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You may also use the search bar below - it accesses archived articles.
The Bay St. Louis Shoofly is made possible by reader donations and our generous and visionary sponsors. Supporting them supports us!
Waveland Alderman Jeremy Burke reports on the new Waveland Lighthouse, the Hope Haven Christmas Toy Drive and the city elections.
It’s hard to believe that it is already time to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. What a great year we have had here in Waveland. This past year, our community has drawn together even closer and we have accomplished more than ever before.
As we celebrate this holiday season, let us use this time to reflect and count our blessings. The greatest gift we could exchange this season is to serve one another. May I ask you all to remember your neighbors at this time of year, especially the elderly and those who live alone.
On behalf of my family, as well as the Waveland Board of Aldermen and Mayor, and all of our dedicated Waveland employees, we wish your family all the love and blessings this holiday season can offer.
We look forward with anticipation to another great year in 2019.
- Alderman Jeremy Burke
The current administration has been able to partner with the Board of Supervisors to aggressively find the funding to make the project a reality. The lighthouse was built using Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act funds, Tideland Trust funds, and seawall tax funds. The contractor is expected to turn over the project to Waveland by Christmas.
The Waveland Lighthouse & Public Pavilion will further enhance the use of the one of the most beautiful beaches on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Several people have expressed interest to me in hosting recreation events and festivals because of the easily available lighting, parking, power and, most importantly, a restroom facility.
Hope Haven Christmas Toy Drive
Hope Haven Children's Advocacy Center 2018 Toy Drive provides an excellent opportunity for those who want to make a difference to bring a smile to the faces of underprivileged children during the holiday season.
Donate unwrapped toys to children less fortunate this Christmas. Sign up to have a Hope Haven CAC donation box placed in your business or organization. You can also drop off new unwrapped toys to the Hope Haven CAC office after a scheduled drop off time has been confirmed.
Contact Hope Haven at 228-466-6395 for more information. Hope Haven Children's Advocacy Center: Supporting Children, Strengthening Families, and Restoring Hope.
Veteran coast musician Pat Murphy introduces the three musicians who make up the hard-driving local band, the BSL Trio.
I had known drummer Jerry Lenfant since high school when he lived here. Though younger than me, Jerry was the younger brother of a close friend. Guitarist John Bezou and I go back to around 1980 when he began playing with me in The County Line Band. Jerry Lenfant also joined the band as drummer about 1983 when he moved back to the area.
The three of us along with my wife, Candy, played on and off through a succession of bands like The Juke Jumpers and the early Pat Murphy Band.
By the mid-1990s, John and Jerry had moved on and founded a band by the name of The Relative Unknowns. They both continued working together in that band for a number of years. In the later years of The Relative Unknowns, the band also included vocalist Phil Williams.
After disbanding The Relative Unknowns, Bezou and Lenfant would begin an association with bassist Ed Rafferty in 2012 and began playing occasionally at The Ugly Pirate shortly thereafter.
As I mentioned earlier, the trio started out billing itself locally as JJ & Mad Dog. One night fate intervened when, on a gig, a Bay St. Louis trash container was spotted with a BSL sticker on the side. The rest, ladies and gentlemen, is local music history. The name BSL stuck and the band has gone on to endear themselves with local and area classic rock music fans.
The BSL Trio specializes in cover versions of classic rock from Cream and Santana to The Doors as well as some of the blues rock of Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
All three of the members of The BSL Trio are also active in other musical projects as well. John Bezou and Jerry Lenfant are both long time members of The St. Rose Men's Gospel Ensemble.
Bezou also continues to play with local R&B band 'Sippiana Soul as well as being involved with The Gulf Coast Jazz Society. Bassist Ed Rafferty continues to pursue his jazz roots and Berkley schooling as a member of The Dave Knorr Trio playing jazz as well as being involved with The Gulf Coast Jazz Society.
The three musicians comprising The BSL Trio are all fiercely proud of their status as veterans of United States military service.
The BSL Trio can be found most any weekend playing locally at Buoy's or The Mockingbird Cafe as well as The Blind Tiger in Biloxi, The Government Street Grocery in Ocean Springs or The Blue Crab on the lakefront in New Orleans.
