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Editor/Publisher Slidell Magazine
The month of May was just about the best ever for me and Slidell Magazine! The month kicked off with the Habitat for Humanity Women Build and all of my dear Rosies building a home for a female veteran who has six children. Words fall short in describing how much this program means to me and to our community! You’ll read about the Women Build and see all of the pictures of the Remarkable, Resourceful, Royal, Riveting and Rowdy Rosies on pages 30-33 in this edition. City of Slidell Director of Cultural Arts and Public Affairs, Alex Carollo, representing the Commission for the Arts in Slidell, presents Slidell Magazine and Editor/Publisher Kendra Maness with The BRAVO! Community Arts Award honoring a business or individual for their contributions to our community!
PO Box 4147 • Slidell, LA 70459
Kendra Maness, Editor/Publisher Editor@slidellmag.com
Devin Reeson - Graphic Designer Graphics@slidellmag.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS EFOP, Charlotte Lowry Collins The Storyteller, John Case Pet Points, Jeff Perret, DVM This Month in History, Dawn Rivera Cajun Special Forces,Storm Series:
My beloved Habitat (I’m privileged to serve on their board for two years now) also had their biggest event of the year this May, the Louisiana Veteran’s Fest. The crowds were HUGE - our biggest year ever. I’m sure that had a lot to do with the awesome LA Hall of Fame band Zebra that ROCKED THE PARK! Some Enchanted Evening, the LPO concert in Heritage Park, has been a favorite event of mine each May. This year, I was surprised to receive the BRAVO! Community Arts Award from the Commission for the Arts. This means so much to me and I’m honored to be recognized with an amazing group of community arts advocates. Finally, the Chamber of Commerce celebrated tourism in East St. Tammany Parish with their monthly luncheon named “Adventure Is Calling.” Another surprise - Slidell Magazine was named May’s Chamber Member of the Month!
Part 8 of 12, Donna Bush
Legal-Ease, Ronda M. Gabb Making Cents of Your Money, Mike Rich Go Beyond, Liberation, Rose Marie Sand Junior Auxiliary, Edited by Kendra Maness Habitat for Humanity, Rosies, Kendra Maness Portraits of Slidell, Arcade Theater, William Blackwell
Cover: Ingredients of a Louisiana Summer by Kristen Wheeler
You might find Kristen sipping hot chocolate at Cafe Beignet on Royal Street while writing about what she sees in the French Quarter. She might be sitting on a bench in Jackson Square with her sketchbook drawing St. Louis Cathedral, or standing on a streetcar heading to the Garden District where she will wander around Lafayette Cemetery and the local neighborhoods exploring with her camera. She may be out with her husband (last month’s cover artist, Shane Wheeler) perusing local flea markets and antique stores on the Northshore for some unique finds to add to their quaint bohemian home in the woods of Lacombe. But most times, she is sitting on the old wicker swing of her lazy southern porch tending to her plants, with a hot cup of lemon tea in hand, a cat on her lap, and reading a good book. She has been all over the world in pursuit of her true joy in life...to exploit happiness, humbleness, and adventure in every culture, society, and way of life that she possibly can. She loves getting to know people of so many beautiful and diverse countries and photographing their boldly and richly colorful environments. Writing and sketching about her adventures has become a passion she loves to share. She does a lot of mission and philanthropic work for many different non-profit organizations all over the US and right here at home in Slidell and New Orleans. It is what she has been called to do in this world and where her heart belongs.
For all of this and more, I’m humbled and grateful to live, work and play in our beautiful Slidell community!
Learn more about Kristen and her adventures around the globe at www.khphotographics.com
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As I drove up, she asked me to wait until she got the dogs and everyone else settled. As I learned, Heidi is always “on.” Shortly, she walked up in blue jean capris, a flowing earthy shirt and two, thick, curly pigtails. She had a beautiful, wide smile as she shook my hand warmly. I immediately felt at ease. Her two children, Jay P and Amelia, were then cued to greet me and also shake my hand. They looked so much like her that I felt like I was looking at a family portrait. While Jay P’s handsome blonde hair is thick and cut short, Amelia’s is long and flows in waves down her back. I understood why Heidi referred to her as “Diva.” Heidi smiled at them with the smile of a proud mom. Guiding me to a deck chair in the shade, Heidi asked if I minded sitting outside while the kids swam. We sat in the backyard for hours, and Heidi kept her eyes on the pair the entire time, guiding every interaction between them. I was amazed at how well they listened. Mom informed me that they know she means what she says. As her dad walked out with the dog, Heidi pointed to him and confirmed, “He used to tell everyone that, ‘Heidi means what she says and does what she means.’ The kids are a handful, and I have to be very consistent at all times. I work very hard to be sure they have a good life, as they had a rough start before we adopted them.” That was the first of many surprises.
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“I also have my dad at my side at all times. He is my cross to bear. I am grateful and gracious to God that he is independent. I also thank God, I own my own businesses. He goes to all of my business meetings with me. If you see me, you see my dad,” and she smiled at him. My second surprise was to realize that Dad, at age 85, is deaf and has dementia. My admiration for her grew when I grasped how “on” this strong woman must constantly be, guiding three other people through life. Then I asked how many businesses she is involved in. Here was my next surprise. When the answer was four, I found myself speechless. Heidi went on to explain that her upbringing had everything to do with who she is now as an adult. Her mom and dad, Harold and Myra “Tootsie” Spiess, raised them in New Orleans until Heidi was eleven years old. She described, “They worked hard. Dad was an electrical engineer at NASA. Mom was a jack-of-all-trades. Together, they owned a seafood and liquor store on Broad Street, so I got to watch Mom do everything. She gave me the entrepreneurial gift.” That explained a lot about Heidi’s strength, but not all. I wish young parents could realize the wonderful gifts they give to their children. Next I learned that Harold and Tootsie had five children. The first three were all boys, nicknamed Squeaky, Speedy, and Doody, followed by the arrival
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of two girls. As Heidi explained, “I was the first girl. I felt like I was treated as a queen - not by my parents, but by the boys. Until my sister, Rhonda, was born! She’s the real queen,” and Heidi tilted her head up and laughed. I quickly learned that Squeaky and Heidi spent a lot of time together. Heidi smiled as she recalled, “He had disassembled my baby crib and reassembled it in his room. I slept in his room from the day I was brought home from the hospital until we moved to Mississippi.” When NASA moved her dad from Michoud to Stennis, the family settled in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. With a girlish grin, Heidi remembered, “Dad did a lot of the testing on engines, so we got to see a lot of the tests and other interesting things that the public didn’t. I feel like I lived a really good life. My parents were wealthy, but the kids didn’t know it. We had lots of big gifts like boats and jet skis. All the kids hung out at our house. But my Dad was very very frugal and lived modestly.” “Dad wanted me to be an engineer, but I knew I didn’t want to do that. My oldest brother, Harold “Squeaky,” was also an engineer. Together, they insisted that I know math. All five of us siblings went to Catholic school all our grade school years. That molded me too. I am a rebel at heart, but generally I follow the rules. I listened to my family about math, and that’s why I was one of only two females in the Math Department at Southern Miss University (USM) the year I graduated.” That certainly explained the consistency with her children. The soft sounds of birds in the woods turned to a loud din of treefrogs, and the breeze got suddenly cooler. Heidi guided the kids to get out of the pool and change into dry clothes. The sudden change in weather was a prelude for the next chapter of Heidi’s life. She grew serious as she relayed, “Unfortunately, Squeaky died at age 26, when I was only 15. He was out hiking on a mountain, and fell off a cliff while stationed in Washington as an Air Force fighter pilot." I learned that this would be the first of a series of tragic and life-changing events in Heidi's family. After a brief pause, Heidi continued, “Then my mom died at age 58, when I was 26 years old. My dad and I moved to Pearl River, and he remarried about three years later. I financially supported my middle brother, Speedy, for two years as he could not work. He died at age 58 from a heart attack.” I can only imagine how losing her close mentors and heroes affected Heidi. Taking a deep breathe, she continued, “I’m a strong person. I never cry. That came from my three brothers. I think they shaped me to be strong. I was
always a daddy’s girl. Dad was fair, but our bond was unspoken. My dad made me independent. In college, I failed for 3 years and begged Dad to let me quit, that college just wasn’t for me. He said, ‘Heidi, you are on my dime, and I never want you to have to depend on someone else.’ I struggled for those seven years, but I finally graduated with honors. In the midst of that, I got married and had my first child, but I never did quit.” That strong, proud smile flashed again. She allowed, “I married young, while in college, when I was 21. I had my first son two years later, Ector.” When asked about the spelling, Heidi had a cute story. “His dad was from Nicaragua and had an American nurse at the time of his birth. When his family pronounced his name, Hector, it sounded like 'Ector,' the H is silent. The nurse wrote the name without the H on his birth records, and he kept the name as written. I liked the story, so I used the name for our son. Little Ector has been the joy of my life. After I divorced, he and I went through life together, and only grew closer with each passing day. If I live to be 100 and never get another gift from God, I am still way ahead because I have Ector. Now, he and his wife Carmen, and me, and my husband Jay all co-own Studio G Dance Studio on Fremaux Boulevard. Ector is the hip-hop teacher, and all the kids love him. He is sweet and fun.” Ector is president, Heidi is treasurer, Jay takes care of the building and props, while Carmen is Studio Director.
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When Ector was 6, Heidi met Jay Crouch. In her words, “Jay and I strictly played soccer together. There was no romance at first. Luckily, Ector and Jay were friends before the romantic phase. Jay was the all star of my soccer team. Ector was a star of his soccer team, and he wanted to come every time I played so he could see Jay. One day, Jay made a snide comment about Ector needing better soccer cleats. I said, 'If you want him to have better ones, you'd better get them yourself, because I’m a single mom.' His answer was quick, ‘I’ll pick y’all up Friday at six.’ That was the start of our relationship. Seven and a half years later, when Ector was 15, I married Jay. He is the love of my life,” she beamed. “Soon, I started Tidy Heidi, a residential and light commercial cleaning service that has grown to ten employees. I am also the Executive Director of Geaux Trade. It is a barter company that allows businesses to trade their goods and services without using cash. I also do the bookkeeping for Jay’s company, and whatever is needed. Finally, I work a couple of nights at the dance studio. I do anything anyone needs me to take care of.” That is a lot of juggling, even if Heidi didn’t have anyone else to look after. It was at this point that Heidi went on to explain that she and Jay had problems having children,
The Spiess family: Darrell, Mark (Speedy), Myra (Tootsie), Harold Sr., Harold Jr. (Squeaky), Rhonda and Heidi and decided to foster. “Jay wasn’t sure about the concept, because he thought he would fall in love with the children, and not want to give them back. We applied with the state to foster children, with every intention to adopt eventually. You don’t necessarily get to adopt, it is based on the birth parents working the plan the state gives them. The state requires parents to do certain things like procuring a safe home with running water, electricity, have a job and a car. They have to take parenting classes and go through rehab. Lucky for us, these parents did not accomplish any of the above.” As luck would have it, the first two children that they fostered were the two they had an opportunity to adopt. As Heidi said simply, “We were in love with Jay P and Amelia. They have been the challenge of my life. They both had heroin in their systems at birth. When we first got them, they were three and four years old and couldn’t count to three. Jay P is really smart. He likes to think he’s smarter than us. Amelia is
Heidi's family today: Carmen & Ector Gutierrez, Amelia, Jay P, Jay, Heidi and Dad
very smart also, but like me, she doesn’t like school. She is more interested in dance and social life.” “During the one year period that the kids got to see their parents, it was tough on all of us. Lucky for us, the state allowed us to take the kids to Mexico, Belize, and St. Thomas on a cruise. We wanted them to live like our family, rather than sending them to another foster family while we went on vacation. The process seemed to take too long and there was so much red tape.” I imagine that trip to be a huge bonding experience. There are lingering effects for the kids. Both children remember not having enough food every day, and Heidi is concerned that they may remember this for the rest of their lives. Heidi notes that, “Jay P would eat everything if we let him, so we have to limit food quantities. They both had to go to counseling, speech therapy, and were constantly sick at first. In addition to constant doctors appointments, they
had to have multiple caps and cavities filled.” It sounded exhausting, but not for our Heidi. She added, “Most of my working day starts at nine at night after I put the kids to bed. That is when I get to do the accounting, scheduling, fixing Dad's pills, and the laundry list of things to do.” I had forgotten for a moment how exhausting parenting was, on top of caregiving for a parent. But I realized again how Heidi thrives on challenges. She sat up, brightened and announced, “Fortunately, all those days are gone. Their speech is beautiful, they never go to the doctor except for annual check ups, but we do still go to counseling. Jay P makes A’s and B’s without bringing home a book. Now we are suggesting he try for straight A’s and really study,” and she smiled at him. Jay P’s room has a keyboard, tons of books, and a duck named Oreo. It is a perfect man cave. They call Amelia “Diva” because she loves the dance studio. Her favorite dance is lyrical, then jazz, then hip
hop. There are photos of she and Jay P performing on the walls of her bedroom. Jay is a Slidell native, the son of Debbie and Gary Crouch, who many know from their work and volunteerism with Habitat for Humanity. He owns and operates Affordable Feed and Pools in Pearl River on Hwy. 41. Jay loves animals, and takes Oreo with him everywhere, but the duck doesn’t get to sleep in their room! Jay P keeps his nest in his room. Like father, like son they say. As Heidi shared, “We laugh because the duck even watches TV with them. When Jay comes home, he kisses the duck before he kisses me,” she laughed. Then she added, “Now he wants more property and more pets,” and she smiled, rolling her eyes. “Jay and I never want to move from Slidell because we love this community. Everybody takes care of each other, and they are very family oriented. Slidell is so giving and forgiving. There is a genuine care for one another from the people in Slidell. You can’t know Slidell until you live here.”
