Complimentary

DECEMBER 2014, VOL. 12 ISSUE 10

Publisher / Editor
Mike Strong

Table of Contents

Sales Manager

KIDZ KOVE .............................. 4

Dottie Godberry

SWEET EYES W/ TANYA..........10

Staff Photographer
LAYNE’S JEWELRY...............................22

Jimmy Dunkley

FOR MORE INFORMATION

BILL DELAUNE........................26

225.622.3262
www.riverparishfoods.com

Contributing Writers
Bill Delaune

THOUGHTS FROM BULLY ....28
USELESS RANDOM FACTS .....29

Marilyn Bowman
Linda Melancon
Calvin Bessonett

Bully
Goosie Guice
Orhan McMillan
Kellie Seymour
Tanya Stilley
Roland Doucet
Jimmy Dunkley
Meredith Conger
Tracy McKee

For Advertising
Information Please call:
225-622-1324

E-Mail Comments
to Stronggraphics1@cox.net
www.ascensionmagazine.net

Note: Features in this
publication labeled
“advertorial”
are paid for editorials.
All Rights Reserved.
Opinions expressed are not
necessarily those of the
publisher, editor or staff of
Ascension Magazine

18386 Little Prairie Rd.
Prairieville, LA 70769

JAMMIN’ WITH GOOSIE.........30
TREE LIGHTING......................32

Kidz Kove Makes a
Grand Opening
Four years ago, in the spring of 2010, a
few residents from Ascension Parish
visited a "universally accessible"
playground in Mandeville called Kidz
Konnection. For some children in this
group, it was the first time they were able

to swing or play alongside their friends.
This sparked the inspiration for Kidz Kove
Discovery Park, a universally accessible
park right here in our back yard. What
was a dream then, after four years of

4

fundraising and collaborating
with the City of Gonzales, is
now a reality.
The board members of Project
Kidz Kove are to be
commended for their steadfast
commitment to raising funds
and awareness for this park.
They would like to thank the
community, sponsors, volunteers
and all of those who had a hand
in making this endeavor a

5

success. Special thanks to the
City of Gonzales, BASF, the
Bobby Giles Family and PCS
Nitrogen.
Please come out and enjoy this
park that is intended for
everyone, of any age or ability
level. It is located at 712 N.
Francois Ave., across from the
new Gonzales Police station.
Park hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Play is Universal!!!

I’m checking your titles once
and checking them twice

To All Our Friends, Family & Customers.
We Wish You a Very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

The Tags & Titles Crew

TAGS & TITLES, LLC 644-1512
Jamie Frederic–Braud PTA/Notary

11296 HWY. 431, ST. AMANT, LA 70774

WHAT EVER YOU NEED • WE CAN HELP
6

THE ART AT KIDZ KOVE

Many months ago when I first heard about the Kidz Kove
Discovery Park I offered to donate an art mural to help the
project. I had no idea the real importance of this project and
the profound affect it has had on my life. I also didn’t realize
the wall was 125 ft wide.
Wow, what a project. It was labor intensive and there
were times I thought this project was wearing me out. Then I
would think of my new friend Anna and the struggles she
and all the special kids that can now have a park where they
can play and be proud of. My pains and struggles would
immediatley subside.
I invite the community to visit and enjoy the park and see
the art. It has been an honor to support such a worthy
cause and I am proud of our community for its efforts to
achieve this magnificent landmark for humanity.
May God Bless these Kids. Sincerely Mike Strong

Gift Card Special

We Have Great
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7

This Year We Raised Over $28,000

8

By Jimmy Dunkley

are chemicals within the berries that negatively
affect the body. In the Phoradendron (American)
mistletoe plant, there is a toxin called phoratoxin.
If ingested, it can cause blurred vision, abdominal
pain, nausea, diarrhea, changes in blood pressure,
and even death.
Folklore: From the earliest time mistletoe was
considered a magical, mysterious, and sacred plant
of European folklore. It was thought to bestow life
and fertility, to protect against poison, and to be
an aphrodisiac.

Biology: Mistletoe is a partial parasite or
hemiparasite. As a parasitic plant, it grows on the
branches or trunk of a tree, sending out roots that
penetrate into the tree and take up nutrients.
However, mistletoe is also capable of growing on its
own. Like other plants it can produce its own food
by photosynthesis. Mistletoe, however, is more
commonly found growing as a parasitic plant.
There are two types of mistletoe. The mistletoe that
is commonly used as a Christmas decoration,
Phoradendron flavescens, is native to North
America. It grows as a parasite on trees in the west
and down the east from New Jersey to Florida. The
other type of mistletoe, Viscum album, is of
European origin. The European mistletoe is a green
shrub with small, yellow flowers and white, sticky

berries which are considered poisonous.
So, how does mistletoe spread from tree-to-tree?
Mistletoe berries are attractive to birds, which use
them as a food supply. The whitish berries are
covered by a sticky outer layer. After birds feed on
the berries and digest the pulp which covers the
berries, the living seeds which remain are excreted
and stick tightly to any branch onto which they are
deposited. After a short period, the mistletoe seeds
germinate, and the parasite grows through the bark
and into the tree's water-conducting tissues, where
root-like structures develop. These roots gradually
extend up and down within the branch as the
mistletoe grows.
Birds might be able to eat mistletoe berries without
getting sick, but people can’t do the same. There

9

The mistletoe of the sacred oak was especially
sacred to the ancient Celtic Druids. On the sixth
night of the moon, white-robed Druid priests would
cut the oak mistletoe with a golden sickle. Two
white bulls would be sacrificed amid prayers and
the recipients of the mistletoe would prosper. Later,
the ritual of cutting the mistletoe from the oak
came to symbolize the emasculation of the old
King by his successor.
Mistletoe was long regarded as both a sexual
symbol and the soul of the oak. It was gathered at
both mid-summer and winter solstices, and the
custom of using mistletoe to decorate houses at
Christmas has survived as Druid and other
pre-Christian traditions.
Greeks also thought that mistletoe had mystical
powers and down through the centuries it became
associated with many folklore customs. In the
Middle Ages and later, branches of mistletoe were
hung from ceilings to ward off evil spirits. In Europe
they were placed over house and stable doors to
prevent the entrance of witches. It was also
believed that the oak mistletoe could extinguish

fire. Traditions which began with European mistletoe
were transferred to the similar American plant with
immigration and settlement of the new world.
Kissing under the mistletoe is first found associated
with the Greek festival of Saturnalia and later with
primitive marriage rites. They probably originated
from two beliefs. One credits mistletoe with the
power to bestow fertility, while another with having
life-giving power.
In Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a plant of
peace, under which enemies could declare a truce.
Or warring spouses would kiss and make-up.
Victorian English credited mistletoe as having
magical appeal as a kissing ball. At Christmas time
a young lady standing under a ball of mistletoe,
brightly trimmed with evergreens, ribbons, and
ornaments, could not refuse to be kissed. Such a
kiss could mean deep romance or lasting friendship
and goodwill. However, if the girl refused the kiss
while standing under mistletoe, it was said that she
wouldn’t receive any marriage proposals during the
following year. Worse, it seems that many people
would avoid her since they believed she would
probably end up an old maid.
Today, kisses can be exchanged under the mistletoe
any time during the holiday season. However, some
believe if a couple that is in love exchange a kiss
under the mistletoe, it is a promise to marry, as
well as a prediction of happiness and long life.
Note: Information for this article were gleaned
from several sources on the internet, including,
theholidayspot.com, chem.answers.com/
tdefinitions/mistletoe-berries-a-poisonous-tradition,
msucares.com, and wikipedia

the Bible”. This devotional takes
you through the entire Bible in
one year and it includes wise
lessons each day by the wonderful
pastor Larry Stockstill. It’s great
book for anyone, but certainly for
someone that reads The Word
daily - great and meaningful
gift indeed.

