Historic Mobile - First Pass!
Our new column explores fun destinations within a two-hour drive of Bay-Waveland. This month, the Shoofly visits downtown Mobile and comes up with a fun - and delicious - one-day itinerary!
- story and photographs by Ellis Anderson
October Second Saturday: 10/8
Over the past 20 years, the monthly Artwalk has become one of the most popular events in the region. Old Town stays lively all day, with many merchants and restaurants offering specials. The pace picks up from 4–8 p.m., when gallery openings and live music keep the streets humming with activity.
Each month, one or two Old Town businesses take the spotlight as “Hot Spots." Veteran Second Saturday patrons know these will be among the liveliest places to be during the event.
Hot Spots in September are Bay-tique Boutique (125 Main) and Mockingbird Café (110 S. Second Street).
the Second Saturday column
125 Main Street
Bay St Louis
Bay-Tique — owned by Jane Alford, who also runs the Carroll House Bed & Breakfast — is the perfect place for Alford to meet new people and explore creativity.
“We enjoy a strong local following as well as semi-tourists,” Alford said. “We love seeing our repeat visitors who come here on a regular basis. They are here so much it feels like they are part of the fabric of the town.”
Having moved from Second Street to Main Street means more walk-in foot traffic, as well.
Bay-Tique is renowned for its original line of souvenir clothing and accessories. Alford's logos, featuring Bay St. Louis, Bay Rat and Go Coastal, are popular with visitors as well as locals. While the boutique is largely centered around women’s fashions, these tees and hats cater to men and children, as well.
“As I started bringing in lady’s apparel, I didn’t want to lose our Bay St. Louis signature souvenir items,” Alford said.
As Cruisin’ the Coast descends upon the Gulf Coast, Alford and other shop owners are gearing up for their biggest week of the year.
“We all count on Cruisin’ and it looks like the weather is going to be perfect this year,” Alford said. “That first week in October we see people doing heavy souvenir shopping, their holiday shopping, people shopping for children and grandchildren. We are stocked up on our gift items.”
Bay-Tique is also stocked up for fall. Cooler weather shopping in a beach town can be tricky. Alford said she had to learn the hard way that heavy coats and thick sweaters don’t fly out the door.
“We are keeping it light. It’s all about layering in cooler coastal weather,” Alford said. This season look for rich, bold colors like olive, burgundy and gold. Shorter boots have taken the place of tall boots that were popular last year.
“I try not to buy just based on trends,” Alford said. “You’ll find lots of classic finds at Bay-tique.”
Alford’s shop is like a little family with two key employees besides herself. “It took time to get people that I felt comfortable with and that I could count on,” Alford said. “We’ve got a nice little family of three. We cover for each other and count on each other. We are all in it together.”
In fact, Alford just got back from an extended trip from Richmond, VA to visit with her new niece, Madison Victoria Pratt, or MVP as Alford says proudly.
“When I came back from being back in town after being gone for three weeks, all my fall stuff was in,” Alford said. “We’ve really hit our stride. l Iooked around and thought, ‘We did good.’”
Cruise on in to Bay-tique in October to check out their new fall fashions.
110 South Second Street
Bay St Louis
Art adorns the walls, the signage, the latte art, the food… it all has a flair, an air of happiness. The Mockingbird team is loving their work, loving their life. In fact, the line between life and work is a beautiful blur.
The staff is close-knit and supportive of each other. The family extends beyond the circle of workers to the customers across the counter.
“We love seeing the same folks every morning,” said Aryana Ivey. “It’s like our regulars are showing up for work, too.”
The Mockingbird celebrated their 10th anniversary last month. Owner Alicein Wonderland intended the Mockingbird to be a place of healing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The coffee shop was a place for folks to meet up and talk about what was going on around the Gulf Coast.
Today, it remains an epicenter of Bay St. Louis.
“The best way to get to know everyone and to know what’s going on is to work at the Mockingbird,” said Ivey.
The creative minds behind the Mockingbird have the heart for their beloved beach town, but also are well traveled and encouraged to explore life beyond the cozy house on Second Street.
“Alicein is a great motivator, encouraging, always supporting all of us as artists,” said Ivey, who is planning an adventure to Morocco to further her henna art skills. “I started doing Henna four or five years ago, just started dabbling, and when Alicein decided to do the night market she pulled me out of my shell and told me to get going with the henna.”
Laura Hurt is one of several employees who has been working at the Mockingbird since it opened its doors. Hurt is well known for her coffee-slinging skills, but also the colorful headdresses and headbands she makes from flowers, feathers, sequins, beads, horns and more.
“Before I started working at the Mockingbird, I had no idea I had any artistic talent at all,” Hurt said. “It all started with Mardi Gras. I saw lots of headdresses and thought to myself that I could do some. Martha Whitney of the French Potager was persistent that I sell them and from there Alicein fueled the fire.”
“We at the Mockingbird have formed very meaningful relationships with not only the people we work with, but also the community we serve,” said Whitney LaFrance, who has also been working at the Mockingbird since it opened. “I think that kind of support is truly how we all have the means and the desire to branch out. The open hearts and helping hands that gather around the Mockingbird are an inspiring thing. It provides the kind of atmosphere that allows you to be yourself and share that with others.”
In a recent interview for the Mississippi Museum of Art, Wonderland said, “I love my town in that it’s allowed me to be who I am.” Clearly, the mantra at the Mockingbird is one that encourages discovering and embracing individuals, and celebrating artistic differences and talents.
“No one here ever quits,” said Hurt. “It’s such a great environment that I’ve never even attempted to find another job. Everything I want, need and love is right here.”
New BSL Arts Center in the Works
- story and photos by Karen Fineran, additional photos, Ellis Anderson
Bay St. Louis's favorite mad potter is back at it again.
After a summer of soaking up some artistic inspiration from the muse of his Maine haven, and after a long dusty week of unique performances at Burning Man in the Nevada desert, area artist Steve Barney is back in the Bay, and his new project here might be his most ambitious yet.
Barney has purchased the iconic 7500 square foot complex of ironworks buildings at the corner of Washington Street and Central Avenue in Bay St. Louis and plans to transform it into a new Bay St. Louis community arts center.
