Slidell Magazine - March 2023

Page 1


Vol. 149 March 2023

Arts Evening Arts Evening

Saturday, April 15, 2023

5-9 pm • Free Admission

Olde Towne Slidell

646-4375 •

Local Artists & Artwork

Live Entertainment

Fine & Casual Dining

Antique, Boutique & Unique Shopping

Salad Days Stude nt Ar t Exhibit

George Dunbar Gallery in the Slidell Cultural Center at City Hall

The City of Slidell and the Commission on the Arts would like to thank our 2022/2023 Cultural Season Sponsors for making this event possible:

Renaissance $5,000 Sponsors:

Baroque, $2,500 Sponsor : Silver Slipper Ca sino

Neoclassical, $1,000 Sponsors: Councilman Bill & L aura Borchert

Lori ’ s Art Depot & Community Arts C Center • • Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance Agency

Impressionism, $500 Sponsors: P. David Carollo, Attorney At Law • CiCi’s Pizza

Mayor Greg Cromer • State Representative Mary DuBuisson, District 90

Roberta’s Cleaners • Slidell Historic Antique Association

• The City of Slidell presents •
“Spring in Olde Tow ne ” by Colleen Marquis Arts Evening 2023 Poster Artist
Plus + Publications



As a self taught artist, Colleen Marquis creates art that builds on natural talent as well as her incessant interest in exploring new ideas. A native of Louisiana, she started drawing at an early age and has spent many years learning new techniques self taught through her own explorations into the world of art. Her work includes paintings of oil, watercolors and pen and ink drawings. Her latest projects are creating three dimensional pieces made with mosaic tiles. Her work has been featured in many juried exhibitions and has won numerous awards. Her traditional ideas combined with her extraordinary talent have resulted in many fine pieces of artwork.

Colleen is honored to be chosen as the 2023 Arts Evening Poster Artist with the beautiful painting of our quaint Olde Towne antique district.

This cover is also unique in that it is the first time that we’ve had two members of one family as Cover Artists. Colleen’s daughter, Susan Erickson, is a two-time Slidell Magazine Cover Artist. What a talented family!



John Case

“The Storyteller”

Charlotte Collins

Extraordinary Slidell Neighbors

Mike Rich

Making Cents of Your Money

Donna Bush Rolling Into 2023

Suzie Hunt

A Tradition of Cabbage, Beer and Love for a Community

Ronda M. Gabb Legal-Ease

Kendra Maness

K.i.D.S. Kids in Development Slidell Leadership Northshore

I know the picture above is grainy and hard to make out. Considering that it’s a newspaper clipping from 52 years ago, it’s not half bad.

The yellow circle highlights my father, Carroll Maness, representing the Slidell Youth Football Association (SYFA), as a Duke in the court of the Krewe of Slidellians Bal Masque XXII. I had no idea this picture existed, or that my dad had been chosen for the court.

The ball was held in the Slidell Auditorium on February 27, 1971, when this picture was taken. My mother would surely have been there with my dad, and she would have been about 4 weeks pregnant with me at the time. So, I guess you could say, I was in attendance, too.

A lot of what I know about my father is conjecture and re-told stories from family members because he died when I was only five years old. There are very few pictures of him (like anyone before the digital age) and, most of the ones that survived time, were washed away with Hurricane Katrina.

This newspaper clipping is truly a gem. I have memories of pictures, even if I don’t have the real images to hold. One is a photo of my father in a tuxedo, riding in a parade, in the back of a convertible. I now realize that the picture was from his ride as a member of the court in the Krewe of Slidellians Parade.

Fifty years after that photo was taken, I was honored to be chosen Queen Samaritan LXXI for the Krewe of Slidellians. My coronation, steeped in tradition, very much resembled the picture you see above. Then, just last month, I was humbled to fulfill the final duty of my reign and roll the streets of Slidell as Krewe of Slidellian’s royalty in a parade. Just like my dad.

I wonder if my parents ever thought that the child in my mother’s womb at that ball over 50 years ago would someday grow up to be Queen. Life has a way of coming full circle, doesn’t it?

PO Box 4147 Slidell, LA 70459 985-789-0687
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Editor’s Letter Kendra Maness, Editor / Publisher

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too?’

This magazine is named for our city, the one that we have all chosen for one reason or another. It is full of people to get to know, places to explore, and lots of things to do. Chances are, the extraordinary neighbor I chose to write about this month can tell you about any of the above. To hedge my bet even further, I am willing to bet that she has probably volunteered at most of them, or at least promoted them informally. She is a marketing genius with abounding energy, curiosity, and a willingness to help. Add that she is beautiful to boot, and you have the perfect combination. In today’s emotional rollercoasters, being in the presence of this positive person is so welcome. If you are thinking she is fortunate, you are right. But, like all of us, she could not escape the harsh realities of life and death. She chose to remain the same Linda through it all, with her brilliant smile and twinkling eyes that make those she meets smile right back. Chances are, many of you have met her, as she is everywhere around Slidell.

Though she was born in Minnesota, Linda Larkin’s parents moved the family here when she was in second grade. Immediately, Linda fell in love with her new town. Because of her outgoing, positive personality, she has continued to make Slidell her hometown, and quite likely, always will. As she expressed, “It really is because of the people here. They are different than those in the other towns near us. They are genuine, down to earth, and willing to embrace new friends here.”

I nodded in complete agreement while she spoke. As a native Slidellian

who chose to return home, that really describes this community. But her parents could not have foreseen this. They were simply moving for a warmer climate, as her mom, Karen, was sick with Scleroderma, an autoimmune and rheumatic disease. The warmer climate was supposed to make the symptoms easier to tolerate. Her dad, Patrick, was a pipe salesman, and was given a choice of Birmingham, Alabama or New Orleans. They chose the option furthest south. So, the Larkin’s packed up the four kids, Tina, Linda, Katie, and Joseph “JP”, and moved to the then-newly developed French Branch subdivision.

Linda loved her new school, St. Margaret Mary (SMM). She remembers Slidell when it was still full of woods and beautiful trees. She related, “We all got out and raked leaves together in the Fall, and rode our bikes though paths between the live oaks. I thought it was like a wonderland here.”

Though we were many years apart, we shared our respective memories of the

A biography by Charlotte Collins Karen & Pat Larkin

SMM administrators of our time; Father Tim for me, and Richard Berkowitz and Father Gallagher for Linda. Our accounts meshed in terms of the great academic and social atmosphere we each experienced. We also discovered we were both cheerleaders at St. Margaret Mary. Trying to recall what sport we cheered for, we finally concluded that there were no athletics there in those days! Linda laughed, “That school has changed so much! Now they have flag football, volleyball, baseball, softball, track, and I think they may be starting a swim team. It is still a great school with lots of family involvement. I go to the games for Katie’s kids, Patrick, Jacob, and Shelby. They all go to St. Margaret Mary. I always go to the SMM Fair every year. Mom loved the Fair and volunteered at the Cake Walk every year with her friend Nancy Barthelemy. Nancy and I are now ‘volunteer buddies.’” Linda and Katie’s family honor their mother’s memory each year by participating in the Cake Walk at the end of the Fair weekend. Her positive enthusiasm for the school has kept her connected to friends, old and new. Another connection that Linda and I share is that my great niece, Frances, and great nephew, Henry, also attend St. Margaret Mary. As was the case with my parents and Linda’s, my nephew and his wife, Alan and Katie Case, are always involved in

some sort of fun family activity with the school. Linda noted, “See, this is more of what makes Slidell so special. We get to know the generational families and the newcomers equally.”

Next, Linda attended Northshore High School and thrived there as well, volunteering with just about everything. She shared some of these memories, “I used to babysit and save my money to shop at The Locker. Miss Pat Brown owned it and she had layaway plans so it was perfect. She started the Slidell Teen Fashion Board, and we would put on fashion shows. Then she started giving us service opportunities for volunteer work. Katie and I won “Teen Volunteers of the Year” together in 1992 for our work in the community. I really loved going into the retirement homes, especially Greenbriar across from St. Margaret Mary. I didn’t have

grandparents living nearby, and only saw them once a year. My high school boyfriend would dress up like Santa, or I would go work puzzles with them. So, this was my way of connecting with my elders.”

“My mother was big on getting active in the community. She was involved in Junior Auxiliary, as was I. We put in over 30 hours of volunteer time, including the Camellia Club, STARC, and K-Bar-B Youth Ranch.” Unfortunately, in her senior year, Linda’s mom, Karen, developed a more life-threatening disease, lung cancer. She was not a smoker, but was diagnosed as being in stage four. In six short months, Linda lost her mom while still in high school. She remembered how well attended the funeral was, and recalled the teenagers that came in together. Linda’s dad explained who they were and that Karen had connected so well with the children at K-Bar-B, that they felt compelled to come to her funeral. It really touched Katie and Linda. Using her positive energy, Linda somehow managed to focus on life and graduated on time in 1992.

Her older sister, Tina, was off at college, and Linda had already made plans to attend Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. With her contagious smile, she switched the story from the devastating loss to future opportunities, as her mother would have had it. She laughed,

Katie, JP and Linda around the time their family moved to Slidell Left: The Larkin family at their home in French Branch in the 1980’s. Middle: The St. Margaret Mary cheerleaders, circa 1986. Linda was in 7th grade and is the bottom right. Right: Linda and her high school friend, Tonya Woodall Standiford, served on the Slidell Teen Fashion board together and modeled for The Locker in Slidell.