Merry
Christmas
Ascension
In the past couple of years, I
always talk about Christmas. Of
course, my first article was all
about the reason of the Season,
Jesus. The second year I wrote
about how difficult this time of
year is for lots of people and how
to be sensitive to their needs.
This year as I was thinking about
the topic of Christmas, holiday
shopping came to mind. I
thought about gifts I’ve given and
received and the ones that mean
the most. I realized the best gifts
are not the most expensive gifts,
but they are the ones that are the
most thoughtful and creative.
Here are a few ideas of creative
gifts that I’ve both received
and given!
Framed picture collages of you
with family and friends! There is
nothing better, especially in this

digital age where most people just
store digital images on their smart
phones. When is the last time
you’ve actually had photos printed
off your phone? This is especially
fun, because it means you have to
go through old photos to pick the
best ones to share. Also, picking a
perfect frame to compliment the
pictures and your loved one is
always good.
Another idea is a framed letter or
note written by a loved one. After
my Paw Paw passed, my family
framed some
of his love
letters to my
Maw Maw and
framed them.
Those framed
letters are
jewels of
sweetness in
the family.
A one year
devotional.
My favorite is
by Larry
Stockstill,
“The One Year
Bible, Walking
Daily through

10

Form into small balls and place on
prepared cookie sheets. Chill until
very firm. Melt chocolate chips in
top pot of double boiler over
simmering water. Using a
toothpick, dip balls into melted
chocolate. Let cool on wax paper.
Quaker Oats Praline Snack Mix
8 cups Quaker Oatmeal Squares
Cereal (1 whole box) , 2 cups
pecans, coarsely chopped, 1/2 cup
brown sugar, firmly packed, 1/2
cup light corn syrup , 4 tablespoons butter (margarine ok) , 1
teaspoon vanilla , 1/2 teaspoon
baking soda , 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Heat oven to 250ºF. Spray
13 x 9-inch baking pan with
cooking spray. Combine cereal and
pecans in pan; mix well. In large
microwaveable bowl, combine
sugar, corn syrup and margarine.
Microwave on HIGH 1 minute 30
seconds; stir. Microwave an
additional 30 seconds to 1 minute
30 seconds or until boiling. Stir
vanilla and baking soda and
optional salt into sugar mixture.
Pour over cereal mixture; stir to
coat evenly. Bake 1 hour, stirring
every 15 minutes. Transfer to

Growing up, I made homemade
chocolates, breads and sweet treats
withAaunts and my Maw Maw.
We’d make things like Martha
Washingtons, (which similar to an
Almond Joy but in a small round
ball shape),
rum balls, and
even a homemade pecan
bread to put in
decorative
Christmas
boxes and give
them away for
gifts. Everyone
always looked
forward to
these boxes of
goodness.
These days,
I’ve added different recipes to my
Christmas sweets repertoire, and
here are a couple of my favorites!

baking sheet, spreading mixture in
even layer. Cool completely; break
into pieces. Store tightly covered
at room temperature.

Martha Washington Candy
1 cup margarine, 4 cups
confectioners sugar, 1 can
sweetened condensed milk, 2 cups
shredded coconut, 2 cups pecans
chopped, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 2
cups semi sweet chocolate chips.
Line 2 cookie sheets with wax
paper. Set aside. Mix margarine,
sugar and sweetened condensed
milk in large mixing bowl. Add
coconut, pecans, and vanilla; mix
well, using a sturdy large spoon.
Chill until firm enough to handle.

So, this year, remember first of all
the Christ was born to set the sinner free. Keep in mind that this
time of year can be quite difficult
for people going through any
separation or loss of a loved one,
so be sensitive to that. Finally if
you give a gift, make it a
thoughtful one. And hey, if all
else fails, bake a sweet treat.
Everyone loves that!

Would Like to Announce the
Opening of their Satellite Office in Gonzales
2306 S. Burnside, Suite B
Gonzales, LA 70737
(Previous Dr. Geoffrey Fraiche's Office)

11

Z Aesthetic Dermatology Prairieville Ribbon Cutting
Ann Zedlitz, MD, also known as
“Dr. Z”, is set to make Ascension
even more beautiful with a new
location of Z Aesthetic
Dermatology now open at 17497
Old Jefferson Highway,
Prairieville. “I’m so excited to
serve friends - old and new - right
here in Prairieville,” said Dr. Z.
“This was the right time to
expand my practice, and
Ascension is an excellent place

A ribbon-cutting was held on
November 20, 2014 from 4:00 to
6:00 p.m., attended by Dr. Z,
staff, guests, dignitaries, and
Ascension Chamber members
including Bridgette Hanna, Matt
Pryor, Donna Villar, Mert
Smiley, and Polly Whitfield
to name a few.

for Z Aesthetic
Dermatology to
help everyone look and
feel their best.”
Dr. Z offers an array of
services and cutting-edge
treatments designed to
preserve and enhance each
aspect of her patients’ own
attractiveness. Her new
approach – called “The Z
Lift” – begins
with a consultation to identify
the patient’s
aesthetic goals.
A custom
package featuring the
most advanced
procedures available for
wrinkle reduction, skin
tightening, ttoning and

lifting, and spot reduction.
Z Aesthetic Dermatology is a
state-of-the-art facility equipped
with the latest in advanced
technology and offers an array of
cosmetic and laser procedures
such as wrinkle reduction, skin
tightening, skin tone & texture,
makeup applications & lessons,
scar treatments, body sculpting,
and laser hair removal,
Dr. “Z” - Ann Zedlitz, M.D., a
board certified dermatologist, and
her “Z Team” are dedicated to
helping every woman and man
look and feel their very best.
Contact the Z Team today to see
how they can help you.
Confidence is Key. Trust the
Experts at Z! 225.778.7540

12

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Scarves

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13

44253 Hwy. 42 ( 1 m i l e f r o m P o r t V i n c e n t )

ANNOUNCING THE 2015 SEASON of SECRETS
DRAMA
Feb. 26 - March 1 • March 5 - March 8

A DOLL'S HOUSE

This turn-of-the-century classic, written by
Henrik Ibsen, centers around Nora, a
seemingly typical housewife who becomes
disillusioned and dissatisfied with her
condescending husband and their life together, Controversial for
examining social mores of its time, A Doll's House remains relevant
and thought- provoking.

MUSICAL

June 18 - June 21 • June 25- 28

Jekyl and Hyde

The epic struggle between good and
evil comes to life on stage in the
musical phenomenon, Jekyll & Hyde.
Based on the classic story by Robert
Louis Stevenson and featuring a thrilling score of pop rock hits
Frank Wildhorn & double Oscar and Grammy-winning Leslie Bricusse,
Jekyll & Hyde has mesmerized audiences the world over.

Dec 1, 2014- Feb 12, 2015
and then closed from
Dec 22, 2014-Jan 3, 2015

COMEDY

Oct 22 - Oct 25 • Oct 28 - 31

ADDAMS FAMILY:
THE MUSICAL

Those creepy kooks, the Addams
Family, are living in their spooky
mansion amid domestic turmoil. Daughter Wednesday,
now 18, finds herself falling in love—a sensation that is
unsettling for everyone! When her boyfriend arrives with
his “normal” family to meet the Addams, comic chaos
ensues! THE ADDAMS FAMILY features a book by
Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (Jersey Boys), and
music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Sure to please
the whole family!

FEBRUARY 1, 2015

14

That First
Guitar Feeling
By Brandt Bourque

If you ask any guitarist, from the
hobbyist to the most famous, they are
sure to be able to tell you the story of
their first guitar. Some may be stories
of horror and some may be stories of a
true blessing, but none-the-less they
are memories that will stay with the

player forever. Here is my insight and
my opinions on selecting the perfect
first instrument. Although this article
is directed more towards guitar, other
instrument purchases can follow a
similar form.
There are three main areas to look at
when selecting a new instrument:
sound, look, and feel. To the
advanced player, sound may be the
most important area. Their selection
can be driven by trying to fill a specific
need or situation, live or in the studio.
For the beginner, this should be one
of the last areas to weigh in on your
decision making. As you advance as a
player, you will learn what you like and

what you don’t like. Sound is a very
subjective medium, and not everyone
will agree on what a good sounding
guitar is. Some people like the sound
of a Fender, while others favor a
Taylor...like myself.
Looks is another area that is
completely driven by our personal
taste. While most people may think
this is one of the least important
aspects of guitar buying, I believe that

it's nearly the top of the list. The way
things look can fuel our attitude and
emotions. We make decisions based
on looks everyday. Think about your
last car purchase. (Was it made strictly
on functionality? or Did looks play a
larger role?) In the same way,
selecting a guitar that is ascetically
pleasing is very important. We tend
to want to interact more often with
things that stimulate us visually. I’d
bet that Steve Jobs would attribute a
large amount of Apple’s success to
their visually stunning and against the
grain
designs. A
guitar that is
attractive to
you will
make you
want to
practice and
play it more
often.
Most
beginners
that give up
early on
their dream
of playing an
instrument
do so
because of how hard it can be to
physically play as they are getting
started. But it doesn’t have to be that
way. Selecting the right instrument for
your hands is extremely important
because the shape
and size of each
guitar neck can
vary. Finding a
guitar the is comfortable to hold
will bring you
hours of fun and
enjoyment,
instead of it
feeling like work.
Look for a guitar
with low "action", the height that the
strings sit off of the fingerboard or
playing surface. High action will
result in a very uncomfortable playing
guitar and will hinder you or your
child's ability to learn. Playability is
something that cannot be accounted
for when making an online purchase.
Your local retailer should be able to
fit you to the perfect instrument. Go
in and see them, ask questions and
"pet the animals"! (Try out a few
instruments). Remember, the first
instrument is a big part of your
playing career. It will set you on the
path to success with plenty of fun and
enjoyment, or it could cause your
dream to fade really
quickly. As always, we
invite you to stop by
Music Inc and say hello!
We are coming to an end
to 2014, which means we
will be finishing up our
45th year of helping
customers find their
perfect first instrument!

