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Editor’s Letter Yep, that’s me, taking a before-surgery-selﬁe. If you think that’s bad, I’ll spare you the after-surgery pic. Not my best moment for sure. That thing on my head is a thermometer. It’s a pretty neat little device that looks really awful in a photo. Oh, and then there’s the hairnet. Ok, I really should’ve chosen a diﬀerent picture. At the time of this writing, I’m still recovering from surgery. So, let me start this Editor’s Letter with a warning - I’m on some SERIOUS pain medication. The good stuﬀ. The kind of stuﬀ that makes editing a magazine a bit tricky - I’ve read the same line ﬁve times and still don’t know what it says. What was I saying? Oh, the magazine. So, last month in my letter, I wrote about how I was the neighborhood weirdo. (I’m pretty sure the surgery pic validates that even more.) Anywho, I got tons of feedback about that. I had no idea how many of us weirdos there are out there! Additionally, I didn’t know how many of you actually took the time to read my letters. Thanks for that!
PO Box 4147 • Slidell, LA 70459
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Devin Reeson - Graphic Designer Graphics@SlidellMag.com Illustrations by: Zac McGovern www.HalMundane.com
Editor/Publisher Slidell Magazine
So I ﬁgure that since I’m EXTREMELY well medicated, now would be the time for me to oﬀer some AWESOME medical advice. Liability, accountability and all that stuﬀ - psshhhhh - I can blame it on the drugs. Just random little advicey-things like:
Cover Artist matt litchliter
When the doc says don’t do anything strenuous, keep it a secret that you leash walk a pitbull with the pulling power to tow a tractor trailer. When people are rude enough to ask what surgery you had performed, it doesn’t matter if it was on your foot or your tooth. Tell them hemorrhoids just to see the look on their face. If a side eﬀect of your medication is nausea, eat something bland in case things go terribly, terribly Exocist-style wrong. Oh, and something that passes easily through your nose. Rent Disney’s “Fantasia”. Duuuuude. Wow. If you run out of pain meds before your reﬁll, licking the powder residue from the prescription bottle is acceptable. I’m single and have had enough food brought to my house to feed an army. Thanks guys. My grass is now 20 inches high. Any takers? Throw pride and embarrassment out the window. There’s nothing - NOT ONE THING - attractive about a hospital gown. Plus, the entire hospital staﬀ just saw you naked on the operating table. You don’t remember it. They do. Don’t let your goat lick your sutures. She means well, I know. That’s probably another thing you shouldn’t mention to the doc. Lastly, keep your cellphone out of reach so you won’t be tempted to take before and after surgery selﬁes. THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR THEIR WELL WISHES AND HELP. I’M ON THE MEND. LOVE TO YOU ALL!!
Congratulations to artist Matt Litchliter for his SIXTH Slidell Magazine cover! There’s a whole lot that goes on behindthe-scenes to make every edition of Slidell Magazine. And, you can bet that Matt has a little something to do with each edition. We collaborate with, borrow from, and sometimes outright beg for his art, his ideas and his input. This month’s cover was developed from a brainstorming session when we asked Matt if he could create artwork that would represent the inaugural White Linen and Lagniappe event in Olde Towne. The problem was - how do you paint an image of white linen and make it look like anything other than, ummmm, white linen? We tossed around ideas of men dressed in seersucker suits, landscape scenes of a summer day, even a textured and simple all white cover with bold text. Nothing seemed to fit the Slidell Magazine cover style. Thinking about the event, we imagined the heat of our Louisiana August nights juxtaposed against the cool freshness of white linen cloth. The image began to form - a young lady in a white summer dress, slipping ever so slightly off her shoulders. An August breeze blows back her hair to reveal a touch of sunburn. She’s casually walking into a setting sun, holding our city’s symbolic flower, a beautiful and delicate camellia. Wow, Matt, you did it! You can enjoy more of Matt’s artwork and purchase prints of many of his paintings on his facebook page:
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS EFOP, Charlotte Lowry-Collins The Storyteller, John Case Portraits of Slidell, William Blackwell Pet Points, Jeff Perret, DVM Crimmi-Mommly Insane, Leslie Gates Legal-Ease, Ronda M. Gabb Making Cents of Your Money, Mike Rich MikeRich@MyPontchartrain.com Beat the August Heat, Donna Bush Donna.Bush@yahoo.com
Cover: “White Linen” by Matt Litchliter
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Extraordinarily Fascinating “Ordinary” People Sponsored by
Michael Strecker by Charlotte Lowry Collins
you went to school at St. Margaret Mary (SMM), or Slidell High in the 60's and 70's, chances are you knew one of the Strecker family. I say that because there were seven boys in one Strecker family, then six cousins in another Strecker family, and they all grew up in the area near Young’s Restaurant. I was in Jimmy Strecker’s class at SMM, and could clearly see that these brothers were a close-knit group.
Mike described his boyhood growing up in rural Slidell on Robert Boulevard as a special time. Robert Boulevard was a two-lane country road then, and he played with his brothers and cousins in the woods, all around that area.
still gave me the notion that I could do anything with my life.”
“There were so many of us boys, enough for our own football team and we played a lot in our backyard and on the playground at SMM. We had a great time. I was not a great student back then but my parents
“I think my dad had a dream to buy some land and become a chicken farmer, but that was more like a pipe dream. There were too many kids to feed with just eggs,” Mike laughed.
His parents were both from New Orleans, but they moved to Slidell in the early 60’s to get away from the city and raise their kids.
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Many of my readers may remember Bill Strecker as our Postmaster from 1968-1981. Family was very important to Mike and, as he described, “Humor was esteemed in my family and practiced often. Looking back, I realize we were a family of story tellers. All of my older brothers were funny, and I used to very deliberately attempt to emulate them. But Jimmy was the funniest. He had a wonderful, refined sense of humor. He was a pro." “My parents were funny, too. I remember someone once asked my father what a Postmaster did. My dad said, ‘You know those little squiggly lines that are printed over stamps after a letter is mailed? I draw those.’” The space program came to Slidell in the 60's and 70's, and brought with it a huge population boom. Robert Boulevard was no longer the wooded paradise his family knew. But for Mike, it also changed his life in a good way. “Suddenly there were all these new kids from all over the country. It was a great exposure to kids from other states.” After graduating from Slidell High, this Slidell boy went off to college at LSU. He majored in Journalism, thinking he would be a newspaper reporter, while also writing the great American novel. After earning a degree and freelancing at local newspapers for a period, Mike was hired as the Public Information Officer at the New Orleans Museum of Art. One day, Mike heard from a volunteer at the museum that her son-in-law was moving, and there would be an opening for a Media Specialist at Tulane University. The woman told Mike he should apply because the son-in-law had loved working there. Mike took her advice and, after years of hard work at Tulane, including earning a Masters in English Literature from the university, Mike was promoted to the Executive Director of Public Relations. But Mike’s public relations career is not what brought this EFOP into focus. Once Mike had firmly established his professional career, he began searching for a creative outlet. Long a fan of standup comedy, he decided in 1995 to take
“ It was tough growing up with all boys. I remember the first time someone told me they loved me like a brother. I thought for sure they were going to shove my face in an anthill.” a non-credit course to learn the craft of writing and performing comedy from Mike Parnon, the comedy professor at UNO. The course required that each student write and perform a five-minute routine in front of family and friends. Mike laughs at the memory of his first attempts. “I was really nervous. But the first time I tried it, they loved me because, after all, they were my family and friends! The second time, it just didn’t go as well. Then, by the third time, I realized I thoroughly enjoyed both writing and performing stand-up comedy and was going to keep doing it no matter how the next show went.” He had found his muse. I hope you have had the delight of watching Mike perform as a stand-up comedian. He performed for the Rotary Installation Banquet at Pinewood Country Club last month. His performance is what brought to light who he is at the core. His family parodies made for a great
night, but they stayed with me. I found myself relating them to my own family, and realizing once again how important family is. Their individual quirks can be quite endearing. Unexpectedly, I learned more about Mike’s first job. At the end of the performance, Mike asked to go see the kitchen. Seeing the surprise on my face, he revealed that his first job, at fifteen years old, was as a dishwasher at Pinewood, and that he had a lot of fond memories. “The memories just kind of arrested me when I stepped into the place. When you are young, you do not have to be at a place long for it to claim a part of you.” Laughing, he added, “After a couple of summers working at Pinewood, I got a job at Young’s Restaurant, which is located right next to my family’s property. So I saved a lot of time not having to commute to Country Club.” 7
“There’s a big age difference between my wife and me. Twenty years. That’s right. She’s 74 years old.” We sat down after his kitchen tour to continue our interview. This is when I learned that in 2006, Mike met Jillian Figueroa from New York. “My whole comedy act up to this point was based on being the single guy looking for true love and not doing particularly well in the quest. It was great fodder for comedy but not so great to actually live out. So I decided to join a Catholic online dating site called Ave Maria Singles and that is where I met Jillian. I’m eternally grateful for that seismic shift in my life and my act.”