Winding down our visit, Heidi said, “Mainly, I want my kids and grandkids to know how much I love them. But I also want them to describe me as a hard worker like my parents.” I have no doubt these three already appreciate that aspect of their mom.
"I obviously love the arts in Slidell. Come inside and see my art collection." The house was filled with original art, most of it having come from local art auctions, including many of our wellknown artists. In addition to canvas works and framed prints, her walls were adorned with a mural by Phil Galatas and a carousel horse painted by Lori Gomez. Heidi was particularly proud of the expressionistic religious works of art. I imagine she finds her inspiration from them, as they were very moving.
But don’t think Heidi is all work and no play. Every year she takes on a new adventure. “One year for Christmas I bought a parachute jump for the adults in the family. In July, we are going white water rafting. I want to do fly boarding, but I might have waited too late. It’s pretty physical and I just might be too old," she laughed. "I want to scuba, and I love to travel out of the country.” Heidi embodies the sports motto, “work hard and play hard.” Slidell, we have some extraordinarily fascinating people here that we may not ordinarily meet. Too bad we don’t get to know all the people we run across in a day’s journey. I hope Heidi’s story inspires you to go out and take on something new and adventurous!
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Business After Hours LSU / UNO Slidell Regional Education Center 5 - 7pm
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Public Policy Meeting Chamber Boardroom 8am
Chamber Breakfast TBD • 8-10am
SMH Lunch & Learn Antibiotic Stewardship SMH Founders Bldg 11:30-1
H.E.R.P. Show Harbor Center June 30-July 1 • 10am
Twilight Luau Golf Royal Golf Club • 5:30pm Luau Party 6-10pm
Camellia City Farmer's Market EVERY SATURDAY 8AM-NOON
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Slidell Movie Night Heritage Park 8:30pm Savannah Sipping Society • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm
Canoeing the Bayou Northlake Nature Center 9am and 1pm
Children's Wish Endowment Golf Tournament Oak Harbor Golf Club 11:30am-4pm
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Ambassador Meeting Chamber • Noon
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National Cheese Day
THU Intestacy & Me Free Workshop with Ronda M. Gabb Ronda M. Gabb & Associates 10:30-11:30am
"The Storyteller" John S. Case, free Greenwood Cemetery Tours Tuesdays - Thursdays • 12-1pm • By appointment only • 985-707-8727
Bayou Liberty Pirogue Championship St. Genevieve Church 12-7pm
J U N E 2 0 1 8
Storyteller DR. YANK We are the only ones that will be there, not even a minister. The funeral is day after tomorrow at two in the afternoon. It will be a graveside service at City Cemetery.”
In 1994, I answered my phone with my typical, “Hello, this is John Case.” The voice came back, “Johnny, this is Jim Braxton, Dr. Jim Braxton.”
I had said nothing while he was talking but was thinking, Do I really want to go, and can I get off ? I was simultaneously checking my calendar.
Before the words were out of his mouth, with a few keystrokes of the computer, I knew he was not a customer. There was silence for a moment. “Yes, Dr. Braxton, what can I do for you?” “Johnny, I don’t think you remember me, it’s been a long time. I was a dentist in your hometown, or at least I was until I retired a few months ago.” “Yes, Doctor, I do remember you.” “Well, I don’t have good news, but he left instructions for me to call you. Dr. Jones passed away. I think some of you jokingly called him Dr. Yank.”
I had thought about Dr. Jones over the years, but I honestly thought he had passed away long ago. His health was bad when I graduated from high school in 1965, and I only saw him once or twice after that. “He wanted me to contact the members of as many of his ‘Classes’ as I could. His request was for each of you, if you can, to attend his funeral. Johnny, he had no family, only y’all and a few of his professional colleagues.
“Doctor, I can and will be there, and I appreciate your call.” “One final thing, Johnny. I want us all to meet for about a half hour prior to the service. There are some things many of you do not know. I will have the funeral home erect a tent and have adequate chairs." ---------Every town has at least one like him, a person who holds a degree or is licensed to a high profession but just does not operate
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in that persona. It could be a lawyer, CPA, minister, doctor; or, in his case, a dentist. Usually they are type-cast because they look unkempt: unshaven, shabby, maybe even wearing dirty clothes or having alcohol on their breath, are just a few of the descriptive pictures that come to mind.
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I never knew him to have on dirty clothes or even have alcohol on his breath, but the rest of the description would apply. He was from north Mississippi, as I recall, and was lured to my town after WWII. There was only one dentist there at the time, and he was old. In a very short time, other dentists followed, but Doctor Jones was different. He still ran his practice based on the principles of the 1940’s. His equipment was of the same vintage. He did not care. It was as if he knew there was a need for what he did. Let the younger ones do it differently. He had the nickname “Dr. Yank.” Most of his clients affectionately called him that to his face, “Dr. Yank, the Tooth Dentist.” We always called him Dr. Jones. He acquired that name not because he was a misplaced Northerner. He was called that because almost his total practice was pulling teeth. By the late fifties, the modern dentists were into restoration and prevention. His clientele could not afford that, and he knew it.
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It was like a rite of passage for some people when they got to be about thirty years old. They wanted all their teeth pulled and then to be fitted with a set of false teeth, dentures. It was as much a financial decision as anything; but it also had to do with ignorance and the fact that they wanted no more pain. A full mouth extraction and a set of dentures would most likely cost less than a tenth of what a full mouth restoration would cost. Then there was upkeep, with no guarantee you would not hurt again.
Less than half the local population was able to afford the “uptown” dentist. Dr. Yank filled very few cavities and, even in the mid-sixties, his equipment was belt driven. The “uptown” doctors had gone to turbines and more efficient instruments. They said that he was not always as strange as he was when we knew him. The story goes that, early in his practice, his wife got a gum disease referred to in general terms then as “pyorrhea.” One afternoon, he pulled all her teeth. According to Tomahawk, an old Indian who freely offered unsolicited advice and claimed to have known Dr. Yank’s wife, the moon was in the heart that night, and she bled to death. He said he had warned the doctor, but he didn’t listen. Later, Dr. Yank married another woman. It is said she was the ugliest woman in town. After a short period of time, she left him for another woman. He mentioned her one time to us, those in his “Class,” and told us that he had made a mistake. He said that he would never marry another pretty woman. We could not tell if he was joking or meant this, but we knew he was not interested in any women that we knew of. In addition to wearing poorly fitted clothing, only shaving occasionally, and having on worn-out shoes with no socks, he had an equilibrium problem. He had trouble walking straight and ambled as he moved. This made people thing he was a drinker, but that was not the case.
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His most extravagant possession was his automobile. He bought a new Chevrolet every year. In fact, he had a standing order at the dealership for the first one delivered. He did not care about color or style. Dr. Jones maintained a small office with no receptionist or assistant, had a modest home nearby, and owned a more elaborate camp on the river. The camp was not at all Dr. Yank. It was comfortable with lots of decks over the river and he kept it immaculately clean. Now, about his “Classes.” Every three years, he would select about six boys from the sophomore class. In another set of circumstances, you could say he chose us to mentor us, but that would not have fit Dr. Jones’ personality. How we were chosen, I have no clue. What he wanted from us, I was not sure.
370 GATEWAY DR, SUITE A SLIDELL firstname.lastname@example.org
There was a bit of honor in being chosen to be in his “inner sanctum,” but it did not come without a price. In those days, any person who was odd or different got labeled. Was Dr. Yank gay? I will answer that, to my knowledge, he was not; but that did not keep people from talking. Remember, this was in the 1960’s. It was not like a boy’s club that he put together. In fact, all six of us were seldom with him as a group, but sometimes we were. He did not choose us because we were friends with each other. It was a small school, and everyone knew everyone. But we were not necessarily friends; at least not all of us. He found a reason and a way to get to know a lot of kids and, after he established a relationship, he picked a few to adopt, if only for three years. He offered a relationship somewhere between that of an older brother and a parent. He filled a void, even if a strange one. I remember the day he chose me. I knew who he was, and I knew that he had this strange relationship with high school boys from time to time, and I had some reservations about him. I was drilling post holes for my Dad’s chain link fence company when he drove up. We had a motor driven post hole digger. “John, I am Dr. Jones. Are you working Saturday?” I walked to the window of his new Chevrolet. “No, Doctor, why?” “I need some post holes dug, as I am going to build a deck near the water at my place on the river. I will pay you well and it shouldn’t take you all day.” “Sure, Doctor, I will be glad to.” “Here is a map to my place and come out about ten in the morning.” I could tell this map had not been sketched just for me, as it was on ditto paper. That Saturday when I arrived, he was waiting. He told me what he wanted to accomplish and asked my opinion on the project. He talked to me as an adult. He asked me if I were doing it, building the deck that is, would I do it the same way? I thought, Why is this doctor asking a kid how to do something?
It may have been the first time an adult had seemed interested in actually knowing my opinion. He seemed genuine in his request, so I thought about it for a minute. “Doctor, I would do it differently. A square deck does not have much eye appeal. Why don’t you make it ‘L’ shaped with the wing being at a lower level, nearer the water?” I could tell he was studying me and listening to my suggestion. “Great idea, Johnny. Let’s get started.” He said he would pay well, but I had no idea how well. He paid me almost ten dollars an hour, a sum unheard of in those days. I found out that he used that project to select all but one of the six of us he chose that year. I dug the holes and set the posts, another person nailed the decking, another painted it, another helped him build a brick fire pit near it, and another planted shrubbery around it. There was one more that would become part of his “Class.” His name was James “Dookie” Talbort. Like the misfit professional that Doctor Jones was, every high school had a Dookie, at least one: the smart, tough but not delinquent, good-looking guy who is liked by almost everyone, even the adults. Dookie was just smarter than we were; street smart, at least; and he had learned at an early age that no matter how much you want to, you don’t tell your secrets. We knew he had secrets then, but later we would learn much more. He was the first of us to make friends with the bootleggers. They would sell beer to him at sixteen years old, maybe fifteen. They all knew his name and he knew theirs. We found out that, at sixteen years old, Dookie was running bonded whiskey to them from Louisiana. Half-pints only, and they were hidden under his back seat. Dookie had a car, a nice car, too. He was a good student, not that he applied himself, but he was just smart. There was something about him that you could sense. You could tell he would eventually be a big success or a big failure. He was driven, and he did not mind taking chances. So, by October of 1962, Dr. Yank had in place his Class of 1965. It consisted of myself, Dookie, Carl Thompson, Jim Miller, Claude Sanders and Randy White. There was nothing outstanding about any of us. We were typical sophomore kids who made decent grades, mostly stayed out of trouble, and had no idea why Dr. Yank had chosen us. In reality, for a long time, we did not even know we had been chosen. Seldom did the doctor associate with us as a group, but occasionally he would. About every two months, he would hire us to do some maintenance project at his office, home or cabin. He did favors for us, but the unwritten rule was to never tell anyone what he did. We all had keys to his office and his cabin. He told us that he’d rather us bring our girlfriends there than on some dark road where we could get killed. He never asked if we used them, and I doubt any of us did very often. I know I didn’t. He was extremely interested in our grades, and even though he never asked to see them, he was pleased if we showed him
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our report cards. He encouraged us to take art, shop and all the science we could. We knew that he was interested in art, especially sculpture.
women, however. If we teased him about some widow lady in town, he would get furious. Anything to do with him and a woman we learned to steer clear of.