Barney, who will serve as executive director, says that the center will be called the Bay St. Louis Center for Creative Arts, or “BSLCCA” for short.
his segment's right at the beginning
Barney's long term plan is that BSLCCA will offer beginner and advanced classes in metalworking, pottery, stained glass and other mediums, and that a full schedule of workshops will be offered to the public by artists from across the Gulf Coast and New Orleans.
Barney has gained national recognition for his efforts in the burgeoning movement to integrate Art into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) with respect to children's educational programs. As the Shoofly highlighted in an earlier edition, Barney is the founder of the STEAMpunk Pottery Project, has created the self-acclaimed “greatest pottery machine in the world,” and performs regularly at festivals and museums across the Gulf Coast.
In keeping with the STEAM theme, a wide variety of programs are planned to expose kids to new forms of art, including after-school programs, weekend workshops and summer art camp offerings.
BSLCCA will feature the Bay's most extensive metal-working studio, and will offer facilities, equipment and classes for metal cutting, fabrication, welding (including MIG, TIG and stick welding), forging, sandblasting and painting.
"We will teach classes in metalworking and operate a coop workshop for artists to work on their own projects.” Barney adds, “During the day we will operate a commercial welding shop to meet the local demand for fabrication and repairs.”
Ceramic arts will also be a major focus for BSLCCA. The clay studio will include eight pottery wheels, a glaze mixing lab, and other equipment for hand-building. The kiln room will have three state of the art computer controlled electric kilns, with future plans to include gas and raku kilns as well.
Barney explains, “The City of Bay St. Louis and neighbors in the area have been incredibly supportive of this project. This is a major effort in the revitalization of Washington Street."
In fact, the Arts of Hancock County, a leading arts advocacy organization with over 200 members, plans to have its offices at the BSLCCA.
Barney expects to open the center by early 2017. If you would like more information about BSLCCA, please contact Executive Director Steve Barney at 617-834-0715 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bay Life Gifts and Gallery
- stories and photography by Ellis Anderson
It’s the name of her shop, but it’s also the reason Janice Guido moved to town: Bay Life.
After retiring from a career in the hospitality industry and relocating full time to Bay St. Louis, Janice has discovered – for the first time in her life – that travel’s not really appealing.
“I love being here in my shop and love my house on State Street,” she says. “I don’t want to go anywhere. I traveled so much for so long. It gives me a huge appreciation for this small town and its people. It’s home.”
There’s a special focus on Mississippi made art and products too. Best sellers include the Oxford line of Soy candles, bath and dish towels by Hanging By A Thread, a colorful throw pillow line by Little Birdie and A La Luna jewelry, made just up the road in Petal, Mississippi.
Local artists are heavily represented too, with oyster shell ornaments, crosses and frames by Michelle Savoy, bold paintings by Tehle McGuffee of Gulfport and Tracy Stieffel’s woodblocks and pewter cutouts.
Since sharing meals is a main component of life in the Bay, Bay Life carries lots of tableware. Caspari’s line of placemats, napkins and greeting cards are some of Janice’s favorites – and she’s found that customers share her enthusiasm. Maurice Milleur’s pewter tableware has been a coast mainstay for decades, and now Janice represents him as well.
Like any great Southern hostess, Janice works hard make shop visitors relax and feel at home. She orchestrates the music, the colors, and even the scents that greet shoppers. And it’s all selected with one thing in mind.
“I’ve lived a very stressful corporate life and a lot of my customers are the same,” she says. “So I’m trying to create a fun and peaceful place where they can slow down for a minute, and maybe even leave here feeling inspired.”
That’s to be expected from someone who has spent most of her career working in the home and hospitality industry. She was born and raised in Natchez, where her father owned an insurance and home-building business. She has fond childhood memories of accompanying her father to home construction sites. “He believed everyone needed a good place to live.”
Janice attended St. Mary’s Dominican in New Orleans, graduating with a double major in history and education. Along the way, she spent a full year with Loyola in Rome, an experience that broadened her perspectives.
After stints teaching and selling real estate, she found her true niche in the hospitality field – mostly in New Orleans. For nearly thirty years, Janice worked at sales and marketing for some of the most famous hotels in the U.S., including the Windsor Court New Orleans, the Le Meridien New Orleans, the Fairmont/Roosevelt New Orleans and the Willard Intercontinental in Washington, D.C. She ended her hotel career at the famous Royal Sonesta Hotel in the French Quarter after helping to launch the Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse and Restaurant Revolution. While her jobs may have been stressful, she found that making people feel at home came naturally.
“We had a boat and would go explore all the bayous. It was only about an hour away, so I could get back quickly if there was a hotel emergency. But being on the coast made it easy to forget everything.
“I’d traveled all over and realized that the landscapes here were as beautiful as anything the East Coast had to offer. I fell in love with it and made a plan.”
Janice’s plan was to eventually retire, move to the Bay full time and open a gallery/gift shop.
“I held that dream in my heart as I as finished out my career,” she says. “I wanted to be my own boss. And I love it. I count my blessings every day.”
One of those blessings is to be able to compare notes with her sister, Gail, owner of Silver Street Gifts and Gallery in Natchez. The two go to market together and share sales tips with each other. Their mother gets in on the act too, as her daughters swap ideas and talk about new products they’ve found.
The last few years have been busy ones and Janice and her partner have renovated and added onto their historic cottage on State Street in Old Town. In addition, soon after opening her shop, Janice was quickly tapped as president of the Old Town Merchants Association. So while there hasn’t been much time lately to explore the bayous by boat, Janice is completely contented.
“I thought I would miss New Orleans more than I do,” she says. “I’m so happy here. My Bay life in reality is even more wonderful than the dream.”
At the end of the story, you'll find info about the Hancock County October bird count and learn how you can help!
- story by Lisa Monti
If you enjoy the beauty of the monarch butterflies on their migration to Mexico this time of year, imagine helping to capture, measure and tag the delicate Monarchs to gain information about their incredible journey.
Volunteers in the international network of citizen scientists are keeping an eye on the butterflies to gather information on how many successfully make the trip to Mexico.
