This month, Waveland Alderman Jeremy Burke looks at the Red, White & You celebration, the reopening of the Garfield Ladner Pier and announces a new parade coming to town!
The festival will include carnival activities, vendors, "tons of free food, activities and games," live music by DJ Rod, Kerbside, Cheyenne and Category 6. Celebrity IMPACT Wrestling's Jeremy Borash, James Storm, Chris Melendez, and Taryn Terrel will also be on hand.
Get there early to claim your free July 4th Swag including commemorative Red, White & You Waveland Tees, Destination America Baseball Hats and more (while supplies last).
During the event, Destination America will present a donation to the Where Angels Play Foundation to help fund the construction of a playground that will be dedicated to the Bane family who lost their lives during Katrina. Click here for complete event details.
I look forward to seeing everyone at the beach on July 4th!
Open For Fishing!
The Garfield Ladner Memorial Pier, located at the foot of Terrace Avenue in Waveland, reopened to the public on Friday, June 19th. The pier, which was damaged in Hurricane Issac, has been closed since August 2012. Repair work finally began in January 2015 after many delays.
The pier will be open 24 hours and is free to the public. The 950 foot-long pier repaired by Coastal Marine Contractors is the latest addition to the city's beachfront, further enhancing Waveland's greatest asset.
New Parade Coming To Town!
Light Of The Fall is a new walking parade scheduled to take place down the beach path on the evening of Saturday, November 7th. The parade route stretches betweein Coleman Avenue to Washington Street. It is a walking or pedal-powered parade only. Every marching participant must be lit by some form of light.
This will be a sci-fi themed parade, similar to the parade legends from the The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus. All trinkets and handouts must be handmade and original. Light of The Fall will post more information about how to participate, but for now just register your interest at our website. This will be a free membership to join the parade.
For more information visit www.lightofthefall.com or like Light Of The Fall Parade on Facebook.
7/3 - 7/5 - Friday, Saturday & Sunday
7/4 - Saturday
7/10 - Friday OPENS
7/11 - Saturday
Other planned activities include a “unibrow on a stick” photo opportunities, a open “loteria” game (Mexican Bingo), and demonstrations of traditional Mexican music and dance. At least two Old Town restaurants will serve Mexican food for the evening (The Starfish Café and the Mockingbird Café).
In time-honored tradition, two Old Town businesses take the spotlight each Second Saturday and July is no exception. The “Hot Spots” for July are Time After Time (112 S. Second Street, inside Bay Emporium) and 200 North Beach Restaurant (200 North Beach).
Second Saturday Artwalk
7/17 - 7/19, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Bay Harbor Fest
7/17 - 7/18, Friday & Saturday
Bay Hoops Summer Invitational
7/31 - Friday
Julia Reyes is a multimedia artist holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from MSU with an emphasis in painting. Since then, she has served as the art coordinator and curator for Kress Live in Biloxi. She was honored as a Mississippi Arts Commission Fellowship Recipient in 2012.
- story and photography by Ellis Anderson
Expect a fiesta flair to the Second Saturday Artwalk, on July 11th, as Bay St. Louis fans of the legendary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo celebrate what would have been her 108th birthday with “Frida Fest.”
Kahlo’s actual date of birth was July 6th 1907, but organizers believe that the artwalk is the perfect occasion to honor the iconic artist, while spicing up the regular Second Saturday happenings. As always, special events, live music and gallery openings will take place from 4pm – 8pm throughout Old Town.
Second Saturday Column
“The town’s going to turn into a little Mexico for the evening,” says Madden. “We hope everyone will come out and celebrate this incredible artist in a fun and unique fashion.”
Fashion is the operative word, since attendees to the July Second Saturday are encouraged to wear Mexican attire. Frida look-a-likes can enter a costume contest taking place at 7:30pm in front of the Mockingbird and Smith & Lens gallery in the 100 block of South Second Street.
According to Madden, other planned activities include a “unibrow on a stick” photo opportunities, a open “loteria” game (Mexican Bingo), and demonstrations of traditional Mexican music and dance. At least two Old Town restaurants will serve Mexican food for the evening (The Starfish Café and the Mockingbird Café).
In time-honored tradition, two Old Town businesses take the spotlight each Second Saturday and July is no exception. The “Hot Spots” for July are Time After Time (112 S. Second Street, inside Bay Emporium) and 200 North Beach Restaurant (200 North Beach).
Time After Time
112 North Second Street, inside Bay Emporium
Near the intersection of Main and Second Streets, a historic town landmark has been brought back to former glory. Bay Emporium (112 South Second Street) houses thirteen different shops under one roof – offering from antiques to art. It's hardly the typical antique mall.
Time After Time is located just inside the building’s entrance and sets the tone for the unique variety found in the rest of Bay Emporium. The shop specializes in collectibles and antiques - ranging from glassware, quilts and pottery to primitives and fine furniture. The store is also the town’s exclusive purveyor of Swan Creek Candles.
Owner Pat Inglis explains that the shop’s selection changes out frequently since sales are brisk. She names three reasons for this: selection, pricing and condition.
Pat has built her reputation as an antiques dealer by seeking out the unusual. She was bitten by the antiques bug decades ago while she built her career as a restaurant manager in North Carolina. For fun, she would attend weekend auctions. Eventually, she began reselling her finds at outdoor markets. Soon, owners of area antique stores would be waiting in line for her to open in the mornings.
“I realized they were buying my finds and then reselling them at a big profit at their own stores,” says Pat. “I realized I needed to learn more about the things I was selling.”
