder,” a play on the Marine slogan that females in the Corps use. Per Brittany, only 2% of Marines are women. Now Brittany holds another minority distinction. She is the first and only female SPD officer to qualify for SWAT training - a high form of praise, to be sure. “I’ve always chosen the path less traveled. I love a challenge. The skills I will develop in SWAT are at a higher level. I’m new to law enforcement, but I want to push my limits.”
“Law enforcement is challenging mentally and physically. You have to be prepared at all times for the unknown.You cannot be complacent because complacency kills.” Of her gender in a field dominated by men, Brittany says, “I am a strong believer that females should perform at the same levels as their male counterpart. Standards should not deviate. The enemy does not care if you are female or male.” Good luck in SWAT training Brittany!
Yvette Williams-Pichon St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office
“The Warrior” Yvette Williams-Pichon was a strong woman. She was a warrior her entire life. At 17, her parents signed a waiver so she could join the Army. She was a medic in the Army Reserves and later served in the Louisiana Army National Guard where she was a Combat Engineer. She eventually rose to the rank of E-6 Staff Sergeant, serving in Afghanistan. In the course of her National Guard service, Yvette worked closely with several law enforcement agencies, especially during Hurricane Katrina. Her daughter, Alexis, states that Yvette was recognized with a plethora of awards for that service and service during other storms, disasters and other deployments. Meanwhile, Yvette was raising two children, a juggling act for sure. Yvette’s son, Robert Jones, thinks that his mother’s transition to law enforcement was a predictable one, as she was so adaptable and craved excitement. Yvette and Robert both started at St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office in 2006. Yvette encouraged Robert to become an LEO and he is currently a Corporal in the Court Enforcement Division. Yvette attained 8
the rank of Sergeant in Corrections. Later, she worked criminal patrol and eventually became a juvenile Detective. I first met Yvette in the parish jail, when she was a corrections officer and I was working as a jail nurse. She and I were the first responders to a suicide radio call. The lines between our roles soon became blurry as we worked together to successfully save a life. Later, I witnessed Yvette counsel the distraught, young inmate with the kindness and compassion the moment called for tough and tender at the same time. I always felt safe when Yvette was near. Her confidence was contagious. In 2017, Yvette married 1st Sergeant Maris Pichon, her long-time love. The two had been stationed on the same
base at Camp Villere. It isn’t surprising that Yvette was drawn to someone as dedicated to service and discipline as herself. They made a formidable team. In early January 2019, Yvette was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Her warrior instincts were tested again as she completed a grueling course of chemotherapy. Through this, she continued to work. If anyone ever set an example of fortitude and grace under pressure, it was Yvette. At the age of 51, Yvette Williams-Pichon lost her battle with cancer. Her selfless service to her community and her country, and her proud children and spouse are her legacy. She is gone but not forgotten as a SHERO and an example of strength and courage.
friend – whatever the moment calls for. One dramatic call came from a man whose wife was locked inside a business being robbed at gunpoint. “Although I had no experience on such a call, and had not reviewed the procedure since I was in training, I was able to get help to them in less than a minute. I performed so well that the call was later used for training purposes.”
Ja’Niquya “Nikki” Smith Communications Division, Slidell PD
“The Perfectionist” Dispatch:“911. What’s your emergency?” Caller: (Panicked) “My 3 year-old is missing!” ……And so starts a 12 hour shift. Nikki Smith is a soft-spoken, young woman. She looks 16 and sounds 12. But don’t be fooled. She is mature beyond her 32 years. Her peers refer to her as “a perfectionist.” It’s high praise and well deserved. If you’ve ever dialed 911 in Slidell, it’s a good possibility that Nikki has helped you. Nikki has been with SPD for 8 years and is currently Intermediate Supervisor for the Communications Division. She graduated from Slidell Regional Police Academy, with becoming a Crime Scene Investigator in mind. However, she chose to stay in dispatch because of her passion for her job.
compassion, but that it will have to wait until after my job has been completed.” While Nikki admits that the safest place to be is behind the scenes, she also recognizes that dispatchers are the hidden figures of law enforcement and rarely acknowledged for the incredible work they do. A dispatcher is often the first first responder involved in any emergency. How well and how quickly dispatchers relay information has a profound impact on crime solving, arrests, health and trauma emergencies, missing persons and life or death. A dispatcher has to be phenomenal at multi-tasking. During a 12-hour shift, dispatchers handle both emergency and non-emergency calls. Split-second decisions are often required. And while dispatch is making those decisions, they are answering a call, sending a report to a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) computer, which is then sent to a responding officer. The caller’s information is then relayed to police, fire or ambulance. Meanwhile, dispatch may be monitoring the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and checking queries at officers’ requests on persons, vehicles, license plates and more.
Nikki relates, “When a person dials 911, they want to hear a calm, confident and competent voice answer the phone. If they hear otherwise, they are likely to become more agitated and stressed and eventually lose confidence that help will Dispatchers play many roles be provided.” Nikki is almost always “This is a man’s world. inawhat says that when a drama. The caller But it wouldn’t be nothing, always has a problem. stressful call comes in, she has to shut The dispatcher’s job nothing without a off her emotions is providing a rapid woman or a girl.” and turn on the solution. - James Brown skills needed to get A dispatcher might be a a positive outcome. “It therapist, doctor, mother, doesn’t mean that I lack
The majority of SPD dispatchers are women. Nikki says, “I would encourage any female to partake in this career, because ‘doing it all’ comes natural to us. My mom and a few of my aunts were correctional officers for several years. My family knows how important my contribution is.” Nikki is happy to report that most calls to Slidell PD are not emergency calls, but stresses that the 13 Communications Division employees she supervises can handle anything. “I support my employees and respect is both given and expected. I accept only the best and that is what the Slidell Communication Division is. We are a team and the best to ever do it!”
History of Female Officers 1854: The city of New York hires the first police matrons to search and guard female prisoners. They are civilians with no law enforcement powers.
1910: Mrs. Alice Stebbin Wells is the first regularly rated police woman appointed by the Los Angeles Police Department. She was a college graduate and a social worker, and was a pioneer in the national movement to hire women as officers.
Today: 12.8% of full-time law enforcement officers are female. 9
Slidell Noon Lions continue to serve during COVID 2020 has been a challenging year for the Slidell Noon Lions, the oldest Slidell area service club, to continue being a viable service organization. “Our motto of ‘We Serve’ is our motivation to find new ways to continue supporting Lions Blindness Fighting charities and other local charities,” says Ed Dennis, Lion Club President. Those charities include Leader Dog, a seeing-eye dog program, Louisiana Lions Camp for disabled & diabetic kids, Louisiana Lions Eye Foundation and Lions Club International Foundation. After suspension of all activities for two months, the SNL are coming back like gangbusters. While a handful of members have stopped attending meetings because of health issues that make them high-risk, the remaining members have persevered and continue to attend the Thursday noon meetings where they comply with state heath guidelines of wearing masks,
social distancing, taking temperatures upon entrance and answering the COVID questionnaire. SNL has “doubled down” on Bingo, adding a Tuesday afternoon session to help make up for lost fundraising. They comply with all state requirements for COVID protection and can accomdate up to 35 players. Minimum cost to play all 11 games is $13. Join them! Bring your mask, and join in for 90 minutes of good fun every Tuesday and Thursday at 3pm. Doors open at 1:30. Remember, if you don’t win one of the 11 games, you are still a winner because your money goes to a good cause. Call Lion Dan Ferrari at 504-606-8081 for more information. Rental of the Lion hall for events is becoming popular. It can accommodate up to 55 people with masks on. Contact Lion Johnny Crow at 985-641-0548 for more information. The Lions biggest fundraising event, Touch a Truck, will go on as a “fundraiser only” with no actual event due to COVID. Lions continue to look for business sponsers
to help make up for a current $10,000 shortfall from last year’s event. Interested businesses who wish to be a sponsor can call Lion Dan Ferrari at 504-606-8081. Please patronize the business sponsors you see below! The SNL have suspended their Cub Site vision screening program that is normally done at preschools in our community. Last year, over 1,000 kids were screened and over 90 were identified as needing additional vision care by a doctor. However, Slidell Noon Lions will conduct vision screenings at their den at 356 Cleveland St. in Olde Towne Slidell every 3rd Saturday from 9am-11am beginning in January. Children under 6 are welcome, they must be accompanied by a parent, and both must wear a mask. Call Lion Dr. Ed Massett at 985-774-3027 for more information. Individuals who want to give back to their community and join the largest service organization in the world should call Lion Bill Heyerdale at 985-788-8695 for more information.
