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Monday, May 05, 2008

Come visit my new blog

Hi, guys. I have moved my blog to shreveporttimes.com. Click here to come and see it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Memories are made of this

Memories are made of this...

Gene Haynes, who once did public relations for what was then Casino Magic — remember when? — sent this.

It is a photo of me interviewing the late singer Robert Goulet. (Gene's back is to the camera and on the other side of me, Ted Files ,who worked with Ron O'Neal in booking the entertainers.)

For a very short time a few years back I covered the casinos for a casino column. It was a great deal of fun and I met several celebrities, including Willie Nelson, B.B. King, the Beach Boys, Vince Gill!

Willie was absolutely one of the nicest. He didn't leave the stage until he walked the length of it shaking hands with every fan standing along the apron. I was also among reporters who did short interviews with Willie on his bus.

B.B. King was sick the night he made an appearance at another casino. But he didn't leave until he had signed an autograph for every fan in the long line.

It was a fun gig.

Thanks, Gene. Thanks for the memories.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just call Pen Peery a dreamer

The Rev. Meg McLaughlin of Kansas, and her brother the Rev. Pen Peery

Photo by Paul L. Schuetze/The Times

"After living together three months, you are today making Pen an honest man," said the Rev. O. Benjamin Sparks of Richmond, Va., in so many words, when he started the sermon Sunday at First Presbyterian Church of Shreveport.
The comment brought a laugh from the congregation for Sparks spoke at the installation of the Rev. Pen Peery, our new minister at First Pres.
He — with wife Lindsey, son Wells — arrived in February but officially became our minister Sunday at the "Liturgy of Installation."

His sister, the Rev. Meg McLaughlin of Kansas, gave the charge to her brother.

And, she told us things that we did not know.

He is a dreamer, she told us.

"Pen is always envisioning something ... He’s ever-inclined to see that which could be possible.
And because of that, Pen stands in the company of a rich tradition of dreamers.

Think, dear readers, of Joseph in the Old Testament and Joseph in the new. The wise men, and Peter the Apostle were also dreamers.

"So I charge you, Pen Peery, to look for green grass, to see visions, to dream dreams," Meg said.

She charged him to dream dreams about our congregation, the people in it, his family and to see visions of our denomination and God’s Kingdom.

The visions of the denomination would be: "A vision of inclusiveness of all God’s Children. A vision of the body of Christ knit so tightly together that folks wonder what power is so strong to keep people of all ages, colors, classes and political persuasions together in one family."
Wow! Is that a special vision.
Welcome again, Pen. You are official!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Seeing pink

Eye-catching pillows at Claire Lynn
Modeling visors in A Touch of Italy: Ora Layne Guice (left), Dollie Phillips, me and Carla Hancock

Adam Einsohn is Under Wraps.

Exquisite sterling jewelry fashioned from hand-cut china at China Baroque.

Hal and Gladys Mossberger hold court in Company's Comin' space.

Tatermash attendant shows off some of her wares.

Tatermash sign flies high over the booth.

Photos by Paul L. Schuetze/The Times

Trends & Traditions Chairwoman Jennifer Frierson wanted to see a sea of pink when she walked into the Pink Preview Party Wednesday night.

She was not disappointed.
Starting with her fab pink mini dress with its cutout back and hubby Tannie’s pink check shirt, there was indeed a flood of pink.

Even the vendors followed suit.

For instance, Larry Moyer of Pineapple Patch, McCool, Texas, (Isn’t that a cool town name?) wore a pink and white seersucker shirt.

Rachel Johnson paired high heel pink patent shoes with her tres chic, short black strapless dress, and Rhonda Beauvais, with hubby Ernie in tow, showed off pink toenails with her black and white wrap dress.

Although Minou Olsan was stunning in spring green, she was sipping one of the Pink Party’s Pink Pizzazz cocktails.

