VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4 | NOVEMBER 2009 | theVIPmag.

com
COMPLIMENTARY
VOLUME 4 ISSUE 4 | February 2011 | theVIPmag.com
O F S O U T H E A S T T E X A S
We’re on
facebook.com/vipofsetx
sweet
hearts
Brave
Men
Handsome
Mr. Habitat
Contestants
10TIPS
for a frst date
a heart for art:
Darrell Troppy
an
amour
for French
antiques
THESCORE
with sports
legend
JIMMY
JOHNSON
Romantic
dinners
à deux
Jewelry she’ll love!
Pain relief for heartburn
Guest columnist Scott Renick
theVIPmag.com | February 2011 3
c o n t e n t s
vip magazine
inside february
06 starters
Letter from Editor
09 vip shelter
09 Oh là là: A romantic
bungalow
12 vip style
12 She won’t forget what
she got for Valentine’s
Day if you bring home
a pretty little box
15 health&beauty
15 GERD: Be free from
that burning sensation
22 totally social
22 Celebrating the best
of events, who was
there and what they
were wearing
35
38
35 totally worthy
35 The many layers of artist
Darrell Troppy
38 Mr. Habitat contestants
sing, dance, build and
style it for your
entertainment and support
42 VIPersonality
Jimmy Johnson
44 vip guide
44 Dating etiquette
47 5 great dates
in February
50 Valentine’s Day
wisdom from
columnist
Scott Renick
09
4 February 2011 | THEVIPMAG.COM
theVIPmag.com | February 2011 5
Editorial
Executive Editor
CHERYL ROSE
Contributing Writers
JENNIFER A. BYRD
CATHLEEN COLE
HOLLI PETERSEN
SCOTT RENICK
HALEY STRAHAN
Photography
Contributing Photographers
KYLE PETERSEN
SILVIA MCCLAIN
RENE SHEPPARD
LEE STINSON
JUDY STOKELY
Art
Executive Director, Advertising Services
ANNA SINGLETARY
Ad Operations Manager, Advertising Services
FRAN LINDSAY
Manager, Special Publications
DON GRAY
Lead Graphic Designer, Digital Media
JUSTIN BLANE SMITH
Contributing Designers
ROSA CLARK
DUONG MA
GEORGINA MONDSHINE
RICK STEIN
Advertising
To advertise in VIP,
409.880.0700
Contact Us
VIP of Southeast Texas
380 Main Street
Beaumont, TX 77701
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PLEASE CALL 409.838.2821 OR SUBSCRIBE
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Copyright © The Beaumont Enterprise
A Division of Hearst Newspapers
Publisher
BILL OFFILL
JOIN US ON FACEBOOK!
www.facebook.com/vipofsetx
s.w.a.k.
Sweet Valentines
Photography: Silvia C. McClain
Pictured: Gordon Williams
In a masterful combination of planning, good spirit and
cooperation, nine upstanding gentlemen turned up on
Crockett Street in the midst of the holiday chaos to pose
for our Smackdown! story. Two VIP photographers, Judy
Stokely and Silvia McClain, tag-teamed to effciently get a
great portrait of each guy. These fellows are community
sweethearts to go through some of the crazy contests for the
honor of becoming Mr. Habitat. We wish each one well and
be sure to turn up to support your choice!
M
y children,
like all
siblings
everywhere,
like to annoy
each other.
Since hitting
isn’t allowed
(ha!), they
have discov-
ered a much more efective threat – kissing!
Making chipmunky smoochie sounds sends the other sibling screaming bloody mur-
der through the house, pursued by the kisser. (Reminds me of Lucy: Help! I’ve been
kissed by a dog!) A few years will surely see a change in this strategy! John, who is 4
years old, recently told me that “romance is weird.” What could I tell him? I assured
him he would change his mind one day. He doubts me.
Inside this month you will find a variety of tips for making the day special for your
sweetheart. A national celebrity who turns out to be a sweetheart of a guy is Coach
Jimmy Johnson. His Thomas Jeferson Class of ’61 classmates are profuse in their praise
of a man who has not forgotten his roots. “He’s a great guy!” “Jimmy Johnson has
class.” “Jimmy Johnson is a wonderful guy who is a true friend to many of us.” The
messages poured in, and I want to thank Gail Shook, Glenn Hicks, Michelle Prejean
Hughes and Dennis Hollander. I wish I could print all your comments in full. Johnson
is a well-loved native son.
Though we associate Valentine’s Day primarily with romantic love, it seems like a
good time just to appreciate anyone special. I have loved working on this magazine for
the past two years. I am sending warm compliments to my editorial colleagues –
Cathleen, Haley, Holli, Kyle, Lee, Silvia, Judy, René and Farrah. Behind the scenes,
Sheila greased many wheels and solved many problems. Compliments also go to the
art team this past year, Kristen, Rick, Katie, Ivan and especially Justin, who has played
Scarecrow to my Dorothy.
And to you, our readers – a big hug! Thanks for picking VIP up each month. We
hope someone you love treats you like a VIP this month.
Cheryl Rose,
Executive Editor
e d i t o r ’ s l e t t e r
eating drinking
6 February 2011 | THEVIPMAG.COM
theVIPmag.com | February 2011 7
As many as 20 million young
women, under the age of 55,
silently suffer.
If you lose control at a moment’s notice,
If your bowels control your life,
Call 409.835.9500 today.
BOWEL
CONTROL
DISORDER
B
C
D
Ano-Rectal
Disorders
HELP
Center
“This incision-free surgery provides an
alternative to anal implants, colostomies
and other invasive
surgeries for bowel
control disorder.
Our patients are finally
in control of their
lives.”
Garrett K. Peel, MD, MHS
Colon and Rectal Surgeon
Previty--Clinic for Surgical Care
740 Hospital Drive, Suite 280 Beaumont, Texas 77701
www.prevityclinic.com
8 February 2011 | theVIPmag.com
With facilities for up to 250 people, City of Groves,
Parks and Recreation Department, has the
perfect venue for your wedding reception. You can
call for rates and availability, at your convenience.
City of Groves
Parks and Recreation Department
Groves 409.963.1676
Whether you are planning
a formal night on the
town or just a quiet
dinner at home -
Jan’s Resale Boutique,
the perfect Valentine’s
Day outft for you.
With a large
variety of
designer
apparel,
Jan’s Resale
Boutique
is the pick
of those
who know!
JAN’S RESALE BOUTIQUE
4233 Lincoln Avenue
Groves • 408.962.1030
Secret of Love
by Brighton
available at Hannah Bay’s Clothing just in time for
Valentine’s Day! This fne jewelry look with fashionable
styling is a wonderful wear-everyday piece that
complements women of all ages and styles. Swarovski
crystal aurum rhinestones.
Hannah Bay’s Clothing
4343 Lincoln Ave
Groves 408.962.3400
Herbal Insanity
4343 Lincoln Ave
Groves 408.963.3333 409.963.3334
Sugar Scrubs, Body Scrubs, Foot Soaks, Bath Bombs, Shower
Discs, Oil Burners, Cold-Pressed Organic Soap, Custom-Blend
Valentine Day Gift Baskets, Gift Certifcates, Lovers’ Blend
Herbal Teas – and more!
There’s a new
shop in town,
Tia Elisa’s,
that features
Bridal Gowns,
Bridesmaid
Gowns,
Mother
of the
Bride/
Groom
Gowns.
Flower Girl
Dresses, and
just about anything
else you may need for
that Special day.
Tia Elisa’s
RESALE
6179 39th Street
Groves 409.549.5507
8
f abul ous f i nds
Photo courtesy of Hollier Photography – Kyle Hollier
Lincoln Avenue in Groves, is bustling with retail businesses.
Groves is the third largest city in Jefferson County. Shopping
in Groves — something for everyone — you can get it in
Groves!
Lincoln Avenue – Groves, TX
From vintage fnds to unique treasures, The Painted Porch
is the perfect shopping venue for your Valentine’s Gifts. With
it’s new location, The Painted Porch should defnitely be on
your shopping list.
The Painted Porch
4311 Lincoln Avenue
Groves 409.960.7998
Introducing Napa Firelites now available at Kizmet Studio.
Glazed ceramic pots beautiful enough to be art but with the
added dimension of creating a gorgeous fame.
Kizmet Studio
4343 Lincoln Ave
Groves 408.962.9300
An amour of French antiques creates a love nest
p
h
o
t
o
g
r
a
p
h
y
b
y
L
E
E
E
.
S
T
I
N
S
O
N
m a i s o n r o m a n t i q u e
vip shelter
N
estled away in the
neighborhood of Calder
Terrace, a bungalow peeks
from behind a wire and
wooden fence. At first
glance, the color, in the hue of a mockingbird,
catches the eye. Then, when the doors swing
open, an exquisite collection of French antiques is
exposed telling a larger story, filled with history.
Homeowners Jerry Johnson, a retired ophthal-
mologist, and Suzanne Johnson, an antiques dealer,
were both widowed when their friendship blos-
somed into love. The couple has been married for
21 years. “We share lots of love and fun,” Suzanne
said. “We are easygoing and like to have a good
time, whether dancing or cooking.”
text by JENNIFER A. BYRD
>>
THEVIPMAG.COM | February 2011 9
In 2001, they purchased their two-bedroom, one and one-half
bath home, which includes a detached studio with small living
quarters above. Suzanne’s mother had previously lived in the home
and the couple decided to reacquire the property when it became
available.
Most of the home is accented with French antiques.
Suzanne has always been a natural in all things French, as she was
born in Brittany, France. She maintained connections with her native
country, particularly in her business as an antiques dealer.
“Each year, I would have a container shipped from France to
Texas,” Suzanne explained. “Some items I kept for myself and others
I would sell in my store.” Though Suzanne no longer has her shop,
La Chante Clair, she maintains a booth at Burns
Antik Haus. Arlene Hinkie of A & D Persian Rugs at
Burns Antik Haus has known Suzanne for years and
has always admired her fair. “Suzanne’s amazing,”
Hinkie said. “She just does have that creative eye
and never goes wrong when choosing antiques.”
