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Vol. 80 March 2017

Louisiana’s 2017 Draft Class

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Editor’s Letter

Kendra Maness

Editor/Publisher Slidell Magazine

Sometimes you just figure it out as you go along and hope you don’t get anyone killed or maimed.”

Cover Artist

Here are some helpful tips to goat ownership that I wish someone would have let me know BEFORE I became Suzy’s mom:

Last month, there was a big scare in our Slidell Magazine family. Our mascot and pet goat, Suzy, developed life-threatening stomach problems, causing her to be hospitalized at LSU Veterinary Center in Baton Rouge. It was a precarious situation for most of the week. It took a few days and a whole bunch of prayers, but she bounced back and came home healthy. I’ve never had a pet goat before Suzy, so there’s still a lot I don’t understand about them. I don’t have any “real” kids, but I assume that all first-time parents feel the same way as I do. Leslie Gates, our Crimi-Mommly Insane writer, says about parenthood, “There’s so much to learn.

PO Box 4147 • Slidell, LA 70459

www.SlidellMag.com 985-789-0687

Kendra Maness - Editor/Publisher Editor@SlidellMag.com

Devin Reeson - Graphic Designer Graphics@SlidellMag.com Illustrations by: Zac McGovern www.HalMundane.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS EFOP, Charlotte Lowry Collins The Storyteller, John Case Jockularity, Corey Hogue Pet Points, Jeff Perret, DVM Crimmi-Mommly Insane, Leslie Gates Go Beyond, Rose Marie Sand Making Cents of Your Money, Mike Rich MikeRich@MyPontchartrain.com Sixty...Plus More, Donna Bush Donna.Bush@yahoo.com Boys from the Boot, NFL Draft, Mike Detillier Jazz on the Bayou, Kendra Maness Slidell Scroll Stroll, Alex Carollo

COVER ARTWORK BY ZAC MCGOVERN

1.) Goats eat EVERYTHING, regardless of whether it will kill them. And they don’t care how much you love that handwashed sweater you hung out to dry. Suzy has eaten the weather stripping on my car door, a paperback book, a pair of rubber gloves, and a lamp shade, just to name a few things. 2.) If you have blonde hair and you wear it in a ponytail, she thinks it’s hay and will try to eat that too. 3.) I say goats eat everything, but that’s not entirely true. Suzy is picky. We live on the edge of a 200 acre clearing, with grass and plants galore - a true field of dreams for a goat. But, Suzy prefers to walk down to my neighbor’s yard. The military guy. The one who cuts his grass with scissors. And buys expensive plants for his garden. I swear my goat is attracted to the smell of money, because she eats only the finest in landscaping. 4.) Azaleas are poisonous to goats. AZALEAS. That cheap, readily available plant that is EVERYWHERE in Southern Louisiana, and obviously tastes delightful to goats, will kill them. Those cheap plants (which dominate my neighbors’ yards except for military man because they’re just not expensive enough) will end up costing you thousands in vet bills. God bless you Suzy doll. Being your mommy is an adventure.

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zac mcgovern Zac McGovern is the talented illustrator behind the hilarity of Slidell Magazine’s Crimi-Mommly Insane and the cartoon Lil’ Loopy (a character based upon his daughter). This is his third cover. Zac was raised in Slidell. He says, “I may never know what drew me to seek attention for expressing myself through cartoons. All I can say is my parents encouraged me to be who I was, even when they didn’t necessarily agree with where my inclinations were taking me. I never quite fit in!” “But you know something? I love people. I like to draw their big noses and weird chins. I like to capture cartoons of people in their strangest, most unguarded moments. And I like to draw cartoons that are about the innocence and purity of children. Children are one of the greatest gifts, not because they are always easy to get along with or because they always make sense, but because there’s an honesty in kids and their world view that is all an old cynic needs to chill and enjoy a flower or a sunny day.” “People throw the word ‘artist’ around like it means something. I’m just a person. A simple person who wants to say something like anyone else. At the end of the day, I hope for the future and it’s not because it’s easier. No, I believe in hope because I want the kids right now to be better than us. For me, that’s what my art is all about.”

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MARCH 2017

Extraordinarily Fascinating “Ordinary” People by Charlotte Lowry Collins

Glenda Fay Donham Drennan “Love is a promise; love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear” ~ John Lennon

Glenda Drennan has lived a full, rich, and multi-faceted life. She has loved many special people in her life, and these loved ones took her down many paths. Her first bonds, like most of us, were her family. She explained that her three-times great-grandfather had three or four brothers, named Dunham. Her great-grandfather parted ways with his brothers when he moved to Alabama and subsequently changed his name to Donham. For my readers, my great-grandfather is a Dunham, and there weren’t a lot of them. So I was surprised to find this connection.

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Glenda Donham, 1950 school picture

However, Glenda is very different from her ancestor in that she’s not one to part ways with a family member willingly. Her life has been filled with great loss, but more importantly, great love. The death of her father when he was only 33 years old changed the life of Glenda, her sister, brother, and her Mom. That was when Glenda determined to keep her loved ones close. Her mother, “Mimi”, set an example for the kids by courageously moving forward in her life. She kept the family together, and

Glenda with Joey and Jean, and half-sister, Sissy

they remained closely bonded through all of life’s changes. Mimi was a determined woman who first became the owner of a restaurant on Magazine Street named Tony’s. She turned it over to her son, Joey, and it became Joey K’s. The restaurant is still there to this day, although Joey passed away in 1988 at the age of 36; yet another challenge for Glenda’s small family. Mimi went on to open a restaurant here in Slidell named MiMi’s Round Table. It was on Front Street, right where the White Kitchen

The Fulkerson family


used to be. I wonder if some of my readers ate there? Glenda’s older sister, Jean, helped in both restaurants off and on whenever she was needed. Then Jean moved to Picayune, while Glenda and husband Ben Fulkerson continued living in Slidell. Glenda chose a spouse that also put family first. Together, they raised two sons, plus Ben’s son, and helped raise her sister’s two boys.

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“We had a house full, and I was usually the only female in the house. It was a challenge, but loads of fun.” She snickered as she recalled one particular memory. “I tried to keep one water bottle in the fridge for myself, with just the precise amount of water I needed to drink that day. No matter how much water was in the fridge, the boys always grabbed mine. You had to be smart to manage a house full of males. So…” and she snickered again, “I wrote ‘Female Hormones’ on the bottle, and I never had to worry again. They actually would grab a utensil to move that water bottle to the side. The house was action packed, all the time, and we loved it.” As you can imagine, Glenda stayed busy with driving the kids to ball games, hosting the after-parties, fixing meals, and all the things moms do. Glenda admitted that she always put their needs first. Then, Ben and Glenda brought her mom home with them for Mimi’s last years. “Those were such meaningful times.” She explained, “We got to spend a lot of time together, one on one, which we never had time for before that phase of our adult lives.” As Glenda looked off in the distance, she described her marriage with Ben, “I was the hand and he was my glove. He was the other half of me, and surrounded and protected me.” Then she looked at me pointedly and added, “The old me, that is. Now I have a different life and an equally wonderful husband.” Ben was a court reporter and owned his own court reporting firm. As if he knew he would have to leave Glenda some day, he put the business in her name. Towards the end, Ben’s doctor explained to her that Ben was only holding on to make sure she was okay. She smiled and relayed, “When he knew he wouldn’t be here for me much longer, he wrote out instructions for the generator, pipes, and anything that could go wrong around the house.” Then she grew serious, “He told me he wanted me to be happy. I’ll never forget his words, ‘If God would let me be here with you, you know I would. But you’ll have to go on without me. Just promise me you won’t be a Melba.’” Glenda explained that Melba was his aunt who pined away after her husband died. Of course, Glenda’s first reaction was to shut away the world and grieve. Then, one day, her friend Cecelia invited her to go with a few close female friends on a cruise. “She was battling cancer herself, and I felt like I couldn’t say no. That was one of my first adventures without Ben. My sons, Lynwood and Troy, were so excited because they had been worried sick about my solitude. You see, Ben and I played Pinochle with Freddy and Cecelia Drennan, sometimes until two in the morning. We were great couple friends.” Smiling mischievously, she added, “Ben always kept score, so the men always won!”

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Three years later, Cecelia passed away. Their friends suggested Freddy ask Glenda’s advice, because she had gone through the grieving process. “We cried together, a lot! He also asked me to go to events when he felt so low he didn’t feel like being social. It was hard on him, and I tried to bolster him. Before we knew it, we began to rely on each other for strength,” she described. Smiling, she showed me a wooden box. “I kept Ben’s ashes, and talked to him all the time. I explained to him that Freddy and I were becoming more than friends, and asked if he could give me a sign whether it was the right thing to do, or not.” Then Glenda’s eyes grew wide as she told me how the sign came. The next day, Glenda received an email from a friend. The friend was hesitant to send it, but had decided to that very day. In the email, she explained that her computer had crashed, and had to be wiped clean. When it was restarted, there was only one thing that wasn’t deleted. It was an email. Now Glenda edged closer and said in a hushed tone, “It was from Ben. He wrote, ‘One door doesn’t close without God opening another door. He doesn’t take anything away without replacing it.’” The email said that tonight something would happen to make Glenda happy again. It was evidently written before his passing, but they couldn’t tell when. Glenda paused to catch her breath, and went on again quickly, “That night, Freddy asked me to marry him.” Just then, Freddy opened the back door with a platter full of applewood-smoked Boston Butt. Glenda’s eyes lit up at the sight of him. He kissed her and set the platter down, explaining that he had nickel-poker that night, and he wanted to be sure she had supper. Glenda assured me, “We eat well, he’s a great cook.” That’s something all of Slidell knows full well from the Wild Game and Seafood Cook-Offs hosted by the mayor. Freddy is the consummate host and gentleman, as he brought me a water with the top unscrewed and left thoughtfully on top of the bottle. When I thanked him for setting out a spread, he replied with his deep voice, “I have to or I’ll get a whippin’.” Glenda laughed and joked, “When Freddy comes out of the swamp from hunting, he comes back looking like he was in a cat fight, and usually bumps his head on everything. When anyone asks what happened to him, Freddy laughs and tells them, ‘It’s that mean woman I’m married to.’ It got to be such a joke that I had my son make a sign that read, ‘Never mind the dog, beware of the Mean Wife’ for the back porch.” She turned to me and offered, “My life has changed drastically since I married Freddy. We hunt and fish together, something this stay-at-home mother and wife never did. My sister even asked Freddy, ‘What have you done with my sister?’” They both laughed and held each other. Over her shoulder, she looked at Freddy and nodded, “At first, neither of us ever dreamed we would get married again.” Before her passing, Freddy had tried to talk to Cecelia about her wishes for her arrangements, but she always stopped the conversation with, “I’m just going to beat this thing.” In her last days, she said, “I just want you to take care of the kids and grandkids, and I want you to get on with your life.”


Freddy recalled the last Cook-Off before he asked Glenda to marry him. “My friends came down to help, and I wanted them to hear it from me first. I explained I had been seeing a friend of Cecelia’s. Our friend Betty answered, ‘Good!’ I thought that was way too easy,” Freddy laughed.

