On the Shoofly - November 2021
– by Dena Temple
Taking a cruise conjures up a sensory palette of warm sun, the scent of the sea and the relaxing sound of splashing waves. What is it like today, in the world of masking, testing and distancing?
– by Dena Temple
Are you Cruisin’ the Coast this weekend? “Ragtop” rookie mistakes can ruin your good time. Follow these five simple tips for maximum top-down fun!
- by Dena Temple
September is officially National Suicide Prevention Month, but at the Veterans Administration, every month is Suicide Prevention month.
- by Wendy Sullivan
Pearl River Community College now offers students unique opportunities to train for rewarding high-tech hydrographic careers.
Above (l-r): Ryan Dodd, - Hydrographer, NVision Solutions, Inc. | Associate Professor, NOARC; Joel Lawhead – Vice President, Nvision Solutions, Inc. Associate Professor, NOARC; PRCC Students: Caleb Spence, Heather Dinger, Wesley Parker, Alex Moon, Billy Snowden; Raymunda Barnes- Assistant Vice President, PRCC
In an open letter to 2nd Ward voters and other Bay St. Louis citizens, Wendy McDonald points out that the ability to put aside differences and work together toward a common goal is our community’s strongest asset.
Hate those ugly storm water drainage pipes on our beach? They're called "outfalls." Now a more environmentally-friendly – and more attractive – option is slated to replace one in a pilot project.
Here are more details from Robbie Wilbur, Communications Director for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
When it’s right, they say, you know it. And Andy Parker knew that his path included a satisfying career shaping education on the Gulf Coast.
-- Story by Elizabeth Stranga
Carefully harvesting wine grapes from well-tended vines quite literally provides the fruits of a gardener’s labor – and a satisfying Zen experience.
- Story by John Dumoulin
A new state law puts some teeth in the penalties for animal abuse and might help prevent loss of life. Read the laws and find out what you can do to help.
- story by Dena Temple
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of the Hancock County Library System. But they were determined to continue serving the community.
- Story by Natalie Daspit, photos by Ellis Anderson
With small businesses gearing back up for business this week, the Hancock Chamber of Commerce is helping promote the area’s “Grand Reopening” in a big way.
– Story and photos by Anne Pitre
The author endeavors to model his home garden after the greatest home gardener of all time: Mother Nature.
- Story and photos by James Inabinet
Born from a hurtful incident, the “Love All” campaign aims to inform, and heal.
- Story and photos by Rachel Dangermond
Passenger rail service between New Orleans and Bay St. Louis is one step closer aftera vote by Mobile to support it! When it's restored, there's a great, big world out there to explore, and the author provides a fine example of the adventures possible.
- Story and photos by John M. Dumoulin
A behind-the-scenes look at Hancock County Chamber of Commerce's program to ensure continued business growth in the region.
-- Story and photos by Steve Barney
If you're already enrolled in Medicare, a window for making changes in your plan opens from October 15 - December 7. Find out your options and also: What you need to know if you're approaching age 65 and aren't enrolled yet.
- by Kristine Gurley, Gurley & Associates
Everyone over age 65 is eligible for Medicare. This includes all U.S. citizens and legal residents who have lived in the U.S. continuously for at least five years. Some people under 65 can get Medicare if they receive Social Security disability benefits.
Medicare is divided into four parts:
Parts C and D are where the private insurance comes in:
How to Sign up for A & B
Parts C and D are not automatic.
If you want Part C (a Medicare Advantage plan that takes care of both A & B through a private insurer), you'll have to contact an insurance company offering it and sign up for Part C through them. Remember, you can get a Medicare Advantage plan that covers prescription drugs (MAPD) or one without (MA).
Or, if you want to stay with Original Medicare and have a standalone Part D (prescription drug plan), you'll need to decide which insurance company's plan you want to go with, and you'll have to proactively enroll.
If you signed up for Parts A and B during your initial enrollment period, and if you think at some point in your life you’ll need prescription drug coverage, you should enroll in Part D at the same time. If you go more than 63 days without "creditable" prescription drug coverage, you will pay a late enrollment penalty when you finally do sign up for Part D.
So, it's better to just go ahead and get your drug coverage from the outset, even if you aren't currently taking any prescription drugs. As mentioned before, you have two options: you can enroll in a standalone prescription drug plan if you have Original Medicare, or you can get your drug coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan.
I hope this helps clarify some common misconceptions. Please feel free to contact our office with any questions.