“I was on the five year plan at LA Tech! I was in Phi Mu, and I liked that it was a small school, and the only one in the state still on the quarter system. That gave me a chance to take a year off to help my Dad get the house together after the flood of ‘95. I got the opportunity to help and spend time with my brother, JP, too.”

At one point, Linda, Katie, and JP were all in school at Louisiana Tech together. This is where she learned that her natural enthusiasm was well suited for a degree in Merchandising and Consumer Studies. Feeling the need for more of the business acumen, she then went to Southeastern LA University and got a second degree in Business. Again, she chose a small school where she would thrive, and she commuted from home in Slidell. Finally, Linda settled down back in Slidell, and was ready to hit the ground rolling. But another tragedy would stop her in her tracks. This was to be Hurricane Katrina, which devastated Slidell in 2005. Her father happened to be on vacation visiting family in Wisconsin, and afterward Linda had to report that their house in French Branch was uninhabitable, a total loss. She and Katie teamed up, gutting the house and dealing with insurance, like so many of us. They put all their energy into making things better, only to find that Dad was now diagnosed with stage four lung and brain cancer. He had started smoking after his beloved wife died. Within nine months, in 2008, they lost their father also.

I dare say, many could have lost their spark, but that was just not our Linda. She was determined to carry her parents’ spirit forward. Mom was the heart of the family, and Dad resumed that roll after she passed. Now it was Linda’s turn.

In the meanwhile, Tina had settled in Minnesota. Linda, Katie, and JP lived together in Linda’s home in Willow Wood. Later, JP moved to California, and Katie married her high school sweetheart, Chris Chabreck, and settled into Slidell to start a family. Linda reminisced, “We were a really close family. After Katrina, Slidell was booming. I still carry the memories when there were no neighborhoods on Pearl Street, and I rode my bike to go to K&B and Timesaver. We stayed out ‘till dark playing with all the other kids. It’s crazy how, in just five years, all these new neighborhoods just popped up on the East side over near Military Road. I remember looking around my neighborhood one day and lamenting over all the beautiful trees that had disappeared. I still joke with Katie’s kids about raking leaves, and telling them how hard life was back in my day. Kids now don’t have to rake leaves, because they don’t have as many trees in their yards any more. Now, they just mow sprawling green lawns. They also don’t have the great

about climbing

and making tree houses as much.

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Between the storm and new development, much of the natural shade and beauty is missing. You know, we just sold that house, long after our dad died. I moved, but not too far away, to new Crossgates, right around the corner. I still love this part of Slidell.” As you can tell, West Gause was Linda’s stomping grounds.

“My first job out of college was working with Attorney Tom Thornhill, doing a bit of everything for his office. I loved it so much that I worked there for about ten years. He taught me a lot and allowed me to network and promote his business. I started getting involved in both Chamber organizations, and the Business and Professional Women. Then I was meeting people and getting involved in some great initiatives for Slidell, and I enjoyed every minute of that! At the same time, Katie and I also had a little boutique in Slidell called Simply Fabulous, next to the Wine Market. I used to love going to the old mall and running into all of the people I knew.”

As so often happens, one thing leads to another. She was offered a full time marketing position for Sydney Torres’ title company in Chalmette. Linda put both palms up and exclaimed, “So I was doing what I trained for full time! I started building a good rapport with the real estate people. Then, a friend of mine introduced me to the guys at Patriot Title who were looking for a marketing person. Things just clicked, and I was no longer commuting to Chalmette. I’ve been with them for twelve years now, and I have no plans of leaving. We’re a great team and work really well together!”

Her energy filled the room. Working and volunteering for worthy non-profits can bring a great sense of purpose and satisfaction. Through the years, Linda has volunteered with United Way for Glitz and Glamour, the Leadership Council, and the Slidell Memorial Hospital (SMH) Foundation’s Rooftop Rendezvous, which raises money for the SMH Cancer Center. She is now the SMH Foundation Chair and on the board for STARC, which seemed to be her favorite. I could see the sparkle in her eyes when she described, “When you walk in the STARC building, you have an immediate reaction from the clients, and you leave with a big smile! It reminds me of why I loved volunteering in the retirement homes. Right now, I’m also working on Bubbly on the Bayou for Rainbow Child Care.”

With her eyes sparkling, Linda was on a roll about the things that bring her joy. I love that she’s experiencing the peace and fulfillment that come from giving. She agreed and expounded, “I just love living in Slidell and getting to know everyone that has a big heart. I mean, we’re not a small town technically anymore, but there is that small town closeness in everyone I meet. I really try to support local businesses every time I go shopping or out to eat.

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I even go to locally owned pharmacies. I avoid the chain stores and restaurants, because they just don’t have the same ambience of people greeting people. And I truly don’t like change. It kills me when local mom and pop businesses go out of business, and I hate to see empty buildings, like the old mall. It is so exciting to see Olde Towne build up the way it has. I used to let my clients choose where we met for lunch, but I quit doing that. So many newcomers select the chains, that now I introduce them to the best restaurants in Slidell (all locally owned). And they are grateful to know how many really great restaurants we have here in Slidell. I think we have wonderful food here!”

Putting her finger up with a jaunty smile, she exclaimed, “Perfect example! Yesterday, I went to Habano’s, and the place was packed. As you walk in, people are offering their seats, saying, ‘We’re getting up, so take our seats.’ You don’t get that in most towns. Everybody’s just so friendly because it’s home. I’ll have people walk up to me that don’t know me, and just saw my face on an ad, and introduce themselves. Or we just feel comfortable talking to the person next to us. That doesn’t happen just anywhere.”

I could see that loyalty was a huge component of Linda’s character. She sticks with all the organizations she chooses to become involved. The same can be said of her family, friends and loved ones. Even in long distance relationships. She dated her soulmate, Cecil Edwin Hill, known to family as “Windy” for 15 years. Her smile broadened as she related, “Once he visited me in Slidell, he fell in love with Slidell too. He also loved his job in Alabama, so moving was not an option. But, he always said, ‘When I retire, I’m moving to Slidell because everybody here treats me like an old friend.’ If he went to golf tournaments with me, next thing you know, Windy’s gotten invited to play golf with them.”

Her smile flickered for a moment as she reminisced, “Even though he was in Alabama, we saw each other as much as possible. It was a great relationship throughout the entire 15 years. But our last two years brought us really close while he was battling colon cancer. My sister, Katie, her husband, Chris, and I were a great support team. Windy passed away at my home next to me. I didn’t leave while he was in Hospice. I can’t say enough about Hospice. And there were more people at his service here than at his service in Alabama, because everybody in Slidell is so welcoming.”

Left: Katie, Dad, and Linda at Katie’s wedding in November, 2004. Middle: Katie, JP, and Linda pause for a recent picture. Right: Linda & Katie back in the days of their college time at LA Tech. Left: Windy & Linda in the early years. Middle: Linda says, “This pic is very special. It was the first beach trip after Windy died. The kids sent off Chinese lanterns in his memory after we all told our favorite ‘Uncle Pookie’ story.” Orange Beach, July 2019. Right: The Larkin-Chabreck family in 2020 when Linda was crowned Queen Samaritan of the Krewe of Slidellians.

How ironic that she volunteered to help fund the SMH Cancer Center for years, not knowing what an integral part it would play for someone she loved. Though it was four years ago, this loss is still hard for her. To lose perhaps the three most important figures in your life takes a toll. And yet, to meet Linda Larkin (the whole name goes together, doesn’t it?), you would think she only lived on the sunny side of the street. I admire that. Looking for the bright side after life’s trials and tribulations is something I reminded myself to emulate. Often times, my interviewees become a big influence on me, and this was certainly one of those times.

When I asked what was next in her life, Linda answered with a glowing smile, “I just want to be kind, be healthy, and be happy. I decided this after COVID. Luckily, I have Katie. She is my rock...her humor gets me through it all. We are just better with each other. The best gift my parents ever gave me was HER!” After a giant smile, she reflected, “I really have a good life here in Slidell with good friends and family, and I love my job. It may sound simple, but it keeps me busy and fulfilled.”

The City of Slidell presents

Juried Exhibition of Student Art

March 10 - April 21, 2023

Slidell Cultural Center

2055 2nd Street in City Hall

Opening Reception:

Friday, March 10 • 6 - 8 pm

Free Admission!

Gallery Hours:

Wednesdays - Fridays

12:00 - 4:00 pm

Call to schedule an appointment

Deadline for St. Tammany

Parish students to enter artwork is Monday, Feb. 27, 2023. For more info, please call the Dept. of Cultural & Public Affairs or visit our website.

