Growing Up Downtown - September 2015
Stores & Theatres of the Bay
In this installment of Pat Murphy's book-in-progress about historic Bay St. Louis, you're invited to go shopping and then take in a movie!
Upcoming Events - September 2015
9/10 - Thursday
9/11 - Friday
To reserve seats or to donate a silent auction item, call Tom Carlton at 228-467-8790.
Moonlight in the Bay
9/12 - Saturday
Two businesses are highlighted each month. September’s featured Hot Spots are Bay Cottages (305 Main Street) and the Bay St. Louis Little Theater (398 Blaize Avenue).
Second Saturday Art Walk
9/19 Saturday–9/20 Sunday
This event provides funding for Diamondhead Continuing Education
31st Annual Diamondhead Arts and Crafts Show
9/23 Wednesday–9/26 Saturday
The Hancock County Fair returned in 2013 after a 13-year break, and it’s going strong again at the Hancock County fairgrounds in Kiln.
Hancock County Fair
9/25 Friday–9/27 Sunday
10/2 Friday–10/4 Sunday
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Mr. Atticus’s Night Market
9/27 - Sunday
4th Sunday at Four
15 Minutes - August 2015
Scroll down for dozens of pictures of July happenings! If you're featured in one of the pictures below, feel free to copy it onto your desktop and share. If you're posting it somewhere like Facebook, a nod to the Cleaver is much appreciated!
These images are low resolution for faster internet loading - which means they won't print to best advantage. Click on the link beneath each slideshow for options to purchase prints or high resolution files. All images © Ellis Anderson unless otherwise attributed.
Bay Harbor Fest -
Crab Fest - July 3rd - 5th
Good Neighbor - August 2015
- story by Pat Saik
Bay Reads - August 2015
- by Carole McKellar
This month brings the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which will surprise no one who lived through it. I started thinking about the storm and my experiences after reading Aftermath Lounge, by Margaret McMullan.
The setting of Aftermath Lounge is Pass Christian before and after the hurricane. The focal point of the book is a house on Scenic Drive, lovingly renovated by the homeowners, Paul and Mary Zimmer. After their home is badly damaged by the storm, the elderly couple move to Chicago to live with their daughter and grandson. Their handyman, Catch, stays in a FEMA trailer to protect what remains of the house and the property. The difficult decision of whether or not to rebuild is central to the book.
The stories in the book do not tell my Katrina experiences, but they evoke strong emotions and memories of struggle and survival. My reminiscence led me to consider other books written about what FEMA reports was the costliest hurricane in the history of the United States.
Most Katrina books were written about New Orleans, which received the most press coverage. I particularly enjoyed Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, the story of a Syrian-born painting contractor who rescued people in a canoe before being falsely arrested as a looter. Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink won numerous awards and was picked as one of the New York Times' ten best books of the year. It described the crises of patients, staff, and families who sheltered in New Orleans’ Memorial Hospital. Bestselling author Douglas Brinkley wrote The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and told the story of the heroes and villains of the catastrophe.
Under Surge, Under Siege: The Odyssey of Bay St. Louis and Katrina by our editor, Ellis Anderson, makes me glad to call the Bay home. The willingness of the residents to help each other bears witness to the bonding of a civil society. There are laughter and tears in the ordeals faced by the citizens of our community. These stories of generosity and resilience are a large part of the reason John and I moved to the Bay.
Rebecca Solnit, a writer from California, has written books on the environment, politics, and art. In 2009, she wrote A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster, which chronicles a series of disasters starting with the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and ending with Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
In between are chapters devoted to the devastating fire in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1917, the Mexico City earthquake of 1985, and New York City on 9/11/2001.
A Paradise Built in Hell provides evidence that human nature in disaster is resilient, resourceful, generous, empathic, and brave. Ms. Solnit posits that, following disaster, survivors feel a “sense of immersion in the moment and solidarity with others caused by the rupture in everyday life, an emotion graver than happiness but deeply positive. We don't even have a language for this emotion, in which the wonderful comes wrapped in the terrible, joy in sorrow, courage in fear. We cannot welcome disaster, but we can value the responses, both practical and psychological.”
The response of residents and volunteers on the Gulf Coast following Katrina proves the supposition that humans desire purpose and community. There is power and grace in the coming together of citizens for the common good.
