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Vol. 92 March 2018




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MisChief Mardi Gras Spirit

Louisiana Artist



Artist Connie Born's whimsical creations represent the richly diverse and fascinating culture that is alive in Louisiana. Custom made creations are available for any occasion or event. New additions to Born's Krewe of MisChief are created every day in the Gallery and Studio in the Marketplace at 1808 Front Street in Slidell. Visit the Gallery to see the new creations currently in process and to start your collection today!

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"MisChief Mardi Gras Spirit" 4



Editor’s Letter

Kendra Maness

Editor/Publisher Slidell Magazine

Cover Artist

country. But, I felt compelled to acknowledge this national tragedy. A dancing Irishman seemed almost disrespectful in the face of our country’s mourning.

The picture above shows the inspiration behind, and the beginnings of, this month’s beautiful cover. As much as I truly love this artwork, it was not the original cover of this edition. Just a few days before print, our cover showed a fun, frivilous image of an Irishman dancing in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Then, on Valentine’s Day, in Parkland, Florida, 17 students and teachers were killed in another mass school shooting. It makes me cry just typing the word “another.” The shooting haunted me. As I sat at my computer working on the magazine, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, or the tragic memories I had of past school shootings. I couldn’t ignore this tragedy, but I didn’t know how to portray our country’s sense of loss and outrage. I didn’t want a gun debate or a statement about the mental health situation in our

In a rambling midnight text message, I reached out to my friend, artist Rose Marie Sand. I knew she had created a beautiful mosaic piece that memorialized one of the innocent lives lost at Sandy Hook. She conveyed in art what I still cannot put into words, so I will let her tell the story: “The photo of a happy little boy in an orange hat, a little boy mercilessly murdered at Sandy Hook, was burned into my mind from the moment I saw it. Although I never got to meet him, his sweet innocence mirrored in this picture. That innocence and the senseless, violent way he left this world, have impacted my life in many ways. My mosaic art had never been photorealistic or detailed. But I knew I wanted to do something to express my feelings for Dylan and his family. I went to Boston and took a class by renowned artist Carol Shelkin to learn her method of realistic mosaic, but she counseled me not to attempt Dylan’s portrait for my first project. She was right, as the feelings poured out into each tiny cut of colored stained glass and it took me months and many tears to complete the portrait. The stained glass mosaic portrait now resides with Dylan’s family.”

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

Kendra Maness, Editor/Publisher

Devin Reeson - Graphic Designer Illustrations by: Zac McGovern CONTRIBUTING WRITERS EFOP, Charlotte Lowry Collins The Storyteller, John Case Portraits of Slidell, William Blackwell Pet Points, Jeff Perret, DVM This Month in History, Dawn Rivera Big Sky Ranch, Storm Series:Part 5 of 12, Donna Bush Crimmi-Mommly Insane, Leslie Gates Leadership Northshore, Kendra Maness Focus on Faith, Rev. W.C. Paysse Legal-Ease, Ronda M. Gabb Making Cents of Your Money, Mike Rich

Cover artwork by Rose Marie Sand

rose marie sand

Rose’s website, created long before her mosaic portrait of Dylan, describes her feelings about her artwork. Her words, as well as her imagery, comforted me; and I hope they comfort you as well... Rebirth - physical and emotional - feels right as the light, movement and color of a stained glass mosaic as it comes together. Life is about putting things together not tearing things apart, and I hope that my work does that not only for me, but the viewer.

Rose began working in stained glass in 1980. She feels that the timeless appeal and the intrinsic beauty of stained glass enrich her life as an artist. Katrina destroyed Rose’s home and business in Chalmette. Unbelievably, through the rubble, her glass panes remained unbroken. Rose says, “The fact that something as seemingly fragile as glass had survived the wreckage, and that something so valuable to me was found, gave me hope. Working in glass again was a lifesaver.” Mosaic and mixed media pieces are Rose’s way to turn what may have been trash into treasures. Many of Rose’s pieces use found objects she has collected all her life - little things that survived a storm. Rose is also a writer, having been published in two New York Times bestsellers, Chicken Soup for the Soul and Chicken Soup for the Traveler’s Soul. Luckily, we also have her here in Slidell Magazine with her column, “Go Beyond.” This is Rose’s second cover for Slidell Magazine. You can view more of Rose’s work at:



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MARCH 2018

Extraordinarily Fascinating “Ordinary” People

Sean MacDonald Burkes by Charlotte Lowry Collins

“It’s important to know that, unlike lawyers, land surveyors put the public interest first. That means we are not biased by our client - this means that the property line will be drawn in the most equitable position, regardless of which neighbor is paying the bill.” ~ Mark Mason

This article will present some little known points of interest that even native Slidellians may not be aware of. Additionally, you will hear of changes on the horizon that only the most active citizens foresee. But Sean Burkes is right in the middle of them. Driving up to J.V. Burkes & Associates’ office one cold winter evening, the light from the French doors and arched windows was quite welcoming. The stately Engineering, Environmental and Survey building looked new, but retained a sense of French Louisiana architecture with the bricks and hip roof. After I greeted one of the partners, Sean Burkes, my eyes wandered from the ancient linen maps on the walls, to survey equipment from generations past. The homogeneous blend of old and new continued through the hallways and into individual offices. It was truly a phenomenal experience.

brought from India. Man’s need to control his environment can be seen as far back as Stonehenge. The Egyptians refined the primitive post and rope method, as did Caesar, and Napoleon Bonaparte after him. Imagine tools and procedures that define parcels of property, determine value, and usability. That was powerful information for leaders and land owners alike. Surveyors became even more increasingly popular after canals, roads, and railways were in demand. Slidell was one of the fastest growing cities in the 60s, so this held particularly true here.

This office literally contains the documentation of our city’s history. The stacks contain maps from the 1800’s, when more precise survey methods were 6

Sean's grandfather, Homer G. Fritchie, Sr.

Sean was thrilled at my interest in the tools and the framed maps on the walls. You see, Sean is the grandson of Homer Fritchie, Sr., on his mother’s side, Grace Fritchie Burkes. His grandfather on his father’s side was J.V. Burkes, Sr. Both of his mentors held an interest in surveying, construction, and engineering. As Sean walked me around, he pointed out the tools, maps, certificates and recognitions. He proudly retold the history, “My grandfather, Homer Fritchie, was an engineer and land surveyor in the 1920’s, and was later appointed by Earl Long to be a Parish Surveyor.” He pointed to framed letters from our 45th governor dating from 1950 and 1958. Most of you probably know Homer Fritchie as the 16th Mayor of Slidell, who held the office for a record 32 years. His other grandfather, J.V. Burkes, Sr. built the governor’s mansion for Huey Long. J.V. also built the grand Eola Hotel in Natchez in the 1930s, as well as courthouses across Louisiana and Mississippi. J.V. Burkes II worked in construction from India to New Orleans. As Sean explained, “My dad, J.V. Burkes III, was the first in his

family to get out of construction and into engineering.” Sean would follow in his footsteps. His father, John Vester Burkes, played football for Tulane. Sean relayed, “He was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome during his junior year in college, and eventually became paralyzed. At that time, the cure included Electric Shock Therapy, and miraculously he was cured. So he joined the Army and finished school in engineering. During this stint in the military, Dad built missile bases in Conway, Arkansas, and later was hired by Farnsworth and built hospitals and hotels in Puerto Rico. While he was living in Puerto Rico, my dad helped build the Aracibo Radio Telescope in the early 60s, to measure the close fly-by of asteroids.” How many of you knew that one of the men helping build the famous Aracibo Telescope is a Slidell native? As do many Slidell natives, Grace and J.V. moved back here, and J.V. took over the engineering business from Homer Fritchie in 1964. The young couple moved back to Slidell as it was booming. NASA had built their center on Gause Boulevard in 1962. As anticipated, J.V. Burkes & Associates became really busy. Toward the end of the 60s, the housing boom was slowing down, and J.V. became the city engineer. Sean laughed at the story he heard after Hurricane Camille hit in 1969. “The city of Slidell had housing and medical supplies stored at Camp Villere prior to Hurricane Camille. After the storm raged through, Dad had to get supplies from the armed guards out at Camp Villere. The city requested access to the Colonel in charge and were denied. With the usual Slidell resilience, the gates were subsequently knocked down, and supplies to help residents were obtained,” he concluded with a smile.



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I got this image in my mind of Sean’s dad riding a dozer and crashing the gates! “Mom did a lot of volunteering for the community, with Junior Auxillary, Christ Episcopal Church and the Camellia Club. My dad volunteered as soccer coach.” Sean described a pretty idyllic childhood. “My mom was always encouraging. I think it was her strength and positive traits that made me strong later in life. I always felt I could accomplish anything because of her.” They grew up in Westchester Subdivision, and their back yard opened to Our Lady of Lourdes (OLL) playground. Slidell Youth Soccer Club actually started at OLL in 1976. Sean explained, “Dad was a coach, and I started playing the very next year.” Sean must have been very athletic, as he played throughout high school, made the state team, and tried out for the regional Olympic team. Sean humbly explained, “I realized I was okay in soccer, but also realized that there was a whole new level of good at the Olympic level. My dad was a regional Olympic Director for the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team.” More little known facts about our Slidellians. In contrast to his athletic build now, Sean’s entry into the world was quite tenuous. His delivery doctor’s wife, Mrs.






Holmes, told him he was the smallest baby ever to be born at Slidell Memorial Hospital at the time. "She used to tease me that I was alive because she prayed so hard for me.” He weighed three pounds and something ounces, and was several months premature. Sean has three older sisters, Ginny Pumpelly, Becky Mott, and Barbara Zelenka. As you can imagine, Sean was well prayed for and cared for. Barbara is actually his partner in the business. Like his father, Sean was destined for success. He started working at the company at age thirteen. “I created a Science Fair project about flooding on the Pearl River, and designed a clay model of Slidell. Then, I ran water through the channels. Next, I changed the size of the bridges until flooding abated. Stan Owens was a Parish Police Juror at the time, and I will never forget when he told me he was amazed by my projections. He was working on Military Road issues at the time, and he was very complimentary. That got me pumped about engineering. From the age of 15, I worked every Christmas and summer break as a rodman for Dad.” Sean’s handsome face beamed as he recalled, “I worked with some great guys. Wade Juneau was our crew chief. Paul Faciane was our instrument man, along with Bert Castaneda."


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Sean moved to the new NorthShore High School (NSHS) when the Burkes moved to Doubloon Bayou. Sean recalled the area was referred to as “the sticks.” His dad developed 40-50 beautiful lots out there. It was the kind of place in which kids should grow up. They lived on the West Pearl River, boated a lot, fished, and explored the land. Sean said, "I would disappear in the morning, and came home for dinner. We never locked our doors. Everybody knew everybody, and watched out for everyone’s children to make sure they were doing right. It was a small town, and yet, we had some amazing kids. I remember Jason Brown as the kid next door. He later invented the video RAM chip for flat screen TVs. Imagine, this kid from Slidell changed the size of our televisions!” I’ll bet you didn’t know that either! Somebody should compile a list of the people in Slidell that are connected to modern inventions.

