Celebrate the summer in Old Town during the Second Saturday Artwalk on June 11th - with Hot Spots California Drawstrings (216 Main Street) and Twin Light (136 Main Street)!
- stories by Grace Birch
And don't miss the popular BSL Trio, playing at the Mockingbird Café (110 S. Second Street) from 6pm - 9pm. It's an outside, family-friendly venue and it's free!
216 Main Street,
Bay St Louis
A CLEAVER SPONSOR - please thank them!
Owner of California Drawstrings Linda Keenan will tell you her boutique specializing in cotton, linen, and silk doesn’t have much to do with California. And that’s partly true — her company has been firmly rooted in the Gulf South since 1984.
But California borrows its motto from Archimedes, the famed Greek mathematician, whom according to legend exclaimed "Eureka!" after he discovered a method of determining the purity of gold.
Keenan had her eureka moment as a young entrepreneur coming to New Orleans for the 1984 World’s Fair.
“I was working in real estate in North Carolina when I saw this fabulous line of linen clothing at a boat show,” said Keenan. “I knew I wanted to continue my real estate career and move to New Orleans, but I thought people visiting for the World’s Fair weren’t going to understand the heat and humidity. I thought I could earn some extra money by selling this cool clothing line in the French Market and it just really took off.”
Keenan quickly outgrew her French Market booth and moved into the French Quarter. Today her store on Royal Street in New Orleans is a well-known spot for both men and women to pick up the best in resort wear — shirts, pants, shorts, dresses, skirts, outerwear, accessories — California Drawstrings has something for everyone to be comfortable and stylish, no matter how high temperatures rise.
California Drawstrings has also expanded to a Magazine Street store, as well as an outlet location on the North Shore in Covington.
“One day Nancy Moynan of Lulu's called me saying the mayor of Bay St. Louis told her about my shop and they thought it would be a good fit for Bay St. Louis,” Keenan said. “I went to see her space at Maggie May’s and opened a Bay St. Louis branch in 2012.”
Just as Keenan faced the familiar problem of outgrowing the space a couple of years later, she heard of a business for sale on Main Street. She saw the building and immediately made an offer.
“I just know Bay St. Louis is a place I want to spend the rest of my life,” Keenan said. “I’ll never really retire, but the pace is so much easier here than in New Orleans. And after a while you just appreciate not having to worry about things like parking.”
Keenan said that besides being a picturesque beach town, what she loves about Bay St. Louis is the people. And Keenan knows people.
“I feel like I have the greatest sales team and the greatest managers,” Keenan said. “They look after the stores as if they were their own. The greatest compliment you can give me is that you love my staff. They are truly like family to me watching out for what’s best for all of us. I can’t be in three places at once. And to think I literally started with two tables and $1500 at the French Market.”
When she’s in Bay St. Louis and not at California Drawstrings, chances are you’ll find Keenan at her favorite place to eat: the Sycamore House.
“Their food is very consistent, very good, and they have a great bar and bartender,” Keenan said. “It’s the kind of place where they know your name when you walk in.”
You could say Keenan has struck gold again by moving to the Bay.
Twin Light Creations
136 Main St
Bay St Louis
Twin Light Creations isn’t just the a shop, it’s a home. Located in one of Old Town’s iconic bungalows, the 1890s building is listed on the city’s historic tour as the Angeline House named for a family from Sicily who once lived in it.
Today the proud business owners and residents are Pam Collins and Joy Panks, who have created a colorful, whimsical paradise where they live, work and play. Each day they welcome people in and when they lock the shop doors at night, they simply walk out the back door into their apartment in the evening.
Collins and Panks love having visitors come through the shop and admire their unique home and garden offerings. Shoppers are wowed at the variety of items. It’s easy to see that this shop is a literal dream come true for the owners of Twin Light.
“We started renting a cottage in Bay St. Louis in 1999 and it just got harder and harder to leave,” said Collins. “We knew one day we wanted to have a shop, but we also knew we wanted it to be something different.”
At the time Collins was working in the hotel business in New Orleans while Panks was a draftsman, drawing deep water structures.
“I jumped out of the frying pan with hotels and into the frying pan of retail,” smiled Collins.
