Saturday, August 31, 2019

Rose Anne Bivens - Folk Singer

Here's a gallery of photos and videos featuring Rose Anne Bivens, Covington/Abita Springs singer extraordinaire. She has earned a wide reputation for her singing and teaching music as well as her playing guitar. She specializes in Louisiana folk music.

Click the following link for an Abita Springs Opry performance:


The Abita Springs Opry website describes Rose Anne with these words: Roseanne Bivens is a local musician with a wide music repertoire.  She made her debut in the 1960s when folk music was popular on college campuses.  Since that time her talents have been in demand throughout the area.  She is also an accomplished music teacher."

Rose Anne performing at a Columbia Street block party, with Nikki Barranger in the rocking chair in front

To view a video of Roseanne Bivens and David Bivens 
performing at the Abita Springs Opry,

According to the album description, Walter’s Garden is a collection of songs by Rose Anne Bivens and Nikki Barranger. Accompanying Rose Anne are her two sons: David Bivens, vocal harmony, guitar, twelve-string, banjo, and slide – while Thomas Bivens contributes bass. Nikki plays on Dawlins and sings harmony on his eponymous Walter’s Garden, while Jerry Embree (appearing courtesy of the Abita Music Company) adds his sax on Minnesota’s Requiem. Jerry Hess provides the occasional drum; Suzanne Harper strikes Nikki’s Celtic harp on Homeless, and Karen Jung plays the cello on When You Are Old and Love is Not All. Barranger took part in the production of two CD's with Rose Anne.

2013 Covington Bicentennial Celebration

She enjoys doing local concerts with her son David, although singing in front of people is something she had to work to get used to. At one time she had enrolled in the roster of performing artists available in the state of Louisiana to demonstrate the various types of folks music.

She wrote a couple of programs in which she would tell a little about the history of St. Tammany Parish, who were the people here and how it got started. One talk was about "what a day would be like in colonial America." It told the story of two children, Jonathan and Abigail, who were witness to some important historical events. "I did several of those programs, and they were fun," she said.

Her teaching efforts included guitar and piano, and her venture with Carol Jahncke and Jerry Hess to create, record and sell locally-written songs about St. Tammany Rivers "was really something,"  she said. "She came up with the idea, and we had known each other for quite a while, so it was interesting." Carol Jahncke had a lot of energy, she recalls, and she was a very creative person. "She and Pat Clanton dreamed up the idea for the park at Columbia Landing," Bivens said. "Another creative person is Mary Davis in Abita Springs. She came up with a lot of good ideas for Abita, and they named her Citizen of the Year just recently."

Carol Jahncke, Ron Barthet, and Rose Anne Bivens at a song-writing session in September 1992.

Bivens likes to share tidbits about history and the "old days" of St. Tammany Parish. She would like to see a group of Covington "longtime residents" get together and talk about how things used to be. 

2016 Dancescape Christmas Presentation

At the Piney Woods Opry, with Jerry Hess

At the Piney Woods Opry

Playing music for the Dance Players Holiday Event at Courthouse

Friday, August 30, 2019

100 Years Ago This Week

What was going on 100 years ago this week? CLICK HERE for a link to the St. Tammany Farmer of August 30, 1919. The link is provided by the Library of Congress and its Chronicling America service.

Click on the sample images below to see larger versions.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Mandeville Boating Association 1951

This picture was found on the Facebook page of the late Mary Busby Frindik. It shows the members of the Mandeville Boating Association in 1951-1952. Click on the images to make them larger. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Native People of Fontainebleau State Park

Jackson Cantrell, a 16 year old Mandeville resident who has become intrigued with the history of St. Tammany Parish, has written a fascinating history of the "Native People of Fontainebleau." The report was released this year, with 16 pages of information and maps about who lived where many years  ago. 

The historical research was done as part of his Eagle Scout project, and included the placement of  two historical markers in the park, one designating the early significance of Native Americans in the area and the other the slaves that once worked on the plantation there. It was an emotional experience for Jackson, as he delved deeper into the records that detailed the activities of the area and the people who lived there.

HERE IS A LINK to his report on the Native People of Fontainbleau. The report includes this map of the various tribes that were represented in the area. 

A few months ago, The Times Picayune wrote a detailed article about Cantrell and his efforts to research and publicly recognize the contributions of the slaves who lived on the plantation inside Fontainebleau State Park.  It was published on June 6, 2019, and may be read by CLICKING ON THIS LINK.

According to the article, Jackson met Grayhawk Perkins, a well-known local Native American historian, at a historical presentation and the two had much to share.  

Jackson has also spoken at local meetings about his findings and his continued efforts to uncover, expand upon, and appreciate the history of St. Tammany.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Horse Jumping Competition

Not only did the Folsom area shine as a major horse breeding and training area, but many of the top contenders in area horse performance competitions came from Folsom. Here is Karen Garcia from White Oaks Farms in Folsom taking her horse through the paces at a La. Hunter Jumper Association event. Photo by Ray Hermann from Slidell.

Photo taken in the mid-1980's.

See also:

Horses Are An Important Part of St. Tammany Activities

Horse Ranches and Training Facilities

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Holiday Inn Demolished

Well, demolition of the old Covington Holiday Inn building continues. In its last few years it was a Clarion Inn Suites and Conference Center located on U.S. 190 just north of Interstate 12, but it began life decades ago in 1980 as a Holiday Inn. It wasn't luxurious, but it was ahead of its time when it was opened.

It featured an indoor atrium with bar and patio, a swimming pool that was both inside the atrium and outside in the sunshine, landscaped interiors, rooms with balconies both indoor and outdoor.

There were conference rooms, small meeting rooms, a big ballroom, and a restaurant that offered a variety of food and drink through the procession of various managements. It was the place where parties were held, along with comic book shows, corporate meetings, business conventions, chamber of commerce activities and fashion shows, receptions, business fairs, class reunions, anniversary gatherings, and the annual banquets of a large number of community service organizations. 

Those are but memories now, faded sights and sounds of Covington's residents and visitors enjoying its facilities during some of the busiest growth years of west St. Tammany. The Holiday Inn/Clarion Inn was part of it all, one of the first modern first-class overnight accommodations in the area. Memories now and memories forever. 

Plans are at work to convert it to some other use, it seems, so it will be interesting to find out what the future of that location will be. 

Here are some pictures of the work demolishing the building.  Click on the images to make them larger. 

The Way It Used To Be

Photo source: Yelp