Waveland Alderman Jeremy Burke keeps us up to date with the results of the Waveland tax auctions, the Waveland Christmas Bazaar, a new Coleman Avenue tax abatement and efforts to spruce up the city.
Waveland Christmas Bazaar
The 3rd Annual Waveland Christmas Bazaar is Friday, November 18 and Saturday, November 19 at the Ground Zero Hurricane Museum on Coleman Avenue. This free outdoor and indoor event, features local arts, crafts, jewelry, candles and much more. Local restaurants will serve lunch and dinner.
The bazaar is a cash-and-carry-items only event and local businesses are encouraged to participate. This event is a great way to find that unique local gift to give to your family and friends this Christmas.
If you are interested in being a vendor, please email wavelandchristmasbazaar2015@gmail and request a vendor application. The bazaar is attempting not to have duplicated booths, so please list all items that you wish to sell on your application.
Coleman Avenue Tax Abatement
After several months of discussion and amending, Waveland has finally adopted a tax incentive ordinance for the Coleman Avenue District which goes from St. Joseph Street to Terrace Avenue, and from the railroad tracks down to the beach. The tax incentive is available to anyone within the Coleman Avenue District who builds a development valued over $350,000. They will be eligible for up to 100 percent tax abatement for 7 years on ad valorem taxes.
The Waveland Board of Alderman hopes this tax incentive will be the spark that can spur commercial and mixed-used development on Coleman Avenue. I believe the exemption of repealing ad valorem will get Waveland in the conversation for investors to build, which hasn’t been the case in the past. Waveland’s temporarily foregoing ad valorem collection to leverage a long-term gain will be better for all of Waveland. The Board of Alderman is being aggressive to get meaningful development to the once vibrant Coleman Avenue area.
Spruce Up Waveland
During the last week of October, Lowe’s sent out a team of volunteers into Waveland to lend a helping hand to the community. The volunteer group, called Lowe's Heroes, cleaned up gardens along Coleman Avenue, painted the rockers outside the Waveland Library, and repaired the ramp at the Ground Zero Museum, just to name of few of their projects. Lowe’s APOS is and always has been a wonderful steward of goodwill in Waveland.
"When Women Were Birds"
An environmentalist writes a moving - and best-selling memoir based on her life growing up in Utah. Shoofly book columnist Carole McKellar shares elements that have made this book a favorite in her library.
Williams’ mother was a private person who often said, “I don’t like people knowing my thoughts.” Throughout the book, Terry speculates on the mystery of the blank books:
“My Mother’s Journals are an act of defiance.
My Mother’s Journals are an act of aggression.
My Mother’s Journals are an act of modesty.
Terry began writing as a child, confirming from an early age that she “experienced each encounter of my life twice: once in the world, and once again on the page.” Unlike her mother, she states, “I cannot think without a pen in hand. If I don’t write it down, it doesn’t exist.”
In fifty-four short chapters, Terry explores of the experiences that shaped her life. She learned a love of nature from her parents and her paternal grandmother, who was an inveterate bird watcher. She gave Terry her first field guide to birds at the age of five. Williams writes, “It is the first book I remember taking to bed. Beneath my covers, I held a flashlight in one hand and the field guide in the other. I studied each painted bird carefully and took them into my dreams.”
While working at a bookstore in Salt Lake City, Williams met Brooke, to whom she has been married for more than forty years. She admired his book selections which included Peterson’s “Field Guide to Western Birds.” Of her marriage, Terry wrote, “We have never stopped loving all things wild and unruly, including each other.”
In one particularly amusing chapter, Williams described her first adult job as a biology teacher at the conservative Carden School in Salt Lake City. The headmistress insisted that Terry never use the word “biology” with her students because it “denotes sexual reproduction, and we will have none of that here.” When asked if she was an environmentalist, Terry replied that she indeed was. The headmaster leaned toward her and asked, “Did you know that the Devil is an environmentalist?”
In addition to championing conservation of public land, Williams is an advocate for women’s health issues. Nine members of the Tempest family have had breast cancer including her mother and grandmother. Williams believes that exposure to radiation from the Nevada Test Site between 1951 and 1962 is the reason so many members of her family have been affected by cancer.
In describing the power of poetry in her life, Terry credits a speech pathologist with helping her overcome a speech impediment. “I did not find my voice—my voice found me through the compassion of a teacher who understood how poetry transforms us through the elegance and lyricism of language.”
Wangari Maathai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was another mentor to Terry. The Green Belt Movement founded by Maathai empowered women in Kenya to plant forty-three million trees in response to the environmental crisis of deforestation. Working alongside Maathai and the women in Kenya inspired Williams to start a similar movement in Utah. After hearing of Maathai’s death, Terry sighted a ruby-throated hummingbird hovering nearby. “This was Wangari’s favorite bird, the one who put out a forest fire, one beak full of water at a time.” This story was told by Maathai to illustrate how small actions can change the world.
Terry Tempest Williams’ writing is both poetic and wise. She is a marvelous story teller. I’ve read this book twice in the past year and given it to friends. She has shown me that there are many ways to experience and react to the world, and the choice is ours.
“How shall I live? I want to feel both the beauty and the pain of the age we
are living in. I want to survive my life without becoming numb. I want to speak
and comprehend words of wounding without having these words become
the landscape where I dwell. I want to possess a light touch that can elevate
darkness to the realm of stars.”