Learn she has. And she’s continued to hone her antique hunting skills through the years - the displays in Time After Time reflect her eye for the extraordinary. But while her knowledge has grown by leaps and bounds, her prices haven’t. She still passes on good deals, which has helped build a loyal and growing customer base.
“I don’t care how much a book says something is worth, it’s only worth what someone will pay for it,” says Pat. “Most people comment favorably on my prices. It’s one reason they keep coming back.”
Time After Time’s furniture offerings are another reason for her success. Pat works with expert craftsmen who restore and refinish Pat’s finds, making them even more of a value.
Pat first “discovered” Bay St. Louis in 2002 while exploring the Gulf Coast. “I passed over that Bay bridge and just had the most peaceful feeling.” Pat and her husband, David, met at a North Carolina auction decades ago. Pat had been a widow for several years when the two friends reconnected. Eventually a romance blossomed.
David relocated to the coast and the couple married in 2008. “When we first got together, I told him I’m not getting married and I’m not leaving Mississippi,” says Pat, laughing. “But I’m still determined about the Mississippi part.”
Like thousands of others on the coast, Hurricane Katrina wrecked their home and sidetracked their lives in 2005. Pat worked for a local hardware company for the next five years. However, the antiques business still beckoned. She began with a few booths in local markets, then made the leap to Bay Emporium three years ago. It’s been a happy and prosperous matching.
“Customers love the Bay Emporium building and they love the selection of merchandise inside,” says Pat. “They really seem to appreciate the style of Time After Time, as well as my pricing. That makes my head swell just a little bit.”
But more than profit and pride fuel her passion.
“The most wonderful thing about this business is the way certain items will spark fond recollections for people,” she says. “They’ll say, oh, my grandmother had one just like that! Or that reminds me of one my mom had. It’s like you’re selling good memories.”
200 North Beach Restaurant
Open for both lunch and dinner, specials served throughout the week (including the weekends) lure locals on a regular basis. During happy hour, drink specials and fifty cent oysters on the half shell (during season) keep the restaurant humming throughout the late afternoon and through the dinner hours.
Owner Ann Tidwell believes the popularity of the restaurant is mostly due to word of mouth.
“We have a lot of people now from across the coast coming in,” says Tidwell. “And places like Baton Rouge, Hattiesburg, and beyond. In fact, we’ve had customers from almost every state. So many of them were referred by friends who have eaten here, so that’s very satisfying.”
200 North Beach made history when it opened in 2011 as the first restaurant to reopen on the beachfront since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. The historic building that serves as the restaurant’s home is a storm survivor and one of the oldest buildings on the Hancock County coastline.
Built in 1903 to house the offices of the Seacoast Echo newspaper, the beautifully renovated building features an expansive dining room and traditional bar downstairs.
“Miss Ann” made her mark as a businesswoman in Bay St. Louis as the original owner of the Bay Town Inn. National magazine and travel writers often featured the historic house turned B&B, noted for its savory breakfasts and classic rooms.
Although Tidwell sold the Bay Town Inn over a decade ago, she’s continued to restore Old Town’s historic treasures and open new businesses. 200 North Beach is her first restaurant venture and like everything else she touches, it’s developed a name for quality.
“It’s a welcoming restaurant where people can share good times and a great meal with family or friends, whether you’re dressed up or down,” says Miss Ann. “It’s exciting to see it become a coast tradition, a place where generations of families always feel at home.”
Other Second Saturday Happenings!
Monthly auction this Saturday (normally held on first Saturdays). Preview at 4pm, auction begins at 6pm. Food and drinks available.
Bay Books - 131 Main Street - Justin A. Nystrom, author of New Orleans after the Civil War will be at Bay Books signing his book on Saturday, July 11th from 5:00-7:00.
Bay Emporium - 112 S. Second Street
"The Endless Summer!" New rooms full of antiques, gifts, art, clothes, and home decor. Dr von Walrod of "Steampunk Curiosities" continues to amaze and astound with his unique creations, "In 2 Details" has expanded its awesome attention to the coastal lifestyle, "Boesch and Co." always brings style to salvage, "Voila!" also expands the line of French inspired goods, furniture and accessories, "Charbonnet and Charbonnet" offers reclaimed architectural doors, windows, and other components, "Paper Moon" features mixed media art and jewelry, and "Armoire Noir" puts on its summer wardrobe adding a selection of men's attire in a second room. All this and more awaits you at Bay Emporium in thirteen shops full of summer surprises in the heart of Old Town.
Bay Life Gifts - 111 Main
This exciting new shop and gallery has gifts and art for everyone including Crabtree Evelyn products, Caspari napkins & placemats and Tervis Cups and Crestview lamps. Also at Bay Life you will find Mississippi products like Oxford soy candles, Thimblepress Greeting cards, and AO Jewelry. Featured local regional artists include the popular Tehle McGuffee's coastal art as well as Tracy Steiffel's hand- painted pillows , Lisa Hymel's seaglass artwork and Shirley Kautz's colorful bouy's . And each Second Saturday serving our refreshing Bay Punch!
Bonner Collection - 108 South Beach Blvd., Suite D
Visit the Bonner Collection to see our new Summer home decor, gifts, jewelry, art arriving almost daily. Would love to see you and enjoy some refreshments. Cheers!
California Drawstrings - 216 Main Street -
New summer fashions have arrived including Flax and Matchpoint!
Gallery 220 - 220 Main Street
Always one of the liveliest places during the Artwalk, this co-op features work by more than 20 artists (who are usually there, which accounts for the liveliness!), refreshments and live music. To celebrate Frida Fest, a WPA period-themed mural will be painted on the side of the building! Also, Frida-themed art. Featured artists are Amy Kramer and Spencer Gray!
