THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF SLIDELL
Vol. 99 October 2018
ST. MARGARET MARY
SLIDELL FOOD AND FUN FEST OCTOBER 19 - 21
50 Years 1968-2018
MisChief Ms. Sensational Survivor 2018
Journalist Angela Hill with Connie Born and MisChief Ms. Sensational Survivor 2018 for Cancer Crusaders.
CONNIE BORN CUSTOM S CREATIONE! AVAILABL
Artist Connie Born's whimsical creations represent the richly diverse and fascinating culture that is alive in Louisiana. Custom made creations are available for any occasion or event. New additions to Born's Krewe of MisChief are created every day in the Gallery and Studio in the Marketplace at 1808 Front Street in Slidell. Visit the Gallery to see the new creations currently in process and to start your collection today!
Check out our Facebook page or call us and see the MisChief we can create for YOU! MardiGrasMischiefCreations etsy.com/shop/MGMisChiefCreations
SLIDELL HISTORICAL ANTIQUE ASSOCIATION’S 37TH ANNUAL FALL STREET FAIR
SLIDELL STREET FAIR
VINTAGE • ANTIQUE • COLLECTIBLE • REPURPOSED SALVAGE• ARTS PAINTED FURNITURE • METAL SCULPTURE • CRAFTS • FOOD • LIVE MUSIC
OCT 27/28 • 10AM - 5PM
BOOTH SPACE AVAILABLE!
10' x 10' $100 20' x 10' $175 $30 for Electrical Hookup Booths are assigned on a first come first served basis. Call Marsha at 985-710-9122
First, Second & Erlanger Streets OLDE TOWNE SLIDELL, LA For more info: 985-710-9122
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My setting has changed slightly. I live in a different home and work from a different office now. I have moved up to an iPhone (note the flip phone resting on my desk in that picture). And, I quit smoking years ago, so there’s no pack of cigarettes at the ready on my computer desk (this insures that I’ll be around for the next 100 editions).
By the time you read this, I will be designing the November edition of Slidell Magazine our spectacular 100th issue! I’ve spent the last few months preparing for this milestone for my company. I’ve had meetings with all of my writers, edited a ton of text, and weeded through THOUSANDS of photos from the past 8 1/2 years. The picture above is from May, 2010 as I was preparing to go to print on my very first issue. It made me giggle so I thought I’d share the laugh with you. So much has changed since the inception of this publication, yet that picture could have been taken yesterday (except for the gray hair, wrinkles and extra 20 pounds that I’ve adopted since then). I’m still at the computer in my jammies during the wee hours, papers strewn about, dogs at my feet, coffee on my desk, working feverishly to bring Slidell Magazine 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 The Storyteller, John Case Pet Points, Jeff Perret, DVM This Month in History, Dawn Rivera Storm Series: Part 12 of 12, Donna Bush Crimmi-Mommly Insane, Leslie Gates Legal-Ease, Ronda M. Gabb Making Cents of Your Money, Mike Rich Go Beyond, Fear, Rose Marie Sand Trail Tales of Swamprat, Donna Bush/Randy Fandal St. Margaret Mary Food & Fun Fest, Kendra Maness Faith Music Fest, Kendra Maness
Cover Photography by Sam Caruso, Jr.
Cover Artist sam caruso, jr
Yet, with all of the changes, both personally and professionally, since I started Slidell Magazine, my motto in business and life has never changed: Keep It Fresh, Keep It Positive. It’s more than just a saying that appears on each cover, it’s the philosophy that motivates me and my staff on a daily basis. I didn’t really internalize this until I started reviewing all of the stories and pictures from the past 99 Editions. I actually found a folder in my computer named “Sad Stuff”. It’s where I used to file all of the submissions and photos that made me uneasy or unhappy. I never wanted to delete anything because I always hoped to find a way to turn those sad stories into uplifting ones. I always hoped that, with time, the writer would develop the story and give it a happy ending. One of the stories was written by me. I didn’t name the story, but the computer auto-saved the file by its first line. The name is “I’ve got to get out of the magazine business.” The document was more like a journal entry chronicling all the reasons why I should give up on my dream and quit Slidell Magazine. I talked about things like lack of money, the crazy hours I was keeping, my lack of personal time, and the lofty goals that I had set for the magazine’s success that I thought I could never reach. Next month, Slidell Magazine will attain one of those lofty goals when we produce our centennial edition. Success! The other complaints in that journal are just part of LIFE. Over the past 99 months, I’ve come to realize that my challenges are no different than anyone else’s. I’m not looking for a happy ending to this story, because I NEVER WANT THIS STORY TO END. Dreams really do come true!
This is the second Slidell Magazine cover for Sam Caruso, Jr. His first cover was in October 2016, and it also pictured a beautiful landscape photograph of our community’s premier festival, the Slidell Food & Fun Fest. We are delighted that Sam is still capturing these memories and sharing his talents with us! Sam is a quintessential Slidell guy. He has lived in Slidell since he was eight. He is the son of former Mayor of Slidell, Sam Caruso, Sr. (1985-2002). He has spent nearly all his time in Slidell trying to make it a better place. He serves on the Olde Towne Historic Preservation Commission, board member of Heritage Bank of St. Tammany, and is a former board member and Chairman (2011) of the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce. Sam is the Director of Business Development for Slidell Memorial Hospital. He loves Slidell because, “It’s a small town, where everybody knows everybody, but it is vibrant. There are so many ways to play, shop, create and enjoy life, and that makes it a wonderful place to raise a family. Our kids love having so many family and friends close by, with so many things to do.” He loves playing with his three children, playing trumpet and, of course, photography. He and his lovely wife Anna have been married for 17 years this November, and both are big supporters of St. Margaret Mary School and Church.
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St. Margaret Mary
Slidell Food & Fun Fest celebrates
The Slidell Food and Fun Fest, known by locals as the St. Margaret Mary Fair, is celebrating 50 years of music, food, games and rides this October 19-21. Growing bigger every year, the fair boasts an average attendance of 30,000, drawing visitors from across the state and Mississippi. In addition to the awesome outdoor activities, the fair is also hosting their 6th Annual Craft Fair in the air-conditioned gym. The money brought in by the fair is a vital necessity for St. Margaret Mary each year and is used for a variety of things - building maintenance and improvement, gymnasium and sports equipment, fiber optics and technology, and more.
50 St. Margaret Mary School principal, Cathy Canter, notes, "The fair proceeds are an integral part of our school's operation. For example, it's a huge asset for us as a school to have technology in every classroom. With the fair providing the funding necessary to acquire and maintain the latest technology, students can achieve the highest level of study and be better prepared for the next step in their education." Mrs. Canter is also quick to point out the importance of the fair, not just for St. Margaret Mary, but for the entire Slidell community. “It’s such a tradition. The fair is who we are as a faith community. I can remember coming to the fair as a kid, and now I bring my
years children here. It provides a wonderful, safe place for families to gather. You just know it’s coming in October and the excitement builds. At night, the sky is glowing from the rides, you smell the food and visit with all of your friends. It’s like a Slidell community reunion each year! We are seeing four generations of Slidellians now.” The first fair was held in November 1968, run by the Ladies’ Altar Society. It was probably the coldest November recorded in Louisiana history! There was ice on the ground at midday. Despite the weather, the fair was a success, netting $3000, which was used to purchase a tabernacle for the altar.
50th Annual Slidell Food & Fun Fest and Craft Fair
Since 1971, the fair has been held on the third weekend in October. By 1978, the fair was bringing in $35,000 in revenue and had become a Slidell staple. The fair revenue helped to build new classrooms for the expanding school. In 1980, in order to increase interest, a food fest was added. The Fair was renamed The Slidell Food and Fun Fest and netted $50,000, the greatest increase being from the food. With the building proceeds, St. Margaret Mary was able to pay for the completion of the gym. Not only does the fair bring priceless memories to thousands each year, but we also get to see the results every time we pass the beautiful 14 acre campus on Robert Boulevard!
The Slidell Food & Fun Fest and Craft Fair is a family-friendly festival, which strives to give the visitor a safe and fun experience. In order to do that properly, a new admission policy has been instituted. Listening to feedback from patrons, St. Margaret Mary has made some adjustments to their ride admission policies: • Admission Bands will be required for visitors that wish to go onto the Ride Midway. Admission Bands are not required for the food, entertainment, craft, and toddler town areas. • Admission Bands will be $5.00, cash only, UNLESS supervising children in possession of a full sheet of tickets and/or Session/Mega Bands and/or current year fair t-shirts. • Admission Bands can be picked up/purchased at the tents located at the two Ride Midway entrances. • Visitors that purchase a full sheet of tickets, Session Band, Mega Band or current fair t-shirt will be issued an Admission Band AT NO CHARGE. • The adult Parents/Guardians supervising children in possession of a full sheet of tickets and/or Session/Mega Bands and/or current fair t-shirt WILL NOT BE CHARGED for Admission Bands. Check out the Slidell Food and Fun Fest Facebook page for more information. SEE YOU THERE!
FRI OCT 19 5-11pm SAT OCT 20 11am-11pm SUN OCT 21 Noon-9pm
SUNDAY SATURDAY FRIDAY
The fair is known for its amazing rides and this year promises to fulfill the need for speed! Rob Bywater, Fair Director, is working hard to make this year’s fair another success. “This is going to be our best fair yet. Our committee is made up of parents and parishioners, and that is really where the heart of the fair is, because they know it will come back to benefit the children. The ride vendor is very clean, extremely professional, and safety is their priority. Their rides are all new. The ferris wheel is one of only six in the nation, and is the largest mobile ferris wheel in the country. I want this fair to be the premier event in the city. I want people to get the best entertainment value for their dollar. It’s free admission and the music entertainment is free, so that makes it affordable for the whole family.” Rob notes that there is something for everyone. While the kids are enjoying the adventures outside, the craft fair in the gym offers great shopping and an air-conditioned respite for the grown-ups. “The food is delicious too!” The fair offerings are REAL food like Crawfish Pasta, Alligator Sausage, Steak Bowls, Fried Shrimp, Fried Catfish, and more. The fair’s 50th anniversary will also see the debut of “Toddler Town”. Rob says, “It’s like a fair within the fair. The junior high and high school youth groups will have an area set aside with age appropriate games for children 6 and under. There will be kiddie karaoke in a nice area away from the main stage, and tons of games that are specifically for 1st graders and younger.”
5pm - FAIR OPENS!!!! Craft Fair ... 6-10pm MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT The Molly Ringwalds ... 7:30-10:30pm Craft Fair ... 11am-10pm SMM Cheer, Dance & Choir ... 1-2pm MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT Bobby Ohler & the Harbor Band... 2-4pm August Rush ... 4-6pm Bag of Donuts ... 7:30-10:30pm Craft Fair..... Noon-9pm MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT Slidell High Choir ... 1-1:30pm NOLA Rouge ... 3:30-5:30pm Witness ... 6-8:30pm
RIDE MEGA BANDS (rides for all 3 days)
$65 in advance, $80 at the fair
RIDE SESSION BANDS (good for any one session)
$30 in advance PRICES AT FAIR:
FRI SAT SAT SUN SUN
5-11pm 12-5pm 5pm-11pm 12-5pm 5pm-9pm
$35 $35 $40 $35 $35
Advanced Ride Band Sales at www.saintmmchurch.org until Thursday, 10/18 at midnight 3 9
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Touch a Truck
The Slidell Noon Lions Touch a Truck will be at Fremaux Town Center Saturday, October 27 from 10am-3pm.
LeaderDog seeing eye dog training, Louisiana Lions Camp for Handicapped & Diabetic Kids, eyeglasses for qualified low income people and a worldwide eyeglass recycling program plus local charities.
The Lions are celebrating their 90th year of continuous operation in Slidell and are part of the worldâ€™s largest charitable organizations, operating in over 200 countries with over 1.4 million members! Touch a Truck is for children under 12. Kids will be able to touch the vehicles, get in the drivers' seats, honk the horns, and have mom and dad take their photo. Participating trucks will include local Slidell area Fire Departments,Slidell Police, St. Tammany Sheriff, Newman Transport, CLECO, Waste Management, Old Town Soda Shop and many others, including some classic restored trucks that the kids can look at but not touch.
Sat. Oct. 27
The Lions will also conduct free eye screenings for pre-school kids with parental consent. Soft drinks and water are available for purchase. Tickets for entry into the event are $3. Kids under 2 years of age are free. This event is a fundraiser supporting Lions charities, including Louisiana Eye Foundation Cub Site eye screening,
Touch a Truck is the Lionsâ€™ biggest single fundraising event, joining the Lions Thursday afternoon bingo and their last Saturday of the month $6 pancake breakfasts to meet the Lions charitable disbursement goals. The Lions appreciate your support for their efforts to make our world a better place. Citizens interested in joining the Lions should visit the Lions den to get more information and an application at 356 Cleveland Street in Olde Towne on Thursdays from 1:30 - 2:30pm.