In 2007, Mike and Jillian married and decided to make their home in New Orleans. As he told me, “It’s hard to get a Louisiana boy to move, and I am so glad she was willing to relocate. She was a teacher in New York, and now she home schools our two boys, Stephen and Joseph,” Mike relayed with pride. Mike has brought his comedy act to some of the top clubs in Los Angeles and New York, but also loves a hometown crowd. The House of Blues, Harrah’s Casino, churches, Slidell Little Theatre, and Slidell Rotary are great venues for this native Slidellian. As he says, “There’s nothing like having a home field advantage.” In addition to performing comedy, Mike also had a habit of teasing his wife with a lot of puns and silly one-liners. She told him he should write these jokes down and try to get them published.
Now on the shelf at Metairie, Tulane and Mandeville Barnes and Noble! 8
“She, being a teacher, told me that kids loved these kinds of jokes. I took her advice. I wrote about 150 jokes and also added some tips for kids that might inspire them to try comedy themselves. I named it “Young Comic’s Guide to Telling Jokes.” I sent the manuscript to several publishers, and Sterling Publishing, a big New York publishing house, said yes. But they needed to have 600 jokes, and they wanted two volumes! I didn’t expect that. The two volumes are selling well enough that they are interested in a third volume.” Mike also wrote “Jokes for Crescent City Kids,” a book of New Orleans-centric jokes for local kids and those who know and love our area. That book is currently under contract and slated to published in 2018. I learned from Mike that comedy can be an intellectual pursuit. “I want kids to know that you need to read a lot in order to do comedy properly. The more you know, the more things you can joke about. Silly humor won’t take you far. The best comedians are intelligent with their humor. You also have to listen more than you talk. If you really listen to the things we all say, you start to ask yourself what’s behind the figures of speech we use so much.”
“ My comedy career has really taken off– HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central . . . I can afford all of them now.”
“I’ve done everything to make a living. You hear about people winning the lottery and then saying that they are not going to quit their jobs. I’ve quit jobs after winning the peel off games at McDonald’s.” Mike broke into his role as a comedy creator and asked me to consider the comedy potential of clichés such as “heads would roll.” “What if you took that phrase literally and applied it to a particular place? Where are there a lot of heads? Well, Mt. Rushmore, for one. So what would have to happen to make heads roll there? Maybe an earthquake? And there’s your joke. ‘What would happen if there were an earthquake on Mt. Rushmore? Heads would roll.’ There is a lot of humor in the phrases we hear and say every day."
"Those are the kinds of things I would like kids to discover and think about when they try writing their own jokes.”
pursue the dream I had in college. My original dream in college was to write serious fiction.”
The other thing I learned about comedy is that it can teach kids confidence.
But, he insists, that everything for him comes back to family. “Once God gives you children, you know He can never give you anything better. You might get more, but never better. I hope my kids know how much they’ve changed my life. Any success I have happened to find is because of the people in my life.”
“Humor is a tool you can use in any life skill, or in any relationship. I try to encourage kids not to be afraid to try anything,” Mike said. Now that Mike Strecker seems to have all a man could hope for, what else could he strive to do? Mike’s answer was swift. “I want to write more and
Good luck Mike. You're making Slidell laugh, and proud!
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A U G U S T 2 0 1 7
Storyteller FROM RAGS TO RICHES Hobos and tramps were part of the landscape in the 50â€™s. Some had not been able to throw off the effects of the Great Depression, some were just dodging responsibility, and some just liked the roaming lifestyle. Even though, as children, we were told to stay clear of them, they were different from the criminal element, and no one could point to a case where they had caused any harm. I tend to remember both types as being loners, walking into the community or just appearing out of nowhere. Seldom would
they outstay the food supply provided by benevolent citizens, and that was usually less than a week. Daddyâ€™s motto was to give them one free meal and then offer them a job. They would usually leave after the meal. There is one thing for sure - they were different from my family and my neighbors, and they were even different from the poorest that lived around us. As to being loners, there were exceptions, however - James and Virginia. If I had to put them in a category I would call them tramps, a husband and wife tramp
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team. They appeared on foot at the Rileys’ house late one afternoon. He wore carpenter’s bib overalls over an undershirt with high-top shoes and a straw hat. In the pocket on the bib, he kept a can of Prince Albert tobacco. She wore, what my mother called, a flour sack dress. It hung on her body from her shoulders to her ankles and it appeared that it almost intentionally avoided revealing any feminine features. There was a plastic flower in her greasy, unwashed hair. Both carried a sack with a drawstring at the top, which we assumed held all their possessions. No one remembered seeing a man and woman travel like that in those days. It had happened in the Depression, when entire families wandered the countryside, but not in the 1950's. There was some sympathy for a man traveling alone - maybe he was shell shocked from the war. I am sure there would have been some sympathy for a woman, but there would have been questions about a woman putting herself in such a vulnerable position. To have a couple, destitute on your doorsteps, asking for food and shelter, made the Rileys uncomfortable. If he had been alone, he could have slept in the hay loft in the barn. I am not sure what they would have done if she had been alone, but sending her to the barn would not have been likely. On the other hand, she probably would not have been offered a bed inside the house, either.
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The Rileys had a corn crib that had not been used for that purpose in years. Many years ago, it had been converted to a room for a farm hand to sleep in. A primitive toilet was located some distance behind the barn. It was a falling down structure with a bench built over a dug pit. A hole was cut in the bench much like a commode seat. In this particular case, this was a two hole variety, so that two people could be relieved at the same time. The bench was hinged so the back side could be flipped over and cleaned and it could be inspected for black widow spiders. More than a few men lost their ability to have children at the fangs of a black widow hidden in a toilet. The seat on our toilet was not hinged. We would light a newspaper and run it around the underneath side of the seat so the fire would kill the spiders. The pit below the bench held water and waste and sometimes lime to lessen the odor and dissolve the solids. It was called a "sanitary toilet," but it was not sanitary. It was a place you did not want to be. Also in the toilet was a bucket with hundreds of holes punched in the bottom. A rope was attached to the bucket and the rope fed through a pulley in the ceiling. When filled with water and hoisted by the rope, this served as a shower. This primitive type of accommodation would have to do. It was assumed that they were typical transients, and
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would move on when daybreak came. They didn’t. Uncharacteristically, they inquired about getting work. That is how we met them. Dad always needed some type of help in the construction business, and Mother liked to have household help about once a week. It worked out fine. James was a good and dependable worker, and Virginia likewise. Well, Virginia was most of the time, but sometimes she did not show up. Based on her vocabulary, there was a hint that Virginia may have come from a more affluent background. It was July, and that’s a hot month in South Mississippi. Virginia had missed work the previous Monday, wash day, but she came to work that day. Her sack dress fell almost to her ankles and she wore a long sleeve shirt. No part of her skin except her hands and her face were visible. Mother was astute. She told my dad that she thought James beat Virginia and she was covering her bruises. Virginia continued to miss work occasionally, and wear the long sleeve shirts. Finally, Mother asked her. She admitted that he did beat her, but said it was better now that he did not drink as much. They continued to live basically in the barn. The crib served as their bedroom, an adjacent shed held a kerosene stove and served as the kitchen, and the crude outdoor toilet served that purpose, as well as a place to shower. If the Rileys charged rent, I would be surprised. James and Virginia had no automobile, as they were within walking distance of their jobs. They had no utility bills, as they had no utilities. So their cost of living was almost zero. Yet, it appeared they had no money, and they seemed not to desire the things money would provide. Some of those things were necessities, such as heat in the winter. Virginia continued to come to work regularly with visible bruises. Now she made no attempt to hide them. Mother told her she should leave James; but, if Virginia answered at all, it was something to the effect that the Lord would provide. The best I can remember, this went on for four or five years. Then one day, James did not come to work. Dad went to their crude living quarters to check on him. Virginia did not have on a long sleeve shirt and the bruises were more pronounced than usual. She said he had left and gave no explanation. We never saw James again. In a few weeks, Virginia disappeared also. About three months after she disappeared, we went to town to do our weekly shopping. It was a Saturday. She was on another aisle at Morgan and Lindsey. Had I not heard her voice, I would not have recognized her. When I approached her, she hurried away without making eye contact. She was attractively and modernly dressed. Her hair was cut and colored, and she wore patent leather shoes. A big thing then. She was attractive. No, she was pretty.
She ignored me as if she did not think I recognized her, so I played along with whatever plan she had. I followed her, though. She went to the Inez Hotel. I put two and two together and figured she may be prostituting from the Inez. What other reason would she have for this monumental makeover, and where else would she get the money? That evening, I told Dad and Mom what I had seen. Dad said she was not prostituting from the Inez, as those folks were reputable and would never allow such a thing. Time passed. The whole town was shocked when one of its most eligible widowers announced that he would be marrying Virginia Summerfield. There was an article in the paper about her being a writer from a prominent family in North Carolina. She had moved to Brookhaven to write a novel based on the Civil War, inspired by the graves of the unknown soldiers buried
there. The couple moved into a beautiful Victorian home on a shady oak covered street. Each time I passed their house, I thought about her and the corn crib, and how her fortunes had changed. As far as I know, the secrets of her less affluent past were never revealed. At least one person was suspicious, however. Dad was doing some construction work for a banker and her name came up. He told Dad there was something strange about her. He said the first time he ever saw her, she came in the bank with a suitcase full of cash. As he remembered, it was about $3,000. That was a lot more money then than it is now. She opened an account. I guess the couple was happy, or at least I never heard any more about them. I grew up and moved away. I have since found out she died about ten years ago.
house resold it last year and the present owner tore down all the buildings including the barn, where James and Virginia had lived, and the main house. Where the toilet once stood, they decided to build a pond. While excavating for the pond, where the toilet pit had been, they found human bones and a Prince Albert tobacco can. From what I read, they have no idea of the identity of the body. I am probably the only one alive that could solve that mystery. What good would be served?