Flair - Inside Bay Emporium -112 South Second St.
Huge shipments of the wildly popular Mad Mats indoor/outdoor rugs continue to arrive at Flair, where you'll find dozens of these no-fade, no-stain rugs in a wide assortment of sizes, colors and patterns. As durable as they are stylish, Mad Mats are pet, child, dirt and sun-friendly and virtually maintenance free--just rinse them with a garden hose!
George’s Girls - 108 S. Beach Blvd. Ste B, (inside the French Settlement building).
Purveyors of Fine Linens. George`s Girls has you covered for the back to school season! The Spartina Day Planner will keep you organized all year long! Our FacePlant pillow cases can cozy up any dorm room and make it your own, and don`t forget about our Yala tops are perfect for comfy class days! Come see us today!
Magnolia Antiques, 200 Main Street. If you haven't seen the totally rearranged shop, it's definitely worth a stop! We have completely turned it around. And of course, we'll offer snacks and bargains!!
The Mockingbird Cafe - 110 S. Second Street
Live music by Blue Magnolias during Second Saturday/Frida Fest. New works by artists Kat Fitzpatrick, Thomas Jackson, Marsha Prejean, Tim Waldrop, Barbara Speer and J.J. Foley. Delicious beers are on tap to pair with the ever popular Mockingburger (veggie or meat lover's).
Serious Bread Bakery - 131 Main Street, Suite D - Along with signature artisan breads, flatbreads and sweet things, you can also try pesto, hummus and our special tomato sandwiches. As always, we offer samples of our baked goods.
Social Chair - 201 Main Street - Free Fans for Frida Fest at Social Chair! Stop in to cool off, free fan with purchase of $10 or more. We've ordered custom BSL Frida merchandise just for this event. You know that we love a good party!
Something Special - 207 Main Street - houses 1,200 sq feet of antique, vintage and repurposed items while representing the work of 22 local artisans. Stop by to find "your" something special!
Time After Time Antiques (Inside Bay Emporium), 112 S. Second St.
The July Hot Spot! Offering a unique array of antiques, furniture from different eras, collectibles, and home decor. Between the hours of 4PM and 8PM we offer 20% off furniture. Our selection has almost completely changed for this month. Business has been great and we have added many items for you inspection. New shipments of Pottery Candles, Melts and Wax Melters have arrived with more on the way with new fragrance offerings! Hope to see you soon.
Twin Light Creations- 136 Main Street It’s summer! Great time to come enjoy Old Town. This Second Saturday is right in the middle of all of the festivals. New arrivals daily will give a good selection for your secret garden space. Come enjoy the elements of nature and take a little of the “Light” with you! And yes, contrary to the rumors, we are still open! You must see for yourself.
The Ugly Pirate - 144 DeMontluzin St. - Come to a family and pet friendly place to enjoy great Pizza, Gyros and more. We have 16 Craft Beers, as well as various bottled beer. Friday is Family night so children 12 and under get a free small cheese or pepperoni pizza when the adults eat in as well. Live music every Saturday night beginning at 6 PM. We are family and pet friendly, so bring the dogs, and kids to have a fun time together at the Pirate. Follow us on Facebook to see what our specials an entertainment will be each week
- story by Lisa Monti/photos by Ellis Anderson
We seafood lovers consider ourselves very lucky to have plenty of fresh Gulf fish, oysters, crabs and shrimp available year round. Summertime especially seems to be prime time for fans of seafood, especially shrimp, which is the most popular seafood in the U.S.
Wild Gulf shrimp come in three varieties: brown, white and pink or spotted, according to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources’ Mississippi Gulf Seafood marketing program.
The shrimp have their own look and taste, according to the DMR. Brown shrimp have a distinct salty flavor and are characterized by grooves on the back of their shells. Found in shallow waters, they bury themselves in the sand during the day to hide from predators.
Mississippi Gulf Pink Shrimp are perfect for boiling because they’re easy to peel and its firm, tender meat is mild and sweet. It’s the largest of the Mississippi Gulf shrimp, reaching up to 11 inches.
You can buy shrimp off the boat, out of the back of a van, from the seafood market, the grocery store or you can catch them yourself.
Diners at our local restaurants don’t have to wade too far into a menu to find shrimp appetizers, entrees, poboys, pasta and salads.
Rickey Peters of Rickey’s Off the Tracks said he chooses shrimp by size, not by species. The current customer favorite is shrimp remoulade with his special Creole mayo sauce.
Tony Trapani of Trapani’s Eatery declared that domestic shrimp are the best and that size or species doesn’t matter. Customers are ordering plenty of fried shrimp as well as the blackened and grilled versions.
The Light In Her Wake
- by Molly Fitzpatrick, Mary Kay Deen, Kat Fitzpatrick and Ellis Anderson,
photos and video by Ellis Anderson
Her obituary describes her as a “beloved member of the Bay St. Louis community,” and that’s no exaggeration. In Mary Kay Deen’s long career as an elementary school teacher, she touched the lives of hundreds of children. But she inspired adults as well, probably not realizing how many. She was one of those rare people who trail light in their wake and in the normal course of a day, they uplift any who cross their paths.
As an example, consider these powerful words of hers from the 2001 book, The Whole Story, Teachers Talk About Portfolios.
"… I intend to listen carefully to and for each child – each one a Fairy Bellringer, an individual who must not be crushed by artificial time lines or rankings. I have no soft set of expectations. I intend to give children an education centered upon justice and community, one that models respect and dignity. Every child will leave my classroom with his or her spirit intact. No child will be limited because of standardization or controlled by competition."
Kat Fitzpatrick, artist and educator, watched her own daughter Molly began to beam with Mary Kay’s guidance.