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Looking up, I saw a family portrait. Sean quipped, “My wife and I met in Pre-K, at Mrs. Roberta’s Busy Bee School.” I could not fathom that he had a memory of that. But I stand corrected. He countered, “I clearly remember thinking Nicole Guilott was the most beautiful girl in the class. I like to joke that we weren’t allowed to date until we were 15. In reality, we eventually went to different schools, met again in junior high, and started dating our sophomore year of NSHS. When we got officially engaged, Mrs. Roberta gave us a picture of our pre-school class for our wedding,” Sean beamed. They went to LSU together and Nicole graduated as an English major, following in her mom’s educational footsteps. Sean graduated as, no surprise, a Civil Engineer. His first job was with G & E Engineering, whose focus was environmental work on industrial plants, gas stations, and U.S. government facilities.

After a year, his dad’s business got really busy, so they moved back. “Nicole and I were ecstatic to be back in Slidell, as were both sets of parents. My work here was very different from that in the environmental firm. Now I have a toe in both worlds, achieving a delicate balance between development and progress, with environmental considerations. We try to guide the developer to accomplish goals in an environmentally friendly way. My sister does wetland permits and planning. She designs AFTER looking at the wetlands. Barbara was the Renaissance sibling in our family. She is extremely creative, loves nature, the bayous and woods. She is also extremely smart, practical, and has crazy determination. It is really her strong love of nature that is injected into normal engineering design work that created our focus now.” J.V. Burkes & Associates is a third generation business with over 90 years in Slidell. Sean’s dad recently celebrated his 82nd birthday and still comes to work every day. I asked Sean what he found most fascinating in his profession. He quickly responded with open arms, “Everything! I love that I meet a lot of unique people and landowners. You know we have surveyed most of the properties in Slidell. One of the things I love is hearing their stories. Property is associated with people and people are associated with stories. By living here and surveying land, I get to hear a lot of those stories. In Olde Towne, a 90 year old resident told me a fascinating story about a horse and buggy accident in 1912. I loved the stories about Mr. Red Scoggin. I also heard about the Madame of Slidell, Madame Brugier, who always wore great, big hats. The line was that nobody walked over her. She owned the land by Bon Village, as well as many other places, and sold it for about 1.1 million dollars to Pat Miramon. When Pat asked how she came up with that number, she said, ‘I just like the sound of a cool million profit.’ I could sit here all day listening to stories from our residents.”


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He continued, “I also like working with the developers. They are a unique type of people, true risk takers. I also love that I get to work with government officials. They really have a tough road to hoe. They get lots of blame and not much control. I like having a challenge in designing something that is functional and beautiful, that also fits an area environmentally. Making residents and regulatory agencies happy is tough, but a fun process to go through for me." "One project I was excited to work on was the Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) on Pete Schneider’s property. It created 500 jobs in a year. It all started with a phone call inquiry, and we ended up navigating through several different federal and state grants. Then we designed the project with the city of Pearl River, St. Tammany Parish staff and officials, and all the other regulatory agencies, as well as the owners. That was a real challenge, and we got it done on budget and on time. AWG has been a great addition to our area, a real case of win-win.” Another job that Sean got excited talking about was the new Veteran’s Cemetery in Slidell. He recalled, “The state had acquired some grants through Mr. Lane 9

Sean & Nicole first met in Pre-K at Mrs. Roberta's Busy Bee School in Slidell. Sean says that, even then, "I clearly remember thinking Nicole Guilott was the most beautiful girl in the class." Carson’s leadership to build a facility. After many problems with other locations throughout Louisiana, Mr. Carson relayed the difficulty he was having to pay for both wetland permits and land costs to make it happen. We suggested Camp Villere as the location, because it was already owned by the state. After Barbara performed a wetland determination on a small budget with prison workers and help from Popeye’s Chicken, we were able to make the project financially work for the VA. It does make us feel good to know that people within our region have a final resting place for our heroes. Our firm, Mayor Drennan, Parish President Pat Brister, Lane Carson, and everyone else involved in the process worked collaboratively to make this dream a success,” and again came that big, boyish smile. My family recently watched Sean and his firm in action when we ran across an ordinance that required us to divide our property in a grid method. Together, we were able to get an appeal to follow the natural wetland boundaries in a scenic and natural setting, without disturbing the centuries year old live oaks, and maintaining the ethereal wetlands. Explaining the shift over time, Sean pointed out that, “Developers started with grids, and blocks, like Olde Towne, and many subdivisions. In the 80s, developers began designing boundaries and roads on curves, with cul de sacs. Computers have made it easier to calculate and much more natural looking. I grew up when Slidell was a really small town and now we are a city. Slidell is neat because, if 10

you get to see the big picture like I do, its not homogenous. We have the Bayou Liberty area which is strictly residential and known for its natural beauty. We are fortunate to have Olde Towne with its quaint city life and historic Brugier, which adjoins it. French Branch is more suburban. Now there is a push for Traditional Neighborhood Developments (TNDs). They are expensive, but people love them for a walkable quality of life, green spaces, and safety.” If you want to learn more, look at Terra Bella in Covington, or River Ranch in Lafayette. I am sure that option will be coming to our area soon. Sean and Nicole bought 5 acres of land from Fritchie property, with 100’ wide swamp along Doubloon Bayou off Old River Road. They intentionally left the marsh as a buffer from civilization. There is a highway in front, with swamp in the back. Sean looked off and pictured, “The whole family loves it. We see gators come up on land, coyote, owls, hawks, small tail kites, cranes, and egrets. It is on the flyway, and I spy lots of bird watchers coming in our back yard.” As you can imagine, the Burkes rarely watch TV. Meal time is sharing time, with lots of lively conversations. Sean got excited that, after decades of raising four kids, “Now we get to sip wine with our oldest, Caitie, who turned 22. She just graduated from LSU in Mass Communication, and is a great writer. She is also big into politics, and worked with GNO Inc and Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC). In 1998, we had Mary Grace, named Mary for Nicole’s

grandmother, and Grace after my Mom. She is a freshman at ULL, in Industrial Design right now. It would be neat to think we could work together in the future. Then, in 2001, we had a son, JP, John Phillip, named for my dad and Nicole’s dad. He is a sophomore at NSHS. Finally, in 2003, we had Meg, who is now a freshman at NSHS. They keep us very busy. Our youngest is in cheer, which we love watching. Our son is currently playing golf at NSHS, and we still find time to go deer hunting.” Sitting up proudly, Sean announced, “He shot his first doe, and now we are eating lots of venison. Mary Grace played serious competitive soccer from age five through 18. You can see the family stays active. I grew up a soccer fanatic, so I serve on the board for SYSC. They have a really good program in Slidell.” Sean thought a moment and said, “Slidell has a lot to offer young families. One thing I find interesting is that my daughter Meg has so many classmates from other countries. My class was mostly locals, and people who moved here from other cities within the US. It will be interesting to see where our kids go in life. I enjoy watching our oldest daughter’s career path. I guess you could say I’m living vicariously through her now. We do a lot with families of friends, and their kids, so we have a full plate on off hours.” I think Sean must thrive on this active lifestyle. Let’s start with the fact that he is a member of East Chamber, Northshore Regional Partnership Board, Northshore Business Council (NBC), GNO Inc., Northshore Technical Community College

Foundation, and Leadership Northshore Environmental Day. Sean surmised that “Being a member of Leadership Slidell got me pumped about joining everything. I am a past member of morning Rotary, Recreation District 16, Leadership Slidell, and SYSC. For SYSC, we managed to get 40 acres donated and got bathrooms built at Spartan Field. Some of the other boards I joined have accomplished some amazing things, which is exciting.” He expounded on his recent work with NBC, “The Northshore Business Council is composed of 70 CEOs from St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes. I just rolled off as Chairman. Every year, we come up with three to four issues that we prioritize as needing to change. Most recently, we hired Metropolitan Crime Commission (MCC) to do a study on our entire judicial system in St. Tammany. They identified processes that slow things down. We actually calculated how long it took to go from arrest to resolution, then compared that to national standards.” Now Sean got really excited as he related, “Our judicial system as a whole was proven to be extremely effective compared to national standards. Our law enforcement, District Attorney’s office, Clerk of Court and our judges are now rated above the national average. I found it interesting that when you start measuring, then people know you’re looking, and behaviors change. But it is proof that we already have a system to be proud of. Now I am reviewing federal rules and working with GNO Inc. and NBC for flood insurance revisions. I’m on the board with both of those agencies.” I know we all wish him well on that problem.

Expounding on the power these independent organizations have, Sean pointed out that, “GNO Inc. was part of the team that rebranded NOLA after Hurricane Katrina. Once the PR went out, then locals started seeing their city from a different perspective and then believing it and then loving it. It’s easy for locals to talk bad about areas in their own parish. But we need to be talking about the good, because there’s a lot of it. Slidell needs to know who we are first and then decide who we want to be. Who we elect as our next mayor will be crucial. Then we have to decide how we get our community to represent the will of the people. Because I’ve seen that happen. Then we need to start telling the story of the good, and rebrand Slidell. There are so many hidden beautiful things we don’t highlight. I want to see a recreational park for young families. They want bike trails, beautiful places to jog, hunt, and just visit. They also want a place to play competitive sports. The transition between hard charging, competitive sports, and more leisurely, quality of life experiences and health and wellness is something we will need to provide. The exact form of this transition is changing now, as we hear input from our region. We want to reach a broad range of interests.” Sean is a true believer that also follows through on his dreams to bring them into fruition. He is on the board with the NorthShore Regulatory Partnership (NRP), and they are looking at recreation among other things. They have hired the consultant in charge of the Disney Sports Complex who said that a recreational lifestyle is more important to the next generation in choosing places to live. As

LEFT: J.V. Burkes & Associates: Sean, J.V Burkes III, and Barbara RIGHT: Sean & Nicole's children: Meg, Caitie, J.P., and Mary Grace Burkes