Picador, AN and imprint of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, published this edition. The book itself is visually and tactually beautiful. I went to the Picador Press website, www.picador.com, to find out more about the books they publish. The site contains a book blog which recently featured “beautiful and unique book covers.” I recommend all book lovers explore their book selections and this book blog.
Like Cheers, But With Red Gravy
116 North Beach Blvd.
Bay St. Louis, MS
Now Open 7 Days a Week!
If it tastes like home cooking, maybe that's because it is - for some folks in Bay St. Louis anyway!
- story by Lisa Monti, photographs by Ellis Anderson
The recipes were perfected over decades and everything she turned out, from a pot of file gumbo and platter of stuffed crabs to divinity fudge and tart lemon merengue pies, was comforting and delicious, even to a picky kid’s palate.
Luckily, Emma’s gift for cooking lives on, at least in some of us.
So whenever I’m in the mood for some tried-and-true dishes, I make it over to Tony’s, as we relatives tend to call the restaurant.
Not surprising, with coastal decor and a bar named Blue Marlin, seafood plays a big role in Trapani’s kitchen. Starters include the popular crab cakes, rich gumbo and sesame ahi tuna. A longtime favorite is the fried green tomatoes topped with crabmeat and hollandaise.
Not to put too fine a point on the seafood connection here, but every Trapani’s entree salad comes with a seafood option, and the salad packed with crawfish will totally satisfy your craving for them.
Among the got-to-try entrees, Eggplant Delacroix is a stand out - eggplant slices breaded with Progresso crumbs, just like Emma used, and topped with sauteed Gulf shrimp, onions bell peppers and mushrooms then finished with hollandaise and parmesan. I know.
The kitchen also offers great steaks, fish, ample sandwiches and homemade desserts. If you try just one, get the divine Dinwiddie Delight. I believe it’s been on the menu since Day One, so if you’re a regular, its likely you’ve already gone over the calorie cliff already.
Sometimes only hot wings will do, and the ones at Trapani’s are addictive. The wings are naked, not battered, fried to glorious crunchiness and coated with a spicy sauce. Wings (with plenty of napkins) and a glass of Chardonnay have become my Second Saturday tradition.
Sitting on the Blue Marlin balcony, overlooking the harbor, is a most pleasant way to cap off the monthly art walk. And when there’s live music on the balcony, well, a good thing gets even better.
Trapani’s restaurant and Blue Marlin bar are must-try destinations for Coast tourists, and for locals, both upstairs and downstairs are great spots for socializing with friends, old and new.
If you live on the coast, not everybody at Trapani's will know your name, but chances are lots of folks will.
Antique Maison Ulman
Bay St. Louis is known as a town that embraces the unusual. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one Saturday afternoon in October, over two-dozen women dressed in Downton Abbey style – complete with fancy hats - filled the English Tea Room at Antique Maison Ulman.
Eating delectable sandwiches and sweets while sipping hot tea from antique china cups, these elegantly chapeau-ed ladies chatted and laughed during a special celebration of classic English author Jane Austen.
The Tearoom on Ulman Avenue has been open for two years and it’s already acquired a reputation as the go-to place for visitors to the Mississippi Coast who hail from the British Isles – as well as a popular place to host bridal and baby showers, family reunions, wedding anniversaries, birthday and graduation parties and even business meetings and fundraisers.
Proprietor Sylvia Young says it’s the only authentic English Tea Room in South Mississippi. From Tuesday through Saturday, from 10am – 3pm, anyone can take a shopper’s break in the tearoom and be served a pot of tea, pastry or scone.
While reservations are required (48 hours in advance) for the formal High Tea Windors with all the food and frills – Sylvia welcomes groups as small as three people (She recommends that party planners make reservations now for the holiday season).
There’s a private room that can seat up to twenty people (perfect for meetings), while the entire tearoom opened up can seat 55 people. There’s no charge for use of the venue when High Tea is served and made available for up to two hours.
“High Tea” British style is a full meal by American standards. It includes a bounty of goodies served up on a three-tier stand. Guests help themselves from the tiers.
The bottom tier is filled with a variety of small sandwiches, including roasted turkey, chicken salad and cucumber with basil pesto. On the middle tier are side items like potato salad, quiche and artichoke delight. On the top tier are desserts – everything from chocolate-covered strawberries and cherries to ambrosia, to fruit-filled scones served up with lemon curd and fresh clotted cream.
For children’s parties, there’s a special menu that appeals to younger palettes, including homemade cupcakes and finger sandwiches made with Nutella.
“We make everything fresh for all the teas,” says Sylvia. “Nothing’s packaged or processed, it’s all made from scratch. For instance, we roast our own turkey for the turkey sandwiches.” Then she laughs and says, “We do everything but run the turkey down!”
She says her guests from Great Britain are usually surprised to be served gumbo with tea, but after trying it are ready to take back the recipe to their own tearooms in England. But the culture swap goes both ways. They also give their favorite tearoom recipes to Sylvia and share “the secrets of the Queen’s tearoom” to make the experience in South Mississippi more fun.
Then there’s the tea itself. Sylvia currently stocks over 15 different types of tea. It’s all served up in charming antique teapots and cups. Larger private parties can also order a side cart of extra drinks, soft drinks, lemonade and coffee.
Don’t have a costume, but want to post a few photos of your tea event on social media? Sylvia has that covered too, with an array of both ladies and men’s formal hats.