“She invited them [her students] into her enthusiasm, so they caught fire. It was her special gift. She would hand the baton to them and make them experts and authorities."
"She could see the children and recognize something in them that she admired. And then she’d turn it, so the child could see herself with Mary Kay’s eyes. So many things are invisible to us until someone shares that way of being."
Mary Kay Deen was the first person (other than my mother, who I believed was legally obligated to make me feel special) to tell me I was an artist. Even in a wounded, smart ass little kid, she saw it.
She never condescended, never patted my head -- she believed I had something important to communicate, and eventually I started to believe it too. Other students of hers have echoed that sentiment over the years.
She took the time to find what was innate and powerful about each of her students, hold it up to the light, and patiently reveal it to them.
Before her memorial service, I thought this was something that just flowed out of her, something beautiful and saintly that maybe she didn't even realize about herself. But upon hearing the excerpts from the teaching book she contributed to, I saw that it was, in fact, a time-honored commitment - something she had made her life's mission and worked hard for every single day.
I felt so intensely grateful and proud of her in that moment, because I realized that at the end of her life, she had achieved everything she set out to do. She loved easily and joyfully, without compromise, and the effects of that are visibly imprinted on our community. I will hold her in my heart always.
Thank you, Mary Kay, for making Bellringers of all who knew you.
So What? Who Cares? I Can Do This!
What would they think of me?
I’d be too embarrassed.
These are some of the responses that host Gok Wan got from prospective participants for a reality television series on BBC Television. The program, How to Look Good Naked first appeared in England in 2008 and ran until September 2010. It crossed the pond to the United States where Carson Kressley was the U.S. host. I just happened to see it on Saturday while channel surfing. At first I was appalled - and then I changed my mind.
The premise for the program is to focus on less-than-perfect figured women. When I tuned in, a young woman, Layla Morrell was standing in an foundations store in her underwear, in front of the sales staff, a couple of customers, and the cameras. She had just received a “tutorial” in the proper sizing and fitting of undergarments. By the time the show ended, Ms. Morrell had learned how to dress for her size and shape and she was feeling pretty good about herself.
In this video, another woman sees how others see her - in her (extremely modest) underwear. Here is Angela, in central London.
Watching the show did not make me want to apply to be a contestant, but it did make me think about how I would feel being in my underwear in public. I had a hard enough time wearing a bathing suit in front of people. What was I afraid of? I guess the fear of ridicule due to my perceptions about how I looked to myself in the mirror. I am not afraid anymore. I learned three little sayings.
The fear of embarrassment, of looking like a fool, or of being laughed at has stopped many of us from doing something we would like to do or try. Master the art of saying So What!
The fear of what others will think of you is an exercise in trying to read someone else's mind. And, who are “they” anyway? The people who matter know you for who you are, they care about you, not for what you are attempting. If you are going outside your comfort zone, they will be applauding you along the way. Those other folks - strangers - are pretty busy worrying about their own fears and what is happening to them. They probably won’t notice - or if they do, their judgement won't affect you. Practice saying, Who Cares?
The fear of facing a truth you don't want to accept may mean that you have some skills to work on, or that you really are good at what you are doing. How are you going to know if you don’t challenge yourself? Learn to say I Can Do This!
With So What?, Who Cares?, and I Can Do This!, you are ready to face any challenge/opportunity that presents itself. When you accept yourself naked - so to speak - you build self-esteem and live with self respect. Add a dose of taking action, toss in some persistence, maybe try a different approach, and keep at it until you are happy with the results.
Take on the places that scare you!
The Reflection Pond
- by Janice Guido
Our little cypress cottage sits on a quiet lane in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, just three blocks from the Gulf waters. The cottage has been here since the 1880s and it is close enough to the beach to feel the gentle sea breeze floating down the shaded lane.
As I write this, I am sitting in my comfortable deck chair next to my beautiful pond filled with lush elephant ear plants and water lilies. This setting by the pond and my new life here is a huge contrast to what my life was in New Orleans.
Sipping my coffee and watching goldfish dart around the pond plants, I realize that I am happier here at this cottage - by this pond in the Bay - than anywhere else that I have been in years.
The purchase of this sweet cottage and “our plan” helped me to survive the last few years of a hectic thirty-year hotel career. For all of you that have been there - I know that you understand the vast relief and emotions you feel when you are finally done with “ it."
As a resident of New Orleans for many years it was only natural, like many others there, that we found ‘the Bay’ as an escape from the City and the stress of demanding careers.
The Bay area was the only place I found where I could truly detach from the constant stress of my work. I loved to share the Bay area with anyone who would listen. Many times in a pre-meeting coffee breaks with hotel colleagues in Boston or NYC, we compared weekends. It was fun for me to casually mention my boat ride up Rotten Bayou over the weekend, along with the eagle we saw on the ride. They would look at me and ask “where is that place exactly?”
As the lone Mississippian at these meetings over the years, I always loved telling this well-traveled group about the Mississippi coast. I described colorful boat excursions across the Bay and up the pristine Jourdan and Wolf rivers. I shared photos of blue herons, eagles' nests, moss-filled trees, and golden marsh grasses. And for a brief moment, I happily generated a genuine curiosity in them about the deep South and the Mississippi Gulf coast.
After each weekend trip, I would dream about the deep cool waters and the sunlit tall trees and golden marsh grasses. Maybe the feelings those cruises generated in early trips here were especially vivid because I was travelling so often to heavy populated urban areas. The wide-open natural scenery of the coast was such a contrast to the congested city life. Whatever it was - I was hooked. All I could do in between work projects was to think about the next time we could get back to the Coast and which new area we would explore.