Entering the home, visitors are greeted by a tow-
ering clock from 1848 and Louis XVI chairs uphol-
stered in diferent patterns of Provence blue. In the
living room, painted in Gauguin yellow, visitors can
relax on a country French sofa, adorned with blue
toile pillows. By the sofa is a French breakfast table,
topped with a candelabra and books about French
antiques, including French retailer Pierre Deux’s
“French Country: A Style and Source Book,” in
which Suzanne is mentioned.
Along the walls stand a type of armoire called
homme debouts, which translates to “standing man.”
Reputedly, men hid in these armoires during the
French Revolution. Now, in the Johnson home, they house a televi-
sion and stereo.
A 17th century statue of St. Peter carved from linden wood once
resided in a castle, but now peers down from atop an 18th century
walnut burled wood secretary in the Johnson home. A freplace and
small chair invite reading.
Suzanne and her mother, Marie Chretéin, painted much of the
art in the room. A portrait of Suzanne’s grandmother hangs adjacent
to the sofa. Her grandmother was the Contesse de Trémaudant until
she married a commoner and the title was revoked. Many years later,
Suzanne received a letter from the city hall in St. Malo asking if she
would like to have the title back as she was the last surviving mem-
ber of the family. She declined. “I had no use
for the title and why would I want it back?” she
shrugged. “My son had passed away a few years
earlier, so I had no one to pass it down to.”
Provençal tile, terracotta in color, marks
the entry to the butler’s pantry and bar with
its golden sink and bright window looking out
to the garden. The beautifully carved cabinet
openings are accented with gingham curtains.
The kitchen speaks of a French country-
side, with cabinetry painted in Monet blue,
a Chinese pie safe housing canisters and a
baker’s rack with copper pots and pans. The
table, painted in a soft palette accented with
feurs-de-lis, is one of the few new things in the
home.
Sun shines from a huge ceiling-to-foor
window that houses a work area, complete with
stainless steel countertops and a triple farm-
10 February 2011 | theVIPmag.com
house sink. A nook leading to the back door
hides a Parisian table made from an 18th cen-
tury balcony and a metal inlaid cheese storage
piece Suzanne obtained from a priest in France.
The dining room has a country French table
for six lighted by a chandelier. An ornately
carved bufet proudly displays an 18th century
Provencal panetière, a rare find these days. The
panetière, previously used in the 1800s to store
boule or a crusty ball-shaped loaf of bread, now
serves as storage for wine. A paper-mâché bark-
ing bulldog, (French, circa 1900), guards the top
of the panetière.
Amid all the Fracophile décor, Jerry’s con-
tribution is the only American antique, a tiger
maple highboy. When it comes to interior deco-
rating, Jerry said, “I keep out of the way and let
Suzanne make those decisions.”
When asked which antique piece is their
favorite, Suzanne is quick to reply in her French
accent, “Oh, everyzing!” Jerry, standing a few
steps behind, coyly points to Suzanne and says,
“Now, that’s my favorite antique.”
Real vs. Reproduction Furniture
A real antique must be 100 years or older. The piece should be all wood, not particle or plywood and pegged
together, not fastened with screws. In addition, look for worn wood and smooth edges. Smooth edges show wear
and age whereas reproductions will have sharp edges not characteristic of an aged piece.
How to create your own
French-inspired home
Do you want to bring a little French fair into your kitchen?
Try these tips:
• Use a soft color palette.
• Install warm, wood fooring.
• Add practical beauty with a farmhouse sink.
• Create a vintage feel by accenting with antiques.
• Try Old World-inspired hardware such as antique
pewter knobs or bin pulls.
• Select cabinets that are elegantly
distressed.
Breton Ladies
Brittany (Bretagne) is a coastal
region in Eastern France. Though
roosters are a common theme ele-
ment in Country French decorating,
Suzanne’s collections of
paintings and
acces-
sories refect
her Breton roots. Many
of her treasures depict
ladies of Brittany, tradition-
ally shown in native Breton
costume of white bonnets and
long dresses.
VIP
THEVIPMAG.COM | February 2011 11
mine
VALENTINE
Be
Rose BlossomPendant
sterling silver or 14K gold
(Shown on red leather cord sold separately.)
Available at James Avery, 409.860.4827
Available at
Nickolina’s
409.896.2543
Champagne freshwater pearls
with sterling brass metals
by One of a Kind.*
Available at Purse Strings
409.866.9742
p r e c i o u s s y m b o l s
vip style
Breitling
Transocean
Chronograph
Available at Mathews Jewelers
(Orange) 409.886.7233 (Beaumont) 409.866.7700
sterling silver or 14K gold.
Available at James Avery, 409.860.4827
Key
of Devotion
Pendant
sterling silver
or 14K gold.
Available at
James Avery
409.860.4827
4kWhite GoldBlackand
White Pave Diamond
Hoop Earrings.
Available at Mathews Jewelers
(Orange) 409.886.7233
(Beaumont) 409.866.7700
Available at
Nederland Jewelers
(Nederland) 409.724.2045
(Beaumont) 409.347.4010
12 February 2011 | THEVIPMAG.COM
Love Heart
Pendant
By Me & Ro.*
Available at Purse
Strings, 409.866.9742
14kRose GoldAmethyst
GoldenDiamondRing
Available at Mathews Jewelers
(Orange) 409.886.7233
(Beaumont) 409.866.7700
*
p
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t
o
g
r
a
p
h
y
b
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K
Y
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P
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S
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theVIPmag.com | February 2011 13
fabulous finds
Retailers we love and their
merchandise we love to have!
8
fabulous finds
Never shave again!
Kiss the razor, tweezers and wax goodbye
forever. Forget about painful nicks and
cuts, unsightly stubble and ingrown hair.
Skinologie Medical Spa and Laser
Center offers the latest technology in
Laser Hair Removal to stop the growth
of all types and shades of hair. Every
inch of your skin will be as smooth as you
want, without pain, hassle or mess.
Book in February and get 10% off
hair removal procedures.
Skinologie
Medical Spa &
Laser Center
810 Hospital Dr,
Suite 100 (@ Baptist Hospital)
409.833.0342
www.myskinologie.com
Build your pool in the Winter...
Less stress and less expense. Custom in-ground pools at
discount prices. Bonded • 30 yrs. Experience • Insured
Pool Super Deals...
409-299-7142
Looking for unique
accessories,
clothing, shoes,
or bags?
Pappagallo
features a variety of
hand-picked items.
This “Surrender”
reversible necklace is a
combination of Swarovski
crystals; inside reads
“Everything is exactly as it
should be” and “Trust and
Enjoy.” Come check out
our large selection of Brighton Jewelry!
Pappagallo
3350 Dowlen Road #A
Beaumont, TX 409-866-1917
Reverse:
Ellis Home Décor & Garden
3737 Calder, Beaumont, TX
409-839-8473
www.ellispottery.com
Add a little color to your life with bright colored Spring
Baskets from Ellis...3 different styles, several different
sizes and 5 bright colors to choose from!
Get your sparkle on at the Flagship Mail Room! Refect
your life and your style in one-of-a-kind jewelry created in
dazzling beads of sterling silver, 14k gold, colored stones,
Italian glass, and so much more from Chamilia! Make a
beautiful, heartfelt gift for the special woman in your life
this Valentine’s day.
Flagship Mail Room.
Beaumont, 148 S. Dowlen, 409.866.4643
Port Arthur, 4700 Hwy. 365, 409.724.0474
Lumberton, 88 N. LHS Drive, 409.755.6245
Fred A. Simon’s Tae Kwon Do.
6385 Calder (next to Purse Strings)
Beaumont, TX 409.860.5744
Southeast Texas’ highest ranking Black Belt,
9th degree Fred A. Simon, is offering his taekwondo
classes to beginners for a three-month trial period
for half off – only $25! From January through March,
study martial arts under a Texas Legends Hall of Fame
and Texas Martial Arts Hall of Fame Member. After the
trial period, join the class for a special discounted rate.
Call now to reserve your place! (Member of the Better
Business Bureau)
Providing personalized
service for over 30 years
Universal Travel
3199 Dowlen Road, Suite B, Beaumont, Texas 77706
409.892.1077 (next door to Bistro LeMonde)
Universal Travel
Honeymoon Specialists
Nickolina’s
1257 W. Lucas
Beaumont, TX • 409.896.2543
www.nickolinas.com
This unique gift for
weddings, birthdays,
graduations, and more is
now available at Nickolina’s.
Perpetual calendars start at
$29 and magnet sets start at $9.
Don’t miss a Nickolina’s
event this year with
your perpetual calendar
to keep you on schedule!
This decorative and
practical magnetic
calendar, designed by Lone
Elm Studios, is perfect for
any home or offce setting.
14 February 2011 | theVIPmag.com
Bette’s Gift Shop carries His Hands, Willow Tree, Andrea by
Sadek, Enesco and Jim Shore, all pictured above, along with
other collectibles and the perfect gift for any occasion!
Bette’s Gift Shop
2013 Texas Avenue
Cardinal Square
Bridge City 409.313.6443
Looks like it is just waiting for you and your special
someone. Airport Travel Agency has the experienced
Travel Agents to help make all your Dreams come true!
Airport Travel Agency
6000 Airline Drive, Ste. 104 409.722.5699
Jack Brooks Regional Airport
(Formerly Southeast Texas Regional Airport)
Inside Jerry Ware Terminal Bldg.
TACO REY has been serving the fnest Mexican food
in Nederland, Texas since 1960!! Prepared daily from
homemade Ramirez family recipes which been handed
down from generation to generation. TACO REY continues
to bring the Golden Triangle the best of authentic Mexican
cuisine that is guaranteed to keep families & friends coming
back for more!!
Taco Rey Mexican Restaurant
1505 Nederland Ave 409-721-5100
Bette’s Boutique carries men & womens Silver Jeans,
Affiction, Sinful, Roxy, Hurley and with New Arrivals, Daily, the
choices are perfect for the ultimate stylish shopper.