15

• All tires from ATV to
Commercial Machinery
• All brands to fit autos, trucks and
18 wheelers, including tractor/
construction equipment tires

• Emergency road service
assistance-Commercial Only
• Locally owned and operated since 2004
• New used and retreads
• Great prices!

Breaking Ground to Better
Serve Ascension Parish

Davis

Locally Owned & Operated by Oscar,
Linda, Dean & Neal Mire
Call for Appointment • 225.445.3635

24 Hr. Emergency Roadside Service

Plumbing Repair LLC

37 Years Experience
For Quotes Call 225.259.0569 • 225.259.0461
or email daviss5450@yahoo.com LPM1610

Choosing
and Caring
for Your
Toothbrush
By Calvin Bessonet, DDS,FAGD
Ascension Premier Dental

Your toothbrush is the most
important item in your oral
health toolkit. But with such a
wide variety of toothbrushes
available, how do you choose
the brush that’s best for you?
And once you’ve made your
selection, how do you care for
and clean your toothbrush?
Learn how to improve your
oral health care habits by
properly selecting and caring
for your toothbrush.

What should I
look for when
choosing a
toothbrush?
The best toothbrushes have
a long, wide handle that
facilitates a firm grip. The
toothbrush head should be
small enough to reach all areas
of the mouth, with soft nylon

bristles that won’t hurt
the gums.

How often
should I change
my toothbrush?

Should I use
an electric
toothbrush?
Electric toothbrushes, which
use an oscillating or rotary
motion to clean the teeth, are
beneficial because they can
cover a larger area of the
mouth faster than a manual
toothbrush. They’re especially
well-suited for those with
braces, those who need extra
motivation to brush, and
those who have difficulty
operating a manual toothbrush
due to age, disability, or
other factors.
If you use an electric
toothbrush, avoid pressing
down too hard; instead, use
light force and slow movements, letting the brush do the
work for you. Those using an
electric toothbrush for the first
time may experience slight
bleeding from the gums, which
will subside over time. Children
age 10 and younger should
be supervised while using an
electrictoothbrush.

Old toothbrushes with worn
and frayed bristles will not
clean your teeth effectively, and
they also may harbor harmful
bacteria. You should change
your toothbrush—or brush
head, in the case of an electric
toothbrush—every three to
four months. However, if you
get sick with a cold or the flu,
you will need to change your
toothbrush as soon as the
illness begins and again once
the illness has subsided. This
will help to get rid of any
germs and bacteria on
your toothbrush.

to eliminate any lingering
bacteria. Remember: Never
share toothbrushes, as this
habit can lead to the transmission of colds and/or bacteria.

How should I
store my
toothbrush?

How can I keep
my toothbrush
clean?

Store your toothbrush upright
and let it air dry before using it
again. Microorganisms are
more likely to grow in a moist
environment, so don’t cover
your toothbrush or store it in a
closed container. Because
bacteria can travel easily from
brush to brush, don’t store
your toothbrush in the same
container as someone else’s.
Finally, keep your toothbrush as
far away from the toilet as
possible to avoid contamination
from the airborne bacteria
that are released with each
flush.

Wash your hands both before
and after brushing to avoid
transferring bacteria and food
particles to your toothbrush.
After brushing, rinse your
toothbrush thoroughly to
remove excess toothpaste
and other debris, and soak the
brush in antiseptic mouthrinse

Talk to your dentist if you have
questions about choosing or
caring for your toothbrush. No
matter which kind of
toothbrush you have, make
sure to brush your teeth for
two minutes twice a day and
visit the dentist regularly to
maintain good oral health.

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16

Ascension
PREMIER DENTAL
Calvin G. Bessonet, DDS, FAGD

225.673.6910 • www. AscensionDentist.com

YOUR ESTATE MATTERS
By Linda Melancon
assisted living facility. Health
insurance plans and Medicare do
not cover these costs. Rather,
families have to pay these costs
from their own income and savings unless they have a long-term
care insurance policy or qualify for
Medicaid.

The Benefits
of Louisiana’s
Long-Term Care
Partnership Program
Most people spend their entire
working lives saving for retirement but give little thought to
how the high costs of long-term
care can devastate their retirement
plan. Long-term care services may
include nursing homes, assisted
living facilities, adult day care or
in-home care, among many other
things. The potential costs of this
care in Louisiana can range from
hundreds of dollars a month for a
few hours of in-home care to
almost $10,000 per month for
care in a memory unit at an

To qualify for Medicaid, a single
person cannot have more than
$2,000 in countable assets and a
married couple cannot have more
$119,920 in countable assets.
Those in the middle class will
often have to deplete their assets
to reach these maximum amounts
before they qualify for Medicaid
to pay for nursing home costs.
Fortunately, the Louisiana LongTerm Care Partnership Program
offers Louisiana citizens a way to
qualify for Medicaid and protect
their assets.
According to the Louisiana
Department of Health and
Hospitals’ Office of Aging and
Adult Services, the mission of the
Partnership Program is to motivate individuals to plan for the
high costs of long-term care. The
Plan does this by establishing
rules for what constitutes a qualified long-term care policy under
the plan that can be purchased

from a private insurer. The
policies are only available from
licensed insurance professionals
and must meet the state and
federal Partnership requirements.
The names of companies that sell
the policies can be found by
contacting the Louisiana
Department of Insurance.
If you purchase a Partnership
qualified long-term care policy
and you exhaust your policy
benefits, you will be able to
qualify for Medicaid to pay for
nursing home costs without
having to deplete your resources
to the Medicaid maximums.
Instead, for every dollar the policy
paid out in benefits, you will be
allowed to keep a dollar of your
assets and still qualify for
Medicaid. In other words, these
assets will be disregarded when
you are evaluated for Medicaid
eligibility.
For example, consider Frank and
Louise, an elderly couple who
have worked hard all of their lives
and have $500,000 in retirement
savings. If Frank has a stroke and
needs nursing home care, they
will have to deplete over
$380,000 of their savings before
Frank will qualify for Medicaid.
However, if Frank purchased a
Partnership qualified plan that
paid $250,000 in benefits, the
first $250,000 of nursing home
costs would be paid for by the

insurance company. If Frank still
needed nursing home care after
those benefits were exhausted, he
and Louise could keep $119,920
(the amount Medicaid allows a
married couple to own and qualify
for long-term care payments) plus
$250,000 (the amount of the
long-term care benefits paid by
the private insurer) for a total of
$369,920. This means that Frank
and Louise would only need to
deplete a little over $130,000 of
their retirement savings instead of
$380,000. As you can see, this
can provide substantial savings to
them. These savings can be used
for Louise’s needs or left to their
children after they have both
passed away.
h
As you can see, the Louisiana
Long Term Partnership Program
provides an excellent way for
those in need of long-term care to
protect their assets and provide
for their or their family member’s
long-term care needs. To learn
more about the Louisiana
Partnership program, you can visit
www.ldi.state.la.us or contact a
professional who regularly assists
families in planning for their
long-term care needs.
Mrs. Melancon has engaged in the practice of
law in Louisiana for the past 17 years. The primary focus of her practice is estate planning, special needs planning, elder law and probate. She
is also accredited by the VA to give advice
regarding veterans’ benefits. For more information, please contact her at 222-744-0027 .You
may also visit her website at
www.LegacyCenterLa.com.

®

17

Top row, left to right: Mae Stevens, Shondra James, Carla Duplechin, Rebecca Muskat, and Rebecca Stewart.
Bottom row, left to right: Rae Broussard, Kadee Dupuis, Janis Ament, and Pam Gautreau. Not pictured: Alice Bourque.

