Lauren Hand + Alex Coley
December 22, 2017
photographer - Julie Holmes
Wedding Assistant: Laura Gilkerson (We gave her a to-do list for the day before & the day of. She was an amazing help! Receiving and paying vendors, lighting the 100+ candles, ironing loads of painter's cloth to cover the walls!, keeping us on schedule and organizing clean up! Worth every penny and more that we paid her!)
Places Couple Registered: Anthropology and Bed, Bath & Beyond
Invitations: Vista Print (designed online by bride/groom)
Bay-Waveland accommodations for wedding party: Groomsmen rented VRBO properties, bridesmaids at the bride's home
Out of Town Guests: Hollywood Casino Hotel
Bridal Luncheon: Hosted by aunts of the bride at the bride's home with local flute player, Amanda Lizana
Rehearsal Dinner: Starfish Café (they did an UNBELIEVABLE job....very personable! Incredible food selection with a homemade ice cream bar including a banana pudding flavor that put a smile on the groom's face!)
Bride's hair/makeup: Connie Bourgeois of Hairworks
Wedding Party Hair/Makeup by: Shannon Kelley and Dianne Dudek of Hairworks
Florals by: Rachel Bonds, Pine Hill Floral Design
Wedding ceremony music: Provided by the bride's music team from the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Student Association at the University of South Alabama (they've been singing at each other's weddings throughout the year!)
Wedding Officiated by: Fr. James Dean (YES! his real name)
Co-Celebrated by: Fr. Michael O'Connor, pastor at Our Lady of the Gulf Church
Groomsmen: Jacob Heckman, Alden Coley, Will Hand, Blake Hayes, Colton Knight and Rohan Ghosh
Bridesmaids: Aubrey Mushinski, Jessi Hand, Camille Kergosien, Tanna Vayon, Maria Longo and Susan Sieja
Flower girl: Riley Styron, cousin of the groom
Bride wore: Blush Essence of Australia sweetheart dress purchased at I Do Bridal - Mobile, AL and Lace Bolero created by Timeless Bride - Mobile, AL
Groom wore: Jos A Banks 1905 Collection Mini-Check Suit with a blush shirt and brown derby shoes.
*Groomsmen purchased the same suits in bulk for less than rentals. They intend to wear them at job/graduate/medical school interviews as the majority graduate in 2018.
Time of day: 3 pm Nuptial Mass with reception following
Weather: blustery and beautifully mild
Most Romantic Moment: The bride and groom both agreed that the moments together after the ceremony and before the reception walking on the lovely church grounds taking pictures was the most romantic time throughout the day.
Wedding reception music: Grabriella Loiacano, pianist, a BSL local pursuing a degree in Music Performance at the University of Mobile
Catering: Cajun Gourmet Catering Co., Executive Chef Scott Simpson, Pass Christian, MS
The Reception Menu: Smoked Beef Brisket Sliders, Crawfish Queso & Spinach/Artichoke Dip, Mashed Potato Bar, Chef's Mac & Cheese, Pirate's Cove Corn Nuggets, Fruit/Veggie/Cheese Kabobs, Bride/Groom Cookies by Candis Hotard, Cupcakes by the Bridal Party and Chocolate Chip Cookies-N-Milk Shots
The Most Talked About Food Item: Fresh Corn Nuggets (caterer was able to acquire a case of the real deal from Pirate's Cove) and the Chocolate chip cookies w/Milk shots late in the evening!
Signature Cocktail: Lavender Lemonade from the Starfish Cafe AND Dulces Moscato d'Asti wine
Cakes by: Cakes by Theresa, Theresa Ralph, Pass Christian, MS
The groom's cake was OVER THE TOP clever...see picture and caption!
Favorite toast: Dueling toasts about the groom between the father of the groom and best man.
The "wow factor" of your wedding/reception that everyone talked about: Hanging bed on the balcony overlooking the Gulf, live oak trees and OLG church. A spectacular BSL sunset was a bonus!
The most unique detail of your wedding/reception: Handmade reception pieces made by the father of the bride, Bill Hand. Included in the special pieces were a wooden backdrop, sweetheart table, cake base, table centerpiece bases, hanging bed, monogrammed corn hole boards, entrance table and lectionary stand that held a 1880's family Bible where guests signed in.