Visi mAR t the Tk Artis etplace t Ga Tuesd ay - F llery 10AM r -5PM iday from & from 8am- Saturday 3p over 3 0 loca m with la work s for rtists’ sale!
FOR MORE LIONS INFO CALL 985-649-2511
NOON LIONS CLUB BINGO - THURSDAYS AT 2:30PM • PANCAKE BREAKFAST - LAST SATURDAY OF EACH MONTH
1808 FRONT ST. E. ST. TAMMANY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE VENDOR AND MARKET INFO CALL 985-640-7112 • camelliacitymarket
OPEN SATURDAYS 8AM-NOON RAIN OR SHINE
ellia City m a C a y u B arket Farmers M r $5 and bag fo g n i p p o h s Proud ’m I y t i C “ get a me” to Call Ho EE! FR yard flag
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SAINTS AT GIANTS • 3:25pm
SAINTS AT RAVENS • 3:05pm
Ambassador Meeting Noon
Education Committee Meeting Chamber • 8:30am
National Candy Corn Day
Grand Opening Bella Lucca 3:30-4:30pm
Dine & Discover Chamber • 11:30am-1pm
Wings and Wine Northlake Nature Center 7pm
Bras for a Cause Harbor Center • 6-9pm
WILDEYES "Up Close & Personal" Conert Series Harbor Center • 7-9pm
Ducks Unlimited Dinner Harbor Center
EYP After Hours Brass Monkey • 5-7pm
Lions Bingo Slidell Noon Lions Club Every Thursday • 2:30-4pm
A Taste of Olde Towne Chateau Bleu, Restaurant Cote' and The Wine Garden 6:30-9pm
St. Tammany Parish Fair • October 4-7 St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds
Chamber Luncheon Athena Award Harbor Center 11:30am-1pm
Chief Randy Fandal and Mayor Freddy Drennan's Wild Game, Seafood & BBQ Cookoff Oak Harbor Golf Club Fritchie Park • 11AM
Chamber Golf Tournament
ExtraVETTEganza Corvette Only Car Show Harbor Center • 10am-4pm
Keep Slidell Beautiful Clean Up Day • 8:30am-Noon
Camellia City Farmer's Market EVERY SATURDAY 8AM-NOON
Respect: Aretha Franklin Tribute • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm
Carey Street Crawl Olde Towne • 5PM
Antique Street Fair Olde Towne • 10am-5pm Touch a Truck Fremaux Town Center •10am - 3pm Halloween Spooktacular Grand Theatre • 11am-2pm Rocky Horror Biohazzzard • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm
Rocky Horror Biohazzzard • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm
Slidell Food & Fun Fest • St. Margaret Mary
Fall in Love with Art Opening Reception SMH • 7-9pm Runs through November 14th
Twelfth Night • Slidell Little Theatre • 8pm A...My Name is Alice • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm Newcomers Craft Show 13 12 Harbor Center • 11am-4pm Wooden Boat Fest Northshore on Tap Oct 13/14 • Madisonville Auditorium • 1-5pm A Taste of Olde Towne • Grand Tasting A Taste of Olde Towne • Premium Tasting Chamber • 7-9pm The Wine Garden • 5-7pm Twelfth Night • Slidell Little Theatre • 8pm A...My Name is Alice • Cutting Edge Theater • 8pm
$45 PER PERSON
CHRISTY & THE RASCALS
SIGNATURE WINE GLASS!
Info & Tickets at: www.ATasteofOldeTowne.com
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EST Chamber, 1808 Front St. • Friday, October 12 • 7-9PM
A Taste of Olde Towne
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Look for the RED Fleur de Lis to see all of the Chamber Events!
SAINTS AT VIKINGS •7:20pm
Bayou Jam Halloween Bash Heritage Park • 5-7pm
Antique Street Fair Olde Towne • 10am-5pm
Grand Opening Divine Nails 3:30-4:30pm
Northshore Fall Fest Job Fair Castine Center • 2-6pm
Grand Opening First Castle Credit Union 3:30-4:30pm
Grand Opening Tannor Manor 3:30-4:30pm
Pinking Out! Cancer Survivor Celebration SMH Founders • 5:30-7pm
SAINTS VS REDSKINS • 7:15pm
National Homemade Cookies Day
Twelfth Night Slidell Little Theater • 2pm 14 Warrior Wing Cook-Off Cousin St. • 11am-3pm Bayou Jam Northshore Community Orchestra Heritage Park 5-7pm A Taste of Olde Towne Champagne Jazz Brunch Chateau Bleu • 11am-1pm Twelfth Night • Slidell Little Theater • 2pm Dachshund Race 21 & Oktoberfest Lamb of God Church Noon - 6pm Slidell Food & Fun Fest St. Margaret Mary • 12-6pm
O C T O B E R
Storyteller THE DEED It had been fifty years since Laverne Dugan disappeared. She would have been 80 years old if she was still alive. Some thought she might be, but others felt sure she was dead, a victim of foul play. Years ago, her husband, James, came home from work and found their nine-month-old son, Steve, in the playpen. Laverne was nowhere to be found, and there was no sign of a struggle.
The affair with Stennis caused its fair share of gossip. He was probably forty years older than Laverne and very wealthy. "New rich" they called it. He got into the oil business when the boom hit town. Mostly, he just sat in the lobby of the Inez Hotel and made deals. Oil men from Texas and Louisiana schemed, scammed, and honestly made millions for themselves and a few locals.
The community was basically divided on their opinion of what happened to her. James’ relatives felt sure she was the victim of a kidnapper or crazed killer. They felt she would never have left her husband and young son.
Outside the hotel there was a new Chevrolet that seldom left its parking spot. Stennis had bought it for the two of them to use when she could get a babysitter and sneak into town. It would be too obvious for them to be seen in his Lincoln Continental. The Chevrolet was never seen again after her disappearance.
It is a well-worn cliché that the husband is the last to know; but in this case, it was true. Many were certain Laverne
was not the person James thought she was. There had been rumors over the years that she had been involved in several relationships. Lately, it was well known that she was involved with Stennis Summerall.
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Freddie Baxter was a teller at the bank until he got fired for divulging bank customer business. He said Stennis had opened an account and put a sizable amount of money in it, and Laverne withdrew it the day before she was last seen. About fifteen years later, Stennis died. Over the years, Laverne's disappearance faded from the memories of most. At least, the details did. ********** Steve hadn’t given much thought to growing up without a mother. Occasionally, when other kids’ moms would come to school, he had wished to have one. But for the most part, he didn’t care. He had never had one. After all, she had disappeared when he was nine months old. His father, James Dugan, had explained to him that his mother had disappeared and was most likely killed by a crazy person. He was too young to process the horror of such a statement; and, by the time he was old enough to understand the pain and fear of murder at the hands of a stranger, he had heard another theory. He heard gossip that his classmates had most likely picked up from their parents. They told the story of Laverne deserting the family by running off with another man, adding that she was most likely living in another state. He had also heard that his father may have killed her out of jealousy. Each of these possibilities had dwelled differently in his mind at various times in his life. The experience had formed in his mind a distrust for women. Now fifty-one years old, Steve had never married and worked as a clerk at the county farmers co-op. Due to his personality, or lack thereof, Steve’s position at the co-op was as high as he would ever achieve. He had not had a raise in five years, but really had not needed one. He lived frugally and had acquired significant assets when his father passed away the year before. A few years after his mother disappeared, his father had inherited his grandfather’s eighty-acre farm. Shortly afterward, they drilled a successful oil well on it. Steve’s father also had collected $10,000 in life insurance proceeds, though at first, the life insurance company refused to pay since there was no body. After seven years, Laverne Dugan was presumed dead. Steve lived like a recluse and spent no money. ********** It was a warm day in May when she walked into the co-op. She was looking for cracked corn to feed birds. She appeared to be about Steve’s age and, for some reason, for maybe the first time in his life, he felt an attraction to a female. The smallest package of cracked corn the co-op sold was
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a 50-pound bag, which was much more than she needed. She said she had rented a room at the Inez Hotel for a month. A genealogy buff, she was using the Inez as a geographical base to explore the records and cemeteries of nearby counties. She wanted to place the seed on the windowsill and photograph the birds as they came to eat. According to her, photography was also an interest. She asked Steve if a sack ever accidentally got damaged. He told her it occurred occasionally; and, if one did happen to break, he would send a small bag of corn to her room at the Inez. Just before closing, he carefully took his pocket knife and slit a bag of corn. He placed about two pounds in a paper bag, which he decided he would deliver himself. For the first time in his life, Steve felt an emotional sensation he had never experienced.
370 GATEWAY DR, SUITE A SLIDELL firstname.lastname@example.org
The two sat in the lobby of the old hotel that still held a bit of its charm. In its day, the Inez had been the town’s shining star. Steve learned that her name was Ruby Fulton and she was from Kirby, Texas. Some time, about two grandfathers ago, she had relatives in the surrounding counties. She was retired now and had time to pursue her dream of following her roots all the way to wherever they led. She then asked him about his family. He told her what he knew, never mentioning the Summerall name, wanting to believe that part of the story was not true. She had a probing personality, however, and when he left, he realized he had never spoken to a female that long in his life and had never revealed so much about himself to anyone. She was so easy to talk to. Steve’s new afternoon ritual was to visit Ruby at the hotel. This went on day after day. They talked. This was fun. This was new for him. He bought new clothes and had his car washed and waxed, a treat he usually gave himself only for Christmas. Would she have dinner at the local café with him? It was in the same building as the hotel. Yes, she would. From that day on, they were inseparable every day after work until about 9 pm. Nothing more intimate than a greeting hug was shared between the two. Steve never questioned it. Maybe that was the way it was supposed to be. He didn’t know. She was the first woman he had ever had as much as a casual conversation with. It was a Saturday, about three weeks into their relationship, when he asked if she wanted to see where he lived. He took her to the home where he grew up, the home where his mother had disappeared. She realized it was decorated just as it must have been fifty years ago. Neither he nor his father had changed a thing.
His mother’s picture sat on a table. She was pretty. Ruby asked questions. She wanted to know where the
playpen was that he had been left in. He knew where it had been, and he showed her. She did not say a word, just contemplated the disappearance. He then drove her to the eighty acres that he had inherited. The oil well looked like a giant hammer as it sucked the oil from underneath the soil. It had produced long after it was expected to; but, he had been told that when it quit, they could squeeze even more out by injecting CO2. The oil well had made him financially secure, and that is the only thing about the land he cared about. He dealt daily with too many farmers and realized he was not cut out for that life. ********** There was a stream on the lower part of the property. It meandered through a sharp turn, creating a nice view in two directions. Audibly, he heard her say, “This is where I want my house.” She then turned to Steve and asked, “Will you marry me?” “Yes,” he said, without hesitating. For the first time in his life, Steve attempted to kiss someone. She hugged him but turned away. “No, I have had two romances since my husband died. I think they both did not work out because we became too intimate before we got married. Let’s do this right and wait.” That was OK with him. He did not know any better. ********** Steve’s coworkers advised him to slow things down a bit, but he knew better. Nothing could be better than the new feelings of romance he had. One afternoon, she told him, “Steve, I would like for you to give me something that I can call my own. I have never owned anything growing up, and I need that security.” “Sure, what would you like? We will go and get you the nicest ring in the store.” “I don’t want a ring. I want the land, the eighty acres. I am not interested in the house.” Steve was silent for a moment before answering, “I must think about that.”
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He wished she had not asked for his property, because he knew he couldn’t resist doing anything she desired. That night, he reasoned that she would soon be his wife; so what did it matter if she owned the property rather than he? What belonged to one belonged to the other. He had no heirs anyway.
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Two days later, Ruby delivered paperwork for Steve to sign. He read it and agreed with its contents. They went to a notary, and he signed it.
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The next day, he got a call from one of the few friends
he had. Tommy Breeland grew up about a quarter of a mile from Steve’s home and was the closest thing to a childhood friend Steve had. “Steve, your lady friend, Ruby, and a elderly lady, Laverne Summerall, were in my office wanting to transfer half the property you gave to Ruby to this Laverne, who she says is her mother. I told them I would have to prepare the papers overnight and have them ready for them in the morning. I thought I should call you. Be careful now, I could lose my license for revealing this information, but you and I go back a long way.” Steve immediately awoke from his deep state of infatuation. “Tommy, I will be right there. Is there anything we can do?” In less than five minutes, he was in his friend’s office. Tommy explained that, although Steve had given her a deed to the property, if she had not recorded it, there was still a chance the sale could be at least flawed. Based on this advice,
they hurried to the courthouse. The sale, which was for one dollar, love, and other consideration, had not been recorded. Time was of the essence. They hurried to the bank. Tommy kept a sizable amount of money in this bank and, from a business standpoint, was well respected. They reasoned the maximum value of the property including the oil well production was $500,000. Based on deposits Tommy had at the bank, a loan was quickly made to Tommy for $600,000, using the land to secure a mortgage. Tommy had explained that, if Ruby had not recorded the sale and they could record the mortgage before she got to the courthouse, the sale would be primed by the mortgage and she would have ownership only subject to the mortgage. In layman’s terms, it meant she would have to make the payments. The papers were rushed to the courthouse and recorded. They had made it in time.