Sean stresses, “Slidell has a goldmine in its water features. It’s a treasure on Bayou Liberty, Bayou Bonfouca, Bayou Paquet, West Pearl River, Lake Ponchartrain, and all the other bayous. We have so much to offer that is unique. The NRP is looking at ways to connect trails to water.” His firm was recently selected as part of a multi-firm engineering team to provide a coastal master plan for St. Tammany Parish. I got very excited about this, and he added, “We hope to provide a creative, functional, yet practical project to do the most good for all residents. We are all extremely excited, and humbled, to be part of this challenge. The goal is to keep the culture and quality of life in check.“ Slidell, there are some great things coming! Here are just a few examples of Sean’s efforts. "Our survey work has kept us busy. We are fortunate to have a great team led by Jerry Long. We have determined boundaries for most properties within the Slidell area and serve to assist construction firms in staking out their projects. Locally, we are working on a sidewalk project from Front Street to E. Gause Blvd., near Pope John Paul High. We are also working on Intersection improvements at Fremaux and Front to include pedestrian crossing. We are extending the West Hall section for the Tammany Trace connection. It will take a while, but it's very worthwhile. For the city, Johnny Bordelon who works with us has been an excellent transportation consultant. Our company is going after state and federal dollars to fund some transportation projects within the city. One long term project is a new interchange on Gause Blvd. and I-10. It’s currently a rural interchange that slows down traffic. We also are doing a study for Robert Road and Pinewood Country Club Blvd. That has been a high accident area. One proposal has been for another roundabout. The one at Brownswitch Road has worked out phenomenally, which Johnny happened to work on when he was working with St. Tammany Parish under Kevin Davis. Traffic just flows now at that intersection. We are also working on a rehabilitation project for Natchez Drive, and a turn lane on Lindberg Drive. Additionally, we just did 11

some survey work for the new Marina work spearheaded by Bill Borchert and Freddy Drennan. Plus, the first meeting for the Coastal Master Plan for St. Tammany is next week. Meanwhile, we are trying to get funding for lots of other projects at the same time.” The question Sean poses is, “How does it become effective, and beautiful and safe for the environment? It involves a lot of thought, planning, process, and time. The goal shouldn’t be to just get the project done. But I will say, the process is getting way too cumbersome unnecessarily. It can take up to three years to get a permit. Whereas, it used to take a year or year and a half to get permits. I will say, though, that I’m happy to get input from all sides. It’s necessary to have a process to hear from others. The administrative side takes so much time, with federal, state, parish, and city regulations, which may even contradict each other. We have written rules for 60 years, and have not gotten rid of any of them. One regulation counteracts another. You know it's bad when you have to hire


an attorney to get a subdivision built in a totally non-controversial situation. But that’s what keeps my job interesting,” he said with a big grin. We started talking about storms and floods. Then Sean grew pensive and confided, “You know, I was interviewed by National Geographic by a young lady in her mid-20s. She asked why we wanted to live here. My answer was that you need to have people living in coastal areas, because shipping is the cheapest way for transport. That is a real need. Then we need communities to support those businesses. Over here, it's oil/gas, the port, rail, shipping, Textron, NASA, Stennis and NOLA that drives our economy. We are the safe haven for NOLA. We need to figure out how to live here long term. Others have figured this out successfully. So many of our rules and regulations are based on the world being flat and fixed in position, and it's just not. We’ve learned the world is very dynamic. Even the ground is moving. Theoretically, our area is sinking, and the water is rising. How do we adjust

and accommodate and move on? People always want to live where they want to live. I love it in Slidell. We moved to Texas after Katrina, and I only stayed three days. It simply wasn’t home. I expressed to the author that there needs to be more fluidity in the coastal areas, more experimentation needs to be allowed. Nicole and I went to Venice for our 20th anniversary. I learned that they live WITH the water. Their structures are built to accommodate the water, and the people live to accommodate the water, it's a partnership.” Without Sean’s firm, I’m not sure my family would have achieved our dreams of staying on the bayou. The work he does touches all of our lives, even if it is indirectly. Stay tuned for the best that is just around the corner for Slidell. In case you haven’t heard, Slidell is referred to as “a hidden gem.” My only hope is that we do so humbly, as good stewards of our natural resources. This is what makes those who come here want to stay.


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Daylight Savings Time

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

Bubbly on the Bayou Salmen-Fritchie House 11am-2pm Bridal Expo Harbor Center • 1pm Beauty & the Beast Cutting Edge Theater • 2pm









Ambassador Meeting Chamber • Noon

Education Committee Chamber Boardroom 8:30am

Dine & Discover Workshop Top 10 HR Mistakes Chamber Boardroom 11:30am-1pm


The Works of Randy Carmichael • March 2-29 Slidell Cultural Center





National Potato Chip Day

EYP Luncheon Location: TBD 11:30am-1pm

Chamber Luncheon 11:30am




Noon Lions Club Bingo Every Thursday • 2:30pm

Noon Lions Club Bingo Every Thursday • 2:30pm

Chef Nino Cooking Class Rouses • 6pm

Business After Hours 5 - 7pm

Noon Lions Club Bingo Every Thursday • 2:30pm

Noon Lions Club Bingo Every Thursday • 2:30pm

Noon Lions Club Bingo Every Thursday • 2:30pm

Meet & Greet Bill Borchert The Wine Garden • 5pm


Chef Sally Kids Cooking Class Rouses • 5pm




Business After Hours Chamber Martketplace 5 - 7pm


EYP Luncheon NOLA Lagniappe Room 11:30am-1pm

Chamber 101 Chamber Boardroom • 9:30am



GRAND OPENING Magic Touch Therapeutic Massage & Spa • 3:30-4:30pm


GRAND OPENING DDS Dentures & Implants 3:30-4:30pm



Brunch with Belle • Sundays • Feb 23 - March 25 Cutting Edge Theater • 12:15pm

Ambassador Meeting Chamber • Noon



Weiner Dog Racing Fairgrounds • 1pm


St. Tammany Rocks Local Music Fest Heritage Park • 10am

Jazz on the Bayou Chateau Kole • Sat & Sun


45 Seconds from Broadway • Slidell Little Theatre • 8pm Beauty & the Beast • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm

Spring Street Fair Olde Towne Slidell • Sat & Sun


45 Seconds from Broadway • Slidell Little Theatre • 8pm Beauty & the Beast • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm

Saturday, March 17 SMH Teen Health Expo 11am-1:30pm


free For more information, go to: admisssion

reserve your booth today!


Thursday, April 26

2018 Business & Community showcase Northshore Harbor Center


Bayou Reefkeeping Frangiappe Harbor Center



Beauty & the Beast • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm Bayou Clean-Up 10 Chamale Cove Marina • 8am Mona Lisa Moon Pie Public Policy Meeting Olde Towne Slidell • 7pm Boardroom • 8am Art Monroe Tae Kwon Do Harbor Center 45 Seconds from Broadway • Slidell Little Theatre • 8pm Beauty & the Beast • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm

Saturday, March 24 Spring Fest Heritage Park • 11:30am-9pm





Carey Street Crawl Olde Towne Slidell • 5-10pm




Look for the RED Fleur de Lis to see all of the Chamber Events!

Beauty & the Beast Cutting Edge Theater • 2pm

45 Seconds from Broadway Slidell Little Theatre • 2pm

Northshore Game Night Trinity Banquets • 5-8pm

Beauty & the Beast Cutting Edge Theater • 2pm

45 Seconds from Broadway Slidell Little Theatre • 2pm

Beauty & the Beast Cutting Edge Theater • 2pm



Beauty & the Beast Cutting Edge Theater • 2pm

Pursue Wellness Workshop Olde Towne Yoga & Bodywork Studios 2pm



M A R C H 2 0 1 8

Sponsored by


Storyteller THE WRECK I read Hardy Boy Mysteries and, if you won’t tell anyone, I will admit I read Nancy Drew Mysteries too. There were four of us and we all wanted to be detectives and looked for any type of crime to solve. A murder would have been great. We wished for one, but every time we thought we had one, it turned out to be an accidental death or a suicide. The most gruesome things that happened in our community were bad automobile wrecks. U.S. Highway 51 was the main route from Chicago to New Orleans and, in the 1950's and 60's, prior to the interstate system, it was very busy. Adding to that was the fact that we lived in an alcohol dry county and the Louisiana state line was

There are a lot of stories that come from those accidents, but one I recall with clarity. There is no reason to believe it was alcohol related.

only forty miles away. The highway was a ribbon of disaster. You must understand, liquor was legal in Louisiana and not in Mississippi. If you drive forty miles, you just don’t stop at one drink.

There was an alley between Kees Motor Company and my uncle's dry cleaning plant. Kees had a wrecker service also, and they would tow the demolished autos and leave them in this alley. If it was a bad accident, word would spread, and people would gather to see the wrecked car and whatever gore it may contain. Kids like gruesome things, and to be honest, adults do too. Cars were not as safely built then, and these twisted heaps of steel could contain blood, hair or other body parts. Often, the impact

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of the accident would lock the speedometer at the speed the auto was thought to be traveling at the time of the accident, or at least we thought so. Most likely, the impact made it jump faster than the actual speed. Estimating the speed at impact was a key factor in our amateur detective work, along with recording the presence of beer cans, whiskey bottles or other such items. We would even make note of the station the radio was tuned to, as if the type of music being listened to may have contributed to the accident. If the car had a clock, did it cease to operate at the moment of the accident? We thought we were pretty good, but no one ever asked for our opinions. Maybe they should have.

Cutting Edge Theater presents


It was a mid-October Monday morning and the gossip at school was about a terrific wreck that had occurred south of town just before midnight. A car was in the left lane as it topped a hill at an extremely high rate if speed. It hit an 18-wheeler, almost head on. Due to the late hour of the accident and little traffic at that time, it was estimated that it was ten minutes before the wreck was discovered. Both drivers were killed. By the end of the school day, the four of us junior accident investigators headed straight to Kees Motor Company. I am sure the authorities knew the identity of the drivers by that time, but that information had not been made public. I immediately recognized the car. It belonged to Brent Albritton. I had seen him at the pool room, a place I was forbidden to be, in Bogue Chitto just the week before. He had just purchased the car in September. It was a new 1961 Dodge Coronet. He rattled off a lot of statistics about the car, which normally would not register with me; but the passion with which he explained each component and his interest in racing impressed me even at fourteen years old. I remember him saying it had a Torque Flight transmission, a Max Wedge 413 cubic inch engine, four-barrel carburetor and posi-traction rear end. He explained in detail how each contributed to the speed and competitiveness of the vehicle. The remains of the automobile could best be described as a twisted heap of metal. We could tell it was not a direct head on crash, as the passenger side of the vehicle was much more damaged than the drivers side. On the floor, under the dash of the passenger’s side, there was about a quarter inch of coagulated blood. We assumed that his body had been thrown into this space and this was the spot where he died. We surmised he bleed to death. We later learned we were correct. Seat belts were almost unheard of in those days. We took photographs. The next day, Kees Motor Company placed a tarpaulin over the car to discourage curiosity seekers. Our investigation was over for the time being. Brent Albritton became larger in death than he was in life. He was a typical 22-year-old offshore oil rig worker. He made good money for his age and education; and except for being a fast and reckless driver, he stayed out

Brunch with Belle/Dress Up 12:15pm on Sundays

APRIL 6-29

FRI & SAT 8pm SUN 2pm


MAY 11-20 FRI & SAT • 8PM SUN • 2PM ADMISSION: $22-$30


Cutting Edge Center for the Arts

767 Robert Blvd. Slidell




of trouble. The same could not be said for his girlfriend, Maxine Wells. Only twenty years old, she had a past. She had run away from home at sixteen, only to return and drop out of school. At 19 years old, she was cited for drunk driving; and that same year, got arrested for shoplifting. She was sentenced to six months in jail, but the jail term was reduced to probation. If she got into any more trouble, she would have to go to jail. She and Brent had been an item for about six months. It was rumored that he had bought her an engagement ring and had planned to give it to her on this trip home from being offshore. It was not immediately known if he had done so or not. The funeral was on Wednesday. If all the people that came to the funeral were his friends, he would have been the most popular guy in the county. That was not the case. They came out of curiosity. Maxine had not been seen or heard from since the accident. She was not at the funeral.

Her parents said that she had left the morning before the accident to go to San Diego, to visit her sister whose husband was a Marine stationed there. There was not time or money for her to get back. Her parents said there was no mention of a ring as she was gone before he got back from offshore.

been driving the auto? Could she have been able to escape with only minor injuries? Remember, the driver's side was more or less undamaged. Was she sent to San Diego in the middle of the night to escape prosecution for potentially vehicular homicide? We would never know. Or would we?

It must have been a year before she was seen again. She came into the dry cleaning plant. She looked different. If, for no other reason than she wore heavy makeup, which she had not done before. I told my investigative colleagues. It peaked our interest. Was she hiding something? Something like maybe a scar?