Lighting: Bistro and table candles inside... three floors of twinkle lights on the balcony railings outside
Rentals: ABC Rental: Farmhouse Tables, Chairs and Benches
Marshall Moving Services, LLC (moved the family piano, dry bar and large wooden furniture)
Honeymoon location: Christmas Cabin in the mountains of North Carolina
Bride's favorite part of the entire event: Was getting married to her best friend and how comfortable the day was sharing her joy with family and friends.
Groom's favorite part of the entire event: Was being surrounded by family, both old and new, as I married the woman I love.
Gifts for Wedding Party:
Gifts for mother of the groom & mother of the bride: OLG Church ceramic plaques by Clay Creations
Groomsmen - Socks to match each groomsman's personality
Bridesmaids - Matching robes, jewelry, Tervis personalized wineglasses and monogrammed goodie bag
Guest Favors: Burlap treat sack ornaments hanging from a pre-lit forest of bark trees on the balcony porch
This Louisiana city is just an hour away from Bay St. Louis and its historic district offers many of the same charms, making it a perfect day-trip destination from the coast.
- story and photos by Lisa Monti
An award-winning chef brings Italian food - not anything at all like your mama's - to Old Town Bay St. Louis and wins over diners from across the coast.
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
It was a lucky coincidence to have lunch with friends at C&C Italian Bistro on Friday and then go for the much anticipated steak dinner with family on Monday.
They were two entirely different meals, both plentiful and delicious, showing C&C’s versatility.
Chef David Dickensauge’s arrival on Main Street last year caused a stir with news of his plans to offer artisan pizza, pasta made in house and rustic Italian small plates. Dickensauge interned in Chicago Italian restaurant kitchens and wanted to bring those out of the ordinary dishes to the Bay.
A key player in the renovated space is a special gas-fired brick oven, which produces not only exceptional pizzas but menu treats such as charred oysters on the half shell.
Pizzas come with such glamorous themes as Rockefeller (oysters, creamed spinach, bacon and bechamel), Scottish smoked salmon and Steak Gruyere (grilled filet mignon, Gruyere, horseradish cream, truffle oil and micro arugula).
Besides the brick oven offerings, C&C’s menu is broken down into appetizers, fish and meat, the housemade pastas, sandwiches and salads alongside daily specials.
Our lunch gathering tried a little of everything. The pizza option was Primavera, with olives, feta, marjoram, onion and marinara.
For seafood, it was shrimp atop soft polenta that was topped with a poached egg and crispy proscuitto. The Toscano sandwich was stuffed with roasted hampshire pork, arugula, cracklings and salsa verdi on rustic bread.
Two brick oven-roasted Hampshire pork chops made an impressive and generous large plate with extras to take home and enjoy later. My choice of pasta was the Tagliatelle with rich bolognese ragu and parmigiana, rich tasting and warming on a dreary day.
Everyone agreed that our Italian dishes, all different, were tasty, generous and nicely presented. And it didn’t hurt that Frank Sinatra was serenading us from Pandora.
Dickensauge has crafted weekly specials that might make you want to double down for lunch and then back for dinner in quick succession.
Monday is steak night with the $20 18-ounce ribeye or 8-ounce filet and $10 pasta dishes.
Tuesday is live music with various dinner specials, Wednesday is wine specials and those brick oven charred oysters and Thursday is a four-course set dinner and wine pairing. Happy hour is celebrated Monday through Saturday.
C&C Italian Bistro is open for lunch Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner Monday-Friday starting at 5 p.m. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Waveland Alderman Jeremy Burke reports on the Mid-Winter Municipal League Legislative Conference, the Nereids Parade, the Nicholson Avenue bike-path/pedestrian project - and gives a round-up of 2017 building in the city.
We also networked with legislators and business leaders at the Gulf Coast Legislative Reception at the capitol to provide them important feedback on issues that are critical to Waveland.
Attending the MML's Mid-Winter Conference and visiting the capitol during the legislative session are valuable components of Waveland’s progress forward.
Mark your calendars for the annual Krewe of Nereids parade on Sunday, February 4, at noon. The parade begins in front of the Hancock County Governmental Annex Building in Bay St. Louis and rolls west on Highway 90, ending at the intersection of Auderder Street and Highway 90 in Waveland.
Both lanes of Highway 90 in Waveland will be closed from the Bay St. Louis-Waveland city line to Waveland Avenue. Please read the notice below regarding the Nereids parade. Laissez les bon temps rouler!
