Slidell Magazine - March 2022

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Vol. 137 March 2022






First, Second & Erlanger Streets OLDE TOWNE • SLIDELL, LA For more info: 985-788-7799


There are people who talk about what they’re going to do once they are in office. Then there are those, like Councilman Borchert...

Bill Gets It Done! Public Service  In his first year of public service, Bill put together

the right coalition of people in government to get the I-12 sound barrier wall built. (You could say, “Bill built that wall!”)

 Installed nearly 200 life-size pelican sculptures beautifying Slidell's landscape.

 Introduced legislation that saved the city $16 million in healthcare costs.

 Coordinated 2K+ volunteers for Katrina recovery.  Received an Honorary Life Service Award from  Convinced Mayor Cromer to bring a national the St Tammany Parish District PTA. business recruiting group, Retail Strategies, to Slidell  Honored with a Katrina Angel Award from St to help refill many empty buildings around town.

Bill, along with fellow Councilmembers in concert with the Drennan administration, invested $250k to pursue & obtain $70 million in FEMA funds for street and drainage improvements to our community.

 Re-instituted and facilitates City and Parish Caucus meetings.

 Wrote the $1.5 million federally-awarded B.I.G.

grant, saving local taxpayers nearly $2 million toward the Heritage Park new marina project and bulkhead repairs.

 Instrumental in establishing the

Mayor's Commnity Prayer Breakfast.


Councilman At Large

 Named "Legislator of the Year" by the Alliance for Good Government.

Tammany Fire District #1.

Private Life  Bill and his wife Laura, have been Cultural Arts season sponsors for over 10 years.

 Bill is a Slidell Police Citizen Academy graduate.  Bill and Laura have raised 3 beautiful, college

educated daughters

 Active parishioners at St. Margaret Mary Parish,

and have traveled on mission trips to Spain and Africa. Some people talk a good game, and others get things done! Just from this short list of examples, you can see that Councilman Bill Borchert...




Editor’s Letter It may seem strange to see someone else pen Slidell Magazine’s Editor’s Letter. After all, this is the first time that someone’s words, other than Kendra’s, have appeared here. Introductions, then, are needed. I’m Michael Bell, Slidell Magazine’s graphic designer; but like every small business, each employee wears many hats. I also maintain Slidell Magazine’s website; I manage all of our social media; I interview, photograph, and write all of the Business Aditorials; and, of course, I’m our advertising clients’ monthly customer service rep. Basically, I do anything I can to keep Kendra doing what she does best - being the most energetic spokesperson the City of Slidell has. I met Kendra almost 10 years ago, in 2013, during my first visit to a local business networking group. Of all the people I met that day, Kendra stood out the most. She was upbeat, full of energy, and SO

enthusiastic about her business SLIDELL MAGAZINE!!! Her positivity was infectious.

she convinced me to come work with her part-time to make the magazine even better.

At that first meeting, she gave me my first business referral, even before I had been accepted as a member. We’ve gotten along like the proverbial peas-in-a-pod ever since.

In the lead-up to this March edition, I knew that Kendra would be very busy with her duties as Queen Samaritan LXXI. To take as much off her plate as possible, I volunteered to do more to help.

What started as a professional relationship, quickly grew to a close personal friendship. In the ensuing years, laughter, tears, and secrets have been shared. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to have a best friend, you know what I mean.

Kendra, I hope I’ve done you justice with this task, and I just want to convey how much Dawn and I love you. Hail to you Queen Samaritan LXXI!

For years, Kendra asked me to come join her Slidell Magazine family, and over time I took on the website and social media work, but had not yet worked on the magazine itself. When COVID hit in early 2020, Slidell Magazine took a short hiatus. Kendra used the time to plan improvements. My marketing business was going strong, so


MAGAZINE STAFF Kendra Maness Editor / Publisher


Michael Bell Graphic Designer Krista Gregory Administrative Assistant

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS John Case “The Storyteller”

Donna Bush Raising the Bar for Animal Care

Charlotte Collins Extraordinary Slidell Neighbors

Ronda M. Gabb Legal-Ease

Mike Rich Making Cents of Your Money

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PO Box 4147 Slidell, LA 70459 985-789-0687

artist: MARIE BRAUD At 17, Marie Braud is the youngest cover artist ever for Slidell Magazine. A native of Slidell, Marie is the 2nd oldest of seven siblings. She, along with her brothers and sisters, are home schooled. Her favorite subjects in school are Creative Writing, Geography, and of course, Art. Marie has been interested in artistic endeavors since she was very young. Her home schooling has afforded her plenty of time to work on and develop her artistic talents. Marie won 1st place in the Catholic Diocese of New Orleans’ Knights of Columbus poster contest for Teen Drug Awareness. She also received top honors in a cupcake decorating contest at St. Margaret Mary Church, and placed in the top three in a Sidewalk Art Competition at the St Tammany Children’s Museum. When not studying or spending time with her family, Marie volunteers at church helping mentor younger teens. She wants to study art and writing in college, because it’s her dream to one day write and illustrate her own books. She also (along with her two sisters) runs a successful home bakery business, Three Sisters Sweets and Treats (find them on Facebook), where she designs and decorates oneof-a-kind desserts. 7

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Storyteller THRICE BURIED AND BONES SCATTERED And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods….. Deuteronomy 28:64 KJV Abe mentally thanked Caleb as he boarded the train. He thanked him for the opportunity. An opportunity; that is all he needed. First it came when he was able to migrate to America. That would have been enough but now he had a real opportunity; and, to him, a real opportunity was more than a chance. Abe had fit the description of what Caleb was looking for; young, bright, strong, with no family. As the train rolled out of the New Orleans station, Abe knew more. A bit of misfortune had really been a blessing. True, he got sick and could not go to his territory the first year; but, while he was convalescing, Caleb let him take the steamboat trip up the Pearl River to resupply the peddlers. He was supposed to be one of them, a peddler; but no, the fever, the dreaded fever. It had almost cost him his life. It had been hard in Russia; but he was here, here in America and there had to be some blessing in his infirmity. There was. By resupplying the peddlers, Abe saw firsthand the money that they were generating. They were making money not only for themselves, but for Caleb. In short, he now knew both sides of the business. With that knowledge, he knew he wanted his own territory the next year. Next year, when he was healthy, he would have it. It was now next year. As the steam hissed from the pistons that turned the huge locomotive wheels, his mind raced forward, past being a peddler. He dreamed he would even exceed Caleb’s success. He would have his own store. Not only would he hire 8

peddlers to work for him, but he would have a store with a showroom. Caleb had come to America in 1857. A displaced Jew but with an eye for business, Caleb had started as a peddler too. He created his own territory and the novel idea of house to house peddling across the lake on the Northshore. He worked alone. He had no backup such as what he was now providing Abe and his team of peddlers. It was just himself. There were scary moments. On one occasion, he was arrested by the Confederates thinking him to be a deserter hiding in the Honey Island Swamp. That was a crime that could result in execution on the spot. Lucky for Caleb, when they heard his accent, they realized he was not one of them and let him go. Caleb realized very soon that, if he could make money working by himself, how much more he could make if he hired dozens of peddlers and they canvassed not only the Northshore, but central Mississippi as well. Abe and others like him would be part of his plan. Abe was twenty-two years old as best he could establish. He was tall, strong and handsome; but, most of all, intelligent. Abe had another asset. His mother had been German and very Arian. Abe had blue eyes, blond hair and, except for high cheek bones, had no resemblance to any specific ethnic group. Caleb knew he would be able to relate to the rural south that tended to judge character by appearance. He was Caleb’s favorite. The plan was that each peddler would be assigned a territory and be transported there by train. The New Orleans, Jackson and Northern Railroad ran from New Orleans basically through the center of the State of Mississippi.

Each was given a map, which Caleb had bartered from a Civil War captain and, from which, he drew handmade copies. On the map, he drew lines from the railroad east to the Pearl River, starting at points on the railroad, each twenty miles apart. Each peddler was to work both the north and south side of their line, a distance of ten miles; therefore, not infringing on each other’s territory. The idea was for each peddler to work their way to the Pearl River where they would meet a steamboat and resupply. By 1870, the river was navigable from New Orleans to Jackson. The steamboat America left New Orleans every ten days. The peddlers would then work their way back across the state to the railroad.

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Leaving in April or early May, they were to return in November to winter in New Orleans. Abe wanted to get to know the people in his territory and earn their trust. Somewhere in his territory, he would open his store. If the people already trusted him, he would have an instant clientele. Mary Dobson had grown up on a small farm with her mother and father and four brothers. Her father just did not have the skill to make the farm very successful and they were poor. Most people were poor, but they were poorer than most. She was the youngest of the five children.


She had been into town, a small village ten miles away, only three times in her life. She dreamed of the things she had seen there. Dresses that were already made and hanging on racks, store-bought shoes, ladies with umbrellas, beautiful horses that pulled carriages, and gas street lights. She saw what she believed were happy people, men and women that walked down the street together arm in arm. They appeared to love each other. She had never seen anything like that between her parents. She imagined herself living there and wearing a store-bought dress and shoes. Maybe even having a handsome man whose arm she could hold.


