Each year, a colorful crew of scalawags takes over the town, during Pirate Day in the Bay, May 18 & 19th. But forget the pillaging - the party boosts the local economy and raises money for charity.
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
The Seahorse Krewe was organized in 2014 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of St. Louis Bay, which helped the U.S. defeat the British in the War of 1812. During the battle in the bay the USS Seahorse and other wooden schooners delayed the British fleet that was headed to New Orleans.
The historic observance of the little known battle launched the krewe’s Lundi Gras golf cart parade as well as Pirate Day. Both have grown each year and now both are much anticipated events enjoyed by visitors and local celebrants. Pirate Central, at the corner of Main Street and Beach Boulevard, is headquarters for all things Pirate Day.
Thursday - May 17
Pirate Central is "party central" when Krewe members and sponsors gather Thursday evening for the King and Queen pirate party from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advance online.
Friday - May 18
On Friday, loads of pirates will land at the municipal harbor and then parade up to Pirate Central at 5 p.m. for the traditional capturing of the mayor.
The Pirate Pub Crawl and Scavenger Hunt from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday will feature music at Pirate Central and the search for a hidden treasure chest in Old Town.
“We have about 10 bars and restaurants you can go to and get a drink and a clue. From those clues you can go find the treasure chest,” Rosetti said.
The finder of the chest will receive about $500 worth of goods, including liquor and gift certificates from downtown merchants and others. Tickets for the event are $20 and can also be purchased online.
Saturday - May 19
Pirate Day festivities kick off Saturday with the family-friendly Lil’ Buccaneers Parade, the first of two for the day. Walkers are welcome, as are wagons and strollers. Line up begins at 10:30 a.m. in the green space at the corner of Main and Second streets. The parade starts at 11 a.m. and ends at Pirate Central.
The costume contest follows the parade, also at Pirate Central. Registration begins at 11 a.m. and the contest gets underway at noon. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: age 9 and under; age 10 to 16 and adults.
Lil’ Buccaneers can enjoy all sorts of fun and games in the Kids Zone at the foot of Main Street. There will be a waterslide, inflatables and games for kids.
From 3pm - 5pm, pirates and other celebrants can take a two-hour cruise on the paddlewheel Betsy Ann.
“We’re really excited about the Betsy Ann coming over from Biloxi for this cruise around the beautiful bay,” Rosetti said. The $50 cruise ticket gets you drinks, music and snacks.
“Once the Pirates land at the Municipal Harbor, the Pirate Golf Cart Parade will roll through Old Town,” Rosetti said. “No need to register, just bring your golf cart to the harbor (dress as Pirates) and enjoy the parade.
Pirates must be 21 years old to take part in the Pub Crawl and the Pirate Cruise.
The pirates will be going out with a bang. The festivities conclude with music and a fireworks show (thanks to sponsor Silver Slipper) by the Bay St. Louis harbor at 9pm.
A stately 1920s house in the Bay St. Louis historic district fulfills a lifelong dream for a Hattiesburg couple.
- story and photos by Ellis Anderson
Back then, the new train lines and the burgeoning lumber trade tied the coast to the young boomtown with economic and cultural apron strings.
Nearly 150 years later, those ties still have Hattiesburg natives traveling southward on a regular basis. Many have second homes on the coast during their working years. They dream of the day they’ll be able to retire by the water full time.
Marvin and Regina “Gina” Morris followed in those footsteps. The couple were lifetime residents of Hattiesburg. Now, as they approach their seventh decade, evenings often find them sitting on the front porch of their Bay St. Louis home. Watching the moon rise over the Sound, its light filtering through the boughs of the live oak tree, they sometimes consider the path that brought them to one of the loveliest historic houses on the coast, the one at 600 North Beach Boulevard.
Marvin and Gina met while they were both freshmen at Southern Mississippi, in 1966. Marvin was a Hattiesburg native, while Gina had grown up in Sumrall, a rural community in Lamar County. Hattiesburg represented the big city to her. She and her girlfriends from college would cruise through the burger drive-thrus with Gina at the wheel of her parents’ 1963 station wagon. One evening, Marvin and she struck up a conversation. Neither looked back. They married in 1968.
Gina graduated with a degree in accounting (“I like things that add up!”). Marvin planned to follow in his father’s real estate developer footsteps. He acquired a degree in a new major offered at Southern – Finance, with concentrations in real estate and insurance. After graduation, he helped his father construct apartment complexes on the coast, which gave the newlyweds plenty of opportunities to explore the area together.