PUBLIC NOTICE FROM THE CITY OF WAVELAND
• There will be no parking of vehicles, trailers, or recreational vehicles before 12:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon February 3, 2018. Any vehicle parked on the right-of-way at any time that obstructs the view of traffic for cars going into or out of businesses will be towed.
• There will be no marking or reserving parking areas along the parade route with tape, rope or other means of “marking a spot.”
• Underage consumption of alcohol will not be tolerated. There will be plain clothes officers enforcing the law.
• There will be no sale of silly string &/or Snap and Pops on the parade route.
• There will be no skateboards, hover boards, skates, scooters, bicycles or any unauthorized modes of transportation, including motorized forms of the items mentioned above, on the parade route. Any one of these will be removed from the parade route.
• There will be no drones of any kind on the parade route.
• There will be no reptiles or pets of any kind allowed on the parade route.
• There will be no glass containers on the parade route.
• There will be no parking on the median or ladders or scaffolding.
• Please be courteous and use the trash containers provided along the parade route.
Nicholson Avenue Project
I have received a number of phone calls recently asking, “What are all of those orange flags doing along Nicholson Avenue?”
The answer is that Waveland is now in the beginning stages of designing another pedestrian-friendly transportation route located on Nicholson Avenue.
The project will widen Nicholson Avenue to allow the installation of a bike path from Highway 90 to the railroad tracks. As part of the project, Waveland will repave the deteriorating Nicholson Avenue.
The total cost of the project will be around $1,000,000, but 80% of the project will be funded by MDOT. Nicholson Avenue is currently being surveyed. The design of the project should be complete by the end of the year and the construction of the project should begin in early 2019.
2017 Waveland Building Report
One of the most positive notes in Waveland for 2017 was the amount of quality building that is taking place. The Waveland Building Department issued permits for over $10 million of construction projects in 2017. Of the $10 million worth of construction, 36 were new residential home projects. I’m happy to report that the fastest growing area in Waveland is in Ward 1 south of the railroad tracks.
The origins of the enormously popular and oddly-named celebration of mud, local potters, good food and community spirit, in Old Town Bay St. Louis.
- story by LB Kovac, photos by Ellis Anderson
This SOUPer Mudfest kicks off Saturday, March 10, at 4 p.m., near the corner of Main and Second streets. Early bird sales of bowls begin at 3:30 p.m.
Specially themed Second Saturdays, like "Dolly Should" in January and "Frida Fest" in July have become beloved highlights of the year.
And there's SOUPer Mudfest each March, now in its ninth year. It's expected to attract more than one thousand people to the Old Town district during its one-night-only stint.
And, with just $20, you can be a part.
Despite Moynan’s positive attitude, she and the rest of the Bay St. Louis community had a steep hill to climb in the wake of one of our country’s worst natural disasters. Before SOUPer Mudfest, there was just a “mudfest.” Moynan said, “It was disgusting downtown” in the days after Katrina.
The streets downtown, where Moynan and other community members had their businesses, were practically rubble, and “everyone was wearing shrimp boots to get around,” she said.
With conditions so bad, it was difficult to attract shoppers.
But business owners embraced the dirtiness and grittiness, turning it into a chance to celebrate the spirit of living and survival. People decorate their shrimp boots and come out for Second Saturday. The soiree went on.
Eventually, though, the streets were repaired, and downtown Bay St. Louis returned to something that seemed more or less normal. There was no more mud, no more shrimp boots.
Moynan saw the void left by the old mudfest. “I owned a gallery at the time, and I represented a lot of potters,” she said. Potters, being “mudslingers,” could provide the “mud” part of a new mudfest. “I got with the potters and said, ‘Let’s make bowls and sell soup with the bowls,” Moynan said.
It was a chance for the Bay’s restaurant and business owners, herself included, to show off some of their best recipes, and the town to show that, despite the destruction of the last few years, it was still alive and kicking. Mudfest, like Bay St. Louis, experienced a rebirth.
That first year, Moynan’s gathered a team of six potters to make 280 bowls, as well as a host of local businesses to serve soup. They set up shop under a tent at the corner of Main and 2nd streets. With a price tag of $20 per bowl, the Mudfest’s entire stock sold out in the first hour of the event. It seems that Bay St. Louis residents were hungry for such an event.