(985) 646-4375 •

Salad Days is brought to you by the City of Slidell, the Commission on the Arts and the 2022-2023 Cultural Season Sponsors: Renaissance, $5,000:

Plus + Publications

Baroque, $2,500 Sponsors: Silver Slipper Casino

Neoclassical, $1,000 Sponsors:

Councilman Bill & Laura Borchert

Lori’s Art Depot & Community Arts Center

Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance Agency

Impressionism, $500 Sponsors:

P. David Carollo, Attorney At Law • CiCi’s Pizza

Mayor Greg Cromer • State Rep. Mary DuBuisson, District 90

Roberta’s Cleaners • Slidell Historic Antique Association

Linda, the consummate volunteer, at the Red Beans & Rice Cook-off to benefit the United Way Linda serves as a Rosie on the Rosemary’s Rosies team for EST Habitat for Humanity, and her employer, Patriot Title, is a sponsor. “Pug Appeel” Maya Hernandez “A Pirates Life for Me” Connor Carollo “She Screams” Julia Spiess
SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAYTHURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY A R C H 2 0 2 3 Lions Club Pancake Breakfast 8-11am Is YOUR Business Getting Enough Visibility? Call Us. We Can Help! Eva Mogabgab Snapp 985-273-3007 Meredith Wright 985-273-3002 610 Hollycrest Blvd., Covington 520 Old Spanish Trail, Ste. 608, Slidell 985-892-3216 | BINGO! Every Tues & Thurs • 3 PM Slidell Lions Club • 356 Cleveland Ave. Olde Towne Slidell Art Market Green Oaks Apothecary12 PM $7 PANCAKE BREAKFAST SLIDELL LION’S CLUB • 8 AM Food for Seniors Distribution Day St Luke’s • 13 PM Keep Slidell Beautiful Bayou Clean Up Heritage Park • 8 AM ST PATRICK’S DAY FISH FRY! (Every Friday in Lent) St Luke’s • Drive-Thru (Baked or Fried) • 5-8PM FISH FRY! (Every Friday in Lent) Our Lady of Lourdes • Drive-Thru (Includes Dessert) • 5-8PM FISH FRY! (Every Friday in Lent) St Genevieve • Drive-Thru (Opens for Lunch) • 11AM-6PM FISH FRY! (Every Friday in Lent) St Margaret Mary • Drive-Thru (with Mac & Cheese) • 5-8PM Slidell Council Meeting > 6:307:30PM LABI’s Luncheon Beau Chene Country Club11:30 AM Scholarships Golf Tourney Beau Chene Country Club11:30 AM B2B NetworkingCovington Chamber 8:309:30 AM Member Orientation Slidell Chamber 8:30 AM Business After Hours OLOL Money Hill Walk-in Cinic Bush > 4:30 PM RIBBON CUTTING Open Space Studios Mandeville > 11:30 AM RISING COSTS OF LA Homeowners Insurance Zoom Call > 11:30 AM SMALL BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE H.R., Employees, and H.R. Law Covington Chamber > 8:30 AM Lacombe Library • 10:30 AM Dr Seuss Birthday! Pearl River Library • 5 PM Mario Day Robert Blvd Library • 5 PM Mario Day Pontchartrain Library • 5 PM Drawing with M. Robert Blvd Library • 5 PM Spring Craft Dirty Rotten Scoundrels > Slidell Little Theatre > 8 PM Dirty Rotten Scoundrels > Slidell Little Theatre > 8 PM Dirty Rotten Scoundrels > Slidell Little Theatre > 8 PM The KING & The CHAIRMAN Cutting Edge Theater > 8 PM Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Slidell Little Theatre > 2 PM Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Slidell Little Theatre > 2 PM Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Slidell Little Theatre > 2 PM Lobby Lounge Series Oh Jeremiah > 79 PM LA FOOD TRUCK FEST 11 AM Lakeshore Comm. Dev. District Meeting > 6:30 PM Here Comes the Bridal Expo 1:00 PM GUN & KNIFE SHOW Saturday & Sunday 10 AM Camellia City Farmer’s Market Every Saturday 8 AMNoon Memorial Butterfly Release Camp Salmen • 1 PM St Patrick’s Parade Olde Towne Slidell • 1 PM CARS & COFFEE Pizza Platoon • 9 AM HABITAT BUILDER’S BALL Slidell Auditorium • 7 PM DREAMGIRLS > Cutting Edge Theater > 8 PM DREAMGIRLS > Cutting Edge Theater > 8 PM DREAMGIRLS > Cutting Edge Theater > 8 PM SALAD DAYS > Juried Exhibition of Student Art March 10April 1 • WedFri / Noon4pm Slidell Council Meeting > 6:307:30PM Slidell Council Meeting > 6:307:30PM Camellia City Farmer’s Market Every Saturday 8 AMNoon Dan O’Sullivan Golf Tourney Royal Golf Club • 1 PM Slidell Spring Street Fair Olde Towne Slidell • 10 AM Slidell Spring Street Fair Olde Towne Slidell • 10 AM Easter Egg-StravaganzaAldersgate UMC • 10 AM Olde Towne Crawfish Music Fest Olde Towne Slidell • 11 AM MARCH FEBRUARY APRIL 1 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 28 27 26

A Tradition of Cabbage, Beer and Love for a Community

Trivia Question:

On Monday, March 13, 2023, what will likely be found on Slidell dinner tables in lieu of the traditional red beans and rice?

A. Coleslaw

B. Skillet potatoes

C. Irish Stew

The answer is all of the above because the Olde Towne Slidell St. Patrick’s Day Parade will roll the day before, causing kitchen tables to overflow with a bounty of cabbages, potatoes, carrots and onions.

This year’s parade is the 50th annual parade, or the 47th, depending on who you talk to and how you define “Parade.” It’s a happy conundrum.

Brad Champagne, long serving captain of the parade, has the first “parade” happening in 1973. It involved a few guys with a parading spirit, a grocery cart, and a keg of beer.

Brad remembers Olde Towne Slidell as very different back then, filled with family businesses that all closed on Wednesday afternoons. All except the bars.

“In the spirt of St. Patrick’s Day, Stanley Samrow, Mackie Gomez and a few guys decided to do something to celebrate and bring people to Olde Towne.” They got a shopping cart from Sarraille’s Grocery Store, walked down to Currie’s Beer Garden for a keg of beer, and spent the afternoon strolling through Olde Towne and visiting the various bars. At the end of the day, the first St. Patrick’s Day “parade” was deemed a success.


Over the next few years, the marching group grew. The original founders were recognized by their holidaythemed vests and derby hats with sequin bands. Parade leaders would start with lunch at the White Kitchen restaurant on Front Street before the basket and keg were procured and the stroll began.

The first “float” parade was held on March 17, 1976.

“This parade is not a Slidell parade like during Mardi Gras. Its focus is to be a celebration of the people and businesses in Olde Towne,” said Champagne.

“People would just show up with decorated vans, wagons and even boats on trailers. We had walking groups and people on bikes. There was no determined route. We would just start and spend the afternoon traveling through the downtown area. At some point,

the people in the parade started tossing produce as throws,” according to Champagne. He also shared that raw turkey feet were once a favorite, albeit shortlived, throw choice.

As the parade grew, it became too long and unruly, and organization was needed. Parade leaders came up with a formal route and got the police involved. In the beginning, the parade began at the White Kitchen on Front Street, made frequent stops at Currie’s Bar, continued to Twin Oaks on Erlanger Street, Minacapelli’s on the corner of First and Cousin, then City Hall for the official toast. The parade ended at the White Kitchen for a meal of corn beef and cabbage, with music by Warren Buckley on the organ, playing Irish melodies. A royal court was also selected. Leading the parade

Story by Suzie Hunt

and festivities is a Grand Marshal, chosen for his civic leadership qualities in the community. Accompanying the Grand Marshal is his Queen. Attorney Pat Berrigan was the first Grand Marshal. Pat’s roots to Ireland were deep. His grandfather immigrated from Ireland in 1846, carrying with him a shillelagh, which Patrick carried in the first parade. Serving as the first Queen was Ann McManus of Ann’s Flower Shop. Maids were also selected and, eventually, dukes were also added to the court.

The 1977 parade was bigger and better organized, with just as much enthusiasm and green beer. Until 1979, the parade was held on St. Patrick’s Day. In 1980, St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Sunday, and since then, the parade has been staged on the Sunday previous to St. Patty’s Day.


Queen: Sonia Valencia, Taco’s & Beer


Brianne DuBuisson, Olde Towne Hatchet House

Erika Heim, Brass Monkey & Olde Towne Pizza

Bryisha “B” Lyons, Roots: Plants + Coffee

Angela Morant-Rouques, Old Town Soda Shop

Grand Marshall: Sam Caruso Jr., Units Storage


John Maracich, Expo Signs

Mike Noto, City of Slidell

Elwin Ordoyne, ECO Builders

Shawn Torres, In-Telecom

Mary and Eric DuBuisson have been involved with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade since moving to Slidell in 1982 when they started working with Eric’s uncle, Joe Johnson, at Slidell Cleaners on First Street. Eventually, Eric & Mary bought the business and, for more than two decades, were one of the central businesses in the Olde Towne area. Mary is happy the emphasis still remains on supporting the Olde Towne community.

“The court has been a great way to honor people who have done so much for Olde Towne Slidell,” said Mary, who serves as head of the parade committee. “This tradition is just so special to our family.”

For both Brad and the DuBuisson’s, being honored as members of the royal court for their service to the community was one of their most precious personal memories. The special recognition was even more special because they could share the parade’s excitement with their families.

When Brad was Grand Marshal at the age of 38, his young sons Bill and Matt rode in the convertible with him. It was the same for the DuBuisson’s when Mary reigned as Queen and Eric was Grand Marshal in 1988. “Our children were with us, and Eric actually spray painted his beard green. It was a great day,” Mary reminisces with a smile.

In a way, the St. Patrick’s Day parade organization has gone back to its roots with its Midway to March Crawl in the fall. At this event, the organization announces its royal court for the following year and then proceeds to stroll through Olde Towne, spreading cheer and visiting businesses and bars.


“It’s a time to celebrate and create a little hoopla for the next parade,” Mary says.

The St. Patrick’s Day annual events fall under the umbrella of the Olde Towne Merchants Association and has a tradition of long-serving leadership. In its 47 (or 50) year history, there have only been three Chairmen/Captains. Stanley Samrow, Sr. (of the keg in the basket fame) was chairman for eight years. Eric DuBuisson served for twelve years, and Brad Champagne has been captain for the past 30 years.