There was no romantic interaction between her mother and father. If there was conversation at all, it usually was an argument which ended with her mother getting whipped with a razor strop. It was the same one he used on her and her brothers. She dreamed of better. Mary knew she had one advantage. She knew she was pretty, or maybe even beautiful. Blonde hair and porcelain skin, she had grown into a shapely young woman. She realized that the few males she knew, both old men and young ones, treated her differently. If it were her beauty that caused this attention, she knew she would not hesitate to use it to acquire what she wanted. She dreamed that this may be her way out, her way into town. But, so much for her dream. When she was fifteen years old, she accompanied her father to the Wilson place about three


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miles away. They took two cows to be bred by the Wilson’s bull. They could not afford their own bull, and did not have enough cattle to justify one either. The Wilsons had passed away the summer before. Both had consumption. They had been hard workers and good money managers. The result was a nice place on 160 acres of land. Only eighty acres was cleared, but it had been their dream to soon clear the rest and put it into cultivation. They had even started building two small houses on the property to attract sharecroppers. When they passed away, these plans were put on hold. Their only child, Zack, was in charge now. He was just twenty-four. He had inherited not only the property, but the same work ethic as his parents. He was a good farmer and had plans to continue clearing the cultivable land. Mary had never met Zack. He had never been to their place and she had never been with her father on one of these cattle breeding trips. He welcomed them and offered them some water before proceeding to the barn. She noticed that he seemed flustered. He blushed when she looked at him, then immediately disappeared into another room in the house. In a moment, he reappeared with combed hair and a fresh shirt.

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In a few days, Zack came over to the Dobson farm. His purported purpose was to borrow a grappling hook. The rope on his well bucket had torn and the bucket had fallen to the bottom of the well. He hoped he could retrieve it by lowering the hook into the bottom of the well and snagging the bucket. Mary could not believe that her family had anything of value that the Wilsons did not have. Two days later, he returned. It was late afternoon and Zack was dressed in the best clothes that Mary had ever seen a man wear except those men in town. Not only did he bring back the hook, but also a small bunch of daffodils. Probably the ones she had seen growing in his yard.

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Mary did not go to the barn to watch the bull and the cow. Ladies did not do such. She walked in the yard and noticed that the outside of the home was painted. There was no paint on any part of her house. She also noted some well-tended flowerbeds in the front yard. All the rest of the yard was scraped clean with not one weed or blade of grass. There were daffodils in the flowerbed. There were no flowers in the yard at her house, and her dad kept a goat for the sole purpose of eating the weeds in the yard if they got too high.

Blushing, he said, “These are for you.” He awkwardly handed them to Mary.

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His trips became regular and, most of the time, he would sit on the front porch with her family and talk. His conversation was not interesting to Mary; and, even though she had never been courted, a girl has a natural instinct to know what is taking place. On the other hand, she thought he may be visiting

because of his loneliness; and, that, she could relate to. She did not like it. She did not like him. He did not have a store in town, an umbrella, or store-bought shoes. He was not handsome; in fact, far from it. She had no desire to walk arm in arm with him. She dreaded his visits. One evening, he came early and arrived just as her father was putting the mule in the barn. She saw them talking. In a few minutes, her father came to the house and Zack remained near the barn. Her father called her mother aside and soon her mother called her brothers. They were all to stay off the porch that evening, except Mary.

Mary almost laughed, but somehow she felt sorry for his clumsiness and the fact that he was drenched in sweat and his hands were shaking. She had to find a nice way to say no, but the words did not come. Finally, she said that she was too young; but she would think about it. Zack left, dejected but happy in knowing she had not said no. Her biggest surprise came when she told her mother and father that she did not accept his offer of marriage. Her mother went into a rage. When her mother calmed down, she took Mary to the porch. “Mary, you’re being selfish. We are about to starve to death on this farm and you are a woman. You cannot plow or plant like your brothers. You are just a useless mouth to feed.”

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Mary may have had a distant intuition, but she was shocked when Zack came up to the porch and said he had something he wanted to discuss with her. He then told her that he had asked her father if he could marry her, and her father had said yes.

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Mary protested that she did not love Zack, to which her mother replied, “There is no such thing as love. He will be good to you and a good provider. You owe it to us. And besides, if there is anything to love, you may grow to love him. Also, you need to remember that there is not another eligible man in eight miles.” Two weeks later, the family went to the church. Mary became Mrs. Zachariah Joseph Wilson. It was her sixteenth birthday. She was now twenty-one, with two children. She hated when he came near her; but, occasionally, she knew she had a duty to fulfill. She hoped there would be no more children and avoiding him was her best bet against it. On the other hand, he was everything her mother had suggested. He was a good provider, especially as compared to her father. He loved her and he was good to her. Unlike what her mother suggested, she had never grown to love him. She liked him and knew he was a good man, and he did take her to town with him every time he went. He even bought her a store-bought dress one time; and, the next time, a pair of shoes. They went to town three or four times a year.

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He, on the other hand, worshiped her. He thought to himself how beautiful she was and how lucky he was. The fact that she avoided him did not really disturb him. He assumed that women were just that way. John Boone was the wealthiest farmer in the region. He owned four-hundred acres just north of the Wilson place and not far from Mary’s parents’ place. It had not come into his possession totally honestly. All of his brothers went to the Civil War; but he, being older, stayed back to tend the farm and oversee the slaves. He knew the South had no chance at winning a war against the industrial North. He also knew that, when the war was over, the slaves would be worthless. He sold them and pocketed the money. When his brothers returned, he failed to tell them that he had sold the slaves. He just said that they had run off with the Yankees. Somehow, he ended up with the land and the money. There was a small creek that ran through his property. The neighbors had named it Boone’s Creek. In the spring, it would flood and render about eighty acres of his property inundated. The deposits of sediment left from the flooding also made this the most fertile part of his land. He decided to build a levy to stem the flooding. He worked on the levee for years.


Good price, too. And if you got some cool water, I might have some free candy for those handsome children of yours.”

the hill and you can wash up.”

“Sure, I will get you some water; but you will have to talk to my husband about buying anything. He is in the field about a quarter-mile yonder way. I will tell you what I need and you can discuss it with him.”

Zack felt comfortable with him and went back to the field. He would work a couple of more hours.

She named several articles that she needed and he had all of them. She also brought him a dipper of water. “I’ll just leave my goods here and go see your husband. What’s his name?” “Zack Wilson.” “Yes ma’am. I am going to see Mr. Zack Wilson right now. I’ll be back.” Zack knew that all the items Mary requested she needed. He followed the peddler back to the house to make the financial transaction. Mary liked Abe instantly. First of all, he was company. Not many people passed that way. He also was polite and he mentioned he was from New Orleans. Now that was a big city that she would love to go to. Finally, she felt guilty at the thought that he was handsome. She thought, if Zack could be handsome like that, things would be better. Zack and Abe got into a conversation and she could tell that Zack liked him too. She called Zack to the side.

Abe’s territory was about 100 miles up the New Orleans and Jackson Railroad from New Orleans. It was in early May and Zack was weeding the corn. Mary saw a man approaching from across the field. He was tall and had a pack on his back and dragged a sled-looking contraption behind him. As he got closer, she could hear him sing out.

“It would be nice to offer him supper and a place to stay. He is from New Orleans and I think the kids would like to learn about a big city. Besides, he would be good company for us, too.”

“I got thread. I got needles. I got shoe leather. I got candy for your children.”

With excitement, she rushed to Abe and extended the invitation.

He kept repeating this as she watched him come closer to the porch. Finally, when he reached the porch, he rolled the pack off his back and put it down almost at her feet.

“Yes, ma’am! It beats sleeping in the open and a good meal is always a treat for me. Can I bring in the stove wood or help you in any way?”

“Hello ma’am. My name is Abe, and I have got some things you probably need.

“No, that is not necessary. But, if you wish, there is a spring at the bottom of

“Good idea,” Zack said, “but he will have to stay in the hay loft. Tell him to leave any matches or anything that will start a fire on the front porch.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He took a few items out of his pack and started toward the spring.

Abe saw him leave and, instead of washing up, he followed Zack. “Mr. Zack, I suppose four hands are better than two. What can I help you do?” Just before dark, the two men stopped by the spring and both washed. Abe handed Zack a bar of soap. Not homemade lye soap, but sweet smelling soap. It was something Zack had seldom used. That night, all four of the Wilson family enjoyed the stories Abe told of New Orleans and Russia. Before he went to the hay loft for bed, he told them that he would be working this territory for the next few years. He showed them his map. He also told them he would be by to see them every May, and on his return trip in October. He shared with them that his dream was to open a store in one of the towns in his territory. He then reached into the pack and brought out two pieces of rock candy for the children. In the other side of the pack, he withdrew a very small bottle and handed it to Mary. “Flower water, ma’am. It smells good.” Finally, he pulled from his pocket a harmonica. On that clear spring evening, the melody of “Beautiful Dreamer” drifted on the night air. Mary thought the song was for her. There is at least one incident in everyone’s life when they reach a bend in the road that takes them in a different direction. The direction they choose can be rewarding or it may not. Some can seem one way and end up the other. Abe’s visit was such a day in Mary’s life. Since Mary had become the woman of the house, she had neglected the flower bed; the one where Zack had picked daffodils when he came courting. She was not raised with the luxury of flowers and saw no point in them. Something changed in

Mary the day she met Abe. The morning after he left, she broke ground in the old bed, found some bulbs and planted flowers. That evening, when Zack came home from the field, the change in Mary was obvious. She had a mirror on the front porch where there was light and a magazine with a picture of a city woman in it. Mary was cutting her hair to look as much like the picture as she could. Zack did not disapprove. She was also singing a song. Some of the words she did not know, but she could hum the melody.

Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me, Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee; um um um um um, Lull’d by the moonlight have all pass’d away! Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song, List while I woo thee with soft melody; Gone are the cares of life’s busy throng, Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me! Um um um um. What good are feelings if you can’t share them? Good feelings, the kind that stir emotions; the feelings that make you alive again, with the hope of love again! Or, possibly, a feeling of love you have never experienced! Mary had those feelings, but she had no one to share them with. She certainly could not share them with Zack. She could hardly wait until October. She felt she could share these feelings with Abe. It was just her natural intuition. Just as he had said, on a fall day the following October, she heard him. “I got needles. I got thread. To mend your pots, I’ve got some lead.” He approached the porch. “Mrs. Wilson, do you remember me?” Her feelings were hurt that he would think she did not remember. She had thought about him every day that he had been gone. “Yes, Abe, I remember. We’ve been looking forward to you coming by.” “Where is Mr. Zack?”

“He is in the field. He has some men helping him clear another forty acres. He hired a man with a team of oxen and he does not come home until after dark. Do you want some cool water?” “That won’t be necessary. If you don’t mind, I am going to wash off down at that spring. I have been thinking about a good wash for two days. Glad it’s a warm day for October. I will get me a drink there.” “You go right ahead and, this time, I am going to put you some better bed clothes up in that loft. It will get cool when the sun goes down. I’ll do that while you freshen and meet you back here.” She could feel a flush come over her. A sensation of warm and cold at the same time, even with chill bumps to prove it was a new sensation for her. Mary picked out a thick quilt, two sheets, and a light quilt to cover with. She hurried to the hay loft. She intentionally placed the bedroll close to the large loft door, hoping that she could see him during the night from her bedroom window. Abe was pleased that she seemed happy to see him. He, too, had thought of only her over the past five months. He had never had a problem attracting ladies. In fact, he had become known as quite a dandy among the ladies of New Orleans. His feelings for Mary were different. He, too, felt a sensation not present with the others. He had no guilt in his belief that Mary was not in love with Zack. He knew she could be his, and that is what he wanted. She started down the ladder and could hear him entering the barn. She quickly pressed her dress close to her body to preserve modesty as she descended the steps. When she reached the bottom, she turned, and there he was, right in front of her. Was it intentional on her part or just an accident? Only Mary will ever know. She lost her footing and fell into him. He steadied her, but he did not push her away. He pulled her closer. This was a new experience for Mary. She had never kissed anyone that she was attracted to. In fact, she had only kissed Zack and that was when she just had to. She put all her effort into it, just as he did. They both had thought October would never come;

but neither knew with certainty the other felt the same. Now, both of them knew. Again, she felt chill bumps all over her body and the sensation that she could not get a deep breath. It probably only lasted thirty seconds, but those seconds were the most sensational of her life to that point. That night, Abe entertained the family as before, but added some stories about other families that he had met. She wondered if there might be other Mary’s on other farms. She felt jealousy. She knew she wanted to own him. She would not share. As the evening ended, he told them he would be back in May. Before he left, he took his harmonica from his pocket and played “Beautiful Dreamer.” Before going to town with Zack, Mary had planned on what she would purchase. She convinced Zack that they could afford for her to have two store-bought dresses and some silk underwear. Just to make sure that he did not change his mind, she had been nice to him. It was bearable if she closed her eyes and dreamed of Abe. She already knew what would happen when Abe returned in May if the opportunity presented itself. On that late May morning, she heard him calling out his wares in the distance. How could she be so lucky? Zack had left early with the children to go to town. He had taken two sick mules in to see the doctor. He told her he would spend the night so that the doctor could treat them twice. He would take the children to the Old Opry House. She was invited but had decided to stay. She made up some excuse, but she knew in the back of her mind Abe would be coming any day. She had been right. As soon as he got close to the porch, she descended the steps and threw her arms around him. Just thinking about him the last few months had made her a passionate woman. Being a passionate woman is not something you learn. It is in you all the time, or it isn’t. He was just as passionate toward her. The way he kissed her, she knew there were no other Mary’s in his life. This time, they 13

kissed for several minutes. He then asked for the cool water and said that he wanted to go to the spring to wash up. She dashed inside, put on one of her new dresses and the silk underwear. It was the first time in her life she had ever worn silk underwear. She had not worn this dress before either. A dash of flower water and she felt pretty. She then grabbed the bedding and headed to the hay loft. After she finished making his bed, she did not leave. She waited. Soon he came up the steps. Nothing could be this wonderful. Nothing had ever stimulated her sensations like he did. She felt no guilt, just pleasure. They stayed in each other’s arms as the May breeze blew through the open door of the loft. He could feel the chill bumps on her body and feel her body quiver as his hands moved over her bare back. She could feel his hands; not soft hands, but not calloused like Zack’s. Abe’s strong fingers moved over her and she wondered how they could feel like they were in so many places at the same time. They stayed there for hours. He was so different from Zack. If Zack put his arms around her at all, it was just for five minutes, then it was over. In ten more minutes, he would be asleep. She prepared supper for the two of them; and, as darkness fell, they went back in the loft. They stayed there until dawn. The next morning, he told her that he would be back in October. He had saved enough money to buy a store. He asked her to leave with him. She did not hesitate. She said she would. For the next few days, she daydreamed about living in town, helping Abe with the store and maybe having someone helping her with the housework. She heard some city women had servants. In June, she felt ill. For the first time, she felt guilty. Was she pregnant? She did not think so. There were no other signs. She continued to get sicker. Finally, Zack took her to the doctor in town.

Mary was diagnosed with typhoid fever. The doctor gave her some medicine and told her to go home and rest. He was honest. There was not much chance that she would recover. Zack was devastated. Each day, he would prepare her breakfast, bathe her fevered body, take care of the children, wash the clothes, do the housework; and, all this, before going to the fields. Some days, she was only semi-conscious, but she was aware of his caring touch and gentle demeanor. The doctor had prescribed laudanum to ease the pain. Sometimes she would dream. At first, in these laudanum-induced dreams, she fantasized about Abe. Later, they began to be about Zack. She began to get better and stronger. Finally, she was able to sit up a few hours a day; and, by late August, she felt like she had almost recovered. She looked at Zack differently now. Maybe it was just because he had been so good to her and taken such gentle care of her, but maybe her mother was right. Maybe she had learned to love him. She no longer looked out the window when he wanted her. She actually enjoyed him. October was soon approaching and she had a dreaded decision to make. She knew Abe would be back and prepared for her to leave with him. She was confused. She loved Abe, but she had a new attachment for Zack. It would be easier if Abe just did not come. If he did come, what would she do? She did not know. That was not the case. How differently things would have been had he not come! She would think about that the rest of her life. He came; and again, he came on a day when her husband had left early to go to town to attend a farmer’s co-op meeting. Again, he had taken the children with him. They would be home late, after dark. She was in the barn, with the large barn door open. She heard him coming. He did not have his pack or his goods to sell with him. He saw her and began to run toward her with his arms open. When he reached her, she backed away. “No, Abe. I am not going.”

He replied, “What?” “You heard me. I am not going.” With no intent to harm her, he grabbed her firmly. He knew that if he could just kiss her, she would melt in his arms just as she had a few months prior. She knew she would too. She could not let him any nearer. She could not take the chance. Sobbing, she pushed him away. He was not going to let her go, not that easy. Her hand found the handle of a shovel. She did not mean to hurt him but she hit him on the side of his face. He fell to the floor. Realizing what she had done, she fell on his body. Grabbing his head, she kissed him, sobbing, “Abe, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Yes, yes, I will leave with you.” He did not respond. The words Abe wanted to hear would never be heard by him. Abe was dead. She could hardly see through her tears. She was not thinking clearly. There were so many things she could have done. She could have just said he tried to rape her and no one would have doubted her. But she didn’t. Mary bridled the horse. She struggled, but finally, with the help of a rope and pulley, she hoisted Abe’s body over the horse and secured it. She knew that John Boone had recently been working on his levee. She also knew that he and all the other men were at the co-op meeting. With Abe’s body on the horse and she leading it, she rapidly proceeded to the levee. There, she dumped the body in the soft dirt and mud. If she had only brought a shovel, but she had not. With her bare hands, she frantically heaped dirt on the body to a depth that she hoped would keep it covered until John Boone placed more dirt on it. In a few weeks, other farmers that were Abe’s clients began to wonder what had happened to him. They needed the supplies he sold. One neighbor mentioned that he had been to their place and said that his next stop would be the Wilson’s. He had also told them that this was his last trip