Bette’s Boutique
2013 Texas Avenue
Cardinal Square
Bridge City 409.313.6443
There’s a new shop in town…Dazzling Treasures
and the name says it all!!! From Designer purses,
stylish tops and bling, Dazzling Treasures has the
perfect gift for any Valentine on your list!
Dazzling Treasures
1619 Nederland Ave,
Nederland 409•724•1114
For that one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Gift, Heaven’s Korner
always seems to have just what you are looking for. Beautiful
teapots, unique windchimes, frames for the perfect picture,
and so much more!
Heaven’s Korner
(located inside Holland House)
1205 Boston Avenue
Nederland 409.721.9900
2
fabulous finds
Bridge City
NEVER ENOUGH CHOCOLATE
1147 Boston Avenue
Nederland 409.724.0111
5
Nederland
fabulous finds
H
eartburn is, of course, a
misnomer. Though some
people may experience
chest pain as a symptom,
it’s not the heart burning.
Instead, it is gastric acid from the
stomach slipping past the sphincter
into the throat. Medically, this is called
GER – gastroesophageal reflux or GERD,
gastroesophageal reflux disease when
damage occurs or symptoms are more
pernicious. And it can make you miserable.
Almost everyone experiences some de-
gree of mild heartburn occasionally. As an
indicator of the prevalence among adults,
consider the multi-billion dollar industry
in medicines that control stomach acid –
estimated at $27 billion in America alone.
More than 60 million Americans experi-
ence the symptoms of heartburn at least
once a month, according to The American
College of Gastroenterology.
Indigestion vs. GERD
The occasional bout of indigestion after
eating too much or unwisely, easily treated
with an over-the-counter stomach antacid,
is not GERD. But when heartburn symp-
toms occur more often than once a week,
it’s time to talk to a doctor, said Dr. Joseph
W. Holland Jr. of Southeast Texas Gastroen-
terology Associates.
Beyond getting relief for the uncomfort-
able symptoms, GERD patients are at risk
for Barrett’s esophagus, a condition that
can lead to cancer. “A patient with GERD
has a 30 percent increased risk over some-
one else for developing Barrett’s esopha-
gus,” Holland said. “It is not uncommon to
find Barrett’s esophagus in patients with
reflux. The only way to verify is to actually
look with an endoscope (a tube inserted
into the esophagus or swallowing a tube
that leads into the stomach) to see if there
is damage to the patient’s esophagus. If
there are no dysplastic (pre-cancerous) or
cancerous cells, they need to be followed
every two years.” The follow up is impor-
tant Holland said because Barrett’s esopha-
gus has no symptoms
– the symptoms would
come only after can-
cer developed.
Some patients
can improve
GERD symp-
toms by lifestyle
changes – losing
weight or quit-
ting smoking as
examples. Many,
though, will need
medication. “Typi-
cally, there are mainly
three types of drugs
prescribed,” Hol-
land said. “The first is
called an H2 blocker, a histamine blocker,
Hearts Afame
That burning sensation may be serious
text by CHERYL ROSE
h e a r t b u r n
health beauty
BURNNOTICE
• Avoid foods or drinks that
are known triggers.
• Don’t eat for three hours
before going to bed.
• Elevate the head of the bed.
• Take stomach acid
medication at night.
• If it occurs more than once
a week, talk to a doctor.
• If you take over-the-counter
stomach acid medication
for two weeks and
symptoms persist or return,
talk to a doctor.
THEVIPMAG.COM | February 2011 15
Dr. Joseph W.
Holland Jr.
>>
including products such
as Tagament, Pepcid or
Zantac. The next class is
proton-pump inhibitors such
as Nexium, Prilosec and Pre-
vacid.” The third type of medica-
tion helps empty the stomach for
patients with impaired gastric
motility, particularly in diabetic
patients.
“Though they call GERD a disease, it’s
really a condition,” Holland said. “All those
medicines do is neutralize the acid so you
don’t sense it and it doesn’t damage the lin-
ing of the esophagus. You still have some
reflux, but much less acid to irritate the
esophagus. If you can’t control the symp-
toms with medication, you may require
surgery.”
Surgical Options
The standard surgical approach to
GERD is the Nissen fundoplication, first
performed by Dr. Rudolph Nissen in 1955.
The procedure involves either open or lap-
aroscopic surgery where part of the stom-
ach is used to wrap around the esophagus
to tighten the sphincter.
Though the Nissen procedure has been
the standard approach for many years with
a strong track record of success, it is a full
surgery with the attendant risks, and about
30 percent of patients have negative conse-
quences, according to
Dr. Garrett Peel of
Previty-Clinic for
Surgical Care.
As chief
resident
at Mayo
Clinic,
Peel saw
the approach
to GERD surgery
evolve into a more
minimally invasive one.
He recently introduced
one of these new, mini-
mally invasive approaches,
called Stretta therapy, to
Southeast Texas.
“What’s exciting
about Stretta therapy
is that it is a safe in-
novation, so that we can
reduce risk from the surgery
options we have now,” Peel
said. “There is no incision.
A specially designed catheter
is passed through the mouth
down to the stomach where thermal energy
from radio frequency waves is used to
repair the valve. Over time, the gastric
contents reflux less, efectively treat-
ing heartburn and decreasing the risk of
esophageal cancer.”
According to Peel, the Stretta proce-
dure does require anesthesia, but is an
outpatient day surgery. “Patients usually
wake up with minimal discomfort, are
back to work the next day and are usually
of their GERD medications within three
months,” he said.
Though Stretta therapy was pioneered
several years ago, by medical standards it
is still new enough not to be mainstream.
“There are only a handful of us trained to
ofer this procedure in country right now,”
Peel said. “We have very good data to sup-
port the success rates. When you think of
dissecting the stomach and changing the
natural anatomy drastically, as you do in a
Nissen, it’s very exciting to think we can
ofer a procedure that is less invasive, and
in some cases, has better results. I think
this new procedure eventually may be the
first line of therapy.”
Peel said he has performed the Stretta
therapy on about 35 patients in Southeast
Texas. “This is not for patients who have
occasional heartburn at night or get relief
from medications,” Peel advised. Surgery
options are for patients who have failed
other therapies. Peel also cautioned that
after any surgery for GERD, patients still
need to be monitored by their gastroenter-
ologist. “It’s very important that patients
not think they can get a procedure and be
cured immediately, Peel said. “GERD is a
lifelong battle; however, with more mini-
mally invasive approaches, the disease can
be treated successfully with less risk.” VIP
h e a r t b u r n
health beauty
Skip the
Mint
Though triggered by
many causes including
genetics, fatty foods, spicy
foods and caffeine, one
commonly overlooked
trigger is peppermint.
Folk medicine through
time has associated
peppermint with
aiding digestion, but
instead it can bring on
heartburn. So if you’ve
already indulged in a
restaurant meal, forego the
proffered mint – it might
make the difference in
whether you get a good
night’s sleep.
16 February 2011 | THEVIPMAG.COM
Dr. Garrett Peel
theVIPmag.com | February 2011 17
&20081,7< 63,5,78$/,7<
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r o m a n c e
eating drinking
T
he way to a man’s heart might be his
stomach, but even women swoon at
the thought of fine dining and candlelit
dinners!
On Valentine’s Day, what could be more
romantic than transforming your home
into a romantic retreat as you scintillate
your date with a superb, gourmet meal?
Here to help set the mood and the table,
are two local culinary pros who know a
thing or two about romance: Leonel A. Ducharme, executive chef of
Beaumont’s Holiday Inn & Suites and Steve McGaha, food and bever-
age director of the MCM Eleganté.
“Food and romance have become intertwined throughout his-
tory,” said Chef Ducharme. “Most romantic evenings include food so
Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to cook something special for
someone you love.”
All extraordinary evenings require meticulous planning. Before
stepping into the kitchen, start by brainstorming. What sort of food
and drinks does your date most prefer? These questions are easily an-
swered by paying close attention when your
special someone orders while dining out. Se-
lecting soft music that is sure to be a hit is as
simple as sneaking a peak in his or her iPod.
“Anybody can make a reservation,” said
Chef McGaha. “But cooking at home really
shows that you put an efort into the day –
that you took the time to arrange the home,
cook the food, and think about the person
you love.”
Once you know what details will impress
your date, begin planning the menu. This
should be done several days prior to the spe-
cial night to allow ample time to gather in-
gredients and experiment with cooking tech-
niques and flavor profiles.
“Simple foods done well and with love mean a lot more than an
extravagant recipe,” Chef McGaha advised. “Find out what your
significant other likes and then give it that special twist to make it
even better.”
Before ever preheating the oven, it’s important to create a sensual
atmosphere. The environment should be clean and free of extrane-
ous distractions. Chef Ducharme believes that the key is to spend
time on the details. Use your senses. Does the space smell good? Is
the room comfortable and warm? Does the lighting and seating ar-
rangement create intimacy?
Ducharme suggests that in addition to dining by candlelight and
playing soft music, Romeos or Juliets in the making can create an
element of surprise with beautiful and innovative floral centerpieces.
And, McGaha hints that placing candles throughout the home – not
just in the dining room – creates an amorous atmosphere wherever
you and your loved one might choose to go. (Hint, hint)
Once the table is set, start chilling your wine, champagne or other
beverage of choice. A wonderful meal can fall flat if it’s paired with
an incorrectly chilled beverage.
Timing is definitely everything, so plan dishes around your date’s
arrival. Don’t leave them to linger while you frantically cook in a
sweaty kitchen! A perfectly plated meal is a feast to the eyes and a
guaranteed way to wow any Valentine.
And, speaking of plates, why not share your plate? McGaha
believes that sharing food from one platter not only forces you to
sit closer to one another, but also makes the experience even more
sensual.
After the mood is made romantic, the
table is set to perfection, and the delectable
dishes are prepared, the rest of the night is
up to you to create!
Setting the Mood and the Table
DIY
Valentine’s Dinner
photography by JUDY STOKELY text by HOLLI PETERSEN
>>
18 February 2011 | THEVIPMAG.COM
Going Gourmet?