EATEL Awards
Ascension
Teachers with
$5,000 in
“Reach a Kid,
Teach a Kid”
Grants
Ten Ascension Parish teachers have
received $500 each in grant
money from EATEL to support
innovative teaching methods that
are designed to engage students in
their classrooms. EATEL’s annual
“Reach a Kid, Teach a Kid” grants
were judged this year by a committee comprised of EATEL’s own
Beryl Smith and Lyman Abadie,
along with Angelle Deshautelles,
Executive Director for Ascension
Parish Libraries, and Sherry Denig,
Executive Director for Volunteer
Ascension.
For over 17 years, the EATEL
Reach a Kid, Teach a Kid grant
program has helped fund unique
projects in local schools, impacting
hundreds of primary, middle and
high school students every year.
To date, EATEL has awarded
more than $85,000 in teacher
grants.
“EATEL is proud to be able to

help one of the most valuable
resources in our community: our
teachers,” said Toby DuBois,
EATEL Chief Marketing Officer.
“We’re glad that our ‘Reach a Kid,
Teach a Kid’ grants are able to
fund creative thinking in local
classrooms which supports
Ascension Parish schools’ ability to
shine.”
EATEL hosted a ceremony on
Wednesday, October 22, 2014, in
their lobby to honor this year’s
grantees. Attending in support of
these winning teachers were their
school principals, friends and
family members as well as
Ascension Superintendent of
Schools Patrice Pujol, Assistant
Superintendent of Schools Steve
Westbrook, Director of Secondary
Schools David Alexander,
Supervisor of Secondary
Education Lisa Bacala, and
Supervisor of Career & Technical
Education Ronda Mathews.
“It’s just so exciting to have some
of our very best teachers, with
their creative ideas and passion for
our kids, show their willingness to
go that extra mile,” said Dr.
Patrice Pujol, Ed.D.,
Superintendent of Ascension
Parish Schools. “And we can’t
thank EATEL enough for their
commitment to continuing the
funding of these teacher grants
because our students are the ones
who profit.”

18

2014 EATEL grant
winners include
(in alphabetical order):
Janis Ament,
St. Theresa Middle School
Project: ““Service with a Smile
from the Heart”
St. John Primary first through
third graders will adopt nursing
and assisted living homes in
Gonzales to reach out and connect
with elderly members of our
community. Students will write
and mail letters once a month and
then, in a class field trip, will
present the seniors with charming
pieces of art and treat them to a
musical performance. Prior to the
field trip to area nursing and assisted living homes, students will discuss in class the importance of
community service and how they
can continue to help as they grow
older. Students will also be given a
list of questions so they can
interview the residents. This
grant will impact 240 students
and approximately 290 seniors.
Alice Bourque,
St. Amant High School
Project: “Real World Success”
Technology is an integral part of
our world and, as such, the ways
of teaching Real World computer
applications needs to engage
today's interactive, visual learners
appropriately. Ms. Bourque teaches
Introduction to Business

Computer Applications and
Business Computer Applications.
These classes encompass lessons in
formatting professional business
documents, e-mails, memos,
newsletters, spreadsheets, and
databases that students will use in
their post-secondary education
and/or careers. This grant will
poise these students for success by
allowing them to become "inhouse Microsoft Office specialists"
with 5 clients to service. The
format of the lessons simulates
real business world work-orders
and challenges students to use
critical thinking and decisionmaking skills while applying the
Microsoft Office skills they learn
in class.
Rae Broussard,
St. Amant High School
Project: “Behind the Scenes”
Through this grant, students in GC-E, Marketing, Entrepreneurship,
Pro-Start, & B-C-A will collaborate on one large project. Students
will create & host a “Dine in
Movie Night” at St. Amant High
School. Each class will focus on
specific tasks that enhance their
courses learning objectives.
Students will be excited to learn
the skills needed for a hands-on
business that they create. They will
have chances to make their own
decisions, be creative, learn from
their mistakes, and find their niche
whether it be server, chef, business
owner, manager, accountant,

graphic designer, kitchen manager,
entrepreneur, decorator, or
coordinator. Students will learn
how much hard work goes on
"behind the scenes" to effectively
run a business and put on a successful event. If successful, students will continue to host this
event in the future as a learning
experience and fundraiser for
Gator Mania, the school-based
enterprise.
Carla Duplechin,
Gonzales Middle School,
6th grade
Project: “Crossing Borders While
Touching Hearts”
This grant will involve ten special
education students. Some of these
students are unable to write and
listen at the same time, some have
difficulty remaining focused on
instruction, and some have
difficulty understanding material
when it is presented within the
four walls of a classroom. They all
learn best when they are able to
see, hear, touch and become an
active part of what is being taught.
This grant will provide opportunities for engaging ALL learners.
Students will choose various
landscape border bricks, select
patterns or create their own
patterns and decorate their pieces.
The students will acquire functional reading and mathematics skills
through the use of developmental
hands-on activities, and will be
able to re-tell and sequence the
events that occurred along the
process. They will enjoy a sense of
pride and accomplishment upon
seeing their finished products and
gifting them to their families.
Kadee Dupuis,
St. Amant High School
Project:
“Big Fun with Big Books”
This grant is geared towards high
school seniors who will to pursue a
profession in the field of education. One of the major requirements for course completion is an
extended field experience where
students intern in a classroom at
one of our feeder schools. During
their internships, they must teach a
lesson, help students one-on-one,
and learn classroom skills. One of
the units in the STAR curriculum
provides students with the opportunity to read a classic children's
book to a classroom of children
after practicing first with their
peers and STAR class. Reading
aloud is an essential skill for any
classroom teacher, and this activity
needs to be as fun and interactive
as possible. This grant will make it
possible to purchase several "big
books" of classic children's stories
to use for this unit. These books
will benefit the students by
enhancing the experience of reading in front of their peers as they

get to know each other in class,
and then again as an introductory
activity in their field experience
classrooms.
Pam Gautreau,
The Church Academy
Project:
“Just What the Doctors Ordered”
This grant recognizes that writing
is an essential life skill. Students
will learn about empathy through
various genres of books: poems,
fiction, nonfiction, riddles/jokes,
and fables. Students will then
build on prior knowledge of
writing skills taught last year.
Students will then be instructed to
write their own stories with a focus
on making a difference in the life
of another through compassion.
They will review all components of
the writing stages: brainstorming,
rough copy, editing, final copy,
and publishing. Once students
begin to write, children will work
in groups to encourage peer revision and cooperation. The writing
project will be published as a
collaborative piece of the entire
class. Once the books are
published, each student will take
home a copy, and several copies
will be donated to local nursing
homes, widow’s outreach, and to
the children’s hospital. These
students will become published
authors with empathetic hearts.

the class – especially any students
who are absent, so they will be
able to participate in subsequent
class discussions. Students will be
able to print the images of their
work using a portable photo printer. This way, photos will be available to students not only during
group discussions for reference and
clarity but also as an additional
source of data within a formal lab
report. Visual data collection will
increase the students' engagement
and thus enhance the pride that
students will take in their work.
There may also be an opportunity
to expand and connect their use of
photography and videography into
other classes such as, advertising,
digital media, and other business
and art classes. This technology
can be utilized for subsequent
years and shared within the
biology department, thus benefitting thousands of students.
Mae Stevens,
Prairieville Primary School
Project: “Reading Closely”
Students will be reading several
novels within the modules of the
Expeditionary Learning
Curriculum this year. If students
had their own copies of a novel,
they could write and annotate in
their book. Students would have
the opportunity take the novel
home, re-read for understanding
and share new learning with their

families. Students will learn how to
annotate for a variety of purposes
when reading. Close Reading is a
lifelong learning strategy. If
students are able to have their
own copy of the novel, they can
use it as a reference for the rest
of their lives.
Rebecca Stewart,
Oak Grove Primary School
Project: “Number Fun with
Rekenreks”
This grant will furnish a 6-year-old
mathematicians with manipulatives
to keep them engaged. With this
grant, a classroom set of individual
Rekenreks as well as a 100 count
Rekenrek for demonstration
purposes will be able to be
purchased. Rekenreks are specially
designed number racks that help
children decompose and compose
numbers. Using a Rekenrek,
children can manipulate the
counting beads to learn, for
example, that 8 is really 4 and 4, 2
and 6, or 5 and 3. Children learn
numerals by exploring the
combinations that compose those
numbers. Learning numbers this
way ensures that children form a
strong numeracy foundation which
then directly leads to and supports
computation. Using Rekenreks
will help ensure that the students
have the necessary foundation for
their entire math career.

Shondra James,
Donaldsonville Primary School
Project:
“All I Want To Do Is Read”
Many of the children at
Donaldsonville Primary have limited exposure to quality literature.
Many of the books available to the
teacher are dated and do not
include many of the characters that
they are familiar with in their daily
lives. The classroom that I teach is
a magnet classroom, and each student has an iPad to use within the
classroom. This grant will allow
each student to access hundreds of
stories right at their fingertips.
Students will engage with the
stories for guided reading groups,
independent reading, and book
clubs. Students will increase
their reading fluency and
comprehension.