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FRI & SAT 8PM
4 - 12
A Legends New Year
JAN. 8 - 16
A Ray Charles Tribute Show
WE ARE PROVIDING A CLEAN AND WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT TO KEEP OUR PATRONS SAFE ACCORDING TO ALL FEDERAL, STATE, & LOCAL ORDINANCES. WE SUGGEST WEARING A MASK.
FRI & SAT 8PM
JAN. 22 - 30
SAINTS @ EAGLES, 3:25pm
SAINTS @ FALCONS, NOON
SAINTS @ BRONCOS, 3:05pm
Olde Towne Slidell Christmas Market 10am - 5pm
SAINTS vs. CHIEFS, 3:25pm
Artist of the Year Art Exhibit City of Slidell Gallery Show runs thru Dec 18th Wed - Fri • Noon - 4PM
CHRISTMAS UNDER THE STARS in Slidell’s Griffith Park DECEMBER 4 - JANUARY 3 • 6 - 9PM
Battle of the Badges BLOOD DRIVE STP Sheriff’s Office 10AM
Business After Hours Silver Slipper Christmas Party Harbor Center > 5-7pm
B2B Networking Covington Chamber > 8:30AM
B2B Networking Slidell Chamber > 8:30AM
A LEGENDS NEW YEAR Cutting Edge Theater • 9PM - 12AM
FREE GREENWOOD CEMETERY TOURS by “The Storyteller” JOHN CASE TUESDAYS - THURDAYS • NOON - 1PM • By Appointment • 985-707-8727
Food for Seniors - Distribution Day Good Samaritan Ministry - 1PM Leadership Northshore Alumni Christmas Celebration Carreta’s Grill • 6PM
Wellness Luncheon sponsored by SMH/Ochsner FREE Wellness Screenings! Slidell Auditorium > 11AM
Slidell Ladies for Liberty Packing Day 100 Mission Dr • Slidell • 9AM
Chamber Breakfast Meet the School Superintendent Harbor Center > 7:30 - 9AM
DECEMBER BIRTHDAYS!!! Donna Bush • December 19th
ELECTION DAY DECEMBER
2220 Carey St., Slidell 610 Hollycrest Blvd., Covington 985-892-3216 | StTammanyChamber.org
SAINTS vs. VIKINGS, 3:30pm
(thank you baby Jesus, it’s 2021!)
Camellia City Farmer’s Market Every Saturday 8am-Noon Happy New Year from Slidell Magazine
Merry Christmas from Slidell Magazine
Camellia City Farmer’s Market Every Saturday 8am-Noon
A TWISTED CHRISTMAS CAROL • Slidell Little Theatre • 8 PM
Drive-Thru Light Display Socially Distanced Pics with Santa Heritage Park • Dec. 18 - 20 • 6 - 9PM
Science with Santa Infinity Science Center • 10AM
A TWISTED CHRISTMAS CAROL • Slidell Little Theatre • 8 PM Southern Fried Funeral • Cutting Edge Theater • 8 PM
Olde Towne Slidell Art Market Green Oaks Apothecary 5 - 9PM Krewe of Dionysus Christmas Ball 529 J.F. Smith Ave • 6 - 11PM
D E C2 E0 M2 B0 E R
Megan Haggerty 985-273-3007
Call Us. We Can Help!
Walk with a Doc Heritage Park • 9AM
Camellia City Farmer's Market Every Saturday 8am-Noon Slidell Christmas Parade Olde Towne • starts at 4PM
Southern Fried Funeral • Cutting Edge Theater • 8 PM
CHRISTMAS UNDER THE STARS Slidell’s Griffith Park DEC. 4 - JAN. 3 6 - 9PM
Meredith Wright 985-273-3002
Is YOUR Business Getting Enough Visability?
NEXT SUNDAY! JANUARY 3RD SAINTS @ PANTHERS, NOON
A TWISTED CHRISTMAS CAROL Slidell Little Theatre • 2 PM
A TWISTED CHRISTMAS CAROL Slidell Little Theatre • 2 PM
THE PINK WHEEL It has always puzzled me that sometimes the things you want most can cause you the most trouble. My dad was an old man when he told me what happened. By that time, the psychological damage was done and mostly healed; but, for a brief period of time in my preteen years, the bicycle caused me both joy and grief. I had asked for a new bicycle for Christmas. I had never owned a new bicycle and the old one I had was a hand-me-down from my brother. It was at one time, and for the time, a fine bike. It was called an English Racer. When I inherited it, it was too big for me, and it had no brakes. The hand brakes had been removed. To stop it, you had to put your foot forward and press against the front tire. Over time, this caused the front wheel to wobble. On that Christmas morning, there it sat, beside the small pine tree that mother had erected to give our house some feeling of Christmas. It was a Western Flyer. I knew it came from the local Western Auto as my dad traded there often. I had seen that brand in the store. It was a boy’s bike, but immediately I knew something was wrong. It was solid pink. I knew that was a girl’s color and, in those days, gender bias was very real, at least in rural Mississippi. To this day, I would like to know what went through the mind of the marketing department that created such a color for a boy’s bike. I also wondered why my dad had bought it for me. As I have already said, only years later did I find out. At the time however, I was just thrilled to have transportation. At least it was better than a bike with a wheel that wobbled and had no brakes. Well, maybe not. 14
I was not prepared for the ribbing I got from my friends when we met up a couple of days after Christmas at the Crossroads, our favorite muster ground. Jimmy was the bully in our crowd. In one way, I disliked him; but in another way, he was our protector. He was bigger, a couple of years older, street smart and known to not take much off anyone regardless of size. Mother said it was because he didn’t have a mother. She was gone, dead or something. We never knew. Jimmy had a bike that was even worse than my old English Racer. It had two different sized tires. This was out of necessity, not for performance, as they design them today. There was no chain guard so the chain would rub against his pants leg or bare leg in the summer, the grease giving him an even more fearful appearance. I was the last to arrive at the Crossroads, but I think the word had gotten around. All four of my buddies had put their bikes on the side of the gravel road, just waiting for my arrival. Jimmy also was the loudest and most dramatic of the bunch. He dropped on his back and rolled in the gravel, much like a dog we had one time that had hydrophobia. He was laughing at the top of his lungs. “Hey, did you get pink lace panties to match?” I was infuriated, but I knew the sympathy of my other friends was not with me and I would just have to endure the humiliation. I did.
One day in the spring, we met at my grandmother’s. It was afternoon and she was sitting on the porch. I was her favorite and she always stopped what she was doing to spend time with me. In her yard we all had our bikes and she came to where we were gathered. “Son, when did you get that pretty wheel?” Not only had she said it was pretty, but she called it a wheel. I knew old folks called bicycles wheels, but my friends did not. They thought it was hilarious.
The City of Slidell presents
Slidell Art League’s
Artists of the Year
More humiliation. “Where is your pretty wheel?” they would ask at any opportunity. A year passed. Jimmy became more distant and it was obvious that living with his daddy, a heavy drinker, was not going well. If anything, Jimmy became tougher, and you might say meaner. Looking back, I now know there was physical abuse, but in those days some parents thought they had the right to do as they wished with their children. There was little, if any, intervention from anyone. We saw him less and less and, to some degree, his absence was welcomed. He dropped out of school in about the 9th grade. We heard he picked gladiolas at the gladiola farm during the season. He also picked up loblolly pinecones and sold them to the forestry department. He finally got a semi-permanent job at a combination store that had concessions such as candy cokes and hamburgers, as well as sold gas, changed oil and washed cars. He did the automotive chores. Over the next year, the humiliation of the pink bike got so severe I parked it in the barn and seldom, if ever, road it. It got junk piled on top of it and was more or less hidden from sight. Jimmy, in the meantime, had gained the trust and confidence of the owners at the store where he worked. He was now in charge of closing, counting the money and dropping it in a locked iron box.