Skyrocketing interest rates in the mid-seventies had Marvin reconsidering his choice of career. The young father began law school at Mississippi College. Working the entire time, he graduated just two days before the couple’s third child was born. He credits the education he received at Mississippi College for helping him pass the bar exam on the first try – at a time when the pass rate was 17%.
“Those times were quite challenging,” says Marvin. “But they were fun.”
The coast became even more important to the couple as a family get-away, nearby and economical. The young couple teamed up with another young families to share camps on the coast – first in Vancleave and then in Shoreline Park. Idyllic memories of those carefree times – and promises of more – made the work-a-day world in Hattiesburg seem brighter.
Busy careers and the activities of four children eventually cut into their time on the coast, but still the Morrises dreamed and schemed to return. Finally, in 2002, the empty-nesters purchased a home on Henderson Point near Pass Christian. One that would be their retirement home. Dream fulfilled.
But the dream home’s three bedrooms and two baths proved to be too small when all the children – and growing number of grandchildren – came calling. The couple began an ambitious addition that doubled the size of the house, allowing for full-tilt-boogie family reunions.
The Morris clan and their friends celebrated the completed addition in June, 2005. Three months later, after the unprecedented surge of Hurricane Katrina steamrolled through, they were left with “a few sticks.”
The Morris home in Hattiesburg also sustained tremendous damage, so for the next few years, they focused on getting their lives in order there. Yet the coast still called.
So when a cousin suggested that Marvin and Gina start looking in Bay St. Louis, they drove down and found a house for sale on Main Street. Built on some of the highest ground fronting the entire Gulf of Mexico, the Old Town historic district had taken a beating, but its core was still basically intact.
One of the joys of living in Old Town was the walkability of the neighborhood. After Marvin had open-heart surgery in 2008, the couple’s pleasure walking began included a therapy element. They marked off their favorite one-mile route. Round trip, two miles. Their daily route ended right in front of a stately pink house facing the Mississippi Sound, one built in the 1920s. They’d always admired the house, so it made a pleasurable marker in their day.
One Friday, they spotted a “for sale” sign in the front yard of their turnaround house. They called realtor Estus Kea, who had sold them the Main Street cottage. The Morrises arranged for a showing the next day and put in an offer the next.
The couple purchased the 2,800 square foot house knowing that it would need both major renovations and a large addition. Since there was no downstairs bedroom, they wanted to build a master suite in the eventuality that neither could climb stairs at some point in the future.
Yet Gina and Marvin were concerned that a large addition could look like “a sore thumb.”
“The contractors were talking about adding the addition on through the back door,” says Gina. “But I didn’t want to really change the original look of the back of the house.”
After many talks, Gina finally took out a pad of yellow legal paper and began sketching the addition that would add another 1,600 square feet to the historic home. It would have modern conveniences and a contemporary feel, yet it would complement the original home.
A draftsman drew up construction documents from Gina’s sketch. When a friend saw the design, she brought over a copy of the post-Katrina Summary Report, published by the Mississippi Renewal Forum. Some of the best architects and planners in the country had worked on the publication four years earlier. It put forth ideas for each of the coast communities to consider while rebuilding.
On page 23 of the book, in the section on Bay St. Louis, is a drawing of 600 North Beach. The house is unmistakable. The drawing shows an addition to the rear. The drawing is presented in the book as an example of how surviving historic homes could be enlarged. From the detail that can be seen, it looks almost identical to the one that Gina designed.
Gina had instinctively nailed it.
When the addition was completed, The Bay St. Louis Historic Preservation Commission recognized the addition with a 2010 People’s Choice Award for New Construction, a major pat on the back for improving the historic district and the city.
In the addition, the lion’s share of the ground floor contains a master suite for Marvin and Gina. Upstairs are two spacious bedrooms adjoining a Jack & Jill bath. All of the bedrooms open onto wide screen porches overlooking the tropical landscaping in the back yard. It’s obvious that the couple finds gardening one of their joys in life. Their vision in landscaping is especially apparent when comparing the photo of the addition from 2010 and a current one, taken eight years later.
Meanwhile, in the original house, the HVAC systems were replaced and the bathrooms remodeled. The house was painted (and is under the watchful eye of painting contractor Chris Hansen, who inspects each year for needed touch-ups that will prevent serious damage).
Chris’s wife, building contractor Jackye Crane (Crane Builders), remodeled the kitchen and is credited with discovering and resolving a major structural issue.