0Every year since, SOUPer Mudfest has grown. This year, Moynan says that 8 to 10 potters will create more than 800 bowls and attendees will be treated to soups from 30 local businesses. In the past, tomato basil, white bean osso buco, corn and crab bisque, and the Southern staple gumbo have all been on the menu, but Moynan said, “You have no idea what you’re in for this year. It’s always something cool and interesting.”
SOUPer Mudfest continues to be a chance for visitors and community members to “see how fantastic our town is,” Moynan said. The $20 fee doesn’t just buy a bowl or free soup. The money, split among the potters, Old Town Merchants’ Association, Hancock County Food Pantry, and the Hancock County Tourism board, goes to maintaining the indomitable, Bohemian spirit that makes Bay St. Louis great.
This SOUPer Mudfest kicks off Saturday, March 10, at 4 p.m., near the corner of Main and Second streets. Early bird sales of bowls begin at 3:30 p.m. If you join in, Moynan said, “You might find a new artist you fall in love with.” Or a business. Or a whole town.
A committee of dedicated Chamber volunteers is offering a series of fascinating public workshops to help raise awareness on what it takes to be a "Smart Community."
- story by LB Kovac
Allison Anderson is a founder and one of the architects behind unabridged Architecture; she was also the first LEEDs-accredited professional in the entire state of Mississippi (LEEDS - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - is a nationally recognized design standard).
Her portfolio ranges from small-scale residential remodels to macro commercial redevelopments, but much of her practice incorporates her community-driven approach.
Anderson’s been a member of the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce Greenways and Scenic Byways Committee for more than twenty-three years and has a long history of volunteerism and advocacy in the county.
“[As a city], you might want to be big enough to support a community college. How big is that?” she asks. “What does that town look like?”
Anderson’s eye for the bigger picture led her to develop “Smart Communities,” a series of lectures sponsored by the committee and spanning the year that highlights the powers shaping today’s communities. Anderson said, “The point of the conversations is to educate people on these ideas and open up the conversation to a larger group of people.”
The first lecture, given by leading economic development specialist Knox Ross, asked what communities could do to grow smarter. Some of the advice Ross gave might seem obvious, such as investing in local businesses, having a distinctive character and considering the role every individual plays in the community. But maybe less obvious? Moving your business a few blocks over.
“Good communities have to have these dense urban cores,” said Anderson. These cores help support small businesses, restaurants, culture, and a city’s night life, but they are often not ideal spaces for a new business. At some point, she said, “We have to look at places where our community can support new development.”
And, we have to think about the painful possibility of disaster. Much of the Mississippi coast is located on a 100-year flood plain. Anderson said, “Every home in our area has a 1-in-4 chance of flooding over the life of a mortgage.”
Rather than implementing the costly services necessary to support people in emergencies, communities need to consider retreating from the areas at the most risk.
“Katrina was a watershed moment for us,” said Anderson. Unabridged had just finished two projects before the hurricane and only one survived. “The guesthouse we had just finished was completely erased. It didn’t make it a month. And it was built to the same code as our office. A few blocks distance was really the only difference.”
The next lecture, given by Anderson Kim Architecture & Urban Design principal designer R. John Anderson on February 16, focuses on the mathematics of city planning. He specializes in urban strategy and will help explain why two businesses only a few miles apart can pay wildly different property taxes.
Other lectures planned for the year include a presentation by the Stennis Institute, a discussion on urban waterways, and a presentation by Mississippi Power on smart ways to incorporate power in communities.
Many aspects of “smart communities” will be explored at the series, which are all scheduled to take place at the Bay St. Louis Library. You can find updates on topics and lecture times at the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce website.
“There are a wide range of opinions about the right way to design, the right direction for our community,” said Anderson. “We want to take the temperature of the people. This is a chance for everyone to become part of the conversation.”
Old bottles have bridged the gap between collectibles and chic home decor. Check out the offerings in three Old Town antique shops and create some romance of your own.
- story and photos by Grace Wilson
My husband and I had recently read “The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living,” and candlelight is a very important part of the Danish philosophy of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. Usually he doesn’t go for my design ideas (which usually involve hundreds of throw pillows) but his eyes lit up when he saw my idea.