Check out our chefs’ guaranteed-to-melt-their-hearts menus:
Chef McGaha:
Great for Him
First course: Shiner Bock Cheddar
and Leek Soup with Bacon Lardon
Bruschetta
Main Entrée: Pan-seared Bone-in
Ribeye Steak au Poivre (pepper) with
Caramelized Mushrooms and Onions
served with Pan Fries, Broiled To-
mato, and Creamed Spinach
Dessert: “Baked Potato” Sundae,
made by forming Cookies & Cream
Ice Cream into potato-like shapes and
topping with Chocolate Ganache and
Shiner Bock Beer
Simple foods done well
and with love mean
a lot more than an
extravagant recipe.
— Chef Steve McGaha
Lip Smacking
Have we got your tastebuds tingling?
If you lack talent or ambition in the
kitchen, you can be sure of a divine
meal at the restaurants supervised
by these chefs. For reservations:
MCM Eleganté
409.842.3600
Holiday Inn & Suites
409.842.5995
Chef Ducharme:
Great for Her
First course: Sautéed Shiitake Mush-
rooms with Stilton Blue Cheese with
Roasted Red Bell Peppers on Garlic
Toast Points
Main Entrée: Red Snapper with a
Balsamic Butter Sauce, paired with
Thyme Mashed Potatoes, Sugar Snap
Peas, and Sweet Yams with Butter
and Brown Sugar
Dessert: Maple-Hazelnut Pie
with Fresh Whipped Cream
and Raspberries
THEVIPMAG.COM | February 2011 19
VIP
20 February 2011 | theVIPmag.com
Complete Inventory
of Party Supplies
Plastic & Paper
Catering Items• Pinatas
Holiday Decorations
Birthday Supplies
Cards • Invitations
Wedding • Sport Items
Candy, Toys & Novelties
Balloons & Helium
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3970 Dowlen Rd.
(next to Hobby Lobby)
Beaumont, TX
409.892.1555
The Discount Party Super Store
6755 Phelan, Ste. 17
Beaumont, TX 77706
409.861.5762
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theVIPmag.com | February 2011 21
Business Meetings & Conferences
Receptions & Luncheons
State-of-the Art Communications
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Where Business &
Pleasure Meet
1775 Cal der Ave. Beaumont , Texas
409. 832. 1621
www. broussardscentre. com
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t hurs days wi l l never be t he s ame
S T ART I NG I N F EBRUARY S T ART I NG I N F EBRUARY
www. t hecat 5. com
Jefferson County Bar
Association Party
1. Laurie and Frank Maida, Judge
Bob Wortham. 2. Jesse Branick and
Jessica Hallmark. 3. Carly Smith,
Cynthia Doucette, Teri Daigle and Janie
Trapp. 4. Eliot and Bethany New.
5. Ryan and Christy Scott. 6. Davilyn
and Kent Walston, Bonnie Dean and
Randy Shelton. 7. Kaleb Carter, Scott
Frederick and Toby Nash. 8. Daniel
and Dianna Clayton.
6
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S
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P
P
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D
8
5
1
3
4
2
7
8
e v e n t s
totally social
22 February 2011 | THEVIPMAG.COM
Board of Realtors
Christmas Party
1. Barry and Carla Behannon. 2. Jennifer and Daniel Green.
3. Rachael and Sammy Scoggin. 4. Kerry and Gail Moncla.
5. Melynda and Don Brown. 6. Debbie and Reagan
Hanna. 7. Milton and Hester Bell. 8. Keith Zotzsky and
Jacey-Kay Jones. 9. Peter Craig and Susan Gummelt.
10. Bryan and Amy Chance. 11. Cindy Cheney and Katie Tucker.
1
9
4
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11
8
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theVIPmag.com | February 2011 23
Bauer Ranch Party
1. Vickie and Tim Bauer. 2. Billy and Dolores
Rolo. 3. LouAnn Rainy and Jenny Turk. 4. Katie
and Bob Wellman. 5. India Billeaud and Jody
Barrilleaux. 6. Gary and Imelda Phillips. 7. Pairy
and Milton Seal. 8. Robin Broussard and Yale
Devillier. 9. Caroline Jones and Carl Hargrave.
10. Raymond and Wyvon Schroeder. 11. Stacy
and Cuffe Devillier. 12. Kim and Dennis Isaacs.
2
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24 February 2011 | theVIPmag.com
A Very Merry
Main Street Market
1. Jennifer Condon and Kim
McAtee. 2. Derek Melancon holding
Lily Melancon, Vanessa Melancon,
Terri Martinez and Isabella Melancon.
3. Jordan, Alea and Peyton Greer.
4. Whitney and Mindy VanDevender.
5. Janci and Jacob Kimball. 6. Kara
Hawthorne and Jennifer Wright.
1
2
4
5
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6
theVIPmag.com | February 2011 25
3
Mid-County
Chambers Mixer
1. Debbie Snell and Ronnie Boneau. 2. Ali Barlow, Micah Shanks.
3. Andrea Johnson, Glenn Johnson and Kathy Levingston. 4. Front: Bonnie
Bond and M.S. Austin. Back: Tim and Leslie Hughes. 5. Stephanie Shimek,
Mitch Macon and Belinda Turney. 6. Joe Tibb and Virginia Reece.
7. Rick Williams, Karl Segura, Matt Vincent and Gary Cliett. 8. Susan
Davidson, Yiannis Mihail and Jamie Gaspard. 9. Lyn Breaux and
Debbie Plaia. 10. Sandy and Kevin Watts. 11. Danette Mangioni and
Tonya Petix.
1
2
4
9
6
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11
26 February 2011 | theVIPmag.com
theVIPmag.com | February 2011 27
Custom Beach
Homes at
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An
Experienced
Home Builder
And A Crystal
Beach Property
Owner For
30 Years.
YOUR CRYSTAL BEACH
HOME BUILDER
www.crystalbeachhomebuilder.com
We handle every aspect of
building your home.
Contact CSB:
Scott Shelander
409.454.7349 • 409.860.3636
Beaumont, TX
www.crystalbeachhomebuilder.com
There’s no limit to what you can design
for your windows with the Graber
Fresco Roman Shades. Every window
in your home can be a form of creative
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Lamar University Distinguished
Professor Dinner and Reception
1. Thomas Ho, Dewanna Campbell, Rafael Tadmor (the night’s honoree), Daniel Chen and John Gossage.
2. Cheryl Black Fitzpatrick and Oney Fitzpatrick. 3. Richard and Beverly Harrel. 4. Rafael Tadmor and Rabbi Joshua
Taub. 5. Pattie and Floyd McSpadden and Alicen Flosi. 6. Kenneth Rivers, Diana Rivers, Victoria Price and
Steven Zani. 7. Kathleen Jackson, Maria and Rafael Tadmor and Susan and Jimmy Simmons.
3
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2
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5
7
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28 February 2011 | theVIPmag.com
Serving you since 1918
OFF PREMISE CATERING
Business Meetings
Church & School Events
Open Houses
Seminars
Brunches & Dinners
Reunions
Holiday Parties
Rehearsal Dinners
Safety Luncheons
Cocktail Parties
RECEPTIONS
Wedding Receptions &
Anniversary Parties
409/840.9051
or
800/480.9051
www.monclas.com
Ken & Randy Moncla…
Co-Owners
6
Burns Antik
Christmas Party
1. Amy Delgado, Julie Burns and
Dominique Delgado. 2. Carleigh
Smith, Tara Fisher, Daylon Korry.
3. Paige Pemberton and Nina
Kenney. 4. Scott and Annette
Holtmeyer. 5. Janey Phelan and
Michelle Phelan. 6. Cary Coffn,
Frank Coffn and Lynda Kay Makin.
7. Les Warren and Anita Harmon.
2
4 5
3
1
J
U
D
Y
S
T
O
K
E
L
Y
7
theVIPmag.com | February 2011 29
Monthly Qualifications for rewards:
Make 10 check card purchases,
receive monthly eStatements,
and have one direct deposit
or one ACH auto debit
Real Saver is an automatic
savings builder linked to your
high interest Rewards Checking
account. Your interest earnings
and nationwide ATM fee refunds*
are automatically deposited into
your savings, where the balance
earns interest again!
Mid County Location
4700 Hwy 365 Unit J
409.729.0513
*ATM fee refunds up to $45 per cycle when
qualifications are met. **All Annual
Percentage Yields (APY) disclosed are
accurate as of 2/1/2011. Minimum to open a
Rewards Checking account is $50. Rewards
Checking rate tiers are as follows: 3.25% APY
applies to balances of $.01 to $10,000 and
1.01% APY applies to the portion of balances
over $10,000 as long as qualifications are met
each statement cycle. 0.05% APY applies to
all checking balances if qualifications are not
met. All checking balances will earn 3.25%
APY to 1.01% APY as long as qualifications
are met. Minimum to open a Real Saver
account is $50. Real Saver rate tiers are as
follows: 1.25% APY applies to balances of
$.01 to $10,000 and 1.01% APY applies to
portion of balances over $10,000 as long as
qualifications are met each statement cycle
on Rewards Checking account. 0.05% APY
applies to all savings balances if qualifications
are not met on Rewards Checking. All savings
balances will earn 1.01% APY to 1.25% APY
as long as qualifications are met. Rates may
change after the accounts are opened. No
minimum balance required. No monthly
service charge. Patent Pending. BancVue.
4
Open House
Tea Party at the BCVB
1. BCVB Staff, L - R: Ross Russell,
Elizabeth Eddins, Stephanie Molina,
Freddie Willard, Ann Rothkam, Samantha
Boutte, Dean Conwell, Susan Luquette,
Ashley White, Rebecca Woodland, Karen
Lewis. 2. Kristen Hoffpauir, Amie and
Richard James III. 3. Roxanne Hellberg
and Ann Jones. 4. Diana Linton, Belva
and Alton McCurley. 5. Dr. Richard
LeBlanc and Dean E. Conwell.
6. Holiday Inn representatives Jay Badillo,
Stuart McCormick, Leonel Ducharme,
Sherry Peddy, Samantha Fletcher.