Station House BSL - August 2015
Planning Ahead Pays Off
- by BSL Fire Chief Pam San Fillippo
It’s that time of year again, the peak of hurricane season, and I want to share with you some of the resources available to help you plan and prepare for a disaster.
Ten years ago many of us learned first-hand what a “disaster” really is - but it doesn’t have to be a storm like Katrina (or a hurricane at all for that matter) to make life uncomfortable, if not dangerous, for those who aren’t prepared to care for themselves for several days. As many of us saw after Katrina, help may be days away... literally. Don’t wait until the last minute - now is the time to plan!
If an evacuation is ordered, what will you do? Do you have extra money and a reliable vehicle available if you have to travel? If you must shelter in place, do you have enough supplies? Do you have elderly family members that depend on you, and have you made arrangements for their care?
Decide now what you will do with your pets - can you take them with you? If not, make arrangements now - don’t wait until an evacuation has been ordered to figure it out. Are you under a doctor’s care, do you have extra medication on hand? If you’re planning to have surgery or some other medical procedure performed will you be able to travel if needed? Lots of tough questions and the answers aren’t always easy, so act now.
The City of Bay St. Louis has a tremendous amount of information (or links to information) on planning and preparing your business, home, family and pets for emergencies and disasters on the city’s website (see our sidebar); and of course we do our best to keep the city and fire department Facebook pages updated with the latest news and information.
Station House BSL
(If you don’t live in Bay St. Louis, check with the emergency managers in your city, parish or county to see if they offer a similar emergency alerting system, many do.)
Plan and prepare when things are calm. Don’t delay. I hope the links we've provided will help. No matter where you live, if you need information or other assistance don’t hesitate to contact your local fire department, law enforcement or emergency management agency for help.
Vintage Vignette - August 2015
William Spratling: the Man and the Movement
-by Martha Whitney Butler
How one man from the Northeast breathed life into the Mexican silver movement will always be beyond me. It seems like he's accomplished the ultimate artistic dream: to start a movement that has continued to be recognized throughout the years.
What drives a person to leave their intended career path to explore their creative desires? It's a situation a lot of artists face. It guarantees nothing and there is no way to predict the outcome, yet we still take the leap, most of us believing that re-entry into the steady and predictable world we leave is an option.
Designer William Spratling’s interests evolved from his intended career as Associate Professor of Architecture at the Tulane School of Architecture, to writing upon the subject, and to joining literary circles of accomplished authors such as William Faulkner, with whom he wrote Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles in 1926.
Nudged by U.S. Ambassador Dwight Morrow, he visited the town of Taxco, which had been the site of silver mines for centuries, even though it was not particularly known for producing silver objects and jewelry. It was here he decided to set up his studio, Taller de las Delicias. Keep in mind that Spratling was not known for being a silversmith, but for being a designer. His business model was based on employing native silver- and goldsmiths to produce his designs which were primarily inspired by pre-Colombian motifs.
The production of these designs extended from tin and copper items to textiles and furniture as other craftsmen were employed. His growing enterprise surpassed his expectations and paved the way for many up and coming young silversmiths and artists. Taller de las Delicias gave these artisans an opportunity to develop their craft and led them to open their own shops with the support and encouragement of Spratling - thus spurring the movement we know today as the Taxco Movement.
Spratling's earliest silver jewelry designs were stamped with a hallmark that replicated the brand he used for his horses. Just a few years later, around 1933, Spratling developed the structure of a hallmarking format that he followed until his untimely death in an automobile accident in 1967. He spent over thirty years developing his craft and the craft of the Mexican silver movement and his designs fetch record prices in antique shops and auctions.
You may recall the Spratling earrings I mentioned in last month’s article. When I mentioned them to a fellow collector, I was promptly asked how much I wanted for them. Needless to say, I couldn't give them up. Sometimes a girl’s got to have nice things.
Coast Cuisine - August 2015
The Cypress Cafe - New Owners, Same Menu of Faves
-by Ana Balka
The Cypress Cafe, an Old Town favorite, is under new ownership. But diehard fans can rest easy, says new owner Sue Forstall, who bought the cafe with her husband Steve in early June: these new owners love the restaurant and its menu just the way it is.