“Although there have only been three ‘leaders’, this parade could not have lasted this long without many, many people working hard to keep it going,” shared the current Captain. “The DuBuissons, (the late) Ronnie Dunaway, Robert Johnson and so many others love this parade and work hard to share it with the people of Slidell.”

On any given year, the throws will include: 6000 carrots, 6000 onions, 18, 000 potatoes, 3,000 heads of cabbage, beads, stuffed animals, and even pineapples, oranges, garlic, and occasionally melons.

So, what will you see when the 2023 St. Patrick’s Day Parade hits the streets of Olde Towne Slidell on Sunday afternoon, March 12th? You will see grandmas and kids dressed in vivid shades of green, screaming for cabbage. You’ll see cleverly themed floats and cars covered in shamrocks and leprechauns, blasting crazy Irish music. And you’ll see marching groups vying for the prestigious Mackie Gomez “Mack-A-Doos” Memorial Award for Best Marching Group (currently held by Slidell Synch).

But, if you stop yelling for produce for a moment and just look around, you will see a community celebrating life and continuing to enjoy something truly special. Sla’inte!


GROWING THE GREENS The Rewards of a Job Well Done.

During the summers of my senior year in high school and my freshman year in college, I worked on the grounds crew at a very nice country club. Despite having to work seven days a week, it was a great job. It was close to home, I was outside all day and got a nice suntan, and the pay was good. In fact, I earned enough money to pay for my first year in college. My boss, the greenskeeper, was a perfectionist. This was an exclusive country club in an upscale Chicago suburb, and the members, who paid many thousands of dollars a year in dues (in 1970!) expected nothing less.

My boss had put me in charge of maintaining four putting greens. The preceding Midwest winter had taken its toll, and the greens were in bad shape. The greenskeeper gave me the formidable task of bringing them back to life.

My main job was to cut the grass at 6:30 every morning using a specially-designed mower. But, I also had to repair divot holes, “groom” the greens so the grass stood up straight, and deal with any weeds that dared to show their ugly faces. I took my job seriously.

One morning, well into the summer and after I had finished mowing my

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fourth green, the greenskeeper pulled up in his pickup truck. I thought I was in trouble, but I was wrong. He stepped out of his truck, walked over to me, and said, “Mike, you have worked miracles with these greens. They look like pool tables. I knew I could count on you to take care of them. Well done!” Coming from this demanding taskmaster, that was high praise. I will never forget the pride I felt.

The rewards of being a financial advisor do not come when the stock market goes up and my clients make money. The market’s direction – up or down – is beyond my control. Instead, the rewards come with the pride I feel when clients tell me that I helped them get their financial lives in order, that they feel comfortable about retiring early, or that they are excited about taking the vacation of a lifetime for which we have planned and saved. The rewards come with the satisfaction I feel when clients say that I explain things in language they understand, or that I make them feel comfortable talking about money.

My work on the grounds crew seems like eons ago, but the pride I felt when my boss put his trust in me is still a fond memory, and, in a way, it drives my desire to serve my clients well. If you have decided that it’s time to turn over your financial life to someone you can trust, let’s talk.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

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One group of local community leaders is trying to make sure that Slidell doesn’t add to the grim statistics from the CDC Transportation Safety Administration regarding child safety seats.

K.i.D.S.- Kids in Development Slidell is a project team of Leadership Northshore committed to zero deaths due to lack of resources or understanding when it comes to child safety restraints in motor vehicles.

Leadership Northshore (LNS) was established in 1990 (originally called Leadership Slidell) to identify and select highly motivated, emerging or existing leaders in business, government, and

the community to participate in the program. Through monthly classes and team projects, LNS strives to groom future community leaders by helping them to develop a renewed sense of enthusiasm and “can do” attitude in the community. They do this by educating and challenging the participants as to the needs and opportunities of the community and the dynamics of social and economic change.

LNS develops an esprit de corps among the participants to provide a common ground for working together on present and future community projects and creates a dialogue and rapport

between the participants and existing community leadership. All of this leads to an increased level of commitment and participation in the community by their students and graduates.

The K.i.D.S. project team is comprised of members: Robert Allen, Jordan Hubbard, Amy Novotny, Paul McCann, Donna Bach, Mike Margiotta, Sarah Hill, Andy Frisard, Abby Mayfield, Patrick Casnave, Sarah Maine, and Rich Delgado.

Team Leader Paul McCann describes how their project of getting car seats to those in need in the community came about. “What inspired our team to

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children in the United States.

The studies... The need...

show that child safety seats reduce fatal injury by 71% for infants

54% for toddlers ages 1-4

45% for children ages 4-8

focus on this need was due to a clearly identified lack of current resources in our community. This need was shared by several non-profit organizations. We saw a need and we knew we could act upon and help fill that void for our neighbors. K.i.D.S. will provide a certificate/voucher for a car seat to existing non-profits in the community who will distribute them to families in need. That family will then need to bring their vehicle to an existing certified installer to obtain both the car seat and training on how to safely secure a child in the car seat provided. This process will help to ensure that their child will have a car seat that is installed by a certified trainer, while also learning about securing their precious child for safe car trips for years to come.”

As the project grows, Paul sees the opportunity to help even more people. “Our program will focus on families/children born in Slidell but, with additional financial support, we would be excited to offer this for anyone within the parish.”

Team member Rich Delgado gives an eye-opening statistic, “There were 471 children born in Slidell in 2021; with one in five of those kids struggling financially. We hope to remove income as a factor in protecting children with a car safety seat.”

For Rich, the entire 9-month term of Leadership Northshore has been a learning experience. After 28+ years in the military, Rich retired as a US

• Every new parent leaving the hospital is required to have a car seat installed before they can leave

• Most new parents do not have the appropriate training to install a car seat

A Survivor Story

Naval Captain and made Slidell his permanent family home in 2015. He learned about LNS through his sponsor, Rotary Club of Slidell Northshore, where he is a member. He notes the differences between LNS teachings and military leadership.

“This is leadership in a civil context, which is very different from learning leadership in a military setting, or even when it is military interacting with civilians. In Leadership Northshore, leadership is not based on the hierarchy of your position in a company or rank in the military, it’s based on interpersonal relationships.”

Rich credits Leadership Northshore with helping him to learn how best to achieve “Service Above Self”, a motto he lives by and the philosophy upon which Rotary is built.

“I’m exactly where I need to be. Sometimes, during our monthly meetings, I thought I had to do something more important than that Leadership class day. But I have been exposed to the government, education, business, and social services sectors through LNS in the context of building relationships. There wouldn’t be a way for me to learn about such a wide spectrum of these sectors on my own without Leadership Northshore.”

“I’m in line to be President of my Rotary Club and this is a great incubation time for me. I’m learning a lot from the people in my class, and in the classes before me, that have been in the playing field a lot longer than me.”

During a day in early October, a vehicle was traveling down Military Road in Slidell, occupied by three people. The car’s occupants included a mother in the passenger seat, a father driving, and Brooklyn, a small four-year-old child in a properly installed car seat in the vehicle’s backseat. The driver suffered a seizure, and the car departed from the roadway.

The vehicle came to rest after striking a tree going approximately 45 mph. First responders were notified and, upon arrival, observed the car wrapped around the tree and the engine pushing through the front dashboard of the vehicle.

The mother and father sustained significant injuries, including broken femurs, vertebrae, and arms, as well as internal bleeding. The parents were placed on a life flight to New Orleans due to their significant trauma, and spent over two weeks in the hospital. Brooklyn was also placed on a life flight with minor injuries, including bruises from the car seat, and was released the following day.

The lack of significant injuries to Brooklyn is due to her being correctly restrained in an approved car seat fitted for her specific size and weight. While the parents received substantial treatment, Brooklyn was able to make a full recovery.


IN THE U.S. IN 2020...

IN LOUISIANA 2014-2016...

A Storybook Kind Of Day

Saturday, April 1, 2023

11 am - 4 pm

Rich sums it up, “I want to see my community vibrant, and a vibrant community is filled with volunteers.”

To achieve their Team goals and provide car seats for the Slidell families who need them, team members are hosting a “fun”draiser. The inaugural Story Park Stroll will be a family fun day hosted by Kids in Development Slidell (K.i.D.S.). The event, called “A Storybook Kind of Day”, will take place on Saturday, April 1, 2023 from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. at Camp Salmen Nature Park and along a portion of the Tammany Trace. Admission for adults (18+) is $20, or two adult admissions for $35, and are available for purchase through their square site (the QR code to the bottom right of this page). Children under 18 enter for free. Individuals and local businesses are encouraged to get involved by donating and through event sponsorships, which can also be found on the square site.

Activities at A Storybook Kind Of Day will include a storybook stroll, face painting, health and wellness activities, hayrides, and more. The 2-mile storybook stroll is accessible to all ages and abilities and will take place on a portion of the Tammany Trace, admist the beautiful trees and nature that Camp Salmen has to offer. The trek will feature “creation stations.” Each station will have crayons, markers, and everything needed for children to create their own story inside the blank storybooks included with admission to the event.

Families are encouraged to enjoy the additional activities as well as the permanent ones of Camp Salmen, such as the interpretive trails and inclusive playground while partaking in A Storybook Kind of Day.

To find out more, visit their Facebook page at: Kids in Development Slidell

Camp Salmen Nature Park

A Family-friendly storybook themed event!


• STORYBOOK STROLL (for all ages & abilities)







ADULT ADMISSION: $20 or 2 ADULTS for $35


The Story Park Stroll is a non-profit event intended to provide an affordable, fun-filled day for families, while dedicating proceeds to K.i.D.S. project SAVE JUST ONE CHILD through the purchase of car seats.