Together Laird Willis
2020 Apprentice Artist of the Year Esther Trosclair
It was the hottest August in memory with no rain since midJune. The gravel road in front of my grandmother’s house was now a ribbon of dust that drifted into a dense mist with just the passing of a breeze. I walked to her house to water her ferns, as arthritis prevented her from lifting the watering can to reach the hanging plants. I think that was the way it was, at least that is what she said. “Son, where were you going in such a hurry on your wheel yesterday?”
Beach Heron Cheryl Harrison
2020 Master Artist of the Year Laird Willis
Sea Side Embers Esther Trosclair
2020 Inspirational Artist of the Year Cheryl Harrison
“It wasn’t me MaMa. I haven’t ridden that bike in months.” “You are the only one I know that has a pink wheel, unless you are a girl.” Even MaMa had to rub it in. “It was dusty, and I didn’t see the rider, just the pink wheel.” “Wasn’t me, MaMa.” In a few days, we heard that Jimmy had left town. Rumors had it that he had stolen the days receipts from the store where he worked. About $40.00.
November 13 - December 18, 2020 Slidell Cultural Center at City Hall Wednesdays - Fridays, 12 - 4 pm Gallery hours are by appointment only. Call (985) 646-4375 to make a reservation. Same day viewings as available.
********** Another year passed. Jace Adams worked hard but hardly kept his head above water. He was a great father and husband, but making or managing money was not his forte. His only child was 10-year-old Reba, whom he worshiped. I heard him say she wanted a bicycle for Christmas but he couldn’t afford one. I thought. My cousin Bernard was a good welder and had a cutting torch. He could remove the crossbar on my pink wheel and it could pass as a girl’s bike much better than it did for me as a boy’s bike. I told Mr. Adams he could have it for five dollars. He was excited.
Enjoy holiday traditions with a healthy twist. Join my newsletter and get this email series FREE! PursueWellnessForYou.com/Newsletter-Sign-Up/ Kelly Lutman Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach
This Christmas, shop local, shop vintage, shop unique Slidell Antique Association First, Erlanger & Robert Streets in historic Olde Towne Slidell
Antiques & Art Terry Lynn’s Café Slidell Museum Embroidery N’ Things Carolynn’s Wonderland Slidell Magazine The Who Dat Shoppe Magnolia House Antique Mall Let the Good Times Roll Antiques Jeanie’s Southern Traditions Antiques Annette’s House of Décor Antique Mall 16
About three weeks before Christmas, I went to the barn to deliver it to Bernard. It wasn’t there. I had no idea what had happened to it. I hated it for Reba’s sake and thought how much it would have meant to her and how much humiliation it had caused me. Little thought was given to the bike or Jimmy after that. They were certainly not connected. Years passed. It was 1994 and I was visiting my father. It was one of my last visits with him as he suffered from emphysema as the result of smoking 3 packs of Camel cigarettes a day for 69 years. There was a knock on the door. I answered and, standing behind the screen, was a large guy with a weathered complexion. He was very muscular, with calloused hands and scars above each eye. Something about him looked familiar. It took a moment, but I recognized the Jimmy that I had known 36 years prior. I looked past him and parked on the street was a late model pickup truck. In the bed was a pink bicycle. I knew some mysteries were about to be solved. Jimmy came in, cordially addressed my father, and sat on the same couch he had sat on a few times, years before. “Where have you been?” I asked. “I been in Louisiana and Texas.” “I see the pink bike. Now, there was only one of those, and I had it. So how does the bike fit into your story?” Jimmy began to unravel a story that was almost unbelievable. If I had not known how tough and resourceful he was, I wouldn’t have believed him. “You see, my dad was a mean drunk. I got tired of it. I heard my mother was living in Natchitoches, Louisiana so I decided to run away and live with her. “I stockpiled some food I stole from the store I worked at. Things like Vienna sausage, Spam, cookies and the like. I then stole $35.00 before slipping into your barn that night and stealing the bike. I think the store owners wanted me to get away, as they made things awfully convenient. I knew you
didn’t care anything about that bike. “I left the next day about mid-afternoon. I rode the bike about 10 miles and hid in the woods for three days to make sure no one was looking for me. I knew my father didn’t care what happened to me, but I was concerned the law had been notified due to the missing money. “I rode that bike all the way to Natchitoches, Louisiana. It took me five days. I lived with my mom, got a job as a deck hand on an oil rig and I have worked in the oil patch ever since. “I decided to pay back what I owe. This is the first time I have been back. I didn’t even know my father was dead for ten years after it happened. Didn’t much matter anyway. “I found out a couple of hours ago that the store owners have long been dead, so I gave that money to a beggar on the side of the road. Then I came here to return the bicycle.” “I hated that bike. You could have just kept it,” I replied
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It did not occur to me that my dad’s feeling would be hurt by that statement, but I could tell he looked perturbed at what I said. Jimmy visited for another few minutes before saying his goodbyes. After he had left, my father’s demeanor was even more distant. I realized that I needed to explain. I sat with my dad and told him about all the teasing I had gotten when I was younger. I asked him why he had bought such a bike in the first place.
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He explained, “Back in those days, times were bad. Not many working people had checking accounts, so we got paid in cash. I got paid at noon on Christmas Eve. I always went from creditor to creditor and paid what I could pay on my bills. It was late Christmas Eve and I realized that I had a few dollars left and I knew you wanted a bike. I didn’t like the color either, but it was the only one left. I guess it is safe to say no one else wanted it either. Western Auto marked it down five dollars to get rid of it, so I bought it. Even after all these years, I just assumed you still had it. I never knew it was missing.” The bike was in perfect condition, as it was never ridden after its trip to Louisiana. I didn’t want it, and I had two boys. I was not about to expose them to the same humiliation I had. We decided to put the bike on the side of the street where people left their junk. Three days later, it was still there. Thinking back now, I know I was foolish to have felt shamed at having a pink bike. I realize how much my dad had sacrificed to buy it. I also think about how Jimmy had teased me about the very thing that turned out to be his escape, his salvation. Funny how things turn out, isn’t it?
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by: Mike Rich, CFP® | Pontchartrain Investment Management
If Cash is KING, Cash Flow is His QUEEN PROTECTION
INSURANCES: Property & Casualty, Life, Health, Disability ASSETS
Personal Property Savings Investments Retirement Real Estate Business
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In my Slidell Magazine column for the past few months, I’ve been telling you about my work with my newest clients – I’m calling them Bob and Lisa – and our examination of the four domains of their financial lives. Thus far, our adventures have focused on the Protection, Assets, and Liabilities domains. This month, we’re beginning our work in the Cash Flow Domain. My philosophy of care regarding cash flow for Bob and Lisa includes the following: 1) Increase Gross Income
2) Protect Assets
3) Use Cash Liquidity Wisely 4) Seek Liability and Tax Efficiency 5) Optimize Net Income
Gross Income | Protection Assets | Liabilities | Net Income
Although all five are important, protection and liquidity are paramount to financial success. For example, it
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makes little sense for Bob and Lisa to build assets in a 401(k), IRA, mutual fund, or other savings vehicle if they don’t also have a sound protection strategy. If something unexpected – and, possibly, expensive – happens in their life, it could drain away savings very quickly. However, using money to purchase protection doesn’t mean they have to give up on asset-building or liquidity. For example, permanent life insurance – which is an asset class in itself, just like stocks, bonds, real estate, and others – not only provides a death benefit to protect their family, it also builds easily-accessible cash value that can be used throughout the life of the policy as a ready source of liquid assets when a need – or opportunity – arises.1 This strategy is just one example of how I’m showing Bob and Lisa to be efficient with their cash flow, that is, making their dollars do more for them.
equal approximately four months of net family income, which will give them the liquidity they would need to get through a short-term rough patch. We might sacrifice a little in terms of return on investment, but Bob and Lisa have told me that the peace of mind from knowing they have ready-access cash in the bank will make up for the rate-of-return shortfall.