There was a shelf in his office that must have contained a hundred beautifully carved and painted wooden birds of all species. They were minute in size, no larger than two inches long. On a shelf by itself was a clear Plexiglas box with two teeth in it. On close examination, you could tell one was a natural tooth. The other was one that he had carved out of chalk. Except for the color, they were identical. This is the carving he prized most.
He watched us carefully to make sure that alcohol was the strongest drug we came in contact with. He did not approve of that, but he knew we were going to experiment, and he offered his cabin and office as a place to crash.
Dr. Jones’ waiting room only had three chairs. There was one operatory, a small bath with shower, and a large lab. The lab had dozens of impressions for dentures and other oral pieces he was working on. I don’t think I ever saw a patient in his office, and it occurred to me that he did a lot of lab work.
That night after Dr. Jones went to bed, Dookie told us he had something to show us. He pulled a bag from his backpack and removed six cloth-covered capsules. He said they were ampoules of amyl nitrite. This meant nothing to us, so he explained. It was an aphrodisiac, and guaranteed to work.
Dr. Jones seemed to like it if we teased him and would laugh at our jokes, and he enjoyed the pranks we pulled on other students and even laughed at the ones we played on him. He did not like for us to tease him about
It was a Saturday, our senior year in high school. We had gotten to know each other well and had formed a special bond of sorts. Dr. Jones had us at his cabin for a work day and had told us we could spend the night.
If you and your girlfriend inhaled them at just the right time, it would be the best experience either of you had ever had. You crushed them between your fingers and the cloth covering was to keep the glass from
This was exciting. We had never heard of anything like this, and Dookie had one for each of us, at only ten dollars each. It crossed my mind then that it was a useless idea. The chances of my having a partner that was willing to get into a compromising position was almost zero. And that I could tell her to wait ‘til I popped an ampoule that she had to smell, well, that was below the realm of possibility. Regardless of the probability that we would never use them, we all had to have one. It was a status thing, sort of like having a condom in your billfold. For the next few weeks, we could not see each other without asking, “Have you used yours yet?” Somehow, Doctor Jones found out. He summoned us to his office. He pulled some medical literature out and read us the dangers of the product, and then gave us an ultimatum: give him the amyl nitrite or we were out of the group. Every one of us, including Dookie, still had theirs and they were intact. We gave them to Doctor Jones who immediately flushed them down the toilet. ----------
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One day, Dr. Jones asked me to drive him to New Orleans. He said he wanted to purchase some dental equipment. He bought a used, very old looking stand with a blue bottle on it. It also had a gauge and a hose that connected to a mask that went around the back of your head, with the hoses fitting into your nostrils. We learned that the machine was used to administer nitrous oxide, often called laughing gas because of the pleasurable sleep it puts you in. Dr. Jones let each of us try it. I have had it given to me at dental offices in recent years, but not like Dr. Jones administered it. Today, dentists just give you enough to calm your nerves. Dr. Jones put you into a deep, pleasurable sleep. One day, Dookie had an idea. Why not give Dr. Jones a birthday party? It would be small, and the guests would be Dr. Jones, our group, and our dates. Dookie insisted on arranging the decorations and, not only did he want to surprise Dr. Jones, he said, he wanted to surprise us. We knew the party would not last long, as it was Exchange Club night. Exchange Club was the only social organization that Dr. Jones belonged to. There was punch, cake and some sandwiches which we got our parents to make, but the only decorations Dookie provided were dozens of balloons. They were attached to the ceiling by a bit of scotch tape. I think the doctor enjoyed the party, as he commented no one had ever given him a birthday party in his entire life. As we knew he would, at six o’clock he left for the Exchange Club meeting. Dookie quickly started cleaning up and taking down the balloons. As our unofficial leader, he told us to follow him to the river. Dookie arrived about five minutes behind us and his car was filled with the balloons. There were three cars at the river including Dookie’s. Dookie took half the balloons and put them in one car and the other half in another car. The cars were parked side by side. He got into the car I was in, rolled down the window, and motioned to the other driver to do the same. He told the driver to roll up all the windows tight, cut off the motor and air-conditioning, and start popping the balloons. After the second one popped, I began to have that floating feeling, the feeling of nitrous oxide. Honestly, it was a wonderful experience. We
breathed the gas for about fifteen minutes, then we went swimming. It was dark by then, but skinny dipping with girls was not a common thing at all. I assume the nitrous oxide worked much like the amyl nitrite was supposed to. ---------It was probably in January of our senior year that Dr. Jones’ health appeared to be declining. His actions were slow and deliberate, as if he had been drinking. Late in the afternoon and evening, his eyes would be red. We knew something was wrong, but had no idea what. That is when Dr. Braxton called Dookie. If there was a leader of the group, it would have been Dookie. Dookie notified all of us to be at Dr. Braxton’s office the next day. The meeting would be important. On the day of the meeting at Doctor Braxton’s office, even Dookie was in a serious mood. It soon became apparent why. Dr. Braxton informed us that Dr. Jones was self-medicating with the nitrous oxide. With no one present except himself, this could be very dangerous. He then explained how he was doing it. Dr. Jones had a large hypodermic syringe, probably one used on cattle or horses. He disposed of the plunger and the needle. He would fill the syringe with mercury and put a rubber stopper in the plunger end. Then he would lie it on its side and put a light bulb under it. The heat from the bulb would make the mercury expand and drip into a cup. The cup was attached to a switch, and the weight of the mercury in the cup would turn off the switch and, ultimately, the gas, after a certain time. According to Dr. Braxton, this was clever, homemade, but not safe; and it could be fatal. We had to have a plan. What could we do? Dookie had known about Dr. Jones’ problem since the day before. He had done some planning, as only Dookie could do. He presented his idea and, to my surprise, Dr. Braxton said it was worth a shot. We knew Dr. Jones’ routine. We also knew he was using the gas, but we did not know the dangers. He always self-medicated just before dark. In January, that was about 5:30 pm. We watched him go into his office and gave him a few minutes. We then implemented the plan.
We would exploit Dr. Jones’ fear of women. Dr. Braxton loaned us some of his wife’s clothing. She was young, and the clothing was stylish, and for the time, some of it could be considered sexy. Inclusive in what he gave us were lacy panties, a colorful bra, garter belt, and hose. With our key, we let ourselves in and spread the clothing around his dental chair and on the cabinets in a haphazard manner while he was sleeping. The final act was to unbuckle his belt. Then we left and hid beside the window outside his office. We could not see in, but in about an hour we heard him. “Oh my God, what have I done? Who is she? Where are you? Please come and let me explain! Please don’t tell anyone. I took too much gas, I must have been out of my mind.” The next day a sign was put on the office door: “Dental Office Closed. Retired from Dentistry.” ---------I arrived at the funeral home early. Not on purpose, I just made good time. Dr. Braxton arrived about the same time. He did not recognize me, and I did not recognize him. We introduced ourselves and he said, “Johnny, I think what you will learn today will shock you.” Soon the others began to arrive. Three others beside Dr. Braxton were dressed in their dental office jackets. One barely fit, and you could tell it had not been worn in a long time. In a few minutes, Dr. Braxton said, “We are all here. That is all that can come,” and he closed the parlor door. “Gentlemen, you are here because at one time you were a part of one of Dr. Yanks’ ‘Classes.’ After today, I don’t think you will ever refer to him as Dr. Yank again. You see, Dr. Jones was in dental school when the war started. He was to graduate that May and, as soon as he took his last exam, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He was stationed at a recruiting station, and he was baptized into dentistry in a fast and furious way. That was long before we have the techniques we have today, and there was not time for multiple appointments. “The need for dentists in 1941 and 1942 was great, and there were no boards to pass. He just got out of school and went to work. After about two years, the army found out
that Dr. Jones had not passed his final exam. They more or less confined him to the lab, but he was too valuable to let go. “After the war, no one asked, and he did not tell. After all, he had been a dentist in the army for four years. Why should any dental board question him now? It would not happen today, but it did then. “While working in the lab and practicing dentistry in the army, he became fascinated with mercury. Of course, it was a major part of the mixture of which fillings were composed. He also just liked the metal. If you saw his equilibrium problems, it was because he suffered from mercury poisoning. “Most of you know what his practice was composed of. That is why you called him Dr. Yank. In reality, he did the best he could for a certain clientele. Not something I would approve of. But, as I got older, I understood his intention. “What you may not know is that there was not a better lab technician in the south than Dr. Jones. Almost every dentist in Mississippi used him to make their bridges, partials, dentures and crowns. There was none better than he.
“I can’t help but think about all those ‘uptown clients’ of mine as he called them. They would have had a fit if they had known that what was in their mouth was crafted by him.”
“The rest of you were candidates. He had wished to do it for each of you, but he could not afford it. Honestly, some of you could not have made it.”
Dr. Braxton reached into a box, and he pulled out the Plexiglas box with the two teeth in it. “You know Dr. Jones told me this is what got him into dental school. The admissions board did not concern themselves with anything once they saw what he could do with his hands.
Dr. Braxton then reached back into the box and removed the small birds that Dr. Jones had carved. “There is one for each of you. He wanted you each to have one.”
“Now, why were you chosen to be in his ‘Class?’ He had six Classes he chose, starting in 1950 and ending with the Class of 1965. There were, at one time, thirty-six of us.” He then motioned for the gentlemen that were obviously dentists to come forward. “There should have been six of us dentists. You see, out of each Class, he chose one person to financially send all the way through college and dental school. One died of leukemia while in school, and the Class of 1953 representative has passed away.” I realized that Randy White, one of our group, was one of the dentists.
He continued, “I tried to contact everyone. I learned that at least seven of us have passed away, two had conflicts, and one, Dookie Talbort, is serving life in Federal prison for his third major narcotics conviction. He was Doctor Jones’ favorite, just a bad apple.” We then proceeded to the grave site. Dr. Jones’ remains had been cremated, and a small hole was dug to receive the urn. Dr. Braxton carefully placed the urn in the hole, and next to it he placed the Plexiglas box with Dr. Jones’ masterpiece inside. In closing, he looked at me and said, “Johnny, I hear you tell stories. Tell us one about Doc.” I thought a minute and, choking back tears, I said, “I can’t today but someday I will.” It has been twenty years. This is the story.
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Arts Evening Saturday, June 23, 2018 4:00-9:00 pm • Free Admission Olde Towne Slidell (985) 646-4375 • MySlidell.com Local Artists & Artwork Live Entertainment Fine & Casual Dining Antique, Boutique & Unique Shopping Slidell Photo Club exhibit in the Slidell Cultural Center at City Hall
“Heads or Tails” by Mary Christopher
The City of Slidell and the Commission on the Arts would like to thank our 2017-2018 Cultural Season Sponsors for making this event possible: Renaissance $5,000 Sponsors:
Baroque, $2,500: CLECO Power • Jazz on the Bayou/Ronnie Kole Foundation • The Slidell Independent Neoclassical, $1,000: Councilman Bill & Laura Borchert • Holiday Inn & Suites, Slidell Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance Agency • Lori Gomez Art • Purple Armadillo Again, LLC • Impressionism, $500: • Dr. Nathan Brown, Northlake Oral & Facial Surgery • Chateau Bleu CiCi’s Pizza • Krewe of Perseus • La. Rep. Greg Cromer • Flatliners Entertainment Old School Eats Food Truck • Olde Towne Slidell Main Street • Olde Towne Slidell Print Shop Pontchartrain Investment Management • Roberta’s Cleaners • Sabrina’s Sweet Eats Silver Slipper Casino • Slidell Historical Antique Association • Terry Lynn’s Café & Creative Catering
Cajun SPECIAL FORCES - STORY & PHOTOS BY DONNA BUSH
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.