The Rileys sold their place long ago, just as we sold ours. After all, this happened 55 years ago. The purchasers of the Riley
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Press Club of New Orleans 2017 Excellence In Journalism Award
BEST COVER THE
ember Vol. 76 Nov
STOP THES MADNESIT ART EX. 18H- DIBec. 23
Nov at CECA Gallery eater Th ge Ed g Cuttin
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“THE PEACEMAKER” ARTWORK AND DESIGN BY
A note from Slidell Magazine Editor and Publisher, Kendra Maness... I am so proud of my friend and Slidell Magazine contributing writer and artist, Kim Bergeron, for her recent win for Publication Cover of the Year from The Press Club of New Orleans. I would be excited for my friend regardless of what the award is - she has amazing creative talent that deserves recognition. But, the fact that it was the cover art on Slidell Magazine just tickles me silly!
The story of the award-winning cover (before it was award-winning AND before it was the cover) was written in my November 2016 edition Editor's Letter. Here's the reprint that tells the tale:
I've never been a member of the historic and esteemed Press Club of New Orleans. (I am a proud member now!) I yearned to be in "the club" but lacked the confidence to feel that I deserved to be. As proud as I am of my artists and writers, I always thought that my little Slidell Magazine could never compete with the big boys of the New Orleans publication industry. Kim has been a member for years; and, what I lack in confidence, Kim makes up for in downright fearlessness. She entered the cover into the competition without even telling me, lest I be disappointed if we didn't make it to the final round of nominations.
I started planning the cover of the November edition of Slidell Magazine about 3 months ago. I contacted our amazing illustrator, Zac McGovern, with an idea - how about an original illustration of Hillary and Donald facing off in the final days before this historic election? Zac loved the challenge. He got to work immediately on artwork that would encapsulate all of the passion and fervor felt by Slidellians and people across the country. His artwork (above) was perfect. Without bias, Zac shows both candidates riding high atop their political party platforms, both of which are weary from the burdensome journey of this election.
The win was all the more serendipitous because this was the only cover in Slidell Magazine's 85 editions that WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE. Let me explain... Last November, Kim was the curator of the Stop the Madness art exhibit. This exhibit challenged artists to create works that would "inspire audiences to see the world through others’ eyes and to contemplate different points of view. It is only through doing so that we can spark the conversations that can lead to greater understandings, and, hopefully, become catalysts of change." Artists from Slidell and the surrounding area answered the call and presented pieces that were bold, and sometimes graphic, statements of issues that affected our community, nation, and world. These artistic impressions covered topics such as feminism, the presidential election, gun control, censorship, racism, the media, and more. Kim believed that, "Collectively, the exhibit shows us that art isn’t always about creating something pretty. Many of the topics addressed are sensitive in nature and difficult to address, but what we cannot do is bury our heads in the sand and pretend like they don’t exist. We can’t fix the problems until we have intelligent discussions to work toward peaceful, unified resolutions." The exhibit was scheduled and publicized. The works of art were ready. The hype was building. Then, uuuugggh - disaster struck. The exhibit lost its gallery. Just weeks before opening, the City of Slidell felt that the artwork may prove to be TOO controversial for display in the City Hall Gallery. Kim's beautiful artwork of "The Peacemaker", along with all of the other artists' work, would never be seen, never spark the conversations that are so desperately needed to solve the problems dividing our country. Facing cancellation, Kim asked Brian Fontenot and Richard Fuentes of Cutting Edge Center for the Arts to host the exhibit in their gallery. The answer was YES and the exhibit that was not to be, was.
There’s a story behind the illustration to the left and the cover of this month’s edition.
I laid out the artwork on the cover of the magazine and felt confident that we had accurately depicted the current emotional and political climate in our community. Then, I applied all of the graphics that are on each cover - the volume number, the date, and our magazine’s motto, We Say Keep It Fresh, Keep It Positive. That’s when it hit me. Not one thing about this election has been Fresh or Positive. And the magazine’s motto is more than just a saying to me - it’s my promise to Slidell. Zac’s artwork brilliantly depicts two political caricatures that have evoked negativity and division and made us all pretty tired. Zac nailed it. He’s such a talented artist and I am honored that he would allow me to use his illustration for my cover. But I just can’t. So, what would the cover be? I’m not a fan of John Lennon. I appreciated his talent, but disagreed with his lifestyle. I was too young to understand his political or religious views when he was alive. Now that I’m an adult and a politically conservative Christian, I’m uncomfortable with many of the things that he represented. When Kim originally sent me the artwork, my response was, “I’m not putting that dope smoking liberal hippie on my cover.” Yet, I couldn’t get the cover image out of my head. The artwork itself was mezmerizing - the colors were beautiful and calming. The words “Give Peace A Chance” made me optimistic and hopeful. That is EXACTLY what I want Slidell Magazine to represent. Unlike any news clip, debate forum or facebook rant, this artwork has made me happy and caused me to rethink my definitions. Kumbaya.
That wasn't the only battle "The Peacemaker" fought and won (forgive the play on words). The next battle was with me. The art show that was never going to happen was also the Slidell Magazine cover that would never be. 17
Portraits of Slidell Story and Photos by William Blackwell
If you were born after 1970 or had just moved to Slidell about that time, you probably are not aware that the two-story brick structure at 147 Cousin Street once housed a commercial enterprise called McDaniel's Department Store. Constructed in 1917 by Mrs. Margaret McDaniel, it became one of Slidell’s most popular clothing stores for many generations. Mrs. McDaniel’s life and commercial success in Olde Towne is an inspiring story of independence, hard work and self-determination. Born in Ohio in 1878 as Margaret Lawler, she came to Slidell as a young girl with her parents and siblings sometime during the 1880’s. Both of her parents were Irish immigrants. Fate and circumstances played a hand in bringing the Lawlers to the newly established railroad town of Slidell. Once here, Margaret and her siblings attended private local schools while her mother dedicated herself toward the establishment of a Catholic church for Slidell. Mrs. Lawler’s early efforts helped the community to later achieve that goal and the church would be called Our Lady of Lourdes.
William Blackwell is a native of Slidell. "Once I began studying photography, it seemed to me that some of those wonderful buildings in Olde Towne should be photographed to capture and preserve their memory, beauty, and antiquity for future generations." See his Slidell shots and more on his facebook page: FieldofViewPhotography
On June 24, 1894, 18 year-old Margaret married James Andrew (Jackson?) McDaniel at Abel Grove near Pearl River. The couple settled into domestic life and raised a family over the next 11 years. With the unexpected death of James in 1905, Margaret was forced to take on a new role as family breadwinner. The choices for employment for women were limited in Slidell, so she went to the largest employer in town, Fritz Salmen. It’s not
clear if Margaret began work as a regular shop girl there; but we know that by the next year,1906, she had begun selling her own merchandise out of a space in the Slidell Stores Company building on the corner of Front and Cleveland. Things must have gone well because, after two years, Margaret McDaniel was able to sever ties with the Slidell Stores Company and resume her business in a more spacious rented shop next to the post office in the second block of Cousin Street. Sales steadily increased over the next two years and, in 1910, Mrs. McDaniel was able to purchase her own property on the southwest corner of Carey and Cousin. Her new shop, "McDaniel's Millinery and Shoes,” was housed in the small wood framed structure that already stood on the lot.
For the next seven years, she worked tirelessly to provide quality merchandise for her customers. Frequent buying trips to New Orleans kept the store stocked with the latest in fashion and accessories. One person who knew Margaret described her personality as meticulous to detail in every way. The result was a continued steady growth in sales. By 1917, Margaret McDaniel was able to replace the small wooden structure with the large two story brick building that stands there today. In 1921, Mrs. McDaniel took out a half page ad in the St. Tammany Farmer thanking her customers for her successful 15 years in business. She provided photos of both the old and new structures on her property. Her next 27 years in business proved to be as successful as those previous.
Margaret McDaniel died in 1948, but the store continued to thrive under the careful management of Patrick, who was Mrs. McDaniel's only living child at the time of her death. Patrick McDaniel and his wife, Iona, provided a seamless transition and the department store continued to provide quality merchandise throughout the 1950’s and 60’s. Sales ladies were hired to assist the many customers that frequented the shop daily. If you remember visiting the store during that time period, perhaps you saw Mrs. McDaniel sitting off to the side… but that would have been Iona. Modern times and changing shopping habits eventually took their toll and the McDaniel family was forced to sell the building in the 1970’s. Today, that structure is home to Heidelberg's Bar. So, cheers to Margaret!