In addition to the boat cruises, the trips into downtown Bay St. Louis before the storm - made me fall in love with the Bay from a different viewpoint. North Beach and Main Street were filled with colorful flags waving in the breeze and unique shops run by fun owners and filled with interesting people.
And then there was positive energy and feel-good warmth in the air. This town was special; the locals knew it and so did the visitors. As a weekender looking in, I so wanted to be a part of it all.
So I talked to everyone that I could, from the bartenders at the Dock of the Bay, to the girls in the Kitchen Shop, to Miss Anne at the Antique Shop, to Clayton at my favorite gift shop, to sweet Donna at the frame shop. I am sure I drove them all crazy, but I did buy a lot! It was my way of trying to be a part of it all, even without living here.
Of course, all of these visits eventually led to our first home purchase, in an area off the Jordan River. We would visit our cute raised home any weekend that work allowed and we were proud to finally became official weekenders.
Tolerating our crazy jobs became possible because we all had a goal of one day becoming full-time residents of this beautiful town and the coast.
And then the very unexpected happened: the storm named Katrina changed all of our lives forever. Afterward, our focus shifted from surviving at first to rebuilding the places we loved. It took much longer than any of us ever imagined. There are some, even now, still trying to get their lives back. As I reflect on the journey that finally got me to this place - by this pond on my shaded lane, I count myself fortunate to be sitting here after that hard and unforeseen detour.
Ten years later, I thank God for helping us all to keep both New Orleans and the Bay in the game. Let the others argue whether we're better off now or not, or if we are changing too much or too little. I am just so very grateful that we are all able to BE HERE. I am glad that we are able to exist here again in this very special place by the Bay. I am happy to have the opportunity to enjoy “my fourth quarter” with all the special people I love in this town.
And I am happy to spend each morning and evening right here by my pond - giving thanks for this place and all the people I love - as I sip my coffee or wine and enjoy the gold fish darting through the pond lilies.
YA Lit - Not Just For Kids
- by Carole McKellar
Young adult literature (YA) refers to books written, published, and marketed to adolescents and young adults. The American Library Association defines a young adult as someone between the ages of twelve and eighteen, but some sources place the ages between sixteen and twenty-five. However the category is defined, YA books represent a growing market in publishing.The popularity of the genre is partly due the shifting demographic of its readers.
According to a 2012 study reported in Publishers Weekly, 55% of all books classified as young adult are purchased by adults. The majority of those surveyed stated that they were buying the books for their own reading. Google the phrase ‘adults reading YA’, and you will find diverse opinions from writers and readers of the propriety of adult readership in periodicals such as the Atlantic Magazine and the Paris Review. Some critics deride and shame adults who enjoy reading YA. The defenders claim that good storytelling transcends the strictures of genre.
I decided to take a closer look at YA books for two reasons. First, I was introduced to Brown Girl Dreaming, a memoir in poetic form written by Jacqueline Woodson. I heard some of her poems read aloud on a radio talk show and thought they were beautiful. I bought the book at a local bookstore and was amazed to find the book classified as young adult literature. It is a wonderful story of family and place that should simply be categorized as exceptionally good literature. Brown Girl Dreaming won the 2014 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
Secondly, my interest was piqued while listening to a discussion of favorite YA books by two of the best readers I know, who happen to belong to my book group. Cindy Williams is the librarian at Bay High School who told me that she enjoys reading YA books because “they can be an exciting escape and they invoke a sense of nostalgia."
She provided me a fascinating recent history of the genre, plus quite a few recommendations that I will list at the end of this article. Allison Anderson, a Bay St. Louis architect, finds some of the writing “to be equally as lyrical and powerful as fiction written for adults. In YA fiction, the themes are typically conflicts that arise from one's liminal place in the world - a feeling of uncertainty, or confusion.”
Cindy started a teen book discussion group at her school, and they chose Paper Towns by John Green, which was made into a movie to be released this summer. That book as well as Mr. Green’s immensely popular The Fault in Our Stars are part of a new wave of realistic teen fiction.
I decided to read Paper Towns before determining if this topic was of sufficient interest to write about. I read it in almost one sitting. The characters were appealing and Mr. Green did a good job describing the emotional landscape of adolescence. I also thought he provided a worthwhile cultural roadmap for teens into the adult world. Perhaps after reading Paper Towns, readers will give more thought to the adverse effects of our consumer culture and the development of a personal philosophy for living in this world.
The Book Thief is graphic and violent, but YA books do not shy away from disturbing issues. Common themes include suicide, sexuality, family struggles, substance abuse, and bullying. Adolescents today relate to these issues and reading about them helps clarify their experiences.
Margaret McMullen, another author writing in both genres, has Pass Christian roots. In a response to my email, she enthusiastically stated that YA books are “mostly terrific reads” and “the characters in these books are interesting and often edgy and the plots really move.”
She also noted the emergence of Mother/Daughter book groups. She said, “I saw this when my book Sources of Light came out, and some of these book groups asked me to Skype or come visit. ‘Sources’ is a mother/daughter story set in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi."
"Many adult parents like the idea of reading what their teens are reading—to keep up, have a good discussion, etc. It’s a nice idea. When you are reading the same book, you will always end up talking about important things that are difficult for parents and their children to talk about otherwise.”
I plan to read quite a few of the recommended books listed below.
Recommended Reading from Cindy Williams and Allison Anderson:
I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry
Midwinter Blood by Marcus Sedgwick.
Upcoming Movies from Recommended YA books. (Always read the book first, Cindy recommends.)