What would our Cajun teams be without a Special Forces group to tackle all those seemingly impossible tasks? Like many of the other Cajun organizations, they formed with the devastating 2016 Louisiana floods. Originally, they were known as “Fill These Trucks & Be Someone’s Miracle – SWLA,” when they utilized social media to enlist help with filling one 18-wheeler trailer. The plan was to bring the full truck to an organization in Baton Rouge that could distribute the items to those with an immediate need. But, overnight their cause grew to six 18-wheelers and two 2-ton box trucks, along with several trucks with heavy duty flatbed trailers to haul equipment and supplies to any affected place in the state, free of charge. An estimated 4.3 million dollars-worth of goods were delivered in about 15 days to a center for distribution. After that necessity was met, the organization began assisting other Cajun rescue organizations with needs that they couldn’t meet. At this time, they were appropriately renamed by their peers as “The Cajun Special
Forces,” because they came through, day or night, whenever the call rang out. The ‘meat and potatoes’ of the organization boils down to two people – Kip Coltrin, founder, and Z. Lori Coleman, the lady behind the scenes. By day, Kip runs a construction services business. He has a firefighter, construction and disaster relief background. Z. Lori is the Fire Chief’s secretary at the Carlyss Fire Department and a volunteer firefighter. As Harvey made landfall in Texas, Cajun Special Forces put out a call for people to assist with rescues. They rolled into Dickinson, TX with a 5-ton cargo truck, 18-wheeler, 13 boats and a 15-person Urban Search and Rescue Team, where they were joined by 50+ others from around LA and Texas. They performed swift-water rescue operations until their homes in Lake Charles were threatened with flooding. They drove through 4-5 foot deep water, unable to travel faster than 15 mph in many areas. Kip stayed out in front in the Peterbilt pushing a wall of water off to the sides
A CONTINUING COVERAGE SERIES FROM DONNA BUSH PART 8 OF 12 as they made their way home to protect their families. When their family threat subsided, they headed back to Texas assisting with numerous rescues and other relief operations. Many of The Cajun Special Forces Team have military, firefighter, police and/or EMT backgrounds. They work closely with Cajun Coast Search and Rescue (Cajun Coast S&R), a volunteer canine organization out of Jeanerette, LA. Don’t let the term ‘volunteer’ lead you to think they are untrained. Not at all. Each S&R member is trained to the National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR) guidelines. There are several items that set The Cajun Special Forces Team apart from other rescue and relief organizations. First, they train their members and safety always comes first. There will always be a minimum of two rescuers operating together. They maintain a checkpoint where rescuers must check in and out. They recently held a full day of swiftwater truck and boat rescue along with medical response training. One of their major focuses is on reading moving water and understanding its consequences. State and Federal agencies observing their techniques have voiced, “Cajun Special Forces is rewriting the book on how rescue is done.” While they offer some gutting services, they also excel at acquisition, distribution and logistics. They step in to get the job done where others can’t, with everything from dangerous tree removal to dozer and tractor work, skilled construction, building levees, and all kinds of disaster relief. Kip has worked every major hurricane along the Gulf Coast. With a construction services company, he has available numerous 18-wheelers, low-boy trailers, dozers, tractors, 5-ton trucks and more. He likens himself to ‘MacGyver,’ the hit 1985 TV show, now reincarnated in 2016. Like the TV show character, Kip is self-sufficient, and able to solve complex problems with ordinary objects.
He jokes, “If you dropped me out of a helicopter from 10,000 feet with a parachute, butt-naked, with nothing but a pocket knife, and came back a week later, I’d be the guy that had a cell phone carved out of a cactus, a hot tub, chilled swimming pool, cold drinks, a hut, and food cooking on the grill.” Kip shares, “I learned these skills from growing up in Louisiana. We built our first house from scratch when I was 5-years old. I always grew up fixing whatever broke. We never took it to be repaired by someone else or bought a new one. From lawn mowers, chainsaws, to bulldozers and 18-wheelers, we repaired it. If the motor went out on the pick-up truck, we rebuilt it.” Kip brings these well-honed skills to The Cajun Special Forces and attracts likeminded individuals to work alongside him. With Hurricane Harvey, one of the many rescues performed was for an elderly couple that had been stranded in their vehicle at an Orange, TX gas station for over two days. They were hungry and scared. The gentleman weighed over 340 pounds and could not walk without a walker. He had to be moved from his car to the 5-ton truck – over 6 feet in the air! It took five people and staging him to a 1-ton AT&T bucket truck and then up to the 5-ton. Then for his wife. She was hysterical and likely to hurt someone trying to help her. Kip engulfed her in a big bear hug and reassured her that if
they could get her husband on the truck, they would have no problem with her! She calmed down immediately, making the transition much easier. They were delivered to the shelter and taken care of. The rebuilding of Paw-Paw’s house was a partnership between Cajun Army and Cajun Special Forces. Tricia Jo found Paw-Paw, a 66-year old veteran, living in his 2016 flooded home, desolate because he had lost everything and couldn’t afford to rebuild. His treasured wife had passed just before the storm. Tricia Jo called Kip and Chris King of the Cajun Army in tears. Even though it was outside of Cajun Army’s scope, the groups bonded together to gut, sheetrock, repair electrical, put in new floors and get Paw-Paw back in his house. This is a prime example of paying it forward. In Hurricane Harvey, Paw-Paw came to the aid of Texas residents. He couldn’t do much, but he did everything he could to pay back what he had received. Cajun Special Forces’ motto is “Do for others what they can’t do for themselves.” They have shown this over and over, whether it is with much needed supplies, dangerous tree work, or rescues. They have incredible hearts of gold and don’t ask for any glory other than giving the glory to God.
To donate visit their Facebook page, The Cajun Special Forces
By Mike Rich, CFP® Pontchartrain Investment Management
WELCOME, HUDSON JOHN! In late April, Mary and I were blessed with our sixth grandchild, Hudson John Rich. Here’s a picture of the little guy (he’s the one wearing the stocking cap). Hudson weighed in at 6 lbs. 14 oz. and was 18½ inches long. He’s as cute as a bug, and his parents – my son Michael and his beautiful wife Lacey – are learning what it’s like to now have two little ones in the house. In my articles for Slidell Magazine over the years, I’ve written about my grandchildren many times. Anyone who has ever raised children or helped nurture grandchildren knows that it’s a big, complicated, and awesome job. Children’s brains are like sponges, and they form life-long views of the world from the actions they see and words they hear around them. As a grandparent, I try very hard to make sure that what I say and do when I’m around them matches the values I hope they will develop as they grow and learn.
savings and investments.1 Granted, some of these people have pension plans, but my guess is that many of them don’t. They’ll make it through retirement somehow, but it might not be pretty. I’m determined to help Hudson and his cousins avoid that fate. In fact, I’ll try to do for them the same things I do for my clients, such as the following:
Goal Number 1
I help my clients manage their money.
As a financial advisor, many of my own values focus on being a good steward of money and helping other do the same. Sadly, those values are not shared by many Americans. For example, researchers at the Employee Benefits Research Institute reported in the 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey that 35% of retirees had less than $25,000 in
When it comes to attempting to grow your money, I can’t promise you success. Frankly, a lot of it depends on your own commitment to make it happen. But, I can share with you how I’ve helped other clients with a slow and steady approach to money management for retirement, college tuition, a vacation home, and lots of other financial goals. I really enjoy showing off the power of compounding, that fantastic money trick that can turn
Take time to talk about Dad’s ﬁnancial plans. Call me today!
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interest into principal almost like magic. If you want to see how this might work for you, call me for an appointment.
Goal Number 2
I help my clients spend their money. Everyone likes to spend now and then (some of us seem to like it a little too much), and I certainly want my clients to enjoy their hardearned money. But, I also want to make sure they don’t run out of cash before they run out of time, and that takes planning, discipline, and careful management. One of the most important things I do for clients is show them how to turn savings into income. I especially like to help folks who don’t have an employer pension build an income stream for themselves. If you’re one of those people, call me, and I’ll share some ideas with you.
Goal Number 3
I help my clients protect their money. If you are not protecting your money and other assets, you could be one catastrophic event away from, well, catastrophe. One
of the first things I like to do for my clients is talk about their car insurance, because that’s where a lot of folks are vulnerable. Oftentimes, we find that they’re driving around town with very low liability limits, which exposes them to a financial nightmare if an at-fault accident and a lawsuit come their way. Often, it’s an easy fix, and might not cost anything more out-of-pocket than they’re paying now. If you are not sure about your own situation, let me take a look. I’ll also review your disability, life, and health insurance coverage. Don’t take chances with your money. Let an insurance company take on the risk. That’s what they do best, and they have deep pockets. By the way, a cash-value life insurance policy is a great gift for a grandchild. If you want to know why, call me.
Goal Number 4
I help my clients learn about money. I want to help my clients make smart decisions about their money so they can achieve their goals, and a good way to get smart is to learn how money really works. Here’s my offer to my prospective
clients: when you meet with me, my guess is that you will leave my office smarter about your financial situation than when you came in. Even if you’ve come in for a look-see meeting, but choose to not work with me, you’ll leave with information of value. It’s a win for you. As you read this, my little Hudson has spent a little more than one month on this earth, and my guess is that he’s already learned a whole lot about the way things work, at least in his little part of the world. There is so much I want to share with him – about life, about money, about all sorts of things – but I’ll have to wait a while. However, what about you? Are you ready to take control of your financial life – managing your money, spending it wisely, protecting it, and learning how to make it work for you? If so, call me for a complimentary appointment.
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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Junior Auxiliary of Slidell
On October 20, 1965, 53 years ago, a group of fifteen women gathered together to discuss what they could do to help underprivileged children in the Slidell area. From this informal meeting, the seeds of Junior Auxiliary of Slidell were sown. Junior Auxiliary in Slidell originally started to address the inclusion of special education into the school system. The group, originally called the Slidell Service League, had their first official meeting on November 30, 1965. Forty-six women, both Slidell natives and the wives of NASA executives with the common interest of wanting to help those less fortunate, attended to talk about ways they could assist the special education class in Slidell. The women were able to volunteer their time, money and resources. Each week, members of the League would go into the classroom to teach arts, crafts and music to the kids.
This project made a world of difference in many children’s lives. The Slidell Service League was incorporated into the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries in 1968. This year, Junior Auxiliary of Slidell (JAS) is celebrating their 50th anniversary. JAS remains an all female, all volunteer, not-for-profit organization. They have over fifty members that serve the Slidell, Pearl River and Lacombe areas of St. Tammany Parish. JAS concentrates on projects each year that support at-risk children in our community. At-risk children are the kids who need a little more help and encouragement. For example, many schools have a Title 1 reading program, but JAS has a program called Literacy Liaison that gives those students who are struggling a little extra one-on-one time that helps give them the boost they need.
On the high school level, it's the kids who are doing really well in school but may not have the financial means to go to college. JAS not only grants scholarships each year, but also helps needy students register, study, and prepare for the ACT, and sometimes pays for students to take the test if they don’t qualify for free testing through the school system. Junior Auxiliary’s College Bound Scholarships program awards monies to deserving students so that they can pursue higher education. Junior Auxiliary’s other notable projects include Cooking with Care, where member of Junior Auxiliary cook a meal once a month for citizens in need at Mt. Olive Feeding Ministry; Junior Auxiliary Women’s Build, where members volunteer a day to help build a home for East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity; and the
50 Years of Service! Juniors in Service project that teaches leadership and communication skills to high school juniors. JAS's goal is to identify emerging community needs, create the projects that address these issues, and then turn the projects over to an appropriate organization. One of the most famous projects is the ‘Booze, Cruise, You Lose’ high school program. It was started with the Slidell Police Department and they eventually took that project over. Junior Auxiliary of Slidell raises money for all of these programs, and more, to help the community by coordinating several different charitable projects throughout the year. One of JAS's biggest fundraisers is the annual Tour of Homes. This annual holiday event features beautifully designed homes decked out with holiday decorations. Guests are invited to tour each home, enjoy live entertainment and holiday refreshments and bid on several themed gift baskets. It’s a great way to spend time with family and friends and support your community. Junior Auxiliary of Slidell volunteers work hundreds of hours to serve thousands of children, families and seniors each year in the Slidell area with a primary focus on serving children. Their motto is Care Today = Character Tomorrow!