If you are running out of space?
We are the place.
Storage Space Available

Rebecca Muscat,
Dutchtown High School
Project: “Photography Can Reach
a Kid, Videography Can Teach a
Kid”
Through this grant, students will
be able to utilize digital camera
technology during lab activities.
For example, the students will take
photographs during experiments of
observed reactions, record
peer-narrated videos to summarize
experiments, and will be able to
share those photos and videos with

19

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We are the most trusted provider for work injury services
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We provide a comprehensive approach to help employers
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21

Jeremy Langlois,
Executive Chef

Houmas House Plantation & Gardens
Invites You to Experience

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Reindeer Games People Play
by Bill Delaune

“Oh the games people play now,
every night and every day now,
Never meaning what they say now,
never saying what they mean…
Joe South.
Scene- A South Louisiana living
room on Christmas Eve.
Characters- The Kids-all ages
from 1-92, in all shapes and sizes.
Uncle Bill- a disillusioned
dreamer who recently unfriended
himself on Facebook after one of
his incoherent rants.

and Morgan, Christina and Shana!
On Emily, Tiara, Natia and
Amanda…”
Then if we can get one of the
taller ones like Carle to help put
our littlest angel Heather on top
of the tree, I’ll tell you a story of
polls and bowls and Christmas
trolls…
Once upon a time there was an
evil organization called the BCS
which tried to ruin college football…

bowl games already, Uncle Bill?
And all those sponsors’ names in
the titles really confuse me.
Bill- Truer words were never
spoken, lad, but money talks. As
that late, great New Orleans
promoter Dave Dixon used to say,
“Give me a corporate sponsor, a
TV contract and a betting line and
I’ll sell out the Superdome for a
marble contest.”
So it came to pass that some
politicians decided it might be

Kid 2- Excuse me, Uncle Bill, but
we don’t have the BCS to kick
around anymore. A selection
committee chose the final four
playoff teams this year and the
experts’ consensus is that they did
a pretty good job.
Bill- Except in Waco, Texas,
where there are more burning
butts than the Great David Koresh
bonfire of 1993. Even country
singer Billy Joe Shaver who
chronicled his shooting of a
drunken Texan in the song
“Wacko from Waco” has
threatened to take action.
And in Fort Worth, the cowboys
out at the stockyards have called
out committee members to a duel
at the Not O.K. Corral in terms
that were Texas but not very
Christian.
Anyway, with five so-called
Power Conferences, somebody was
bound to be left out of a Final
Four. Perhaps the next step is an
expansion to a Great Eight with
five Power teams and three wild
cards and listen to the number
nine whine. (That would be Ole
Miss this year screaming, “Hey, we
beat Miss State head to head.”)
But this story is about bowl
games, power (not rankings)
and ego trips. You see, some
politicians and other celebrities
decided they wanted to add some
more bowl games and attach their
names to them.
Kid 1- But don’t we have enough

good for name recognition-not to
mention fund raising-if they had a
bowl named in their honorespecially one that reflected their
beliefs.
For example, our next governor
Senator David Vitter (“The
Working Girl’s Best Friend”)
attempted to put together a game
between Tulane-to show his
support of private, elitist education
and a little-known branch of
Southeastern Louisiana University
at Tickfaw ( known as SLUT) to
show his compassion for the
average man.
It would be called “Common
Core vs. Common Whores” and
the New Orleans Madame of
his choice could turn the first
trick play.
Kid 2- What about our current
governor? Wasn’t “Piyush of the
Bayous” jealous?
Bill- Of course, he was. But not
to be outdone, Piyush decided to
revive the “Little Caesar’s Bowl”
since the Pizza Company that
once had it lost all the cheese it
could afford.
“Since I am an emperor,” Piyush
proclaimed, “I have decided the
preside over a battle-to-the-death
between representatives of higher
education and health care-sort of
the “Old College Try” against
“Just Let Them Die”, if you willand give a thumbs-up or thumbsdown to the victors as to whose
budget gets cut the least.”

Act I
Kids (excitedly)-Uncle Bill’s here!
Uncle Bill’s here! Come tell us
one of your famous Christmas
stories, Uncle Bill!
Kid 1-But how did you get here,
Uncle Bill? I didn’t see your truck
pull up.
Bill- No truck this year. In the
spirit of the season, I decided to
come by sled this year. A nice
man named Sean Payton drove
me. Said he had lots of experience
at leading a dog team.
Kid 2- Are you going to tell us
about the time you and Aunt
Diane and Liz took the family car
to Moonlight Inn on Christmas
Eve and didn’t get home until the
next morning and all the younger
siblings’ gifts were in the trunk?
Kid 3- No, tell us about the Great
Bottle Rocket War when y’all set
the pasture on fire and the fire
department had to come on
Christmas Day.
Kid 4- I want to hear the one
when you fell into the Christmas
tree…
Bill- Now, now, boys and girls.
Those are some oldies but goodies
to be sure but wouldn’t you like
something a bit more current?
Kid 1- I don’t know Uncle Bill.
The only things on TV these days
are murders and war and lots of
doom and gloom. Did you know
Carolina Panther quarterback got
in a wreck with two transvestites?
Bill- Well, Will, I believe he had
two transverse process fractures
in his back. But he was on the
main drag.
Kid 2- Someone said he got
hit twice.
Bill- Which was twice more than
the Saints hit him on the previous
Sunday but I digress. So let Uncle
Bill help out international
relationships by combining some
of this Cajun sugar cane whiskey
with some Pennsylvania Dutch egg
nog and let’s pile up under the
mistletoe-just in case some of
those cuties from Sammy’s Grill
drop by-and…
Kid 3- Uncle Bill, how do you
remember all their names when
your memory is growing weaker
than the NFC South?
Bill- I just use the same technique
Santa used on his reindeer when I
call them by name-“On Lauren

26

The game will be played in
Piyush’s home state of Iowa-sight
of the first Presidential caucus.
Kid 3- What would the real
Caesar think of Piyush?
Bill- Considering the head
Roman’s reign was once described
as “unabashed self-interest disguised as representation of the
public interest”, I think Piyush
would get a big thumbs-up from
Julius.
Kid 1- What about our newest
senator, Uncle Bill? He wouldn’t
want to be left out of the bowl
parade?
Bill- You mean “Double Bill”
Cassidy”? He really intended to
have one but he took 97% of the
money and didn’t provide any
services, teams or tickets so his
game got vetoed.
Kid 2- And what about poor
Mary Landrieu? Did she get a
game of any kind?
Bill- Since even her own party
withdrew all support, Mary had to
take the cheap route this year.
The best she could come up with
was a basketball game between
Georgetown of Washington D.C.
and the University of New Orleans
to determine where she will live
out her civilian years.
Kid 3- What about the guys on
the local scene? Seems they’re
always looking for publicity.
Bill- You’re exactly correct, Nate,
but they couldn’t afford the entire
bowl package either. So they came
out with their own variation. If I
may… (In best Michael Buffer
voice) “Ladies and Gentlemen,
let’s get ready to rumble. For the
Town of Gonzales Blockbuster (or
Bust the Block) Tag Team
Championship, this is tonight’s
main event.
“In this corner-the Council
Killers led by Gary “Police Car”
Lecombe and Timothy “Call Me
Mayor” Vessel. And in the
opposite corner, the Citizen
Assassins led by Chuck ‘The
Mouth of South Sandra’ and
Gordon C. Kernan-master of the
‘Fish-n-Pic-n-Roll’ sleeper hold.
“Our referee tonight is Creole
columnist Wade Petite, who
usually pens things that count, but
tonight will be counting things
that pin. This is a no-holds-barred
match, the first I can recall in a
long time.”
I guarantee a sellout at Lamar
Dixon and then we could use the
proceeds to build you kids some
baseball and soccer fields without
taxing anyone.
Kid 2- Uncle Bill, have you been
skirting the Les Miles rumors on
purpose?
Bill- No, I was getting to that.
I’m thinking Les-with all his
money- buys Notre Dame out of
the Music City Bowl-those
Catholics are always partial to
money-and replaces them with
Michigan.
Then we let Les coach both