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He continued, “But the minute we got back to the house, Betty sat on the couch and said, ‘Sit down, big boy.’ I thought, here it comes. She proceeded to tell me all about Glenda and her reclusion. But she had never met her. Turns out, Cecelia had told her all about Glenda, and how she hoped we might get together after her death. I was shocked. Then Betty explained that Cecelia asked, ‘Betty, you’ll know when the time is right to tell him for me, won’t you?’” “So, when we tell you that we think this match was made by God and two people above, we mean it,” and they looked glowingly at each other. Glenda confided, “Every morning, we tell each other how much we appreciate each other. I know Freddy will always love Cecelia. And he knows that I will always love Ben. We talk about them all the time, because that was the majority of our lives. But we still have room in our hearts for each other.” Freddy put his hand on her arm and declared, “I thank the Lord every day and just don’t know what I have done to deserve two such beautiful ladies in my lifetime.” Glenda said, “Freddy explained that he loved to travel, hunt and fish. He hunted from Alaska to Africa, and asked if that would be a problem. I had to decide whether to stay a recluse, or to embrace change. When Freddy agreed to introduce me to his hobbies, hunting and fishing, I let go of my fears, and enjoyed it.” Proudly, Freddy said, “I took her out to Honey Island Swamp and taught her how to handle a single-shot rifle that my grandson used. I really didn’t have to teach much because she was just a natural with it. The first time hunting, she got a deer!” he exclaimed enthusiastically. We toured the house, and I saw some of her trophy heads. I learned that she has since gotten Whitetail deer, Red Stag, a Wildebeest, a few wild hogs, an Axis deer, four alligators, and a Black Bear. Glenda remarked, “We eat everything we catch, and share with our friends. We believe in ethical hunting, feed lots of people, and try to leave nothing for waste.” Freddy chimed in, “She had never been fishing, but for our anniversary two years ago, I took her to the White River in Norfork, Arkansas, near the Missouri line. We stayed at PJ’s Lodge. It’s right on the river, and only has eight rooms. The restaurant is the main draw, and it’s a five-star restaurant,” he said with a nod. Glenda quickly broke in, “I had THE best quail breast, wrapped in bacon. We did the famed guided fishing package. The guide baited my hook, took the fish off my line, then rebaited my hook. My kind of fishing! I still can’t bring myself to do either of these things. For lunch, the guide pulled over to the bank of the river, set up a table and uncorked a bottle of wine for us to enjoy while he cleaned the Rainbow Trout that we had just caught. He

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then proceeded to cook the fish, home fries, complete with onions, baked beans, and a salad. Those were wonderful, romantic, relaxing days. I’ve decided this is the only way to truly enjoy fishing!” Freddy added, “We did it again last year with five other couples after we described the experience. We filled that lodge with Slidell folks!” Then Freddy sheepishly told the Maine hunting story, fabled amongst his friends. That’s where Glenda shot her first black bear. “The first bears we saw were a momma and cubs, and we thought that might be the highlight of our day, just sitting in the blind watching those babies play.” Freddy put his hand out, “Later, Glenda spied just the head of a huge male by himself about 85 yards away through the woods. She whispered to me, ‘I can make that shot.’ I told her to wait. He disappeared and came back. She repeated her line more excitedly. I told her, ‘Baby, just hold on.’ The third time, she pleaded with me. I said, ‘Ok, take a deep breathe...’ but all of a sudden, I heard BAM! It was a perfect shot. The bear never knew what hit him.” Freddy cooked the bear meat in a stew and served it in a huge boiling pot at the Cook-Off that year. He won first prize for Wild Game Division with it. “People were still standing in line for more when we ran out. I want everyone to be sure to come

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this year. Every penny after expenses goes to Community Christian Concern to help people in our community.” Glenda broke in, “I got a bear before he did!” Freddy followed up with, “Yep, 84 of the 86 Grand Lake Stream residents knew about it before we got back to the lodge. The only two that didn’t know were gone on vacation. So Glenda couldn’t hunt anymore, as she had met her catch limit. But I wasn’t going home without a bigger catch. Every day I came back to all the ladies sittin’ around the local store to see if I got a bear. It was the only business in town. It included the grocery, the sandwich shop, liquor store, gas station, and check-in station for hunters. It took me two weeks!” and they both laughed. Glenda interjected, “That five-day hunt turned into a two-week hunt. He told the guides that he wasn’t about to ride all the way back to Louisiana with me ribbing him about not getting a bear. I even bought him a little stuffed bear so he would have one to take home with him if he didn’t get one.” Laughing again, Freddy concluded, “The locals said they were so relieved when I finally got one because they thought they’d have to build us a house if we stayed any longer.” After this story, Freddy left for his boy’s night. Glenda immediately reiterated, “I am the most fortunate woman I know to have

had two wonderful men as husbands. I feel truly blessed.” She leaned closer, “I’ll let you in on a secret. I am what they call a ‘Cougar’ these days,” she said, giggling. “Did you know that Freddy is five years younger than me? I never dreamed I would marry again much less to a younger man. It took me quite a while to get over the age difference thing. As you heard, he sure is keeping me young! We are also lucky that our kids approve, and we all have a great time together. I just know God’s smiling on me.” Then she confided, “The doctors told me I couldn’t have children. At night, I used to cry and ask God why he didn’t want me to have children. I knew I would be a great mother, and was actually trying to adopt when I found out I was pregnant. So you see, kids are extra special to me.” Now that the kids are grown, Glenda has thoroughly enjoyed the clubs and organizations that she belongs to and serves on boards here in Slidell. Her only regret is that she can’t do justice to each of them because her time is so divided. Last year was a special time for Glenda and the charitable service she does for our community. Slidell Magazine Editor, Kendra Maness, who led Habitat for Humanity’s Women’s Build in May, asked Glenda to be one of five “Women of Distinction” for the annual Build. This meant that Glenda


would be tasked with recruiting and leading a crew of 9 women to raise $5000 and help build a home in Slidell. The women were called “Rosies” after the famous Rosie the Riveter World War II image. “I didn’t really know Glenda that well before the Women’s Build,” Kendra said. “She’s very ladylike and pretty, so I didn’t know what kind of worker she would be. Boy, was I blown away!” Glenda’s team, called the “Rowdy Rosies”, raised over $15,000 and worked on the toughest build site in East St. Tammany Habitat’s history. “She is a natural leader, just amazing,” Kendra said. Glenda’s group of Rosies is just another example of Glenda’s love for family, as they have become another family to her. They still meet regularly for “team meetings” and enjoy good wine and great conversation. “It was an honor and privilege to have worked not only with our super-team, the Rowdy Rosies, but all of the women that participated. It was wonderful the way the idea just exploded.” Glenda admits that it will be a big change to have more free time, and that she will actually be sad when Freddy’s term ends. “If I could wish for anything, I would wish he could have one more term. There are so many things he has in the works, that we just hope and pray will be completed. You know, Freddy brought Slidell through a difficult time financially, and did a great job even with that burden. He even made trips to Washington to push things through

when it looked like they were stalling. We just hope the next mayor will pick up the ball and keep it rolling. It’s on the upswing now. He worked hard to get the new mall, but really wants to keep the old mall going. He truly loves this city, and is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You see, he maintains an open door policy where anyone can go to his office or call him anytime.” Then Glenda looked thoughtful and said, “I may be wrong, but I feel strongly that after his term limit is up as Mayor, he may seek another public service office.” “I also look forward to seeing my children and grandchildren healthy and happy, and having time to do more with them. We have 17 grandchildren between the two of us. Too many to attend all the functions that they participate in. I just don’t think anyone can understand what it is like being a mother until you have your own, whether by blood or by marriage. They are absolutely the light of your life, and that will never change.”

As the interview was winding down, I got a tour of the house. I looked around and noticed all the large, beautiful, modern art pieces, and learned something else about Glenda. Something that she was not going to even bring up. She is a painter, too. Glenda has a house in Diamondhead, MS with a studio, and she hopes they can spend more time there once Freddy’s term as mayor is done. “It’s on a lake, and Freddy could fish while I paint.” Glenda described how she started by teaching herself photo-realism techniques before her cousin encouraged her to try abstraction. As feelings can be powerful, her work got larger and larger. She works with silver leaf, gold leaf and traditional materials. The painting process and the layering are important, until she finally achieves the quality of depth and nuance of color she is trying to achieve. That’s when an idea hit me. We are planning Arts Evening at my family’s business in Olde Towne, and I begged Glenda to join us. I’m planning to hang the realism pieces next to her large abstraction so people can see the dedication and practice artists go through before they can learn to abstract. Much like writing, it is far harder to simplify than it is to add every detail. On March 18, come to Olde Towne and join us at Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance. I will introduce you to my new friend - the artist, philanthropist, and indomitable spirit who is Slidell’s First Lady, Glenda Drennan.

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Woofstock Festival Castine Center • 9am-3pm Chef's Soirée Covington Trailhead 5-9pm On Golden Pond Slidell Little Theatre • 2pm

On Golden Pond Slidell Little Theatre • 2pm

Daylight Savings Time

St. Patrick's Day Parade Olde Towne • 1pm

On Golden Pond Slidell Little Theatre • 2pm

Bubbly on the Bayou Salmen-Fritchie House 11am-2pm

FEBRUARY

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Ambassador Meeting Fatty's Seafood • Noon

TUE

GRAND OPENING Purely Perfection Cleaning Services 3:30pm

GRAND OPENING Joli Coupe' Salon 3:30-4:30pm

National Potato Chip Day

State of the Parish Breakfast Guest Speaker: Pat Brister Benedict's Plantation • 7:30am

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Education Committee Chamber Boardroom 8:30am

LUNDI GRAS

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MON 2

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Ash Wednesday

Business After Hours Chamber Martketplace 5-7PM

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A Taste of Slidell • March 16-19

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Employee Appreciation Day

World Book Day

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EYP Luncheon TBD • 11:30am

Chamber 101 Boardroom • 9:30am

LABI Luncheon Trinity Banquet Hall 11:30am-1pm 30

Business After Hours Homewood Suites • 5-7PM

Beethoven & Blue Jeans LPO Concert Slidell Auditorium • 7:30pm

Public Policy Meeting Boardroom • 8am

Northshore Gumbo Cook-Off Slidell Little Theatre • 11am-4pm

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Olde Towne • 4-10pm

Arts Evening

Bayou Clean-Up • Heritage Park

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Rooftop Rendezvous SMH Parking Garage • 7-11pm

APRIL

Great American Trailer Park Musical • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm

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Great American Trailer Park Musical • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm

Jazz on the Bayou Chateau Kole 3-7pm

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Great American Trailer Park Musical • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm On Golden Pond • Slidell Little Theatre • 8pm

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Great American Trailer Park Musical • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm On Golden Pond • Slidell Little Theatre • 8pm

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On Golden Pond • Slidell Little Theatre • 8pm

Carey Street Crawl • 5-9pm

Salad Days Art Show • City Hall Gallery • Show runs through March 4th

MARCH

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Storyteller OLD HOUSE I have always been fascinated with old, abandoned buildings. Old barns. Potato bins. Outhouses. They all fascinate me, but old homes are my favorite. Even from their ruins, you can trace their history and, with a little imagination, you can get a glimpse into the lives of those who once inhabited them. As houses age in poorer rural communities, as opposed to urban neighborhoods, the socio-economic status of the inhabitant diminishes. In short, as generations age, houses also age, going from their day in the sun back to the dirt and dust from which they came.