WHAT IS JA?
"Junior Auxiliary of Slidell (JAS) is a 501c3 not-for-profit service organization made up of women committed to serving the greater Slidell community," says Deb Jones, President. "JAS women are active leaders in our community who strive to focus our service projects on children, families and elderly. As a member of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA), we endeavor to be active in our community by providing service projects that meet our local needs.
With the Backpacks4Kids program, JAS volunteers stuff bags with food and books for students to bring home over the weekend. The project continues every Thursday throughout the school year.
"With the support of our corporate sponsors, JAS developed nine service projects that include: Backpacks4Kids, Happy Feet, Hearts United, Juniors in Service, Know Your Child, Literacy Liaisons, Slidell Cyber Seniors, Children’s Life Skills and Spelling Bee. We also have a scholarship program, College Bound, for seniors in high school to apply for needed college expenses. One project at a time, we are making a difference in our community as we have continuously done for over 50 years. "I invite you to explore our website where you will find information on our history, service projects, and our corporate sponsors. With passion and enthusiasm, JAS not only dedicates our hearts, but we also provide our hands to serve those in need."
The Happy Feet project teaches line dancing to teens and young adults with learning disabilities. The goal is to promote social interaction amongst teens and their families. Siblings are also welcome to join in the fun! Happy Feet is held at Cross Gates Family Fitness on Pontchartrain Drive on Saturdays. The Hearts United project focuses on assisting high school students that are identified as unaccompanied youth (not living with a parent) to give them emotional support throughout the school year. JAS works with the Kids in Transition (KIT) program in the school system. The goal of the KIT program is to eliminate any restrictions that might inhibit the education of transitional students. JAS assists this program in three ways: Community Mentoring Program, assisting seniors with senior prom and the Adopt a Student program. Many of the JAS volunteers donate much more of their time and resources than is required within the scope of the program.
The Children’s Life Skills project is a newer project for JAS. At the time of the project’s inception, local news was saturated with negative stories of police shootings, unrest between first responders and those they serve, the alarming trend of bullying leading to suicide, and the very real problem of children being targets of human trafficking through unsafe internet usage. Other life issues were noted as being of concern, such as alarming obesity rates, selfishness and lack of manners. Once a month at the Boys & Girls Club, JAS volunteers lead multiple sessions which include a presentation and an interactive activity that addresses these issues. For example, December’s “Generosity Can Come from Me” project focused on the rewards of giving. The story of The Gift of the Magi was shared to illustrate selfless generosity. Three activities allowed the children to enjoy the benefits of giving their time and talent by creating cards for deployed military members, tying ribbons on socks to distribute to the homeless, and tying fleece blankets for the children in a nearby hospital. The “Food for Fuel” session included discussion of healthy food choices and the FDA’s food plate. The children created a sample picture plate of healthy food choices, made their own healthy menu, and prepared a
healthy snack to go. “Manners Matter to Make It” allowed the children to practice introducing oneself with an appropriate handshake and eye contact. The children also wrote thank you notes to a special person. “Money Smarts” covered needs vs. wants and delayed gratification. A discussion about what we can do with money ended with sets of jars labeled Share, Save, and Spend demonstrating how to prioritize and separate money. “Yippee for Yoga” will conclude the year teaching the children a healthy way to destress and relax. JAS donated the yoga mats to the Boys and Girls Club. “Play It Forward” encourages and strengthens our community through our greatest assets - our children. The goal of this project is to promote the welfare of children through sports play. Participation in sporting events has been proven to help the emotional and physical well-being in youth. With this research in mind, JAS focused their attention on helping families by providing children with equipment, allowing them to participate fully in their athletic endeavors. JAS members distributed items to families in need at a Slidell ballpark. This distribution aligned with the start of the spring baseball and softball season. More than a dozen children will now be able to participate in their practices and games without feeling left behind.
"Know Your Child" is an education and awareness program for parents of teenagers to learn how to recognize the early warning signs of depression, suicide, drug/alcohol abuse, and other behavioral issues. The program also provides information on available community resources. The "Juniors in Service" program is open to all students who will be entering their Junior year of high school. The program builds leadership skills while teaching community stewardship through service. The Juniors volunteer on projects with Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics at Stennis Space Center and with the children at Rainbow Childcare. Two Spelling Bees are held each year, where as many as 65 junior high students compete for an opportunity to advance to the Scripps Regional and National Spelling Bees. The program is held at Boyet Junior High for 7th-8th graders, and Clearwood for 5th-8th graders. Congratulations and thank you to the volunteers of Junior Auxiliary Slidell for 50 amazing years of service!
For more information about Junior Auxiliary of Slidell, please visit their website at www.jaslidell.org.
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2018 Women Build Story by Kendra Maness, Editor/Publisher Photos by Paul Wood Photography
The 2018 Women Build for East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity was another HUGE success this May, thanks to the hard work of the “Rosies.” The Rosie program is led by EST Habitat’s Women Build spokesperson, Slidell Magazine Editor & Publisher, Kendra Maness. Each year, she selects five “Women of Distinction,” female leaders in East St. Tammany Parish. These Women of Distinction lead teams of Rosies on a one-week build project in Slidell. The all-female crews are named “Rosies” after the iconic World War II image of female empowerment in the work force, Rosie the Riveter. The five crews are comprised of 10-12 women each, with each crew working one full day. Being a Rosie requires more than just posing for the amazing photo (donated by Paul Wood Photography). All Rosies must raise $500 each in sponsorships, and donate their time and sweat to build a decent, stable home for a Slidell family. But, this unique and elite sisterhood builds more than a home! They build bonds and friendships through their charity work that will last forever!
Kendra Maness Spokesperson 2018 Women Build
East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity is proud to introduce the 2018 Women of Distinction: Senator Sharon Hewitt Adele Bruce Smith Dania Fandal Deanna Reine Councilwoman Leslie Denham In total, the 55 women that comprised the 2018 Rosies raised over $27,000!!! With additional donations and fundraising activities, the Rosie program has raised almost $100,000 in just three years... talk about girl power!! Women Build was created by Habitat International to promote and help women learn the skill sets needed for repairs and projects in their own homes. Working together and under the guidance of the awesome Habitat staff, Construction Director Rock Lastrapes and Site Supervisor, Preston Williams, the Rosies completed all of the ceiling and wall sheetrock throughout the Habitat home! Even better, the home is being built for a female veteran! Thank you to the 2018 Rosies!
Rene Arcemont Executive Director EST Habitat For Humanity
Kentrell Jones Asst. Director EST Habitat For Humanity
Habitat for Humanity Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Their mission is to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Decent, stable housing provides more than just a roof over someone’s head. It provides stability for families and children. It provides a sense of dignity and pride. It offers the opportunity for better health, physical safety and security. Statistically, children raised in a stable home environment have higher educations and better job prospects. Habitat for Humanity believes that increasing the housing supply across the globe is essential if we are to succeed in the fight against poverty. Habitat has more than 1,400 local affiliates in the US. They have helped 6.8 million people improve their living conditions since their founding in 1976. Habitat helps by building or renovating simple, decent houses in partnership with those in need.
Julie & Paul Wood Rosie Campaign Photo Gurus Paul Wood Photography
WOMAN OF DISTINCTION Senator Sharon Hewitt Build Date May 5, 2018 SPONSORED BY Senator Sharon Hewitt
SPONSORED BY Sheriﬀ Randy Smith
Jess Steelman SPONSORED BY Gulf Coast Bank
Jessica Karr SPONSORED BY Vallejo & Karr, LLC Attorneys at Law
Margaret Varnado SPONSORED BY Global Project Mgmt
Laura Borchert SPONSORED BY Councilman Bill Borchert
Peggy Cromer SPONSORED BY Rep. Greg Cromer
Jill Bergeron SPONSORED BY Shawn & Kenta Paretti
Cheryl Backes Sue Prude Kelly Lutman SPONSORED BY SPONSORED BY SPONSORED BY Lishman’s Pontchartrain Investment Pursue Wellness Cheryl & Wayne Backes Management Eagles Wing Consulting
Lesley Beard SPONSORED BY Beard’s Painting Brown Sugar BBQ & Catering
WOMAN OF DISTINCTION Adele Bruce Smith Build Date May 7, 2018
Carlene Melton SPONSORED BY A Clean Getaway Janitorial Bay Tech Industries Family & Friends
Davina Ordoyne SPONSORED BY E.C.O. Builders, Inc
Pam Kaufmann SPONSORED BY PMI Human Resources
Jeanne Dakin SPONSORED BY Children’s International Medical Group, Dr. Hernandez
Lisa Baudot SPONSORED BY Pan-American Life Insurance Group
Kim Foltz SPONSORED BY Kevin Foltz, City Marshall
Sharron Newton SPONSORED BY Rotary Club Slidell Northshore
Tanya Allen SPONSORED BY Copeland’s of Slidell Friend
Shannon Ordes SPONSORED BY Ordes Electric, Inc
Denise Mancuso SPONSORED BY TWFG Insurance
Amanda Trosclair SPONSORED BY Brian Trosclair, Realtor Over the Rainbow Doggie Resort
Riveting Rosies WOMAN OF DISTINCTION Dania Fandal Build Date May 10, 2018 SPONSORED BY Chief Randy Fandal & Melissa Henry, Clerk of Court
Carrie Calvin, CPA SPONSORED BY Bourgeois Bennett, LLC
Gwen Schmid SPONSORED BY Mike’s Hardware
Marianne White SPONSORED BY 72 Marketing
The East St. Tammany Habitat affiliate was founded in 1992. At that time, there just wasn’t anybody to address the needs of families that could probably afford a monthly house note, but had never earned enough income to afford that hefty down payment. Or the families that earned enough money that, as interest rates increased, could keep up the mortgage payments so they wouldn’t inevitably foreclose. So, many of the families that our Habitat serves are living in sub-standard living conditions because of their wages. While they work hard and have a full time job and they pay their bills on time, their wages just don’t stretch far enough. There are two Habitat affiliates in St. Tammany Parish. East St. Tammany Habitat services the communities of Slidell, Pearl River, and Lacombe. “The biggest misconception is that Habitat gives away houses for free,” says Rene Arcemont, EST Habitat’s Executive Director. “We don’t. Partner families purchase them. They pay a mortgage on them just like anybody else. They pay real estate taxes, they pay insurance, just like anybody else. And those dollars contribute to the local economy. In addition to that, each homeowner has to put in 250 hours of sweat equity. The homeowners work hard, in many ways, to purchase their homes. Habitat provides a hand-up, not a hand-out.” “By taking them from the renter’s cycle and putting them into the homeowner’s cycle, they’re actually bettering their community. By putting more dollars into our community’s economy, it makes Slidell and St. Tammany a better place to live.”
Lee Williams SPONSORED BY Bayou Web Design Plus
Debbie Armstrong SPONSORED BY Gilsbar, LLC
Ellen Judlin SPONSORED BY Fidelity Bank
Noel Estes SPONSORED BY Carreta’s Grill, Sugarlove Chris & Angie Jean Excalibur Risk Management Schwefel Strength, Riley’s Bikes
Christy Jordan SPONSORED BY Northshore Trailer and Equipment
Traci Plaisance SPONSORED BY Fred Deblin Cody Pullman Wende Watkins Roy
Lindsay Reine-DeLeon SPONSORED BY Lakeshore Family Dentistry Robert DeLeon Eric & Tiﬀany Rebaudo Mike & Carol Reine Dr. Edmund & Dr. Kristie Ring Resting Teacher Face The Blind Tiger Slidell 32
Sandy Perrien SPONSORED BY Peter Perrien Randazzo’s Bakery Mark & Lesley Perrien Tommy & Joe Ann Perrien Yvonne & Kendall Gaddy Daniel Seuzeneau Libby D’s Pottery & Glass Alecia & Renee Domestre
Women Build 2018 is impacting our community in ways we could have only imagined. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all of the generous sponsors and selfless volunteers!