Many years later, after “Friday” retired from the military, he came back home and opened a pawn shop. One day, Maxine came into the shop. She wanted to sell a ring, an engagement ring. Examining the ring to make sure it was gold, he read the inscription. “BA & MW Oct. 15, 1961."

One of our group, we called him Friday, after Sergeant Joe Friday on the TV crime show Dragnet, had saved the pictures of the wreck he had taken almost a year prior. We studied them carefully, even using a magnifying glass. There it was; how had we missed it? A woman’s shoe was wedged under the accelerator. We all had the same question at the same time. Could she have

Bayou Saturday, March 24th

I have wanted so badly to let her know that we now know. If she reads this, I would like to see the expression on her face. Yes, of course, I have changed the names.


At The Northshore Harbor Center For more Information Call (985) 781-3650


For More Information Call:



E VERYTHING Y OU N EED U NDER O NE W OOF Saturday, March 24th 18


Free DOG EVERYTHING Costume Competitions

Northshore Harbor Center

Free Admission WOOF! Family Friendly

 John S. Case March 2018

Northshore Harbor Center

100 Harbor Center Blvd • Slidell, LA

Saturday, March 24 10am - 2pm Bayou Bark Fest Contest Timeline Costume Contest Cutest Dog Adoptable Pets Ugliest Dog Dog/Owner

10:30am 11:00am 11:30am 12:00pm 12:30pm

People’s Choice Dog Parade

1:00pm 1:30pm


“Your Estate Matters” By Ronda M. Gabb, NP, JD, RFC

CONTINUING TUTORSHIPS Special needs planning comprises about one quarter of my law practice and is by far the most rewarding part of my job. Proper planning for special needs persons (both adults and children) can make a huge difference in the lives of the entire family, and there is very little margin for error. A Continuing Tutorship is a legal proceeding for special needs children with profound intellectual disabilities who are age 15, 16, or 17. Usually, the parents or children do not even have to go to Court. Based on the documentation given to the Court to prove the intellectual disability of the child (usually IQ tests, medical and school records), and with the concurrence of the Coroner, the Judge will decide whether the child would be competent to make decisions after attaining the age of majority (18 in Louisiana). The continuing tutor, usually one of the parents, will be named by the Court to basically “continue” to be the adult child’s guardian (in Louisiana, a guardian is called a “tutor”) much in the same capacity as when the child was a minor. For example, the tutor continues to make medical, legal and educational decisions for the child and remains legally responsible for their actions. Just in the last few months, families with special needs children who have just reached the age of majority have come to see me for guidance as providers (doctors, social workers, etc.) for their “adult” special needs children are asking if an “interdiction” for their child has been done. These providers can no longer speak to the parent about their “adult” child or the child’s health care matters. Imagine the shock that a parent feels when their child’s pediatrician has to tell them this! Unfortunately, because of HIPAA laws and changing times, this has now become the norm. In years gone by, even if your Down Syndrome child was 30 years old, the doctors would still talk to the parents and take all health care instruction from them. The problem is that now the medical professionals face severe legal penalties if they continue to do this. So the talk of “interdictions” is commonplace these days. Once a special needs person with intellectual disabilities turns 18, there really is no option other than an interdiction. An “interdiction” is a Court proceeding where a special needs person is “sued” in order to deem him or her incompetent to manage his or her own affairs. The Court appoints a “legal

Legal-ease guardian”, called a “Curator” to do so. A Sheriff’s Deputy must serve the special needs person with the lawsuit, a lawyer is appointed for the special needs person and one for the parents too. This is a pretty scary process! Not to mention, this Court proceeding is costly, time-consuming, and oftentimes humiliating. Unlike an interdiction, in a Continuing Tutorship proceeding a lawyer is not needed for the child, and no court documents are served by the Sheriff. It is often faster, less expensive, and is definitely a less stressful alternative to an interdiction, but it must be done prior to age 18. If you think your child would be a candidate for a continuing tutorship, give us a call to schedule an appointment with attorney Siobhan Leger, who handles continuing tutorships in our office.

FREE SEMINAR: ABLE IN APRIL Thursday, April 19, 2018 • 10:30 – 11:30am PLANNING FOR LOVED ONES WITH SPECIAL NEEDS USING ABLE ACCOUNTS What is an ABLE 529A Account? Why should I have one? Am I eligible? How much money can I put in it? How can I spend that money? Can I set up more than one account? Is it offered here in Louisiana? How is the money in my ABLE account invested, and can that be changed when my investment goals change? How is this different from a Special Needs Trust account?

Seating Is Limited and Reservations are Required, So Call Now To Reserve Your Seat!

985-892-0942 Seminar sponsored by, and located at the office of:

40 Louis Prima Drive, Covington, LA (off Hwy 190, near Copeland’s) Ronda M. Gabb is a Board Certified Estate Planning and Administration Specialist certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. She is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Governor’s Elder Law Task Force. Ronda grew up in New Orleans East and first moved to Slidell in 1988, and now resides in Clipper Estates.

40 Louis Prima Drive (off Hwy 190, behind Copeland’s) • Covington, Louisiana • (985) 892-0942 •



Welcome to March, the third month of the year. Or, if you were born in Rome before 150 BC, then Happy New Year! In Latin, December means the number ten (decem). But what about January and February? Much like most Southerners, Romans just called them “winter,” proving once and for all that winter is literally the worst. Famous saying: “Beware the Ides of March.” But what does that mean? On the Roman calendar, the midpoint of every month was known as the "Ides." This day was supposed to align with the first full moon of the year (remember, winter didn’t count then), but thanks to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, we know it for another reason. Really quickly, let me break that down: Way back in the day (44 BC) a Long Island Medium-type told Julius Caesar that he was going to be killed by the Ides of March (aka the 15th). Caesar ignored the warning and, when the day came, he joked, “The Ides of March have come.” But the witch was like, "Today isn’t over yet!" (I am paraphrasing.) Caesar continued to a meeting and was murdered. Ironically, the spot where Caesar was assassinated is protected in today’s Rome as a no-kill cat sanctuary.


ZODIAC SIGNS PISCES February 19 – March 20

Strengths: Compassionate, artistic, intuitive, gentle, wise, musical Weaknesses: Fearful, overly trusting, sad, desire to escape reality

ARIES March 21 - April 19

Strengths: Courageous, confident, optimistic, honest, passionate Weaknesses: Impatient, moody, short-tempered, impulsive, aggressive

BIRTHSTONES Aquamarine is derived from Latin in which aqua means water and marine means the sea. The serene color of the gemstone promotes calmness and peace. Bloodstone is usually dark green and also has red spots due to iron oxide deposition. It is known to have healing powers but was also used for making seals and amulets by Babylonians. It is also known as the martyr’s stone.

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS! MARCH 13 Commuters rejoice as Daylight Saving Time begins! You made it through the dark times so now you can stop saying, “It’s dark before I even leave work.”

FLOWER The Daffodil is among the first of the flowers to bloom every Spring, making them a symbol of rebirth. They symbolize friendship, chivalry, respect, modesty and faithfulness.


Story by Dawn Rivera

Graphics by Devin Reeson



MARCH 14 The day that math nerds & pie lovers

MARCH 17 St. Patrick’s Day Slidell Parade

come together to celebrate Pi Day

Grand Marshals: 2012: Andy & Sue Prude 2013: Robert & Carmel Delaney 2014: James 'Jimmy' Fitzmorris & Queen Rosemary Clement 2015: Greg & Peggy Cromer

MARCH 27 Easter Sunday has been called a moveable

feast because it doesn’t fall on a set date every year. Instead, Christian churches in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. Therefore, Easter is observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25.

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month • National Nutrition Month Irish-American Heritage Month • Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month Music in our Schools Month • National Athletic Training Month National Celery Month • National Frozen Food Month National Kidney Month • National Reading Awareness Month

GOVERNMENT 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt takes office and

delivers his first inaugural address. "Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself..." His cabinet includes the first woman to a Cabinet post, Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins.

1862 The first issue of U.S. government paper money

occurrs as $5, $10 and $20 bills begin circulation.

2003 The U.S. launches an attack against Iraq to topple dictator

Saddam Hussein from power. The attack commences with aerial strikes against military sites, followed by an invasion of southern Iraq by U.S. and British ground troops. The troops make rapid progress and conquer Baghdad, just 21days later, ending the rule of Saddam.


Famous Slidell rap star, Terius Gray, is born on March 25. He is better known as Juvenile, rapper and actor, who was a member of the former hip hop group the Hot Boys.


Flooding at the Bogue Falaya River impacts 718 structures in St. Tammany Parish.


Gardner & Ronnie Kole start Jazz on the Bayou, which is held every March. Since its inception, 26 years ago, Jazz on the Bayou has raised more than 1.3 MILLION DOLLARS for local charities!


America’s Got Talent comes to NOLA with Slidell’s Got Talent 2008 Winner BriAnna Dewar and runner up Mollie Betsch along with Jonathan Koeppel, Grace Reidenauer, and Glyn Bailey.


Famous Slidell native, Richard Thomas Clementi, is born on March 31. His mixed martial artist record is 45-23-1.


The 20th Edition of Slidell Magazine with Frank Davis on the cover goes digital on for the first time.

POP CULTURE 2016 NASA astronaut Scott Kelly returns from space after one full year, setting a new record for the longest uninterrupted trip to space.

2006 Twitter founder Jack Dorsey inaugurates

the social media site with its profound first tweet: “just setting up my twttr”.

Of Your Money

By Mike Rich, CFP®

Pontchartrain Investment Management

Ten things my work has taught me about money. for about an hour and a half for more than 15 years. We’ve had guys come and go over the years, but there’s still a core group from the early days. Some of us have known each other for more than 30 years.

Here’s a picture of some of the guys in my men’s group. There are nine of us, and we’ve been meeting at our church on most Monday evenings

Even though getting them to cooperate for the fifteen seconds it took me to take this picture was like dealing with a room full of two-year olds, they’re a great bunch of guys. We take turns leading our discussions, which can range anywhere


Steve Kernahan Andy Prude

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I’ve learned a lot from my group. I’ve learned that everyone has problems, and that mine always seem very small in comparison. I’ve learned that we all face challenges in life, but that God’s grace is a constant presence. I’ve learned that I don’t have to handle difficulties on my own, and that I’m no less a man if I ask a friend for help. Just as the men in my Monday night group have taught me a lot of things about life and its challenges and rewards, my work with a wide variety of clients has helped me learn a lot about money. Sometimes, my conversations with clients are as intimate and insightful as the discussions I share with my group. Frankly, money has a way of doing that with people because it’s a deeply personal subject. It is certainly true that money isn’t everything and that it cannot buy happiness, but not having enough money to do or have the things you want can be pretty miserable. I’m determined to help my clients avoid that fate.

Mike Rich

Robin Oddo

from a deep-dive into a Bible passage, to politics, to how to find someone good to fix your roof. Sometimes, we choose a book to read and discuss. We even shucked corn one night (you had to be there to understand this). Frankly, some of our best meetings happen when we just sit around and talk about what’s going on in our lives and how we’re dealing with it. Our only rule is that we don’t try to fix things for each other, unless we’re asked. Most times, we are there to simply listen to one another. The time we spend together is one of the highlights of my week.

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, member FINRA/SIPC.