before he was to buy a store. A few days later, someone found all of Abe’s supplies hidden under some brush about a mile from the Wilson farm. That is where Abe had left them. Mary did not know this and had not anticipated this. The sheriff was notified and soon arrived at the Wilson place. Both Mary and Zack said they had not seen Abe and had themselves wondered when he was coming through. No one questioned them as to the truth. They were good people. Two years passed. It was a very rainy, wet spring. Boone’s Creek had never been higher in anyone’s memory. When the water subsided, it was obvious that the levee had broken. It was even more obvious that there was a body in the mud. It was decomposed, but it was determined by the clothing and the harmonica in the pocket that it was Abe the Peddler. This initiated a new investigation, and a thorough one. Mary knew it was just a matter of time before they would be questioned again. She knew that she and Zack would be prime suspects. Sobbing uncontrollably, Mary confessed everything to Zack. The infidelity, the plan to leave together, her change of heart and the body disposal - all she told, openly and honestly. She then asked Zack to take her to town so she could turn herself in. Zack never questioned her or blamed her. He held her, tightly pushing her head to his shoulder. He told her that he would not let her go to jail; and that no one would believe she did it unless she confessed. He also said that he would take the blame. To make it look more convincing, he would leave and not come back. That night, they made love. It would be for the last time. Within a year, Mary had moved to town and became a seamstress. Her mother had been wrong when she said that Mary was just a worthless mouth to feed. She had made all the family clothes since she was ten years old. She also had additional income, as she sold the Wilson place to John Boone. Zack had deeded it to her the night he left.

Emotionally, all was not well. At first, she grieved for Zack. Then, she found herself remembering how alive she had felt that afternoon and evening with Abe in the hay loft. No one knew Abe’s last name. The authorities decided to bury him by the main road that leads from Memphis to New Orleans. It was called the Jefferson Davis Road. They put up a large sign on a tree by his grave that read: Here lies Abe, a Jew Peddler believed to be from New Orleans If anyone knows who he is or if he has family, contact the sheriff. No one came forward. Over the years, the sign faded and finally rotted away. The story of Abe’s burial there was more of a legend than believed to be fact until 1936. In 1936, the highway was going to be widened and blacktopped. The new right of way would be over Abe’s grave. The local people remembered the legend of Abe the Jewish Peddler and thought it only fitting to have his body removed and given a proper burial. On a July day, about sixty-four years after he was killed, Abe’s body, or what remained of it, was exhumed. There is something that appeals to man’s curiosity about digging up an old grave. Besides, people wanted to finally know if the story of Abe was fact or fiction. Bits of a harmonica were found in the soil. The story of Abe had been true. There was a large crowd present and they followed the body to a very small rural cemetery, about a mile from where it had been buried. There was now a small synagogue in town and a Rabbi presided over the ceremony. A nicely dressed, elderly lady stood away from the crowd. She wore a store-bought dress and store-bought shoes. In one hand, she held an umbrella and, in the other, a small bottle of flower water. The crowd retreated from the grave site, pleased that Abe would finally rest in

peace. She stayed until the grave had been covered. A few attendants were still there when she approached the mound of earth. On the grave, she placed a bouquet of daffodils. An attendant later said he heard her say, “I should have gone with you.” No one cared enough to erect a grave marker. In a few years, the location of the grave was forgotten. This proved most unfortunate when, in the mid-1960’s, the road near the cemetery had to be rerouted. At the state’s expense, all the graves were excavated and moved to another site. Abe’s grave could not be found. Since it had no marker and no one even remembered the burial, it was left behind. As the bulldozer cut deep into the soil, a construction worker yelled, “Stop! There are bones.” The construction company superintendent was called over. The job was shut down for him to call his superiors. When he returned, he gave Abe his final resting place. “If we tell anyone that we found bones, they will shut this job down for a month. We can’t afford that. Scatter them in the hollow and we will put fill dirt and asphalt over them.” I think I know the dip in the road that was filled with dirt asphalt and, yes, Abe’s bones. I think about Abe and Mary when I cross that dip. I am probably the only one.

John S. Case

Thanks to my friend Molly Carruth Mandel and my Uncle Quentin Stringer for giving me the material on which this story is based. John Boone was my great-great uncle. Some of the inspiration from this story is from a historical article written by Royce Hart.


Read Mike’s past articles online  by: Mike Rich, CFP® | Pontchartrain Investment Management

Waste Not... I hate to waste things. My weekday lunches are leftovers, I wash and re-use plastic storage bags and, when I see a paperclip on the floor here at the office, I pick it up and put it with its little friends, to be used later. I try not to waste anything. I was raised in a wastehating family. We were not poor, and I can’t think of any time when I felt deprived, but money was never plentiful. My dad, a housepainter, was a well-known recycler long before it became cool, and we were amazed at the stuff he would bring home from his jobs. When I was in high school, we added a family room

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and a heated garage to our home. What might have been a costly extravagance in our neighborhood wasn’t much of a problem for my dad. He traded painting work for the bricklayer’s labor (my brother and I mixed and hauled the mortar), he installed the heating system himself, and he scavenged most of the wood used to build the addition. The ceiling in the family room was supported by beautiful, solid wood beams that he found (for free) at an old warehouse that was being demolished. I’m not sure how he got them to our house with our Chevy station wagon, but he managed somehow. I recall that he was one

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beam short to complete the ceiling, and he had to buy one at the lumber yard. It just about killed him to have to pay money for something. Now, I’d like to say that I have never wasted money, but that would not be true. I have. I wrote in this magazine several years ago about my zany purchase of a party barge and the hole in the water into which I dumped several thousand dollars. That was, by far, my biggest waste of money, but it certainly wasn’t the only one. What about yours? I tell clients that I don’t care if they spend all their money on potato chips and Cheez Whiz – or even a party barge – as long as they first save and invest 15 to 20% of their gross income. That might sound like a lot of money to set aside, and it is, but it’s doable by most people. The secret is to get started, set it on auto-pilot, stay away from the silly stuff you see on the Internet, and then leave your hands off. I can’t guarantee success,


but I’ve seen it work enough times to know that it can. If you would like to learn more about how this might work for you, call me for a complimentary discussion. I won’t waste your time.

Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. Pontchartrain Investment Management and LPL Financial do not provide legal advice or services. Please consult with your legal advisor regarding your specific situation. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment (s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing.



Saturday, March 26, 2022

For the Good of the People.

Honest. Fair. Available. 17


6 - 14







3 - 12


IN summer!


FRI & SAT at 8PM


IN summer!


I Want My MTV

IN summer!


MOON OVER BUFFALO Slidell Little Theatre > 8 PM

ST PATRICK’S DAY PARADE Olde Towne Slidell > 1:00 PM MOON OVER BUFFALO Slidell Little Theatre > 8 PM



MEMORIAL BUTTERFLY RELEASE for Hospice House Camp Salmen > 1:00 PM









KID’S PARADE • Children’s Museum of St Tammany • 10 AM - 1 PM




Ribbon Cutting AVALA OrthoCare Covington > 3:00 PM


Slidell Candidate Forum Slidell Auditorium > 5:00 PM

SKATE PARK PUBLIC MEETING Slidell Auditorium > 6 - 7:00 PM

1 - 3 PM • Food for Seniors Distribution Day @ St Luke’s






Small Business Council Covington Chamber > 8:30 AM




HAPPY BIRTHDAY  Krista Gregory




Chamber Golf Tournament Beau Chene Golf Club Covington > Tee Time 11:30AM

B2B Networking Covington Chamber > 8:30 AM





GEORGE DUNBAR ART EXHIBIT • Slidell City Hall Gallery By Appointment Only > Wednesdays - Fridays / 12 - 4 PM > Show runs thru April 22

Slidell Council Meeting > 6:30 PM

BINGO! Every Tues & Thurs • 3 PM Slidell Lions Club • 356 Cleveland Ave.