For more than 40 years, GCCN has been helping victims of violence across South Mississippi. In 2016, they opened a Bay St. Louis office, making assistance even more accessible for Hancock County residents in need. Director Kelly Hawkins explains what services the center offers, and how it’s changing lives.
The Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence hopes to raise awareness in the Hancock County community about the victims they continue to serve and the programs available to meet the victims' needs, including:
While the Center offers all of these services to Hancock County residents, the agency’s Hancock County office allows for a Court Advocate to be readily available in Hancock County Justice Court, Waveland Municipal Court and Bay St. Louis Municipal Court.
The Court Advocate presents in these courts to advocate for victims of domestic violence by sitting with them in their emotional space, giving them support, and making sure they feel safe while facing their abusers.
Counseling and case management services are also offered through the Nonresidential Program at this Hancock County office. The Center has an Outreach Adult Counselor and an Outreach Children’s Counselor who meet clients right in Bay St. Louis, so that they do not have to travel to access services - which is essential in making sure these professionals are available to clients on their schedules.
Additionally, the Center’s Court Advocates and Counselors in Hancock County work directly with staff across the agency’s six-county service area providing referrals to emergency shelter, counseling, and legal services. This connection in Hancock County is crucial to educating community members, as well as victims of violence on what meaningful services are available to them during their time of need.
The Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-800-1396. The direct number for the Hancock County office (during business hours) is 228-252-1999.
Their services are confidential, and safety is their top priority. If you or someone you know may be in need of services following a violent relationship, a sexual assault, or you have lost someone to homicide, please know you are not alone. GCCN is there to help and to advocate for justice and your rights as a victim of crime.
You deserve to feel safe in your home. You deserve safety for your children. You deserve a violence-free life. They can help.
The Arts, Hancock County produces a visionary full moon art gathering in a natural setting on Bayou La Terre.
- Story by Steve Barney, photos courtesy of TAHC
Madden said, “The most important thing Milton conveyed to me was to not over-plan, and to let the artists have complete freedom to express in any way.”
For The Arts, Hancock County, producing an event like this was uncharted territory. None of the art would be for sale; it is a temporary experience of art in nature. How many artists would want to participate? Would anyone drive 30-plus minutes to the wilderness to experience it? It turns out that 27 artists and over 250 visitors wanted to take part.
Led by Ann Madden, Kristie Buddenbaum and Bernie Cullen, the planning committee’s first task was to find the right venue – one that would allow visitors to experience nature while simultaneously allowing for the logistics of handling a large event.
On their first visit to La Terre Bioregional Center and Art Studios last fall, the “dream team” knew immediately they had found the perfect place. Property owners James and Peggy Inabinet were excited about the opportunity to share where they live, work and provide a multitude of programs to the community.
This magical space was the perfect setting for this event. Located on Bayou La Terre about 15 miles north of the coast, La Terre is an amazing collection of handcrafted structures, walking paths, creek bluffs, permaculture gardens, art studios, ceremonial lodges and so much more.
James and Peggy are multi-talented artists, craftsmen, healers, farmers and educators. The Inabinets extend art to life’s journey itself – again, the invisible made visible. Emerson called this journey the “life of a poet.” Kandinsky called it a “life of art.”
Editor's note: James Inabinet also writes the "Nature Notes" column for the Shoofly Magazine. These "unexpected explorations" take readers to a place where philosophy meets nature. Click here for his current column and scroll down for archived columns.
James specializes in weaving and dyeing shawls, rugs, and belts of natural fibers. Some dyes are grown in the garden [indigo] while others are wild-crafted [walnut husks, Osage orange]. La Terre co-proprietor Peggy is also an amazing multimedia artist.
Peggy says, “I love the forest in which I live. The flowers and leaves are so stunning that I just have to watercolor them. The creatures I see tucked inside a flower or nibbling on a leaf intrigue me. But when I create in clay it's expressing my beliefs that seem to come forth from within. Hence, I create nativities, angels, Sacred Hearts, and petrogylph plaques using terra cotta clays.”
For James and Peggy, this life as art includes an inquiry into how it might be accomplished within a culture that makes it difficult [if not nigh impossible].
It also includes the bootstrapping of techniques that enable the art of becoming fully human, that enable the art of human flourishing within a flourishing ecosystem and enables the art of acting in the service of Gaia, in communion with the life-producing biosphere as an integral and functional component.
The Inabinets were enthusiastic to host a large event which incorporate the utopian principles of the Burningman global movement: Inclusion, Gifting, Immediacy, Leave No Trace, Self-Reliance, Self Expression, Civic Responsibility and Communal Effort.