This spring, Sylvia and her husband Ed are expanding the tearoom by creating a “tea garden”. They’re landscaping the courtyard area now, which will feature fountains, birdbaths and garden statues. Beneath the boughs of a large live oak tree, they’re building an arbor where couples can be married, with a seating area for the bridal party.
“We’ve built a great reputation through the years, based on asking reasonable prices for quality merchandise - all attractively displayed, ” says Sylvia. “In Antique Maison on Second Street, I’ve got forty dealers with a waiting list to get in. That’s why we opened the Ulman location and tearoom.”
Spring and fall, auctions take place at Antique Maison Ulman (to sign up for notification, email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org )
The Youngs take furniture on consignment as well at Ulman Avenue, as long as it’s solid wood and in good condition. They research to price fairly and accurately. Since Ed Young grew up in the family furniture business in New Orleans, he’s been a furniture dealer for 60 years plue. Sylvia’s been working in the antiques furniture business for a dozen years.
Pre-Katrina, at the N. Second Street location, the Youngs owned and operated one of the most popular bridal rental operations on the coast, Bon Temps Roulé. After the storm, they were left with a building, but not much else. They reinvented themselves by reopening as Antique Maison just a year after the storm, to provide spaces for local dealers and help residents have a place to shop to refurnish and redecorate their homes.
“We just don’t give up,” says Sylvia, smiling. “My secret is endurance, a progressive attitude to keep up with the market, and just plain old dedication and determination.”
She smiles. “I guess some of those overlap.”
Be A Tourist in Your Own Community, part V
- photography by Ellis Anderson
The Bay, as it’s called by locals, is known for its quaint style and hometown feel that many say brings the fictional town of Mayberry to mind. But Bay St. Louis has many other sides to its appeal. It has been voted in recent years among the top Coolest Small Towns and Charming Small Towns in the U.S. as well as the Best Small Art Community. Below, you'll find some of the reasons Bay St. Louis has earned those and other honors.
Bridge, Beach and Angels:
The bridge intersects the Bay St. Louis beachfront, which is split into two distinct sections. To the north, along Beach Boulevard, there are homes on one side and the seawall and piers on the other. The only building on the bay side is the Bay-Waveland Yacht Club, whose members host and have won many prestigious racing competitions.
Toward the south, where Beach Boulevard crosses Main Street, is the city's Historic District, (often called "Old Town") with its collection of shops, restaurants, art galleries and bars. In the last few years the city’s new multi=million dollar harbor has become an attraction in itself. A few blocks past Main Street are more beautiful beachfront homes and a concrete path that gives walkers and bike riders the ideal way to take in the scenery along with the sea breeze.
Anyone who drives, bikes or walks along the beach will see another unusual attraction, an Angel Tree located in front of Our Lady of the Gulf Church. After Hurricane Katrina, chainsaw artist Dayle Lewis designed and carved oak trees, casualties of the storm, into the shape of angels.
Lewis carved a total of four trees in Bay St. Louis: two on the beach and two in the historic Cedar Rest Cemetery. Cedar Rest is the location of a wonderful Halloween tradition presented by the Hancock County Historic Society in which residents present reenactments of some of the city’s interesting occupants who are buried there.
Boating, Shopping and Dining:
The harbor has become home to some popular events including the annual Pirate Day in the Bay and Joes & Pro’s Fish Tournament, which attracts hundreds of participants and spectators. The Jimmy Rutherford Fishing Pier located on the east side of the Harbor is also popular for fishing and taking in the scenery along the waterfront.
The Main Street commercial district of Old Town Bay St. Louis consists of shops, galleries, restaurants, some occupying historic buildings. Old Town is always a hub of activities, including special events and parades. On the Second Saturday of each month, the Old Town merchants present an artwalk with gallery openings, live music and shopping specials that bring out residents and tourists to enjoy the fun. Each month there is a new theme and music venues, and local business "Hot Spots."
Walking, Biking and Trains:
The centerpiece of the nearby Depot District is the Historic L & N Train Depot. According to the county’s Historic Society the original wooden depot was built in 1876. Fifty years after the structure was completed, it was destroyed by a catastrophic fire. The new depot built in the Spanish Mission style was completed in 1929. Its grounds are a park-like setting with a walking track, duck pond, picnic tables, a swing, small pavilion and large trees to provide shade.
The Depot houses the Hancock County Visitor Center and Tourism Bureau which provides information on events and attractions. Be sure to pick up the Historic Walking/ Biking Guide (or download/open the digital version on the Shoofly's Map page!)which contains the history of Tercentenary Park, the Hancock County Courthouse (built in 1911), Kate Labrano House (built in 1896), Old City Hall (built in 1905), and the Bay St. Louis Little Theatre (built in 1916).
Among the theatre's productions is the annual Stella Yelling Contest and Blues Event held in March as a tribute to Mississippi writer Tennessee Williams’ birthday.
Located on first floor of the Depot is the colorful Mardi Gras Museum dedicated to the Carnival celebration in Hancock County that dates back to 1896, when the first parade rolled in Bay St. Louis. The Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum is on the second floor of the Depot and honors the works of Moseley, a nationally known folk artist who lived Bay St. Louis. The museum contains a collection of her original paintings and is open six days a week. Admission is free.
The oak covered setting in the front of the Depot is the setting to several events throughout out the year. In the month of December the Depot grounds are lit up for the Snowflakes and Sugar Plums Festival, which kicks off with a Christmas Parade. The parade route borders the Old town area and ends at the depot with entertainment and activities for the kids.