Of Your Money By Mike Rich, CFP® Pontchartrain Investment Management
La vita e dura, ma la pagnotte e sicura. Mary and I are traveling to Italy in October for 11 days. We’ll be on a group tour to Venice, Florence, and Rome. I’m 65 years old and have never traveled to a foreign country, so I’m really excited. Our trip is two months from now, and it cannot get here fast enough for me. As part of my travel preparations, I am learning basic Italian. My very good friend, (and ace Slidell CPA) Joe DiGiovanni, introduced me to the Duolingo online language training site
(duolingo.com). I’ve got the program on my computer and smart phone, and it’s really easy to use. The Duolingo folks emphasize daily practice, and I’m taking them at their word. As I sit here and type this article, I have studied 102 days in a row. My typical study time lasts about 30 minutes, and, I’ll tell you, it really works. For example, I can now fluently say, “Il mio cane mangia il pollo.” So, when Mary and I are in Italy, if we happen to buy a dog that eats chicken, I’m ready to tell everyone about it. How’s that for progress? The title of this article translates to “Life is tough, but the paycheck is sure.” To me, it means that, if you put forth some effort in life, rewards are likely to follow. My experience as a financial advisor is that working toward financial independence can be the same way. I’ll admit, the following ideas take some effort and commitment to achieve. However, if you do them, my guess is that your financial life will benefit. Consider the following:
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I cannot state this scientifically, but my guess is that 99% of the people who read this article want to stop relying on a paycheck from an employer at some point. So, here’s how to make it work. First, if you have a 401(k) or other plan that has an employer match, contribute enough to get the match. Then, work with me to figure out how much income you’re going to need in retirement. Even if the big day is many years off, I can help you with some ballpark numbers. When we have that number, we can make a plan to help us work toward getting there. One of our most important tools will be the time value of money, and it’s really cool how it works. Consider the following scenario: You invest $150 per month in a tax-deferred account and increase that amount by 5% each year. In year one, you’re investing $1,800, year two, $1,890, year three, $1,984.50 – you get the picture. You’re 30 years old and you have at least 35 years to make this work. You get an average rate of return of 8%. In the end, you’re looking at a pot of money with (potentially) $600,000 in it.1 Of course, I can’t guarantee anything, except this: If you do not save money for yourself, chances are no one else will do it for you. Call me, and let’s get started.
2) USE INSURANCE TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY.
4) IF YOU HAVE KIDS, FIGURE OUT HOW TO PAY FOR THEIR EDUCATION.
If you have a spouse or children at home, you need life insurance. If you don’t have a spouse or children at home, you might still need life insurance (if you want to know why, call me, and I’ll give you five really good reasons). And, if your family depends on your salary for its daily living, you need disability insurance to make sure your income continues if you can’t work. Make sure these things are in place so that an unexpected event doesn’t destroy your money life. The same thing goes for your car and home insurance. I’m happy to help you evaluate your insurance coverage. Just call me, and I’ll do it for free. If nothing else, you’ll know what risks might be lurking just around the corner.
The average cost of tuition, fees, housing, and a meal plan at LSU today is about $20,000 per year.2 Sure, loans, summer jobs, and a gift from Aunt Sally might be part of the mix for your future scholar, but it probably makes sense to plan on the lion’s (or Tiger’s) share coming from mom and dad. Whether your kid is Baton Rouge-bound or not, saving money for college is easy to figure out, but the secret to doing it successfully is in starting early. I can help you with your plan.
3) START THINKING ABOUT TAXES NOW. The President and Congress can make all the promises they like, but, given the things our government has to pay for, it’s difficult to imagine how taxes might be lower in the future, so it makes sense to prepare. Whether it’s a Roth IRA, cash value life insurance, or a currently-taxable investment account, my bet is that there’s a strategy that will help you deal with the specter of rising tax rates. I can’t tell you how many times someone has come in and asked, “How do I avoid taxes on all this money I’ve been investing?” Sadly, I often have to tell him or her that we’ve met 25 years too late, because the damage has already been done. The time to deal with future tax issues is now. Call me.
5) PREPARE FOR STAGGERING LONG TERM CARE COSTS. Unless you and your bank account are ready and willing to shell out $3,000, $4,000, $6,000 a month or more (in today’s dollars) for someone to take care of you if you can’t do it yourself, you must have a plan for long term care. For baby boomers and those coming behind them, the costs are staggering and are growing by about 3% per year. About 70% of people who are 65 or older are going to need some type of long term care.3 That’s seven out of ten people, and you and I are likely to be among them. So, why not plan for it? I can show you several ways to work this problem and potentially save your retirement money from destruction. Even if your plan is to have your family take care of you (and pay for it), stress test your strategy. Call me now, make an appointment, and let me help you figure out what might work for you.
I’ve been writing for Slidell Magazine for seven years, and, for much of that time, I’ve been pounding the table about saving, investing, and preparing for the future. I usually don’t write about actually spending any money. I’ll admit, it took me a while to plop down the $800 deposit for our trip to Italy. And, when I have to pay the balance this month, I’ll be monitoring my blood pressure while I write the check. However, knowing that I’ll be spending 11 days with my main squeeze in what people tell me is a beautiful country will make it a lot easier. You might not want to spend your retirement money on travel to a foreign country, but my guess is that you have your own plans for your nest egg. To build (and, eventually, spend) that egg, maybe you just need a little help with getting started and staying on track. If so, call me today, and let’s sit down together to make a plan. Ciao!
This is a hypothetical example and is not representative of any specific situation. Your results will vary. The hypothetical rate of return used does not reflect the deduction of fees and charges inherent to investing. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
Probability of needing LTC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information.
Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
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n e n i L e t i e
h p p a i W nd Lagn a
Olde Towne Slidell Celebrates First Annual White Linen and Lagniappe Event on Saturday, August 19
ou are cordially invited to the first annual White Linen and Lagniappe event on Saturday, August 19 from 6-10 pm. Select your best white linen clothing and come on out to Olde Towne Slidell for a fun night of art, live entertainment, fine and casual dining, cool, summer adult beverages, antique, boutique and unique shopping and lots of lagniappe. This is a collaborative event hosted by the Slidell Historic Antique Association, Olde Towne Slidell Association, Carey Street Coalition, Olde Towne Slidell Main Street and the City of Slidell’s Department of Cultural & Public Affairs. “I’ve been wanting to plan a White Linen Night in Olde Towne for a while now. We were at a Main Street meeting, and everyone loved the idea. The creative juices started flowing and White Linen
and Lagniappe was created,” said John Marshall, owner of Antiques & Art on First and President of the Slidell Historic Antique Association. “This is the first time that all the Olde Towne organizations have worked together and I hope it’s the start of a great partnership in Olde Towne Slidell!” “This will be a fun event that the whole family can enjoy,” said Sharon DeLong, Manager of the Olde Towne Slidell Main Street program. “It’s great that all the Olde Towne organizations are collaborating. We are looking forward to a great night in Olde Towne!” Many of Olde Towne’s offices, restaurants, galleries and stores will be open during the event to showcase their businesses. Artists will also have their works on display at several locations and there will be live entertainment throughout Olde Towne.
Olde Towne Slidell Association Slidell Historic Antique Association
“Details are still being finalized, but we have an amazing night planned full of food, art, live entertainment and lagniappe!” said Alex Carollo, Director of the City of Slidell’s Department of Cultural & Public Affairs. “This is a great night for the Olde Towne restaurants and businesses to shine. Come see what Olde Towne Slidell has to offer!” “The Carey Street Coalition is so happy to be a part of this event! We are changing Olde Towne one event and one business at a time and are invested in making Olde Towne THE destination of Slidell,” said Brandee Santini, owner of Green Oak Apothecary and President of the Carey Street Coalition. “Come on by Carey Street and have a good time!” The Slidell Art League will host the opening reception of their “Artists of the Year” exhibit at the Slidell Cultural Center at City Hall from 6 to 9 p.m.
The exhibit will feature works by Master Artist John Kennedy, Apprentice Artist Denise Gilhousen and Inspirational Artist Frances Fawcett. Gallery hours are Wednesdays and Fridays from 12 - 4pm and Thursdays from 12 - 6pm. Admission is free. The Slidell Cultural Center is located at 2055 Second Street, on the first floor of City Hall. The Slidell Museum and Slidell Mardi Gras Museum, housed in the old Marshall’s Office and Jail, will have a grand-reopening from 6 - 10pm with a special ceremony starting at 6:30pm. The museum will feature new displays telling the history of Slidell through photographs, artifacts, stories and memorabilia. The Slidell Mardi Gras Museum, from the Collection of Bonnie Vanney, is located on the second floor. The new addition of the Royal Room, located behind the museum, features costumes from kings and queens of past Slidell Mardi Gras royalty. The Slidell Museum and Mardi Gras Museum is located at 2020 First Street. Hours are Wednesday through Friday, from 10am - 4pm and Saturdays from 10am - 2pm. Admission is free. The Olde Towne Arts Center will host a special exhibit at Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance Agency, located at 2001 First Street. Come meet the artists and view their artwork and learn more about the Olde Towne Arts Center. The East. St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce’s Front Street Marketplace will be open during the event with the works of over 20 artists on display. The Marketplace has lots of fun and unique items. And, of course, there’s the lagniappe! The Slidell Women’s Civic Club will be hosting a Cake Walk at the Arcade Theatre. Frank Jackson at the Old Town Soda Shop will be hosting a Celebrity Ice Cream Competition. The Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a cold and ice-box pie competition at the Chamber Marketplace. There will also be several food trucks, lemonade stands, a sidewalk chalk competition and even a water area for the kids to play. “All of the Olde Towne organizations share a common bond in our love of Olde Towne,” said Mary Dubuisson, President of the Olde Towne Slidell Association. “We hope that this event will draw residents of Slidell and St. Tammany Parish to come to the heart of our city, to see all the amazing things Olde Towne has to offer, and of course have lots of fun! Hope to see you there!” For more information about White Linen and Lagniappe, please visit the City of Slidell’s website at www. MySlidell.com or Olde Towne Slidell Main Street at www.OldeTowneSlidellMainStreet.org. You can follow the “City of Slidell, Louisiana” and “Olde Towne Slidell Main Street” on Facebook.