Fortunately, working to achieve financial independence is not complicated, and I’m convinced that most people have the ability to do it, simply by understanding a few basic concepts. Here’s what my work with clients has helped me learn:

1. IF YOU DON’T SAVE FOR THE FUTURE, NO ONE ELSE IS LIKELY TO DO IT FOR YOU. Yeah, you could receive an inheritance, but that’s probably not in the cards for a lot of people. You might to have to handle this one yourself.


3. IF YOU DON’T SAVE AT LEAST 10% - 15% OF YOUR GROSS INCOME FOR YOUR LATER YEARS, THOSE YEARS MIGHT END UP PRETTY CRUMMY. Yes, it’s a big chunk out of your paycheck, but I honestly do not know of any other reliable way to deal with this.

4. COMPOUND INTEREST IS A BEAUTIFUL THING, AND IT WORKS BEST OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. One hundred dollars a month invested on the first of the month and earning 7% per year for 40 years will result in $264,012.48. That’s not a miracle, it’s math. No one can guarantee the 7% every year, but I think you get the picture about how this might work for you.1

5. BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO PEOPLE. Shortly before I sat down to write this article, I saw a commercial on TV about pizza insurance. As important as protecting one’s pizza might be, I don’t think the loss of one would keep most of us awake at night. Insurance is for the big stuff – death, disability, and lawsuits from car accidents, to name a few. Insurance companies know how to handle risk. Take advantage of their expertise to protect your home, your income, and your family’s well-being in case you die too soon.2 If you need some guidance on this, call me.

6. NO ONE – NOT ONE PERSON – CAN CONSISTENTLY PREDICT THE SHORT-TERM MOVEMENTS OF THE FINANCIAL MARKETS. Many of the reports you see on TV and Internet financial sites are there to entertain, not inform. Enjoy the show, but focus on the long term.


8. FEW THINGS IN RETIREMENT ARE AS SWEET AS GETTING A CHECK IN THE MAIL EVERY MONTH UNTIL THE DAY YOU DIE. If you’d like to know more about how this might work for you, call me.

9. TRADERS ARE NOT INVESTORS. Wall Street traders earn their livings by, well, trading. They and their computers move financial instruments around in milliseconds and earn profits (and losses) that are measured in pennies. So, when the headlines on TV or the Internet say “investors” did this, or “investors” did that, they are likely referring to traders, for whom a week is like a lifetime, and not the people who are investing for the long term.

10. IF YOU LIVE LONG ENOUGH, YOU ARE LIKELY TO NEED SOME TYPE OF CARE BEFORE YOU DIE. In my opinion, managing and paying for the potentially staggering cost of long term care is going to be one of the defining issues for Baby Boomers and beyond. This is not a scare tactic on my part. I’m seeing this happen in real-time

in my own practice. There are several strategies for dealing with this, including family-delivered care, insurance, and paying for it yourself. The key is having a plan. You do not want to leave this one to chance. This month marks my tenth anniversary as a financial advisor. I remember vividly the day when the paychecks I had been receiving like clockwork from my various employers over more than 30 years stopped, at which point I was on my own in terms of generating an income. What was I thinking? Fortunately, my men’s group buddies never let me lose hope, especially during the very lean start-up years that are almost a right of passage in my type of business. I owe a lot to them for their support and encouragement. I owe a lot to my clients, too. Our work together has taught me that working to achieve financial independence does not have to be a mystery, nor does it have to be complicated. If the principles I outlined above make sense to you, call me for a chat. Maybe we’ll learn something together. 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. In this example, compounding occurs monthly. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.



Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing company.

Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

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One door closes and another one opens.


n December 2016, a committee from Slidell Economic Development Alliance (SEDA) met with Dr. John W. Nicklow, President of the University of New Orleans (UNO) to discuss possibilities for customized, personalized, just-intime learning opportunities for the Slidell community. UNO had had a presence in Slidell offering courses for many years, but Hurricane Katrina had interrupted program offerings. Renewal of the relationship with the University of New Orleans just made sense. When SEDA members approached Mayor Freddy Drennan with the possibility of hosting a university presence in Slidell, the Mayor graciously offered to support the effort and committed unused space to be repurposed for classrooms in the building next to the Textron facility on Gause Boulevard. President Nicklow connected the existing Gulfcoast Regional Education and Training Consortium, that includes the University of

New Orleans and Louisiana State University, with members of SEDA to begin to forge a mutually beneficial relationship. The Gulfcoast Regional Education and Training Consortium, designed to serve the leadership and workforce training needs of organizations and agencies of all sizes in the area, began working with SEDA to build a learning program for the Slidell community. During 2017, City of Slidell officials worked with UNO and LSU responsible parties to craft a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement that would ultimately establish the Slidell Regional Education Center. The agreement was presented to the Slidell City Council on September 12, 2017 and was received with enthusiasm. The Slidell Regional Education Center will be able to offer credit and non-credit courses that enhance and support community and individual needs. Working in concert with East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, the universities have begun to assess community needs though an online survey.

As a possible incentive, by using the Louisiana Incumbent Worker Program offered through the Louisiana Workforce Commission, employers and employees may be reimbursed for particular courses taken at the Center. In fact, learning opportunities abound for community members once the universities identify common needs and connect community needs to credit and non-credit offerings. The survey and community outreach will help the universities plan accordingly to customize offerings. According to the Honorable Freddy Drennan, Mayor of Slidell, “As Mayor of the City of Slidell, I am proud to have been instrumental in creating the Slidell Regional Education Center (SREC) for post secondary education learning and professional development in our community. The Center is the culmination of a cooperative endeavor agreement that includes the City of Slidell, UNO, LSU and our community volunteers. I am grateful to all involved and feel certain that SREC will be a tremendous benefit to our citizens and businesses."

2018 Professional Development Schedule Slidell Regional Education Center






Explore the essentials of researching, writing, obtaining, and maintaining grants. Learn from experienced grant writers how to write grants effectively, how to format your proposal, and how to acquire funding.


Become familiar with a variety of social media outlets, and with how those platforms can be used as tools to market organizations, products and ser vices.


Achieve an injury-free workplace! Safe Supervisor is a three-day course designed to enhance a supervisor’s understanding of the bigger picture of safety, and his or her role in creating a safer work environment.


Learn the fundamental principles, processes, tools, and techniques of project management, and how to apply them to practical work challenges. Follow a realistic project through the entire planning life cycle, using the skills needed in the workplace.


Discover effective, proven methods of recognizing and managing conflict in the workplace while promoting positive relationships. With assessments and experiential exercises, identify preferred communication styles in the workplace. Learn to initiate strategic conversations to achieve positive results.





Develop the critical thinking skills to efficiently develop strategic plans that enhance the performance of your organization and your employees. Learn the basic legal aspects of organizing and operating a business with emphasis on employee relations and management, business ethics, and documenting incidents. Discover the process of successful contract negotiations that build successful relationships between parties. Learn key negotiating tactics for planning, conducting, and documenting contracts, using resources, and achieving results.

Strengthen individual and team performances through effective use of experienced or specially skilled employees to mentor and coach new hires and others promoted into new positions. Develop a strategic customer management plan that strengthens your organization's ability to build strong customer relations and satisfy customer needs.

Additional details and programs will be added to the schedule during the coming weeks and months. For further information: Margo Guilott, SEDA Co-Chair for general information on the Center 985-259-0299 Dan Gonzalez, Director of UNO Extended Campus, for UNO courses 504-280-7133 Lia Verma, LSU Continuing Education courses in Slidell 225-578-2500

The Slidell Regional Education Center is a collaborative effort of the City of Slidell, Slidell Economic Development Alliance, the Gulfcoast Regional Education and Training Consortium (a partnership of the University of New Orleans and Louisiana State University), and the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce.




The first Northshore Game Night for Charity will be held on Sunday, March 25th, 2018 from 5-8 PM at Trinity Banquets and Receptions. This year's theme is "Battle of the Badges," which means local law enforcement versus

local firefighters. Yep, it will be Blue vs Red! The brains of their brawn will be put to the test with trivia, spelling, and some big surprises (shhh... it's a secret, but we'll just say there will be some homages to classic game shows).

Leadership Northshore's Team "Game Night for Charity" members (l-r): Heather Alongi, Scott Lincoln, Alex Treutel, Lt. Mark LeBlanc, and Tiany Parker

This event was created as a way to raise awareness for local non-profits in the Northshore area. A total of eight teams will help raise money as they compete in games in front of a live audience, which is open to the public. Each team plays for a charity of their choice, which will receive a portion of the event's proceeds. In addition to the charities, funds will also be raised for the Lt. Ray Dupuy Memorial Scholarship. Tickets can be purchased for a $15 donation and will include dinner. Sodas and alcoholic beverages will be available for an additional charge from an on-site cash bar. Half of the proceeds from the cash bar will used for the Lt. Ray Dupuy Memorial Scholarship Fund. Lieutenant Ray Dupuy was a Slidell Police officer and graduate of Leadership Northshore. His team project, the Camellia City Kids Fun Fest, remains a highlight on the city calendar each April since its start, in 2016. Lt. Dupuy was killed in an off-duty vehicle collision last fall. The scholarship will be awarded to a first responder or a dependent of a first responder in honor of Ray's memory and service to our community. Northshore Game Night for Charity is a project created by members of the 2018 class of Leadership Northshore. Now in its twenty-seventh year, Leadership Northshore is an innovative program designed to prepare individuals and emerging leaders for leadership positions in local government, business, and community affairs. Leadership Northshore is directed by a Board of Trustees of community leaders. The purpose of the program is to provide a forum for and increase the awareness of potential leaders by giving them an intense course which encompasses a broad scope of community concerns while providing leadership and effective communication skills. 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. The Northshore Game Night for Charity team is comprised of five dedicated members, each bringing a different set of skills and life experiences to the completion and success of the project:


䤀昀 礀漀甀 栀愀瘀攀 搀椀愀戀攀琀攀猀Ⰰ 礀漀甀爀 攀礀攀猀 愀渀搀 瘀椀猀椀漀渀 愀爀攀 愀琀 爀椀猀欀⸀ Heather Alongi is a business assistant with the dental office of Dr. Kevin Curley. Mark LeBlanc is a lieutenant with the Corrections Department of St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office. Scott Lincoln is a Senior Hydrologist with the National Weather Service. Alex Treutel is the Vice-President of South Group Insurance Company. Tiffany Parker is a night auditor with Country Inn & Suites and also serves as President of the Slidell Republican Women's Club. Diabetics can experience sudden

䤀琀 椀猀 攀猀猀攀渀琀椀愀氀 琀栀愀琀 礀漀甀 最攀琀 愀渀 攀礀攀 changes to their eye health and 攀砀愀洀 攀愀挀栀 愀渀搀 攀瘀攀爀礀 礀攀愀爀℀ꀀ

without early intervention and

䐀椀愀戀攀琀椀挀猀 挀愀渀 攀砀瀀攀爀椀攀渀挀攀 猀甀搀搀攀渀 挀栀愀渀最攀猀 琀漀 treatment, serious damage can occur. 琀栀攀椀爀 攀礀攀 栀攀愀氀琀栀 愀渀搀 眀椀琀栀漀甀琀 攀愀爀氀礀 椀渀琀攀爀瘀攀渀琀椀漀渀 愀渀搀 琀爀攀愀琀洀攀渀琀Ⰰ 猀攀爀椀漀甀猀 搀愀洀愀最攀 挀愀渀 漀挀挀甀爀⸀ꀀ

Don’t lose your eyesight to your diabetes.