We hopped in the golf cart and zoomed down to Magnolia Antiques (200 Main Street, Bay St. Louis). There were two main displays of bottles, and many treasures sprinkled throughout the store. In front of each bottle display were collectors carefully inspecting beautiful bottles one by one. I was eager to start my own collection, but took a moment to enjoy these passionate collectors rolling the bottles in their hands, reading the print on the bottom and holding them up to the light.
It dawned on me that every old bottle has a story as unique as the shape, feel and color of each one.
“It’s different for all people,” said Glenda Schornick, owner of Magnolia Antiques. “For some people it’s the history of the bottle itself or for causal collectors who display the bottles for decoration, it’s more about the shapes and colors.”
Some collectors are looking for bottles from Bay St. Louis Bottling Works, others are interested in old bottles from New Orleans. Others seek big brand names like Barq’s and Coca-Cola.
Colored bottles can easily bring life to an open shelf or window.
“My brother has three or four shelves in his kitchen windows with different colored miniature bottles on each shelf and it’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen,” Schornick said.
As I got my turn to pick through the shelf, I admired the color spectrum. Even in the clear glass there was a wild variation of cloudy glass, bluish glass, bottles with a rainbow sheen or some with patina inside them.
Since the Bay is near the Gulf, there are bottles with barnacles on them. No telling how many miles these ocean-going bottles had traveled. There are also many bottles underground because people used to bury them to dispose of them.
“We have a guy that I’ve known for years and years that’s a bottle digger. He’s not alone, there are lots of them. He’s always been one of our really good suppliers,” said Schornick.
After picking our favorites from Magnolia Antiques we padded down to the French Potager (213 Main Street) to see what Martha Whitney Butler and her vendors had to offer. She, too, said that most of her most prized bottles came from the dirt.
“Bottles last because they are glass,” Butler said. “Everything else will rust, but glass will never break down.”
The French Potager had a mix of old and new, glass and even clay bottles. In Patti Fullilov’s booth, there were repurposed bottles - a lamp made from a new liquor bottle crying out for a bar and a mini bottle with a shell stopper that would be a finishing touch to any beach decor.
Butler said the most popular were blue bottles for bottle trees.
“I love graduated bottles with the measurements on the side and other medicine bottles,” said Butler. “I want bottles with famous labels on them or obscure labels, like Mr. Whatever Cure-All — I can just imagine the characters that were those peddlers.”
For those name-brand collectors looking for Barq’s and Coca- Cola, Antique Maison (111 North Second Street) may be the best bet. Not only do they have a large booth at the front of the store, but there is a treasure trove of old bottles in the back by seller Curry Beatty.
Luckily, my last-minute idea came to life in just an hour as the antique shops of Bay St. Louis have many interesting bottles in stock.
From casual decor to a big occasion, bottles can make a big impact on decorating.
“My niece got married in New Orleans at the Pharmacy Museum and she went to town on the decor using bottles,” Schornick said.
As I enjoyed the conversation of the dinner guests and the atmosphere of the warm candlelight, I listened to the stories and wondered about the stories of the bottles in front of us.
I was brought back to the moment as a friend beside me asked, “Where did you find all these cool old bottles?”
As Schornick said, smiling, “In a lot of other things, people have a lot of particular taste and desires, but with bottles there’s always one that appeals to someone.”
Lisa Monti takes a look back at Mardi Gras in the Bay, remembering parades, throws and the Krewe of Real People's legendary Moss Men.
- photos from the Scafidi collection at the Hancock County Historical Society and courtesy Edward Carver
Every community along the Coast fashioned its own Mardi Gras fun with balls, parades and royalty, going way back to the early 1900s in the case of Biloxi.
Mardi Gras in the Bay, Past & Present
As a kid growing up in Bay St. Louis, Mardi Gras day was the whole Carnival season. That was well before Carnival associations multiplied, their seasonal celebrations proliferated and King cakes were sold at drug stores and grocery stores.
Costumes for the most part were homemade, as were Halloween costumes, sometimes becoming interchangable. Accessories were mostly rubber masks that covered the whole face or lipstick and rouge applied in excess. I can remember joining cousins of stairstep ages dressed as cowboys and Indians and gypsies, some wearing scary masks and all holding tight to our bags of throws.
We stood for what seemed like the whole day along a forgotten parade route (maybe on Necaise Avenue?) waiting for the horseback riders, police cars, marching bands and some form of humble floats.