Slidell MOVIE NIGHTS Heritage Park • Free Admission Movies will start at 8:30 pm MySlidell.com • (985) 646-4375 Action! Romance! Drama! Music! Slidell Movie Nights has it All! Bring your lawnchairs and blankets and join us on Saturday evenings this summer on AUGUST 5 and AUGUST 12 at 8:30 PM for movies in Slidell’s Heritage Park. Licensing restrictions prevent us from advertising titles of the movies, but you can visit MYSLIDELL.COM or SLIDELL MOVIE NIGHTS on Facebook to see the list of movies. The City of Slidell and the Commission on the Arts would like to thank our 2016-2017 Cultural Sponsors:
Renaissance, $5,000 Sponsors:
Baroque, $2,500 Sponsors: CLECO Power, LLC • Jazz on the Bayou/Ronnie Kole Foundation Neoclassical, $1,000 Sponsors: Edge of the Lake Magazine • Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Lori Gomez Art • Purple Armadillo Again, LLC John Schneider Studios/CineFlix Film Fest • The Slidell Independent Slidell Northshore Rotary Club Impressionism, $500 Sponsors: Councilman Bill & Laura Borchert Dr. Nathan Brown, Northlake Oral & Facial Surgery Chateau Bleu • CiCi’s Pizza Slidell • Representative Greg Cromer Flatliners Entertainment • Old School Eats Food Truck Olde Towne Slidell Main Street • Pontchartrain Investment Management Roberta’s Cleaners • Silver Slipper Casino Slidell Historical Antique Association Terry Lynn’s Café & Creative Catering • Vicky Magas Insurance Agency
This Olde Towne Slidell Main Street and Louisiana Cultural District event is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs. 23
"MisChief Purple Reign"
CUSTOM S N O I T A E R C E! L B A L I A V A
CONNIE BORN Artist Connie Born's whimsical creations represent the richly diverse and fascinating culture that is alive in Louisiana. Custom made creations are available for any occasion or event. New additions to Born's Krewe of MisChief are created every day in the Gallery and Studio in the Marketplace at 1808 Front Street in Slidell. Visit the Gallery to see the new creations currently in process and to start your collection today! Check out our Facebook page or call us and see the MisChief we can create for YOU!
MisChief Purple Reign 24
“Your Estate Matters” By Ronda M. Gabb, NP, JD, RFC
2017 PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENTS Yes, it is already that time of year again! Pursuant to the St. Tammany Parish Assessor’s website (STPAO.org), the assessor’s tax rolls for 2017 will be open for inspection from August 15, 2017 until August 29, 2017. The absolute deadline for filing an appeal is September 7, 2017, and you must file your request for a review before filing an appeal. Homestead Exemption – If you own (or under some circumstances enjoy a usufructuary interest) and occupy your home as your primary residence, you (and your spouse) are allowed only one homestead exemption, even if the spouses live separately. It is now a crime to fraudulently claim a homestead exemption. The homestead exemption means you do not pay any Parish property taxes (City taxes are still due) on the first $75,000 of your home’s value. Double Homestead Exemption- On January 1, 2015, the Louisiana Constitution was changed to allow veterans to double their homestead exemption amount when they have a service-connected (not necessarily combat-related) disability rating of either 100 percent total disability OR 100 percent unemployability certified by the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This means that the first $150,000 value of your primary home is exempt from Parish property taxes. This “double” exemption also applies to the surviving spouse of a 100% disabled veteran, even if the exemption was not in effect during the life of the deceased spouse veteran. There is no income requirement to be satisfied as with the special assessment levels (SALs) discussed below. Special Assessment Levels (SALs) - The most popular SAL is known as the “Senior Freeze”. This applies when an owner of the property is age 65 or older before December 31st of the year of application. This “freeze” also applies to disabled veterans of any age who have a service connected disability rating of 50 percent or greater (also POWs, IAs, and MIAs); and non-veterans (or disabled veterans with a 49 percent or less disability rating) who have been deemed permanently and totally disabled by a governmental agency (state or federal) or by the court.
In addition to the above requirements, you must also pass an income test. For 2017, the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) limit is $72,134 for a single person or married couple (you will need to bring a copy of your tax return to the assessor). If you are age 65 or older, you do not need to meet the income test every year, only once upon your initial qualification. However, as to all other SALs (except the 100 percent disabled veteran), you must meet the income requirement annually. Several assessors have asked the legislature to make this permanent, but that has not happened yet. These “assessment freezes” assure that the assessed value of your primary home will never go up as long as you are alive (and your spouse too if age 55 or older), and have not made improvements to the home which increased the value by 25% or more. Your millage rate may change so your actual tax bill could go up or down slightly but the assessed value is frozen. Unfortunately, these SALs are NOT transferable to a new home if you move.
NOTARY EXAM PREPARATION COURSE TUESDAY EVENINGS August 22 – November 28, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Ronda M. Gabb & Associates, LLC 40 Louis Prima Drive, Covington, LA
TUITION: $695.00 ($720.00 for credit card payments) EXAM: Saturday, December 2, 2017 STUDENTS MUST PURCHASE: 2017 Ofﬁcial Study Guide, Fundamentals of Louisiana Notarial Law and Practice on Louisiana Secretary of State’s website Ronda M. Gabb is a Board Certiﬁed Estate Planning and Administration Specialist certiﬁed by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. She is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Governor’s Elder Law Task Force.
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Beat the August Heat
with an experience that's out of this world! Story and Photos by Donna Bush
Space Center (SSC), but it is so much more. Most people assume because it is the official visitor center that it is owned and operated by NASA. Not true. It is a non-profit 501(c) 3, showcasing 72,000 square feet of space, Earth science, engineering and technology information. Also, highlighted are several of the other agencies hosted on the Stennis site.
The INFINITY Science Center serves as the official visitor center for NASA’s Stennis
What is Stennis Space Center? It is one of ten NASA field centers located throughout the United States. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, there was an old saying around the area, “If you want to go to the moon, you
re you looking for something to do this month that won’t have you sweating profusely, cursing Louisiana summertime and wishing you’d stayed in front of the air conditioner? I suggest the INFINITY Science Center, located just south of I-10 at Mississippi Exit 2. It is just a short drive from Slidell, next door to the Mississippi Welcome Center at the state border between Louisiana and Mississippi.
first have to go through Hancock County, Mississippi.” This location, known today as Stennis Space Center, has a history dating back to the late 1600’s when Indians, settlers, pirates and soldiers grew this part of the state, which now hosts modern day space explorers. The site was developed as a result of President John F. Kennedy’s May 1961 declaration of safely sending a man to the moon. Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space in April 1961. The pressure was on for the United States to catch up in the space race!
The Mississippi site was chosen as the engine testing facility for its close proximity to the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans East where the Apollo rockets and external boosters for the space shuttle missions were built. A large area of land was needed; not just for the engine testing, but also for an acoustical buffer zone to shield local communities from the sound of the large engines. The facility resides on 13,800 acres known as the ‘fee area,’ with 125,071 acres of buffer zone surrounding it. Water proximity was also a requirement.
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Although it sounds as though the Mississippi location would be the only one available, there were actually several suitable locations in other states. Why Mississippi you ask? The center’s namesake, Mississippi Senator John C. Stennis, was adamant about supporting the space program and Mississippi playing a large part in that program. Not only did he go to bat to get the site in his home state, providing numerous jobs in an area that sorely needed the employment, he also lobbied for those residents who would ultimately give up their homes for the site to be built. This was the largest construction site in Mississippi and the second largest at that time in the United States. Decades before the space age arrived, the communities of Logtown, Gainesville, Santa Rosa, Napoleon and Westonia were thriving logging and shipping entities along the beautiful East Pearl River. However, their land was needed to make the engine testing facility a reality. Senator Stennis made sure that each family was justly and fairly compensated for their sacrifice, even aiding in relocation of their homes. (Stay tuned for a future story delving deeper into life in these communities.) Originally, there was a visitor center, StenniSphere, located on Stennis Space Center, but after 9/11, a security clearance was required to visit the site and things got a little tougher. In 2001, a group of people came together, formed a non-profit foundation, with a goal of creating the INFINITY Science Center, which would serve as both visitor center and science education and research. NASA was a partner early on and donated 199 leasable acres south of its entrance next to the Mississippi Welcome Center. The goal was slightly delayed by Hurricane Katrina. However, 2012 saw the dedication and grand opening of the new INFINITY Science Center. After the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill, INFINITY was chosen as one of five recipients of restoration monies and was given the task of “educating future generations about environmental protection.” By Spring 2018, returning visitors and school groups will see enhancements to the exhibits and nature trails, plus new amazing educational exhibits. I’m sad to say that my first visit to INFINITY didn’t occur until March of this year for their first annual March of the Birds event, “focusing on coastal indigenous and migratory songbirds using citizen science.” However, I can attest to the amount of change that took place between my first March visit and my second and third visits in June. Oh my!