On Saturday, May 18, on an amazing moonlit night, it all happened… and for the 250 people who participated, it was a magical evening beyond anyone’s expectations.
27 artists, all members of The Arts, Hancock County participated, coming from New Orleans and across the Gulf Coast. Local Jazzabilly favorites, Heather and The Monkey King, performed in the carport, which became a central gathering spot featuring tasty food by Savage Skillet.
Later in the evening visitors experienced the hypnotic performance of Hancock Arts regulars Pandorium Belly Dance Troupe and Priestess Sisters Fire Dance.
Participating artists included:
Ann Madden produced an installation using gel transfers of family photos as well as heirlooms and lights.
Cynthia Mahner and Karen West created Moonlight at the Oasis filled with sculpture, cushions, treats and magic elixers.
Danielle Inabinet fabricated a collection of delicate porcelain forms arranged within the sanctuary of the forest.
Deb Schwedhelm produced a video projection and printing of photographs onto a large piece of white fabrics delicately hung in the branches of trees.
Dharma Gilley displayed abstracted paintings and wrote poems for visitors on her typewriter.
Elisa Desilva made a collection of faeries under the garden arbor.
Gregory Matusoff created a surreal cityscape intertwined with nature.
Holly Garvin created an underwater fantasy of jellyfishes and Gyptaku fish rubbing.
Hunter Cole created a nature-themed installation of Petri dishes with bioluminescent bacteria.
Jaqueline Mongoose and Eve Eisenman created Enchanted Night: A Wish Upon a Cloud, filled with wish faeires, whimsical paintings and sculptures.
James Inabinet created Mother Earth, a partially buried torso birthing spring flower lights.
Jane Clair Tyner made mobile sculptural pieces made of found bones, prayer sticks and flags.
Joby Bass and Jessica Dark fabricated a driftwood tree with ceramic flowers.
Kerr Grabowski and Micky Arnold created enlarged creatures of the night!
Lisa Keel and Donna Martin made lighted shrine Art of dazzling glass, fabric and tree branches. Night blooming Flowers - fairies and Moons.
Lucinda D’enfant Live painting amidst display of masks.
Margaret Inabinet An installation of King Cake babies in the context of nature.
Mark James did a spontaneous groundhog impersonation in midst of an extraterrestrial research area.
Monica Kelly Studio displayed a series of paintings about the divine feminine and the healing properties of flowers. Additionally, Monica’s team bodypainted designs inspired by the Flower Moon.
Nathan Rodriguez built a collection of masks and sculptures and light boxes made from leather, glass, wood, and paper.
Samantha Shannon made a 12 inch high porcelain cast statue internally lit.
Steve Barney created a water sculpture made from broken pottery.
Look for more collaborative events between The Arts, Hancock County and LaTerre Bioregional Center and Art Studios in the future. For more info check out our websites: hancockarts.org and laterreintegralcenter.org.
Click here to join The Arts, Hancock County!
An author acknowledges how a small town, its people and a storm freed her to create her first novel.
- story by Elizabeth Bartasius
Before I landed in Mississippi, I felt like debris whipped around in the emotional hurricanes of anxiety, “shoulds,” and expectations. When I moved to the Bay in 2003, my first marriage disintegrated; life was in chaos. Then Katrina (the literal hurricane) hit.
All seemed lost, yet all around me I discovered a different way to approach life. People cared for each other, despite differences. They laughed over meals served by volunteers in tents. The Coast’s collective rallying cry — we will rebuild; and it will be bigger and better! — bolstered me.
I learned that if I wanted something done, I was the one to step up and do it. Close-knit Bay Saint Louis offered each person the space and opportunity to share their unique gifts, to be heard, and, then to rise. In the Bay, I found an underlying current of support and a celebration of my own voice.
I also stopped being in such a hurry. The beat of small-town life became my metronome. I paced myself accordingly with morning strolls to the ‘Bird for a take-out cup of tea, then to the long stretch of white beach. At the town’s shoofly deck, I took a moment under the oak to admire the dripping Spanish moss.
In the slowness I began to appreciate the moment, to listen, to look, to observe all that was around me, all the while discovering who I was inside. Away from the frenzy of urban life, Bay Saint Louis gave me pause to think and the energetic space to write.