In nearly everyone’s financial plan, liquidity – for example, assets that one can use for spending easily – is paramount. A good friend (and CPA) once said to me, “Cash is king.” If that’s the case, then liquidity is his queen, and we should bow down to her. For Bob and Lisa, our goal is to build their cash savings account to
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As I said when I introduced Bob and Lisa a few months ago, they are like many of my young clients. They have dreams and plans, some for tomorrow and others for a long way off. However, they know very well that if they don’t take control of their finances for themselves, no one else is likely to do it for them. If you share that same vision with Bob and Lisa, and would like to be the captain of your own financial ship, call me for a free consultation
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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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Slidell: Our History Slidell High School 1945 Football State Champions Story by Ted Lewis
“Football,” A.J. Lanoux Jr. wrote for the 1946 Slidell High School yearbook, “is the strongest spirit of a high school teenager.” Other standard teenage urges of the day notwithstanding, three quarters of a century ago, at SHS at least, a strong case could be made for the above sentiment being very true. In the fall of 1945, Slidell had captured its second straight (and to date, last) State Championship with a rousing 39-0 victory against Arcadia on the Tigers’ home field at the old SHS campus, which is now Slidell Junior High. Slidell’s dominance from that December night 75 years ago was emblematic of a season which saw SHS go 11-0, outscoring their opponents 297- 44. The Tigers trailed only once, 6-0, against Covington, a game they eventually won, 20-12, avenging their only defeat from the season before. “The Greatest of All,” Lanoux called them. 20
The saga of the 1945 season, and the previous one, had a storybook quality about it - albeit one marked by tragedy - strong enough that there’s even been a movie script written about it. There had been no SHS team in 1943 because Coach Jack Spence had entered the Army and a suitable replacement couldn’t be found. Spence, who had guided the team to a playoff appearance in 1942, was killed in action in Germany in March of 1945, just weeks before the end of World War II in Europe, much to the dismay of the entire community. Before that, in 1944, local leaders spearheaded a drive to reinstate the SHS football program, plus other sports. There was plenty of support from the students. Wrote the eloquent and prolific Lanoux, “From every corner of the campus came the buzzing of these familiar words, ‘We want a football team!’”
School principal L.V. McGinty, who had come to Slidell fresh out of Louisiana Normal (now Northwestern State) as a coach in 1931 before being promoted to principal five years later at age 25, volunteered to take charge of the football team. McGinty, who had played football and baseball in college, labeled his players “green as grass.” Green or not, the rest is history. It’s commemorated today in the school trophy case by side-by-side championship trophies and autographed footballs. Outside on 9th Street, the football stadium bears the name of McGinty, who gave up coaching after the 1945 season, but remained principal until he retired in 1976, after 40 years in the post. McGinty’s tenure included moving SHS to its present location in the 1960s. Shortly after McGinty’s death in 1991, then-St. Tammany School Board president Bill Folse, a player on the ‘44 and ‘45
teams, authored the resolution honoring his former coach and principal. “Those were seasons you don’t forget, two great seasons,” Folse, who died in 1997, said at the time. “Class B was the smallest class then.” “Slidell was a town of about 2,500, but they really got behind the team.” Leighton Hill, the star of the 1945 team and one of the last surviving members of the squad, recalls that Fall as an “exhilarating time,” fueled by the end of World War II in September, shortly before the season began. It was a spirit which carried over. “There was great elation about the end of the war, of course,” Hill, now 92, said. “And there was tremendous enthusiasm about the football team because we’d won the championship the year before and the obvious goal was to do it again.” Hill, whose lifelong accomplishments range from being the Class President for all four years plus Valedictorian, to a distinguished medical career as one of the country’s leading juvenile kidney disease experts and Dean of Admissions to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, still counts being captain of the ’45 team at the top. He even has a treasured, restored scrapbook courtesy of daughter Laurie to prove it. That captaincy means more to Hill than his on-field accomplishments because of the nature of the team. “It was like we’d all grown up together,” said Hill, who played fullback in the Tigers’ single-wing offense. “That created a great deal of cohesion. Slidell was just a small town and wasn’t even considered a suburb of New Orleans then. Most of our families had been here for a long time.”
It was Fritchie’s uncle, Mayor Homer Fritchie, and Bill Folse’s father, William, (the city’s first dentist) and the parents of Jack Walcott and Tom Abney along with his older brother, 1944 team leader, Scrappy, in the forefront to bring football, along with other sports (including girls’ basketball) to SHS in 1944. “They knew what we missed out on in 1943,” Hill said. “We couldn’t go another year without a team.” And while some of the players lived as far away as Pearl River and Bayou Liberty, most resided in the residential areas near what is now called Olde Towne on streets like Teddy, Fremaux, Erlanger and Maine, where Hill lived two doors down from Folse, his best friend. As kids, Hill and Folse would play backyard one-on-one football with Hill’s younger sister, Marilyn, serving as the center for both “teams.” The war was another unifying element. Like the rest of America, residents of Slidell diligently kept up with the news, dealt with rationing, participated in salvaging (a Boy Scout, Hill was into scrap collecting) and contributed to war bond drives. There was hardly a family without at least one member in the service. Tragically, sometimes, the war hit especially close to home. In June of 1944, George Baragona, a star Slidell athlete of the late 1930s, whose younger brother, Joe, was the starting right halfback on the 1944 and
Cut Nunez, 1945 1945 teams, was executed by the Nazi SS when he and other members of the 82nd Airborne were captured, along with the French citizens who had sheltered them in the French village of Graignes since D-Day. McGinty probably could have been exempt from the draft. But, according to his middle son, Donald, who was born in 1943, his father did try to enlist in the Navy, only to be turned down for medical reasons. Hill and his classmates were too young to be drafted, but he acknowledges that their parents were grateful when the war ended. “Everyone was caught up in the war,” he said. “But our parents were worried about what might happen to us, especially if we invaded Japan. There was so much relief when the war was over because we
Trey Folse, Bill’s son, and an SHS graduate who now serves as Louisiana’s Assistant State Superintendent after a 10-year stint as the St. Tammany Superintendent of Schools, put it, “You look at the names of the players and they pretty much tell the history of Slidell.” Indeed. The roster includes familiar names like Gus Fritchie, Jack or “Pud” Gomez, Cut Nunez, Edwin Panks, Earl Broom, Tom Abney, and Kermit and Troy Holden. 21
the founders of the Slidell Bantam Baseball Association and coached sons, L.V. Jr., Don, and Charles on a team called the McGinty Red Sox. For years he also sat on the bench during SHS football games. In 1959, McGinty got to see L.V. Jr. and Don lead the Tigers to their only state basketball championship. “I know he missed coaching,” Don McGinty said of his father. “But, in those days, there was more money in being the principal than the coach, and he had a family to think about.” “He had pictures of those championship teams on the wall until he died, though. Dad really cherished coaching them.”