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See carnivorous plants such as Venus flytraps and pitcher plants, just to name a few, in the indoor exhibit. Did you know there are over 200 species of these types of meat-eating plants? Afterwards, search for them in their native habitat along the Biome Boardwalk. Also, note the Monarch Way Stations, providing habitat for the monarchs during migration. There’s even a quick response code that you can scan with your cell phone to enter your sightings for the day. Keep an eye out for local snakes, alligators, frogs and wading birds in the water along the boardwalk. Just inside the front door, find the Big Blue Blocks where kids can learn the fundamentals of engineering. You might wonder why all of the blocks are the same shade of blue? The thought is, “If you take color out of the equation, the children will focus more on the shape of the block and its functionality, rather than choosing their favorite color.” "Random Acts of Science" happen every day, but you never know when or where! Typical topics include Animal Adaptations, Sound, The Earth and Space History. A new random act of science exhibit will teach children about robotics using Spheros, named Zero and Bully. Driven from an iPad, they will maneuver through an obstacle course. Be sure to visit the Hurricane Prediction Lab where visitors learn about the conditions necessary for a hurricane to develop, how data is gathered and used in forecasting track and strength. Guests are educated on the impact storms have on humans and our environment, while an additional display demonstrates how to be prepared for a storm. You can even test your knowledge and create your own storm!
The “ISC Omega Flight Simulator” offers a thrill ride with a high definition, big screen experience of taking off from an aircraft carrier, chasing and shooting targets, refueling in flight, followed by a return to the Mothership. The flight simulator utilizes the same technology used to train professional pilots. Upstairs in the Space Gallery, you can sit inside a fullscale Space Shuttle, take the stick and attempt landing. I’ll warn you, it’s harder than you think! There is a life-size module of the International Space Station Destiny. Try your hand at the Paper Airplane Exhibit where you can design and fly your creations. Visit the Apollo 13 exhibit and watch actual news footage covering the explosion in April 1970 that prevented astronauts, Commander Jim Lovell, Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert and Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise Jr. from landing on the moon. For four frightening days, the country, in fact, the entire world, waited to see if they would make it home safely. They successfully splashed down in the South Pacific and were recovered unharmed. Astronaut Fred Haise Jr., a Biloxi native, is also on the INFINITY board of directors. After serving as backup commander on Apollo 16, he was scheduled to fly as Flight Commander on Apollo 19. Alas, this did not occur as NASA cancelled Apollo missions 18 and 19. Haise never made it back to the moon but he did move on to the Space Shuttle program, commanding three of the five Approach and Landing Tests for the Space Shuttle Enterprise. In fact, he was the first person to land the Space Shuttle, a feat considered by many to be the most difficult part of the mission.
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Haise was instrumental in the relocation of the first three stages of the Saturn V rocket that was destined for Apollo 19. It has been located at the main entrance to the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility since 1978. It arrived in the wee hours of June 21, 2016, after a long and interesting journey, similar to the journeys that each rocket took for engine testing at Stennis. On June 16th, it was loaded onto a barge in the canal at its birthplace, Michoud, to once again make the final trip to Stennis where it had traveled once before. Only this time, it was not a round trip. The 40-mile voyage to Stennis would take approximately two days, via the Intercoastal Waterway, into the Pearl River for a northerly trip to Stennis, where it was offloaded for travel to its final resting place at INFINITY. Per Mary Douglas, INFINITY Director of Communications, a Mississippi Department of Transportation study was performed to determine what time would provide the least impact to traffic to close down I-10 for the transport. It was decided that late Monday night would cause the smallest amount of traffic disturbance. Think about it! This gigantic rocket needed to get from Stennis, north of I-10, to INFINITY, south of I-10, shutting down BOTH sides of the interstate! The 360-ton beast could not fit under in the I-10 overpass. It was carefully guided with lighted trucks from The Center to I-10 westbound to the bridge over the Pearl River, where it crosses over the median and heads eastbound on I-10 to INFINITY. Mary described, “It was so strange, standing on the boardwalk with absolutely no traffic noise from the interstate. The only thing you could hear was the chorus of happy frogs welcoming the rocket booster to its new home, ‘We love rockets! We love rockets!’ When they reopened the interstate, it was almost like a swell of water as you heard the waves of traffic coming closer.” The relocation of the rocket is the first phase of a new exhibit that will tell the story of Stennis’s part in all of the space missions, plus the personal stories of the people who made it a success.
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There are artifacts galore - on loan from NASA, the Smithsonian, the Navy and NOAA. Things you will probably never see anywhere else: a 150-year old pirogue that was paddled on the Pearl River, an Apollo 13 space suit worn by Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise, moon rocks, a linear aerospike engine, plus much more. I know it’s hot here in August, but just in case you would like to venture outside a bit, I want to mention these items to view: H-1 Rocket Engine - consists of 8 of these engines which were used in a cluster to power the Saturn S-1B stage. F-1 Rocket Engine - utilized five engines to power the S-1C stage of the Saturn V.
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Several examples of NOAA buoys including: The NOMAD Buoy, developed in the 1940’s to monitor wave height and currents, weather, air and water quality. Tao buoys provide improved detection, understanding and prediction of El Niño and La Niña. Tsunami buoys are utilized in Deep Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis, positioned at strategic locations throughout the ocean, playing a crucial role in tsunami forecasting.
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Do you have a secret love affair with the Navy Seals? Be sure to check out the Special Operations Craft – Naval Special Warfare Riverine used by Special Boat Team 22 of the NASA SSC. This clandestine ship is designed for insertion and extraction of Navy SEALs and other Special Ops along shallow and open waterways. The team is frequently deployed to Central America, South America and the Middle East. All riverine environment training is done at Stennis in the Pearl River. Of course, you can’t help but appreciate the beauty of Marlin Miller’s eagle sculpture made of wood from a Katrina-downed tree combined with metal from test stands and Space Shuttle main engine turbine blades. Whatever you do, don’t overlook the small sycamore tree along the walkway near the eagle. It is one of many
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“Moon Trees” germinated from seeds taken to space on the Apollo 14 mission. Command Module Pilot, Stuart Roosa, was a Forest Service smoke jumper prior to his enlistment in the Air Force. The “Moon Trees” was a joint project between NASA and the U.S. Forest Service. Roosa carried between 400-500 seeds from five different trees – Loblolly Pine, Sycamore, Sweetgum, Redwood and Douglas Fir. Control seeds were kept on Earth for future comparisons. After their return from Space, the USFS sent the seeds to the southern Forest Service office in Gulfport, MS and to the western office in Placerville, CA for germination. Almost all of the seeds germinated successfully and the Forest Service ended up with 420-450 seedlings, many of which were given away to various state forestry offices for planting during the nation’s bicentennial celebrations. Others were planted at different NASA sites, college campuses, parks and internationally in Brazil, Switzerland and Japan. Don’t miss the one planted here on February 3, 2011. INFINITY offers so much more educationally than just the exhibits. Teacher resources are available online from kindergarten up. On August 17th from 4:30-6:30pm, INFINITY and the NASA Education Office will host a teacher open house. Their Homeschool Monday program offers a different topic on the third Monday of each month, including a mix of engineering, earth science, robotics and sound. On August 21, they will provide a Solar Eclipse Event with a day of activities surrounding the eclipse at no additional cost. In December, their Second Annual Homeschool Monday Science Fair will take place with activities geared toward ages 6-12 but available for both younger and older ages. 34
Field trips are offered throughout the school year, as well as summer camps. Many options are available including an add-on science exploration class on engineering, sound, or remotely operated vehicles. Mary described one of the third grade engineering exploration classes. “It teaches all about the different types of engineers – civil, electrical, structural, etc. The kids have a challenge – they have to get a turtle across a pond by building a bridge out of legos. They work in pairs and are given specific size instructions – width, length, and height. Because it is real world, they are given constraints and issues to deal with, such as ‘due to budget cuts, your crew has been cut in half, so you have to work with one hand behind your back' or 'your team has been outsourced to another country, so you can’t communicate with your partner.’ Kids will get frazzled, but they focus and solve the problem.” This 45-minute class offered during the field trips includes 20 minutes of instruction, hands-on problem solving, followed by a discussion of what they did and how they accomplished their solution. “We’ve received great feedback from teachers about a valuable lesson learned. Now, when they encounter problems in the classroom, they are able to talk about the challenges and the solutions.” This is offered to mostly elementary age children, with the thought in mind to start science education younger. “Science doesn’t have to be scary and boring. It’s fun! The younger started, the more you can educate them that science is everywhere, even in the preschool classroom. Building Future Scientists! It’s a big charge! Our mission is to inspire the next generation of explorers and thinkers and creators and doers and dreamers and all that! None of that happened without
people taking a chance and doing some things that had never been done before!” Included in the admission is a tram tour down the Possum Walk Trail describing the history of the area and a bus tour of a portion of Stennis Space Center. The bus tour details facts, figures and history of the Center, indicating points of interest along the way, including the engine test stands. You might get lucky and see an engine test!