Point your smartphone camera at the QR code to donate or sponsor!

A wheelchair accessible event

845 child passengers killed 38% of them were not properly restrained
More than 63,000 children injured
Of the motor vehicle crashes that killed a child 1-14 years of age, 76% were improperly restrained

“My son is a success.” “My daughter is a success.” “I am a success.” “My son is a failure.” “My daughter is a failure.” “I am a failure.”

Perhaps one of the greatest difficulties we have as individuals and as parents or grandparents is measuring success. What is success? In the end, does it matter? By whose standard are we measuring and what is the measure: money, happiness, health, love, intelligence, or even eternal life? Can you really measure success?

In my opinion, NO, you cannot measure success. BUT, you can measure the behavior elements that predict success and it all boils down to one thing: coherent brain function. You cannot make money, love, have good health, learn, or even prepare for death without being coherent—you have to think clearly and logically about whatever is important to you.

You might say, “Love is not logical, it makes no sense.” Perhaps you fell in love, or lust, illogically, but I am certain you do not stay in love illogically. It takes forethought, hindsight, insight, and just plain work to stay with someone and grow your relationship over years or decades, “until death do you part.”

The part of the brain that allows you insight, foresight, hindsight, and even the ability to “work” on anything is the frontal part of the brain known as the frontal lobes. Without well-functioning frontal lobes, all proactive behavior is difficult.

Some of us are born without good frontal lobe activity. It is known as Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD. There are many other reasons for poor frontal lobe function as well: mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder.

How Do You Measure Success?

Traumatic brain injury or concussion is more impairing than we realized, even long after the concussion. Then there are drugs of impairment like alcohol, marijuana, benzo, or opiate pain medications. The frontal lobes are vulnerable to many things.

It is difficult to achieve success without well functioning frontal lobes, whatever the cause. The good news is frontal lobe functioning is measurable and most of these problems are correctable. I developed a simple tool to measure treatment. For frontal lobe function, I use a 0-10 scale measuring the ability to focus, task, and organize, especially on boring tasks.

If you score below 5/10, you are probably impaired in your frontal lobe function. You can improve. I have many patients achieving 8, 9, or even 10/10 after proper treatment. It changes their lives and it changes their ability to succeed. Fewer things have given me more pleasure as a physician than helping people succeed when they, or significant others, felt as though they were failing.

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The Storyteller


If you are looking for a bedtime read that will give you sweet dreams, this story isn’t for you. If you close your eyes to the bad things that happen in life, you will not like this story. If you embrace your prejudice ideas to the point of pretending things didn’t happen, maybe you should read another story.

I feel, however, that many of our social problems emanate from our unwillingness to face the reality of our past; more so, the reality of the dark side of our past. Something can be gained from coming to grips with the bad and ugly as well as the pleasant and the good.

I have heard a lot of axioms in my life and some of them I believe to be startlingly true. For every happening, there is a cause;

or, more scientifically, for every action there is a reaction. Certainly, the events of October 1907 were the culmination of previous actions and would be typical of happenings that would have future repercussions.

There are a few other characters in this story, but the main characters are Eli and Emma. They are the exact opposite of each other. Eli is black, Emma is white. Eli is 53 years old; Emma is 17. Until that event, Emma had a loving, caring family. Eli doesn’t remember having a family.

I think I’ll tell you about Eli first. I have no specific reason for doing so, because both are equally important. There is no story without both Eli and Emma, and what happened on that October morning. For some reason, I feel that Eli is the more complicated personality. I feel that studying Eli’s history is key to understanding so many social problems of the 19th and 20th century. While I’m fresh, I’ll start with him.

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Irma Cry was the first woman inducted into the Rotary Club of Slidell North Shore. She embodied the Rotary International creed of “Service Above Self” in both her professional and civic life.

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Eli was eleven years old when the Civil War ended. His ancestors had lived for 80 years on the Williams’ plantation. The owner then, Mr. Zeb Williams, was known to be a kind master. He demanded respect and obedience but never used the whip. Unfortunately, in 1858, he died with the fever, and the management of the plantation fell into the hands of his twenty-five-yearold son, Zacharias Williams. Of course, they called him Zack or “Masser Zack” as the slaves would say.

Zack Williams was not the businessman his father was, nor was he the manager of personnel that his father had been. Whether you are in a 21st century corporate office or a slave on a 19th century plantation, you are aware of management dysfunction. The slaves knew there was trouble in the air long before the first shot was fired at Fort Sumter. They could feel the resentment and disdain Zack felt for them. It seemed to increase each time he went to a community meeting.

Those were the meetings where the possibility of war and secession from the United States were discussed. More importantly, those meetings shared the news of the slave uprisings. It was told that, in some cases, entire white families were butchered with pitchforks - men women and children.

The traveling white doctors from up north, called steam doctors, were believed to be inciting these riots and many of them had been lynched on the spot. Zack began to plan.

He reasoned that, for his slaves to plan a successful uprising against his family, it would have to be due to their trust and familiarity with each other. In order to limit the possibility, he would sell some of his slaves and purchase others to take their place. This would break up families and the familiarity and trust the slaves had with each other. Before Eli’s mother gave birth to Eli, Eli’s father was sold to the Parker plantation in St. Francisville. This was the first time a family on the Williams’ place had been sold apart. I believe that this practice would greatly contribute to the happenings that were to come.

When Eli was six years old, the war started. His mother was sold to a farmer down river. Eli was not allowed to go with her and was given to another slave household on the plantation for them to raise. He never saw his mother again.

When he was about eleven years old, the war ended. That meant nothing to him. He had been too young to do much work, and the concept of slavery or freedom was beyond his comprehension. More importantly, he was adrift in a sea of suffering humanity, harnessed with poverty, as he had never learned the art or skills of farming, or anything else for that matter. He was not invited to stay and sharecrop as many were. At eleven years of age, he was a vagabond on the countryside; a drifter without means, without direction, and helpless, if not hopeless. He lived off the land and on begged handouts as he drifted. Eli was almost a feral child. He slept in abandoned sheds, in the open, in the woods, or in crude shelters he made from fallen trees.

When he was fifteen, a stolen hog was found butchered near his campsite. The assumption was that he had done it. He was stripped, spread between two trees, and whipped by a group of local men. They left him tied and bleeding; he was not discovered for three days. The ants had covered his body and were thriving on the dying flesh and sweetness of his blood. Some of the women in the community heard about his plight and, accompanied by their sons, tended to his wounds. They provided him clothing and food until he was well enough to travel. Then, he was ordered to move on. Now Eli was not only a homeless drifter, but he had also become filled with resentment and hatred for anyone white.

had numerous brushes with the authorities; some were most likely his fault, but some were just attributed to him because of who he was and his reputation.


In the 1740’s, his great-grandmother, Oluda, was captured and sold to the slave traders at Badagry, Nigeria. The description lists her as “a fit female, about twenty years old,” healthy, with good teeth and apparently good breeding stock. An examination indicated she had previously given birth, but no child is mentioned as being present with her when she was taken.

Oluda is further described as tall and thin with more than average size breasts, a symbol at the time of being a good breeder. Her description says her skin “has a healthy sheen” and her teeth are perfect and white. The traders knew she would bring a high price at auction in New Orleans. A woman’s beauty can lead to bad fate or good luck. She was holed in the bowels of the ship like all the rest of the dozens of slaves that were being transported to New Orleans. There, they would just subsist, chained, with minimal food and water. They would lie in their own waste until the stench got such that they were brought topside and their quarters were rinsed with fresh seawater. They, themselves, were drenched in the brine and returned to the hole.

Psychologists will tell you that behavior is learned, not inherited; but I think some tendencies toward behavior are passed on. If that is the case, then there is reason enough to understand the personality that Eli developed. For the next few years, he

About two weeks into the voyage, during the second cleaning of the hole, she was kept back and not allowed to return. She was washed again and then confined to the deck. There, she was assaulted by as many as ten seamen almost every night until they reached New Orleans. When she was put on the auction block, she was dressed in nothing but a waist cloth. No one, except possibly she, knew she was pregnant. She was purchased by the owner of a small plantation upriver from New Orleans. He was not pleased when, after the purchase, he found out she was pregnant. He wanted her for breeding purposes and already had plans for who he would mate with her. He was hoping for a strong male, as he intended to expand his land holdings.


He was even more disappointed when he saw the baby was of white ancestry. This is not at all what he wanted. It was believed that slaves who mixed with whites produced children that were inferior in strength. Their lighter color also made them less obedient, as even at a young age, they knew they were different and should be privileged. From these roots came the elements of rebellion and anarchy.

All this is known because Mr. Duplessis, her first owner, kept good records on the lineage of his slaves, just as he did the lineage of his livestock. He wanted to guard against too much close inbreeding. This mixed-race child, a girl, was sold to the Williams family when she was fifteen. These ancestral records were sent with her, which provided little that could not be seen by her skin color. The Williams family kept similar records. This child would become the grandmother of Eli.

Annag MacGruen

About 1780, Annag MacGruen and his wife, Cairistiana, arrived in America. It is not known if these were given names or ones they adopted due to their religious beliefs. Annag was a well-educated, Scottish Presbyterian minister. The name Annag means merciful, and the name Cairistiana means a Christian woman

The young couple migrated to the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area where Annag set about advancing the Presbyterian doctrine and belief. One of his first sermons was titled, “The Meaning of Presbyterianism.” Little is known about this sermon, but it put forth that John Calvin’s belief was that the greatest threat to Christianity was greed and the desire to acquire wealth, fame, and pleasure over God. It was as if he was foretelling the future of his descendants.