knew the guys were coming home and we wouldn’t be going.” Actually, while Hill and Folse, along with others from the team, would serve during the Korean War, many fellow students had left high school early to join the military. Among them was Warren Parker, the starting fullback ahead of Hill in 1944. Parker then enlisted in the Navy, but came back in 1946 to compete in his senior season and graduate the following spring. Parker’s absence opened the door for Hill to move into the spotlight in the Tigers’ single-wing attack. And,that he did, although he deflects credit. “Coach McGinty was the No. 1 reason we were a dominant team,” Hill said. “He was already my favorite teacher (math and science) and he was a great disciplinarian, but also treated us like his sons. He really knew how to coach and condition.” Naturally, the Tigers’ championship season was followed by plenty of honors. Hill, Cocran, Fritchie, Gomez and Folse were first-team All-State. Garett, Baragona and Walcott, who had been on the ‘44 All-State team, were on the second team. Hill was the MVP of the Riverside League and turned down an appointment to West Point to accept a football scholarship to LSU. 22
But those Tigers were loaded with returning war veterans; and during preseason drills, LSU coach Bernie Moore suggested to Hill that he needed to go to McNeese, then a junior college, for seasoning. However, Hill had been influenced by Slidell physician Arkie Irwin to become a doctor, and he did. Hill graduated from LSU Medical School in 1952, served three years in the Air Force, and then began a 45-year tenure at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor Medical, heading the facility’s renal metabolic unit. Other members of the team went on to distinguish themselves as well. Cocran became a dentist, Warren Allen a state trooper, Fritchie an attorney, Folse was a banker and longtime school board member and team manager, and Gerry Hinton served in the state legislature, just to name a few. After football season, McGinty coached the basketball and baseball teams before hiring Howard Barker in 1946. Barker led the Tigers back to the State Championship game, where they lost to Tallulah. Slidell wouldn’t get to that level of the playoffs again until the 1985 overtime loss to Ruston in the Class 4A final. And McGinty never coached again on the high school level, although he was one of
Through the years, as members of the ’44 and ’45 teams moved away or eventually died, memories of the championships have faded. Only in scrapbooks are teammates forever young. Recently, though, Jason Fertitta, Hill’s son-in-law, wrote a script based on the championship seasons (condensed to one season with some other changes for artistic purposes). He approached Houston-based producer Mark Ciardi on the feasibility about making it into a movie, but found the minimum $10 million cost of doing so too daunting. “Movies about football don’t register outside the U.S.,” Fertitta said, “We had a great idea with elements of Hoosiers set during World War II with lessons about how the generation of the 40s can teach young ones now. But it just didn’t work out.” That’s a loss, but Hill retains the memories of what he calls the best year of his life. “It was a great three or four months there,” he said. “We were truly a blessed team. It was a wonderful season, it really was.” But for the last word, we’ll return to the prescient Mr. Lanoux: “In the course of years, you who might have worn the uniform of a championship team, or was dressed in your alma mater’s Green & White, or you who followed your team and your school with everlasting spirit, will look down on your grandchildren and tell them of the state champions from Slidell High.”
A SEASON TO REMEMBER Slidell 12, New Orleans Academy 6 On their opening possession, the Tigers drove 60 yards with Leighton Hill scoring from two yards out behind the blocks of Cut Nunez at right tackle and Sidney Hursey at right guard. NOA tied it in the second quarter. But in the third period, Hill scored from the 3. “We had a super offensive line,” Hill remembered. “Coach McGinty had been a lineman himself and he would get down on the ground and demonstrate things.” Slidell 25, Metairie 0 The offensive linemen, Nunez, Hursey, Gus Fritchie at center, John Holdsworth at left tackle, Milton Stoltzfus at left tackle and Bill Folse and Jack Walcott at the ends, ensured an easy victory. Hill scored three of the team’s four touchdowns, all in the first half. Hoover Garrett would add another in the third quarter on a 14-yard run. Coach McGinty emptied the bench in the final period. Slidell 44, Kenner 6 McGinty did that again against Kenner. Hill, Joe Baragona and Walcott all scored in the first quarter, Walcott on a pass from Garrett. “Coach McGinty sent in substitute after substitute until his 40-odd supply had been exhausted,” wrote A.J. Lanoux Jr. “But even the ‘Little Tigers’ had sharp claws that night...” Lanoux also described McGinty as chewing on an unlit cigar through a lifelong habit. “He would smoke one on occasion,” Don McGinty said. “But most of the time, he just kept it in his mouth. It was his way of dealing with pressure.” Slidell 21, Varnado 0 The Tigers led 7-0 at halftime on a TD by Hill and added two more in the second half on scores by Walcott and Folse, both on jump passes from Hill. Folse, Abney, Walcott, Leonard Soeller, Hursey and Gomez were praised for leading the defensive effort. Slidell 20, Long Beach, Miss. 14 The Tigers then went out-of-state to defeat Long Beach. Slidell led 20-0 behind a TD run by Hill, a pass to Folse and a score by Baragona following a 50-yard run by Garrett before Long Beach made it close in the final period. Slidell 36, St. Paul 0 Homecoming was next, and Queen Inazoe Taylor and her court enjoyed a smashing victory against a school which had played the Tigers to a scoreless tie the previous year. Hill had two touchdown runs along with a TD pass to Folse. Garrett also had two TDs. “Beating St. Paul like that at homecoming was really nice,” Hill said. “And Inazoe was a beautiful young lady who made a great homecoming queen.” Slidell 39, Jefferson 0 Garrett had three touchdowns. Hill, Folse and Edwin Mayfield added one each, Folse’s coming on a 55-yard pass from Baragona in the route. Slidell 20, Covington 14 No victory was sweeter for the Tigers than the one against Covington.
The cross-parish rivals had won 20-0 in ’44, and Slidell had beaten Covington only once before. This time, Covington scored first, but the Tigers came back on a 40-yard Garrett-to-Folse pass which set up Hill’s 3-yard TD run. Garrett added the extra point and Slidell’s only deficit of the season had been erased. Baragona provided one of the season highlights in the second quarter with a 70-yard interception return. Hill still has vivid memories of Baragona’s interception return. “It was a thing of beauty,” he said. “We were all out there blocking for him.” Covington did close to 14-12 in the second half, but the Tigers got some cushion on Mayfield’s 2-yard plunge in the closing minutes. “They said they’d never seen a crowd that big in Slidell,” Hill said. “Covington had always beaten us, but this was going to be our night.” Slidell 34, Marrero 0 The regular season ended with another shutout. Garett had touchdown passes to Folse and Walcott. Hill had two second-half TDs and Baragona one. Slidell 7, Behrman 6 Then came the Riverside League championship game and the South Louisiana championship against Behrman. Slidell recovered a fumble at the 14, and Garrett threw to Walcott for the TD. On the try for point, Baragona threw to Folse, who caught the ball a split second before he stepped out of bounds in the end zone. Trey Folse said he doesn’t remember his father ever mentioning the play, but “Whenever Dad talked about the championship, it was about the team and how close the guys were.” Behrman came back to score, but Stoltzfus blocked the extra point. Late in the game, Hill lined up to punt. But instead, he threw to Walcott for a 60-yard gain that sealed the victory. “Coach Mac sure didn’t call that,” Hill said. “It was a split-second decision by (quarterback) Marvin Cocran who called our plays and was a smart guy. It’s a good thing it worked. We would have been running a lot of laps on Monday even though our season would have been over.” Slidell 39, Arcadia 0 The Tigers’ 1944 championship game victory had been by 13-7 against Ferriday, and this one figured to be just as tough. Slidell was not a big team – at least on paper. The roster listed just one 200-pounder, Gomez. But Hill revealed that McGinty, despite his math background, liked to fudge the numbers. “I don’t know why he did it, except to throw the other teams off,” Hill said. “They had me listed at 157 and I was playing at about 180. I don’t think we were really outweighed by anybody but maybe Long Beach.” Before another large home crowd on Dec. 7, 1945, the fourth anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Slidell dominated from the start. Hill had three TDs plus three extra point runs. Baragona, Folse and Garrett also scored. Defensively, the Tigers allowed just four first downs and recorded their sixth shutout of the season. “Coach had us prepared like he did all year,” Hill said. “The good thing was that everybody got to play. He wanted everyone to enjoy it.” 23
Christmas Under the Stars DDeecceem mbbeerr 4 , 2 0 2 0 - J a n u a r y 3 , 2 0 2 1 • G r i f f i t h Pa r k i n O llddee TToow wnnee
Holiday Big SantaLights • Holiday • Festive Lights Decorations • Festive Decorations • Big Santa • Santa’s Magical Mailbox Life-size Christmas Cottages • Frozen Ice Castle • Slidell’s Nativity * Because 2020, Santa and Mrs. Claus at thetoNorth and are this unable takewill pictures at this year’s event ** it’sit’s 2020, Santa and Mrs. Claus areare unable travel Pole to this event yeartoand be staying at the North Pole * Because
2nd Annual Olde Towne Slidell Comunity Christmas Parade Saturday, December 5 • Parade starts at 4:30 pm • Olde Towne Slidell Weask ask that that all all participants participants and and attendees attendees follow safety protocols, wear masks masks and and practice practice social social distancing distancing** **We
6th Annual Spirit of the Season Olde Towne Lights Contest December 4, 2020 - January 3, 2021 • Olde Towne Slidell
Thisdecoration festive decoration competition between Olde Towne residents and businesses thatTowne Olde Towne Slidell This competition between Olde Towne residents and businesses means means that Olde Slidell will be will be out decked withlights lightsand anddecorations. decorations.You Sponsored City of Slidell and Olde Towne Slidell Main Street. decked with out festive can vote by forthe your favorite location for the People’s Choice Award.