In June, the depot grounds host one of the most unique events in the county, Midsummer Night’s Dream hosted by the Depot District Association. This is a free nighttime event with fairy contests, lights in trees and music. For more information about all these events, check with Hancock County Tourism.
Rounding out the Depot District is The 100 Men Hall, an historic blues music venue that has its own Blues Trail Marker from The Mississippi Blues Commission.
CARS, CARS, CARS and More Cars:
For all events go to http://www.mswestcoast.org/ or come to the Visitor Center at 1928 Depot Way, Bay St. Louis.
Turkey, Wine and Apples: The Holy Trinity of Fall
- by Anna Speer
It's November again! For us Mississippians, that means it is finally starting to feel like autumn. November is a month laden with food and drink traditions, I know we all have our favorites. This year, I'd like to introduce you to one of mine.
First, let's get the Thanksgiving wine cliches (ahem) I mean traditions out of the way.
Beaujolais Nouveau. The first harvest and earliest vintage of the past year's grapes. It's a reliably young wine, lacking body and depth, but vibrant and light with brightly acidic flavors that cut the richness of Turkey Day plates like (oh heck, what's one more cliche) a hot knife through butter.
Next: Pinot Noir. Foodies and oenophiles alike love to feature Pinot Noir during this time of year. It makes sense: moderate body, complex fruit notes and a depth provided by oak-barrel maturation. All these qualities make Pinot Noir an ideal match for Thanksgiving, particularly when the turkey is grilled. The smokey qualities of a good Pinot Noir can highlight depth of flavor when roasting or grilling your centerpiece poultry.
This varietal offers huge scope in quality: a cool-climate Pinot Noir from New Zealand is nothing like an oak-aged offering from Oregon. Stray but a little from the Meiomi status-quo and a world of nuance awaits you and your turkey.
By this time, your house will smell better than an expensive fall-themed candle and your guests will be dying to know what your secret is. Serve the cider in mugs and offer up a bottle of red wine to use as an add-in. Almost any dry red wine will do, but I prefer Red Zinfandel. Bold, fruit-forward, delicately spicy, moderate body and not overly expensive: this varietal is by far my favorite for this recipe.
This is a fantastic way to introduce red wine to your "I don't like red wine" friends. The cider is deliciously fragrant on its own and the wine brings a delightful depth to the drink. As they adjust to the flavors, they can progressively add more wine until they feel brave and comfortable enough to try a full glass.
Chardonnay, sadly, will not stand up to this adaptation. Keep your white wine selections cold and crisp, and serve your cider separately. If you have any leftover cider at the end of the night, refrigerate it in a pitcher. It should hold for a week or so, and pairs beautifully when served cold with a leftover turkey sandwich.
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. Hug your families extra from me.
Steals (around $10), Deals ($15 range) and Splurges($20 - $40 range) - all locally available in the Bay-Waveland area!
Steal: Louis Jadot Beaujolais Nouveau, current year's vintage. Serve slightly chilled.
Deal: Oyster Bay Pinot Noir, 2014. Medium-bodied, luscious. Serve slightly chilled.
Splurge: Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Chardonnay, 2014. Serve slightly chilled.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon
- story by Lisa Monti
The clever invitation to the inaugural Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon in December - Soak up the Run - is a hard one to turn down for runners looking for a venue with the promise of sun, sand and scenery.
With the 26-mile Pass Christian to Biloxi beachfront as its setting and a weekend full of fun activities, the marathon is having no trouble signing up participants.
“Registration is on the path to blowing away our goal of 3,000 participants,” said Danny Bourgeois, the marathon’s marketing director.
Such enthusiasm for the marathon and its Coastal Running Fest weekend shows that this is sure to become a standout annual event.
While the routes for the half and full marathon run from Pass Christian to Biloxi in Harrison County, two fun pre-events take place in Hancock County on Friday. The Poker Run in Bay St. Louis is an untimed event that starts and ends at 6:30pm on the corner of Beach and Main Street. The Beer Mile starts at 7:30pm at the same location.
All three races end at MGM Park in Biloxi where runners will be welcomed by cheering crowds to a celebration complete with great Gulf seafood, delicious barbecue, cold beer and live music.
The Coast’s shore-hugging route is in some exclusive company when it comes to the scenery, Bourgeois said. “There are lots of runs along the coast but only Big Sur, Calif., and ours have so many miles of beach views.”
The Baton Rouge marathon has raised more than $500,000 for nonprofits, and its economic impact on the area is impressive. The out-of-town participants have had a $17 million impact over the five years the race has been run, Bourgeois said. “That’s not counting the locals, just those who travel to the race. We’re hoping to go down that same path,” he said of the upcoming marathon.
And speaking of paths, Bourgeois sketched out what the runners will experience during the Gulf Coast Marathon: “The wind at their back, sun in their face, on the right are rolling waves and ahead are miles of flat, fast and festive running.”
For information about the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon, click here.
A Fashion Makeover With Your Own Wardrobe
- story and photos by Greg Matusoff
Digging through another's closet, seeing their home, poring over their books and how they live is a great way to get to know someone. This past month, I spent a day with Ellis Anderson and got to know her better through her belongings and surroundings.
Up until the other day, my limited exposure to Ellis didn't paint the entire picture of who she is. From a clothing standpoint, and in her own words, she dressed utilitarian. She didn't give her outfits much thought and would often grab whatever was in front of her.