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Slidell Council Meeting > 6:30 PM 15


FAT TUESDAY in Olde Towne Slidell • 10 AM KREWE OF CHAHTA Lacombe • 1 PM

Mardi Gras


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FISH FRY! (Every Friday in Lent) St Luke’s • Drive-Thru (Baked or Fried) • 5-8PM






Camellia City Farmer’s Market Every Saturday 8 AM - Noon


FISH FRY! (Every Friday in Lent) St Genevieve • Drive-Thru (Opens for Lunch) • 11AM-6PM LOVE & ROSES GALA • 7 - 10 PM


ARTS EVENING Olde Towne Slidell • 5 - 9 PM

FISH FRY! (Every Friday in Lent) St Margaret Mary • Drive-Thru (with Mac & Cheese) • 5-8PM

Lions Club Pancake Breakfast • 8 - 11 AM SLIDELL STREET FAIR Olde Towne Slidell • 10 AM - 5 PM BAYOU JAM CONCERT Slidell Heritage Park • 5 - 7 PM




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Joseph & the Technicolor Dreamcoat > Cutting Edge Theater > 8 PM

Camellia City Farmer’s Market Every Saturday 8 AM - Noon H.E.R.P. SHOW

One Way Love: A Night of Hope Slidell Auditorium > 7:00 PM Joseph & the Technicolor Dreamcoat > Cutting Edge Theater > 8 PM 1 2 APRIL


MOON OVER BUFFALO > Slidell Little Theatre > 8 PM Joseph & the Technicolor Dreamcoat > Cutting Edge Theater > 8 PM


MOON OVER BUFFALO > Slidell Little Theatre > 8 PM Joseph & the Technicolor Dreamcoat > Cutting Edge Theater > 8 PM

FISH FRY! (Every Friday in Lent) Our Lady of Lourdes • Drive-Thru (Includes Dessert) • 5-8PM



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SLIDELL STREET FAIR Olde Towne Slidell • 10 AM - 5 PM







2 0 2 2

A biography by Charlotte Collins

Where should a story begin? Does it begin with someone’s birth? Does it begin with their earliest memories? These are the questions I often have while writing my articles. In George Dunbar’s instance, perhaps it could have started with his military diving experiences as a World War II veteran. It could have started with the beginning of his highly successful international art career. But this story will not be a biographical interview like most of my articles, so I will start with none of those. After all, there are books detailing his art career and his impact on the art world. Respected art critics have published articles in the top art periodicals summarizing his museum shows and work in the collections of the British Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Whitney Museum to name a few, as well as top galleries from New York to New Orleans. You have but to Google this famous artist’s name to get that sort of information.

George Dunbar Instead, I will start with one of the many humorous predicaments that the art world often presented for George. It is fairly well known that he and fellow artist and WWII veteran, Robert ‘Bob” Helmer, helped found the legendary Orleans Gallery, where modern art was heralded in the French Quarter. It was the first of its kind and now houses the Historic New Orleans Collection. Lesser known is the fact that his reputation went beyond that of an artist, to that of an art teacher. He lectured for the School of Architecture at Tulane, and started a private art school with Helmer. What you might not get out of the art books is the story behind the story. The 331 Art School was in the Chartres Street area, historically known as Storyville. In order to teach students to draw figures, artists must study anatomy, bones, and muscles. Once word spread about the live models posing for art students, sailors from the wharves began to arrive. George hoped they would leave out of boredom, because figure

drawing is a tedious, sedentary task (as George states, “nothing sexy about it”). But, on occasion, he and Bob would be forced to each grab the belt loops of a pestering sailor, lift him off the floor, quietly walk him towards the stairs, and give him the old heave-ho. After class, they and their students would wander down to Napoleon House and discuss art over cocktails for another hour or so, in true European fashion. George felt his students learned as much from conversing with their teachers about art, as they did while making art. Yes, George Dunbar is the real deal, and the last authentic icon of this gestural art movement, previously known as action painting. The fact that he is opening an exhibition on March 18 from his private collection in his beloved hometown is a first. Since none of this art is for sale, it is an example of his commitment to his community. You see, he is under contract with Callan Gallery in New

Orleans regionally. His contract does still allow him to continue his practice of inviting special guests to visit his home and the two studios on his property, to look at his new work, and request commissions. Outside of that, we hope this rare retrospective show in Slidell will provide the opportunity many of you have waited for. The show will be on display at the Slidell Cultural Art Gallery between March 18 and April 22. My nonprofit, The Olde Towne Arts Center (OTAC) and the Slidell Department of Cultural Affairs are working with George Dunbar and his assistant, Lizzie Shelby, to provide you with a look at the quintessential works that define his well known series, including rare pieces from his early decades and recent figurative works. I hope you will join me. George Dungar is a man with a myriad of experiences and interests, one who has contributed to our community in numerous initiatives that are worthy of our recognition. If you haven’t heard of our premier artist, or perhaps aren’t a follower of the arts, you will still find George’s escapades to be an interesting view from nearly a century of experiences. There are many different sides of this unique Slidellian: celebrated artist and teacher, prolific land developer, community activist, father, family friend, and mentor. This celebrated artist learned from famous modern artists like Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willemstad deKooning, Hans Hoffman, and Franz Kline. As a college student in the 1950’s, George received an amazing accolade when he was selected by his professors to show alongside Franz Kline in Philadelphia. Kline graciously gave George one of his artworks after the show was over. For those who may be unaware, Kline was one of the famous modern

Mallarme No. 11, 2011 Moon gold leaf over taupe and white clay with die keen

masters. I studied his works in art history, and was humbled to have him teach my students as a college professor. This group of modern artists were committed to non-representational art after World War II ravaged Europe, much like artists turned to abstraction

Deity IX, 2001 Gold leaf over die keen and red clay

after Hurricane Katrina. They left their lives in war-torn Europe in order to make a fresh start in New York. Dunbar was present as the world witnessed the first time the U.S. became the center for avant-garde artists. George learned from the best of the best of his time. As a child, I was too young to be aware of the significance of these experiences. I begin with my earliest memories of George as I was growing up. I knew him simply as Nina’s father. Going to the Dunbar home was something I looked forward to. George made sure that his daughter and sons had the experiences we all want for our children - fresh air, exercise in the great outdoors, and nature encounters that brought awe to every child that played there. Before he developed what is now Coin du Lestin, he carved out a spectacular piece of land for his family overlooking Bayou Bonfouca, with a huge expanse of protected marshland across the bayou that stretched as far as the eye could see. The home is visible only from the water. When he hosted parties, you could be certain it would

include surprises for adults and children. I was much too active, and drawn to batting at piñatas they brought from Mexico, throwing rocks in the air we hoped the bats would catch, swimming, paddling, horseback riding, and collecting all the artifacts there were to discover along the bayou.

unlike most developers. He left wildlife habitats so that families could take advantage of our bayous and rivers in premier subdivisions like Chamalé and River Oaks. He created stunning spaces where they could raise their kids in the great outdoors. In fact, George developed over 60 different living communities from Mississippi to Louisiana.

All the while, our parents watched us from the wide expanse of the brick porches His home on Bayou Bonfouca George Dunbar’s original Slidell residence that enveloped both sides of was chosen as the perfect site on Bayou Bonfouca the Dunbar home. Whether for a movie location - “Number we played at water’s edge One” starring Charlton Heston out front, in the artesian pool out back, around the and… our own George Dunbar. George’s opening fountains in the ponds, or back near the chicken coops scene was as a man passed out on his couch while and stables, we were near enough to be seen and Heston, the star quarterback, steals his girl. When the heard. Indoors, the Dunbar’s home was impressive, movie previewed at the Slidell Movie Theatre, they put with wide sliding glass doors revealing floor to ceiling Dunbar’s name on top of Heston’s. I will chalk that up views in every room. Little did I know that this home was to community pride. actually an architectural monument designed by Robert Through my eyes, however, he was still just a great Biery to complement the artist’s aesthetics. Dunbar’s dad. Our families vacationed together in Destin back in architectural works entitled Coin du Lestin are a series the late 60’s, when we had the unspoiled sand dunes of gold-leaf paintings conceived as he formulated his practically to ourselves. While playing with Nina on love for that land he developed. Bayou Bonfouca, I was introduced to creatures great On some level, I was aware that he created the space we played in, but I could not conceptualize that he was an amazing land developer. He was not interested in your typical subdivisions, but of those with acreage and idyllic waterscapes to be revealed. Like a sculpture, he carved out property, leaving trees and palmettos,

and small, from peacocks to ponies. I never knew what may wander up to me next - Zorba the goat, or Jocko the stud pony - hoping to snatch the treasures from our pockets.

Nina’s brothers, Kirk and especially Folwell, gravitated to organized sports. George arranged for land to be

donated for peewee football practice fields. Then he coached and arranged donations for uniforms. As a former football running back at Country Day High School, he made sure these boys took pride in their fields, and that they helped clean them after every game. Kids still play there today, but few know the history behind this land. Fast forward to my high school years, when my parents bought a 200 year old home and Coin Du Lestin LX, 1962 property on Bayou Liberty. Gold leaf on panel with incised lines That was when I came to appreciate George’s landscape aesthetics. He walked the land, pointing out native plants, specimen trees, and impressive water features that should be spotlighted. George was instrumental in helping design our landscaping and winding driveway that offered views of these pastoral features. His motto as a developer was to get on the tractor riding through raw land and, “let your vision lead you on a path from one area of interest to another.” Here was a refreshing alternative to creating grids as the crow flies straight to your intended destination, with little beauty to rest your mind as you traveled. Dunbar used his aesthetics in art to create art within the environment, inviting visitors to meander and appreciate their surroundings. George is quick to joke, “If you find yourself on roads or driveways in St Tammany Parish that cause you to curve about, I probably designed them.” One of his art series you will see in the exhibit, his Bonfouca series, sprang from this exploration of the land. As a matter of fact, most of his series’ are named after locations in St. Tammany Parish. As a teenager, I became aware that George Dunbar was particularly proud of the natural beauty in St Tammany Parish, and did his part to be a good steward. He and J. V. Burkes developed the first Mosquito Abatement District, making outdoor spaces more livable. Even before Keep Slidell Beautiful, he was a front runner in citizenry activism, promoting

trash pickups even in our remote area. He also advocated for protecting the stately oaks, cypress and magnolia trees native to the bayou country. He and my mother fought to preserve the old oaks that lined Front Street, but that was a battle they unfortunately lost. They saved the ancient ones along Bayou Liberty Road thankfully. Locally, he has been awarded the Bravo Award for St. Tammany, the Community Arts Award from the City Council of New Orleans, and the Silver Circle Award by the Contemporary Art Center. In college, I chose a career in the arts, and that is when I finally became aware of the professional artist known as George Dunbar. He was a true mentor, encouraging me to get involved in the Slidell Commission on the Arts, of which he was a founding member. We served on the board together as he guided us in the renovation of the old library into our first gallery. Under his vision, I learned the finer points of curating a quality art exhibition, and the first of what I call “Tips from George”. In this application, his motto was, “Leave room around each piece of art so it can breathe” and “Dare to go beyond the expected” in our selections. As a mentor for my growth as an artist, he pointed out my originality. As he often proferred, “It is much more fun to change than stay stagnant, but you want someone to be able to see your work out of context and still know that it is one of your pieces. That is when you will know that you have moved beyond what you were taught, and have become an artist with your own signature style no matter how you branch out.” George has certainly achieved this, as his work can be recognized at a glance. His work is uniquely his own, with all of his life experiences leading to each new series. I love that there is a personal history behind each image.