“We’d had other contractors look at the floor upstairs because it was getting bouncy. No one could find any reason for it, “ says Marvin. “Jackye had the good sense to actually tear out some boards so she could see the damage. Termites had eaten everything under the sun between the floors.” Repairs were made, flooring replaced and it’s now impossible to differentiate between original and new.
This interior of the home thorughout sings with sunshine, even on cloudy days. Paint colors include lots of ambers and golds and daffodil shades. “We both love yellow,” Gina explains. “My kids say I’d paint the world yellow if I could.”
Most of the furnishings, artwork and décor tell stories. There’s a statue of Evangeline Marvin’s parents purchased when they were young. There’s the door knocker from the house Marvin grew up in on Main Street in Hattiesburg. There’s the old oak table that came from Gina’s grandmother and her mother’s mirror.
There are also stunning sunset/sunrise photographs sprinkled throughout the house. Marvin is a photography enthusiast and delights in capturing the local scenic beauty to share.
The new/historic hybrid house is often filled with family. At full capacity, there are eighteen adults and children and a dozen dogs.
“There’s a lot of howling and digging of holes,” says Marvin, laughing. “We’re always excited about seeing our children.”
When it comes to listing some of their favorite things about living in the Bay, the couple point to the slower pace of life, less traffic, the big selection of indie eateries, and the cultural diversity.
“Don’t forget golf carts,” says Gina, smiling. “If they end up taking our car away eventually, we’ll still be able to find our way down to those restaurants.”
The couple still speaks with great fondness of Hattiesburg and they say some Lamar County friends wonder when they’ll return. Which leads to the question: would they ever consider moving away from the coast again?
Grinning, Marvin has a quick answer: “You couldn’t run me back with a shotgun.”
Ever wonder what's in the make-up you're wearing on your face each day? Or your shaving cream or toothpaste? A watchdog consumer site maintains an enormous online database so you find out exactly how safe your brand of skin/hair/nail care products are.
- story by LB Kovac
Propylparaben on its own isn’t particularly hazardous, especially in the amounts found in lotion, and it isn’t going to make you grow an extra limb. In 2010, the European Union Scientific Committee of Consumer found propylparaben to be “safe to the consumer, as long as their individual concentrations does not exceed 0.19%.” At these levels, the committee argues, not enough of the propylparaben can be absorbed through your skin to give you more than a statistically negligible chance of contracting cancer.
Still, if the fact that there are trace amounts of potentially cancer-causing chemicals in your face lotion gives you pause, it would seem you have a couple of options. You could spend the rest of your life standing in the fluorescent lights of the personal care aisle, poring over the labels of lotions, cosmetics, and sun blocks and Googling the ingredients, one-by-one, to see if things like “dimethicone” are as scary as they sound.
Or, you could rely on a company like Environmental Working Group to decode those labels for you.
Environmental Working Group, or EWG, is a two-decades-old environmental organization that seeks to hold companies accountable for the products they make and services they offer. Founded by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles, the company lobbies on the local and national levels for more transparency in business and labeling practices.
EWG rose to prominence a few years ago in 2006 when the organization went head-to-head with soda manufacturers for knowingly including what EWG deemed as unsafe levels of benzene in sodas. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the benzene molecule is carcinogenic in nature but allows quantities smaller than 5 parts-per-billion.
EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database website now serves as a resource for those wishing to pull the curtain back on confusing labels.
EWG has reviewed more than 70,000 personal care products, from big brands like Curel, Maybelline, CoverGirl, and Old Spice. EWG says that each product is evaluated by their team of scientists and given an individual score from 1-10, with 1 being the best score and 9 being the worst.
Products that receive a 1-3 are deemed “safe.” These products follow EWG’s guidelines for ethical sourcing and testing, and use ingredients that are natural and non-toxic. The best of these products, which adhere to EWG’s most rigorous standards, get EWG’s seal of approval.
Wal-Mart is just one of the companies to show support for EWG. Last year, it made headlines for encouraging all companies that sell personal care products in its stores to get the EWG seal. Other retailers, like Target, have expanded their offerings to include EWG-approved products.
Products on the other end of the spectrum, 6-10, are the ones EWG claims are unsafe. Propylparaben is just one of the ingredients that can tank one of these products’ scores; “recorcinol,” “methylisothiazolinone,” and “amylcinnamaldehyde,” known immunotoxins, are flagged by EWG’s researchers.