7. Charlie Gibbs and Ann Rothkamm.
3
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30 February 2011 | theVIPmag.com
Baptist Family
Christmas Party
1. Julie and Alan Coleman. 2. Rebecca Blackwell
and Gina Plaunty. 3. Jennifer Barroeta, Gerald
Bryant and Bryan Chandler. 4. Katie Whitney,
Stephanie Kirby and Robin Chandler. 5. Sarah Horner
and Debby Lyles. 6. Jerry and Allison Thompson.
7. Albert Ong and Steve Socher.
3
2
1
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y
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2
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theVIPmag.com | February 2011 31
DRINK & BUCKET BEER
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CRAWFISH ARE BACK!
Babineaux “It’s all about the Peace sign” Eve Eve Party
1. Laura and Frank Assunto. 2. The Babineauxs: L - R: Karen, Bree, Bret, Sofa, Blair, Charlene,
Danny, Dana and Slate. 3. Sandra Hammerling, Rob Clark and Dr. Brian Blount. 4. Kevin and
Jill Roy. 5. Karen and Dr. Ray Fontenot. 6. Randy Trahan. 7. Brian and Kerry Glenn. 8. Sheila
and Walter Umphrey. 9. Carmon and Jim Dubose. 10. Carla and Phil Meaux. 11. Jenny and
Sam Tavor.
1
3
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t
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s
y
o
f
B
a
B
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n
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a
u
x
s
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6
8
4
7
2
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10
Tacky
New Year’s
Eve
1. Lauren Loeb, Kaitlyn Koch and Mallory Martindale. 2. Charity Ewing,
David Hight and Sember Allen. 3. Jeremy Bauman, Drozan Rutledge,
Brittney Rhodes, Rusty “Fifty” Rhodes, Chase Palmer and Keeley Taylor.
4. James Warren, Courtney Rogers and Valerie Lewis. 5. Jon Clinton and
Hillary Mills. 6. Kayla Koch, Megan Shields and Jennell Lewis. 7. Trisha
Durr and Tabitha Bonds.
2
4
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theVIPmag.com | February 2011 33
We’re half art lesson, half party!
Come by yourself, with friends,
or book a private party
229 Dowlen Road,
Suite 11A, Beaumont
www.paintingwithatwist.com/beaumont • 409-866-0399
3
LAMAR BASKETBALL GAME
1. Victoria White and Angela Guidry. 2. Pikes supporting the team. 3. Devon Lamb shoots
against McNeese State. 4. Colette Shelander, Kalah Fulcher and Carly Shelander.
5. Kristi Arceneaux, Christina Jackson and Casey Stewart. 6. Kaitlan Ortego. 7. LaMyra
and LaTerra Satche.
1
2
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34 February 2011 | theVIPmag.com
m u l t i l a y e r e d
totally worthy
D
arrell Troppy
admits that he
often wears
his heart on
his sleeve.
Displaying
his emotions
and opinions
openly comes
naturally.
You’ll never have to wonder how
the Beaumont artist feels – he’ll tell
you, loud and clear.
Maybe that’s why his first series of
encaustic paintings – hearts – was so
successful. It was about 13 years ago and
Troppy wanted to make heart art for Valentine’s Day. He still
wanted to paint but he also yearned to try something difer-
ent. “Encaustic gave me that opportunity,” he said. His works
started out small but grew to a grander scale. “The heart was
the heart of it,” he said. “I wanted to give them to my friends.”
Painting with hot beeswax
Encaustic painting, also known as
hot-wax painting, involves using heated
beeswax to which colored pigments are
added. The mixture is then applied
to wood, canvas or other materials.
Troppy developed a technique that he
believes honors the original encaus-
tic approach while bringing it into
the 21st century. He combined the
ancient wax process with resins,
polymers and digital photography.
After hearts, Troppy’s in-
terest turned to flowers. As a certified
master gardener, he knows his subjects
well. (His gardening was also instrumen-
tal in meeting the beekeepers of Southeast Texas and learning
about the bee and wax industry.) He starts with a photograph
of the flower and then works his art with the encaustic process.
The last step is pouring resin over the piece – a minimum of
three coats with a maximum of 10. Each pouring is equivalent
WAXING ARTISTIC
text by CATHLEEN COLE
Darrell Troppy adds a modern
touch to the ancient technique of
encaustic painting.
THEVIPMAG.COM | February 2011 35
>>
36 February 2011 | THEVIPMAG.COM
to 150 coats of varnish and about $100 in cost. “There are many layers
and depths to my artwork,” he said.
His encaustics are also protected from ultraviolet radiation and can
potentially last for centuries. His point: “Make it archival so it will be
there long after you’re gone.” He moved away from the small paintings
to larger pieces that can weigh about 150 pounds. “They’re not light-
weight,” he said. Trees will be the focus of his next series, but he’ll also
work on a collection of figurative and abstract pieces.
The artist’s works, represented in many public and private collec-
tions, include encaustics, paintings, drawings and photography. True to
his nature, he doesn’t go with the usual print-under-glass format with his
photographs. He pours resin on them.
Colors that pop
He describes himself as a colorist. “I like colors to pop,” he said.
“Whether in the initial sketch or click of the camera, I want it to have
that vibrancy, that pop. That’s what makes my art unique.”
The art is unique and so is the artist, according to those who know
him.
Anne Williams, artist and owner of Only One Vases in the Mildred
Building in Beaumont, met Troppy several months ago. He’d recently
moved into his new studio on Broadway Street nearby. She had heard a
lot about him and went online to check out his website. “From looking at
his work, I figured he was a very conservative, quiet person,” she said. “A
few weeks later, this bouncing, bubbling, energetic man comes into my
gallery and introduces himself as Darrell Troppy. I was shocked. He was
nothing at all as I had pictured him.” After about five minutes of listening
to him talk, Williams said she was in love. She describes her neighbor as
sweet, caring, charming and talented. “There are so many layers to Dar-
rell that you have to love him or hate him,” she said. “Darrell is someone
who will always be branded in one’s memory, no matter what.”
Drawing outside the lines
Troppy credits his astrological sign for much of his outgoing person-
ality traits. “I’m an Aries!” he exclaimed, as if that were enough in the
way of explanation. He moved to Beaumont 24 years ago after living the
high life in Houston. It was the disco ’80s and he was in his early 20s. He
finally realized the motto “live fast, die young and leave a good-looking
“I’m here for a reason –
to create something
beautiful.” ~ Darrell Troppy
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corpse” wasn’t that great an idea so he curbed
his wild ways and settled down in Old Town.
The front door of Troppy’s studio is painted
with two directives: Run with scissors. Draw
outside the lines. Inside, he has a myriad of
projects going at once with a dozen ideas pop-
ping into his brain that he can’t write down
on his supersized to-do list quickly enough. A
friend, trying to ofer helpful advice, told him to
prioritize with an A and B list. His attempt re-
sulted in a 3-foot-by-4-foot sketch pad with his
priorities starting at A on page one and ending
at H on page eight.
Born in Raymondville in South Texas near
the historic King Ranch, Troppy’s parents,
Herman and Fay, were farmers. But
they didn’t want their boys, Darrell
and Daniel, to stay and become farm-
ers too. They wanted their sons to leave
the farm and see what lay beyond the
cotton felds and cattle ranches. After
retiring from farming, his father took up
gardening. His mom has been a greeter
at the local Wal-Mart for 18 years and was
awarded the title “Greeter of the Year” in
2010. Troppy couldn’t be more proud.
Once while studying in college, Troppy
was teased by an art professor for never
delving into the dark, morose side of life and
always painting pretty pictures. That’s right,
he agreed. In his view, there’s enough ugliness
in the world. “I want the Happy Channel,” he
said. “I’m here for a reason – to create some-
thing beautiful.” VIP
theVIPmag.com | February 2011 37
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RicArena • 409.866.1211 or 409.781.0978
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text by HOLLI PETERSON
DOWN!
a Fund Raising Fight
Kevin Steele
KBMT-TV Channel 12
Kevin Steele is a single, broadcast
journalist with two daughters, Haley
and Katie.
Secret Weapon He’s Bringing to the
Contest: The ability to share my
inner-most feelings like, “How’s
my hair?”
Ladies Find Him
Because: We can apply blush
together – side by side.
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38 February 2011 | THEVIPMAG.COM
S
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Nine distinguished
Southeast Texas men.
But only one golden hard
hat and hammer set.
Who will win the
honor of being the
2011 Mr. Habitat?
Decide for yourself.
Ronnie Ramirez
Turn Key Mortgage
Ronnie Ramirez is married to
Melanie Ramirez and has one son,
Christopher and one dog.
The One Word He’d Use to
Describe His Personality: Outgoing
Best Current Pickup Line:
“Honey, do I need to pick up milk
on the way home?” >>
Micheal Blueitt
Goodfella’s
Micheal Blueitt is in a relationship
with Michele Cross and has one
child, Bailee Blueitt and three dogs.
Best Pickup Line
(from back in the single days):
“I’m a chef.”
Best Romantic Gesture:
I will sweep you off your feet
with something good to eat!
Guaranteed Good Time
“The Mr. Habitat Contest is the hottest party in town and
the most fun you’ll have at a fundraiser,” said Uliana Trylowsky,
executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Jeferson County.
“These leading Beaumont men will entertain you in so
many ways! And, all the proceeds provide Jeferson County
with afordable homes for those who may never have the
opportunity to own a decent, modest home.”
Who: Habitat for Humanity of
Jefferson County, 409.832.5853
What: Mr. Habitat Contest
Dinner • Reception • Trade Show
When: Saturday, February 26, 6:30p.m.
Where: Rockin’ A Café • Beaumont
Cost: $40 per person or $300 per table of
eight.Vendor trade show
booths available. Additional
entertainment provided by the
Blue Broussard Band
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TheVIPmaG.com | February 2011 39
Clark Winslow
Eastex Automotive
Clark Winslow is married to Casey Winslow and
has a son, Jackson and a daughter, Kate, as well
as lots of dogs, cats, horses, goats and chickens.