The 2018 Remarkable Rosie team was treated to a special visit when the future homeowner and veteran, Amanda, stopped by with two of her kids to check out their progress. Senator Hewitt said, “It was very special to be able to show the children their bedrooms for the ﬁrst time. The joy on their faces was priceless!” God Bless Your New Home, Amanda!
Rowdy Rosies WOMAN OF DISTINCTION Deanna Reine Build Date May 8, 2018 SPONSORED BY Southern Breeze
WOMAN OF DISTINCTION Leslie Denham Build Date May 11, 2018
Luxury Cleaning Services South & Thomas CPA, LLC Tommy Benasco Jin Jeans Productions dba Camellia City Smooth Jazz Fest
Susan Williams SPONSORED BY Great Escape Fisheries
Madison Williams SPONSORED BY Great Escape Fisheries Three Divas & a Sugardaddy
Julie Teal SPONSORED BY Professional Drywall Economical Paper & Janitorial Supplies
Robin Marquez SPONSORED BY E.C.O. Builders, Inc
Monique Culpeper SPONSORED BY Three Divas & a Sugardaddy Slidell Memorial
Amanda Rizk SPONSORED BY Three Divas & a Sugardaddy
Nikki Calamari SPONSORED BY Calamari Contruction, LLC Standard Materials, LLC
Yolanda Paz SPONSORED BY George Paz Victoria Langlinais Northshore.com
Taylor Frisard SPONSORED BY Lean Performance Academy Speckled Tâ€™s Northshore Dermatology Family & Friends
Rayme Pullen SPONSORED BY Compass Group Wellness Physical Therapy
Tracy Duplechain SPONSORED BY Jack Devereaux, DDS
Dawn Rivera SPONSORED BY Kendra Maness
Barbara Doyle SPONSORED BY Pelican Pages Rotary Club of Slidell
Carolyn Baringer SPONSORED BY SoPo Cottage LLC
Connie Born SPONSORED BY Mischief Gallery
Julie Wood SPONSORED BY Paul Wood Photography
Tisha Batuk SPONSORED BY Slidell Memorial Hospital
Friends of Harbor Center
THIS MONTH JUNE
GEMINI May 21 - June 20
Strengths: Gentle, affectionate, curious, adaptable, ability to learn quickly and exchange ideas Weaknesses: Nervous, inconsistent, indecisive
CANCER June 21-July 22
Strengths: Tenacious, highly imaginative, loyal, emotional, sympathetic, persuasive Weaknesses: Moody, pessimistic, suspicious, manipulative, insecure
BIRTHSTONE The Pearl and Alexandrite. Persian mythology called pealrs “the tears of the gods.” Often described as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” alexandrite is a rare variety that changes color from bluish green in daylight to purplish red under incandescent light.
FLOWERS The Honeysuckle is a strong symbol for the everlasting bonds of love.
The Rose has more meanings than one can count! A pink rose means perfect happiness, while a red rose means “I love you.” A white rose signiﬁes innocence and purity, while a yellow rose conveys jealousy or a decrease in love. A bouquet of roses means sincere gratitude, whereas a single rose ampliﬁes the meaning of the color (a single red rose means “I REALLY love you”).
Story by Dawn Rivera
Graphics by Devin Reeson
Hurricane season beings! Don't wait for a storm to be on its way to make an evacuation plan and stock up on some supplies.
The East Louisiana Railroad is completed between Pearl River and Abita Springs. With his brickyard doing so well, Fritz Salmen is joined by his brother, Jacob.
It's National Rocky Road Day so be sure to stop at the Olde Towne Soda Shop.
It's Fresh Veggies Day! Be sure to stock up at the Camellia City Farmers Market on Saturdays.
The St. Tammany Farmer mentions McCaren and Sons brickyard, 2 miles south of Pearl River. A.C. Prevost builds a hotel, the Pioneer House. Slidell's population is 364.
Actress Jayne Mansﬁeld dies in a car accident. The car she was in slammed into the back of a tractor trailer west of the Rigolets. Her three children who were with her sleeping in the back seat survived, including Mariska Hargitay who stars in “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.”
Erika Schwarz of Folsom wins the title of Miss Louisiana.
Tropical Storm Cindy ﬂoods parts of Mandeville
Aquarium Month • Rose Month • Dairy Month Candy Month • Fight the Filthy Fly Month Turkey Lovers Month • Gay Pride Month National Gardening Week- First full week of month National Adopt a Cat Month National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month
SUMMER IN SLIDELL School is ofﬁcially out and unless you have enrolled your kids at a summer camp, you might be wondering about activities that beat the heat and are kind to your budget so here are my top picks for summer in Slidell:
1. Summer movie ﬂicks at The Grand Theatre - every Tuesday and Wednesday has $4 kids movies at 10am! 2. St. Tammany Parish Library has reading programs, activities, and music for children of all ages. 3. Splash pad at Heritage Park, Fontainebleau Park and the Mandeville Trailhead. June contains the day with the most amount of daylight hours so get out there and have some fun!
Honey Island Swamp Fest
Slidell Movie Night
Bayou Liberty Pirogue Races
Bogue Chitto NWR Youth Fishing Rodeo
Bike Night at American Legion Post 185
Free Boating Safety Classes, US Coast Guard Aux, Slidell
Arts Evening 2018, Olde Towne
JUNE 30JULY 1
HERPS Exotic Reptile & Pet Show
Slidell Heritage Festival
Liberation When Eileen first saw the post on her grandchild’s Facebook page, she read it as “pound sign” and assumed it was a typographical error. Maybe it was about some band young people liked – she had no real love of modern music. Then she remembered her own parents cautioning her about the evils of boogie-woogie. “I’d never act like an old fuddy-duddy like my Mom,” Eileen thought. She was, after all, just learning about social media. Just learning what a “post,” and “news feed,” and “memes” meant. Determined to master this form of communication, if only to see photographs of what her grandchildren and friends were doing, Eileen was conscientious about their daily goings on and how she responded to their posts. Or at least the ones they shared with the public on Facebook and that Instant Gram thing. After all, she had progressed from a Smith Corona typewriter to a keyboard. From a keyboard to entering text messages on a tiny screen of her phone, with the help of reading glasses. She’d picked up searching on Yahoo, then Firefox and now Googled everything 36
By Rose Marie Sand
she’d ever wanted to know. She even gave lessons at her kitchen table to some of her friends at the retirement home – she was deemed quite progressive in her circles.
let her wash the forks and spoons after a big family dinner.
So she Googled “#MeToo,” expecting to find pictures of a hip hop band.
Before she could answer, her favorite Uncle walked into the room. “Sure she can, I’ll watch out for her,” he said.
An hour later, tears went unnoticed down her cheeks as the full realization of this new movement hit her in the gut. Unwelcomed memories bombarded her mind. At 78 years old, she’d long ago come to grips with feelings of insidious and systematic degradation she’d felt for years. Slowly, she began to click on the “comments” posted under her granddaughter’s admission of “#MeToo.” That’s when her anger kicked in. COMMENT FROM P.H., Philadelphia: “You women are taking this stuff too seriously - just get over it.” Eileen remembered a time when she was only five years old; she was standing on a chair in front of the sink, helping her Mom wash silverware. She always felt like such a big girl when her Mom
“Eileen, can you finish up while I go next door to give Mrs. Wilson some of this left over pound cake?”
After she finished the chore, he called her over to where he was sitting on the plastic covered chair. Then he pointed to the pin-up calendar on the wall. There was a picture of a young woman in a bathing suit, sitting on an airplane. The plane had stripes and stars and markings she didn’t understand. “I’m going to take you for a ride, just like that girl there,” he said. Then he swooped her up and placed her on his lap, straddling his leg just like the girl on the plane. She remembered how much fun it was when Daddy used to play with her, before he left for the Army. Uncle jiggled her around quickly, and she felt like she truly was a big girl and truly loved again.
But that happy feeling didn’t last long. “You’re a fine little girl, Eileen,” he whispered into her curls. Something felt wrong about the pressure of his hands on her waist, but she didn’t know just what. This was different from when her Daddy placed her on his lap.
your problem, are you trying to get his job or something?”
She knew if Mommy came into the room, Mommy would be angry, so Eileen jumped off her uncle’s leg as soon as she could. Confused about what she did wrong, she ran from the kitchen.
COMMENT FROM P. A., VANCOUVER: “It’s just locker room talk – all men talk like that. It doesn’t mean anything.”
But she never “just got over it.” The uncomfortable feeling she’d felt that moment stayed with her all these years. COMMENT FROM J. W., ORLANDO: “Women are taking advantage of the instant attention and turning victimhood into personal gain.” Her first job was as a receptionist at a prestigious law firm in the city. A memory flashed into her mind, and she felt the slap on her butt as sharply as she had fifty years ago. When she talked to other people in the office about it, they said the boss always did things like that to them. “You’d better learn to handle it if you want to keep your job,” she was told. “They’ll fire you in an instant if you tell on him. What’s
Eileen realized the online Facebook comments were opening a flood of emotions and memories she’d long held at bay. Yet, she couldn’t stop clicking on each new comment.
The smell of sweet olive and honeysuckle vines, the sound of a rushing creek, and the shouts of laughter hit her senses. It was summer camp in 1955 – her first year away from home as camp counselor. The boys and girls stayed in different parts of camp, but they always got together for a campfire in the early evening. Eileen was walking to the boy’s side of camp with her best friend, and the sound of the boys talking drifted in the summer wind as strongly as the smoke from their fire. “Yeah, that’s some tits and ass! I’m going to…” Eileen stopped in her tracks. They were talking about her, and the things they said were perverted – she felt nauseated and scared – should she run back to her tent?
“Oh, don’t bother with them. It’s just the way boys talk,” her friend said. “Don’t be a baby!” COMMENT FROM A.P., CINCINNATTI: "If you don't want your pants pulled about then don’t dress like you do!" She’d only been married a couple of years, and always dressed “to suit her man.” They were invited to a barbeque with the people he worked with, and she wanted him to be proud of his wife. Eileen dressed carefully that afternoon and walked tentatively out of the bedroom in her new, flowered pink sundress. She’d hoped her husband would appreciate the extra effort she’d made to pull her hair up into a French Twist and apply blue eye shadow just like the models in Redbook Magazine. “Are you asking for it?” her husband said instead. “Go change – I don’t want my wife looking like a street walker!” In that moment, she felt ashamed of herself and vulnerable. She shoved the fitted sundress into the back of her closet, the ruffled hem taunting her with shame. COMMENT FROM R.G., GRAND RAPIDS: “We have to tell them it’s not okay, not only for yourself, but for the woman who comes next.”