The next day, Laverne recorded the deed giving half the property to her mother, not knowing there was a mortgage that encumbered the property for more than its worth. In addition to that, the payments were $5,000 per month. The day after, Ruby checked out of the Inez at 6 a.m. She went back to Texas, never seeing Steve again. In five months, the foreclosure proceedings were underway. Steve bought his property back at the foreclosure sale. ********** The truth eventually came out. Like mother, like daughter. Ruby was the child of Stennis Summerall, half-sister to Steve. Laverne had disappeared after finding out she was pregnant with Stennis’s child. Stennis supported them well until he passed away. After he died, they had gone through his money quickly. Steve now distrusted women more than ever.
John S. Case October 2018
Life is about the ride, not the destination!
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“Your Estate Matters” By Ronda M. Gabb, NP, JD, RFC
IT’S THE “PRE” THAT IS THE KEY! We always talk about PRE-planning things, but what does that really mean? Well, it means you have to make a plan BEFORE anything bad happens, not after. Unfortunately, many of the calls we get come from folks who have lost the opportunity to pre-plan - perhaps a loved one has had an accident, a stroke, or now has advanced dementia or Alzheimer’s. Under the law, you must be competent to execute any documents, such as powers of attorney, living wills, and last wills and testaments. Once someone has become incompetent it is far too late. Planning for incapacity, in my opinion, is more important than planning for death. If someone becomes incompetent, and they have no prior plan in place, how are their ongoing bills going to be paid at a time when their monthly expenses tend to skyrocket because of their additional medical and long term care costs? What if properties need to be sold or mortgaged to bring in extra money? What if we need to access monies from their investments or retirement accounts? Who has the legal authority to do this? If you think a spouse has this power simply by operation of law, think again. If there was not a power of attorney in place, no one can legally sign on behalf of the incapacitated person without having to go to Court. This costly, scary, humiliating, and time-consuming court procedure is called an “Interdiction”. The incapacitated person must be sued and get personally served (usually by a Sheriff’s Deputy in uniform) with Court papers. All parties must then physically go to Court and the Judge will decide based on the evidence presented if indeed the Interdiction is warranted. If so, the Judge will then appoint a “Curator” to preside over the Interdict’s affairs. This Curator very well may not have been the person that the Interdict would have chosen, and their powers are not as broad and all-encompassing as what they would have been had a good power of attorney been in place. Because anyone, young or old, can become incompetent at anytime, I believe that every legal adult (meaning
age 18 or older) should have a comprehensive power of attorney in place. The power of attorney should not only cover the management of your assets, but also the management of your health care. For this reason, in most cases, we actually draft two separate powers of attorney. Additionally, you always want to name a successor Agent to serve in case the person you have chosen becomes incompetent, or dies before you do. Agreed, this is not a pleasant topic to broach with parents, spouses, or loved ones. However, if you could ask someone who is living through the nightmare of an unplanned incapacity if they wished they would have PRE-planned, I assure you their answer would be a resounding YES. You see, the PRE in the plan, is the KEY to the plan! Remember: “People don’t plan to fail…they simply fail to plan.”
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
THIS MONTH OCTOBER "Octo" means 8 but here we are in the 10th month of the year. Fall, jackets, a cool breeze to make you believe that living in Louisiana is possible again, tons of festivals and Halloween - what could be better?
ZODIAC SIGNS LIBRA September 23 - October 22
Strengths: Cooperative,diplomatic, gracious, fair-minded, social Weaknesses: Indecisive, avoids confrontations, will carry a grudge
SCORPIO October 23 - November 21 Strengths: Resourceful, brave, passionate, stubborn, a true friend Weaknesses: Distrusting, jealous, secretive, violent
BIRTHSTONES October's birthstones are the tourmaline and opal. In ancient times, the opal was known as the Queen of Gems because it encompassed the colors of all other gems. Each opal is truly one-of-a-kind. Tourmaline means “mixed stone” and is found with a rainbow of colors.
HOLIDAYS October is the favorite month for so many and with good reason…sports fans get to enjoy the “Big Four” with basketball, hockey, football, and baseball all going on, beer lovers get to enjoy Oktoberfest celebrations, kids get candy, and there are month-long observances like: •National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month •National Arts & Humanities Month •National Bullying Prevention Month •National Cyber Security Awareness Month •National Domestic Violence Awareness Month •LGBT History Month
FLOWER August's birth ﬂower is the calendula. Dried, the calendula can spice up your cooking. It can also be used as an herbal medicinal remedy for things such as headaches and reducing fever.
Story by Dawn Rivera Graphics by Devin Reeson
CANDY (GAG) CORN
Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonﬁres and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints; soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween.
Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia invented this tri-color candy in the 1880's. The treats were called "Chicken Feed" and sold in boxes that read "Something worth crowing for." But how did it become associated with Halloween? Corn is associated with harvest time and the colors are reﬂective of the Autumn season. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that candy corn became Halloween-speciﬁc when trick-or-treating started to become very popular.
In the mid-19th century, the Irish Potato Famine drove over a million Irish immigrants to America. Their folklore changed from roaring bonﬁres to small lanterns in gourds (the ﬁrst jack-o-lanterns) and the animal skins worn slowly turned into other ghoulish costumes. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season and PG costumes rather than anything frightening or grotesque. Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the 20th century.
BLACK AND ORANGE The classic Halloween colors can also trace their origins back to the Celtic festival Samhain. Black represented the “death” of summer while orange is emblematic of the autumn harvest season.
HOW MUCH?! The National Retail Federation said American’s spent $8.4 BILLION in 2016 and last I could ﬁnd, we were scheduled to spend $9.1 BILLION in 2017!!
AROUND THE WORLD Mexico and other Latin American countries celebrate with Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, honoring deceased loved ones and ancestors. In Austria, some people will leave bread, water and a lighted lamp on the table before retiring on Halloween night. In China, the Halloween festival is known as Teng Chieh. Food and water are placed in front of photographs of family members who have departed while bonﬁres and lanterns light the paths of the spirits as they travel the earth on Halloween night. The Halloween celebration in Hong Kong is known as Yue Lan, Festival of the Hungry Ghosts, and is a time when it is believed that spirits roam the world for twenty-four hours. In Italy, children wake up to candy and gifts laid out for them on the morning of November 2nd. Who brought them these presents, though? Why, the risen dead, of course!
The leadership we expect and deserve in our State Capitol isn’t built around political power, photo ops and rubbing elbows with the political elite. It’s built right here in our community. Photo ops and sound bites don’t make a leader. Genuine connections to our community do. Mary DuBuisson has spent more than 35 years in District 90, working, raising her family, and giving back to us.
A wife, mother and grandmother, she shares the values and priorities that reﬂect who we are and where we want to go. When you vote on Nov. 6, or during early voting from Oct. 23-30, consider the choices. Then remember who has been here for us all along.
A longtime business-owner, she knows what it takes to manage a budget, create jobs, and handle government regulation and interference. A hands-on volunteer, she has given her time to the very institutions that make St. Tammany great – from the PTA to Leadership Northshore, from the Olde Towne Business Association to the Farmer’s Market, from the Chamber of Commerce to community theatre.
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By Mike Rich, CFP® Pontchartrain Investment Management
LESSONS LEARNED For the first 13 years of my professional work life, I was a petroleum geologist. I got into the business after graduate school in 1975, just about the time that the oil business was taking off on one of its on-again, off-again cycles. My family and I rode the crest of the oil boom and were living the good life. It looked like the sky was the limit for salary, advancement and perks. In the mid-80s, however, all of that changed. Oil prices began to drop, the business was going south, and jobs were being cut, including mine. In November of 1988, I was out of work, a week before Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season. Merry Christmas. Bah, humbug. I was fortunate, however, because my ex-employer arranged for the services of an outplacement company to help
the recently departed with their job searches. This was long before the age of the Internet, e-mail, and computers on every desk, but I did have an office, a telephone, a secretary to type my resumes, and a personal counselor to guide me, and I took full advantage of all of it. At first, things looked pretty bleak. It was painfully obvious that finding a job in the oil business in New Orleans was not going to be easy. The industry was on life-support. So, I focused on retooling myself to take on the challenges of a different career. What that career might be, I had no clue. But, with a wife, three kids, and a bunch of bills to pay, I had no choice, and I started working on the hardest job of all – looking for one.
managed to land a job with an engineering and information technology consulting firm in Slidell. The salary was less than half of what I had been earning as a geologist, but the job had good benefits and the office was only a mile from my home. I could walk to work! The fact that I, as a re-treaded geologist, had no idea what I was doing there didn’t seem to matter much, and I ended up working with that company for nearly 20 years. I moved up the ladder into management, helped grow the company, and supported my family in a good way. When it was time to move on, I left the company knowing that I had not only successfully built a new career, but had also done good work.
It took three, long months; but, through an amazing series of lucky breaks, I
My job search was 30 years ago, but the memories of the in-your-face pressure
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of it are still with me. I learned a lot from it. For example, on the day you are going to get laid off, wear extra antiperspirant, because you’re going to need it. I learned some other lessons, as well, and they have shaped how I approach life. Here are some of them:
Lesson Number 1
Look beyond the obvious. When I was searching for a job, I sent out a lot of resumes. The people with whom I was trying to set up interviews saw in those resumes only Mike Rich, geologist, and didn’t seem to want to look any further. What I wanted them to see was Mike Rich, hard worker, shows up on time, smart enough to learn something new; that is, the things that I found really hard to describe about myself on paper. Many years later, I was the guy who did the hiring, and I found that looking beyond the obvious often paid off. Some of the best folks we hired didn’t look so hot on paper, but they turned out to be stellar performers.
As shop-worn as this might sound, I learned from that experience that I can achieve anything in life, as long as I work hard and believe in myself. Even 30 years later, I remember how humbling my job search was and the challenge of starting over in a new career. Those experiences make it difficult to believe in yourself sometimes; but, when you do, the sky is the limit. I’ve proven it to myself, especially during the past ten years as I’ve built my financial services practice from scratch.
The lessons we learn in life are important, and a lot of them can affect how we work with money. For example, it’s certainly obvious that we all need to save and invest money for the future, but what’s the best way to make it work for you? Likewise, I truly believe that anyone can work to achieve financial independence, but, sadly, most of us choose to never get started. Don’t be one of those people. Finally, after ten years in this business, I’ve discovered that there is no magic wand when it comes to money. You have to have a plan, and you have to follow it.
Lesson Number 3
Would you like to learn more? Call me today.
Lesson Number 2
Just about anything is possible.
You have to make a plan. When I was working on my job search all those many years ago, I had a plan for each day. I learned early on that wishing for something to happen did not make it so.
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Earn up to with a Keesler Federal Share Certificate.* Become a member today!|kfcu.org|1-888-KEESLER Branch locations in Slidell, Covington and Mandeville. Datatrac is an independent, unbiased research firm that has monitored deposit and loan rates, fees and product features for over 25 years on more than 100,000 banking locations in America. Datatrac Great Rate Awards® certify that deposit and loan rates outperform the market average for comparable products. To learn more, please visit www.GreatRateAward.com. Datatrac Great Rate Awards® and data contained in this report are subject to a licensing agreement which may be viewed at www.datatrac.net/eula. Any other use is strictly prohibited. The analysis presented herein is the sole opinion of Datatrac and is based upon independent research conducted by Datatrac and its partners. Research is conducted on a reasonable efforts basis and may or may not represent all institutions or products in a market. Datatrac Great Rate Award® is a registered trademark of Datatrac. Copyright © 2017 Datatrac. *Based upon an analysis of 492 banking locations in New Orleans Metro as of 9/6/2018, Keesler Federal Credit Union’s 3 month certificate of deposit (CD) at $10,000 outperformed the New Orleans Metro average by 61%. 61% is the difference between the percent earned in interest between Keesler Federal Credit Union’s rate at 0.50% APY compared to 0.31% APY for the New Orleans Metro market average over the life of a 3 month certificate of deposit (CD) at $10,000 over 3 months. APY = Annual Percentage Yield. $10k balance. All rates and terms herein are subject to change without notice. Early withdrawal penalties apply.
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Our mission... to love generously, connecting our community to Jesus by sharing Fellowship Music and the Word of God
November 10, 2018 Heritage Park The Fifth Annual Faith Music Fest takes place in Heritage Park located on scenic Bayou Bonfouca in Slidell, on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Gates will open at 11:00 am and the festival will feature a day PACKED with entertainment and spiritual celebrations.