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I am not referring to the southern mansions you see in the movies. I am talking about the houses of the common man, the dirt farmer, the average family. Most likely, the first owner was the one who enjoyed the home in its pristine, new condition. That occupant could have been followed by some not-so-entrepreneurial son, daughter, or grandchild. Later, the house would be abandoned for awhile, until some down-on-hisluck drifter moves his family in just to have shelter from the rain and the cold. From there, it is no longer a house or a home; it’s just an old building, possibly used for storage if


used for anything. It is like a person who has lost their name. Eventually, the elements will take their toll, and a windstorm, a falling tree, or a fire will reduce the already feeble skeleton to a heap that, in time, too will be gone. I have seen many of these time markers, but there is one I especially remember. Tommy and I were quail hunting on a large parcel of land that was the property of an absentee owner. I don’t think anyone knew who owned it. We just called it the Old Brewer Place. At some time, the land had been cultivated, as on careful examination you could still see terrace rows in the soil. That had to have been long ago, as the timber growing there must have been 50 years old. Even the oldest old-timers could not recall it ever having been used for agriculture, and they certainly couldn’t remember a house being there. Ole Bess, my brother ’s bird dog that we had borrowed, pointed near a clump of briars. A thick stand of thorns tended to warn, “Do not enter.” Unexpectedly, something spooked the covey and they took flight prior to our being properly prepared. We both fired our shotguns, but the birds were some distance away by this time, so the chance of a kill was very slim. Ole Bess knew something we did not know. A bird was down. She knew it was her job to retrieve it and into the briar thicket she went. Soon she returned with the bird in her mouth. More importantly, there was blood oozing from her right, rear hip. We feared she had been bitten by a snake, and though we examined her carefully, we could not determine the cause of her injury. The cut was not serious, but we were curious as to what she had scraped against that would cause such a wound. Out of curiosity and the sweet ignorance of youth, we waded into the briars. About fifty yards in, we saw what was obviously the pier of an old foundation. The brick appeared soft and hand-fired. The vegetation

changed slightly in a rectangular pattern that measured about 30-by-40 feet. This is the area where the rubble had rotted and wasted. Protruding from the heap was a piece of glass. There was a smidgen of blood on it, so this must have been what cut Ole Bess. After a few months, we had almost forgotten the incident, and we would h a v e , i f w e h a d n o t g o n e t o M r. Burt’s Show and Tell. Mr. Burt was an eccentric character. He lived in town in a nice home, but his lifestyle was rural and he liked to perpetuate the old ways. He had a small sawmill and cut nearby timber to support it. It had been fifty years since oxen were used as the method to get logs from the woods to the mill, but Mr. Burt still used them. I think it was as much for attention as anything. He also extracted sugar cane juice with a mule-powered mill and made syrup out in an open vat. In a way, he was a throwback, but if nothing else, he was an interesting character. If it was old, he liked it. Some Saturdays, he set up a booth in Railroad Park to display his “Junk”. He had old insulators off utility poles, ox yokes, and old bottles. He even had an old stage coach that was in mint condition. There were lots of other things, but nothing was for sale. He just liked for people to enjoy seeing it. I like old stuff too and always have. The old bottles fascinated me. I asked him where he found them, and he said around old home sites. I asked him if there was any value to them. He said, “Plenty, in the hands of the right person.” That night I called Tommy. The next day we went back to the area where we had bird hunted. It took a while, but we found the thicket and, on closer inspection, realized there were several cedar trees in close proximity. This usually meant it was the home of a more affluent family, because cedar trees repelled mosquitos and other bugs, and there was some pride in planting them. The first day we found enough junk to satisfy our thirst for adventure.

The house had collapsed, sandwiching much of the contents between the roof and the floor. Even though both had rotted, the rusty tin had provided some protection for the contents that remained. The first thing we recognized was a kerosene lamp. It was not a simple lamp but an ornate one, with a sphere-type globe. It was in perfect condition, except the wicks had long since rotted. We placed it to the side to later take it home. Then we found an old brass bed. It had some bends and dings in it, but I had seen these things in antique stores and knew it was worth a few dollars. Then we found the dining area. There was a complete set of china. My mother said it was Blue Willow. Scattered about were some glass or porcelain serving pieces and bowls. We also found a toolbox and, inside the box, were several hand tools that a carpenter could use. They were antique by that time, but some were in good condition. We had to make two trips home to carry all the stuff we found that first day. The next time we went, we continued to excavate the house and found many interesting things. We found basket weave bottom chairs made of heart pine. The weave was missing, but the frame was as good as new. We found the key to an old clock, but no clock. We found tools to tend the fireplace. For some reason, we wanted to find the old bottles, but we found none. Then we reasoned that the bottles were just bottles, of no real value. Why would someone save them? There had to be a trash pile somewhere. We spent several days with Kaiser blades and machetes, chopping the briars and bushes. Finally, the machete hit the ground and we heard a cracking sound. We raked back the top soil, and there was a gorgeous pale blue bottle with a glass cork-like stopper in it, just like some that Mr. Burt had. We s p e n t m o s t o f t h e s u m m e r excavating, hauling, and cleaning. 17


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We had quite a treasure trove, and if Mr. Burt was correct, we may have collected upward of $1,000 in junk. Not bad for the efforts of two kids in the summer of 1961. While excavating the ruins, we often wondered about who had lived there and what had happened to them. It would be a long time before I would know. Our plan was to set up a booth near Mr. Burt’s, but unlike him, our merchandise would be for sale. Our target date was around Thanksgiving, as people would be buying for Christmas. That didn’t happen.

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Around Halloween, I came home from school to see a strange pickup truck with a Texas license plate in our driveway. We had stored our goods in the barn, and a man I did not know and my dad were standing in the barn’s doorway. Dad motioned to me to come up there. “Johnny, this is Mr. Brewer. He lives in Texas, but owns the land where you and Tommy bird hunt,” Dad said. “He has also found out about your collection.” Gee, I thought, maybe he will buy all of it and save us from having to haul it to town. We would give him a discount if he took it all. I soon learned that was not what he had in mind.

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I looked at Dad. I was almost in tears. We had worked all summer for that stuff, junk most people would have never known was there if it had not been for our efforts. I looked for answers on Dad’s face. It seemed like an hour. Then Dad spoke, “It is the right thing to do, but if you decide to keep it, I will back you up. However, you should remember that, after all, you were trespassing.” When my daddy said that giving everything we’d worked for to Mr. Brewer was the right thing to do, I knew not to question. I loaded the merchandise in the back of Mr. Brewer ’s pickup, guessing it was on its way to some collector in Texas. ++++++++++

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Years passed. One day, a man knocked on my mother’s door. Dad was deceased by then, and the man asked her how to get in touch with me. She told him I lived in Slidell, Louisiana, near New Orleans. He took my address and phone number, and told Mother that a trip to New Orleans was overdue.


++++++++++ The phone rang and I answered. “Mr. Case?” “Yes.” “My name is James Brewer, and you don’t know me. My family owned land near where your home was. I think you met my dad once, many years ago.” “I don’t recall, tell me more,” I said. “The family property had an old house on it that I think you and a friend may have taken some things from? My dad took them, because he felt they were rightfully his. Do you remember now?” “How could I forget?” I answered. “I remember the incident, but I didn’t remember your father’s name.” “Well, can we meet?” he asked. I had no idea what this meeting would be about, but instinctively I did not feel that I wanted to invite him to my house. “Sure, meet me at Copeland’s on Gause Boulevard,” I offered. If I ever saw a Texan, this man fit the mold. He wore western khakis and a western shirt with the shiny buttons; cowboy boots, expensive ones, probably snake; and a western hat I assume was a Stetson. I saw him park his Chevrolet Suburban in the corner of the parking lot. He was in his late 40’s, about my age. After the greetings and a beer, he got to the point. “Dad felt bad about the way he did you and your friend. When he got older, he talked about it often. He said he regretted at least not paying you something for your time. If it had not been for you, he would most likely never even have thought about the land having a house on it. He had never even been on the property, and I don’t know if he ever was. All he knew was that he had inherited it from his father, who I don’t think had ever seen it either. His father always told him to pay the taxes. Maybe someday they would hit oil,” he explained. “Dad got curious about it and called the tax assessor. The tax assessor knew you and your family. As I recall, he went to church with you. He told my father about what you had found.” Not interested in the man who I felt had stolen possessions that I had a claim to many years before, I changed the conversation. “Why did they leave and leave all the furniture in it?” “Well, I am sure the story has been cleaned up 19


for family consumption, but the best I can tell, they had to leave. You see, my greatgrandfather had a weakness for women. Other women, that is. He got caught with the wife of a prominent landowner. If you called his name, I would remember. There was an argument, and my great-grandfather shot and killed him.

said they put their valuables in there when they left. Whatever is in there, you can have. That was Dad’s wish.”

“There were no witnesses, and it happened in the afternoon. He and my greatgrandmother packed the wagon with the bare necessities and ran. The story goes they stayed in the swamp around Sicily Island, Louisiana, for some time, then they moved on to Texas. They changed their name. It wasn’t Brewer; I think their real name was Brister or Brewster. I don’t really know for sure.

The next morning, I wrote a check to Tommy for $2,000 and dropped it in the mail.

“Anyway, Dad passed away ten years ago, but said if I could ever make

We talked for a while and he said he had to get going, that he had dinner reservations in New Orleans. We shook hands and said goodbye. I don’t think I even thanked him.

amends to you to do so, and that is why I am here. I have a check for you and some information.” With that, he handed me a check for $4,000. He then said, “If it’s bottles you want, I will give you a hint, and you might find something else. My grandfather remembered being told that there was a large open dug well on the property. It had gone dry. They put trash in it to fill it up. He also

It has been almost thirty years since the young Mr. Brewer paid me that visit, and I haven’t been back to that old home site to this day. I wonder if Tommy has.

 John Case March 2017

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The Elusive Spider Vein

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HE SPIDER VEIN; it’s the smallest of all vein type blood vessels in our bodies but sometimes the hardest to contend with. Certainly elusive at times, it can be the greatest nemesis of the vein surgeon and the biggest source of dissatisfaction for the vein patient. The medical term for a spider vein is telangiectasia. They take on many different forms and many different distributions on our legs. As I mentioned, they are the smallest of all visible type of veins but interconnected none-the-less with the entire venous system. The venous system of the leg is similar to the root system of a tree, with the most peripheral and most tiny root structures corresponding to the spider vein. Because of this interconnection, whatever may be affecting the main root will also affect the system, even at its periphery. Spider veins can be confusing. Sometimes they occur spontaneously. Most of the time, however, they are a result of an underlying problem with the entire venous system. The spider vein can be our body’s way of saying, “hey, there’s something wrong here.” This is why I nearly always recommend to my patients that we evaluate the entire leg before jumping into treatment. If you are one of the many where the spider vein is a sign of an underlying problem we call venous insufficiency, then we can treat the spiders all day long and they will just come back or pop up in other areas. The underlying problem must be treated first. So full evaluation and full treatment gets us much closer to conquering the elusive spider vein!