䐀漀渀✀琀 氀漀猀攀 礀漀甀爀 攀礀攀猀椀最栀琀 琀漀 礀漀甀爀 搀椀愀戀攀琀攀猀⸀ Schedule your annual eye exam today! 匀挀栀攀搀甀氀攀 礀漀甀爀 愀渀渀甀愀氀 攀礀攀 攀砀愀洀 琀漀搀愀礀℀

OPTOMETRISTS Dr. Kraig Stasney Dr. Jarrad Berry Dr. Gary Artigue

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We are proud to be a part of this community.

Each Leadership team is assigned a mentor who will help guide them, based on their own experiences as graduates of the program. Yolanda Paz of the St. Tammany Tourism Commission serves as the team's mentor. "I'm excited for the team. Everyone is motivated to learn and do good things in our community. That's what Leadership Northshore is all about," Yolanda says. The team's project began with a Fall 2017 survey shared amongst Facebook friends. Most of the respondents were from the Slidell area, with no connection to non-profits. The results showed that there was a wide range in awareness of social service organizations in St. Tammany, and that better than 50% of the respondents believed the number of nonprofits on the Northshore was less than 20. Knowing that this number was far below the actual figures (the number of non-profits in St. Tammany is nearly four times as many), the team realized that the need for awareness was crucial for these charities' success. The team began to develop their project based on the poll and the public's reaction. The comments, in particular, would help to guide the team to identify the greatest needs for the Slidell area non-profits. The comments included:

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“Non-profits in St. Tammany need more collaborative efforts. Instead of creating new ones, partner with ones existing to make service delivery stronger, and more accessible.” “Please spend time and efforts helping the already stressed organizations versus finding new festivals or community functions.” For the team, their mission was clear! Northshore Game Night for Charity is NOT a new charity, but it IS a means of helping existing non-profits in a new and fun way! Here's how it works: Non-profits apply to Northshore Game Night for Charity, indicating a current need to be funded with any proceeds. The teams that are participating will select a non-profit for which to play. Teams play for their charity which receives a portion of event’s net proceeds. Funds are raised through the team entry fees, spectator entry donations (only $15, and it includes dinner!), and sponsorships. All participants will receive equal shares for their charities with slightly more proceeds going to the winning team The non-profits are the stars of Northshore Game Night for Charity! The night will help to raise awareness for their cause, at no cost to them, both during the event and through marketing before the event. The charities will have representatives on-site with display boards, hand-outs and even volunteer signup sheets! There may even be games and prizes for the spectators too! For tickets, and to keep up-to-date on the teams that are participating and the charities that will benefit, check out their facebook page:

“Northshore Game Night for Charity”

Jan J. Brown

ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR Broker Associate 985-690-1512

985-646-1888 Licensed in Louisiana Each Office is Independently Owned & Operated

710 Brownswitch, Ste 3 Slidell, LA

What can

SPRING CLEANING do for your body? LIGHTEN UP RESTORE ENERGY PUT PEP IN YOUR STEP CLEAR YOUR HEAD Find out in an informative webinar on March 5 at 7:30pm.

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Editor's Note: This month, we continue our 12-part series covering the amazing work being done by Louisiana heroes in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes and natural disasters. Slidell Magazine's award-winning writer and photographer, Donna Bush, has spent months travelling with multiple Louisiana-based organizations and volunteers, documenting their missions in the affected areas and those whose lives they've impacted. We share an unfortunate kinship with these survivors. We know all too well that disaster recovery is a slow and painful process. We are proud to showcase the volunteer efforts of our fellow Louisianians.

For the last four months, I’ve shared stories of heroic works of Louisiana people assisting with hurricane relief efforts. This month’s story highlights a group that assists in a different way. People are not the only ones needing help. Animals are also affected and frequently forgotten. Enter Big Sky Ranch (BSR) and CATNIP Foundation founded by Dr. Catherine Wilbert and Sharon Schluter in 2012. Big Sky Ranch is the 10-acre location in Folsom, a sprawling, scenic piece of property with a large barn, beautiful pond, and dotted with small cottages housing over 200 cats. CATNIP Foundation is the 501(c) 3 non-profit program – Care, Advocacy, and Treatment of Neglected and Indigent Pets. Their mission: “Raise the consciousness of our community about wellbeing for people, planet and animals.” As Catherine stated, “All are interrelated. Everything we do is about


that. Our wellbeing depends on the planet. The planet’s wellbeing depends on the animals. There is no separation. A lot of the issues we have with animal welfare come from a lack of consciousness. People do what they do because they’ve always done it that way. CATNIP tries to get people thinking and aware of other ways to treat animals; thinking about the bigger picture.” Catherine came up with the acronym, CATNIP, when she was 24 years old and noticed the large number of animals that were indigent, strays, belonged to no one or owned by people who cared for them as best they could. Cats showed up, were fed, but had no real veterinary care - certainly no spay or neuter. They bred and, a year later, there were 36 cats! The cats were sick and interbreeding. They were dying or sent to shelters to be killed. Catherine wanted to make a difference, and she did, with her own version of Trap-Neuter-Return

A CONTINUING COVERAGE SERIES FROM DONNA BUSH PART 5 OF 12 before that phrase was coined. While in undergrad school, she would capture male cats at night, bring them to the vet to be neutered and returned the next day. Catherine is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and a Nutrition Consultant. While in medical school, she took all of her electives and secondary medical classes in holistic animal medicine. Sharon trained dogs for agility competitions, which led to her meeting Catherine. Both loved animals and performed animal rescues – dogs, cats, horses, etc. Collectively, they rescued numerous animals on their one-acre piece of property before they were able to purchase Big Sky. Ironically, one of their rescues was instrumental in their finding the location for Big Sky Ranch. Their first horse rescue, an American Paint named Scout, had them looking for more acreage. Catherine found Scout while assisting with horse rescues. He had been locked in a stall and beaten for eight years. He was pulled but wasn’t really any better off. When they first

met, “Scout put his face against the rusty bars of the dark stall door and there was an instant connection!” She told him, “I’ll be back for you.” Every day, she drove from Mandeville to Bush to bring him hay, food and try to earn his trust. She worked with him in the pasture but it would take hours for her to catch him. He wasn’t ready to trust. She asked Sharon to ride over one afternoon to see the training progression. With hay in the back of the truck and rain falling, they stopped at a friend’s house in Folsom, which happened to be next door to the current Big Sky Ranch. The property was overgrown, vacant for years. They purchased the property and immediately began clearing it, constructed a barn for Scout and a pond, along with fencing. It was fate! Slowly, their rescue efforts grew. They gained their 501(c)3 status and offered programs to educate the community. In 2016, the Livingston Parish flooding catapulted their growth into high gear. They were asked by The Greater Good to step in as first responders. They did whatever needed to be done. If

animals needed rescuing, they did it. If food was needed, they brought it. They developed relationships with the American Humane Society; became Rescue Bank affiliates; wrote grants; shared everything they had. All of these things combined, worked, creating a sense of “when we all work together, we can do a lot more.” This has been their motto ever since. With the advent of Hurricane Harvey, their role in animal rescue grew. Catherine and Sharon hooked up a trailer and headed to Houston. With all of the flooded roadways, it took them 16 hours to get there, driving north through Dallas and eventually heading back to Houston. Many shelters flooded from the torrential rains. Austin Pets Alive! rescued animals from the flooded shelters but had nowhere to house them. Catherine and Sharon brought the cats back to BSR to rehome. Of course, it was impossible for them to house all of them. They worked with 31

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organizations outside of Louisiana and Texas to transport them to other No Kill Shelters. Being shelter cats with no homes, they could easily adopt out. BSR pulled 300 cats at a time. In order to continue rescuing cats from Texas, the 300 cats needed to be transported to less affected areas. Over and over, cats were transported along the eastern United States. Additionally, BSR covered the expenses to vet, vaccinate and transport cats with no adoption fee. After the shelter cats were removed, they began Search & Rescue operations. Certified in both Search & Rescue and First Responder for large and small animals, a variety of situations were encountered. Some of those rescued had owners that came forward to claim them. Some were feral cats that were left behind because they couldn’t be caught or were abandoned. Ten cats were rescued from a hoarding situation where the owners were breeders and provided cats, dogs, reptiles and birds to pet shops. Other rescue organizations had pulled all except the cats. Big Sky came to the rescue, bringing 10 beautiful longhaired kitties that were part of a flight to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where all were adopted. In another situation, Catherine received multiple calls about a missing cat. As the family was being evacuated by boat, they tried to get their cat, Rudy, into a kennel. Frightened, he panicked and bolted. They couldn’t find him anywhere and the floodwaters were rising quickly. Despite the woman’s pleading cries to stay, the boat driver insisted they leave while they still could. She was so distraught about abandoning Rudy that she had to be sedated. Numerous rescuers visited the house and insisted there was no way Rudy could have survived with floodwaters reaching the roofline. But, Catherine kept receiving reports and was determined that she was going to find Rudy. By this time, the water had receded from the home, even though the

BSR Needs Donations of: Money • Labor • Volunteers Food • Cat Litter • Sand • Gravel Warehouse space to store food for the Rescue Bank Forklifts to move food pallets Sponsors for animals Visit their website: 32

NO KILL Statistics: Utah is 98% No Kill Several states are 70-90% No Kill Louisiana is 30% No Kill, meaning LA kills almost as many animals as most states save! roads were still impassable. Catherine and her team waded into the house, still surrounded by floodwaters. Catherine described, “It looked and smelled just like Katrina. Upside down furniture, the smell of muddy water. But Rudy was there! And alive! He survived by climbing on top of a mattress, which floated with the rising water. He had no food or clean water for 11 days! Terrified, but alive!” Catherine immediately called his owner, “I’ve got your cat! He’s alive!” She was in tears of happiness. They met that night to return Rudy to the arms of his mom. Sharon jokes, “One minute, I’m talking to Catherine and she says, ‘I’m going to get that cat. No one says it’s dead until I say it!’ and 3 hours later, Catherine calls, ‘I just gave the lady her cat!’” Their mascot, Bones, came out of a really bad Section Eight neighborhood where animals were left behind. He traveled with them during rescues and slept in flooded out hotel rooms with no electricity. Now, he’s one of their ambassadors, sporting his harness and visiting school children. He loves the camera! Catherine and Sharon shared a heart-warming story. “On our first trip to Texas, we walked through the rows of cats that Austin Pets Alive! rescued. In the corner was a calico kitty, which still sported her pretty diamond collar and a heart-shaped tag that read “Baby Girl.” It was heartbreaking! We learned she was ownersurrendered because they lost everything and could no longer care for her. We had to bring her with us. A wonderful lady came to adopt two kittens. Upon meeting Baby Girl and hearing her story, she was smitten. She wanted to give her, her furever home along with two precious kittens! Happy tears!” BSR is more than just animal rescues. As a huge proponent of No Kill, beginning with the three major parishes in our area - St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Livingston, they are working towards No Kill status for the entire state. Many of their residents are owner surrendered. An aging parent dies and the children have no room or desire for the animal. Frequently, they receive calls of feral cats or kittens that need to be relocated.