Christmas Under the Stars is brought to you by the City of Slidell’s Dept. of
Cultural & Public Affairs, the Commission on the Arts and the 2020 Cultural Sponsors:
Renaissance • $5,000 Sponsors: Sophisticated Woman Magazine
Baroque • $2,500 Sponsors: Acadian Ambulance • C. Ray Murry, Attorney At Law Jazz on the Bayou/Ronnie Kole Foundation • Silver Slipper Casino Neoclassical • $1,000 Sponsors: Councilman Bill & Laura Borchert • Lori Gomez Art Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance Agency • Purple Armadillo Again
Impressionism • $500 Sponsors: Chateau Bleu • CiCi’s Pizza • Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer Flatliners Entertainment • Old School Eats Food Truck • Olde Towne Print Shop Pontchartrain Investment Management • Roberta’s Cleaners • Semplice’s Pizza • Sirocco Coffee Company Slidell Historic Antique Association • Terry Lynn’s Café & Catering • Tanya Witchen - Engel & Völkers Real Estate 24
( 9 8 5 ) 6 4 6 - 4 3 7 5 • M y Sl i d e l l. c om • “ C i t y of Sli d e l l ” on Fa c e book
Thanks to our 2020 Sponsors! SWAMP GATOR DONORS
Wild Game Cook-Off still fundraising for Community Christian Concern Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Wild Game, Seafood & BBQ Cook-Off was not held this year. This event has been the major source of funding for Community Christian Concern (CCC) for the past 16 years, each year helping thousands in our community with basic human needs such as food, clothing and emergency housing. During the pandemic, CCC was one of the few agencies in our region that continued to meet the needs of the community. They initiated a contactless food distribution shortly after the stay-athome order and have continually altered their services based on CDC and government regulations. The needs of the community have grown even as funding has not, and your support is integral for them to continue serving our community.
Dave & Laura Kaufmann Larry & Joanne Gay Dr. Matthew & Gina Schuette
BIG BUCK DONORS
CCC is so appreciative of the community’s support for the cook-off each year, and they are already looking forward to next year’s event!
TRUE LIFE CHURCH
Police Chief Randy Fandal and Dave Kaufman, Sr. graciously sponsored a fundraising dinner at Pinewood Country Club in lieu of this year’s Cook-Off. CCC extends their sincere gratitude to them and the local companies and individual sponsors who contributed. If you were not able to attend the event, please know that they are still accepting donations and are always in need of volunteers. Your efforts have a significant impact on our community! With your help, CCC is touching one Life at a time! Please call (985) 646-0357 to volunteer or donate. See you at the 2021 Cook-Off!
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS #2732
WILD HOG DONORS MALLARD DUCK DONORS SMH / OCHSNER Greg & Teresa Landry LOWRY-DUNHAM CASE & VIVIEN EL BETHEL WORSHIP CENTER
BAYOU QUAIL DONORS State Rep. Mary DuBuisson Daniel Boudreaux with EDWARD JONES JGILS, LLC Tommy Williams Carlos Ramirez CALAMARI CONSTRUCTION PELICAN PAGES
SNAPPING TURTLE DONORS Scott Osborn Debbie Schimmeck Shasta Leninger Barbara Doyle Marcia Levy Kerry & Ellen Sylve Steve & Patti English Rene Arcemont Bobby Teal State Rep. Bob Owen E.C.O. BUILDERS 25
Environment " ns a e rl O w e N f Donna Bush, Winner of 2020 Press Club o
al Science Reporting"
Story and photos by Donna Bush
Every culture has their own special Christmas customs, but Louisiana is especially unique. I’ve always wanted to see the traditional Christmas bonfires on the levees. Last year, we visited Nottoway Plantation for one of their annual Christmas bonfire weekends. Bonfires took place in Europe, even before Christ was born, as a celebration of the summer and winter solstices. Dependent on farming for their way of life, the Celts thought the bonfires would hasten the return of spring and prolong the days of summer. After Christ was born, the bonfires were more of a religious celebration. The European bonfires were almost identical in size and had the same pyramid-style shape found in Louisiana today. The Louisiana River Parishes, which includes St. James, St. John, and St. Charles, were settled in the early 1800’s by the Old-World French and Germans who brought with them the tradition of summer and winter bonfires. 26
Christmas Traditions Today, one of the most popular explanations for the bonfires is to light the way for “Papa Noel” to deliver Christmas presents to the children. “Papa Noel” is considered the Cajun version of Santa Claus and often thought to guide a pirogue pulled by a team of alligators, named Gaston, Ninette, Te-boy, Celeste, Suzette, etc. Other theories include using the bonfires as navigational signals to guide the ships on the river or as light for the faithful to attend midnight mass. I was fortunate to find a historical account of the River Parishes bonfires by Emily Chenet Guidry. In 1989, she interviewed several of the older residents and descendants to create a credible history of the Christmas Eve bonfires. One such interview told of a St. James Parish native’s father born in 1855. The son recalled his father building levee bonfires in front of his store as early as 1884 and continuing until 1930. Later, grandchildren and
great-grandchildren would resume the tradition at the same site. Other accounts established the bonfires as a celebration among family and friends with eggnog served to guests. Understandably so, the bonfires ceased during World War II but resumed soon afterwards. In the mid-1950’s, as residential construction boomed along River Road, bringing many young families, the custom of bonfire building increased. Handsaws, axes and hatchets were replaced by chainsaws, just as pickup trucks hauled the wood to the top of the levee rather than the brute strength of the men. Many of the bonfires retained their traditional tepee shape; but as groups came together to build, more artistic creations evolved, too beautiful to burn. But burn they did, and the crowds gathered, becoming a huge festival of bonfires. One group in particular seems to have the most creative construction. “Blood, Sweat, and Bonfires” have been
building bonfires together over 15 years. Around 10 or 12 years ago, they began constructing “custom” bonfires. Over the years, they’ve created a pelican, a bass, a crawfish, a 30-foot Les Paul guitar, and an alligator snapping turtle, complete with moving head as he snapped his jaw closed. Last year, they built an incredible 74-foot alligator! I met Josh, the group architect, who shared, “People have been telling us for years that we should build an alligator. Challenge accepted!” When a subject is chosen, Josh creates a design and builds a scale model of the finished product. Building began after Thanksgiving, using 30 truckloads of wood which was cut and hauled by the group. The build was completed in just three weeks! They cut the wood with a chainsaw, then split the individual pieces with an axe and arranged them in an overlapped pattern to create the realistic-looking alligator scales. Their appreciation to detail was amazing.
The setup at their bonfire location was equally amazing – a Christmas tree decorated with colorful beer cans and a vodka bottle for the tree topper; a plush sofa and chair; lawn chairs and an inflatable sofa; a wooden wire wheel for a table; snacks; music and a fire burning for ambiance! When asked why they build the bonfire each year, Josh replied, “If we don’t build the bonfire to light the way for Papa Noel, none of the kids in Garyville will get their presents.” I caught up with Raymond and three generations of his family working on their traditional pyramid-style bonfire. He’s been building bonfires since he was 5 years old, taught by his father and grandfather. Today, he’s teaching his son and grandsons, carrying on the tradition. Bonfires are a unique family outing whether visiting for the lighting or to see the construction before the
A Few of the Unique Bonfire Structures Built over the Years 1985: An Antebellum mansion with two circular staircases and an outhouse. The structure was so large and well-constructed that people could walk up to the second floor and the widow’s walk on the roof. 1987: The Superdome 1987: An oil rig platform 1988: A train locomotive with four cars, called the “Gramercy Express” 1989: A vintage fire engine built by the Gramercy Fire Department
burning. Families gather to admire the hard work with children dressed in pajamas and a piece of cardboard to slide down the levee bank like a sledder on snow.