The band served in an opening act capacity for The Glory Rhodes (a popular 1960s New Orleans Beatle-era band) at New Orleans' popular Rock'n'Bowl. The BSL Trio will also be playing at The Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale on Saturday, December 29th.
RAW Oyster Bar on the Bay beachfront is all about the freshest of seafood and sushi - plus weekend and seasonal specials. This new venue is perfect for a quick bite and drink or a satisfying feast. Did we say fresh?
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Lisa Monti and Ellis Anderson
RAW and the equally cozy Harbor Bar next door, are both newly opened affiliates of The Blind Tiger, right across Beach Boulevard overlooking the city’s harbor.
Just inside RAW’s door at the head of the long bar is a bed of ice where plump oysters on the half shell, cooked crab legs and lobster tails rest while an oyster shucker nearby pries open bivalves and a sushi chef creates specialties to order. Customers can sit at the bar or at high top tables along the opposite brick wall. There’s also a bit of patio seating, which is in high demand when weather cooperates.
The RAW menu - listed by columns of food and drinks - is packed with a generous selection of oysters, boiled and chilled seafood and abundant sushi. Check the chalkboard for specials like Maine lobsters available on weekends.
General manager Drew Tomaszewski says RAW set out to become the best sushi place on the coast, and the key to making that happen was finding and hiring the top sushi chefs.
RAW’s chefs work for hours ahead of opening each day, cooking rice and prepping the fresh components for selections such the Ring of Salmon with blue crab and snow crab wrapped in fresh salmon and the Jalapeno Poppin' Spicy Tuna signature Roll with tuna, cream cheese, fresh jalapeno lightly tempura fried and topped with sriracha, eel sauce and wasabi mayo.
Our party of three cut a swath across the menu to get a good sampling of the offerings. We started with a shared plate of smoked swordfish dip and another with BBQ shrimp in rich sauce made for dipping with the accompanying French bread.
The photogenic Tuna Poke with chunks of tuna and avocado heaped into a martini glass topped with seaweed salad tasted as good as it looked. The house sushi rolls with spicy salmon were another hit.
We also went for the Beach Bum Roll, RAW’s most popular: the snow crab with “crunchies and cream cheese” topped with spicy mayo and eel sauce was a winner. Every dish we tried tasted fresh and was appealing to the eye, plus service was first rate.
RAW sells fresh local bivalves, of course, but also premium ones from such sources as Murder Point, Ala., to give diners a chance to try prized oysters from out-of-state waters.
The oysters at RAW are roasted (not charbroiled as is common). Drew says the roasting makes the oysters consistently good and the cooking time is quicker. Customers find that to their liking, he said.
The classically roasted oysters are prepared with roasted garlic and Parmesan butter, lemon and parsley. There’s also a spicy Diablo version, Southwestern Mexi-Cali oysters and Stella Bleu, again with roasted garlic and Parmesan butter plus bleu cheese and bacon.
Drew says RAW’s food menu remains true to popular items but also offers seasonal items to keep the selections interesting and fresh. It’s a practice that keeps customers returning for the oysters and sushi and weekend specials. “We’re not afraid to change the menu when we get an opportunity to put new things on it,” he says.
RAW’s drink menu ranges from Champagne and sparkling wines to whites, roses and reds to sake, beer and some creative cocktails.
RAW is that rare place you can stop in for a quick bite or an extended grazing session on seafood fresh from the source and sushi freshly prepared.
Pack your bags AND your books. Writer/bookstore owner Scott Naugle doesn’t leave home with them.
Writing in The Unpunished Vice: A Lifetime of Reading, Edmund White shares a similar sentiment, “If I watch television, at the end of two hours I feel cheated and undernourished (although I’m always being told of splendid new TV dramas I haven’t discovered yet); at the end of two hours of reading, my mind is racing and my spirit is renewed. If the book is good…”
Edmund White is a novelist, biographer and essayist. His fiction includes The Beautiful Room is Empty, The Farewell Symphony, and Fanny: A Fiction. He has penned biographies of Marcel Proust and Jean Genet. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1940 and resides in New York City.