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Legend by Marie Lu
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransome Riggs
Epic Reads Explains/A Brief History of YA
Read more about this on our blog! http://www.epicreads.com/blog/a-brief...
Subscribe to Epic Reads! - http://goo.gl/2vD4rM
Get your biweekly dosage of YA talk on Tea Time: http://bit.ly/1BmYZXJ
LET’S GET BOOK NERDY!
Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/epicreads
Epic Reads is brought to you by HarperCollins Publishers.
A Community Garden Takes Root
- story by Ellis Anderson and photography by Katharine Truett Ohman
Like most living things, it’s taking a while to grow – especially while it’s first establishing itself.
But now the community garden seems to have taken firm root in Bay St. Louis and is growing daily. And in October, a new mural will be begin to blossom, testifying to the positive power gardening can have on individuals – and community.
The mural will be painted on the existing metal building located at the site of the Bay St. Louis Community Garden, at the corner of St. Francis and Bookter Streets. The mural’s design was submitted by local artist Kathleen Johnson, who was inspired by an unexpected garden after Hurricane Katrina.
The Town Green
The mural is part of a long-term plan for the garden, one that is geared to eventually engage the entire community. For instance, the garden is supported by several local organizations, including MS State Extension Service, Hancock County Master Gardeners, NAACP, and the Boys & Girls Club. All produce grown is donated to the Senior Center, along with other Hancock County food pantries.
“The mural is just one part of the big picture,” says Katharine Truett Ohman, who spearheaded the creation of the garden and organizes its maintenance. “Initially, we started with an edible forest. Now we have fruit trees, nine raised beds and twelve table gardens. We even have experimental grape vines and muscadines.”
Donations of plants, seeds, soil and building materials continue to be received from across the state. Some of the materials are being slated for an educational area, where metal benches will make up an outdoor “classroom,” so instructional gardening programs can take place. Future plans call for a covering to shade the classroom too.
In the fall, after the weather cools, a call for volunteers will be issued for painters to help with creation of the mural. In the meantime, groups and individuals meet each Monday morning to weed, water and harvest the garden.
“Our volunteers are open and welcoming,” says Ohman. “We all seem to be grounded in the sense that this is what we need to be doing for our community. We’re taking baby steps now, but eventually, we’ll have a beautiful, flourishing community garden.”
- stories and photos by Ellis Anderson unless otherwise attributed
Free Trolley Service in Old Town to Start July 4th
The City of Bay St. Louis, in partnership with Hollywood Casino Bay St. Louis and Coast Transit Authority, has announced the Bay Trolley line, connecting residents and visitors to parts of the City with a fare-free service,beginning Saturday, July 4, 2015.
“This is an exciting new time for Bay St. Louis.” said Mayor Les Fillingame. “This fare-free service will allow those needing a ride to hail the trolley as it travels on its route or they can wait at one of the designated stop locations.
"This is a huge benefit for boaters who are visiting the Bay St. Louis Municipal Harbor and may want to visit Hollywood Casino or the Visitor Center in the Depot District, or for someone who just wants to take a small tour of parts of the City or locals needing a ride to the shopping centers and grocery store."
The Big Buzz
From there the trolley will stop at locations such as The Ugly Pirate, Mockingbird Café, The Depot District, Commagere Park, McDonald Park, Market Town Shopping Center and Zuppardos Plaza and back to Hollywood Casino. The entire route will take approximately 40 minutes round trip.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday trolley service will extend through the evening hours from 5pm to 10pm. See schedule below for details on time.
The trolley also accepts bicyclists. It features a drop-down bike rack in the front that will carry two bikes.
BSL Named One of America's 20 Coolest Beach Towns
This small coastal town has white sand beaches and Southern charm, but also a flourishing artistic community that helps build a full calendar of cultural events.
Honor roll Drinks: Buoy’s Bar has live music and drinks right on the beach. Or, visit The Blind Tiger.
Eats: The Buttercup on Second Street.
Coffee: Mockingbird Cafe is a bookstore/town meeting spot/pub by night. Stay a while to see the whole town pass by.
Other things to do: Catch a show at Bay St. Louis Little Theater. Visit the artist co-op (Gallery 220) or Maggie May’s art gallery. Drive less than an hour to New Orleans to enjoy the city’s nightlife for the evening.
1. Small: No major cities allowed.
2. Year-round energy: The town can’t pack up and leave after “the season”.
3. Entertainment outside of the beach: Music, breweries, galleries, museums, and festivals also play integral parts of the culture.
Matador calls itself the world's largest independent travel publisher, with over 12 million unique monthly visitors.
Chamber Announces Businesses of the Year
All businesses will be honored at the Salute to Business and Industry Annual Awards Gala on Thursday, August 27th, beginning at 5:30pm at Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast. Click here for more details about the event and to purchase tickets.
Congrats all - especially S&L owner Chris Cochran!
Three Bay-Waveland Homes Featured in Design Magazine
"Stages," a new magazine published in Madison, Mississippi, found plenty to feature in the July/August issue. Bay Lou II, designed by local architect Ed Wikoff and the Waveland home of Chuck Underwood and Glenn Hood are both highlighted.
The cover story, named "From Shambles To Tropical Oasis," puts the spotlight on Kevin Jordan's (Gulf View Properties) show-stopping make-over of a historic Old Town commercial building into a family compound vacation rental. "Abode," located on the corner of Sycamore and Hancock Streets was staged for the photography session by French Potager owner Martha Whitney Butler and Patti Fullilove.
Click here to read the July/August issue online.
Katrina 10th Anniversary Schedule
- story and photos by Ellis Anderson
First time shoppers may scratch their heads and wonder about the name: California Drawstrings? What does a state 2000 miles away have to do with a chic clothing boutique in a coastal Mississippi town?