teams-and run the clock-and the
winners get to keep him or ship
him. Sort of a “Deal or No Deal”
or-for my feminine readers-a “Love
Les or List Les” proposition.
Kid 3- What about your old
gambling buddy Edwin Edwards?
Bill- That’s an easy one. Guards
against the cons in his old prison
yard-another remake of “The
Longest Yard”.
Kid 1- Those are pretty funny,
Uncle Bill, but are there any real
bowl games you’re looking
forward to?
Bill- I like the Sun Bowl’s clever
matchup out in El Paso where the
Duke Blue Devils will take on the
Arizona State Sun Devils. Should
be one hell of a game.
Kid 2- Have you ever been to
El Paso, Uncle Bill?
Bill- Yeah, one time, Cade. But I
ended up across the border in
Juarez and I didn’t need any devils
to tell me that was close enough to
hell for me.
Kid 3- Uncle Bill, this is supposed
to be a Christmas story. Haven’t
you seen anyone in your travels
that has the real holiday spirit?
Bill- Of course, pards. Why just
the other day, Bama and his bunch
raised over $20,000 with a
jambalaya fund raiser to Feed the
Needy. And Pete and Gloria’s
group always provides a
Thanksgiving feast for the Battered
Women’s Shelter. And there’s hundreds of others doing similar good
deeds throughout the area to help
out the less fortunate.
Kid 1- What are you going to do

for the poor this Christmas,
Uncle Bill?
Bill- I’m going to donate a
percentage of the money I win on
bowl games to the “Coats for
Kids” charity.
Kid 2- Man, I hope those poor
people don’t freeze to death this
winter.
Bill- But I will leave you kids with
a few classical references to
remember when this big, bad
world seems ready to blow.
Romeo and Juliet showed us
that love is more powerful than
hate. Harry Potter taught us that
good will always overcome evil.
And Luke Skywalker proved that
the Light of the Force will
overcome the Dark Side.
And this Jesus fellow whose
birthday we celebrate, he never
won any political races but he had
a pretty good platform. Like
maybe we should all be a little
nicer to one another and a lot
more forgiving and help out those
who don’t have as much as we do.
Cause c’mon man, it’s
Christmas-and we’re going to
be alright.
Kid 3- Gee, Uncle Bill. I didn’t
know you were a hopeless
romantic.
Bill- And you probably didn’t
know I could quote Scripture
either. But if young Reece will
start our Christmas cheer (Isaiah
11:6-“And a little child shall lead
them”...), we will wish all our
faithful readers…A Very Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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27

3. Are Guns a Good Idea?

Thoughts from Bully

If by chance you guys out there
have givin any of the items
mentioned in the first 7 parts of
this article I recommend no fire
arms. You see if you have
considered any of the afore
mentioned items I am sure you
will mess up bad one day and
wished she didn’t have that
gun, you gave her, in her hand.
For God’s sake don’t give her
one with a scope. Also don’t
give her ammo. Maybe she will
procrastinate and never
purchase any.

Top 10 things
you don’t give
your wife for
Christmas

10.

2. What about a pocket

No Bargain Items

Never listen to the television
and buy her something from
Ronco. If you buy her
something that is plastic to
assist her in the kitchen, you
will suffer for month as she tells
everyone you meet about your
thoughtfulness.

knife?

9. Is Beer a Good Gift

6. Does She Like Dancing

Don’t by her a case beer. If you
do you should at least buy the
brand she likes. If you buy her
your favorite brand you should
give her 2 cases so you’ll have
something to do and drink
while you are in the dog house.

Never give her a Free Lunch
at The Gold Club. Especially if
you received it as a reward for
frequent visits

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Gold Club Rewards Card

8. Think About Her
Hobbies

Free Golf Passes are never a
good idea unless she plays. If
she does play make sure the
passes are good during a time
when she is off work.

Accept a Free Lunch on us
for your Frequent Visits

5. Does She Like Cooking
Unless she cooks in a 40 quart
Black Iron Jambalaya Pot, it is
not a good idea to give that to
her. You’ll never convince her it
was for her.

4.

7. Do These Pants Make
Me Look Fat?

A New Vehicle Can be
a Great Gift

Did you think she would really
like that new truck in her
favorite color that you drive
now. Each month when she
does the bills and pays the note
it will be a constant reminder.

Never Ever in Any way Shape
or Form Give her a 3 Month
Membership to
a Weight Loss
Company. If
you do, you
need to make
sure you have
Be a NEW
Dental
You in Just
Insurance.
3 Months
You’re Gonna
Need It!
28

Not no but HELL NO! Knives
are strictly off limits. Pocket
knives, skinning knives, box
cutters or razors. Why you ask?
Just 2 words Lorena Bobbitt.
Enough said.

1. How about photographs?
I am a big fan of photographs.
This is the gift that keeps on
giving. All year long.
Anniversary photos in a nice

frame. Family photos matted
make great gifts. Date night
special moments.
However sending her a photo
from the view of your deer
stand is not a good idea. Even
if you sweeten the pot with a
love letter reading: “My Dear
Sweet Wife. I know me going
deer hunting during
Thanksgiving and now again
during the Christmas Season
does not set well with you. It
hurts me also to be away from
you but I thought if I sent you
this photo of what I am seeing
at this moment, you may can
almost feel as if your are here
with me. And we are together.
Merry Christmas.”
Let me give you a tip. It ain’t
working and you’re toast. I
suggest you go straight to
Layne’s Jewelers on your way
home and pick up anything
with a diamond. Especially if
you are hunting on your
Father-in-Law’s property.

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Tuesday

Useless Random Facts

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Wednesday

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the last week of December arguing and bickering with family
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St. Nicholas was bishop of the Turkish town of Myra in the early

Friday

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12/19 . FORET TRADITION 1/2 . LANDON DAVIS BAND
1/9 .. ORPHAN ANNIE
12/26 . HARVEY
WALLBANGERS
1/16 .. WEREWOLF

where his name eventually became the familiar Santa Claus.

The classic animal crackers box is designed with a string handle

Saturday

because the animal-shaped cookie treats, introduced in 1902 as a
Christmas novelty, were packaged so they could be
hung from Christmas tree limbs.

Each year there are approximately 20,000 “rent-a-Santas” across the
United States. “Rent-a-Santas” usually undergo seasonal training on
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12/27 ... SOFA KINGS
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1/17 CHRIS LEBLANC

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29

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Tyler
30

Thanks feet. There were times
years ago where I struggled to keep
you warm and dry. Part of the reason
was that I just didn't know what to
do to help with the problem. After I
learned what to do I just couldn't
afford the necessary footware. But
things have changed these days and I
really appreciate your ability to give
my body a solid platform to stand on.
Thanks legs. You have taken me
up and down hills, through thousands
of miles of forests, in and out of the
most productive marsh and swamps
throughout our southern states.
You've been unstoppable. There's no
telling how many ducks, squirrels,
deer, turkeys, fish etc that I've
taken from the outdoors because of
your sheer strength. On your gentle
side you've offered me your rugged
knees to kneel upon at times for a
short prayer of respect for my victim
of prey at that time.
Thanks back. You've carried
quite a load at times, the weight of
decoys, deer stands, large animals,
lanyards of ducks and most everything
else imaginable. Because of you I can
sit, bend, lay down, squat, lean, stand
straight and carry heavy loads. I don't
have two of you. You're a one and
only. Without you I'm pretty much
done. Hundreds of times you've
ached with pain and soreness
sometimes to the point of severe, but
somehow you've managed to bend
and not break.
Thanks arms and hands. What
can I say? You've held rifles steady,
made perfect casts, cleaned every
creature that I've ever harvested in
my entire life. Your ability to hold,
grab, push, pull, carry or throw has
been phenomenal and you seem to
never let me down.
Thanks head. You've controlled
my senses of sight, hearing, taste and
smell. Your control center (my brain)
for the most part, has led me in the
right direction for years. There's been
thousands of decisions made by you
that controlled the life and safety of
myself and others. You've also given
me the ability to learn right from
wrong, which leads me to thank
another important part of my body.
Thanks eyes. Through you I've
observed all the sights and colors that
nature has to offer. You have helped
me detect my prey and protect me
from harmful situations. There's been
beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and
some that weren't so beautiful. I've
seen branches shake, ears flick, flocks
of waterfowl flying overhead, turkeys
strut, just to name a few of your
precious gifts. Together we've viewed