Gathering information on the Monarch migration is just one of many hands-on ways that volunteer “citizen scientists” can assist researchers as they observe and record our changing natural environment.
Beach to Bayou
You don’t need a scientific background, just an interest in our coastal resources and creatures that share it with us. “We do the training for you,” said Parker. The most time you’ll spend is three hours per month.
If you’re interested in the water quality where you live, volunteer to help scientists keep tabs on our waterways. There are two in Hancock County that are monitored monthly: Magnolia Bayou near the Yacht Club and Watts Bayou. The testing sessions take about an hour to complete.
Volunteers learn first hand about the natural world and get the satisfaction of knowing they are contributing data so we can get a much fuller picture of what’s going on in the world.
Find more information about the center and the volunteer opportunities at http://pascagoulariver.audubon.org or email Parker at email@example.com.
Hancock County Fall 2016 Schedule
Washington Street Pier, Bay St. Louis-Hancock, Audubon Coastal Bird Survey
Site Description: This site has a sandy beach shoreline, ending at Washington Street Pier, which has rocky jetties on either side. Reddish egrets, ruddy turnstones, and a variety of plovers and sandpipers are common on the mudflats directly adjacent to the jetty. The opposite side of the road has mature live oaks and suburban yards which attracts common suburban passerine species such as mockingbirds, crows, and blue jays.
Meeting location: Washington Street Pier and Boat Launch. There is ample parking available near the pavilion.
ACBS Site Coordinator: Judy Reeves, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Note: Contact ACBS Site Coordinator to participate and verify schedule)
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
7:00 AM--8:30 AM
Saturday, October 29, 2016
7:00 AM--8:30 AM
Ladner Pier, Waveland, MS-Hancock, Audubon Coastal Bird Survey
Site Description: This site has sandy beach on either side of a large pier, with rocky jetties on either side. Reddish egrets, Ruddy turnstones, and a variety of plovers and sandpipers are common on the mudflats directly adjacent to the jetty. The opposite side of the road has mature live oaks and suburban yards which attracts common suburban passerine species such as mockingbirds, crows, and blue jays.
Meeting location: Ladner Pier (parking area) 125 N Beach Blvd, Waveland, MS 39576
ACBS Site Coordinator: Barbara Bowen (602) 319-0538 or email@example.com, (Note: Contact ACBS Site Coordinator to participate and verify schedule)
Schedule: Friday, October 14, 2016
7:00 AM-8:30 AM
Bayou Caddy, Bay St. Louis, MS-Hancock, Audubon Coastal Bird Survey
Site Description: This site has a sandy shoreline, and many artificial pilings, jetties, and structures. On the other side of the quiet street, you can often see a variety of blackbirds on the power lines. There is also a marsh system across the street, where bald eagles and a variety of herons and egrets are often seen. The sandy shoreline generally has large groups of small shorebirds foraging on the tide line. The artificial structures have gulls, pelicans, and terns.
Meeting location: Silver Slipper Casino (parking lot), 5000 S Beach Blvd, Bay St. Louis, MS 39520. Ample parking is available.
ACBS Site Coordinator: Ned Boyajian, firstname.lastname@example.org (Note: Contact ACBS Site Coordinator to participate and verify schedule)
Monday, October 17, 2016
7:00 AM 8:00 AM
Buccaneer Beach, Waveland, MS-Hancock, Audubon Coastal Bird Survey
Site Description: This site mostly consists of a seawall, with limited areas of sandy shoreline. Many jetties and artificial structures exist, where pelicans, eagles, ospreys, terns, and gulls perch. The shorebirds are condensed onto the small patches of sandy shoreline. The opposite side of the road has many perching birds of all varieties on mature vegetation. Some sections have productive marsh habitats, so marsh birds such as herons, egrets, sparrows, and wrens are common.
Meeting location: Corner of Forest Street and South Beach Blvd, Bay St. Louis, MS 39520. Limited parking available on the shoulder of the road.
ACBS Site Coordinator: Ned Boyajian, email@example.com, (Note: Contact ACBS Site Coordinator to participate and verify schedule)
Monday, October 17, 2016
9:00 AM 10:00 AM
*To sign up online to become Audubon Volunteer, please visit us at https://app.betterimpact.com/PublicOrganization/fb88f60d-ae22-4234-a99a-51c2607450d9/1
Claiborne Hill Grocery
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
You’ve heard the rule about not going to the grocery store when we’re hungry.
When you’re feeling hungry, that’s when you should go straight to Claiborne Hill Supermarket on U.S. 90 in Waveland, where the deli staff starts work early, cracking eggs and cooking bacon and biscuits for breakfast.
Early morning regulars, including police and fire department personnel, line up around 6:30 or 7 to get a breakfast plate (two scrambled eggs, grits, a biscuit and either bacon or homemade sausage) before heading to work. If you’re on a leisurely schedule, you can grab breakfast until around 11 a.m., and even later on weekends.
After the breakfast rush, the staff starts preparing the daily hot lunch specials, which also bring in a hungry crowd. On a recent Saturday, the choices were barbecue ribs, pork sausage, brisket and red beans along with sides including fried okra, smothered cabbage and sweet potato casserole with praline topping. The red beans, made from the Acquistapace family recipe, are flavored with store-smoked sausage, bacon, and ham hocks.
Sandwiches (including muffulettas) are popular. Construction workers favor the hamburger combo with cheese and a side of fries.
If you want a generously stuffed poboy—served hot or cold—you can choose from oysters, shrimp, catfish or roast beef. Elizabeth said the roast beef with rich gravy has a big following. “It’s a whole fresh eye of round roast that simmers for hours. It’s truly a homemade roast beef,” she said.
The French bread for the poboys is baked in the store but here’s a tip: if you’re a fan of crispy Leidenheimer bread, just ask for it.
Everything sold is made in the store, and there’s enough variety that the menu stays basically the same, though sometimes you’ll find meatloaf or chicken and dumplings. The variety gets smaller in the evening but you can still get a satisfying supper up until 8 p.m. or so.