And what’s the secret that’s made the store a premier pick across the region for men and women seeking stylish, comfortable clothing? Linda Keenan, owner and founder of California Drawstrings, is delighted to share the answers.
Keenan’s the type of entrepreneur that inspires younger business people. With little capital and lots of gumption over the past three decades, she’s created and grown the business in the brutally competitive fashion market.
As the store’s buyer, Keenan seeks out only comfortable, well-made clothing, with styles that can’t be found elsewhere. She carries lines that can fit all sizes, from extra-small to plus. She prefers clothing that is made in the U.S and leans always toward natural fibers, like those made by Flax and Matchpoint.
The shop’s a mix of artsy designs balanced with clothing that’s more classically styled, created with deft touches that set them apart. Keenan believes accessories like jewelry and scarves can “jazz up” an outfit easily to “look like a million dollars.” The staff are trained to help put statement-making ensembles together. Customers frequently report back with success stories about the many compliments they receive at social events.
“If you want to blend into the woodwork, you can shop in the local department stores,” she says. “But if you want to feel comfortable and look a little different – yet be confident you still look fantastic – we have it.”
Keenan currently manages and buys for three locations – with a fourth opening soon. In addition to the Old Town Bay St. Louis shop, the Chicago native oversees the mother-ship location in the New Orleans French Quarter (812 Royal Street) and a third store on Magazine Street (3650 Magazine Street). And in mid-July, an outlet store, California Drawstrings Last Call, will be opening in the heart of Covington, Louisiana (827 Walker Alley, right off Lee Lane).
Each location is staffed with salespeople who are extremely knowledgeable about the clothing they sell. They know which lines run large or small and which designs best complement different shapes. Most of them have been to market with Keenan and are genuinely enthused about the clothing lines they represent.
But while visiting New Orleans one fall thirty-odd years ago, she decided to try a southern winter instead of heading north toward snow. To obtain her Louisiana broker’s license, she signed up for school. To support herself in the meantime, she began selling clothing in the French Market.
She quickly discovered that the fashion world appealed to her more than real estate and switched gears. Keenan began to rent a series of storefronts, soon winding up with the prestigious Royal Street location - where she’s been a mainstay for than thirty years.
The first clothing she sold was a line of comfortable cottons for both men and women with legions of diehard fans - California Drawstrings. Made in the U.S. out of domestic fibers, the brand was the only one Keenan carried for years and then became a shop staple as she grew.
“It made sense for the shop to also have the name of the clothing line,” says Keenan. “Now we have regular customers from all over the country who know our name, so, of course, we’d never think of changing it.”
After opening in Maggie May’s, Keenan rented a townhouse on deMontluzin and began spending more time in Bay St. Louis. Then, last year, she purchased a historic building on the second block of Main Street. After renovating, California Drawstrings moved into their expanded – and permanent Old Town quarters. And although she still officially resides in Mandeville, Keenan spends as much time as possible in the Bay.
“It’s not like I’m a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city,” she says. “I can be in either Mandeville or New Orleans in an hour. But here, I can wake up and have my coffee listening to the sea gulls.”
The laid-back lifestyle in the Bay hasn’t shifted the entrepreneur’s business philosophy though.
“I want people to say ‘wow’ when they walk in the store. And I want them to feel great when they leave.”
“For me, that’s great fun.”
Second to None
This month I’d like to introduce you to our “company officers” - the firefighters who hold the rank of captain that most people never hear about who, in my opinion, have the toughest job in our department. These are the men who feel a personal and professional responsibility to make certain that our fire department is second to none, and they are the officers that the firefighters count on to make the right decisions every time, in every situation to make sure that everyone goes home at the end of their shift.
First to arrive at an emergency scene, company officers must perform a “scene size-up," gather information, direct the actions of the firefighters, and make critical, sometimes even life-or-death decisions, all in a matter of seconds... and they often do this several times each day.
Station House BSL
Sounds like a pretty tough job, doesn’t it? Well, it is. And here are the guys who make it happen, every day of the year.
In addition to being an exceptional firefighter, Ronald is also one of our best public fire safety instructors. Combining his firefighting knowledge with the reputation of being one of the best disc jockey’s around, “DJ Avery” never fails to capture the attention of any audience.
A veteran of the United States Navy, Troy has also worked several tours as a firefighter in Afghanistan and Iraq. His numerous certifications include fire pump operations, weapons of mass destruction, incident command, investigator, instructor and inspector. As the captain of “B” shift, he especially enjoys preparing new hires for their basic training at the fire academy. Also a licensed plumber, Troy keeps busy on his days off from the fire department operating his own plumbing business, “Buck’s Plumbing."
In addition to his firefighting skills, Zo is also fluent in Spanish and is often called on by law enforcement officers to act as an interpreter. On his days off from the fire department, Zo is busy managing his own lawn care business. Lorenzo and his wife, Ellyn, live in Bay St. Louis with their two children; Lorenzo also has a son who is currently serving in the United States Marine Corps.
Six Degrees of Spratling
With Frida Fest on the horizon, I've been fielding the question, "What's the connection between the Bay and Frida Kahlo?" nearly every day. I usually jokingly respond with a Frida Faux Fact like, "Her parents eloped right there at the Methodist Church!", or "Her family used to own a vacation home here and this is where she summered as a child."
I take care not to facilitate these faux facts too far into the conversation, but at the end of the day I'm left wondering this myself. So I thought about how I could stretch the connection and through a conversation with a friend, I found myself led away to a utopia that I've been told could never exist again: Dixie Bohemia (see suggested reading in sidebar).