Freret- Surge Series, 2020 Palladium leaf over die keen, rags, black and red clay

As I began working with George as a studio assistant, his stories from World War II came out.

He talked about wanting to his own direction in college, join the battle at age 17. His instead of following his family mother, Ethlyn Legendre heritage in law studies. He Dunbar, agreed to sign for was now allowed to choose him under one condition: he the best art schools that were join the Navy so he might nearest the burgeoning art “die clean” should it come to scene. that. After all, his brother was As George worked the clay already in the service, and his surfaces in his studio, he mother was trained in World related his memories from War I to be an ambulance his youth. I learned that his driver, which was far from Aunt Anina Terrell, who had what she wished for her son. no children, took George George also was an excellent under her wing. He loved to swimmer, so it was a good visit her ranch in Colorado, fit. Little did she know that where the physical labor was he would become a salvage exactly what his football coach diver in the Navy. Arriving at prescribed. George would the “Pearl of the Orient” after Crestone No. 13, 2021 imitate the gestures of baling 22 karat gold leaf with black and red clay the destructive bombings in hay, and talk about how it the Philippine harbors, you worked his muscles. It was can imaging how gruesome there that he also learned a the sights and smells may love of the mountain and lake have been. He described sleeping every night on the features that this high land had to offer. Pointing to his deck amongst the rats, in a hammock, surrounded new silver leaf Crestone series on the wall, he told of his by the smell of remains, with a 45 automatic pistol to memories from the remote area near Pike’s Peak. He protect their equipment on the boat. I’m not sure this hiked the mountains, and brought pack trains of mules is how his mother pictured it would be. with camping equipment. They fished the cold creeks I will skip over the gruesome experiences and move to how he met a young Chinese/Russian beauty. She sang in the Manila Hotel, the first to be restored, which was now owned by General MacArthur. She learned to sing in English from a Victrola. George’s proudest memory is standing next to MacArthur in 1945 when the General officially freed the Philippines. The vision that stood out was that McArthur let the Philippine regime march first, out of reverence, even though they had no uniforms, just shorts and machetes. The pride resonated through the crowd at having helped to free their country. As he said, “If we hadn’t won that war, this would be a different world today.” He credits the GI Bill with allowing him to choose

for Rainbow Trout and cooked them. The memory from this picturesque mountainscape was etched in his brain, as he recently started a series of topographical views of that mountain peak. The Assistant Director of the New Orleans Museum of Art will soon own this piece.

The Dunbar family: Nina, Kirk (holding Nina’s son, Dunbar Mecklin), Folwell and George

In time, he shared how he came to join the Modern Art movement. Beginning at the age of seven, his mother would bring him to New York in the summers, as she loved the theatre. She would drop her young son off at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for hours, letting him wander amongst the masterpieces on his own. George attributes this with his discovery of the styles of art he was drawn to most. Later,

Aunt Anina would also bring her nephew to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Once again, George was allowed to wander the rooms in the museum at will and that is how he says he “learned my own aesthetics.” He preferred the anatomical forms in Greek marble sculptures and Medieval armor. I looked over at his Deity series, and could see the inspiration behind them.

Another tip came when he showed me the under layers of his structural surfaces. He stated emphatically, “Using unique materials allows your work to stand out, especially when others are in the room (gallery).” George’s media is far from traditional, and it definitely grabs the viewer’s eye, and holds it. The shiny surface of silver, platinum and gold leaf belies the physicality of “the bones” as George says, that lie These seemingly uneventful beneath. Using whole arm Flora IV, 1997 Moon gold over clay trips allowed George gestures to rapidly apply to feel comfortable in the modeling paste, he the art museums and then adds his “signature art mark” using saws, ratchets art galleries in New York. During his college years, he and belt sanders. He applies this technique to all of his took the train from Temple University to New York every relief works. Watching a 94-year-old man apply such weekend to listen to the new jazz musicians, like Sidney energy is inspirational. Bechet, and to see the latest art shows. As he rode the trains, he began drawing the sleeping train riders. The biggest lesson I have learned from George is to always be open to “accidental triumphs.” Artist Mark This is what George attributes to his skill of capturing Rothko had remarked to George that he felt he lost a person’s stance or gesture quickly. In college, New York is precisely where George set his goals. After energy if he went back and tried to fix parts he wasn’t meeting this goal, he raised the bar to be featured in happy with. Instead, he encouraged artists to keep going collections at the Museum. Today, forward with the momentum. George his shows in the New Orleans took this to heart, but added that, if galleries usually sell out during you find a way to incorporate those the preview openings. Everyone accidental discoveries, that’s when needs an Aunt Anina to inspire you find those “ah-ha” moments. young people on their career path! If you haven’t seen Dunbar’s work in awhile, you may be surprised The more we worked together, the at some of his newer directions. more George shared his lessons He is always striving to reinvent from the inventors of the Modern himself, far from what he jokingly Art movement. He related how De calls “a one trick pony”. Kooning espoused spontaneity and intuitive expression. Pointing to one of his earliest works, George described how he drew with ink and string in an exercise to allow him to give up the inherent need to be in control. “You have to give up one thing in order to gain something else. I learned to use my whole arm to capture the energy in gestures, as opposed to using just my wrist and fingers.”

Personally, the highlight for me was learning George’s special recipe for egg emulsion. It is a time honored recipe as used in works by Michelangelo and Vermeer from the 1500-1600’s. My mentor was the first person to show me this old master’s technique, including my eight years of college training. This is how the masters created

Louisette Brown and George

glowing portraits with rich, with motion. His motive is dark backgrounds. George to be certain young people explained that the dark can begin to collect art. background was created Most of his work is time when linseed oil yellowed consuming, large and with age. He laughed as out of their price range. he explained that it actually I have to commend his doesn’t take linseed oil very altruistic efforts so that long to start yellowing, “You they can afford to begin just have to put it in a closet.” their own art collections. Above: George’s residence on Bayou Bonfouca. As he pulled out some of He has nothing to gain Below: The Dunbar art studio at his home site. his figurative drawings, he from creating these less began to paint… and the expensive works, other luminous effect was immediate, creating an almost than to extend a hand to the next generation. magical illusion of form. I invite you to make an appointment to see this exhibition Thanks to his success in the arts, George no longer needs to develop land. Eventually, he built a second home on Bayou Bonfouca, designed in conjunction with Architect Lee Ledbetter. George named it Pleasure Point. It is within a stone’s throw from his previous home. Unfortunately, Katrina was not kind to that home or property. But all is not lost; because, along with the new home, he also created a new art series named appropriately, the Surge series. A portion of this series is further earmarked as the Torregano series, named for the late Paul Torregano, a master carpenter, who worked tirelessly alongside George as he developed Coin du Lestin. He also helped my family develop part of our bayou frontage and created a slew that fisherman reverently call Bayou Paul to this day.

As the sun set spectacularly one recent afternoon, George and I sat and had a highball on this new porch, overlooking almost the same marsh scene I remembered from my childhood. George would motion across, with a sweep of his hand, and exclaim how much he and Louisette Brown love watching the marsh change with the time of day and through the seasons. “We love looking at a garden that is always changing.” In particular, he was moved when the wind marched across the tall marsh grass, inspiring his Marsh Grass series. His Rouville series is a much more playful look at how Mother Nature creates patterns with organic leaf-like shapes. Another “tip from George” was imparted as we went back to the studio, and he discussed the transparency in shadows, and showed me how to apply glazes to depict that illusion. He pointed out the seldom noticed reflected light that often lies between the darkest shadows and the lightest highlights. One thing George has started recently is a return to figurative works, small intimate drawings that undulate 26

and discover for yourself the energy and movement behind each series. You will be exposed to some of his earliest works, and some of his newer works. OTAC is honored to join Slidell’s Department of Cultural Affairs to host this event. I can assure you, there is something there to impress each viewer.