Employing his remarkable and voluminous memory, White recounts his reading and the impact of the works on his life and world view as he matured from teenager to septuagenarian.
White recalls his first reading of William Faulkner, and credits him with “expand[ing] his concept of the novel” as an art form while also performing as social commentary. He checks Faulkner though on his “verbal, seemingly drunken absurdities” as demonstrated by this phrase, among others, from Absalom, Absalom, “That aptitude and eagerness of the Anglo-Saxon for complete mystical acceptance of immolated sticks and stones.”
I packed The Unpunished Vice for a recent flight to Washington, D.C., connecting through Atlanta. Traveling with books requires planning. I spend far more time fussing over what I want to take along to read than I do with tossing a few clean shirts and socks in a Samsonite. My luggage invariably holds two or three books, more if the trip is longer, and one or two in my backpack that I carry on the plane.
Non-fiction is a more convenient read while traveling, preferably a book of essays such as White’s. Literary fiction necessitates longer periods of uninterrupted thought. A fifteen or twenty page essay is ideal for the short hop from Gulfport to Atlanta.
Once, I made the error of packing five books, including two hardbacks, in my suitcase. I was pulled out of the airport security line by a TSA agent after “suspicious objects” were detected in my suitcase that I just placed on the conveyor belt to move through the scanning machine.
“I need you to remove all the books that are in your suitcase,” bellowed the brusque TSA agent. His sallow skin matched the worn brown of his stretched polyester pants as he attempted to impart an air of authority by a wider than natural stance while crossing his arms.
“Why?” I asked.
“You may have hollowed out the insides of the books and placed prohibited or dangerous substances in them. It’s not normal to have that many books in a bag.”
Advanced age teaches me to hold my tongue, but not my thoughts.
“Oh, ok," I said while thinking, Yes, the books do contain dangerous things. They are called ideas.
When no incendiary chemicals were found in the books, with a wary eye, the deflated TSA agent waved me through.
I don’t fare well either at times in the seat mate lottery. On a more recent flight, while reading The Unpunished Vice, ensconced in words and intriguing thoughts, Flem Carbuncle (I don’t know if that was his name, but it fits) sat beside me, overfilling the narrow seat.
“What's that there you're reading? A book?”
“Yes,” I said curtly.
“My grandmother was from up north there in Tennessee and she wrote a little book once before she died,” he blathered, oblivious to the fact I was not fully listening.
“Oh, that’s interesting.”
“The little book was about the pixies and faeries that she believed visited her at night in her sleep and gave her advice when she was upset or worried.”
Contrary to the title of White’s book. I felt I was being punished for my vice of reading.
Aloft, the clouds thousands of feet below, after the stewards and stewardesses have docked the beverage cart and my overhead reading light is the one beacon in an otherwise dark cabin on a red eye flight, I think of this passage from a letter written by Virginia Woolf to a friend, “Sometimes I think heaven must be one continuous unexhausted reading.”
With a historic building and a beloved choir that are known throughout the region, "St. Rose," is approaching its 100th birthday in the Bay!
- story by Denise Jacobs, photos by Ellis Anderson
Known as one of the church’s historians, Joan Thomas notes that it was “pretty amazing” during that era for someone with Labat’s cabinet-making background to rise to the status of architect. Thomas, is well-suited to her current position as director of religious education at St. Rose de Lima: the now-retired educator chaired the history department for the Bay-Waveland School District and was named Wal-mart Teacher of the Year in 1999. She also served as a member of the Bay-Waveland School Board.
Thomas remembers having the opportunity to look underneath the church years later during a restoration project and finding two names carved in foundation braces: Jellicoe and Lewis—no last names. Thomas assumes these were two of the construction workers from the 1920s.
The 40’ x 80’ foot church, built to accommodate 350 people, was completed in 1926. Shortly thereafter, St. Rose de Lima Parish was made independent of Our Lady of the Gulf Parish.