We had talked a few times and Ellis was initially really excited about the idea of a clothing makeover using items she already owned. After reading last month's column, she coined the phrase, "Bohemian Business" as her personal style expression.
As our appointment grew near, I rescheduled once - and tried to again. Greg wouldn’t let me weasel out the second time. True, I was anxious he might compare my small-town, casual-based wardrobe against the closets of the rich and famous.
But more than that, it’s genuinely difficult for me to find time for non-necessities in my schedule now: I’m both working and going to school full-time. Every hour counts. To take the better part of a day off in the interest of fashion seemed frivolous.
Then I read Greg’s last column again. I realized his strategies might actually save me time in the long run. For instance, when I’m stressed and in a hurry, sometimes I’ll waste time trying on and then discarding different outfits. Greg’s idea of keeping a photographic record of favorite ensembles on my cell phone seemed like genius. Scroll and Go.
I was also intrigued with his concept of naming your personal style. American Classic, Coast Casual, or Big-City Business. Of course, everybody can have several styles in the can for different occasions. But I felt what I needed the most help with are outfits that I could wear as a businessperson, yet that reflected the fact that I work in creative fields. So I coined the term Business Boho.
In life we all have fears and everyone's are different. One of my favorite things is to help be a part of the process for someone overcoming their fears, no matter how big or how small. Often it's facing insecurities with self-expression of how someone dresses, or it can be jumping out of a plane or running into a burning building; I love to see the transformation.
Personal expression can be a tricky thing and branching out to try something new is a feat in its own right but Ellis was up for the challenge. When she opened her closet, I was amazed at how many unique pieces she owned that I've never seen her wear.
During my forty-year career working as a creative, I mostly hoped that people would pay more attention to my endeavors than to my outfits. That wasn’t always a successful strategy. I often overdressed or under-dressed for occasions and ended up feeling awkward. Although I have a closet full of very interesting pieces I’ve purchased through the years (with some of my favorites purchased from shops right here in Bay St. Louis - California Drawstrings (216 Main Street), bijoubel (126 Main Street), bellamar Boutique (new location, 998 Hwy 90) and Bay-tique (125 Main Street) - I rarely wear some items because I haven’t spent time thinking about how they might work together.
As she walked out with her first outfit, it was evident she was uncomfortable, to say the least. She was polite about it, but her expression told me what a mistake she thought this was. We added some jewelry, changed her shoes, and I thought she looked fantastic. The outfit complimented her in every way, but she was clearly out of sorts.
This continued through outfit two, three, four, and five. Each time she had her reservations and she was not shy about letting me know. We persevered and would photograph each completed look and it was in these moments that the magic really started to happen. Ellis actually started to have fun! She would pose for the picture with a genuine smile and her reservations started to slip away.
The time was flying by and we were both ready for a break.
A blue print dress and red shoes? Velvet with linen?!! Whoa! In some of the photos we took, I look as if I’m suffering.
While I don’t think the blue print dress and the red shoes combo will be trotted out (except perhaps on the Fourth of July), by the time Greg left, I was already seeing the sense of it all. When I have time now, I experiment now with new combinations. When I’m in a hurry, I have my photo album of outfits to fall back on. Choosing what to wear actually feels fun now, instead of challenging.
Greg’s parting suggestions:
- Instantly double my wardrobe options by purchasing several solid colored, simple tops. Done and doubled!
- A simple pair of low brown boots would give me many more outfit options. I found a pair I've been eyeing for a while on sale!
- Consider glasses as a fashion accessory: I recently discovered a place where one can buy frames with single vision lenses for around $50. I ordered a pair with black frames for the winter.
Thanks, Greg! The afternoon was a real game-changer.
And in the end, we should all feel good about our own personal expression and live an inspired life.
The Harvest Dinner
- story by Pat Saik
November Second Saturday - November 12th
- stories by Grace Birch, photographs by Ellis Anderson
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 November are Bay Town Inn (208 Beach Blvd.) and Manieri Real Estate (501 Main Street #3).
Second Saturday column
Bay Town Inn
208 N Beach Blvd
Bay St Louis,
Perhaps that’s what sets Bay St. Louis apart from most vacation-friendly spots along the Gulf Coast: vacationers feel like they’ve found a home away from home.
On North Beach Road, the Bay Town Inn is a favorite of many frequent visitors. The hospitality of Nikki Moon, owner and hostess extraordinaire, is a hallmark of what makes Bay St. Louis so unique.
Three years after re-opening the Bay Town Inn, Moon and her staff have turned hundreds of tourists into semi-locals and ambassadors of the Bay.
Amy Davis, a District Manager at Factory Connection, found out in 2015 that her company was opening a branch in Waveband, Miss. Davis travels a lot for work and is used to staying in chain hotels, but decided to take a chance and book and room at a more quaint bed & breakfast.
“I asked everyone that I came across, ‘Where would be the best place for me to stay?’ Everyone said, ‘Bay Town Inn,’” Davis explained. “I was a little skeptical at first, because I usually travel alone and big hotels offer safety and amenities, but as soon as I talked to Nikki on the phone I knew I made the right choice.”
Since her first visit just over a year ago, Davis has stayed over 10 times and is always excited when she stays in a new room. “The turtle-themed room, and the seahorse are two of my favorites," Davis said, “You can tell that time was spent decorating each room.”