And, there is much to write about! With drama, grit, beauty, character, and color around every corner; Bay Saint Louis offers so much sugar for a writer looking for ideas. Rumbles of a train. Sticky hands after crawfish. Long, lazy porches for impromptu hellos. Morning dew and sweat falling from trees like the drizzle of rain. Crab Fest, Pirate Fest, Bridge Fest, Second Saturday. Heat rising from an August midnight. The yellow light of the 100 Men Hall on a foggy night. Candied bacon from the Sycamore House.
And, of course the whirring of an espresso maker as Laura or Whitney, still ten years later, greet you from behind the counter of the Mockingbird. (While not one single scene in "The Elegant Out" was set at this iconic establishment, many first drafts were written here.)
All the bits and pieces I picked up around town began to inform the novel, from the blue house on Carroll Avenue to the carpool line at North Bay Elementary to Hairworks, where vines choked the outside A/C unit and sparked an idea for the protagonist in "The Elegant Out."
Want I wanted to achieve didn’t seem so impossible wrapped in the down comforter of Bay Saint Louis. Over the years, our life in the Bay became a beautiful rut. I had resisted that dependable structure for so long; thinking I was only interesting, or likeable if I was moving and shaking. In the end, the laid-back, daily rhythm of this charming coastal town became my salvation and my transformation. When I stopped to acknowledge how much that rut stabilized and sourced me, the words unraveled; I rushed home to write them.
Please join Elizabeth Bartasius for a book signing and reading on Wednesday, May 15 at 5:30 pm:
Smith and Lens Gallery
106 South 2nd Street
Bay St. Louis
One of the country's most engaging gardeners is also the best public speakers that writer Rheta Grimsley Johnson has ever heard. Here's her take on a personal hero.
- story by Rheta Grimsley Johnson, photos by Rheta Grimsley Johnson and courtesy Felder Rushing website.
Felder bills himself “The Gestalt Gardener” on public radio, and single-handedly takes the intimidation factor out of gardening. He merrily laughs at the manure spread by garden clubs, garden masters and extension services.
“Refreshing” doesn’t cover it.
I once was assigned by the Atlanta newspaper to write about a venerable women’s club in Danville, Va. After the meeting, two members invited me to join them at a country club dinner.
At some point the ladies noticed an acquaintance coming into the gilded dining room and immediately started whispering behind their hands to one another. They shared the dirt: She’s the kind of womanwho plants zinnias in the front yard!
Let’s just say that zinnias in the front yard would be fine with Felder.
He plants whatever he likes wherever he likes. He sometimes uses plastic buckets and old enamel dish pans for his containers. When someone asked him if he cared what his neighbors thought he said, “I do care, but it just doesn’t matter.”
He plants things that years of experience have taught him will do well in the South. No Oriental garden for Felder. No British country look – unless he’s at his second home in England.
And he plants things that “when I’m tired of looking at it, I’ll eat it.” Like the day lily bulbs he sautes.
He plants tomatos every year though he says he can’t grow them. “They give me hope.”
And he plants things that don’t need much weeding, “…because I’m old and when I bend down I see sparkly things.”
He loves bottle trees and has the concrete chicken his grandfather gave his grandmother as yard art rather than some fancy and expensive long-legged lawn bird.
In other words, Felder practices what he preaches. I’ve only seen his yard in the slides he shows at his talks, but I have it firmly planted in my imagination. It gives me license.
Years ago, when he moved into his suburban Jackson, Miss., home it was all St. Augustine grass, a steep slope and “a lawn mower on a rope.” You should see it now.
No contortionist pruning of shrubs for Felder, a look he describes as “gum drops and meatballs.” His approach is laid back and heavy on the whimsy.
When he’s asked about whether he puts weeds in his mulch pile, he answers in the affirmative. Why not, he reasons. After all, there are weeds in his beds.
“I put a dead raccoon in my mulch pile. I sifted out the bones and teeth.”
While describing the “proper” way to prune a rose, he knows the textbook answer but also adds “you can prune a rose with a cherry bomb.”
Because he spends the hottest months in England – conveniently bookmarked by his favorite London flower shows – Felder rents out his main house to medical students and lives in a shed in the yard. His kitchen is eight feet by eight feet.
“You can open the oven or open the drawer.”
And the last wonderful thing about Felder, the hero I haven’t quite worked up the courage to say hello to. He knows his lore from “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Azaleas, he says, are like the show’s “Fun Girls from Mount Pilot.” They blow into town and cause a stir, but just as quickly they are gone and things get back to normal.
That quip alone is reason enough to adore Felder from afar.