Dr. Juleff is triple board certified by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine, American Board of Surgery, and American Board of Thoracic Surgery. His practice, La Bella Vita Laser and Vein Center is located at 1431 Ochsner Blvd. Suite B, Covington, LA 70433. To learn more please call 985-892-2950 or visit www.labellavitavein.com


GO BEYOND By Rose Marie Sand

St. Joseph’s Altar Some of my favorite memories as a little girl are eating Mudrica (sawdust) and finochie (fennel), and portraying the Blessed Virgin Mary at a Tupa-tupa. If you’re Italian American, even if you’re not, you’re likely familiar with St. Joseph altars and therefore have heard of these traditions of my childhood. And chances are, you’ve eaten an Italian cookie or two. Cookies like seed cookies, colorful sprinkled and iced fig cookies, and Italian wedding cookies are staples in many New Orleans area grocery stores or Farmer’s Markets. And all of these delicious items are featured at the distinctly New Orleans tradition of a St. Joseph altar. In the late 19th century, New Orleans was a major port of immigration for Italians from Sicily. Many settled in the French 22

Quarter, nicknamed “Little Palermo” at the time. The altar tradition was brought over from Sicily, and many altars where made in honor of answered prayers or to entreat St. Joseph to help loved ones. The story of the origin of the altars is one rooted in the story of a famine that gripped the island of Sicily. The faithful pleaded to St. Joseph, their patron, for relief. At last the skies opened, sending down the life-giving water. To show their gratitude, the people prepared a table with a special assortment of foods they harvested. After paying honor to St. Joseph, they distributed the food to the less fortunate. My grandparents were Sicilian, as is my entire cadre of aunts, uncles, and cousins. We lived in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, where there were altars in many homes.

Because St. Joseph’s Feast Day is March 19th, just 2 days after St. Patrick’s Day, the celebrations of these two cultures and often intermingled. In St. Bernard Parish, there’s even a parade that honors Italian, Irish and Islenos! Talk about a melting pot! Devout Catholics who held St. Joseph altars mark their front porches with a palm frond, and spend weeks building the altars which were usually backed with steps holding the foods that are traditional to Sicilians. Volunteers spend hours making cookies, cakes, and breads in intricate shapes. There’s stuffed artichokes, baked whole fish, pasta Milanese…ah, these memories are both precious and hunger-inducing. Before the altar is broken up to feed the public, a Tupa-tupa is held. In this custom, people (usually young people) represent


the Holy Family, and they knock at the door of the home where the altar is set. After they are welcomed inside, the Saints are treated to a meal that traditionally includes a taste of each item on the altar. The atmosphere during the meal is quiet and reverent, and visitors must wait until the Saints have eaten before viewing the altar. The elders sing or recite prayers in Italian.

“I wanted to learn them and be a part of this ritual so badly that I tried to teach myself. I also thought of it as such an honor to be chosen to be a saint and, most especially, Mary. I believed that I was standing in for her and representing who she is, a gentle Blessed Mother. My favorite food was the Italian cookies and, of course, the meatballs and spaghetti. So Italian, and so us!”

It was an honor for me to portray Mary, and I remember the hushed and reverent occasion. And the stuffed artichokes.

Judy said that since our Mother was usually involved in the cooking, we were always given a preferred seat and the best foods, like the stuffed artichoke or (gulduana) favorite fried vegetables.

Once the public is allowed to view the altar, they can also eat the traditional meal, which includes Pasta Milanese. The pasta includes finochie covered with a red gravy called Milanese, which includes sardines, and is topped with sautéed breadcrumbs that represent St. Joseph’s carpenter background. A small brown bag of cookies, a lucky fava bean and a holy picture is provided for all who enter, and people who can afford to leave a donation. Those who cannot are fed just the same. My favorite treasure in the little bag was always Pignolatti, small balls of dough formed into a pinecone shape and held together with honey and caramelized sugar. The fava bean is considered lucky as it was a staple in the old country, and I have had one in my purse or pocket all of my life. My sisters often gave me their Pignolatti because the sticky coating would coat your fingers. For me, the more sugar the merrier. I talked to my siblings, Judy, Dottie and Joey, about their memories of St. Joseph altars and found that altars are just as entrenched in their recollections as mine. We all remember rolling cookies on my Grandmother Dodo’s kitchen table on Gordon Street.

“I also realize now the importance of what the money collected at altars meant to the benefactors. At the time, Mom gave from her talents and time and now I am able to receive food and give a contribution to help others because of the efforts of people like her today.” My brother, Joey, remembers the altar given to our Aunt Josey in honor of our cousin Jacqueline, who had breast cancer. “It was a true outpouring of love for someone in need,” he said. And he got to play Jesus at a Tupa-tupa once – maybe because we knew so many friends and relatives who held altars. We were very blessed. In later years, Joey took Mamma to altars in Slidell, and she also helped cook at the altar given by Peace Lutheran Church. “They loved to have mama go work because she really knew how to make the Italian version of things like Milanese and cookies.” Whenever one of us went to the French Quarter, it was imperative that we stop at the Central Grocery on Decatur Street to get the fixings for Pasta Milanese. Just walking into that store, the aroma brings back so many good memories.

By the way, my Grandmother’s nickname, Dodo, was derivative of her given name, Dorothy. As was tradition, each child was named for their Grandparents (paternal first, then maternal) and then the parents. So my oldest sister is Dorothy, though thankfully her nickname is Dottie; I’m named for my Mom’s mother, Rose; my younger sister is named Judy after my Mom Julia, and the youngest is Joseph like my father.

My Dad always had a garden in our backyard for tomatoes and fennel. Although we didn’t know the word fennel back then – we called it finochie. And the tops were chopped up and included in the spaghetti for the dish. Our neighbor, decidedly not Italian, called it spaghetti with grass.

Dottie’s favorite memory is listening to Mamaw Dodo singing the prayers in Italian.

Like many second and third generations of immigrants, our grandparents didn’t teach

us much of their language. I suppose it was part of their intention of teaching us to assimilate. So, the words they usually said in Italian were the cuss words they wouldn’t say in English. Needless to say, those words stuck in our vocabularies. So much for assimilating. But I’ll always be proud of being Italian American. My Grandmother Dodo worked the fields in St. Bernard Parish when she was a teenager. My grandfather was a watchman at the parish dump in St. Bernard, and he saved his money to eventually own rental properties in the city. Their children and grandchildren made something of themselves that is rooted in Sicilian traditions of family and hard work. I know I’m just as proud to be Italian as any other immigrant’s descendants. When I visit an altar, or see a fava bean in my purse, or enjoy a fig cookie from a local Farmer’s Market, I’m so happy to remember my family and our traditions. I think of my grandparents coming to this country, looking for a better life for their families, and I am grateful to them and to the American dream.

We loved that we knew the Italian words for food at the altars – we all just assumed everyone ate that way! I wish we had learned more of the Italian language.

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Of Your Money By Mike Rich, CFP® Pontchartrain Investment Management

Financial advice…from an eight-year old. The cute little girl you see here is Grace, my eight-year old granddaughter. Grace and I were driving around last month when she asked me if I had been working on my article for Slidell Magazine. I told her I had some ideas, but hadn’t put anything to paper yet. Grace said, “Well, Poppy, I could give you some opinions, if you like.” I could not turn down an offer such as that, so I told Grace that I would welcome her ideas. What she proceeded to tell me could have knocked me over with a feather, and I knew it would make a great article.

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I didn’t tell Grace that I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend (or a girlfriend, for that matter), but I was impressed by her thoughts: be yourself…don’t worry about what other people think…tell people what you want. How simple, and this from an eight-year old little girl. Oh, to have such wisdom. Grace and I weren’t talking about money that day, but her refreshingly honest approach to life got me thinking about the things I’ve been asking people do to with their money for nearly nine years as a financial advisor. They’re simple, straightforward, and not designed to impress anyone, but my guess is that they would go a long way to helping a lot of people get on a stronger financial footing. Consider the following:

1) START THINKING NOW ABOUT THE INCOME YOU WANT TO HAVE DURING YOUR RETIREMENT.

M ike Ri ch

Ro b in Od d o

Grace told me that, if you want someone to be your friend, just be yourself. “Don’t do something just because you think it will make the other person like you,” she said. “For example, if you like a boy, don’t do silly things to try to impress him. Just tell him you want to be friends with him. If he wants to, he’ll say yes. If he doesn’t, ask someone else. Just be yourself.”

I cannot state this scientifically, but my guess is that 99% of the people who read this article want to stop relying on a regular paycheck 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. In fact, the sooner we start, the better. When we have that number, we can design 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, and so on. You’re 30 years old and you have 35 years to make this work. You get an average rate of return of 8% (this is a hypothetical rate of return; your return will be different). In the end, you’re looking at a pot of money with (potentially) $600,000 in it.1 The numbers could be


even better if you have a lump sum to start with, such as an inheritance from your Uncle Max. Does this sound like the kind of road you’d like to get on? Call me, and I’ll get you started.

2) HAVE A PLAN TO DEAL WITH BAD THINGS WHEN THEY HAPPEN. If you have a spouse or children at home, you need life insurance, and as much as you can get. If you’re reasonably healthy, term insurance can be pretty cheap. If you don’t have a spouse or children, you still need life insurance (if you want to know why, call me, and I’ll give you five really good reasons). If your family depends on your salary, you need disability insurance to make sure your income continues if you can’t work. Make sure these things are in place so an unexpected event doesn’t destroy your financial life. I’m happy to help you evaluate your insurance coverage. Just call me for a complimentary meeting.

3) BE PREPARED FOR THE POTENTIAL INCOME TAX HIT TO YOUR MONEY IN THE FUTURE. Here’s a test: Think of three reasons why individual income tax rates will go down over the next 30 years. Give up? I do, too. Even though our new president is talking about wholescale tax reform, it’s difficult to imagine how taxes might be significantly lower in the future because of all of

the government entitlement programs we rely on, so it makes sense to prepare now. Whether it’s a Roth IRA, cash value life insurance, or a currentlytaxable investment account, my bet is that there’s a strategy that will help you deal with the specter of rising tax rates, a situation that could make your retirement income plan look pretty dismal. I can’t tell you how many times clients has come in and said, “I want you to help me reduce the taxes on all this money I’ve been investing.” Sadly, I often have to tell them that we’ve met 20 years too late, because the damage has already been done. The time to deal with future tax issues is now. Call me.

4) IF YOU ARE IN YOUR 50s OR 60s, HAVE A PLAN FOR HOW YOU WILL PAY FOR LONG TERM CARE To borrow a current phrase: OMG! Unless you and your bank account are ready and willing to shell out $3,000, $4,000, $6,000 a month or more for someone to take care of you if you can’t do it yourself, you must have a strategy for protecting your money. For baby boomers and those coming behind them, the costs are staggering and are growing by about 3% per year. About 70% of us are going to need some type of long term care.2 That’s seven out of ten people, and you or your spouse might be one of 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 you pay for it out of your retirement savings), stress test your strategy to make sure it’s going to work. Call me now, make an appointment, and let me help you figure out what might work for you. My granddaughter Grace was right on the money when she gave me her idea for this article, even though her comments had nothing to do with working to achieve financial security. The things many of us need to do are simple. We just need to do them. So, if you are serious about your financial future, call me for a complimentary meeting. Grace will not be joining us (unless you want her advice). I’M NOW ON THE RADIO! Listen for my ad on The Bridge Radio, 88.7FM

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.

1

http://longtermcare.gov/the-basics/how-much-care-will-you-need/ Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC.