Liz and Bill Chilton from Yukon, Oklahoma, echo those sentiments. The couple has been visiting the Bay since 1993 and have enjoyed the Inn since Ann Tidwell owned the Inn. When Moon purchased the original Bay Town Inn in 2004, she and the Chiltons formed a wonderful new friendship.
“Nikki’s charm and hospitality makes everyone feel like family,” Liz said. “Her attention to detail is exceptional in all the rooms, from the local art on the walls to the robes in the closets. These things - along with her wonderful ‘welcome’ cookies to her fabulous breakfast - make our stays perfect every time.”
The couple has traveled all along the Gulf Coast from Padre Island, Texas to Panama City, Florida, but say in addition to all the special events like Crab-fest, Souper Mud Fest and Cruisin’ on the Coast, the quaintness of Bay St. Louis and comforts of the Bay Town Inn keep them coming back.
Davis couldn’t agree more. “From the minute that I first arrived in Bay St. Louis, I have felt welcomed by everyone,” said Davis.
“Bay St. Louis to me, is a family all living in one community. People all take the time to stop and say hello. You never meet a stranger here.”
Manieri Real Estate
501 Main Street #3
Bay St. Louis
"Anyone who grew up in this area new and frequented Manieri’s Restaurant," said Leslie Pupura. "We all have fond memories of the “Aunts” Dutch & Vee with their crazy antics when serving the public - they were quite entertaining. It has been an honor to carry on a family tradition serving the public."
Fast forward 100 years and meet Joey, Sessie, Vicki, Leslie and Rosario; a personable team of professionals at Manieri Real Estate, LLC. Their team has been meeting Bay St. Louis residents' real estate needs for over 25 years.
As a native of this area, Joey Manieri truly enjoys meeting newcomers and sharing his love of this special place with them, which is why real estate is a perfect fit for the family.
"Our roots are in the restaurant business, but at our core, we are hospitality through and through," said Manieri.
From sales to vacation rentals and property management, Manieri Real Estate, LLC is a one-stop-shop for real estate needs in Bay St. Louis.
"Our Main Street location is like Open House every day," Manieri said. "We never know who’s going to pop in just to say hello. People enjoy the atmosphere we’ve created here as we strive to keep it light and easy."
Many vacationers end up calling Bay St. Louis home, and the Manieris say the real estate market, especially in Old Town, has been heating up in the past couple of years.
"In downtown Bay St. Louis, the real estate is so hot right now. We are seeing an uptick in the surrounding areas, but Old Town [the historic district] is an 'it' area," explained Manieri.
The surrounding areas, like Waveland, are also seeing an uptick in real estate prices. Leslie has fond memories of that area from 20 years ago.
"We moved here in 1996 from New Orleans and were down on the beach every day, like someone was going to steal the sand," Leslie said with a laugh.
"We lost everything in Katrina, but it was a no-brainer to come back," she said. "We have no regrets and feel fortunate to live in a place where every day is just another day in paradise."
Leslie compares managing over a dozen vacation rentals to owning a hotel with rooms spread across the Bay.
The Manieri family has such a passion for the Bay that it makes the job of selling real estate really easy.
"We want people to shop local, live local," said Manieri. "We have local directories in each rental - where to and how to do things - so people can really get a taste of Bay St. Louis"
Fais Do Do on Hancock Street
- story by Ellis Anderson, photography by Drew Tarter/IMOTO Real Estate Photography and Ellis Anderson
New Turkey Trot Tradition
- story by Ellis Anderson
Last year in Bay St. Louis, more than 500 people started Thanksgiving Day off with a new family tradition: running and walking through the historic district of Bay St. Louis.
This year, the 5th annual Fit First Turkey Trot 5k and Fun Run on Thanksgiving day 2016 is expected to draw even more participants.
“It’s something fun – and healthy – to do as a family, before you sit down to eat 5000 calories,” says Helene Loiacano Johnson, laughing. She’s the local fitness guru who began the event five years ago.
Helene says that several extended families participate every year. One Baton Rouge group that spends Thanksgiving in Bay St. Louis each year usually shows up with about 15 family members.
Beach to Bayou
The event starts and ends on the grounds of the historic Depot in Bay St. Louis (1928 Depot Way, Bay St. Louis) on Thankgiving morning, November 24th. The cost for the 5k is $30 (pre-registered) and $35 (race day register) and $10 for the Fun Run (pre-register for either online now).
Those who haven’t preregistered online can do so at least one hour before start time. The 5k race starts at 8am, and the Fun Run at 8:45.
Both the certified 5k course and the one-mile Fun Run routes thread through the scenic historic district and along the beachfront before circling back to the Depot.
Awards will go to the First Overall Male and Female, First Overall Masters Male and Female and to the top three finishers in the age groups. Everyone who crosses the finish line gets an event t-shirt.
Helene said that Friends of the Animal Shelter will have a booth set up at the depot and will be able to accept additional donations of pet food, treats and toys – as well as monetary donations.
Last year, the Turkey Trot raised $1500 for the non-profit, which helps with their programs like free or low-cost spay and neuter. In 2015, Friends spayed or neutered 782 dogs and cats at no cost to their owners.
“It benefits a good cause, it brings families together and it’s healthy,” says Helene. “It’s a feel-great way to start off the holiday season.”
Helene notes that volunteers are always needed and welcome – even for simple tasks like handing out waters and medals. To help, call Helene at 228-342-6038.