The One Word He’d Use to Describe His
Personality: Loud
Best Romantic Gesture: Making dinner and
then cleaning the kitchen afterwards.
Brad Klein
Merrill Lynch & Co.
Bradford Klein is married to Catherine Broussard
Klein and has three boys, Dillon, Quentin and
Gramm, one good dog, and one cat.
Ladies Find Him Irresistible Because...
I’m full of bull.
Best Pickup Line (from back in the single days):
I just applied to Inyourpants University and I’m still
waiting to see if I get in.
LOVEEQUITY

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit,
ecumenical Christian housing ministry seeking
to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness.

People are invited to volunteer to build houses
in partnership with families in need.

Habitat homes are not given away.
Along with a down payment and monthly
mortgage payments, homeowners invest
hundreds of hours of their own labor into
building their Habitat house and the houses
of others. Habitat homes are then sold to the
family at no profit and with affordable loans.
James Johnson
RE/MAX Beaumont
James Johnson is married to Trudy Johnson and
has two children, Heather and Colby, and one
step-cat (his wife’s cat).
Secret Weapon He’s Bringing to the Contest:
Sense of humor, although it’s not much of a secret.
Best Pickup Line (from back in the single days):
“You’re so beautiful you made me forget my
pickup line.”
2011
Mr. Habitat
Gordon Williams
Lamar University
Gordon S. Williams is a single,
communication-savvy LUTV Studio Operations
Manager at Lamar University.
The One Word He’d Use to Describe His
Personality: Passionate
Ladies Find Him Irresistible Because... I have been
told that I am very attentive and a great listener.
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40 February 2011 | theVIPmag.com
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Chuck King
King Homes Inc.and
Keller Williams Realty
Chuck King is married to
Paige King and has two
daughters, Heather and Tara.
Ladies Find Him Irresistible
Because... of my Mojo!!
Best Romantic Gesture:
Watching football
with my wife.
VIP
J. Shane Howard
Jefferson County
Tax Assessor
J. Shane Howard is married to
Christina Howard and has
two children.
Ladies Find Him Irresistible Because:
My intensity and because I’m so
darn cute!
Best Pickup Line (from back in the
single days): “As a capitalist I like
to say, ‘Hey baby, wanna exchange
value?’”
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THEVIPMAG.COM | February 2011 41
JIMMY
JOHNSON
T
here is no question of his legacy. Jimmy
Johnson is one of the most illustrious
football coaches of all time.
The Port Arthur native was the first
football coach to win both an NCAA Divi-
sion 1A National Championship and a Su-
per Bowl. He is one of only six men in NFL
history to coach consecutive Super Bowl
winners. Over his career, he was a part of
four championship teams—one as a player
at the University of Arkansas in 1964, one as the head
coach at the University of Miami in 1987, and two leading
the Dallas Cowboys in 1993 and 1994.
Currently, Johnson is most visible as an analyst on “Fox
NFL Sunday,” the network’s weekly pregame show, but he
pops up in other entertaining places as well, such as the
reality TV program “Survivor.” (Also catch his YouTube
training videos for the Crown Royal Jimmy Bowl.)
Nowadays, Johnson lives in his own version of para-
dise: on a tropical beach, with plenty of enormous fish
nearby. “When I left the Cowboys, I bought a home in the
Florida Keys and have been there ever since,” he said. He
lives with his wife, Rhonda, on Islamorada, and owns two
restaurants, including The Big Chill in Key Largo.
The pool at The Big Chill was part of the fun during a
special reunion that the Johnsons hosted for his Thomas
Jeferson High School Class of 1961 classmates last sum-
mer. A large contingent from Port Arthur traveled to the
Florida Keys, all of them raving about the lavish treatment
and warm welcome provided by the Johnsons.
Remembered by friends who grew up with him as the
boy who would stop by his father’s ice cream business and
bring free ice cream to the ballpark, Johnson is not just
a larger-than-life legend to his contemporaries. He has
participated in many class reunions over the years and,
regardless of his celebrity status and accolades, remains
the accessible friend people remember.
One of Johnson’s closest friends is fellow broadcaster
at Fox Sports, Terry Bradshaw, who has some Super Bowl
history of his own (four Super Bowl titles as a quarterback
for the Pittsburgh Steelers). “Jimmy Johnson is truly one
of my best friends and I can’t imagine doing the pregame
show each week without him,” Bradshaw said. “I am
consistently blown away by the way he sees the game and
doing the show with him is like friends just talking about
what they love.”
Though he maintains a hectic schedule, Johnson’s
favorite time is when he can get out on the ocean. “Out on
the water in my boat with a couple of cold beers…that’s a
good day for me.”
text by
CHERYL
ROSE
VIP
v i p e r s o n a l i t y
vip worthy
42 February 2011 | THEVIPMAG.COM
Just in time for Super Bowl LXV, we
caught up with our own favorite Super
Bowl alumnus.
Have you been home to
Southeast Texas lately?
I brought Port Arthur to me! At a reunion, some
of my classmates said they would love to come
to Florida and see the house. I said, well if you
get there, I’ll take care of you. We were thinking
maybe 30, but 110 of them came! When the word
got out, quite a few from other classes came as
well.
You were just on the reality
show “Survivor: Nicaragua.”
What was it like?
It was one of the most diffcult things I’ve ever
done. I love the show. I live on the beach, but it was
not the same as when we lived in Nicaragua. We
had like two cups of rice for all of us for a day. I
lost 18 pounds in a week and a half. There was no
sleep; it was cold and wet at night. We were flthy
dirty. On TV they have all these beautiful shots, but
it’s not nearly as pleasant as what it looks like.
Mentors?
My dad. Not only was he a regular good-old-guy
father, but he also coached me in Little League
baseball and was very active in sports. Also, I
wouldn’t pick just one coach, but I was around
some outstanding coaches.
Early bird or nightowl?
Early bird. I get up every day in the Keys about
5:00 a.m. I fsh a lot, so I’m always out on the
water while it’s still dark.
Hobbies?
Fishing. I live on the ocean and go offshore to
fsh. I own a couple of boats, so I’ll head out on
the ocean by myself for mahi mahi, sailfsh or
whatever. I also do a lot of scuba diving for lobster.
We will get our limit of lobster not a mile offshore
from the house.
What is it like to have your every
expression televised as you coach
a Super Bowl team?
You get accustomed to it. You are so into what
you’re doing in your work, you don’t even think
about it. The main thing is the drive to be success-
ful. You don’t pay any attention to the million
people watching in a Super Bowl.
Troy Aikman or Dan Marino?
Troy won two Super Bowls for me so I’m
biased. When I got Marino, he was at the
end of his career, had already had about
10 surgeries. But he was a great player.
As a broadcaster,
how do you stay current?
Since I do get up early, if I’m not out
fshing, I’m reading about football. I talk
to friends. Bill Belichick comes down and
fshes with me each year and so I stay on
top of it through my contacts.
What will you be doing
for Valentine’s Day?
I don’t celebrate holidays. I’ve trained my family
through the years that I don’t celebrate birthdays
or anniversaries or other holidays. If I want to buy a
gift for someone, I just buy it.
Pets?
We had a teacup Yorkie that passed away just a
couple of months ago. It’s been rather traumatic.
Her name was Buttercup and she went everywhere
with us. She was even in a TV commercial once.
Cowboys Stadium is the
home for Super Bowl XLV
on February 6. Will we
see you there?
I’ll be there working the entire
week. (Dallas Cowboys owner)
Jerry Jones asked me to
be his guest in his box for
the opening event of the
stadium, the concert with
George Strait. It’s a beauti-
ful stadium.
JJ’s Career
Highlights
• TV studio analyst for Fox Sports
• Head coach of the Miami Dolphins
• Head coach of the Dallas Cowboys,
consecutive Super Bowl wins in 1992
and 1993
• Head coach of the University of
Miami, winning a national
championship in 1987
• Head coach of Oklahoma
State University
• Assistant coach at Louisiana Tech
University, Wichita State University,
Iowa State University and University
of Pittsburgh.
• Defensive coordinator for University
of Arkansas
• SWC defensive lineman for University
of Arkansas, a member of the 1964
National Championship team
“Jimmy Johnson has class. Despite his legendary success in football, he has
never seemed to become self-absorbed, arrogant or disinterested in the people
and places that were important to him as a young man—especially those
friends in the Port Arthur area where he grew up and went to school.”
– Michelle (Mikie Prejean) Hughes, classmate
photos courtesy of
JIMMY JOHNSON
THEVIPMAG.COM | February 2011 43
Prelude to a kiss
Do’s and don’ts for a successful frst date
N
othing is more
exciting –
or intimidating –
than a first date.
Fromthe clothes to the car to
the location, it’s all about mak-
ing a great first impression.
We asked participants in the
2011 Ubi Caritas Date Auction
fundraiser for some advice on
dating in Southeast Texas.
These eligible bachelors and
bachelorettes ofered some
insight into making a good
impression and landing that
second date.
text by HALEY STRAHAN
vip guide
k i s s a n d t e l l
THEVIPMAG.COM | February 2011 44
Frank Messina Lauren Lewis Leslie Davis Lindsay Kovacevich Lauren Sanders David Thompson
Dobe open to unusual date settings. “Dinner
and a movie are great, but it will make a lasting impression
if you do something out of the norm for a first date,” Frank
Messina said. A fun game of mini-golf or bowling gives an
opportunity to talk while indulging in some friendly competi-
tion. A walk in the park with cofee and pastries is a low-key
and inexpensive idea. “Find activities that will spark conver-
sation and interaction,” Lauren Lewis agreed.
Dobe chivalrous. Today’s women are more
independent than ever, but most still enjoy being treated like
a princess. In fact, all of the women commented on the im-
portance of good manners. “Treat us like a lady,” Leslie Davis
said. “Open doors, let us order first, don’t crack dirty jokes.
At the end of the date, we would like to think ‘wow, what a
great guy’ not ‘whew, glad that’s over.’”