Speaking of vendors, I bought a cowboy hat that had the top cut out to be turned into a visor at Lynn Pardini and Cheri Hamilton’s "A Touch of Italy" of Plano, Texas. It was rimmed with turquoise. It is one cute booth peddling long knit shirts adorned with bling, unusual pink leather jackets and Italian charm bracelets and more.
Among others we want to go back to:

1. Beijo staffed by independent sales rep Angela Dore of Lafayette. These are unusually-shaped patent or patent-inspired purses with unusual shapes — one is called "half-moon." I’ve bought two at craft shows in northwest Arkansas and am going to pick up a couple more here. The prices are good.

2. "China Baroque" is a firm featuring sterling jewelry fashioned from hand-cut china brought to you by Christie Gunter and Erica Northcutt of Houston. I coveted the brown English china turned into silver-encased belt buckles, but they are pricey.

3. Claire Lynn’s pillows, with "Drama Queen," "Best Friend," and "Sassy Girl" and other fun labels appliqued on them is worth checking out for great gifts. The company is headquartered in Midlothian, Texas.

4. "Just Ask Designs" being shown by locals Lauri Wallace, Noreen Dockendorf and Vicki Gorham. They hand-string wonderful jewelry and they also have some eye-catching purses.
A few more: Skip 2 My Lou, artist Janet L. Waldrop of Bullard, Texas, creates funky, fun jewelry out of vintage pieces and pins them to vintage photographs, with a story hand-written on back.
The popular "Under Wraps" from Dallas, featuring tulle, raffia and paper is back, and so is "Company's Comin" of Magnolia, Ark., selling dips and soups and other things.
Ms. Annette's & Dave's Vintage Tins owned by Dave and Annette Moore of Wisner, are wall pieces created from old wood and ceiling tins.
Shreveporter Linda McGehee, author of "The Perfect Bag," has an assortment of interesting things, including purses and patterns.

Have you been to Trends & Traditions? Have any fave booths to share with us?
By the way, Trends continues through tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Hangin' out at Mabry House

Flaming Baked Alaska prepared tableside at Mabry House
Paul L. Schuetze celebrates his 67th birthday

Celebrating Billy and Patti Guin's 10th wedding anniversary at the Chef's Table: John Frazier (left) Marti and Jim McMichael, Patti and Billy, Claude and Jan Bookter, Alice Frazier and me.

Ben and Stephanie James toast their second wedding anniversary.
Happy Birthday, Paul, Happy Birthday to you!

So we celebrated Paul’s 67th birthday Friday at The Mabry House.

For dessert, a flaming Baked Alaska prepared tableside! Very dramatic. Very good. (I always judge baked Alaskas by one I had at a French restaurant on the courtyard in Monterrey, Mexico!)

It was a celebratory evening, this Friday at Mabry House. (I’ve posted some pictures that record it.)

At a table back of us, Ben and Stephanie James were toasting their second wedding anniversary.

At the Chef’s Table in the kitchen, Billy and Patti Guin observed their 10th wedding anniversary.
At their table were Jim and Marti McMichael, Claude and Jan Bookter and John and Alice

And, in another room, Minden resident Jane Rogers, surrounded by her family, turned 60. With her: hubby James Rogers and children Dr. Doug and Amy Talley of Shreveport, Matthew and Tafta Rogers of Bossier City and Blake Rogers of Minden. (Doug is our dentist and sent Paul a bottle of wine! Thank you, Doug. It made the evening memorable.)
So people were table hopping and toasting. Even strangers were wishing people "Happy! Happy!"

Monday, April 07, 2008

Where are my keys?

Sometimes I think I can handle anything and I usually do.

But, when I lock my keys in the car. With the motor running. With my cell phone in it.

Well, I lose it. Or lost it Thursday at the funeral of my good and wonderful friend Hazel Harris.

I was sitting at the end of second pew in Winnfield Funeral Home. beside mutual pal, Caddo School Board member Dottie Bell.

As the service started, I realized that I didn’t have my keys with me.

Out to the parking lot I ran.

That, of course, is when I realized that the keys were in the ignition.