A recent summertime lunch treat tells a lot about the deli’s use of seasonal fare. “We had a short Creole tomato season but we had some pretty hot house tomatoes,” said Elizabeth. “So who can pass up a tomato sandwich on white bread with mayo, salt and pepper?”
Even though the price of ingredients fluctuates, one thing is steady at the deli: the prices. The 6-inch roast beef poboy is $5.99. A breakfast plate is $2.49. The lunch plates start at $5.99. “We try to keep it as reasonable as we can to give our customers good value,” she said.
There are healthy options too, with a full salad bar in the back of the store (by the seafood counter). For $4.99 a pound you can make a meal-sized salad with fresh fixings - including chicken and on occasion, boiled shrimp.
Breakfast and lunch is prepared seven days a week. You can call ahead (228-466-2610) to see what’s cooking and enjoy your meal at the counter in the front of the store where there’s complimentary Community Coffee. And check out the freezer section next to the deli for chicken and Andouille gumbo, bisques, soups, and casseroles.
St. Mary Cemetery
- by Rebecca Orfila
If you live in the American South, you have probably walked through a neighborhood cemetery. Some cemeteries lie under nature’s ceiling of oak trees and moss, while others border waterways, railroads, or highways. Some are tucked away behind homes and churches, in the town square, or in a forgotten place. Whether you were lured to visit by the architecture of gravestones, history of the interred, or the circumstances of their demise, cemeteries are an important part of understanding Southern life.
I walked through St. Mary Cemetery last October. A soft, cool breeze flowed across the gravesites. St. Rosa de Lima Church posed a gentle shape to the north, and the sounds of young men in sports practice echoed from the south. Tall and short, vertical and horizontal monuments and headstones mark the burial sites within the cemetery.
Several graves predate the 1872 dedication date. Blanche Teresa Scull died in 1852. The 15-year-old was the daughter of Hewes Charles Scull and his wife, Louisiana Philipana Scull (they were cousins) of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Blanche was attending St. Joseph’s Open School when she died. She is buried in St. Mary Cemetery, in the northeast corner of the Sisters of St. Joseph plot. (Plot: N10-26: see how to find the gravesite by number at the end of this article).
Nicolas Caron/Carron was buried in St. Mary in 1859. Nicolas was married to Ursule Justine Saucier, the daughter Phillipe Pierre Saucier, Sr. In the 1850 U.S. Census, it was reported that Caron had properties valued at $9,000, making him a member of the top five wealthiest men in Shieldsboro (N09-01).
The first burials following the cemetery dedication in 1872 by Father Henry LeDuc — with the blessings of Bishop Richard Oliver Gerow, Diocese of Natchez — were for Sisters Estelle Astier (1872), St. Peter Elder (1874), Ellienna Alloid (1878), and Louise Felicity Robinson (1880). These initial interments established a dedicated plot for the Sisters of St. Joseph (N10-03). In the Bishop’s report, “Catholicism in Mississippi,” published in 1939, the Bishop refers to St. Mary Cemetery in several places.
One undated historical plat map has survived and a circular area is identified in handwritten script as Calvary. The circumference of Calvary measured 36 feet in circumference or 23 ft in diameter. No aboveground evidence of the Calvary remains and it is unknown whether an underground vault and burials exist. It is likely that the Calvary was destroyed by one of the major storms in the area.
A familiar name in Bay St. Louis, Clement Robert Bontemp, was interred at St. Mary in 1918 following his death from battle wounds received at Chateau-Thierry, France (N02-15). His military grave record shows he was born Nov. 6, 1893, Bay St. Louis, MS and served in the sixth regiment of the U. S. Marines during World War II. The American Legion Post 139 in Bay St. Louis was founded in 1923 and named after Bontemp.
The Italian Society Mausoleum has one of the largest funerary structures in St. Mary Cemetery. The Society vault is Italianate in style and marks a section dedicated to the entombments and interments of society members.
Jerry Costollo was a brakeman on a train of 18 loaded cars near Birmingham when the locomotive engineer failed to stop and ran into another train on the rail, killing Costollo, the engineer, and a train mechanic. The story of the railroad accident was telegraphed and published in the May 18, 1891 issue of the New York Herald. A worn memorial stone dedicated to Costollo is placed near the graves of Mary and Hanora Costollo (N08-15).
A grave maker on the north side of the cemetery captures the eye in the vivid sunlight. An elegant white marble headstone marks the grave of Arsene Bontemp Estapa (N02-02). Though stained with green moss and dirt, what is unique about this headstone is the brightness of the marble and the depth of the engraving. Her place of birth is inscribed in graceful print and in the musical voice of the French language — “ne a la Baie S. Louis" (from Bay St. Louis). She died on October 10, 1875, in Hancock County, Mississippi.
It goes without saying that there is an otherworldly nature to cemeteries. Whether it is based on our religious beliefs or our distance from decades or centuries of local life, the more we learn about cemeteries, the more they contribute to our understanding of the history of humans.
Information regarding burials and purchasing plots in St. Mary’s should be directed to the Our Lady of the Gulf rectory at 228-467-6509.
How to find a grave in St. Mary Cemetery
To find a gravesite, start on the main road through the cemetery and walk westward counting row numbers, beginning with #1. Based on the location data provided above, find the proper row. For example, Funston Mauffray is buried in S07-23d. To get to his grave, walk seven rows west then turn south. Counting gravesites southward, Mauffray will be buried in the twenty-third gravesite, along with other family members.
Information regarding burials and purchasing plots in St. Mary’s should be directed to the Our Lady of the Gulf rectory at 228-467-6509.
DIY Pallet Garden Boxes
Do you love gardening but don’t have the yard to do it? Have I got the perfect project for you! Keep reading to learn how to build your own above ground garden. This project is simple and shouldn’t take more than 2-3 hours to complete.
There are many reasons people build above ground gardens. Some do it because they don’t have the ground to cultivate for gardening. Some do it because they prefer to eat herbs and vegetables that have not been saturated in chemicals from pesticides and hormones. My husband Leo and I love to eat healthy.
But let’s face it; organic groceries are very expensive, so we thought we’d try our hand at building our own little garden.