Dolisten. “The key to a woman’s heart is truly
listening to what they have to say and engaging in conver-
sation,” Lindsay Kovacevich explained. “A woman hates
nothing more than having to repeat herself because you were
taking a sneak peek at the football game.”
Doyour homework. In today’s computer age,
it is almost required that you learn a bit about the person
before your date. “Check your date’s Facebook page before
the date to get some insight into what they are like,” Messina
advised. However, it may not be smart to reveal too much
of what you learned. You don’t want to seem like you have
researched too intensely and scare your date away.
Domeet each other’s friends. Getting to know
your date’s friends is a great way to gauge the kind of person
he or she is. “It shows how you interact with others and gives
you insight into where the relationship is headed,” Kova-
cevich explained.
A first date can be an initially awkward experience,
but following these rules will put you both at ease.
Above all, remember that dating should be a fun experi-
ence and try not to put too much pressure on yourself.
By following a few rules of etiquette and being yourself,
you are sure to make a great first impression.
Don’t drink too much. Getting too tipsy
can easily ruin a date that was of to a good start. “It’s fine to
have a drink or two,” said Messina. “Just don’t get completely
wasted.”
Don’tget too physical too fast. It’s impor-
tant to get to know a person to get a feel for their personal
boundaries and comfort level. “Nothing is worse than a first
date that comes on too strong,” Lauren Sanders explained.
Look to the other person for cues as to what kind of physical
contact fits his or her comfort level.
Don’tact distracted. If your Blackberry is
permanently attached to your hand, you are giving the wrong
impression. “Don’t text on a first date,” said Messina, “It may
be a nervous habit, but it makes you appear uninterested.” It
may be difcult, but turn that phone of! “Constantly texting
during a date gives the impression that you would rather not
be there,” said David Thompson.
Don’ttell lies. Sure, you might want to
make yourself appear cooler, smarter, richer, but glossing
over the truth will only come back to haunt you. “Being
honest up front will lessen the chance of a bombshell hitting
later on,” Kovacevich said. On the other hand…
Don’ttreat your date like your therapist.
It’s great to be honest about your past, but don’t share
everything about your bad break-up, your relationship with
your mother, and your health report on the first date. “Don’t
reveal your deepest, darkest secrets,” Messina advised. A
first date is like a job interview. You should be honest, but try
to present yourself in the best light.
VIP
THEVIPMAG.COM | February 2011 45
46 February 2011 | theVIPmag.com
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Event Submissions
Do you have an event you would like to promote? Do it with VIP for FREE! Please send us
details—dates, times, location, contact phone, web address and a brief description—to
vipnews@thevipmag.com. Information should arrive at least 60 days in advance of the event.
Golden Triangle
Heart Ball
February 12
This year’s event
sponsored by the Golden
Triangle American Heart
Association will honor the
J.C. Giglio Family and Dr.
Stephen LaMendola. The
theme will be “I Left My
Heart in San Francisco, a
Golden Gate Affair.” Dinner,
dancing and auctions.
MCM Elegante. 7p.m.
409.550.1753
Hearts for the Arts
February 13
A fundraiser to beneft
the Southeast Texas Arts
Council. The Council will
announce the winners of
the 2011 of the outstanding
achievement in the arts and
humanities awards. Some of
the honorees include Chelsea
Tipton II, Naaman Woodland Jr,
Meredith “Butch” Jack and a
posthumous award for Rex and
Ruth Goode. Suga’s Deep South
Cuisine and Jazz Bar. 6-8p.m.
SnowWhite and the
Seven Dwarfs Ballet
February 20
Beaumont Civic Ballet’s presentation
of the timeless fairy tale with Torrance
Cobb as Snow White. Julie Rogers
Theatre. 5p.m. Tickets: $5-$15.
409.838.3435 x 1.
Fantasia Concert
February 11
The Love, Laughter & Inspiration
tour of the former American Idol
winner comes to the Beaumont
Civic Center. 8p.m. Tickets
$38.50. 409.838.3435 x 1.
c a l e n d a r
vip magazine
t h e
h e a r t
k n o w s
H
e a r t s
f o r
t h e
A
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THEVIPMAG.COM | February 2011 47
The Symphony
League Ball
February 5
This year’s theme is “The
Crystal Ball.” This black tie
event includes an evening of
cocktails, dinner, dancing and the
Symphony Belles presentation.
Beaumont Civic Center. 6:30p.m.
Chinese New Year
2011 is the Year of the Rabbit.
FEBRUARY 4
National Wear
Red Day for the
American Heart
Association
Brilliance! 8
An annual showcase of young singers
and musicians in Southeast Texas.
Presented by the Jeferson Theatre
Preservation Society. The Jeferson
Theatre. 7:30p.m. Tickets: Adults
$10, retirement home residents
$5, free for students and children.
409.838.3435
First Fridays on Lincoln Avenue
Shopping, food, and entertainment.
Lincoln Avenue , Groves. 6-9p.m.
409.962.3631, grovescofc.com
FEBRUARY 5
The Symphony League Ball
This year’s theme is “The Crystal
Ball.” This black tie event includes
an evening of cocktails, dinner,
dancing and the Symphony Belles
presentation. Beaumont Civic Center.
6:30p.m.
Lamar Baseball Banquet
Annual fundraiser to support
the Lamar Baseball team. Live
entertainment and auctions,
with plenty of baseball alumni
in attendance. MCM Elegante.
Socializing begins at 6:30p.m.,
banquet at 7p.m. 409.880.8135
Figuring the Feminine Art Reception
The Art Studio, Inc. will showcase
the work of painter Ameila Wiggins,
7-10p.m. On view throughout
February 26. 409.838.5393,
artstudio.org
Chili Luncheon
Afundraiser for the Beaumont Art
League, the board president and award-
winning chili chef Mark Mason will
host a take-in or dine-out dinner
option. Beaumont Art League.
3-5p.m. beaumontartleague.org
FEBRUARY 6
Super Bowl XLV
Half time show by
The Black-Eyed Peas.
FEBRUARY 7
Ribbon Cutting-Baptist Hospital
Cancer & Screening Center
Join the Greater Beaumont Chamber
of Commerce to celebrate this latest
achievement by Baptist Hospital.
11:3a.m.-noon.
FEBRUARY 10
Mix and Mingle
Enjoy the gorgeous fountains and
an opportunity to network at the
Holiday Inn & Suites. Sponsored by
the Greater Beaumont Chamber of
Commerce. 4:30-6:30p.m.
Grease
Port Arthur Little Theater puts on
a fun, musical glimpse into the retro
years of high school greasers and
squares. Feb. 10-13, 17-20, 24-27.
2:30pm matinees, 7:30pm evening
shows. 409.727.7258, palt.org
Merchant Soiree
Beaumont’s traveling art sale will be
at The Art Studio, Inc. this month
from 5-9p.m. Handcrafted works
range from photography, lithography
prints, jewelry and many other
unusual items. Free.
FEBRUARY 11
“Art”
A drama about the cataclysmic
efect the purchase of an abstract
work of art has on three friends,
presented by the Beaumont
Community Players.
Feb. 11-12, 18-19, 24-26 at the
Betty Greenberg Center for the
Performing Arts. 2p.m. matinees,
7:30p.m. evenings. 409.833.4664,
beaumontcommunityplayers.com
Julie Rogers “Gift of Life”
Survivors Celebration
Sponsored by Total Port Arthur
Refinery, this event is to honor those
who have battled with cancer. 10-
11:30am. Parkdale Mall Garden Court.
giftoflifebmt.org
Fantasia Concert
The Love, Laughter & Inspiration
tour of the former American Idol
winner comes to the Beaumont
Civic Center. 8p.m. Tickets $38.50.
409.838.3435 x 1
FEBRUARY 12
Golden Triangle Heart Ball
This year’s event sponsored by the
Golden Triangle American Heart
Association will honor the J.C. Giglio
Family and Dr. Stephen LaMendola.
The theme will be “I Left My Heart in
San Francisco, a Golden Gate Afair.”
Dinner, dancing and auctions. MCM
Elegante. 7p.m. 409.550.1753
Fowl Play Family Art Day
Inspired by the temporary exhibition
“Birds in Art, “ the event will feature
hands-on activities celebrating our
feathered friends. The Lamar State
College-Port Arthur Seahawks mascot
and a presentation from Shangri
La Botanical Gardens and Nature
Center featuring “Maxine” the Barred
Owl. Museum of the Gulf Coast.
10a.m.-4p.m. Free. 409.982.7000,
museumofthegulfcoast.org
FEBRUARY 13
Heart for the Arts Awards
A fundraiser to benefit the Southeast
Texas Arts Council. The Council will
announce the winners of the 2011 of
the outstanding achievement in the
arts and humanities awards. Some of
the honorees include Chelsea Tipton
II, Naaman Woodland Jr, Meredith
“Butch” Jack and a posthumous
award for Rex and Ruth Goode.
Suga’s Deep South Cuisine and Jazz
Bar. 6-8p.m. Tickets: $25. setac.org,
409.835.2787.
FEBRUARY 14
Valentine’s Day
FEBRUARY 15
Vienna Boys Choir
The famed Austrian choral group
will perform a variety of music in
multiple languages. First United
Methodist Church. 7p.m. Tickets:
$15. 409.832.0295
48 February 2011 | THEVIPMAG.COM
{ February }
FEBRUARY 1
The Color Purple
This is a drama telling the inspiring
saga of a woman who triumphs over
adversity, set to a score featuring jazz,
ragtime, gospel and blues. Lutcher
Theater. Feb. 1 & 2. 7:30p.m.
Tickets: $35-$65. lutcher.org
The Specious Instant
Featuring the artwork of Steve Hodges,
Justin Varner and Jakob Christmas.
Dishman Art Museum. 7p.m. On view
through Feb. 18. 409.880.8137
Birds in Art
The Museum of the Gulf Coast hosts a
new exhibition from the Leigh Yawkey
Woodson Art Museum featuring 60
original works by various artists. On
view through March 13. 409.982.7000,
museumofthegulfcoast.org
G. Eisenlohr: Painting Across the
Texas Landscape
The Art Museum of Southeast Texas
hosts an exhibition featuring 15 paintings
by renowned early Texas artist Edward
G. Eisenlohr on loan from a private
collection. Eisenlohr is considered one of
the pioneer landscape painters of Texas.