Levee Board regulations for bonfires, specified by the Fire Chief Fires must be at least 125 feet apart. Fires can be no higher than 25 feet. (This rule went into effect in 1987; it was 28 feet for a few years prior to 1987; before then, there were no regulations.) Fires can be no larger than the crown of the levee, 12 feet in diameter. No tires, creosote, or “foreign matter” may be used, due to environmental concerns. Each town is allowed one “tourist attraction” with no regulations at all. 28
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Nottoway Plantation Christmas bonfires offered weekends during the month of December. We were lucky enough to take over a friend’s reservation when they decided to cancel their trip. For me, it was the perfect way to see the bonfires without sitting in traffic for hours and fighting crowds. We got checked-in about 2 hours before the festivities were to begin, which gave us plenty of time to wander around the property. You don’t have to be an overnight guest to attend the celebration, which includes the bonfires on the levee, arts and craft vendors, food and concessions, a local band, carolers roaming the grounds, Louisiana vintage dancers, Christmas tree lighting, a visit from Santa, fireworks and a train ride around the pond. Admission is $10 per car. Three different bonfires were lit on the levee, with a backdrop of the beautiful plantation.
Patrons roamed around the bonfires and the grounds participating in the celebration. As the last of the bonfires simmered to the ground, fireworks were set off, offering a spectacular end to the festivities. Nottoway will not offer bonfire celebrations this year due to Covid restrictions. The next morning, we enjoyed the breakfast buffet and joined a tour of the historic plantation. Nottoway Plantation is located along the beautiful river road between New Orleans and Baton Rouge in a town called White Castle. The construction of this magnificent 53,000 square foot antebellum home was commissioned in 1858 by wealthy sugar planter, John Hampden Randolph. It contains 64 rooms, seven staircases and five galleries. In 1860, the
property consisted of 6,200 acres where sugarcane was grown. When built, Randolph wanted every innovative feature available, with no expense spared. This showplace was home to John, his wife, Emily, and their 11 children. The location on the western banks of the Mississippi River was crucial to shipment of their sugarcane. The plantation is named after Nottoway county in Virginia, where John was born, and is constructed of cypress wood grown and bricks made on the property. The mansion suffered some damage during the Civil War when a Union gunboat attempted to destroy it until the gunboat officer realized he had once stayed in the home and decided to spare it. Nottoway remained in the Randolph’s possession throughout the Civil War and Reconstruction until sold by Emily in 1889, after John’s death.
After Nottoway was sold, it traversed several owners before opening for tours as a four-star plantation resort, offering overnight accommodations including private cabins, a swimming pool, tennis courts, and fine dining in the restaurant. The American Queen Steamboat Company offers trips on the Mississippi River with a stop at Nottoway for a meal and a tour. The boat arrives just like in the mid-1800’s, the nose of the boat is pushed into the mud, and a gangplank is lowered to allow guests to disembark. The Festival of the Bonfires in St. James Parish has been cancelled for 2020 due to Covid. However, locals will still build and light their traditional Christmas Eve bonfires on the levee along River Road. It will be a local, family celebration, much the way it started hundreds of years ago.
Nottoway Plantation Innovative Features An elaborate call-bell service, allowing the family to call the servants, consisting of 13 bells connected to every part of the house. Twelve hand-carved, Italian marble, coal-burning fireplaces. Fifteen and a half foot ceilings. Eleven foot doors. Pure white oval ballroom. Modern bathrooms with hot and cold running water. A gas plant providing gas lighting throughout the house. The ground floor housed a bowling alley used by the children. Located on the grounds was a bathhouse; hospital; and a meeting house which was used for church on Sundays.
“Your Estate Matters” By Ronda M. Gabb, NP, JD, RFC
Tutorships Special needs planning comprises about one quarter of my law practice and is by far the most rewarding part of my job. Proper planning for special needs persons (both adults and children) can make a huge difference in the lives of the entire family, and there is very little margin for error. A Continuing Tutorship is a legal proceeding for special needs children with profound intellectual disabilities who are age 15, 16, or 17. The parents or children usually do not have to make a Court appearance. Based on the documentation given to the Court to prove the intellectual disability of the child (usually IEP evaluations/IQ tests, medical and school records), and with the concurrence of the Coroner, the Judge will then decide if the child would be competent to make decisions after attaining the age of majority (18 in Louisiana). If warranted, then a Judgment of Continuing Tutorship is granted. The Continuing Tutor, usually one of the parents, will be named by the Court to “continue” to be the adult child’s “tutor” (in Louisiana, a guardian is called a “tutor”) much in the same
capacity as when the child was a minor. For example, the tutor continues to make medical, legal and educational decisions for the child and remains legally responsible for their actions. We often see families with special needs children who have just reached the age of majority and they are seeking our guidance as providers (doctors, social workers, etc.) for their “adult” special needs children are now asking if an “interdiction” for their child has been done. These providers can no longer speak to the parent about their “adult” child or the child’s health care matters. Imagine the shock that a parent feels when their child’s pediatrician has to tell them this. Unfortunately, because of HIPAA laws and changing times, this has now become the norm. In years gone by, even if your disabled child was now 35 years old, the doctors would still talk to the parents and take all health care instruction from them. The problem is that now the medical professionals face severe legal penalties if they continue to do this. So the talk of “interdictions” is commonplace these days.
Once a special needs person with profound intellectual disabilities turns 18, there really is no option other than an interdiction. An “interdiction” is a Court proceeding where a special needs person is “sued” in order to deem him or her incompetent to manage his or her own affairs. The Court appoints a “legal guardian” (called their “Curator”) to do so. A Sheriff must serve the special needs person with the lawsuit, an attorney is appointed for the special needs person and one for the parents too. As you can imagine, this is a pretty scary process. Not to mention, this Court proceeding is costly, time-consuming, and oftentimes humiliating. Unlike an interdiction, in a Continuing Tutorship proceeding an attorney is not needed for the child, and no court documents are served by the Sheriff. It is often faster, less expensive, and is definitely a less stressful alternative to an interdiction, but it must be done prior to age 18. If you think your teenaged child would be a candidate for a Continuing Tutorship, give our office a call to schedule an appointment.