The Gail Keenan Art Center
- story by Ellis Anderson, photos by Ellis Anderson and courtesy GKAC
Anyone who knew Gail Keenan agrees: When she walked into a room, it suddenly seemed brighter. People automatically perked up in the presence of the spritely artist, laughing more and a little longer. Ideas would spring to mind and long-deferred dreams might be discussed. The life force that emanated from her sparked imaginations and fired up the desire in others to reach out, take a risk and give free rein to expressions of the heart.
Gail died in early 2005, but the effervescent muse that energized the artist seems to have settled into the building that’s named in her honor, the Gail Keenan Art Center (GKAC) at Coast Episcopal School in Pass Christian.
Meanwhile, the gallery has established itself as one of the premier venues for art in South Mississippi. Several shows a year are hosted there, as well as other special events – like the Invitational Art Market coming up on November 11th, when some of the coast’s finest artists and craftspeople will be selling their work from noon until 8pm (Editor’s note: From 5 – 8 p.m. on the 11th, shoppers can also enjoy wine and cheese while they’re picking out holiday gifts - $5 donation at door for the reception).
Receptions for shows of new work occur four or five times each year and always attract a full house of art lovers from across the coast. The artists aren’t charged commission (although if they have good sales they’re asked to donate a bit to help with expenses). Instead, exhibiting artists spend time teaching students.
“This interaction with the artists broadens the program for our students,” said Wynn Seemann, a school board member who worked with Barbara Dauterive as co-curator of the GKAC for the first three years.
Wynn believes Gail – who was a dear friend – would be “enormously pleased.” “I think she would find real satisfaction from the way the gallery is functioning in the community. I also think she’d be very humble about it.”
A few months later, the entire coast community was severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina. The dream for an arts center was mothballed while the school’s board, staff and parents focused on meeting the basic needs of the students. Years later, by the time plans for the arts center began moving forward, building costs had risen substantially. While Keenan’s original donation still made up the lion’s share of funding for the arts center, more than fifty other donors also contributed to fill the gap of final construction costs.
Reverend Liz Goodyear Jones took over as Head of School when the project was getting off the ground and said she had the “distinct pleasure” of helping bring the center to fruition in 2011.
“Gail's vision, upheld by the incomparable Wynn Seemann, taught me a whole new way of thinking about collaborative communities,” Jones says.
As an example, Jones refers to GKAC’s February 2016 show of work of the Selma March by civil rights photographer Matt Herron.
“I watched nearly 200 high schoolers from three different schools in Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian and Gulfport be spellbound in the presence of Matt and his historic photographs.”
“They’re terrific, helping with everything from set-up to food and flowers,” says Wynn. “They give and they give and they give. Some of them are Gail’s old friends.”
Of which Gail had many. The artist grew up in New Orleans, but spent much of her early adult life in California, pursuing artistic endeavors and raising two sons by her first marriage to filmmaker Les Blank.
After her sons left for college, she reconnected with a beau who’d courted her as a teenager. She and Burt Keenan married in 1988. After moving back to the Gulf South, Gail built a reputation as a respected artist in New Orleans - where she showed in galleries like the Academy of Fine Art - and on the Mississippi coast. A winner of many awards, she was twice been the recipient of the prestigious Peter Anderson Potter’s Award.
The artist is best known for her Raku pottery, which she painted with bold freehand designs, often depicting animal and human figures. In the latter part of her life, she took up print-making, which manifested the same unconstrained, playful style that made her work - whether on paper or on pottery - instantly recognizable and highly collected.
For those of you that didn't get to meet her, it was her unpretentious, humble, yet curious essence that made you feel comfortable when she was present with you, that you were paid attention to, and even cared for, and maybe loved. Because if there was any awkwardness in you, she would break it down, make fun of it by being silly and move on. If you were alone in the corner at a party feeling socially outcast, she would be the one that may come up to you and talk about the moon. She would make a person feel better by lifting them up, encouraging them, finding out about their life, but again mostly by being in the moment, present, and really caring. She was rarely out for her own agenda, and in fact, she was inept at social networking or promoting her art and career. She was simply real, unique, positive and fun to be around.
Wynn believes that Gail would have “absolutely loved the way the arts center has unfolded” and the way it embraces and brings together different communities from across the coast.
“She could be incredibly serious about her art, very attentive to detail,” says Wynn. “Yet she had this other side that was joyous, almost childlike. She could relate to anyone and everyone.”
“I miss her every day.”
Mississippi Heritage Trust
- by Rebecca Orfila, photos courtesy MHT and Ellis Anderson
The day after Hurricane Katrina struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a satellite image was taken of Mary Helen Schaeffer’s home on East Scenic Drive in Pass Christian.
The overhead shot showed the home still standing with only a scattering of oak limbs in the yard. Was it possible that the home survived the storm and surge? Not a chance. The home’s first floor was open to the backyard and the second story, roof, and foundation were heavily damaged.
Yet, determined to restore her beloved home, Schaeffer sought the advice of the Mississippi Heritage Trust (MHT), along with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. With counsel from both groups, a strategy for repairs was set.
The last thing needed were the materials for the skilled workers. Schaeffer contacted MHT and a group of volunteer architects arrived to prepare a materials list. When the contractors arrived in April 2006, materials were on site and repairs began. The house stands today as one more success story of the Mississippi Heritage Trust.
History and preservation are important to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Many of the Coast’s historical landmarks and structures have been pounded by hurricanes and gales, resulting in historical homes left twisted and pushed off their foundations. Some damaged structures were abandoned.