For a time and for some unknown reason, wooden nickels were especially prized throws, though I can’t recall any redemption value. My most memorable throw came courtesy of a long forgotten bakery that provided miniature loaves of sliced bread tossed sparingly to the crowds. To a kid who was captivated by anything shrunk down to a perfect tiny replica, it was a magical possession.
Someone recently asked if I remembered when Mardi Gras beads were made of glass before plastic became the favored material. Hard to imagine now that hazard waiting to happen, but so was running behind a mosquito-spraying truck and other experiences done in the name of 1950s fun.
Another memorable component of Bay St. Louis Mardi Gras starting in the mid-150s was the marching Moss Men, which Bay resident Larry Lewis recalled in his Good Neighbor profile six years ago.
What do Moss Men look like? “Something like a gorilla suit,” said Larry in his Shoofly interview.
I remember the Moss Men dancing in the streets but my most vivid recollection was the terror my very young niece Becky suffered when she first laid eyes on them. To this day, when we talk about anything related to Mardi Gras, the Moss Men always come up. And so do a lot of memories of large family gatherings on Mardi Gras day, homemade costumes, jumping and diving for trinkets and looking down the street for the next truck float or marching band to appear.
We never wanted the parade to end.
All because it's Carnival Ti-i-ime
Whoa, it's Carnival Time
Oh well, it's Carnival Time
And everybody's havin' fun
Click here for the Shoofly Magazine's historical perspective on coast Mardi Gras celebrations.
Click here to read about former Moss Man Larry Lewis in the Shoofly archives.
Mosaic artist Elizabeth Veglia is best known for her award-winning public mosaic projects - extraordinary pieces of public art. Now she's focusing her artistic energies on smaller scale works of art-to-wear.
- story by Denise Jacobs, photos by Lisa Loth
Elizabeth’s jewelry collections will be on sale at Bay Life Gifts in celebration of its grand opening at The Shops of Century Hall (112 S. Second Street, Bay St. Louis) beginning February 2. Elizabeth will be also be available to discuss her process of making jewelry at Bay Life Gifts on Second Saturday, February 10.
In the past, Elizabeth stood to assemble the mosaics for a project, then in the installation phase, she worked in the hot sun, on her knees, elbow deep in a bucket of mortar. In the present, she sits in her studio, a spare bedroom shared as an office area with Billy, her long-term life partner.
And in this small space, the magic happens. Here Elizabeth meticulously designs unique hand wrought jewelry using semi-precious stones, silver, and bronze—small materials, small storage space and small tools.
“At this time, all my mosaic supplies and tools are in storage,” she says, “And making jewelry is a welcome and lightweight creative counterpart to making mosaics—wonderful for now! And painting, I have always painted, and it doesn’t have to take up a lot of room.”
Most recently, Elizabeth has been spinning and twisting silver and bronze wire around semi-precious stones like Labradorite, Apatite, Agate, and Amethyst in the process of creating necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Listening to the stones and feeling their energies results in a blending of her creativity and the stone’s attributes.
One collection is heavily influenced by the fluid, watery Caribbean blues of Aquamarine, Amazonite, Chalcedony, Lapis Lazuli, and Jade. At the other end of the spectrum, the Primal Collection features contrasting blacks and whites. Elizabeth also works with crystals. “I am so glad that crystals are popular now,” Elizabeth says. “I love the sparkle.”
As to the transition in art forms, Elizabeth possessed many “transferable skills to work with.” She taught herself what she needed to know, beginning with beading, and moving on to wire creations. She plans to eventually learn to solder and set stones.
At this time, her creative space has transitioned from the 700-square-feet studio in a Bay St. Louis property she and Billy sold in June, to a small house. Earlier in the year, the couple sold a home on Rotten Bayou that they had lived in for 13 years, a place that included a 1,600-square-foot studio.
Elizabeth says that downsizing feels good. “We have a living room, a kitchen, one bathroom and two bedrooms. My part of our shared space is perhaps 50 square feet.” She laughs and says the move has been a test of their long-standing relationship.
“Could we share a bathroom? Yes, we could.”
“Could we work together in one room, this jeweler and her contractor/realtor partner? Yes, we could. Sharing a small space is a testament to our relationship.”
And, as to the art, life in transition has offered Elizabeth the opportunity to focus on the solitary artistic mode of a jeweler and sometimes painter. It suits her.