See other articles and issues of interest! Ronda M. Gabb is a Board Certified Estate Planning and Administration Specialist certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. She is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Governor’s Elder Law Task Force. Ronda grew up in New Orleans East and first moved to Slidell in 1988, and now resides in Clipper Estates. 30
40 Louis Prima Drive (off Hwy 190, behind Copeland’s) • Covington, Louisiana • (985) 892-0942 • RondaMGabb.com
Lesl Story by
We’re all guilty of it, none of us are immune, and, as much as we want to quit doing it, we never will. That is, buying things we never use. Years ago, when the kids were babies, I was addicted to the Home Shopping Network and would stay up for hours watching it. It amazed me how good they were at convincing you to buy a product. These professional bullshitters had a gift for selling crap. They were clothed in perfection and radiated a sickening enthusiasm that put you in a trance. Once they had you hypnotized, they would say, “Stand up. Walk to your purse and pull out your wallet. You want this, NO, you NEED this ginormous fake gold ring with gaudy stones that are removable when you need to match it to your outfit. Actually, we have outfits for every stone color you could imagine, so you might as well get those too! This jumpsuit skort potato sack will fit you just like the model that is wearing it! If you’ve put on a little weight, don’t worry, you will be wearing that potato sack before you know it! We have an amazing weight loss vitamin that goes well with the cooking contraption that squeezes all 32
the fat and calories out of anything! And, if you call right now, we will send you a free rhinoceros and an explosive device that converts into a footrest or a toothbrush holder. You only have to pay shipping and handling and give your voice to the sea witch!” The countdown ticker in the bottom corner reminds you how fast they are selling and that it’s only a matter of time before that rare item is gone, never to be in stock again. The faster people bought it, the more you wanted it. Once the 10 boxes arrived at your front door and you got over the excitement of ripping them open, all that was left was shame. Your head down, riding off into the darkness on your rhino, wondering how you will pay the electric bill. We never learn. We forget the consequences in the aftermath of our impulsive buying, because the excitement of some amazing product takes over our common sense. Here are some examples of things we buy, but NEVER use: JUICER: You can have all the fruits and veggies you want in one healthy drink! A simple and easy way to
optimal health! All you need to do is remember to buy the various fruits and veggies, rinse them, cut them, discipline yourself to do it every day, and then wash the juicer each time. But first, you have to open the box, and we all know you never will. Just go ahead and put it on the top shelf of the closet next to your bread maker, espresso machine, sandwich press, and popcorn maker. FANCY ICE BUCKET: Because who WOULDN’T want to pick one ice cube out at a time? NO ONE. It may add that extra special touch in the drink area at your party, but people will secretly despise you, especially when the automatic refrigerator icemaker is right next to it. By the time you get the 2nd ice cube out of the bucket, the rest have already stuck together or melted. Just put it way in the back of your kitchen cabinet, it will fit perfectly into the punch bowl. SHOWER RADIO: FM or Bluetooth, it doesn’t matter, because you will never use it. It competes with the sound of the shower and the water in your ears. Most of us just want to jump in and out and get on with our day. If it’s a bath, we have
a phone with music. It’s 2020. I don’t even know why they still sell them. Put it in the garage sale pile. VACATION SOUVENIRS: Oh, the temptation! Nobody can resist them. How else will we remember the good times? With another shot glass? A keychain with our name on it? A frog fishing atop some poorly glued together seashells? Maybe a tiny bottle with special sand in it? No. You know good and well they will either break when you shove all the suitcases on top of them or end up behind a dresser or in a closet. Just get a coffee cup and take some pictures instead, they last longer. WORK OUT EQUIPMENT: We all know what happens to the treadmill or Bowflex… you can’t sell them to anyone. Instead, you end up buying 10-pound dumbbells, those stretchy weight band things, ankle weights, exercise ball, thigh squeezer, and a doorway pullup bar. You vow to finally get in shape, put them all in the workout corner of your house or garage, admire them, and imagine that summer body you will have. After all the work of buying them and setting up the workout area, you take a nap then binge watch Netflix. You can start tomorrow. Yeah. Tomorrow. Garage sale pile. 3-INCH STILETTO BOOTS: Hmmmm… can’t wear them to work or around the house. And I never go out. Maybe I could wear them to Walmart. Or to the hospital when I break an ankle. Oh! I know! I will be sexy for my husband and wear them with the lingerie he bought me 10 years ago. You know, the ones 4 sizes too small that still have the tags on them. BOARD GAMES: There are only a few out there that everyone in my family will agree to play. But I have acquired at least 20 of them over the years. How does it happen? I’ll
tell you how: You are on one of those trips to Walmart where you only need a couple things. You decide to stroll around and look through all the fun aisles. The ones you never get to look at when frantically shopping for groceries and essential items. You enjoy yourself and remember how much you love your family. You think, “We should spend more quality time together.” You head to the board game aisle, looking at all the different options. You pick one that you think will be fun for everyone. You also grab a pack of playing cards on your way out. Why not. Everyone needs a pack of cards to replace all the other unopened packs they lost. You get home and tell the husband and kids that it is Game Night. You hear a groan and “here she goes again.” After dinner, you bring a game out. Your husband is asleep on the couch and the kids are into their phones, or they have “homework.” It ends up back in the hall closet with the other 20 games, the 6 lost decks of cards, and a broken seashell souvenir. BASKETS: I can’t walk past them in a store. Everyone loves to buy the occasional basket. There are so many shapes and sizes! Each one unique. All the possibilities of things to put in baskets! I know one thing to put in a basket… a lot of money, lighter fluid, and a lit match. Because that’s pretty much what you are doing when you buy all those overpriced junk holders that end up in your garage sale. Oh, you can leave one dollar out of the fire, because that is what you will get for it. DVDs: This one is old school, but I bet you still have that collection hiding somewhere, unable to part with them.
Most of us probably only watched 2 out of the 50 we owned, but they sure did look cool on that display shelf next to the TV. WATERING CAN: When the happiness of springtime rolls around and we are out buying potted flowers and plants, it’s hard not to grab that cute watering can. You imagine strolling around your yard, carrying that cute little watering can, wearing a long white cotton dress as the wind blows ever so gently. You sprinkle your flowers with that sparkling fresh water and bask in the simplicity of life and the gratitude that springtime brings. One plant after the next. Back and forth, back and forth. Refilling the can over and over and over aga…. No. I’m NOT doing it again. It tricks me every time. The only thing that ends up in the watering can from that point on are spiderwebs. Nobody needs a watering can. That’s what a hose is for. JOURNAL/PLANNER: A journal to write your hopes, dreams, and beautiful, thoughtful poems. Your goals and great ideas. Short stories and fun doodles. And a planner, to finally get organized, of course. Give yourself a pat on the back for trying, but you are more likely to ride a rhinoceros. Heads up though, they have an outrageous shipping and handling fee. Too bad you won’t be writing about THAT in your journal. Just go ahead and throw them both in the garage sale pile. 25¢ each. With all that money you make, you can buy yourself something you will actually use, like a beer stein or a digital picture frame. A cookbook or a dog sweater. Maybe a metal detector or a stress relieving adult coloring book. Heck, get them all! Of course, if you do, you will have to get a new basket. How else will you carry them out to the garage?
by: Jeff Perret, DVM | Veterinary Medical Center
PAPER SHREDDERS ARE A REAL
DANGER TO YOUR PET! During the COVID-19 pandemic, some of us are not only fortunate enough to be employed still, but are even more fortunate to be working from home. Our “coworkers” are now family members and pets (for better or for worse), and our home offices provide us everything we need without the commute: a computer, a printer, an easily accessible “office kitchen” (sometimes too accessible), and a paper shredder. It’s that last one that we need to talk about. Where do you keep your paper shredder? Is it within easy reach? On the floor next to the dog bed? On the shelf where the cat likes to lie in the afternoon sun? Is it always plugged in? Always turned to the Auto/On position so that all you have to do is insert an unwanted piece of paper?
If so, then IMMEDIATELY go unplug it. I’ll wait... Dr. Jeff recommends:
GIVE YOUR PETS A GIFT THEY’LL LOVE ALL YEAR LONG. NO FLEAS! 34
WITH BRAVECTO. ®
Now here’s why you just did that. It’s not just an urban myth on social media. Cats and dogs (well, mostly dogs) can be harmed by paper shredders. In the worst cases, they must be euthanized.
Amazingly, it’s not just tongues that can get caught. Both cats and dogs have had other body parts shredded. Sometimes it’s due to long hair getting pulled into the shredder. Sometimes it’s a paw that is exploring the opening and gets pulled in. Occasionally, it’s a long ear flap or tail that drops into the opening. Perhaps it’s a cat that sleeps on the shredder and accidentally turns it on when shifting positions. Whatever the cause, it happens. The best way to prevent these horrific accidents is to keep the shredder in an inaccessible location, like a closet or pantry that pets can’t access. The other alternative is to leave it unplugged and plug it in only when you are actively shredding paper and supervising the pets. Once completed, unplug it again. Whatever the solution that works in your home, find one. Keeping pets safe from paper shredders is much less of a hassle than an emergency trip to the veterinary hospital, especially during a pandemic.
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• No Exposure to Diseases or Parasites from Other Dogs • Medication Administered • Less Separation Anxiety • Insulin Injections • Waste Cleanup • Mail Pickup • Daily Walks • Nail Trim
Curious dogs will sometimes get their tongues caught in a shredder. If the damage is severe enough, they may be euthanized, either due to the costs of surgery, or due to a poor prognosis if the damage is severe enough. Why would a dog lick a shredder? Well, why not? They’ll lick almost anything. Maybe, like babies and toddlers, they’re prone to exploring all new things with their mouths. Maybe the last item shredded was handled with the same fingers that had handled bacon only moments before. Whatever the reason, once dogs get their tongues into paper shredders, the damage is done.
Gina Triay 35
Dec Urgent Care L&L Article 111120 Slidell Mag.pdf
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• New floorplans that provide social distancing
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