For those of you who want to know more, I hope to present a virtual tour with George of his studio beginning March 9. If you miss that, George intends to begin figure drawing classes once COVID is fully resolved. I am still waiting impatiently, as I know I have so much more to learn from him. Far beyond the famous artist of excellence as we know him, this is a man who is committed to authenticity, originality, and community. In the meantime, stay curious, creative, and compassionate my friends! More info on the online tour and other classes for those age 50+ can be found online:






Dental Care for your Entire Family 985-641-1181 • 1101 Robert Blvd, Slidell, LA •

“Your Estate Matters” By Gina C. Noto, Trust Paralegal/Notary Public


There Really Is

No Fun In Funding

You may remember reading my article about revocable living trusts, especially if you have one. One of the benefits is avoiding probate/succession in all states where you own property. This can only happen if all “probatable” assets are titled in the name of the living trust prior to death - the process we call funding. This estate planning tool works beautifully, but only if you are willing to put in the work during life. Once a living trust is created, it is time to fund your trust—let’s call it Doe Living Trust. I reiterate that the first step is knowing what types of accounts/assets you own. Succession (called probate in most states) is the legal process of changing title from the deceased person’s name, into the name of the heirs (called “legatees” if one dies with a Last Will and Testatment). Probatable assets are those that would have to go through this probate/succession process, and typically include bank accounts, investment accounts (after-tax accounts, NOT retirement accounts), savings bonds, individually-held stock certificates, and real estate. The funding process will vary with each financial institution as to what documentation they require, and how long it will take to satisfy your request. Few banks actually retitle the

existing account, maintaining the same account number. Most often, the bank or brokerage firms will require that you establish a new “trust account” then the funds from your individually-owned account are transferred to the Doe Living Trust account. It is up to you to be sure this process is completed. Unfortunately, we’ve seen the brokerage firm establish the trust account, but never fund it, so all money was left in the account titled in the client’s individual name, and therefore it was subject to probate. Funding of real estate must be done in a very particular document, usually an Act of Donation or Quitclaim Deed, prepared by a Notary or Attorney, signed by all parties, in the presence of two witnesses and a Notary Public. For our trust clients, we prepare this deed to transfer title of all Louisiana real estate. We also prepare an Extract of Trust, which includes the name of the trust, the trustees, successor trustees, and beneficiaries of the property. Both the Quitclaim Deed and Extract of Trust are recorded in the Parish where the property is located. This is the only public record of your trust, unlike a succession where all pleadings are

filed with the Court and become public record (with the exception of a sealed Detailed Descriptive List). Once your living trust is fully funded, you must maintain it. We recommend an annual funding check to be sure the title of all bank/brokerage accounts show Doe Living Trust on the statements. A good time for this annual check-up would be January when you receive 1099 statements, be sure they are addressed to Doe Living Trust. When you open new accounts, or purchase new property, you must remember to take title to these assets in the Doe Living Trust. What if you inherit property? An inheritance would be in your individual name, so don’t forget to change the title to your trust. A properly funded living trust avoids succession/probate because you die owning no probatable assets, and the trust continues to be managed by the successor trustees you named in the Doe Living Trust. Funding is a tedious process and really is no FUN, but it is absolutely necessary. The most comprehensive and expensive living trust is absolutely worthless if you fail to fund it, and having to open succession is just more money spent unnecessarily.

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 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 •


This month, our continuing coverage of non-profits is about Big Sky CARES (Community Animal Resources & Education Services.) In 2019, St. Tammany Parish Animal Services open-intake shelter’s overall save rate was 42% and only 30% for cats. This meant that 70% of cats coming into the shelter died there. That same year, CARES received a grant through Best Friends Animal Society from the Rachael Ray Foundation to formalize a community cat program with St. Tammany Parish Animal Services. The two organizations worked together to trap, sterilize, vaccinate and return unowned cats, rather than adding them to an over-crowded one-way shelter system. The parish-funded spay/neuter voucher program covered community cats at 100% with no copay. With an established community cat program, the live release rate for St. Tammany Animal Services is up to 95%! This is a HUGE success for St. Tammany Parish, our animals and the community as a whole. CARES’ mission is “changing the ways people think and feel about living with and caring for animals.” The next step is to get the word out to other parishes and communities, update their leash laws and implement the same programs. In 2018, I shared with you about Big Sky Ranch (BSR)/CATNIP (Care Advocacy and Treatment of Neglected and Indigent Pets) Foundation as part of my continuing coverage series about Louisiana heroes. They performed heroic animal rescues during and after the catastrophic Hurricane Harvey flooding in west Louisiana and east Texas. The organization was founded in 2012 by Dr. Catherine Wilbert and Sharon Schluter to spay and neuter free roaming, unowned cats and prevent unwanted litters by owned pets. Now

for Animal Care in Louisiana 30

Story and photos by Donna Bush


they have taken their mission a step further in their efforts to aid animals and people in Louisiana. Big Sky CARES /CATNIP Foundation is the umbrella 501(c)3 non-profit animal welfare organization devoted to alternatives to euthanasia and lowering the number of animals entering shelters and dying there. A large part of this is their new low-cost community animal clinic and hospital. In August of 2016, while performing many animal rescues in the wake of the devastating flooding of Southeast Louisiana, their dream of opening an affordable care clinic was born. Some of the hardest hit areas were also some of the most impoverished parishes in the State. They rescued approximately 300 animals from these highly impacted locations. After bringing them to the Ranch for medical evaluation, they found that only 1 of the 300 was spayed/neutered! This fact really brought home to them the desperate need for affordable spay/ neuter and vet services. In working with the communities, they learned

that it wasn’t that residents didn’t want to spay/neuter and care for their pets; they simply couldn’t afford it. It literally was the difference between food on the table or vet care. After the floods, they set up transport stations at truck stops in Tangipahoa and Livingston Parishes, where residents could meet them and drop off their cats for spay/ neuter. BSR was bringing trailer loads of 50-75 cats to LSU Vet School for affordable care. They spent the year following the floods writing grants to raise money for spays and neuters. As soon as word got out that vouchers were available, people flocked in to take advantage of the offer. Louisiana is the third poorest state in the US. The lack of care for animals is a combination of poverty, lack of low-cost options and generational attitudes about animals. If your parents didn’t spay/neuter pets or visit a vet annually, you’re more likely to do the same. It truly is a case of “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

Low-cost spay/neuter • Emergency and Critical CaCre • Healthy start kitten/puppy packages • Preventative and basic care • Annual wellness checks and vaccinations • Microchips • X-ray and ultrasound • Laser therapy and acupuncture • Dental Cleaning, surgery and X-ray

BIG SKY CARES PROGRAMS • Safe Housing Program Provides housing for pets of domestic violence survivors. • Indigent Pet Program Provides urgent medical care for owned and homeless animals in need. • Neonatal Critical Care and Kitten Socialization Program Helps feral or sick kittens become healthy, socialized, adoptable pets. • Seniors for Seniors Pet Companion Program Helps adopters who are 65 and older adopt an older cat (age 7 or older). • Barn Cat / Working Cat Program Pairs suitable cats with families or farms that need a superstar mouser to live outdoors on their property. • Rescue Bank, an initiative of Help distribute pet food donated by manufacturers and retailers to qualified animal welfare groups based on a national food bank model. LEARN MORE about their services and programs on their website, 31

CARES TRANSPORTS IN 2021 Another way that CARES helps animals in our area is by transporting them to adoption partners in other states. When Parish Animal Service partners pull cats and dogs from shelters, they are brought to CARES for evaluation, medical treatment, and preparation for travel to an adoption partner in another state. A minimum of $100 is spent on Education is an important key to changing the way Louisiana addresses animal care. As a kid, I remember Animal Control (“the dogcatcher”) driving through the neighborhood and rounding up stray dogs. This is still the policy in many cities and parishes. Animals are piled into crowded buildings with little resources available for care. They are often unspayed, unneutered, and unvaccinated. This leads to a lot of ill animals, unlikely to be adopted or returned to their owner and more likely to eventually be euthanized. According to Dr. Wilbert, there’s a whole movement to revamp Animal Control.The Human Animal Support Services (HASS) model’s primary goal is to keep people and pets together. “We are bringing animal welfare organizations and community members together to engage in partnerships that support the bond of people and animals,” she explained. This is a collaborative effort facilitated by multiple animal welfare organizations. In the traditional model, pets in need were separated from their families.

every ‘healthy’ animal received for spay/neuter, vaccinations, microchip, feeding and boarding - and even more if the animal is sick or injured. Transports happen at least twice a month and often, four per month. In 2021, compassionate CARES volunteers drove 58,324 miles to ten states and saved the lives of 347 cats and 50 dogs! 3500 animal shelters across the country take in 6 million dogs and cats per year for many reasons - loss of job or home, moving to a place that doesn’t allow pets, a found or injured pet, or some other crisis. The shelter is then responsible for finding placement for these animals through adoption or rescue groups. Many open-intake shelters frequently operate at over 90% of their capacity.

Partnerships with animal welfare agencies help pet owners access the resources they need. When lost pets stay in the neighborhood where they are found, they are reunited with their owners 86% of the time. People have access to telehealth for their pets, reducing the need for in-person vet visits.