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COMMENT FROM L.S., PORTLAND: “I’m a guy, and I have a Me Too story, too.” COMMENT FROM D.R., LAFAYETTE: “It’s not about sex, it’s about power.” COMMENT FROM M.O., RALEIGH: “Don’t say you have a mother, sister or daughter – say you have a father, brother or son who can do better.” Eileen read late into the night. She saw #MeToo stories all throughout culture - in finance, in sports, in churches, in entertainment, the media, in education, the military and the medical field. The stories weren’t only from the rich and powerful; stories of everyday people, men and women like herself, who opened up and posted about this part they’d all kept secret. There were #MeToo comments from all around the world. Many comments explored the movement from several perspectives. She continued on relentlessly. She clicked from story to story, learning and reacting with each click. She read about Hollywood stars, about the high profile celebrity cases, about politicians abusing power, but her own grandchild’s post mattered most. How did this all come to be? she wondered. So she delved deeper into this world of hashtags, hyperlinks and media coverage. The kids had taught her to go to a website called Wikipedia – the site gave facts much like the encyclopedias she used as a girl. Tarana Burke, a social activist and community organizer, began using the phrase "Me Too" in 2006, on the Myspace social network as part of a grassroots campaign to promote 'empowerment through empathy' among women of color who have experienced sexual abuse, particularly within underprivileged communities. Burke, who is creating a documentary titled Me Too, has said she was inspired to use the phrase after being unable to respond to a 13-year-old girl who confided to her that she had been sexually assaulted. Burke later wished she had simply told the girl, "me too." In October 2017, actress Alyssa Milano encouraged using the phrase as a hashtag to help reveal the extent of problems with sexual harassment and assault by showing how many people have experienced these events themselves. They have asked men to call out bad behavior when they see it, or just spend time quietly listening. Some men have expressed the desire to keep a greater distance from women since #MeToo went viral because they do not fully understand what actions might be considered inappropriate. In the wake of #MeToo, many countries such as the
U.S., India, France, China, Japan and Italy have seen discussion in the media on whether cultural norms need to be changed for sexual harassment to be eradicated in the workplace. Whatever happens that increases awareness and sensitivity is okay with me, she thought. No one can walk in another’s shoes that have had a lifetime of disrespect, intimidation and harm done in the name of what’s culturally normal. In any social movement, she realized, the pendulum has to swing as far in one direction as it has in another, in order to even the field. And the only way that that can happen is through awareness. The phrase "Me too" was tweeted by Milano around noon on October 15, 2017 and had been used more than 200,000 times by the end of the day, and used by more than 4.7 million people in 12 million posts during the first 24 hours. Eileen thought about the Women’s Liberation movement back in the 60’s and 70’s. She’d even attended what was called “assertiveness training,” once because, raised to be a good "Southern Belle," she felt no more able to understand feminism and liberation than how to make a cake from scratch in those days. I thought we’d fought these fights already, Eileen realized. Seeds of consciousness had been planted, but awareness was an ongoing process. The more she read, the more she realized the complicated layers and textures of the topic. There were stories and comments about women in the field of pornography, and how their stores were deemed different than other women. “Consent is consent,” she knew, no matter the circumstances. This often happens for reasons that have nothing to do with who you are and what you look like or do for a living. It happens everywhere. Sure, men in the retirement home were randy as always and were always flirting with the women. She’d been hit on more than once, even though she’d figured those times were long over.
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“They’re never over,” she muttered aloud. Eileen stood and walked to the cabinet to find her chamomile tea and the teacup that was a wedding gift from her grandmother. The cup always felt good in her hands, the fragile porcelain was deceptively strong. The aroma of the tea fortified her resolve. She walked back to her laptop, wrote a message and clicked “post.” #Metoo
3/13/18 4:12 PM
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“Your Estate Matters” By Ronda M. Gabb, NP, JD, RFC
ADOPTION AND INHERITANCE LAWS Potential clients often ask,“Why do you ask such detailed and personal questions about me during our consultation?” The answer is “because I really do need to know everything about you to be sure that I can legally accomplish your goals.” One of the most uncomfortable questions I have to ask is whether or not a client has ever had a child they put up for adoption. But this is one of the most important questions I can ever ask. Why? Under Louisiana law (Civil Code article 199 and Children’s Code article 1240), it is crystal clear that the child that was put up for adoption still unequivocally retains the right to inherit from their biological parents and grandparents! However, the biological parents and grandparents lose the right to inherit from the child that they put up for adoption. If you die intestate (without a Will), the child you put up for adoption would inherit an equal share as your other children. Going even further, if you predecease your parents, the child you put up for adoption becomes a legal heir to your own parents if they were to die intestate, too. Another problematic issue we see is when families try to keep the information “hidden,” or many times they truly don’t think it is important enough to mention. What if your parents’ Wills (or Trust) make a simple bequest to “all my grandchildren?” Legally, this would include the child you put up for adoption. This is why it is so important to specifically name who is to inherit in a Will or Trust, making it clear who is NOT to inherit. In all legal papers we draft, whether it be Wills or Succession (Probate) pleadings, we must state that there are/were no other children whatsoever, born or adopted. It must be clear to the world that there are no other heirs that may arise and make a claim against a decedent’s estate. Therefore, we always recommend to our clients to purchase owner’s title insurance when buying property because, under Louisiana law, you really never know what “legal heirs” may still be out there. The above scenario is a perfect example.
Be cautious when using “per stirpes” designations for beneficiaries which we often recommend for IRAs/401ks, life insurance, and annuities. Per stirpes means all lineal descendants of a deceased person, which would include any that may have been put up for adoption that you may have wanted to exclude. The best way to protect yourself in this situation is to have a well-drafted Will or Trust that states exactly to whom you do and DO NOT wish to leave your estate. Do not let the State of Louisiana make that decision for you by dying intestate. I realize that this may be a very uncomfortable conversation to have with your loved ones, but addressing this issue NOW and during your life is far cheaper and easier than having your family deal with a “stranger” after your death, especially if they were unaware an adopted child existed.
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 • www.rondamgabb.com
Crimi-Mommly INSANE ie Gates
Lesl Story by
“Something New to Parent Through” “Should I text him? What’s your Wi-Fi password? Do you have an iPhone charger? Did you click on the link? Is it in your cloud? Should we post a selfie on Instagram?”
the new episodes of "My So Called Life" and "90210," before cruising Gause. As I drive off in my almost-new ‘87 Honda Civic, with a “No Fear" sticker on the back window, digging for quarters to put gas in the tank, she would yell something about a debit card and live streaming while I put my map back in the glove box.
If teenagers from today were magically transported back in time, coexisting with the teenagers of the early 90s, and one of them said any of these things to me, I would think she was off her rocker! None of these questions make any sense! She would probably try to convince me they did, by having me Google it all.
My answer would be to tell her to take a chill pill while sneaking her a Zima, because they are DA BOMB, and popping in my Green Day or Coolio cassette single before checking my beeper for any 911's.
put somebody's address into maps, having me drive her to a "normal" friend’s house where I would sit and watch them noncommunicate, doing some sort of finger dance on a tiny, glowing screen that they never look up from.
She may respond to my answer with a #Psycho and ask if I can
I would tell her I'm leaving because I didn't want to miss
If you were a teen in the 90s, now raising your OWN teen, you understand the struggle. The frustration with all this immediate gratification. If I had a quarter for every time I said the words, "I hate screens," well, I definitely wouldn’t be using them in a payphone. Raising a kid in today's digital world is not a simple task. We need to have knowledge that we never learned from watching our parents, parent. They never knew how to monitor a smartphone.
No other generation has needed to worry about parental blocks, sexting, creepy online predators, or cyberbullying. If our parents appeared in teenage form to join the conversation, it would be like, "I don't know what all the fuss is about but I'm on the party line and trying to hear the Everly Brothers on my 45 over all this ruckus! And, National Bandstand will be on the black & white in a few. So, while you two figure out this hullabaloo, I'm gonna go wash my Bobby socks so I can go parking at the drive-in later tonight!" The communication gap between different generations has been, and always will be, there. The latest technology too. There’s always a new fad or invention to parent through. So, how do we do this? How do we keep our homes a place where screens aren’t replacing good, quality, family time? It’s no longer just one big screen in the living room for families to enjoy TOGETHER, it’s a bunch of tiny ones in separate areas of the house. And these tiny screens have become smarter than the parents that buy them, so easily “filling a void” of boredom in everyone, without having to really think or exert much energy. These quick fixes only temporarily fix the boredom though, the underlying issue is still there. The need for REAL connection. The book, “The Tech-Wise Family” says, “Boredom, for children and adults, is a perfectly modern condition. The technology that promises to release us from boredom is actually making it worse- making us more prone to seek empty distractions than we have ever been. In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that the more you entertain children, the more bored they will get.” That last sentence hasn’t changed much over time. I can still hear my Mom saying, “I was not put on this Earth to entertain you!” Words that FORCED me to go outside and use my imagination. No matter what generation you magically transport to, you will see a kid sitting in front of something, staring at it. A smartphone, X-box, original Nintendo, Atari, color TV, black & white TV, radio, round wheel, square wheel… we cannot control the progression of
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what’s next either. It’s coming, whether we are ready or not. But I think it's important to find balance, even when it seems easier to go to a screen or send your kid to one. Immediate gratification is not teaching them anything about perseverance. If you are like most parents nowadays, you’ve been handing your kid a screen ever since you realized it worked. When you were sitting for hours in a doctor’s office and it was the only thing that kept them quiet, or temporarily fixed their boredom. I did it. A LOT. The screen becomes their pacifier, and they get hooked on it. How do we fix it? The most obvious way - screen time rules that work for your family. The most important - real connection. “Technology is in its proper place when it starts great conversations.
It’s out of its proper place when it prevents us from talking with and listening to one another.” There are many books on the subject that give advice, example screen time rules and schedules, personal stories, polls and studies that are all that and a bag of chips, but, when it comes down to it, we must use discernment to decide if screens are taking over our homes and if we need to reconnect in a more personal way with our families. If the conversations with your kids sound anything like the ones at the beginning of this article, that’s because we ARE different than them. Ma Bad! And if your kids be trippin’, tell them to step off and talk to the hand, or you’re gonna go postal and open up a can of whoop-ass! Cause yo
Momma ain’t whack, and even though they may not understand, we TOTALLY know what we are saying AND what is best for them. OH SNAP! Parenting can be hella hard, ya heard? So, give props to all the parents that are doing their best, because, most of us are. No Duh. We shouldn’t care if it is sent via pigeon, paper boy, texting, FaceTime, radio airwaves, or flying car, if you don’t know where to start or how to reconnect, just remember what’s most important and has always stayed the same throughout time, and start there... Morals, values, patience, understanding, discipline, communication, and love… because that will NEVER change. Peace out.
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THE MONTH OF THE
n the Catholic tradition, June is not only the month of the Sacred Heart, but it is a month to look at new opportunities and to grow in relationships with an openness, and see with the eyes of Jesus. I guess we need to ask ourselves, “What is God asking of me today?” As the summer quickly approaches, I want to encourage each reader to invite the Lord Jesus as a loving Savior into one’s heart. We may experience and express our belief in God, religion and faith in different ways, but deep down I believe we all share the same desire for love, goodness, faith, family, and joy. So, what is happening in your corner of the world? How is the Lord speaking to your heart? What new adventure are you open to? Are you open to embrace a new idea, possibility, or project? I am always encouraging my parishioners to step out of their comfort zones. At Our Lady of Lourdes, we are moving forward with new eyes and asking the question, “What if?” Allow me to share with you the goings on at Our Lady of Lourdes. You can see that the following sharing can only happen when we allow the grace of
By Reverend W. C. Paysse Pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes Church
the Holy Spirit to direct our daily lives and trust in the Lord Jesus. Our primary mission as a Christian community is to bring others to Christ through worship, works of charity, and service to the community at large. Get involved at your church, volunteer at a non-profit, be available to others, and don’t forget to be good to yourself. Here at Our Lady of Lourdes, we minister to the elderly, the widow and widower, the family mourning a death, the separated and divorced, and outreach to the less fortunate in our church and service to all. We support Catholic education, religious formation, and couples in marriage preparation. We also offer spiritual direction and counseling to individuals, couples and families experiencing challenging times. While some parishes are cutting back on Masses, we at Our Lady of Lourdes are not. In fact, our parish community has added an additional Sunday Mass at 7am to accommodate the caretaker, the worker struggling to feed and clothe oneself and family members, and the person who simply appreciates an early Sunday Mass. May I add that attendance at the 7am Mass nears 240 persons, if not more, weekly! All are welcome!