Ms. Thomas explains that the land for the church came from the St. Augustine Seminary, and it was the seminary, the Order of the Society of the Divine Word, that provided clergy to St. Rose de Lima Parish, beginning with Father Francis Baltes, SVD. The Divine Word continues to provide clergy to this day - 21 thus far. Thomas points out that each has worked at “enhancing the diversity of the parish.”
On Installation Day in 1926, Bishop Richard Oliver Gerow commented on the beauty of the altar cloths, which had been made by the parish women. In the building of the church, parish families “put up money, and the ladies cooked meals.”
Thomas describes the construction of the church as “a community effort for the black congregants to have something of their own,” explaining that an “astonishing number of black catholics” lived in the area.
“They needed a place of their own,” Thomas says, “a sense of full acceptance.”
Years later, after sixty years of faithful service, the original church building’s interior and exterior were in need of repair. This renovation began in the late 1980s and early 1990s under the direction of Father Kenneth Hamilton, SVD, pastor. The project included the creation of the nationally-recognized work of art that still stands behind the altar, the “Christ in the Oak” mural.
The altar, ambo, tabernacle, and table are all carved from local wood retrieved from the Bay. Master woodworker Ellsworth Collins, who passed away in 1996 after spending his life in Bay St. Louis, crafted the altar from an extraordinary rooted stump found near St. Stanislaus College. The wooden altar base appears to be reaching toward heaven.
“Christ in the Oaks,” was painted by Armenian artist Auseklis Ozols, founder of the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art. As recorded in Mississippi Back Roads:Notes on Literature and History(Elmo Howell), Ozols envisioned a mural that would represent both the Crucifixion and the Resurrection:
“The figure of Christ hangs in the air, behind him the tree, the Cross, the symbol of the earth mightily grasping the ground. But Christ has broken free! The tree is behind him, yet it is his burden also.”
Local artist Kat Fitzpatrick, at the time, a member of the St. Rose gospel choir - and one of Ozol’s students – originally introduced the artist to the priest and helped the mural process along.
Thomas explains that the mural’s black Christ is intended to reflect the Afro-centric nature of the church.
“It was Father Ken,” she recalls, “who moved us in the direction the church is in now. I guess he kind of took a page from Pope John Paul II, who said that ‘Faith that does not become culture is not wholly embraced, fully thought, or faithfully lived.’”
Father Kenneth introduced the St. Rose de Lima parish to the concept of re-rooting and re-routing in Christ.
“Since Vatican II,” Thomas notes, “we knew we all played a role in the church. We all have a job to do. We all had a function, but I think it’s when Father Ken came here, 20 years after Vatican II, that we found real ownership of our parish and our culture.
“Father Ken used to remind us that we had to remember ‘who we were and whose we were.’ People come to us for a reason and a season. And Father Ken re-rooted and re-routed us. Everybody wanted that.”
The pastor also led congregants into an ongoing practice of oral history. Ms. Thomas remembers one of the things she “most loved” about Father Ken:
“At each mass, Father Ken called upon people within the congregation to stand up and tell their family history, tell a bit about their family’s journey. We were also tasked with one more thing. Everybody had to go back to the family homestead and bring back to church a teaspoon or so of dirt—soil. It was placed in a wooden communal bowl with a lid on it. And at funerals, we used to stir the soil. Stir the soil. It was very meaningful. It was powerful. It was visual. It took us back to our Afro-centric roots.”
The next major work at 301 South Necaise Avenue took place in the aftermath of Katrina. Actually, the church fared relatively well, all things considered. According to church archives, the priest assigned to St. Rose at the time, Father Sebastian Myladiyal, SVD, prayed the sacrament, “To Avert the Storm,” as Hurricane Katrina approached.
Myladiyal then waited out the storm at a nearby building on the highest ground in Bay St. Louis. When he arrived at the church the next morning, some windows were blown in and there was roof damage but, amazingly, no water had damaged the half of the church containing the altar and mural.
In the aftermath of Katrina, St. Rose became a distribution center for provisions and supplies for people in need, including but extending well beyond the parish membership, most in need themselves—you might say, re-rooting and re-routing once again.
Today, St. Rose de Lima is a vibrant and diverse parish heavily influenced by the African-American culture. The church’s dynamic full gospel choir is known nationwide.