Forstall and former cafe owner and founder Holly Lemoine-Raymond have been friends for over 20 years, and Forstall says that taking over the cafe feels like she and Steve “adopted Holly’s second child.”
“Holly and I were both hostesses at a casino when we met years ago. We’ve stayed best friends and have seen each other through so many of life’s phases. It’s great to keep the business she started going for all the fans of the restaurant.”
The Town Green - August 2015
- story and photos by Ellis Anderson
A Timely Tree Conference on the Coast
It’s especially fitting that the 28th Urban Forestry and Green Infrastructure Conference is taking place in Gulfport on August 20 – 21st, almost ten years to the week of Katrina.
In the aftermath of that unprecedented storm, planting trees seemed like an absurd priority. After all, the coastline of the Mississippi had been scrubbed bare. Head-high drifts of debris lined the roadways. Homeless residents scrambled to secure tents and FEMA trailers.
Katrina’s casualties also included tens of thousands of trees - ripped up, blown over and cut down in a cleanup frenzy. Restoration of the tree canopy was the last thing on the list of most overburdened officials, yet Donna Yowell, Executive Director of Mississippi Urban Forest Council (MUFC), joined with forestry partners across the state to begin replanting within months.
The Town Green
The Shoofly - August 2015
Citizens: Beware Boiled Brain Syndrome!
by Dr. Apollonios Balonios**
*Author’s Motto: “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.”
**Dr. Bolonius is a puedonymous personality of the prolific but obscure Irish-American writer, (I)an O’Nymous***who lives in Pass Christian and delights in conversations with his multiple personality disorder.
***Mr. O’Nymous states that the letter "I" in his first name should always parenthesized because it is silent.
Public health officials warn us that the July/August time period drastically heats up our chances of suffering heat prostration or heat stroke as we play or labour outdoors. But, until now, no one was aware of a hitherto undiagnosed malady now identified and defined by your writer in this very article for the very first time anywhere.
This calamity I have named Boiled Brain Syndrome. For your own safety you should understand the ramifications of this disease and immediately support my research for a cure.
Remember the once-popular bumper sticker: “It’s not the Heat - It’s the Stupidity”? The slogan was a comment on the mental machinations of politicians and bureaucrats in New Orleans and the MS Gulf Coast areas, where the highest humidity is trapped between the coastal wetlands and that long, wide ribbon of concrete known as I-10.
The slogan, of course, played on the popular saying, “Its not the heat. It’s the humidity” to explain the enervating meteorological effects on human life in our hostile natural environment. Recently I discovered that humidity really is a catalyst for the production of human stupidity. This may be symbolically presented in formulaic phrasing as follows:
Ht (Heat) + Hm (Humidity) = St (Stupidity).
What's Up, Waveland? - August 2015
- by Jeremy Burke
Upcoming Events - August 2015
Election Primaries, School Starts, Second Saturday, 100 Men Hall Concert, a Call for Waveland Firemen, a Waveland Park Built and Dedicated and a whole raft of events centered around the 10th Anniversary of Katrina!
Hancock County Katrina Events
OR click button to open a dedicated browser window (for optimum mobile viewing).
Beach To Bayou - August 2015
Guardians of the Terns
- story by Ellis Anderson, bird photography by Charles Hubbard
At first glance, the de Buys appear to be an average couple enjoying a holiday morning on the Pass Christian beach. But all along the coast, they and dozens like them, are volunteering for the Audubon Mississippi Coastal Bird Stewardship Program. They are protecting the nesting grounds of Least Terns.
Like Brook and Roseanna de Buys, most volunteers bring beach chairs and hats and a cooler full of iced water bottles. They lounge for the length of their shift in the little patch of shade their umbrella creates. Equipment includes binoculars and literature to hand out about the birds they’ve come to love.
“These terns are feisty little birds,” says Rosanna de Buys. “They have to be. They’re fearless when it comes to defending the nesting grounds. Last week, I watched a couple attack a blue heron.”
The adult terns are probably smaller than a blue heron’s foot.
Beach to Bayou
“Most people coming to this part of the beach don’t know that it’s a nesting ground,” Rosanna says. “There are roped off areas and signs posted, but they’re having fun and not paying attention. Lots of times they just walk right past the warnings.”