nature in its most lovable moments.
We've also seen its crueler sides.
Thanks ears. Yeah. Like all the
other parts, you aren't as effective as
you once were. I've heard sounds
such as squirrel cuttings hitting the
forest floor, a twig breaking nearby,
turkey talk from a distance, geese
migrating in the fall, and a
largemouth strike on a quiet
bayou, to name a few. It was also a
pleasure to hear my daughter saying
"I got him dad!" after killing her first
buck. What more can I ask for, it's
been a pleasure.
Thanks mouth. Although I let
you ramble sometimes more than I
should, it's because of you that I've
been able to enjoy my bounty of fish
and game. The delicious flavors and
aroma of my bounty being cooked
has been a gift that some folks will
never know.
Thanks heart. Yes you've pumped
all necessary blood and oxygen to all
of these parts to make them work
correctly. Somewhere deep down
you've given me the sense of caring.
Because of you I've learned to be an
ethical and responsible user of all of
natures' creatures. I've also learned to
give back to the sport and the
outdoor world that has been so
good to me.
Thanks Mom and Dad. Thanks
Dad, for teaching me to use all those
wonderful parts in the correct
manner. Thanks Mom, for cooking
all my kills and catches from my
younger years. Without your guidance
I would not have continued to be a
hunter or fisherman.
Thanks God. Thank you for
giving me such a wonderful body
and life along with all of natures
wonderful creatures to use, respect,
and enjoy. I will continue to enjoy
nature's bounty until she herself no
longer allows me to do so.
Until Next Time,
Thanks to all of you for your interest in
my articles and Happy Holidays to you
and your families,
James "Goosie" Guice
Ascension Outdoors Air Times
THE PELICAN - CHANNEL 113
SAT. - 9:00 - A.M.
SUN. - 7:30 - P.M.
MON. - 9:00 - P.M.
EATEL - CHANNEL 4
SAT. - 6:30 A.M. & 1:30 P.M.
SUN. - 1:30 P.M.
WED. - 10:00 P.M.
FRI. - 8 - P.M.
IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED IN
ADVERTIZING PLEASE CALL
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31

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32

Lighting the Tree

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33

2014 CHRISTMAS PARADE

The only thing better than Skid Marks Tire Pros
and their Four locations is Kids having Fun.

These Kids Rock!

1312 WEST HWY. 30, GONZALES 225-647-9631 • 11209 COURSEY BLVD., BATON ROUGE 225-368-1234 • 1015 WEST LEE DRIVE, BATON ROUGE 225-767-5008 • 1800 SOUTH RANGE AVE. DENHAM SPRINGS 225-664-8103

34

35

This month with
A monthly News Report from the Jambalaya Festival Association

JFA Hosts Annual Christmas Party;
Names Nora Lee Ricca Award Recipient

Saturday, December 6th, the
Jambalaya Festival Association
hosted their annual Christmas
Party at the St. Amant Recreational
Center. The celebration saw it’s
largest attendance in years
including several dignitaries
present. Parish President Tommy
Martinez, State Representative
Johnny Berthelot, and JFA
Founder Steve Juneau were on
hand along with many volunteers
and Association Members to kick
off the holiday season.

36

After partygoers mingled and
served plates of fried fish and
shrimp, potato salad, gumbo,
brisket and much more, the awards
ceremony began.
Two awards were given to
outstanding Association members
and friends of the Festival for their
volunteerism and dedication to the
Jambalaya Festival and its causes.
JFA Vice President, Tammy
Guillory, welcomed the attendees,
noting the great turnout, and

Award was presented to Mrs.
Brenda Taillon.

thanking everyone for being apart
of the JFA before handing over the
microphone to JFA Secretary,
Meredith Conger, who presented
the awards.
Conger also welcomed attendees
and thanked Parish President
Martinez for attending and
remaining a huge supporter the
JFA.
The first award of the night was
given to Mr. Jimmy Berthelot for
his support of the JFA throughout
the years. As the Association continues with plans to build its new
home, monthly meetings have
been held at Berthelot’s Hall in St.
Amant since the demolition of the
JFA’s previous festival building.
The Association is grateful for the
use of Mr. Berthelot’s facilities and
recognized him for his continued
support of the Festival.

The second award of the night is
one given each year at the
Christmas Party, the Nora Lee
Ricca Award. Nora Lee Ricca
served as the Treasurer of the JFA
for many years before serving as
President 1980. While serving in
office as President, Mrs. Ricca suddenly passed away. Each year since
her passing an award has been
given in her honor to the
Association member who has most
exemplified the call of volunteerism and service to the
Jambalaya Festival and who has
shown a great dedication to it’s
mission. The 2014 Nora Lee Ricca

Taillon has been involved with
festival for over 15 years serving
on numerous committees and
working nearly every booth at the
festival. She serves on the
Christmas Parade Committee,
works alongside husband, Gilbert
Taillon, in the Daiquiri booth at
the Swamp Pop Festival each year
and is always willing to do any task
needed to help the Festival. Taillon
is a dedicated Association member
and displays a deep commitment
for service not only to the
Jambalaya Festival but also to the
Ascension Parish community. The
Association Board of Directors
would like to congratulate Mrs.
Brenda on her award and
thank her for her many years
of dedication.

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Following the presentation of
awards, Mike Broussard, Steve
Broussard and the All Star Band
had the dance floor packed with
their classic Swamp Pop tunes.
The JFA would like to especially
thank the Ascension Parish
Sheriff’s Office for providing
security for the event, the All Star
Band, Tammy Guillory, Vanessa
Blair, Todd Blair, Mike Berthelot,
Rodney Savoy, Blue Forstythe and
all volunteers who made the event
a great success.
Below is a list of the Nora Lee
Ricca Award Recipients since it’s
first year:

1981 Pie Lanoux

1982 Dalton Marchand

1983 Mary Ann Keller

1984 Elsie Walker

1985 Mac Daigle

1986 Cobby Walker

1987 Darlene Reulet

1988 Ernest “Beaver”
Cubbage

1989 Frank Frederic

1990 Anita Young

1991 Pat Austin

1992 Carol Frederic

1993 Ed “Mike” Daigle

1994 Eladee Chauvin

1995 Robert A. Pitre, Jr.

1996 Pearl Reed

1997 Wally Taillon

1998 Estelle Carpenter

1999 Ruby Corrent

2000 Frank Corrent

2001 Solly Boudreaux

2002 Lucia Smithey

2003 Freddie Hurst

2004 Mike Daigle

2005 Carlos Braud

2006 Gilbert Taillon

2007 Carbett Bercegeay

2008 Valmon & Rita
Bercegeay

2009 Tammy Guillory

2010 Robert Jackson

2011 Mike Gonzales, Sr.

2012 Mike Berthelot

2013 Shane Martinez

2014 Brenda Taillon

37

that the sound of a child laughing
was the most wonderful sound in
the world to me.
My children grew and left our
home to care for themselves. They
married and had children of their
own. They are successful in their
lives and in their work. As I watch
their love and patience with their
own children I’m filled with pride.
It taught me the next generation
will follow the first and the lessons
I insisted on mattered. It taught
me my lap can hold 5-6 small
children at once
and that I’m willing
to endure the
discomfort of my
legs going numb.

By Tracy
At 50 the youthful features I once
possessed have faded. Many are
only a memory as their evidence is
long gone. And let’s not even talk
about the cruelty of gravity.
But there is a bright side to aging,
one that is worth the trade-off for
the appearance of youth. It is the
wisdom and confidence one gains
from a lifetime of experiences and
boy have I experienced a lot!
From it I have been granted what
I call a true gift. It is an earned
confidence that needs no pretending. It doesn’t boast or brag, nor
does it make apology. It is true
acceptance of self- both the
strengths and the weaknesses.
Talk about liberating!!
My youth was that in which novels
are based, but rather than deem
my story sad, I celebrate it. I
learned so much because of it.
I was raised by a mother with
schizophrenia. She was in and out
of hospitals my whole life.
Despite what some would call
shortcomings, my mother had
more grace and class about her
than any female I’d ever met and
she insisted I have class, too.
Seeing her struggle with the
demons inside her head taught me
that one’s own body can become
their worst enemy and that what is
shown outwardly isn’t always the
truth inwardly. I learned to
observe people closely and how to
pair behavior with emotion.
At age 11 my baby sister was born.
She was given to me to care for as
my mother was recommitted. I
already cared for my two younger
sisters and now I have an infant. I
woke to cook breakfast, bathe my
infant sister, prepare the stroller
and a diaper bag and head out to
skate. It taught me responsibility
for a life other than my own, how

When I lost my
youngest son to
suicide by hanging
I died. I left my
marriage of 26
years and ran to
solitude like a
wounded animal. I
learned a greater
pain than I’d ever
felt before. I
learned rage and
hate. I learned
to later care for my own
children, maturity and that not
everyone is dealt the same cards.
A few years later the state stepped
in to remove my mother’s children
from her and place us into foster
care. Her cries to her children
remain in my head today. It
taught me the best one can do is
not always enough, it taught me
the value of a family together. It
also taught me loneliness, fear,
insecurity, defense and
independence.
I married and had three children
of my own. I stayed at home with
my children until they went to
school to ensure they learned our
family values rather than those of a
stranger. I took my job very
seriously; giving my family
everything they needed to better
themselves for their later years.
The work was hard and the hours
were long, but I truly loved it. It
was so much fun. It taught me
how to stretch a dollar and create
something from nothing. It taught
me patience, how to discipline
with love, routine, fairness and

38

defeat and I learned my limit. It
taught me how fragile and
precious is a life and that even
though we create a child they are
not ours. We don’t own them. We
are only responsible for their
upbringing and that they can leave
us at any time.
I learned why it was necessary to
have endured a life like mine. I
believe if I had not experienced
the aforementioned I would not
have been able to survive the
ultimate loss of my son. And as a
reward for surviving I was given
another gift, the gift of true love.
I met an amazing man with whom
I will spend the rest of my life.
His love for me is ultimate. It’s
respectful, patient and kind. He
makes me laugh when I thought I
never would. Slowly I learned
there is life after death and I’m
alive. It taught me resilience,
appreciation and tenacity. I fear
very little in this life. I celebrate it
and for the first time in my life, I
celebrate me. I have learned so
much and I’m proud to be 50!