On view through April 3. 409.832.3432,
amset.org
Southeast Texas Art: Cross-Currents
and Infuences
The Art Museum of Southeast Texas
presents an exhibit that examines
relationships and influences that
existed between Southeast Texas
artists and early Texas Modernists
from 1925 – 1975. On view through
April 3. 409.832.3432, amset.org
FEBRUARY 2
Groundhog Day
FEBRUARY 3
The Julie Rogers Gift of Life Annual
Meeting
The evening will honor Valero
Corporation and Steve Ford, the son of
Gerald and Betty Ford will be the guest
speaker. 6:30p.m. dinner, 7:30p.m.
reception
TM
FEBRUARY 17
Bard on the Bayou Series:
The Tempest
Lamar University Theatre presents an
adaptation of the play about powerful
magician Prospero written by William
Shakespeare. Lamar University Theatre.
Feb. 17-20. 7:30p.m. 409.880.2250,
lamar.edu/theatre
FEBRUARY 18
Monster Nation
A monster truck show featuring the
Equalizer, the Tailgator and Hot
Tamale, and freestyle motocross
riders. Ford Arena. Feb. 18-19, 8 p.m.
and Feb. 20, 3 p.m. fordpark.org
Service League Follies
A musical and entertainment event
held every three years to raise funds
for the Orange Service League’s
community service projects. Feb. 18 &
19. Lutcher Theater. 6p.m. lutcher.org
Livingston Trade Days
Feb. 18-20 Hwy 59 North in
Livingston. Free admission and
parking. 1.877.UBHOOKED
FEBRUARY 19
Girls’ Haven 17th Annual Gumbo
Cook-Off
Gumbo will be judged in seafood,
poultry and combination categories.
Parking lot in front of Dillard’s at
Parkdale Mall. 11a.m.-6p.m. Gumbo
is $7 a bowl or four mini-bowls. Play
area for children and live music. Award
given to the People’s Choice Award.
409.832.6223, girlshaveninc.org
NAACP 28th Annual Freedom Fund &
Award Banquet
Banquet and fundraiser, proceeds
benefit scholarship fund. Recognition
of individuals, businesses and
organizations that have made
invaluable contributions to the
community. Compro Event Center.
7p.m. 409.842.0294
FEBRUARY 20
Snow White and the
Seven Dwarfs Ballet
Beaumont Civic Ballet’s presentation
of the timeless fairy tale. Julie Rogers
Theatre. 5p.m. Tickets : $5-$15.
409.838.3435. x 1
FEBRUARY 21
Presidents’ Day
FEBRUARY 24
Silsbee Chamber of Commerce
Annual Banquet
The event will take place at the
Silsbee High School cafeteria.
409.385.5562
3rd Annual Jubilee Banquet for
Legacy Christian School
This year’s entertainer is Dennis
Swanberg, also known as “America’s
Minister of Encouragement.” MCM
Elegante. 7p.m.
Mix and Mingle
Come socialize and network with
the Greater Beaumont Chamber of
Commerce and the Five Point Credit
Union on Dowlen Road. 4:30-6:30p.m.
FEBRUARY 25
Mamma Mia
Hilarious musical featuring the
hit music of ABBA woven into an
enchanting tale of love and laughter.
Lutcher Theater. Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.,
Feb. 26, 2p.m. and 7:30p.m. Tickets:
$40-$65. 409.886.5535. lutcher.org
Boomtown Film and Music
Festival
The fourth annual festival
showcases dozens of musical
acts in downtown Beaumont
and screens scores of
independent films. Entries
from all over the world,
including countries such
as Great Britain, Germany,
Sweden, India, Israel will
be included. Feb. 25 & 26.
boomtownfestival.com
Sesame Street’s Super Grover!
Elmo and friends help their friend
Grover when he loses his “superness.”
Shows Feb. 25-27. Ford Park.
fordpark.org
FEBRUARY 26
Habitat for Humanity’s Mr. Habitat
Contest
Habitat for Humanity of Jeferson
County’s rollicking event where nine
contestants will vie for the honor
of Mr. Habitat through a series of
contests. Additional entertainment
provided by the Blue Broussard Band.
Rockin’ A Café. 6:30p.m. Tickets
$40 per person or $300 per table of
eight. 409.832.5853
Symphony of Southeast Texas
Master Series Concert
Symphony of Southeast Texas,
featuring Tomoko Kanamaru on
piano. The program features
selections by Rimsky-Korsakov,
Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky.
Julie Rogers Theatre. 7:30 p.m.
409.892.2257, sost.org
20th Annual Cat Show
Coastwind Cat Club invites feline
lovers to join them at the Beaumont
Civic Center from 9a.m.-6p.m.
281.379.3897
THEVIPMAG.COM | February 2011 49
Bon Temps, Y’all!
A Mardi Gras Preview
Schedule of Events Highlights
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
March 3, 2011
5p.m. Gates open
6p.m. Billy Poullard
& Zydeco Combo Concert
8p.m. Bleu Edmondson Concert
10p.m. Closing
March 4, 2011
6p.m. Gates open
7p.m. Bart Crow Band Concert
Krewe of Krewes Parade
10p.m. Kevin Fowler Concert
Midnight Closing
March 5, 2011
Noon Gates open
1p.m. Royalty Parade
3p.m. Barry Badon &
the Zydeco Playboys
Concert
4p.m. Motorcycle showcase
5:30p.m. Dwayne Dopsie
& Zydeco Hellraisers
Concert
Motorcycle Run begins
8:30p.m. Brandon Rhyder Concert
10p.m. Justin Moore Concert
Midnight Closing
March 6, 2011
Noon Gates open
2p.m. Munchkin Parade
3p.m. Ryan Foret
& Foret Tradition Concert
4p.m. Truck Parade
6:30p.m. Wayne Toups
& Zydecajun Concert
The Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas held on Proctor Street in Port Arthur each
year is one of the best family-friendly events in the region. Four days of music,
parades, food and fun. mardigras.portarthur.com
I
love thee to the depth and
breadth and height my soul
can reach.
— Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Why do we celebrate
Valentine’s Day? The answer
is “no one knows.” That’s
right. No one knows.
You may think that Valen-
tine’s Day is to celebrate the
life or death of St. Valentine. The problem
is no one knows who St. Valentine was.
Many early Christian martyrs were named
Valentine. For each of these martyrs, there
is no historical romantic element or sugges-
tion that these men were pudgy, wore loin-
cloths or had a love for archery.
I claim there ain’t, Another Saint, As
great as Valentine.
— Ogden Nash
The Catholic Church has acknowledged
at least ten figures named St. Valentine.
The one traditionally thought to be “the
Saint Valentine” was a third century
Roman priest. Pope Gelasius declared
February 14th the feast day to honor him.
This St. Valentine is the patron saint of
many areas, which include love, happy
marriages, beekeepers, fainting, epilepsy
and plague. Of course, love can sometimes
seem like an illness.
Love — a wildly misunderstood although
highly desirable malfunction of the
heart which weakens the brain, causes
eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood
pressure to rise and the lips to pucker.
— Author Unknown.
When did Valentine’s Day start? No one
is sure. There is some trace of Valentine’s
Day being mentioned in the writings of
Chaucer from the 14th century, and Valen-
tine’s Day cards became popular in the 19th
century. Valentine’s Day only trails Christ-
mas for the amount of cards sold. Santa is
still more powerful than the Cupid.
In 2009, the National Retail Federation
reported that Americans spent $17 billion
in Valentine’s related gifts. The average
American consumer will spend over $120
for Valentine’s Day. I hope your Christmas
bills are paid.
Who, being loved, is poor?
— Oscar Wilde
Now that you have been empowered
with this information, I urge you to go to
your significant other and declare that you
will not be forced into this “groupthink”
consumerism. Your love is bigger than a silly
card or a box of chocolates. Tell this person
that Valentine’s Day is the holiday that was
invented to make money — nothing else.
You will not be told when or how to express
your love.
If you think this is a good idea, I hope
you are single. If not, this tactic will lead
you to becoming single very quickly. You
cannot beat Valentine’s Day. Give in. This
day will be easier for you.
If love is the answer, could you
rephrase the question?
— Author Unknown
Ideally, this day is not about who loves
you but about whom you love. It is the
one day of the year you take account of
the people who you will gleefully go and
do all of these things that we despise
about Valentine’s Day to express how
much you love them. Therefore, here are
a few suggestions.
When love is not madness,
it is not love.
— Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Reenact your first date. The details
of the past will show your special someone
how happy you are and excited about the
future. If your first date involved cofee and
a game of Mario Brothers at your apartment,
ignore this suggestion.
Dress up. Even if you are staying home
for dinner this is a simple way to make the
night seem like a special occasion. Remem-
ber, this does not mean wearing your clean-
est T-shirt and jeans. Try to look the part.
Make reservations. If you choose to
dine out, do not show up at a restaurant
without a reservation. No one wants to
spend the night waiting for an hour with ev-
ery other lazy boyfriend in town. One other
thing, do not take your love to a place where
you eat with your hands. This is not the
night to get elbow deep in barbecue sauce.
If the end of the meal calls for a Handi-Wipe,
save that experience for another occasion.
Love is the poetry of the senses.
— Honore de Balzac
Yes, you need to buy a gift. Valentine’s
Day is about love and romance. In case you
are walking past the Victoria’s Secret store,
lingerie may seem like a great gift idea, but
that is a gift for you — not your lady. Tread
with extreme caution.
If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
— Author Unknown
Celebrate Valentine’s Day your own way.
If it goes horribly wrong, remember, no one
is sure why we celebrate this day anyway.
Scott Renick is an attorney in Beaumont,
Texas. VIP
text by SCOTT RENICK
Valentine’s Day:
Day of Extortion
g u e s t c o l u m n
vip guide
50 February 2011 | THEVIPMAG.COM
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