“It’s a lot like having a farm,” Panks added. “Our days start incredibly early and go incredibly late. It makes it hard to travel sometimes.”
Their whole Twin Light adventure started with travel. While they were still working their former jobs, they took two 6 week trips - one up the East Coast and one to the West Coast. Along the way they met families and artists that made unique goods. By the end of the trips they had a list of 50 vendors they wanted to work with.
“Some people said we would never make it because we don’t feature many local artists, Collins said. "But we're still proud to be here."
Twin Light does feature local artist Julie Nelson, well-known for raku pottery, but the rest of the items are unique to Old Town Bay St. Louis.
Lots of wind chimes. hand-blown glass, specially lighting, metal artworks and wine-themed decor items line the walls, shelves and ceilings.
The bungalow keeps going with beautiful bird fountains near the back and a whole section dedicated to garden and house flags.
Out the French doors in the back of the shop, Twin Light Creations continues onto an outside deck and stunning garden. The outdoor walls are filled with vibrant Haitian art and spinners blow in the Bay breeze in the backyard.
Each unique piece has the story of the artist or family behind it, which Collins and Panks are all too happy to share.
There are many unique lights and lanterns in the shop, which fits the name Twin Light Creations perfectly. The true meaning of the name Twin Light is even more illuminating.
“We have friends who always call us twin because Joy and I look so much alike,” said Collins. “And the Light is for God.”
Indeed, images of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary hang above the front window, rescued after Hurricane Katrina from their former shop location right across the street.
The Sacred Hearts and special twins have found their true home at 136 Main Street and their light is shining bright in Old Town at Twin Light Creations.
Also: Don't Miss Smith&Lens Gallery Pop Up Patio Show
This adorable little girl pictured above was named Chyna by the Hancock County Animal Shelter when she was brought in last year. The picture below is at her adoption in New England on September 14, 2015 with her new owner Jess Graham, who renamed her Maya. The photo above was taken in January 2016 and posted to the Animal Rescue Front Facebook page.
Maya is one of the lucky ones. She had been spayed and given her shots, checked for heartworms and taken on multiple occasions to PetSmart. No one wanted her; there were too many similar dogs and she just was overlooked.
Puppy Dog Tales
Rotary Teacher of the Month - April
Mrs. Audrey Mayer
Our Lady Academy
Seventh, Tenth, and Eleventh Grade Religion
Educational Background: Mount Carmel Academy, New Orleans (All Girls’ Catholic High School) and Loyola University, New Orleans, Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications, Minor in History, and Diocese of Biloxi New Wine Catechist Certification (Three-Year program to certify as Parish/School Religious Coordination and Teacher)
The Bay High Tiger News Team Puts Art Into Action
- story by Karen Fineran
High schools offer so many activities and opportunities these days, it can make the head spin trying to keep up with the whirling array of upcoming and ongoing social, academic, and sporting events held every week at school.
But at Bay High School here in Bay St. Louis, students can remain calm and well informed, because the Tiger News Team is on the job! The extracurricular club that formed just last September collects, writes, performs, records, and edits all of the high school’s breaking news.
The result of this innovative program is that the entire student body and faculty of Bay High is kept better informed (and entertained), while the students on the team have the chance to learn and practice valuable media skills and techniques and learn about opportunities in the broadcast and media industry.
Arts Alive! column
St. Clare Festival
The St. Clare Seafood Festival has grown into the marquee festival in Hancock County for the Memorial Day weekend. The festival runs Friday, May 27, 5-11 p.m., Saturday, May 28, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., and Sunday, May 29, noon to 10 p.m.
Not only will there be food, carnival rides and craft vendors, but Seafood Fest also features a fireworks show on Sunday at 10 p.m. to close out the festival. There will be a classic car show Saturday on the church grounds. The car show begins at 8 a.m., with awards at 3 p.m.
What's Up, Waveland?
Be A Tourist In Your Own Community
May Second Saturday Heralds Summer Season in the Bay!
Over the past two decades, the Second Saturday Artwalk has become one of the most popular monthly community events in the entire region. Gallery openings, shop and restaurant specials and live music make the streets of town swirl with a fun family energy. While things are lively all day, the music and specials take place from 4 - 8pm.