Lolly Barnes serves as Executive Director of MHT, which is supported by the MHT Board of Directors led by Doyce Deas of Tupelo. Along with Director of Programs Amber Lombardo and Special Projects Coordinator Erica Speed, Barnes is an active leader and contributor to the identification and preservation of historical properties and at-risk structures. Her team also develops educational materials and holds workshops throughout the state for preservationists, architectural historians, and historians.
In recognition of her work with the Mississippi Heritage Trust, Lolly was recently awarded the Presidential Citation from John Beard, President of the Mississippi Chapter of American Institute of Architects (AIA). The award is given at the discretion of the AIA-MS President for exceptional work performed on behalf of AIA-MS.
One of MHT’s biennial activities is the naming of the Top Ten Most Endangered Historic Sites in Mississippi. Barnes said, “The goal of the program is to raise awareness about the many threats facing our rich architectural heritage.”
The first site identified on the Save My Place Program was the Biloxi Lighthouse, which was damaged by Katrina’s storm surge and high winds. It took over a year and $400K $400,000 to restore the structural and electrical components, plus the lookout windows. The restoration of the tower was complete and ready for tours in March of 2010.
Other schools on the MHT list of recognition and preservation projects include the Randolph School in Pass Christian, West Pascagoula’s Colored School, 33rd Avenue School in Gulfport, and the old Pascagoula High School.
The Heritage Award of Excellence for Restoration/Rehabilitation has recognized the Hancock Bank Building (Pass Christian), 513 E. Scenic Drive (Pass Christian), Beauvoir (Biloxi), Bay St. Louis City Hall, Dantzler-Fabacher-Franke House (Gulfport), and 139 Seal Avenue (Biloxi), and 123 Seal Avenue (Pass Christian), to name a few.
On Saturday, November 19, MHT will present “Delta Drive-In” at the Burrus House in Benoit, Miss. The event celebrates the 60th anniversary of the filming of the cult classic “Baby Doll." There will be an open house to explore the exemplary restoration of the antebellum Burras House from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a screening of the film. Tickets are $75 a person, with proceeds benefiting the Burrus Foundation and the Mississippi Heritage Trust. See the Facebook event page for more details.
Are you interested in attending the Delta Drive-in event or becoming a member of the Mississippi Heritage Trust? Contact MHT by email at email@example.com or phone at (601) 354-0200.
Ready… Set… The Table
I'll never forget the Thanksgiving when my mom threw her hands up and screamed, “Jesus take the wheel!”
While she didn't necessarily throw her hands up and scream, her feelings of exhaustion and frustration were conveyed through a more startling medium in our home- the use of paper plates.
After years of designing elaborate table scapes, it was her way of showing that she felt unappreciated and probably a test to see if we were as authentically cretinous as we liked to pretend. It worked.
Those thin, droopy, soggy plates sent a cold shiver down the spines of those in the Butler household that day. At first, we examined them like Neanderthals would examine a modern tool. Then came the whispering, followed by the cries of her litter. Unforgiving remarks ensued through the buffet-style line until someone had the audacity to ask about her mental state. Probably not the best idea…
The time the table scape was absent and the silver sobbed while being hidden away in the drawer was just plain rotten. It proved to me the importance of the moment around the table shared with family and a colorful mixture of my brothers' flippant girlfriends. It was my mother’s time to shine, the home’s time to be full of life, and our time to be thankful.
Alternatively, there's nothing wrong with NOT doing this, but please do leave inspired by the décor when you leave the table of someone who has taken the time to do so. Better yet, help them wash the dishes afterwards since these are not items to simply cast into the jaws of a dishwasher.
Or better than that, help them dive into the trash to retrieve the sterling silver pieces that have gone unaccounted for post-meal. Here’s a tip: before you suspect your kleptomaniac aunt or the gum-chewing girlfriend of taking the sterling flatware, check to make sure it hasn’t fallen down the disposal or accidentally scraped into the bin.
If you haven't been endowed with heirloom china, you can always scout it out at your local antique shops. Even be on the lookout for it at your local thrift stores, as it often goes neglected.
Also, don't be afraid to mix and match. I often find myself flipping over my china to see what company produced it at the Sycamore House. Its a fun and delightful way to set a table, especially if you have the desire to learn about different patterns and origins.
Are you the newbie - taking on the service for the first time? No one expects you to offer a Downton Abbey-style dinner. If you need china, don’t be afraid to ask your family. I believe they would be absolutely flattered to be asked to teach you their ways. The veterans may very well be at a “paper plate” stage, but instead of just throwing your hands up, ask for help. There is bound to be an eager new daughter-in-law or impermanent girlfriend just waiting to showcase their “traditional” hot pink fluffy Pinterest-inspired dessert or multi-colored deviled eggs (guilty as charged on the latter.) Use it as a time to pass on your knowledge and ancient wisdom.
And for the persons who have simply run out of time this year, call in the professionals. This is a service offered locally by your very own Shoofly columnist, moi.
Go forth and be thankful this season. Show it in every way you can. Put out the china, silver, and crystal for your loved ones and deck the halls. I hate to be trite, but we really never know when our time will come and the last holidays we want to reflect upon are those littered with paper plates and plastic memories.
For professional table scape services or consultations, etiquette advice, home décor, floral centerpieces, silver polishing, linen pressing, and wine pairing, please call The French Potager 228.364.3091.
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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