“That’s why volunteers are posted on either side of the nesting grounds. Once people understand, they don’t mind a little detour at all.”
Least Terns likely spend the winters in Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean, then return to the Mississippi Coast every April to breed. The birds gather in small colonies along the coastline. At first, couples court while gliding in the air. Then males bring the females tempting morsels of fresh fish to seal the relationship. Once the female’s been won over and they’ve mated, both birds share in parenting responsibilities.
Couples hollow out indentations in the beach sand and then announce that it’s home by laying one to three eggs. While herons and raccoons and storm tides are all commonplace factors that can wipe out the hatchlings in a heartbeat, the threat that now requires volunteer help is the growing human population of the Mississippi Coast.
Most damage from humans is inadvertent. Beach-goers walking along near the waterline may not notice the roped-off nesting grounds and pass the colony’s unmarked border. They may be oblivious to the alarm they’re causing as the little adults swoop and cry overhead. Unaware, they tromp through the nesting grounds, crushing nests and eggs and even featherless fledglings.
Sarah Pacyna, director of the Coastal Bird Stewardship Program, says that human disturbance can flush the adult terns, leaving the eggs and chicks vulnerable to high heat, sun and predators, which include other bird species.
Audubon’s Least Tern volunteers are trained to politely engage and educate people who are about to absently walk into a nesting area.
While the deBuys, who live between New Orleans and Bay St. Louis, are relatively new to the birding word, Waveland resident Barbara Bowen has been an avid birder for over twenty years. She’s a veteran Audubon volunteer.
Bowen says it’s a particularly satisfying job.
“We’re protecting those little hatchlings, that are so vulnerable now,” she says. “And we get to talk to groups of people and tell them about the terns. They become more aware of the terns, and start appreciating other birds more too.”
Roseanna says she and her husband enjoy watching the antics of the birds and sharing information about the birds with new people.
“The kids' eyes always light up when we show them the pictures of the chicks,” she says.
“Besides, it’s a great excuse to hang out on the beach. It’s peaceful, the scenery is gorgeous and we come away relaxed. It’s a tough volunteer job, but somebody’s got to do it,” she says, laughing.
The nesting cycle for the Least Terns comes to a close in August, however, the local Audubon’s Coastal Bird Stewardship Program offers year-round educational and volunteer opportunities. For more information, email Amanda Odom, Volunteer Manager
or call (228) 285-0449. Find out the many different ways volunteers can make a difference here!
Bay Bride - August 2015
Brittney Anderson + Logan Murray
- photos by Julie Holmes
Sponsor Spotlight - August 2015
110 South Second Street
Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
The Mockingbird Café
story and photos by Ellis Anderson (unless otherwise attributed)
The first time they meet the owner of the Mockingbird Café, most people hear her name as “Alison.” She makes it simple for them.
“It’s Alicein. Like Alice In Wonderland,” she says, smiling.
And her smile is so open and engaging, one almost expects the Mad Hatter to round the corner at any moment.
However, the effervescent personality and the fairy tale name belong to an extremely savvy businesswoman. Alicein Schwabacher oversees the Mockingbird Cafe with a holistic approach – one that makes her a pioneer in the state of Mississippi. She and her team believe that a business can be profitable and influence the overall quality of life in a community at the same time.
“We try to promote wellness on all fronts,” she says. “That includes serving fresh foods, hosting revolving art shows, providing a home for Tree House Yoga Studio, and staging live family-friendly music events. We have a free lending library and we’re home base for a weekly Fun Run. It’s all about interacting with your community on a lot of different levels.”
The Mockingbird first opened in 2006, when Bay St. Louis was still digging out from the debris fields left by Hurricane Katrina. To outsiders, it seemed an odd time to open a coffeehouse, but according to Alicein, "we saw a need for a communal gathering place that would offer love, hope, and a place for healing to begin." The historic building quickly became known as the town’s “living room,” where volunteers and survivors shared stories, laughter and tears.
Over the past nine years, the Mockingbird has been featured in national magazines like Southern Living (repeatedly), Coastal Living and Cottage Living magazines and on NPR's Weekend Edition. They’re known throughout the state in artistic and musical circles. Their food is of special note too. Recently, their burgers were named among the top ten in Mississippi. So if visitors to Bay St. Louis were given a “Must Do” list, “hangin’” at the Mockingbird would be near the top.