2

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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BOYS FROM “THE By Mike Detillier

football analyst and Editor/Publisher of the NFL Draft Report

L

ouisiana is noted for its ingenuity in the oil and gas industry, our state has the biggest port city in America, our agricultural and seafood industry feed the nation, our cuisine is envied all over the world and we have some of the most noted boat builders on our planet. In the sports world, Louisiana is known for its ability to produce NFL players. Five players with their roots in the state of Louisiana in offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham, Jr., offensive guard Trai Turner and strong safety Landon Collins were either voted to the Pro Bowl team or played in the 2017 Pro Bowl. In 2016, Louisiana finished second to Alabama per capita in producing players to the professional ranks, but seven out of the last ten years Louisiana has finished first per capita in putting players into the NFL. In the three years Louisiana was not on top of the football mountain, they finished second.

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Fournette, who prepped at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, rushed for 1,953 yards and scored 22 rushing touchdowns in 2015 for LSU. Last season, despite being hampered all season long with a badly sprained ankle, the 6’1”, 230 pound halfback rushed for 843 yards and scored 8 rushing touchdowns in just 7 games. Fournette is proud of his Louisiana roots. “Growing up, it was my dream to play pro football,” Fournette said. “I watched Joe McKnight when he was at John Curtis High School and he was like watching a video game he was so good. I got to watch him play at USC, then in the pros and he was someone I looked up to. It’s just tragic how he recently lost his life. I idolized Tyrann Mathieu because he went to St. Augustine and he was a great player at LSU and he’s an All-Pro player with the (Arizona) Cardinals. I think about other Purple Knight players like Trai Turner who went to LSU and he is one of the best offensive guards in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers. Cornerback Lorenzo Doss, another Purple Knight player, went to Tulane and he won a Super Bowl title with the Denver Broncos last year. Peyton and Eli Manning were two of the very best players in the NFL and they went to Isidore Newman High School.

Tim Williams Alabama State University University Lab High School

Tre’Davious White Louisiana State University Green Oaks High School Malachi Dupre Lousiana State University John Curtis High School Davon Godchaux Louisiana State University Plaquemine High School

Jeremy Cutrer Middle Tennessee State University Jewel-Sumner High School

Duke Riley Louisiana State University John Curtis High School

Carlos Henderson Louisiana Tech McDonogh 35 High School

Kendell Beckwith Louisiana State University East Feliciana High School

3/5 LATE

Leading the group this year is LSU record setting halfback Leonard Fournette.

ROUNDS ROUND

But in 2017, this year’s draft class is special. In my 30 years covering the college and pro football world, I have never had as many Louisiana prospects entering the NFL in one draft class.

1 2/3

ROUNDS

Sponsored by

Cam Robinson Alabama State University West Monroe High School

Tanzel Smart Tulane University Scotlandville Magnet Chad Williams Grambling State University Madison Prep School

Elijah McGuire UL - Lafayette Vandebilt Catholic High School

Trent Taylor Louisiana Tech Evangel Christian High School

Travin Dural Louisiana State University Breaux Bridge High School

Xavier Woods Louisiana Tech West Monroe High School

6/7

ROUNDS

E BOOT”

Leonard Fornette Louisiana State University St. Augustine High School

Cameron Tom Southern Mississippi Catholic High School D’Nerius Antoine Southern Mississippi Westgate High School

Cethan Carter Nebraska State University Rummel High School

Josh Boutte Louisiana State University Westgate High School

B.J. Singleton University of Houston Destrehan High School

Dwayne Thomas Louisiana State University Perry Walker High School

Lenard Tillery Southern University, McKinley High School

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Ed Reed goes down as one of the greatest safeties of all time with the Baltimore Ravens and he went to Destrehan High School. Matt Forte, he’s from Slidell High School. Matt was one of the best all-purpose backs in the game with the Chicago Bears and he’s now with the New York Jets. Odell Beckham, Jr. is one of the NFL’s best players in the league and he went to Isidore Newman High School. The list is so long. I am honored to be part of the class we have in 2017 headed to the NFL and we want to make everyone proud we came from Louisiana and maybe we motivate other young men and women to work hard and achieve their dream too.” Louisiana prospects with free agent grades include Texas A&M wide receiver/return man Speedy Noil, who played at Edna Karr High School, Memphis cornerback Arthur Maulet went to Bonnabel High School, LSU tight end DeSean Smith attended Barbe High School, LSU free safety Rickey Jefferson is from Destrehan High School, UL-Lafayette linebacker Otha Peters went to Covington High School and Tulane halfback Lazedrick Thompson is from St. Charles Catholic High School. 29 prospects from the state of Louisiana in one NFL draft class is eye-catching, to say the least. For Gil Brandt, who was the player personnel director for the Dallas Cowboys for 29 years starting in 1960, and now a football radio host on the Sirius Satellite Network, the numbers are large in 2017, but not overly surprising.

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“When I first got into the NFL in the 1960’s, we had players like the great Jimmy Taylor, Rosey Taylor and Richie Petitbon were both All-Pro players in the secondary with the Chicago Bears, Jerry Stovall, Billy Cannon, Rich Jackson, Y.A. Title, Ernie Ladd, Jackie Smith and Johnny Robinson. Then Terry Bradshaw, Charlie Joiner, Gary “Big Hands” Johnson, Joe Ferguson, Isiah Robertson, Bert Jones, Doug Williams, Bobby Hebert, Leonard Marshall, Dalton Hilliard and I could go on and on. Just great players then and they still turn out great players. Those guys from Louisiana play with heart and passion for the game. I wanted as many as I could get my hands on from Louisiana. The NFL feels the same today.”


History Comes Alive in Olde Towne The Slidell Scroll Stroll Project By Alex Carollo Have you ever thought about how Slidell got its name? Or why we drive on streets named Fremaux, Erlanger and Bouscaren? Ever wondered what Olde Towne Slidell looked like 20 years ago? 50 years ago? 100 years ago? The Olde Towne Slidell History Scroll Stroll, a new project from Leadership Northshore, will soon answer those questions in a fun and interactive way. The Olde Towne Slidell History Scroll Stroll is a self-guided walking tour that will tell the history of Slidell through photographs and stories on stainless steel scrolls posted at various locations in the Olde

Towne Slidell Main Street District. The first scroll will be unveiled on Saturday, March 18, during Arts Evening in Olde Towne Slidell. Now in its twenty-sixth year, Leadership Northshore is a program that fosters emerging leaders in the community. Community projects are an essential part of the Leadership Northshore curriculum. Each year, the class is divided into small project teams. Each group is responsible for finding a community need or cause and addressing those issues with a project. Former Leadership projects include the Camellia City Bark Park dog park, Pelicans

on Parade public art project, Slidell Movie Nights, Bring it Home Northshore, the Senior Spring Fling Celebration, Slidell Jazz and Blues Festival and the Camellia City Kids Fun Fest, to name only a few. Leadership Northshore Class of 2017, Team 3 - otherwise knows as the Scroll Trolls - is comprised of six members: Bethany Anderson, Case Manager with Family Promise St. Tammany; Kristi Boudreau, Member Relations with the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce; Alex Carollo, Director of Cultural & Public Affairs for the City of Slidell; Sharon Hosch, Senior Supervisor of Special

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several ideas, a metal scroll that included the history of Slidell seemed to make the most sense, and the team worked with graphic designer Tommy St. Clair to design a vinyl decal that adheres to the metal scrolls. “Our team wanted to use local artists to help us with the design,” said Jess Steelman. “Joel’s metal art work is incredible and Tommy’s design are perfect for the scrolls. We also wanted something that was durable and had little upkeep, and the stainless steel scrolls were the perfect solution.”

Education with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System; Jess Steelman, Relationship Banker with Gulf Coast Bank and Trust; and Lenny Williams, General Manager of CiCi’s Pizza in Slidell.

said Kristi Boudreau. “This project not only benefits boy and girl scouts, but schools, students who take field trips to Olde Towne, and residents and visitors who want to learn more about Slidell.”

For Group 3, the concept for the Scroll Stroll began when the team members brainstormed ideas and talked about their passions. Some of those included children, community, being active and outdoor activities, education, arts, history and tourism. From those passions, the idea of a walking history tour was formed. And then, the very next day, the team had an “ah-ha!” moment.

Next, the team had to decide how they were going to display the information. They meet with local artist Joel Geiger, the owner of I.D.eel Design Gallery in Olde Towne Slidell. Geiger was able to take the group’s ideas and turn the abstract into something tangible. After

The group’s next step was finding the right information to tell the history of Slidell. They met with local historian Bonnie Vanney, who literally wrote the book on Slidell. Vanney is the curator of the Slidell Mardi Gras Museum and the author of several books, including Slidell, which was published in 2015 and is part of the Images of America series. The group will also utilize resources from the Slidell Museum and the Guardians of Slidell History Museum. The team is also partnering with Olde Towne Slidell Main Street, who is serving as their transition partner. Slidell Main Street will take over the project once the initial phase is completed and hopes to add additional scrolls to Olde Towne each year.

“I came across a post on Facebook from the co-leader of a 4th grade Girl Scout troop who was looking for a walking tour in Olde Towne Slidell,” said Alex Carollo. “It was exactly what we wanted to achieve and this Facebook post really reaffirmed for us the need for this project.” The Facebook post from the Girl Scout Troop leader read: “We are thinking of taking our girls on a mini walking tour... of historic buildings in the city. I’m not originally from around here, so unless there’s a historic marker parked out front, then I don’t know the history of the building...and bonus if there are any old pictures of the buildings to show the girls how time changes things :).” “The Facebook post showed that there was definitely a need in our community,”

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Actual Facebook Post: I’m a co-leader of a 4th grade Girl Scout troop. We are thinking of taking our girls on a mini walking tour (just pretend walking is driving!) of historic buildings in the city. I’m not originally from here so unless there’s a historic marker parked out front, then I don’t know the history of the building. Can any of y’all help? I’m taking any suggestions. :) and bonus if there are any old pictures of the buildings to show the girls how time changes things :)

“We are very fortunate to be working with so many great people and organizations who share our vision,” said Carollo. “They understand the importance of the project and are helping us to make it happen. We truly could not do this project without their contributions and support.” The group also plans to partner with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System and introduce Slidell History Week to area schools. “Using the research and photographs we have gathered about Slidell, we will work with the social studies curriculum specialists to bring Slidell’s history to our students,” said Sharon Hosch. “We hope that the Olde Towne Slidell History Scroll Stroll plays an important part in teaching the history of Slidell to our students in a fun and educational way.” Several locations in Olde Towne Slidell have already been chosen, such as City Hall, the Slidell Museum and Mardi Gras

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Museum, the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce and the Train Depot. The team also wants to partner with other Olde Towne residences and businesses that might be interested in displaying a scroll at their location. “We wanted to choose places that weren’t only historically significant, but that also had a fun and interesting story,” said Lenny Williams. “We are also looking for other locations in Olde Towne that meet these criteria.” For qualifying businesses, the cost of each metal scroll is $400, which includes research, writing the history, manufacturing, graphic design and the stainless steel scroll. The scrolls measure approximately 12x18 inches and can either be mounted on a pole or attached onto the building, depending on the owner’s preference. Installation is also included in the price. Opportunities for sponsorships are also available.