"WELL, IT'S
CHRISTMAS"
© Copyright Tad Hardy 2014
There are lights. There is music.
And the ringing of bells.
In the streets perfect strangers are
wishing you well.
Well, it's Christmas! That explains it.
The most joyous of seasons –
When we rush to relax,
Piling presents in stacks,
Then we shop till we drop...
But for all the right reasons?
Buying gifts for our kin
And for those we've befriended,
By the time Christmas gets here
We're relieved that it's ended!
The simpler Christmases we
used to know
Seem to have vanished, like the
melting of snow.
Back when Christmas was baby
and manger and star,

We gathered together
In cold rainy weather,
Sharing food and grand stories that
define who we are.
Nana cooked turkey.
Papa would carve.
The grandkids stood watching as if
they would starve.
But they didn't. They made it.
Then each bowed his head,
And peeked out at Papa when the
blessing was said.
He wasn't exactly a jolly old elf;
He was tall, lean and lanky and just
looked like... himself.
His prayer? True and simple,
But it rose to the sky.
The blessings swirled ‘round
And the joy that we found
Was as sweet and as filling
As the big pecan pie.
Then once we were blessed the
whole kitchen grew merry,
And the sound at the table was just
downright scary!
Clanking silverware... laughing...
and carrying on;
After all, it was Christmas!

Give yourself or
someone you love
the best stocking
stuffer ever,
a new you!

And it soon would be gone.
The few gift-wrapped presents would
just have to wait;
For now, friends and loved ones
would all celebrate.
Some babies were naked –
We knew that was fine,
The love at that table
Covered all their behinds.
After lunch all the cousins would
roughhouse and play,
Chasing each other, enjoying the day.
And I wonder as now I look back on
those years
If we've changed somehow... shifted,
stripped some of our gears.
We've got Papa Noel sitting
there in the store,
And he's red... and he's jolly... but
there's got to be more.
There's got to be more than the
presents and tree
And the garland and stockings and
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39

Sure, it's busy and rushed, you feel
hurried and tired;
Like the lights on the tree, you are
blinking and wired.
But slow down. Take a walk.
Tell your children, “Come see.”
Share a song, give a smile,
Hold them close for awhile,
And remind them of how Christmas
past used to be.
Light up the bonfires!
We'll warm by their glow;
The warmth that is Christmas
runs deeper, we know.
Let's reflect and be thankful,
maybe turn back the clocks;
Let's keep Christmas alive, not
wrapped up in a box.
Yes, it's Christmas!
But why keep it one day a year?
Let's remember true Christmas,
every day, while we're here.

This poem is written by Tad Hardy and is protected under
the "First North American Serial Rights" It can not be
re-printed without permission of Tad Hardy

BONFIRES
ALONG THE
LEVEE

By Jimmy Dunkley

Christmas season in South Louisiana is a special time spent with
family and friends around a Christmas tree, sharing a Christmas
meal, or in observance of a Christmas tradition. In St. James
parish the tradition begins in preparation for the construction of
the many bonfires that line the top of the levee. This year I saw
just over 100 permitted sites for bonfire construction.

Old World French and German settlers established colonies in the
river parishes of St. James, St. John the Baptist, and St. Charles
in the 1700s. These early colonists brought with them the
knowledge of bonfire customs and traditions from their European
homes. By sharing this knowledge with their descendants, they
provide the inspiration for a practice which has evolved into one
giant celebration known as the Christmas Eve bonfires. Once a
neighborhood or family activity, the bonfires now line the east
bank of the Mississippi River, between the communities of
Gramercy, Lutcher, and Paulina, attracting thousands of visitors.
In the weeks that follow Thanksgiving, the levee is alive with
activity as young people work together, contributing labor and
materials to create the beacons that will be simultaneously
torched, weather permitting, at 7:00 PM on Christmas Eve.

A popular belief is that the bonfires are used to light the way for
Papa Noel who brings gifts to all the children along the river on
Christmas Eve. The sleigh and reindeer are replaced by Papa
Noel with a pirogue, pulled by eight alligators named Gaston,
TiBoy, Pierre, Alcee, Ninette, Suzette, Celeste, and Renee. They
were lead by a snow white gator by the name of Nicolette, who
had glowing green eyes.

The truth is that rural families in the 1800’s lived far apart, had
transportation limited to horse and buggy, and rarely left home at
night. With this in mind bonfires would have probably been
started by the more affluent families and plantation owners along
the river to celebrate the Christmas season.
During World War II bonfire building ceased, but was resumed
with increased enthusiasm in the post war years. Slowly the
structures became more standardized in size, shape, and
materials. Willows, growing in profusion along the river bank,
became the wood of choice use to erect the bonfires. Equipped
with axes, hatchets, and hand saws, boys of the “bonfire clubs”
cut the willow trees, stripped them of their branches, and hauled
them to the top of the levee. A center pole was selected and
buried to a certain depth, then surrounded by four or more side
poles. Materials were placed within the willow structure, and
several days before the burning, freshly cut cane reeds were
places within and around the bonfire. As the cane reeds burned
they emitted a popping, firecracker like sound.

As time passed the tepee structures became more uniform in
construction and in materials used for burning. Accidents
occurred on occasion during bonfire construction and safety
became a major concern. For safety reasons permits must now be
obtained and the structures have been limited to 20 feet in height
and to a maximum width and length of 12 feet by 12 feet. Tires,
creosote timbers, plastics, or any other hazardous materials can
no longer be used and explosive materials are prohibited around
the bonfires, except for firecrackers placed on the structure.
Additional fireworks must be permitted and are restricted to the
Batture (area between the back of the levee and the river).

On this Christmas Eve if you are looking to find something
uniquely Louisiana, join the masses for the street party and fireworks in St. James parish for the burning of the bonfires along
the levee. You won’t be disappointed!
Footnote: Information for this article was provided by the St.
James Parish Tourist Information Center, Gramercy, LA

Cooking
Gourmet
at
Home
with SNO’S SEAFOOD & STEAKS
A great dish for this Holiday Season

Shrimp & Mirliton Stuffing (Chayote)

Call now to reserve your Holiday Gathering.

Yield:
8 servings

Prep Time:
40 minutes

Cook Time:

Tues.-Thurs. & Sunday 11am - 9pm
Friday 11am - 10pm • Sat. 5pm - 10pm

25 minutes

Ingredients:
6 mirlitons
Executive Chef
1 ½ lbs baby shrimp
Ben Jarreau
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped bell pepper
2 tbls minced garlic
½ cup thinly sliced green onions
¼ cup creole mustard
1 ½ cups bread crumbs (more or less depending on your preference)
Salt, black pepper and red pepper to taste. (2 tsp salt, 1 tsp
black pepper, ½ tsp red pepper)

Method:
Place the miriltons in a large pot and cover with water. Bring
the water to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes or until
tender. Drain in a colander and cool. When cool enough to
handle, half the mirlitons, peel, then remove the seeds and
cut into cubes.
While the militons are cooking, cook your onions, celery, bell
pepper and garlic in a little olive oil until tender. Add the
mirlitons and shrimp and cook until shrimp are done (about
15 minutes). Remove from heat, then add the creole mustard,
green onions, bread crumbs and seasoning. Mix well.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a greased baking dish, evenly
spread your stuffing and bake for 20-25 minutes or until
brown. Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and serve.
** Great stuffing for chicken, turkey, or pork**
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