Monday, April 30, 2018

Slidell Topo Maps Over the Years

Here is a short video clip showing the USGS topographical maps of the Slidell area from 1935 to 1998. Click on the triangle in the center of the image to play the video. 

Childrens Museum of St. Tammany

The Children's Museum of St. Tammany celebrated its grand opening weekend on January 20 and 21 at its new location on Koop Drive between Abita Springs and Mandeville. It has been holding special programs over the past several years, including an Astro Camp space-oriented kids camp during the summer, but having its own building has proven to be a great benefit.

According to information from the organization's website, after more than a decade of planning, the long-awaited Children’s Museum of St. Tammany (CMST) opened its doors on Saturday, January 20, at its brand-new interim location at the Koop Drive Trailhead. 

The museum  features exhibits designed by Argyle Design of Brooklyn, NY, produced by local design team The Solomon Group and programming developed by an exhibit design team of volunteer educators in collaboration with museum board and staff. It appeal s primarily to toddlers through early childhood aged children and offers special programming for older children.

According to Tina Taylor Abbey, a past president of the Junior League of Greater Covington, "In 1977, a small group of women came together to establish the Junior League of Greater Covington.  At that time, they embraced the creation of a childhood learning experience for the families of St. Tammany as a top goal.  Today, the Children's Museum of St. Tammany enjoys the universal, unwavering support of our entire organization.  We are all parents in one form or another -- mothers, grandmothers, godparents, educators.   And we know the joy that comes when a child explores, plays and discovers."

From its inception as a community project of the Junior League of Greater Covington to becoming its own independent 501c3 with a board of trustees and advisory board, CMST is the result of countless volunteer hours.

Lisa Barnett, CMST Board of Trustees President, said, “As a past president of the Junior League, I am particularly proud of the impact the League has had in bringing this project to fruition. This is a testament to the importance of volunteerism and the power of community.”

“The St. Tammany Parish Public School System and Superintendent Trey Folse have also played an integral part in getting us to this point,” said CMST Trustee and Marigny Elementary Principal Leslie Martin. “From leading the way in our annual Black & Gold Day fundraiser to the many educators who have lent their time and expertise in developing our exhibits and programming, Mr. Folse and the school system have been true partners in bringing the museum to life.”

From Past President Kevin Davis’ early championing of the project, to President Pat Brister’s invitation to make the Parish’s planned Cultural Arts District its permanent home, CMST has enjoyed support from St. Tammany Parish Government over the years. 

Pictured from Left to Right: Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President; Lisa Barnett, President Children's Museum of St. Tammany Board of Trustees; Amy Fresh, Executive Director, Children's Museum of St. Tammany. Photo provided by St. Tammany Parish Government website.

“We are grateful to our elected officials at the parish level and also at the city level who have contributed to our efforts. Folks like President Brister, Sheriff Randy Smith, Mayors Mike Cooper and Don Villere who participate in our Advisory Board and our council members who lend an ear, a hand and show up have had such an impact in getting us to this point.”

“We are always thinking forward to the future.” continued Barnett.  “We are continuing to plan and fundraise for the 30,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility.”

Here are some photographs of the new facility now at 21404 Koop Drive. 



Saturday, April 28, 2018

Covington High School Faculty & Staff - 1968

Here are yearbook photos of the administration, faculty and staff of Covington High School in 1968, some fifty years ago. Click on the images to make them larger.

Pete Fitzmorris and the Alligators

Here's a photo from the mid-1970's showing Police Juror Pete Fitzmorris with two alligators in the bed of his pick up truck. The truck is parked in the side parking lot of the old courthouse on N. New Hampshire Street. 

Click on the image to make it larger. 

Water Works

St. Tammany Parish has always had an excellent reputation for water. From a recreational standpoint, the parish has more lakes, bayous, and rivers than any other parish in the state, perfect for sailing, fishing and water skiing. From a drinking water standpoint, the parish enjoys a rich history of free-flowing artesian wells, the focal point of many 19th century summer homes and resorts, as well as the world famous "health-enhancing" springs of the Abita Springs area.

Now a Mandeville couple are writing a new chapter in St. Tammany's book of outstanding water resources, that of producing "ion alkaline" water. They have a store in Mandeville that showcases a variety of water purifiers that produce different levels of alkaline water for different purposes: one for drinking, one for addressing health issues, and one for improving athletic performance.

Gail Brown and her husband RJ are living examples of the "health-enhancing" effects of drinking alkaline water, and on a recent Saturday, they met with 50 or so area residents to host a two hour health seminar on the subject. Special guest speaker Dr. Fred Bisci, Ph.D., an 88-year-old nutritionist and author, told about the health benefits of fasting and a raw food diet, noting thousands of cases where chronic disease was dealt with through a change in diet and exercise. 

Dr. Fred Bisci, center, with RJ and Gail Brown, left and right.
They each told about the health benefits of drinking alkaline water.

Dr. Bisci's book "Your Healthy Journey" tells about his life-long career helping people realize that the "standard American diet" of processed foods and sugar really isn't helping them stay healthy. He ended his talk by praising the positive benefits of drinking alkaline water.

Several years ago RJ became interested in alkaline water when he suffered from severe gout. Drinking it helped significantly. The importance of drinking alkaline water became even more apparent after Gail developed cancer. As noted on a large sign in their store, "No Disease, including cancer, can exist in an alkaline environment."

At the seminar, she told of the daily "protocol" she now follows, which involves taking a variety of vitamin supplements, eating freshly-prepared fruit and vegetable dishes, and, of course drinking the high alkaline water. In his search for the best water alkalinizing process, RJ examined a variety of water alkaline devices already on the market and decided he could design and produce a better one.  That effort resulted in the ultra-modern kitchen countertop units they sell at the Mandeville store.

A large number of people stop by the "Ion Alkaline Water" store every two or three days just to refill their bottles with alkaline water, paying a few dollars for a refill. Cancer patients get their refills for free. A row of water purifier countertop units are used to refill their bottles, which keeps them supplied until they are ready to purchase a purifier for their own homes.

The seminar ended with RJ giving a demonstration of the questionable quality of name brand "bottled water." He displayed several brands of bottled water, the kind they sell at grocery and convenience stores, and tested each one for Ph levels, alkaline vs. acid. They all tested high in acidity. Especially high in acidity were soft drinks and energy boosting drinks.

While the countertop unit produces fresh, pure alkaline water, that water must be consumed within 48 hours to properly benefit from the alkalinity, he noted. That limits the ability to bottle the water and store it for long periods of time.

Gail and RJ are thus on a mission, carrying on the tradition of high quality water for St. Tammany residents.  Since water touches our lives in many ways, either recreationally, quenching one's thirst, or enhancing the body's ability to fight disease, this new venture is the latest contribution to St. Tammany's legacy for excellent water.

Friday, April 27, 2018

100 years ago this week

What was going on 100 years ago this week? 

CLICK HERE for a link to the St. Tammany Farmer edition of April 27, 1918. The link is provided by the Library of Congress and its Chronicling America service.

Click on the images below to see larger versions.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Rockin' The Rails Music Concert

A thousand or so people turned out for the April 26 "Rockin' the Rails" free music concert at the Covington Trailhead. The band "Uptown Phunk" entertained the crowd with a variety of big dance hits and jazzy upbeat numbers. The weather was perfect and a good time was had by all. Here are some pictures. Click on the images to make them larger.