“There are three easy ways to be a part of this project,” said Bethany Anderson. “First, we want to partner with Olde Towne businesses and residents to purchase and display the scrolls. Second, we are also looking for businesses or individuals to sponsor scrolls, with the benefit of having their name and logo listed on the scroll and on the upcoming website. Third, and the most important way, is to take the scroll stroll! We want people to be proud of our unique and rich history, to have fun, and to learn about Slidell!”

For more information about the Olde Towne Slidell History Scroll Stroll or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please email SlidellScrollStroll@gmail. com or call Alex Carollo at 985-646-4375.


• The City of Slidell presents •

Arts Evening Saturday, March 18, 2017 4:00-10:00  • Free Admission Olde Towne Slidell (985) 646-4375 • MySlidell.com Local Artists & Artwork Live Entertainment Fine & Casual Dining Antique, Boutique & Unique Shopping “Deceptive Space: Op Art from the New Orleans Museum of Art” in the Slidell Cultural Center

“The Banjo Player” by Matt Litchliter

The City of Slidell and the Commission on the Arts would like to thank our 2016-2017 Cultural Season Sponsors for making this event possible: Renaissance $5,000 Sponsors: Baroque, $2,500: CLECO Power, LLC • Jazz on the Bayou/Ronnie Kole Foundation

Neoclassical, $1,000: Edge of the Lake Magazine • Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance Agency Lori Gomez Art • Purple Armadillo Again, LLC • John Schneider Studios/CineFlix Film Fest The Slidell Independent • Slidell Northshore Rotary Club Impressionism, $500: Councilman Bill & Laura Borchert • Dr. Nathan Brown, Northlake Oral & Facial Surgery Chateau Bleu • CiCi’s Pizza • Rep. 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 • 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.


Sixty... plus more The continued story of my birthday adventures on the Pacific Coast Highway

Story and Photos by Donna Bush

In the February edition of Slidell Magazine, we were continuing on my birthday journey and about to embark on our last day in Monterey, CA. We got an early start after breakfast to explore the 17-mile drive at Pebble Beach, probably the most famous golf course ever. The first U.S. Open was hosted there in 1972, as well as five subsequent tours and a centennial bash planned for 2019, including another championship. The drive meandered through several golf courses, native pine and cypress trees, white sand beaches with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. This is home to an astounding mix of bird and marine life, such as harbor seals, sea lions, numerous shorebirds and even a few mule deer along the way.

We hope you enjoy this installment from award-winning outdoors photographer and writer, Donna Bush. Inspired by life... Curiosity seeker... Inviting all Slidell Magazine readers to join her.

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The amazing effect weather has on the trees and rocks is evident with each turn. The “Lone Cypress” has survived for more than 250 years on its rocky perch battered by Mother Nature’s harshest elements. Down the road is the “Ghost Tree” another cypress with its trunk bleached white from the wind providing a sinister silhouette. Both are a unique breed known as Monterey cypress that are only found naturally in two locations – Del Monte Forest along the Pebble Beach drive and across Carmel Bay at Point Lobos. We finished our drive, stopping at The Lodge at Pebble Beach for lunch in the Gallery Café, which I have on good authority is a regular haunt of Clint Eastwood. As we finished lunch, the rain started with a vengeance, promising all the effects of a California Pacific winter storm. Of course, the storm made for some dramatic waves crashing against the rocks along with surfers cruising the waves. We began our northbound drive, leaving behind Monterey, working our way toward San Francisco in an attempt to get north of the city prior

to rush hour. We were fairly successful except for the storm, which slowed traffic and lengthened rush hour significantly. We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and found that the Mill Valley exit we needed to take was completely blocked by a Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) dump truck. We needed to get to Stinson Beach, south of the Point Reyes National Seashore. Our GPS rerouted us. You know, that can be a good thing or a bad thing! Our GPS had been trying to get us on Hwy 101 for days, always looking for the


fastest route, regardless of route settings. We were convinced Berta (our pet name for our GPS) was taking us on another wild goose chase as we turned pretty much every block - left, then right, then right, then left, on rainy, winding roads. At some point, the GPS decided we were on the Panoramic Highway, which we’d never heard of but were so glad we discovered it. Just as winding and scenic as Hwy 1, but in a different way. The rain made it difficult to really take in the views, but we determined we needed to come back and make that drive in daylight! Even though the road was only about 10 miles long, the winding, sharp curves (some at 10 mph or less) plus rainy, slippery conditions made it a slow trip. Eventually, we saw a sign for Stinson Beach and knew Berta had steered us right this time. We thought we were home free. Point Reyes National Seashore reminds me of driving along many of our local wetlands where water seems to be above the road. Like below sea level. As the rain intensified, we reminisced of our Louisiana storms that blow in from the south. The water level grew higher as we drove. We were following two girls in a white Mustang when we reached a spot completely covered by water. The Mustang came to a screeching halt. They were scared to proceed and waved us around. We could see the center yellow line through the water, so it couldn’t be too deep. We made it through and the Mustang girls followed. We hit a few spots with water covering the roadway. As we continue on our way, a Volkswagen hatchback zoomed past us despite the water-covered highway. We

wound our way down the road and took a left onto Platform Bridge Road. We’ve got this! Oops! Maybe not. The hatchback that zoomed past us hit a huge river of water crossing the roadway. She slowed, maybe too late, and began to ease her way through the high water. We sat, waited, and watched. Uh-oh, she’s stuck. She jumped out of the car and began to push, water lapping at her heels. Another female driver stuck on the other side came to her aid. It’s a no-go for us! We turned around, along with the Mustang girls. Now what? With a sinking feeling, we head back to CA-1 and north again, hitting low spots where water is over the highway. As a Louisiana resident, we always think about hydroplaning and the highway being undermined by the water. But in California, throw another item into the mix – landslides. Yep! The highway is right alongside a hill. With the rushing rain, wind, and water, it can wash out! As we drove, we saw signs warning of rockslides. In other places, we just saw the slides without the signs! We made it back to CA-1, the Mustang in front, us following. We came to a deep spot where the road was sloped. Our friends in the Mustang turned around, waving as they passed. I’m worried about them even though I don’t know where they are trying to go. We sit and watch - a pickup truck is coming towards us on the deepest end of the water. Hmmm? If he makes it, even though we are in a rental car sedan, we should be able to make it on the shallow side. Right?

While fact checking my roadways and town names, I noticed that every road we took paralleled or crossed major rivers. I viewed weather reports for the area afterwards and found reports of “strongest rainstorm of the season,” “area received over 7 inches of rain” (anything over an inch is a detriment for rock and mudslide prone areas), “massive sinkhole following rains and king tide,” and “one to two feet of water in lanes.” WOW!!!

Wow! We made it through. Now what? What will we hit next? It’s still raining and the water is still rising! More roads are going under water. We are a long way from real civilization. There is no cell phone coverage. Cell phones give us a false sense of security because we think that if we’re in trouble, we can just call for help. Well, what happens when there is no coverage? Will we flood out too? We are not only experiencing Winter Storm Decima, we are getting hit with a King Tide, “the highest predicted high tide of the year at a coastal location.” Always contingency planning, we pass through the small town of Point Reyes Station and I think, we can always get a hotel here for the night and continue to Santa Rosa tomorrow after the storm. Then we round the corner and see the pavilion for the campground with water almost to its roof and RVs with water less than 2 inches from their doorway. Well, maybe not. Neither Eric nor I want to voice what we’re thinking, will we be spending the night in the car? We see a sign for Petaluma and I’m excited, “That’s where we want to go, Eric! That road will take us to Santa Rosa!” In my head, I’m thinking, and it will take us to high ground. We wind our way through a few spots of standing water and water running across the highway. Each time, I remember those videos of people driving through standing water and having their vehicle suddenly careen down some river as they are swept away. We come to a stop sign with a highway sign pointing left to Petaluma and right to Tocaloma on Platform Bridge Road. Hmmm... we meet again. This was the road where we turned around because of the high water! We head to Petaluma and from there to Santa Rosa (Wine Country). It’s still raining but we are back on Highway 101 and, for once, we are as happy as Berta. It was a long, tense day of driving with rain and fog. We check in, partake of the lobby wine tasting and get settled into our room, dinner and plans for our next day. A chill day is in order! We take a chance on reserving tickets for the Royal Wine and Food Pairing at our favorite winery, Castello di Amarosa in Calistoga. It’s a short, beautiful drive from where we are staying. The day dawns beautiful, breezy, crisp and cold, but sunny! We depart for an enjoyable drive through the countryside.

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I can’t help but notice the numerous ‘flooded’ and ‘rock slide’ signs we pass. It wasn’t all a dream!

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We arrive at the Castle. It’s our favorite winery because, first, it’s a 13th century styled Tuscan castle. Secondly, it has beautiful grounds with animals roaming freely (sheep, goats, chickens, guineas, emus, peacocks and partridges, just to name a few). And, there are two cats who act as the castle greeters (Sir Lancelot, an orangestriped tabby, and his sister, Guinevere, a gray-striped tabby). Yes, there is also a castle dog named Lupo, a gorgeous German Shepard. The Castle is the brainchild of Dario Sattui, who obviously had a love of medieval architecture, particularly castles. He already had a winery in the Napa area, V.Sattui, and had no plans to open another. He planned to just grow grapes and live in the existing house on 170 beautiful, forested acres. But the property came with a building permit for a large winery building which had taken the previous owner over 13 years to obtain. It would be a shame to let all that hard work go to waste. His original intent was to build an 8500 square foot building without cellars. However, this developed into 121,000 square feet with four levels above ground and four levels below ground. Sattui brought in European artisans and builders. Even the materials were brought from Europe. He wanted it to be authentic, and by golly, it is! There’s even a torture chamber! The Royal Food and Wine Pairing is my favorite tour. You get the typical tour, plus an opportunity to view the property from the tower above the Royal Apartment, where the Food and Wine Pairing takes place. This tour is limited to 12 participants all required to be over the age of 21, showcasing the best of the Castello di Amarosa’s wine paired with delectable bites of food chosen to complement and enhance the wine flavors. A perfect chill choice! Sadly, we are embarking to our last lodging before returning to home and reality. California is known for their


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www.resolutionsadr.com magnificent Sequoia sempervirens, otherwise known as redwood, coastal redwood, California redwood, coastal sequoia or palo Colorado. These ancient beauties are the tallest living things on our planet, 500 – 2,000 years old, diameters of 12-16 feet and heights of 370 feet! Today’s hike is in the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, which boasts their tallest tree at over 310 feet, their oldest tree at over 1400 years old, and even the icicle tree – a tree hosting many unusual burls causing it too appear to have icicles hanging from it. Walking among these gentle, silent giants, I yearned to hear the stories they could tell. What an interesting yarn they could spin! The most scenic and enjoyable views of the redwoods were along the forest floor. A first glance at a photo of these trees make it hard to appreciate their massive size, but with an adult standing next to them, you suddenly realize just how big they are! There are many state parks throughout California designated to preserve the redwood forests. Humboldt Redwoods State Park preserves the largest remaining old-growth redwood forest in the world, Rockefeller Forest, with more than 17,000 acres of ancient coastal redwood and Douglas-fir trees. Not to be missed is the 31-mile scenic drive, known as Avenue of the Giants, located in the park and paralleling the Eel River. As the name implies, it showcases towering coastal redwoods. Hendy Woods State Park was home to “Hendy Hermit”, Petro Zailenko, who made his home in downed redwoods, which were called “Hermit Huts”. He resided in these huts in the 60’s and 70’s, living off game that he caught