God." Faith Music Fest is a FREE, family-friendly event. Proceeds will be derived from donations and they insure that this important outreach event is free for years to come.
This free festival will feature Christian recording artists performing uplifting praise,worship music, and Christian pop/rock. Throughout the day, children will be entertained by numerous games and activities. ALL FOOD ITEMS will be sold for just ONE DOLLAR per item and a variety of handmade crafts will also be available to purchase.
Lisa Dunk and Robyn Costello serve as co-chairs of the Faith Music Fest. Robyn notes, "I think this event is an important one for our community. It is important that they know that they can freely worship in public and that there is hope in Jesus. I believe it is our calling as Christians to spread the Word of the Lord with our community. It's especially important for those who donâ€™t have a church home so they can come out with their families and friends to worship."
The mission of the Faith Music Fest is "to love generously, connecting our community to Jesus by sharing fellowship, music, and the Word of
Lisa adds, "The admission is free and the food items are only $1 each so it makes it easy for everyone to join us! We are able to offer that through
wonderful sponsors, particularly the Coalition of Voices for Christ." The CVC is a group of business people who came together to support the festival and its mission. "They were involved last year and thought it was great and promised that, financially, this fest would be supported this year and for years to come. None of them want their name or business name mentioned. They are doing it anonymous as a coalition to serve Jesus." Although Open Arms Ministries is hosting the event, Lisa says, "We want all Christian churches involved. Weâ€™re working with other churches that will have booths, give blessings, and serve food. This year, we are expanding our Prayer Tent. We want prayer to be a focus at the festival. We want people to be comfortable
to receive prayer and pray openly. The tent will be open all day and people can come in and talk and be prayed over and get closer to Jesus. We will have informational and inspirational pamphlets that people can take with them." Robyn adds,"The city has given us great support. This year, the Parish President and Mayor and other dignitaries will be there. Last year, they boldly came out and shared their faith. The police, the firemen, everyone in the city permits department has made this easy and has been supportive of this festival." "There are other Christian Festivals around the country but I donâ€™t think thereâ€™s anything close to us," Robyn says. "It started as an idea from my husband because we play music
professionally and we wanted to bring a FREE Christian day of music to the community." Food items such as hamburgers, fries, cokes, hotdogs with chips, red beans, pizza, jambalaya, and desserts will be sold for only $1 each, and the snowballs and bottled water will be FREE! This year's event will also showcase a Veteranâ€™s Day tribute, narrarated by David Kiviaho. The St. Tammany Sheriff Department Honor Guard will present the colors, along with the singing of our national anthem. In appreciation of their service, the first 100 veterans to show their ID will receive $5 in free food tickets, made possible from donations from church members. At 1pm, City of Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer and
St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister will address the audience. The festivities begin at 11am, and promise a day filled with faith, music and activities until 7pm. Bring the kids - there are tons of activities to keep them entertained all day! Browse the crafts, enjoy the delicious and affordable food items and share in the fellowship! Come have a great time on November 10th at the Faith Music Fest! For more information on Open Arms, visit www.openarmsslidell.org.
The Trail Tales of Swamprat PART 2
THE FINAL JOURNEY
“A few reasons I chose to hike the Appalachian Trail when I retired was to replace the horrible memories with many new wonderful memories. What I read about hiking the trail seemed to be just what I needed. I would have to rely on strangers and learn to trust people again. I would see incredible views and make many friends along the way.” - Randy Fandal, Slidell Chief of Police In last month’s edition, I shared with you Slidell Chief of Police Randy Fandal’s first half of his journey as a thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). He began dreaming of hiking the A.T. a couple of years before he retired from the Louisiana State Police (LSP). He started his hike on March 12, 2012, keeping an online journal, creating a book of his journal entries and photos upon completion. In addition to his goal of completing the trail, he also wanted to raise money for the LSP Grant-A-Wish program. Each hiker chooses a trailname for themselves. Randy chose "Swamprat." Much of the trail was hiked with an Arkansas couple, named F100 and Steady, that became lifelong friends. When the Chief crossed the half-way point, he considered quitting the trail. He called his wife, Dania, and she convinced him to think about it overnight. After sharing a cold six pack with a neighboring camper, he decided to continue.
During our interview about his journey, Randy shared, “Before I started I was told, it’s easy to quit on a rainy day. If you ever decide to quit, don’t quit on a rainy day. Wait for a sun shining day when you’re feeling good and if you want to quit, then quit. It wasn’t a rainy day, but I was in a bad mood and emotional. The next day things were good.” June 16: For those of you that read yesterday's journal, I will say I am feeling better today. When I write about this journey, I feel I should write about the emotions. There are many more highs than lows, there are many more great days than bad. Today we hiked through miles of PA farmland. At times we were surrounded by wheat and/or corn fields. Someday, I might have passed through here at 55 mph and seen the farms, but I would not have met the Amish mother and her 3 young girls carrying a cooler full of sodas to the shade tree by the trail to offer cold drinks to hikers. I would not have gotten to carry the cooler for them, talk with them and
make them smile. Only because I chose to take this journey is that memory now with me forever. Obviously, there are a flurry of emotions that will arise with such a monumental trip. It can be difficult to keep them at bay when you are exhausted and starving. The best advice is to be prepared for such emotions before you leave home.
by donna bush and chief randy fandal
The City of Slidell’s
Concert Series in Heritage Park
We hiked 18.5 miles today. I have another new blister on the bottom of my right middle toe. Tomorrow we say so long to our two new friends, Shadow and his son Spider. They hiked over 100 miles this week. Amazing determination by both, but to see the 13-year-old hike all day, everyday, with no more complaining than the adults was awesome. One of my best days on the A.T.
OctOber 14 • 5-7 pm
The Northshore Community Orchestra
June 17: I may have my breakfast up to about 700-800 calories. I have learned to break up a Little Debbie brownie (300 calories), add it to the cereal and squeeze in about a tablespoon of honey. On our hike to Duncannon PA, we met two 76-year-old twins that have been section hiking the trail. They have 700 miles left and are being supported by friends and family. Dale “Greybeard” Sanders of Memphis Tennessee holds the record for the oldest person to thru-hike the A.T. On October 26, 2017, the 82-year-young gentleman completed his sevenmonth journey. After giving the ATC sign a kiss, he said, “I feel absolutely fantastic, euphoric. It’s just an experience that is hard to put into words.” June 20: We had 1.5 miles to PA 325 where Trail Magic Bob was hosting his 3rd Annual Trail Magic Feed, complete with a menu! I chose the turkey club pasta, deviled egg, with Pepsi and dessert - a chocolate & peanut butter cup cake. Bob won half a million in the PA lottery a few years ago which allowed him to do this for the hikers. Temp today forecasted to be 95º with heat index of 104º!
OctOber 28 • 4- 6 pm
Vince Vance and the Valiants
SundayS • Heritage park • Free admiSSiOn Thank you to our 2018 - 2019 Sponsors! Renaissance $5,000 sponsoRs:
June 21: High of 99º today. Drinking lots of water. Less than 1000 miles to go! June 22: Just prior to the spring near Eagles Nest Shelter, Steady almost stepped on a 3-foot timber rattler. Half mile further, a smaller rattler on the trail. We made it to the spring. Sharing our watering hole was a nice fat bullfrog. Yea, I caught it. It probably thought, ‘Oh crap, a coonass has found me!!’ I let him go. Just before reaching the camp site, F100 found yet another ticked off timber rattler. Every step towards him he'd rattle and threaten to strike. Finally, I took my trekking poles and escorted him into the woods. There are both poisonous and non-poisonous snakes on the A.T. Non-poisonous include garter snakes, black snakes, corn snakes and water snakes. Poisonous are copperheads and timber rattlers from Georgia to Maine; eastern diamondback rattlesnakes in Georgia and North Carolina; pygmy rattlesnakes from Tennessee south; cottonmouths from Virginia south and massasagua rattlesnakes in New York and Pennsylvania.
BaRoque, $2,500 sponsoRs: CLECO Power, LLC Jazz on the Bayou/Ronnie Kole Foundation The Slidell Independent neoclassical, $1,000 sponsoRs: Councilman Bill & Laura Borchert • Lori Gomez Art Purple Armadillo, Again • Holiday Inn & Suites, Slidell Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance
impRessionism, $500 sponsoRs: Chateau Bleu • CiCi’s Pizza Dr. Nathan Brown, Northlake Oral & Facial Surgery Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer • Flatliners Entertainment Old School Eats Food Truck • Olde Towne Slidell Print Shop Pontchartrain Investment Management • Roberta’s Cleaners Silver Slipper Casino • Slidell Historical Antique Association Terry Lynn’s Cafe & Creative Catering 29
June 23: Our old friends, Shadow and Spider drove in to greet us with trail magic and gave us a ride to Five Guys Hamburger, then dropped us off at the hotel. June 24: At breakfast a man came over and asked if we were thru-hiking. He offered a ride to the trail and told us about meeting the famous barefoot sisters, Lucy (Isis) and Susan (Jackrabbit) Letcher, who wrote a book about hiking the trail barefoot!
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The sisters grew up in Maine where they frequently hiked barefoot. They did on occasion wear shoes while hiking when it was too icy and slippery. Susan reflected that the only time her feet hurt was when she wore shoes! She also shared that their soles were so toughened they could “run on gravel without a problem” and “once wandered around a campsite for almost an hour before realizing that the ground was covered in broken glass.” June 26: After the Leighigh Bridge, the fun started - a mountain with nothing but boulders and rocks. The climb was almost vertical in places. June 29: Walked out of the Delaware Water Gap, crossed the Delaware River Bridge into New Jersey. Another state in the books. Randy shared his disbelief of how many people in High Point State Park, NJ had no idea of the trail’s existence. They see these grimy, stinky, non-shaven people, most with unkempt long hair walking into their park with dirty backpacks on but yet buying lots of food, not begging for anything and very polite and they just don't know what to think. At this point along the journey, it’s easy to tell who's been on the trail since Springer and who the overnight and day-hikers are. Heck, I caught F100 drafting two day-hikers the other day just outside Delaware Water Gap. He didn't want to pass them because they smelled good!! Seriously, that's just not right. July 03: New York welcomed us with steep rocky climbs and dried up waterfalls and creeks. Some of the climbs were so steep, you had to go hand over hand. Easy to get overheated.
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On July 08, 2012, after a few down days with Dania for her second visit, Randy resumed the trail. I am a very lucky man. Dania supports me 100% while I hike for 5 to 6 months. I know I won’t see her again until I get to Katahdin. See you in Maine, Dania. I can't wait!! I miss my family very much and can’t wait to see all three children again. July 09: We continued across the Bear Mountain Bridge over the Hudson River and met the first southbounder (SOBO) thru-hiker of the year.
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Most thru-hikers hike the trail northbound starting in Georgia somewhere between late-March to mid-April. The Chief had a mild winter, allowing an earlier start. Southbound hikers begin in late-May to mid-June. If you start northbound too late, you might not make it to Katahdin in Baxter State Park before the closing date of October 15th.
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Steady was struggling and having a rough day. I told F100 that she may be dehydrated. We decided it was best to get her to the hospital in Fort Montgomery, NY. After an IV of fluids, we took a taxi ride back to the trail. Before leaving the trail, F100 told me that I should hike on. I thought I should stay and help, by this point, they have become family and I wasn’t leaving them behind.
July 10: Morning ritual - up about 5:45. Reach for a comb for this mop on my head, pour water in my Capt. Crunch, premixed with powdered milk that I have in a Ziploc. Shake it up and let it sit. Pour water in my chocolate milk that is premixed with powdered milk. Add my Starbucks VIA® cold coffee and water to the mix. I eat, drink, and then pack-up. In 45 minutes I can be ready to hike. Ok, maybe an hour! July 11: I suggested if we can stay away from the delis and swimming holes, we can knock out these 18 miles by 6 pm. After the first foot break, I led the way and set a fast pace. The water situation is terrible and at this point I am low. I even came across a sign on a tree that suggested the stream we were about to cross was below a cattle farm. The run-off from the farm contaminates the water. It also suggested that at the next road there was a deli 3/10ths of a mile to the right of the trail. Hmmm, down one of my earlier suggestions already. Hiked to the deli, got water, apple fritter, Little Debbie brownie, Gatorade (32-oz), a 20-oz Pepsi and a bag of chips. Then went back in for an olive loaf sandwich!! F100 and Steady came in a few minutes later and lessened the store’s inventory. Off we go. After about 7 miles, the trail traveled right next to a clear water, deep lake. Dangit!! There goes my second suggestion from earlier. After swimming and filtering water, we were hiking north again!! We hit the side trail for the shelter. F100 and I had just spoken to Steady. She was on a switchback right above our head. We walked to the shelter. No Steady!! Where did she go? She missed the trail to the shelter. We caught her downhill by the road. Decision time. We don't back track, especially uphill! Hiked another two miles to camp just before dark. July 13: Wingdale, NY. Made it to the only motel in the area – the very old Dutchess Motel. John checked us in, mentioned they were having a skunk problem!! He said that my room was opened already and ‘airing out.’ To my surprise the room smelled ok. He also mentioned they would trap skunks during the night. At least 4 times the smell of skunk came through the window air conditioner and woke me up. Not a pleasant night.