You may want to start with prepping your pallets. I stained my pallets with an espresso colored stain, but you can leave yours natural or paint it whatever color you’d like. It’s your pallet. If you do decide to paint or stain the pallet(s) be sure to use an environmentally safe exterior paint that can withstand water seeping through the landscape fabric and soil.
- No measuring is necessary.
- Be sure you end up with three pieces that have the same number of “facing” slats.
- Flip the pallet over and make those same cuts on the backside of your pallet.
- Pull the pallet pieces apart into the three sections you created from step one.
- Remove the slats off the backside of the two end pieces.
- Carefully remove the blocks & slats from the middle piece.
- Set the blocks & slats from the middle piece aside for later use.
- Using a chisel and hammer, wedge the blocks from the slats being careful not to break the slats. The slats will be the sides of the box.
- The slats removed from the centerpiece will be used to cap the ends of the box.
- Use the centerpiece as the bottom of your garden box.
- Use the two end pieces as the sides of the box.
- Secure the sides and bottom using a nail gun or screwdriver.
- Using the blocks you carefully removed during the disassembling of the pallet(s) create your box’s feet.
- Secure with decking screws to the bottom of the assembled garden box.
Once the pallet box is assembled you will need to place the landscaping fabric inside the box and secure it with staples. (I highly recommend using a staple gun if you have one.)
Now that you have the box prepped, it’s time to add the soil. I used a mixture of planting soil and compost to fill my beds. With a rake and a light sprinkling of the garden hose make sure to smooth out the mixture.
You are ready to plant some seeds.
What you plant in your raised garden bed is up to you. Remember that whatever you plant will have different needs for lighting, shade, water, nutrients, and daily care. So placement of your garden box is essential.
Something else you may want to consider is how much space your plants will need. Make sure you read (the seed package) before you seed! Know which plants will require deeper and/or wider rows. In one box I have tomatoes and strawberries. In another box I have herbs and lavender.
I have six raised garden boxes filled with different plants for my family to enjoy. Check out my first harvest of strawberries…. I can’t wait to watch my garden grow!
Name That Style
Just as aesthetics applies to art or design, it applies to fashion. In its original Greek, aesthetics refers to any sort of sensory perception, to “making oneself sensitive” to the world.
It’s in this true spirit of the word that we can apply aesthetics to fashion. It’s really about taking your own personal expression and using it to define your style.
When I work with clients in interior design, I collaborate with them to come up with a theme that describes the overall feeling for a space, i.e. industrial farmhouse or French Provincial.
Ideally, you'll come up with your own theme; one of my favorites is “disheveled preppy.” The name might conjure images like bed-head, mismatched argyle socks, and a crisp pink polo button-down. But again, my style is not yours.
So what is yours? Come up with a couple ideas, two or three themes that you identify with and then head to your closet. Pull out items that you think fall under that definition. You'll be surprised at how many outfits you can come up with.
And you'll also be surprised at how multi-purpose/multi-theme many items are. Simply by changing your belt, shoes, and a few accessories, you will almost double your choices.
As you start to create outfits, it's always a good idea to record what you've come up with. One of the fastest and easiest ways to do this is to stand in front of the mirror and photograph it. (These are not Instagram, Facebook, or narcissistically indulgent selfies!) Create a digital library of your outfits. Make a folder on your phone (mine is appropriately called "clothes") and keep track of your outfits there.
As your clothes folder grows, so will your confidence. When you are pressed for time or simply "don't have a thing to wear," pull up your photos and you'll have instant inspiration or you can just recreate something that you've worn before.
In the end, we should all feel good about our own personal expression and live an inspired life.
If you'd like to be considered for a free fashion makeover in a future issue or if you have fashion/style questions for Greg, write him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Moon of Orb Weavers Return
- by story by James Inabinet
Late afternoon, I am aimlessly walking along the north edge of the beach near Buccaneer noting plant life along the marsh edge. It’s still very warm (late summer and all that) but a light southeast breeze prevails so it’s not uncomfortable. The partly cloudy sky is white-white and blue-blue. Clouds are way high, fluffy, in lines providing a feeling of great distance between me and the dome of the sky. From here it would seem that no rain now falls anywhere on earth.
I hear waves crashing against the sea wall behind me so I turn south. Scanning east a snowy egret stands in calm shallow water adjacent to a beach jutting out beyond the sea wall. She looks down in stillness. I watch her for a while.
On the Shoofly
I stand tall to look beyond these edge plants at the marsh behind. With blurry eyes I see brownish-buff punctuated by splotches of yellow-green. Farther back the marsh gives way to trees, tall pines high, hardwoods below. From left to right the trees become more distant. On the left I can pick out distinct trees. On the right I can only make out the blurry, grayish outlines of the tallest ones.
A train suddenly emerges between marsh and forest that appears to be running on top of the marsh grass. I didn’t know the railroad tracks went through there. Every now and again a gust kicks up that audibly rattles brown seed pods of partridge pea to my right. Seconds later the leading edge of that same gust animates the marsh grass as a visible wave reminding me of wind blowing across wheat fields abutting Colorado mountains.
I leave the beach and drive to the old wildflower trail in the Pass. Not 50 feet down the trail I run into a spider web of golden silk, its maker a huge goldish spider with black-banded legs. She scurries higher to get away from me. I look ahead and see another down the trail a ways.
If there’s truth in “for everything there is a season,” then it’s spider time. I created a lunar calendar after observing nature for 20 years, one that recognizes moon phases vis-à-vis monthly changes throughout a year. Right now it’s late in the “Moon of Orb Weavers Return.” During this moon, many orb-weaving spiders that seemed scarce over much of the year have inexplicably returned in great numbers.
I have watched spiders closely, observing unique and distinctive behaviors that, taken together, I call “spiderness.” Even if far away and blurry, spider behavior can be instantly recognized even though you might not be able to say why. Many behaviors are easy to describe, like web behaviors: emitting strands out of their body, manipulating them with their front legs round and round. Some catch a bug and leave it where it lands. Others don’t, like a reddish orb weaver near my shop that caught a katydid last week. After subduing it, she wrapped him up and carried the bundle up to a crossing branch. Then she took the web apart, eating a strand at a time. I could hardly find her an hour later up there sitting quietly.