And, to my horror, the car was running. (Thank, God, of course, that the brake was on and Randi, my RAV4, was in park.)

And, I kept thinking that the car would be ruined as it sat there and roared, calmed down, made clicking noises.)

I knew then that I just couldn’t leave the car out in the parking lot. I knew I would be missing Hazel’s funeral. (More about her and our friendship later.)

I went back inside, retrieved my sunglasses, told Dottie what had happened and borrowed her cell phone.

"You cannot leave," said the attendant at the exit door."

I sat back down.


But, remembering that my car was running, I got up again.

"You cannot leave," said the man, this time a little more forcefully.

Well, I abhor violence and I always bow to authority.

However, this time, I considered pushing the man aside or making a run toward the door.

This time, he added: "You cannot leave while Scripture is being read."

Well, I could accept and respect that.

So I sat.

Finally. Finally. I returned to the parking lot and Randi.

I couldn’t reach Paul.

So, I called my neighbors — who have been through this sort of thing before with me. Bob and Lucile Meredith, rescued me.

Bob found Paul outside weeding the Contemplative Garden.

Lucile calmed me down through the airwaves — or whatever runs cell phones.

When I hung up, I paced the lot — getting as far away from the roaring car as I possibly could and still see it.

Hazel’s friend Edwina T. Drakes stopped to talk.

Paul arrived.

Reassured me that the car was not ruined.

Reminded me that I needed to keep an extra key with me at all times.

Suggested gently I carry my cell phone, with the batteries charged, with me wherever I am. If there was an emergency, I would need it.

As I said, more about Hazel later. But as she looks down from heaven — and I just know she is there — I can see her smiling and shaking her head.

And, maybe she would even say, "Well, Margaret, you handled that pretty well."

But, as sweet as she was — and as organized and unflappable — I am sure she would never understand how in the world something like this could happen!

I don’t really understand it either!

But, it was an adventure...not unusual for me!

Friday, April 04, 2008

The New York Times takes a look at us

The New York Times has been nosying around Northwest Louisiana.

Thanks to Natchitoches pal Tommy Whitehead, who sent it via e-mail, I found out about it.

The lead photo is of of Oakland Planation house in Natchitoches, part of the Cane River Creole National Historical Park.

"Louisiana’s Creole Country Colorfully Preserved" is about the beauty of Kisatchie National Forest. "Deep in the Kisatchie National forest, wild azaleas blaze trails with pinkish-white clusters, sassafras trees glow brilliant green and hikers stride through glades dotted with the lavender blossoms of blazing star," is the lead. (Now doesn’t that make you want to wonder down there and hike around.)

Here are some other things the newspaper found out about us and told the world:

1. Mama D’s Country Kitchen in Winnfield, where you can sample fried catfish filet, beets and okra and pickled green tomatoes. (I’ve been there doing a travel story; the food is fab and so are those Winnfield shops.)

2. Briarwood, home of Caroline Dormon, and now called Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve. (If you haven’t visited, Briarwood, shame on you. It is wonderful. You will be fascinated with Richard and Jessie Johnson, who care for and love this wild place.)

Note: In the April Nature Preserve newsletter, Johnson wrote that the travel writer Keith Mulvihill of The New York Times called at the last minute and asked for 30 minutes because a friend told him not to leave Louisiana without seeing Briarwood.
"...but stayed over three hours until it was getting dark and promised to return another year," wrote Richard.

3. Cane River National Heritage Area, the heart of which is a 35 mile swath that starts in Natchitoches and runs southeast along both sides of Cane River Lake.

4. Oakland and Magnolia Plantations which make up the Cane River Creole National Historical Park. (If you haven’t visited this park that is so new it is still under development, why you have missed something.)

5. Melrose Planation, which we all know was the home of John and Cammie Henry and artist Clementine Hunter.

6. And, there is mention of the Filling Station, a drive-through liquor store housed in a purple barn, which serves such frozen drinks as "Electric Slide" and "Oumpa."

For a more complete read, check out the The New York Times Web site, www.nytimes.com.