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July 17: Found an ice chest with sodas at the highway. On top of the chest was a cardboard sign that read, "Thru-hiker needs ride. Thanks." Caught a ride almost immediately. [It is illegal to hitchhike in New York.] With the help of F100's visiting mom and dad, we did a slackpack. Mr. and Mrs. Geraghty are super nice folks. I feel like I’ve known them for years. July 20: Forecast low tonight is mid-50’s in mid-July! July 21: We had two goals today. The first, Cookie Lady’s house for water and free cookies. The second, a scallop sandwich and cold beer at Jacob’s Pub in Dalton, MA. They even had Abita Purple Haze on tap! At Crystal Mountain Campsite, we met our first female ridge runner of the trip. A young college student’s dream summer job. What is a ridge runner? They educate on anything and everything related to backpacking the A.T. Gear setup, bear bag hanging techniques, map orientation, campsite impact,
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campfire safety, proper poop disposal, and trail sanitation – all principles of "Leave No Trace." July 22: Last night the forest floor was crawling with little creatures!! All night I had mice and chipmunks running around near the tent. At 3am I hear something digging at a Ziploc just outside the tent. Shine the flashlight on a fat mouse eating peanut butter. He didn’t care about the light!! He did care about that size 13 crock that was coming at him though. I settled down and he was back at it. I kept hearing what sounded like a dang kangaroo jumping past the tent. Then at 5am, a deer came up to the tent, stomped and blew. Sleepless night. Today we hike the highest peak in MA, Mt. Greylock – elevation 3,491 feet. From now to Katahdin there will be many peaks above 3000 feet. Just a warm-up for NH and the White Mountains, then on to Maine. July 23: We reached 3000ft peaks twice today! July 28: While riding out the rain in my tent, I realized it has some serious issues. Since all the rain the last couple days, I noticed the floor is allowing water to seep through. The nylon fabric is beginning to sag badly. Also, there is a faulty seam that continues to leak. I am having trouble keeping dry. I must take care of this before the highest peaks of NH and ME. July 29: Preparing to take the tent down, I saw movement near my M&Ms. A chipmunk was trying to steal them!! He'd run to the edge of the platform, stop to see if the coast was clear, then dart to the M&Ms. I poked my head thru the tent where he could see me, and he would run off. As soon as I moved, he'd repeat his attempt. I peeked across the tent and off he'd go, but not far. We did this same cat and mouse thing at least 6 or 7 times before he got tired. I wish I had gotten video of Swamprat vs Chipmunk!!
INTERESTING TRAIL NAMES
August 05: Our 13th state, NH. We started with a nice steep climb using a rope to pass the slick rocks. Pushed to Moose Mountain Shelter trying to beat a line of heavy rain.
Aqua-blaze, Shenanigans, Twisted Sister 1 & 2, Snagglefoot, Tickle Monster, Dancing with Flies, Turtle, Hare, Roadside (whom Randy renamed Jingles because of the 6 bear bells he wore around his neck), and many others.
August 06: Today’s climbs are a little steeper and rockier, preparing us for the Whites. We made it to the famous ice cream man’s house, who offers free water and ice cream if you can answer one question correctly. ‘Do you believe everything you read?’ The correct answer is ‘yes.’
July 30: Another milestone, under 500 miles to go! I am beginning to realize this journey is nearly over. It has been incredible. On July 30th, Randy spoke to the tent manufacturer and he agreed to send him a replacement. No more wet nights! July 31: A young man in a p/u offered us a ride into Rutland. When he got out his truck, I noticed him adjusting his waist belt. Instincts kicked in. I knew he was carrying a handgun in his front waistband. As I got in the front, I noticed a plastic SigSauer box. As he got in, I said to F100 that the guy had a ‘Gat’ (urban slang for gun). Dumbass me! F100 didn’t know what a ‘Gat’ was. I said to the guy, 'You carrying a Sig?' He reached to his waistband and started to take it out. My first instinct was to reach and snatch it, but instead I made it look like I wanted to see it. I was curious what his next move would be. Fortunately for all, he dropped the magazine and handed me the empty weapon. As I looked at it, he mentioned that VT was very gun friendly and many people carried. August 04: Great breakfast at the ‘Fill Your Belly Deli', where the waitress sang Happy Birthday to me using my trail name. Sounded strange.
August 08: On our over 4800 ft climb to Mt Moosilauke, the South Peak Summit offered great views, but the North Peak was incredible. The downhill parallels a waterfall. At the bottom, F100’s parents were eagerly waiting to see us. Great to see them again! Zero day tomorrow before entering the White Mountain National forest. Forecast not looking good. August 10: Rain delay. Really want to hike the Whites in good weather. The White Mountains have a highly respected and well-deserved reputation for having the toughest weather in the country. Many people have died there, even in summer. Mountains can make their own weather and it can change at a moment’s notice. The average wind speed on top of Mt. Washington is 35 miles per hour but exceeds tropical storm force almost a third of the year. The summit is cloud-covered more than half the year and snow falls every month. There are 48 peaks in the mountain range in New Hampshire and one in Maine, with an elevation over 4000 feet. August 14: As we hiked onward, fall #12. A good one. Tripped over a rock and went down. Luckily, landed between two large rocks. I lay there for a second and realized, only minor pain. No bones sticking out, only a few scratches. I pulled myself up and hiked another few tenths
of a mile before #13 occurred. This one was minor, and I went down easy on my butt. Wasn’t really a fall, but our rules state that if your butt touches the ground, it's considered a fall. That makes two in one day!! A new record. August 16: Zero visibility from the peaks of the Presidentials! Finally got a work-for-stay at the Lake of the Clouds Hut. Ate like pigs, cleaning up was easy and crashed on the dining room floor. Tomorrow we summit Mt. Washington, rain or shine. Randy, F100 and Steady climbed Mt. Washington in great weather but had to spend the night in their tents with thunderstorms and low 40’s. August 18: The climb up Mt. Madison was all rocks but wasn’t bad. Down was a different story. Rocks and steep. By the time I made it to the tree line, I felt beat up, knees and ankles were aching. All the NOBOs were talking about similar aches and pains and looking forward to Maine. August 19: Great views of most of the Whites. As we reached Wildcat Peak, we saw the Switzerland couple, Boots and Melody, leaving one of the Gondola cars. I hiked to Mt. Hight. For me, this was the best 360° view of the entire White Mountains. Met Boots and Melody who were waiting for the sun to set. The sun was beginning to cast shadows over many of the mountains as they explained how this was the perfect setting for them to sing
the song that was so talked about along the trail. He explained how an old mountaineer described the sun setting along the glaciers and mountains and the song told this story. It was sung in Swiss by both as I looked across a sea of blue mountains. Each peak was like waves and the clouds cast shadows across different peaks and valleys. Truly one of the most beautiful evenings I have witnessed! Incredible. I hiked almost 2000 miles to this mountain top far from home with only 300 miles left, my body is extremely tired, and I want to finish, but for this moment all is well. These two strangers from another country have given me one of my most memorable moments along the trail. August 21: I hiked separately from F100 and Steady because F100 wanted to do the portion of the trail he missed last night. They are purists. A purist will hike each and every mile of the official A.T., starting each morning at the exact point where they stopped the night before. August 22: Maine is only a few hours away. I am finally accepting the fact that I will summit Katahdin. Five months ago my plan was to hike north toward Maine. I really wasn’t sure I would make it. I mean really, over 2000 miles of wilderness trail and mountain after mountain, carrying 40+ pounds on my back, I gave myself a good chance at best. It was the support of my family and friends that put me over the top. My wife has been amazing while I hiked toward my goal. Without that support there is no way I could have done this. I have had my bad days and many of you have noticed. You sent encouraging words through my guestbook. Only 280 miles to go!! With a little luck, there will be no injuries, no hurricanes striking the Gulf and no family emergencies. I have suffered two of the three, so Mother Nature, be kind please. For this evening, I am tenting at the Gention Pond Campsite, overlooking a huge valley with mountains as a backdrop and an active beaver pond. Just a few minutes ago there were two moose in the pond.
August 23: Two milestones today. 1.) We go past 1900 miles. 2.) We enter Maine, the last state of this 14-state hike in the woods. WOW! What a journey it has been! August 24: They say the Mahoosuc Notch is either the hardest or funnest mile on the A.T., a mile of giant boulders and rock scrambles. It requires you to either stay high on the boulders or scramble under or between them. If you stay on top, you don’t have to remove your pack. BUT, if you fall, well at best maybe broken bones!! Stay low and the pack would have to come off. The mile was completed in 1.5 hours. The packs never came off! August 26: I feel terrible today, my throat is killing me, and sinuses going nuts. No energy. After 10 miles, I called it a day. Tried to tell F100 and Steady to stay on schedule but they said they were stopping too. Damn, I feel bad for them. Now I am also dealing with a probable hurricane heading for my home!! What else must I endure along this journey? I keep telling myself Dania and my brother Mike can handle what’s happening down south. It just doesn’t seem natural for me to watch it progress and not be there. It's killing me. August 27: Called Dania several times for updates, now a strong Tropical Storm after reentering the Gulf. Forecast: Strengthen to Cat 1 and come onshore in Southeastern Louisiana. The trail is less important to me today. I still feel pretty ill. August 28: Damn storm in the Gulf is bearing down on the southeastern Louisiana coastline!! Lying in my tent, my thoughts are with my family back home. No cell service here, had it most of the day. Dania got to her sister’s house in Hammond and my brother is taking care of my house in Slidell. Raining again. Had enough. Head cold, tired, now wet and would like to be near a TV to monitor this stupid storm. I decide to hitch the 11 miles to Oquossoc, ME and find a ride to Rangley. Mother Nature is now taking her shot at me, but I will overcome and see this through to the end. About 1.5 miles mostly
TRAIL TRIVIA The first thru-hiker, Earl Shaffer, aka ‘Crazy One,’ started his trek on April 4, 1948 from Georgia to Maine. At that time, the southern terminus was Mount Oglethorpe, Georgia. The northern was Mount Katahdin, as it is now. It took him 124 days, just a bit over 4 months. In 1965, he hiked it northbound and cut 25 days off his previous time! He hiked the A.T. once more on the fiftieth anniversary of his first hike when he was 80 years old. He finished in 173 days. If you are counting your steps with your phone or a heartrate monitor, you’ll be amazed to know that hiking the A.T. will get you 5,000,000 steps! These are the fourteen states that the A.T. crosses: Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The highest elevation point is 6643 feet at Clingsman Dome, Tennesee. The lowest is 124 feet at Bear Mountain State Park in New York. The ATC estimates rebuilding or relocating 99% of the trail since its 1937 creation. According to the Georgia ATC, there are approximately 165,000 white blazes (trail markers) along the trail, averaging a white blaze about every 70 feet. It is estimated that the average hiker needs to consume 5500 calories daily to maintain his/her body weight during a typical backpacking day. That means a hiker could eat 11 Big Macs throughout the day and still have an energy deficit. After a few weeks on the trail, most thru-hikers achieve the “hiker hunger”, a near inability to be sated by any amount of food. Often it is the hiker’s budget, not appetite, that limits the amount of food consumed while in town. The average thru-hiker loses approximately 30 pounds. Thru-hikers estimate spending roughly $2-3 per mile on the trail for food, lodging, laundry, transportation and gear upgrades. That’s around $4400-6600! This does not include the initial purchase of gear. Most thru-hikers go through 4-5 pairs of shoes. The extremely rocky trails of Pennsylvania can wear them out much quicker. There is a road-crossing approximately every 4 miles where a thru-hiker can resupply in some small town. A 78% increase in thru-hikers has occurred in the 21st century vs the 20th century. 87% of thru-hikers begin at Springer Mountain headed northbound. The ATC is encouraging hikers to find alternative routes, such as southbound or flip-flop thru-hikes to decrease the impact on the trail. A flip-flop thru-hike is where you start somewhere other than the usual starting point. The A.T. has approximately 262 shelters along the trail averaging a shelter every 8 miles. 34
downhill, greeted by slippery wet slabs of rock and wet roots. Didn’t take long to add fall #20. This one left me with badly scraped and bleeding left forearm and elbow. I have left my DNA across every state along the A.T. Now in my tent without a way to get information on Tropical Storm Isaac or possibly Hurricane Isaac. August 29: Heading to Rangley, ME. I want to stay in contact with everyone at home and watch the weather channel. It is exactly 7 years to the day since Katrina hit home. Feeling pretty damn helpless. August 30: Morning brought worse news. Olde Towne Slidell is beginning to flood, only other time in my lifetime this has happened was after Katrina. Spent all morning on the phone, considered conceding to Mother Nature. House will be fine, it was raised after Katrina. Two cars, a camper and utility shed that could possibly flood. My friend managed to get to my house, water is to the property line and worse case, only one car may take a hit. Talked to my family. My wonderful wife and brother, who is fighting his own storm battles, assure me that it will be fine. They both want me to keep hiking north because I am so close. So, take that Mother Nature!!! I will finish this journey!! Back to the A.T., I hit the trail at 11 am. 45 minutes into the hike, I hear that Tangipahoa Parish may be in danger around the Tangipahoa River because of a failing dam. My wife is with her family in Tangi and beginning to freak out. I make a few phone calls and yes there is a dam that is failing but NO evacuation of 50,000 people as the rumor had it. Wife is safe, and I continue north. I know I should be reporting to you about this beautiful trail that I am on, however, this is how I am seeing it and experiencing it at the moment. Today I actually do not like being out here. I am used to handling situations at home and feel so helpless. Tomorrow should be a brighter day. Please keep everyone down south in your thoughts and prayers. August 31: Much better beginning today. Storm moved north of LA, Dania is on her way home safely. No water damage to anything. Today I hike and enjoy the day. September 04: Maine is by far the most remote wilderness state along the A.T. Camped at Harrison's Pierce Pond Camps. Hiker can walk in in the evening, order a breakfast of 12 pancakes for the next morning for $9. Another 3 bucks gets you two eggs and sausage. Food is served to you in a dining room. The 100-mile wilderness on Friday! The 100-mile wilderness is a notorious one hundred mile stretch of the A.T. running from Monson, Maine to Abol Bridge, just south of Baxter State Park and the northern terminus of the A.T. As you approach there is a sign reading: CAUTION: THERE ARE NO PLACES TO OBTAIN SUPPLIES OR GET HELP UNTIL ABOL BRIDGE 100 MILES NORTH. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS SECTION UNLESS YOU HAVE A MINIMUM OF 10 DAYS SUPPLIES AND ARE FULLY EQUIPPED. THIS IS THE LONGEST WILDERNESS SECTION OF THE ENTIRE A.T. AND ITS DIFFICULTY SHOULD NOT BE UNDERESTIMATED. Sounds ominous! Thoreau wrote of the area, “Vast, titanic, inhuman.” Bill Bryson writes in his book, “A Walk in the Woods,” of his profound unease here. After 800-miles of section hiking the A.T., he quit after only one day in the 100-mile wilderness! He wrote, “And once you were lost in these immense woods, you would die. It was as simple as that.” September 05: We had three fordings before the end of the day, the last one was waist deep with swift current and a rope stretched across the river to hold onto in case you lost your footing. Exhausted from the slipping and sliding and yes, another fall.