Other forms of spiderness aren’t so easy to describe. Even spiders that don’t weave webs perform distinctive behaviors that shout spider! Maybe it has something to do with the way they move around, the way they lift their legs high, one then the other. It reminds me of a man in a business suit who mimics spiderness when walking through a puddled parking lot.
Chalice, Goblet, Glass or Flute:
the importance of selecting the right vessel for your wine
It's hard to believe that fall is upon us. My Pacific Northwestern soul tells me that soon, a lasting chill will be back in the air, wet leaves will carpet the ground and candles will be lit in windows to ward off the encroaching darkness.
Literally all of Mississippi: "HA!"
While the edge may be taken off the heat now that we are officially out of summer, we still have a long way to go before we can look for anything that near resembles the Octobers of my youth.
I'm getting there. Let's talk about all the upcoming Halloween parties we will be attending in the near future. Libations will, no doubt, abound. Red wine, white wine, mysterious punches bubbling with dry ice and sparkling with effervescence . . . But how to serve them? Red solo cups? Certainly. Champagne flutes? Check. But why does it matter? It matters a great deal, friends, but perhaps not for the all the reasons you might expect.
For most of the wine world, the qualities of the vessel directly relate to optimizing the character of the wine. The most visible and influential of these attributes is the shape of the bowl, the part of the glass that actually holds the wine. The bowl contributes to shaping the aroma of the wine. After sight, smell is the primary sense with which we experience wine (you remember this because you've been paying attention over the last few articles, right?), making this particular vessel characteristic exceptionally important.
Wider, rounder bowls mean the wine comes into contact with more oxygen. This increases the aromatic qualities in the wine, which is particularly important for big, red wines like Cabernet, Merlot, Zinfandel and Red Burgundy. Air contact can help to temper higher alcohol content as well, which is an added bonus for those of us who dislike the sting of a "hot" wine.
On the other end of the spectrum, narrower bowls decrease air exposure. Too much oxygen can, in fact, overpower and dull the delicate tasting notes present in light reds and white wines. Heavier wines such as Pinot Noir and fully-oaked Chardonnay can stand up to a medium-bodied vessel, but true light whites like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio show best in a narrower bowl. When it's time to toast the winners of this year's Halloween costume contest, be sure to pick up a flute of Champagne; the extreme narrowness of the glass keeps your bubbly . . . well, bubbly.
Lastly in this Wine Glass 101 crash course is the absence or presence of a stem. The easiest way to think about this difference is to consider your motives. Casual or formal? Tasting or drinking? Porch or restaurant? The purpose of the stem is to keep the drinker's hand away from the bowl, thus preserving the integrity of the wine by avoiding extra external warmth. Now — to insert my own bias — how many of us causal drinkers actually grasp our wine glasses by the stem, rather than by the bowl?
Unless you are performing a formal tasting or are savoring a really exceptionally wine, there is no reason to feel like you must purchase high-end stemmed glassware. Stemless tumblers serve our everyday purposes just fine as long as you watch the temperature of your wine as your hands warm it.
Wine glasses, in my opinion, should be an expression of the wine they hold as often as possible. This requires striking a balance between function and art. A favorite wine glass is much the same as a favorite coffee mug. The texture, weight, design and heft of the glass is just as important to your wine experience as the bowl depth, rim structure and quality of glass, not to mention the quality of the wine within.
Sentimental connection also plays a role. In the mountain town where my family has spent many autumns, there is an artist, Garth Mudge, who creates freeform, hand-blown wine glasses at Winthrop Glassworks. Each one varies in color, size, thickness and texture. I buy a new one every time I visit. They are durable, unique and useful reminders of a place where Octobers are cool, crisp, wet and wonderful.
Steals, Deals and Splurges
Here's a locally available taste of my home state:
Steal: Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2015, Charles Smith Wines. Focused, clean sweetness.
Deal: Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Chateau Ste. Michelle. Bright, ideal with oysters.
Splurge: Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, L'Ecole. Classic profile, coffee & sage.
The Fire This Time
- by Carole McKellar
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
James Baldwin is one of the most quoted writers of the 20th century. I admire his ability to express powerful ideas with an economy of words. Recently, while reading the Baldwin book “The Fire Next Time,” I found myself highlighting dozens of passages and scribbling in margins.
This book was a bestseller when it appeared in 1963 and an anthem for the emerging civil rights movement. It takes the form of two letters written near the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation. In the letter written to his namesake nephew, then a teenager, Baldwin writes:
For this is your home, my friend, do not be driven from it; great men
have done great things here, and will again, and we can make America
what America must become. It will be hard, James, but you come from
sturdy, peasant stock, men who picked cotton and dammed rivers and
built railroads, and, in the teeth of the most terrifying odds, achieved
an unassailable and monumental dignity.
The essays in “The Fire Next Time” are as timely today as they were in the ’60s. Recent national events prompted Pass Christian native, Jesmyn Ward, to return to Baldwin for solace in “his frank and elegant prose.” She reached out to young African American writers for their perspective on race in 21st century America. The result is a collection of essays, poems, and memoirs that make up “The Fire This Time.”
In the introduction Ward states, “all these essays give me hope. I believe there is power in words, power in asserting our existence, our experience, our lives through words. That sharing our stories confirms our humanity. That it creates community, both within our own community and beyond it.”
Isabel Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, wrote “The Warmth of Other Suns,” which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. Subtitled “The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration,” this beautifully written book earned a place of honor on my bookshelves. Wilkerson wrote a short, powerful essay titled “Where Do We Go From Here?” which culminates with, “We must keep our faith even as we work to make our country live up to its creed. And we must know deep in our bones and in our hearts that if the ancestors could survive the Middle Passage, we can survive anything.”
Natasha Trethewey, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former U.S. Poet Laureate, has deep roots in the Gulf Coast that feature in many of her poems, including the one she submitted to the collection titled “Theories of Time and Space." Click here to watch the video of Trethewey reading the poem.