Each month, two "Hot Spot" businesses take the limelight. This month, Bay Books (131 Main Street) and Something Special (207 Main Street) are featured. Make sure to stop by and congratulate them!
Also: Heather and the Monkey King are performing the Mockingbird Café from 6 - 9pm!
Several other special events are taking place that evening - scroll down for complete details!
Second Saturday column is sponsored by
Click here and scroll down to read archived Second Saturday columns
Lucy: an Old Town Institution
- story by Ellis Anderson, photos courtesy the Wyly family and Lucy's fan club
Lucy is one of many town residents who regularly show up for breakfast at Serious Bread Bakery. The enticing aroma of scones and cookies and loaves just pulled from the oven drifts down Main Street like a trail, leading her straight to the bakery’s screen door.
Like many of the Serious Bread regulars, Lucy comes for companionship as well as nourishment. She connects with some of her favorite people there. Everybody knows her name and smiles when they see her.
- story by Nan Parati, photos by Ellis Anderson
Well see, what happened was that Katrina slid 8 feet of water up under the door of my New Orleans house and, through a series of Baby-Jesus-inspired events I ended up living in Yankee-land, Massachusetts after 48 years of roaming the southern earth, and then, opening a restaurant after a similar 48 years of never even considering owning a restaurant. Major events sometimes bring shocking results.
So, 11 years later, through a series of aging-parents-related events, I’m still living in Yankee-land with a two-month annual reprieve in New Orleans to work on the Jazz Fest. And when the sun FINALLY returns to squint at New England about March first of every year, my thoughts turn southerly, and sitting high on the ladder of places I feel calling my soul is Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi.
The Winemaker's Wine: Chardonnay
- by Anna Speer
Before we get started, a crash course in wine tasting (keep this information handy for future samplings):
When trying a new wine, pour it into a glass (or coffee mug, red solo cup, whatever the situation calls for) and allow it to sit. Swirl and observe the color. How’s the clarity? Next, smell it. Don’t be shy — lift the glass to your nose and really get in there. What aromas jump out at you?
Take a small sip and let it rest on your tongue, then inhale slowly over the wine. If you get a gurgly sound going on, you’re on the right track. Just don’t choke. This aerates the wine and helps bring out additional flavors. Make a note of the mouthfeel of the wine, as well as what you taste and smell. Swallow the wine and take note of how long the taste lingers and how the flavors change; this is called the finish.
Now, let’s imagine we’re at a dinner party. At the bar, there will be a red wine and a white. Nine times out of ten, that white will be a Chardonnay. In fact, Chardonnay is the most popular white wine in the U.S. and the most widely planted white grape in the world.
A.J. Liebling is a Friend of Mine
I must venture north of I-10 for a couple of weeks this month, and I’m almost glad. If I stay much longer here beneath the Beignet Line, I won’t be able to fit into any of my clothes and already I’m working from the fat end of the closet.
On the coast, culinary temptations abound. Up north, where Mississippi bumps on Tennessee, it’s impossible even to find a loaf of good bread. All bread is white. White bread is obligatory for tomato sandwiches — if for the color combination alone — but if you crave rye or a baguette you’re in trouble.
Across the Bridge
St. Clare Seafood Festival
- story by Ana Balka, photos by Ellis Anderson
scroll down to bottom of article for schedule of events!
The tranquil, beachside grounds of St. Clare Catholic Church will transform into a celebration of summer this Memorial Day weekend as Bay-Waveland residents greet the season with the 6th annual St. Clare Seafood Festival. It's an old-fashioned good time that includes rides, vendors, a car show, a 5k run, silent auction, raffle, bands, and naturally lots of great seafood from Friday through Sunday evening.
The festival brings summer fair memories back for many residents who remember attending the St. Clare Parish Fair. According to church administration the Summer Fair was held each year in midsummer from 1952 until around 1997 and benefitted the St. Clare Catholic School.
Talk of the Town
The Mother of All Takeovers!
- story by Marcia Butler, photos by Martha Whitney Butler
How can a wife, mother of five children, and high school teacher find time to indulge her passions of antiquing and gardening? Simple! You involve the children.