Elizabeth’s collections will be on sale at Bay Life Gifts in celebration of its grand opening at The Shops of Century Hall beginning February 2. Elizabeth will be available to discuss her process of making jewelry on Second Saturday, February 10, and later in March. Check with Bay Life Gifts for updates and details.
Plan to be dazzled.
Rheta Grimsley Johnson believes she was privileged to know a few of the old-school, legendary reporters from 'way back when print ruled journalism. One of them was Mississippi's Bill Minor.
Editor's Note: There's a free showing at the documentary about Bill Minor Rheta refers to in this story on Thursday, April 12, 2018, at the Gulfport Westside Community Center, 4006 8th Street, Gulfport. There's a reception at 5pm and the screening starts at 6pm. It's sponsored by the Historical Society of Gulfport.
In George Wallace’s Montgomery, I grew up on Ray Jenkins’ liberal editorials, the “Ask Andy” science feature and the comics. Especially the comics. I must admit that Brenda Starr might have had more to do with my career choice than Huntley, Brinkley and Ray Jenkins combined.
Not to disparage today’s working press – enough unfounded criticism twiddled and Tweeted lately – but I miss the staccato rhythm of the old-fashioned newsroom and the disposition of old school reporters. They never expected to be liked, for one thing, which is probably why they sometimes were idolized.
Two things happened recently to satisfy my nostalgic longings for solid, shoe leather journalism out of the Damon Runyon mists. One was the movie “The Post,” which celebrated the guts it took for The Washington Post to publish the Pentagon Papers.
I went to the movie not expecting to like Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee, though I like Tom Hanks. I simply didn’t think he could reach the gravitas bar that Jason Robards set so high in “All the President’s Men.” But Hanks did. He exhibited the sardonic wit and passion for truth that characterizes the best in the trade. If your mother says she loves you, check it out.
The second surprise was local, a documentary screening in the Pass Christian library of
“Bill Minor, Eyes on Mississippi; The most essential reporter the nation has never heard of.”
The room was full. In the film the late, great reporter Bill Minor pretty much narrates his own story, drawn out by the questions of Ellen Ann Fentress, producer and director. Ellen Ann was hired by Bill when for several years he ran a liberal alternative weekly in Jackson, The Capitol Reporter.
In all, Louisiana native Bill Minor wrote from Mississippi for 70 years, beginning with Theodore Bilbo’s funeral in 1947. His long career of civil rights reporting began then, writing for The Times Picayune until that New Orleans paper closed its Mississippi bureau. In his last decades, he wrote syndicated columns that did what they could to keep the state’s politicians accountable and honest.
Throughout his long reporting career, Bill Minor made enemies, the right enemies, and was threatened and sued and maligned.
Our paths crossed in the early 1980s in the Capitol Newsroom in Jackson. Minor was introduced to me as the dean of Mississippi journalists, a title he earned. He also was a really nice guy.
As a reporter for Jackson’s struggling United Press International, I quickly learned that Bill was the man to see if you had a question about anything to do with the state’s byzantine politics. He had the key to the vault of institutional knowledge. And he didn’t mind sharing.
I last saw Bill in Athens, Ga., at an annual gathering of old civil rights reporters given an ironic lofty title, the Popham Fellowship. It was named for John Popham, a celebrated New York Times reporter who traveled the South to the tune of 50,000 miles a year. His race reporting was the gold standard.
I was there to write a column in 1999, the year Popham died. The decision had to be made whether to continue the yearly gathering. It was an emotional, inspirational scene. I’ll never forget the arrival of one of my professional heroes, Bill Emerson, formerly of Newsweek, holding his portable oxygen apparatus in one hand, his whiskey bottle in the other.
I can’t remember how the vote went about future meetings, but I will remember till I die roaming the halls of the unremarkable chain hotel amongst the giants of our print trade, including Bill Minor, Claude Sitton, Joe Cumming and the aforementioned Ray Jenkins. The war stories were from the front line. The wit and stamina was legendary. An era was winding down, but not quietly.
When Chet Huntley retired from The Huntley-Brinkley Report in 1970, the network gave him a horse because he was moving home to Montana.
Huntley lived only four years after retiring.
Bill Minor died last year at age 94, still reporting and writing until almost the end, when he became too ill. His last columns were among his best; there was a lot that needed saying.