Future Exhibits: X-SPHEREience Theater: The former ‘Science on a Sphere Theater’ is undergoing remodeling and will reopen in August bigger and better. It will have theater-styled seating for 90 people with a traditional screen to show all of their movies, plus a venue for guest speakers to present various topics and demos. It will also house a spherical screen projecting movies about space and earth in a round format. 3-D Immersive Theater: Tentatively scheduled for December, is a new 3-D immersive theater providing a true IMAXtype experience.
Ocean Exploration: Provides a deep ocean lab experience.
Round and Round We Go: Learn about gravity and orbits.
Where’d the Water Go: Watershed education.
Manmade Moons: Learn about satellites.
Blown to Pieces: Hurricane simulator focusing on the Saffir-Simpson scale. 1000 Tornadoes: Provides a tornado that visitors can create and manipulate. Wiggle & Jiggle: Learn about earthquakes. Meet the Family: They’re electric and magnetic: teaches electro-magnetic spectrum.
Wavelengths Matter: Education about cameras, wavelengths, UV light, etc. If you are looking to avoid the extreme Louisiana heat and humidity, take a short ride to INFINITY Science Center. It’s an inexpensive trip with lots of fun and education for all ages. I promise you will not be disappointed. For more information, visit their website: www.visitinfinity.com.
Behind the Name Stennis Space Center began life in 1961 named Mississippi Testing Operations. In 1965, the site name was changed to Mississippi Testing Facility and in 1974 changed to National Space Technology Laboratories (NSTL). During this time, it was kind of a quasi-NASA site with a small management team providing services to 18 federal and state agencies, an Earth Resource Lab answering to Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX and the Space Shuttle Test Complex reporting to Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL. On May 20, 1988, President Reagan signed the Executive Order renaming NSTL to the “John C. Stennis Space Center,” allowing the SSC to become a full-fledged member of the NASA field centers and giving its director a seat at the NASA council tables as an equal with the other center directors. The presidential order cited Stennis "for his ‘visionary leadership’ to ensure world leadership and preeminence in space for the United States.” NASA Administrator, Dr. James Fletcher, called John C. Stennis “the father of NSTL” since he led the efforts for its creation. I worked at SSC for a NASA contractor and was on site for the dedication and renaming ceremony. WOW! The ceremony took place on August 3, 1988, Senator Stennis’s 87th birthday. What an amazing birthday party!
Approximately 7000 people attended the outdoor dedication in typical 99-degree south Mississippi summer sunshine and humidity. Following the dedication, a gala birthday party was held for the Senator inside a 100-yard-long, air-conditioned (thankfully) tent. A long list of dignitaries included State Senators and Representatives, Mississippi Governor Ray Mabus, NASA Administrator Dr. James Fletcher and Admiral Richard Truly. It was a moment of intense pride for those of us working at the center as Senator Stennis commended the efforts of everyone who worked to build the center. "You made up your mind; you kept on track; you put out your own money; you gave your own time," Stennis said. Having his name on the center was incidental, he declared, "It is the work being done that matters." The icing on the cake was a spectacular fly-over of 11 vintage and modern jet aircraft, each representing the numerous aircraft that the Senator assisted in acquiring funding throughout the years from World War II until the present. The U.S. Marine’s Drum and Bugle corps serenaded the flights with patriotic music until the jets disappeared into the bright blue sky. It was quite an honor for me to attend this historic day in the Center’s history and to shake the hand of the man who made it all possible.
Crimi-Mommly INSANE slie GatesGovern e L y b y r c Sto by Zac M ns
“THE SOLDIER TEACHER” School is just around the corner again! Each summer is a little more enjoyable than the next as my kids get older and I find some more patience. But it is always the same feeling when dropping them off the first day of school. Let me try and explain it... It’s freedom, mixed with freedom guilt. Laughter because I made it through again, crying because I already miss them and I wished I would have yelled a lot less or hugged them a lot more. Then, I think THOSE POOR TEACHERS. We all desperately roll in on the same day, drop our kids off, and haul ass! We pull that grenade pin and run for shelter as we pass the battle flag on to the new commander. And it’s not just 3 soldiers under her supervision, it’s 30! I have ALWAYS been in awe of this. I couldn’t do it. I would be AWOL the first week. My best friend Tonya, or "Miss B” as her students call her, is the world’s best 4th grade teacher. She has 31 children. Only two are 36
biological, though. I have spent more hours than I can count listening to her over the last five years, as she tells me about her passion. Her face lights up every time she talks about “her” kids. The other day, we were doing some pre-emptive school supply shopping. I have known her for over 20 years, we have worked our way through many “warzones” together. The rebellious teenage years, our times in the Army, motherhood… but this day, I saw a completely different side of her. A side that I had not fought next to her in. There were no stories being told, no pictures or love-notes from her students, no discussion of the latest political nonsense that would up-end teachers’ lives. Again. That day, I saw my best friend on a mission. Armed with a buggy, FULL of basic school supplies. In the past, I have written about the torture of school supply shopping. But what I saw that day was… a work of art. An absolute labor of love. I didn’t say anything to her in the moment. The look of concern and
quiet motivation told me that now was not the time to address her newly formed budget. (I don’t know if you know or not, but teachers don’t get paid NEARLY enough.) I did, however, stop MY shopping to just watch the organized chaos unfold in front of me. I watched, grossly entertained, as she began collecting the items on her mental check-list. After 30 minutes or so, her loot started to spill into my buggy. “Do you mind if we make a few more stops?” she asked, as we loaded it all into the back of her truck. I just nodded, still feeling somewhat dazed after seeing a COMMA on her receipt total, even after she proudly presented the less-thanthrilled cashier with more than a dozen coupons. Seriously. As we drove towards Hobby Lobby, I was speechless. I knew that I was witnessing something huge, something that every parent needed to know. But to her, it was nothing out of the ordinary. I had so many questions forming, but I kept quiet, knowing that there was more ahead of me.
Once in the store, we headed straight to the educational section where she picked up two new microscopes (her last two were 5th generation hand-me downs.) She squealed when she saw some pre-filled microscope slides on sale. Tonya DOESN’T squeal. At that point, she began talking about how excited she was for next year. She mentioned several 3rd grade students who she hoped would be in her class. She is an Army veteran so she is very firm with her kids, and the kids naturally respond to that discipline, because of the unconditional love that accompanies it. They respect it. She talks about the students like they are truly her own kids. We finished at Hobby Lobby, and headed to Goodwill, where she grabbed several gently-used school uniform tops, for the students who had only one or two. Back in the truck, feeling as if we just crossed the finish line of a marathon together, my questions began to flow.
“Who DOES this?” I asked. “I mean, surely, not all teachers spend this much money on school supplies!” She laughed. “Um, yeah. Most of us do. I mean, many of us simply CAN’T, but most of us are fortunate enough to be able to squirrel away money every month so that we can SPLURGE during back-to-school supply sales. For those of us who can’t do that, well, the rest of us share. We are like a family. We are all there for the students. We want what’s best for them, and that’s not always JUST a good education. A lot of the time, we are there to help them through struggles, and successes, in their lives, both in and out of the classroom.” My next question, the most obvious in my mind, was, “WHY? I know that I get a supply list every year. Why do YOU have to purchase so much?” I asked. She became a little more sedate when she explained that there are never enough supplies to go around. “Some parents can’t afford those items on their list. Some parents
feel that it’s the teacher’s job to provide those supplies. Every situation is different. But honestly, it doesn’t matter WHAT the reason is. I know that, in order to do my job successfully, my kids need what they need. I will not allow one student to go without. We ALL feel that way at the end of the day.” I finally asked her what she wishes all parents knew about her job. She squealed again, as she reached for her phone… calling, texting and Facebook messaging every public school teacher she knows. I couldn’t believe how many people responded! These were the two questions I had for them: What do you wish parents knew about your role as a teacher? What do you wish parents knew about your expectations for their child? I feel COMPLETELY honored to share these. From teachers to parents, hear their cries from the “battle zone”: 37
“Yes, Susie really needs $80.00 of Ticonderoga pencils because children tend to eat, lose, break and use every penny’s worth of those pencils before January.” “I have a classroom full of Billy-goats. They eat pencils and paper like candy.” “I am not perfect. I do not want my students to think that I am. When I make mistakes, it shows them that I am human. Just like them. When you see a mistake that I made, use it as a teachable moment instead of a 'Your teacher is a moron' moment.” “Somedays, my theme song is ‘Y'all Gon Make Me Lose My Mind’ by DMX.” “Please send more tissues. And hand sanitizer. Wine would be nice, too.” “Teach your child to take responsibility for their actions and to accept their consequences with grace and dignity.” “My husband would leave me if he knew how much money I spent on school supplies.” “No, I do NOT pick on your child. Everyone gets the same consequences for bad choices. If your child is getting more consequences than most, maybe have a little sit-down chat with them.”