Martha Whitney looked forward to seeing the glitzy costume jewelry and the artwork, not to mention the free Cokes and gifts (which were sometimes kittens) Danny had awaiting her. Usually, all the children looked forward to our antiquing trips because each had a favorite item they stayed on the lookout for: Heath: sports memorabilia; Ben: knives and fishing tackle; Will: fishing lures; and Caroline: antique quilts.
Grandpa George Stevenson
Williams Pit Bar-B-Que
514 Old Spanish Trail, BSL, 226-671-9436
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
Music was blaring one recent morning at Williams Pit BBQ, but Phil Williams was concentrating on the kitchen and lunch ingredients. The daily special was pork chops and he was overseeing the sides and whatever else needed tending before customers started showing up at his restaurant at 514 Old Spanish Trail between Sycamore and Washington Streets.
The kitchen is familiar territory for the 70-year-old Williams, who has been cooking and catering for years. He’s in the restaurant seven days a week “unless I have a major catering job or gig, then we have to close,” he said. “You know I’m a musician and I go out of state sometimes.”
To read more about Phil, read ourGood Neighbor column, March 2013
The Origins of Literacy and Its Significance Today
- story by Carole McKellar
Cave paintings, which date back some 30,000 years, are precursors to the book I held in my hand this morning. I am awed by that span of time, man’s desire to communicate, and the arduous journey of human literacy.
The rise of human intellectual development closely follows the ability to communicate by the written word. The earliest forms of written communication date to 3500 B.C.E. in the form of pictorial representation and symbols. The first writing surfaces were stone or clay. Ancient Egyptians created a paperlike substance from pounded papyrus leaves. The earliest surviving papyrus scroll dates back to 2400 B.C.E.
Biking in the Bay
- story by Lisa Monti
Remember the freedom and fun of riding your bike around town you enjoyed as a child? Biking over to a friend’s house, to a park, to the beach, everywhere. That was transportation and that was then.
Today, riding a bike around the Bay and beyond is an easy and enjoyable way to take in the historic sights and the gorgeous scenery.
If you don’t have a bike, you’re in luck. You can rent a comfortable beach cruiser from Bay Breeze at 111 Court St. in Bay St. Louis. The bikes come in all sizes to fit kids and adults and the $19 rental fee includes a helmet.
Bikes are available seven days a week but you must 228-363-1290.
Once you’ve got a bike, consider where you can go and what you’ll see. The beach is an obvious choice, and a great one to take in the waterfront, the gulls, and other shorebirds (look for bald eagles and osprey overhead).
The Bay-to-Waveland trail is four miles of flat surface from Washington Street to just beyond the Coleman Avenue pier in Waveland. Join the walkers along the route, which has beautiful homes and grounds on one side and the sand and water on the other.
The Bay Bridge is more than a spectacular-looking structure, with its artwork from end to end. It’s also an award-winning path for walkers and bike riders. A little over two miles long, the bridge has mild curves and inclines with beautiful views all along the way.
Beach to Bayou
A Matter of Honor in Bay St. Louis
- story by Rebecca Orfila
In 1874, two groups of men took the same train from New Orleans to the Montgomery Station in Bay St. Louis. The train was the quickest transport out of Louisiana to the dueling grounds of Mississippi. T. B. Phillips and Aristides Bienvenue led the separate groups.
The trouble between the two men began in late March of that year following a lawsuit in which Phillips, an attorney, represented Mme. Olympe Boisse, an accomplished modiste. On Mme. Boisse’s behalf, Phillips sued for a large sum that Mrs. Bienvenue owed her for services rendered. At the conclusion of the trial, results did not favor the Bienvenues.
of the Shoofly
Across The Bridge
At Home In The Bay
Beach To Bayou
BSL Council Updates
Casting My Net
Coast Lines Column
Friends Of The Animal Shelter
Growing Up Downtown
House And Garden
Legends And Legacies
Mother Of Pearl
Murphy's Musical Notes
Old Town Merchants
On The Shoofly
Shore Thing Fishing Report
Talk Of The Town
The Eyes Have It