Even if you’re not overly concerned with the health risks involved with using your favorite foundation (and not afraid of the occasional tongue-twister), you still might be served by EWG’s website. Because it labels and flags potential allergens in all of its reviewed products, the site is a great resource for allergy-sufferers. And animal lovers can revel in the fact that EWG won’t give out their seal if a company’s product is known to be tested on animals.
So, the next time you’re staring at the bottle and can’t decide what “coumarin” is, look it up.
Waveland Alderman Jeremy Burke reports on the St. Clare Seafood Festival and the new recycling bin at the Waveland City Hall.
On Friday evening, Got Groove will be performing; Saturday at 1:00 Elvis will be entertaining; Saturday evening, Category 6 perform; and Ross Grisham will play at 2:00 on Sunday. Later that evening Philman Ladner and the 3 C's will get the music going until the St. Clare Seafood Festival comes to a close with a great fireworks display. There is also classic car show starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday on the church grounds.
In addition to the festival, the 6th annual St. Clare Seafood Festival 5K race will take place on the Waveland boardwalk on Saturday, May 27, at 8 a.m. See run/walk registration details here.
Please make plans to have a good time while supporting St. Clare this Memorial Day weekend.
Waveland is excited to announce improvements to trash and recycling services offered to citizens. Waste Management has placed a community recycling bin in the parking lot of Waveland City Hall.
The recycling bin is funded by the Hancock County Solid Waste Authority. The bin provides an opportunity for Waveland residents not to go outside the city limit to dispose of their recyclable goods. The recycling bin will be emptied every Monday.
What can you put in the recycling bin?
It may be one of the oldest galleries in the state, but with 20+ artists working in different media, this Bay St. Louis Gallery stays on the cutting edge.
- story by Lisa Monti
photos by Brenda Comer, Ellis Anderson and courtesy Gallery 220
McCardell and Currier organized the artist cooperative a few weeks after Hurricane Katrina displaced artists along the beachfront. They also own and operate the popular Clay Creations, located just behind the gallery showroom inside the building which is known for its colorful tree mural on the south side and the Coke sign painted on the north wall.
Joanna Slay, a mixed-media and mosaic artist, joined the cooperative in 2012 and teaches quarterly workshops there. She now handles public relations for the gallery, which is filled with works of 27 local artists.
There are paintings, photos, pottery, jewelry, sculptures and other creations filling the gallery walls and shelving. Some of the artists teach classes in painting, pottery and mosaics, and most take commissions. It’s been described as “an epicenter of creative energy.”
“We have such a diverse group,” said Slay. “We have artists of all ages, from their 70s on down to their 20s. It’s a great place for young artists to start out and for retirees who have time and energy to focus 100 percent on their work and to show their work as well.”
Slay said there is a waiting list of artists who want to be a part of the vibrant cooperative. That’s a sure sign of both the local art community’s vitality and of Gallery 220’s reputation for quality content. “If there’s space available and the caliber of work is up to the gallery’s standards, they will be accepted,” Slay said of prospective members.
Because the cooperative is more than a visual gallery, members staff Gallery 220 one day a month, greeting and helping customers. Artist Barbara Brodtmann manages the work schedule and front desk duties.
That personal interaction with the artists makes shopping a special experience for art fans. Member artist Janet Densmore says the personal connection gives the collectors “an opportunity to participated and express their own creative imagination.” That’s something unique to visiting the cooperative that shoppers won’t experience in generic stores.
This year, Gallery 220 started featuring an artist or two each month, displaying their work in the north window as well as in prominent spots inside the Art Deco building.
The featured artist for May is Pam Marshall, a watercolor artist who is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, along with the Mississippi and Louisiana Societies. In addition to the window display, you can find Marshall’s new work on display inside the gallery during the Second Saturday Art Walk on May 14.
The South window will change seasonally, Slay said. The current theme “Around the Bay” features a large colorful canvas painting by Amy Kramer that showcases the easy lifestyle the Bay is known for. The canvas will be auctioned on June 9 during the Second Saturday Art Walk.
All proceeds will go to MAP (Music, Art and Practicality) of Hancock County. This organization offers a 4- to 6-week summer camp that is free to qualifying students. Children learn everything from set design to acting at a performance at the end of camp. Tickets are $5 and available at the Gallery and through MAP organizers.
Slay says Gallery 220 provides support to the local arts community and encourages the artist spirit. “We have camaraderie here, “ she said. “This is a good place to start if you’re a new artist or if you’re getting back in the market. We try to encourage each other and promote each other’s work. It’s just unbelievable.”