Annag’s offspring followed in his footsteps and stayed learned and faithful ministers of the Presbyterian Church. Their names became more American, and their last name was shortened from MacGruen to Green. His great-grandson, William, moved to the south and established a prosperous Presbyterian congregation among the plantation owners in the Driftwood region.

One of the unwritten tenants of Presbyterianism is patriotism. Their prayers, their sermons, and (even today) their music exude a patriotic ambiance that is almost spiritual. This basic belief would change the course of history for William Green.

As the talk of secession increased, his sermons were more and more based upon the importance of loyalty to the Union. In his mind and in his heart, just as his father’s and grandfather’s before him, he had not been able to justify slavery with his religious convictions.

As the probability of secession neared, his congregation justified their actions as patriotism to their state, the South, and their cause.

The elders approached him with the outline of what his sermon was to be. It was to be based on Galatians 3:18, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there

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male or female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

The next Sunday, all the slaves from the surrounding area were brought to church and baptized in the nearby creek. They were then told they were no longer slaves, but free in Christ Jesus. Nothing else in their lives changed, however.

Being a pastor would never have the same meaning for William after that day. His feelings for his profession changed when the same elders asked him to base his sermon on a list they provided him:

~ Abraham was a slave holder.

~ Abraham was ordered not to free his slaves, but to circumcise them.

~ The Laws of Moses did not abolish slavery, but regulated it. ~ Christ received slaveholders as believers.

~ Paul told slaves to be content in their lot.

William knew he could not preach that way, but he would continue his duty. If war came, he would be needed; if for no other reason than to console the mothers and widows of those who might be killed. This he did.

After the war, he was never comfortable in the pulpit. He would not compromise what he believed to satisfy the wishes of his congregation. He would make a career change. The South was rebuilding. With carpetbagger rule, there were few to be trusted. He could be trusted. He formed a farmers’ co-op with himself as the manager. It prospered.

In 1875, he purchased (at a very fair price to the farmers) the assets of the co-op. Green Hardware and Farm Supply was established. His oldest child and only son, Benjamin, seemed to have the same business keenness as his father. However, he did not have the patience and humility that his father had. There was nothing ministerial about him. It was as if the words of his grandfather, Anaag, were written for him. He was filled with greed, pride, and ambition.

Benjamin wanted desperately to advance in politics. He used every avenue to speak before people to his advantage. It was evident his speeches did not carry the sincerity and humbleness that his father’s had. He was not always truthful; nonetheless, in those conflicting times, he said things the public wanted to hear. Most annoying to Benjamin was the unfairness the carpetbaggers placed on the white citizenry. They put slaves he had known as a child in government to rule over him. This he resented. He began to form a deep prejudice against the freed slaves. It cannot be denied that he and his father would not only be successful, the business was successful beyond expectations. Soon, a gin and grain storage were added, along with a railroad spur connecting this agrarian part of the world to the rest of the world to export crops.

By the turn of the century, the timber industry was in full swing, and large mills were building small railroads (dummy lines) deep into the forest. You could buy a locomotive at Green’s Hardware and Farm Supply.

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Emma was William and Sue Beth’s only other child. She was eight years younger than her brother, Benjamin. Given all the attention and all the benefits of affluence, she developed into a beautiful, talented young lady. She was described as a sweet girl and, since her mother’s death the year before, had assumed some of the duties her mother had held in the community. She planned to go to college the next year and fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher. Those plans would change.

On an October Saturday morning in 1907, she left on her prize horse, Vicksburg, to ride to her grandmother’s home some two miles away. It is something she did almost every Saturday. At some point in the day, Vicksburg returned riderless to his barn. It was just assumed that she had not tied him well at her grandmother’s house, something had spooked him, and he had found his way back home. There was no cause for concern, until it began to get dark. When it was learned that she had never arrived at her grandmother’s, panic went through the community.

Search parties were formed and tracking dogs were brought from the county penal farm. It was almost midnight when she was found. She was about 100 yards off the road near a ravine. Her clothes were mostly torn away, there was a bad gash on her head, and she was unconscious.

It was obvious that she had been sexually assaulted. She was carried home and a logging train was dispatched to bring the nearest doctor. The doctor did not leave her side for forty-eight hours. Late the second day, she regained consciousness. She told authorities she remembers Vicksburg raring up, but she remembers nothing else. She did not see her attacker, nor did she have knowledge of the assault. That did not keep the neighbors from searching the area for the possible perpetrator.

Three years prior, Eli had settled about two miles from where the assault took place. The rumors had always been that he was untrustworthy, but there had been no incidents since his arrival. He supported himself by weaving baskets that he made

from white oak strips.

Near where Emma was found were freshly cut stumps and limbs from several small white oak trees. They could not have been cut more than two days prior.

Benjamin called a community meeting of men only. At first, the crowd was peaceful. But, within a few minutes, the crowd was stirred into an angry mob. Benjamin had tried and convicted Eli of the assault on his sister. The crowd started to Eli’s house. Word got back to William of the justice, or lack thereof, that was in process. He ran as fast as he could toward Eli’s shack. By the time he arrived, Eli was being beaten by Ben and two of his friends. William yelled, “Stop, let the law run its due course!”

Those were his last words. William grabbed his chest and immediately slumped to the ground. Temporarily, the ritual was halted. Seeing that reviving William was hopeless, Benjamin turned toward Eli with even more vengeance.

A rope was produced and placed around Eli’s neck. The other end of the rope was thrown over a limb. Eli was hoisted into the air. As he hung there in pain, Benjamin built a fire beneath him. As the flames climbed, the rope was pulled to lift him so he could get the full effects of the flames for a longer period.

Thankfully, someone had mercy. A shot was fired, striking Eli solidly in the head, mercifully killing him. Maybe the shooter was the only honorable person in the mob. The mob ambled away, leaving Eli hanging. A buggy was brought, and Williams body was carried home for the preparation of burial. It would be two days before Eli’s body was retrieved. His neighbors, who prior had been too frightened to come out of their homes, took Eli and buried him.

the doctor gave her the news, he had to explain the situation to her... She was pregnant.

The only family member with whom she could share the news was her brother Benjamin, who was now head of the house and running the family business. Again, she was naïve. She had no idea how he would react, and certainly was not prepared for his actions.

She would be forced from the house. No sister of his would have a baby fathered by a slave. He gave her two hundred dollars and a mule that was 15 years old. He told her to never be seen in those parts again. It was December 1, 1907 when she walked out of the comfortable, luxurious home that had been hers all her life. She was traveling to a place, but where, she did not know; how she would survive, she had no idea. She had taken several ham stuffed biscuits and a jar of molasses.

She headed south. The day was cold, and January would be colder. She heard that it was warmer farther south. If she could just get to New Orleans. She had heard that it never snowed in New Orleans.

The first night, she found an abandoned shed not far from the road. The next morning, she awoke to find the mule had died. She was now on foot. New Orleans was a long distance away.

After the third day, she had no more food. She kept walking and, finally, in an almostdream state, she saw the smoke from a chimney in the distance. With her last bit of strength, she stepped on the porch. That is the last thing she remembered.


Emma healed rapidly for awhile. Then she began to regress. Mornings were extremely difficult, and the smell of breakfast cooking made her nauseous. It was determined that she would travel to the doctor on the train the next day.

It had never crossed her mind, and when

A day later, she awoke. She was in a warm bed and a large woman was standing over her. She felt strange garments on her. They were scratchy, not soft as the ones she was accustomed to. The woman held a bowl that had a steaming substance in it.

“You’s almos dead when you comes to my poach, chil’. Who be you anyhow, and where you come from?”

“I am Emma Green and I am from Darby. I mean, I was from Darby. I have no home now.”


“Where you headed, honey chil’?”

“I don’t know,” and she began to cry. “You hush up that cryin. You can tell me later, but nows you gots to eat. You’s at Bessie’s house.”

Emma had forgotten how good boiled chicken and broth could be. The cornbread was good too. She wondered about her future. What would be the future of her child?

It was the next day before she told Bessie the whole story. Bessie listened without saying a word.

Finally, when Emma finished, Bessie shook her head. “Colored man, you say? This ain’t good. You say his name be Eli. Eli Williams? I heard of him, kind of a bad one, I hear. I ain’t got no sympathy for him the way he did you, honey chil’. If you askin me, he gots what he deserved.”

“Now, us gots to take care of you and dat baby. You’s welcome to anything I gots. Dat baby be comin’ about June or July. I gots enough canned stuff to gets us by. I gots a cow, and I gots plenty chickens. If I plant an early garden and if the weather be warm, we’s have fresh vegetables to keep you going till you birth dat baby. Don’t you worry, honey chil’.”

As the months passed, Bessie and Emma became the best of friends. Bessie told Emma that she and her husband had done good and made that little homestead until he died of the flu back in 1900. She did okay, though; never been hungry or cold.

The Baby

It was June and Bessie had been in the garden all day, hoeing the vegetables and packing water. Emma was way too far along to be of any help. When she stepped on the porch, Bessie could hear her. She rotated from sobs to screams. Bessie didn’t even go inside. She went to the well and drew plenty of water and then to the woodpile to get some firewood. It was time.

If Emma had any luck at all, it was that the birth was relatively easy. Bessie made a big pot of sassafras and made her drink it. She said it would make her sleepy and ease the pain. Before she dozed off, Bessie said, “Well, it’s a boy, but it be a surprise.”

In a few minutes, the word surprise registered with Emma. “A surprise? What do you mean, Bessie? Is my baby okay?”