Edwidge Danticat, a Haitian-American writer and author of the haunting novel, “Claire of the Sea Light,” has written fiction and nonfiction for both children and adults. Mother-daughter relationships, a recurring theme of Danticat’s prose, featured in the final essay in this collection, “Message to My Daughters.” She tells her daughters, “Please know that there will be times when some people might be hostile or even violent to you for reasons that have nothing to do with your beauty, your humor, or your grace, but only your race and the color of your skin. Please don’t let this restrict your freedom, break your spirit, or kill your joy.”
To escape the wrath of his stepfather at home, Garnette Cadogan started walking the streets of his native Jamaica. Those streets could be violent, but nothing prepared him for walking through the streets as a black man in America. In New Orleans, where he attended college, and later in New York he learned not to wear certain clothes, stop suddenly, stand on the corner, or run. In his essay on walking, “Black and Blue,” he talks about his awareness that his actions may provoke alarm simply because he is a man of color.
In addition to the introduction, Jesmyn Ward wrote an essay titled “Cracking the Code.” She recalls ordering genetic testing kits for her father, her mother, and herself. Her father was 51 percent Native American, and her mother was 55 percent European. Jesmyn was 40 percent European, 32 percent sub-Saharan African, 25 percent Native American, and 1 percent North African. She “understands the world through the prism of being a black American,” but she pays homage to other aspects of her heritage, such as a love of French films, “Doctor Who,” and the poetry of Pablo Neruda. Her essay was humorous, but it left me questioning perceptions of race.
I’ve written about the writers whose works I’ve read and admired in the past, but some of the contributors were new to me. While at the Mississippi Book Festival on August 20, I attended a panel moderated by Ms. Ward featuring Kiese Laymon, Honorée Jeffers, Garnette Cadogan, and Kima Jones. At the time, I was reading “Long Division” by Mr. Laymon, and found it laugh-out-loud funny. His essay, “Da Art of Storytellin’, A Prequel,” is a loving tribute to his grandmother, but his humor is amply evident.
I found all the essays in “The Fire This Time” well written and thought provoking. These are indeed a group of talented young writers, and I look forward to reading their future work. I think James Baldwin would be honored that his book inspired this collection. He said, “You write in order to change the world. ... If you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.”
Race is an uncomfortable topic for many people to discuss openly, but America must reconcile its violent past if it is to change the future. In a recent New York Times/CBS News poll, 69 percent of Americans said race relations are generally bad. That’s unacceptable if we want our nation to fulfill its promise.
Some other books written by African American writers that I have enjoyed recently:
“Another Brooklyn” by Jacqueline Woodson (Harper Collins, 192 pp.)
“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel & Grau, 176 pp.)
“Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi (Knopf, 320 pp.) (Gyasi was born in Ghana and grew up in Alabama)
“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday, 320 pp.)
“Voyage of the Sable Venus and Other Poems” by Robin Coste Lewis (Knopf, 160 pp.) (2015 National Book Award winner; her family is from New Orleans)
“The Fishermen” by Chigozie Obioma (Back Bay Books, 304 pp.) (Born in Nigeria, Obioma teaches creative writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
Finally, from “Salt” by Nayyiral Waheed (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 258 pp.) (I love these poems):
even the small poems mean something. They are
often whales in the bodies of tiny fish.
Vintage Cookbooks Add Spice
How y'all are? Fall is finally in the air and the crisp, cool 85 degree weather is ushering in memories of warm and loving holidays with family. I found myself reminiscing about favorite holidays through the years with my neighbors at Starfish Café and it got me to thinking about all the wonderful meals I've shared with family and friends.
Inspired by the sentiment, I began to ponder the roots of all the culinary bliss that besieges our tables at this particular time and linked it to what I now believe is the very soul of cooking - our cookbooks.
In this day and age, recipes linger in the internet atmosphere, but I guarantee you won't find my mother’s sweet potato casserole through any search engine, for it resides within the smudged pages of the well-loved Lester Memorial United Methodist Church: Sharing Our Best cookbook. Cookbooks like this are a prize find.
Other local cookbooks to look out for are produced by Junior Leagues and Junior Auxiliaries. Those broads over at the Junior League would wear white after Labor Day before they submitted something off the side of a box. That’s what makes these particular cookbooks so trustworthy. These gastronomic assemblages of nonpareil regional cooking represent the palate of an entire community, and they WILL NOT disappoint. If you see one, don’t hesitate to grab it. You’ll be able to identify them easily, as they’re usually the ones with ragged covers and stains from the years of reference they endured.
Living close to the gastronomical capital of the U.S., there’s no shortage of fantastic publications out there authored by our favorite Chefs de Cuisines from New Orleans. I can’t help but get tickled every time I see Justin Wilson smiling from the cover of one of his Cajun cookbooks. I’ve referenced him twice already, if you haven’t noticed.
Paul Prudhomme will take you on a glorious exploration of Cajun Cuisine (and inspire a little melancholy since he recently passed away). Frank Davis lit up a conversation that I had with my husband just last night while Emeril was staring up at us from the coffee table.
Food is important in this house, with my husband being a chef. It’s really about all he talks about - there are food sermons every night in this house, and the cookbook is his Good Book. Even though he doesn’t ever follow directions (or ask for them), he uses the books as a guide for ingredients and inspiration and often quotes his Gospel of Gumbo this time of year.
Historic cookbooks like this provide a lot of insight on how and why we prepare things the way we do. A lot of gastronomes of great tend to reference their grandmother’s or mother’s cooking in regards to certain dishes. I find that I mostly cook out of nostalgia. Recreating happy memories through the food on my table is something I do every year.
I call my grandmother every year to get her grandmother’s blackberry cobbler recipe. Even though I’ve memorized it by now, I just like to call her to tell her I’m making it and that I love her. Food will make you do that.
One of my favorite cookbooks, Mandy’s, is an example of a character formed from the memories of an author’s favorite cooks growing up. These types of cookbooks not only bear the heart and soul of a chef and author, they reveal the most intimate and loving aspects of the meals.