I could go on all day about how this "comprehensive picture of the mix of demimonde and haute culture of the 1920s" was nurtured in the French Quarter, but truthfully, I'm overcome with jealousy and sadness because I missed it all.
I'd forsake a thousand iPhones to live in this special place in time among the greatest authors, musicians, and artists the world has ever seen. I know that as a Millennial I'll never be able to do this time period justice, but I still smell the fragrance of this era lingering in our small Bohemia of Bay St. Louis. For it was here at its vacation home summering, and that is not a faux fact.
The "Famous Creoles" existed in a time and place forgotten, but familiar to us. The hive of activity was concentrated in the French Quarter, but they, like a lot of us, found themselves drawn to the Coast.
Charles Bein, an artist from the circle of French Quarter legends, owned a home right here in Bay St. Louis.
A.B. Dinwiddie, the president of Tulane University, has deep roots in the Coast having several relatives whom he frequently visited. Also, John Dinwiddie, president of the Tulane School of Architecture haunted the area and his descendants still live here today - one of whom co-owns Smith & Lens Gallery (photographer Ann Dinwiddie Madden).
Among these great innovators and artists was William Spratling, the architect who all but created a design movement in Mexico and popularized the Taxco silver style in the U.S. and in Mexico.
Several people on the coast own Spratling pieces. This lucky writer happened to pull a stunning pair of Spratling Starfish earrings out of her pile of neglected jewelry. Don't worry - they were promptly shined and adorned the minute the mark was discernible through the loop!
Not to dig too deep into Spratling (we'll save that for another column) but let's go back to Frida's connection...
While he was in Mexico, Spratling surrounded himself with the artistic cream of the crop- one of those being Diego Rivera. Rivera acquired several pieces of Spratling silver for his lovely wife, Frida Kahlo.
So therein lies our connection, albeit very far-fetched, to the talented Mexican artist. She and her husband rubbed elbows with some of our people and because of that we feel like we're basically BFFs.
Learn more about Spratling Silver in my upcoming August article!
Scroll down for dozens of pictures of happenings from June! If you're featured in one of the pictures below, feel free to copy it onto your desktop and share. If you're posting it somewhere like Facebook, a nod to the Cleaver is much appreciated!
These images are low resolution for faster internet loading, so they make for poor quality prints. Click on the link beneath each slideshow for options to purchase prints or high resolution files. All images by Ellis Anderson unless otherwise attributed.
Pirate Day in the Bay, June 26th!
Mid-Summer's Night Dream
An Old-Fashioned Lawn Concert in the Depot District
June 20, 2105
Mary Kay Deen's Second Line Send-off
June 4, 2015
Bay Harbor Fest Honors the Best of the Bay
While legendary musician Gregg Allman is headlining Bay Harbor Fest (July 17, 18, 19) and the slate of performers features bands like Jimmie Hall & Friends, Jaimoe's Jasssz Band and Frank Foster. The spotlight will also fall on three local performers.
While each of the three have achieved the icon status in Bay St. Louis, they've also built enormous and fiercely loyal fan bases across the region. Receiving Lifetime Achievement Awards on Saturday night are Pat Murphy and Bo and Dee Bridgewater Darensbourg - the latter two best-known simply as “Bo & Dee.”
Talk of the Town
The Depot Area
- by Pat Murphy
In the Bay St. Louis of my youth, the neighborhood of the L&N Train Depot always had things going on. In retrospect, there was probably even more happening in the three previous decades of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. By the 1950s, passenger train travel was on its way out, even if we didn’t realize it at the time.
I traveled occasionally from Bay St. Louis to New Orleans or vice versa many times in my youth. The train ride through the marshes from Ansley through New Orleans East was a beautiful scenic trip. One train ride that always stands out in my mind was the return trip from New Orleans on Mardi Gras day!! I think I only did it once when I was a teenager but it was one wild ride!
Growing Up Downtown
- by Daisy Mae Delray
Big Black Dog Syndrome
The Animal Shelter in Hancock County is having a special the first week in July. From the 6th of July through the 10th you can adopt a dog for $20 or a cat for $10. What a great deal!
If you are looking for a dog or a cat please do not overlook the big black ones, the seniors or pets with special needs. Did you know there is something called the Big Black Dog Syndrome? This applies to cats as well as dogs, so I am going to call it the black animal syndrome.
Statistics from Pet Finder.com shows that it takes four times as long to get a black animal adopted.
Puppy Dog Tales
I am a mostly black dog who was almost euthanized, so hearing about this got my attention. Big black dogs are consistently the hardest dogs to place – even if they are friendly and healthy and well-trained.
There are a number of reasons for this sad statistic, including the fact there are lots of black dogs, there are so many to choose from, they don’t photograph as well, and they look “ordinary” - whatever that means. To make it worse, a bad depression is often referred to as a visit from the "black dog." Finally, black dogs are often portrayed as the “bad guys” in the movies.
In January 2014, NBC did a piece on black dogs. It appears that big black dogs are starting to get some attention, but there are still too many of them overlooked.
Reason number ten: We don’t clash with your furniture or clothing
Reason number nine: We don’t clash with any collar you might choose either
Reason number eight: Ease of vacuuming! You can quickly spot the areas of most need
Reason number seven: We hide the dirt well
Reason number six: We make an excellent “backdrop” for a second lighter colored dog
Reason number five: Availability! We are available at every shelter and rescue place
Reason number four: No annoying questions about breed. People are content with “BBD
Reason number three: Excellent for night walks. The “bad guys” are afraid of us
Reason number two: Status symbol potential –we are black pearls
Reason number one: WE NEED YOU
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