September 06: Today is the last resupply before Katahdin. September 07: Walked 100 yards and our first fording of the day. Three more before the day was over. One included a pine tree that I tried to walk across. The second half of the tree I scooted across. The tree was 4 feet high over the rushing water and about 50 feet across. The day was full of ups and downs with many ponds. I like Maine!! September 08: Hurricane Isaac's remnants are passing through this afternoon and tonight. Damn storm! I wasn't home, so it chased me all the way up here!! September 09: Today was a big climb day. We had a clear view of Katahdin!!! It's real and finally within grasp. I will be at its base in just 4 days!! After today the trail flattens out greatly. The next major climb is Katahdin itself. It's difficult to put in words how I am feeling today. My dream of hiking the trail is just about a reality. September 11: Beautiful sunrise this morning over the lake, cold and windy. Maine has become my favorite state along the trail. The views from the mountains are breathtaking with the ponds, which themselves are a sight to behold. If the wind is still, the water is like a mirror. Everybody in camp this morning is planning a Friday summit. As the crow flies, Katahdin's summit was only 16 miles away. This is the last night that I will set up camp!! I actually stopped typing for a second to let that one sink in. There are still two full days of hiking before we climb Katahdin on Friday. This is how it will play out: I hike 18.8 miles to Abol Bridge where Dania will pick me up. I spend the night in the hotel and Thursday morning she will drop me off at the trail where I will meet F100 and Steady; we will leave our packs in the car and slackpack 10 miles to Katahdin Stream Campground where Dania will pick me up; F100 and Steady will camp at the Birches
a quarter mile down the trail. Friday morning, Dania and I will hike with F100 and Steady to the top of Katahdin. That is THE PLAN!! September 13: We slackpacked to the base of Mt. Katahdin. Tomorrow is the big day! Been waiting 6 months. It has been a long, physical and emotional journey, ending tomorrow. A typical thru-hiker completes the trail in five to seven months, although some have done it in less than 50 days! The current speed record is 46 and a half days! The average pace is 3 miles per hour. Most hikers may start slower at the beginning and increase their pace as their legs become more acclimated. September 14: Wow, what a last day! Dania and I met F100 and Steady at 7 and started climbing Katahdin, a clear beautiful, perfect day to finish this six-month journey. Dania decided she wanted to make the climb and I am glad. She hiked the approach trail and Springer Mountain with me. Now she was going to finish with me as well. We can say she is a thru-hiker; she just sky blazed the middle section. She climbed up the vertical boulders, hand rails and all. On the summit, a young woman ridge runner recommended the Saddle Back trail as a quicker and easier trail down. Had she described it, I would have gone down the way we came. She said it was just over 5 miles. I found out later by a Ranger it was 7 miles!! And not any easier. It was 7 miles mostly very steep downhill rock!! I thought I was going to have to call a helicopter to get Dania off the mountain. As it was, we ended up hiking an hour after dark with only 1 headlamp!! But we made it and now the journey has ended!! Did the experience change me? No, I am me; many people probably would like a different me. Did I benefit from the experience? You bet!! I now have hundreds of wonderful, unbelievable memories!! Memories that now will overshadow hundreds of horrible memories of
terrible crashes and sights no one should have to bear, but do. Now, when those memories try and creep up, I will remember being on top of McAfee Knob, seeing a wonderful view and acting like a big kid while standing on my head. I will remember the cow moose with her calf, eating in the pond. I will remember Boots and Melody singing to me on top of a mountain during a beautiful sunset. Thank you, God, for giving me this wonderful country to explore and call home. Thanks goes to my wife and kids for so much support over the last six months. Thanks to all the readers of this journal that kept reading, even during boring times. Thank ya'll for all the kind words in my guestbook. I guess all I need to say is just THANKS!! And don't forget the children that are suffering from illnesses that most of us will never understand. Most of us have been blessed with good health and the ability to enjoy journeys like mine. Through my journey and many of you, I can donate about $10,000 to the State Police Troop L Grant-A-Wish program for just such kids. The journey was long, tiresome, difficult and very challenging both physically and mentally but so worth the effort. Thanks again and see ya! Randy aka "Swamprat" Randy is often asked if he was hiking the A.T. to find himself? “No! I knew who the hell I was. It was a challenge for me. I’d never done anything like that. Years ago, part of me had always wanted to come back to Slidell PD and run for Chief. I made my final decision while on the trail. I told myself if I could hike 2184 miles in the mountains, I could do anything!” And with that, I conclude my story of the Chief’s amazing journey along the A.T. If you ever run into him, congratulate him for a job well done and thank him for his effort to raise money for Louisiana State Police’s Grant-AWish program. Great job Chief!
Left: Randy summits Mt. Katahdin, the end of the Appalachian Trail, with his hiking buddies and forever friends, Steady and F100. Right: A fulfilled promise - Steady & F100 join Swamprat from some good Louisiana fishing!
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Dentistry from the Heart Friday, November 2 • Pousson Family Dentistry Dentistry From The Heart started as a day-of-care event in a suburban Florida dental office nearly 16 years ago. Today, it’s grown into an international organization aimed at providing free dental care in hundreds of communities throughout the world. Slidell dentist Dr. David Pousson had long recognized that far too many Slidell area residents were going without needed dental care. Pousson Family Dentistry hosted their first Dentistry From The Heart event for Slidell area residents in 2016, providing free dental care in his practice to anyone 18 or older. This year is the third DFTH event, scheduled for November 2, 2018, again at Pousson Family Dentistry’s office in Slidell. At the event, patients are given the option to receive one extraction, one filling or a cleaning. Patients are only required to provide identification that shows they are an adult. No one is required to disclose the status of their income. Patients must be 18 years of age or older. Patients must be healthy enough to receive dental care. The event will be held rain or shine, and patients are encouraged to dress for the weather, as they will have to wait for their turn outside. Registration for the Friday, Nov. 2nd event will begin at 7am. Patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis from 7am to 5pm. Patients may park in the office parking lot and in the lot next door at 670 Brownswitch Road and walk across the street to our building. Smile, it’s FREE!!!
Pousson Family Dentistry wants to recognize the Slidell area’s community support for this event. This event has been supported by the Slidell Mayor’s office, the Sheriff’s office, the Slidell Police Department, over 60 of the community churches, 22 local social service organizations and the Slidell Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Vincent J. Monticciolo founded Dentistry From The Heart as a 501 C-3 over 16 years ago, with the goal of giving back to those who cannot afford dental care. Those in the dental industry who have participated in this event have shown a giving and generous spirit in their communities. Each year, hundreds of events take place where thousands of patients are helped and given millions of dollars in free dental care. The Slidell DFTH events have averaged about 21 volunteers, including Dr. David Pousson DDS, Dr. Maggie Miller DDS, oral surgeon Dr. C. Bradley Dickerson, and several assistants. Several local businesses generously donated items, allowing them to feed our volunteers two meals and provide snacks and water bottles.
During last year’s event, Pousson Family Dentistry saw 101 patients throughout the day. This surpassed their goal of 80 patients. “We hope to have over 120 people as patients this year. It is a truly wonderful charity and each year it gets bigger and bigger,” Jeanne Pousson said. Dr. David Pousson and Pousson Family Dentistry have been serving the Slidell community since 1979 and he has a passion for charity dental work and giving back to the community. Last year, Dr. Pousson and Dr. Bradly Dickerson shared the Slidell Humanitarian of the Year award for their community service.
For more information call (985) 643-2828 or visit PoussonFamilyDentistry.com 640 Brownswitch Road Slidell, LA 70458 (985) 605-7246
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hat scares you?
Do you seek out thrills that terrify most people? Does every Haunted House in the vicinity beckon you to enter, so you can be properly scared out of your wits and then laugh about it? Do you pull pranks and jump out from behind a door to startle your friends? So, I hate every one of those things. Although I admit to having enjoyed facing my fears by flying in an acrobatic biplane and zip lining, screaming the whole way, I draw the line at jumping out of a functional plane in a parachute. Actually, these days, the fears I want to face are of a much gentler variety. I don’t go to horror movies. I have enough scary stuff going through my head to take out and look at every day, and I get too emotionally involved in video. I saw the psychological thriller Rosemary’s Baby when I was in high school, and have never wanted to see a scary movie again. 38
If you startle me from behind a door, I will lash out with cuss words that’ll startle you right back. Just ask my brother and my brother-in-law. Words I’d never say to their faces jumped out at them with ferocious intensity. Well, I’m not going to a Haunted House, but October’s love of all things fearful brought me to this question: What would you do if you had no fear? I urge you to live in this question for the next 30 days. It can change your life or at least your month. Before you dig up that Bucket List of things you always wanted to do before you die, let’s think about the question’s implications. It’s actually a deeply spiritual question. It speaks to faith – faith in yourself and faith in your God. Because I do believe we all have the strength to live our dreams, and to live a life that is not run by fear.
We are used to hearing the term “comfort zone.” Many self-help programs begin with “getting out of your comfort zone.” I suggest that comfort zones are all in your head anyway, so you can choose to get out of that zone, just as you chose to create one. You can design your life. There’s an experiment with fleas in a jar that may help illustrate that concept. Picture a glass jar with a screw type lid. Paint the picture with as many details as you like – a scientist in a lab coat in a temperature controlled room lit by the glare of florescent bulbs and a faint smell of something chemical. Place a few test tubes on the table, and there you have it – our personal lab experiment of the mind. He places a teaspoonful of fleas in the jar (I have no idea why a scientist would have a spoonful of fleas, but bear with me, someone really did this experiment).
