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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mardi Gras Museum entertaining ways

Photos Special to The Times by Air Force Staff Sgt. Trina Jeanjacques.
The photos: (Top to bottom) 1. Krewe of Gemini Queen XVIII Noreen Dockendorf (left), Bess Elder, Barbara Wynne, Rachel Wheeler and King Gemni XVIII Louis Townsend at Mardi Gras Museum, Bossier City.
2. Barbara Wynne (left) and Betty Bamonte check out a costume on display.
3. Barbara Wynne with Mardi Gras beads.

We weren’t there, but Mardi Gras Museum chief Betty Bamonte e-mails us that Sept. 12 and 13 brought a whirlwind of visits at Mardi Gras Museum.

On Wednesday, Barbara Wynne, wife of Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne stopped by the museum. She was accompanied by Bess Elder, wife of Lt. Gen. Bob Elder, 8th U.S. Air Force Commander, and Rachel Wheeler, wife of Col. Robert E. Wheeler, commander 2nd Bomb Wing. The Wynnes were here for "Heritage to Horizons," the U.S. Air Force 60th Anniversary Ball Sept. 12 at Horseshoe Riverdome.

Two protocol officers stopped by the museum earlier to approve the tour and make sure protocol was followed, said Bamonte.

"We had to give a list of who would be at the museum, what type of gift we would give. They wanted to keep it very low key," said Bamonte.

Wynne was awed by the museum, telling Bamonte that it was "absolutely fabulous" (It is.) and that she had seen nothing like it.

She watched a brief video on Mardi Gras in the Ark-La-Tex.

And then — drum roll — royally and glittery costumed King Gemini XVIII Louis Townsend and Queen Gemini XVIII Noreen Dockendor made an appearance.

"Mrs. Wynne wanted to know how heavy the costumes were, how they were chose. She said she was just awestruck by all of the detail in the costumes," said Bamonte.

Officials also told Wynne about the community work krewes do all year.

Before leaving Wynne presented participants a special keepsake, a commemorative coin minted for the 60th Air Force anniversary.
Wynne was most impressed with the museum and Mardi talk.
So was Elder. "When we were here 20 years ago, there was no Mardi Gras!" she told us at a later party.

But the Air Force visits weren’t over. Actually Elder and Wheeler gave Wynne a bird’s-eye view of the downtown Shreveport before heading to the museum.

The next day, Elder and a group of senior officer’s wives came to call at the museum.

For them, there were royalty collar pieces and crowns available so they could dress up the Mardi Gras way and have pictures taken. We say: What a great idea!

Elder was charmed by it all.

As she left, she promised to bring visitors she is entertaining to the museum.

It is a fabulous place. It is worth a visit. And you can rent it for parties galore.

See you there.


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