Visitors can always find interesting locals willing to converse in the lively café. On any given day, you’re likely to find college students who have stumbled on the Bay during their travels, scientists who work at Stennis Space Center, day-trippers from New Orleans and beyond, kids from the nearby schools and lots of artists and writers. The mix of people is as irresistible as the food and beverages served up by welcoming baristas.
About a year ago, the Mockingbird began offering breakfast on a daily basis (7am – 11am M – Sat., 8am – 1pm on Sunday) to resounding community applause. Their made-from-scratch biscuits have been called the best on the coast by more than one Southern food lover (this writer among them). Divine jams made in-house can be slathered on for the full flavor bomb effect (just DO IT!).
Other favorites include frittatas, apple-smoked bacon, and the ever-popular José Loves Me omelet (with black beans, cheddar, avocado and made-in-house pico de gallo). Fresh fruits, robust full-grain grits (not the anemic instant kind) and curry-seasoned home-fries round out a menu that will delight adventurous diners as well as traditional egg-and-bacon folks.
Smith & Lens Gallery, located right next door, schedules their monthly art opening during the same time frame, so that night, Second Street takes on a festival atmosphere. The Night Market concerts are similar to the other evening performances held throughout the month. Adults take chairs and listen or chat with friends, while dozens of children are hula hooping and scooting and dancing their way through the crowd. That’s exactly the energy the Mockingbird crew has been cultivating.
“When you have children, you don’t stop wanting to go have a burger and a beer and watch a band,” Alicein says. “We wanted to provide a place where that could happen. All our events are children-friendly. We have blocks and markers and hula-hoops and black boards to help keep kids entertained while the parents are enjoying conversation and music.”
“Besides, you want outings like that to be a family experience and to cultivate a love of art and music in your children. Then they’re going to grow up and want more of the same.”
“We’re all pieces of the big puzzle, working to make our town loved and successful,” says Alicein. “Our philosophy at the Mockingbird is that kindness is the most important thing.”
Talk of the Town - August 2015
Thanksgiving in August:
the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in Bay St. Louis
-by Ana Balka
Scroll down for full Schedule of Katrina-related events
“We’re back, we’re better, and we’re beautiful,” is the mantra according to local leaders as Hancock County prepares for the upcoming 10-year anniversary of Katrina’s landfall.
“We’ve recovered far beyond what we ever could have imagined back in 2005,” says Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame.
The mayor points out that the nation’s taxpayers and government generously funded the recovery, while thousands of individuals also gave of “their hearts and souls and money to come and help us rebuild.”
“We want to thank all of America.”
Talk of the Town
“It’s definitely going to be a celebration of the progress that Hancock County has made over the last decade,” she says.
A gathering is planned at the Waveland Civic Center at 5 p.m., August 29 to commemorate the lives of those lost to Katrina in Hancock County, and to re-open the Ground Zero Hurricane Museum. There will be music, food, and beverages into the evening.
“We want people to bring lawn chairs, picnics, coolers, and photos or memorabilia to share and spark memories and stories,” says Williams.
Katrina commemoration events will actually begin August 17, when volunteers will start building a playground in honor of Edgar and Carl Bane at Elwood Bourgeois Park in Waveland.
Events go through Sunday, August 30, when area churches will host faith-based events. On Friday, August 28th, "New Day in the Bay" will take place in Old Town. Shops will stay open late and there will be music in the streets (scroll down for full list of events on a downloadable PDF).
Nikki Moon, Hancock County Tourism Board President and owner of the Bay Town Inn, speaks of all Hancock County now has to offer guests. “As visitors return to the Bay, some for the first time in a decade, they will be charmed once again.”
Galleries, shops, and restaurants welcome travelers and locals alike, she says. “It's a different Bay. We have been through a lot these past ten years, but are better, stronger and very much a community—welcoming everyone to relax, and enjoy all we have.”
“It's hard to look back and remember that horrible day,” says Moon. Moon spent part of Katrina hanging onto a tree in hopes of survival.
“Today I realize how strong these great people of the Bay are. They just kept going, kept putting one foot in front of the other. I am so proud to be a part of this community. These people are tough, and if I had a choice, I wouldn't live anywhere else but among them.”