“Yo baby fine, and guess what? It’s a white baby, too. Ain’t a bit of dark in this chil’.”

“How can that be, Bessie?”

“Honey chil’, it mean that Eli was not the one who did this to you. Some white man did it. Low down, lower dan a slave. I hope somebody cuts his man off.”

Emma was confused. This opened a whole different avenue of opportunities for her. When she got stronger, she would go back home and surely her brother would accept her and her child. Surely.

It had been a month since the baby came. He was healthy and she was too. It was July now. She would head back home next week. Bessie had arranged for a friend with a buggy to take her.

The Saturday before Emma left, there was a knock on Bessie’s door. Opening the door, there stood Benjamin and his best friend, Nathan. Emma could not wait to show Benjamin that her baby, his nephew, was white.

As soon as she saw him, she knew he was not there to apologize. “I will not have a baby in my family with black blood. Give me the little bastard,” he said.

“Look Brother! He is white. He has red hair.”

Benjamin’s attitude softened. “How can that be? We know it was done by Eli.”

“Brother, it couldn’t have been. I never knew who did it. I was unconscious.”

He asked Nathan to leave, allowing him to speak with his sister alone. “Emma if this gets back to Darby, they will know we lynched an innocent man. That can’t happen. I could get arrested. We have to get rid of the baby.”

“What do you mean ‘get rid of the baby’?”

“I will take the baby to New Orleans and give it away. I have told everyone you have been in Europe to recuperate. No one knows you were pregnant. Get him ready to travel. Don’t leave any sign that he has been here.”

“No! He’s my baby.”

“The longer he stays here, the more you will get attached.”

Bessie, who had been in her garden, was now listening from the back door. She came in, armed with a fire poker.

“You’s ain’t takin that young’un nowheres. You gits, and don’t you come back.”

Surprisingly, Benjamin and Nathan left.

“Miss Emma, them’s kind will be coming back, but I’s got a plan. Archie will gets his wagon and take you into Brookhaven tomorrow. You goes to the sheriff. We’s hear he be a good man. Show him da baby. Then, if anything happens to dis baby, ever body done knowed who done it. We leaves at first dark and be there by daylight.”

Archie’s mule ambled his way along the dirt road pulling a wagon with Bessie, Archie, Emma and the baby. At daylight, they arrived at the sheriff’s office. It was closed so they sat in the wagon until 6:30am when Sheriff Applewhite came in.

Sheriff Applewhite knew Emma because he had known her father and brother as being prominent wealthy citizens from nearby Darby.

“Well, Miss Emma! When did you get back? Your brother tells me you have been on a vacation to Europe to recuperate.” He nodded at the child in Emma’s arms. “Obviously, that’s not the whole truth, is it Miss Emma?”

“No sir. This is my baby. You see, it’s white.”

“Miss Emma, this just proves there is no place for lynching. Sometimes you get them right, but sometimes this happens. One day, they’re going to lynch an innocent white person and there’ll be hell to pay.”

“My brother wants to take the baby away. He says nobody can see it is white or they will arrest him for killing Eli.”

“Miss Emma, I won’t let that happen. You come inside so no one sees you and let me go home and talk to my wife.”

In about an hour, he returned.

“Miss Emma, I want you to spend the night with me and my wife. I don’t want


anyone to know you’re here. You folks are Presbyterian. Your daddy built that church over there and it has two hundred members now. Tomorrow is Sunday. My wife will get you and the baby some Sunday clothes. I think it’s time this baby is baptized in front of God and the whole congregation. You will hide in the preacher’s office. Then, when the preacher signals, you come out. I will get the preacher to call your brother up to be the Godfather. He can’t refuse, and then he will have committed to take care of this baby as if it were his.”

The expression on Benjamin’s face when Emma brought the baby from the back room caught the attention of the entire congregation. When he was called forward to be the Godfather, he could barely stand. It was as if the whole congregation knew the whole story.

With reservation, Benjamin took his sister and the baby back to the family home. It was a strange and cold relationship. In a few days, Emma took the baby to

visit Sheriff Applewhite. “Sheriff, there is something I need you to help me do.”

“What’s that, Miss Emma?”

“I want to do something for Eli. This community needs to ask for forgiveness. I want to visit his grave.”

Emma, Sheriff Applewhite, and the baby trudged their way to the corner of a cotton field. There were a dozen or so graves. Most were not marked, but a couple had wooden crosses on them.

The sheriff reasoned that the one with the freshest dirt was Eli’s. Emma approached with the child.

“See, Eli? You didn’t do this.” She waited as if expecting an answer.

“Sheriff, do you think the community will regret what they did to Eli?”

“Someday, maybe, Miss Emma. But not now.”


There were no legal proceedings brought against Benjamin for the lynching of Eli.

However, society did get justice in a minor way. After he campaigned for U.S. Senator, he was soundly defeated. Also, Green’s Hardware and Farm Supply began to fall on hard times.

Benjamin moved from the community, leaving the family home and business to Emma. She made it profitable again.

One day, Sheriff Applewhite stopped in to visit. He complimented Emma on how she had turned the business around.

Emma replied, “A farmer has to have credit. Even with credit, it’s an iffy endeavor. I give credit to every responsible person, regardless of color. My brother never did that.”

The sheriff was silent for a moment.

“Miss Emma, you never know how an event will change things. Everything that happened in the past was terrible; for you, for Eli, and for our community. But, it seems as though some good may have come out of it. Maybe you have opened the door for peace and understanding and, perhaps, change.”


Allergies in Louisiana

Your immune system protects you from invading organisms that can cause illness. Sometimes, your immune system can mistake an otherwise harmless substance for an invader and overreact. This substance is called an allergen and the reaction is an allergy.

Living in Louisiana can mean struggling with a unique set of allergy symptoms that can be tough to handle. Our weak winters and persistent moisture cause plants to prosper, creating more pollen throughout the year and better conditions for other kinds of allergies. Common allergy symptoms include:

• Eye discomfort: redness, itching, swelling, tearing

• Sinus discomfort: pain, pressure, recurrent infections, drainage

• Nasal discomfort: congestion, itchiness, postnasal drip

• Skin problems: irritation, itching, welts, rash, hives

• Ear discomfort: fullness, pain, recurrent infections

• Respiratory symptoms: shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness

• Overall health: fatigue or hyperactivity

Some of the most common allergies in Louisiana include:

• Mold. Occurs frequently because of damp and humid weather. Many sufferers experience a stuffy nose and congestion. Mold allergies can be dangerous to those with asthma.

• Tree pollen. Louisiana has a diverse assortment of trees which means plenty of tree pollen carried through the wind. Those with tree pollen allergies are recommended to stay indoors on especially windy days.

• Flower pollen. One of the more common species of flowers in Louisiana to cause allergies is the ragweed. The wind blows their pollen around causing sufferers to feel sneezy, watery eyes and a blocked nose.

• Grass pollen. Windy days means pollen from grass is spread in the same way that flower pollen is spread.

• Dust/dander. A buildup of dust or pets entering a home can mean itchy eyes and congestion.

Allergies in Louisiana tend to last longer, making quick and effective relief very important for allergy sufferers. There is no need to suffer if your allergy symptoms stick around for an extended period. Our team of providers at SMH I Ochsner can help you finally get the year-round relief you deserve.

Call today to schedule your appointment:

(985) 280-2200 • (985) 639-3777
Health & Wellness &
Andrew McKernan, MD 2750 Gause Blvd. East (985) 639-3777
Jennifer Olivier, MD 1051 Gause Blvd., Suite 400 (985) 280-5350


Last year, we learned that Slidell will soon be home to its very own skateboard park, possibly in the Fritchie Park area on Spartan Road. This is grand news for our local skateboarding community. The city is still in the design phase and hopes to break ground later this year. The origin of skateboarding can be traced back to the early 1950’s when California surfers came up with the idea to create a surfboard on wheels to imitate the feel of riding the waves on asphalt. This was especially useful on days with low swells (flat waves). Not surprisingly, these surfer dudes became known as “asphalt surfers.” The first skateboards were made from short surfboards with skate wheels mounted to them.

The first “official” skateboard was released in 1959 by Roller Derby with

a few maneuverability improvements. As skateboards became more popular, their distinction changed from toy to sport.

Although skateboarding has had some ups and downs in popularity, there seems to have been a resurgence lately. In fact, the sport debuted as an Olympic event during the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. A few weeks ago, I caught up with some of the guys who own and run Therapy Skateboards in Hammond, Louisiana. Brent Coker, founder, is a tall, unassuming young man and possibly the politest person I’ve talked to in a long time. He reminds me of how I was raised 60+ years ago. When we talked on the phone, he asked how he should address me. “Donna is fine,” I said. Upon meeting him face to face at

Dreamland Skate Park in Hammond, he shook my hand and said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Donna.” He immediately apologized for calling me Miss. “I can’t help it,” he said.

Brent got his first taste of skateboarding when his grandmother gave him the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 video game for Christmas. For his 10th birthday, he asked for and received his first skateboard. At that time, they were living in Waggaman and he would skate at Fastlane Skate Park, which became Compound Ramp Park. Brent could never have guessed then that Compound would become one of his first business sponsors in his future business.

After Hurricane Katrina, the family moved to the Hammond area where Brent found Dreamland Skateboard

Story and photos by Donna Bush

Park and the friends that are now on his team at Therapy Skateboards.

At age 17, Brent and three of his friends attended Woodward Skate Camp in Woodward, Pennsylvania. He likened it to his senior trip after graduating high school. He paid for one week, after which he was offered an opportunity to work at the camp and stayed 2 more weeks. By then, he had turned 18 and was able to stay and work full time.