Visitors travel from around the country to tour the church, and many light candles for loved ones, admire the church’s craftsmanship, and enjoy the serenity of their surroundings.
According to Ms. Thomas, St. Rose counts 409 families as members, enough to warrant three weekly services. There’s a service at 4pm on Saturday and two on Sunday mornings at 7am and 9am, with Jim Collins, (the 2018 Hancock County Citizen of the Year) leading the singing at the earlier service.
Fiercely competitive and always fun, this annual drive to restock the Hancock County Food Pantry grows each year.
- story by Lisa Monti, photos courtesy Sound Insurance.
The couple shares an active interest in helping to provide for children, and they made their family-owned business the driving force behind the Food Fight. The drive extends to D’Iberville, Columbia, Hattiesburg and Laurel, where Sound Insurance has offices.
The Food Fight runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15. During that time, teams from local businesses, plus schools and youth organizations, collect canned food and food products, cooking oil, dry goods such as flour, pasta and grits, as well as dish and laundry soaps and personal hygiene products for the needy.
The Bay St. Louis drive benefits the Hancock County Food Pantry. Other Sound Insurance offices choose which nonprofit in their community will receive their donations.
Christy Bond of Sound Insurance in Bay St. Louis, who leads the annual event, says they’ve turned the fight against hunger into a friendly but fierce competition. The team that collects the most items receives the coveted but quirky Food Fight trophy adorned with canned goods.
Christy said Advantage Title of Bay St. Louis has captured the trophy the last two years, followed closely last year by Starfish Cafe. “They were in a very close race and Starfish almost had them,” she says.
To keep a competitive edge and pump up their collections, teams can track the competition online as the drive nears completion. “It’s always fun,” Christy says of the push by teams to take first place.
This year, 48 teams are participating, and it’s not too late to join in the drive. Teams can register online at Sound Insurance Solutions website, which has all the information needed to get started. You can also keep up to date with the Food Fight Event on Facebook.
During the Second Saturday Artwalk each month in Old Town Bay St. Louis, you'll find cool deals, fresh meals and lots of art and live music!
Annnnnd! Bay St. Louis is celebrating its bicentennial this weekend, although the plans have been a bit curtailed because of predicted weather. Click here for the story!
Sponsor Spotlight - December 2018
111 Court Street
Bay St. Louis
Bodega, the business enterprise, builds on an old word - a grocery store. A wine shop. A corner store. A lot of shops under one roof.
Bodega Adventure Rentals and Sales, the Parrot Head Bar and Grill, and Bodega Spirits & Liquor are all nestled under one roof in the heart of Old Town, Bay St. Louis, in a Key-West inspired pastel coral exterior.
Across the Bridge - Dec/Jan 2019
My home in the Pass is a what’s-wrong-with-this-picture Alpine chalet, with a steep roof capable of quickly shedding 20 feet of snow should South Mississippi ever get that much.
In a town of melon-colored beach cottages with palm trees and sun-loving perennials, my strange house doesn’t belong. Even the trees in its shady yard are all wrong, a plethora of hickories rare to the region.
Across the Bridge
At Home in the Bay - Nov/Dec 2018
Like many things in Kay Kell’s life, her dream home started with a list.
Long lists of things to do were part of Kay’s world for two decades as a professional city administrator. Starting in 1989, she managed (in turn) the cities of Bay St. Louis, Picayune and Pascagoula.
When she retired from Pascagoula in 2010, she was praised for “the uncanny ability to get the job done no matter what the obstacle,” while the mayor said she knew more about economic development than “anyone on the coast.”
At Home in the Bay
But the lists of things Kay personally wanted had always been pushed to the backburner. The 2010 article about her retirement referred to the bucket list she’d written down – one that Hurricane Katrina washed out to sea. Yet even after retirement, it took six more years before Kay got serious about her own dreams.
2016 found Kay living in a spacious condo on the Perdido Key beach. While the sunsets and scenery were stunning, she realized she was the only full-time resident in her building.