One gift that Williams feels Katrina left in its wake is a renewed commitment from residents for volunteerism - people stepping up and being a part of the community. “One person can make a difference,” she said. “When you find your passion, you can make a difference. We’re seeing that throughout Hancock County.”
“We’ve come so far, and we know we didn’t get here on our own,” said Williams.
Mayor Fillingame agrees that the anniversary is a time to take a step back and thank our fellow survivors and citizens from across the country “who held our hands and helped us get to a better place.”
“It’s very humbling to look at the millions of man hours and the millions of dollars that went into the attempt to make us better than whole. And it was all given with a spirit of love and generosity.”
“From the economic and re-population standpoints, we’re seeing growth way beyond our expectations. A vibrant sense of success is radiating out from our waterfront and Old Town. Our creative community is on fire. Our creative economy is forming the backbone of our resurgence. We’re very excited about the places we’re going.”
“But the tenth anniversary is a time to stop and celebrate who we truly are,” Fillingame continues. “We stand at this milestone reflecting on the recovery of the community as a whole - and appreciating all the individual stories built into that.”
OR click button to open a dedicated browser window (for optimum mobile viewing).
Full Schedule of Local Katrina-related Events
At Home in the Bay - August 2015
- story and photos by Ellis Anderson
242 St. Charles
Owners of historic houses all say the same thing while showing first-time guests through their home. “It’s a work in progress,” they’ll declare, shrugging their shoulders and smiling at slanting floors or cracked walls or doors that are stuck on their hinges.
It doesn’t matter if the home is a recent purchase and the owners are just beginning work, or if they’ve owned it for decades and the house has reached the Southern Living centerfold stage. It’s still the eternal equation: Historic House = Perpetual Projects.
A few time-tested key points help savvy historic homeowners derive maximum enjoyment from their Work In Progress along the way: set the priorities, tackle one thing at a time, laugh at the imperfections, and showcase the quirks.
Like the bowling balls in the yard.
At Home in the Bay
And there were, of course, more bowling balls.
The Dumoulins appreciate a good mystery. They also know a good conversation starter when they see one. The bowling balls are staying, at least for now. But the house on St. Charles is still in the early stages of Work In Progress.
It's a house built for entertaining and easy family living. The door to the main house opens to a wide center hall, with four rooms on either side. In the back part of the house, the kitchen, another bedroom and a glassed-in porch give plenty of spread-out space.
The décor of the house reflects John and Rosie’s love of antiques, treasured family memorabilia, and fun Americana collectibles. While the style of the house and the furnishings differ in both period and region, the Dumoulins have pulled the juxtaposition off with flair. Even their primitive antiques fit seamlessly in the elegant and airy rooms.
Of course, it helps that both Dumoulins have artistic inclinations and careers. John holds bachelor’s degrees in art and advertising. While working in public affairs for the Air Force, he obtained a masters degree in public relations and communications. He’s spent most of his working life in Air Force and NASA communications (including one stint working directly for the Secretary of the Air Force).
Over the past decade, John has specialized in producing educational museum exhibits and programs for NASA and for the past two years at INFINITY Science Center. He’s also the author of four books, including the Flatcreek Tales series.
Rosie holds degrees in art education and crafts design. Her thirty-year career as an art teacher has left her proficient at jewelry design, photography and pottery. She’s already showing work locally at Gallery 220 (220 Main Street in Old Town) and at Bay-Tique (125 Main Street). She’s commandeered a room in the house for her workshop and another glassed-in area beneath the guest cottage is slated to become a pottery studio.
So, the Dumoulins see their St. Charles house as another art project, albeit, a large one (the house is 2300 square feet, plus two out-buildings). And like most artists, they’ll take just as much pleasure in the planning and the doing of a project as they will in the ultimate outcome.
Of course, they’ve had plenty of practice. Their last home, a cabin outside of Huntsville, was built of 100-year-old logs. For twenty years, they tackled project after project, shaping the house with their vision and labor. They built studios, barns, decks, patios and gardens on the 12-acre farm. John established a small working vineyard and made wine as a hobby.
Their last major project at the cabin had been on the backburner for years – Rosie’s dream kitchen. But Rosie had only cooked a few meals in that new kitchen. INFINITY Science Center offered John the job of museum manager after he retired from NASA. He couldn’t resist. But the couple needed to move immediately.