Fast forward to when Brent and his friend, Brenden, landed jobs making skateboards. They learned much from the process, especially about the distributorship of high-quality wood boards. A natural born entrepreneur, and driven from the encouragement of his dad, Brent yearned to launch his own line of skateboards.

In June of 2016, Therapy Skateboards was born. The name was serendipitous because, Brent says, “Skateboarding is our therapy.”

The first two boards were labeled “Flower of Life” and were designed by a tattoo artist friend. Brent soon learned how to design his own graphics, starting with simple designs and progressing to more complex. He revealed, “Funny thing, I never was good at art. I never considered myself an artist until I needed to do it.” Now he finds the graphic designing as much therapy as skateboarding.

Their board graphic is similar to the true Flower of Life, but with sort of a lotus petal design rather than perfect curves. Brent calls the design the “Sacred T” for Sacred Therapy, but it also stands for Sacred Timmy who created it. Timmy explains that the Flower of Life is a one of the symbols in Sacred Geometry. The geometrical shape begins with 2 equal sized overlapping circles, to which more circles are added, up to 19.

They started small that first year, ordering 50 boards of two different “Flower of Life” graphics. Last year, they ordered 300 boards with 4 different designs!

When Brent moved to the Hammond area and began skating at Dreamland, he met longtime friends, Timothy “Timbo” Villars and Alexandra “Ally” Budde, among others. They became best skating friends. At the age of 12, the trio, along with two other friends, formed a skate group together. Sadly, Ally died in the horrible 2016 floods, just two months after the opening of Therapy Skateboards.

Obviously choked up, Brent shared that he has pushed himself harder in the business because, “Ally couldn’t do this. She can’t live her dreams. So, I have to do it for her. Ally inspires and teaches me every day to be a better person. I’m living my best life for her, because she can’t.” He sees the business as a way to honor her life and their friendship.

Brent shared that Therapy Skateboards are unique because there is a hidden message in each piece. His art captures an idea, a vision, and he hopes it will resonate with others. As Timmy put it, “All the graphics have an underlying


Is the standing platform, made from layers of laminated wood.


Allow the board to turn and provide axles for the wheels.


Allow the board to roll and provide housing for the bearings.


Fit inside the sides of the wheels and allow them to spin freely.

Grip Tape

Applied to the top of the deck to provide grip for your feet.


There were 2 categories each for men and women in the 2020 Summer Olympics - Park and Street. Park skateboarding involved riding in a bowl and gaining speed to perform big moves in the air. Street featured riding over obstacles, rails, stairs, and slopes. Japanese skaterboarders took home more medals than any other country, although USA did score bronze in both men’s Park and Street.

inspirational message. When something inspires you, you want to find a way to share that with others, hoping to inspire them as well.”

Brent and Timmy started skateboarding around the park for photo ops. Demonstrating a trick, Brent wipes out, as we all know will happen. I asked his mom if it makes her nervous watching him skate and fall. She told me that she’s seen her share of accidents already, like the time Brent broke his arm at this very park.

Timmy shares that Dreamland is unique among the 10-15 skate parks currently in the state. “Skateboard parks are a challenge to design. Some will just have a bowl and a rail, but Dreamland has lots of features. I’ve been skating here for 15 years, and I can still come out and find something new that I’ve never noticed. In skateboarding, there are two different camps – sport and art. To us, it is artistic, getting the creative juices flowing.”

I asked Brent about the skill and athleticism it takes to be a skateboarder. He shared, “The biggest challenge in perfecting any trick is the amount of time it takes to understand it; the patience it takes to keep trying, even when it feels like you have no idea what you are doing or being scared to attempt it; and the courage to keep trying. Every trick demands a proper amount of respect and attention from the skater. It’s a give and take relationship.”

“When you are trying a new trick, you will fall, and that’s okay. It might take days, weeks, or months of practice to finally nail the trick. If, at the end of the day, you leave to go home knowing that you gave it all you got, you can go home proud and tired. You know you challenged yourself.”

A common theme of their board graphics is the Kokopelli, a symbol from the Hopi Native Americans of the southwest. The humpbacked flute player is a mythical symbol thought to represent fertility, replenishment, music, dance, and mischief. Brent explains, “I feel like that’s what we do with skateboarding. We’re dancing with the skateboard, having fun with it. It’s bringing us joy and we are bringing joy to others whenever we are just doing our thing. The mischief is us in the middle of the street causing havoc for people that don’t want us to be there. The rebirth is we are always recreating or creating from it. Skateboarding is a very creative discipline and it keeps expressing and giving.”

So, maybe you never land a trick, or you might even fall off your board; I’ve learned from the Therapy Team that skateboarding takes your mind away from whatever stresses you. Conquering any obstacle, no matter how small or how big, brings you a sense of joy and accomplishment. Gliding through the air, breeze blowing in your face and hair can be therapeutic. “This is our therapy.”

Instagram: @therapyboards

Facebook: Therapy Skateboards

35 | 985-641-1181 1101 Robert Blvd Slidell, LA 70458 Most Insurances Accepted SERVICES Same Day Crowns | Implants | Invisalign | Zoom! Whitening | Cosmetic Dentistry Extractions | Root Canals | Dentures | Orthodontics | Tooth Colored Fillings WHY CHOOSE US? Family-Oriented Practice | Community Driven Pain Free Dentistry | Caring & Compassionate Hometown Doctors That You Can Trust We Treat Patients Like Family WHERE YOU ARE A PART OF THE FAMILY! Dr Jason Chawla, DMD Dr Kayla Macri, DMD NEW PATIENT SPECIAL $49 Comprehensive Exam & Full Set of X-Rays These services correspond to dental code D0150 and D0210. This fee is a minimum fee and charges may increase depending on the treatment required, if any. This coupon applies to new patients only and excludes patients with qualifying insurance. Not valid with other offers or prior serves. Expires 12/31/23 FREE CONSULTATION $500 OFF Implants & Invisalign for Eligible Patients These services correspond to dental code D6010 and D9310. This fee is a minimum fee and charges may increase depending on the treatment required, if any. This coupon applies to new patients only and excludes patients with qualifying insurance. Not valid with other offers or prior serves. Expires 12/31/23 We Offer COMLIMENTARY SECOND OPINIONS!
Ronda M. Gabb and Ronald “Chip” W. Morrison Jr. are both Board Certified Estate Planning and Administration Specialists, certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. Chip and Ronda combined have devoted over 40 years of practice solely to estate planning, and are Members of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the Governor’s Elder Law Task Force. Ronda is also a Registered Financial Consultant. While Chip and Ronda both reside on the Northshore, Gabb Morrison LLP has offices in Covington and Metairie. Join Us FOR A FREE EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOP ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT Your Estate Planning Partners Ronda Gabb Chip Morrison CALL 504-831-2348 or Register Online  Wills, Trusts and Your Estate TOPICS: • Wills & Trusts - Which is right for my situation? • Probate - What is it & why does everyone want to avoid it? • Divorce - How can I stop my kids' inheritance from being divided? • Incapacity - How can I avoid Interdiction if I am unable to handle my own affairs? Tuesday, March 21 at 10am & Thursday, March 23 at 10am 40 Louis Prima Drive (off Hwy 190, behind Copeland’s) • Covington, LA • (985) 892-0942

A New Appreciation for the Gift of Life

This month, I am putting aside the legal things to do and sharing a favorite poem, which helps me focus on what is really important while we are taking up space here on Earth. A close family member is suddenly terminally ill, and I do not understand how or why this is happening to one of God’s most precious souls. So, I will try to learn a lesson under this veil of sorrow. You never know when our time will come, so let’s show up every day and live life with appreciation for each day; and, remember, tomorrow is an opportunity many will not enjoy.

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of

betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

See other articles and issues of interest!

37 40 Louis Prima Drive (off Hwy 190, behind Copeland’s) • Covington, Louisiana • (985) 892-0942 •
Ronda M. Gabb and Ronald “Chip” W. Morrison Jr. are both Board Certified Estate Planning and Administration Specialists, certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. Chip and Ronda combined have devoted over 40 years of practice solely to estate planning, and are Members of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the Governor’s Elder Law Task Force. Ronda is also a Registered Financial Consultant. While Chip and Ronda both reside on the Northshore, Gabb Morrison LLP has offices in Covington and Metairie.

Mardi Gras in Slidell 2023 was AMAZING! Here are just a few of the memories from our spectacular Slidell carnival season!

39 OUT TAKES 149
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Call Laura Mauffray Borchert in Olde Towne Slidell - 985-649-1881 ESTATE LAW Wills | Trusts | Successions ADOPTIONS Intra-Family | Private
1.) Krewe of Bilge, King Joel Price & Queen Savannah Helm 2.) Krewe of Titans, Queen Laura Kaufmann 3.) Krewe of Slidellians, Queen Mary DuBuisson 1.) Krewe de Paws, “Hank” riding high with his family 2.) The inaugural Krewe of Antheia Grand Marshal, Councilwoman Leslie Denham 3.) Some of the ladies of the beautiful Krewe of Selene 1.) Queen Samaritan Kendra Maness riding in Krewe of Dionysus 2.) Krewe of Poseidon Captain & Founder, Ronny Kastner 3.) Krewe of Dionysus Grand Marshal, Riley Kramar 4.) The first parade for the Krewe of Antheia hosted special guest Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser on the Spirit of Louisiana float





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TROUBLE FOCUSING 112 Village Street Slidell, LA 70458 (228) 864-9669 Stanford Owen, M.D. Treating adult ADD since 2001
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