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Their aggressive Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program has aided in the spay/neuter of over 1000 cats this past year. Monthly, they round up cats in the three parishes and drive them to LSU Veterinary School in Baton Rouge for spay/neuter and vaccinations. This is open to the public. For $40, you can drop a cat off at Big Sky or meet the truck at their pickup location in Tangipahoa or Livingston Parishes. What to do with all of the cats that they house? Most are available for adoption for a very nominal fee of $75, which includes spay/neuter, up-to-date vaccinations, rabies, flea meds and micro-chipping. This would cost $500 at the vet! All proceeds go directly to the care of animals at BSR. Programs such as their "Barn Cat" initiative puts many feral cats to work in businesses and barns to curtail rodent issues. Their "Seniors for Seniors" program pairs a senior cat with a senior human, providing the purrfect connection. Seniors receive a starter kit containing everything they need to take home their new companion. In 2017, they rehomed 693 cats! Any animal that is deemed unadoptable will live out their life at BSR, including those on medication or too old to adapt to a change. Morris, a long, lanky, orange-striped tabby is the unofficial greeter. He


remaining being horses, donkeys, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, doves, peacocks, rabbits and dogs. Picture the perfect world, where cats live with chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs, donkeys and horses, and everybody gets along.

led me around, introducing me to Timber, Batman, Robin, Maybelle, Ethel and a host of others. There were long-haired, short-haired, Siamese, orange, gray, calico, black-and-white, one-eyed, old, young - virtually every kind of cat you can envision, and all with imaginative names. Sharon explained, “With over 200 cats, we have to get creative with the names. For example, the ones rescued from a Winn-Dixie in St. Charles Parish are named from Gone with the Wind for their ‘Gone from Winn-Dixie’ kitties!” If you thought Big Sky only rescued cats, think again! At any given time there are 300-350 animals, unless they are performing disaster relief when the numbers grow exponentially. Two hundred are cats with the

How do they deal with predators? Bella, a Great Pyrenees, comes on duty from dark till daylight, patrolling the 10-acre property. She can fend off any predator. Sharon describes, “We needed a dog socialized with cats, chickens, rabbits, and ducks. Very specialized!” She came from Texas Great Pyrenees Rescue and is fitted with a GPS tracker. At any time, Sharon and Catherine know exactly where Bella is. Big Sky also offers a wonderful venue for a wedding or event. Attend their family farm day, kids and adult camps, women’s retreats, corporate events, Lunch & Learns, birthday parties, etc. Education is a big portion of their mission. Every camp, function or event goes to support animal care. Throughout the years, Big Sky Ranch has given of their heart, their time and their money to protect ALL animals, with No Kill. Every time a disaster occurs, whether flooding or hurricanes, they react with aroundthe-clock support and rescue, working together and making it happen.

The 6th annual Bayou Clean Up

Saturday, March 10, 2018 sponsored by: chamale cove marina VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Please bring your Flatboats, canoes, pirogues & kayaks!

8AM - 12NOON

Gloves, bags, trash grabbers will be provided by Keep Slidell Beautiful

For more info: Zane Galbert 985-640-3672


Food & Drinks available after cleanup at Chamale Cove Marina






Saturday & Sunday • march 24 & 25, 2018 3 pm – 7 pm

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MARCH 24 /25 • 10AM - 5PM

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The Slidell Historical Antique Association received the MAIN STREET STAR AWARD in honor of their longevity as an anchor business in Olde Towne.


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Dear Friends, March is a fickle month and has its clear mood swings: fluctuating temperatures, thunderstorms, snow showers are all possible. However, the most noticeable and consistent weather factor in March seems to be the pronouncement, “breezy/gusty/windy day in the region.” You are invited to discover what’s blowing in the wind at Our Lady of Lourdes this March: Sunday, March 11, following the 10:30am Mass, we host a Reception for “new comers” to the Parish. Come meet and greet in the Parish Life Center. Of course, Lent practices continue: the Wednesdays of March have Confessions from 5-6:15 p.m., followed by Mass at 6:30pm. Friday Stations of the Cross are at 6pm and Mass at 6:30pm. The addition are the delicious FISH FRYS in the gym on Fridays: February 23, March 2, 9, and 16. A Patron Saint in our local culture is understood to be a Christian from whom a person, group, trade, activity or country, etc. claims special protection or prayers. St. Jude, for example is the patron of lost or impossible causes; St. Theresa, the Little Flower and St. Francis Xavier are the patrons of missionaries. People who have the same Baptismal or Confirmation name as a saint may consider that saint their patron.

March 17th and 19th - two patron saints, St. Patrick and St. Joseph, stand out in relationship to the Irish and Italians, respectively. The 3 leaf clover for teaching the Trinity and “The Breastplate of St. Patrick,” prayer of faith and trust in God are common knowledge. Of course, the Irish in New Orleans and Slidell put on a parade that throws green beads and all the makings for corned beef and cabbage. An Italian tradition are the St. Joseph altars that commemorate the relief St. Joseph provided during a famine in Sicily. The altars began in the late 1800’s, when Sicilian immigrants settled in New Orleans. Our Lady of Lourdes Parish invites you to partake of their St. Joseph Altar on Sunday, March 18, the day before the feast day. Breads, pastries, eatables of all kinds are free to those who come to pray. Reflection on March winds recalls the Hebrew word for “spirit” (ruach) which is translated as breath or wind. Breath is what gives life to our bodies. In the revelation of God’s word, let the Holy Spirit life you spiritually through the practices and rituals of Lent and Holy Week at Our Lady of Lourdes. Lenten Blessings,

Reverend W.C. Paysse Pastor

HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE March 25 - Palm Sunday

Sat: 4pm Vigil Sun: Mass: 7am, 8:30am, 10:30am & 5:30pm

March 28

Confession: 5-6:15pm Mass: 6:30pm, followed by Tenebrae

March 29 - Holy Thursday

Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 7pm

March 30 - Good Friday

Beginning of Divine Mercy Novena Confessions: 1-2:30pm including the Rosary & the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Service: 3pm & 6:30pm, Stations of the Cross

March 31 - Holy Saturday

Liturgy of the Hours: 9am Easter Vigil Mass: 8pm which includes the “new fire,” Paschal Candle, Baptisms and the blessing of water.

April 1 - Easter Sunday

Mass: 7am, 8:30am,10:30am & 12:15pm 37

Sponsored By:

by Jeff Perret, DVM

LET'S TALK ABOUT POOP (SERIOUSLY!) I, and I’m sure most of my colleagues, entered veterinary medicine under the illusion that our day-to-day lives in practice would consist overwhelmingly of lofty, life-saving enterprises: fixing the broken limb; removing the foreign body obstructing the small intestines that’s making Fido “sick as a dog;” or healing almost all our ailing patients, all creatures great and small. However, after over a quarter century as a veterinarian, I’ve come to realize the crappy (can I say that?) truth: my clinical practice is largely concerned with, sometimes even dominated by, poop. Its frequency, consistency, texture, moisture content, smell, and mere presence or absence. I routinely have clients texting photos of the contents of their cats’ litter boxes. I receive sandwich bags, tupperware, and a wide assortment of other jars and containers which, unfortunately, always seem to be connected to food,

filled with the end products of their dogs’ and cats’ digestive processes. I have daily conversations regarding poop. There’s too much. There’s not enough. It’s deposited where it shouldn’t be. It’s an unnatural color. I’ve felt the joy when clients breathlessly announce over the phone (or e-mail in ALL CAPS): HIS POOP IS NORMAL TODAY! I’ve recently learned of the existence of the Bristol Stool Chart (look it up), which can help distinguish between Poop 4 (two thumbs up) and Poop 7 (call Servpro, or just pull up the carpet). Incidentally, for the veterinary world, we need to amend each category to include the presence or absence of both blood and mucus. I’ll have to suggest that to the Bristol people. And although I have never celebrated a birthday with a litter box cake - you can look that up, too - I understand the gross-out humor of said cake, and a veterinary staff member saying, “Give me another piece.”

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All kidding aside, paying a bit of attention to a companion animal’s “Number 2” can provide you and your veterinarian with important information. Certainly, finding something alive in it would signal the need to find out what critters are inhabiting your best friend’s intestines. But paying just a bit of attention to form and consistency can help your veterinarian zero in on which portion of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is out of whack. There are two broad categories of diarrhea: small and large bowel. While it’s sometimes difficult to decide which part of the intestines is affected by a given digestive disorder (diarrhea can have features of both), small intestinal diarrhea tends to consist of a normal or increased amount of fecal matter, typically with no blood or mucus. Large intestinal diarrhea is a different animal, so to speak, with smaller amounts of

stool that are often mixed with blood and/or mucus. Most patients with large bowel diarrhea feel pretty good, even if their humans don’t after getting up every hour and making the walk outdoors down three flights of stairs. Pets with small intestinal diarrhea often feel unwell and, if they are chronically ill, might lose weight and/or have vomiting from accompanying stomach issues.


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To be sure, seeing blood in your pet’s feces is alarming. However, bloody stool in dogs isn’t all that unusual; many times, those red streaks just mean that the colon ― the last portion of the intestines ― is angry. Since Dr. Google is frequently known to dispense bad information, it’s best to get that specimen, and your dog or cat, to the veterinarian for a checkup. There are many reasons for diarrhea, including food allergies (a common diagnosis made by the 16-year-old who stocks the shelves of the local pet supermarket), the aforementioned parasites, and various benign and not-so-benign diseases. At the other end of the spectrum diarrhea is the inability to produce poops (constipation). Cats in particular have a penchant for developing constipation, particularly as they get older. However, even younger and middle-aged cats can develop constipation and, over time, develop a particularly nasty disease, megacolon, which is just what it sounds like: a big, flaccid tube that makes it impossible for the patient to defecate. Clients often think that patients who are constipated vomit because they are building up “toxins.” However, vomiting associated with constipation generally results from the fact that all along the colon are nerve and muscle fibers that, when stretched, activate the vomiting center of the brain. For cats with megacolon, if medications (stool softeners, motility aids, and such) fail, a complex surgery to remove the dysfunctional portion of the colon typically does the trick and restores reasonably normal elimination habits. Clients, particularly those with cats, often have to contend with patients who deposit stool in inappropriate places. While it’s good to rule out a few things that most cats won’t tolerate (less-than-pristine cat box maintenance, low-quality litter, too few boxes for the number of cats, having boxes in noisy areas), inappropriate defecation by cats is often due to an underlying medical issue. So, if you’ve done due diligence, are scooping the high-quality litter daily, and have one more cat box than the number of cats in the home, finding kitty poops outside the cat box may be a sign that your feline needs to go to the veterinarian and get thoroughly evaluated. I’ll end this piece by quickly mentioning a fairly common habit of some dogs, to which I’ve dedicated an entire previous column: poop eating, also known as coprophagia. Over the years, there have been many products with some unusual names aimed at curbing this behavior. The bottom line is that some dogs are just naturally prone to this nasty behavior. Some research suggests that it may stem from an instinct to leave no traces of themselves behind. In any case, the products aren’t very effective. The solution to poop eating is pretty straightforward: The humans need to man (or woman) up and make sure that there are no Tootsie Rolls left behind. After all, if the evidence has been consumed, how are you going to give your veterinarian an accurate Bristol score?