“You need to come see this,” he said. “This feels right.”
Rosie joined John on the coast and the two drove around the town. They’d both grown up on Florida’s panhandle and the Bay still possessed the “Old Florida” charm that’s now extinct. They liked the fact that the core of town wasn’t made up of subdivisions. They loved the front porches, and the picket fences, and the people waving from their yards.
“I grew up in a small town, so for me, it was like coming home again,” says John. “I can bike everywhere. It’s like being ten years old again.”
They looked at several houses, but the one on St. Charles called their names. Loudly. Insistently. It was built in 1890 - or 1895 - since records disagree. According to the National Trust (and it’s one of only two individual houses in Bay St. Louis to be listed on the National Trust), it was the first Colonial Revival house built in Bay St. Louis – and perhaps in Mississippi.
Since it was built on high ground, flood insurance premiums wouldn’t be an issue, yet the Dumoulins could see the beach from the mailbox. High ceilings, transoms, floor to ceiling windows, and a big yard for gardening all beckoned. Their new next door neighbors told them that they would be buying the most photographed house in Bay St. Louis (in fact, it's featured in Ken Murphy's book, My South Coast Home).
Afterward, the Dumoulin’s tackled the heavy structural tasks first – replacing the broken “spine” of the house underneath and leveling. That was just the beginning.
“We painted the entire interior,” says Rosie, “and put wood floors in two bedrooms, floored the attic and added insulation. In the guest cottage, we added a bathroom and redid the floors and insulation. Coming up are re-dos of both main house bathrooms and the kitchen.”
Rosie, a master gardener, has approached the yard carefully over the past two years.
“I know Zone 7 plants, not Zone 9. I was afraid to pull things up at first. So we grew a lot of weeds that first year," she says, laughing.
John’s even experimenting with growing grapevines in the yard. He planted his first muscadine vine. It’ll take three years to see if it produces grapes. If it does well however, John is nurturing a retirement dream.
“What about vineyards and a winery here in Bay St. Louis?” he asks. “It could be great for locals and be a lovely visitor attraction too. Wouldn’t that be amazing?”
Most people would agree. Of course, it’d be another Work In Progress. But with visionaries like the Dumoulins, it’s likely to succeed.
Al Lawson - On Design
Living is an art form. Maybe more like a dance - or an opera. It depends on how you live it. Or how you look at it. I have always enjoyed entering homes and lives that seemed natural and comfortable because of their unique ethos - their unspoken belief for living.
The lifestyle designer India Hicks reminds me of how we can incorporate our family treasures along with the crusty jewels of the seaside landscape to express a casual, peaceful vernacular. Her way of living is convivial and alive, involving friends, family and business to all thrive on her island oasis. Her life communicates that it is OK to always be on a journey and not just focus on the destination. Just make sure to bring great food, great books, great friends and flowers along!
May we all grow where we are planted and incorporate beauty, peace and joy around us! Cheers to a beautiful life! La bella vita!
Arts Alive - August 2015
Thanks, Y'all Art Exhibit
- by Vicki Niolet
On Saturday, August 29, artists from around the country will take part in ceremonies commemorating Hurricane Katrina’s 10th anniversary, by exhibiting work at a very special invitational art show.
The reception for the show will be held from 5:30pm to 8:00pm on the 29th at the Ground Zero Museum, 335 Coleman Avenue in Waveland. The public is invited to come meet - and to thank - the people who helped coast artists rebuild their lives. Admission is free and the art will be for sale.
The show celebrates many bonds that began forming ten years ago. In 2005, Hancock County was among the most fertile and celebrated arts meccas in the southeast. The area was touted in national publications as an art colony, and Bay St. Louis was proclaimed as “One of the Top Ten Art Towns” in the US.
Across the Bridge - August 2015
A Box of Free Books at the South Pole
- by Rheta Grimsley Johnson
Mind, Body, Spirit - August 2015
The Best Medicine
- by Christina Richardson
Check in with yourself. How are you feeling right this moment? Are you stressed, tired, not feeling well, have a cold, or something else that keeps you from being yourself?
Think about this for a moment or two and then watch this video.
Mind, Body, Spirit
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