We offer to all a variety of organizations, associations, clubs, prayer meetings and services because we are all different and have different needs, likes and dislikes. We attempt to care for many of your spiritual, emotional and human needs. But it all takes volunteers, resources, staff, finances and dedicated individuals who believe in the Lord Jesus and who sacrifice their time, talent and treasure for others. I invite us to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit and to allow blessings to flow through our lives. So, feel free to join us for worship, and learn more about the Catholic Church. Give me a call at 985-643-4137, and come and share a cup of coffee. If you are looking for a spiritual home, this might be the place for you. Remember, it is important as a disciple of Christ to be a “spiritual Johnny Apple Seed” for the Kingdom of Heaven. Allow the summer to renew us and redirect our hearts towards greater peace, joy and happiness. Blessings as you discover new paths and journeys along the way! Peace and joy,
Reverend W.C. Paysse Pastor
by Jeff Perret, DVM
PAIN IN THE BUTT “Dennis is on his way in with some kind of bloody ooze coming from his butt!” The announcement from my receptionist set me in motion, getting the exam room ready to evaluate the problem. Could it be a case of projectile bloody diarrhea, rectal hemorrhage, or something worse? All possible considerations, for sure, but I had another thought in mind. In due time, Dennis and his owner arrived, with much fanfare. Normally a noble, proud Great Dane, Dennis on this visit projected an heir of embarrassment. Physically he appeared fine, but the diapers, plastic wrap and duct tape around his entire rear end seemed to be causing him as much distress as whatever was underneath. Once the package was unwrapped and the distinctive smell, a combination of skunk spray and rotting shrimp, hit my nose, I knew my instinct had been right regarding Dennis’s condition. "I’m glad you brought Dennis in,” I told his owner. “Ever heard of anal sacs?” After an initial misunderstanding, the result of the fact that “anal sacs” sounds a lot like “anal…”, well, you know… I explained to my flustered, blushing client the nature of Dennis’s problem. Back in the treatment room, I started methodically flushing and cleaning the open wound next to Dennis’s rectum. The right anal gland had
indeed abscessed and ruptured. Despite my best efforts, bloody, foul-smelling secretions spattered all over my hair and shirt. It could’ve been worse: I’d had the foresight to put on a scrub shirt and exam gloves, and it doesn't take long for anyone working in a veterinary office to learn the cardinal rule of anal sacs: when one is working on them, one keeps one’s mouth closed. After his wound had been cleaned and treated, a sense of dignified relief washed over Dennis’s noble face, and his tail wagged vigorously for having survived this indignity. Dennis made a full recovery, and now he comes in regularly to have his anal glands expressed. Anal glands are scent glands, one located on either side of a dog or cat’s rectum, under the skin and buried in the muscles that form the anal sphincter. Technically, the accurate term is anal sac, and microscopic glands line the inside of the sac, but the terms anal glands and anal sacs are used pretty much interchangeably. Either way, the normal secretions inside are usually brownish, with the consistency of water, or a bit thicker. When your pet has a bowel movement, the passing stool and muscle contractions apply pressure to these glands. This pressure causes a bit of the liquid secretion to be released through tiny ducts and openings in the skin, for scentmarking purposes. In skunks, the anal glands are
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used actively as a potent defense mechanism, one which we all know to avoid. For dogs, it’s a passive process. The inner workings of healthy anal glands are hidden, and except for the occasional accidental leakage, with accompanying odor and mess, you may not even know they exist. Usually, the only indication of their presence comes when dogs sniff one another’s butt. In those instances, they are exchanging scents much like we exchange handshakes, or business cards. Occasionally, though, these small, smelly organs can cause some large issues. Anal sac diseases tend to occur more frequently in smaller breeds, but they can happen to any dog (ask Dennis). Signs that your dog may be experiencing anal gland problems include scooting and butt dragging, licking and biting of the rectal area, discoloration or loss of hair under the tail, difficulty passing a bowel movement, circling or posturing strangely, crying out for no apparent reason, and swelling or redness next to the anus. These signs can signal one of the following problems. Impaction The secretions inside the gland usually exit from a small duct which opens adjacent to the anus. If the orifice becomes blocked or too inflamed to allow effective emptying, we have an impacted
anal sac. The retained secretions may change from a liquid consistency to a thickened peanut butter-like goo (food analogies are the best). The gland fills and stretches, causing discomfort. This is the point when you may see your pet scooting and rubbing her butt along the floor. If you are lucky enough to have white carpet, invariably you will find brown streaks crisscrossing it. If this is just an occasional dance that your pet does, there’s probably nothing to be alarmed about. Most pets can empty their anal glands on their own, even if it takes a little extra effort. If there is licking and continual scooting, however, the anal glands should be checked by your veterinarian. Some pets require assistance despite their best scooting dance. This help can be in the form of regular veterinary anal gland expression, or surgical removal in chronic, recurrent cases.
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Abscess Formation If the anal gland stays impacted, an infection and abscess can develop. It’s not the cleanest area of the dog’s body, after all. The secretions become pungent (to say the least) and sometimes tinged with blood. Because the duct opening is blocked, the infected contents of the sac reach critical mass, and the abscess ruptures out through the skin. This is painful for your pet, to say the least, and appears as a second hole next to the anus. The area can be swollen, inflamed, and ooze with pus and bloody anal gland secretions. The resulting smell can clear a room! Treatment varies, but can involve clipping, cleaning and flushing the affected area, and infusing medication into the wound. Antibiotics and pain medications are prescribed to ensure healing, and sometimes anesthesia and minor surgery may even be indicated.
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Cancer Rarely, problems with the anal gland are due to something more serious. Aggressive tumors can arise in the anal gland and adjacent areas. If caught early, treatment options are available to increase the chance of survival. This is a different animal altogether. At this point, you may be staring at your pet’s nether regions and glaring at your carpeting, wondering what you can do to avoid anal sac problems. Here are a few strategies: Feed a Proper Diet: A high-quality food with adequate fiber levels helps keep defecation regular. Bowel movements of a good size may help apply pressure on those anal glands, thereby helping them empty regularly.
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Manage Weight: Ensuring that your pet is at a healthy weight will minimize the risk of developing anal gland problems, among many other concerns. Obesity causes the glands to be surrounded by fat, making them empty less efficiently. Skin folds and rolls of fat can contribute to obstruction of the orifice. Reduce Inflammation: If your pet has any food sensitivities or allergies, discuss a treatment with your veterinarian. This could include a hypoallergenic diet, medication and supplements to reduce inflammation within the body. This will aid the normal function of the anal glands, which are actually modified skin glands, not part of the digestive tract. Express the anal glands regularly: If your pet’s anal glands are chronically impacted or abscessed, regularly scheduled visits to have them expressed may be warranted, or at least going in as soon as you see your dog scooting. During these times, the anal glands are emptied before they become diseased. Groomers also express the glands, but most don’t do it as completely as veterinarians or their trained technicians. And even those pet owners who groom their own pets, or trim their toe nails, usually draw the line at expressing anal sacs as a DYI project. Leave this one to the pros. Dennis’s owner jokingly offered to buy me a new scrub top for my troubles. Luckily, the stench of the anal gland episode would fade after multiple rounds of laundering. We continued to monitor the big man’s hind end, and I’m happy to report that everything healed up nicely. Exploding anal glands are a literal pain in the butt, but with a bit of prevention, luck, and timely veterinary care, most pets can keep anal sac troubles at bay. And your vet, if they're smart, will keep a ready supply of scrub tops or spare lab coats handy.
• No Exposure to Diseases Or Parasites from Other Dogs • Medication Administered • Less Separation Anxiety • Insulin Injections • Waste Cleanup • Mail Pickup • Daily Walks
Portraits of Slidell Story and Photos by William Blackwell
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 48
One of the most interesting structures in Olde Towne Slidell is the two-story Arcade Theater located in the second block of Carey Street. It was built in 1927 by business partners and Italian immigrants, Pete Lalumia and Andrew Carollo. Pete appears to have been Carollo's friend as well as an interpreter for the immigrant, who never learned to speak English well. It was operated as a place of entertainment, featuring moving pictures and a variety of stage shows. Pete Lalumia was very well known around Slidell. It was his daughter, Mary, that had married the young and successful barber, Joe Pravata Sr. Both the Pravata and Lalumia family had immigrated from Palermo, Sicily prior to 1900. These two industrious and hardworking families shared much in common, including their
entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to family and community. The same could be said for the Carollo family. Pete Lalumiaâ€™s 1927 theater partnership with Andrew Carollo was not his first attempt in the theater business. As early as 1910, he had opened his own theater in a wooden structure on an adjacent lot on Carey Street. It had not been a complete success. The building was plagued with recurrent electrical problems and the business was hit by competition when the Knights of Pythias Hall opened their new movie theater just around the corner on Robert Street. Pete Lalumia ended his theater dreams when he sold out his half of the business to Andrew Carollo in early 1930. The daily management and business operations were quickly passed on to Andrew
Carollo’s children, Russell, Rosalea, and his son-in-law, Luke Fontana. They worked very hard to keep the theater open seven days a week. It drew crowds from the surrounding towns of Pearl River, Lacombe and Covington. The Arcade Theater became the premier source of entertainment for the community for the next 30 years. It provided a variety of entertainment opportunities, including feature films and serials (westerns were popular), midnight shows, special matinees for school children, benefit
shows for charitable organizations, beauty pageants, baby contests, and an occasional vaudeville act. The Carollo family did not close the theater until 1963. The Arcade was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 29, 1997 with supporting text provided by daughter Rosalea Carollo Fontana. Over the years, the building underwent extensive interior gutting and renovations in addition to a new stucco facade for the building’s front.
In May of 1994, Kevin Jordan purchased the property and began the long process of restoring it to the modern structure that it is today. The building is now a multi-functional assembly facility and special events venue for weddings, receptions, carnival balls and parties. It has retained the original name “Arcade Theatre.” Their website gives complete information and photos for those interested in booking an event at this historic location.
OUT TAKES Slidell Magazine was EVERYWHERE this month! Here are just a few of our adventures!
R. Allen Johnson and the staff of Heritage Bank enjoy a little goat snuggling at the Chamber of Commerce’s Business & Commun ity Showcase
ag Slidell M8
95 - June
honored to Slidell Magazine was siness of be named the May Bu amber and Ch e th m the Month fro per! Slip sponsored by Silver THREE CHEERS FOR HABITAT! Resourceful Rosie, Dawn Rivera, gives a cheerleader lift to Habitat ’s Construction Director, Rock Last rapes
a BRAVO! Award Slidell Magazine won ion on the Arts! iss mm Co ell Slid ), from the morial (CEO, Bill Davis Me ell l-r: Slid y dd Fre r 2018 recipients were yo Ma ), ot en r (Brian Font Cutting Edge Theate Maness) ell Magazine (Kendra Slid d an n, na Dren
Rosie program co-founder, Julie Wood, shows off her drill skills at the 2018 Habitat Women Build
The Rosies were in full force at the LA Veteran’s Fest! Joined by the amazing Liberty Bell singers, on loan from the WWII Museum, are l-r: Kendra, Robin Marquez, Carolyn Baringer, Susan Williams and Jac kelyn Gallo
Habitat’s Woman of Distinction, Councilwoman Leslie Denham, celebrates her crowning with the MisChief doll mascot for the Resourceful Rosies
Founding member, Lt. Ray Dupuy, is remembered with prayers ellia City and a balloon release at the Cam Park e Kids Fest in Heritag
Rotary Clubs Clubs of of Slidell, Slidell, City City of of Slidell, Slidell, Rotary New Orleans Orleans Advocate Advocate and and New The St. St.Tammany Tammany Farmer Farmer PRESENT: PRESENT: The
Arts & Crafts
Food & Drink !
21st Annual Slidell Heritage Festival
Heritage Park 4pm 11pm
Kidz Games ! Fireworks @ 9pm
SHF Poster by Jan SutherlandWells • MindWindPhotos@gmail.com
SATURDAY- 30TH of JUNE “The New Orleans Mystics – Days of Motown” @ 5:30 -7:00
Bag of Donuts –– @ 9:30-11:00
TICKETS: $10 for adults & $5 for children 4-12 years Children 3 & younger are admitted FREE! No food, beach umbrellas or ice chests in the park.
Charities Benefiting 1. Boy ScoutsCypress District 2. Bring It Home Northshore 3. Children’s Advocacy Center
“7 Bridges: Ultimate Eagles Experience” @ 7:30-9:00
4. Community Christian Concern 5. Family Promise of St. Tammany 6. EXCEED in STEM & the Slidell Police Assoc.