A lack of space and funding for programs leads to approximately 1.5 million of the animals that come into the shelter annually being euthanized. There are very few programs available to keep pets and their owners together during tough times.

Some people are concerned that this results in turning away animals. Not true. Instead, these programs allow pets to receive the necessary care without having to be surrendered. This model allows shelters to take in pets in need when a flood or hurricane strikes, and helps pets stay in their communities with their families.

The traditional model focused mainly on sheltering and housing animals with only a small portion focused on community-based services, such as spay/neuter and vaccine clinics. In the HASS model, shelters act as a hub to become a community animal center and ICU room for animals in need. Fostering becomes the preferred way to care for animals.

In 2018, BSR opened a small spay and neuter clinic at their 10-acre site for animals in their care. As more pet owners adopted from them and utilized their programs, demand grew for their low-cost vet care. Eventually, they opened their small clinic to the public, resulting in a long waitlist for spay/neuter. The traffic quickly became too much for the road at the Ranch

HOW YOU CAN HELP BIG SKY RANCH / CARES: Donate. Volunteer. No amount or task is too small. They desperately need consistent volunteers to help with laundry; care for animals; clean and sanitize cages before and after transports; clerical duties; social media; handyman duties, etc. Every single volunteer hour directly helps save an animal.

LEARN MORE AT: (website) | (Facebook) (Instagram) 32

and hazardous to their free-roaming animals. Also, in 2018, they worked closely with then-St. Tammany Parish President, Pat Brister to create the spay/neuter voucher program. She was all for it, quickly shifting money to provide vouchers. It was so popular, they ran out of money in their first 2-month trial period! In 2019, they began the search for property nearby and found their new 6000 sq. ft. building with the thought to build out the space to handle high volume, high quality, low-cost care. Their vision: “The socioeconomic level of the animal’s owner should not determine the animal’s level of care.” They purchased the building, secured funding and donations and then Covid hit; locking everything down. Many of their in-kind donations went away, leading to longer and more costly construction. When they opened their doors in 2021 as Big Sky CARES, they thought this would offer a step up from the craziness of the small clinic at the Ranch, allowing them plenty of time to develop clinic and wellness protocols, vaccination schedules, etc. Instead, with so many vet clinics closed for Covid, they became the defacto ER clinic, with phones ringing off the hook. They couldn’t keep up with the waiting list for spay/neuter. As Catherine said, “These are all good problems to have.”

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

Big Sky CARES is a direct implementation of the HASS model and has worked tirelessly in the community to change the ways people think and feel about living with and caring for animals. “We achieve our mission statement every single day, because we see the change in the people,” Dr. Wilbert said. “They can’t change without having the tools.” Many animal welfare organization’s mission statements only mention animals and leave people out entirely. CARES is all about including people in the solution. I can attest to their low-cost care as our adopted feral cat received his medical treatment there. In addition to staying over two months, he’s had multiple surgeries, daily laser treatments, antibiotics, pain meds, etc., and all at an affordable price. I hate to think what this would cost us if we had to take Floyd elsewhere. And the best part of his care is that the entire team of employees and volunteers love on him daily! I think he just might be the Big Sky Rockstar! Big Sky CARES’ reception in the community and state has been overwhelming. There’s a waitlist of people wanting to use their services. People are driving from all over the state, another prime example of how desperately these services are needed. In addition to the low-cost community animal clinic and hospital, there’s also the Calico Cat Café and Adoption Lounge where adopters can mingle with available pets in

I’d love to help find your perfect

Dream Home just in time for a Spring Garden of your own!

Penny Stettinius, REALTOR (Licensed in LA and MS) P:

601-273-6565 E: 33

a chilled environment, enjoy local baked goods and events like Cat Yoga. There’s a retail shop, offering affordable petthemed jewelry, arts, gifts and pet supplies. They also have pet boarding space. Both operate as for-profit to help offset the costs of running their charitable services.


Why are animals adopted so much more quickly in other states than here? There’s not such an overabundance of animals available for adoption because these states embrace spay/neuter programs and alternatives to openintake shelters. Also, our milder climate leads to year-round kitten breeding season. Thanks to grants from Bissell Pet Foundation and PETCO, CARES was able to provide spay/neuter, vaccinations and microchips for community animals at no cost to the owner. Raising the bar for our community would mean not only access to affordable care for the community and their animals but helping other animal welfare organizations and municipalities to learn better options for their animal services. Per Catherine, “We want to raise the bar for animal care in Louisiana. But the bar is very heavy and very low. We can’t do it alone. We need help.” Please help with your support of this worthy organization that provides so much for our community. Help spread the word about the amazing difference they are making in the lives of people and animals.

During 2021, CARES provided 2500 low-cost care appointments, adopted or transported 825 animals to new homes and distributed 800,000 bowls of pet food to other rescues and families in need. They are one of the few organizations that I’m aware of with a track record of 95% of donor dollars going directly to their mission!



Arts Under The Dome is the long-running concert series offered by First United Methodist Church in downtown Gulfport, MS.

Arts Under the Dome Spring Concert Series SEASON TICKETS: $50

March 12

Their mission is to present first-class artists that people may not otherwise have the opportunity to see, for a reasonable ticket price, in a beautiful setting – under the 100-year-old stained glass dome in the First United Methodist Church sanctuary.


March 26

Kittel & Company

Shotgun Jazz Band

Kittel & Co inhabits the space between classical and acoustic roots, Celtic and bluegrass aesthetics, folk and jazz sensibilities. Led by 2019 Grammy nominee, Jeremy Kittel.

Shotgun Jazz Band plays Traditional New Orleans Jazz in the spirit of the great Revivalists.

April 2

May 14

Amy Speace

The Kruger Brothers

One of the leading voices in the new generation of contemporary folk singer-songwriters.

Infusing classical music into folk music, creating a unique sound that has made them a fixture within the world of acoustic music.


Love & Roses Gala F R I DAY

March 18, 2022

7 - 10 PM • Harbor Center Enjoy live & silent auctions, food, libations and more! Cocktail attire. Donation: Couple $100 / Single $75 Reserve your tickets at

(use smartphone camera to click the QR Code below) or call Diane: 504-621-5544 or Beth: 504-458-9900

A faith-based, non-profit fighting sex trafficking “to set the captives free”



2768 Sgt Alfred Dr | Slidell, LA 70458 | 985-643-1112 | In 2004, Dwight and Leslie Denham had a business plan and a dream of owning their own business. “We wanted a local business that could support our family,” Dwight explained, “but we really didn’t foresee a business which would impact our community and the lives of so many local families in the ways that it has.” In November of 2004, the Denhams opened Slidell Adult Day Health Care. At first, they struggled to get clients and make their new business a success. For reference, an adult day care is exactly what it sounds like - a safe and fun environment for seniors to go (Monday - Friday, 7:30am - 5pm) to socialize with their peers, participate in activities, get exercise and eat meals together. There’s always a nurse on site and all staff are trained in CPR and basic first aid. The staff also can assist with feeding, toileting, and ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living). “We were starting to worry a bit during that first year, but then Katrina blew through town and everything changed,” Dwight said. “It was a real turning point for us.” Slidell Adult Day Health Care (SADHC) re-opened after Katrina in April of 2006. As Dwight explained, “Business was booming!” They went from 4 clients to 20+ clients, practically overnight. The Adult Day Care industry developed as a direct response to the rapid growth

of the Nursing Home industry. Nursing homes in the U.S. are projected to generate revenues of nearly $150 billion in 2022. SADHC was built on the premise that family members needed an alternative to a traditional nursing home. Adult Day Cares exists in the middle area between In-Home Personal Care , where helpers serve patients in their own home; and Nursing Homes, where patients move full-time into a facility outside of their home. Slidell Adult Day Health Care caters to families who want to keep their loved ones at home, but don’t want them to feel isolated and cut-off from the world. “Family caregivers often experience depression, anxiety, exhaustion and can feel overwhelmed, especially when caring for a loved one with dementia,” Dwight says. Caring for a loved one with a dementiarelated illness is a 24-hour job, and many families are ill-equipped to make a smooth transition to long-term care at home. Often a caregiver will have to quit a job or radically change their normal routines to provide the needed care. This can lead to frustration, stress and new tensions at home.

like family, and become like family to each other. They look forward to coming everyday to socialize with their friends, tend to the flowers and vegetables in our garden, sing songs, exercise, do art projects, and have fun.” Adult Day Health Care private pay costs $60 a day, but often clients attend at no cost through an ADHC waiver or Veteran’s benefits. Additionally, SADHC offers completely flexible schedules - many clients love to come every day, some only come a few days a week. It all depends on their (and their caregivers’) personal schedules. SADHC also can provide wheelchair-accessible transportation to and from the center. Slidell Adult Day Health Care offers so much more than a place to visit. They offer an extended family of friends to add life to living!

Dwight & Leslie would love to give you a tour of their facility! Please call 985-643-1112, or visit their website:

“Our slogan – Sharing the Caring – is meant to help both our clients and their caregivers live a fuller and more satisfying life,” Dwight explains. “Our clients are

“We Add Life to Living”


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