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As we continued our hike, we noticed how uneven the ground was. We found large ravines as much as 50 yards from the cliff edge where ocean water had found its way through the rock. We observed the sea surging in and out of the ravines. The wind, water and wave action can quickly undercut the edges of the cliffs making them unstable, with the undercut invisible from above. We safely stayed away from the edges as we experienced another spectacular sunset with waves crashing on the rocks and the sinking sun lighting up the ocean and rocks. Photographers call this the “Sweet Light”.

in the park and produce from neighboring farms. The huts are really nothing more than a lean-to with some redwood planks propped against an uprooted tree. We head toward our Water Tower AirBNB in Mendocino, CA, keeping a steady push (aka - no stopping every 30 feet for a picture by Donna) so we can find the place before dark. We do and are immediately next door to a huge second growth redwood, as well as being surrounded by many more. We appear to be in such a remote area but, in fact, we are only 5 minutes from downtown Mendocino! This property was first developed in the 1920’s as lodging for the loggers and built from first growth redwoods found on the property. The original 3-story water tower was actively used in the past, but has now been converted to a beautiful bedroom on the 2nd floor with a lovely 1st floor bathroom including a private hot tub and entryway. From here, we head to the Point Arena Lighthouse tour. More than a lighthouse, it is a 1665-acre portion of the California Coastal National Monument, providing spectacular views of coastal bluffs, sea arches, sea caves, sea stacks and a perfect place to observe migrating gray whales. The whales move south in the fall to reproduce and north in the spring, slowly bringing their calves with them. Humpbacks can be seen throughout the year. We learn that a resident humpback, named Johnny by the locals, hangs out year round and now has a girlfriend keeping him company. Occasionally, a pod of killer whales and even a blue whale may 38

pass through. The views approaching the lighthouse are magnificent, with waves crashing against the rocks, startling blue sky surrounding the lighthouse and keeper quarters in the distance. The tour offers a climb of 145 steps up the tower to take in the 360 degree views of the coast. On a surprising note, we learned the Lighthouse offers vacation rentals of the keeper’s quarters. I see a future trip timed in the spring for whale migration and a full moon lighthouse tour! We walk along the coast, watching the waves crash below, noting the sculpting done by wave action, sea splash, and wind. Sea caves are formed by the constant pounding of the ocean on a weak area (fault) in the cliff. While they may begin as a narrow crack, the tremendous force and penetration exerted by the waves can eventually crack the rock from within. Sea arches and sea stacks, usually found nearby, are remnants of collapsed sea caves. They add interesting architecture to photographs.

We found the perfect Ft. Bragg place for my birthday dinner, appropriately named The Restaurant. The staff and owner made us feel welcome, inquiring about our travels. A delightful meal of Dungeness crab cakes and warmed spinach salad with goat cheese and roasted pecans, paired with a local bottle of wine and finished with flourless chocolate silk cake. YUM! Our last day of driving dawns sunny and cold as we near the end of this journey. We head south along CA-1 in search of the Panoramic Highway in daylight. We reached points where we had seen the highest water levels and found water still standing in several places with signs warning of flooded roadways! The road has washed away near the flooded campground. Our guardian angels were certainly riding with us the night of Decima! We made it to Point Reyes and Stinson Beach, and then we were on Panoramic Highway, every bit as beautiful in daylight as we thought it would be. The sunset views were spectacular. What a lucky find! My birthday trip was every bit as wonderful as I had hoped it would be! Happy travels to all of you!


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Logo artwork by Kim Bergeron

Painting by Adam Sambola

Story by Kendra Maness, Slidell Magazine Editor

I was twenty years old when Jazz on the Bayou debuted. I remember reading the newspaper and staring longingly at the pictures of the gourmet cuisine, the famous chefs and beautifully dressed Southern belles. I wanted so badly to be invited! I wished for those mild Spring afternoons on the bayou…sitting under the huge white tents amongst the oaks draped with moss…eating the 5-Star delicacies from more than a dozen of the finest restaurants in New Orleans and Slidell…drinking from the endless

A regular part of Jazz for many years, Chef Paul Prudhomme shared his Creole and Cajun dishes that made him internationally famous. 40

selection of wines and champagne… listening to the jazz bands…dancing in the second line…meeting Ronnie Kole and losing myself in the melodies from this famous pianist. Wait…Jazz on the Bayou is open to everyone? YES! My first visit to Jazz was in 2011 and the weekend exceeded my most lavish hopes, I had a magical time. I was hooked! Since then, I have been proud to serve on the Jazz on the Bayou committee an informal, volunteer group who work

Chef John Besh, Jazz on the Bayou chef, family friend and neighbor will be serving his most delectable dishes!

efficiently and tirelessly. Most everyone on the committee joined the same way as I did - we attended the event and fell in love. Like a paramour, Jazz has a way of seducing your heart with sensory luxuriance - the best in food, wine, music and friends. Ronnie and Gardner Kole began Jazz on the Bayou in 1993 as “a little backyard garden party,” Gardner jokes. With a weekend attendance of 300 or more, Jazz has evolved into the can’t-miss event of the year.

Each night after the event formally closes, many stay around for a “private” concert by Ronnie Kole on his 1940 Steinway Concert Grand Piano in his living room. It’s a magical ending to an exceptional event.


Jazz on the Bayou is an elaborate weekend with a simple mission – to host a unique party, with amazing food and incredible music, in a beautiful setting, in order to raise money for wonderful causes. In the past twenty-four years, Jazz has delighted guests while donating over ONE MILLION DOLLARS to charitable causes such as Easter Seals, STARC, Safe Harbor and cultural arts programs. Funds are raised through sponsorships, raffles at the event, and a huge selection of silent auction items (resort vacations, original art, jewelry and much, much more). As the festivities outside wind down, guests are invited into the Kole residence for the “after party” - a private concert by Ronnie on his nine foot, 1940 Steinway grand piano. As Ronnie says, “It sounds like an entire orchestra when you play it.” The evening is a surreal experience… you’re bathed in the glow of the soft pink lamplight, sitting on plush furnishings and carpet throughout the Kole’s piano room, warming yourself in cozy elegance as the sun sets and the temperature drops outside. All while being mesmerized by the crisp, resounding, booming, soft and melodic musical genius of a true Jazz legend. It’s a bit humbling to be in those moments. Ronnie has performed for Presidents George W. Bush, Sr., Reagan, Carter, Ford and Clinton. His show has been featured at Carnegie Hall, The Super Bowl, The Tonight Show, The Larry King Show and in more than 600 cities worldwide.

His performance of “Amazing Grace” for Pope John Paul II was viewed worldwide by more than 125 million people. Jazz on the Bayou has been a labor of love for the Koles - a way to utilize Ronnie’s talents for charitable giving. Ronnie was afflicted with heart trouble as a child, which landed him in Spaulding School for the handicapped. He received much encouragement there from celebrities who made a point to visit. This made a profound impression on Ronnie, who has spent much of his life serving charitable causes. Easter Seals Louisiana has long been embraced by Gardner & Ronnie, with both of them serving on the state board as presidents. In addition, Ronnie has hosted the Easter Seals telethon in New Orleans since 1980.

Jazz on the Bayou is celebrating its TWENTY-FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY on March 26 & 27. This year promises to be the biggest and best Jazz ever! JOIN ME for an unforgettable experience. Tickets are still available for Saturday and Sunday. The cost is $100 per person and is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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The best part of serving on the Jazz on the Bayou committee is distributing the money to the great charities every year. Left: In 2015, Dianne Baham, Executive Director of STARC, is overwhelmed with emotion when Jazz presented her with a check for $78,000. Over $117,000 was given away that day! Right: The Jazz on the Bayou committee and volunteers with check recipients in 2016.

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CHILDREN UNDER 6 ARE FREE On March 11, 2017, come out to Slidell Little Theatre to enjoy the best of sunshine , good people, and AMAZING food at the 8th Annual Northshore Gumbo Cook-Off. The event was organized as a fundraiser to benefit the efforts of two non-profit community organizations, The Slidell Little Theatre and the National Association of Women in Construction, who work together to bring this tasty event to us each year. This year, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to HOYST (Homeless Outreach for Youth in St. Tammany). Since 1963, Slidell Little Theatre has been bringing together the entire community for unforgettable performances filled with music, drama and laughter. After years of performances on borrowed stages, SLT now has a state-of-the-art facility located at 2024 Nellie Drive, next to the Fremaux Town Center. Slidell Little Theatre is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, all-volunteer organization with more than 700 members, showcasing the on-stage and offstage talents of nearly 400 area residents, entertaining approximately 10,000 adults and children each season. All talent is local and all auditions are open to the public.

The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) was founded by 16 women working in the construction industry. Knowing that women represented only a small fraction of the construction industry, the founders organized NAWIC to create a support network. Now, NAWIC is an international association with affiliates around the world and more than 150 chapters in America, with the Slidell area boasting an active chapter.

Hosted by National Association of Women in Construction and Slidell Little Theatre

SLIDELL LITTLE THEATRE

For more than 30 years, the NAWIC Education Foundation (NEF) has offered creative and educational programs for students. The award-winning programs and competitions introduce students to careers and opportunities in construction. In addition, they offer continuing education courses and certification programs in bookkeeping, document specialist, technicians, just to name a few. The 8th Annual Gumbo Cook-Off will offer great music provided by local talent and AWESOME food! There will be two divisions of gumbo, seafood and meat, and plenty of it! There will also be raffles for prizes, drinks, beer, sweets and treats. The competition brings gumbo gurus from across the state and gets bigger and better each year. See you there!

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STRING THEORY A little kitten playing with a ball of yarn, perhaps beside the fireplace. Maybe a couple of amused kids watching, laughing, enjoying the show. Picture this image in your mind. You might find it heart-warming. All-American? Maybe a bit corny? Know what veterinarians see when they look at that blissful scene? A slow, painful death from septic peritonitis (for the kitten, not the kids). Sad but true. That scene is so iconic because cats love to play with string. And the string, in this case the ball of yarn, is the problem. Perhaps it’s something about the way it twists and curls in their grasp, mimicking the struggle of their prey,

that stimulates a cat’s hunting instinct. And what do cats do with prey once it’s captured? They eat it. And that’s where all the problems begin. Dogs and cats eat weird stuff all the time. Anything from toys, shoes or clothing to rocks and sticks is fair game. Our pets aren’t always the most discriminating eaters; some consider the world edible until proven otherwise. Many of these ingested non-food items pass through the dog or cat and emerge back into the world with no problem. I have seen a large dog pass an intact gym sock on more than one occasion. You thought the dryer ate your sock? Could be Fido instead!

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The propensity for dogs and cats to eat contraband is one of the main reasons your vet may want to take an X-ray if you bring your pet in for vomiting. Non-food items in the GI tract are called foreign bodies, and although pieces of string might seem less dangerous than a larger or sharper object, they are among the most dangerous things a pet can ingest. And a cat’s natural tendency to play with string makes her more likely to be afflicted. Some objects get hung up on the journey from mouth to rectum, declining to reenter the world from your pet’s backside and causing problems by blocking the intestines. Rocks, balls and clothing are


good at this, but long, stringy things, known linear foreign bodies, are especially dangerous. They may or may not cause a full GI blockage, but they tend to saw through the intestines as the muscle contractions in the gut work to move them through, with little success. The resulting perforations allow intestinal contents to spill into the usually sterile abdominal cavity. Disaster follows.