220 Main St.
Bay St. Louis
Open 11a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday
The digital age hasn't changed some things: hanging in a pup-tent on a rainy day is always magic. Design diva Holly Lemoine Raymond and pal, Desiree, build one together in this cool DIY project.
- by Holly Lemoine Raymond
2' x 2’s – 5 @ 5 ½ Ft
2 in. torque screws
Quick square ruler
Snacks (lots of snacks!)
Measure and cut 2' x 2's in to 5 ½ ft. long to form the frame. You will need 5 pieces all together. Remember, measure twice and cut once! (Don’t forget your safety glasses!)
Now your pieces are ready to be assembled. Using the drill with the torque screws, assemble the legs. Those will be the 4 pieces you cut at an angle. Then you will use the last piece for the top beam. This is a simple “A” frame.
Time to put your personal touch on your soon-to-be Desiree Tent. We used a “Hook Screw” at the front of the tent frame to hang a fun Chinese Lamp I picked up at Family Dollar.
Next we covered the frame with a dust ruffle. (You can use a regular sheet or any other lightweight cloth.)
Add a sleeping bag or cushions on the floor for added comfort. Surround the tent with your favorite stuffed animals and pillows. Grab your favorite snacks and your best friend, and enjoy hanging out in your very own Desiree Tent!
Desiree, thank you for letting me hang out with you. Jesse, thanks for the idea to make rainy days fun!
I hope you all enjoyed this quick and easy project. See you next time with more Beautiful Things to come!
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! The good times roll year around with this family-friendly event celebrating life and art in the Bay.
- - stories by Denise Jacobs, photos by Ellis Anderson and courtesy C&C Bistro
Be sure to check out "Hot Spots" C&C Bistro (111 Main Street) and The Arts, Hancock County (they'll be headquartered for the evening at the French Potager, 213 Main Street).
C & C Italian Bistro
Arts Alive - May/June 2016
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
The Mississippi Coast Stompers have been making a lot of great music and collecting fans since the original group got together 10 years ago.
Founder and band leader Jim Schnur, who returned to playing music after a 40-year career in academics, said it all got started when he was asked to fill in for some musicians playing at the Silver Slipper.
“I gathered four others and we started to play two Sundays every month,” Schnur said. “We’ve been going at it ever since. That will be 10 years in December.”
Consider their collective resumes: They have played in supper clubs, on Bourbon Street, in elegant hotels in New York and Miami, aboard cruise ships, in the Catskills, London pubs, at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. They’ve played with Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson and the Dukes of Dixieland.
Ron Simpson plays guitar and banjo. He’s performed in clubs in London, Chicago, Toronto and plays every year at the New Orleans Jazz Festival.
Drummer Hugh Barlow has played jazz, fusion and rock across the country and has earned raves from top drummers for his recordings.
Sadly, the band’s piano player, Ralph Martin, who played in Miami and New York hotels, as well as cruise ships in the Mediterranean, passed away recently.
But band continues to evolve with the addition of top notch musicians.
Chicagoan Chris Krueger, a retired Marine Corps band leader, plays trumpet, cornet, fluegelhorn and sings. John Hester, a retired chief bandmaster who had a career in the Navy, sings and plays trombone.
“It’s a great group,” Schnur said. “I’m really pleased with the musicianship of the group.”
“We just get our instruments out and we play,” he said. “It’s all in our heads.”
The Stompers songbook is heavy on traditional jazz, big band sounds and old standards with some contemporary music in the mix. Fans can easily find a lot to like when the group performs such favorites as St. James Infirmary, Fly Me to the Moon, the Girl from Ipanema and Stardust. Songs by Miles Davis are in the mix as well.
Schnur recounts an endorsement given to the Stompers by a successful local businessman who said, “I’ve got to go to New Orleans to get some of my friends and bring them here so they can hear some real New Orleans jazz.”
If you want to buy a CD, that’s easy, Schnur said. “You can come to the Silver Slipper to hear the Coast Stompers and we’ll be happy to sell you one.”
The Coast Stompers perform at the Silver Slipper Jubilee Buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first and second Sundays of each month (see the Shoofly Magazine Community Calendar for exact monthly dates).
The group also is available for special events such as weddings and parties, and you may have heard them play at a Second Saturday artwalk. They prefer to perform with all members, but “sometimes we break into smaller groups, as the occasion presents itself,” Schnur said.
To book the Mississippi Coast Stompers, contact:
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