“My love for your child is unconditional. Every day is a new start. I don’t hold grudges.” “Mistakes are proof that you are learning!” “Once I received a bottle of wine for Teacher Appreciation week. That was my favorite gift. It was definitely appreciated.” “Teacher breaks are a myth. Sometimes my bladder is so full that I can hear the sloshing as I walk. I honestly don’t even know the color of the paint in the teacher’s lounge.” (In response to the above statement:) “We have a TEACHER’S lounge???!!??” “I care so much about your child’s future. There are times when I lie awake at night worrying about their choices.”
“I’m definitely not in this for the money.” “It’s really true. Teachers work all summer and MOST of their holiday vacations.” “I will never give up on your child. Don’t ever make them feel like you have.” “Poverty is not a laughing matter. I understand. I’m a teacher.” “Being a teacher really is a super-power. It’s a blessing and a curse.” “Teach your child that respect must be earned.” “Seriously - do we actually have a teacher’s lounge???”
“We hate standardized testing too. If you want to make a difference, you can. Please, write letters to your senators. Call the governor. Keep writing and calling until they listen. Stand up for me. Stand up for your child.”
“There is ALWAYS homework.”
“WE are not Common Core. The state mandates us to teach it. Please don’t blame us when your child must do “Common Core Math.” Odds are, we had to learn how to do it too, just before they walked into the classroom.”
“Don’t bad-mouth the teacher or principal in front of your child. We ALWAYS hear about it the next day.”
“Shit rolls down-hill, and I’m at the very bottom. An umbrella would be nice.” 38
“We know more about you than you’d think. Especially during ‘Drug Awareness Week.’ Kids say the darndest things.”
“I lost a student this year. I mourn for her every day. I may never be the same.”
“There are always three sides to a story. His side, Her side, and the truth. Just because Johnny says it, doesn’t mean it’s entirely accurate.”
R R R, AS F ADERS & TION.
“I spend more time and money on lesson plans, activities, conferences, and professional development than I do with my own children. Please remember that I do that for YOUR child because I want them to be successful." “I’d LOVE for a parent to volunteer to watch my kids for a minute so I can go pee.” “I don’t mind laminating, cutting, and copying. However, sometimes I could use some help. Volunteering, even for an hour a week, would be greatly appreciated.” “I want us to be a team. Teamwork makes the Dream Work!”
“FORCE your child to memorize their multiplication facts before third grade. You will improve their quality of education exponentially.” “ALL innocent life is precious.” The last quote comes from “Miss B”:
“I would die protecting your child from danger. It’s not just my job. In fact, it’s not even in my job description. But that is what makes teachers a different animal. My job is to protect and nurture our future.” General George S. Patton, WWII Commander, said many powerful words during extremely challenging times. I want to share these with my battle buddy, and ALL teachers
taking over command this month. A little motivation and wisdom from a BRAVE LEADER:
“It’s better to fight for something than live for nothing.” “Untutored courage is useless in the face of educated bullets.” “You need to overcome the tug of people against you as you reach for high goals.” “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” Remember to thank a teacher. Show more than just words. Actions speak much louder. A kind smile, a quick hug, or even a five minute potty break means more than you will ever know. Keep on fighting the good fight, teachers. Soldier on.
Dr. Jason Parker
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by Jeff Perret, DVM
Bordatella Let’s get this out of the way right from the start: a dog does not need to have been in a kennel to get kennel cough. More on that later. Kennel cough (more properly, canine infectious tracheobronchitis) is an infection of the upper airways that causes a persistent cough in dogs. The cough can last up to a few weeks, which is annoying, I know. Sorry. The main culprit in most kennel coughs cases is a bacterium called Bordetella bronchiceptica. Sometimes Bordatella brings a few friends to the party in your dog’s airways – viruses like parainfluenza or reovirus. Bordetella is the main ingredient in the kennel cough vaccine that your dog may need before boarding or participating in other canine group activities. People often get the word “Bordetella” hilariously confused with “bordello,” which could require an entirely different sort of vaccine!
Every so often, you’ll hear a story about a cruise ship where everyone gets sick. Kennel cough infections are sort of like that, with the kennel in place of the cruise ship. If you gather enough individuals into a smallish, crowded space, like a cruise ship or a dog kennel, contagious infections can move through them quickly. Close quarters means close contact, and lots of bacterial transmission from one person to another, or one dog to another. One cough from a Bordatella-infected dog sends thousands of little droplets into the air, each one carrying millions of bacteria waiting to infect the next dog. Because the chances of spreading the disease are higher in places like dog kennels (and because people like alliteration) the name kennel cough stuck; but your dog can get it literally anywhere. Kennel cough is the catch-all term we use
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for these infections, and it's much catchier than “infectious tracheobronchitis.” One note about actual dog kennels and kennel cough: if your dog does pick up kennel cough at a boarding kennel (or vet hospital, groomer, puppy class, or any other place), please don’t go on a rage-fueled social media campaign. It’s not an automatic sign of a bad place. It happens to the best of facilities, and it’s almost inevitable wherever dogs gather. Vaccines, hygiene and good disinfection practices all decrease the chances that dogs will transmit it, but nothing is 100%, so maybe hold off on that flaming Yelp review. Just my 2 cents. For most dogs, the main symptom is an annoying, honking, dry cough. Ever had bronchitis, and got that scratchy, never-ending
cough, like your airways are full of sand paper? Same thing for your pooch with kennel cough. Most dogs still carry on with normal doggy activities; they just cough while doing so. They cough, and cough, and after a short break, they cough some more. The cough is tiring, exhausting and annoying for everyone, including the patient, you, the cat, the neighbors..... Coughing spells often end with a dramatic gag, and maybe a bit of white foam to top things off. If you see blood at any time, or if coughing dogs start to feel poorly, have trouble breathing, or go off their food, things may be progressing to a more serious level.
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How “bad” is kennel cough? Often, other than the annoying cough and the chance for spreading it to other dogs, maybe not so bad. Occasionally though, it can become more moderate, or even severe. We’ve all had colds, right? Makes you feel like run down, maybe miss a day of work. Most cases of kennel cough are like that: mild, often self-limiting diseases that go away on their own, with maybe some medication to relieve symptoms. But at some point in your life, you’ve probably had a wicked-evil cold that almost put you in the hospital, or maybe it did. Occasionally, kennel cough can do that. It’s rare, but it happens. In dogs and in people, upper airway infections can even progress to pneumonia. I've never lost a patient to kennel cough (knock on wood), but there are some situations where worsening and progression of kennel cough may be more likely, resulting in hospitalization and more serious illness:
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- Young dogs and puppies, especially if they are unvaccinated - Older, debilitated dogs, especially those with chronic conditions like diabetes or cancer - Short-nosed dogs like bulldogs, pugs and Pekingese. For that last group, kennel cough can be a slippery slope. Humans, through selective breeding, have burdened these breeds with very inefficient respiratory systems; any condition that affects it, such as kennel cough, can go from mild to deadly in a frighteningly short time. Treatment can vary quite a bit. For the mildest cases, sometimes we just ride it out. Antibiotics may shorten the course a bit, and bring relief to the patient. In some cases, anti-inflammatories, cough suppressants or other medications may be prescribed. Don’t administer OTC or prescription human cough suppressants to your dog, unless instructed to do so by your veterinarian. Pick the wrong one, and you could make things far worse than a little cough. Mild kennel cough is usually a waiting game, like your cold. Making sure your dog is still eating, drinking and acting normally are important. For the worse cases, hospitalization, IV fluids, oxygen and antibiotics may all be necessary. A lot depends on if there’s any difficulty breathing or if kennel cough has progressed into pneumonia. Therapy may be needed for several days or even weeks, as well as follow-up visits for X-rays. As is usually the case, prevention is the best defense. Follow your veterinarian's advice regarding how to protect your dog from Bordatella, and the other causes of kennel cough. As far as that bordello vaccine, you're on your own!
PET SITTING Chief • No Exposure to Diseases Or Parasites from Other Dogs • Medication Administered • Less Separation Anxiety • Insulin Injections • Waste Cleanup • Mail Pickup • Daily Walks
Gina Triay 41
Slidell Magazine was EVERYWHERE this month! Here are just a few of our adventures!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR STORYT ELLER ! It was an honor & pleasur e to celebrate John Case’s birthday with his family & friends. John, you make 70 look GRE AT!
BAC KING THE BLUE! The Habitat for Humanity Rosi es were in full force to show their support and film a segment for Praying for our Peacemakers
t! Our Mayor is such a great spor cure pedi a for da Glen First, he joins wife of all, at the nail salon. Second, and best g it he lets us take a pic of him doin
arlotte Slidell Mag writer, Ch Kendra tor Edi h wit ), OP Collins (EF edic com at gre a Maness enjoying month’s s thi by nce ma for per EFOP, Mi ke Strecker
ag Slidell M 2017 August
GREAT JOB MATT ! Slidell Magazine cover art Litchliter, presents our ist, Matt Police Chief with his painting for Mayor Drennan & Chief Fandal’s 14th An nual Wi ld Game, Seafood & BBQ Cook Off
After years of research, the Indy 500 confirmed that Arthur Chevrolet is indeed buried in Slidell. John Case tells the story at the gravemarker dedication ceremony
4820 Pontchartrain Dr. Slidell, LA
(HWY 11 at Carr Dr.)