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Common items that can lead to such a dangerous result when swallowed include dental floss, carpet fibers, Christmas tinsel, ribbon, and frayed cords or threads from clothes, toys or rugs. If one end of the string gets hung up somewhere in the intestines, the rest of the gut keeps crawling along it as if it was moving material downstream, but instead inching along the string itself. The intestine ends up looking like a curtain bunched up on a curtain rod, with the string being the rod. As the intestines contract, the string literally saws through them from the inside. Holes develop where the string saws through, and the normally-sterile abdominal cavity is exposed to a decidedly non-sterile environment, causing massive infection. If too much time has passed before medical attention is sought, even major surgery may be insufficient to save the patient’s life. Linear foreign bodies can be hard to diagnose. The material itself often doesn’t show up on an X-ray, so sometimes we have to rely on patterns of gas accumulation, or corrugated folds in the intestines. Ultrasound can help with the diagnosis as well, but sometimes we are forced to use exploratory surgery to find the problem and fix it. If the situation is too far gone, the mortality (death) rate can be 60% or higher, even with aggressive treatment. For pets with a linear foreign body and no intestinal perforations or peritonitis (infection), the odds of making it home are much, much higher. Signs of a linear foreign body include vomiting, abdominal pain, lack of appetite and lethargy. Not very specific, but a good physical exam and testing can provide clues. So if your pet, especially your cat, likes to eat things that aren’t food, try to keep them from doing so. If they have that habit and vomit more than once or twice, have your vet take a look. And if you see a cat playing with a ball of yarn, remember that you should probably react to that situation the same way you would to a child running with scissors!

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Crimi-Mommly INSANE slie GatesGovern e L y b y r c Sto by Zac M ns

Illustratio

Our 9-year-old daughter does this funny thing when the environment around her gets too adult-y. My husband and I could be talking about taxes, politics, or any other subject along those lines that are particularly boring, even to me. Sometimes it is a serious situation on a TV show or a song playing on the radio that catches me during an emotional day. When this type of atmosphere is surrounding her, our child pulls out her invisible cup of coffee. After getting our attention, she holds her tiny cup of coffee, oh so properly, sticks her pinky up in the air and, with a furrowed brow and squinted eyes, she takes a loud sip, saying in her depressed old man voice… “Liiiiiiiiife.” You would have to see it, in the moment, to truly understand, but it makes us laugh every single time. That’s the goal. I did the same type of thing with my parents… making it my job to lighten the mood and bring their spirits up. I knew at a young age that laughter and just plain silliness were the most important tools in getting through life. I would feel it balancing out the heavy loads in my own little heart and wanted others to feel it too. 46

faith We get older and forget the importance of laughter. Then those little reminders happen. A lot of times they come right when we REALLY need them.

let go of control when giving things to God, because control is one of the things I do best. Sometimes it disguises itself very well when you are used to surviving off that control.

My dad has Parkinson’s and Lewy body Dementia. Along with this, he gets seizures about once a year that put him in a comatose state for a day. After each one of these seizures he must rehabilitate for a couple of months to teach his brain how to walk, talk, eat and swallow again, each time, making these functions weaker than the time before. He has been dealing with this for about 7 years, and it has taken its toll on my family as we care for him and watch him struggle.

In my prayer, I just kept asking Him, “What do we do? What is the answer? What does Dad want?”

At this moment, he is struggling once again with the complications of a recent seizure and is currently in ICU. My family is now faced with making decisions for him that he is unable to make, and there is a lot of grey area. To be honest, by the time you read this, I don’t know if he will be with us anymore. The day we learned of his prognosis, about 3 days ago, I went home to sit in silence and talk to God. My faith has been weak over the last few years; I never seem to know if an answer is from God or from myself. I had forgotten how to completely

A friend of our family since I was a baby, and spiritual mentor of mine, Dr. Joe, always tells me, “There are no coincidences.” That’s important to remember as I write this. My oldest son, who spends most of his time being a typical teenager, quotes a line from one of his favorite songs, out of nowhere, because he sees my worry while at the hospital with me. He said, “Mom, remember, don’t let the darkness blind you.” I had to think about it. Weeks before this, while looking for advice on another difficult situation, my friend kept quoting a Bible verse throughout our two-hour conversation. It was Matthew 11:30, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. When we got off the phone I still couldn’t feel what she was saying, what that verse meant. The next day, in my dad’s nursing home, I was sitting on the floor attempting to fix his wheelchair footrest with duct tape. There were two aides tending to him, one


of them quoting a Bible verse to the other. I said aloud, “I could really use a verse today.” She asked what I was dealing with and, just like now, it was a difficult decision and a lot of anxiety. She told me she wanted to pray on it first before throwing one out there. She then asked me if I had ever watched Joel Olsteen on TV. I hadn’t. She said, “You should. I really like him.” The school buses were coming soon so I had to get home. I didn’t see her again to receive my prayed upon Bible verse, so I just left feeling pretty much the same. That verse my friend quoted over and over kept popping back in my head though. That night, after the kids went to bed, Brian and I sat on the couch watching TV. I had told him about my friend’s verse and the aide that mentioned Joel Olsteen. While talking, we realized the channel had switched. We wondered which one of us sat on the remote. As Brian reached under himself to find the remote, I looked back at the TV. “Do NOT change this channel,” I said in shock. It was the beginning of a 30 minute Joel Olsteen sermon. I couldn’t believe it. He agreed, and we sat there, glued to every word. It talked about those dark valleys of life that we go into and difficult decisions that we must make. He explained very simply about what it felt like when you know for sure you are on God’s path and not your own… when it’s God’s answer and not your own control. He said, you will know, because there won’t be confusion in your thoughts, there will be peace. You won’t feel that YOU must find those hard answers on your own. You will know that you truly gave it to Him because the burden will be light. Then, he gave us the bible verse that went along with his sermon, Matthew 11:30 “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Brian looked at me and said, “Did that really just happen?” As for me,

I wept like a baby.

Another questioned answered.

Remembering this, while praying for my Dad, has been so helpful, and helped me feel like God is listening.

I walked outside looking for something in the center console of my truck afterwards, nothing to do with any of this. It was stuffed with so much crap that I just kept pulling and pulling. I didn’t find what I was looking for; instead, I found an old folded up 2 page note that I had written and forgotten all about. In it, a conversation with my Dad at his hospital bedside, 3 years ago after a seizure.

Although, even with that, I still found myself sitting in the present, worrying about the future. I mean, how do I not worry about tomorrow? Not worry about what Dad is thinking or feeling or what he wants? He hasn’t been able to say much or express his feelings for a long time. The minute I felt the heavy burden again, I gave it back to God. I thought, man, how often do I have to do this? At bedtime, when I remember, I read a devotional page to my kids. This was definitely one of those nights. My youngest son turned to a random page in his kid devotion. It said, “When you come to Me, I only give you enough peace for today. I don’t give you peace for tomorrow, only today. I do this because I want you to come to Me again tomorrow, and every day after that.” Sometimes it needs to be minute by minute when we aren’t used to trusting that voice.

I couldn’t believe I was going to “hear” his thoughts again, and possibly find some sort of message to help my family make this decision. We talked about family and important moments in his life. We talked about fears and faith, healing, and forgiveness. In the note, I write how I put my head on his chest and cry to him, even though he was the one that probably needed comfort, then he put his arm around me and told me it was going to be OK. But the one emotion that stuck out

47


the most to me while reading this, was how many times he laughed. I kept telling him how important it was to cough and spit because the nurse said it would help clear his pneumonia. Throughout the conversation, I would interrupt with that same reminder, “Ok, Dad, what’s the most important thing to remember?” And he would say, “Cough and spit”. When discussing faith, I told him I painted him a picture of Jesus rowing him in a boat (a vision that has always given me peace). He said, “It’s my reminder.” I smiled, “Yes, so you will never feel alone or forget what’s most important… well, besides coughing…” and at the same time we both said, “and spitting”. Then we laughed. Just like my daughter with her invisible cup of coffee, I would joke with him, and even in such a dismal setting with all the struggles he faced, he found comfort in laughter. God prepares the way before us when He knows we are going to go through something hard.

R R R, AS F ADERS & TION.

And when we let go of that control, the burden becomes much lighter as we find peace in the messages He sends through the people in our lives. In order to see it, you can’t let the darkness blind you, like my oldest said. I casted a lot of bitterness and blame towards my Dad for many years because I needed him around more when I was a child. He worked away and I craved his attention. I carried that hurt for a very long time. About five years ago, when he became unable to drive, I decided to take him to lunch once a week. In the beginning, I believe I did it for my own healing. Funny thing is, I think he knew it. Those lunch dates became the highlight of our week… it got us both out of the house, and we grew much closer. That time together has healed our relationship and I am so grateful for it. The letter from 3 years ago at my Dad’s bedside ends like this:

“I was drawn to my Dad’s bedside tonight through God. There is NO DOUBT in my mind. I told Brian about it later, kinda had to. He was sitting out in the truck waiting for me for an hour. Brian said, ‘Well, now when he gets to the pearly gates one day and God looks at him, waiting for the almighty answer to eternity, your Dad will say, ‘cough and spit’”. And right before I could smack him for mocking my feelings, he said, ‘Then God will open his arms and let him in.’ By exposing yourself to moments like this with people in your life, and allowing any past hurts to go, you don’t really fill a void in your heart. It’s as Brian put it, your heart has been healed. Healed by forgiveness. Healed by love. And when Dad is with Jesus one day, I will miss him more than I can ever imagine, but I will not have to miss him with a broken heart. I can miss him with a healed one.” Laugh when it gets hard, don’t let the darkness blind you, and take it day by day. I love you Dad.

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Slidell Magazine was EVERYWHERE this month! Here are just a few of our adventures!

Slidell Mag Editor, Ke ndra Maness, leads out the Mona Lis a & Moon Pie Parade in Olde Towne 2016 King & Queen Samarit an, Sheriff Randy Smith and Mary Clement, reign supreme at the Krewe of Slidellians parade

QUEE N NS 2017 KING & CONGRATULATIO ARITA N! SAM nt take a and Rene Arcemo Ellen Lamarque k from their Royal duties ea CC Krewe much needed br nation at the SW after their coro dellians Ball of Sli

80-M

Slidell Mag “Storyteller”, John Case, with Silver Plume award winner, and fellow Mississippian, Anna-Merle Merritt

The kookiness, craziness, and wonderful-ness of the Mona Lisa & Moon Pie Parade. BEST. PARADE. EVERRRR.

Kendr (and w a on-site o on a H rking hard) abitat b uild!

E PRESIDE NT’S ARTS CE LEBRAT ING AT TH ael Frederic, with AWARDS! Chef Mich Bobby, and wife & e yc Jo mom and dad, e tulations to all th ra ng Co . y’e tn ur Co recipients!

CONGRATULATIONS CHEF MICHAEL! 2016 President’s Arts Award Recipient “Culinary Artist of the Year”

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