He never left Mississippi or abandoned his hope that race relations and hearts here could change. I am not alone in missing him.
Find out more about Rheta's books at RhetasBooks.com. Rheta's gallery/shop, Faraway Places, is located at 102 West Front Street, Iuka, Mississippi.
During the Second Saturday Artwalk each month in Old Town Bay St. Louis, you'll find cool deals, fresh meals and lots of art and live music.
Be sure to visit Hot Spot businesses The Mockingbird Café, 110 South Second Street, and Strandz Salon, 203 North Second Street.
- stories by Denise Jacobs, photos by Ellis Anderson and Denise Jacobs
The Mockingbird is so integrated into the fabric of the community, that it is sometimes hard to tell where it begins and where it ends. That’s especially true when the cafe collaborates with neighboring Smith & Lens to host art shows, the Mr. Atticus’s Night Market, and festivals such as last month’s Dolly Should look-alike contest. The Bird has evolved from a group of people gathered to rebuild the city after Katrina into a lively community hub.
More than just a coffee shop, “the Bird” has been dubbed the living room of the Bay. It is a place reminiscent of the house in which Alicein Wonderland Schwabacher, sole proprietor, grew up, a Bay St. Louis home overflowing with colorful out-of-town travelers who taught Schwabacher that she was a citizen of the world.
While the Mockingbird is more than a coffee shop, it does serve a great cup of coffee. Beans are roasted at Coast Roast in Long Beach for a special Mockingbird blend. “We aren’t a cookie-cutter town, so we aren’t a cookie-cutter coffee shop,” says Schwabacher. “If we can source anything nearby, from coffee to art to live music, we do that. That’s important to us.”
Schwabacher credits her success to the people who have supported her and the business along the way, noting that, “Since we opened our doors, Laura Hurt and Whitney LaFrance have been key to the success of the Mockingbird.”
Schwabacher says, “Our Mockingbird team gets it—we are all ambassadors of Bay St. Louis.” She adds that the Bird’s success is also due to her supportive partner Rebekah and her tireless work.
No time is a bad time to experience the Bird’s menu, and the weekend brunch is especially popular. Signature alcoholic drinks such as a trio of mimosas made with fresh seasonal juice, Lushy Lemonade, Irish coffees, and the Tequila Mockingbird are always available but are hits with the brunch crowd.
The idea behind the Mockingbird is that a community is stronger if everyone works together—from staff to city planning. That idea still holds. “We may not all want exactly the same thing,” Schwabacher says, “but we can always find common ground.”
With that, she invites everyone to stop by on Second Saturday, February 10, between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. “All are welcome," she says. “We welcome any and all neighbors.”
• Delivery from the Mockingbird is available within Old Town on all orders $25 or more between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily.
• The Mockingbird is now taking Mobile/Online orders! Check it out at https://squareup.com/store/mockingbird-cafe-llc.
203 N Second St
Bay St Louis, MS
On February 10, Second Saturday, Strandz will host an open house between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Stop by for a snack and introduce yourself.
Not one to struggle with what she would do with her life, Brenda Curet Cuevas, sole proprietor of Strandz Salon, began her career as a hair stylist and business owner right out of high school in 1976. She never looked back.
Cuevas says that owning a business was never that important, that it just happened. Nevertheless, she says that it takes business acumen and loyal customers to sustain a business through a hurricane the proportions of Katrina, a diagnosis of breast cancer, and single parenting. Cuevas has done just that.
Strandz was originally housed on Highway 90 near Hancock Medical Center. At that time, Cuevas employed seven stylists. When Katrina hit in 2005, the building flooded. Rather than admit defeat, Cuevas moved her salon into her house.
She continued there and operated a full-service salon for ten years before moving to her current location on the corner of deMontluzin and Second Street in the same building as The Ugly Pirate.
“You have to have a town to have a business,” Cuevas says, “and this is my town. This town helped me maintain a business as a single parent. It helped me through my battle with breast cancer, and I am happy to say that I am a 13-year survivor. My customers support my business, and I appreciate every last one of them.”
Cuevas loves working in Old Town, taking walks around town, and meeting new people.
Strandz is a full-service salon featuring Joico and Matrix professional hair care and hair styling products. Cuevas offers haircuts, color, perms, blow dry, flat iron, and relaxers.