Story by Rose Marie Sand For a few days, they bounce around like energetic fleas will do, bumping their tiny flea heads on the lid of the jar. In a few days, the scientist comes back in and takes the lid of the jar off. Yet, they don’t jump out. They live out their short flea lives as though the lid was still there. Furthermore, when they reproduce, their baby fleas won’t jump out either. A dramatic flea circus of limitations of their minds. Their comfort zone was created by a very real limitation, but it continued far beyond the confines of that limit. They saw the world through the glass walls, but they stopped trying to reach for it. They didn’t test to see if the limit was still real. Perhaps you experienced the equivalent of that microscopic flea hitting its poor little noggin on the jar lid. Maybe you got hurt and quit trying. And maybe the
limitation isn’t really there anymore. It’s an interesting metaphor, isn’t it? So, back to the question, what would you do? There are levels to that question, I’ve come to learn in my own lid-lifting experiments. At one time in my life, I thought I’d do lots of crazy things that, at this juncture, I have no further interest in doing. I’ve learned that real consequences come from living life on the edge – but real growth does, too. And I’m a better flea for it. Lots of studies claim that people’s number one fear is public speaking. Jerry Seinfeld put it this way, “If public speaking is the number one fear, and death is number two, that means to the average person, if you have to go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
Well, when I decided to face my fear of public speaking, I did it in a big way. You see, I always clam up when more than two eyes are looking at me. My voice gets really, really low - low enough that most people can’t hear me. I suppose the first time I hit my head on that particular lid – being heard – I banged my head good and hard. So my flea brain decided the best way to handle that insecurity was not to speak up at all.
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Then I got the brilliant idea that the way to overcome the fear of public speaking was to be onstage as an actress. Talk about a dear in the headlights! In the horror movie in my head, that had to be the worse moment in the history of the theatre. Yet, I live to tell the tale and realize I’m the better for at least having tried. By the way, that old saying about picturing your audience naked to overcome the fear of public speaking didn’t work for me. If I could have seen an audience full of naked people, I wouldn’t have felt more comfortable. Nature gifted me with myopia, so I just focused on my scene mates and they all had costumes on.
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But life isn’t always lived in those big moments onstage, is it? Life’s in the details, and so is the grace to face whatever lids and obstacles come your way. While we’re living in the question of fear this month, let’s consider that we fear what we don’t understand. Let’s consider that the grace to face that lack of understanding is the greatest way to go beyond our fears. I think the best thing you can have going for you is the ability to be fearless about making a fool out of yourself. Speak up. Cuss if you have to when people startle you. Forget your lines onstage – it ain’t gonna kill ya, I promise. If you like watching the good guys kill the bad guys in a movie, have at it. Scream at the boogie men in the dark at Halloween scary places. I won’t join you, but I’ll meet you for a beer afterwards. Have faith that with the grace of God, you’ll punch a hole in the lid anyone tries to place on top of you. Be gentle with yourself, you’ve lived with fear long enough.
www.PursueWellnessForYou.com Kelly Lutman
Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach
Dear readers, I’ll share with you what I realized I’d do if I had no fear. I’d find my voice. Thanks for hearing it in the pages of this magazine.
MAGNIFICANT MOMENTS IN OCTOBER By Very Reverend W.C. Paysse, V.F. Pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes Church Dear Friends, As we enter the month of October, I wish to share at the beginning of this article a quote about the month of October from one of my favorite American writers, Nathaniel Hawthorne. He says, “There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.” I recall as a boy how some people, including my own family, would often anticipate the arrival of October. It was then, and sometimes now, a more pleasant, clear, crisp, cooler and less humid time for us here in the Deep South. I recall, too, when growing up, our church always had a fair during October because the pastor at the time said it was a more pleasant month with less rain -- but not always.
I concur with Nathaniel Hawthorne that October has a “pleasant effect on the feelings . . . .” The fact that I am writing about the month of October itself says to me that I must have deep within me an affinity towards October for whatever reason. Of course, I must admit that when I lived on the East Coast for a few years, the splendor of the month -- the trees bursting with red and golden leaves against a mantle of deep sea blue in the sky -- rejuvenated me. Yes, it was a pleasant invitation to a more relaxed moment in a day from the hustle of work, family obligations and responsibilities. May I suggest that we attempt to live in the magnificent moment of October, with all the attributes that calm the soul, free the mind from worry and fill the heart with joy? Yes, I know the ongoing obligations of any given day, but perhaps we need to disengage?
Maybe we need to reflect, retreat and remind ourselves that we should from time to time savor each and every day of life because as it rolls by like a freight train, we may lose a grand and cherished opportunity to be with a loved one, a dear friend, or to share in a life-giving occasion for ourselves and others. Yes, let’s extract a spiritual gem or two from October. Allow me to help guide you towards the path of renewal, please. Read a book, walk through a garden, call a friend, write a letter, share a meal or simply a smile and say hello to a stranger. Take in the surrounding beauty of the world and remember that you make it special! It just may give you the sparkle of a diamond for a lifetime! Live life to the fullest,
Very Reverend W.C. Paysse, V.F. Pastor
OCTOBER EVENTS CHURCH 10/03 10/04 10/05 10/06 10/09 10/10 10/11 10/16 10/17 10/18 10/23 10/24
10/25 10/27 10/28 10/30 10/31
RCIA Inquiry Session, 7-8:30pm, PLC / Men’s Reflection Group, 7:30pm, Rectory That Man is You Mass, 6am, PLC - followed with Breakfast/Sessions Legacy Mass, 8:30am, Church (all OLL Alumni invited) Mass with First Saturday Devotions, 8:30am, Church Knights of Columbus Meeting, 7pm (For more info: 504-251-3514) RCIA, 7-8:30pm, PLC That Man is You Mass, 6am, PLC - followed with Breakfast/Sessions Fourth Degree KOC Assembly, 7pm (For more info: 504-251-3514) RCIA, 7-8:30pm, PLC That Man is You Mass, 6am, PLC - followed with Breakfast/Sessions East Serra Club, 6pm, Rectory Father Seelos Shrine Excursion, 8:30am, Church Parking Lot, Mass at Shrine, Tour & Dutch Treat Luncheon at Pascal Manales (For more info: 985-643-4137) OLL School Finance Advisory Meeting, 4pm, Rectory OLL School Advisory Com. Meeting, 5:30pm, Rectory / RCIA, 7-8:30pm, PLC That Man is You Mass, 6am, PLC / Men’s Reflection Group, 7:30pm, Rectory First Reconciliation Parent’s Meeting & Retreat, 9-11:30am, Church Mass, Catholic Daughters 1 yr Anniversary, Blessed Sellos Court, 8:30am OLL Parish Finance Advisory Committee Meeting, 7pm, Rectory All Saints Holy Day of Obligation, Confessions & Vigil Mass, 5-6:15pm Confessions with Mass to Follow, 6:30pm, Church
10/05 10/06 10/07 10/08 10/10 10/23 10/24 10/25 10/26 10/30
Alumni Legacy Mass, 8:30am Students participating in PJP Academic Olympics Students participate in Slidell Life Chain OLL Book Fair, runs through 10/12 PTC off-site meeting, Caretta’s, 7:00pm Parent-Teacher Conferences, 3:30pm - 5:30pm Red Ribbon Day Principal’s Honor Roll Breakfast, 8:30am Mission Living Rosary, 2:15pm, Gym Fall Sports Pictures
Louisiana Helping Texas Neighbors - STORY & PHOTOS BY DONNA BUSH
Editor's Note: This month, we conclude 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.
This is the last in our 12-part series about Louisiana-based organizations helping our Texas neighbors and beyond. As I write this, we are already in hurricane season but have not experienced any serious threats, so far. My wish is that we are still hurricane free as you read this story. I think for all of us that have been through Katrina or any other major disaster, each threat stirs up a little posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I know it does for me. Being able to meet so many wonderful people and hear their amazing stories of unselfishly helping others, helps me overcome some of those fears. In my final episode, I’ll share with you about Volunteer Louisiana, which is our State Service Commission formed in 1993 under the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. Their responsibility is to promote national service and volunteerism within our state and manage the State AmeriCorps programs. During disasters, they communicate and coordinate volunteer needs and information. To learn more about this organization,
volunteer or donate, visit their website, www.volunteerlouisiana.gov. During and after Hurricane Harvey, they coordinated and communicated with three main organizations. I will share a little about each. After Hurricane Katrina, a roofer from Minnesota traveled here to volunteer his services. He quickly realized two weeks wasn’t long enough. Two years later, he was still in New Orleans and formed United Saints Recovery Project, a 501(c)3 foundation that typically performs over 25,000 service hours annually with 700+ volunteers from all over. Their primary mission is “to rebuild and repair homes for disadvantaged home owners – the elderly, disabled, veterans, uninsured and those on low, fixed incomes." Many of their clients fit into two or more of these categories. They are also a disaster response organization, hence their reaction to Hurricane Harvey in Louisiana and Texas. Most of their work included mucking and gutting homes, but they also worked on some shelter-at-home projects, which
A CONTINUING COVERAGE SERIES FROM DONNA BUSH PART 12 OF 12 allowed homeowners to live in their homes while repairs were completed. Their home base was a First Baptist Church in Hamshire, Texas which opened their doors as a housing and feeding resource for volunteers working in the surrounding areas. Working with the Commission on Voluntary Service & Action (CVSA), they provided housing and real-life disaster experience to a team of engineering students from USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering. The students’ goal was to build technological solutions that would benefit society, with a focus on disaster relief and mitigation. One idea included a low-cost, temporary, pre-fab housing unit that could be assembled next to one’s existing house, with much better construction, safer and healthier than a FEMA trailer. Other ideas were a pop-up cell tower that could be utilized when other cell communication was unavailable; a low-cost, solar-powered water purification system; and a drone project to aid in search-and-rescue operations. One of the students commented, “The Texas trip made me realize how things really are. Conversations with locals, volunteers and organizations changed my design focus from high-tech devices to something simpler that could actually solve problems affecting people’s lives.” HandsOn New Orleans was established in 2006 to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief and rebuilding. In 2009, the 501(c)3 merged with Points of Light, the world’s
largest volunteer organization. Their mission is “To engage, empower and transform our community through volunteer service.” With the 2016 flooding and in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, they provided resources throughout southwest Louisiana and various hard-hit areas of Texas. Disaster management best practices training was offered to local non-profit and faith-based responders regarding volunteer and homeowner management, dealing with donations and warehousing. Mucking and gutting volunteer teams deployed to the areas. Their typical community projects have a 50/50 split between locals and visiting volunteers. With disaster response projects, they see a 75% turnout of locals versus 25% visitors. United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is a 501(c)3 national and international organization. On the national level, more emphasis is on disaster response and recovery operations, such as hurricane, flooding, tornadoes, fires, etc. They have early response teams (ERT’s) that are well-trained in mucking and gutting houses. They know how high sheetrock should be cut, when flooring needs to be pulled up and when not, chainsaw operation, etc. Their first focus is on uninsured and elderly, but they will help anyone. Large churches gathered basic necessities to be delivered by 18-wheelers to Texas area churches. Once Harvey hit Louisiana, they deployed
teams to muck and gut houses in those areas while Texas was still unreachable. UMCOR partners with other agencies such as Catholic Charities, Foundation of SW Louisiana, United Way, and Church of Christ to assist in a variety of ways. Some take care of appliance replacement. Others provide specific building materials. Partnerships with Lowes and other companies offer discounts for many needed supplies. Long-term, they’ve been tasked with handling case management of the recovery efforts across Southwest Louisiana. They are still managing 125 cases with seven case managers and construction experts. Seventy cases have been closed. Even though a year has passed since Harvey hit, 2-3 families contact them weekly for assistance. Reverend Laraine Waughtal shared, “We desperately need more volunteers in Louisiana. There was so much media focus on Houston, that southwest Louisiana was lost in the shuffle.” If you can volunteer or donate, please visit their website, www.louisianadisasterresponse.com. One hundred percent of their donations go directly to the disaster you designate. These organizations brought much needed relief and support, on both physical and emotional levels to residents of Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas. They are committed to helping others and we are fortunate to have them in our community. Many thanks to all the wonderful Cajun organizations that served so selflessly.
Crimi-Mommly INSANE ie Gates
Lesl Story by
“GETTING THE JOB DONE” We are only in the first 9 weeks of school, but compared to history and experience, things are looking pretty hopeful so far? Not hopeful enough to make that a statement, but hopeful in a way that I can kinda see a flicker of light through the thick fog of previous disciplinary actions and failing grades. There are less unwanted calls and emails from teachers and Administration, so I’m thinking it might be safe enough to get (and keep) a job while the kids are in school. The extra money would be nice. So would the brain activity. The daily conversations with my dogs could most likely be contributing to my slow mental decline. Actually, I know it is. They told me the other day while we were playing a game of cards at the table, waiting for the kids to get home. The last job I had outside of home was 3 years ago and it lasted a short four months. They let me go after I praised a coworker with a “Good boy!” and threw a Milkbone in the air. The 44
other one was 10 years before that. I've volunteered my time to help others, so don’t picture me wasting away, but there is a respect and pride that comes with being out there in the working world. I remember it well. There are so many new skills I have mastered in the last 13 years that could REALLY help me get my foot in the door! You know what I need? A new resume. Getting started on this now would be smart, since I’m already typing. So here goes. Fingers crossed.