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Gina Triay 39

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“IT HAD TO HAPPEN” Before writing this article, I wrote a letter to a family friend. This person doesn’t live here. He lives EVERYWHERE. He calls himself a “traveling hobo hippy” and has homes all around the country. Friends he calls family. His story is one that started off tragically at just nine years old, and only seemed to get worse, all the way into his 20’s. I met him when he was 37, traveling through Slidell about three years ago. He was sleeping behind a dumpster. Although this isn’t his typical resting place, it broke my heart to see it. Speaking with him, I immediately knew he was harmless. He’s a big kid, because he basically raised himself to survive on his own in the world. He and his dog, Bubba, hop freight trains to get where they are going, or find kind strangers willing to give them a lift to the next destination. The hundreds of people that have shown love to him and Bubba on these travels far outnumber the tragic stories in his life, but they don’t always OUTWEIGH them. Because those original scars, physical and emotional, still linger. And, in times of weakness, they tell him he isn’t good enough. Even after all the inner work he has done. Sound familiar? 40

Over these three years, he has become part of our family, visiting once or twice a year when he is passing through. The kids love him and Bubba. This story has many parts to it, but right now, I just want to focus on this letter I wrote to him. He’s going through something that is pulling him away from all the progress he has made and, like we all do, is beating himself up over it. When visiting us awhile back, we picked a random sermon to watch, called, “It had to happen.” It was about those times you wished the choice you made, or the one you felt you had no control over, would have never happened. Because maybe it took you down a harder road than you had intended. But the message was clear… without them, the path we are on wouldn’t be our own. It already happened so you CAN’T change it, and, it was GOING TO happen anyway because of who you were when the choice was made. In the present moments of life, we simply are who we are. Nothing less, nothing more. Might want to read that a few more times. If it’s still confusing, it should make more sense by the end of this.

That message we watched had a lot of power to it. Now, when can catch up over the phone, it usually ends with, “It had to happen.” Here is the letter: “Remember the notes we wrote in school as kids? Folded just right, with that little tab labeled with a pull sign? We would open it up, anticipating the mystery inside, as each edge was unfolded. When the words were revealed, it was always something stupid like… How are you? I’m fine. Nothing much here but writing this letter... At the bottom of the wide ruled paper were a bunch of silly acronyms and a cute little scribble of who we loved that week? Life was so simple back then. Our innocence, obvious. It’s not so easy to find that when you're older, for anyone working their way through trials and tribulations. 'Cause it all changes one day. When that happens is different for everyone, and keeps changing from that point on as we twist and turn through different challenges. Many, building us up; some, knocking us to our knees. But we learn to take the good with the bad and pray for the

strength to carry on, until the balance between the two are at least, bearable. From there, we can begin to rebuild our strength again, finding hope and compassion for ourselves. This happens day by day, and not everyday will bring growth. But if we know in our hearts we are good people, doing the best we can, we get to catch a glimpse of who we once were, gently pulling on hand written tabs… silly kids, being kids. We fight our way closer when a small shimmer of that little person knocks on our heart again, ready to • Endorsed for Councilman At Large by come out and play. But, unlike that folded up note, it’s GoodNo Government not as Alliance easy toforopen. pull tab. We closed it up with of the Year” by Alliance for heavy• “Legislator duty material. Good Government You have been fighting2014 for yourself and your healing. • St. Tammany Parish District PTAhave Honorary Realize though, it isn’t others you to prove yourself to. It’s Life notService even God, already knows our hearts. It’s awardHe2007 YOU.• The one you have SLT Ginny award for tucked Best Set away 2017 under a defensive armor, because you had to protect yourself from more • St. Tammany Fire District #1 Katrina Angel Award hurt. It’s what people do to survive. And when reaching for that shimmer of light, we quickly realize that we built that armor to be impenetrable. It happened, because we loved that kid and wanted to protect them, but now, we aren’t sure how to simply let that wall down and expose all that we are. To let go of that fear, and run free. You are an inspiration to many and have walked through parts of life most of us wouldn’t understand. It was a choice you made, to get back to YOU, even if it wasn’t realized at the time you made it. God always has a plan, you know this. I think if we lived every 24 hours given to us, as if it were a whole life, and not a whole day, then we can live it more in the present, embrace the person we were meant to be, use the gifts we possess, following those good vibes, until our new life comes again the next day. You have made mistakes. Do you know anyone who hasn’t? Accept those mistakes, and, along with the pain people have caused you, shove it all into a balloon, cut the string, and let it float away. They do not define you. Neither do your feelings. And no matter what comes your way, remember… IT HAD TO HAPPEN.” It takes a lot of soul searching for me to write, because I need it to be personal and honest. And for this magazine, I expose myself to judgment from people I don’t even know, and those that are very close to me. But I think it’s important to do this, simply because most of my life, I have been afraid of my authentic self. Writing whatever comes out has been a way to expose all those weird emotions inside of me, accepting whatever it was, also, digging a little deeper to find the meaning in it. What you read here are the first thoughts out of my head, sent in the day I write them, and usually late.



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3412 Pontchartrain Drive 41

It’s so important that my column communicates something I either feel passionate about, struggle with, or just flat out need to vent about in the form of manic. The mood is determined by my mood at the time. What you get is a mystery box of emotions, spilled out on paper in the form of all that I am. Funny, emotional… who really knows. Kendra asked me to do this column over four years ago, and if you were to go back to the beginning, and read month by month, you would literally see me growing up. Her magazine allowed me to open an easy pull tab into the parts of me that I had been wanting so desperately to understand and set free. So here is my truth for this month: When there is some sort of advice, or my inner therapist comes out, most of the time it is from a place of compassion towards others first, not myself. It’s why I wear a shirt that says, “Keep talking. I’m diagnosing you.” Because I’m good at helping others. And I want to.


Helping myself on the other hand, not so good at it.

who she is right now, as I write this. Tomorrow, well, that’ll be a new life.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that most people do this.

Try it, if you need to. Write a letter to a friend giving heartfelt, honest advice. Break through the wall you built and tell that kid that it’s OK to come out now.

Question is, how can we fully love others if we can’t love ourselves like that? How do we find that equal amount of compassion for ourselves? Aren’t we just as deserving of it, if not more?

The choices we made came from the person we were at the time, and all we can do is accept that and chose to make better choices from who we are RIGHT NOW. Thinking of yourself as anything other than the person who exists in that second you are in, is what blinds us from seeing the already amazing person we are. Living in the past hurts. And future what ifs inhibit the compassion for ourselves that is capable of simply taking that armor off and living free, in the present. If we are stuck wishing to be something else, those walls stay up.

Someone told me recently that when you can’t seem to find compassion for yourself, just imagine a good friend in a hard situation. What would be your go to advice if they were struggling with the same thing? How would you comfort them? Whatever those words are, they should be the same thing you tell yourself.

Sept 2016


If you go back and read what I wrote to my friend, again, the compassion for myself is right there, plain as day. Seriously, go PLEASE CHECK YOUR look! But read it as yourself. AD CAREFULLY FOR It might hit home in places. Those words came SPELLING & GRAMMAR, AS from all parts of her, through different WELL AS ACCURACY OF ADstages of life, all moments of who she DRESSES, NUMBERS & to was, choicesPHONE she made… to get her

Kinda sad, huh? It’s OK. It is sad for me too. It’s what love and acceptance for yourself feels like. And, THAT is why, IT HAD TO HAPPEN.


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Portraits of Slidell Story and Photos by William Blackwell

THE ICE HOUSE Although it’s not so obvious today, the brick structure located at 1398 Front Street and former home to Whispers Oyster Bar and Grill, played a vital part in the development of Slidell’s history and it’s transition into the modern era. The building was constructed in 1908 as the second home for the Slidell Ice and Manufacturing Company, which had been chartered five years earlier in February of 1903. According to Dan

William Blackwell is a native of Slidell. "Once I began studying photography, it seemed to me that some of those wonderful buildings in Olde Towne should be photographed to capture and preserve their memory, beauty, and antiquity for future generations." See his Slidell shots and more on his facebook page: FieldofViewPhotography


Ellis’s book, Slidell “Camellia City”, the original company location was near the current intersection of Seventh Street and Gause Boulevard. Francis J. Cunningham served as the company’s first president with E. J. Perilloux as its treasurer. The manufacture of ice was this company’s primary purpose and remained its economic mainstay for many years. In the early days of ice manufacturing,

small steam or internal combustion engines were used to power the electric motors that generated electricity to run the ice plant. Ice companies used this power to light their plants and distribute excess electricity to nearby homes. Once Nikola Tesla (not George Westinghouse!) developed alternating current, it become economically feasible for all ice manufacturers to distribute electricity on a much wider scale, thus creating a new industry. In 1903, Slidell Ice and Manufacturing was providing electric power to many homes and businesses in the Slidell area. It proved to be a tough sell at

times and the company was forced to run aggressive newspaper campaigns in order to gain subscribers. One important thing to note is that ice, not electricity, had become the necessary utility, primarily for the purpose of food preservation. In our semi-tropical climate, farmers and businesses stood to lose their dairy, produce, meat and seafood products because of high temperatures. Therefore, ice was always in great demand. Electricity...not so much. Indeed, many people were fearful of having electric current wired into their homes; but over time, that changed and subscriptions increased. Large generators were later added to keep up with the growing demand for ice and electricity. Orders for manufactured ice continued to increase as the Slidell population grew. Block ice, available in several different sizes, was delivered to homes and businesses by mule and wagon and later by autos and trucks. In the early years, it could take up to three days to

make a clear, 300-pound block of ice which would be later cut into smaller blocks. Clear ice, which was denser and lasted longer, was made by keeping the water in motion as it froze, so that air bubbles could escape. Over the years, the company name changed a number of times and finally became part of Central Louisiana Electric Company in the early 1950’s. The commercial demand for ice was still quite high during that time period, but providing electricity had become CLECO’s primary focus. By the 1960’s, ice production at the plant had decreased, as had the demand. To the passerby, an empty parking lot and an outside self-service vending apparatus for block and bagged ice was all that appeared to be operational at the once vibrant ice house. Eventually, all ice production ended and the spacious 7,000 square foot building came to be used as restaurant space, just as it remains today.


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

Slidell Magazine’s Editor & Publisher, Kendra Maness, having the BEST TIME EVER as Grand Marshal of the Krewe of Slidellians. Photo by William Blackwell

! To Serve and Protect ms, gives llia Wi my Tom Slidell Police Officer, lip gloss e’s nc isa Traci Pla a quick touch up to Slidell heroes me so t go We e. before the parad out there folks!

Remember the st ory our November editi “Miss Rosemary’s Gift” from Gwendolyn Clement on? Miss Rosemary, Mary & friend Roger’s little , traveled to New York for their event - the Macy Here, Roger retu rns the visit by co ’s Day Parade. ming to for our parade, th e Krewe of Slidellia Slidell ns!

ag Slidell M 18 h 20

92 - Marc

Contributing writer Dawn Rivera shows off the first copy of “This Month in History,” Slidell Magazine’s newest story. Check out this month’s feature on pages 20-21. Great job Daw n!

y! can’t make up something this funn SUZY WAS ARRESTED! Seriously, we from home, away ran , Suzy , goat pet and cot Slidell Magazine’s mas y, really office. After a brief chase (she’s reall only to be picked up by the Sheriff’s home. ght brou and car, ty’s ed into the depu slow), she was read her rights, load O! STPS ks Than ! EVER TIES BEST DEPU

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Slidell Magazine - 92nd Edition  
Slidell Magazine - 92nd Edition