Sponsor Spotlight - November 2018
A dozen years ago, the Mockingbird Cafe started out as a bright, welcoming spot to meet for coffee and conversation in the midst of post-Katrina cleanup. Soon after opening in a historic building with a unique three-sided porch, the cafe became known as the community’s comfortable living room.
The coffeeshop maintains its homey feel but has become so much more. It’s known as a go-to dining spot for breakfast, brunch and lunch (and later for special events).
It’s also a favorite venue for live entertainment, revolving displays of art and a destination to enjoy wine and craft cocktails along with camaraderie.
Bay Reads - November 2018
Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions
By Alberto Manguel
Yale University Press
Packing my library last month reopened a lifetime of memories. Books, I discovered, are vessels not only of words and ideas, but also transport me to the place, physically and intellectually, where I was during the first reading of a work.
Mind, Body, Spirit - Nov/Dec 2018
As a person with an excess of ideas and what would appear to the outside observer as a wealth of time, I began to wonder if I might have an attention deficit disorder.
In spite of editing projects, Shoofly Magazine assignments, a movement-as-medicine regimen, and a personal history instructional book I keep meaning to finish, I often found myself snoozing on the sofa in the middle of the day, headed to Larroux Park with Biscuit, my Goldendoodle, streaming another season of The Wire, or sipping something on the porch of the Mockingbird.
Mind, Body, Spirit is sponsored by
To read archived Mind, Body, Spirit stories, click here and scroll down!
Saturday, November 10th
Over the past twenty-three 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 4pm – 8pm, when gallery openings and live music keep the streets humming with activity.
This Second Saturday Artwalk column
On the Shoofly - Nov/Dec 2018
Century Hall, built in 1909 as the Woodman of the World Hall, is a historic fixture in Old Town Bay St. Louis. After having a series of occupants and owners over the years, the renovated building has become well known for the collection of interesting and unique shops it houses. And more good things are happening at 112 South Second Street.
On the Shoofly
The deadline for voter registration is Monday, November 5, at 4:30 p.m. One may register to vote at the Hancock County Circuit Clerk's Office, Waveland City Hall or call me at 228-493-7399 and I will bring you a voter registration form.
What's Up, Waveland?
It's a power-packed day in Waveland on Saturday, November 17th. In addition to the Waveland Christmas Bazaar and the open house at the Waveland Ground Zero Museum (see details on both these events below!), you'll want to catch this very special opening reception for the show "Phosphorescence & Fluorescence."
Beautiful Things - Nov/Dec 2018:
Hey, everyone! I really appreciate you all stopping by to read Beautiful Things. We have a fun project that is easy to do and will give you a conversation piece for your home.
My most recent project was a “She-Shed” for Habitat for Humanity Bay Waveland. One thing I thought would make the She-Shed look super cute was to line the walls with shiplap.
You may have heard the word “shiplap” on various TV shows but may not be very familiar with what it is.
So, by definition, shiplap is a type of wooden board used commonly as exterior siding in the construction of residences, barns, sheds, and outbuildings.
Shelter Stars - Nov/Dec 2018
Irish and Dean Oden are a familiar sight as they walk through various Old Town Bay St. Louis neighborhoods with their Shitszu, Stella, and their handsome mutt, Ronan.
But when Stella was in the shelter and up for adoption, she could have used a remedial course in impression management. She almost didn’t make it to the Oden household, and Ronan was lucky he was wasn't returned to the shelter after adoption.
Talk of the Town - November 2018
The bicentennial celebration on December 8, 2018, won't be as elaborate as the 1958 centennial observance (click here to read an account of that one), but this one will be more historically accurate.
It turns out that centennial event was 40 years off the mark.
Recently, historic district resident Chris Roth did the math while reading a book about Cat Island, which stated that the city was incorporated in 1818.
Talk of the Town
Across The Bridge
At Home In The Bay
Beach To Bayou
Coast Lines Column
Friends Of The Animal Shelter
Growing Up Downtown
House And Garden
Mother Of Pearl
Murphy's Musical Notes
Old Town Merchants
On The Shoofly
Puppy Dog Tales
Rheta Grimsley Johnson
Station House BSL
Talk Of The Town
Tying The Knot
Wines And Dining