Be on the lookout for these gastronomic gems this season, especially if you love regional fare. They are scarce and get snatched up fairly quickly at estate sales and by eager sister-in-laws.
I once had a customer who bragged to me of her mother’s estate, “My sister-in-law got the jewelry, but I got the cookbooks and recipes.”
They’re THAT important! If you really want to stumble on a gold-mine of great recipes, shop at your local bookstores and antique stores. After all - behind every great meal is an even greater cookbook.
History Haunts the Cemetery Tour
–story by Ana Balka, photos Ellis Anderson and courtesy Hancock County Historical Society archives
“It all began with someone vandalizing the cemetery with spray paint, and I decided to sit in the cemetery and stand guard,” says Charles Gray.
Charles is the Lifetime Executive Director of the Hancock County Historical Society (HCHS). He says that a few other HCHS members joined him as sentinels that first night, and they sat around playing cards. “It wound up ‘Well, we’re going to be there; let’s do something,’” Gray says. The next year, the tour was born.
“Someone suggested that we to pretend to be the ghosts of the people,” Gray says, “and it started out as a ghost thing. But of course when we actually got around to doing it, it’s not a Halloween ghoul thing; it’s a formal presentation of history and genealogy.”
The tour now functions primarily (according to literature provided by Eddie Coleman, society newsletter historian and editor) to preserve and pass on knowledge of the area, to provide an annual community function that promotes the society, and to accept donations for its upkeep.
HCHS needs volunteers, including 10–12 actors to play historical characters, 10–12 cemetery guides, and also volunteer hosts for the night’s gathering at society headquarters, the Kate Lobrano House at 108 Cue Street. Visitors may meet there for hotdogs, homemade snacks, and punch after they’ve completed the tour. Volunteers are also needed to set up candles and mark the path through the cemetery.
Volunteer actors are required to be HCHS members, but guides and hosts may be people who are interested but have not yet joined. “This is a way members can support the society through the year,” says Coleman. “We [also] accept donations of cookies and cupcakes and things like that to serve when people finish the tour.”
Kate Lobrano, 1871–1921, whose former home is the society’s headquarters, is the only historical figure who has a permanent place in the tour’s cast of characters. Jackie Allain, Second Vice President on HCHS’s Board of Directors, who along with Eddie Coleman organizes the tour, does annual research to determine each year’s characters.
“I think the most interesting one that I came up with was the Yellow Fever Victim,” she says. “We do know there was an epidemic in town and many people died, but we don’t know where they’re buried.” (The HCHS website shows that the first cases of yellow fever in Bay St. Louis were confirmed on October 17, 1897, and the fever claimed at least a half dozen lives in the area that fall.)
A broken-down rocking chair once sat undisturbed outside the Society’s front door in honor of past member Dorothea Martin, whose character in the first few years of the tour was the “Nearly Departed,” and who was positioned in that chair at the cemetery gates with the donations basket. Katrina destroyed Dorothea’s home and she went to live with relatives in California, but she remained a member and stayed interested in the Hancock County Historical Society until her death in 2007.
“It was just fun to stand up there and tell people about it. I enjoyed sharing what I learned about them.”
A relative, possibly a niece, Karen recalls, of Louise Crawford even approached and said she appreciated Karen’s portrayal.
Organizers Jackie and Eddie say that at least two more actors (male or female) are needed for this year’s character portrayals, as well as several cemetery guides and Lobrano House hosts. Those who portray historic figures will get plenty of information and a script to go on. Interested volunteers can call the Lobrano House at 228-467-4090 or stop by from 10–12 and 1–4 any weekday.
The HCHS has a good reputation nationwide for the scope of its records, for its broad membership, and for its ongoing digitization project, which seeks to make files available to all via its website. The cemetery tour plays a major role each year in keeping this and all HCHS resources available to the citizens of Hancock County.
Coleman anticipates a busy night this Halloween. “This is something that you can do on Halloween that’s not just trick-or-treating, and it’s not a scary thing — the kids can come and learn about the history of the area.”
BP Town Hall Meeting
Lt. Governor Tate Reeves will be in Diamondhead at 11 a.m. Thursday, October 20 for a Town Hall meeting at the Diamondhead City Hall, 5000 Diamondhead Circle. This meeting is intended to give Gulf Coast citizens an opportunity to give input on how $750 million of the Deepwater Horizon settlement fund should be spent.
Lt. Governor Reeves has gone on the record stating that he would like to see the majority of the funds spent in south Mississippi. Obviously, the rest of Mississippi would like to see the money spent in their communities.
What's Up, Waveland
I encourage everyone to attend this October 20th meeting. I know 11:00 a.m. is not the optimum time for a meeting, but if you are available that day, please attend. The show of numbers and voices will go a long way toward bringing the money to the coast. South Mississippi dealt (and still is dealing) with the lasting effects of the oil in our fisheries and issues from the dispersants used during the cleanup process. The idea that the BP settlement money doesn't need to be spent on the coast is preposterous, but is a reality if the coast doesn't stand to fight.
According to the report, the city has done a good job of budgeting. Waveland had $2,983,243 in the unrestricted general fund as of the end of the fiscal year 2015, which is over four months of expenditures.
The larger sources of the city's revenues were: state and federal aid, $6,112,879; sales tax $2,305,186; property taxes, $2,013,860; franchise fees, $259,820. Sales tax collected from fiscal year 2014 to 2015 increased by 4 percent. Spending your money locally at Waveland shops and restaurants is a great financial benefit to the financial position of Waveland.
The audit report did note a small number of flaws that Waveland needs to address. Mrs. Holland did indicate in her presentation at the meeting that she believes all of the flaws in the audit have already been addressed.
The taxpayers of Waveland certainly had their money well managed in 2015. This is a testament to the hard work that many do in all Waveland departments.
Halloween On Coleman
To make this an even better event, we invite residents and businesses to set up on Coleman Avenue and hand out candy. If you are interested in setting up a booth or being a part of the event, please contact Raquel LaFontaine at Raquellafontaine@gmail.com (cell 228-493-7246) or call Waveland City Hall at 228-467-4134.
Ballentine Beach House Revival
- story and photographs by Ellis Anderson
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