LESLIE’S RESUME: SKILLS Good listener:
Can reply to 4 conversations at once with a simple smile and a nod. And that’s when it’s just me, alone in the house. Stealth moves and problem solving:
Have snuck past 6 children arguing, a disgruntled neighbor, 2 Jehovah's Witnesses, and a grumpy husband, in the driveway, then quietly climbed up
the boat ladder with a glass of wine, taking cover in the boat’s bathroom. After two hours, everyone’s problems were solved. People skills:
Gathered many people together for the last 5 years, convincing them to create a group art with me. This includes, but is not limited to, my family, the neighbors, homeless friends, non-homeless friends, and the Mormon missionaries. Perseverance:
Chewed through FIVE games of beanboozled with my kids in the last year, even after throwing up the “stinky socks” jelly bean in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd game. Watched my husband play 5 hours of an Xbox deer hunting game, every night for a month, and didn’t divorce him. Gets the job done:
Had zero emotional and mental energy one week while working through grief, along with zero food to cook for dinner. I had reached my pizza ordering limit with my husband, and
going to the store was not an option, as I could’ve been mistaken for a zombie, and didn’t want to be stabbed in the head. Finding one frozen chicken leg at the bottom of the freezer, I tossed it into the crockpot, adding fragrant spices. Brian walked in from work, right after I had evenly distributed the one cooked leg to the dogs, and was so happy to smell a home-cooked meal. I told him I tried, but burnt it. He felt sorry for me (which he should have), then, I ordered pizza.
Advised my husband during many household repairs by instructing him to “call a professional.”
Managed the rat problem by our garage by sitting out back with a BB gun for months, once the poison stopped working.
Experience with the vintage “home phone” that only receives telemarketing calls. I use the 1- second “pick-uphang-up” method at least 5 times a day. On rare occasions, I use the “Do you speak Russian?” method, continuously, until THEY hang up.
Bed and Breakfast operator:
Cook home-made meals for my dogs.
Saved many neighborhood dogs from the “Animal Spotting Spy Hiding A Tree-cam” or A.S.S.H.A.T across the street from me by sneaking them out of my front yard and into safety. This can also fall into the “Stealth moves and problem solving” category.
For two years, provided the chemicals, and instructions needed, for my daughter to create 1000 pounds, and 5,000 different varieties, of slime.
Works well with others:
After 8 years of IEP meetings? YES. Although, if we could start with a round of shots and end with a game of bean-boozeled, it would be MUCH more interesting. I’ll bring it up AGAIN at the next meeting. Bilingual:
English and Dog. JOB EXPERIENCE Construction worker:
Constructed many multi-use forts around our yard, all of which double as more problem solving hiding spots.
On many occasions, I have made left-behind homework disappear from the kitchen table and reappear in class, without any help from my child. Can also make myself disappear while simultaneously making a glass of wine disappear. (As referenced above).
Over the years, ensured that many family and friends had a cleared-off spot on the couch to sleep on, and a warm breakfast up the road at McDonalds. Chemical Engineer:
Cleaned every color of slime off of carpets, using different methods, until successful. Organizer:
Expertise in creating organized piles of papers throughout many areas of the house. This also includes clean AND dirty laundry, rinsed OR nonrinsed dishes, and dog hair piles during shedding season. Life Coach:
Yes. I could use one of these.
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Marshall Arts Expert (with & without weapons):
Kill roaches in different ways, using a variety of household weaponry. Psychiatrist:
Found many coping techniques (common and uncommon) that have kept me from committing myself. ____________________________________ So, there it is. Don’t want to put too much or they might think I’m arrogant. Job material? I THINK SO! Can’t believe there are jobs out there that don’t require as many different skills as my current one, and, still pay me! The best part? I will get to say, “Sorry, I worked all day,” and it will actually hold some weight! Well, I better send this off now so I can start scheduling all my interviews. Don’t want to delay this any longbk@÷kihx…
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Crap. Sorry about that. Had to snatch the laptop away. For the record, I didn’t write any of that. I was outside loading the BB gun and cleaning the empty bottles out of the boat. Took me awhile to get back inside. Had to climb over one of my organized piles, but then my foot got stuck in slime. Was about to walk in the kitchen and stare at the dishes then sit down and worry about something out of my control, when I saw them typing away. They keep trying to get me out of the house, but come on, the world would fall apart around me if I wasn’t always readily available. Every call. Every need. It’s been my job. Always right here, in the same place, day after day. We’ve talked about it many times, so I know they think getting a job is best for me, but, I will be fine. Being at home most of the time since our first child was born 15 years ago, really opened my eyes to a way of life that a lot of women nowadays haven’t experienced. If it were the 1950's, it would be a different story. Especially if I showed up with my purple hair and tattoos. That would be a fun reaction to watch though. Choosing to stay home while my kids were little, then presented with difficulties that didn’t allow me to start working once they were all in school, really challenged my patience. Made me question my very existence and purpose. Days are lonely, mundane tasks are tortuous, and any reason to get out of the house, other than the grocery store
or school functions/conferences, is the highlight of the week. When the first kid is off the bus at 3:00, there is a feeling of overwhelming love and fulfillment that could have only been felt through years of social deprivation and learned appreciation. The kind that comes from sitting with your own thoughts day after day. Year after year. That breaks you down and exposes you to the greater purpose of your unique situation, after remaining restless with yourself… longing for more interesting experiences to fill your day… letting the thought of what you are “missing” take over the reality of the life you were given in the present moment. I’m now happy to simply be here when they get off the bus so I can ask them about their day, tell them good job, and throw them a Milkbone. My work isn’t something that makes people go, “WOW! SHE’S INTERESTING!” Nor does it give me a feeling of respect from others very often. It's
include the words, “dishes, laundry, school, vice-principal, dog pee, dog hair, shower, couch, clean, bus, homework, dinner, and I can’t sleep.” This job has tested my humility, faith, self-esteem, love, patience, marriage, hair color, and sanity in greater ways than any paid job or career I have had. I can only hope that one day, the fruits of my labor will have lasting positive results for my kids.
not pretty, or sexy. I can’t work my way towards some promotion in order to gain any of this either. It requires a lot of waiting, many prayers, and an ability to force yourself out in the world, even if it seems like the world no longer sees you. Conversations about my day are typically boring and repetitious and almost always
Whether you go to a job or stay home, a good Mother and Father are measured by doing what they have to do for their FAMILY. Not themselves. Everyone’s journey looks different. So, back to my resume. I appreciate the kind gesture and all, but they really didn’t have to go THIS far. There is absolutely nothing wrong with me because I am right where I need to be and in complete control of my mental health. Gonna go have a talk with them now. Damn dogs.
Dr. Jason Parker
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by Jeff Perret, DVM
DON’T WORRY, DOC…
I once read a statement from a horse veterinarian saying that he fully expected the last words he would ever hear would be, “Don’t worry, Doc. She doesn’t kick.” In the event of a non-fatal blow, the follow-up statement after he woke up would be, “Wow! She’s never done that before." Most equine veterinarians will tell you that they’ve never been kicked by a horse that kicks. Small animal practitioners, similarly, will say that they’ve never been bitten by a dog that bites. The assurances from the animal owners cross the species spectrum, but the results boil down to two possibilities: either
all animal-related injuries are flukes, or any animal is capable of inflicting damage under the right circumstances. My money’s on the second one. “Not my Pookie!” you might say. Well, no, of course not your Pookie (eye roll). She’s the best-trained pup on the planet. But those other dogs, cats, horses, birds, goats, cattle, and iguanas can be quite problematic sometimes. The danger zone for most animal professionals lies in that phrase “the right circumstances.” Animals are animals, and they come with defensive instincts. Humans under stress use sarcasm, pepper spray, and inappropriate humor.
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Dogs and cats use teeth and claws; horses kick and bite; birds use beaks and talons. All of these defenses are designed to protect the bearer under threatening circumstances, with varying levels of effectiveness. Unfortunately, and to my mind unreasonably, most animals view needles, cold exam tables, the smell of blood or disinfectant, loud equipment, and gloved, lubricated fingers as "threatening." Most of us whose work brings us face to face with fangs, claws, or hooves daily recognize this reality, and we take steps to minimize the need for flight or fight on the part of our patients.
However, some owners take offense at the mere suggestion that their animal may be a threat.
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Now, we’ve known Pookie for a long time. We love Pookie, although we think that the polka-dot sweater is a bit much. Pookie is the best-behaved, most intelligent 3-pound pocket pup ever. But he really doesn’t like having his temperature taken. We understand Pookie’s position, but it causes some serious problems with our worker’s compensation provider every time he draws blood. The next time Pookie visits, we really must insist that you let us decide the appropriate restraint methods to use during his exam.
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Animal safety and health Animal comfort Human comfort A muzzle may not look comfortable, but it helps veterinarians, technicians, and groomers to keep their primary instruments (hands) intact. A bit of pharmacology (sedation) may pinch the pocketbook, but it may keep your horse from dismantling the vet. And if your veterinarian asks you to move out of range or tells you that a certain action, such as cradling your seizing Rottweiler's head in your lap (I’ve seen it!), is unsafe, for goodness sake, LISTEN! Among our nifty skills, veterinarians are trained to recognize cues that signal aggressive or agitated behaviors on the part of our patients. Safety and restraint measures such as muzzles and tranquilizers preserve your animal’s safety and well-being as well as that of the hospital staff. If the muzzle keeps Pookie from biting the technician, it also gives the staff one less thing to worry about, and as a result, may keep the thermometer from disappearing into a black hole. Cats may feel more secure snugly wrapped in a towel or cat-bag, as they often don’t enjoy having legs and claws flying everywhere, and will be less likely to injure themselves if properly restrained. A horse that panics during a procedure is as likely to injure himself by slipping or bolting through a fence as he is any humans in his path. When an animal professional decides to implement a safety protocol, that decision is based on experience and judgment, and protects the safety of ALL of the animals involved. Please cooperate. Pretty Please?! We don’t mind hearing Pookie grumble a bit about the muzzle, and we know you don’t like it. But we do mind terribly when the last words we hear before the teeth start flashing is, “Don’t worry…”
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Gina Triay 49
OUT TAKES Slidell Magazine was EVERYWHERE this month! Here are just a few of our adventures!
Singing in the rain! It was an awe some, albeit wet, cruise on the Steamboat Natchez with friends from Our Lady of Lourdes . Under cover are l-r: Kendra, Miss Rosemary Clement, Anna Merle Merritt, and Lois Fallo n
ag Slidell M8
99 - Oct.
khart is from SPC Samuel Loc This WONDERFUL pic nds se y ert Lib r fo s ell Ladie serving in Kuwait! Slid to e zin s with Slidell Maga monthly care package l rea a en be He wrote,”It’s our heroes overseas. d an rs, ge an str e complet encouragement when ren have sent us care ild ch g un yo lly especia ” Liberty. Many thanks! of s packages via the Ladie ! ce rvi se art for your Thank YOU SPC Lockh
WOOHOO! The Silver Slipper Sports Book in now open! Placing the first bet was former Saints QB, Bobby Hebert, shown with Kendra, Silver Slipper Marketing Director, Victoria Langlinais, and COO John Ferrucci
itat for Humanity Rosies It was a great night for the Hab show. r’s at Cutting Edge Theate benefit for donating ies Ros the and e Thank you to Cutting Edg y Habitat for Humanity!! over $1000 to East St. Tamman
The hilarious comedy/murder/mystery “Murder Among Friends” was a huge success! The talented cast made up for any of Kendra’s mistakes in her theatrical debut! l-r: Julie Wood, John Kirkpatrick, David Gonzales, Brett Trahan, Kendra & Jacob Bolin
Your NORTHSHORE HARBOR CENTER Where Memories are Made
Slidell PD Fan
Don Shea, Sharron and Bill Newton
Introducing the Lobby Lounge “Up Close and Musical” concert series NOVEMBER 1 • 7-9pm General Admission - $14 Advance Sales Only • 120 Ticket Limit Eventbrite.com
Upcoming Events October 3 October 10 October 11 October 13-14 October 16
Private Meeting Private Meeting Bras for a Cause Slidell Newcomers Arts & Crafts Show Private Meeting
October 20 October 24 October 25 October 27
GNOCC ExtraVETTEganza Corvette Show Private Meeting Ducks Unlimited Dinner Private Meeting
See you there!
NOVEMBER 10 • HERITAGE PARK
M U S I CA L P E R F O R M A N C E S A L L DAY LO N G !
7EVENTH TIME DOWN
FIRST ANS 100 VETERIN GET $5 D FREE FOO! TICKETS W ID
FOOD $1 PER ITEM • FREE BOTTLED WATER • FREE SNOWBALLS
PRAISE & WORSHIP • ARTS & CRAFTS • KIDS’ GAMES & ACTIVITIES • & MORE! SPONSORED BY: